4th August 2019
JAPAN TO IMPOSE MORE CONTROLS ON EXPORTS TO SOUTH KOREA, INCLUDING OIL PRODUCTS
Hellenic Shipping News on 2nd August carried an article about the ongoing spat between South Korea and Japan, saying that the Japanese cabinet had decided that it will remove South Korea’s preferential trading status and take it off the “White Countries” list, with effect from August 28th – meaning Japan would impose additional procedures on exports to South Korea for many items, including oil products. All exports including oil products, except for food and timber, to South Korea will also be subject to controls.
HONDURAS: A TALE OF CORRUPTION AND IMPUNITY (2006-2019)
On 4th August, Univision published an article saying that prosecutors in Honduras have filed 3 major indictments for political corruption in recent months. The alleged corruption was originally uncovered by an Organisation of American States anti-corruption mission to Honduras, known as MACCIH. A Univision investigation, based on court documents and interviews, found evidence of a much larger network of corruption in the country, but the MACCIH’s mandate runs out in January and many fear the return of impunity. The article involves a timeline of how the scandal evolved. A second article describes what it terms a veritable Pandora’s box, and among those implicated were some of President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s own family.
4 EXECUTIVES AT PETROFAC OIL SERVICES COMPANY NAMED IN BRIBERY CASE
Energy Voice on 4th August reported that senior managers at oil services firm Petrofac have been named by the SFO in conjunction with a bribery case involving the organisation. The 4 men were named as part of an investigation into David Lufkin, 51, a former global head of sales and executive at Petrofac who was convicted in February having pleaded guilty to 11 counts of bribery. The case relates to “corrupt offers” made to influence the award of contracts to Petrofac in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
2 FRAUDSTERS STOLE AN ESTIMATED $8 MILLION FROM THE US GOVERNMENT’S FEMA PROGRAMME FOR VICTIMS OF DISASTER
Kenneth Rijock in his blog posted an entry on 4th August saying that John Irogho and Odinaka Ekeocha from Baltimore purchased GreenDot prepaid cards, and then stole the identities of victims of national disasters, to receive $500 payments from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They also filed false claims for Social Security benefits and IRS tax refunds.
UK: ORGANISED CRIME GANGS RENTING EXPENSIVE PROPERTIES TO HOUSE MODERN SLAVERY VICTIMS
Cheshire Live on 3rd August reported that over the past few months, Cheshire police have received intelligence to suggest that the gangs have been renting large high-value properties in rural areas to house modern slavery victims – and in some cases the properties have also been used as illegal call centres, where fraudsters target vulnerable residents and defraud them out of thousands of pounds.
CHINESE MAN JAILED FOR 3 YEARS IN US FOR IMPORTING THOUSANDS OF BOGUS APPLE PRODUCTS
Illicit Trade on 31st July reported that a Chinese man who had been living in the US on a student visa has been jailed for more than 3 years for importing and selling counterfeit Apple products. Court documents show that he and his associates illegally imported more than 40,000 electronic devices and accessories between July 2009 and February 2014, including iPads and iPhones, as a well as labels and packaging featuring counterfeit Apple trademarks. Once in his possession of illicit goods, he would distribute them to co-conspirators in various locations across the US, using his Dream Digitals company as cover for the plot.
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