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Seven Chinese nationals in Zimbabwe court over rhino horn stash

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Seven Chinese nationals in Zimbabwe court over rhino horn stash

The Independent

They are facing charges of breaching the country’s wildlife laws.

Zeng Dengui, 35; Peicon Jang, 35; Chen Zhiangfu, 30; Qui Jinchang, 29; Yu Xian, 25; Yong Zhu, 25 and Liu Cheng, 23 were arrested two days before Christmas after police raided their home following a tip-off.

Police detectives found pieces of rhino horn stashed in a mattress, plastic bags and in boxes at a house in one of the town’s suburbs.

The seven who are all unemployed, appeared in the dock wearing khaki prison garb at the court in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

Their trial which had been scheduled to start Thursday was delayed to January 9 after prosecutors said they were not yet ready.

Prosecutor Bheki Tshabalala said police indicated they want further charges of money laundering from the case and also mentioned of a charge of theft of a motor vehicle.

Under Zimbabwe’s parks and wildlife laws it is illegal to keep, possess, sell or dispose of any protected animal’s products or trophies.

The rhino horn pieces weighed 20.98 kilogrammes and were valued at $938,700 (823,500 euros), according to the prosecution.

Rhino horns are highly coveted in some Asian countries such as China and Vietnam, where they have fetched up to $60,000 per kilogramme, for their supposed medicinal qualities.

The demand has fuelled a boom in poaching and trafficking in Africa, especially in Zimbabwe’s neighbour, South Africa.

South Africa, which is home to about 80 percent of the world rhino population, has lost more than 7,100 animals over the past decade.

In 2016, wildlife authorities in Zimbabwe said that they had begun dehorning the country’s 700 adult rhinos to curb rampant poaching.

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Mozambique charges ex-minister, 17 others in $2bn loan fraud case

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Mozambique charges ex-minister, 17 others in $2bn loan fraud case

At least 18 people, including a former finance minister, have been charged for fraud involving $2bn in loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) has said, in a scandal that has ensnared two major international banks.

"Mozambique AGO is indicting 18 defendants, (ranging) from public workers and other citizens, on charges of abuse of power, abuse of trust, swindling and money laundering," it said in a statement on Monday.

The indictment came days after three ex-Credit Suisse bankers were charged in the United States with fraud over their role in Mozambique's deal in 2013 to borrow money from international investors to fund projects that included a state tuna fishery.

Former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang, 63, is one of the 18 indictees. He was arrested in neighbouring South Africa last week as part of the same case. He has denied wrongdoing.

The attorney general's office also said it would seek to have those charged in the US and elsewhere face charges in Mozambique, one of the most indebted countries in the world.

Apart from Credit Suisse, Russian lender VTB also arranged financing for Mozambique’s state-owned companies.

The southern African state admitted in 2016 to undisclosed lending, prompting the International Monetary Fund and foreign donors to cut off support, triggering a currency collapse and a default on Mozambique’s sovereign debt. It is still struggling to overcome the resultant debt crisis.

Ex-Credit Suisse bankers arrested over Mozambique loans

INTERNATIONAL - Three former Credit Suisse Group AG bankers were arrested in London on Thursday on US charges that they took part in a fraud scheme involving $2 billion (R28bn) in loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique, a spokesman for US prosecutors said.

Andrew Pearse, 49; Surjan Singh, 44; and Detelina Subeva, 37 were charged in an indictment in Brooklyn, New York federal court with conspiring to violate US anti-bribery law and to commit money laundering and securities fraud, according to spokesman John Marzulli. They have been released on bail in London while the United States seeks extradition.

The arrests came five days after former Mozambique Finance Minister Manuel Chang was arrested in South Africa as part of the same criminal case.

A fifth man, Jean Boustani, was arrested on Wednesday at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Marzulli said. Boustani was a Lebanese citizen who worked for an Abu Dhabi-based contractor of the Mozambican companies, according to the indictment.

Lawyers for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment after business hours in New York and London.

“The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank’s internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit, and sought to hide these activities from the bank,” Credit Suisse said in a statement. It added that the bank will continue to cooperate with authorities.

