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US vs China: China Orders US Consulate in Chengdu to Close as Tension Rises

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US vs China: China Orders US Consulate in Chengdu to Close as Tension Rises

US vs China:  China Orders US Consulate in Chengdu to Close as Tension Rises

Relationship between China and the US have been increasingly strained. Beijing has ordered the closure of a US consulate in south-western China, in a move that escalates tensions between the two countries to a new level.

However, this is a ‘Tit-for-tat’ move by Beijing to get back at US for ordering Chinese mission in Houston to close.

On Friday, China’s ministry of foreign affairs said it had ordered the US consulate in Chengdu, in Sichuan province, to cease all operations. Authorities notified the US of China’s decision to revoke its consent for the consulate to operate, according to a notice on the ministry’s website.

Describing the measure as a “legitimate and necessary response” to the actions of the US, which earlier this week gave the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, 72 hours to close, Beijing called on Washington to reverse its decision. Chinese officials said on Friday the mission in Houston was still operating.

“The current situation between China and the United States is something China does not want to see, and the responsibility rests entirely with the United States,” it said, urging the US to bring “bilateral relations back on track”.

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China’s ministry of foreign affairs did not give a deadline for when the consulate must close but the editor of the state-run Global Times newspaper said on Twitter the consulate had been given 72 hours to close.

Without giving further details, the US said it ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston to shut in order to protect “American intellectual property and private information”.

China called the measure “unprecedented” and “outrageous”, and accused US diplomats of “infiltration and interference activities”.

According to the Guardian,  Pompeo said: “Today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else.”

“We, the free nations of the world, must induce change in the Chinese Communist party’s behaviour in more creative and assertive ways, because Beijing’s actions threaten our people and our prosperity,” he said, calling the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, a “true believer in a bankrupt, totalitarian ideology”.

“If the free world doesn’t change communist China, communist China will change us,” he added.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman described as futile Pompeo’s efforts to “launch a new crusade against China”. “What he is doing is like an ant trying to shake a tree,” she wrote in English and Chinese on Twitter, which is blocked in China and used by Chinese diplomats to target international audiences.

Wang on Friday described Pompeo’s speech as a “malicious” and “groundless attack” on the Communist party and its domestic and foreign policies. “Pompeo’s remarks ignore facts, turn what is black into white and are full of ideological prejudice and a cold war mindset,” he said.

Hours after the foreign ministry’s announcement, Americans in China received a security alert, reminding them of the risk of “arbitrary detention” and the possibility of being blocked from leaving, or exit bans. US citizens in China received a similar alert a few weeks ago.

The most recent notice told Americans to “exercise increased caution,” warning that citizens may be “subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to ‘state security’”.

On Friday, journalists in Chengdu reported a heavy police presence outside the consulate following the announcement on Friday, with officers checking phones and ordering people to delete photographs.

It was not clear how many people would be affected by the closure. In 1985, it has more than 200 employees, including about 150 are locally hired Chinese staff. Many diplomats had left the country during the pandemic and have struggled to return.

A livestream hosted by the state broadcaster CCTV showed little movement outside the mission but was being watched by as many as 20 million people on Friday afternoon. Many signaled their support of the closure – with one internet user calling for the mission to be renovated and turned a hotpot restaurant. Others criticised the measure.

“Confrontation is not good, it affects the economy. It affects everyone,” one user said.

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Arms Procurement Investigation: “Issues of arms procurement were done by specific individuals, call these individuals to explain to you ” – COAS Ibrahim Attahiru tells House of Reps members

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A dramatic scene was recorded today April 13 after the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru appeared before House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on arms and ammunition as part of the investigation into arms purchase by the military.


Attahiru refused to speak on arms procurement after presenting a document to the committee.


According to the COAS, he just resumed office and the issues surrounding the procurement of arms should be answered by the “specific individuals” who initiated the purchase.


He said;


“The submission before you speaks to the report before you. It is an executive summary. It is very self-explanatory to the extent that it has been pluralised. When you demanded this report, you stated a specific period for which you wanted it.

