Mexican cartel responsible for decapitations and torture planning to flood Britain with

first_imgJoaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman  The National Crime Agency has warned the unnamed Romanian gang is able to bring large quantities of cocaine to the UK on a weekly basis using HGV goods vehicles.It is thought places such as Liverpool’s docks and ports in Dover, Folkestone and Harwich are key entry points for smuggling in a large amount of cocaine through huge shipping containers. The group’s leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has boldly escaped from maximum security prisons twice in Mexico and is currently awaiting trial in New York. While links between Central American cartels and British crime syndicates are nothing new, the Sinaloa’s brutal methods has caused concern over its influence on the increasingly violent British drugs trade.  View of cartridgeds and weapons from the gangsters and drug-traffickers at the Military Headquarter in Mexico City Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. View of cartridges and weapons from the gangsters and drug-traffickers at the Military Headquarter in Mexico CityCredit:AFP It is feared children are being used as mules to deliver drugs to rural areas from major cities.A spokeswoman for the NCA said: “There were a limited number of historic serious organised crime (SOCA) operations which had links between Liverpool based organised crime groups (OCG) and Mexican cocaine suppliers.“These drugs were transported via courier to varying European airports such as Frankfurt and Brussels before transiting on to the UK. A number of these couriers were intercepted at European airports with 4-5 kgs of cocaine in their possession. A 2014 MPS operation involved the rip on of cocaine at Mexico City airport and the rip off at London Heathrow.“NCA in collaboration with International partners identified a Romanian OCG with the capability to import large amounts of cocaine into the UK on a weekly basis using HGV transport. Intelligence indicates that the Romanian OCG are still being supplied by a Mexican OCG linked to the Sinaloa Cartel.”center_img Members of the navy stand behind what is believed to be around 80 million euro (£62.5 million) worth of cocaine  Members of the navy stand behind what is believed to be around 80 million euro (£62.5 million) worth of cocaine after one drugs haul Credit:PA A brutal Mexican drug cartel responsible for decapitations and torture is planning to flood Britain’s drug market with huge quantities of cocaine.The Sinaloa cartel has reportedly made a pact with a Romanian crime gang who have control over goods lorries, allowing the cartel to operate in Britain on a large scale, the Times has revealed. The alliance with the infamous drug lords, often described as the largest and most powerful cartel in the western hemisphere, will increase fears over the level of security at the UK’s borders. It is estimated as much as 100 tonnes of cocaine is shipped to the country each year, but the majority is intercepted by law enforcement agencies. The NCA believes the Sinaloa cartel has been drawn to the UK because of its lucrative market, where customers are prepared to pay large sums for cocaine.  Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Credit:CEFERESO last_img read more

Read More →

Max Clifford in critical care unit after collapsing with cardiac arrest in

first_imgMax Clifford’s family have claimed he was denied medical treatment after the disgraced PR guru died having collapsed in his prison cell.The 74 year-old was said to be “in a bad way” after falling twice at the Cambridgeshire jail where he was serving an eight-year sentence for historical sex offences.The Ministry of Justice confirmed that Clifford, who had been ill since suffering a heart attack in August, died in hospital on Sunday after a cardiac arrest.Clifford’s daughter Louise, who appeared in court as a witness for her father’s defence, has alleged that she had been fighting for medical treatment alongside her father’s legal team and doctor, but without success.The 46 year-old said: “It is with great sadness that I must announce that my father Max Clifford passed away. “He had been ill for some time with heart problems and myself, his doctor and our legal team had fought for his diagnosis and treatment but to no avail.“He was hugely loved by the many people in his life for the compassionate, kind and funny man that he was.”Clifford’s daughter added that she and her legal team, led by Sarah Forshaw QC, will “continue to pursue his appeal hearing and get him the justice he was denied in life”. The PR guru, who used his celebrity connections to lure women, was found guilty of a string of indecent assaults – with the sex attacks carried out between 1977 and 1984. On the basis of alleged fresh evidence, Clifford had been due to appeal against all of his convictions early next year. It is not known if the case will be allowed to continue after his death.Before his death on Sunday morning, the former celebrity publicist was said to be “in a bad way” after collapsing twice at Littlehey Prison.His daughter told the Mail on Sunday that Clifford first collapsed in his cell on Thursday when he was trying to clean it.A spokeswoman for Ms Clifford confirmed to the Telegraph that her father cleaned his cell out of choice as he was “conscientious and particular.”Ms Clifford said he collapsed again the next day and was unconscious for several minutes. After seeing a nurse, he was transferred to a local hospital where he suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday, she said.Clifford was jailed for eight years in May 2014 after being convicted of a number of charges under Operation Yewtree, the Met Police investigation set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal.He was the first person to be convicted as part of the national investigation. During his sentencing, he branded his accusers as “fantasists” and was seen laughing and shaking his head in the dock. He had been ill for some time with heart problems and myself, his doctor and our legal team had fought for his diagnosis and treatment but to no availLouise Clifford In 2016, he was cleared of indecently assaulting a teenage girl, after being accused of using his power to humiliate the 17-year-old into performing a sex act on him in the 1980s.The former PR mogul crafted a reputation for garnering maximum exposure for the fame-hungry wannabes in his charge.His previous clients included Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra and Chelsea Football Club.A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “As with all deaths in custody, there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. “Our condolences are with Mr Clifford’s family at this difficult time.”When asked about the claim that Mr Clifford was denied medical treatment, a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “All prisoners receive the same level of treatment as anybody would.”NHS England said it was unable to comment on specific cases. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Read More →

