17th June 2018
MONEY-LAUNDERING BREACHES AT FIRM IN MALTA USED BY PM’S TOP AIDE
The Times of Malta on 16th June reported that a local firm that held an “investment” account for the Prime Minister’s top aide, Keith Schembri, has been fined €38,750 for breaching a number of AML laws. In an administrative penalty notice on its website, the FIAU said it imposed the fine after conducting an off-site compliance visit focusing on 4 unnamed business relationships established by MFSP Financial Management. In the penalty notice, the FIAU said MFSP held information indicating that clients’ expected source and origin of funds would consist of savings or the sale of investments. The FIAU found that certain transactions deposited in the investment portfolio came from “third parties”, instead of savings or investment sales. MFSP would have been expected to detect and query such discrepancies, the FIAU said.
UKRAINE “FAILS TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS AGAINST PUTIN’S FRIEND ARKADY ROTENBERG”
UA Wire on 16th June reported that Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg and his company Minudobreniya avoided being added the list of individuals and legal entities against which Ukraine imposed economic sanctions. The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) told Deputy Serhiy Leshchenko that this was due to lack of proposals from the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service). This seems odd, if true, as he is on US and EU (and hence UK) sanctions lists.
SHARP INCREASE IN MONEY MIGRANTS SEND HOME LIFTS MILLIONS OUT OF POVERTY – UN REPORT
UN News on 14th June reported that a dramatic increase in the amount of money migrants send home to their families in developing countries is helping to lift millions out of poverty, according to a new report from the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The report highlights the role these funds – more than $445 billion in 2016 – play in helping development countries. Sending Money Home covers a 10-year trend in migration and remittance flows from 2007-2016. While the report shows that there have been increases in sending patterns most regions of the world, the sharp rise over the past decade is in large part due to Asia which has witnessed an 87% increase in remittances. Currently, about 200 million migrant workers support some 800 million family members globally. This year it is expected 1-in-7 people globally will be involved in either sending or receiving more than $450 billion in remittances, according to the report.
SILK ROAD SENIOR ADVISER EXTRADITED TO USA FROM THAILAND
Finance Magnates on 17th June reported the extradition of a Canadian citizen, Roger Thomas Clark, alleged senior adviser to the owner and operator of the infamous ‘Silk Road’ website. It reminds one that Silk Road was a website founded in 2011 by a Texan man names Ross Ulbricht. It was an online marketplace that maintained user anonymity by use of a software called Tor. Transactions were made using Bitcoin. The site was operational from February 2011 until October 2013, when it was shut down by the FBI.
SCANDAL INVOLVING LEASE OF KYRGYZSTAN’S MILITARY HELICOPTERS TO UGANDA
Alert 5 reports claims that the former President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, has been accused of corruption by renting the country’s military helicopters to Uganda. It says that 4 helicopters donated by Russia had been leased to Uganda and the money for the lease went to an offshore account in UAE.
BIOLOGICAL ATTACK SUSPECT DETAINED IN GERMANY
Defence Web on 17th June reported that German prosecutors in Cologne have an arrest warrant from a judge for a Tunisian man suspected of planning an Islamist-motivated attack and manufacturing a “biological weapon” using ricin. The suspect bought 1,000 grains of ricin, a naturally occurring poison in castor beans and an electric coffee grinder online.
ATTACK SHUTS MAJOR LIBYAN OIL PORTS AND PRODUCTION SLASHED
Defence Web on 15th June reported that the major Libyan oil ports Ras Lanuf and Es Sider had been closed and evacuated after armed brigades opposed to the powerful eastern commander Khalifa Haftar stormed them, causing a production loss of 240,000 barrels per day.
FORMER MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MAY FACE CHARGES OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND MISAPPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY
Baker McKenzie on 15th June reported that Malaysian authorities investigating scandal-hit state fund 1MDB are considering charging former prime minister Najib Razak with money laundering and misappropriation of property. Najib, 64, suffered a shock defeat in the May general election, the first change of government since Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957.