Twitter Facebook NewsLocal NewsJudge describes drug issues as worryingBy admin – April 20, 2009 409 Previous articleViewers voted Celia most stylish woman on TVNext articleExperience the ancient art of Threading admin Print Linkedin Email A LIMERICK District Court Judge has described as “worrying” the increase in instances where members of the public attempt to pass drugs to prisoners while in custody in Limerick Prison. Judge Tom O’Donnell’s comments came as a 27-year-old woman appeared before a sitting of Limerick District Court charged with bringing a controlled substance into Limerick Prison contrary to Sec 15(c) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The county Limerick woman appeared before Judge O’Donnell where the court was told that the accused allegedly attempted to pass 55 tablets to a prisoner during a visit.The arresting officer, Garda Colleran, told the court of prison officers apprehending the woman as she attempted to orally pass the tablets to a prisoner.Defence solicitor, Sarah Ryan, addressed the court following hearing details of the incident and noted that the drug in question was prescribed to the woman for pain relief following a very bad car accident in which she suffered injuries to her back.Judge O’Donnell noted that these types of offences are on the increase and worryingly, many go undetected and are very serious.“I must congratulate and praise the work of the prison officers and the gardai in this incident as these types of crimes are on a very serious rise.“I’ve noted at least three or four of these in the early parts of this year and its something that could get out of hand very easily.“I must also say that the doctor in question would be very disappointed to know that a patient of theirs would be obtaining tablets, pain killers in this instance, and keeping them to pass on to others.“These are disturbing times for such crimes but I do take into account the early plea and the co-operation offered by the accused. I also note the seriousness of the mitigating factors for the defendant”.Marking the facts of the case proven, Judge O’Donnell issued that a probation report be submitted to the court and subsequent to that, issued bail terms of 100 euro to the accused.The court will hear the findings of the report on June 11. WhatsApp Advertisement
Money Laundering Vulnerabilities In Colombia, corporations and business owners are still learning the risks of getting involved in money laundering actions wittingly or unwittingly. FENALCO suggests employers should be more careful in their business practices to avoid being linked with money laundering. “Many businessmen are acting in good faith and because they did not have the necessary precautions, have permitted money laundering to affect their companies,” FENALCO’s Executive Sub-director Paula Lucia Gómez Velez said of the 40 percent increase in companies with suspicious operations from 2007 to 2009 as reported by the Information and Financial Analysis Unit, or UIAF. These reports have allowed the District Attorney’s office to initiate investigations and freeze assets. This situation occurred in part because anti-money laundering initiatives were seen as an administrative cost by entrepreneurs, a business practice that has changed, she added. The UIAF reported a 70 percent decrease in the number of people involved in money laundering over the same period, showing that individuals are becoming more aware of suspicious transactions. Anti-money laundering specialist John Cassara warned that businessmen need to be more aware of what an association with money laundering can mean for their companies. He said that many businessmen believe that this phenomenon does not touch them and they are unaware that money laundering could severely damage their company’s trade relations. In an interview with Diálogo, Cassara said that businessmen shrug it off, saying “We are not police officers, if somebody wants to buy our products, so what?” The arrest of money launderers Jorge Enrique Jiménez Urrego and Myriam Rincón Molina by Colombian authorities and their designation on Clinton’s List shows how international cooperation can help address criminal financial threats. Gómez Velez believes that Colombia’s experience combating money laundering has made the country’s regulations among the most comprehensive in the international community. By Dialogo October 01, 2010 To the untrained eye, they looked like tourists. But it was business, not pleasure, that brought Jorge Enrique Jiménez Urrego and Myriam Rincón Molina to places such as Peru, Chile and the United States. They took Colombian drug money and laundered it, benefiting the 27th front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Jiménez Urrego was the head of a Colombian money laundering ring operating under several agricultural companies. He was also part of an international laundering chain, illegally using currency exchange houses to move $47 million in FARC cash into the financial systems of the countries he visited. Rincón Molina was associated with a money laundering network assembled by Jiménez Urrego’s relatives and front persons through money exchange professionals or “cambistas.” Since 2004, their trips had been watched by Colombian authorities and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA. Police in Colombia, Peru and Chile organized an operation in their countries that broke the criminal network and led to their capture and 31 more detentions in May 2008. The arrests of Jiménez Urrego and Rincón Molina showed Colombia’s commitment to eliminate criminal financial empires. Even though money laundering has been broadly criminalized in Colombia, the country remains a preferred site for money laundering activity in large part because of the narcotrafficking business that takes place within its borders. The Colombian government continues to fight the financial infrastructure of criminal and terrorist organizations using national laws and international economic measures. A Country’s Commitment Globally, the narcotrafficking business generates $300 billion a year according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. To legitimize