Donald Trump dangled the carrot of foreign investment in front of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their nuclear summit, but analysts say few will want to put money into one of the highest-risk business environments in the world. The US president showed Kim a movie of bright lights, high-speed trains and soaring tower blocks -- pitching a future that could be possible if Pyongyang gives up its weapons. Optimists say that with mineral wealth, cheap labour, and a helpful geographical location, the North has huge potential. But the history of overseas firms who have tried to set up operations in the isolated, impoverished country is a long and sorry one. Rules that can change on a whim, bills that are never paid, and the threat of expropriation hang over foreigners who step into the wildest of wild east investment destinations. For now, dozens of restrictions apply under the various sanctions regimes imposed on the North over its nuclear ambitions. Joint ventures are banned by the UN … [Read more...] about Invest in North Korea: Money pit or golden opportunity?
Seizure history taking
caption Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak leaves after giving a statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in Putrajaya, Malaysia May 22, 2018. source REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin Police seized $28.6 million-worth of cash, which included 26 foreign currencies, from properties reportedly linked to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The seizures happened on six properties linked to Najib last week, where 284 designer handbags and 72 bags were found stuffed with cash, jewelry, and watches taken. Police needed 22 bank staff and 11 counting machines to track and verify all the cash found. The raids appear to be part of an investigation into suspicious money transfers from the state investment fund which lost billions of dollars. Police recently seized $28.6 million-worth of cash from a residence reportedly linked to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib … [Read more...] about Police found $28.6 million-worth of cash sitting in an empty apartment linked to Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak
caption Robert Mueller. source Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed one year ago to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign – and Mueller has quietly assembled a formidable team of investigators whose resumés offer a glimpse into potential leads the probe is chasing. Mueller’s team boasts a storied amount of experience both prosecution and criminal defense, hailing from prestigious law firms to top spots in the Justice Department. The lawyers, combined, possess a vast array of experience investigating financial fraud, corruption, money laundering, foreign bribery, organized crime, and more. And Mueller’s team has been on the offensive from the get-go – the last year has consisted of a whirlwind of criminal indictments, guilty pleas, hundreds of pages of court documents, and ever-increasing outrage from President Donald … [Read more...] about Meet the all-star team of lawyers Robert Mueller has working on the Trump-Russia investigation
The eyes of the world will be fixed on the Korean demilitarized zone on Friday when when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un crosses the border in the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. With the Kim-Moon summit preceding an upcoming Kim-Donald Trump summit – location as yet unknown – in May or early June, there are hopeful expectations for a possible strategic gearshift on the flashpoint peninsula: Nearly 3,000 reporters will cover Friday’s summit. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox But while the Koreas talk, and while White House strategists mull their upcoming pow wow, regional players China, Japan and Russia will be watching keenly from the sidelines. All have differing postures toward the Koreas; all possess differing degrees of leverage. For China: A rare ally, a strategic buffer Viewed from Beijing, China’s northeast has always been perilous strategic … [Read more...] about On summit sidelines, China, Japan and Russia mull Korean chessboard
WASHINGTON - US law enforcement agencies seized over 100 homes in the Sacramento, California-area this week in what the US Justice Department on Wednesday said was part of a sweeping crackdown on a criminal marijuana growing operation funded by China-based criminal groups. In a 2-day sweep that started on Tuesday, the Justice Department said hundreds of federal agents and local police executed search warrants at about 74 homes and 2 business offices believed to be used for marijuana-growing operations. At the same time, the Justice Department filed civil forfeiture actions against 100 homes, a legal action allowing the government to confiscate assets if there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made cracking down on illegal drugs one of his priorities since taking over the helm of the Justice Department last year. Sessions, who has made no secret of his disdain for marijuana, in January ended an Obama-era policy that called on … [Read more...] about News US Justice Dept seizes over 100 homes in crackdown on marijuana operation