Guards accused of smuggling wanted to "do a favor" to a Chinese friend

Valencia, May 19 (EFE) .- The three civil guards accused of being part of a network dedicated to withdraw money from Spain to China declared in an investigation phase that they only wanted to “do a favor” to a Chinese friend, to avoid him queues and had to count bills in public.

The Provincial Court of Valencia today welcomed the second session of the trial of eight accused, including two civil guards who worked at Manises Airport and another retired agent who supposedly, in exchange for commissions, helped the other defendants, of Chinese origin , to avoid the boarding controls.

His intention to “do a favor” to a Chinese friend is in the statements that were made in the investigation phase and that have been read in the courtroom at the request of the prosecutor, although all the agents have refused to ratify them because they have received pressures , as they have stated.

Both the agents and the alleged Chinese citizen of the plot have refused to answer more questions than those of their lawyers.

The events occurred in the summer of 2013, when two of the accused – an agent and an “email” – were detained in the airport toilets when the former handed the latter a backpack with 520,000 euros and official cash movement documents to pass the controls without problems.

The defendants (a sergeant, a second lieutenant and a retired guard) would have acted in this way at least eight times between July 14 and September 24, 2013.

According to the sergeant in the investigation phase, he twice helped a Chinese friend (the alleged ringleader) to avoid airport controls, but he never knew that he was doing anything illegal because “the official papers” were filled out.

This Chinese citizen traveled with small bills, according to the story of the processed sergeant, fruit of his benefits in a restaurant and clothing business that he ran, so he wanted to avoid “having to count money in public in the customs”.

He denied having received money in exchange for these “favors”, although if “loans” personal, with the commitment to return the money.

The alleged Chinese leader has denied, to questions of his lawyer, having paid the guards, whom he knew as customers of his restaurant, and explained that one of them (the retired agent) used to pick up his son from school, accompanied him as a driver to visit lovers and collect money to Madrid and also on a business trip to Ukraine.

This former agent (he retired in June 2013, as he explained) said in his first statement – which he has not ratified today – that on one of these trips another of the defendants handed them a backpack with money once the customs controls had passed ” to avoid queues and not show tickets “and that he believed” that was legal “.

The second lieutenant, who was caught in the airport toilets after delivering a backpack with money, initially stated that the sergeant was aware of everything and that he had previously done the same, although he was convinced that “the money had been declared” and that, consequently, he was committing “at the most, an administrative infraction”.

He did so, as explained in the investigation phase, because he felt “moral obligation” to return a favor to the alleged ringleader of the plot, who had helped him financially on several occasions.

“I learned the contents of the backpack hours after being detained, they did not show me the content, the amount they told me (520,000 euros) amazed me,” he said today to his lawyer’s questions.

The prosecutor claims for the agents and for the supposed leader of the plot sixteen and a half years in jail for contraband, falsehood, criminal group membership and bribery.

India begins to open the cash tap after three months of drought

Image result for new delhiNew Delhi, Jan 30 (EFE) .- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI, central) announced today the start of the elimination of restrictions for the withdrawal of cash in the Asian country, almost three months after the Government decided take out of circulation the two highest denomination tickets to fight crime.

Two days before the state budgets and four of the regional elections are presented in two of the five states that go to the polls this year in a key election for the Government of Narendra Modi, the RBI took the first step to dismantle the controversial battery of measures that dried the Indian economy for weeks.

Almost three months ago, the prime minister appeared before the nation to announce the elimination of 500 and 1,000 rupees, just a couple of hours before the measure became effective, aimed at fighting against black money and corruption.

That day, established limits to withdraw money and gave until December 30 to enter the old bank notes.

The RBI announced today that the limits to the withdrawal of cash from current accounts, cash credit accounts and overdrafts taxes after the circulation of 500 and 1,000 rupees (6.5 and 13 euros) on the past 9 November were abolished today with immediate effect.

As of February 1, the funds set aside for the withdrawal of cash at ATMs will also fall and these will be set by banks, as was the case prior to the implementation of the measure, the issuing bank said in a statement.

However, the cap of 24,000 rupees a week (about 330 euros) to be withdrawn from personal savings accounts will not be eliminated for the time being, although the RBI assured that it is considering doing so “in the near future”.

Image result for rupeeThe Government initially set at 10,000 rupees (137 euros) the daily limit to be withdrawn at the window and at 4,000 rupees (55 euros) and 2,000 rupees (27 euros) the maximums to be exchanged for the old currency and to withdraw from ATMs, respectively.

Just a week later, the latter two increased by 500 rupees amid growing discontent, in what would only be the beginning of a succession of continuous changes on the march within the limits to be withdrawn amidst a serious liquidity crisis created that made millions of people have to wait for hours to withdraw money.

After two months, the queues in banks and ATMs began to decline and the Executive terminated the worst phase of the widespread shortage of cash, although the reductions of credit agencies and the Government itself remain in the economic forecast for the current fiscal year , from April to March.

“That the Indian economy is not in a good state is obvious, even the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has lowered our GDP growth below 7%,” denounced today the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, of the opposition Congress Party of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

At the beginning of January, the Central Bureau of Statistics predicted that the country’s economy will grow by 7.1% in the current fiscal year (from April to March), half a point below the official estimates announced previously.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram denounced that the Executive is “hiding behind a number of GDP” and that it is omitting data such as the unemployment rate.

In this regard, the spokesman of the Committee of the Party of Congress (AICC), Rajeev Gowda warned that the creation of employment has fallen to just 135,000 positions, compared to the 1.1 million created in 2010, when the Congress led the government coalition.

“Organizations like the CMIE (Center for the Follow-up of the Indian Economy) have said that the impact of demonetization will last for a period of four years,” Gowda recalled.

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