16 November 2019
‘SHARP INCREASE’ IN PAKISTAN’S EFFORTS TO ILLEGALLY GET N-TECH
A report in the Hindustan Times in India quotes the reply to parliamentary questions in Germany to the effect that the German government believes there has been a “sharp increase” in Pakistan’s activities in recent years to illegally procure technology used in nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons.
NEPAL REPATRIATES 33 NORTH KOREANS TO IMPLEMENT UN SANCTIONS
On 16 November, KBS in South Korea reported that the Nepalese government said the 33 North Koreans left the country as of October 31 at the order of immigration authorities. It is said that the workers’ visas had expired. UN sanctions require countries to prevent the use of North Koreans to generate money for the DPRK regime.
THOUSANDS OF KILOGRAMS OF ZIMBABWE GOLD BEING SMUGGLED INTO SOUTH AFRICA, SAYS MINISTER
Fin24 on 16 November reported that, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube close to 34 tonnes of gold being smuggled to South Africa (though it is not made clear over what time period).
IRELAND: REPUBLICAN AND LOYALIST SMUGGLING GANGS ‘CRIPPLING HAULAGE SECTOR’
A report in The Journal on 16 November carried remarks that dissidents who are smuggling drugs, cigarettes and fuel across Ireland through Europe are “crippling the haulage sector”. This is according to the Policy Manager for the Freight Transport Association of Northern Ireland. Organised criminal elements within the industry are also facilitating illegal human trafficking rings, he said, and that smugglers were willing to undercut regular operators when it came to quoting fees for driving consignment back from Europe. Bulgaria, it is said, has become a popular place for Irish smugglers to register their vehicles. Gardaí and the PSNI believe this region was chosen as it is a first port of entry for many of the smuggled cigarettes and drugs making their way into Europe.
MONEYVAL ONSITE EVALUATION VISIT TO GEORGIA
The Council of Europe reported on 16 November that a Moneyval team of experts had completed its onsite visit to Georgia, with the eventual mutual evaluation report on the AML/CFT assessment at the June/July Plenary.
TURKEY: EU SANCTIONS BY CHRISTMAS?
On 15th November, law firm HFW published a briefing posing this question, saying that once individuals and entities are listed, this will potentially impact on businesses which trade with Turkey’s offshore, drilling and energy sectors, as well as their banks, insurers and other related businesses. These organisations need to identify their potential exposure, and also keep the situation under close review. It recommends that companies should be checking their potential exposure now.
FAKE BILLIONAIRE’S $6 MILLION SCAMS CLAIMED DOZENS OF LOCAL VICTIMS
On 16th November, the Seattle Times carried an article saying that Keenan Alexander Gracey had been arrested just before Christmas 2018 on charges of a $6 million stock fraud that had claimed dozens of victims in Washington and California. At the height of his scamming, prosecutors say, Gracey was routinely passing himself off as 6-foot, 9-inch Oxford-educated professional athlete and British aristocrat (he was actually Canadian) with palatial mansions and insider knowledge of multimillion-dollar stock deals.
US PROSECUTORS REQUEST THE EXTRADITION OF BRITISH TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEUR MIKE LYNCH TO FACE FRAUD CHARGES
The Daily Mail on 16th November reported that the 54-year-old Cambridge graduate, once dubbed Britain’s answer to Bill Gates, is accused of inflating the value of Autonomy before it was sold to Hewlett Packard for £8.5billion. The criminal proceedings are running in parallel to a High Court case in the UK, which has seen HP Enterprise launch a £3.7 billion damages claim against Lynch.
EXPERT SLAMS CANADA’S LACK OF PROTECTIONS FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS
CBC on 16th November carried an article saying that a US expert Tom Devine, the legal director of the Government Accountability Project, said in an interview. It says that he has helped defend more than 7,000 whistleblowers worldwide and appeared before Canadian parliamentary committees – but he said that he would rate Canada’s whistleblower law a tissue paper shield.
FORMER RUSSIAN MINISTER CHARGED WITH FRAUD SEES HIS ASSETS SEIZED
OCCRP on 16th November reported that Alfa Bank, a big commercial bank in Russia, won a court decision allowing the seizure of more than $100 million worth of Singapore-based assets belonging to Mikhail Abyzov.
PAKISTAN: CUSTOMS SEIZES LARGE QUANTITY OF MILK-ENHANCEMENT HORMONE INJECTIONS FOR CATTLE
Customs Today on 14th November reported that Customs staff at Quetta International Airport have seized large quantity of milk-enhancement hormone injections for cattle; import of these hormones is prohibited in Pakistan. Bags from Dubai were reportedly found to contain 20,000 injections of Boostin (Korean origin) were recovered.
IRS LOOKING INTO CRYPTOCURRENCY ATM OPERATORS – AND SAY COULD BE A FRONT FOR MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATIONS
On 16th November, Crypto Briefing reported that cryptocurrency ATM and kiosks allow users to buy and sell cryptos with cash in many locations across the world. IRS Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort believes they could enable illicit activity, and noted that the IRS is currently investigating potential compliance issues, especially regarding their operators.
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