Health chiefs vow to step up war on salt as targets to

“While we have seen some progress, those that have taken little or no action cannot be excused for their inactivity. It is clear that, with the right leadership from industry, further salt reduction in foods continues to be possible.”The health body is calling for mandatory labels on foods so that they display their salt content.Health officials recommend that adults should eat no more than 6 grams of salt a day. Overall, manufacturers met just 37 per cent of their average targets, the figures show, with better progress by retailers, who achieved 73 per cent of the goals they were set.Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Too much salt can lead to increased blood pressure which can cause heart disease and stroke – two of the biggest killers of adults in the UK – which is why government has set such stretching targets. It follows warnings from health campaigners that a sausage sandwich could contain nearly two thirds of an adult’s recommended salt intake.Kate Halliwell, Head of UK Diet and Health Policy at the Food and Drink Federation, said:  “This report shows the good progress manufacturers have made under the ambitious salt reduction programme, with almost three quarters of foods falling below the maximum salt targets.“FDF members have led the way in reducing salt in food. Voluntary action helped to reduce adult intakes by 11 per cent between 2005/6 and 2014. And during the lifetime of the latest salt targets – 2012 to 2017 – our members have reduced salt by a further 11.4 per cent, continuing to build on more than 15 years of steady reformulation work. This has been done without compromising on taste, quality or safety.” But the average person consumes around 8 grams a day – a slight fall from 8.5 grams in 2011.Breakfast cereals, fat spreads, baked beans, pizza and pasta were among foods which hit the average targets.Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “While it is encouraging to see the food industry is making progress towards the salt reduction targets we set in 2014, we know there is more to do.“That’s why we committed to further reducing salt intake in our prevention vision. Next year we will put forward realistic but ambitious goals and set out details of how we will meet them.”The PHE report provides the first detailed analysis of the salt content of foods for which reduction targets have been set.The foods covered by the targets are the main contributors to dietary salt intakes in adults in the UK and provide around 54 per cent of salt in the diet. Health chiefs have demanded “no more excuses” after new figures showed just half of targets to cut salt intake in common foods have been met.A report by Public Health England (PHE) reveals zero progress reducing average salt content in some foods – including bacon and ham – since pledges were made four years ago.Ministers have repeatedly vowed to wage war on salt, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.The new analysis found that just 52 per cent of the average sodium level targets were met for products consumed in the home, PHE said.Meat products were the saltiest culprits, with no average targets met and 43 per cent of products above recommended maximum limits.No progress at all was made reducing the average salt content of ham and bacon, the figures show, with targets missed for sausages, ready meals, rice and soups. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Read More →

