Weekend Herald - - World - Saudi crack­down widens

Saudi Ara­bia’s crack­down on cor­rup­tion has spread be­yond its bor­ders as reg­u­la­tors in the United Arab Emi­rates ask UAE banks for in­for­ma­tion about Saudi ci­ti­zens de­tained in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, a pos­si­ble pre­lude to freez­ing their ac­counts. The UAE cen­tral bank has re­quested com­mer­cial banks and fi­nance com­pa­nies in the UAE to pro­vide de­tails of the ac­counts of 19 Saudis, com­mer­cial bankers told Reuters yes­ter­day, de­clin­ing to be named be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the mat­ter. Al­most all of the 19, in­clud­ing bil­lion­aire Prince Al­waleed bin Talal and for­mer Na­tional Guard chief Prince Miteb bin Ab­dul­lah, are known to be among dozens of se­nior of­fi­cials and busi­ness­men de­tained in the cor­rup­tion in­quiry. Com­mer­cial bankers said UAE au­thor­i­ties had not ex­plained why they wanted the in­for­ma­tion, but be­lieved the au­thor­i­ties were act­ing at the be­hest of the Saudi Gov­ern­ment, which has said it aims to re­cover bil­lions of dol­lars of il­licit as­sets iden­ti­fied in its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Brexit bor­der wor­ries

Bri­tish hopes of open­ing Brexit trade and tran­si­tion talks this De­cem­ber were thrown into re­newed doubt as it emerged that Ire­land is mak­ing fresh de­mands over the North­ern Ire­land bor­der ques­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Tele­graph. It said the tough­ened Ir­ish stance, re­flected in a leaked Euro­pean Com­mis­sion doc­u­ment, blind­sided Bri­tish of­fi­cials at Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions in Brus­sels yes­ter­day as Ire­land piled on pres­sure in the talks. Bri­tish of­fi­cials had be­lieved that ques­tion of how to avoid cre­at­ing a hard Ir­ish bor­der when Bri­tain quits the EU sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union had been “parked” un­til the EU opened talks over trade and the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship. How­ever the leaked talk­ing points pa­per en­ti­tled Dia­logue on Ire­land/North­ern Ire­land shows Ire­land is now push­ing hard for con­crete re­as­sur­ance on the Ir­ish bor­der ques­tion ahead of the cru­cial EU lead­ers’ sum­mit in De­cem­ber.

Thieves find al­co­hol stash

Bur­glars in Pak­istan stum­bled upon a se­cret stash of more than US$150,000 ($215,970) worth of black mar­ket al­co­hol af­ter break­ing into a North Korean diplo­mat’s home in Is­lam­abad. Neigh­bours told Reuters news agency that a group of men kicked down the door of Hyon Ki Yong’s house and spent spent three hours re­mov­ing thou­sands of bot­tles of Scotch whisky, beer and French wine. They also ran off with dozens of bot­tles of tequila, two di­a­monds and US$3000 in cash. In­ves­ti­ga­tors in Pak­istan, who have since re­cov­ered much of the stash, said the three rob­bers were po­lice of­fi­cers and have is­sued ar­rest war­rants for them and for a mem­ber of a well-known boot­leg­ging fam­ily. They have also ar­rested Hyon’s house­keeper.

The dough­nut ban­dit

A man has been caught on cam­era hold­ing up a Hous­ton dough­nut shop and hand­ing out dough­nuts to cus­tomers whose cell­phones he was tak­ing. Po­lice re­leased sur­veil­lance video this week that shows three men wear­ing hood­ies and ban­dan­nas rob­bing the store. While two of the men were be­hind the counter de­mand­ing the cash from the reg­is­ters, the third took the cell­phones of the two cus­tomers in the store. He then jumped over the counter, ex­changed words with the cus­tomers and picked out two dough­nuts, which he handed to them in wax pa­per. The sus­pects then left the store. Po­lice are search­ing for them.

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