Screenshot 2018-12-14 at 10.34.31 AM - Edited

Michael Farmer, the London-based hedge fund manager and Conservative Party co-treasurer, photographed in his Red Kite Capital Management office in the City of London. Dubbed ‘Mr Copper’ he is one of Britain’s richest men.

Iain Macrae, who ran metals trading at Barclays until his firing in 2011, was let go “for irresponsible risk taking” that led to a $327 million loss. Macrae’s colleague Christian Saunders, a copper trader at the bank’s Canary Wharf desk, also suffered losses totaling $69.2 million was “summarily dismissed,” citing Barclays documents. Red Kite’s $850 million lawsuit has unearthed these trading losses at Barclays Plc.

Hedge fund Red Kite has filed a lawsuit against Barclays Plc, alleging the bank manipulated the copper market to its advantage, causing the hedge fund to lose $850 million.

 

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https://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/12-12-18-letter-to-judge-burke-wm.pdf

[November 30 2018  Weinstein moves to dismiss remaining 5 counts   ]

Harvey Weinstein by his attorney Benjamin Brafman has moved a Manhattan judge to dismiss the five remaining criminal charges against him, providing additional details to support his claim that police misconduct tainted grand jury proceedings and that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that he had a consensual relationship with one of his alleged victims. “Simply put, because of the unprecedented and outrageous misconduct already documented in this case, this court should properly give serious consideration to dismissal of this deeply flawed indictment, either for the legal reasons we have provided or so that the integrity of the criminal justice system can be restored,” Brafman wrote in the 51-page document.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office dropped one of six charges in the case earlier, amid revelations that New York City Police Detective Nicholas DiGaudio, who led the investigation against Weinstein, did not tell prosecutors that a witness had provided him with an account that contradicted that of Lucia Evans, who claimed that Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex in 2004.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/20/entertainment/weinstein-case-unraveling-questions/index.html

 

[October 23 2018   Harvey Weinstein to make “important, brilliant films”   ]

Benjamin Brafman, the lawyer representing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, claims the 66-year-old could return to the entertainment industry and make “important, brilliant films”.

 

[ September 3  Weinstein removed condom and continued to rape – LA complaint   ]

Luciano Silighini Garagnani, a Conservative D-list Italian casting director turned filmmaker, proudly paraded a t-shirt which read “Weinstein is Innocent”

The 42-year-old’s latest film, which was released in Italy earlier this year, provided a positive angle on Mr Berlusconi’s notorious “bunga-bunga” sex parties.

weinstein emmaloman

Emma Loman is suing for violation of human trafficking laws, assault, battery and false imprisonment and seeking compensatory damages of no less than $75,000 as well as punitive damages.During the alleged rape, the suit claims Weinstein “bragged that he had recently received a negative result from an HIV test. Then, over Loman’s continued protests, he removed the condom he had been wearing and continued to rape Loman.”

[August 2 Harvey Weinstein’s indictment, Brady rule, naughty emails ]
Harvey Weinstein's defense says emails with rape accuser clear him, will ask for charges to be dismissed based on grand jury error

“They are endearing, intimate, present, friendly, flattering, emails between her and Mr. Weinstein,” the lawyer said to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath. The defendant must prove that there is a “reasonable probability” that the outcome of the trial would have been different, had the evidence been disclosed by the prosecutor. See Kyles, 514 U.S. at 433 (1955).

[   Harvey Weinstein NOT under house arrest in light of new charges   ]

harvey-weinstein-mansion-to-be-demolished

Harvey Weinstein living in his oceanfront estate

A judge denied a request from prosecutors July 9 to place Harvey Weinstein under house arrest in light of new charges against the movie producer that carry a penalty of life in prison if he is convicted.

Brought into the courtroom in handcuffs, Weinstein, 66, was released on bail after pleading not guilty in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in 2006.

Three women have now accused him of forcing them to have sex against their will over the last 14 years, and the new indictment includes two counts of predatory sexual assault, opening him up to a life sentence.

Michael Spavor is a businessman based in Dandong, near the Chinese border with North Korea. He has ties to the North Korean government and has met its leader Kim Jong-un many times. Canadian foreign ministry spokesman Guillaume Bérubé confirmed that Mr Spavor had contacted them earlier in the week because “he was being asked questions by Chinese authorities”.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/doj-tool-trade-chinese-exec-case-official-vows/story?id=59775531

“If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump

The US has until January 8, 60 days from the arrest date to turn over its full extradition case with supporting evidence.

A British Columbia justice granted bail of $10 million Canadian (US$7.5 million) to Meng, but required her to wear an ankle bracelet, surrender her passports, stay in Vancouver and its suburbs and confine herself to one of her two Vancouver homes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

 

 

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained. Kovrig works for the International Crisis Group, an independent conflict resolution think-tank. Saying he was “deeply concerned,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed that Canada was aware a Canadian citizen was detained in China.

Screenshot 2018-12-08 at 8.30.45 AM - Edited

 

Shi Yinhong, director of Renmin University’s Centre for American Studies and an adviser to the State Council, said that the Meng incident put China in a bind between the need to show it can protect its business people abroad without spooking other advanced industrial nations with a strong response against Canada.

