Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, April 20, 2019

FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: FLA SUPREME COURT HAS NO JURISDICITION IN FACIAL RECOGNITION CASE

 

The Attorney General has filed brief to the Florida Supreme Court in Lunch v. State, the District Court decision that holds law enforcement does no have to submit all the results of a facial recognition software program search to the attorneys for a criminal defendant so identified by it, under the Brady decision.  The thrust of the brief is that the high court has no basis to invoke its discretionary jurisdiction to hear the case, and that therefore the Lynch  case should remain the law in Florida on the subject. Brady requires that evidence that would tend to prove innocence must be disclosed to the defense.

The issues presented;

(1) There is no Conflict Certiorari, which would give the Supreme Court the ability to hear the case, as the two cases cited by the Petitioner are not on point with the Lynch facts, on the same question of law.

(2) To prevail under Brady, Petitioner must show that the results of the trial would have been different if the suppressed document were admitted into evidence. Non-matching photographs produced in a facial recognition program search would not have resulted in a verdict of innocence, as they would not have cleared the defendant.

(3) The lower court did not expressly construe any Constitutional provisions in its opinion.

(4) The lower court did not ask the Supreme court to Certify a point, based upon a question of great public importance.

If the Court declineS to hear the case, then Lynch v. State shall remain the rule in the State of Florida, and law enforcement agencies and prosecutors will not be required to disclose all results obtained through a facial recognition system search being used to identify a criminal defendant.

Readers who wish to review the brief may access it here.




HAMZA BIN LADEN REWARDS FOR JUSTICE POSTER


Friday, April 19, 2019

IRAN CONTINUES TO PUSH BACK ON IRGC SANCTIONS THROUGH CLEVER PROPAGANDA

 
We are continuing to see subtle Iranian manipulation of global public opinion, seeking to plant the thought that America's sanction of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was a mistake. Today's example comes from a UK website, run by Iranians,  Bourse & Bazaar*, which has published an article tellingly entitled Iranian Bankers fear IRGC Terrorism Dooms Vital Financial Reforms, which attempts to convince the reader that reform cannot occur in Iran, specifically  due to the IRGC sanctions.


The article goes to great lengths to detail a ficticious AML/CFT reform movement, now cut down by the IRGC sanctions. Other articles on that B & B website may look like objective reporting, but they have a distinctly anti-American perspective, often seeking to mold public opinion through spin and disinformation.

Given that Iran is a State Sponsor of Terrorism, any belief that AML/CFT will ever occur, as a matter of state policy, is not only an illusion, but is an artful attempt to reach out to a global audience with a hidden agenda. This is just one more example that we found today. Expect to see more examples of  such grey propaganda, using "white' media, not identifiable as Iranian-controlled, to push back at the OFAC SDN designation in a public forum.
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*https://www.bourseandbazaar.com/




 

HAMAS EL KHAIRY - LEADER OF MOVEMENT FOR UNITY AND JUSTICE IN WEST AFRICA


LACK OF FREE PRESS IN THE EAST CARIBBEAN STATES AFFECTS DUE DILIGENCE IN NORTH AMERICA




Compliance officers at financial institutions in Canada and the United States who are conducting due diligence on individuals or companies located in the East Caribbean CBI states, and who routinely access open-source information on the internet, in an effort to check out applicants for new accounts, should be aware that, in essence there is no truly free press in the region, and a large degree of self-censorship exists in local media. This means all news originating from the region must be taken with a large amount of salt.

Many of the East Caribbean states exist under who political scientists call "strongman" rule. the leaders of those countries, though legally elected, remain in power through a combination of bribes, kickbacks, offers of employment, threats, and in some cases, physical violence perpetrated upon their voting population. There are few, if any, democratic checks and balances upon their power, and generally, the members of local parliaments are allied with the leaders, and often receive monetary compensation, of one sort of another, to remain so.

Local media exists under the shadow of these powerful leaders, and most is pro-regime, receiving advertising revenues as an incentive to publish only favorable news and feature stories. The few  media outlets that expose corruption, money laundering, illegal Citizenship by investment or diplomatic passport scandals, often find themselves the target of regime action, including bogus arrests and civil libel or slander actions, or some other form of intimidation. In rare cases, violence against journalists seeking to publish the truth occurs, as we saw in the incident in Malta, where a crusading journalist was murdered by a car bomb.

The influence of powerful and wealthy CBI consultancies, who have a vested financial interest in suppressing negative news, which could impact Citizenship by Investment (CBI) passport sales abroad, is also a problem, for they are allied with the corrupt local regime leaders who do not want those lucrative sales impacted in any way. The CBI consultancies also go after journalists who are whistle blowers about corruption, governmental misconduct,  and suspicious official conduct involving money laundering.

