Review Category : Antarabangsa

Selebriti Filipina dakwa anak-anaknya jadi mangsa gangguan seksual di taman tema di Malaysia



KUALA LUMPUR: Percutian yang sepatutnya menjadi memori indah kepada selebriti terkenal Filipina, Ruffa Gutierrez, menjadi sebaliknya igauan apabila beliau mendakwa anak-anaknya menjadi mangsa gangguan seksual sekumpulan lelaki sewaktu di sebuah taman tema air di Subang Jaya, baru-baru ini.

Bekas peserta Miss World 1993 itu mendakwa, kumpulan lelaki berkenaan mengeluarkan kata-kata berbaur lucah, serta cuba mengambil gambar dua anak gadisnya, Lorin Gabriella, 15 tahun dan Venice Bektas, 14 tahun.

Dalam perkembangan terbaharu, Gutierrez melalui laman Twitternya berkata, pengurus besar taman tema air itu telah menghubungi beliau secara peribadi berhubung insiden berkenaan.

Media melaporkan Ketua Polis Daerah Subang Jaya, Asisten Komisioner Mohamad Azlin Sadari sebagai berkata, pihaknya tidak menerima sebarang laporan polis daripada Gutierrez berhubung insiden itu.

Insiden itu menjadi perbualan pengguna laman media sosial, yang rata-rata menganggap ia tidak sepatutnya berlaku, dan memberi imej yang buruk kepada negara dari padangan pelancong asing. 



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Sindiket Penipuan Tiga rakyat Malaysia seorang warga Taiwan ditahan di Bangkok



BANGKOK: Tiga suspek rakyat Malaysia dan seorang warga Taiwan yang mempunyai kaitan dengan sindiket penipuan pusat panggilan rentas sempadan ditahan di sini hari ini berikutan serbuan bersama oleh Polis Thailand dan Kemboja di negara Indo China itu.

Polis Thailand percaya ketiga-tiga rakyat Malaysia termasuk wanita berusia 20 tahun, dan warga Taiwan itu diupah oleh sindiket tersebut untuk mengeluarkan wang daripada dua mangsa rakyat tempatan.

“Kami menemukan dua kad ATM milik kedua-dua mangsa yang membuat laporan polis baru-baru ini kerana mendakwa mereka ditipu dan mengalami kerugian berjumlah sehingga 6.19 juta Baht (RM793,000),” kata ketua pasukan petugas Thailand anti penipuan elektronik, Jen Thanisak Teerasawat hari ini.

Menurut beliau, polis juga menemukan lapan lagi kad ATM, wang tunai 232,000 Baht (RM29,743) dan beberapa mata wang asing yang lain serta lima kad SIM dari dua lelaki dan seorang wanita rakyat Malaysia masing-masing berusia 19 dan 20 tahun serta warga Taiwan berusia 34 tahun.

Empat rakyat asing itu ditahan sebagai sebahagian daripada operasi susulan operasi bersama melibatkan Polis Thailand dan Kemboja di Phnom Penh dan Sihanoukville minggu lepas apabila 26 rakyat Thailand, enam warga Taiwan dan lima rakyat Kemboja ditahan oleh pihak berkuasa.

Menurut pegawai polis Thailand berpangkat tinggi minggu lepas, 37 suspek tersebut adalah sebahagian daripada sindiket penipuan pusat panggilan yang bertanggungjawab menipu pelbagai mangsa rakyat Thailand membabitkan hampir 100 juta Baht (RM12.8 juta).

Mereka percaya sindiket penipuan rentas sempadan itu didalangi oleh rakyat Thailand, Malaysia dan Taiwan tetapi berpusat di Kemboja.

Sementara itu, Thanisak berkata, dalam tempoh dari 8 Dis tahun lepas sehingga semalam, Polis Thailand telah menahan 231 suspek yang dikehendaki kerana terlibat dalam penipuan pusat panggilan membabitkan kerugian kewangan sehingga 187 juta Baht (RM24 juta).

