08/1/19

Venezuelan Shipwreck Defines Drug Route

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Written by Venezuela Investigative Unit

The sinking of a small boat heading from Venezuela to Curaçao and the disappearance of all the migrants aboard suggest that drug trafficking groups are also controlling human smuggling routes in the region.

On June 7, the group of 32 migrants, along with three crew members, set sail from Punta de Aguide in Venezuela’s Falcón state, on the Caribbean coast. On June 11, the boat was was declared missing, and a month later, the whereabouts of it and its passengers remain unknown.

The disappearance was reported as a shipwreck, an increasingly common disaster in the Caribbean as Venezuelans resort to desperate measures to flee the country. So far this year, three shipwrecks involving over 80 migrants have been reported.

After the latest shipwreck, family members reported that all the migrants had been wearing life-jackets. Yet only one body has been recovered to date — that of Elio Ramones, identified in Curaçao on June 12. To the surprise of authorities, his corpse seemed fresh, suggesting that the man had died several days after the supposed shipwreck.

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08/1/19

QAnon Among Others In FBI Report

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The FBI for the first time has identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat, according to a previously unpublicized document obtained by Yahoo News. (Read the document below.)

The FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, dated May 30, 2019, describes “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists,” as a growing threat, and notes that it is the first such report to do so. It lists a number of arrests, including some that haven’t been publicized, related to violent incidents motivated by fringe beliefs.

The document specifically mentions QAnon, a shadowy network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, and Pizzagate, the theory that a pedophile ring including Clinton associates was being run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant (which didn’t actually have a basement).

“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the document states. It also goes on to say the FBI believes conspiracy theory-driven extremists are likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

The FBI said another factor driving the intensity of this threat is “the uncovering of real conspiracies or cover-ups involving illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities by government officials or leading political figures.” The FBI does not specify which political leaders or which cover-ups it was referring to.

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08/1/19

When Russia Helps N. Korea Cheat on Sanctions, What to Do

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: Do you wonder what Russia’s votes on the UNSC really do to help North Korea? Do you wonder what the 40,000+ North Korean slave laborers in Russia add to the North Korean economy each year? About $200 million. How about the Russian oil pipeline that goes through North Korea? What about the rail system between the two countries and how that helps North Korea skirt sanctions with illicit goods transportation? Then there are the alleged legitimate navy and fishing fleets between Russia and North Korea. Money? Or the weekly air flight service from Vladivostok to Pyongyang? Or how Russia provides Internet service to North Korea in addition to China, known as SatGate and the fiber optic lines that run along the rail system? Check front companies in China, Singapore, and the banking system known as Dalcombank. Or the fact they are just flying in cash twice a week.

Rajin, North Korea:

Image result for rajin north korea  Image result for rajin north korea

FDD: The Treasury Department on Monday sanctioned a North Korean trading company official for helping Pyongyang evade U.S. and UN sanctions through illicit activity in Vietnam. The designation, which arrived in the brief interval between two North Korean missile tests in less than a week, suggests that Washington understands the importance of investigating and disrupting North Korea’s extensive overseas illicit networks.

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08/1/19

The Other College Tuition Scandal, Give up Custody

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Parents give up legal custody… what? Well, perhaps there is a silver lining in this… no more student loan debt.

Hat tip to ProPublica for great work and continued investigations.

In part:

Parents are giving up legal guardianship of their children during their junior or senior year in high school to someone else — a friend, aunt, cousin or grandparent. The guardianship status then allows the students to declare themselves financially independent of their families so they can qualify for federal, state and university aid, a ProPublica Illinois investigation found.

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