17th March 2019
US SEIZES 1 MILLION POUNDS OF SMUGGLED PORK FROM CHINA
Feedstuffs on 16th March reported that US federal agents have seized 454 tonnes of pork smuggled from China to a port in New Jersey amid fears the meat could contain traces of the African swine fever virus. The Action marks the largest-ever seizure of agricultural products in the US. The pork was smuggled in various different ways including in ramen noodle bowls to Tide detergent.
IRELAND: REVENUE DOG ‘KELLY’ SNIFFS OUT €500,000 OF SMUGGLED CIGARETTES
The Irish Times reported on 16th March that the seizure was made at Dublin Port during routine examination of freight from Rotterdam. The seized cigarettes, branded “Marlboro”, have a retail value of almost €500,000.
$1 MILLION LOBSTER SMUGGLING ATTEMPT FOILED IN INDONESIA
The Jakarta Post on 17th March reported that Indonesian authorities had foiled an attempt to smuggle $1.31 million lobster “seeds” in 4 suitcases destined for Singapore.
INDIA TO POST CUSTOMS OFFICERS IN CHINA TO CHECK BLACK MONEY AND FRAUDS
The Business Standard on 17th March reported that the move has been initiated by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to curtail incidents of trade-based money laundering and other financial frauds originating from China. 2 posts of the Customs Overseas Intelligence Network (COIN) have been created in the Indian Embassy in Beijing and in the Consulate General Guangzhou. COIN officers have been posted in several countries, including Nepal, Singapore, Brussels, the US and the UK, to help Indian authorities check smuggling, the officials said.
MORE THAN £100 BILLION OF UK PROPERTY IS SECRETLY OWNED
The Guardian on 17th March reported that a study by Global Witness showed that shows 87,000 properties – 40% of them in London – are anonymously owned by firms registered in tax havens. 40% of the properties are in London. It says that the combined value of the properties was at least £56 billion, according to historical Land Registry data at the time of their acquisition. Once inflation is factored in this would exceed £100 billion.
INDIAN AUTHORITIES RAIDS OFFICES OF GLENCORE, EXPORT TRADING GROUP AND EDELWEISS GROUP OVER PROBE INTO COLLUSION ON PULSE PRICES
Business Today on 17th March reported that the Competition Commission of India has been investigating allegations that the companies formed a cartel to discuss the pricing of pulses while importing and selling them in the Indian market at higher prices in 2015 and 2016, when India faced an acute shortage. 2 years of drought pushed up prices of pulses such as chickpeas and black grams, which are a staple of Indian cuisine, in 2015 and forced New Delhi to offer duty-free imports, encouraging foreign and Indian traders who imported pulses to sell locally.
TUNISIA SEEKS EXTRADITION OF TUNISIAN EX-PRESIDENT’S BROTHER-IN-LAW
The Local on 17th March reported that Tunisia said it was seeking the extradition of deposed president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s brother-in-law, who has been arrested in France and is wanted at home for alleged fraud. It says that the millionaire businessman left Tunisia in January 2011 when the Arab Spring uprising forced the veteran leader to flee to Saudi Arabia. Trabelsi — whose holdings included an airline and hotels — has denied the allegations against him, saying he accumulated his wealth from being a successful entrepreneur.
SRI LANKA: NATIONAL PLAN TO COMBAT BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION TO BE LAUNCHED
On 17th March, the official government news portal reported that the National Action Plan for Combating Bribery and Corruption in Sri Lanka will be launched on 18th March. It says that the National Action Plan was prepared with the participation of all the institutions including the Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption, the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs.
SUSPECT IN ALLEGED MONEY LAUNDERING, SANCTION-BUSTING CASE REJECTS ALL CHARGES
On 17th March, Rferl reported that one of the accused in the controversial Petrochemical Commercial Company (PCC) in Iran has insisted on her innocence and rejected all the charges, including money laundering and mishandling of funds brought against her at a Tehran court. Marjan Sheikholeslami left Iran in 2009 and is based in Canada. The case involves more than a dozen people and revolves around Iranian efforts to export petrochemicals in face of international sanctions put in place in 2011. The accused are said to have either failed to reimburse government companies in hard currency – converting the proceeds to local currency before returning the money, making a profit – or outright embezzlement.