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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 7

7 December 2022

US: EXPORT CONTROL SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN CAPACITORS DESCRIBED ON US MUNITIONS LIST

On 6 December, KPMG reported that the Department of State has released for publication in the Federal Register a temporary suspension of the applicability of regulations for certain capacitors, for 6 months from 21 November.  The Department assessed that it is in the security and foreign policy interests of the US to facilitate commercial uses of certain capacitors when integrated into any item not described on the US Munitions List. 

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/12/tnf-us-suspension-itar-provision-capacitors-described-usml.html

THE SCRAMBLE TO SELL CYBERWEAPONS TO DICTATORS

On 7 December, Politico published the latest instalment in its series: Leaked: The Altrnativ world of cybersurveillance.  It is concerned with a company offering the governments of Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Comoros, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo a range of cyberweapons.

https://www.politico.eu/article/destination-africa-scramble-sell-cyberweapons-dictators-qwant-eric-leandri

DARK FLEET AND TANKER SECTOR REPUTATION RISK

On 7 December, Seatrade Maritime News explores the impact the sanction-busting dark tanker fleet could have on the shipping sector’s safety reputation.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/opinions-analysis/dark-fleet-and-tanker-sector-reputation-risk

EUROPEAN COURT ANNULS THE 2014 ACTS MAINTAINING THE SANCTIONS LISTING OF THE PKK AND DISMISSED ITS CHALLENGE TO 2015 – 2017 AND 2019 LISTINGS

On 7 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is currently listed on the EU’s terrorism sanctions list.  Its designation was renewed in July 2022 by EU Regulation 2022/1230/EU.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/eu-general-court-annuls-pkk-2014-historic-terrorism-listing/

RUSSIA MANUFACTURES CRUISE MISSILES DESPITE WESTERN SANCTIONS

On 6 December, Yahoo News reported that researchers noted Russia’s ability to produce cruise missiles could suggest that it has found the ways to circumvent sanctions and import semiconductors – or that it had ample stockpiles of high-tech components prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

https://news.yahoo.com/russia-manufactures-cruise-missiles-despite-214100812.html

AUSTRAC OPENS CIVIL PENALTY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SkyCity ADELAIDE

On 7 December, Gambling News reported that the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is cracking down on yet another casino for breaching the laws on AML/CFT.  It says that AUSTRAC identified serious violations in terms of SkyCity Adelaide’s compliance with Australia’s AML/CFT legislation.

https://www.gamblingnews.com/news/austrac-opens-civil-penalty-proceedings-against-skycity-adelaide/

INDIA: SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES BY SOME MEMBERS/OFFICE BEARERS OF NRI ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

On 7 December, The Hindu reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted search operations in the NRI Academy of Sciences.  The searches were part of an investigation being done by it into violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) by some members/office bearers of NRI Academy of Sciences. 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/enforcement-directorate-seizes-cash-53-property-documents-electronic-devices-during-raids-at-nri-academy-of-sciences/article66234080.ece

https://www.siasat.com/ed-registers-money-laundering-case-conducts-raids-against-promoters-of-andhra-medical-college-2474144/

PANAMA: SOME 70 TONS OF DRUGS SEIZED IN 2 YEARS IN ITS PORTS

On 6 December, Panamá America reported that Panamanian security forces between 2021 and 2022 have seized 74,884 packages of illicit substances in the ports.

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/judicial/unas-70-toneladas-de-droga-incautadas-en-dos-anos-en-puertos-1215292

NIGERIA: JIHADISTS AND BANDITS ARE COOPERATING

On 7 December, Defence Web reported that Nigeria has faced multiple national security threats: jihadist groups in the north-east; armed bandits in the north-west; militia secessionists in the south-east; and militancy in the south-south.  It argues that the interests of bandits and jihadists are converging.  This poses a formidable threat to Nigeria’s national security.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/civil-security/jihadists-and-bandits-are-cooperating-why-this-is-bad-news-for-nigeria/

ARGENTINA’S VICE-PRESIDENT FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD AND SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER EMBEZZLING $1 BILLION

On 7 December, UNILAD reported that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 69, received a 6-year prison sentence and was disqualified from holding public office.

https://www.unilad.com/news/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-jail-450769-20221207

UK: HAITI (SANCTIONS) REGULATIONS 2022

These Regulations implement the relevant UN sanctions concerning Haiti.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/1281/contents/made

