Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

The great thing about Bitcoin in Nigeria…

March 28, 2018

I am wary of any opportunity to make easy money in Nigeria, as experiences have taught us to avoid get-rich-quick schemes, or face the ultimate certainty of losing your investment and profit. Schemes like MMM, Diamond Cash Club etc. lured Nigerians into investing by promising to generate huge returns without any justification or reason for the perceived boom until the burst of the Ponzi scheme.

Similarly, Bitcoin has experienced a boom in Nigeria but unlike Ponzi schemes, Bitcoins are still in use and accepted.

The creation of Bitcoin by the originating community was in response to the 2008 financial crisis and the principle behind this action was a strong libertarian and anti-establishment spin; in many ways this was similar to the open-source culture, with strong anti-commercial values.

Image may contain: 1 person, beard and closeup

In Nigeria, Bitcoin adoption was in response to the 2016 financial crisis, which limited international trading due to the insufficiency of foreign currencies. The common factor for Bitcoins in both Nigeria and the USA is the isolation from financial crisis and that it serves as a great medium for exchange during these times.

The implication of this trend is that while currencies are at the risk of government interferences, Bitcoin does not follow this trend. Thus during financial instability Bitcoin becomes more viable in the country. In Nigeria, Bitcoin primarily serves as an alternative investment opportunity that is not under the influence of any economic pressures or uncertainty.

The great thing about Bitcoin in Nigeria is that it is easily accessible and with the use of a debit card or bank transfers, users can easily purchase or sell Bitcoins at their convenience. For more information, visit Luno for details.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/truth-bitcoin-nigeria/
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And Boko Haram is just a peaceful people of the woods….

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Playboy Deactivates Its Facebook Accounts — “FB Has Just Gotten Too Sinful” — Zuckerberg “Exposed” Is Not Pleasing Anyone — It’s About Privacy

March 28, 2018

Publisher cites ‘mismanagement’ of user data in Cambridge Analytica controversy

Playboy Enterprises, which publishes Playboy magazine, is unfriending Facebook amid the Cambridge Analytica controversy.
Playboy Enterprises, which publishes Playboy magazine, is unfriending Facebook amid the Cambridge Analytica controversy. PHOTO:ASSOCIATED PRESS

Playboy Enterprises Inc., the lifestyle company founded by Hugh Hefner that publishes Playboy magazine, is signing off of Facebook FB -4.90% —at least for now.

“The recent news about Facebook’s alleged mismanagement of users’ data has solidified our decision to suspend our activity on the platform at this time,” the privately held company said Wednesday.

Playboy didn’t immediately say whether it could return to the platform in the future. Facebook Inc. didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.”

Playboy said it would deactivate the various Facebook pages it manages. More than 25 million Facebook users have engaged with these accounts, the company said.

Facebook has been under fire after it disclosed that information about tens of millions of its users was sold to data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with the Trump campaign in 2016 and other Republican candidates. The social-media company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is expected to testify before Congress on the company’s handling of data.

The issues have caused some individual Facebook users to leave the platform and advertisers to cut back.

Last week, Facebook announced a series of steps meant to rein in outsiders’ access to Facebook user data.

Playboy, known for sharing racy photos and celebrating sex, said it has had to censor itself over the years to stay within Facebook’s strict content guidelines.

Facebook shares, which have been battered by the Cambridge issue and are down more than 10% over the past week, are down less than 1% premarket Wednesday.

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/playboy-deactivates-its-facebook-accounts-1522235628

China opens high-profile trial of troubled Anbang’s boss

March 28, 2018

AFP

© AFP/File / by Dan Martin | Anbang is one of four large Chinese firms whose voracious appetite for overseas assets has caught the attention of authorities

SHANGHAI (AFP) – A Shanghai court on Wednesday opened the fraud trial of the former head of troubled Anbang Insurance Group, which the government took over last month in its escalating fight to rein in the spiralling debt of big-spending conglomerates.Former Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui appeared on Wednesday morning in the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate Court, the chamber said on an official social media account.

China last month took over Anbang for a one-year period and had said Wu would face prosecution for “economic crimes” such as fund-raising fraud and other malfeasance.

The court gave no indication of when the trial would conclude, but such proceedings are often wrapped up within a day, especially in sensitive and high-level cases that the government does not want to drag out.

