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Firms that hired suspected militants identified

PETALING JAYA: The security companies responsible for employing seven suspected Abu Sayyaf group militants have been identified, says Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.

The Home Ministry secretary-general said their level of involvement was still under investigation.

Alwi said action, including revoking their licences, could be taken if these companies were found to be complacent.

“We have set strict procedures in the hiring of guards by security companies based on the law.

“One is making it compulsory for security companies to verify the authenticity of the MyKad held by applicants.

“This can be done through biometric verification at the National Registration Department,” Alwi warned.

Alwi was commenting on the recent arrests of suspected Abu Sayyaf militants who were found to be working as security guards in the Klang Valley.

He said the ministry also required all security companies to conduct thorough background checks.

“All security companies must strictly comply with existing regulations and guidelines in hiring security guards,” Alwi warned the security companies

“We will not compromise on this matter.

“We discovered that the suspects had used forged identification documents to apply for jobs as security guards,” he said.

On Sept 14, seven suspects, aged between 22 and 38, were detained in Kuala Lumpur by the Bukit Aman’s Counter Terrorism Division.

Related story:

Bukit Aman’s quick actions prove to be a bane for terrorists

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Law School Graduate Zoya Shpigelman, J.D., Joins the Legal…

The Levin Law Group is pleased to announce and welcome Law School Graduate Zoya Shpigelman, J.D. to the firm.

(PRWEB) October 13, 2017

The Levin Law Group is pleased to announce and welcome Law School Graduate Zoya Shpigelman, J.D. to the firm. Ms. Shpigelman completed her Juris Doctorate Degree and is awaiting her admission to the Bar following her New York State Bar Examination taken in July of 2017. Ms. Shpigelman is excited to join the professional and expert team of attorneys at The Levin Law Group, who are dedicated to the delivery of the highest quality legal services to each of their clients throughout the region.

Serving clients with convenient locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Staten Island, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Putnam, as well as North and Central Jersey, Levin Law promises legal expertise in all aspects of Real Estate Law, Business Law and Estate Planning and Administration. Levin Law clients appreciate the quality counsel and service delivered by the attorneys at Levin Law Group.

A graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Ms. Shpigelman most recently served as SBA Senator for Intellectual Property LLM at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York. She looks forward to her admission to the Bar and is excited to begin her career after having served as a legal intern in multiple firms in all phases of pre-trial litigation in a number of areas, including pharmaceutical litigation, criminal cases, civil litigation, and medical malpractice. Ms. Shpigelman is devoted to assisting clients with the personalized expertise everyone deserves and the peace of mind that comes from knowing their case has been expertly handled with care.

In addition to her legal expertise, Ms. Shpigelman, a former American Idol contestant, is fluent in Russian, allowing her to serve an extended portion of New York’s population with ease. Knowledgeable and professional, Ms. Shpigelman looks forward to coming alongside clients in providing the highest quality legal advice and counseling to those both in New York and New Jersey.

“The entire office is excited about having Ms. Shpigelman become part of the team.” – Yevgeny Levin, Levin Law Group.

For expert legal advice and service in Real Estate Law, Business Law and Estate Planning and Administration, call on the expert team of lawyers at the Levin Law Group.

Knowledgeable, personal, and always accessible, the attorneys at Levin Law Group are ready to represent clients all over New York and New Jersey with the promise of unparalleled legal counsel and service. Reach out today for your free consultation and the legal expertise you require from the Levin Law Group (http://www.YLevinLaw.com).

Bio: The Levin Law Group of New York makes every effort to deliver on their promise of unparalleled, expert legal services tailored to meet the needs of each distinctive client, expertly and proficiently every time. The Levin Law Group is proud to provide expertise in each of these areas: real estate law including closings, deeds, and more; business law including sales, purchases, partnerships and more; and wills, trusts, and estate law including estate administration.


For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/10/prweb14795576.htm


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Big Energy Firms Stay Away from Juba Oil Conference

JUBA AND WASHINGTON – South Sudan’s government declared this past week the country is open for business, even though the president was noticeably absent from the nation’s first “global” energy conference, which attracted only a few major energy companies.

