20th July 2019
US: MAN CONVICTED OF ILLEGALLY SHIPPING GUNS TO UK
On 19th July, the Vicksburg Post reported that Maurice Taylor, 33, had been sentenced to almost 6 years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally shipping guns to London. He had been charged with conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Taylor shipped stolen firearms from Mississippi to a co-conspirator in London.in 2 separate packages containing children’s toys and mailed the packages.
US BLOCKS SALE OF TURKISH ATTACK HELICOPTERS TO PAKISTAN
The Times of India reported on 20th July that the US had effectively blocked the supply of T129 attack helicopters to Pakistan by refusing export licences for the supply of US-built engines to Turkey. The US action comes following the Trump Administration decision not to provide assistance to Pakistan until it takes decisive action against terrorist groups.
TURKISH BANK EXECUTIVE RELEASED AFTER SERVING PRISON SENTENCE IN US FOR VIOLATING IRAN SANCTIONS
On 19th July, Ahval reported that Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a former executive at state-run Halkbank, has been released from prison in the US after serving a 32-month sentence for his role in a scheme to bypass US sanctions on Iran. The former deputy director general at the Turkish state-lender, was arrested in March 2017 in New York.
INDIA: DRUG HAUL UNVEILS UNIQUE SMUGGLING STRATEGY
The Hindu on 20th July reported on a smuggling attempt involving jute sacks soaked in a heroin-laden solution, dried and packed with spices to be transported to India from Afghanistan.
TAIWAN CUSTOMS DISCOVERS 53 SMUGGLED ANIMALS
The Taiwan Times on 19th July reported that a total of 53 animals were impounded at Taoyuan International Airport, including 2 endangered angonoka tortoises and 3 alligators. They had arrived from Malaysia.
BLACKMAIL AND MONEY LAUNDERING GANG BUSTED IN BULGARIA
On 19th July, Xinhua reported that Bulgarian authorities have busted a 6-member organised criminal group responsible for blackmailing and money laundering. Officials seized over 35 kg of gold coins, many of them with numismatic value, €565,000 in cash and 6 luxury cars.
EXPAT COUPLE FROM MARBELLA ON DRUGS AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES “MAY HAVE HAD LINKS TO FINLAND’S HELL’S ANGELS”
The Olive Press on 19th July reported that a couple from Marbella remain in custody in Helsinki. Niko Ranta-aho, who runs a restaurant in Marbella, has denied drugs- and steroid-related charges. His girlfriend, Sofia Belorfia, faces money laundering charges. However, according to local sources, the pair may have links to Finland’s Hells Angels, with the head of the Finnish arm of the biker group, facing drugs charges, being caught on the same day as Ranta-aho and Belorfia.
ALLEGED SILK ROAD DRUG DEALER HUGH BRIAN HANEY ARRESTED IN THE US
On 20th July, Coin Telegraph reported that the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has announced the arrest of alleged dark web drug dealer Hugh Brian Haney. He allegedly used cryptocurrency to launder more than $19 million of profits earned selling illegal drugs on the now-defunct darknet market Silk Road.
AUSTRALIA: 4th PERSON ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED $100 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING SYNDICATE AS ATTEMPTING TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY
The Age on 20th July reported that Nitin Kapila, 30, was arrested as he prepared to board a flight to New Zealand. He and 3 others are accused of using a Sydney security business, Assure Protection Services, as a “front” to launder money linked to organised crime at home and abroad.
FAILURE OF THE THE ‘WAR ON DRUGS’
A fascinating article published in June looks at the so-called war on Drugs launched by President Nixon in 1971 and why it failed. It says that consequences have now taken the form of extremely enduring and hard to exterminate transnational structures that consist of highly organised drug producing and trafficking crime groups, and that not only was the concept of the ‘War on Drugs’ ineffective and even malicious in the recent past, but its heritage still hinders the development of breakthrough innovative approaches to countering drug traffic. It argues that modern anti-drug policies must adapt to current practical realities, academic and expert communities and should move away from outdated concepts to a more progressive and balanced approach towards the global drug problem, including its profound social basis and necessity for more humanism towards the addicts. It also says that the US should admit that its “War on Drugs” essentially failed.
IRISH REVENUE SEIZE OVER 35 KG OF COCAINE WORTH OVER €2.5 MILLION IN ROSSLARE
A news release on 19th July advised that Revenue officers in Rosslare Europort had seized over 35 kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of over €2.5 million from an Irish-registered horsebox, transporting 8 horses, which had disembarked a ferry from Cherbourg.
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