By Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo December 04, 2017 Nice blog. I would like to share it with my friends. I hope you will continue your works like this. Keep up the excellent work. You have a magical talent of holding readers mind. It is something special which cant be given to everyone. Keep it safe 🙂 In just two operations, the Peruvian Navy (MGP, per its Spanish acronym) intercepted 971 kilograms of cocaine along the country’s coast. In the last months of 2017, MGP helped seize more than two tons of cocaine. On the night of September 30th, 2017, MGP found 700 packets of drugs in Los Órganos Beach, in the northern department of Piura. According to MGP, the maritime patrol ship BAP Río Cañete pursued a vessel that approached the beach and then fled when it noticed the patrols. The authorities seized 850 kilograms of cocaine wrapped in packets the size of bricks and placed in 20 black polyethylene bags buried in the sand. According to the authorities, the drugs came from the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM, per its Spanish acronym) and were on their way to the United States or Europe through Ecuador. The authorities work under the premise that the merchandise could belong to a Mexican cartel, as the packets, worth about $25,000 on the international market, had the logos “Speedy Gonzales” and “Kuka.” During the operation, authorities arrested one person and seized a pickup truck and a recreational boat. The Counter Narcotics Executive Directorate (DIREJANDRO, per its Spanish acronym) of the National Police of Peru (PNP, per its Spanish acronym), with the support of MGP led the seizure. “When we have such information [about drug trafficking], we work together,” Peruvian Navy Captain Bruno Fatur Díaz, MGP commander of Coast Guard Operations, told Diálogo. “They [PNP] can give us information about our area of jurisdiction, and we can also gather data that’s reported to their area of intelligence.” Strike in Ilo In mid-September, MGP seized 121 cocaine packets aboard a Maltese vessel. The Dimitris C, a cargo ship moored at the port of Ilo, on Peru’s southern coast, hailed from Iquique, Chile, and was due to continue its voyage to the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador. “There was a tip, something suspicious was unloaded by some of the crew,” said MGP Commander Augusto Alzamora Olivari. “Although there were no specifics—it wasn’t exactly seen—the captain of the [Maltese flag] ship reported that there was something unusual going on in his vessel.” Based on that information, calls were made to the Attorney General, Customs, PNP, and others who worked with MGP. The ship search took 12 hours. At the end, authorities found three canvas bags and a briefcase containing 121 kilograms of cocaine. “We divided into two search groups,” Cmdr. Alzamora explained. “We took orders from the attorney general and worked in two teams with 15 people. One team remained on land so that no one could board, and the other carried out the inspection.” Intelligence and perseverance The mountainous jungle of VRAEM is the largest cocaine producing area in Peru, the world’s second leading cocaine producer. According to the National Commission for Development and Drug Free Living (DEVIDA, per its Spanish acronym), Peru’s antinarcotics organization, the region counts an estimated 55,000 hectares of coca plants. Drug traffickers continue to favor the maritime space to transport drugs. With a coastline of nearly 2,400 kilometers and dozens of ports, the threats to Peru’s coast are significant. An estimated 44 million tons of cargo passed through Peru’s public port terminals in 2016. Such high traffic makes it impossible to search each vessel. In addition, drug trafficking through ports increased due to criminal networks’ efforts to recruit port workers who help conceal and transport drugs. “When ships arrive, we do random inspections,” Cmdr. Alzamora explained. “Also, there are ships that stand by, waiting to see whether they want to unload drugs from the side of the ship instead of in port, because there are more controls in port—except when the staff has been compromised—but usually they try to unload it right off of the ship, at sea, to take it to another area.” MGP intercepts vessels at sea. “There [at sea] is where our guard ship operates, in addition to the personnel from headquarters who do random inspections,” Cmdr. Alzamora said. The intelligence work and cooperation among the various authorities involved in the war on drugs allows for the detection of vessels carrying illegal cargo and the fulfillment of their mission. “We don’t need any reward; it’s our job to combat these illegal activities in our jurisdiction,” Capt. Fatur concluded. “We do this as part of the government, together with all state institutions, as a single clenched fist.”
