Fraud suspects arrested
An ongoing joint Taiwan-Philippines battle against cross-border crime has resulted in a new round of arrests, with law enforcement officers raiding an alleged telecommunication fraud base on Luzon Island on Friday and arresting 17 suspects, including four Taiwanese. An anti-fraud squad of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) stormed into a house on the Kalayaan Heights in Subic, 120km north of Manila, in the morning after being tipped off by Taiwanese authorities that the house might have been used as an operations base by fraudsters, according to the NBI. During the raid, the squad also seized telephones, notebooks, wireless USB adapters and other communication devices.
Suharto descendant in rehab
A court on Thursday ordered a great-granddaughter of the late president Suharto to undergo a year in rehabilitation for drug abuse, after dropping a more serious possession charge. Putri Aryanti Haryowibowo, 22, was arrested in a police raid that found 0.88g of methamphetamine at a hotel in Jakarta in March. Judge Maman Ambari threw out a charge of possession, which carries a jail sentence of up to 15 years, saying the drugs belonged to the defendant’s friend. “She only used it,” Ambari told the South Jakarta district court. Prosecutors recommended a sentence of a year in jail. Haryowibowo, accompanied by her parents, smiled as the verdict was read out. “We had expected six months in rehabilitation. But since it’s a year, she’ll be totally clean,” her father, Haryowibowo, told reporters. Military strongman Suharto died of natural causes in January 2008, a decade after resigning from office following 32 years of autocratic rule. The country enforces stiff penalties, including life imprisonment and the death penalty, for drug trafficking.
Quake hits Hindu Kush
A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled the Hindu Kush region early yesterday, the US Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the quake that hit at 1:02am yesterday. No tsunami alerts were issued. The quake was deep, about 199.1km below the surface, the USGS said. The USGS said the quake hit was about 74km southeast of Faizabad and 254km northeast of Kabul.
Landslide kills two children
Typhoon Nanmadol triggered a landslide that killed two children yesterday as the storm made landfall and drenched most of the north, officials said. The predawn landslide triggered by the slow-moving typhoon buried a hillside house, killing a six-year-old girl and her five-year-old brother in Pangasinan province’s San Fabian township, civil defense officials said. The young siblings were buried in the mud and other debris for more than two hours before rescuers recovered their bodies, said Milchito Santos, regional civil defense chief for the northwestern region of the main island of Luzon. A fisherman remained missing in stormy waters off Catanduanes province, about 350km east of Manila, after failing to return home on Thursday, the coast guard said, adding that the search was ongoing. Forecasters said Nanmadol hit land near Cagayan province’s Gonzaga township on the northeastern tip of Luzon at about 6am yesterday with winds of 195kph and gusts of 230kph.
Erotic dance disrupts plane
Sleepy early-morning passengers on a flight from Moscow’s biggest airport to London may have thought they were dreaming on Friday when a drunken Russian woman staged erotic dances on the plane. Crew on the 7am flight from Domodedovo airport to London decided to return to Moscow because the woman, 39, a native of the region of Tatarstan, was deemed to be causing an inconvenience to passengers, the RIA Novosti news agency said. “The woman was in a state of insobriety, inconveniencing the passengers, taking off their glasses and dancing erotic dances,” a spokesman for transport police said, quoted by the news agency.