Compliance officers in North America should therefore not consider local East Caribbean media stories as truthful, when conducting due diligence inquiries, and should not interpret the lack of negative information about a target subject as positive, for the truth may be suppressed, either by pro-government media, or self-censorship of opposition media concerned about survival.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

IRANIAN PROPAGANDA CLAIMS US SANCTION OF IRGC KILLED AML PROGRAM EXPANSION


It appears that Iran is quite upset with the US sanction of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It has deployed Internet propagandists to allege that the sanctions reduce the chances that Iran will ever adopt "international standards on money laundering and  terrorist financing."

The article, which appeared on antiwar.com, claimed to be taken from a website cleverly called The American Conservative . The article claimed that "hardliners" would now insure that so-called reformers like Rouhani would not be able to pass bills designed to counter money laundering. In truth and in fact, there are NO reformers in Iran, just various shades of radical.




Of course, this propaganda leaves out the simple fact that the powers that rule Iran have absolutely no interest in abandoning their country's role as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. They believe that any effective AML/CFT program adopted by Iran favors the Western democracies, and is a threat to their regime.

Call this article a small part of Iran's Information Warfare; it is designed to cause discord and dissent over American sanctions on Iran. Since one cannot tell which articles are artful propaganda abut Iran and which are truthful news stories. Therefore, ignore ALL Internet information on Iran, unless you personally have vetted the source, lest you buy propaganda as truth.

UNCLE OF SYRIA'S PRESIDENT ASSAD CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING IN FRANCE

 
Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of the current President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and the brother of his countrys former dictator, the late Hafez al-Assad, has been charged with organized money laundering by an investigating magistrate in France. Known as the Butcher of Hama for quelling a popular uprising in Syria in 1982,  during which war crimes against civilians occurred. he has been living in exile in France and the United Kingdom since participating in a failed coup against his late brother.

Al-Assad is reportedly specifically charged with these offenses:
(1) Laundering the proceeds of aggravated tax fraud.
(2) Embezzlement of Syrian state funds.
(3) failing to register his security and cleaning staff.

Al-Assad's assets in France are said to exceed €90m; he allegedly holds property through corporations formed in Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Panama and Curacao. 

READ THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE MUELLER REPORT





You may read the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election here.

CBI CONSULTANCIES FLOOD THE INTERNET WITH SPONSORED ARTICLES TO COMBAT EU POSITION ON CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT



International consultancies that sell Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) passports, involving programs operated by a number of European Union and East Caribbean states, have recently inundated the internet with sponsored articles, all painting an artificially rosy picture of the benefits applicants can derive from holding a CBI passport. The sheer volume of these "puff pieces" is crowding the legitimate news stories that appear about CBI matters, pushing them far to the rear of any google inquiry. Unfortunately, that is the aim of these "news management" tools.

The reason for such extreme measures is clear; the recent European Union position on Citizenship by Investment programs among the Members of the EU. In short, the European Parliament, having demonstrated the link between CBI passport holders and financial crime, especially money laundering, wants those programs terminated. both Malta and Cyprus operate CBI programs, and they are exploited by Russian organized crime syndicates, Iranian nationals seeking to evade global sanctions, narcotics traffickers, white collar criminals, and many other categories of unsuitable applicants engaged in criminal activities. Europe also fears that CBI passports may be used for terrorist financing purposes.



CBI consultancies, particular those who derive large commissions from their business with the five East Caribbean states, especially Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, and the Commonwealth of Dominica, concerned that the EU position will deter clients who read the press about its policy, have hastened to pollute the Internet with a large number of infomercials about the vitrues of each specific country's CBI products.

Any individual seeking information about CBI programs may not see the EU stories, as he is confronted with a raft of sponsored articles that curiously neglect to mention any of the negative issues applicants, as consumers, should know, including the EU policy, and the fact that many of the nations offering CBI passports are tax havens, which may paint a target on the passport holders' backs for US, Canadian UK, and EU law enforcement agencies, due to the high percentage of criminals arrested holding such travel documents.



