Theft From Armored Van in Italy Highlights New Theft Tactic
Thieves in southern Italy used two mechanical diggers to pry open an armored van on a highway, making off with approximately $2.3 million USD. According to reports, the thieves used two lorries to block a highway between Bari and Matera, Italy, and then used two mechanical diggers to tear the van open in order to steal the cash. The thieves then set fire to the lorries and escaped in a car. While this incident does not involve typical cargo, it highlights a new tactic not previously seen by BSI, and could potentially be applied to other cargo transport vehicles.
New Brazilian President Issues Executive Orders Impacting Minority Rights
Brazil’s newly inaugurated President Jair Bolsonaro issued various executive orders in the first hours of his administration that are set to negatively impact the rights of minority groups in the country. One executive order transfers the responsibility of delineating indigenous territories from the Justice Ministry to the Agriculture Ministry, which is currently led by Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina; Minister Cristina is part of the agribusiness caucus that has previously opposed land requests from native communities. Besides likely making it difficult to implement environmental governance and for any future lands to be identified and marked for indigenous communities, this new executive order will also likely contributing to further environmental issues such as deforestation. President Bolsonaro also removed LGBT issues from the responsibilities of the Human Rights Ministry without reassigning them to another agency, likely leaving the LGBT community vulnerable to discrimination without enforced government protection.
USDA Inspectors Remain On-Hand at Largest Beef Plant in Greeley, Colorado Despite Partial Government Shutdown
Meat inspectors from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) remained on-hand this week to provide continuous inspection services at one of Colorado’s largest beef plants in Greeley despite an ongoing, partial government shutdown. Meat, poultry, and processed egg inspection services are among those USDA activities that will continue despite the nine-day long partial shutdown. Most of FSIS’s 10,000 employees reported to work at about 6,200 private establishments last Wednesday, where they provided inspection services. These workers are among the 61 percent of USDA employees that are either “exempted or excepted” from furloughs during the shutdown. USDA and FSIS officials state that other activities will continue, including grain and other commodity inspections, weighing, grading, and IT support services, and inspections for import and export activities to prevent the introduction and dissemination of pests in and out of the United States, including inspections from Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Vietnam Sentences Five to Prison for Adulterating Black Pepper
A Vietnamese court sentenced five individuals to prison terms after finding them guilty of adulterating black pepper with coffee bean skins and toxic manganese dioxide harvested from old batteries. Police reports indicate that the group began the scheme in 2015 and produced over 33 tonnes of the adulterated pepper product in just the two months prior to being arrested. Tests revealed that adulterants accounted for about 18 percent of the product.
U.S. Sportswear Company Supplied With Goods Traced to Forced Prison Labor Camp in China
An investigation by a major news company managed to trace goods produced by forced prison labor in Hotan, located in Xinjiang Province, China, to an apparel supplier located in North Carolina. The Chinese manufacturer admitted that it has a factory located inside a re-education camp and employs workers deemed by the government to be “unproblematic.” The U.S. apparel company announced that it will end shipments from the Chinese supplier while investigations can be conducted.