LONDON: FATHER AND SON ‘USED CHARITIES TO HIDE £10 MILLION FROM ILLEGAL PRESCRIPTION DRUGS’

On 17th April, the Evening Standard reported claims that a father and son laundered more than £10 million from the illegal sale of Viagra and slimming pills through charities they set up to tackle Jewish poverty.  Investigators claim £10.2 million of a total income of £18.7 million between 2012 and 2014 can be identified as laundered money – profits from illegally selling Viagra, slimming pills, anti-smoking tablets and other prescription drugs online to customers across Europe.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/father-and-son-used-charities-to-hide-10m-from-illegal-prescription-drugs-a4120351.html

DATA PROTECTION LAW NOT A BARRIER TO SHARING INFORMATION TO SAVE LIVES AND STOP CRIME

Local Government Lawyer on 18th April reported that the Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a reminder to public and private organisations that the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 do not stop them from disclosing personal data to assist police forces or other law enforcement authorities.  It says that organisations are hesitant to share people’s personal data with the police and in some cases are refusing to share with anyone, citing data protection as the problem. In cases of serious or violent crime, this can mean that essential information needed to safeguard individuals is not being passed to the relevant law enforcement authorities.

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/information-law/398-information-law-news/40367-data-protection-law-not-a-barrier-to-sharing-information-to-save-lives-and-stop-crime-ico

The relevant blog post from the ICO is at –

https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/blog-data-protection-law-does-not-prevent-information-sharing-to-save-lives-and-stop-crime/?hootPostID=d80e5ced685c13bfa588567da7421e99

BULGARIAN DEPUTY MINISTER RESIGNS IN WAKE OF INVESTIGATION

OCCRP on 18th April reported that Alexander Manolev, Bulgaria’s Deputy Minister of Economy resigned following the publication of an investigation that suggested he used a guesthouse built with EU money as his own private vacation home.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/9601-bulgarian-deputy-minister-resigns-in-wake-of-investigation

GUATEMALAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CHARGED IN DRUG-TRAFFICKING PLOT

The Hill reported on 18th April that the US has arrested and charged a Guatemalan presidential candidate in connection with a plot to allegedly traffic cocaine and have rival candidates assassinated.  It is alleged that Mario Estrada, along with accomplice Juan Pablo Gonzales, allegedly sought between $10 and $12 million from Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel in campaign funds in return for allowing the cartel to move cocaine though Guatemalan airports.  Estrada is a member of the centre-right National Charge Union party and polls far behind other candidates in the nation’s general election, which is set to be held June 16th.

https://thehill.com/policy/international/americas/439465-guatemalan-presidential-candidate-arrested-over-drug

UK HELPING TRACK DOWN ASSETS OF KENYAN OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF LOOTING

Capital News in Kenya reported on 18th April that a team of British specialists and financial investigators based in the High Commission in Kenya and back in the UK are following, tracking down bank accounts and operations of those suspected to have stolen from the Kenyan people.

https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2019/04/uk-helping-track-down-assets-of-kenyan-officials-accused-of-looting/