— BERNAMA



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Siapa pun lawannya Jokowi dijangka kekal presiden Indonesia



JOKO Widodo atau Jokowi dijangka tidak berdepan masalah mempertahankan kedudukannya sebagai orang nombor satu Indonesia dalam Pemilihan Presiden 2019 (Pilpres 2019).

Memetik sumber Okezone News, pemimpin berusia 56 tahun itu tidak ada masalah untuk mengekalkan jawatan yang dimenanginya pada 2014 biar siapa pun yang menjadi pencabarnya.

Antara yang disebut-sebut bakal mencabar Jokowi dalam Pilpres 2019 termasuk seteru lama Prabowo Subianto, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, Anies Baswedan dan Gatot Nurmantyo.

Bagaimanapun Pengarah Eksekutif Poltracking Indonesia, Hanta Yuda ketika membentangkan hasil kaji selidiknya berkata peluang untuk mereka memenangi hati pengundi agak tipis berbanding Jokowi.

Berdasarkan kaji selidik berkenaan, sekiranya berdepan Prabowo yang juga pencabarnya dalam Pilpres 2014, Jokowi mampu memperoleh 57.6 peratus undi berbanding hanya 33.7 peratus untuk Prabowo.

Baca: Jokowi menang dengan 53.15 peratus undi

Andai lawannya nanti adalah Agus yang juga anak sulung bekas presiden Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Jokowi dijangka mendapat undi lebih besar iaitu 64.7 peratus.

Hanya 14.6 peratus dijangka memilih Agus, sementara 20.6 peratus pula belum buat sebarang keputusan.

Sekiranya terpaksa berdepan naib presiden ketika ini Jusuf Kalla, Jokowi bukan hanya menang malah jumlah undinya lebih besar iaitu 66.4 peratus, berbanding 6.9 peratus undi untuk Jusuf.

Kaji selidik ini melibatkan 1,200 responden dan dilakukan dari 27 Januari hingga 3 Februari lepas.



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Polis Australia rampas 330 kilogram syabu



ADELAIDE: Polis Australia berjaya merampas 330 kilogram dadah jenis methamphetamine dan menahan tiga individu pada Isnin.

Menurut Penolong Pesuruhjaya Persekutuan Australia Neil Gaughan ia merupakan rampasan terbesar setakat ini membabitkan dadah jenis tersebut di negara itu dengan anggaran nilai pasaran semasa mencecah AS$214 juta.

Menurut laporan, dadah berkenaan disembunyikan dalam kren kapal kargo yang sedang menuju masuk ke selatan negara itu.

Ketiga-tiga suspek berusia 45 hingga 64 tahun dan bakal dihadapkan ke Mahkamah Majistret Adelaide hari ini.

Bagaimanapun pihak polis masih menyiasat dari mana sebenarnya dadah berkenaan di bawah namun mereka percaya kemungkinan besar ia dari Asia Tenggara



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Berang dilarang masuk kedai seorang lelaki cekik budak sehingga mati



JAKARTA: Pihak polis berjaya memberkas seorang lelaki selepas didakwa mencekik seorang budak lelaki sehingga mati di sebuah kedai di Pasar Rebo, Jakarta Timur, Indonesia.

“Kami sudah memberkas suspek semalam di daerah Cianjur,” jelas Ketua Polis Daerah Metro Jakarta Timur, Sapta Maulana.

Dalam kejadian yang berlaku pada 11 Februari, mangsa, Febrianto, 5, dicekik sehingga mati selepas berang dilarang masuk di sebuah kedai oleh ibu mangsa selaku pemilik kedai, lapor Detik News.

“Pada awal kejadian, suspek ingin masuk di kedai itu tetapi dilarang oleh ibu mangsa. Kemudian suspek mula naik berang lalu mencekik mangsa sehingga mati,” ujar Sapta.

Selain itu, suspek turut mencederakan ibu mangsa dengan memukulnya menggunakan tong gas seberat 3 kilogram.

