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European Banks Complicit as Corrupt African Leaders Plunder Their Home Economies

September 26, 2018 |

European Banks Complicit as Corrupt African Leaders Plunder Their Home Economies

European banks have allegedly been complicit as corrupt African leaders pilfer the wealth of their economies in the billions of dollars. The Angolan government on Monday arrested the son of ex-president Jose dos Santos for stealing $ 500 million from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, with the help of a British bank. It is only a few days ago that Nigeria demanded that a bank in Europe returns $ 100 million laundered by former dictator Sani Abacha. In Liberia, ex-central bank governor Milton Weeks is under investigation for the $ 104 million that vanished from state coffers.

Also read: Pushing The Boundaries Of Economic Change: Bitcoin As A Medium Of Exchange In Africa

Angola Police Arrest Ex-President’s Son Over Allegations of $ 500 Million Plunder

Police in Angola on Monday arrested the son of former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, over a corruption case involving the alleged illegal transfer of $ 500 million of public funds to a British bank, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos was placed in “preventive detention”, Angolan authorities say.

European Banks Complicit as Corrupt African Leaders Plunder Their Home Economies
Jose Filomeno dos Santos

He had initially tried to wire the funds to the London branch of Swiss bank Credit Suisse using “forged documents”, but British authorities blocked the transfer “suspecting foul play,” say earlier reports.

The transfer later sailed through, this time allegedly via an HSBC Holdings plc account in the United Kingdom, Bloomberg reported, quoting the Angolan prosecutor general Alvaro Da Silva Joao.

“The evidence gathered resulted in sufficient indications that the defendants have been involved in practices of various crimes including criminal associations, receipt of undue advantage, corruption, participation in unlawful business, money laundering, embezzlement, fraud among others,” he said.

Angola’s Finance Ministry says dos Santos, who was head of the country’s $ 5 billion wealth fund, disguised the transfer as a project aimed at attracting investment in Angola with the help of a fake guarantee from a bank in Europe.

European Banks Complicit as Corrupt African Leaders Plunder Their Home Economies

Appointed by his father to head the wealth fund in 2013, dos Santos was sacked earlier this year after he was charged with misappropriating public funds to the tune of $ 500 million from the National Bank of Angola. He promised to comply with investigations at the time.

His arrest, together with Angolan-Swiss businessman Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, is part of President Joao Lourenco’s plans to rid Africa’s number two oil producer of corruption. Angola is ranked by the Transparency International among the world top 20 most corrupt countries.

Former Transport Minister Augusto da Silva Tomas has also been arrested over allegations of embezzlement, local media reported.

Banks Face Criticism Over Growing Trend

The latest development comes at a time when European banks have faced criticism for allegedly aiding corrupt African leaders siphon billions of dollars from the impoverished continent. According to the African Capacity Building Foundation, the continent loses up to $ 50 billion in illicit financial flows each year.

Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari last week demanded that HSBC Bank return up to $ 100 million it allegedly helped former dictator Sani Abacha launder from the Nigerian economy.

European Banks Complicit as Corrupt African Leaders Plunder Their Home Economies

In 2006, Switzerland handed back $ 500 million of the Abacha loot to Nigeria – the first time any bank in Europe had returned stolen money to a country in Africa.

Liberia has indicated that it is investigating its former central bank governor Milton Weeks and Charles Sirleaf, son of the former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, over $ 104 million that vanished from state coffers.

HSBC Holdings plc is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC’s international network comprises around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa.

But the firm has been forced to pay billions of dollars in fines for money laundering and other financial crimes. In the US, HSBC paid $ 1.92 billion for helping to facilitate the laundering of Mexican drug money, and several million were paid in Hong Kong for systemic deficiencies.

Cryptocurrency to Stem The Flow of Illicit Transfers

Cyptocurrency is seen as key to helping African countries fight corruption and illicit transfers.

A report by Enrique and Eduardo Aldaz-Carrol published on the Brookings Institution website revealed that: “cryptocurrency and blockchain could help prevent fraud and corruption, reduce the costs of enforcement thanks to easily accessible information and faster crosschecks, and help supervise implementation and monitor efficiency and effectiveness of spending, increasing development impact”.

Do you think that banks in Europe are contributing to the collapse of African economies? Let us know how you feel in the comments section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.

Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post European Banks Complicit as Corrupt African Leaders Plunder Their Home Economies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Tennis Star’s Ex Kills Their Children, Himself

September 25, 2018 |

Impossible to imagine: Former pro tennis player Stephanie Reece learned Friday that her ex-husband had fatally shot their two children and himself, People reports. After getting a call that their kids, Shelby, 13, and Harrison, 15, weren’t in school, Reece tried reaching ex-husband Michael Hunn and finally drove to his…

Snapchat is partnering with Amazon to let users shop through their smartphone cameras

September 25, 2018 |

See something out in the world that you want to buy? Now you can just Snap it up.

