Singapore, maxi anti-money laundering operation on proceeds from online games and scams

Today's headlines: Trilateral summit set to begin between the US, South Korea and Japan at Camp David; A Chinese university estimates the over-60s will make up 38% of the population in the People's Republic by 2050; Corruption to avoid controls behind Indian syrup deaths in Uzbekistan; Belarus closes down sixth opposition party closed down in just three months.


Singapore police have seized assets worth around S billion (€676 million) - including luxury homes, cars and cash - in one of its largest anti-money laundering operations. The police arrested ten people with passports from China, Cambodia, Turkey and Vanuatu during the operation. The group was suspected of being involved in laundering the proceeds of crime from their overseas organized crime activities, including online scams and gambling.


The summit between US President Joe Biden, South Korea's Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on ways to strengthen security cooperation in the face of North Korea's nuclear threat will be held tomorrow at Camp David. It will be the first time that the leaders of the three countries will meet for a trilateral summit, rather than on the sidelines of a multilateral event. The meeting is also seen as a tangible sign of improved ties between Seoul and Tokyo, as part of the "containment" of Chinese ambitions. In conjunction with the summit, intelligence sources in Seoul fear that Pyongyang may launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.


The number of citizens of the People's Republic of China over the age of 60 will increase by an average of 10 million annually over the next decade. This is supported by a study by Renmin University of China according to which 38% of the population will be over 60 by 2050.


Prosecutors in an ongoing trial in Uzbekistan said that distributors of an Indian-made cough syrup that has killed 65 children in the country bribed local officials ,000 to avoid mandatory testing. The death toll is more than three times those reported in December, when the story first came to media attention. Uzbekistan is prosecuting 21 people - 20 locals and one Indian - over this case. The cough syrup in question is "Doc-1 Max", produced by the Marion Biotech company in Noida.


A rig has arrived in Lebanon's Block 9 to begin exploration for oil and gas, after Lebanon and Israel delineated the disputed maritime border in a US-brokered deal last year. The consortium entrusted with the exploitation is led by the French TotalEnergies and also includes the Italian ENI and the state-owned company QatarEnergy, which replaced the Russian company Novatek in September. Block 9 is mostly in Lebanese waters, but a segment lies south of the newly delineated border. For this reason - despite Beirut still considering itself at war - a system of royalties has been established for Israel while the exploitation would take place on behalf of Lebanon.


In Belarus, the United Civil Party, the sixth political association liquidated in the country in the last three months, was officially closed down, after the Belarusian Popular Front, the Greens, the social-democratic party "Gramada", the republican party and the social-democratic one of the Popular Agreement, after several members of them had been imprisoned in the previous months.


In Japan, Pope Francis has united the diocese of Takamatsu with the archdiocese of Osaka. Card. Thomas Aquino Manyo Maeda, archbishop of Osaka since 2014, was appointed on August 15 as first archbishop of the new archdiocese of Osaka-Takamatsu. The last bishop of Takamatsu Diocese, John Eijiro Suwa, died in 2022.