According to the indictment, between 2013 and 2016 three Mozambican state-owned companies borrowed more than $2 billion through loans guaranteed by the government and arranged by Credit Suisse and another investment bank, which was not named.

Chang, 63, signed off on the guarantees as finance minister but did not disclose them. When the guarantees were revealed in 2016, foreign donors including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cut off support for Mozambique, plunging the southern African country into a debt crisis that still plagues it two years later.

According to the indictment, the three state-owned companies were created to undertake maritime projects but were really “fronts” for Chang, Boustani and the three bankers to enrich themselves.

Prosecutors said at least $200 million was diverted to the defendants and other Mozambican government officials. They said the defendants concealed the misuse of the funds and misled investors abroad including in the United States about Mozambique’s creditworthiness.

The companies missed more than $700 million in loan payments after defaulting in 2016 and 2017, the indictment said.


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Cambodia makes record breaking ivory haul at port

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Cambodia makes record breaking ivory haul at port

Cambodia has seized more than 3.2 tonnes of African ivory hidden in a storage container from Mozambique, a customs official has said.

The discovery of 1,026 tusks at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port on Thursday followed a tip off from the US embassy.

The shipment arrived in the country last year and its unknown recipient did not arrive at the port to pick it up.

Demand from China and Vietnam has meant Cambodia has become a key transit point for the illicit wildlife trade.

"The elephant tusks were hidden among marble in a container that was abandoned," Sun Chhay, director of the Customs and Excise Office at the port, told the AFP news agency.

Sun Chhay said he did not know whether the shipment was intended for other countries.

Cambodia has made a number of high-profile busts over the past five years.

The largest before this week took place in 2014, when customs officials seized about three tonnes of ivory hidden in a container of beans at the southwestern port of Sihanoukville.

In April of this year, 3.5 tonnes bound for Cambodia were seized at Maputo Port, Mozambique, reports the Phnom Penh Post.

In July 2017, authorities in Hong Kong said they had seized the world's biggest ever haul of ivory tusks - some 7.2 tonnes.

Wildlife campaigners believe 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year.

The international trade in ivory was banned in 1990.


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by Kudzai Chinoda -

Shocking report details massive illegal turtle trade network

A series of recent sting operations has led to dozens of arrests, thousands of reptiles seized


By Dina Fine Maron

In a posh hotel room in Kuala Lumpur, a 35-year-old man wearing a dark button-down shirt smiled. He had two suitcases crammed with 55 live turtles, and he was hoping to make a sale.

He watched as his customer, a man wearing shorts and sneakers, carefully examined the reptiles crawling across the hotel rug.

Bakrudin Ali Ahamed Habeeb, had posted on Facebook some seven months earlier that he had reptiles to sell, triggering a flurry of text messages and price negotiations. Now, Habeeb just needed to prove that his animals were in good health so he could pass them off into the exotic pet trade.

It was May 2017, and he was anticipating a big payday.

When his visitor left the room, ostensibly to get a colleague, Habeeb didn’t even look up. But minutes later, agents from Malaysia’s department of wildlife and parks flooded his room. The would-be buyer, as it turned out, was an undercover agent with the Wildlife Justice Commission, a Hague-based nonprofit that works to expose the criminal networks behind the illegal wildlife trade. Local law enforcement officers had been waiting in the next room to nab Habeeb as he made an illegal sale of black spotted turtles, which are found in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and are barred from international trade because of the species’ protected designation under international law.

Based on the evidence provided by the Wildlife Justice Commission and described in a report published December 6, Habeeb—an Indian national who had long been smuggling reptiles from India to Malaysia—was sentenced to 24 months in prison. He was one of 30 individuals arrested during a two-year investigation by the commission into reptile smuggling.

The investigation led to the seizure of more than 6,000 turtles and tortoises—many of them endangered species. Thirty people were arrested for smuggling these reptiles through Malaysia, India, or Bangladesh. Five of those individuals, all in Malaysia, have already been convicted and are serving prison sentences.

