Bribery and Corruption
Brazil’s Giant Corruption Probe Ensnares U.S. Steel Venture
U.S. Steel Corp. is looking into accusations that one of its local ventures paid $11 million in bribes from 2009 to 2013.
Police and prosecutors are investigating pipe supplier Apolo Tubulars SA, owned 50 percent by U.S. Steel, as well as Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA’s Confab unit, for suspected involvement in a scheme to win contracts at state-controlled oil company Petrobras.
Korea’s Corruption Fight Faces Backlash for Being Too Strict
Bloomberg reports of a backlash against new anti-corruption laws to be implemented by South Korea in September that aims to end a wide-spread practice of pampering public officials.
Former Calpers CEO gets 4-1/2 years in prison on bribery charges
The former chief executive officer of one of the USA's largest public pension funds, Calpers, has been sentenced to prison in relation to a bribery conviction.
It is understood that Federico Buenrostro admitted to accepting gifts, travel and other benefits totalling approximately $200,000 whilst he served as CEO between 2002 and 2008.
Ponzi fraudsters sentenced to a total of 21 years
Jolan Marc Saunders, Michael Dean Strubel and Spencer Mitchell Steinberg, were all convicted of conspiracy to defraud following an investigation by the SFO and sentenced to a total of nearly 21 years.
From 2006, the three men ran a ponzi fraud which involved an electrical supply business and they took almost £80m from London investors. The money was then spent on yachts, expensive property and cars.
Confiscation matters will be heard at Southwark Crown Court on 10 March 2017.
Former Barclays banker tells court that bosses must have known about Libor fixes
Jay Merchant, a former Barclays trader, who is currently on trial accused of manipulating US Libor between June 2005 and September 2007 has told the court that three senior Barclays executives must have known about the rate fixing.
SFO governance arrangements report
The study by the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate found that the SFO could provide better value for money if its budget were raised so it became less reliant on “blockbuster funding”. Blockbuster funding is applied for when it is expected that the costs to investigate and potentially prosecute a case exceed 5% of the SFO's core budget.
The 2015-16 conviction rate was only 31.6% in comparison to a rate of 84.6% in 2013-14 and 78.2% in 2014-15.
Libor probe dropped in Germany for ex-Deutsche Bank staff
It is understood that prosecutors in Frankfurt have dropped a case into five former Deutsche Bank staff for alleged Libor manipulation.
It has been reported that it could not be established that erroneous information submitted by staff could have influenced the rate, and that the law did not provide any basis for prosecution.
N Korea could be linked to cyber-attacks on banks, security firm says
The BBC has reported that cyber-security firm, Symantec, is conducting an investigation into whether North Korea could be linked to attacks on banks in recent months.
Health and Safety
Royal Mail fined after worker suffered injuries
The Royal Mail Group Limited has been fined after a worker’s foot was run over by a reach truck in a bundling warehouse.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that workplace transport was not organised to ensure pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely as they both operated in the same areas without segregation.
Royal Mail Group Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and was fined £50,000 with costs of £10,406.
Pipe manufacturing company fined for safety failings
Asset International Limited, a pipe manufacturing company based in Newport has been fined for safety failings after seven reported cases of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) between April 2014 and July 2015.
Newport Crown Court heard that employees of the firm used vibrating tools without proper training or practical controls to reduce vibration risk.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found no sufficient risk assessment or health surveillance had been carried out.
The firm pleaded guilty to offences under Regulations 5,6,7, and 8 of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 and fined a total of £200,000 with costs of £27,724.
Worker injured with powered bowl mixer
Haydens Bakery, a Wiltshire bakery which manufactures confectionary items, has been fined for safety failings after a worker was injured with a powered bowl mixer.
An employee of the company, caught his wedding ring on an unguarded attachment of the rotating shaft on a powered bowl mixer. He suffered injuries to his ring finger which required partial amputation.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the company had modified the machine by adding a securing clip to a rotating shaft but failed to identify and address the additional risk created.
Haydens Bakery pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(3) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £40,000 with £5,950 costs.
U.N. lifted its sanctions and arms embargo on Liberia
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday voted to end sanctions and an arms embargo on Liberia.
US lifts arms embargo on Vietnam
Following an announcement by President Obama, the US has lifted its long-standing arms embargo on Vietnam.