Oil experts say South Sudan has 3.5 billion barrels of untapped oil and 85 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which should prove alluring to most big gas and oil companies.

South Sudan, however, also has a deadly conflict that is moving into its fourth year. Four million people – about a third of the population – have been displaced, with 2 million fleeing to neighboring countries.

Oil production is down two-thirds from its peak before the conflict broke out in December 2013. South Sudan now produces about 130,000 barrels a day, compared to 500,000 barrels a day in 2011, when the country gained independence.

Despite the challenges of investing in South Sudan, Vice president James Wani Igga, who stood in for President Salva Kiir, said South Sudan is “emerging as a powerful nation with a world class oil industry.”

“We look forward to working and coordinating with our neighbors to build modern oil and gas industry that take into consideration such as developing a national work force, investing in technical training, knowledge transfer, promoting indigenous companies, building infrastructure and allocating resources for domestic use,” said Igga.

South Sudan’s petroleum minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, said the government is working on a pilot project in gas exploration and is trying to establish four new oil refineries.

As for South Sudan’s insecurity, Gatkuoth said the government is putting efforts into ensuring that investors are given maximum security protection around the country, specifically mentioning the Dar Petroleum Operating Company and the Greater Pioneer Operating Company, which control major oil blocks.

“We want to maintain security. All the blocks. They are all protected for those who are always questioning the issue of security and your safety and the safety of your workers,” Gatkuoth said.

NJ Ayuk, executive director of Centurion Law Group, a West African company, said African governments must ensure the peace and stability of outside investors before companies are willing to send in personnel and equipment.

“Investment is important, but investment has to be protected. We cannot welcome people to Africa if we don’t create enabling environment for them to invest, be protected and continue to invest,” Ayuk said.

China National Petroleum Corporation, Petronas, Nilepet, Dar Petroleum, Sudd Petroleum and the Greater Pioneer Operating Consortia were some of the participants attending the two-day conference.

British firm Tullow Oil, a leading exploration firm on the continent which South Sudan officials had said appeared interested in an untapped block, was represented at the conference by its Africa president.

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Law society confers capricious dictatorial powers on its own administration

The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) recently advised all members of the bar of Ontario that they must prepare and sign a “Statement of Principles” that would pledge support for equality, diversity and inclusion. This was the result of the findings of a working group created in 2012 within the law society to investigate racism among Ontario lawyers, which after four years of research determined that there was “systemic racism” in the legal profession. It made a number of recommendations to address this moral infirmity in the profession that personifies and administers the rule of law in our society, which, the legal profession endlessly reminds us amid its blizzard of hefty invoices (usually for redundant and self-generated activity) is essentially all that elevates us above the law of the jungle.

Let us set aside for these purposes the fact that the frequent conduct of the legal profession is less explicable and inherently sensible than the jungle rule that great beasts, and even cunning beasts, can usually address their need for food by devouring less powerful and clever beasts. The concept that a learned profession can purport to extract from its qualified members, as a condition of continued status, the adherence to specific beliefs, is an outrage that makes a mockery of the entire legally based civilization lawyers supposedly uphold and even incarnate.

It comes as no surprise to me that a profession (in which I am officially licensed myself though I never formally practiced it) should take unto itself the totalitarian power to exclude or otherwise punish anyone who declines to declare total fealty to principles enunciated by the professional self-regulator. I have come to recognize the law as a largely venal association of self-serving gougers riveted on the back of society and dispensing a hideously bloated service on a defenceless public as the lawyers jubilate in their 360-degree cartel.

I have come to recognize the law as a largely venal association

The law is not only necessary (a proposition that, up to a point, I and most people would concede) but an ennobling distinction of man over other species, and of sophisticated over primitive societies. Thus sanctified do lawyers legislate, regulate, argue about, and adjudicate their work, which spews out ever narrower delineations of acceptable behaviour with rules carrying serious sanctions, requiring an ever-greater infestation of lawyers in a steadily rising din of self-laudation, to make the regime they impose on everyone steadily more complicated and expensive.

