20th May 2018
SPAIN SEIZES BOAT SMUGGLING 15 TONNES OF HASHISH
Focus FEN and others on 2oth May reported that the Spanish National Police and Civil Guards have intercepted and seized a fishing boat carrying an estimated 15 tonnes of hashish, the Spanish Interior Ministry said. The fishing boat, which was illegally sailing under a Maltese flag, when it was spotted by a Spanish patrol boat 110 nautical miles off the eastern Spanish coast in a joint operation with Portuguese, Italian and Dutch authorities.
LIBYA AUDIT BUREAU WANTS TO FREEZE BANK ACCOUNTS OF FIRMS ACCUSED OF MONEY SMUGGLING
The Libya Observer on 19th May reported that the Libya Audit Bureau announced the names of figures and local and international firms involved in smuggling foreign currency, accusing them of greatly damaging Libya’s economy. It sent a letter to the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), the Head of the Commission of Imports Budget, and the banks’ managers urging them to stop dealing with the bank accounts of the involved figures ad firms. 44 local companies and 24 foreign companies were included. It also revealed money smuggling using letters of credit, thus damaging Libya’s economy, saying it is a form of organised crime, and said that there should be no letters of credit until the money smuggled is counted and then the file is sent to the concerned authorities.
CANADIAN JAILED IN US FOR EXCHANGING BITCOINS
Crypto Insider reported that in December 2016, Canadian citizen, Louis Ong, was targeted by the US federal authorities for posting an advertisement online to anonymously exchange bitcoin for US dollars. Ong has now been sentenced to 20 days in US prison, 3 years of supervised release, and will likely be unable to return to the US after serving his sentence there. He also forfeited $1.1 million in cash and bitcoin.
BRITISH GOVERNMENT LISTS PAKISTAN AMONG TOP 3 MONEY LAUNDERING SOURCES
The Daily Times in Pakistan on 20th May reported that the NCA has identified Pakistan, Nigeria and Russia as the top source countries for money laundering in the UK in its annual assessment of serious and organised crime. The assessment also mentions that one of the key mechanisms used in money laundering is trade-based money laundering (TBML), described as a complex global issue and a key method of money laundering impacting on the UK.
CHINA’S CNPC READY TO TAKE OVER IRAN PROJECT IF TOTAL LEAVES
Customs Today on 19th May reported that China’s state-owned energy major CNPC is ready to take over Total’s stake in the giant Iranian South Pars gas project if the French company leaves amid newly announced US sanctions, industry sources said, according to Reuters.
NCA MOST WANTED LIST
ISLAMIC STATE CHEMICAL WEAPONS
The START website on 28th March republished an article originally in the CTC Sentinel arguing that the Islamic State’s experiments with chemical weapons (CW) cannot predict future threats. The article states that IS has used weaponised toxic industrial chemicals, or TIC, which shows how eager IS was to get access to these chemicals. Some of the chemicals used for weaponized TIC are chlorine, which is most predominantly used; phosphine, a compound used in agriculture; and sulphur mustard. These 3 chemicals were all used in between 2014 and 2016 in various attacks. The analysis questions why IS decided to leave out their CW attacks that they deemed successful.
SPOT THE SIGNS OF TRAFFICKING AND FORCED LABOUR
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority in the UK has published a number of indicators of trafficking and forced labour. Not all of the indicators will apply in every case, and some may not be immediately apparent. The indicators are grouped under several headings – restricted freedom; behaviour; working conditions; accommodation; finances; appearance.