Jeremy Clarkson says he will be nicer to new contestants on Who

Jeremy Clarkson insists he is more polite to contestants in the new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? but claimed his first stint as host featured “some very stupid contestants who didn’t warrant any niceness”.The presenter will reprise hosting duties for a new series beginning on January 1 after the game show was revived for a string of special episodes earlier this year.Clarkson took over the role previously filled by Chris Tarrant for seven episodes broadcast in May to mark the 20th anniversary of the show, which was presented by Tarrant from 1998 to 2014.Discussing what will be different in the new series, Clarkson said: “I’m told I’ve been nicer to the contestants, but last year there were some very stupid contestants who didn’t warrant any niceness.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––”This time they’ve been – by and large, with one or two exceptions – sparky and on-it and bright and deserving of a place in the chair.”The previous series saw the introduction of the new lifeline Ask The Host, and Clarkson admits he was “almost entirely useless” at helping contestants. Producer Fiona Clark said new measures had been put in place to thwart potential cheats.”With the advance of Google, smartphones and tablets, the management and security around lifeline ‘Phone-A-Friend’ needed to grow,” she wrote in Broadcast magazine.”A small team was put in place to oversee and deploy fully-briefed security officers to each person’s home to ensure fair play.”The extra security had “added a new financial and logistical aspect to the budget” in the new series, she said.- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? returns on January 1 at 9pm and continues nightly until January 6. Clarkson (centre) with Richard Hammond, and James May Clarkson (centre) with Richard Hammond, and James MayCredit:Matt Jelonek/WireImage “It’s so annoying, because sometimes, you’ll get to the £125,000 question and you go, I know this. But they’ve already asked you and used the lifeline on something like the Kardashians that you don’t know.”He continued: “The only way that you can prepare for this show is to learn the Internet, and nobody can do that.”Clarkson said his ideal question would be about Genesis albums or birds, adding: “It’s one of those little things that not a lot of people know, I know not very much but I know a little bit about birds.”I know a ptarmigan from an osprey, a yellowhammer from a reed warbler. I know how to tell a cold tit from a blue tit, which most people don’t know. But now I’ve said that, people will ask me bird questions and I won’t know the answer.”Clarkson said his Grand Tour co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have offered him some practical advice for the second series.He said: “They have actually (offered advice): ‘Get a f—ing hearing aid. And glasses. Get a hearing aid and some glasses, you old idiot.”‘It emerged yesterday that the show is dispatching security guards to the homes of contestants’ friends to stamp out cheating in the ‘Phone a Friend’ segments and avoid the possibility of smartphones and Google being used to help contestants. He added: “To a certain extent, I’ve continued that tradition this time out.”Occasionally I accidentally knew something, but not as often as I would have liked. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Read More →

RAF Nato row after totally unacceptable engine problems keep £26bn fleet on

A row erupted at a recent Nato conference over the RAF’s new £2.6billion transporter planes as it has emerged engine problems mean just two of 20-strong fleet are able to fly at any one time.The delay in bringing into service the new A400M plane for the RAF and other partner nations led to a major disagreement between Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer, and Nato Ministers. Stuart Andrew, the MoD’s Minister for Procurement, said that after an “extremely robust meeting” the problems with the A400M aircraft should be fixed by next year.  Concerns have been raised over the new aircraft since its inception in 2003. A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.In 2015 one A400M aircraft crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew members. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause of the crash.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The latest serviceability figures for the RAF’s A400M, from February this year, showed that 12 of the 20 were in the ‘Forward Fleet’, which comprises serviceable aircraft and those temporarily unavailable due to minor works or other technical inspections that can arise on a day-to-day basis.The number of aircraft available varies day-to-day according to normal flight management activities and general serviceability.Although assembled in Seville, Spain, the A400M is an international project with parts built across Europe. The carbon-composite wings – the biggest ever on a military aircraft – were designed and built in Filton, near Bristol, and numerous other subsystems including the software which controls the aircraft came from Britain.A total of 174 of the aircraft have been ordered so far, sustaining 8,000 UK jobs.  An A400M in service with the German Luftwaffe showing the eight-blade variable pitch fully feathering propellers on the aircraft. An A400M in service with the German Luftwaffe showing the eight-blade variable pitch fullyfeathering propellers on the aircraft.Credit:Steve Thorne/Getty Images Europe A crew member looks out the window of a RAF Airbus A400M as it arrives at RAF Fairford. July 7, 2016. A crew member looks out the window of a RAF Airbus A400M as it arrives at RAF Fairford. July 7, 2016.Credit:Matt Cardy/Getty Images Europe The RAF version of the A400M – called Atlas – is due to replace the current fleet of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. With a capacity of 35 tonnes and a 2,000 nautical mile range it is far more capable and versatile than the ageing Hercules. As it is fitted with propellers rather than jet engines it can operate from dirt strips and unprepared runways and can fly up to 400 knots. Although the larger C-17 Globemaster can carry around 70 tonnes of supplies, it has to fly from established air bases, limiting its utility in disaster relief or covert operations.Britain has bought 22 aircraft, with 20 delivered so far, at a cost of £2.6 billion. The planned in-service date of 2009 slipped more than six years. Germany has bought 53 aircraft, with 30 delivered so far. The Telegraph understands the Luftwaffe sought to pull out of the programme and not take the remaining 23, but was convinced by Britain to stay in. Large crowds in front of an Airbus A400M during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 12, 2014.Credit:Tim Ireland/Getty Images Europe In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable.  We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need. “Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry. Large crowds in front of an Airbus A400M during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 12, 2014. read more

