GFI in the News
US Lawmakers Hear Pleas to Save African Elephants, Rhinos
Voice of America, May 24, 2012
By Michael Bowman
The survival of elephants and rhinoceroses in Africa is being threatened by poaching – a multi-billion dollar illegal industry that helps bankroll militias in conflict zones and places local civilian populations at great risk. That was the message experts delivered to U.S. lawmakers, along with a plea for urgent action.
With every passing year, more carcasses of Africa’s biggest animals are left to rot – a trail of death stretching from Kenya to South Africa. Taking note is the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held a hearing on the topic Thursday.
China at heart of ivory plunder surge, US Senate told
MSN Business, May 24, 2012
By Agence France-Presse
Seizures of contraband ivory in Africa and China have soared in recent years as syndicates with deep roots in the billion-dollar wildlife smuggling trade seek to feed the spike in demand among increasingly wealthy Chinese.
The resulting killings — highlighted by the mass slaughter of elephants in Cameroon, where park officials say at least 480 have been killed by poachers since January — are putting the pachyderms at unprecedented risk.
Black money being re-routed into India via real estate deals: Bibek Debroy
The Economic Times, May 22, 2012
Interview with ET Now and Bibek Debroy
ET Now: Let’s take the clock back. Three years ago when UPA came back to power, it was a near perfect scenario for them. The world was recovering from a financial crisis. Commodity prices were low. Interest rates were manageable and momentum was clearly on the side of India. Why do you think UPA II has failed to deliver?
Bibek Debroy: There are several reasons for that. The fundamental reason is reluctance to look inwards and look at our inability to implement reforms. The tendency has been too much to blame what is happening in the rest of the world, the global financial crisis and now Greece. What is the core issue? The core issue fundamentally is that there has been an increase in public expenditure, dramatic increase in public expenditure.
More control on bank transfers
Tico Times (Costa Rica), May 25, 2012
By Clayton R.Norman
Starting July 1, foreign nationals will need to present proof of immigration status to make transactions between Costa Rican banks.
Foreigners will be required to present the Immigration Identification Card for Foreign Persons (DIMEX), when making bank transfers using the National Electronic Payment System. Nothing will change for current legal residents, but beginning in July, foreigners in the country on tourist visas will lose the ability to make transactions between local banks with only a passport as proof of identification.
Senate to amend antilaundering law
Inquirer News (Philippines), May 25, 2012
By TJ Burgonio
Senators have reached a consensus to approve a bill amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla) and a bill against terrorist financing before adjourning on June 7, according to Sen. Franklin Drilon.
“In a caucus last Monday, the Senate leadership and all the senators agreed to pass these two measures,” Drilon told a Senate press forum.
Police accuse Wyclef Jean and Al Sharpton of laundering money for drug kingpin also linked to P. Diddy
Daily Mail (UK), May 24, 2012
Police suspected singer Wyclef Jean and activist and TV host Reverend Al Sharpton of being involved in laundering drug money, Brooklyn federal court has heard.
Mr Jean allegedly received a $60,000 loan from hip hop manager James Rosamond, who is currently on trial for drug charges, and Mr Sharpton was allegedly given a $10,000 donation by the suspected drug kingpin, according to thesmokinggun.com.
300 nabbed for money laundering and tax evasion
The Sun Daily (Malaysia), May 25, 2012
By Hemananthani Sivanandam
A special task force to curb money laundering, income tax and customs duties evasion has scored considerable success in just a year since it was established.
It has uncovered such activities by more than 300 individuals and companies particularly from those involved in the car and liquor import trades, as well as freight forwarding companies.
International money laundering, part 1 of 2: The human toll
Fraud Magazine, May/June, 2012
By Alani M. Mundie
When we think of the average life of a 12-year old girl, rape and forced prostitution aren’t what come to mind. But for many girls, that describes the devastating reality they’re forced into because of the growing prevalence and profitability of human trafficking.
According to the Oct. 22, 2008, Al Jazeera article, “Child sex trade soars in Cambodia,” reporters going undercover found girls as young as 14 forced to work as prostitutes in Cambodia. “Al Jazeera filmed secretly at several brothels, and in each case found much the same thing — rooms full of young women in their early 20s, as well as teenagers.
Illicit Networks and the Rise of “Mafia States”
Council On Foreign Relations, May 24, 2012
By Stewart M. Patrick
The conventional narrative of transnational crime describes a weak nation-state exploited by sophisticated organized criminal groups. In this zero-sum worldview, the state loses control as nonstate actors gain power. In some countries, however, government institutions—from executive bodies to intelligence services to central banks to the police—are involved in a range of illicit activities. In a recent piece in Foreign Affairs, Moises Naim labeled this phenomenon “mafia states,” arguing that the new breed of criminal statehood poses a particular threat to the international community by “blurring the conceptual line” between the licit and illicit worlds.
To analyze the structure of illicit networks and assess gaps, weaknesses, and opportunities in anticrime efforts, Google Ideas and the Council on Foreign Relations launched a new roundtable series. The second roundtable, “Illicit Networks: Mafia States, Nonstate Actors,” convened fifteen experts to deconstruct the concept of ‘mafia states’ and explore its role in illicit networks. The discussion (summarized here) yielded several important observations.
Report: Executives more willing to pay bribes
CNN, May 25, 2012
By Anne Renzenbrink
Despite the financial crisis and the implosion of businesses like Enron over shady business practices, senior executives are now more likely to pay bribes to win business, according to a survey by Ernst & Young.
Of the nearly 400 CFO’s polled from November to February, 15% would make cash payments to win or retain business – up from 9% two years ago.