The answer is, of course, due diligence, It is extremely troubling that affluent CBI applicants generally fail to engage a competent attorney to check out all the possible negative aspects of acquiring such a passport from specific CBI jurisdictions, and they later find out, to their chagrin, that they should have done so. Spending six figures for something that might raise your personal risk levels requires legal advice, and not from some dodgy CBI consultancy salesman claiming to be a legal expert in the CBI field; get an independent opinion, please, as there are dangers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

US SANCTIONS CENTRAL BANK OF VENEZUELA



The Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)  has imposed sanctions upon Banco Central de Venezuela, the country's Central Bank. It was given an SDN tag, meaning Specially Designated National. Please note that the Bank's Director, Iliana Josefa Ruzza TerĂ¡n was also sanctioned.



A Nicaraguan bank with close ties to Venezuela, Banco Corperativo SA, was also designated. It is more commonly known as Bancorp.

SENIOR LEADER OF AL-QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB







BEIRUT ATTORNEY DENIES ANY INVOLVEMENT WITH HEZBOLLAH

Ashraf Safieddine, the Beirut attorney accused of providing legal services for Hezbollah in a recent US District Court case filed against eleven Lebanese banks, has moved to intervene in the case, to have that allegation stricken; he denies ever assisting Hezbollah in any way, and advises that he actually opposes the influence of the Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization.

As this blog always provides all relevant viewpoints in any major issue, we are appending to this story important sections from Mr. Safieddine's Proposed Intervenor Achraf Safieddine's Memorandum of Law in Support of his Motion for Limited Intervention. His attorneys have accurately framed the issues, and presented facts to rebut the allegations. His motion has been opposed by the attorneys for the Plaintiffs.










MAJOR INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTING FIRMS UNDER INVESTIGATION IN DENMARK FOR MONEY LAUNDERING REPORTING OBLIGATIONS


 
Local media in Denmark has noted that two of the world's largest accounting firms have been reported to law enforcement, for their alleged failure to report suspected money laundering activities in Danish, and other Scandinavian, financial institutions. the Danske Bank scandal, in which billions of suspicious transactions linked to Russia were reportedly laundered through the bank's dysfunctional Estonian branch appear to be one of the sources of the problem. Other issues involving Sweden's largest bank, Swedbank AB,  have raised similar questions. Additional questions are now being raised throughout Scandinavia, previously thought to be low risk for money laundering.

The two accounting and advisory firms allegedly involved are KPMG and EY (Ernst & Young) but other have been named. Accounting firms charged with auditing financial institutions have a duty to report suspicious activity to financial intelligence units, and this fdoes not appear to have occurred in a timely fashion, if at all. Many accounting firms derive a large portion of their revenue from bank audits and examinations, and reporting suspicious activities or AML/CFT deficiencies to government regulators can result in termination of employment. At other times, corruption interferes with proper discharge of reporting obligations.

Even more troubling is a pattern of repeated changing of accounting firms by a bank. This appears to have occurred, in a case where other firms, (not the two listed here) were retained and then abruptly discharged, only to be replaced by others, who were then, in turn, replaced. Did the fired firms indicate that they were intent on reporting AML deficiencies, and were then fired by bank management for that reason ? Whether bank management had a role in preventing reporting, due to the lucrative nature of transactions involving possible Russian organized crime activity, is certainly an issue that bear serious investigation.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

WHY DID COURT REFUSE TO UNSEAL REZA ZARRAB DOCUMENTS ?



The District Judge in the Reza Zarrab case has entered an order denying the requests of reporters from the New York Times and the Hurriyet, a Turkish daily newspaper, to see sealed or redacted documents from the court file. There are no other listed defendants with pending cases in this file, and it is possible that the resolution of Zarrab's case is sealed; he is a known Cooperating Individual, released from custody and apparently living in New York without any law enforcement supervision. Rumors of his possible relationship with American law enforcement or intelligence agencies abound, but many of the pleading are filed under seal, making inquiries impossible.

The Court's order, which denied access to sealed proceedings, included specific findings, entered on the docket under seal. This means even the Court's reasons for denying the journalists access was sealed. Reza Zarrab is known to have been interviewed by the Office of Special Counsel a number of times. Is that why documents in what is essentially a closed case cannot be made available to the press ?

TALAL HAMIYAH: HEZBOLLAH LEADER WANTED BY UNITED STATES




INDIAN BANKS LIQUIDATE ASSETS OF FUGITIVE MEHUL "CBI" CHOKSI


 Creditors in India, having noted that the six month period for resolution of the millions owed by  the prominent diamond dealer Mehul Choksi has passed, has initiated liquidation of his assets. Choksi, and his nephew, fellow fugitive Nirav Modi, reportedly own or control 114 corporations. The most prominent creditor is India's Punjab National Bank (PNB), which has alleged $1.7bn fraud attributed to Choksi.