The Global Times’ editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin,

“It is also one of China’s core interests to improve China’s relations with the U.S. and the West, and not to lead Sino-U.S. relations to the direction of a Cold War,” Hu said, at one point holding up his iPhone.

 

 

 

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, John Gibb-Carsley, the lawyer representing Canada’s attorney general told a Vancouver bail hearing ,refused to visit the US, where her son attends school, which was evidence of a sustained effort to evade a criminal investigation.

Meng was arrested on December 5 as she travelled to Mexico.

[December 7 CFO of Huawei arrested while changing planes   ]

Screenshot 2018-12-05 at 8.41.07 PM - Edited.png

Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies, 46, faces “unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York” and was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada.
In April, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into whether Huawei, which manufactures smartphones and other electronics, sold equipment to Iran despite sanctions on exporting to the region.  The Trump administration urged America’s allies to stop using Huawei telecommunications equipment because the Chinese company poses a security threat,    Last month New Zealand blocked Huawei from rolling out 5G mobile coverage over national security fears, following scrutiny of the firm by the UK, Japan and others.   CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou allegedly told employees in an earlier internal talk on compliance that there are scenarios where the company can weigh the costs and accept the risks of temporary non-compliance.

[December 3   Rise of China’s technology: 5G fearmongering?   ]

china 5g

5G development has become a bogeyman for the Trump administration .

If “big data” is the new oil of the digital era, then 5G is the next set of pipes that will deliver it – and unlike previous generations, China is determined to own more of this infrastructure, giving it mastery of its own industrial future. This not only sets it up a competitive technology clash, it also raises a number of national security issues for Western governments concerned about the integrity of 5G networks.
Phones, tablets, computers – devices such as home appliances, cars, dog collars, and many more are getting connected via the Internet of Things. 5G, which stands for “fifth generation,” is an upcoming standard for mobile telecommunications service. 5G technology will utilize a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum called millimeter wave that allows data to be transferred much more rapidly than the lower-frequency band dedicated to 4G. The downside is that millimeter wave signals don’t travel as far: The new 5G networks will require many more (albeit smaller) antennas spaced closer together than previous wireless generations. 5G home broadband, is essentially broadband without the cable. Of course, 5G is also much faster.

“Basically, power, money and politics is going east,” Younger said. “That’s a new political reality we need to adjust to.”

He said 5G reliance on Chinese technology was something Britain needed to discuss, though a bigger issue was the likely Chinese future dominance of emerging technologies.

Younger said he had been struck by President Xi Jinping’s “made in China” ambitions and that Beijing could within decades dominate all of the key emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics.

“This is something we really need to think about,” Younger said. “The future of knowledge is in play.” The head the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, Alex Younger.
Huawei dismisses American fears about its intentions as nationalistic fearmongering. It says it has no more connection to the Chinese government than Apple or Google and that installing backdoors for spies in its network hardware or software would be tantamount to market suicide.

[ July 29 2011  China Oil corruption: Zhou Yongkang, the backer of Bo Xilai, now ensnarled   ]

China’s ruling Communist Party has put former security chief Zhou Yongkang — one of its most powerful men — under investigation.
Zhou had been a patron of Bo Xilai, who he is said to have backed for a slot on the PSC. Bo was jailed for life in September 2013 for corruption and abuse of power. Bo’s fall from grace, and that of his convicted murderer wife Gu Kailai, was China’s most dramatic political scandal since the trial of the Gang of Four after the Cultural Revolution. It was inevitable the Bo investigation would soon ensnarl Zhou too.

Zhou, 71, was born in the eastern industrial city of Wuxi in 1942, the son of a senior Communist defence procurement bureaucrat. Three years after entering Suzhou Middle School in 1958, he enrolled in the Beijing Petroleum Institute, now called the China University of Petroleum. He got his start in the 1970s as a technician for the Liaohe Oil Exploration Bureau in the northeastern province of Liaoning, home to China’s third-largest oil field.

In ordering the investigation of Mr. Zhou, Xi has broken with an unwritten understanding that members of the Standing Committee will not be investigated after retirement.
Two of Zhou’s former secretaries – Yu Gang and Ji Wenlin – and one of his former security guards, Tan Hong, faced charges over accepting bribes. Xinjiang’s former No 2 party official, Yang Gang, faced similar charges.
Mr. Zhou’s son, a sister-in-law and his son’s mother-in-law held assets worth some $1 billion, much of it in the oil and gas sector that was Mr. Zhou’s political fiefdom.
3/31/2014 China has seized at least $14.5 billion of assets from family and associates of the country’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang in the biggest corruption scandal since the Communist Party came to power in 1949
More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies and staff have been taken into custody or questioned.
The amount of money involved vastly exceeds the $2.7 billion of assets said in 2012 to be controlled by the family of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao.
If the reported $14.5 billion of assets were ultimately owned by Zhou and excluded debt, his fortune would rank at No. 69 on Forbes magazine’s latest tally of the world’s billionaires.
7
1 September 2013 Jiang Jiemin is also the subject of a corruption investigation. Until March Mr Jiang was head of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which has faced a number of corruption allegations. Another four CNPC executives were under investigation for corruption.

Historian Zhang Lifan said the investigation into Zhou showed factional struggles within the party were intensifying.

