26 August 2018
GUINEA-BISSAU AND DRUGS SMUGGLING
An article in Forbes on 25 August consisted of an interview with the UN Representative in Guinea-Bissau. It says that most of South America’s cocaine that is destined for Europe goes through West Africa, especially through Guinea Bissau. The drug smugglers are brazen. Some fly a cargo plane full of cocaine and land it on one of Guinea Bissau’s unpaved and clandestine airports, some of which are located in the archipelago. To launder the money, the dealers may build a house in Senegal, Ghana or Nigeria. Then they sell it to make their money legal.
IDOL AND ANTIQUITIES THEFT IN INDIA
The Deccan Chronicle on 26 August carried an article about the theft or loss of 37 art objects from site museums run by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and 131 antiquities from monuments and sites themselves over the past 50 years; and a report by the comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG).
GUYANA: OWNER OF DETAINED PLANE ARRESTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
Starbroek News in Guyana on 26 August reported that the Guyanese owner of the aircraft detained by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle as part of a money laundering probe is in custody. The Beechcraft Baron, registration number YV-2377, had reportedly arrived from Puerto Ordaz in Venezuela and was promptly detained as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.
US: BROTHERS CHARGED WITH LAUNDERING HALF A BILLION DOLLARS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY TAX CREDITS
On 25 August, the Daily Caller reported that a grand jury charged 3 top energy company executives with laundering more than half a billion dollars in renewable fuel tax credits. Jacob and Isaiah Kingston serve as CEO and CFO of Utah-based Washakie Renewable Energy (WRE), a renewable energy company operated and funded in part by a polygamous sect of Mormonism known as the Kingston Group; and conspired with Lev Aslan Dermen, owner of California-based NOIL Energy Group.
CHINESE POLICE FOUND $39 MILLION IN CASH, WEIGHING 3 TONNES, GATHERING MOULD AT SEVERAL PROPERTIES LINKED TO BY FORMER CHAIRMAN OF CHINA HUARONG ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
The South China Morning Post on 26 August reported that Lai Xiaomin, 56, had been detained by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption commission. At least 3 other senior Huarong executives have been arrested since Lai’s detention, each of them implicated in accepting cash gifts and property in Hong Kong or Canada. The arrests are part of the clean-up process at Huarong as it outlived its mandate and transformed from China’s biggest processor of distressed assets into one of the country’s largest debtors in the span of 2 decades.
UK: GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION ON INSOLVENCY AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
On 26 August, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a response to the consultation on strengthening the insolvency framework in cases of major corporate failure. The consultation put forward a number of measures to improve corporate governance in firms that are in or approaching insolvency. It sought views on some other aspects of the wider corporate governance framework and whether these are working as they should.
CHICAGO FINANCIAL ADVISER GUILTY OF FRAUD FOR BILKING INVESTORS OUT OF MILLIONS
Chicago Sun Times on 26 August reported that Vishal Savla, 37, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud while he was running VCAP LLC, that was said to trade in equities, options and futures contracts. He told clients that a computer trading error led to major losses, prosecutors said, but admitted that poor trading actually caused the losses.
COLOMBIANS VOTE ON ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES IN REFERENDUM
Reuters on 26 August reported that Colombians are voting on 7 anti-corruption measures in a referendum, including a reduction in lawmakers’ salaries and term limits for public posts, as graft scandals continue to spark outrage. Corruption costs the country $17 billion a year, equivalent to 5.3% of GDP, the country’s comptroller has said.