A large number of lawyers are decent and talented people, as many of them as of other occupations, and some are exceptionally so. But most of them are superfluous, and by their swarming numbers and ceaseless magnification of their task of legitimate oppression, they are a societal pestilence, and a squandering of human resources that would be more productively employed in more useful occupations that actually add value. This would happen by operation of laws of supply and demand in the labour market if lawyers had not constructed such a mighty collective sinecure for themselves.

There is no shortage of relatively incapable doctors, architects, engineers and ordained clergymen, and these learned professions make a reasonable fist of self-regulation without constantly swaddling themselves in a pious mythos of professional superiority as a criterion of civilization. But none of them, as a profession, prescribe what its members must believe, only how they must execute their vocations. Even a religious minister is free to be a foaming-at-the-mouth racist privately, though expression of such sentiments would, in most circumstances, complicate professional life (though not always, as some Islamists and militant Christian sectarians demonstrate). But other professional bodies do not require an oath of faith and belief in principles espoused by professional self-regulators.

Other professional bodies do not require an oath of faith and belief in principles espoused by regulators

Freedom of thought is guaranteed to everyone in free societies. Freedom of expression is guaranteed short of sedition, defamation, and incitements to criminal or sociopathic behaviour. Yet the Law Society of Upper Canada now imposes as a condition of continued professional practice, that lawyers in this country’s largest jurisdiction solemnly swear to believe not only in the equality, in legal rights, of everyone whose freedom has not been lawfully curtailed (minors, mental incompetents, undischarged criminals and so forth). We could almost all sign onto that, but lawyers must also pledge belief in the equality of everyone and of definable groups in all respects.

By some reasoning, that could be swallowed as acceptable, though many would prefer not to have their continued livelihood made dependent on sworn endorsement of it. Diversity and inclusiveness are other matters. They are faddish and jargonistic concepts and have never been considered obligatory to the beliefs of reasonable people, until the recent triumph of political correctness. This is the cultural enemy that has arisen within, after Western civilization routed the largely external and outright evils of Nazism and international Communism. They are largely methods for the atomization of society into pockets of political identity that are then pandered to by political parties and leaders. The whole process is anti-meritocratic, as affirmative action quotas are given more weight than competitive, talent-based applications for positions.

As long as there is not discrimination against any group for reasons of unjust aversions, there is no good reason why diversity should be unlimitedly desirable or why the desire for inclusiveness should be a condition of continued practice of a distinguished occupation with rigorous standards of admission. Both these words are subject to wide ranges of interpretation and, in requiring the profession to adhere to them, the law society is conferring capricious dictatorial powers on its own administration: the right to determine who is fit to continue in the exercise of a professional career for which a person is otherwise fully qualified.

Diversity and inclusiveness are faddish concepts now obligatory thanks to the triumph of political correctness

It is possible, for example, not to desire a law firm to be exactly representative of society as a whole in pigmentation, religious and political beliefs, ethnicity, adult age and sexual orientation (factors which fluctuate and are often hard to calculate accurately), without being a bigot, sexist, racist or moral reprobate. If a senior partner of a law firm wants to hire only beautiful blonde women or only overweight bald men, there is nothing wrong with that, and it does not mean that the individual dislikes people who do not meet those descriptions, who can work at other firms. A managing partner of a law firm with a teeming hatred for all minorities could yet be completely equivocal in hiring practices, and the private beliefs of the lawyer in question would be of no justified concern to the law society.

People are entitled to their preferences, in hiring and other matters, and authorities have no right and little ability to explore those preferences beyond questions of evident unjust discrimination. If a lawyer’s hiring and promotion practices are civilized and reasonably equitable, it is no business of the law society or anyone else what that lawyer thinks of diversity or inclusiveness. The concept is nonsense, except as a weapon for the authorities in the Law Society of Upper Canada, whose propensities for authoritarian injustice are often demonstrated, most conspicuously in the last few years by the heinous oppression of Joe Groia, a respected bencher of the law society who was punished for winning a case in the aftermath of the Bre-X debacle, where his conduct was condoned by the presiding judge.