“We need to watch whether the struggle stops with Zhou. Xi might have won the ultimate victory, and it could stop there,” Zhang said. “After all, such a struggle is hurting the party, too, because it reveals to the public so many ugly things.”

[October 4 2011 Financial contagion from Chinese export dip

Yuan contagion

Yuan contagion

Now Beijing is expanding the use of the RMB in other financial centers, to allow for foreign holdings of the currency to be used for direct investment in China. According to Arvin Subramanian of the Financial Times, “the process is micro-managed, interventionist, and enclave-based – not a day seems to pass without some foreign entity, or country being granted greater but selective access to the renminbi.” Last week, the Financial Times reported that “China is for the first time to give formal backing to moves by British banks to turn the City of London into an offshore trading center for the renminbi.” Furthermore, the Economist reports that “in Singapore, banks now offer yuan deposits and bond funds. Its central bank is one of a dozen that have agreements with the Peoples Bank of China to swap their currencies for yuan.” here

As Premier Wen Jiabao famously put it back in 2007, the country’s growth is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable.” In such a crisis, China’s economic weight would become a liability. The IMF estimates that the impact of Chinese demand on the world’s largest economies has more than doubled over the past decade. A deteriorating outlook for Chinese imports could send commodity prices plummeting, precipitating heavy losses for investors and risking financial contagion. more

Vonn comeback December 18?

9 December, 2018

skysports-lindsey-vonn-skiing_4505272

Her next target could be a downhill and super-G in Val Gardena, Italy on December 18 and 19.   “That really has nothing to do with me wanting to race in Lake Louise. ”

 

The whole point of having one last season is to have one last season, to race in every single race one last time.”

Screenshot 2018-12-08 at 9.14.02 AM

In a court filing, prosecutors said former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen arranged the secret payments at the height of the 2016 campaign “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, a remarkable disclosure with potential political and legal ramifications for a president dogged by investigations. The payments are likely to become a target for House Democrats gearing up to investigate the president next year. It’s unclear whether Trump faces legal jeopardy over his role. At trial, John Edwards’s lawyers argued that the payments were aimed at hiding his affair with Rielle Hunter from Edwards’s wife, and were not an election related cover up. Jurors acquitted Edwards on one count related to a payment made after he had already suspended his campaign and deadlocked on five other counts. The judge declared a mistrial, and the Justice Department opted not to retry the case.

[July 25 2018]

Rielle Hunter:  Sen. John Edwards 2007 call-girl friend worked for Anna Gristina?Lanny Davis said to NBC News that the content of the Cohen-Trump tape “sounds like a John Edwards case.”

From a legal perspective, the more pressing question is whether the proposed payment to McDougal—whether in the form of cash or a check—would have represented a campaign expenditure, and whether the Trump campaign was planning to disclose it. Since the deal with American Media, Inc., the Enquirer’s parent company, appears not to have gone through, this issue may seem to be moot—but it might not be. Cohen’s payment of a hundred and thirty thousand dollars to the porn star Stormy Daniels, who also claims to have had an affair with Trump, did go through.

[ April 24 2012  Next Witness: Andrew Young, former aide to former U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate John Edwards ]

 

The 28,200-square-foot Edwards home in Orange County valued at $6 million

The 28,200-square-foot Edwards home in Orange County valued at $6 million

The 28,200-square-foot Edwards home in Orange County, main house is 10,400 square feet and has two garages. The recreation building, a red, barn-like building containing 15,600 square feet, is connected to the house by a closed-in and roofed structure of varying widths and elevations that totals 2,200 square feet. The main house is all on one level except for a 600-square-foot bedroom and bath area above the guest garage. The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.”

The High Point

The High Point

The Family Men

The Family Men

Oct. 10, 2007: The National Enquirer publishes its first report on Edwards’ affair, but doesn’t release the name of the woman. Edwards’ spokesperson says the allegations are “false, absolute nonsense.”
Oct. 11, 2007: “The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous,” Edwards tells reporter.
Oct. 22, 2007: Edwards has been having an affair with his campaign staff videographer, Rielle Hunter, the Enquirer reports.
Dec. 12, 2007: A pregnant Hunter tells the Enquirer that Andrew Young, a longtime Edwards aide, is the father of the baby. “This has no relationship to nor does it involve John Edwards in any way,” Rielle says.
Dec. 31, 2007: The Enquirer reports that there is a massive cover-up taking place to protect the former senator.
Jan. 30, 2008: Edwards drops out of the race.
July 22, 2008: The Enquirer catches Edwards trying to leave the Beverly Hilton at 2:40 a.m. after visiting Hunter and their daughter.
July 23, 2008: “I don’t talk about these tabloids. They’re tabloid trash and just full of lies,” Edwards tells reporters in Houston.
August 8, 2008: Edwards admits to the affair, telling ABC News’ Bob Woodruff that his political success “fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want.” But he denies again that the baby is his.
August 6, 2009: Hunter testifies before a grand jury about her relationship with Edwards.
Jan. 21, 2010: Edwards owns up to being the father of Hunter’s daughter. “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter, and, hopefully, one day, when she understands, she will forgive me,” he said in a statement.
Jan. 27, 2010: Reports emerge that Edwards and his wife Elizabeth have separated.
Jan. 28, 2010: Young tells ABC’s Bob Woodruff that he has a sex tape Edwards and Hunter made a few months before the Iowa caucuses.
Dec. 7, 2010: Elizabeth Edwards dies after battling cancer.
June 3, 2011: Edwards is indicted on six federal felony charges, including conspiring to violate campaign finance laws. more

The U.S. Air Force has flown the first observation flight under the much-debated Open Skies Treaty in 2018 over Ukraine. The mission comes as Russian and Ukranian forces hold dueling missile drills amid inflamed tensions following a violent skirmish in the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

 

[November 27 2018   Souda Bay Crete USAF flies close to the Crimean Peninsula   ]

crimeaflight - Edited

[27 November 2018, 7:24 am] According to the Ukrainian military portal, A USAF Boeing RC-135V intelligence aircraft was deployed for a reconnaissance mission headed east.

