2nd February 2019
UK MINISTERS SEEK TO TIGHTEN ART EXPORT RULES
I News on 2nd February reported that its research had established that “national treasures” worth nearly £500 million have been granted licences for export in the past decade after public institutions (or private individuals willing to buy an item and put it on display) were unable to raise the funds to keep them in the UK. This being almost 5 times the value of items saved for the nation. It says that some 60% of the works declared to be of exceptional cultural and historic value end up being exported. Now a minister has published a consultation proposal to tighten the law on national treasures by requiring export-seeking owners give a legally-binding undertaking to give up the object of their desire when a matching offer is made by a UK institution.
RUSSIAN CONNECTION CITED IN HIGH-DOLLAR SAN ANTONIO MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
My SA on 1st February reported that a San Antonio car dealer who sold luxury vehicles laundered more than half a million dollars as part of an undercover sting, and told agents he had the ability to launder millions more inside and outside the US, according to court documents. The accused told old undercover agents he had Russian connections to clean large amounts of cash.
BANKS BATTLE VIJAY MALLYA OVER SUPERYACHTS, CARS, ARTWORK
The Economic Times on 2nd February reported that Indian tycoon and former boss of the Force India F1 team, Vijay Mallya, faces losing his “palatial” London home, with UBS Group AG saying it wanted to foreclose and banks are eyeing two superyachts and a collection of valuable cars that they believe he may own. A judge in London has also said he should be extradited to India. A group of Indian banks – which are trying to collect more than a $1.3 billion in debt from Mallya — want documents that would shed light on the “true ownership” of assets including yachts, cars and paintings, which he says are held by trusts. One, Force India is owned by a Maltese company and the other, Indian Empress, was owned by an Isle of Man company until its sale.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO REVIEW CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ARMS EMBARGO BY END OF SEPTEMBER
Defence Web on 1st February reported that the UN Security Council has agreed to review arms embargo measures on CAR by the end of September if the country makes progress in areas including reform of its security sector and management of its weapons. It has been under an arms embargo since 2013 so weapons shipments to the government must be approved by a sanctions committee.
ALBANIA POLICE ARREST 32 IN COUNTERFEIT TRAVEL VISA SCHEME
The Daily Mail on 2nd February reported that Albanian police have cracked down a suspected visa ring issuing fake documents to help people illegally go to Western European countries, UK, the US and Canada. Police say migrants paid £10,000 to go to Britain and up €20,000 to get to the US or Canada.
NIGERIA FILES GRAFT CHARGES AGAINST PRESIDENT BUHARI’S FORMER AIDES
Baker McKenzie on 2nd February reported that Nigeria has filed corruption charges against 2 former senior government officials and close aides of President Muhammadu Buhari who were sacked for alleged graft, the country’s anti-corruption agency said.
IRAN CLAIMS SUCCESSFUL TEST OF NEW CRUISE MISSILE
On 2nd February, Rferl reported that state media in Iran have reported the successful test of a new cruise missile with a range of 1,350 km, and said to be manufactured entirely in Iran without foreign assistance.
CAPE VERDE SEIZES 10 TONS OF COCAINE, ARRESTS RUSSIAN SAILORS
Rferl on 2nd February reported that police in Cape Verde say they have seized nearly 10 tons of cocaine and arrested 11 Russian sailors aboard a vessel docked in the capital, and said the seizure represented the largest single drug haul in the island country’s history.