10th August 2019
PANAMA COURT CLEARS EX-PRESIDENT MARTINELLI OF SPYING CHARGES
Deutsche Welle and others reported on 10th August that a court has cleared Panama’s former President Ricardo Martinelli of espionage charges. He was accused of spying on politicians and journalists while he was president from 2009-2014. Prosecutors say they plan to appeal the decision.
MALTA: FUEL TRADER GORDON DEBONO THREATENS LEGAL ACTION AS AUTHORITIES REFUSE TO RULE OUT UN SANCTIONS APPLICATION
On 9th August, the Times of Malta reported that Gordon Debono is contemplating legal action against the government after accusing them of backtracking on a declaration in court that Malta did not intend to push further for international sanctions against him. The case centres on a request Malta filed with the UN Security Council to introduce international sanctions against Debono and 2 of his associates, former footballer Darren Debono and Libyan businessman Fahmi Bin Khalifa, all three are suspected of running a major oil smuggling operation. The request was vetoed by Russia.
WHY THE FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING, TERRORISM IS LOW IN WEST AFRICA
An article in The Guardian in Nigeria on 10th August reports comments by the CEO of the Nigerian FIU. He says that the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing has remained low in West Africa due to weak governance structure, poor institutional framework, inadequate laws and unstable system of administration.
MANAGERS OF CALIFORNIA-BASED GLOBAL GOLD EXCHANGE PLEAD GUILTY TO MONEY LAUNDERING
On 9th August, Coinweek reported that Global Gold Exchange LLC (GGEX) and its managers, Jeffrey Morrow and Richard M. Owen, have admitting that they laundered money through their unlicensed money transmitting business by falsely reporting cash transactions as sales of “gold” and other precious metals and agreed to forfeit approximately $2 million. GGEX laundered cash and funds from a variety of sources –lawful and unlawful – and fraudulently documented the transactions as “a complete gold transaction”.
TOGO: AFRICA’S LONGEST-LASTING DICTATORSHIP KEEPS HANGING ON
An article on Medium on 8th July considers the background and situation in Togo, which has the oldest military regime in Africa and has so far survived for over 50 years, and where a constitutional change is designed to keep the family in charge in power until (at least) 2030. Massive protests against the regime in Togo began in August 2017, demanding that Faure Gnassingbé step down as Togo’s president – he having been president since 2005 after the death of his father Gnassingbé Eyadéma – president from 1967 after he came to power through a military coup. The international community has effectively turned a blind eye to the violence in Togo – and this includes the regional body ECOWAS and the African Union.
UK RESEARCH SHOWS A “DENY, DELAY, DEFEND” APPROACH TO WHISTLEBLOWING
HR Director on 10th August reported that an All Party Parliamentary Group found that, of whistleblowers surveyed, 77.8% declared that the organisation retaliated against them, 14.2% indicated that organisation was not supportive and just 5.2% said the organisation was generally supportive; which organisations adopting a “Deny, Delay, Defend” approach to whistleblowing.
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