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Indian origin ex-official in US charged in a Prostitutes and Drugs Bribery Scheme involving Billions of Dollars in Business

Navnoor Kang was arrested in Portland in Oregon state and was to be produced before a federal judge there

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(Representative Image) Pakistani drug addicts inhale drug smoke in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Pakistan is marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, where according to reports over six million people are using drugs due to easy availability and trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan and local harvesting. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash) VOA
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New York, Dec 22, 2016: An Indian-origin former official of one of the largest pension funds has been charged in a prostitutes and drugs bribery scheme involving billions of dollars in business, prosecutors said.

A director and strategist at the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYCRF), Navnoor Kang “allegedly steered billions of dollars of business to broker-dealers who bribed him with luxury vacations, high-priced watches, drugs, cash and more”, Preet Bharara, the New York Federal prosecutor, said on Wednesday.

Court documents seen by IANS also listed the services of prostitutes and strippers, “night club bottle service” and a Panerai watch worth $17,420 among the bribes allegedly received by Kang.

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He was arrested in Portland in Oregon state and was to be produced before a federal judge there, Bharara said.

Kang, 38, is a former tennis pro who played in international tournaments in 2005 and 2006.

From 2014 to 2016, he was the Director of Fixed Income and Head of Portfolio Strategy at NYCRF, the third largest pension fund in the US with $184 billion in assets.

He was responsible for investing $53 billion in fixed income securities.

According to prosecutors, Kang colluded with employees of at least two brokerages to divert business from the NYCRF in exchange for the bribes.

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The two companies, which were not identified, did not do any business with NYCRF in 2013. But by 2016 their combined annual volume of business was $2.557 billion after Kang had started sending them business, according to court documents.

This netted the companies millions of dollars in commissions, prosecutors said.

One brokerage employee, Deborah Kelley, is charged in the same case as Kang. They face charges of fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and “wire fraud” for electronic transfer of funds.

They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Kelley is alleged to have paid for Kang’s concert ticket and holidays, in one of which his former girlfriend went along.

The employee of the other company, Gregg Schornhorn, was charged in a separate case. Bharara said that last week he admitted he was guilty of fraud and obstructing justice.

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Prosecutors said Schornhorn gave Kang the Panerai watch and paid for prostitutes and strippers and they used WhatsApp to communicate to prevent law enforcement from monitoring them.

Earlier when Kang was working at another company, Schornhorn had given him a Rolex watch costing $8,000, prosecutors said.

Kang was fired from that company but he lied about it to NYCRF, prosecutors said. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?