“Ibu mangsa dipukul dengan tong gas 3 kilogram sehingga luka pada bahagian kepala,” kata saksi di tempat kejadian.

Bagaimanapun, suspek dipercayai merupakan pelanggan tetap di kedai tersebut sebelum ini.



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Kecewa dengan golongan dewasa pelajar sekolah AS rancang demonstrasi



FLORIDA: Susulan kejadian tembakan rambang di sebuah sekolah di Florida, Amerika Syarikat (AS), pelajar sekolah di seluruh negara itu berkumpul pada Ahad untuk mendesak undang-undang senjata api diketatkan.

Seorang pelajar sekolah di Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Emma Gonzalez, memberitahu, para pelajar merancang untuk mengadakan demonstrasi di Washington bulan depan kerana “golongan dewasa telah mengecewakan mereka”.

Gonzalez merupakan antara pelajar sekolah Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yang terselamat daripada insiden Feb 14 itu.

“Sepatutnya mereka (pemimpin) yang dipilih harus berkhidmat untuk kami, tetapi sekarang kami pula yang perlu berkhidmat untuk mereka. Dan perkara ini sangat menyedihkan,” jelasnya.

Menggunakan kuasa media sosial, pelajar sekolah itu termasuk pelajar lain di seluruh AS, kini merancang mengadakan perarakan di Washington.

Perhimpunan itu bagi membuka mata golongan dewasa yang gagal melindungi keselamatan golongan kanak-kanak.

Kejadian tembakan rambang di Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School minggu lepas telah membangkitkan sekali lagi isu kawalan dan pemilikan senjata di AS.



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Kerajaan China mahu basmi kemiskinan masyarakat Uighur di Xinjiang



XINJIANG: Kerajaan China merancang untuk menarik keluar seramai 400,000 penduduk wilayah Xinjiang dari kemiskinan melampau di negara tersebut.

Rancangan basmi kemiskinan selama tiga tahun itu tercetus selepas wujud kebimbangan terhadap penglibatan masyarakat Uighur dengan kumpulan tentera tempatan.

Ratusan orang ramai terbunuh di Xinjiang selepas berlaku serangan keganasan antara masyarakat Uighur yang bertutur dalam bahasa Turki dan pendatang majoriti etnik Han.

Wilayah Xinjiang yang diduduki hampir 10 juta Muslim Uighur mendakwa mereka seringkali menghadapi penindasan budaya dan agama.

Bagaimanapun, dakwaan itu dinafikan oleh Beijing.

Selain itu, China telah melancarkan operasi keselamatan besar-besaran di kawasan majoriti Muslim sebagai tindak balas terhadap serangan keganasan yang kerap kali berlaku beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini.

Kebimbangan timbul sekiranya masyarakat Uighur terlibat dalam kumpulan tentera tempatan ada kaitan dengan Daish untuk ‘berkhidmat’ di Syria dan Iraq.



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Gunung Berapi Sinabung meletus abu panas terhambur setinggi 5km



TANAH KARO: Gunung Berapi Sinabung dilaporkan meletus dan memuntahkan abu ke udara pagi tadi.

Bagaimanapun setakat ini tiada laporan kecederaan atau kematian akibat letusan tersebut.

Agensi Mitigasi Bencana Nasional Indonesia menyatakan abu panas yang dimuntahkan oleh gunung berapi berkenaan terhambur setinggi 4,900 meter dengan tanda-tanda ia bergerak ke arah selatan mengikut tiupan angin.

Gunung berapi berkenaan direkodkan tidak aktif setelah lebih empat abad sebelum ia kembali meletus pada 2010 yang menyebabkan dua maut.

Pada 2014 gunung berkenaan sekali lagi meletus dan membunuh 16 orang dan kali terakhir ialah pada tahun 2016 hingga mengorbankan tujuh orang.

Pusat Penasihat Abu Gunung Berapi Serantau yang berpangkalan di Darwin Australia telah mengeluarkan Amaran Merah kepada semua syarikat penerbangan.



