Turkish Judge Releases Manager, Pilots in Carlos Ghosn Escape Trial
- ISTANBUL—A Turkish judge ordered the release of five defendants accused of assisting onetime auto titan Carlos Ghosn in making an undeclared layover in Turkey late last year after he fled Japan inside a musical-equipment box.
- The five men—one airline manager and four pilots—were taken into custody in early January and have been accused of migrant smuggling, a charge carrying up to eight years in prison.
- The judge ordered their release pending a verdict to the trial, which had its first hearing in Istanbul on Friday.
Ahoy! It's the real pirates of the Caribbean—and the Carolinas
- By the 18th century thousands of pirates terrorized the rich merchant vessels and eluded the naval attempts to capture them.
- At the beginning of the 18th century, their average age was 27—the same as sailors on merchant vessels and in the British Navy.
- Correspondence, colonial and naval reports, statements by former captives of pirates, and newspaper articles also provide a wealth of information about piracy during those years, helping historians understand how pirates lived in that period.
- A merchant ship is under seige in this 19th-century engraving depicting a pirate attack.
- After the English governor lost control of the port, a powerful pirate republic grew up there, funded by the loot brought back by the great pirates of the time—men like Benjamin Hornigold, Charles Vane, John Rackham (Calico Jack), Samuel Bellamy (Black Sam), Edward Teach (Blackbeard), and Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart).
Banks Are Still Expected to Monitor Hemp Growers’ Transactions, FinCEN Says
- Banks and other institutions need to tailor anti-money-laundering programs to reflect the specific risks associated with customers that produce hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that is often used for its fiber, as they would with any other customer, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, said in guidance published this week.
- While banks no longer need to file SARs on customers solely because they are legally involved in growing hemp, financial institutions are still expected to monitor the transactions of these clients for signs of suspicious activity and file a SAR if they become aware of any unlawful activity, FinCEN said.
- That might include monitoring of customers growing hemp in jurisdictions where hemp production remains illegal, a client using a state-licensed hemp business as a front to launder proceeds from other criminal activity, or a client engaged in hemp production seeking to disguise involvement in marijuana-related activities, according to the guidance.
Hong Kong Security Law Jolts International Business
- HONG KONG—As China drew up a new security law for Hong Kong last month, its top Foreign Ministry official in the city gathered international business groups and diplomats to deliver a message from Beijing: Don’t panic.
- The law would target only a small group of radicals and wouldn’t impede the free market ethos behind Hong Kong’s rise as a global business hub, the official said.
- But now that businesspeople are finally seeing the law, there is much to cause concern.
Police infiltrate encrypted phones, arrest hundreds in organized crime bust
- Almost 750 individuals in the UK have been arrested so far after an international coalition of law enforcement agencies infiltrated an encrypted chat platform in which the suspects openly discussed murder, arranged hits, illegal drug purchases, gun sales, and other alleged crimes.
- "Due to the level of sophistication of the attack and the malware code, we can no longer guarantee the security of your device," Encrochat added, advising users to power off and physically dispose of their phones.
- One source told Motherboard the mass arrests seem to have had their desired effect and told the site that bulk purchases of drugs had become significantly harder because "everybody's going to ground." Still, the quiet may not last: competitors are not only moving to fill the space, but they're offering discounts to onetime Encrochat users who may now be looking for a new platform.
Hundreds arrested after police infiltrate secret criminal phone network
- London (CNN) - An encrypted messaging service used exclusively by criminals has been infiltrated by police in a major operation, leading to hundreds of arrests and the seizure of firearms, drugs and millions of dollars in cash.
- EncroChat, which offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service, was a "criminal marketplace" used by 60,000 people worldwide for coordinating the distribution of illicit goods, money laundering and plotting to kill rivals, according to the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA).
- The NCA said it had made 746 arrests, and seized £54 million ($68 million) in cash, 77 firearms and more than two tons of drugs during the unprecedented Operation Venetic.
- Two months ago, agencies in France and the Netherlands infiltrated the platform and shared the data via Europol, allowing police to monitor the private communications -- including photos and millions of messages -- of criminals.
How Wirecard Went From Tech Star to Bankrupt
- Markus Braun built Wirecard AG from an obscure firm based in a small town outside of Munich into a global electronic-payments giant.
- From its perch at the crossroads of online commerce, Wirecard extracted fees for processing credit-card transactions on behalf of businesses.
- It pushed into emerging markets, bought up smaller firms and struck partnerships to recruit more customers.
- In its financial statements, sales and profits ticked steadily upward.
Supreme Court to Consider Disclosure of Mueller Grand Jury Materials to Congress
- WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court will decide whether Congress can have grand-jury materials from the Mueller probe of Russian election interference, likely delaying any release until after the election.
- The high court in a brief written order Thursday said it would hear an appeal by the Trump administration that is seeking to keep the materials from being released.
- The justices in May had temporarily blocked release of the grand jury information, a signal the court was likely to take up the case in full.
- The court’s action likely...
Ghislaine Maxwell, Confidante of Jeffrey Epstein, Arrested on Federal Charges
- Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and longtime confidante of disgraced former financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested Thursday morning by federal agents in New Hampshire, two law-enforcement officials said.
- Mr. Epstein was arrested a year ago on sex-trafficking charges, and died in custody in August.
- Ms. Maxwell has been accused by multiple women in affidavits and court filings of recruiting young women for Mr. Epstein and training them for sex.
Hundreds arrested as crime comms system cracked
- The NCA says the Europe-wide operation, which lasted over three months and involved police forces across the UK, has had the biggest impact on organised crime gangs it has ever seen.
- The NCA says the messaging system has been used as a "criminal marketplace" to co-ordinate the supply of Class A drugs across the world, and import weapons including assault rifles, sub-machine guns, shotguns, pistols and hand grenades.
- Gangs are also believed to have used the handheld devices to plot attacks on rival groups, plan ways of enforcing drug debts and arrange for money to be laundered.
- Dozens of organised crime groups have been dismantled, says the NCA, with the bulk of arrests in London and north-west England.
- According to the force, it managed to prevent the shooting by arresting an individual for conspiracy to murder and seizing a loaded pistol, which was believed to be the planned murder weapon.