People are entitled to their preferences, in hiring and other matters

The legal profession has us all by the throat. We are so accustomed and resigned to its odious exactions that most people unquestionably accept the necessity and cost of legal pettifogging and regimentation like the vagaries of the weather and the recurrence of the common cold. Now, the administrative bureaucracy of the profession, which is supposedly (but not in practice very genuinely) answerable to the society’s members, have accorded themselves the right to extract promises of belief in optional ideals, and to persecute at their whim anyone they claim to suspect of not embracing whatever may be their arbitrary definition of equality, diversity and inclusiveness.

It is a coup d’etat within a profession that has already seized and abused the headship of society by staffing its entire legislative, regulatory and judicial apparatus. The profession that has usurped the domination of society is now to be tyrannized from within by a secret elite of enforcers and monitors. It is a hemorrhaging of institutional corruption. The whole concept threatens not only all lawyers, but, by reasonable extension, everyone. That such unaccountable and anonymous people in such powerful positions should, after four years of deliberation, seize such excessive authority is scandalous. And it has been almost unrecognized by our free press.

The two greatest benchmarks of free society (apart from basic liberties and the free election of governments) are a fair legal system and a free press. This is too vast a lamentation to elaborate here, but the legal profession and the craft of journalism have failed Western society — not completely, of course, but neither receives a passing grade and neither is remotely adequate. This self-aggrandizement of the Law Society of Upper Canada is a fire bell in the night, and the implications of it are very grave. I can’t claim to be surprised that almost no one hears it; these are the wages of complacency.  

National Post
cbletters@gmail.com

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South Florida Patent Law Firm Changing the Norm in Patent Prosecution

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — JOHNSON | DALAL, The Intellectual Property Law Firm, PLLC, opened its doors in early 2017 as a full-service intellectual property law firm based in south-Florida and is already changing the way patent applications are examined, generating some astonishing results as it relates to prosecuting patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).

One example of this Broward County-based patent law firm’s spectacular results, is when a utility patent application was filed by the firm on March 15, 2017. This utility application was directed towards a novel weight toning bracelet owned by its client Better Way Inventions, LLC, an innovative south-Florida company creating weighted bracelets for users to tone in a fashionable and effective manner. This patent application was allowed approximately two weeks after filing, and subsequently issued into a patent (U.S. Patent No. 9,707,431) approximately four months after filing. These results are considered to be blazing in the industry considering USPTO records show that this art unit typically takes 15 months from application filing just to issue a first action on the merits, and because it typically takes 2 years or more until a patent issues from a patent application. 

The law firm’s managing partner, Mark Johnson Esq., is a mechanical engineer, a registered patent attorney, and is a Florida Board Certified Expert in Intellectual Property Law. Mr. Johnson credits the Firm’s success in obtaining such results to hard work and close attention to detail, which includes regularly conducting examiner interviews in the patent applications the Firm prosecutes and advising its clients on placing applications on a prioritized examination track. In fact, Mr. Johnson states, “Where possible, it is our Firm’s policy to speak with the examiner on every application we prosecute, as it generally leads to a more effective understanding of the invention by the Patent Office and its potential patentability over the prior art. To that end, I’m always surprised when I do not see examiner interviews conducted in a patent application by other patent law firms, which unfortunately to the client, happens more than one might think.”

Not only do these quickly issued patents tend to lead to faster commercial exploitation for the clients of Johnson | Dalal, but they also lead to creating faster rights for the Firm’s clients to enforce says, Abdul-Sumi Dalal Esq., the Firm’s co-chair of intellectual property litigation. Specifically, Mr. Dalal states that “This Firm’s swift prosecution of patent applications is vital to enforcement of our clients’ rights as patent owners. Because we help our clients receive patents for inventions that we are intimately familiar with, enforcement generally becomes a more expedited and likely fruitful endeavor.”

