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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.