OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 23

23rd September 2018

HUNDREDS OF WILD ANIMALS SAVED AS SHIP STOPPED OFF INDONESIA

The Star online on 23rd September reported that the animals were being sent to Thailand.  Besides 2 orangutan, other animals kept in 39 boxes were 2 baby Albino fox, 2 paradise birds (burung cenderawasih), 2 alba cockatoos, 2 electus parrots, 21 long-tailed parakeet birds (burung bayan nuri), a female great argus bird (burung kuang raya), 48 baby saltwater crocodiles (buaya tembaga) and 355 sugar glider squirrels.
The crew members are believed to have smuggled the wildlife from Sumatra
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/09/23/hundreds-of-wild-animals-saved-customs-foils-smuggling-attempt-in-joint-sea-patrol-with-indonesia/

NEARLY $18 MILLION WORTH OF COCAINE FOUND IN SHIPMENT OF BANANAS DONATED TO PRISON SERVICE

Global News in Canada on 22nd September reported that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) found nearly $18 million worth of cocaine underneath a shipment of bananas donated to it from Ports of America in Freeport because they were considered overripe.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4478539/cocaine-bananas-smuggling/

US AND ALLIES TO START ‘DISRUPTING’ NORTH KOREAN OIL SMUGGLING AT SEA

The Washington Examiner on 22nd September reported that 3 US allies are to enhance the surveillance of North Korean oil tankers.  Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, announced they would aid “monitoring and surveillance activities against illicit maritime activities,” with a particular focus on ship-to-ship transfers of oil.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/us-to-start-disrupting-north-korean-oil-smuggling

2 SUSPECTS DETAINED IN LARGE-SCALE ILLEGAL LABOUR AND LAUNDERING OPERATION IN FINLAND

On 22nd September, Yle reported that Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation says a foreign-owned firm in the south-west of the country is suspected of using grey market labour and laundering millions of euros.  NBI reported that it had carried out searches of dozens of business premises in connection with suspicions of aggravated money laundering and aggravated tax fraud, among other things, and interrogated 7 people, 2 of which were arrested.

https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/two_suspects_detained_in_large-scale_police_operation_near_turku/10418378

LUKA MODRIC HAS REPORTEDLY ADMITS 2 COUNTS OF TAX FRAUD, ACCEPTING AN 8-MONTH SUSPENDED PRISON SENTENCE

Futaa.com and others on 22nd September reported that the Real Madrid footballer would be given the chance to substitute a prison term for £54,000 fine.  Spanish tax authorities sought information from authorities in the Isle of Man as part of their probe into Modric.  It is reported that he used a company called Ivano SARL based in Luxembourg, named in honour of his son and managed through his wife, Vanja Bosnic.  During the investigation the Treasury detected that Modric could have undeclared funds in the Isle of Man.

https://www.futaa.com/article/164676/madrid-ace-accepts-eight-month-suspended-prison-sentence

TIMELINE – SHELL’S OPERATIONS IN NIGERIA

In the light of the ongoing corruption trial(s) in Italy, Reuters on 23rd September published a brief timeline of the operations of Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria saying that it pioneered Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and remains a major investor in the West African country. But over the decades it has come under fire over spills in the Delta region and struggles with oil theft, corruption and oil-fuelled violence.

https://www.reuters.com/article/nigeria-shell-timeline/timeline-shells-operations-in-nigeria-idUSL8N1W74FU

HOW RUSSIAN SANCTIONS ARE HELPING PUTIN ACHIEVE HIS MOST DESIRED GOAL – BRINGING “LOST” RICHES HOME

On 22nd September, Zero Hedge published an article reporting a Bloomberg report which says that the recent flurry of Russian sanctions put in place by the US are causing Russia’s oligarch billionaires to repatriate more of their offshore assets, perversely aiding a long-held ambition for Vladimir Putin, who has been trying to encourage such repatriations for the past 2 decades.  With the threat of further sanctions looming, the pace at which money is being repatriated has accelerated.  It is not just the billionaires: numerous Russian exporters have moved their assets out of US and European banks, as well.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-22/how-russian-sactions-are-helping-putin-achieve-his-most-desired-goal

DUBLIN WOMAN SUSPECTED OF LARGE-SCALE COCAINE IMPORTATION TOP TARGET FOR DRUGS AND ORGANISED CRIME BUREAU

The Journal on 23rd September reported that a Dublin woman who is suspected of importing tonnes of heroin and cocaine into Ireland in the past 5 years is a top target of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.  Gardaí believe the woman is the brains behind a drug enterprise using connections in Amsterdam and Antwerp to transport quantities of drugs to Ireland through Dublin Port and is linked to top players in the Kinahan cartel.

http://www.thejournal.ie/garda-crime-drugs-woman-docb-4242566-Sep2018/

HOW ITALY’S FEARED CALABRIAN MAFIA BECAME ENTRENCHED IN AUSTRALIA

The Daily Mail in Australia on 22nd September published an article saying that Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri reportedly has Australia in his sights following claims one of the richest and most powerful organised crime groups in the world has made its mark there.  Italian police believe the Calabian-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia is so entrenched in Sydney,Melbourne and Western Australia through alleged money laundering, drugs trafficking and extortion that it’s too late to completely stamp out.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6195951/Drug-trafficking-money-laundering-extortion-Calabrian-Mafia-entrenched-Australia.html