Commitment to its Clients’ Best Interests

Having over a decade of combined legal experience in intellectual property and commercial litigation, the law firm of Johnson | Dalal is committed to its client’s best interests. Swift and efficient prosecution of its clients’ intellectual property in addition to relentless protection against infringement are the commitment this law firm pledges to their clients. 

About Johnson Dalal

Johnson | Dalal (@patentfirm) is a full-service intellectual property law firm specializing in the preparation, filing, and enforcement of all types of intellectual property, e.g., patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, etc. Johnson Dalal is a patent firm located in Broward County, but has attorneys available by appointment at a variety of locations that include, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, and St. Petersburg (with the expectation of more locations opening up in the near future).

The founding partners both graduated from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center and are South Florida natives. Read more about Johnson | Dalal, its attorneys, and all the patent prosecution services that the Firm offers at www.PatentandTrademarkLaw.com or you may contact them at (954) 507-4500.

Media Contact:
Mark Johnson
954-507-4500 
180457@email4pr.com

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SOURCE Johnson | Dalal

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As crisis at Kobe Steel deepens, CEO says cheating engulfs 500 firms

TOKYO (Reuters) – The cheating crisis engulfing Kobe Steel Ltd (5406.T) just got bigger.

Chief Executive Hiroya Kawasaki on Friday revealed that about 500 companies had received its falsely certified products, more than double its earlier count, confirming widespread wrongdoing at the steelmaker that has sent a chill along global supply chains.

The scale of the misconduct at Japan’s third-largest steelmaker pummeled its shares as investors, worried about the financial impact and legal fallout, wiped about $1.8 billion off its market value this week.

As the company revealed tampering of more products, the crisis has rippled through supply chains across the world in a body blow to Japan’s reputation as a high-quality manufacturing destination.

A contrite Kawasaki told a briefing the firm plans to pay customers’ costs for any affected products.

“There has been no specific requests, but we are prepared to shoulder such costs after consultations,” he said, adding the products with tampered documentation account for about 4 percent of the sales in the affected businesses.

Yoshihiko Katsukawa, a managing executive officer, told reporters that 500 companies were now known to be affected by the tampering.

Kobe Steel initially said 200 firms were affected when it admitted at the weekend it had falsified data about the quality of aluminum and copper products used in cars, aircraft, space rockets and defense equipment.

Asked if he plans to step down, Kawasaki said: “My biggest task right now is to help our customers make safety checks and to craft prevention measures.”

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES

Boeing Co (BA.N), has some of the falsely certified products, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, while stressing that the world’s biggest maker of passenger jets does not consider the issue a safety problem.

More than 30 non-Japanese customers had been affected by the firm’s data fabrication, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Friday.

A Kobe Steel spokesman said the companies received its products but would not confirm they had any of the falsely certified components.

Nuclear power plant parts are the latest to join the list of affected equipment as Fukushima nuclear operator Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T) (Tepco) said on Friday it had taken delivery of pipes from Kobe Steel that were not checked properly.

The pipes were delivered to its Fukushima Daini station, located near the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi plant, but have not been used, Tepco said, adding it was checking all its facilities.

Faulty parts have also been found in Japan’s famous bullet trains that run at speeds as high as around 300 kilometers (180 miles) per hour and a space rocket that was launched in Japan earlier this week. One bullet train operator has already said it will seek compensation from Kobe Steel.

Kobe Steel President and CEO Hiroya Kawasaki attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The government has ordered Kobe Steel to address safety concerns within about two weeks and report on how the misconduct occurred in a month.

CREDIBILITY ‘ZERO’

No safety issues have yet been identified in the unfolding imbroglio.

Kobe Steel shares fell nearly 9 percent on Friday and have fallen more than 40 percent since the scandal broke.