The swoop on Anbang was the most dramatic move yet to rein in politically connected companies whose splashy overseas investments have fuelled fears that they could collapse and trigger contagion in China’s murky financial system.

The government of President Xi Jinping, who has dramatically strengthened his political authority via a pair of recent high-level political meetings, has made cleaning up financial risks in the world’s second-largest economy a key priority.

The highly unusual commandeering of Anbang signalled deep official concern over the Beijing-based company’s financial situation.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said earlier that Anbang, which has made a series of high-profile foreign acquisitions in recent years, had violated insurance regulations and operated in a way that may “severely” affect its solvency.

Wu’s situation marks a startling fall from grace for a man who reportedly married a granddaughter of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping — and a signal that the government will move aggressively in its clampdown.

Acquisitive private companies such as Anbang, HNA, Fosun and Wanda have increasingly appeared in the government’s cross-hairs.

The four firms were in the vanguard of an officially-encouraged surge in multi-billion-dollar overseas deals by Chinese firms to snatch up everything from European football clubs to foreign hotel chains and movie studios.

But authorities have become increasingly alarmed by the conglomerates’ influence, their complex webs of subsidiaries and debt, and their capacity to trip up the Chinese economy.

The government has for more than a year implemented a host of ever-tightening measures to stem the flow of money into what it has called “irrational” investments overseas.

Established in 2004, Anbang grew rapidly from a property insurer into a financial services powerhouse, hitting headlines in 2014 when it bought the Waldorf Astoria in New York for $1.95 billion.

Among other acquisitions, in 2015 it bought US insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life for $1.6 billion, Korean insurer Tong Yang Life for around $950 million and Dutch insurer Vivat for about $167 million.

Anbang also made a $14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, eventually pulling out of a bidding war with Marriott.

It also was in aborted talks with Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner to redevelop a Manhattan office tower, Bloomberg News reported last year.

by Dan Martin

Israel: Could Netanyahu Survive Corruption Scandal? — “Dead man walking” — Three possible outcomes….

February 22, 2018

Haaretz

Despite the media describing him as a lame duck, the Israeli PM still has several options as he deals with the avalanche of corruption allegations against him

.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of an ER in Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of an ER in Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon.\ Ilan Assayag

At first, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked as if he might ride out the corruption storm raging around him (at least temporarily). After the police recommendations last Tuesday that he be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two of the corruption cases involving him, he initially stood strong, issuing a defiant statement.

Politically, he maintained strong support within his Likud party, with no one daring to even speculate on who might take over in a post-Netanyahu world. Similarly, his key governing coalition partners said they would adopt a wait-and-see approach, committing to stand by him at least until the attorney general made his final decision on whether the prime minister would face criminal charges.

But the cards were reshuffled Tuesday with two bombshells: the first, that a confidant (aka henchman) of Netanyahu’s was suspected of offering the job of attorney general to a former judge, in exchange for her killing a case against the premier’s wife, Sara Netanyahu.

But potentially more significant was the news that Shlomo Filber, the former director general of the Communications Ministry, had turned state’s evidence and would share what is presumed to be highly damaging testimony regarding Netanyahu’s role in what is known as Case 4000. This case involves the Israeli telecom giant Bezeq, whose controlling shareholder is Netanyahu’s friend Shaul Elovitch.

If Filber testifies that Netanyahu directed him to make decisions benefiting Bezeq, and acknowledges that the positive news coverage of the Netanyahu family on a Bezeq-owned news site was a quid pro quo – many pundits are saying the bribery case against Netanyahu appears to be open-and-shut.

What happens to Netanyahu now? 3 possible scenarios
Ofer Vaknin
Netanyahu has been declared, depending on the preferred metaphor of any given TV talking head, a “dead man walking” or a “lame duck” – officially running the country, but drained of any real authority.

The atmosphere is reminiscent of the United States during the Watergate era (1973-74), with every day bringing new revelations. So what are the possibilities facing the prime minister moving forward?

Netanyahu government falls: New elections are held

The most dramatic scenario would occur if one or more of Netanyahu’s coalition partners – possibly one of the parties headed by a leader who aspires to replace him in the Prime Minister’s Office – decides to quit the government.

If none of the parties currently in the opposition steps up to replace them and save the coalition – and that seems highly unlikely given the current circumstances – the government would officially dissolve. New elections would be called as soon as possible, presumably in the spring or early summer.