MINES AND IED EMPLOYED BY HOUTHI FORCES ON YEMEN’S WEST COAST

Conflict Armament Research has published a report which provides an extensive overview of landmines and IED being employed by Houthi forces on the west coast of Yemen.  Its investigations reveal that a significant portion of landmines are improvised and produced, domestically, by Houthi forces.  It concludes that IED and remote-controlled RCIED employed by Houthi forces continue to contain components that originate in Iran.  The most recent seizures of IED electronics reveal attempts to conceal their provenance.  Moreover, Houthi forces distribute military materiel to low-skilled users, as evidenced by their use of printed instructions, which are affixed to IED pressure plates, improvised grenades, and MANPADS.  The report deals with conventional and improvised landmines and naval mines and the components for all of them.

http://www.conflictarm.com/dispatches/mines-and-ieds-employed-by-houthi-forces-on-yemens-west-coast/

€1.7 MILLION IN KINAHAN CASH FOUND IN CAMPER VAN, ATTIC AND HOLDALL BAGS

The Irish times on 23rd September reported that a camper van carrying cash owned by the Kinahan cartel was pursued by gardaí and around €200,000 was found inside the vehicle when it was brought to a stop.  That seizure was one of 3, in Dublin and Wexford, that has netted the Garda €1.7 million in cash owned by the gang.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/1-7-million-in-kinahan-cash-found-in-camper-van-attic-and-holdall-bags-1.3638703?src=ilaw

ANGOLA ARRESTS FORMER MINISTER OVER CORRUPTION

The Daily Nation in Kenya on 23rd September reported that Angolan authorities arrested and charged Mr Augusto da Silva Tomás, a former transport minister, over corruption allegations.  He is the first top government official arrested over corruption allegations since independence from Portugal in 1975.

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Angola-arrests-former-minister-over-corruption/1066-4773838-13fh5pn/index.html

SECRETIVE CHICKEN CARTEL BROUGHT DOWN BY WHISTLEBLOWER IN SINGAPORE

On 23rd September, the Straits Times reported that for years, a close-knit group of executives from firms that supply 90% of Singapore’s fresh chicken would gather at the Poultry Merchants’ Association in Defu, among other places, to discuss prices.  The 13 suppliers, some of whom had known each other for decades, would make verbal agreements to increase prices in tandem and avoid competition with each other, leaving little paper trail of their misdeeds.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/secretive-chicken-cartel-brought-down-by-whistleblower

BANGLADESH: “CORRUPTION RAMPANT AT MONGLA, BURIMARI PORTS”

On 23rd September, the Daily Star reported that Transparency International in Bangladesh has found massive corruption by customs house and port authorities of Mongla port as well as cases of extortion and corruption at Burimari land port.

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/corruption-rampant-in-mongla-bangladesh-burimari-land-ports-tib-1637449

https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/nation/2018/09/23/tib-widespread-corruption-at-mongla-burimari-ports

the report is available (if you can read Bengali…) at –

https://www.ti-bangladesh.org/beta3/index.php/en/research-policy/92-diagnostic-study/5691-burimari-land-port-customs-station-and-mongla-port-custom-house-governance-challenges-in-import-export-and-way-out

UN CHIEF: INTENSIFY INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST TAX EVASION, MONEY LAUNDERING

Baker McKenzie on 21st September reported that the UN Secretary General has called for intensifying the war on illegal financial transfers, money laundering and tax evasion as one of the ways to ensure countries had adequate funds for development.  The world needs “a surge in investment” in the Sustainable Development Goals, Guterres said.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/un-chief-intensify-international-fight-against-tax-evasion-money-laundering/

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/intensify-international-fight-against-tax-evasion-money-laundering-guterres-118092100121_1.html

EUROPOL REPORT WARNS AGAINST GROWING CRIMINAL ABUSE OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES

Baker McKenzie on 21st September reported that Europol, in its Internet organised Crime Assessment 2018 (IOCTA), has recently warned against cryptocurrency-related threats like hacks and cryptocurrency mining malware, and against the use of privacy coins to launder money or finance terrorism, saying that cryptocurrencies are a preferred payment method for criminals.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/europol-report-warns-against-growing-criminal-abuse-of-cryptocurrencies/

The report is at –

https://www.europol.europa.eu/internet-organised-crime-threat-assessment-2018

A SHOCKING UNDERWORLD TALE OF CASH FOR ABALONE

IOL in South Africa on 23rd September carried an article about abalone-related crime in the country.  This includes, it says, armoured vans carrying legal shipments of farmed abalone are increasingly being ambushed by opportunistic poaching crime syndicates.  It says that the details of how prolific poaching is in the Western Cape has been disclosed in an explosive new book Poacher: Confessions from the abalone underworld, which gives first-hand accounts of the illicit hunt for the underwater treasure.  It is by a former abalone poacher for more than 10 years, co-authored the book with freelance journalist, Kimon de Greef.  It is said that the average amount of abalone poached every year is 2,174 tonnes amounting to R628 million (or nearly £34 million) in value.

https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/news/a-shocking-underworld-tale-of-cash-for-abalone-17193809

WHAT IS “DEBT” FOR THE PURPOSES OF US UKRAINE/RUSSIA SANCTIONS?

One of multitudinous FAQ issued by OFAC is FAQ 371, which explains what “debt” (and “equity”) is for the purposes of the sanctions.  It says that “The term debt includes bonds, loans, extensions of credit, loan guarantees, letters of credit, drafts, bankers’ acceptances, discount notes or bills, or commercial paper.  The term equity includes stocks, share issuances, depositary receipts, or any other evidence of title or ownership”.  It also goes into more detail about what the various prohibitions in specific directives mean.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/faq_other.aspx#ukraine

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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