Railpen, Standard Life/Aberdeen, Franklin Templeton, CDC, FRR, Foreningen NLP, Westerbrink, Folksam Liv, AMNT, SFAMA, Northern Trust, AXA IM, FRC, La Francaise, FCA, AGH, Aon HewittRailways Pension Scheme (Railpen) – The multi-employer scheme for the UK’s railways industry has named Leo George as head of sustainable ownership, replacing Deborah Gilshan who will leave to join Standard Life at the end of March. George joined the pension scheme in 2009, and has overseen asset allocation for pooled funds, thematic investment research, and investment strategy. In his new role he will be responsible for “integrating sustainable ownership considerations” for public and private market investments, Railpen said. Railpen also plans to hire an additional “senior governance professional” to its sustainable ownership team.Standard Life/Aberdeen – The two asset managers, who announced a merger on 6 March, have moved to clarify how their respective chief executives will co-operate when they begin sharing the role post-merger. It followed questions raised in the media coverage of the deal about whether Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen, and Keith Skeoch, CEO of Standard Life, can successfully work together as co-CEOs.According to a statement released by the companies, Skeoch will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the combined business, including its investment, pensions, and savings businesses. He will also oversee insurance joint ventures in India and China, as well as operations, finance, human resources, “risk and regulatory culture”, legal, and secretariat functions. Gilbert’s responsibilities will include “international activities, distribution including client engagement and business development, marketing, and corporate development”, the companies’ statement said. The pair will share responsibilities as members of the executive committee, developing strategy and objectives, and monitoring performance.Franklin Templeton – Mark Mobius, veteran emerging markets investor and executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, is to step down as named manager on 12 of the US-based asset manager’s suite of funds in the next two months. The group said the move was part of the “ongoing evolution” of the company. Most of the fund managers taking on official responsibilities have been the lead decision makers on the funds for some time.Caisse des Dépots et Consignations (CDC) – The pension division of the French state-owned investment group has made two new hires. Anne-Laure Genty will be joining as senior specialist for sustainability, leaving a role in the French environment ministry. François Tirmarche, meanwhile, will join as deputy to Caroline Le Meaux, head of delegated management at CDC. Tirmarche is currently fixed income director at Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the French pension reserve fund.LD/Foreningen NLP – Lars Wallberg, finance director at Denmark’s LD pension fund, has been hired by Foreningen NLP (NLP Association) – a fund which owns 25% of Nordea Life & Pension – as its new chief executive. Wallberg will take up the post on 1 June. He has been in his current job at LD since 2011, and was previously CFO at LD and finance director at Sampension. Wallberg will be responsible for managing the association’s assets of more than DKK8bn (€1bn) for its members and charitable activities, as well as building up the association’s secretariat.Westerbrink – Pensions lawyer Hans van Meerten is to join pensions consultancy Westerbrink as partner in April. At Westerbrink, Van Meerten is to focus on national and international individual defined contribution. At year-end, Van Meerten left law firm Clifford Chance, where he had worked since 2011. Van Meerten said that he would also keep on being active for law firm Coupry, and that he will also stay on as professor for international pension law at Utrecht University.Folksam Liv – Lars Ericsson, chief executive of the Stockholm Consumer Cooperative Society (Konsumentföreningen Stockholms), has been proposed as the new chairman of the board of Folksam Liv. Nominations will be voted on at the company’s AGM on 20 April.Association for Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) – Leanne Clements has been appointed “Red Line Voting” campaign manager, effective from April. Clements was previously the responsible investment manager at the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). She resigned from her role at the PPF last autumn. Clements will support the adoption and implementation of the Red Line Voting policies, a set of voting instructions covering a range of environmental, social and governance issues.SFAMA – The Swiss asset management association has a new board member: André Bantli, managing director, head of retail-wholesale business for Switzerland, the Middle East and Africa at BlackRock in Switzerland. Bantli is also a member of BlackRock Switzerland’s executive committee.Northern Trust – The service provider has made a number of changes to senior roles in its institutional business. Penelope Biggs is now chief strategy officer for corporate and institutional services, alongside leading the group’s global marketing. Toby Glaysher has been named head of global fund services international, and Clive Bellows takes the same role for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Jon Dunham is now head of global sales, having previously led the sales team in the Americas, and Robert Frazer has transferred from leading Northern Trust’s UK pensions business to country head for the Middle East.AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) – Andrew Douglas has joined as an associate director to the asset manager’s UK institutional sales team, focusing on insurance clients. He joins from BMO Global Asset Management where he was a senior sales associate.Financial Reporting Council (FRC) – Paul Cox, an adviser to the National Employment Savings Trust, has joined the auditing watchdog’s audit and assurance council, along with Olivier Beroud, a consultant and former head of Moody’s in Europe.La Francaise – Kay Scherf has been hired to lead the asset manager’s sales team in Germany. He previously worked for AXA Investment Managers for 10 years, latterly as director of wholesale. Prior to AXA IM, he was a trader and portfolio manager at JP Morgan Asset Management. At La Francaise, Scherf will help expand on what the company sees as “considerable growth opportunities” in the German market, particularly for fixed income.Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – Nick Stace has been appointed non-executive director to the board of the UK regulator for a three-year term from 1 April. He is currently chief executive of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, but has held senior roles at several consumer groups, including Which? in the UK and Choice in Australia.AGH – Pensions provider Administratie Groep Holland has appointed Peter Krul in the newly created position of director for operational affairs. He will become responsible for ICT as well as investments and integral risk management. Krul joined from the €18bn provider and asset manager SPF Beheer, where his roles included head of automation, operational director, and ICT director during 10 years at the company. AGH has extended its business after taking on the industry-wide schemes for butchers (Slagersbedrijf) and millers (Molenaars) as new clients.Aon Hewitt – The consultancy firm has named Marlon Sahetapy as principal consultant in a new position at its global retirement and investment practice. He will be tasked with extending the company’s position in the fiduciary market in the Netherlands. Sahetapy has been an independent consultant for the past four years, serving asset managers and pension funds on business and product development, focusing on non-listed investments.