Several political parties are already scrambling in preparation for this eventuality. Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay – whose party is currently the second largest in the Knesset – sent a letter to party members on Tuesday, declaring that “the Netanyahu era is over. We must prepare for an election soon.”

Netanyahu steps down but Likud-led government remains

If Netanyahu’s grip on Likud slips far enough, and coalition parties are sufficiently reluctant to give up their positions of power, a deal could be struck between these parties and Likud – with or without Netanyahu’s participation. In such a scenario, Netanyahu would step down from the Likud leadership but the Likud-led coalition would remain in place, with the same parties heading the same ministries and a new prime minister chosen from within Likud.

The move could be framed as either permanent or temporary – an idea to which Netanyahu might be more amenable. Interestingly, while this solution has not been publicly discussed by any members of the coalition, it has been floated by prominent opposition leaders. Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid (who provided key testimony in one of the cases against Netanyahu) has proposed that Netanyahu take a “leave of absence” and “step aside” until the situation is resolved, even if there are no plans for new elections.

Netanyahu hangs on

Some of the party leaders in Netanyahu’s coalition have ridden out their own corruption scandals – ministers like Avigdor Lieberman and Arye Dery. This could make them sympathetic enough to maintain a “wait and see” approach, even in the face of the ever-widening and worsening list of suspicions and accusations against Netanyahu.

They are also very comfortable with their jobs heading powerful ministries, and it’s far from certain whether a new Knesset election would grant them the level of support needed to keep them there. For example, in the most recent poll about how the public would vote if an election were held tomorrow, Dery’s Shas party would not even garner enough votes to gain Knesset representation.

Another volatile factor that might keep the current government in place is the fragile security situation.

Any major military conflict – on the northern front with Lebanon and Syria, or in the Gaza Strip with Hamas – could push elected officials and the general public to “circle the national wagons,” and put political divisions aside in order to project a stronger and more stable image to Israel’s enemies.

Within Likud itself, Netanyahu has worked hard for years to make sure he has no natural successor. There is no figure within the party perceived as being able to fill his shoes.

More importantly, he has a powerful base of party loyalists who believe he is such a strong and effective figure that they are prepared to overlook any alleged personal foibles – be they cigars and champagne, or favors to wealthy media barons in exchange for positive coverage for his family.

Much like the acquiescence of the Republican Party to Donald Trump, potential aspirants to the Likud leadership are afraid that a direct attack on Netanyahu will alienate that loyal base and harm their own political futures. For that reason, they would prefer to see prosecutors and judges bring Netanyahu down than do it themselves.

As long as that fear persists, Netanyahu has a chance of holding onto power by his fingernails – as the nation watches and waits for his fate to be decided by the judiciary.

Netanyahu says government ‘stable’ after police recommend his indictment

February 14, 2018

AFP

© AFP | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government remains “stable”, on February 14, 2018. a day after police recommended his indictment for corruption, prompting calls for him to resign
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday his government was “stable” and criticised the police investigation against him after detectives recommended his indictment for corruption, prompting calls for him to resign.”I can reassure you that the coalition is stable,” Netanyahu said at an event in Tel Aviv, again making clear he had no intention of resigning.

“Neither me nor anyone else has plans for elections. We’re going to continue to work together for the good of Israeli citizens until the end of the term.”

Netanyahu, prime minister for a total of nearly 12 years, denounced the police recommendations against him as “full of holes, like Swiss cheese.”

He said the police report “misleads” and is “contrary to the truth and logic.”

Netanyahu is facing the biggest challenge to his long tenure in office after police recommended on Tuesday that he be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of public trust.

The attorney general must now decide how to move forward with the case, a process that could take months.

A prime minister facing such police recommendations or who has been formally charged is not obliged to resign.

Netanyahu lashes out at Israel police as graft probe nears end

February 8, 2018

AFP

© POOL/AFP/File / by Laurent Lozano | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied graft allegations
JERUSALEM (AFP) – 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at police in a rare attack with detectives reportedly on the verge of recommending his indictment for accepting bribes.

Pressure has built on Netanyahu as police investigating him in the long-running probe reportedly prepare to submit their recommendations to the attorney general next week.

Israeli media have reported that police are expected to recommend his indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of public trust.

Israeli authorities have refused to comment publicly on the reports. The attorney general is expected to take weeks or months to decide how to proceed after receiving the recommendations.

On Wednesday night, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said in an interview with Channel 2 television that detectives probing Netanyahu had been targeted by private investigators to dig up dirt on them.