Flight radar monitors show the plane has been flying close to the Crimean Peninsula, a Russian-held territory in the Black Sea. The jet is said to be flying over the Black Sea after leaving a US naval base at Souda Bay on Crete at 5.50am today. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. and allied forces.

[ Moldova laundromat: “we are not going to let it happen any more.” -U.K. ]
The “Laundromat” inquiry demonstrated an alleged Russian-led money laundering scheme, in which $22.3 billion passed through Moldova using Russian shell companies and fictitious loans from offshore companies based in Britain in 2011-2014. [below]

The orders were introduced in the Criminal Finance Act last year but are only now coming into effect. They will force wealthy individuals to explain to UK officials how they acquired assets worth more than £50,000.

Officials estimate that around £90bn of illegal money is laundered through the UK every year.

10 January 2018- The Moscow City Court upheld an order to arrest the Moldovan  oligarch and chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Vladimir Plahotniuc, charged with attempted murder.   The oligarch is charged with attempted murder- possibly connected to the attempted assassination of the Russian banker Herman Gorbuntsov, seriously wounded in London, in 2012.   INTERPOL refused to distribute the international arrest warrant.

Russian assassins have been able to kill in Britain with impunity over the past decade, 17 current and former British and American intelligence officials told BuzzFeed News. The reasons for Britain’s reticence, they said, include fear of retaliation, police incompetence, and a desire to preserve the billions of pounds of Russian money that pour into British banks and properties each year. As a result, Russia is making what one source called increasingly “bold moves” in the UK without fear of reprisals.

[ November 12 2017: U.S. Cav 100 miles from Russia’s Kaliningrad ]

usmoldova2016

CHISINAU, Moldova – May 8, 2016

The U.S. announced Thursday October 12 the arrival of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in a Polish NATO outpost located about 100 miles from Russia’s militarized enclave of Kaliningrad.

[March 21 Moldova: Russian money laundering on vast scale ]

salaru_nato20cropped

Vladimir  Plahotniuc, right

A money laundering investigation led by police in Moldova and Latvia has been running for three years. Registered firms played a prominent role in the money laundering network – and the UK’s high street banks processed $740m from the operation without turning back any of the payments
The banking records were obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta from sources who wish to remain anonymous. OCCRP shared the data with the Guardian and media partners in 32 countries.

The documents include details of around 70,000 banking transactions, including 1,920 that took place in the UK and 373 in the U.S.
NCA had been in touch with the authorities in Moldova since 2014 about the Global Laundromat, which he described as “big and pretty unusual”.
Twenty million transactions go through the City and in trades through the money markets each day. A vast amount of business, and only a small amount will be money laundering.

“It’s the size of the challenge which is the problem. It’s beyond a human scale. The sophisticated money launderer will know the tolerances that will trigger alerts. There are pretty smart guys out there. This needs more sophisticated solutions than throwing people at it. It’s not just about the size of the staff.

[December 12 2016 Vladimir Plahotniuc, the country’s main nominally pro-European oligarch]

The election of the pro-Russian socialist Igor Dodon as Moldova’s new president obscures the fact that Vladimir Plahotniuc, the country’s main nominally pro-European oligarch won most from the outcome.Throughout the whole of last year and the first half of 2016, the small, poor republic was shaken by anti-government protests in which tens of thousands of angered citizens took to the streets. The catalyst for the protests was that $1 billion had been syphoned out of three Moldovan banks, seemingly with the connivance of high-level officials.

An apparent paradox of the protests was that people flew European Union flags while demanding the resignation of a pro-European government. But a broad coalition of forces supported the protests, including both the pro-Russian Dodon and the pro-European Sandu.

Throughout its post-independence history, Moldova has fractured on East-West lines, so this union of different forces was unprecedented. Opposition politicians of different allegiances put away their party flags and selected white chrysanthemums as the neutral symbol of the protests.

They were united by an anti-corruption agenda and by a common enemy—the oligarch, Deputy Chairman of the ruling Democratic party Vladimir Plahotniuc. Despite not holding the highest office, Plahotniuc was well known to control the government, the parliament, and the largest media conglomerate in the country.

Moldova’s Constitutional Court had frequently made rulings in Plahotniuc’s favor, and on March 4 this court put an end to the short-lived protest movement. One Friday evening, it decided to repeal the amendment to the Moldovan constitution, enacted in 2000, under which the head of state, the president, has limited powers and is elected by parliament. As the current president, Nicolae Timofti, was set to leave office in March, the court effectively fired the starting gun for the next presidential election.

