US SANCTIONS 3 NORTH KOREANS ON HUMAN RIGHTS GROUNDS

On 10 December, OFAC listed 3  individuals in response to the North Korean regime’s ongoing and serious human rights abuses and censorship.  The US Treasury says that it is taking this action in conjunction with the State Department’s “Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in North Korea,” which is being submitted in accordance with the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (NKSPEA).  They are – Jong Kyong Thaek, the Minister of State Security; Choe Ryong Hae, the Director of the OGD; and Pak Kwang Ho, the Director of the PAD.  Any property or interests in property within (or transiting) US jurisdiction of those designated by OFAC are frozen.  Additionally, transactions by US persons involving the designated persons are generally prohibited.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm568

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 9

9 December 2018

SIPRI REPORT – GLOBAL ARMS INDUSTRY: US LEADS, RUSSIA SECOND

On 9 December, SIPRI released its latest report on the global arms industry: US companies dominate the Top 100; Russian arms industry moves to second place; UK tops arms exporter in Europe.  It also notes that arms sales of Turkish companies rose by 24% 2017; arms sales of the 4 Indian companies ranked in the Top 100 totalled $7.5 billion in 2017, representing a 1.9% share of Top 100 arms sales; and sales of the top 15 manufacturing companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 totalled $2311 billion in 2017 – almost 10 times greater than the total arms sales of the top 15 arms producers ($231.6 billion) in 2017, and almost 6 times greater than the total combined arms sales of the Top 100 ($398.2 billion).

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2018/sipri-fact-sheets/sipri-top-100-arms-producing-and-military-services-companies-2017

SUSPECTED BRITISH DRUG LORD GOES ON TRIAL IN PARIS

The Telegraph on 9 December reported that Robert Dawes, 46, denies charges that he ran an operation that smuggled 1.3 tons of cocaine, worth £45 million, to France on a flight from Venezuela in 2013.  2 other Britons, named as Nathan Wheat and Kane Price, are also charged with involvement in trafficking, along with 3 Italians allegedly linked with the Camorra.  4 agents of France’s anti-trafficking agency, OCRTIS, posed as corrupt baggage handlers at Charles de Gaulle airport to intercept 31 suitcases containing cocaine belonging to “ghost’ passengers that arrived on a flight from Venezuela.  They found evidence indicating that Dawes and his British associates had organised the shipment using encrypted phones.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/09/suspected-british-drug-lord-goes-trial-paris/

IRISH COUPLE ACCUSED OF PEOPLE SMUGGLING ARE REFUSED BAIL IN WALES

The Irish Sun on 9 December reported that the Dublin couple arrived at Holyhead from Ireland in a car with 4 Albanian passengers.

https://www.thesun.ie/news/3494656/irish-couple-people-smuggling-refused-bail-wales/

US LISTS LUXURY ITEMS SEIZED IN 1MDB CORRUPTION CASE

A yacht, a see-through grand piano, a Monet, a $31 million penthouse and a private jet: US government reveals the list of lavish items seized in Jho Low case.  Includes $200 million in artwork.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6476597/US-government-reveals-list-lavish-items-seized-financier.html

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE CONTRACTOR HAS HISTORY OF BANKRUPTCY AND LINKS TO TAX HAVENS

ABC News on 9 December reported that a privately owned call centre and “business process outsourcing” business with ties to a Texan millionaire family with a controversial corporate history.  However, it was recently awarded a $77 million contract to handle Centrelink calls for the Department of Human Services.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-10/ato-contractor-has-a-history-of-bankruptcy-and-tax-minimisation/10595884

 

UGANDA: SECRET WORKFORCE FUNDS NORTH KOREA — AND DEFIES SANCTIONS

The Wall Street Journal on 9 December carried an article about how North Korea’s special-operations division, are covertly training Uganda’s elite troops in skills from martial arts to helicopter-gunnery operations.  This is only one example of North Korean soldiers, companies, contractors and arms dealers operating around the world in violation of UN sanctions. North Korean operatives or DPRK-controlled companies in African countries offer cut-price military training, weapons, workers or other services, generating foreign exchange for DPRK.  For African nations, incentives range from thrift to geopolitics, say defence analysts and government officials, and the military contracts offer inexpensive equipment and expertise and opportunities for official corruption.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/secret-workforce-funds-north-koreaand-defies-sanctions-1544379764