In the most extreme case, “over a thousand Indian star tortoises were seized in one sting operation in Kuala Lumpur, and two people were arrested,” says Sarah Stoner, senior investigations manager at the Wildlife Justice Commission and lead author of the report. One of those men is now serving 24 months in prison. The other failed to show up in court, and there’s an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

The commission’s investigations focused primarily on Southeast Asia, the pet trade destination for many of these turtles and tortoises, but it also encompassed areas as far-flung as Cameroon and the Netherlands. Collectively, according to the commission, the turtles offered to the agents were worth $3 million wholesale and much more on the retail market.

Dozens of investigators, analysts, and undercover workers found that in most cases the turtles and tortoises were being smuggled from India, Pakistan, and Madagascar to buyers in mainland China and Hong Kong. Top species offered included ones that are considered vulnerable because of their dwindling numbers, such as the Indian star tortoise and the black spotted turtle. Investigators were also offered more than 1,500 radiated tortoises—a species native to Madagascar that’s considered critically endangered and is prohibited from any commercial trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the agreement that regulates the wildlife trade. (Read about the 10,000 radiated tortoises found in a house in Madagascar in April.)

The report also revealed details about the scale and coordination of the corruption that greases these trades. Airports the animals were most often trafficked through were pinpointed, as were local sources of some of the reptiles. To do that work, the group used the plans smugglers shared with the commission’s “buyers”—describing how products would be moved from one area to another—and compared them against intelligence on meager arrest records at those transit points, essentially corroborating that someone was likely being paid to look the other way.

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Indian-origin woman Shamila Batohi appointed head of South Africa’s prosecuting authority

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Indian-origin woman Shamila Batohi appointed head of South Africa’s prosecuting authority

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of Batohi, during a nationally-televised address at the government headquarters, the Union Buildings, on Tuesday.

World Updated: Dec 05, 2018 10:42 IST

Press Trust of India

Prominent Indian-origin lawyer Shamila Batohi has been appointed to head South Africa’s prosecuting authority, the first woman to head the agency facing criticism for its handling of the investigations against former president Jacob Zuma over corruption charges.

Batohi will start her new role as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in February 2019.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of Batohi, during a nationally-televised address at the government headquarters, the Union Buildings, on Tuesday.

During his maiden address, Ramaphosa gave the commitment that government would urgently attend to the leadership crisis at the NPA to ensure the institution is and able to perform its mandate without any outside interference.

Eleven months later, the prosecuting body now has a new head.

Batohi, who shot to fame as the evidence leader during the King Commission that probed the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga of 2000, was selected from a shortlist of 11 candidates who were interviewed for the high-profile position.

She will replace the previous prosecutor, Shaun Abrahams who has been accused by the opposition and rights groups of shielding former president Jacob Zuma from corruption charges during his nine years in office.

Batohi also comes in at a time when the organisation has been criticised for its handling of the state capture investigation, having recently provisionally withdrawn the Gupta-linked Estina dairy project case.

Batohi is stepping into a position that has proved to be so poisoned by politics that none of its appointees has come even close to surviving the full ten-year term, local media reports said.

She started her public service as a junior prosecutor in the Chatsworth magistrates’ court in 1986 and steadily rose through the ranks to become the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu Natal.

She was seconded to the Investigation Task Unit established by President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and later served as the first regional head of the Directorate of Special Operations based in KwaZulu-Natal.

Batohi has worked for the past nine years as a legal adviser to the prosecutor in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Congratulating Batohi on her appointment, Ramaphosa highlighted that he was addressing the state of dysfunctionality and deficiencies in the NDPP that had been identified by the Constitutional Court.

She was seconded to the Investigation Task Unit established by President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and later served as the first regional head of the Directorate of Special Operations based in KwaZulu-Natal.

Batohi has worked for the past nine years as a legal adviser to the prosecutor in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Her predecessors in the era of Jacob Zuma’s Presidency all had controversy-laden tenures.

The high-profile cases that Batohi will inherit include 16 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering instituted against former president Zuma.

“The President, and by proxy the people (of South Africa) have bestowed a lot of confidence in me,” Batohi said, adding “the least I can do is reciprocate that confidence.” “My only obligation is to serve the country with humility and dedication to the best of my ability. Each one of us, no matter where we are, must be ready to sacrifice the necessary, to fight the good fight. Our country needs us,” Batohi said.

