OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 30

30th September 2018

INDIA SEES LARGEST SEIZURES OF BLACK SPOTTED TURTLES

The Hindu on 30th September reported that India accounts for 29% of black spotted turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) seized from across 7 countries in South Asia, states a recent report by TRAFFIC.  Classified as vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of threatened species, the black spotted turtle or spotted pond turtle is native to South Asia, and is heavily trafficked – being once smuggled for its meat and is now sought after as an exotic pet.  The report titled ‘Black Spotted Turtle Trade in Asia II: A Seizure Analysis’ records seizures of 10,321 specimens in 53 instances across 7 countries between April 2014 and March 2016.

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https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/india-sees-highest-seizure-of-black-spotted-turtles/article25085768.ece

IRELAND: SHIP SEIZED OVER TOBACCO SMUGGLING HAS COST STATE €410,000 BECAUSE REVENUE CAN’T DISPOSE OF IT

The Journal on 29th September reported that the MV Shingle was seized by customs officers in June 2014, when a shipment of over 32 million cigarettes and 4,000 kg of tobacco was found at Drogheda Port.  The ship was subsequently transferred by Revenue to Dublin Port, where it remains more than 4 years later because of the State’s inability to dispose of it.  The Revenue was unable to do anything with the ship until legal proceedings in relation to the seizure had been completed, but in June 2017, the High Court made an order of forfeiture of the ship to the State.  It was subsequently decided to send the ship to a specialist recycling facility to be disposed after asbestos was discovered on board.

http://www.thejournal.ie/revenue-seize-mv-shingle-cost-dublin-port-4260526-Sep2018/

SHORT-TERM WINS, LONG-TERM RISKS: HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND PEOPLE SMUGGLING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA

On 28th September, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime released a new report which says that, as has been the case over the past 3 years, 2018 has been characterised by the increasingly urgent efforts by European states to quell the flow of irregular migrants across the Mediterranean: sea arrivals in Italy have dropped by almost 75%.  Since the Valletta Summit held at the end of 2015, the EU as a bloc and more so through the direct initiatives of some if its Member States has expanded its efforts to address the ‘migrant crisis’.  These efforts, the report says, have borne the intended fruit, in terms of reducing migratory flows, though not without the ethics of the EU being called sharply into question – with criminals, and smugglers, as well as officials and militias, involving in human rights abuses, citing examples in Sudan and Nigeria.

https://reliefweb.int/report/world/short-term-wins-long-term-risks-human-trafficking-and-people-smuggling-mediterranean

SPAIN TO PROSECUTE SWEDISH ‘COCAINE KING’ ON NEW CHARGES

The Local on 30th September reported that prosecutors in Spain have decided to prosecute Jonas Falk (previously known as Jonas Oredsson), for money laundering and tax evasion, El País reported.  He was arrested in Colombia back in 2010 and sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Swedish court but then won an appeal.  He was then extradited to Spain to face money laundering charges but that trial was halted when it was ruled that he had not been given enough time to prepare for his defence.  He was released pending a new investigation, which only recently concluded.  He now faces money laundering and tax evasion charges and risks 20 years in prison as well as €24 million in fines.

https://www.thelocal.se/20180930/spain-to-prosecute-swedish-cocaine-king-on-new-charges

MODERN SLAVERY IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

On 30th September, Control Risks published a newsletter that said that, according to a recent estimate published by the Walk Free Foundation and the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 40 million people were estimated to be victims of modern slavery in 2016.  This makes modern slavery one of the biggest human rights issues facing society and business today.  It poses the question: what should businesses be thinking about when managing the risk of modern slavery?  It then mentions some factors businesses need to consider.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/newsletters/middle-east-risk-watch-issue-11-september-2018/modern-slavery-in-the-supply-chain

 

PODCAST: MONEYLAND

The Talking Politics podcast from the London review of Books sees an interview of Oliver Bullough (who acted as a guide on kleptocracy tours of London) about his acclaimed new book Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take it Back.  Where is Moneyland?  How did London become its capital?  And will Brexit, or a Corbyn government, or another financial crash change how it operates?  A conversation about tax havens, money-laundering, the politics of corruption and the corruption of politics.   The Guardian says that Bullough traces the ways in which, over the last 3 decades, a criminal elite of politicians and “businessmen” have been able to move their thieved fortunes around the world, through offshoring and shell companies, and have seen those fortunes settle in the places that have the highest-paid lawyers and accountants.

https://www.acast.com/talkingpolitics/moneyland

See also –

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/09/moneyland-oliver-bullough-review-wealth-corruption-oligarchs

VENEZUELAN VET PLEADS GUILTY TO SEWING HEROIN INTO PUPPIES’ BELLIES FOR COLOMBIAN DRUGS CARTEL

Illicit Trade on 29th September reported that Andres Lopez Elorza, a Venezuelan vet, who was extradited to the US from Spain earlier this year has pleaded guilty to turning puppies into drug mules by sewing containers filled with liquid heroin inside their bodies for a Colombian trafficking gang.  It is alleged that Elorza and his accomplices smuggled at least 1kg of heroin into the US between September 2004 and January the following year.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2018/09/venezuelan-vet-pleads-guilty-to-sewing-heroin-into-puppies-bellies-for-colombian-drugs-cartel/

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 29

29th September 2018

AUSTRALIAN PM OUTLINES TIGHTER EXPORT CONTROL DUE TO CONTAMINATED FRUIT SCARE

Fresh Plaza reported on 28th September that Australia announces new controls as Singapore’s largest supermarket chain had put a halt on all strawberry purchases – with tighter export controls as the crisis, which has seen pins and needles inserted into fruit across Australia, spread further overseas.  This has seen the recent introduction of X-rays and shrink wrapping on exports.  The article says that a needle has now turned up in a punnet of Australian strawberries in New Zealand, prompting authorities there to employ extra screening measures.

