31st March 2019
INDIAN GOLD RACKET KINGPIN RAN US CALL CENTRE
The Times of India on 31st March reported that the kingpin of the 110 kg gold smuggling racket unearthed by Indian authorities, Nisar Allyar, 43, ran a call centre in the US. He also owned 5 companies in Kerala and UAE, including one in Kerala that is said to have produced aluminium products. seven people for smuggling in gold declared as brass, with the sheen of the gold removed by chemicals.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: $90 MILLION IN SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS BY RELIGIOUS GROUPS
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday on 30th March reported that the Attorney General has said that, since 2012, $90 million worth of suspicious transactions by religious organisations has been flagged. He was speaking as taking the Non-Profit Organisations Bill through the parliament. He said members of the Islamic community had expressed concerns to him that there might be a prejudice against Islamic organisations sending zakaat (charity) abroad, but the Bill would provide protection for charitable purposes.
INDIA: HOLIDAY INN HOTEL ATTACHED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
The Times of India on 31st March reported that a Holiday Inn hotel has been attached (restrained) as part of a money laundering case against corporate lobbyist, Deepak Talwar and his son, Aditya.
HMRC’S NEW DIGITAL VAT SYSTEM STARTS ON 1 APRIL – AND 1 MILLION BUSINESSES STILL HAVEN’T SIGNED UP
On 31st March, Which reported that only 4% of UK businesses have registered for Making Tax Digital, the government’s new initiative to digitalise the tax return process, leaving more than 1 million yet to sign up as the deadline to do so approaches.
THE CORRUPTION CASE AGAINST ECUADOR PRESIDENT LENIN MORENO
On 31st March, Telesur reported that the President is facing a corruption probe involving an offshore company and Chinese company Sinohydro which built the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric dam, which allegedly deposited $18 million in the offshore company. The offshore company is said to be linked to Ecuadorean businessman Conto Patiño Martinez who transferred money to more than 10 ghost companies in Panama including INA Investments Corp, whose real owner is Edwin Moreno Garces, brother of President Lenin Moreno, according to the leaked documents.
A SNAPSHOT OF NORTH KOREA’S SUPPLY CHAIN COAL ACTIVITY
On 9th March, the Tearline programme published the first of a 2-part report saying that, despite increasing restrictions on the DPRK’s coal exports, the country’s larger coal mines have remained active from 2015 to 2019 and improvements have been made to its coal supply-chain infrastructure. The report takes a high-level look at 2 areas of North Korea’s coal industry: its mining in the South Pyongan Region, and its rail coal transfer stations located along the Taedong River, which flows through the region. It also examines a few of the key coal ports and the rail transfer yards along the Chinese and Russian borders. Part 2 was published on 30th March. The report concludes that whilst continued monitoring of North Korea’s coal industry, especially its supply chain infrastructure, can help identify possible violations of the UN sanctions on the country’s coal export activity, Kim Jong Un’s directions in his 2019 New Year’s Address to redirect coal for domestic consumption may also drive continued mining and infrastructure development.
MALDIVES COURT FREES $6.5 MILLION IN EX-LEADER’S ACCOUNTS
The Daily Mail on 31st March reported that a court had ordered the authorities to lift a freeze on former strongman president Abdulla Yameen’s bank accounts holding about $6.5 million but said a money laundering case against him would proceed. The High Court overturned the Criminal Court’s earlier decision to freeze the 8 accounts over allegations that Yameen had received illicit payments just before he lost his re-election bid in September.