Less than two weeks after stepping down as U.N. Secretary-General, a move many interpreted as an indication of his intention to run for the Presidency of South Korea, two of Ban Ki-Moon’s relatives have been indicted in the U.S. on charges of bribery. According to the Daily Mail, Ban Ki-Moon’s brother, Ban Ki-sang, and nephew, Joo Hyun “Dennis” Bahn who is a New York real estate broker, have been indicted for an alleged scheme to bribe a Middle Eastern official to use his country’s sovereign wealth fund to purchase a struggling $800 million real estate complex in Vietnam. Joo Hyun Bahn has been arrested in New York City and is expected to appear in court later today according to the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Two relatives of former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon have been indicted on U.S. charges that they engaged in a scheme to bribe a Middle Eastern official in connection with the attempted $800 million sale of a building complex in Vietnam.
Joo Hyun “Dennis” Bahn, a New York real estate broker who is Ban Ki-Moon’s nephew, and his father Ban Ki-sang, Ban Ki-moon’s brother who was a senior executive at South Korean construction firm Keangnam Enterprises Co Ltd, were charged in an indictment unsealed on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.
Bahn is in custody and expected to appear in court later on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. Defense lawyers could not immediately be identified.
Late President A P J Abdul Kalam was a tad cautious about ‘Make in India’ campaign saying though it’s “quite ambitious”, it has to be ensured that India does not become the low-cost, low-value assembly line of the world. On Digital India, he felt it has the potential to activate the knowledge connectivity needed in villages and remote areas and “we need to bridge the gaps of lower level of literacy, language and customised content, though”. These views are expressed in the soon-to-be published “Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity”, one of the last books written by Kalam along with his aide Srijan Pal Singh.
The book, published by HarperCollins India, also has his unfinished speech of July 27 at IIM-Shillong where he collapsed only to breathe his last hours later. The NDA government launched ‘Make in India’ in September last year. The programme aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation. “Well, let us be clear on this. ‘Make in India’ is quite ambitious. But we need such high aspirations… I agree with the infrastructure concern. “India has seen an unbalanced infra growth -variations are rampant across states and sectors. For instance, while the telecom and Internet sectors have made remarkable progress, many villages still are not connected with roads and power. Physical infrastructure cannot be ignored for manufacturing growth,” he wrote.
Most international bribes are paid by large companies, often with the full knowledge of senior management, the Organisation of Cooperation and Economic Development said in a report.
The OECD study – based on analysis of data emerging from all foreign bribery enforcement actions concluded since the introduction of its own Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999 – also found that most bribes are paid in advanced countries instead of emerging markets.
The OECD report cast doubts over the frequent corporate defense to graft claims that senior executives were unaware of the bungs.
Most international bribes are paid by large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management.
The report defined a large company as one with more than 250 employees. It added:
Bribery and corruption cases jumped 13 per cent globally since 2011 with engineering and construction sector topping the list, followed by government business, a PwC report said today.
According to the multinational accounting firm, the menace of bribery and corruption will continue to rule the economic crimes chart this year as well.
“Every region reported a significant number of incidences of bribery and corruption. Twenty-seven per cent of all respondents who reported economic crime experienced corruption during the survey period, making it the third-highest crime specified and a relative increase of 13 per cent from 24 per cent reported in 2011,” PwC said in its 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey.
This was third only to asset misappropriation (69 per cent) and procurement fraud (29 per cent), it added. Read More
An estimated €120 billion is lost to corruption each year throughout the 27 member states, the EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom has said.
“In public procurement, studies suggest that up to 20 to 25 percent of the public contracts’ value may be lost to corruption,” said Malmstrom on Tuesday (5 March) at an anti-corruption seminar in Göteborg, Sweden.
The Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) noted in a report out in the 2012 that the worse offenders in public procurement cases are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and Slovakia.
Public procurement contracts in the EU have an estimated worth of around 15 percent of the EU’s total GDP. Read More
An influential US Congress committee is set to call for investigations against Huawei Technologies, the world’s second-largest network equipment vendor, for alleged bribery and violations of US immigration laws.
In a draft report about Huawei and its smaller Chinese peer ZTE, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, one of two congressional intelligence committees, concluded that both companies pose a threat to US national security and should be restricted more tightly from doing business in the US.
While the report – which was due to be published on Monday night in the US – is advisory in nature, its specific allegations against Huawei might add new hurdles for the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s long-running attempt to break into the US market.
“The testimony and evidence of individuals who currently or formerly worked for Huawei in the United States or who have done business with Huawei also brought to light several very serious allegations of illegal behaviour that require additional investigation. The Committee will refer these matters to the Executive Branch for potential investigation,” the draft says. It mentions allegations of bringing in employees on the wrong kinds of visas and paying bribes to gain contracts. Read More
For more than a half-century, Rupert Murdoch’s business acumen and political shrewdness built one of the world’s most powerful media empires. Now his dynasty is under threat — not from outside competition, but from shocking allegations of journalistic impropriety, obstruction of justice and bribery by employees and executives at Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World.
• The End of Wall Street As They Knew It (NY Mag) see also U.S. Brokerage Firms Closing Shop After Trading Drop-Off, Capital Squeeze (Bloomberg) • Facebook Twofer: …..-Why Facebook is likely to do a face-plant (Market Watch) …..-The value of friendship (The Economist) • Most Tech Takeovers Since 2007 Spurred by Data Torrent (Bloomberg) • Feds Disclose New 401(k) Rules (WSJ) • Sunken platinum treasure pegged at $3 billion (Petoskey News) • JPMorgan, BofA Sued by New York Over Use of Mortgage Database (Bloomberg) see also HUD Secretary Expects “Substantial” Payment of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement with MBS Investor Money (FDL) • China Risks 4-Point Growth-Rate Cut in Case of Europe Worsening: Economy (Bloomberg) • Listen to Your Community, But Don’t Let Them Tell You What to Do (Coding Horror) • Second markets Losing a Goose That Laid the Golden Egg (DealBook) • Forget super PACs. A modest proposal for legalizing bribery (Washington Post)
BRIBERY involves two parties, not one. Lambasting officials in poor countries for their sticky fingers is easier (and less open to legal challenge) than investigating the outsiders who suborn them. On November 2nd Transparency International (TI), a Berlin-based campaigning group, published its Bribe Payers Index. Based on questions to 3,000 businessmen, this ranks 28 countries (accounting for 80% of global trade and investment) by the perceived likelihood of their companies paying bribes when doing business abroad. Construction and industries involving government contracts, unsurprisingly, were the dirtiest. This index shows a different side of bribery from TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which focuses on corruption in the public sector. Putting them together, there is a strong correlation between corruption in the public and private sectors.