GLENCORE AGREES TO PAY DR CONGO $180 MILLION OVER CORRUPTION ACCUSATIONS

On 7 December, OCCRP reported that Swiss commodity trading and mining giant Glencore is to pay $180 million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after reaching an agreement with Congolese authorities on allegations of corruption between 2007 and 2018.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17124-glencore-agrees-to-pay-congo-180m-over-corruption-accusations

CHINESE ‘SERVICE CENTERS’ CHASE DISSIDENTS, CRIMINALS ABROAD

On 7 December, an article from OCCRP said that a new report from a Spanish NGO claims that Chinese authorities have set up more than 100 police stations overseas to monitor, harass and in some cases force its nationals abroad, especially dissidents, to return home.  China insists the facilities are simply administrative hubs, set up to help Chinese expatriates with tasks like renewing their driver’s licences.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17123-report-chinese-service-centers-chase-dissidents-criminals-abroad

BRAZIL: MAKERS OF HIGH-END MUSICAL BOWS SUSPECTED OF TRAFFICKING PROTECTED BRAZILWOOD TO THE US, EUROPE, AND ASIA

On 7 December, OCCRP carried a report saying that, though relatively small, the bow industry is highly lucrative.  Sticks of brazilwood cost less than $8 in Brazil, but once crafted into bows they can sell for more than 300 times as much in the US, Europe, and Asia.  Such bows are sold by music stores in the US and UK for up to $2,500 apiece, while others can go for even more.  Brazilian authorities launched Operation Dó-Ré-Mi in 2018, and since then, officers have confiscated almost 150,000 bows and wooden sticks from 33 bowmakers, who together have been fined over $10 million for trading in undocumented wood.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/operation-do-re-mi-the-brazilian-bow-makers-under-investigation-for-dealing-in-endangered-wood

GERMAN POLICE RAIDS TARGET FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS ‘SEEKING TO OVERTHROW STATE’

On 7 December, the Guardian reported that 25 people including a 71-year-old German aristocrat, a retired military commander and former MP for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have been detained on suspicion of a terrorist plan.  Federal prosecutors said 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the group.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/07/german-police-raids-target-far-right-reich-citizens-movement

THE RISE IN MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA) THREATS MEETS COMPLIANCE FATIGUE

On 6 December, Control Risks said that MFA has been a cornerstone of cyber security best practice lists for many years.  It has become one of the most effective ways that organisations can protect their online accounts, particularly with the advent of cloud computing.  However, the article says that it is also highlighting the risks of relying solely on app-based solutions.  As threat actors improve their capabilities, the exponential growth of MFA has become a significant contributing factor to the increasing number of cyber attacks and data breaches targeting organisations.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/the-rise-in-multi-factor-authentication-threats-meets-compliance-fatigue

HOW PERU IS TACKLING THE DANGER OF VENEZUELA’S TREN DE ARAGUA GANG?

On 6 December, an article from Insight Crime considered an effort by Peruvian intelligence to dismantle the Gallegos, the strongest armed wing of the Tren de Aragua, Venezuela’s most powerful transnational criminal organisation.  A gang which has gained a strong foothold in Peru and is involved in extortion, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and murder. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/how-peru-is-tackling-the-danger-of-venezuelan-tren-de-aragua/

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS AND SCHREMS II: OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE EU AND UK GDPR

On 6 December, an article from Out-Law took the form of a guide which examines some of the key questions businesses will ask themselves when considering what they need to do to comply with the EU and UK GDPR.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/guides/international-transfers-schrems-ii-gdpr

DESPITE UN SANCTIONS, GERMANY DID RESEARCH WITH NORTH KOREA

On 28 November, Deutsche Welle carried an article saying that its investigation found that one Berlin institute continued cooperation without flagging the risks.  It has revealed a potential German violation of UN sanctions that could have been avoided.  The case throws a spotlight on the potential for conflict between Germany’s approach to freedom of research and security concerns.

https://www.dw.com/en/despite-un-sanctions-german-research-institute-worked-with-north-korean-scientists/a-63890089

UN SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF 1540 COMMITTEE MONITORING NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS FOR 10 YEARS

On 30 November, the UN advised that the Security Council had extended the mandate of its subsidiary 1540 Committee, for a period of 10 years until 30 November 2032.  UN SCR 1540 aims to prevent non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery.