Netanyahu posted a response on Facebook late Wednesday in which he lashed out at the police commissioner, calling suggestions that he sent private investigators on such a mission “ridiculous”.

“It is shocking to discover that the commissioner has repeated the mistaken and ridiculous suggestion that Prime Minister Netanyahu sent private investigators after the police who are investigating him,” the post said.

He also referred to claims that sexual harassment allegations against the head of the unit investigating Netanyahu were an attempt to smear him because of the graft probe.

“Any honest person would ask himself how people who say such delusional things about the prime minister can objectively investigate him and honestly give unbiased recommendations,” the post said.

“A large shadow was cast tonight over the police investigations and their recommendations related to Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

The investigation has raised the possibility that Netanyahu, prime minister for a total of nearly 12 years, will eventually be forced to resign.

– Cigars and champagne –

Police are investigating Netanyahu over suspicions that he received expensive gifts, including pricey cigars, from wealthy supporters such as Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

His wife allegedly received bottles of pink champagne.

The gifts were reportedly worth some tens of thousands of dollars.

They are also probing allegations that he sought a secret deal for favourable coverage with the publisher of top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot.

According to Israeli media, police are expected to recommend the indictments in the first case, but no decision has been made in the second.

Netanyahu has been questioned seven times by police over the allegations.

A separate investigation is also underway in which Netanyahu allies have been questioned by police over the purchase of German submarines.

Netanyahu has not been named as a suspect in the submarine investigation, but the probe has added to the pressure building around him.

The 68-year-old premier has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and says he is being targeted by political opponents. He repeated that in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday.

He said he was “confident in the fact that at the end of the day, the legal authorities will arrive at the only conclusion possible, the simple truth: There is nothing.”

Netanyahu’s allies have in the past said there is no crime in friends exchanging gifts, but investigators have reportedly arrived at the conclusion that they were in fact bribes.

An indictment alone would not legally oblige Netanyahu to resign, though he would likely face mounting pressure to do so. He would be legally forced to resign if convicted and with all appeals exhausted.

Parliament, however, could also enact a special procedure against him before his case is exhausted if he is found to be guilty of moral turpitude.

Netanyahu’s time as premier is fast approaching Israel’s revered founding father David Ben-Gurion’s 13 years, and he has shown himself to be a shrewd politician.

But an indictment is sure to encourage his political rivals — including those from within his own party — to move against him.

Israel has not shied away from pursuing criminal cases against top politicians.

Ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert resigned from office after police recommended he be indicted for graft. He was freed from prison in July after being granted parole from a 27-month sentence.

He has largely remained out of the public eye since his release, but Israeli media reported that he broke his silence on the Netanyahu case on Wednesday.

“I wish for the prime minister that he end his term quickly and in a seemly manner,” Olmert, also known for his taste for fine cigars, was quoted as saying at an event in Tel Aviv.

by Laurent Lozano

State of emergency in Honduras after post-vote violence

December 2, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Violence erupted for the second consecutive day after opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla claimed fraud and urged his supporters to take to the streets in protest

TEGUCIGALPA (AFP) – The Honduran government declared a state of emergency late Friday and imposed a 10-day curfew in an attempt to stop violent demonstrations across the country triggered by claims of presidential election fraud.Police said at least two officers and 12 civilians were injured, some by gunfire, after clashes in several parts of the country between riot police and opposition supporters.

The violence was sparked by opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla claiming election fraud and calling his supporters onto the streets.

 

An executive decree issued by President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is seeking re-election despite a constitutional ban on a second term, imposes a nighttime curfew from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.

Representatives of the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and political parties, national and international observers and journalists accredited to cover the elections are exempt.

Thousands of Nasralla supporters blocked roads across the country, and footage of their confrontations with the police — who attempted to disperse demonstrators with tear gas — went viral on social media.

In the capital Tegucigalpa, protesters lit bonfires of sticks and tires on boulevards and on exit routes.

The unrest sparked panic, with people rushing to supermarkets and gas stations to stock up, fearing the riots would prevent them from leaving their homes.

Shops closed by the afternoon and some international flights were suspended at the capital’s airport.

– Cliffhanger vote –

With nearly 95 percent of the ballots counted from last week’s vote, Hernandez had a razor-thin lead of 42.92 percent over Nasralla’s 41.42 percent.