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14,000 government officials caught doing business with the state: report

by Kudzai Chinoda -

14,000 government officials caught doing business with the state: report

An investigation by National Treasury has revealed that as many as 14,000 government officials are listed as directors of companies who have contracts with the state, Bloomberg reports, in direct contravention of government regulations.

Treasury also reportedly found the names of 12,000 dead people in its registry of companies, painting a grim picture of how government tenders are fraudulently rigged, to be handed to ‘preferred’ people.

According to Treasury’s procurement office, companies are set up with fake documents and the names of dead people, who then tender for contracts at high and inflated prices – making it seem as if the legitimate companies are offering the same services for much cheaper.

“It looks like there is competition, yet it’s the same guy,” the Treasury unit’s head, Schalk Human told Bloomberg.

Human also said that Treasury would be reporting the 14,000 government officials doing business with the state “even if we have to drag them to court”.

Fraud and inflated prices are said to consume as much as 40% of South Africa’s R600 billion budget.

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Global Financial Integrity Releases New Study on Trade Misinvoicing in South Africa

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Global Financial Integrity Releases New Study on Trade Misinvoicing in South Africa

November 13, 2018


South Africa Trade Mis-invoicing Leads to Massive Revenue Losses


WASHINGTON, DC – Analysis of trade misinvoicing in South Africa from 2010 – 2014 shows that the potential average loss of revenue to the government was approximately $7.4 billion per year or $37 billion during the period studied, according to a new study by Global Financial Integrity. The report, titled South Africa: Potential Revenue Losses Associated with Trade Misinvoicing (See Attached file below), analyzes South Africa’s bilateral trade statistics for five year period 2010 – 2014 using information from United Nations Comtrade and data made available from the South African Revenue Authority.

The detailed breakdown of bilateral South African trade flows allowed for the computation of trade value gaps that are the basis for trade misinvoicing estimates. Import gaps represent the difference between the value of goods South Africa reports having imported from its partner countries and the corresponding export reports by South Africa’s trade partners. Export gaps represent the difference in value between what South Africa reports as having exported and what its partners report as imported.

The average annual revenue lost due to the misinvoicing of imports was $4.8 billion. This amount can be further divided into its component parts: uncollected VAT tax ($2.1 billion), customs duties ($596 million), and corporate income tax ($2.1 billion). Lost revenue due to misinvoiced exports was $2.6 billion on average each year which is related to lower than expected corporate income taxes.

“The practice of trade misinvoicing has become normalized in many categories of international trade” according to GFI President Raymond Baker. “It is a major contributor to poverty, inequality, and insecurity in emerging market and developing economies. The social cost attendant to trade misinvoicing undermines sustainable growth in living standards and exacerbates inequities and social divisions, issues which are critical in South Africa today.”

Total misinvoicing gaps related to imports can be broken down by under-invoicing ($16.3 billion) and over-invoicing ($9.8 billion). It should be noted that these figures represent the estimated value of the gap between what was reported by South Africa and its trading partners. The loss in government revenue is a subset of these amounts and is based on VAT tax rates (12.9 percent), customs duties (3.7 percent), corporate income taxes (21.7 percent), and royalties (1percent) which are then applied to the value gap. Export misinvoicing gaps were a massive $11.6 billion for export under-invoicing and $8.6 billion for export over-invoicing annually. Lost corporate income taxes and royalties are then applied to export under-invoicing amounts to calculate lost government revenue.

The study examined trade data from the South African Revenue Service in order to conduct an in-depth examination of import under-invoicing. This process analyzed approximately 7.4 million trade transactions which included more than 8,200 commodity types for the period 2010—2015. A key conclusion is that goods categories with a preponderance of under-invoicing tend to be associated with higher effective tax rates than other classes of imports. The data show that the top five categories for potential revenue loss related to import under-invoicing are machinery, knitted apparel, electrical machinery, non-knitted apparel, and vehicles. Three of these commodities (machinery, electrical machinery, and vehicles) are among the most commonly imported goods into South Africa.

