Kleptocracy Daily: May 9, 2017

News

At a Senate hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified that she had warned the White House that former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s false statements about speaking to a Russian official could expose him to blackmail from Russia.

Société Générale agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle claims that it paid a middleman $58.5 million in alleged bribes to secure almost $2 billion in business from Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund during the final years of dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s rule.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet in Washington on May 10 to discuss the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Joseph Muscat, Malta’s embattled prime minister, has been summoned to address the European Parliament’s committee on the Panama Papers scandal on May 18, weeks before the country goes to the polls for a snap election.

Prime Minister Muscat also stated that he plans to extend the Individual Investor Program citizen scheme, which is Malta’s controversial investor passport program. (KI covered the scheme–and how it opens the entire EU up to vulnerabilities–here.)

Chinese banks have dramatically expanded their overseas payment and trade networks 3,300% since the global financial crisis, exploiting a growing vacuum created by Western lenders which are retreating from higher-risk jurisdictions.

Features

How Russia’s meddling in the French election has backfired spectacularly.

How EU-funded projects secretly contributed to the enrichment of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s family.

Why the repeal of the Extractive Industries Disclosure Rule might prompt energy companies to recommence the sort of under-the-table-payments that many in law enforcement had fought to prevent.