of an international crime syndicate are suspected of stealing more than 1.4bn
yen (US$12.7m) from cash machines in Japan
in the space of less than three hours, in an audacious heist that involved
thousands of coordinated withdrawals. Police
believe that as many as 100 people, none of whom have been apprehended, worked
together using forged credit cards containing account details illegally
obtained from a bank in South Africa. The
culprits used the fake cards at 1,400 convenience store automated teller
machines on the morning of 15 May, according to police. Each made withdrawals
of 100,000 yen at a time - . Read More ...
international investors in London property are likely to sell off some of
their mansions and penthouses after the introduction of anti-corruption rules
cracking down on offshore secrecy, a leading estate agent has said. Privacy-hungry
oligarchs, media owners and tech billionaires from around the world could also
abandon plans to buy homes in Britain because they would no longer be able to
keep their identity secret by purchasing them through offshore companies,
Trevor Abrahmsohn told the Guardian. The owner
of Glentree Estates, which has sold property to billionaires from Russia,
Nigeria and China.., Read More...
Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori announced on Wednesday that a
senior aide had resigned from her centre-right party in a bid to calm an uproar
following media reports that linked the two to money laundering. Fujimori said Joaquin Ramirez, the party's
secretary general, offered to step down, even though both have denied any wrongdoing. "He understands that there is an intent
to upset my presidential campaign," Fujimori told reporters in broadcast
comments as she displayed Ramirez' resignation letter. Read More ...
Colombian police have made one of the country's biggest
seizures of cocaine
in recent history, hauling in eight tonnes of the illegal drug, worth an
estimated $240m (£167m), near the border with Panama. The huge stash of drugs was found in an underground hideaway
on a banana plantation in the municipality of Turbo in the Antioquia
department, government officials said on Sunday. Three people were arrested in
the police operation. Colombian police released photos of the haul showing
packages of cocaine laid out on the ground, with sacks filled with more
packages lined up alongside them. Read More...
Bribery and corruption cost the world economy as much as $2
trillion every year, money that instead could be used to fight poverty, create
jobs, and protect the environment. A new report by the International Monetary Fund says the
money lost to corruption every year is 2 percent of the global gross domestic
product. IMF chief Christine Lagarde says the direct economic costs
of corruption are clear. But the indirect costs may be even worse "leading to
low growth and greater income inequality." "It undermines trust in government and erodes the
ethical standards of private citizens," she said Wednesday. Read More...
The founder of a digital currency service that
allegedly laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for criminals has
been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Arthur Budovsky was also ordered to pay a fine of
$500,000. The 42-year-old started his Costa Rica-based
company, Liberty Reserve, in 2005. Users' identities were
not properly checked. Once registered, people could transfer money to
other users. Deposits were converted into Liberty Reserve
Dollars or Liberty Reserve Euros, which were tied to the value of the
US dollar and the euro, or to ounces of gold. Prosecutors claimed the service enabled criminals
to store and launder the proceeds of illegal activity. Read More ...
Sueddeutsche Zeitung said on Friday that the
source of millions of documents leaked to the German newspaper, "Panama Papers ", had sent them a manifesto, saying
his motivation was the "scale of injustices". The source had never
before stated why he leaked the documents, said Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), one of Germany's
most reputable newspapers. In an 1,800 word
manifesto, the source, calling
himself "John Doe", praised others who have leaked secret
and sensitive documents, such as Edward Snowden, "For his
revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA), he deserves a
hero's welcome and a substantial prize, not banishment," the
source wrote. Read More ...
European and Portuguese police say they have
dismantled a mainly Russian criminal gang laundering money through
football in Portugal. EU
law enforcement agency Europol said the gang purchased football
clubs and then used them as a front for an opaque network of holding
companies. It said four major football clubs were searched
along with houses and offices, resulting in three "key"
arrests. Third division club Uniao de Leiria was among
those raided. Leiria's owner Alexander Tolstikov has been
detained, along with two other club officials, Portuguese media
report. They are all due to appear in court on Thursday
morning. Read More ...
councillors and civil servants suspected of corruption are to be targeted by a
new law proposed by the home secretary. Theresa May intends to establish an offence of "illicit
enrichment" for cases where a public official's assets have increased
significantly without satisfactory explanation. It is part of a wider shake-up of measures to tackle money laundering.But Mrs May said it not a "knee-jerk" reaction to the Panama
Papers. She said the economy was "at risk of being undermined" by money
laundering, illicit finance and the funding of terrorism. Read More ...
debate over the Panama Papers has focused too much on the emotive issue of tax,
and not enough on the issue of transparency. The UK is at the heart of the
problem - but can also be at the heart of the solution.
a week ago, that some financial centres were used for money laundering, tax
evasion and other forms of illegality was a well-understood fact. The release
of the so-called 'Panama Papers' and the accompanying headlines (of varied
accuracy) of tax evasion and money laundering concerning politicians and
officials from Iceland to North Korea via Russia has simply provided more
evidence of what we already knew. Financial centres that offer secrecy and
discretion are ripe for abuse by those seeking to operate beyond the gaze of
regulators, journalists or their electorate. Read More ...
The offices of the firm at the centre of the Panama Papers
revelations were raided by police officers on Tuesday as investigators
prepared to meet in Paris to launch an unprecedented inquiry into global tax
evasion. Panama's attorney general ordered the raid on the Panamanian
offices of Mossack Fonseca in an attempt to "establish the use of the firm for
illicit activities”. Police entered the company's building under the command of
the prosecutor Javier Caravallo, who specialises in organised crime and money
The raid comes after the leak
of Mossack Fonseca's huge ... Read More...