New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Twitter on Friday said it has removed over 10,000 accounts in six countries that were sowing misinformation and propaganda via manipulating its platform.
In October 2018, Twitter disclosed the first comprehensive archive of state-backed information operations on Twitter and after an year, it has announced the removal of thousands of politically-motivated accounts.
"We have removed a network of 273 accounts originating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt. These accounts were interconnected in their goals and tactics: a multi-faceted information operation primarily targeting Qatar, and other countries such as Iran. It also amplified messaging supportive of the Saudi government," Twitter said in a statement.
Twitter found evidence that these accounts were created and managed by DotDev, a private technology company operating in the UAE and Egypt.
The micro-blogging platform has permanently suspended DotDev, and all accounts associated with them.
"Additionally, we suspended a separate group of 4,248 accounts operating uniquely from the UAE, mainly directed at Qatar and Yemen. These accounts were often employing false personae and tweeting about regional issues, such as the Yemeni Civil War and the Houthi Movement," Twitter informed.
The investigation also detected a small group of six accounts linked to Saudi Arabia's state-run media apparatus which were engaged in coordinated efforts to amplify messaging that was beneficial to the Saudi government.
"While active, the accounts in this set presented themselves as independent journalistic outlets while tweeting narratives favourable to the Saudi government.
"Separately, we have also permanently suspended the Twitter account of Saud al-Qahtani for violations of our platform manipulation policies," Twitter added.
In August, Twitter identified a network of more than 200,000 fake accounts based in China which were attempting to sow discord about the protest movement in Hong Kong.
"Today, we are publishing additional datasets relating to 4,301 accounts which were most active in this information operation to further public awareness and understanding," said Twitter.
In Spain, Twitter removed 265 accounts as falsely boosting public sentiment online.
Last October, Twitter removed some 4,500 accounts being operated from Russia.
New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) Asset stripping is something that Indian promoters have perfected into an art form. For years, the Singh Bros - Malvinder Mohan Singh (MMS) and Shivinder Mohan Singh (SMS) have got away with the proverbial blue murder and finally their luck ran out with their recent arrest. The width and depth of the architecture of their fraud is gargantuan. The FIR against the duo along with erstwhile CEO Sunil Godhwani provides details of the modus operandi of the systematic asset stripping. Moreover, it once again throws into stark relief the fact that regulatory oversight failed and the company which saw an inspection as far back as 2010 managed to operate under the radar, continuing with innumerable irregularities without any fear.
Internal inquiries showed that the poor financial condition of Religare Finvest was, to a large extent, on account of wilful defaults of significant unsecured loans, defined for internal purposes as the Corporate Law Book by borrower entities, either related, controlled or associated with the promoters, all of whom had been provided the loans by Religare Finvest on a non arm's length basis, in violation of corporate governance norms and in contravention of policies and prudential behaviour expected of a NBFC registered with the RBI.
Red flags emerged but were disregarded as always. The construct of the scam is listed out in minutiae. In its inspection report of January 6, 2012 for the financial year ending March 2010, the RBI observed that Religare Finvest had a practice of parking a major chunk of surplus funds with fellow subsidiary/group companies/ other companies which were often used for taking positions in securities. This effectively means that punting or speculation was done with these surplus funds in contravention of all corporate governance norms.
The RBI, in its inspection report, further observed that appraisal, sanction, purpose of loans, disbursal report, periodic review, application from the borrowers requesting for limit enhancement, appraisal/rationale for limit enhancement and monitoring of such loans was not available on record.
It appears that over a period of 10 years, 115 entities were funded through this mechanism of the Corporate Loan Book with the total amount of Rs 47,968 crore. The exposure under the CLB peaked at approximately Rs 3,538 crore on March 20, 2012. To dodge the RBI bullet which had highlighted this as a risk area, the exposure around the time of the quarterly review reporting was managed but the disbursements were mischievously re-instated soon after. By doing this, they concealed material facts from RBI and public shareholders.
This way, Singh Brothers, in conspiracy with Sunil Godhwani, being in control of Religare Finvest, caused it to give unsecured, high value purported loans to shell companies and related entities of MMS and SMS. The quantum of these loans at the time of filing the FIR stands at Rs 2,397 crore as principal and Rs 415 crore as interest.
It is evident from the conduct of these entities that they never intended to repay these loans to RFL and defaulted on their obligations simultaneously with MMS and SMS's exit from Religare Enterprises. Clearly the CLB was used as a mechanism to fund promoter related companies. The funds were never paid back and actually whenever any payment was due in these loans, either the loans were renewed for further tenure or were replaced by loans to some other group companies to repay the loan of existing promoter group company - a circular movement of funds.
N.K. Ghoshal, a longtime stockbroker of the two brothers, was the principal, who through 19 of his companies - which have all defaulted since, moved all the money around.