20th January 2018
CAMEROON SITUATION REPORT
On 18th January, Relief Web published the latest report on the situation in Cameroon as at 31st December from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Since late 2017, long-running tensions in Cameroon’s north-west and south-west regions have escalated. With the proliferation of armed groups and deployment of defence forces, the crisis has increasingly shifted into armed conflict.
EGYPT DEMANDS EXPLANATION FROM SAUDI ARABIA OVER ONION IMPORT BAN
The Egypt Independent on 19th January reported that the head of the Central Department of Agricultural Quarantine at the Egyptian Agriculture Ministry announced that Egypt will demand an explanation from Saudi Arabia over its decision to ban imports of Egyptian onions. Saudi’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture had earlier announced a temporary ban on Egyptian onion imports after it was proven to exceed the global limit for pesticide residues.
CHINA BUSTS ‘TOP 3” IVORY SMUGGLERS AFTER UK EXPOSE
The Asia Times on 20th January reported that the Chinese authorities have nabbed all 3 identified members of a major ivory trafficking syndicate that was first exposed by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in 2017. Its report had claimed that the little-known town of Shuidong in China was “the world’s largest hub” for the illegal trade in elephant ivory with reportedly up to 80% of all poached ivory that made its way to China from Africa was first smuggled to that port in southern Guangdong province. EIA investigators identified 3 men from the syndicate — Ou Haiqiang, Xie Xingbang and Wang Kangwen.
7 CHARGED IN TAIWAN CRYPTO INVESTMENT CASE
Crowdfund Insider on 19th January reported the Focus Taiwan story that 7 individuals have been arrested in Taiwan and charged with operating a crypto investment scheme police believe defrauded 1,000 investors out of $51 million – reportedly initiated in October 2016 and it promised investors returns of up to 355% in a year.
THE OLIGARCH, HIS EX-WIFE AND THEIR BITTER £450 MILLION DIVORCE; CALL TO INTERPOL
The Observer on 20th January carried a story about the divorce battle between Farkhad Akhmedov, a Putin ally and oligarch, and his former wife, Tatiana, who is British. His lawyers have now involved Interpol in their attempts to stop her from seizing his assets, and this highly unusual development has triggered claims that his lawyers are abusing the legal process. He was ordered to pay her £453 million in the UK’s largest-ever divorce settlement, and since then he has been accused of hiding his assets and cash overseas as he continues to dispute the ruling. An important is his £230 million yacht, Luna, which he bought from Roman Abramovich. It has an onboard spa, 2 heliports and a mini-submarine, a missile detection system, bomb-resistant doors and an anti-drone device. The vessel has been impounded by the authorities in Dubai while the warring parties continue to contest its ownership in the court.
How complex is the modern battlefield? Electronic warfare is that within the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) and involves the military use of electromagnetic energy to prevent or reduce an enemy’s effective use of the EMS while protecting its use for friendly forces.
MORE THAN $1 MILLION SPLASHED ON NEW ZEALAND AML BILLBOARDS
Newshub on 20th January reported that the New Zealand Government has spent $1.083 million on its AML campaign ‘Keep Our Money Clean’. It aims to raise public awareness of legislative changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act, and to help businesses such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents educate their customer base about the new obligations.
3 FINNS, 1 ESTONIAN SUSPECTED OF LARGE-SCALE TAX EVASION IN CONSTRUCTION IN FINLAND
On 19th January, ERR reported that police in Finland suspect 3 Finnish nationals and 1 Estonian of defrauding the Finnish state of some €4.6 million in taxes in the construction business. It says that while there are some 20 suspects involved in total, these 4 individuals are believed to have played a central role in the scheme. The charges centre mainly around serious tax fraud, serious pension insurance contributions-related fraud as well as serious accounting violations; and it is also suspected that waste was illegally exported to Estonia.
4 NIGERIAN ‘PIRATES TRYING TO GET INTO THE UK’ ARE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HIJACKING
Hellenic Shipping News on 20th January reported that the 4 migrants accused of trying to hijack a container ship heading to the UK have been hit with fresh charges. The cargo ship Grande Tema, sailing off the coast of Kent, had to call in special forces in December after stowaways were discovered on board. The 4 Nigerian men have been charged with attempted hijacking, having previously been accused of affray.
P&O FERRIES PUTS ALL ITS ENGLISH CHANNEL SHIPS UNDER CYPRUS FLAG
On 20th January, Hellenic Shipping News reported that British shipping firm P&O Ferries has decided to register its entire English Channel operating fleet in Cyprus due to Brexit.