Friday June 15, 2012
From the Task Force Blog:
GFI in the News
The Financial Crimes That Are Destroying The Economy Of The Developing World
Fast Company, June 14, 2012
By Oscar Abello
Let?s say I?m a South Africa-based factory owner and you?re a solar panel salesperson from New York City. I want some solar panels to make my factory more self-sufficient, and we agree I?ll pay you $1 million for them. But I ask you a favor: Could you invoice me for $1.2 million and then deposit the extra $200,000 that I just gave you into another company?s bank account in New York City. You?re eager to close a big sale, so we agree to the deal.
You might know false invoicing is illegal, you might not, but it?s very unlikely either of us gets caught anyway. What you don?t know is that I actually made most of that $1,200,000 from my side business, smuggling poached elephant ivory to China; the money I?m about to wire into your bank account comes from my Canary Islands bank account where I send all my business earnings to minimize tax obligations; and I?m going to use that $200,000 to purchase stolen art from a broker in midtown Manhattan so I can decorate my future retirement home in the Seychelles, where another company I control anonymously just purchased some beachfront property.
Indian Telecom Company Bharti Airtel Ordered To Pay Rs 7 Billion For Tax Evasion
International Business Times, June 15, 2012
By Sreeja Vn
The Bangalore bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) has asked Indian telecom company Bharati Airtel to pay over Rs 7 billion fine for evading customs duty by undervaluing hardware imports.
The tribunal last week ordered Bharti Airtel to pay a differential duty liability of Rs 2.1551 billion along with a penalty for a similar amount and a redemption fine of Rs. 1.89 billion, according to a Business Line report.
Tax avoidance campaigners can challenge Goldman deal
BBC, June 13, 2012
The High Court has given tax avoidance campaigners permission to challenge a deal between HM Revenue and Customs and investment bank Goldman Sachs.
UK Uncut was given leave to challenge the legality of a deal, enabling Goldman to avoid a multi-million-pound interest bill on unpaid tax on bonuses.
Punjab tightens its noose on tax evaders
Hindustan Times, June 15, 2012
The Punjab government Thursday tightened its noose on tax evaders by coming out with a comprehensive policy to honour whistleblowers giving reliable information on tax evasion. The policy aimed at involving pubic at large in assuring tax compliance by the traders and industrialists and individual tax payers assures anonymity of the informers besides offering them attractive prizes.
Excise and taxation commissioner A Venu Prasad, disclosing this said that the excise and taxation department had girded up its loins to eliminate the menace of tax evasion from the state by starting this exclusive campaign against the tax evaders.
NYC lawyer for suspected terrorists indicted in Syracuse on tax evasion charges
The Post-Standard, June 14, 2012
By John O’Brien
A high-profile New York City lawyer who once said he?d be willing to represent Osama bin Laden was indicted in Syracuse today on income tax evasion charges accusing him of underreporting cash payments from his clients.
A federal grand jury indicted Stanley L. Cohen on charges that he didn?t file individual and corporate income tax returns as he was required to do from 2005 through 2010, and that he tried to evade IRS detection of large cash payments from two clients in 2008 and 2010.
Nigeria: U.S.$620,000 Bribery Scandal – Police Detain Farouk Lawan Overnight
Leadership (Nigeria), June 15, 2012
By Georgr Agba, Edegbe Odemwingie, Chika Otuchikere, Uchenna Awom, and Adesuwa Tsan
The acting inspector-general of police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the detention of Hon. Farouk Lawan over his alleged complicity in a $3million bribery allegation.
Abubakar was said to have ordered the legislator’s detention overnight after Lawan failed to convince the police interrogators.
Wal-Mart expands foreign corruption probe
CNN Money, June 14, 2012
By Aaron Smith
Wal-Mart is expanding an investigation of alleged corrupt business practices beyond Mexico to other nations, including China, according to two Democratic congressmen.
Rep. Henry Waxman of California and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, ranking members of two House committees, said the retailer’s outside counsel was retained to look into anti-corruption policies and operations in Brazil and China, as well as Mexico.
Commerzbank had anti-money laundering lapses: Fed
Reuters, June 14, 2012
Reporting By Mark Felsenthal and Dave Clarke
The Federal Reserve said on Thursday the U.S. branch of German bank Commerzbank AG (CBKG.DE) had lapses in its anti-money laundering systems that are supposed to prevent the flow of shadowy funds through the U.S. financial system.
The Fed and the bank have entered into an agreement requiring the Commerzbank to take steps to clean up its anti-money laundering programs. The Fed did not fine the bank for the shortcomings.
In Mexico, case of ex-governor and narcos reads like crime thriller
The Washington Post, June 14, 2012
By William Booth
The political watchers are calling it the Yarrington Affair, and it is beginning to read just like a Robert Ludlum thriller, alive with conspiracy theories and hidden motives. There are drug cartels, luxury condos and the highest political stakes. But so far, there?s no Jason Bourne, no lone hero.
The story begins with a suave Mexican politician ensnared in a widening corruption investigation in the middle of a presidential election, as the ruling party panics about an impending loss of power.
The Zetas: Coming to a racetrack near you
The Christian Science Monitor, June 13, 2012
By Sara Miller Llana
Forget ?spillover? violence. It appears that residents living in US towns along the border with Mexico are not the only Americans likely to come into contact with Mexico’s drug traffickers.
There is already ample evidence of how Mexican traffickers have infiltrated American cities. The Department of Justice says Mexican drug trafficking organizations were operating in more than 1,000 of them as of 2010.
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) promotes national and multilateral policies, safeguards, and agreements aimed at curtailing the cross-border flow of illegal money. In putting forward solutions, facilitating strategic partnerships, and conducting groundbreaking research, GFI is leading the way in efforts to curtail illicit financial flows and enhance global development and security.
For additional information please visit http://www.gfintegrity.org.