…call for wage increasesHundreds of sugar workers employed at the Albion Sugar Estate, Berbice, downed their tools since Thursday as they call for a pay increase.This action has severely affected operations at the sugar estate, and those who are on strike action are calling on the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to address the matter before they resume duties.According to the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU), since 2015, the wages of sugar workers have been “frozen” and there has been no increase allotted to those workers for the past four years.In a statement to the media on Friday, GAWU said that “the naked discrimination against this hardworking group of the State’s employees manifested through denials of pay increases and attacks on other longstanding benefits and conditions coupled with an ever-rising tax burden, among the other hardships of contemporary Guyanese life, have severely eroded the workers and their families purchasing power and by extension, their standard of living”.The Union argued that the protesting workers at the Albion Sugar Estate are “peeved over the arbitrary hiking” of the Estate’s weekly production targets, as they contended that the increase in the Estate’s targets from 2,100 tonnes of sugar to 2,140 would be disadvantageous.As such, it will prevent the Estate from reaching the target and, thereby, affect incentives arising on the attainment of the target.“The workers argue, quite correctly, that the inability to achieve target through the arbitrary increase could well daunt their commitment and belie the notion of the incentive in the first place. Additionally, workers engaged in the mechanical loading of canes are upset regarding what they believe is an unnecessary change in their hours of work”.According to the GAWU, another issues is that the “bell loader operators” would usually commence duties daily from 06:00h and cease work at 18:00h during the cropping period. However, GuySuCo now requires these workers to work from 10:00h to 22:00h.Another issue, the Union said, regards the workers engaged in the mechanical tillage tasks, who have rightly disagreed with the arbitrary downward adjustments of their pay rates pertaining to certain tasks. The Union is awaiting a meeting with the Industrial Relations Department of GuySuCo to address the matter.In light of the series of complaints by the sugar workers, GAWU is urging GuySuCo to address the matters as soon as possible. According to the Union, only then will the workers resume their duties.The Skeldon, Rose Hall and East Coast Demerara (Enmore) estates were closed in December 2017, leaving thousands of workers jobless. The Wales Sugar Estate was the first to shut down in 2016. Only three estates are currently in operation – Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt.Some of the protesting workers
SEATTLE — A man who once served as the Justice Department’s top official in Seattle said Tuesday that he is sponsoring an initiative to legalize possession of up to an ounce of dried marijuana in Washington state, a measure he hopes will help “shame Congress” into ending pot prohibition.John McKay spent five years enforcing federal drug laws as the U.S. attorney in Seattle before he was fired by the Bush administration in early 2007. He said Tuesday that laws criminalizing marijuana are wrongheaded because they create an enormous black market exploited by international cartels and crime rings.“That’s what drives my concern: The black market fuels the cartels, and that’s what allows them to buy the guns they use to kill people,” McKay said. “A lot of Americans smoke pot and they’re willing to pay for it. I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect.”McKay is joining Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, travel guide Rick Steves and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in forming a group called New Approach Washington. They’re pushing an initiative to the Legislature that would regulate the recreational use of marijuana in a way similar to how the state regulates alcohol. Their bill would legalize marijuana for people over 21, authorize the Liquor Control Board to regulate and tax marijuana for sale in “standalone stores,” and extend drunken driving laws to marijuana, with blood tests to determine how much of pot’s active ingredient is present in a driver’s blood.New Approach Washington planned a news conference today to announce the effort. No state has yet legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in such a way, though some have decriminalized it, and the initiative would put Washington squarely at odds with federal law banning the drug.