Businessmen ‘defrauded US’
A group of businessmen who imported aluminum have been accused of defrauding the US of nearly US$27 million in unpaid taxes. US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said on Friday that Sultana Screens & Aluminum Sales Inc would buy aluminum from China and repackage it in Malaysia, creating fake invoices to pretend the product originated there. She said it would then import the aluminum. A federal grand jury indicted five men and three companies in the alleged scheme. They are also accused of conspiring to transfer nearly US$7 million to Malaysia.
Indonesia raises prices
Indonesia announced a fuel price increase of up to 44 percent late on Friday, reducing the costly subsidies that have kept pump prices in Southeast Asia’s largest economy among the world’s lowest. The budget, approved on Monday last week, sets this year’s fuel subsidy at US$20.2 billion — nearly 4 percent of total economic output. The increase — the first in five years — will raise the price of gasoline from about US$0.45 to US$0.65 per liter and diesel fuel from US$0.45 to US$0.55.
Hershey fined C$4 million
Hershey Canada Inc was fined C$4 million (US$3.8 million) on Friday after pleading guilty to its role in fixing the price of chocolate confectionery products. The Competition Bureau said the Mississauga, Ontario-based company admitted in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that it conspired, agreed or arranged to fix the price of chocolate confectionery products in 2007. The bureau said Hersey also admitted that in 2007 senior employees communicated with employees at Nestle Canada Inc, Mars Canada Inc and an independent distributor network to exchange pricing information.
Shell may sell oil blocks
Oil giant Shell announced on Friday it may sell more of its onshore oil blocks in Nigeria, where theft and sabotage have repeatedly cut into production in Africa’s largest crude producer. The British-Dutch firm, Nigeria’s biggest producer, also said the joint venture its Nigerian subsidiary operates was planning to invest US$3.9 billion on gas projects and pipeline work.
Google has to delete data
British authorities on Friday gave Internet giant Google 35 days to delete any remaining data “mistakenly collected” by its Street View cars when taking city snapshots for its map service. The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued Google with an enforcement notice demanding that it destroy four discs containing information it obtained from unsecured wireless networks. The office warned that failure to comply with the order would be considered a criminal offence.
Starbucks to hike US prices
Starbucks says it is hiking prices in the US starting on Tuesday. The Seattle-based coffee company says it is raising prices by 1 percent on average nationally. However, it says the price for many drinks, such as medium and large brewed coffees and Frappuccinos, will not change in most of its 11,000 US cafes.