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Pelajar sekolah di AS naik hantu apabila Trump beri alasan isu Rusia



WASHINGTON: Reaksi Presiden Amerika Syarikat (AS) Donald Trump dalam menjawab isu kelemahan kawalan keselamatan hingga sebuah sekolah di Florida menjadi medan pertumpahan darah akibat insiden tembakan rambang, mencetuskan kemarahan ramai.

Apabila mengulas tentang isu itu, Trump dengan pantas menuding jari kepada pihak Biro Penyiasatan Persekutuan (FBI) dan penggubal undang-undang yang sibuk dengan hal siasatan penglibatan Rusia dalam pilihan raya presiden.

Menurutnya, kesibukan tersebut membuatkan pihak pentadbiran AS ‘terlepas pandang’ tentang ancaman keselamatan di sekolah tersebut.

Hal itu telah mencetuskan rasa tidak puas hati rakyat AS khususnya kumpulan pelajar sekolah yang marah dengan kegagalan pihak berkuasa membendung kes tembakan rambang yang kerap menyasarkan institusi pembelajaran.

Dalam tweet bersiri yang dihantar dari estet Mar-a-Lago di Florida, Trump berkata siasatan menunjukkan Rusia berjaya menyebabkan kacau ganggu di AS.

Trump juga menuduh bekas presiden, Barack Obama, gagal mengekang campur tangan Rusia sewaktu kempen pilihan raya presiden.

Kemudian dalam tweet pada Sabtu malam, Trump mengkritik FBI kerana terlepas pandang kes seorang remaja, Nikolas Cruz, 19, yang didakwa membunuh 17 orang di Sekolah Marjory Stoneman Douglas di Parkland, di pingggir bandar Fort Lauderdale.

“Sangat meenyedihkan apabila FBI terlepas pandang sebarang petanda mengenai penembak di Florida tersebut.

“Mereka (FBI) banyak habiskan masa cuba membuktikan campur tangan Rusia  dalam kempen pilihan raya,” ujarnya.

Trump bagaimanapun gagal menunjukkan kaitan antara ketidakcepakan FBI menangani kes tembakan Florida dengan ‘kesibukan’ menyiasat penglibatan Rusia dalam mempengaruhi politik AS.
Pelajar mengamuk

BACA: Ini AR-15, raifal dalam serangan kejam ragut 17 nyawa di Florida

BACA: Kes tembakan Florida: ‘Dia baru 14 tahun, kenapa mati cara sebegitu?’

BACA: Penduduk Florida berang isu keselamatan di sekolah

Rakyat setempat dan para pelajar Sekolah Marjory Stoneman Douglas, lebih-lebih lagi yang rapat dengan mangsa korban tembakan, berang dengan kenyataan Trump yang disifatkan tidak berhati perut

“Oh Tuhan.. 17 rakan sekolah saya sudah mati, dan anda tergamak mengaitkannya dengan Rusia? Kamu tak berhati perut!” luah Morgan Williams, 16, menerusi akaun Twitter.

Beberapa penggubal undang-undang, termasuk yang berada dalam barisan Republikan, juga tidak dapat menerima tindakan Trump yang cuba mengalihkan perhatian kepada isu Rusia.

“Betapa ramai petugas FBI yang melakukan segalanya demi meastikan kita semua selamat. Realitinya ialah, apa yang dikatakan Trump itu dua isu berbeza,” ujar Senator Republikan, Tim Scott dalam sebuah program televisyen.

Bekas Timbalan Peguam Negara Sally Yates juga mengulas tentang perkara itumenerusi Twitternya: “Presiden kita menggunakan tragedi ini untuk mengkritik siasatan tentang campur tangan pihak luar dalam sistem demokrasi kita. Memalukan!”

BACA: 18 insiden tembakan di pusat pendidikan Amerika Syarikat pada 2018

BACA: ‘Kecewa dengan golongan dewasa’, pelajar sekolah AS rancang demonstrasi



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Eyes wide shut The US1.8 billion Indian bank fraud that went unnoticed


NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The Punjab National Bank branch in south Mumbai sits just down the road from both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Reserve Bank of India, at a physical center of one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.