Read More →

Domestic violence murders at fiveyear high amid warning of hidden victims of

The number of domestic violence killings has hit a five-year high, new figures show.Data obtained by the BBC from 43 police forces across the UK reveal that 173 people died in domestic violence-related homicides last year.The statistics, reported on Friday, show there were 165 domestic killings in 2014, 160 in 2015, 139 in 2016 and 141 in 2017.One criminologist, who anonymously talked to the BBC, described those killed as “invisible victims of knife crime”.The new data emerged after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to reintroduce domestic abuse legislation in the next Queen’s Speech.Mr Johnson tweeted on Thursday: “Domestic abuse shatters lives and tears families apart.”We are fully committed to tackling this horrific crime – which is why the Queen’s Speech will confirm we will be reintroducing domestic abuse legislation in the next session.”Sir James Munby, former president of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, has called for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be brought back before Parliament.He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday: “This is a vitally important Bill, tackling what everyone agrees is a very great social evil.”It is immensely depressing nothing effective has been done to get this necessary reform through Parliament.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sir James added: “The Bill must be reintroduced in Parliament as soon as the next session starts.”It must then be pursued to the earliest possible conclusion of the parliamentary process with determination, vigour and a real sense of urgent commitment on the part of Government.”What the Prime Minister does or not will be a vital litmus test of his real commitment to safeguarding those in our society who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and oppressed.”The Domestic Abuse Bill was introduced in Parliament in July.The proposals would give better protection to those fleeing violence by placing a new legal duty on councils to provide secure homes for them and their children.It would also introduce the first legal Government definition of domestic abuse, which would include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical behaviour.A row erupted earlier this month over former prime minister Theresa May’s decision to honour her favourite cricketer, Sir Geoffrey Boycott, who was was convicted in France in 1998 of beating up his then girlfriend in a Riviera hotel.While campaigners said it was sending a “dangerous message” that “domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime”, Sir Geoffrey said he “couldn’t give a toss” about criticism of his knighthood. read more

Read More →

Six billion computer records hacked so far this year

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related’One billion’ affected by Yahoo hackDecember 15, 2016In “latest news”Guyana, among other countries at risk from computers donated by ChinaNovember 4, 2013In “Local News”FIRED SATTAUR FIRES BACK: ‘I was asked to settle tax cases that would have cost country billions in lost revenue, promote unqualified persons, and rehire persons previously dismissed for corrupt practices…’January 22, 2016In “latest news” (AFP) A surge in computer hacking has led to the breach of more than six billion records so far this year, topping the total for 2016, security researchers said Tuesday.Virginia-based Risk Based Security said in its mid-year report that it identified 2,227 publicly disclosed data compromise events through June 30 affecting business, government, medical and educational data.“It is stunning to see the steady increase in the number of breaches impacting one million or more records,” said Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President for Risk Based Security.The report said hackers are increasingly targeting employment and tax records. Some attacks successfully used “phishing” or spoofing or emails to obtain tax information from US citizens.Other targets included human resources departments, employment agencies and aggregators of employment data.“While news of politically motivated foreign interference in election systems continues to dominate the headlines, the breach activity we are tracking this year is a stark reminder of just how many data compromise incidents are motivated by financial gain,” Goddijn said“As long as information can be quickly monetised and systems remain vulnerable to attack, we should not expect to see any slowdown in breach activity.” read more

