Maldives extends state of emergency
MALE • Maldives President Abdulla Yameen extended a draconian state of emergency by a month yesterday, ignoring a growing chorus of international concern and calls for democracy to be restored in the honeymoon islands.
Mr Yameen had declared a 15-day state of emergency earlier this month, curtailing the powers of the judiciary and the legislature after the country's Supreme Court ruled to quash criminal convictions against high-profile opposition politicians.
Record crystal meth haul seized off Batam
JAKARTA• • Indonesia yesterday seized a record 1.6 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine from a ship off the northern island of Batam, said a narcotics official, in the second major drug bust this month.
Earlier this month, the Indonesian authorities confiscated just over a tonne of crystal meth, known locally as "shabu-shabu", also in Batam.
Indian bank fraud: 'Shell firms' probed
NEW DELHI• • India's financial crime fighting agency is investigating over 100 "shell companies" suspected to be involved in Punjab National Bank's near US$1.8 billion (S$2.4 billion) fraud, a government source said yesterday.
The companies were allegedly used by Indian jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who heads retailer Gitanjali Gems, to route funds, said a source at India's Enforcement Directorate.