[June 20 interoperability of Moldovan forces proceeds ]

Moldovan forces receive American training

According to LTC Tudor Martea, Commander of Special Forces Battalion “Fulger”, the exercises included 4 modules of training: advanced firing techniques, close quarters combat, artillery fire call, and a field training exercise.

U.S.role

Several media outlets surround the Minister of Defense of Moldova, Aratal Salaru, to ask him some questions regarding America’s presence in Moldoava during a static display in Chisinau, Moldova, May 5, 2016.

LTC Martea mentioned that within the exercise, over 80 service members were trained by their American colleagues to carry out different missions. Also, they carried out shooting drills with heavy and light infantry weapons of National and US Armies.
June 7, 2016 WARSAW, Poland — Poland has kicked off its joint multinational exercise with heavy US Army participation in order to test readiness and interoperability using 31,000 soldiers from 24 countries, 100 aircraft, 12 vessels and 3,000 vehicles.

[October 8 2015 nuclear smuggling

Oleg Balan, Moldovan Minister of Interior

Oleg Balan, Moldovan Minister of Interior

The United States and Moldova have been working together for years to counter nuclear smuggling, said Eric Lund, spokesman for the Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.

• In July 2010, police seized 1.8 kilograms of Uranium 238, known as yellowcake, in a garage in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. The uranium was worth €9 million ($10.1 million at today’s rates), but the suspects had tried to sell the uranium for €5 million ($5.6 million). Seven people were arrested, including two officers of the former Soviet army.

At the time, Moldova said it wasn’t sure where the uranium came from.

• In 2011, seven people were caught trying to sell 1 kilogram of Uranium 235 that had come from Moldova’s separatist Transnistria region. The suspects had sold a sample to undercover investigators. One of the suspects escaped, though others were arrested. A year later, an appellate court in Chisinau freed three and sentenced the rest to three to five years in jail.

When uranium is mined, it is 99.3% Uranium 238 and 0.7% Uranium 235, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.

Nuclear reactors must have a higher concentration of Uranium 235 than naturally exists in the mined material, so the U 235 isotope is enriched to about 5%, the commission says.

• In February 2015, authorities arrested two Moldovans in the capital on suspicion of trying to sell a half kilogram of radioactive Caesium 135. The arrest came after the suspects sold a sample of 83 grams for €100,000 ($112,440).

Moldovan authorities cooperated with the FBI in all three investigations, Balan said.

[August 10 Moldova: bank failures prompt IMF visit]

An IMF mission was now expected to visit from September 21 to look at prospects for a new support program after bamk failures.
Fraudsters in Moldova in November 2014 pulled off a $1 billion bank theft, led in turn to the bankruptcy of the country’s three major banks, a currency crisis, and a sharp economic slump. The mechanisms used for shifting the funds from BEM and Banca de Sociala – in particular the tell-tale use of Scottish shell companies established at the same addresses – repeat the mechanisms used in previous corporate raids and major money-laundering schemes in Moldova. This suggests that at least the engineers of the scheme were high-placed Moldovan insiders. But why would high-placed insiders implement such a scheme for the benefit of an outsider such as 28-year-old businessman Ilan Shor ? Or is Shor rather a proxy or fall guy for them?
The Scottish shell companies involved, Manitoba Management Limited, was registered at the 41 Duke Street address; another two companies, Dixon Corporation and Ayden Management Limited, were registered at 69 Brunswick Street and 71 Brunswick Street, respectively. Fortuna Limited and Novland Limited, were registered at the 18/2 Royston Mains Street address.

[May 21 Moldova at Riga EU meeting tempted by Russia]

While the European market is much bigger and richer than Russia’s, Mr. Putin imposed tight trade restrictions in 2013 on Moldova in retaliation for its flirtation with the West. For now, exports to Europe have not yet risen enough to make up for what was lost in Russia

Apr 21, 2015 “Wind Spring 15” – NATO military exercise in Romania, near the Moldovan and Ukrainian border
“Wind Spring 15” – Over 2.000 military and 500 army vehicles, of which 400 tanks and armored vehicles, involved in a NATO military exercise in Romania, at the Smardan firining range in Galati county, near the Moldovan and Ukrainian border.

[March 21 Russia warns against U.S. military maneuver, convoy of 120 U.S. Army Strykers departs Estonia]

Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment provide security in Stryker armored vehicles) in Hohenfels, Germany,

Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment provide security in Stryker armored vehicles in Hohenfels, Germany,

A “Dragoon Ride” will take 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, troops from training locations in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland and convoy them through Latvia and the Czech Republic to Vilseck.The US Army squadron wrapping several months of training with allies in Poland will take its Strykers through the Baltics March 21 through April 1, stopping in a new community each night. The vehicles are part of an armored brigade’s worth of equipment the Army plans to station in Europe. The U.S. military maneuver, set to begin March 21, will involve a convoy of 120 U.S. Army Strykers. Over ten days, the eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles will stop in a different border area community each night to showcase the ability of U.S. forces to transport troops quickly, and to assure Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland of NATO’s commitment.

Such an exercise, Russia’s foreign ministry said March 20, undermines the Russia-NATO Founding Act. “According to our estimates, in case of the deployment of U.S. armour on the permanent basis on NATO’s eastern flank in the mentioned amounts there will emerge solid reasons for calling in question the alliance’s compliance with these liabilities.”