the illicit profit, drug kingpins are using traditional and emerging money laundering methods to avoid detection and stay one step ahead of the law. Drug cartels “try to diversify their risk, so they will not just use one channel; they will use a variety of channels to move their funds,” Latin American studies professor Francisco González from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC told Diálogo in an interview. In Colombia, the government employs legal instruments to address the financial threat of criminal organizations. For example, the Extinction of Dominion over Assets law is defined as the loss of rights to an asset, which is handed over to the State through an official process. The law, created in 1996 and modified in 2002, applies when assets are acquired directly or indirectly from criminal activity. Today, the law has become a legislative model for other governments in Latin America, such as Mexico and Peru. The Information and Financial Analysis Unit, or UIAF, was created to prevent and detect money laundering in different economic sectors. The UIAF was consolidated in 1999 and is a special administrative unit ascribed to the Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit with legal capacity and administrative autonomy. Banks, mutual and investment funds, wire transfers and casinos are among the entities that it oversees. In its 11 years of operation, the UIAF has been considered “one of the leaders in anti-money laundering efforts in Latin America,” Colombian banking association, Asobancaria, Chief María Mercedes Cuéllar said in a speech at a threat finance conference in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2009. In recent years, anti-money laundering reporting requirements have broadened to other economic sectors such as lotteries, bingo games, betting parlors and notaries. Money laundering became a crime in Colombia in 2000 and penalties range from six to 15 years for those convicted of the offense. The country also participates in the Financial Action Task Force, or GAFI, an intergovernmental body that promotes policies to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism. At Colombia’s GAFI compliance evaluation, the nation “obtained a satisfactory final qualification of 4 on a scale from 1 to 5,” Cuéllar added. Economic Sanctions Colombian authorities are working closely with partner nations to defeat money laundering networks. “Without international cooperation it is impossible to defeat transnational crime,” then-Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Luján said at the Latin American and Caribbean Police Summit in Cartagena in May 2010. “We need to unite efforts that can allow us to capture criminals that affect not only Colombia, but the international community.” One of the international tools that Colombia is using to take action against the financial networks of criminal and terrorist organizations is the U.S. List of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, commonly known in Latin America as “Clinton’s List” because it was revised during former President Bill Clinton’s time in office. The Designated List is part of the Kingpin Act, which applies financial measures against significant foreign drug traffickers. In addition, it prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and entities, and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction. In an interview with Diálogo, Douglas Farah, a Latin American analyst and senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the Colombian government “immediately saw the act’s benefits and embraced it.” The first designees on the list were the Cali cartel’s leaders, Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela. Together they built a $7 billion-a-year empire that by the mid-1990s supplied 80 percent of the world’s cocaine, according to the DEA. They came up with different ways of hiding cocaine, running the gamut from cement pillars, frozen broccoli, and laundered drug proceeds through businesses that appeared legitimate such as a chain of discount pharmacies, according to the U.S. newspaper The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. After 15 years, the list continues to prove successful in helping capture narcotraffickers. The recent designation of Jorge Enrique Jiménez Urrego to the Clinton List on May 6, 2010, shows the international efforts to eradicate the economic power of criminal organizations. U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, Director Adam J. Szubin stated: “The Jiménez Urrego money laundering organization [is] responsible for facilitating the movement of millions of dollars for the FARC in support of its narcoterrorist activities.” In the past, the drug kingpin designations were “once largely seen as a U.S. tool trying to deal with a U.S. problem” of drug consumption, Farah said. Luckily, he added, that view has changed as the region becomes more aware of the financial threats that criminal organizations pose in nations where they operate. Farah explained that even though the act does not have the capacity to end drug trafficking or criminal activities, it “has removed those organizations where kingpins are targeted as substantial threats to the state.” The positive results obtained in the fight against money laundering are acknowledged by governmental and private entities. For example, Cuéllar thanked OFAC for its support and endorsement of the Colombian financial sector in her 2009 speech. The positive effects of the list are also identified by the Colombian National Federation of Merchants, or FENALCO, Bogotá branch. The list “has become a good mechanism and the businessmen have grown accustomed to it,” FENALCO’s Executive Sub-director Paula Lucia Gómez Velez told Diálogo. “It is his reputation [the businessman] that is in play.” As of June 2010, more than 1,500 Colombian citizens and 700 national companies were on the list. There are also ways to be removed, OFAC director Szubin told the Colombian Newspaper El Tiempo. In the past three years, he said, 330 Colombians have been removed from the list. “Nobody has been mistakenly included on the Clinton List,” he said.
