NAIROBI/MORONI (Reuters) – A programme to sell Comoros Islands citizenship to fund development resulted in thousands of passports being sold outside official channels via “mafia” networks and up to $100 million of revenues went missing, according to a report by the small Indian Ocean state’s parliament.
The report, produced by a parliamentary commission set up in June 2017 to investigate the citizenship programme, also said former presidents Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi and Ikililou Dhoinine, who were in power when the alleged abuses took place, were “suspected of the embezzlement of public funds.”
The programme was flawed from its inception and the current Comoros government should seek international help to recover the missing funds and take officials involved to court, the report concluded.
In a video posted on Facebook, Sambi rejected all accusations against him, saying they had been fabricated to discredit him. He didn’t respond to a request for further comment.
Ikililou told Reuters by telephone that he could not comment on the report as he had not read it yet. Both men have previously said they believed the scheme would help develop the country, an archipelago off the east coast of Africa.
Full Read – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-comoros-passports-exclusive/exclusive-comoros-passport-scheme-was-unlawful-abused-by-mafia-networks-report-idUSKBN1GZ37H
Singer, songwriter, and producer R. Kelly was recently evicted from two properties in the Atlanta suburbs for failing to pay more than $30,000 in back rent and fees.
The two properties, situated in the tree-lined Johns Creek neighborhood of Duluth, GA, have had a shadow cast on them by the scandals surrounding Kelly. There’s a large mansion and a smaller home, both of which Kelly had been renting. The homes have taken center stage in sex abuse allegations against the entertainer, in addition to dual burglaries committed in December.
The larger home on Old Homestead Trail was used as a primary residence by Kelly, according to BuzzFeed, which published a bombshell report in October accusing the popular R&B crooner of running a “sex cult” involving brainwashing, with a stable of young women kept in guesthouses near his Johns Creek home.
Kelly denies these allegations.
The singer rented the large mansion for $11,542.45 per month. Built in 2000, the 9,000-square-foot estate is situated on 2.5 acres and has its own batting cage and a tennis court that Kelly turned into a basketball court. Indoors, the home boasts luxe amenities, including a home theater and cigar bar.
Full Article and pictures – https://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/r-kelly-evicted-two-atlanta-properties/
A federal ethics agency has ruled that one of President Trump’s closest White House aides twice broke the law separating government from politics.
Kellyanne Conway, who was Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, advocated for Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s recent Senate election during live television interviews broadcast from the White House lawn.
The Office of Special Counsel found Conway violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from using their office for partisan politics.
OSC is an independent federal ethics agency that has no relationship with Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.
In two interviews on the Alabama race, one with Fox News and one with CNN, Conway spoke in front of the White House using her official title, counselor to the president, while repeatedly attacking the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones.
Full Read – http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/kellyanne-conway-violated-federal-ethics-rules-watchdog-agency-says#stream/0
Two East Tennessee counties are now on board to join a growing and fast-moving national effort to use federal racketeering laws to hold drug makers, distributors and dispensers accountable for creating and fostering the opioid epidemic in the United States, records show.
Government leaders in Campbell and Scott Counties have authorized the filing of lawsuits in U.S. District Court against the firms that make, distribute and dispense opiate prescription painkillers.
The law firm Jessee & Jessee filed the first such legal action in the federal Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of Campbell County earlier this year. The law firms Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and Taylor & Knight filed a similar action on behalf of Scott County late last week.
Full Read – https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2018/03/06/scott-campbell-counties-opioid-epidemic-big-pharma-racketeering-lawsuits/399172002/
Crime experts are expecting Montreal’s gang wars to heat up this year.
Leonardo Rizzuto and Stefano Sollecito walked out of the Montreal courthouse on Monday, February 19 as free men. That this caused surprise among organized crime observers is understandable. That it caused extreme frustration among law enforcement is probable, given that this is yet another case against Quebec-based organized crime figures botched by the cops and the Crown.
The two alleged high profile Mafia leaders had their charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and gangsterism tossed out of court after Quebec Superior Court Judge Eric Downs ruled that key evidence was inadmissible. That evidence stemmed from wiretaps planted by police in 2015 in the office of lawyer Loris Cavaliere—wiretaps that the judge said violated the sanctity of solicitor-client privilege. The accused argued that investigators didn’t put in enough safeguards to guarantee the privacy of Cavaliere’s other client. The judge sided with them and threw the wiretap evidence out, leaving the Crown with little else to prove Rizzuto and Sollecito’s guilt.
Full Read – https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/evmq3p/a-mafia-acquittal-is-the-latest-l-for-quebec-law-enforcement