March 6 Riga summit, on 21-22 May 2015: “deliverables”]

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is the EU initiative covering relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is the wish of the hosts that all countries be represented at the level of heads of state and government, this was a decision to be taken by consensus among the 28 member countries. The previous such summit, held in Vilnius in November 2013. Member states had no consensus on offering membership perspective to the Union to any of the countries covered. Some EU countries wanted “deliverables” a jargon term for the possibility of granting a visa-free regime to Ukraine and Georgia. In EU jargon, this is called “visa liberalisation”, while “visa facilitation” is offered to countries less advanced in the process of lifting the visa barrier with the EU.

[February 25 2015 U.S. Army Second Cavalry Regiment in military parade to mark Estonia’s Independence Day.]

The soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment were taking part in a military parade to mark Estonia’s Indepen- dence Day.

[February 24 Moldova:pro-Western businessman the country’s next Prime Minister.]

Moldovan lawmakers voted February 20 to appoint pro-Western businessman  Chiril Gaburici as the country’s next Prime Minister.

Moldovan lawmakers voted February 20 to appoint pro-Western businessman Chiril Gaburici as the country’s next Prime Minister.

[February 17 Moldova: a slumping domestic economy]
The leu has lost 25 percent against the dollar since the start of 2015, pressured by a rapidly slowing domestic economy, a currency crisis in Russia and conflict in Ukraine. Former Soviet countries are feeling the pain as Russia, for many the main trading partner, suffers from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a weak oil market, which sent the rouble down about 40 percent against the dollar last year. Moldova’s economy, which grew 9.2 percent in 2013, is expected to have contracted by up to 2 percent last year. “The national exchange rate mirrors the economic situation, which was hit by three shocks,”citing a Russian embargo on Moldovan wine and certain food products, a decline in exports, and a fall in remittances from migrant workers, 400,000 of whom work in Russia.

[January 27 Moldova: Two pro-European parties plus Communists may form government]
Two pro-European parties have agreed to form a minority government in Moldova but will need support from the Communist Party to pass legislation. They have 42 seats in the 101-seat legislation. The Communists, with 20 seats, say they will support the government depending on who is proposed as prime minister.

[January 1 Putin Christmas wish, U.S. Marines in Balti]

U.S. Marines train with Moldovan Force

U.S. Marines train with Moldovan Force

December 31 2014: In a New Year’s address Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti a Merry Christmas and “expressed hope” that the two countries would work together “in order to strengthen regional stability and security.” Some experts fear that the eastern pro-Russian Moldovan territory of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, will be the next area in Eastern Europe to take up a violent separatist campaign with the help of Russia.

January 1, 2015: U.S., Marines headed into the small, former Soviet republic to talk anti-armor best practices with local troops. A mix of about 15 assaultmen and anti-tank missilemen with the Romania-based Black Sea Rotational Force arrived in Balti, Moldova for the weeklong joint training exercise.
The detachment of Marines led a mix of conscripts and career soldiers with varying specialties — most were artillerymen — in discussions about doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. The event, which included a live-fire exercise, saw the troops use the FGM-148 Javelin, AT4 Anti-Tank Weapon and shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapons, as well as Moldova’s rocket propelled grenade system and 70mm recoilless rifle.
First Lt. Ben Skarzynski, executive officer for the rotational force’s weapons company who oversaw the exercise, would only go so far as to describe it as giving the Moldovans the “capability to provide for themselves.”

;December 20 Putin forgets Moldova]

Russia is estimated to have approximately 1,500 soldiers in Transnistria who are there to guard old Soviet weapon stockpiles. Russia also claims to enforce peacekeeping purposes following the 1992 conflict between the region and Moldova.

Russia is estimated to have approximately 1,500 soldiers in Transnistria who are there to guard old Soviet weapon stockpiles. Russia also claims to enforce peacekeeping purposes following the 1992 conflict between the region and Moldova.

“We have basically only two bases abroad, and those are in terroristically dangerous directions: in Kyrgyzstan after militants from Afghanistan entered that country, at the request of the Kyrgyz authorities, and in Tajikistan — also on the border with Afghanistan.”
in Transnistria, Russia keeps about 1,500 troops in the Moldovan breakaway republic, based in the de facto capitol Tiraspol as well as in the Bender Fortress. On August 4, Moscow accused Moldova and Ukraine of trying to block Russia’s access to its troops in Transdniester.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and it relies heavily on remittances from the several hundred thousand Moldovan citizens working in Russia. Most Moldovans convert the rubles they earn into dollars or euros before
[December 17 MEPS compensate Moldova’s producers for their Russian losses]

Moldova will be able to export up to 40,000 tonnes of fresh apples, 10,000 tonnes of fresh table grapes and 10,000 tonnes of fresh plums to the EU duty free, thanks to a proposal backed by MEPs on Wednesday. This should compensate Moldova’s producers for their losses due to Russia’s politically-motivated ban on imports of Moldovan produce.

Moldova will be able to import duty-free

40,000 tons of fresh apples (= 0.4% of EU output)

10,000 tons fresh table grapes (= 0.6% of EU output)

10, 000 tonnes fresh plums (= 0.7% of EU output)

Most of these imports are likely to go to Romania.

