21st April 2018
US CALL TO AMEND MTCR TO ALLOW MORE DRONE EXPORTS
In Defense One on 20th April, the president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) argues that, along with the just-announced US national policy on the export of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the US Government needs to seek changes to the Missile Technology Control Regime which currently can classify UAS (aka UAV or RPA – remotely piloted aircraft) as if missiles. He proposes an additional criterion to exclude from the MTCR RPA with a maximum speed of 800 kmh or less.
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FORMER MEXICAN GOVERNOR EXTRADITED FROM ITALY TO US
On 20th April, Swissinfo reported that former Mexican governor, Tomas Yarrington, accused of having ties to Mexican drug cartels has been extradited to the US from Italy, a Mexican security source said. He governed the state of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005 for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and was arrested last year by Italian police pending an extradition request from a federal judge in Texas. He has been accused by US and Mexican prosecutors of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from criminal organisations in Mexico. He is also accused of extortion and money laundering.
MACAU MONETARY AUTHORITY ISSUES WARNING ON CRYPTO FOLLOWING CRIMINAL TIES TO ICO
Coin Telegraph on 21st April reported that the Monetary Authority of Macau has issued a warning to the public regarding the possibility “fraud and criminal activities” in cryptocurrencies. This after the Macuau Dragon Group, a firm associated with Chinese gangster Wan Kuokoi, employed Cambridge Analytica to promote Dragon Coin, a new virtual currency for gamblers to transfer money to Macau casinos. Wan has reportedly spent more than 10 years in prison for various crimes, including leading the “14K” triad group in Macau. Banks and payment institutions are forbidden from direct or indirect involvement in providing services for cryptocurrency exchanges under Macau monetary regulations, but there are no rules restricting ICOs in the private casino industry.
CUSTOMS OFFICIALS RAID KOREAN AIR OVER ALLEGED IMPORT TAX EVASION BY CHAIRMAN’S DAUGHTER
The Yonhap News Agency on 21st April reported that customs officials raided the headquarters of Korean Air Lines and the residence of the chairman’s daughter to look into allegations that the heiress didn’t pay duties on luxury goods brought into the country. It was reported the family used to airline’s aircraft to import goods misdescribed and without paying import duties.
33 TAIWANESE FRAUD SUSPECTS DETAINED FOLLOWING DEPORTATION FROM POLAND
Focus Taiwan on 21st April reported that a group of 33 Taiwanese telecommunication fraud suspects arrested in Poland earlier this year have been taken into custody by Taiwan prosecutors. Prosecutors are currently questioning a second group of 14 suspects who were arrested in the same case and deported to Taiwan.
PODCAST: PATRICK HO, CHINA MONEY AND THE SEARCH FOR RESOURCES
Episode 837 of Planet Money on National Public Radio in the US is a 22½-minute podcast about why FBI agents arrested Patrick Ho, charging him with money laundering and bribery. In the show, we follow the money around the world, his connections in Africa and get a rare look into how China is scrambling for resources in Africa. Always interesting. For example, why are there more Chinese barbers in Uganda?
HOW A NUCLEAR BLAST WOULD AFFECT YOUR LOCALITY
An interactive tool enables you to see what effect a nuclear weapon blast would have on where you live. For example, a 300 KT (Minuteman III W87 warhead) ground burst on central Isle of Man (where mostly hills) would yield only immediate 138 deaths and 5,600 injuries. However, an air burst in the same place would kill an estimate 1,965 and injure 21,462.
INDIA TO SEIZE PROPERTY OF SUPER-RICH FUGITIVES
Reuters on 21st April reported that Indian authorities will be empowered to seize properties of super-rich fugitives whose economic offences or crimes involve sums over $15 million, according to a government document seen by Reuters. The move comes as the country reels from a series of banking scandals, including a $2 billion fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank.
Full-size poster available on eBay.
US STATE DEPARTMENT CRITICISES BULGARIA ON PRISONS, JUDICIARY, CORRUPTION, PEOPLE-TRAFFICKING AND VIOLENCE AGAINST MINORITIES
The Sofia Globe reported on 21st April that the most significant human rights issues in Bulgaria in 2017 included harsh conditions in prisons and detention facilities; lack of judicial independence; corruption in all branches of government; trafficking in persons; and societal violence against ethnic minorities, according to the US State Department’s annual report on human rights practices.
POKERSTARS PARENT TO ACQUIRE SKY BETTING AND GAMING
Calvin Ayre on 21st April reported that the Stars Group, parent company of online gambling giant PokerStars, has reached a $4.7 billion deal to acquire Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG).