8 March 2020
INDIA’S YES BANK FOUNDER ARRESTED ON MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
On 8 March, Deutsche Welle and others reported that Rana Kapoor, was arrested on Sunday on allegations of money laundering, founder of India’s fifth-biggest private sector bank has been arrested on allegations of money laundering, after being questioned for more than 20 hours by Indian authorities. The Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, has seized control of Yes Bank. The bank has over 1,000 branches and more than 1,800 ATM.
AUSTRALIA: CHARITY WORLD VISION IN ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM
On 8 March, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that one of Australia’s biggest charities, is implicated in a multimillion-dollar corruption scandal that involves AFL stars, a free Bali holiday, nepotism and suspected kickbacks in return for lucrative printing contracts. It is alleged that charitable donations have helped pay for contracts to a printing group which then made secret payments to the father of a World Vision executive.
CARLSBERG “PROBES INDIAN UNIT FOR FRAUD”
On 7 March, the Deccan Herald reported that the brewing giant is probing its Indian unit for financial irregularities and unlawful, unethical practices by its employees, including incorrect payments, misappropriation of funds and unlawful payments from customers and officials. The company said the probe followed accusations made by its local partner South Asia Breweries.
CONFESSIONS OF AN INDIAN CALL-CENTRE SCAMMER
On 8 March, the BBC published an article containing an interview with a worker at an India-based call centre, after it showed scammers at work in a call centre, recorded by an activist who hacked into the company’s security cameras. Staff were seen laughing at their victims in the US and the UK. The company ran what is known as a “tech support scam”. It would send a pop-up to people’s screens, telling them their computer had been infected by a “pornographic virus” or other malware, and giving them a helpline number to call.
TRENDS IN INTERNATIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS 2019
On 8 March, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a factsheet and database, saying that the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2015–19 was 5.5% higher than in 2010–14 and 20% higher than in 2005–2009. The 5 largest exporters in 2015–19 were the US, Russia, France, Germany and China. The 5 largest importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China. Between 2010–14 and 2015–19, there were increases in arms transfers to the Middle East and to Europe, while there were decreases in the transfers to Africa, the Americas and Asia and Oceania. Half of US arms exports in the past 5 years went to the Middle East, and half of those went to Saudi Arabia. French arms exports reached their highest level for any 5-year period since 1990 and accounted for 7.9% of total global arms exports in 2015–19, a 72% increase on 2010–14. Arms imports by countries in the Middle East increased by 61% between 2010–14 and 2015–19, and accounted for 35% of total global arms imports over the past 5 years. Saudi Arabia was the world’s largest arms importer in 2015–19. Its imports of major arms increased by 130% compared with the previous 5-year period and it accounted for 12% of global arms imports in 2015–19. UAE has been militarily involved in Libya as well as Yemen over the past 5 years and was the eighth-largest arms importer in the world in 2015–19.
RECOMMENDATIONS ON EXPORT CONTROLS FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The Center for Security and Emerging Technology has published a paper saying that there are substantial national and global security risks if democratic nations lose their current lead in AI. Yet, as the Department of Commerce has acknowledged, export controls are complicated policy tools that require the careful balancing of competing interests and priorities. The paper reviews and assesses options for export controls on AI software, algorithms, data sets, chips, and chip manufacturing equipment. The key takeaway is said to be that chip manufacturing equipment is likely to be a highly effective point of export control, with other areas likely to be either ineffectual or affirmatively damaging to the interests of the US and its allies. It recommends not targeting general AI software as this would potentially undermine US competitiveness and damage the government’s relationship with the AI industry and R+D community. However, it does say that equipment for manufacturing AI chips is likely a highly effective point of export control, but not the chips themselves, as AI chips are not yet a promising target for expanded regulation. The CSET is a think tank dedicated to policy analysis at the intersection of national and international security and emerging technologies, and is based at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
2019 FBI INTERNET CRIME REPORT
This Internet Crime Report highlights the efforts of FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to monitor trending scams such as business email compromise (BEC), ransomware, elder fraud, and tech support fraud. As the report indicates, in 2019, IC3 received a total of 467,361 complaints with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion. The most prevalent crime types reported were phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming, non-payment/non-delivery, extortion, and personal data breach. The top 3 crime types with the highest reported losses were BEC, confidence/romance fraud, and spoofing. More details on each of these scams can be found in the report.
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