15 December 2019

US: ZTE has pleaded guilty to conspiring to unlawfully export, obstruction of justice and making a false statement

Stock Daily Dish reported on 15 December that, in the final move of a US case against it, Chinese telecom giant ZTE has pleaded guilty in a US court to violating US export controls by selling goods to Iran and North Korea over several years.  It was announced on March 7 a $1.2 billion fine and penalty, the largest criminal penalty in US history in an export control case, although there have been larger fines involving financial firms.

Surging gold prices in India are keeping customs officials on their toes

On 12 December, Yahoo Finance reported that illegal inflows have jumped after the Indian government increased import taxes in July and prices surged to record highs in September.  On one flight alone, officials caught 30 passengers trying to smuggle in 7.5 kg of gold.

Bulgarian Customs seize 60 cylinders of smuggled refrigerant

On 15 December, Cooling Post reported that customs officers have seized 60 cylinders of refrigerant found in a van at a customs office in south-eastern Bulgaria, on the border with Turkey.  A statement does not identify the refrigerants involved but it states that they did not comply with the European F-gas regulations.

An estimated $749 million in suspicious transaction reports in the months leading up to the changeover of $100 bills in Trinidad & Tobago

On 15 December, the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday carried this claim from the country’s FIU, which received 429 STR between July and September.  The changeover saw $100 bills replaced by difficult-to-duplicate polymer notes.

ZimZimbabwe Vice-President’s wife arrested on money laundering chargesbabwe Vice-President’s wife arrested on money laundering charges

In its 16 December edition, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Zimbabwean Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s wife – Marry Mubaiwa – has been arrested on charges of money laundering, fraud and violating exchange control regulations.

Canada: Former SNC-Lavalin Executive Found Guilty Of Fraud and Corruption

On 15 December, the Huffington Post reported that Sami Bebawi, 73, a former SNC-Lavalin executive has been found guilty of paying off foreign officials and pocketing millions as he worked to secure contracts for the Canadian engineering company in Libya.

Djibouti Telecom Corruption Scandal Revealed – Who Paid What to Whom and How Big the Bribe Was

On 13 December, All Africa carried an article about about Ericsson paying a bribe to secure a contract with Djibouti Telecom and based on information from court documents in the US.