Read More →

Bus driver nabbed with ganja cocaine at Mabura

…24.9 kilograms cannabis, 200 grams cocaine found in vehicle transporting passengers to LethemA bus driver of Tabatinga, Lethem is now in custody of the Police after he was, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, found with a large quantity of cannabis and cocaine in his possession.The 55-year-old man was said to be transporting passengers to Lethem at the time of the discovery. He was attempting to pass through a checkpoint at the Mabura Police Station, Linden at around 04:00hrs.The 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine that were unearthedThis publication understands that the vehicle was thoroughly searched by ranks, acting on a tipoff, and the 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine were unearthed.The minibus that was stopped and searched at a Police checkpoint at Mabura Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLethem bus driver remanded for trafficking cocaine, cannabisOctober 3, 2017In “Court”Man wrapped in over 1000 grams of ganja heading to Mahdia bustedApril 27, 2018In “Crime”Kwakwani resident arrested with 1654 grams cannabisDecember 3, 2017In “Crime” As such, the man was questioned about the discovery and later taken into Police custody, where investigations are still being conducted.He is being processed for Court.The suspect in custody read more

Read More →

Australia and India play down Kohli v Paine banter

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 17: Virat Kohli of India speaks with Tim Paine of Australia during day four of the second match in the Test series between Australia and India at Perth Stadium on December 17, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Neither camp believes any line of personal decency was crossed during on-field exchanges between Tim Paine and Virat Kohli during the Perth Test between Australia and India.The series had been incident-free on the first seven days, but on the eighth the two captains exchanged a few verbals, which carried on into the ninth day, and paused momentarily with a cheeky Josh Hazlewood saying Kohli was not the most prized wicket for Australia.It all possibly started in Perth on the third day with Kohli telling Paine he was staring at a 2-0 deficit if he messed up with the bat. Paine responded with telling Kohli he had to bat last on this pitch. The needle continued into the fourth morning where the umpires had to intervene. There nearly was physical contact when Kohli and Paine’s paths crossed as they looked to field the ball and take a single respectively.Two subplots to these confrontations arguably made it bigger than it might have been. Australia find themselves under intense scrutiny for their behaviour after the events in Cape Town and the culture review. The confrontation, coming as it did when India started to feel they were falling behind for the first time in the series, could possibly be seen as a cynical attempt to push the Australian buttons.Australia’s concentration on Kohli – not just the players, but the media, the former players, the broadcasters – has at times been excessive with each move of his being scrutinised. Even after getting Kohli out, Paine used his name for banter with M Vijay, basically asking him how he could possibly like Kohli despite his being the captain.At the press conferences at the end of day four, both sides strove to downplay the incidents as “part of the game”, “bit of fun”, and something that shouldn’t be read too much into. “I think it was all good fun,” Australia fast bowler Hazlewood said. “It’s quite competitive out there as you know, and there’s going to be words from time to time, but it was all in good spirits I think.”Shami was of a similar view. He was asked if he found any inconsistencies with how Australia had promised they would behave and how they have actually gone.“See it is a long match, and there might be some moment where you say something and you get a reply in that moment,” Shami said. “So maybe in that moment, things get heated up but it is not something to be made a big issue out of. According to me, we should leave this here. It is part of the game, and it is a way to enjoy things in the Test match. Sometimes we say things, they get upset and make mistakes. These are the moments, but nothing personal.”When asked if the Australians started it, Shami refused to commit either way. “If there is no sledging, you won’t enjoy the game, the public won’t enjoy the game. If there is aggression, the match becomes more interesting. It is part of the game. As it should be.”Hazlewood was asked if Australia felt frustrated and if they felt the opposition was trying to capitalise on the scrutiny they were under.“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think at stages in a game it is going to get heated from time to time. I think we are pretty confident that we can hold that line that we have talked about as a group. It’s more in the heat of the moment, definitely not a ploy to attack any batsman at any stage. It has been really good so far. Just good banter.“I don’t think we read too much into it, we go about our work as we see fit and the Indians can do what they like. We control what we control, and our behaviour is what we control. We’ll worry about that, and let everything else take care of itself.”In a way, Kohli is under similar scrutiny with all the cameras trained at him, scanning every move, be it celebration, reaction to crowd or banter with the opposition. Shami said they didn’t feel concerned about that, but Hazlewood might have made the cheekiest comment yet about the entire thing.Asked if Australia were risking focusing too much on Kohli alone, Hazlewood left with this reply: “I probably see [Cheteshwar] Pujara as the big wicket as far as when I’m bowling,” Hazlewood said. “The glue that holds them together I think. He has batted the most balls this series, and scored nearly the most runs. I see him as a big wicket and [Ajinkya] Rahane as well. So the Nos 3, 4, 5 as the key wickets, and we see it a bit unstable in the other parts of the order. Certainly not all the focus is on Virat.” (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVirat Kohli in doubt for start of IPLMarch 28, 2017In “latest news”Ponting slams Kohli boos as ‘disgraceful’January 4, 2019In “latest news”Time right for Dhoni to hand over to Kohli – ShastriMay 31, 2016In “Sports” read more