Trade misinvoicing occurs in four ways: under-invoicing of imports or exports, and over-invoicing of imports or exports. In the case of import under-invoicing fewer VAT taxes and customs duties are collected due to the lower valuation of goods. When import over-invoicing occurs (i.e. when companies pay more than would normally be expected for a product), corporate revenues are lower and therefore less income tax is paid. In export under-invoicing the exporting company collects less revenue than would be anticipated and therefore reports lower income. Thus, it pays less income tax. Corporate royalties are also lower.

The report was published with the generous support of the Ford Foundation.


Journalist Contact:
Tom Cardamone
Managing Director
+1 202 293 0740 x223
Notes to Editors: All monetary values are expressed in nominal U.S. dollars (USD).

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Money Lending Firm Directors Arrested in K28 Million Scandal

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Money Lending Firm Directors Arrested in K28 Million Scandal

Chris Phiri | November 2, 2018

The Drug Enforcement Commission through its Anti-Money Laundering Investigations Unit in Lusaka has arrested and jointly charged three (03) Directors of Heritage Coin Resources Limited for money laundering offences involving over K28, 000,000.00 contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Hilda Agnes Raubenheimer, 35, a Business woman of Salama Park, Orient Rio Zekko, 29, a Secretary of Plot No. 1468/20/01 Ibex Hill and Tapiwa Chirwa, 40, a Managing Director of House No. 1245 Avondale, Zimbabwe has been arrested and jointly charged for providing banking business, financial business or financial services without a licence, conducting or participating in a money circulation scheme, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence are that the suspects, on dates unknown but between 1st June, 2018 and 15th October, 2018 jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did provide banking business, financial business or financial services to the general public  without a license, by collecting deposits from the public disguised as partnership fees and conducted or participated in a money circulation scheme involving K 28,346,800.00 by purporting that the company was investing the money collected as partnership fees from the public into Cryptocurrency trade on the web on behalf of the partners when in fact not.

It is further alleged that the trio obtained money by false pretenses and engaged into money laundering activities involving K 28,346,800.00 by collecting the said amount from members of the public and depositing into the company’s accounts, thereby, engaging directly or indirectly in business transactions that involved proceeds of crime.

DEC Assistant Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Chibu Mwansa Tembo has said in a statement that the three suspects are currently on Police bond and will appear in court soon.

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Taking global action against illicit financial flows

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Taking global action against illicit financial flows

The scope of the issue and how can the international community act in support of the 2030 Agenda

By Radha Kulkarni. Project Advisor, Tax Inspectors Without Borders and Development Finance, Strategic Policy Unit, UNDP

Between 2008-10 Africa had lost US$63.4 bn to illicit financial flows, US$1.2 bn more than what it has received in aid and foreign direct investment. Photo: Stuart Price / UN IST


Domestic public resources are identified as fundamental for development financing. One of the ways in which countries can mobilize these resources is by increasing tax revenues, yet this remains a key challenge for some. According to the OECD, in 2015, African countries as a whole had a total tax revenue to GDP ratio of around 19%, with Latin America and Asia averaging at around 22% and 15% respectively, compared to around 34% for OECD member countries. A variety of factors affect countries’ ability to generate tax revenues, including the presence of large informal and subsistence sectors, narrow tax bases, and dependence on volatile export commodities. Domestic revenues are further undermined by tax evasion and tax avoidance. The term Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) is often used to describe such practices.

There is no universal definition of IFFs, however such flows are commonly understood to fall into three main categories: (i) the acts themselves are illegal (e.g. corruption, smuggling and trafficking in minerals, wildlife, drugs, and people, tax evasion); (ii) the funds that stem from these activities are also illegal; and, (iii) the funds are used for illegal purposes (e.g. organized crime). Global Financial Integrity, a Washington based think-tank working on transparency in the international financial system, estimates that in 2013 US$1.1 trillion left developing countries through IFFs. GFI regards this estimate as highly conservative, as it does not pick up movements of bulk cash, the mispricing of services, or many types of money laundering. The research suggests that about 45% of illicit flows end up in offshore financial centres, and 55% in developed countries.

