Sovereign support to recede for APAC Developed Market Banks

Newsroom24x7 Staff

asia-pacificHong Kong/Singapore: Fitch Ratings says it expects government support for major systemic banks in APAC’s developed markets to wane. That is in line with a broader global trend as authorities seek to implement credible resolution regimes that would let creditors participate in losses should the banks fail.

Fitch has revised downward the Hong Kong Banks’ Support Rating Floors (SRF) to ‘No Floor’ on 19 May 2015, the same level as New Zealand. They are the only Asia pacific countries where support from the authorities is not expected; but we anticipate other developed markets in APAC would follow, but at a slower pace.

The report provides a snapshot of governments’ propensity to support major banks across the Asia Pacific, and explains what motivates the authorities that shape these resolution legislations. The propensity of governments in emerging Asia to provide support is expected to remain high in the near-term, even if they might be constrained in their ability to do so.

Former MCD engineer, an ex-Accounts Officer of DDA, 2 former UP police personnel sentenced in corruption cases

cbi

New Delhi: The Special Judge, CBI Cases in Delhi has convicted B.R.Malhotra, former Assistant Engineer, Municipal Corporation of Delhi( MCD) in a disproportionate assets case and sentenced him to undergo three years rigorous imprisonment (RI) with fine of Rs. 1,00,000.

CBI had registered a case against Malhotra on October 17, 2000 on a complaint alleging that while working as a public servant in MCD, during the period 1964 to 2000, he had acquired assets grossly disproportionate to his known sources of income.

After investigation, a charge sheet was filed on against the accused on August 30, 2003 for acquiring disproportionate assets worth over Rs. 15,70,000. During trial, the prosecution examined 14 witnesses.

The court convicted Malhotra under section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

In another case, the Special Judge for CBI Cases in Delhi has convicted J.R.Gupta, an ex-Accounts Officer (Land Management) in Delhi Development Authority, in a bribery case under section 7 and 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) of the P.C. Act, 1988 and sentenced him to undergo two years’ RI with fine of Rs. 12,000.

A case was registered against J.R. Gupta on November 24, 1995 on a complaint alleging that Gupta demanded an illegal gratification of Rs. 1500 from the complainant (a demolition contractor with DDA) for clearing his bills for demolition work. CBI laid a trap and the accused was caught red-handed while demanding and accepting the bribe of Rs. 1500/- from the complainant. During trial, 10 witnesses were examined by the prosecution.

In another case, the Special Judge in Lucknow has convicted Nawab Singh, a former Assistant Sub-Inspector and Chotte Singh, a former constable, both of Uttar Pradesh police, While Nawab Singh has been sentenced 3 year R I with fine of Rs. 20,000, Chotte Singh has been sentenced 5 years R I with fine of Rs. 20,000.

The case against the two UP Police personnel was registered under sections 120-B, 409, 467, 468 of IPC on July 26,2001 on the May 5, 2001 order of Allahabad High Court in the Criminal Misc. Case No. 2308 of 2001. It was alleged that during the period from April 1993 to March 1994, Chotte Singh, Constable, had submitted 52 false & fictitious TA Bills amounting to Rs. 1,80,408. Nawab Singh, ASI (M)/ Assistant Accountant in the office of SSP, Jhansi (U.P) checked, processed and submitted these bills to the Controlling Officer without any objection for passing them for payment. All these False TA Bills were duly verified by the then Member of Parliament, Lalitpur, Jhansi to whom Chotte Singh was attached as a gunner.

After investigation, a charge sheet under section 120-B, 420, 109 of IPC read with 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1998 against Chotte Singh, Constable; Nawab Singh, ASI (M) both from UP Police and the then MP was filed in the court of Special Judge CBI, Lucknow on July 14, 2003. The accused Member of Parliament died during trial.

Chinese Professors, among 6 charged with espionage and theft of trade secrets to benefit China

Newsroom24x7 Desk

trade secetsWashington DC: Chinese Professors are alleged to have stolen valuable technology from Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions to benefit a People’s Republic of China University.