MEPs approved the concession by 551 votes to 67, with 23 abstentions.

[December 2 pro-EU parties had around 44% while the opposition had around 40% in parliamentary elections]

Wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania, Moldova has a breakaway region, Transnistria, which appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for recognition in April. The government joined Ukraine and Georgia in signing association agreements with the EU in June.

Wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania, Moldova has a breakaway region, Transnistria, which appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for recognition in April. The government joined Ukraine and Georgia in signing association agreements with the EU in June.

The United States congratulates the people of Moldova on the November 30 parliamentary elections, another milestone in their nation’s democratic development. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) found that the technical conduct of the elections yesterday was in line with international standards and norms. We share ODIHR’s concern with the decision of Moldova’s Central Election Commission to remove one party from the ballot only a few days before the elections.

[earlier]With nearly 80% of votes counted, the three pro-EU parties had around 44% while the opposition had around 40%.

The subsequent inevitable tough bargaining will be watched closely by Russia.

[November 30 Moldova’s central election committee declares elections valid]
With about 30% of the vote counted, the pro-Russian Socialist Party was in the lead with about 23%, election officials said. The main opposition party – the Communist Party – was running a close second with 20%.

The Liberal Democrats, who want Moldova to achieve EU candidate status by 2017 and full membership by 2020. They were polling about 18%.

Its coalition partner, the Democratic Party, was polling about 16%.

The most strongly pro-EU and pro-Nato party, the Liberals, was on about 7%.

Tough post-election bargaining is predicted.

About 2.7 million people are eligible to cast their ballots, electing a single-chamber 101-seat parliament by a system of proportional representation. The turnout was just under 56%.

[Earlier]Moldovans are voting in parliamentary elections November 30. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation not to attempt to destabilize Moldova, on March 23.
On March 23, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s top military commander warned that Russia had a “very sizable” force on Ukraine’s eastern border that could easily pass through Ukraine to seize Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria.
The Russian annexation of Crimea is threatening to reignite a conflict in an often forgotten corner of Europe: the self-styled breakaway republic of Transnistria.
Transnistria, a thin strip of land sandwiched between Ukraine and the former Soviet republic of Moldova, has close ties with Moscow. Last week lawmakers in the region formally asked the Duma, Russia’s parliament, if it could
Ms. Merkel nonetheless reiterated Germany’s position that it won’t recognize the annexation of Crimea, Mr. Seibert said.
Moldova’s central election committee declared the elections valid with turnout at 39.2 percent of voters as of 3:30 p.m. local time, Interfax reported, citing the body’s chairman, Yury Chokan.

[February 28 MAKO Group’s Oleksandr Yanukovych and deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych have Swiss assets seized, also Austria and Liechtenstein]

In early 2014 Oleksandr Yanukovych personal assets were claimed to be over $500 million

In early 2014 Oleksandr Yanukovych personal assets were claimed to be over $500 million

Geneva’s chief prosecutor’s office searched the premises of a company owned by Oleksander Yanukovych. The Swiss authorities have frozen all assets of Ukraine’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, and launched a money laundering investigation into him and his son.
The foreign ministry said all assets and bank accounts held by Yanukovych and 19 other people of his entourage in Switzerland were blocked

Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein announced a similar asset freeze.

Yanukovych’s MAKO Group of companies (majority shareholder is Oleksandr Yanukovych) was assessed by (auditor) PricewaterhouseCoopers as having $212 million in assets in 2011, grossing $663,000 from sales.[10] (In March 2012 Yanukovych’s net worth was estimated to be at least $130 million by Kyiv Post.[2]) In 2011 time MAKO consisted of 16 enterprises located in Ukraine, Switzerland and the Netherlands and it employed some 700 people in 2011.MAKO Group is primarily involved in property development and construction, banking, and the export of high-grade coal. MAKO started to grow heavily since 2010. Before 2013 the company had denied it has bid for government public procurement contracts, taking part in government privatizations of state assets, or being involved in the extraction of natural resources. In November 2012 Forbes Ukraine reported that companies linked to (Oleksandr) Yanukovych in 2012 at no cost had taken over majority stakes worth an estimated $10 million in five coal enrichment plants from the state.[ This had been denied by Yanukovych; he claimed it was Black PR aimed against his father. As of February 2013 Forbes Ukraine claims (Oleksandr) Yanukovych earned most in Ukrainian Public Procurement contracts then any other businessmen since the beginning of 2012.[12] Forbes.ua reported in February 2014 that in January 2014, for example, his businesses won 50% of all state tenders.
In early 2014 his personal assesses were claimed to be over $500 million

Screenshot 2018-12-05 at 8.38.10 AM - Edited

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg Glencore — founded by late fugitive Marc Rich

At Petrobras’ trading desk in Houston, Texas, and in the company’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s “Car Wash” investigation charges Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore paid over $30 million in bribes to employees at state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA in return for business. Prosecutors said bribes from employees of Glencore, Trafigura and Vitol accounted for half of the total graft uncovered, or some $15.3 million, between 2009 and 2014. The names of other investigated companies were not revealed.

Employees involved worked at Petrobras’ trading desk in Houston, Texas, and in the company’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, prosecutors said.

