15th July 2018
ZTE LIVES ON: US COMMERCE DEPARTMENT LIFTS BAN
ZD Net reported that the US Commerce Department has announced it has lifted its ban on exports to the US by ZTE, after the Chinese telecom company deposited the final tranche of a $1.4 billion penalty. The ban was imposed after the US government determined that ZTE violated terms of a 2017 settlement, reached after ZTE shipped US equipment to Iran and North Korea.
GREEK COURT RULES TO EXTRADITE ALEXANDER VINNIK, ACCUSED OF LAUNDERING $4 BILLION IN BITCOIN
Coin Telegraph on 14th July reported that the alleged former operator of crypto exchange BTC-e, who was indicted in the US for fraud and money laundering, to France. An appeal against the court’s decision in the Greek Supreme Court is expected. His lawyer said he feared eventual extradition from France to the US.
UAE SAYS MEASURES AGAINST EXCHANGE HOUSES NOT LINKED TO IRAN CRACKDOWN
On 15th July, Reuters reported that the UAE central bank had said that the decision to punish 7 currency exchange houses is unrelated to a crackdown on a network funnelling illicit funds to Iran, which the US and UAE reported having busted the previous week. A statement said that exchange houses had their licenses downgraded because they were found to be in violation of central bank regulations, including AML regulations, and then failed to regularise matters during a grace period.
IRELAND: CRACKDOWN LEADS TO JUMP IN GAMING MACHINE LICENCES
The Irish Independent on 15th July reported that there has been a big jump in the number of slot machine licences issued by the Irish Revenue Commissioners following a tax crackdown. New figures show that in 2017 there were 9,612 licences issued, compared to 6,088 the previous year. Gaming machines which are made available for play in a public place must have a valid excise licence. The newspaper says that the issue has become controversial in recent times with reports that many machines were being operated without a valid licence.
FRAUDSTER SET UP 46 FAKE BUSINESSES TO STEAL £2.4 MILLION THROUGH ALMOST 300 VAT REPAYMENT CLAIMS
Leicestershire Live on 15th July reported on the case of David Handley, 43, who headed a 19-strong gang in a 7-year long VAT fraud. HMRC said that Handley posed as a legitimate businessman and used details of his accomplices to register companies such as courier firms, air conditioning suppliers and fast food outlets and then submitted false tax repayment claims on behalf of other gang members to whom he later gave a cut.
US COMPANY PRODUCING NON-FIRING PLASTIC 3D-PRINTED REPLICA FIREARMS
On 13th July, the Firearms Blog reported on a US company, Noble Empire Corporation, which has an app database of detailed 3D firearm models which you can disassemble, learn the mechanisms of operation etc. Now a subsidiary company called printed Firearms replicas has announced the start of sales of polymer 3D-printed non-firing firearm replicas. Made from PLA plastic, they are said to allow studying of the mechanisms of different firearms where real versions are either rare and hard to obtain or impossible.