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Wednesday News Wall 04 May 2016

CORRUPTION

 KNOWING how corruption flourishes under weak oversight and leadership structures, it is singularly worrying that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) hasn’t had a board of directors for nearly 2 years despite having a board chairman in office.

EGYPT has the 2nd highest corruption level in the MENA (Middle-East and North Africa) region. According to the TI report, Yemen leads the way in MENA graft.

 THE former Prime Minister of Kenya admits that he, like other Kenyans has had to give bribes to get things done.

THIS article may explain why so many Kenyans have to part with bribes by pointing out in stark terms the correlation between countries with high levels of bureaucracy and high levels of corruption.

However, it is also important to note that this correlation is clearest with respect to bribery. Not all forms of corruption fit into this model. For example, it’s not so easy to explain embezzlement of state funds and assets in terms of bureaucratic red-tape. The same goes for conflict of interest by decision makers. It may be that reducing the level of bureaucracy may reduce the opportunities for these other crimes (or the number of sticky fingers within reach of state assets) but the direct link is not as obvious as with bribery of public officials.

THE South African Supreme Court of Appeal re-instated over 700 corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma. But it’s been nearly a decade since the original proceedings started- talk about justice delayed!

 CRIMINAL LAW

 OTHERS have noted that the Kenyan government continues its assault on the ICC. Indeed the Deputy President, not content with the dismissal of charges against him, is making lurid tabloid-style accusations against the prosecutor’s office.

AFTER the report last week on how Mombasa police and clergy were collaborating against crime and criminal gangs, this week we hear that criminal gangs in that county are on the rise as elections draw near.

PEOPLE may wonder what is the best practice for a government to follow when shutting down a website from reasons of crime prevention. This article sets out best practices from Australia. Also, here is the government report on best practices in addressing the use of telecoms systems and facilities for crime.

KENYAN police have arrested several people suspected of planning a biological attack on Kenyan soil.

BUT the Kenyan police also allegedly executed 8 people suspected of robbery. The youngest victim was 15 years old. So it’s one step forward, two steps back with our Police Service.

The Commonwealth may use blockchain technology to help fight cross-border crime.

The US Military found evidence of negligence and recklessness but no war crimes liability with respect to the bombing of the Kunduz hospital. The finding is discussed here and here.

 MONEY LAUNDERING

 ONE of the suspects in the Bangladesh Bank $81 million case has handed over 230 million Philippine pesos (roughly $4.8 million). What caught my eye is that the suspect, a casino junket operator, defended himself by saying he’d been unaware of the source of the money because:-

 “junket operators like him do not ask players about the origin of their funds.”

That’s an astounding statement given that casinos are well known to be an AML risk. It suggests that either he’s being disingenuous or there are serious gaps in Pilipino casino regulation (which I discussed last Monday).

THE EU is discontinuing the €500 which had apparently won the love and respect of money launderers. No new notes will be issued from existing stocks after 2018. The reason launderers love it, according to Europol, is ease of concealment: €1 million in denominations of €500 weighs just 2.2kg and can fit in a laptop bag whereas the same amount in denominations of €50 weighs 22kg and would need a bulky suitcase. Criminals cherish the note so much that its exchange rate in the underworld is sometimes above its face value.

HONG KONG is stepping up enforcement actions after concern that it could be an important route for illicit money flows out of China.


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