“You may wish to recall that the Chief of Army Staff took over the mantle of leadership barely two months ago.

“The period for which you want this report having been summarised in the executive summary explained whatever details you require.

“Issues of arms procurement that you so demand to know were done by specific individuals, I will rather you call these individuals to explain to you very specific issues the general explanation is contained in this report.”


A member of the committee, Ejiro Ogene had also faulted the COAS explanation for not appearing before the committee earlier.


Ogene said;


“When we ask you to come, the people are the ones speaking, sovereignty lies in the people; if we see it like this, things will be different.

“I expect that the COAS tenders an apology, not an explanation; you are serving the people and they are as your employer.”


Firing back at him, Attahiru insisted that his explanation serves as an apology. He said;


“When you say I offered an explanation, it is as good as an apology. It only tells you the reasons why I wasn’t here and the reasons are pungent enough.”


Following the rising tension at the proceeding, Chairman of the Committee Olaide Akinremi ruled that the hearing goes into a closed-door meeting and the media were asked to leave the hearing.

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25-year-old Nigerian man arrested for Scamming woman of N16million in India

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A 25-year-old Nigerian has been arrested in India for allegedly scamming a 62-year-old woman from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, of Rs 31.64 lakh (N16,048,923.81)

“The accused, Wisdom Obinna, from Imo State, was part of a gang that befriended women on social media and then scam them with lottery and gift frauds,” said Indore Cyber Cell Superintendent of Police, Jitendra Singh, on Friday, April 9.

“Obinna was arrest25-year-old Nigerian man arrested in India for duping woman of N16m ed from Delhi, where he was staying even after his business visa expired. Efforts are on to nab other members of the gang,” he added.

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During the interrogation, the accused said that he came to India on Business Visa in 2014 and 2017. After the visa expired, he became active in cheating and used to operate from Delhi.

The gang members befriend Indian girls and women on Facebook by creating accounts with different foreign fake IDs.

After Wisdom has made friends with the women, he lured his victims by claiming he sent them some expensive gifts.

Later, other members of the gang pose as custom officers and demand money in the name of Tax and Penalty to get the parcel, send a message through bank account WhatsApp and get the money transfer. They would also threaten the victim with legal action.

Police recovered eight passbooks of various banks, three ATM cards, two laptops, three pen drives, 9 mobile phones, eight SIM cards, two dongles, passports and Rs 11000 in cash from the accused.

 

25-year-old Nigerian man arrested in India for duping woman of N16m

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Economy

CBN gets order to freeze 194 accounts in 17 banks

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CBN gets order to freeze 194 accounts in 17 banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has secured three separate interim orders from a Federal High Court in Abuja to freeze bank accounts linked to 194 business entities and individuals in 17 banks.

This was contained in a post by the apex bank on its website yesterday pursuant to the court order. The freeze orders were sequel to three exparte applications filed by the apex bank seeking a mandatory order of the court to ask the 17 banks to freeze the account of the business organizations and individual pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation the apex bank had initiated.

In one of the suits against Nuru Abubakar and 24 others, the court granted the request by CBN to freeze the account of the defendants in the banks for 45 days. Justice A.R Muhammed who made the order in his ruling on March 30, 2021, said: “An interim order is hereby made empowering the applicant to direct the head office of the listed banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the bank account of the defendants for a period of 45 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by CBN.”

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In another suit filed by CBN against Sethwealth Ventures and two others, the court granted an exparte application by the apex bank to freeze 50 accounts linked to the three defendants in 13 banks. A similar order was also made in the suit by CBN against Bluebeam Capital Ltd freezing 60 accounts of the company in 13 banks.

The 17 banks affected are Access Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Providus Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Wema Bank and First Bank. Others are Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank Bank, Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Union Bank.

The companies affected include Bluebeam Capital Limited, Sethwealth Ventures, Seasons Bureau De Change, Lat-Ade Logistics, Sani Polo Global Investment Ltd, Saneo Global Resources Limited and Romvic Ventures Nigeria Limited.

 

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