The steelmaker faces a range of legal risks, including compensation sought by clients or their customers, penalties for violating unfair competition laws for false representation, shareholder lawsuits for the fall in the company’s stock price and class lawsuits from overseas customers seeking punitive damages, a lawyer, specializing in corporate laws and risk management, said.

Slideshow (2 Images)

“It is hard to predict the extent of legal costs,” said Motokazu Endo, a lawyer at Tokyo Kasumigaseki law office.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that this will shake Kobe Steel to its foundation.”

The company has forecast a profit for the year through March 2018 after two successive annual losses.

Kobe Steel was founded in 1905 and has been a pillar of Japan’s manufacturing sector. Such are its establishment bona fides that Shinzo Abe, the prime minister and scion of a political dynasty, worked at the company decades ago, before entering politics.

But those credentials have been shattered, a point amplified by CEO Kawasaki who earlier said the credibility of the firm “has plunged to zero.”

Kobe Steel said it was examining possible data falsification going back 10 years – a familiar echo of a string of other cheating scandals involving Japan inc.

The corrosive business practices have raised broader questions over corporate governance in Japan, and cast doubt on the integrity of a manufacturing industry once the envy of the world.

Previous cases in Japan involving falsified data included Nissan Motor (7201.T), Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T) and Takata Corp., which filed for bankruptcy this year over faulty airbags that were blamed for 17 deaths and scores of injuries.

In 2015, it was revealed that Toyo Tire & Rubber (5105.T) fabricated data to secure government approval for materials to absorb shocks from earthquakes. Conglomerate Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is still battling the fallout of a scandal over reporting inflated profits.

SMBC Nikko Securities said in a note to clients that investors in Kobe Steel face a prolonged period of uncertainty.

“It will likely continue to be extremely difficult to make judgments on creditworthiness and investment until the safety of the products and the extent of damages are clarified.”

Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa, Chang-Ran Kim and Kaori Kaneko; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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Home Ministry investigating security firms which hired militants as guards

PETALING JAYA: The firms which employed seven suspected Abu Sayyaf militants as security guards have been identified but their level of involvement is still under investigation, says Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim (pic).

The Home Ministry secretary-general said their licences could be revoked, among other possible actions, if investigations uncovered they were complacent in vetting their future employees.

“The ministry has set strict processes in the hiring of security guards by security companies based on the law.

“One of this the compulsory verification of MyKads of those applying to be security guards. This can be done through biometric verification at the National Registration Department,” he said in a statement on Friday.

He was commenting on the arrests of suspected Abu Sayyaf militants on Sept 14, who were working as security guards in the Klang Valley.

The Ministry also requires all security companies to conduct thorough background checks on its security guards.

“We are warning all security companies to comply with existing regulations and guidelines involved in hiring security guards,” he said.

Alwi said the ministry said this was the first case involving security guards and they viewed the matter seriously.

“We discovered that the suspects used forged identification documents to apply for jobs as security guards,” he said.

It was reported the seven suspects, aged between 22 and 38, were detained in Kuala Lumpur by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division on Sept 14.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun had said that it was a follow-up operation after police detained the Abu Sayyaf operatives who were planning attacks on the National Day celebration and SEA Games’ closing ceremony.

One of the suspects, a 22-year-old man, was involved in clashes with Philippines security forces and was also among the group which carried out kidnappings, Mohamad Fuzi added.

“The suspects entered Malaysia through Sandakan before heading to Kuala Lumpur in September 2015.

They used forged identification documents,” he said.

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UK admits 28,000 Scots shell firms breach transparency rules

A UK  Government minister has admitted 28,000 notorious Scottish registered “tax haven” shell firms have failed to reveal their true owners’ identities two months after strict new transparency rules came in.

The Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLP), which are officially registered to addresses in Scotland but frequently run by anonymous foreign entities, have since August faced potential £500-a-day fines unless their owners’ names are made known.

The tough new rules were established by the UK Government after The Herald published a series revelations of mass criminality involving the organisations.

READ MORE: Who are the secret ‘Scottish investors’ in tyrannical Uzbekistan?