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15123.doc.htm

MEXICAN CARTELS HAVE TURNED TO FENTANYL

On 6 December, an article in Unherd says that Mexican traffickers have gradually shifted the core of their business from plant-based drugs to synthetic drugs — those created using man-made chemicals.  These include meth and illegally-made fentanyl as well as others, such as ketamine. 

https://unherd.com/2022/12/mexican-cartels-have-turned-to-fentanyl/

FORMER REPRESENTATIVE DAVID RIVERA OF FLORIDA IS ARRESTED IN VENEZUELA PROBE

On 5 December, CNBC reported that a former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government has been arrested on charges of money laundering and representing a foreign government without registering.  Rivera is a Republican who served as a Representative from 2011 to 2013.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/06/former-rep-david-rivera-of-florida-is-arrested-in-venezuela-probe.html

UK: ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE SMUGGLING MILLIONS FOR DRUG DEALERS

On 6 December, Vice carried an article about cash couriers and cash smuggling in the UK.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/4axqmd/ordinary-people-smuggling-millions-for-dubai-drug-dealers

US COURT UNSEALS INDICTMENT OF OneCoin CRYPTOQUEEN’S ‘CRISIS MANAGER’

On 7 December, Decrypt reported that another player in the OneCoin scheme will face charges of wire fraud and money laundering upon extradition to the US, according to a newly unsealed indictment.  Frank Schneider is a former Luxembourg intelligence official, whose private intelligence firm Sandstone carried out work for OneCoin, and is accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

https://decrypt.co/116621/us-court-unseals-indictment-onecoin-crypto-queen-crisis-manager

EUROPOL–BASEL INSTITUTE RECOMMENDATIONS ON TACKLING CRYPTO CRIME AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 7 December, the Basel Institute on Governance provided a set of 5 recommendations issued jointly by Europol and the Basel Institute following the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies earlier this year. 

https://baselgovernance.org/news/seizing-opportunity-europol-basel-institute-recommendations-tackling-crypto-crime-and-money

A CENTURY OF CHANGES IN EXTRATERRITORIALITY

On 30 November, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog was a lightly edited version of a talk given virtually on 26 November at the “International Symposium on Accelerating Changes Unseen in a Century and the Development of International Law” organised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of International Law.  It sets out to describe some of the changes in extraterritoriality over the past century and then discuss the implications of the “genuine connection” principle for sanctions and export controls.

https://tlblog.org/a-century-of-changes-in-extraterritoriality

US: COMPLIANCE PROGRAM GUIDELINES ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S DIRECTORATE OF DEFENSE TRADE CONTROLS (DDTC)

On 6 December, an Alert from Crowell Moring advised that DDTC has issued new Compliance Program Guidelines (CPG) intended to provide an overview of an effective compliance program.  The CPG is broken down into elements covering the spectrum of ITAR compliance from company management commitment, registration, jurisdiction and classifications, authorizations, recordkeeping, violations, training, risk assessment, and audits and compliance monitoring.

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2022/12/compliance-program-guidelines-issued-by-ddtc/https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/sys_attachment.do?sysparm_referring_url=tear_off&view=true&sys_id=1216c09a1b671d14d1f1ea02f54bcb25

LIBYA: UN SECURITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE GRANTS 6-MONTH HUMANITARIAN TRAVEL EXEMPTIONS TO 3 INDIVIDUALS

On 7 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the relevant UN committee has granted travel exemptions to Safia Farkash Al-Barassi, Aisha Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Qadhafi and Mohammed Muammar Qadhafi.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/unsc-grants-3-humanitarian-travel-exemptions/

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15124.doc.htm

https://www.statista.com/chart/12109/sms-volume-in-the-united-states

Q&A ON EU COMMISSION PROPOSALS ON CORPORATE INSOLVENCY AND LISTING

On 7 December, a news release from the EU provided this Q&A.  It says that the lack of harmonised insolvency regimes has long been identified as one of the key obstacles to the freedom of capital movement in the EU and to greater integration of the EU’s capital markets.  The new proposal aims at harmonising targeted elements of Member States’ insolvency rules and at creating common minimum standards across all Member States, thereby facilitating cross-border investment.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_22_7349

MISSILE COMPONENTS USED IN DRONE ATTACKS IN NORTH-EAST SYRIA

This report from Conflict Armament Research says that field investigation teams have deployed to north-east Syria on 8 occasions between February 2020 and November 2022, and documented 698 weapons and 15,360 rounds of ammunition, as well as other related materiel such as UAV and components for IED, in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the military arm of the autonomous governing authority.  Research has shown that some of the missile components were manufactured abroad and imported for use in Türkiye’s defence industry.  These include critical components that are commercially available and do not appear to be covered by existing export controls.