TSE president David Matamoros postponed until Saturday a special count — with officials from both camps present — to review ballots with inconsistencies, blurs and other errors before a result can be declared, following new demands from leftist leader and ex-president Manuel Zelaya.

“Within three days, we will have the result. We accept to recognise the final result if they accept these points,” Zelaya said.

But in an television interview, Nasralla demanded a full recount, warning of possible collusion between the TSE and the government.

“Do not let them steal the presidency,” said activist Juan Barahona of Nasralla’s Alliance of Opposition Against the Dictatorship.

Police said they had arrested 50 people for alleged looting between Thursday and Friday.

Security forces said rioters had damaged businesses and vehicles, some of which had been doused in gasoline and set on fire.

Earlier, Hernandez broadcast a statement calling for calm and predicting “we are going to do very well” in the vote.

The Organization of American States observer mission urged the TSE in a letter Thursday to ensure that 100 percent of the ballots were processed before declaring a result.

“Political parties should be given the opportunity to present challenges. These will have to be dealt with impartially and within a reasonable timeframe and following due process,” it said.

“This is the only way to restore confidence in this election and in the integrity of the popular will.”

Philippines’ Second-Biggest Bank Penalized for $35 Million Fraud

November 28, 2017

Bloomberg

By Cecilia Yap and Siegfrid Alegado

  • Ordered to allocate capital for risks, suspend directors
  • Comes after Metrobank official arrested on suspicion of fraud

The Philippine central bank sanctioned Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. after the regulator investigated an alleged internal fraud that cost the lender 1.75 billion pesos ($35 million).

 Related image

Sanctions ranged from a reprimand to the suspension of directors and officers who were complacent in their duties, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said, without naming them. The nation’s second-largest lender was also ordered to allocate about 4.45 billion pesos of its capital to cover higher operational risk, the central bank said in a statement.

Image result for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, photos

Police in July arrested a Metrobank official after she was suspected of funneling loans into fictitious accounts that were transferred electronically to other private accounts she owned, investigators said.

In deciding on penalties, the central bank said it took into account Metrobank’s strong financial condition and the corrective actions the bank took to contain further financial damage. The lender owned by billionaire George Ty is sound, the regulator said.

The board and senior management accept accountability for the incident and will implement the directives, Metrobank said in a statement. “The perpetrator acted alone and for her sole benefit” and no customer was affected, it said.

Shares of Metrobank rose 0.1 percent at 10:11 a.m. in Manila. The nation’s benchmark stock index slid 1 percent.

— With assistance by Norman P Aquino, and Ditas B Lopez

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-28/philippines-second-biggest-bank-penalized-for-35-million-fraud

Mitsubishi in another Japanese quality certification scandal

November 23, 2017

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

By Peter Wells
FT (Financial Times)

A subsidiary of Mitsubishi Materials has reportedly falsified data on plastic seals used in aircraft and other industrial products, becoming the latest in a recent string of Japanese manufacturer to be involved in a quality certification scandal.

Mitsubishi Cable Industries falsified data on the quality level of plastic O-rings it shipped to its customers, the Nikkei reported, citing people familiar with the matter and adding that no safety issues had occurred as a result.

O-rings are plastic parts used to create seals in aircraft and other industrial products.

A spokesman for Mitsubishi Materials, the parent company, said he was preparing a statement, but declined to comment further.

MCI is believed to have supplied these parts to hundreds of industrial manufacturers, and the falsification of the data has occurred over decades, Nikkei said.

Quality standards in Japan have come under intense scrutiny in recent months, perhaps most prominently due to an admission in October by Kobe Steel it had falsified quality data on aluminium and copper products.

The scandal at Japan’s third-largest steelmaker affected more than 500 companies in the aircraft, car, train and nuclear industries and widened to involve other metals and products, such as tubing and steel. More than 90 per cent of Kobe Steel’s customers have reported no safety issues with the products, though.

The revelations at Kobe Steel were bookended by scandals at Nissan in September and Subaru in October, where uncertified technicians in domestic factories were carrying out inspections on Japan-destined vehicles that they were unauthorised to perform.

Mitsubishi Materials has a market capitalisation of $4.8bn and is involved in a wide range of industries spanning cement, non-ferrous metals, and materials used in precision tools and electronic components. The company reported revenue of ¥1.3tn in the 2017 fiscal year that ended on March 31.

