28th December 2019
REACTORS IN UAE ‘RISK ARMS RACE AND A DISASTER LIKE CHERNOBYL’
An article in the Irish Independent on 28 December reported that a leading scientists has claimed that 4 nuclear reactors being built in the UAE could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and leave the Persian Gulf at risk of a Chernobyl-style disaster.
BAHAMAS LAUNCHES DIGITAL CURRENCY
On 27 December, the Jamaica Observer reported that the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBB) has introduced a digital version of the Bahamian dollar, starting with a pilot phase in Exuma and extending in the first half of 2020 to Abaco. Project Sand Dollar has the name sand dollar assigned to the proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC).
NAMIBIAN EX-MINISTERS EMBROILED IN FISH SCANDAL IN JAIL FOR NEW YEAR
The Sowetan Live on 28 December reported that 2 former ministers and 4 others accused of taking bribes to offer fishing rights in Namibia’s biggest corruption scandal will see in the New Year from custody after a court dismissed their urgent release application. They are accused of taking kickbacks from subsidiaries of Iceland’s biggest fishing company Samherji to secure quotas.
CHINA ARRESTS 103 PEOPLE IN BUST OF COUNTERFEIT DRUG RING AND SEIZES £5.5 MILLION WORTH OF FAKE GLUE
On 27 December, the Telegraph reported that counterfeit glue ring made products purporting to be ones manufactured by German adhesive brand Loctite. Police seized more than 470,000 fake Loctite adhesive products and labels. The real manufacturer Henkel has has about half a dozen factories in the country, including one in Shanghai, which is the largest adhesives plant in the world.
GUINEA BISSAU: NEW ERA OF ANTI-DRUG ACTION
A news release from Interpol on 27 December advised that one of Guinea Bissau’s largest cocaine seizures has resulted in the sentencing of 3 drug kingpins arrested during a police operation supported by INTERPOL. The resulting 14-year prison sentences were a record in Guinea Bissau.
PAKISTAN DETAINS ANOTHER OPPOSITION LEADER OVER CORRUPTION
On 25 December, OCCRP reported that Ahsan Iqbal, a senior Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader, was detained by officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over alleged misappropriation of government funds in the construction of the Narowal Sports City, near the border to India.
STATISTICAL SURVEY SHOWS INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND GLOBAL ECONOMY COOLING DOWN
On 10 December, UNCTAD reported that the UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2019 provides a wide range of statistics and indicators relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment, maritime transport and development. It goes on to say that global trade and economic output have stagnated this year. Merchandise trade is predicted to drop by 2.4% to $19 trillion, and trade in services is predicted to only increase by 2.7% to $6 trillion. Real global economic output (GDP) is now expected to grow by 2.3% this year, 0.7 percentage points less than last year. The handbook boasts numerous maps, figures, infographics and tables, accompanied by descriptive text, all of which reveal interesting, sometimes curious, recent developments, such as foreign direct investment from the US turning into negative in 2018.
THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TERM “WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL”
On 28 December, a Target Letter alert notified one that 80 years ago, on 27 December 1939, Edwin Sutherland introduced the phrase “white-collar criminal”.
A PROBE THAT EXPOSES THE CORRUPTION BEHIND ISRAEL’S JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS
On 28 December, Haaretz carried an article about the ongoing investigation involving former President of the Israel Bar Association Efraim Nave (described in the newspaper as “uninhibited, power-hungry and socially savvy”) and alleged bribery.
3 OF ABU HAMZA’S SONS ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF £1 MILLION SCAM WITH THE ‘HELP OF A BANK WORKER’
The Telegraph on 28 December reported that 3 of radical preacher Abu Hamza’s sons have been arrested over fraud and money laundering offences allegedly carried out with the help of a bank worker. They were among 6 people reportedly arrested and bailed. The offences are said not to be terrorism related. Abu Hamza is serving life without parole in the US for supporting terrorism, having been extradited in 2012.
RUSSIAN COMPANIES INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH IRAN REGARDLESS OF US SANCTIONS
On 27 December, Customs Today reported that this had been said by Rustam Zhiganshin, Russia’s trade representative in Iran.
HOW LIVERPOOL’S COCAINE TRADE IS FIGHTING OFF THE ALBANIAN MAFIA
On 28 December, the Liverpool Echo reported that, while Birmingham, London and Manchester’s drugs trades have all fallen under the influence of gangs with roots in Albania, only Liverpool is holding out against the trend. It is said that Liverpool’s cocaine trade has yet to be influenced by the Albanian organised crime gangs.