CRIMEA’S OCEANIC FISHING INDUSTRY BECOMES INSTRUMENT OF MONEY LAUNDERING BY RUSSIAN ENTITIES

On 30 September, Interfax in Ukraine reported that an investigation by Canadian TV company CBC, Radio Canada and Latvia’s Nekā Personīga has revealed an apparent connection between the activities of the Russian special services and the massive laundering of Russian money through shell companies in other countries.  The investigation was related to the sinking of the Ukrainian fishing vessel Ivan Golubets in 2019 off the coast of Mauritania.  The ship belonged to the Ukrainian state-owned company Service, but was leased to a Canadian offshore company associated with a Latvian fisheries company.  It flew under the Georgian flag and was included in the lists of ships of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.  The insurer of the vessel was Russia’s Ingosstrakh, and the insurance policy entered into force only 5 hours before the fire on board.  The authors of the material note that 30 years ago Ukraine owned a large number of ocean-going fishing vessels. After the occupation of Crimea, their number dropped to 11.  The vessels based in the port of Sevastopol were leased to companies registered in Cyprus with unknown owners.  The report links vessels to illegal fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, and claims they have become an instrument of money laundering by the Russian state-controlled international mafia.

https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/691647.html

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FRENCH ARREST 29 IN CRYPTOCURRENCY SCHEME TO FINANCE JIHADIS

On 29 September, AP reported that French police arrested 29 people around the country in an operation to break a complex scheme used to finance Islamist extremists in Syria through the use of cryptocurrencies.  It says that search warrants have been issued for 2 25-year-olds thought to be the ringleaders and were both convicted in France in 2016 and sentenced in absentia to 10-year prison terms.  The 29 people detained for questioning are mostly suspected of injecting funds into the network, but 2 of them are thought to have had key roles in the cyber-financing system, providing logistical aid to keep it working.  Hundreds of thousands of euros are thought to have been supplied via the network, benefiting members of al-Qaida still hiding out in northwest Syria, but also jihadis of the Islamic State group.

https://apnews.com/article/arrests-terrorism-archive-france-701371a367d1ae26ff057d6e3d082458

I had left off this link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y