20th October 2019
4 LEBANESE MINISTERS RESIGN AMID GROWING ANTI-CORRUPTION PROTESTS
On 20th October, Euronews provided an update on the unrest and public protests in Lebanon, saying that 4 Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces party ministers were to resign from the government, which of necessity is a multi-party, multi-ethnic one. One fear expressed is that if current prime minister, Hariri, resigns this could strengthen the influence of Hizbollah on a ruling coalition, complicating matters and probably preventing international aid, at least from western countries (and perhaps triggering further US measures).
GOLDMAN BANKER ARRESTED OVER INSIDER TRADING ALLEGATIONS
On 20th October, Gulf News reported that Bryan Cohen, an investment banker and a vice-president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, had been arrested over allegations of insider trading and claims that he leaked non-public information for almost 3 years in exchange for cash as part of an international insider trading scheme that led to $2.6 million in illicit gains.
SETTLEMENT IN TANZANIA OVER ACACIA MINING TAX DISPUTE
On 20th October, Reuters reported that the Barrick Gold Corporation said it had reached a deal to settle a long-running tax dispute between Tanzania and mining group Acacia, which Barrick bought in a $1.2 billion transaction approved by a British court in September. The deal includes the payment of $300 million to settle outstanding tax and other disputes, the lifting of a concentrate export ban, and the sharing of future economic benefits from mines on a 50-50 basis with the government.
TEXT OF CIVIL SUIT FILED ON BEHALF OF MOSSACK FONSECA IN ATTEMPT TO STOP “THE LAUNDROMAT” MOVIE
On 20th October, Kenneth Rijock in his blog published the text of the civil suit filed in Connecticut. A federal judge refused the application for an injunction to prevent Netflix releasing the film, which the Panamanian law firm alleges defames them/it.
US WEAPONS ENDED UP IN THE WRONG HANDS IN YEMEN – NOW THEY’RE BEING TURNED ON THE US-BACKED GOVERNMENT
On 20th October, CNN reported that US-made weaponry has fallen into the hands of rival militia groups in Yemen, some of whom have turned their arms against each other in a bitter and worsening conflict. It says that fresh evidence shows that military hardware that was supplied to US allies has been distributed in contravention of arms deals to militia groups, including UAE-backed separatists, and they are now using it to fight the Saudi-supported forces of the internationally-recognised government, who are also armed with US weapons.
US: NATIONAL AIR TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION (NATA) IN INDUSTRY-WIDE EFFORT TO COMBAT ILLEGAL AIRCRAFT CHARTER
On 16th October, AIN Online reported that NATA has deployed an upgraded weapon in an industry-wide effort to combat illegal charter, a practice business aviation leaders say threatens passenger safety and gives legitimate providers a bad name while undermining their financial viability. It has launched a revamped “Avoid Illegal Charter” website with new tools to “empower” consumers with the ability to look up charter operators, access fact sheets, and report questionable operations. NATA formed its Illegal Charter Task Force in May 2018 in response to growing complaints about the extent and impact of illegal charter activity and Europe’s Air Charter Association (formerly BACA, the Baltic Air Charter Association) teamed with the European Business Aviation Association that same month in a complementary initiative. The article says that the consensus is that illegal chartering is increasing, spurred by the burgeoning variety of access schemes and lack of regulatory enforcement. However, in July 2018 the FAA in the US imposed a Michigan-based real estate firm with a proposed $3.3 million fine for charging passengers more than the expense-sharing allowed on its flights.
MALTA: THE FINANCIAL ORGANISED CRIME AGENCY WILL BE ABLE TO BOTH INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE
On 20th October, the Malta Independent reported that the Agency being being established will have executive powers to both investigate and prosecute money laundering, tax and financing of terrorism offenses. The Cabinet had approved its formation in June and the recent budget contains funding for it, and it is expected to begin operations within the coming months. It will not replace the Police’s Economic Crimes Unit but will rather work in collaboration with it.
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