Read More →

Hambro companies buy more Russian skills

first_imgAricom, the Anglo-Russian developer of mineral resources, has agreed to acquire a 68.49% holding in OJSC Giproruda for a cash consideration of some $8 million, conditional on Russian Anti-Monopoly approval. Based in St Petersburg, and employing 148 people, Giproruda is one of Russia’s most respected mining design institutes specialising in the analysis and design of mining projects. Giproruda has unique experience in the design of pits and mines in extreme mining, geological and climatic conditions. Other areas of expertise include the development of efficient mining technologies, project repair base layout, design and transportation services, the repair of technical equipment, storage facilities and the design of administrative and domestic facilities.Peter Hambro’s mining companies, of which Aricom is one, appear to be forward looking in an approach to the skills shortage that involves locking in the expertise of companies like Giproruda. Late last year, Peter Hambro Mining (PHM) acquired an 80% equity holding in the Irkutskiy Institute for Scientific Research of Precious and Rare Metals and Diamonds (Irgiredmet), one of the best known Russian laboratory research and scientific consulting companies. The Irgiredmet laboratories provide a range of services in the testing, developing and optimizing of gold, precious metals and diamond projects. At that time, PHM intended to extend the offer to the holders of the remaining 20% of Irgiredmet’s equity on the same terms, implying a total acquisition value of $50million. It was eexpected that the acquisition of the remaining 20% would be completed in early 2007.These acquistions are also focussed on the needs of the Hambro companies. Iron ore is a key area of specialisation for Giproruda. This will be of specific benefit in the analysis and design of a number of Aricom’s future and existing development projects. Giproruda will continue its work programme for other customers but will be given an opportunity to focus attention on Aricom’s portfolio of projects.Giproruda believes it currently has about a market share of the project design services market in the Russian mining sphere. As well as development plans to grow its operations within the CIS, Giproruda is advancing its international programme with contracts signed on a number of projects as well as an application for ISO 9000 status. Jay Hambro, Chief Executive of Aricom, commented: “Aricom’s project portfolio now contains a sizeable amount of reserves and resources which are all located within 500 miles [800 km] from the Russian-Chinese border. We are an existing client of Giproruda and their position, as a leader in Russian mine design and development, will significantly enhance the Group’s ability to exploit the massive potential inherent in our assets. With Kuranakh nearing production, Aricom’s next task is to bring on stream two very large iron ore projects – with Giproruda’s wealth of experience in iron ore, I believe there will be significant benefits in them becoming part of our Group.”Aricom plc is a leading developer of Russian metal and mining assets, focusing on iron ore and ilmenite production and delivery. The Company was established in September 2003 to develop projects, situated in the northwest of the Amur Region, in Russia’s Far East. These projects are set to service the Chinese and Russian commodity market. Aricom currently operates three projects in the Amur region and the adjoining Jewish Autonomous Region, which will be the subject of International Mining’s September issue Operations Focus. Aricom’’s Kuranakh, K&S and Bolshoi Seym projects have combined estimated reserves and resources of over 1,000 Mt of iron ore and ilmenite ore. The location of the deposits offer a significant logistical advantage being close to the Trans-Siberian-Express and the Baikal-Amur Magistral railways. In 2005, 700 Mt of iron ore were shipped globally, of that 300 Mt (43%) was shipped to China. In June 2006, Aricom announced a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s largest nonferrous metal company Aluminium Corp China (Chinalco), to co-operate in the design and development of a titanium sponge production plant in China. Giproruda Institute is the oldest leading design institute in Russia, working in the complex mining enterprise design sphere dealing with open-pit and underground excavation. Giproruda has built and reconstructed around 200 enterprises in Russia, Kazakhstan and Transcaucasia. The institute has designed enterprises, which now work in China, India, Iran, Egypt, Bulgaria, the Balkans and other countries. For the calendar year ended 31 December 2006, Giproruda had revenue of $6.8 million, operating profit of $1.4 million, profit after tax of $1.5 million and net assets of $3.3 million – all of these figures are as yet unaudited.last_img read more

Read More →