MCI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Materials, had annual revenue of ¥29.5bn in the 12 months to March and employed 513 people.
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https://www.ft.com/content/20199ee4-f1e5-35a6-88a4-4ff5f6d217d1

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Reuters

Mitsubishi Materials says units falsified product data

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Materials Corp (5711.T) said its subsidiaries falsified data about products, including parts for aircraft and automobiles, for at least a year, the latest in a series of quality assurance scandals involving Japanese manufacturers.

The company said an investigation in the wake of a data-falsification scandal involving joint venture partner Kobe Steel (5406.T) found that Mitsubishi Cable Industries had inappropriately distorted data for rubber sealing products, used in aircraft and cars.

The data was manipulated to match specifications set by the company or its clients and took place in the two-and-a-half years since April 2015, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Another subsidiary, Mitsubishi Shindoh, had manipulated data for metal products, Mitsubishi Materials said. It said it found problems at Mitsubishi Shindoh going back to October 2016.

Mitsubishi Materials said that in both cases, it has not found any safety or legal problems. It did not know whether there would be any impact on its financial outlook, it said.

The company said it has set up a task force to look into the problems and to devise countermeasures to improve quality control.

The news comes after Kobe Steel, Japan’s No.3 steelmaker, admitted in October that workers tampered with product specifications, shaking up global supply chains and forcing global automakers, aircraft manufacturers and other companies to check whether the safety or performance of their products had been compromised.

Mitsubishi Materials has a 45 percent share in a copper tube joint venture with Kobe Steel, including the Hatano plant that is at the center of Kobe’s data-falsification scandal.

Confidence in Japan’s manufacturing prowess has also taken a hit from recent revelations that automakers Nissan (7201.T) and Subaru (7270.T) had failed to comply with final inspection procedures for decades.

Japanese markets are closed on Thursday for a holiday. Mitsubishi Materials shares were little changed on Wednesday.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Cambodia deports 61 telecom extortion scam suspects — Taiwan protests

October 28, 2017

Reuters

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodia police on Saturday deported 61 Chinese nationals wanted in China on suspicion of extorting money over the internet and by phone, they said, but Taiwan said 19 were from Taiwan.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Chinese nationals (in orange vests) who were arrested over a suspected internet scam, are escorted by Chinese police officers before they were deported at Phnom Penh International Airport, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Several hundred suspected scammers have been arrested in Cambodia, which has emerged as a major center of rackets that have cost the victims billions of dollars.

Pictures sent to Reuters on Saturday showed suspects wearing red shirts with their wrists bound together ahead of the deportation.

Uk Heisela, chief of investigation at Cambodia’s immigration department, said Chinese police had arrived to pick up the suspects.

Chinese nationals (in orange vests) who were arrested over a suspected internet scam, are escorted by Chinese police officers before they were deported at Phnom Penh International Airport, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

“The Immigration Department deported 61 suspects, including 13 women, who were involved in extortions on the internet,” Uk Heisela told Reuters.

Uk Heisela said they had been detained during raids on Oct 17 and Oct 21 in the capital, Phnom Penh, and in Kandal and Preah Sihanouk provinces.

Taiwan’s government said 19 of them were from Taiwan, and that it had lodged a strong protest with China about the deportations.

Taiwan has been unhappy that Taiwanese extortion suspects have been deported to China in the past and has accused Phnom Penh of acting at the behest of Beijing.

China considers self-ruled Taiwan sovereign territory and Cambodia is one of China’s closest allies in Southeast Asia.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Additional reporting by Jess Macy Yu in TAIPEI; Editing by Nick Macfie

Related:

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese suspects involved in wire fraud, center, sit in a plane as they arrive at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A group of Chinese and Taiwanese suspects were deported from Kenya to China in April 2016. AP photo

Police escort a group of people wanted for suspected fraud in China, after they were deported from Kenya, as they get off a plane after arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China
Police escort a group of people wanted for suspected fraud in China, after they were deported from Kenya, as they get off a plane at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on April 13, 2016 Xinhua/Reuters
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Telecom fraud suspects from Fiji arrive in Changchun, China after being deported.

Telecom fraud suspects from Fiji arrive in Changchun, China after being deported, August 8, 2017. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

A Chinese national arrested over an alleged internet scam is escorted by police officers to be deported at the immigration office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 26, 2017.

A Chinese national arrested over an alleged internet scam is escorted by police officers to be deported at the immigration office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 26, 2017. Associated Press