Choksi, whose extradition from Antigua & Barbuda was requested by India in August, 2018, has availed himself of a number of dilatory actions in the local courts, allegedly with the assistance of senior government officials, to indefinitely delay any ruling. He obtained a CBI passport from Antigua last year, at a time when any effective due diligence investigation would have uncovered his status as a known financial criminal, making him ineligible under the Citizenship by Investment (CBI/CIP) Program. Choksi has denied his guilt in the PNB scandal, and recently pointed at other businessmen as liable for the massive debt.



The use of CBI passports, by white-collar criminals, to evade justice at home has been shown to be one of the principal reasons to acquire economic citizenship in the East Caribbean States. Choksi's nephew, the fugitive Nirav Modi, reportedly obtained a CBI passport in St Kitts & Nevis, while visiting St Kitts. 

READ THE JULIAN ASSANGE ARREST AFFIDAVIT





Readers who were interested in the legal and factual basis for the indictment against WikiLeaks founder and director Julian Assange may access the complete text of the 40-page Affidavit in Support of A Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant, filed in 2017, here.

Monday, April 15, 2019

FBI WANTED POSTER ON PIJ LEADER RAMADAN SHALLAH - $5m REWARD

Seal of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad


Ramadan Shallah is the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He has an indictment pending against him in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida.




READ THE LETTER FROM BRITISH REGULATOR CLOSING DOWN PILATUS BANK UK BRANCH



If you have been following the scandal involving Malta's Pilatus Bank, known to investigators as the private bank for Azerbaijan's ruling elite, you may have missed this detail. The bank had a registered branch in the United Kingdom. Here is the letter that somehow never showed up in all the articles about Pilatus Bank.





IS 1MDB FUGITIVE JHO LOW TRAVELING UNHINDERED IN CHINA DUE TO HIS ST KITTS CBI PASSPORT ?

Jho Low, Malaysia's financial pirate, depicted at a protest in Kuala Lumpur.

Jho Low, the architect behind the billion dollar theft of capital from the Malaysian government development fund popularly known as 1MDB, is reportedly traveling throughout China unhindered by his fugitive status. He is known to have been seen in Hong Kong, Macau and the Peoples' Republic, notwithstanding that an international arrest warrant exists against him.

Jho hold a St Kitts CBI passport, and some sources have reported that it has functioned as his personal "Get out of Jail Free Card," meaning that it has allowed him to evade any legal problems caused by his massive theft from 1MDB. He is said to be attempting to ultimately reach safe harbor in St Kitts & Nevis, where the local authorities will protect him from extradition, as is their custom with wealthy CBI passport purchasers, notwithstanding that they may be in trouble with the law in their home countries. Jho is Malaysia's Most Wanted Man, and he is also wanted in the United States, and by Singapore.

The abuse of CBI pasports by financial criminals, money launderers and terrorist financiers has caused the European union to recommend that its Members terminate their CBI programs. Will the East Caribbean States ever wake and follow suit ?


ANTIGUA IGNORES COURT DECISION ON ITS FORMER FINANCIAL REGULATOR



Leroy King, the former financial regulator in Antigua, remains a free man, notwithstanding the loss, months ago, of his last possible appeal of the extradition order, in a case which has been pending for a decade, and which has given Antigua a permanent black eye in the international community. King, who took bribes from convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford to deceive American regulators and law enforcement agencies, has been ordered extradited a number of times, only for Antigua's courts to allow repeated bogus appeals and petitions, judicial reassignments, and outright dilatory tactics to delay his extradition indefinitely.

Many Antiguans believe that King, if facing a long prison term in the United States for his crimes, would implicate both the present, as  well as the former, prime minister of Antigua in corrupt activities involving Stanford, and for that reason, senior government officials have ordered the courts to do whatever it takes to deter his extradition to the State of Texas, where he remains the sole fugitive from justice in the Stanford International Bank Ponzi scheme.

Now with the extradition case against the billionaire Indian fraudster, Mehul Choksi appearing to go the same way, Antigua's image as a country that ignores the Rule of Law when senior officials so order it, will only be reinforced, and Country Risk for foreign investors will continue to remain elevated .

Sunday, April 14, 2019

CFATF CAYMAN ISLANDS MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT ISSUED

 
 Readers who have been following the recent action by the Government of the Cayman Islands to reform its AML/CFT programs may wish to review the reason for those actions. The 2019 Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Mutual Evaluation Report, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Measures , 274 pages, can be accessed here.