https://www.conflictarm.com/download-file/?report_id=3788&file_id=3791

US: RUSSIAN AGENT ANDRII DERKACH INDICTED FOR SCHEME TO VIOLATE SANCTIONS IN THE US

A US DoJ news release on 7 December advised that an indictment charged Andrii Derkach, 55, of Ukraine, with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA), bank fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and 4 counts of money laundering in connection with the purchase and maintenance of 2 condominiums in Beverly Hills, California.  He is described as a Kremlin-backed Ukrainian politician and oligarch.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/active-russian-agent-andrii-derkach-indicted-scheme-violate-sanctions-united-states

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

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VIOLENT NON-STATE ACTOR CBRN EVENT DATABASE

In presenting this database and portal, the University of Maryland says that the prospect of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism has been a source of policy, strategic, and policy concern since the mid-1990s.  However, most discussion of CBRN terrorism phenomenon was theorising based on a limited number of high-profile events or speculation based on non-CBRN analyses.   The Unconventional Weapons & Technology (UWT) Division of the  National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism& Responses to Terrorism (START) developed 3 databases: Profiles Of Incidents involving CBRN and Non-state actors (POICN); Chemical And Biological Non-State Adversaries Database (CABNSAD); and Radiological And Nuclear Non-State Actor Database (RANNSAD).  These databases represent the largest open source publicly available databases on ideologically motivated CBRN events and individuals who pursue and/or use CBRN weapons.

https://cbrn.umd.edu/

https://cbrn.umd.edu/event_database

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RUSSIA: STATEMENT ON EU NINTH PACKAGE OF SANCTIONS

On 7 December, a news release from the EU involved a statement by the President of the Commission.  She says that the EU is proposing to add almost 200 additional individuals and entities to its sanctions list. T his includes the Russian armed forces, as well as individual officers and defence industrial companies, members of the State Duma and Federation Council, ministers, governors and political parties, among others.  It also proposes to introduce sanctions against 3 additional Russian banks, including a full transaction ban on the Russian Regional Development Bank.  It also wants to impose new export controls and restrictions, particularly for dual-use goods. This includes key chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components.  It wants to cut Russia’s access to all sorts of drones and UAV, with a ban on the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and the export to any third countries, such as Iran, which could supply drones to Russia.  It also plans to target the Russian propaganda machine by taking 4 additional channels off the air and all other distribution platforms; and impose further economic measures against the Russian energy and mining sector, including a ban on new mining investments in Russia.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_7568

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EUROPOL–BASEL INSTITUTE RECOMMENDATIONS ON TACKLING CRYPTO CRIME AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 7 December, the Basel Institute on Governance provided a set of 5 recommendations issued jointly by Europol and the Basel Institute following the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies earlier this year. 

https://baselgovernance.org/news/seizing-opportunity-europol-basel-institute-recommendations-tackling-crypto-crime-and-money

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DESPITE UN SANCTIONS, GERMANY DID RESEARCH WITH NORTH KOREA

On 28 November, Deutsche Welle carried an article saying that its investigation found that one Berlin institute continued cooperation without flagging the risks.  It has revealed a potential German violation of UN sanctions that could have been avoided.  The case throws a spotlight on the potential for conflict between Germany’s approach to freedom of research and security concerns.

https://www.dw.com/en/despite-un-sanctions-german-research-institute-worked-with-north-korean-scientists/a-63890089

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INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS AND SCHREMS II: OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE EU AND UK GDPR

On 6 December, an article from Out-Law took the form of a guide which examines some of the key questions businesses will ask themselves when considering what they need to do to comply with the EU and UK GDPR.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/guides/international-transfers-schrems-ii-gdpr

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ARGENTINA’S VICE-PRESIDENT FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD AND SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER EMBEZZLING $1 BILLION

On 7 December, UNILAD reported that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 69, received a 6-year prison sentence and was disqualified from holding public office.

https://www.unilad.com/news/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-jail-450769-20221207

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 6

Feeling better today (though not 100%), but my wife is now taken to bed. Obviously not Covid, but seemingly nearly everyone we know seems to have something similar in the past few days – mainly among those returning to the country from abroad.

Somewhat surprisingly, considering its history and international business connections, the media here reports that, for the sixth consecutive year, Panama once again ranked as one of the countries with the “lowest” English language proficiency in the world. It seems that Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Paraguay and Bolivia all score better. My personal experience is that where foreigners do speak English, many are more proficient than native speakers (possibly because they have to learn the language properly, rather than just picking it up…).