The allegation that Chinese professors have stolen technology and trade secrets from American companies to benefit China is bound to cast a shadow on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s coming State visit to the US in September this year since both US and China were viewing this visit as a paramount priority for China-U.S. relationship in the days ahead.

On May 16, 2015, Tianjin University Professor Hao Zhang was arrested upon entry into the United States from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in connection with a recent superseding indictment in the Northern District of California.

This was announced on Tuesday by Assistant Attorney General for the US National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Division.

At the daily press briefing here, Jeff Rathke, Director, Press Office of US Department of State replying to a query on this issue said on Tuesday that the United States is committed to protecting U.S. companies’ trade secrets and their proprietary business information from theft. So this is an important issue for the United States.

Rathke further said we are committed to enforcing the law and to supporting those – the law enforcement agencies and also to ensuring that American companies and American individuals – that their business information is protected and that economic espionage is something that we take very seriously.

When a journalist asked is there going to be extra scrutiny on overseas nationals working in this area and the granting of work visas or authorizing them to work here in that area? Is there going to be extra scrutiny? the US spokesperson replied: “it would be too early to say that there were specific operational measures that the State Department would adopt.”
The Department of Justice statement further says:

The 32-count indictment, which had previously been sealed, charges a total of six individuals with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets for their roles in a long-running effort to obtain U.S. trade secrets for the benefit of universities and companies controlled by the PRC government, a US Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs statement said.

“According to the charges in the indictment, the defendants leveraged their access to and knowledge of sensitive U.S. technologies to illegally obtain and share U.S. trade secrets with the PRC for economic advantage,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Economic espionage imposes great costs on American businesses, weakens the global marketplace and ultimately harms U.S. interests worldwide. The National Security Division will continue to relentlessly identify, pursue and prosecute offenders wherever the evidence leads. I would like to thank all the agents, analysts and prosecutors who are responsible for this indictment.”

“As today’s case demonstrates, sensitive technology developed by U.S. companies in Silicon Valley and throughout California continues to be vulnerable to coordinated and complex efforts sponsored by foreign governments to steal that technology,” said U.S. Attorney Haag. “Combating economic espionage and trade secret theft remains one of the top priorities of this Office.”

“The conduct alleged in this superseding indictment reveals a methodical and relentless effort by foreign interests to obtain and exploit sensitive and valuable U.S. technology through the use of individuals operating within the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge Johnson. “Complex foreign-government sponsored schemes, such as the activity identified here, inflict irreversible damage to the economy of the United States and undercut our national security. The FBI is committed to rooting out industrial espionage that puts U.S. companies at a disadvantage in the global market.”

According to the indictment, PRC nationals Wei Pang and Hao Zhang met at a U.S. university in Southern California during their doctoral studies in electrical engineering. While there, Pang and Zhang conducted research and development on thin-film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) technology under funding from U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). After earning their doctorate in approximately 2005, Pang accepted employment as an FBAR engineer with Avago Technologies (Avago) in Colorado and Zhang accepted employment as an FBAR engineer with Skyworks Solutions Inc. (Skyworks) in Massachusetts. The stolen trade secrets alleged in the indictment belong to Avago or Skyworks.

Avago is a designer, developer and global supplier of FBAR technology, which is a specific type of radio frequency (RF) filter. Throughout Zhang’s employment, Skyworks was also a designer and developer of FBAR technology. FBAR technology is primarily used in mobile devices like cellular telephones, tablets and GPS devices. FBAR technology filters incoming and outgoing wireless signals so that a user only receives and transmits the specific communications intended by the user. Apart from consumer applications, FBAR technology has numerous applications for a variety of military and defense communications technologies.