VICTIMS OPPOSE INTERVENTION OF "AMERICAN LAWYER" IN SUIT AGAINST BEIRUT BANKS FOR PROVIDING FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO HEZBOLLAH



Gary Osen, one of the attorneys representing the victims of terrorism in a new Federal lawsuit filed against most of Beirut's leading banks, has indicated his clients' opposition to court filings made by a Lebanese lawyer who allegedly provides legal services to Hezbollah, and whom his attorney claims is an "American lawyer," though we can find no office address in the United States.

The individual, Achraf Safieddine, through counsel, filed a Motion to Intervene and a Motion to Strike, after the 610-page Complaint alleged that he was legal counsel to Hezbollah, named by OFAC as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) organization. His attorney denies his connection to Hezbollah. Safieddine, whose New York lawyers assert he is an "American attorney," is neither admitted to practice in California, where he reportedly owns several real estate properties, nor in the State of Florida, where he also has ties. Is that then a material misstatement of fact ?

Safieddine's website, where he advises that he specializes in offshore company formation and investments abroad, invites prospective clients to contact him regarding real estate acquisition. It is not known whether he is engaged in the purchase of real estate in the United States for clients, or is practicing law anywhere in America. His law degree was obtained in Lebanon; his Martindale-Hubbell law directory information only shows the Beirut address, and an Internet search reveals that his law office was previously located in Tyre, in Lebanon's south. That area has been under Hezbollah influence for several years. Is Safieddine  forming corporations for Hezbollah ? Perhaps the lawsuit will provide an answer.





DECLASSIFIED CIA REPORTS ON OPERATION CONDOR RELEASED

Operation Condor was a project involving several Latin American countries in the 1970s. It involved an assassination squad who mission was to terminate, with extreme prejudice, individuals that national leaders deemed a political threat to their regimes. Some of the reports, prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency on this subject, was recently declassified and released to the public, and we present some of there here. As you cans see, there were additional countries who participated besides Argentina and Chile.









ST KITTS FILES NOTICE ON DUBAI CBI CONSULTANCY



Saturday, April 13, 2019

REPORT SAYS NOBODY FEDERAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA IS INVESTIGATING MONEY LAUNDERING



If there is one thing that financial crime analysts agree upon, it is that one province in Canada has become one huge playground for international money laundering. From Chinese organized crime syndicates using British Columbia casinos to dodgy expats buying up pricey local real estate, money from abroad, as well as drug profits of local origin, finds a home in BC Canada. Now we know one of the reasons why; There's nobody in the field working cases.

Peter German QC PhD, a prominent former executive in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in a report made public recently, disclosed that, in the RCMP E Division money laundering team, of the 25 ostensibly funded positions, only 11 are filled, and only five of those are actually working as investigators; the other 6 are shown as away on training or absent for other reasons.

Now here's where it get really interesting; all those 5 are referring their money laundering cases to the British Columbia Civil Forfeiture office, according to Dr. German. They are not pursuing ANY criminal money laundering prosecutions. No wonder BC is overrun with laundrymen and their
clients.

To quote the report, "In the course of this review, we learned that there are currently no Federal (RCMP) resources in BC dedicated to criminal money laundering investigations.This is particularly alarming when one considers that the issue of money laundering has been front page news in BC for almost two years."  Chapter 6-4, Criminal Investigation, P.2, An Independent Review of Money Laundering in B.C.

The blame appears to be, in part, because of a $500m budget cut imposed upon the RCMP, causing a manpower shortage, and the lack of experienced financial crime investigators. We sincerely hope that Canada will quickly remedy these shortcomings, to interdict the rampant money laundering operations that are infecting British Columbia. Wake up, Canada.


Friday, April 12, 2019

HUGO CARVAJAL, FORMER VENEZUELAN G-2 GENERAL, ARRESTED IN SPAIN ON US DRUG CHARGES

Hugo Chavez and General Hugo Carvajal

Hugo Carvajal Barrios, a former Major General in the Venezuelan Army, and head of its powerful G-2 Branch, Military Intelligence, was arrested in Spain this week, and faces extradition to face major narcotics charges pending against him in the United States. Carvajal, a former Deputy in Venezuela's National Assembly. was sanctioned by OFAC in 2008, for his support of the FARC, the designated Colombian terrorist organization, involving the transport and protection of drug shipments, and supplying it with arms and Venezuelan identity documents.




Carvajal's intimate knowledge of Venezuela's close working relationship with a number of other sanctioned terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda, could give counter-terrorist investigators important information about the ongoing operations of terrorist organizations in the Western Hemisphere, should he choose to cooperate with US law enforcement agencies upon arrival in America.