K2 Management has opened an office in Beijing to support China’s wind and solar market.Active in Asia since 2010, K2 Management has been working in China on several projects for local and international clients.Country Director for K2 Management in China, James Wu, said: “We think the time is right for us now to be present in China, especially as offshore wind is now really taking off. There is a growing demand for independent, experienced support, so we decided to put down roots in China. This means we are better able to support our local as well as international clients who have an interest in the market.”The office, based in the business area of Beijing, is already working on projects and forms part of the Asia Pacific arm of the company which has offices in Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Australia.“With strong support from the government through the implementation of a renewables strategy, and a demand from both developers and investors seeking expertise in developing projects, we are looking forward to supporting the country in achieving its energy goals and supporting the growth of this promising market,” said Per Melgaard, co-founder of K2 Management.
Scott O’Leary, Esports Battle LeagueThe Esports Battle League (EBL) and WHAM Network Inc.,have today announced a digital media partnership set to kick off in June ahead of the inaugural season of the EBL. The joint venture marks the first media deal for EBL, and moreover, the first esports distribution deal for WHAM. The EBL is an interesting one, as the league, despite not having announced the titles involved, recently announced that it had sold three franchise slots for $1 million a piece. Backed and run by Rivalcade, the league willconsist of a number of geo-located franchised spots across North America.If you know your US geography, you can check these out in full here. The confirmed franchise slots are Elevate in Denver, Circa in Miami and Simplicity in Las Vegas. The WHAM Network is partnered with content distributor Cinedigm. According to the press release, WHAM’s distribution will ‘include participation on embedded, mobile, and connected device platforms across the world, with programming and content focusing on the lifestyle and culture of gaming on a global basis’. Outside of just North America, WHAM will also be rolling out in East Asia as part of Cinedigm’s reciprocal distribution partnership with China.The EBL was co-founded by Scott O’Leary, and has some considerable traditional sports involvement too with former National Lacrosse League Commissioner George Daniel, and former NBA Players Association Chief Counsel Bob Lanza making up the founding trio. The EBL features head-to-head team matches in a best-of-three format. It’ll pit teams against each other in ‘a variety of popular genre-spanning titles’. The EBL expects to field eight to ten teams in the upcoming season, each competing in a traditional league format with the team that has the best two out of three scores advancing in the competition. Scott O’Leary, EBL Co-founder and CEO commented: “The number of people involved in the lifestyle and culture of gaming is expanding at an exponential rate, with yearly revenue growth projecting it to be a 1.5 billion dollar business by 2020. As such, we are very excited to become a lasting part of this flourishing community with the launch of our initial season. “We look forward to streaming intense esports matches paired with exclusive shoulder content that includes in-depth player interviews, gameplay analysis, and specials highlighting the road to the championship each widely distributed across the extensive WHAM Network, which is dedicated to creating and distributing quality content in this space.”“We love the EBL vision,” noted Gary Kleinman, WHAM Founder. “Their integration of esports and lifestyle content is a perfect fit for WHAM. The EBL represents a truly fresh and different perspective on franchise esports competition.”Esports Insider says: So we’re still none the wiser as to which games will form a part of the inaugural Esports Battle League. But even so the league has managed to secure an interesting sounding partnership with the WHAM Network. We’re certainly intrigued to find out which ‘popular genre spanning titles’ are chosen, and we assume we’ll be in the know sooner rather than later.