Now UK Business Minister Margot James has revealed tens of thousands of them have still to comply and work is continuing to force the firms, dubbed Britain’s “home-grown secrecy vehicle”, to open their ownership.

But she added that the Crown Office, led by Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, would be responsible for prosecuting non-compliant partnerships.

Her remarks, made in answers to questions from SNP MP and anti-corruption campaigner Alison Thewliss, suggest Scottish authorities may have to clean up the mess they believe was created by their UK counterparts.

The Conservatives, after a series of revelations about mass criminality involving SLPs in this newspaper, this summer ordered that each such firms reveal their “person of significant control”.

Margot James

HeraldScotland: Bring it on - Margot James says her critics should get their facts right

Ms James, in her formal written answer, to Ms Thewliss, said 28,100, the vast majority of those listed on Companies House, had failed to do so : She added: “We will continue to seek compliance from those SLPs which appear to be in operation.

“The 2017 Regulations contain a number of offences and we are working with enforcement bodies to determine the appropriate action. Prosecution is a last resort and would be taken forward by the Procurator Fiscal.”

Ms Thewliss said: “The SNP has run a sustained campaign to clamp down on harmful SLPs, which have recently proved themselves to be lucrative vehicles for international criminal activity.

“The implication that SLPs failing to comply with regulation should be prosecuted by the Crown Office serves another example of why action is needed.

“In contrast to what their name may suggest, the creation and operation of SLPs is reserved. Following the SNP campaign the UK Government launched a consultation; this closed back in March and we are yet to hear what the next steps will be.”

Alison Thewliss

HeraldScotland: Alison Thewliss

READ MORE: Who are the secret ‘Scottish investors’ in tyrannical Uzbekistan?

Duncan Hames of Transparency International said: “SLPs are a known vehicle for money laundering, enabling theft on a grand scale from whole populations. The recent move to identify the real people behind SLPs is a welcome step but this law must be enforced.

“Now we have these new rules, Companies House can begin proceedings to investigate – and if necessary strike off SLPs which do not comply. This will prevent them from causing further harm and undermining the UK’s reputation as a respectable place to do business.”

A spokeswoman for the Crown Office said: “We will consider any prosecution report in relation to any alleged breach of the new Regulations to assess if there is sufficient evidence that a criminal offence has been committed and if so will consider taking prosecutorial action having regard to the public interest.”

The number of SLPs mushroomed over the last decade as Scottish and other company creation agents actively marketed them as “zero-tax Scottish offshore companies” in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.

Such firms have featured in multi-billion-dollar money-laundering schemes, including the now notorious Russian and Azerbaijani Laundromats. They have also emerged as fronts for everything from corrupt arms exports to child pornography websites.

However, insiders believe it would be incredibly difficult for Scottish prosecutors to establish the true owners of such businesses, which until this year could legally remain anonymous, pay no taxes or file no accounts.

The UK Government estimate of 28,100 non-compliant SLPs is far in excess of The Herald’s estimates. We calculated that there are roughly 24,500 live SLPs at Companies House but manual records can be hard to check. Many dissolved partnerships are still showing up on Companies House website as “active”, our research found.

Only around 2000 of those live SLPs as of August had said they had a PSC who was an actual person. Three-quarters of those real “persons of significant control” were from the former Soviet Union, most frequently Ukraine, our analysis showed.

The new regulations mean that firms could face fines of £500 a day for each day they are not in compliance.

READ MORE: Who are the secret ‘Scottish investors’ in tyrannical Uzbekistan?

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The UK has one of the most transparent and accessible company registers in the world – viewed two billion times last year – meaning company information is under constant scrutiny.

“When irregularities are identified, Companies House takes action and will be contacting all non-compliant Scottish Limited Partnerships to ensure they adhere to the new transparency requirements.

“When Scottish Limited Partnerships choose to ignore these requirements, information is passed to the relevant agencies which can lead to prosecutions.

“The Government is considering whether any further action is required to prevent limited partnerships from being used for unlawful activities.”

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