Santa Monica’s Snap Inc. announced a partnership with Amazon on Monday that will enable users to point their smartphone cameras at a pair of shoes, the barcode on the bottom of a shampoo bottle, or any other object…

L.A. Times – Business

Chinese Report Finds 9 in 10 Altcoins to Have Stolen 80% of Their Code

September 12, 2018 |

Chinese Report Finds 9 in 10 Altcoins to Have Stolen 80% of Their Code

A report published by Chinese media has alleged that more than 80% of alternative cryptocurrencies are comprised of “plagiarizing code.” The report analyzed 488 different cryptocurrencies, finding that the code underpinning more than 90% of the projects shared a similarity score of at least 80%.

Also Read: IMF Pressures Marshall Islands to Drop National Crypto

4 in 5 Altcoins Accused of Stealing 90% of Their Code

Chinese Report Finds 9 in 10 Altcoins to Have Stolen 80% of Their CodeA report conducted by researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province and representative of Netta Lab, and published by Securities Daily – a state-operated Chinese media outlet, has found more than 90% of the code underpinning at least 4 in 5 altcoins to have been plagiarized.

The report purports to have examined 488 virtual currencies that use open source code. After comparing the code underpinning the analyzed cryptocurrencies in pairs, the researchers found that the code underpinning 405 cryptocurrencies (83%) yielded a similarity score of between 90% and 100%. Further, 324 of the virtual currencies (66.6%) had a similarity score of between 95% to 100%.

Only 38 cryptocurrencies (8%) were found to have a similarity score of less than 80%. 45 virtual currencies (9%) were found to have a similarity score of between 80% and 90%.

Altcoin Bubble Driven by Marketing, Not Development

Chinese Report Finds 9 in 10 Altcoins to Have Stolen 80% of Their CodeThe founder of Netta Lab, Xie Shaoyun, emphasized that the report’s findings highlight that the vast majority of altcoins allocate their resources to marketing rather than development, stating: ”So many blockchain projects shift their focus from technology development to marketing[, …] lead[ing] to the increasing number of copying and plagiarisms in this field.”

Xie Shaoyun also criticized what she described as a lack of technological innovation emerging from the distributed ledger technology industries, stating: “At present, the industry still lacks the real breakthrough in innovation and solves the problem, and puts the implementation of the application in the first place. The people are holding the mentality of experimenting and luck.”

“We should return to the essence, truly solve practical problems, do tools that can be used by users and bring convenience, build real value and usability, come up with actual products, and promote the development of the industry from the actual recognized value,” she concluded.

Are you surprised by the scale of code plagiarizing that Netta Lab’s report alleges is taking place among altcoins? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Chinese Report Finds 9 in 10 Altcoins to Have Stolen 80% of Their Code appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Hospitals are fed up with drug companies, so they’re starting their own

September 6, 2018 |

A group of major American hospitals, battered by price spikes on old drugs and long-lasting shortages of critical medicines, has launched a not-for-profit generic drug company, Civica Rx, to take some control over the drug supply.

Backed by seven large health systems and three philanthropic groups,…

L.A. Times – Business

Here’s what a ‘silver tsunami’ of retiring baby boomer business owners could mean for their workers

September 2, 2018 |

As Labor Day arrives — and economic inequality rises on the political agenda — a little-noticed measure in the recently signed defense spending bill aims to address the widening wealth divide between workers and the owners or top executives who manage them.

The measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Kirsten…

L.A. Times – Business

14K Men Gave Up Their DNA, and It Led to One Who Didn’t

September 1, 2018 |

In August 1998, 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen disappeared from his summer camp tent; his body was found the next day. Now, an arrest in a case that has been major news in the Netherlands and that involved a massive DNA undertaking. The Guardian reports that as the 20th anniversary of Nicky’s…

Bank of America reportedly froze some accounts after asking customers about their citizenship

September 1, 2018 |

In order to get a bank account in the U.S., customers need to provide their name, date of birth, address and an identification number, which may or may not indicate a person’s citizenship, federal regulators say.

But recent reports show that banks are also explicitly asking for an individual’s…

L.A. Times – Business

Celebrities who served their country

August 31, 2018 |

Scores of stars have proudly served in our armed forces over the years.
FOX News

Nixon, Cuomo Spar, Talk Over Each Other in Their One Debate

August 30, 2018 |

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon swapped insults and clashed over policy Wednesday in their only scheduled debate before the Sept. 13 Democratic primary. While the testy, hourlong exchange at Hofstra University featured plenty of interruptions and insults, neither candidate landed the…