According to the OECD, between 2008-10, Africa alone had lost US$63.4 billion through trade mispricing and other illicit outflows; more than what it had received in aid and foreign direct investment, which amounts to US$62.2 billion over the same period. Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Nigeria and a global advocate for the fight against malpractices in taxation

: “One of the problems developing countries have is that large corporations or evaders of tax have a lot of expertise.” Beyond reducing much-needed resources for sustainable development, IFFs undermine governance, foster corruption and facilitate transnational organized crime. The issue is therefore rightly on the international policy agenda. As such one of SDG 16 targets (to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, and accountability) is to, "significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, [and] strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime."

Other sources of revenue leakage include those generated by aggressive tax planning strategies, typically by multinational enterprises (MNEs). MNEs engage in highly complex strategies to shift profits from where they are earned to low or no tax jurisdictions; also known as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The problem is exacerbated by knowledge asymmetry between developed and developing countries in terms of identifying, understanding and countering these strategies. According to UNCTAD, an estimated US$100 billion of annual tax revenue losses for developing countries can be attributed to multinationals’ offshore hubs. UNCTAD also notes that MNE contributions to government revenues are around 10 percent in developing countries. Appropriate MNE taxation is central to increasing the domestic resources of developing countries so that taxes are paid where economic activity occurs and value is created.

While working to increase confidence in national tax systems, the international community can help strengthen the tax capacities of developing countries. Photo: MaxPixel

What can be done?

Countries could commit to set nationally-defined revenue collection targets, work to increase domestic financial transparency, address excessive tax incentives, and build their revenue collection capabilities through modernized, progressive tax systems, improved tax policy, and more efficient tax collection. This would help to increase confidence in national tax systems.

The international community meanwhile can help strengthen the tax capacities of developing countries, including through Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Addis Ababa Action Agenda pledged the doubling of aid for taxation efforts from around $222 million in 2015 to almost $450 million by 2020. A recent Oxfam report, however, concludes that donors are not on track to fulfil this promise. There has been some progress at the international level on improving transparency. International initiatives include the UNDP-OECD joint-initiative Tax Inspectors Without Borders, and on automatic exchange of tax information through initiatives as the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the BEPS Action Plan and the G20 Development Working Group’s participation in the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) roadmap. More can be done to tackle anonymity and build the capacities of tax administrations in developing countries, yet to tackle the subject globally, international dialogues and policy-making processes on tax matters must be inclusive and include all countries.

In September 2018, the UN Secretary-General set out a strategy at the high-level meeting on financing the 2030 agenda, with actions that the United Nations will take to help accelerate and deepen the transformation of financial systems. This represents an opportunity for countries to work collaboratively in addressing weaknesses in legal and regulatory regimes, developing common goals of fairness and transparency, and continue building an international discourse on taxation issues to increase domestic revenues and finance development.


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Interpol arrests 27 suspects in crackdown on crime across East Africa

by Kudzai Chinoda -

Interpol arrests 27 suspects in crackdown on crime across East Africa

By CONRAD AHABWE | PML Daily Correspondent

KAMPALA – Uganda Police Force has netted 27 suspects in an operation code-named usalama that is done in conjunction with countries in the region.

The operation that was carried out between 27th September to 2nd October 2018 saw countries that fall under the umbrella of the Eastern African Police Chiefs Organization [EAPCCO] And Southern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization [SARPCCO] conducting it at the same time.

“This operation targeted transnational border crimes which include, theft of motor vehicles, human trafficking, wildlife and environmental crimes, stolen documents, vandalism, narcotic drugs, illicit trade of small and light weapons and terrorism” Director INTERPOL and International Relations, Dr.Fred Yiga said this in a press conference on Friday at INTERPOL offices in Kampala.

He added that the exercise was conducted together with relevant security agencies and statutory public agencies like National Forestry Authority, Wildlife, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Drug Authority, Directorate of Public Prosecution and Immigration.

Yiga noted that 16 were arrested for being in possession of protected tree species, and were sentenced to two years in prison, five for being in possession of wildlife products like leopard skin, game meat, ivory weighing 36.4kgs, while others for vandalism, theft of motor vehicles and dealing in narcotic drugs.

Dr. Yiga highlighted the need for Kenya and Uganda to always conduct periodic regional training on the effects of drug trafficking in order to catch up with the ever-changing trends of criminals in human and drug trafficking.

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