The branch, clad in a stately colonial edifice, is now also at the heart of a fraud case linked to billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi that has shaken confidence in a state banking sector that accounts for some 70 percent of India’s banking assets.

It was here, according to accounts from Punjab National Bank executives and government investigators, that a lone middle-aged manager, later aided by his young subordinate, engineered fraudulent transactions totaling about US$1.8 billion from 2011 to 2017.

The bank says it is still investigating how they were able to do so and go undetected for so long. The accounts given by current and former executives who spoke to Reuters suggest an answer as simple as it is alarming: no one was paying attention.

The still unraveling story of how the fraud happened – which includes the alleged misuse of the SWIFT interbank messaging system and incomplete ledger entries – points to a breakdown in checks and balances, and standard banking practices, they said.

Police make way for a vehicle carrying three people suspected of steering fraudulent loans to companies linked to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, at a court in Mumbai, India, Feb 17, 2018. - REUTERS
The apparent failure of anyone to notice the largest fraud in Indian banking history until this January reveals a “rot” in the state financial sector that goes beyond one lender, said Santosh Trivedi, who spent nearly four decades at Punjab National Bank before retiring in 2016 as a senior manager of audit and inspection in the New Delhi head office.

“Unless this rot is controlled at this stage, to the satisfaction of the international community, it is dangerous for the Indian system,” Trivedi said.

JEWELER TO THE STARS

Last month, Punjab National Bank, known as PNB, filed an initial criminal complaint with the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accusing celebrity jeweler Nirav Modi and others of defrauding the bank and causing it a loss of 2.8 billion Indian rupees (more than US$43 million).

The allegations against a man whose diamond creations have draped Hollywood stars such as Kate Winslet and Dakota Johnson generated a flurry of coverage across India’s TV screens and newspapers. Modi has not publicly commented on the case. He and his family left the country in earlier January, according to Indian officials, and a call on Sunday to a corporate spokesperson who has handled media for Modi in the past went unanswered. No charges have been filed against him.

But as more details surfaced about what is alleged to have happened at the state-run bank, which was founded in 1894, the stakes have gotten higher.

A review of bank and government documents related to the case – and interviews with current and former PNB executives, bank auditors and experts – points to a lack of accountability and standards in the country’s public banking system.

As of last September, those banks held about 87 percent of the Indian banking system’s 9.46 trillion rupees (about US$147 billion) of soured loans that are non-performing, restructured or rolled over.

A preliminary investigation by the nation’s tax authority said of the PNB fraud that “the hit Indian banks would take in the end may well exceed” US$3 billion, according to an internal note seen by Reuters.

“Yes, there is a problem. We have recognized it,” bank Chief Executive Officer Sunil Mehta said during an investor call on Friday. “We are in the process of fixing it up. We’ll see wherever the loopholes are there. The people-related risk, we are going to mitigate.”

But despite that promise of action, one current senior executive at the bank’s headquarters in New Delhi said further problems could not be ruled out.

“In Indian banks, we don’t work under ideal situation,” the executive, who declined to be identified, said during an interview at his office. “We are in the business of risk, you can’t say there won’t be road accidents.”

FRAUDULENT GUARANTEES

According to court documents filed on Saturday by the CBI, branch deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty issued a series of fraudulent Letters of Undertaking – essentially guarantees sent to other banks so that they would provide loans to a customer, in this case a group of Indian jewelry companies.

These letters were sent to overseas branches of banks, thought to be almost all Indian, that would then lend money to the jewelry firms.

Shetty did so using the bank’s SWIFT system to log in with passwords that allowed him, and in at least some instances a more junior official, to serve as both the person who sent messages and as the person who reviewed them for approval, according to court documents and interviews with bank executives.

“The involvement and connivance of more staff members and outsiders at this stage cannot be ruled out,” said a CBI document submitted to the court in Mumbai.

Shetty is now in custody and he has not publicly responded to the allegations. Calls to a cell phone listed for his wife on court documents were not answered.