[October 20 2018 Petrobras will pay about 2 percent of its gross revenues ]
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On Sept. 27, 2018, Petrobras agreed to pay about $1.8 billion in combined DOJ and SEC penalties, disgorgement and interest for FCPA violations in connection with a bribery scheme that allowed contractors and suppliers to obtain Petrobras contracts, and facilitated improper payments to politicians and political parties in Brazil. The FBI’s International Corruption Squad in Washington, D.C. investigated the case. Petrobras will pay about $1.8 billion, which amounts to about 2 percent of its gross revenues last year.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/petr-leo-brasileiro-sa-petrobras-agrees-pay-more-850-million-fcpa-violations

[May 21 2017]

shortfin2bdiagram1

French financial prosecutors have launched an investigation into a 6.7 billion euro ($7.5 billion) 2008 contract between naval supplier DCNS and Brazil that included the sale of five submarines..

The investigation, started in October last year, concerns potential “corruption of foreign officials” and is linked to a Brazilian inquiry dubbed Lava Jato, or Car Wash, that was initiated in 2015 to investigate alleged bribery involving hundreds of politicians and public figures.

In the current climate, where Asian countries are buying submarines from is nearly as important as the fact that they doing so—so that Australia’s decision last year to choose French contractors over the Japanese, for instance, was seen as a win for Beijing and a blow to Tokyo.

[February 2 New Justice Justice Edson Fachin]

presidentobamameetsbrazilianpresidentw-vkotntahvl

Lula da Silva

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-crash-idUSKBN1532WH

Justice Edson Fachin was chosen by random electronic selection from among a group of five of the court’s 10 members and will take over the corruption cases from Justice Teori Zavascki, who died in a plane crash two weeks ago.

[October 16 2016]

Report  Zavascki, Minister of the SFC (Supreme Federal Court), gave authorisation, October 6, for Operation Lava Jato to be split into several targeted investigations. He agreed that one of these would specifically focus on the role ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva may have played in the alleged corruption scandals.

One part of the investigation, so-called the “Quadrilhão” (“The Big Gang”), looks in particular at the political nucleus involved in the Petrobras corruption scheme. In response to a plea by Brazil’s Attorney General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot, SFC Minister Zavaski divided the trial into four separate investigations.

[February 25 2015 HSBC Swiss accounts: $110m  belonged to individuals linked to Brazil’s  “Operation Car Wash” ]

Lily Watkins Cohen Monteverde Bendahan Safra

Lily Watkins Cohen Monteverde Bendahan Safra

Brazil haslaunched an investigation into whether accounts included in the files are linked to a major corruption scandal which in recent months has engulfed the Brazilian government and state-owned oil company Petrobras.

Analysis of the files indicates that 11 accounts held at HSBC Suisse between 2006 and 2007, which in 2007 had deposits totalling in excess of $110m (£71m), belonged to individuals linked to the investigation, known as “Operation Car Wash”.

Separately, Brazil’s tax authority said on February 13 it would probe 6,600 undeclared accounts with HSBC’s Swiss private bank linked to Brazil.

[February 14 Link between HSBC Swiss accounts, Petrobras scandal and Lily Safra?]
Operation Carwash . Police and prosecutors believe Petrobras contracts were overinflated and the cash either creamed off for personal use or paid off to political parties, including the Workers Party of newly re-elected President Dilma Rousseff. So far more than 40 people have been detained over their involvement in the scandal, which is known in the country as “Operation Car Wash.”
The second source said that “there is a clear link between ‘Operation Car-Wash’ and the HSBC Swiss bank accounts.” He declined to elaborate further and Reuters could not independently verify his account

HSBC’s Swiss unit was largely acquired as part of its purchase of late Brazilian-Lebanese financier Edmond Safra’s Republic New York Corp and Safra Republic Holdings. HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) bought Republic New York Corporation and its sister company Safra Republic Holdings for $10.3 billion (£6.3 billion) – In 1972 Safra used the $40M of capital that he accumulated from dealings in Italy to buy into a small Geneva finance house and, propped up by the assets of his wife, the former Brazilian heiress Lily Monteverdi. The business was eventually to expand and grow into the Trade Development Bank, a large private and trade finance bank, The Safra Group, which comprises a number of European private banks and Safra National Bank of New York, Republic’sTDB French operations and London-based banknote business were sold back to Safra. Safra left 50% of his assets to several charities, with the remainder divided up between his family members and wife who received $ 800 million
Aug 9 13 HSBC Private Bank International has charged Safra National Bank of New York for allegedly poaching seven bankers liable for $4 billion in private banking assets and attempting to steal clients. HSBC has sued Safra and five of the former HSBC bankers, who provided wealth management services for HNW clients in Central America, for allegedly conspiring to help Safra build a Latin American private banking business to compete directly with HSBC. HSBC said that Manuel Diaz and Jose Ortega, presidents of the bank’s Latin American private banking business based in Miami, had been talking with Safra since May 2013, about helping the competitor build a Latin American business. According to the lawsuit, Ortega and six other employees resigned between July 15 and July 31 and Safra has met 11 HSBC employees to offer them a job with a better compensation package. The lawsuit also names former HSBC bankers Jorge Hine, Jessica Valera and Diana Saludes as defendants along with Diaz and Ortega.
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