US halts cargo shipment from Afghanistan through Pakistan

The United States has temporarily halted shipment of its "retrograde cargo" from Afghanistan in view of the anti-America demonstrations in Pakistan.

PTI| Updated: Dec 04, 2013, 12:09 PM IST

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China detains three people in Bitcoin fraud
From K J M Varma
Beijing, Dec 4 (PTI) At least three persons have been detained in China for allegedly running a fraudulent online Bitcoin trading platform that left hundreds of investors with more than USD 4.1 million in combined losses.
A 29-year-old suspect surnamed Liu allegedly began operating GBL trading platform on May 27 of this year, according to police in Dongyang City in east China`s Zhejiang Province.
Police said the trading volume of the platform, which claimed to be based in Hong Kong, gradually grew, eventually ranking fourth in the country, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Investors who signed up with GBL could trade Bitcoins just as they buy and sell stocks or futures. By the end of September, the platform had attracted 4,493 registered users, said the police. The platform closed suddenly on October 26, with a hacker`s message on its home page and its management team out of reach, the police said.
When investors found they could not log in to their accounts, and the contact address posted on the website was fake, they suspected a scam rather than a security breach, the police said.
An investor surnamed Qiao lost 90,000 yuan ( USD14,669) and reported the case to Dongyang police, who started an investigation immediately.
Three suspects were caught in mid-November in southwest China`s Guizhou Province, east China`s Anhui Province and south China`s Shenzhen City.
The other two suspects are a 24-year-old man surnamed Jin, who was in charge of the platform`s daily operations, and a 33-year-old man surnamed Huang, who was responsible for financial management.
According to reports from The Standard, a Hong Kong newspaper, investors might have lost up to 25 million yuan (USD 4.1 million).
Police are carrying out further investigation into the case.
Bitcoin, a form of digital e-money stored in a virtual wallet, has soared in value in recent months.
Bitcoin came into the Chinese public eye in April this year, when movie star Jet Li`s One Foundation received a donation of several hundred Bitcoins to help quake-stricken Sichuan Province. PTI
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US halts cargo shipment from Afghanistan through Pakistan

Washington: The United States has temporarily halted shipment of its "retrograde cargo" from Afghanistan in view of the anti-America demonstrations in Pakistan which it believes puts at risk the safety and security of the truckers.

"We have voluntarily halted US shipments of retrograde cargo through the Pakistan Ground Line of Communication (GLOC) from Torkham Gate through Karachi to ensure the safety of the drivers contracted to move our equipment," the Pentagon spokesperson Mark Wright said.

The US is aware of the protests that have affected one of the primary commercial transit routes between Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said.

"We anticipate we will be able to resume our shipments through this route in the near future," Wright said.

"While we favor shipping cargo via Pakistan because of cost, we have built flexibility and redundancy into our overall system of air, sea and ground routes to transport cargo into and out of Afghanistan. We also anticipate no long-term impact to our retrograde mission," Wright said.

GLOC routes are important to the US, NATO, and Pakistan, he said adding that this was reflected recently in the Joint Statement released during the Washington visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in October.