Asked about the password sharing, the senior Punjab National Bank executive said it was not best practice but in the everyday bustle of Indian banks it happens.

“When you are flooded with customers in the morning, with 101 demands, you look for shortcuts,” he said. “You do somebody else’s work, somebody else does your work. You are not working in an ideal situation.”

A second senior executive at the bank’s headquarters, who also asked that his name not be used, echoed that sentiment.

After entering the transactions on SWIFT, the CBI documents said, Shetty – who worked at the same branch from 2010 to 2017 despite normal bank practices of regular rotations – did not record them on the bank’s internal system.

Because PNB’s internal software system was not linked with SWIFT, employees were expected to manually log SWIFT activity. If that was not done, the transactions did not show up on the bank’s books.

A SWIFT spokeswoman said in a statement last week that the company does not comment on individual customers.

All together, there were at least 150 such fraudulent Letters of Undertaking during a seven-year period, according to a CBI official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In addition to detaining Shetty and the junior employee, the CBI has arrested a man who it described in court documents as both being “aware about the modus operandi of the entire scams” and serving as a director in “15 to 16 companies of Nirav Modi Group”.

An older brother of the man, Hemant Bhatt, said outside a courtroom on Saturday that he was innocent and the allegations were the result of a “media trial”. The brother did not give his name.

An uncle of the junior bank employee, Manoj Kharat, told a Reuters reporter outside the court that his nephew was “just following orders of superiors” and added “he wasn’t aware of what he is doing”.

All three are to be held in custody until March 3. No charges have so far been laid against them.

FINANCIAL HIT

A Feb 12 note seen by Reuters, sent from PNB to other banks and marked “confidential”, said: “None of the transactions were routed through the CBS system” – the bank’s internal network – “thus avoiding early detection of fraudulent activity.”

The Reserve Bank of India did not respond to a request for comment about whether it had earlier detected any anomalies in Punjab National Bank’s operations or whether it would take additional action in auditing banks.

In a statement late on Friday the central bank called the fraud at PNB “a case of operational risk arising on account of delinquent behavior by one or more employees of the bank and failure of internal controls”. It also said the central bank “has already undertaken a supervisory assessment of control systems in PNB and will take appropriate supervisory action”.

The CBI paperwork says the fraudulent Letters of Undertaking are likely to add up to “the vicinity of” 60 billion rupees, or more than US$930 million. Bank executives say the amount tallied by working back through internal records is $1.77 billion.

With assets of about US$120 billion as of December, according to bank filings, PNB will be able to cover any associated losses, though it is still a huge hit for a bank whose stock market value was only US$6.1 billion before it revealed details of the alleged fraud last week. It has since seen US$1.4 billion wiped off that market capitalization.

The mechanics of how the fraud happened, and what it says about the underlying industry culture, are worrying, said Abizer Diwanji, national leader for financial services in India at accounting firm Ernst & Young.

“Checks and balances are there in public banks as well but they are not followed earnestly,” said Diwanji, who has tracked India’s financial services industry for more than two decades.

“This is where the discipline, the culture is not there. I always believe that we don’t have the culture to manage risks, even operational risks. PNB is not an outlier in this.”

To control such risks, most private sector banks require branches to route SWIFT messages through their central offices, Diwanji said. They also usually integrate their own software systems and SWIFT, meaning that activity such as a Letter of Undertaking being sent would get automatically recorded.

Neither is the case at PNB or most state-run banks in India, Diwanji said.

Representatives of two of the external audit firms listed on PNB’s annual report for the 2016-17 fiscal year said they could not have known what happened.

“It was off-books, so auditors will not be in a position to detect it,” said Sudesh Punhani, a partner at Chhajed & Doshi.

Asked whether the bank’s failure to integrate its software system and SWIFT was a cause of concern, Neeraj Golas, a partner at R. Devendra Kumar & Associates, also an external auditor of the bank, said: “True, true – we have to really get into it and understand what all these things are.”



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