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/9027293/australian-pm-outlines-tighter-export-control-due-to-contaminated-fruit-scare

HOW DIRTY MONEY DISAPPEARS INTO THE BLACK HOLE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY

BC Focus on 28th September reported that the Wall Street Journal had reported that cryptocurrency exchanges around the world have been used by criminals to launder money to the tune of $88 million over the past 2 years.  The report, entitled “How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency,” surveyed over 2,500 wallets that were flagged by domestic and international courts the world over.   One of the largest receivers of the funds through the laundering process, it said, was ShapeShift AG, which accounted for over $9 million or more than 10% of the entire sum.

https://bcfocus.com/news/wsj-report-criticizes-shapeshift-of-not-containing-money-laundering/24208/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-dirty-money-disappears-into-the-black-hole-of-cryptocurrency-1538149743

https://zycrypto.com/shapeshift-accused-of-aiding-criminals-to-carry-out-successful-money-laundering-operations/

WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND MONEY LAUNDERING?

Nyman Gibson Miralis has published an article following the July publication from FATF on this issue.  It concisely summarises the main features of the forms of trafficking – for prostitution, forced or slave labour and removal of human organs.

https://ngm.com.au/money-laundering-human-trafficking/

EX-SENEGAL OFFICIAL TO TESTIFY AGAINST FORMER HONG KONG MINISTER PATRICK HO IN US BRIBERY CASE

The South China Morning Post on 29th September that ‘substantial evidence’ is said to be delivered by co-defendant-turned-witness in US$2.9 million bribery case.  Cheikh Gadio would be a witness and no longer a co-defendant following a court ruling in New York that all charges against the former foreign minister of Senegal and US resident be dropped.  Ho, Hong Kong’s home affairs minister from 2002 to 2007, has been behind bars in the US since last November.  He is charged on 8 counts: 3 for money laundering and 5 for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He is accused of offering US$2.9 million worth of bribes to government officials to advance oil and development rights in Uganda and Chad for CEFC China Energy, a Shanghai-based company.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/2166313/ex-senegal-official-testify-against-former-hong-kong

SYDNEY COUPLE LAUNDERED FRAUD PROCEEDS OF $300,000 IN CRYPTOCURRENCY

ZyCrypto on 29th September reported that according to the police who arrested the couple and seized computers, laptops, storage devices, mobile phones, and documents, more than $300,000 were converted to cryptocurrency and sent to several offshore e-wallets.

https://zycrypto.com/sydney-couple-launder-fraud-proceeds-of-300000-in-cryptocurrency/

RUSSIA’S ‘BLOCKADE’ OF SEA OF AZOV PORTS ANGERS UKRAINE

Customs Today on 28th September reported that Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 means ships to/from Ukraine’s port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov must now pass through a narrow strait bordered by Russian-controlled territory on both sides.  Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of deliberately blocking ships from entering the sea.  Ukraine criticises what it sees as a deliberate move by Moscow to block the Kerch Strait, the only shipping route into the Azov Sea, where Ukraine’s commercial ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk are crucial gateways for its metallurgy industry exports, and Mariupol is located just 20 km west of the frontline with Russian-backed separatists.  The news site says that problems started upon Russia’s completion this spring of a 12-mile bridge over the Kerch Strait connecting its southern mainland to Crimea.  The bridge’s 35-metre arches are too low for some ships to pass under and there are also restrictions on length.

http://www.customstoday.com.pk/russias-blockade-of-sea-of-azov-ports-angers-ukraine/

ARGENTINA ARRESTS MEMBERS OF INTERNATIONAL DRUG-TRAFFICKING SOCCER HOOLIGAN NETWORK

Insight Crime on 28th September reported on an international drug trafficking organisation made up of soccer hooligans from Argentina and Colombia adds to the mounting evidence of the involvement of these groups in organised crime and highlights growing criminal ties between the 2 countries.  The website reports that Argentine authorities arrested 15 people suspected of belonging to a network of criminalised soccer hooligan groups known as “barras bravas” that imported drugs from Colombia.  One of the group’s leaders is said to also a leader of a fan club for the Atlético Nacional soccer team in Medellín, Colombia.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/argentina-arrests-members-international-drug-trafficking-soccer-hooligan-network/

 

DANSKE BANK REPORT

Thanks to Kenneth Rijock and his blog at http://rijock.blogspot.com/ one can access an 87-page white paper dated 19th September, by Bruun & Hjejle, a leading Danish law firm, entitled Report on the Non-Resident Portfolio at Danske Bank’s Estonian Branch.  The report summarises characteristics of the terminated Non-Resident Portfolio at Danske Bank’s Estonian branch as well as other facts relating to it, including main events both at branch and Group level.

https://danskebank.com/-/media/danske-bank-com/file-cloud/2018/9/report-on-the-non-resident-portfolio-at-danske-banks-estonian-branch-.-la=en.pdf

IS BIG DATA BEING HANDCUFFED IN THE FIGHT AGAINST GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRIME?

On 28th September, Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk published an article referring to a recent report published jointly by Thomson Reuters (which provides the World-Check tools) and leading American think tank The Atlantic Council: Big Data, A Twenty-First century Arms Race.  It argues that the data revolution, “big data”, is creating a new toolkit for banks, law enforcement agencies and regulators to combat financial crime, yet the ability to identify illicit money flows and reveal hidden relationships could be impeded by conflicting privacy laws (such as GDPR and the EU “right to be forgotten”) and inconsistent financial regulation across the globe (despite the efforts of FATF).

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/is-big-data-being-handcuffed-in-the-31079/

The report is available at –

https://risk.thomsonreuters.com/en/resources/special-report/atlantic-council-report-big-data.html


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