26th January 2019
WHY WAS MAN’S LUGGAGE STUFFED WITH 5,000 LEECHES?
National Geographic on 25th January carried an article saying an airport sniffer dog in Canada sniffed out the creatures. Now authorities are trying to figure out what to do with them. They were in the luggage of a Canadian man who had just returned from Russia. Authorities are calling him an alleged illegal leech importer, rather than a smuggler, because he wasn’t necessarily purposefully hiding the contraband. The man claimed that the leeches in his possession were for personal use and that their waste water would enrich his orchids. With the proper paperwork, medicinal leeches can be shipped legally from one country to another. Canada gets much of its supply from the US. Authorities were then faced with the problem of what to do with the leeches – Canada as a whole typically acquires between 500 and 1,000 medical legal leeches a year – not 5,000 – and officials are still endeavouring to find a home for the remaining 3,950 leeches.
AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION ASSESSMENT PRELIMINARY VISIT TO BELARUS
Belta, the Belarus news agency, reported on 25th January that experts of the Eurasian group on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG) will be on a visit to Minsk on 28th-30th January. The technical mission is organised in the run-up to the meetings with the core team of evaluators which will take place in March. The final report on the Belarusian AML/CFT system will be discussed at the EAG plenary meeting in November 2019. The previous evaluation was carried out in 2008.
BOOKIES, BANKS AND FRAUD: THE METHODS IRISH-BASED ISIS SYMPATHISERS USE TO STEAL AND FUNNEL CASH
The Journal in Ireland on 26th January carried an article on how it says that extremist sympathisers use a number of different ways to either generate cash through fraudulent means or transfer large amounts of money.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SMART CONTRACTS: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
The Hackernoon website carried an article on 29th August which says that “smart contracts” can be termed as the most utilised application of blockchain technology in the current times. It says that they originated as a concept in 1994, with the basis that any decentralised ledger can be used as self-executable contracts, these later coming to be called Smart Contracts. These digital contracts could be converted into codes and allowed to be run on a blockchain. It starts by explaining the basics – a smart contract is a set of computer code between 2 or more parties that run on the top of a blockchain and constitutes of a set of rules which are agreed upon by the involved parties. Upon execution, if these set of pre-defined rules are met, the smart contract executes itself to produce the output. It then goes on into a little more detail, and explains why they are needed, and gives examples of their use in such things as insurance contracts, securing copyrighted content and in supply chain management.
CHINESE COURTS FRUSTRATE ANTI-FAKE WATCH MEASURES
On 26th January, Swissinfo reported that the Sino-Swiss free trade agreement (FTA) is having only a limited effect on the fight against fake watches, according to a Swiss official. Steps taken by Beijing to counter fraud are often not being enforced by courts, with judges in rural areas of China sometimes loathe to issue unpopular verdicts against local companies. However, there is evidence that the situation is better in big Chinese cities, which are home to large local manufacturers who also face losses from counterfeit goods.
PROMINENT FRENCH ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH TERRORISM FUNDING
In his blog on 26th January, Kenneth Rijock reported that a well-known Parisian criminal defence attorney was taken into custody by the DGSI, the domestic intelligence agency of France, on terrorist financing allegations, for allegedly sending €20,000 to jihadists in the Middle East, which was intended to facilitate the exfiltration of a radical Islamic State leader from Iraq.
US SANCTIONS FORCE CHANGES FOR RUSSIAN MC-21 AIRLINER PROGRAMME
On 24th January, AIN Online reported that tightening US sanctions on Russia have interrupted the supply of foreign raw materials supply to the United Aircraft Corp. (UAC), forcing the company to introduce yet another series of changes to the MC-21 airliner programme.
US SANCTIONS RELIEF REQUIRES ‘SIGNIFICANT’ STEP FROM N. KOREA, SAYS JOHN BOLTON
On 26th January, Yonhap reported that North Korea needs to take a “significant” step toward abandoning its nuclear weapons in order to get sanctions relief from the US, National Security Adviser John Bolton has said in an interview with the Washington Post.