Russia wants info on citizen held in US
MOSCOW • Russia yesterday said it wanted an explanation from Washington over the arrest of one of its nationals, as Moscow continued to hold a US citizen for alleged espionage.
FBI agents arrested Dmitry Makarenko on Dec 29 on Saipan, a US island in the western Pacific, and he had since been taken to Florida, a Russian Foreign Ministry statement said.
It said the US authorities had failed to inform Moscow of the arrest and it had found out about it from the man's family.
Meanwhile, a top Russian diplomat yesterday said the case of Paul Whelan, a US national detained in Moscow, was very serious. Whelan was arrested on Dec 28 "while carrying out an act of espionage", the FSB security service said.
India declares fugitive an economic offender
MUMBAI • A court in India set up under anti-money laundering laws yesterday declared liquor and aviation tycoon Vijay Mallya a "fugitive economic offender", paving the way for his assets to be seized, according to Reuters partner ANI.
India recently approved a Bill empowering the seizure of assets of wealthy fugitives whose economic offences or crimes involve sums of more than 1 billion rupees (S$19.4 million).
The Bill is part of a push to prosecute a number of accused who have fled India in the last four years even as the country reels from banking scandals, including a US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank that was uncovered in February.
Aussie police nab three in Melbourne protest
MELBOURNE • Australian police have made at least three arrests after hundreds of far-right and anti-racism groups faced off yesterday in Melbourne, according to local media reports.
Police in riot gear spent more than three hours trying to separate the two groups who were yelling at one another, and scuffles broke out, said Australian Broadcasting Corporation on its website.
The scuffles spilled onto the road when far-right protesters attacked a car with a loudspeaker broadcasting "Sudanese are welcome, racists are not". Multiple men among the right-wing protesters were seen giving Nazi salutes, said the news.com.au site, which showed pictures of men displaying the offensive gesture.
Victoria's police Superintendent Tony Silva told a news conference later that one person was nabbed for breaching bail conditions, another on a drug charge and the third was charged with possessing a dangerous article.