According to the indictment, in 2006 and 2007, Pang, Zhang and other co-conspirators prepared a business plan and began soliciting PRC universities and others, seeking opportunities to start manufacturing FBAR technology in China. Through efforts outlined in the superseding indictment, Pang, Zhang and others established relationships with officials from Tianjin University. Tianjin University is a leading PRC Ministry of Education University located in the PRC and one of the oldest universities in China.

As set forth in the indictment, in 2008, officials from Tianjin University flew to San Jose, California, to meet with Pang, Zhang and other co-conspirators. Shortly thereafter, Tianjin University agreed to support Pang, Zhang and others in establishing an FBAR fabrication facility in the PRC. Pang and Zhang continued to work for Avago and Skyworks in close coordination with Tianjin University. In mid-2009, both Pang and Zhang simultaneously resigned from the U.S. companies and accepted positions as full professors at Tianjin University. Tianjin University later formed a joint venture with Pang, Zhang and others under the company name ROFS Microsystem intending to mass produce FBARs.

The indictment alleges that Pang, Zhang and other co-conspirators stole recipes, source code, specifications, presentations, design layouts and other documents marked as confidential and proprietary from the victim companies and shared the information with one another and with individuals working for Tianjin University.

According to the indictment, the stolen trade secrets enabled Tianjin University to construct and equip a state-of-the-art FBAR fabrication facility, to open ROFS Microsystems, a joint venture located in PRC state-sponsored Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA), and to obtain contracts for providing FBARs to commercial and military entities.

The six indicted defendants include:

Hao Zhang, 36, a citizen of the PRC, is a former Skyworks employee and a full professor at Tianjin University. Zhang is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, economic espionage and theft of trade secrets. Zhang was arrested upon entry into the United States on May 16, 2015.

Wei Pang, 35, a citizen of the PRC, is a former Avago employee and a full professor at Tianjin University. Pang is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.

Jinping Chen, 41, a citizen of the PRC, is a professor at Tianjin University and a member of the board of directors for ROFS Microsystems. Chen is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage and conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.

Huisui Zhang (Huisui), 34, a citizen of the PRC, studied with Pang and Zhang at a U.S. university in Southern California and received a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006. Huisui is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage and conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.

Chong Zhou, 26, a citizen of the PRC, is a Tianjin University graduate student and a design engineer at ROFS Microsystem. Zhou studied under Pang and Zhang, and is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.

Zhao Gang, 39, a citizen of the PRC, is the General Manager of ROFS Microsystems. Gang is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage and conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.
The maximum statutory penalty for each of the charges alleged in the superseding indictment is as follows:

Count One: conspiracy to commit economic espionage: 15 years imprisonment; $500,000 fine or twice the gross gain/loss; three years’ supervised release; and $100 special assessment.

Count Two: conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets: 10 years imprisonment; $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain/loss; three years’ supervised release; and $100 special assessment.

Counts Three Through Seventeen: economic espionage; aiding and abetting: 15 years imprisonment; $500,000 fine or twice the gross gain/loss; three years’ supervised release; and $100 special assessment.

Counts Eighteen Through Thirty-Two: theft of trade secrets; aiding and abetting: 10 years imprisonment; $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain/loss; three years’ supervised release; and $100 special assessment.

Zhang was arrested on May 16, 2015, upon landing at the Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from the PRC. He made his initial appearance yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles before the U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia G. Rosenberg of the Central District of California, who ordered the defendant transported in custody to San Jose for further proceedings. His next scheduled appearance will be before the U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila of the Northern District of California, at a date to be determined.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Palo Alto Resident Agency/San Francisco Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Parrella and Dave Callaway of the Northern District of California, and the National Security Division’s Counterespionage Section.

At least 5 killed in a huge blast in Kabul

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Kabul blastKabul: At last five persons were killed and more than forty others were wounded in a huge explosion in the parking area of the Afghan Ministry of Justice when offices were closing and the officers were leaving for home.

Tuesday’s attack is being viewed as a fresh wave of offensive by the Afghan Taliban.