On 26 May, Al Jazeera reported that the US accuses former Bolivian Interior Minister Arturo Murillo of receiving bribes from a US company and individuals to secure a Bolivian government contract. The US DoJ accused Murillo and his ex-chief of staff, Sergio Mendez, “of receiving bribes paid by a US company and individuals to secure a Bolivian government contract”. 3 US citizens were also charged in relation to the alleged bribery scheme, which took place between November 2019 and April 2020. Murillo is also wanted in Bolivia on sedition charges for his role in President Anez’s interim administration.
On 26 May, Rferl reported that Iranian President Hassan Rohani has announced a f4our-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining in response to unplanned power cuts that have hit major Iranian cities. Iranian officials have repeatedly blamed unlicensed cryptocurrency miners for using vast amounts of electricity – draining the power grid and raising air pollution levels in many cities.
On 26 May, This is Money reported that Israel-born Oozi Cats, 60, a controversial tycoon who was exposed as a fugitive from US justice could cash in £40 million when his company is sold to private equity. He was ousted as CEO of Telit Communications when it emerged he was still wanted in Massachusetts under the name of ‘Uzi Katz’ on charges of wire fraud dating back to the 1990s.
On 26 May, Transparency International said that delays in establishing public registers & accessibility barriers undermine EU’s progress in ending kleptocratic abuse of anonymous companies. In 2015, the 4th EU AntiAML Directive required Member States to establish beneficial ownership registers and, in 2018, in response to scandals such as the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, the EU approved the 5th AML Directive, which contained further measures for enhancing the ability of competent authorities – both inside and outside the EU – to detect and investigate money laundering and financial crime. However, Transparency International’s new report finds that access to the data may be restricted – even in countries that have public central registers in place.