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/cafe-estrella/cultura/221206/dominio-idioma-ingles-panama

In other news, the first harvest of sea cucumber (holoturoids) produced on a marine farm is reported from Colón on the Caribbean coast. It is said that the farm expects a great demand from the international market, especially in Asia, from countries like China where it is an integral part of food and natural medicine with innumerable benefits.

6 DECEMBER 2022

COMOROS COURT SENTENCES FORMER PRESIDENT TO LIFE IN PRISON

On 28 November, France 24 reported that a court in the Comoros had handed down a life sentence for high treason to ex-president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, who was tried in absentia and was convicted of selling passports to stateless people living in the Gulf.  President from between 2006 and 2011, he passed a law in 2008 allowing the sale of passports at an exorbitant fee.  The scheme aimed at the so-called bidoon – an Arab minority numbering in the tens of thousands who cannot obtain citizenship, and the former President was accused of embezzling millions of dollars under the scheme.

https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20221128-comoros-court-sentences-former-president-to-life-in-prison

DISCLOSURE: A GUIDE TO SEEKING NORWICH PHARMACAL ORDERS

On 2 December, an article from Baker & Partners about Norwich Pharmacal Orders (NPO) in Jersey.  An NPO is a disclosure order which allows information to be obtained from third parties who have become ‘mixed up’ in wrongdoing, helping individuals to investigate, pursue those ultimately responsible and (hopefully) recover their losses.

https://www.mondaq.com/jersey/arbitration-dispute-resolution/1256774/disclosure-a-guide-to-seeking-norwich-pharmacal-orders

IRELAND: ANALYSIS OF DIRECTORS’ LIABILITY IN IRELAND

On 5 December, an article from the Maples Group said that the Irish High Court recently held directors and shadow directors personally liable for funds misappropriated by a company as part of a fraudulent investment scheme worth €186 million – the first time that an Irish court has pierced the corporate veil to hold directors personally liable.  It says that the judgment serves as a stark reminder of the importance of directors’ duties and, in particular, the potential consequences for their dereliction by passive directors.

https://www.mondaq.com/ireland/directors-and-officers/1257712/analysis-of-directors39-liability-in-ireland

CANADA: THE DOCTRINE OF KNOWING RECEIPT: HOW A THIRD PARTY CAN BE LIABLE FOR RECEIVING PROCEEDS OF FRAUD

On 2 December, an article from Devry Smith Frank LLP explains that when a third party receives proceeds of fraud or trust property for their own benefit, and are enriched at the expense of a beneficiary, victims can sue to recover the property in the possession of the third party under the law of “knowing receipt”.  In order to establish liability under the doctrine of knowing receipt, the victim must satisfy the court of 2 things: a receipt requirement and a knowledge requirement.

https://www.mondaq.com/canada/white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-fraud/1256738/the-doctrine-of-knowing-receipt-how-a-third-party-can-be-liable-for-receiving-proceeds-of-fraud

FOR LEGAL PRIVILEGE TO APPLY, PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY ARE NOT THE SAME

On 6 December, an article from RPC said that a recent case provided a helpful overview of the law on confidentiality and privacy where a claim to legal professional privilege (LPP) is made, highlighting that the 2 should not be equated.  It says that the outcome is similar to that in another case in which access from and storage on a third party’s servers was held not to waive privilege.

https://www.lexology.com/commentary/litigation/01ab1fe6-7531-47fc-bd9d-75a42a97fcc5

NOKIA SENDS 4 APPLICATIONS FOR EXPORT LICENCE TO SUPPLY TO RUSSIA

On 5 December, Yahoo News reported that 2 applications were sent to European regulators, while another 2 were submitted to a US regulator, with one of the applications already accepted.  Nokia does not plan to return to the Russian market but wants to complete contractual obligations and supply equipment.  The share of Nokia equipment in the Russian market is 20-25%. All major telecom operators use the company’s equipment.

https://news.yahoo.com/nokia-sends-four-applications-export-152300029.html

AIRCRAFT COMPANIES SUE INSURERS OVER LOSSES FROM RUSSIA SANCTIONS

On 6 December, the Irish Independent reported that 3 Irish-registered companies involved in international aircraft leasing have brought High Court proceedings against insurers’ refusal to provide indemnity for the loss of some $1.75 billion worth of airplanes detained in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/aircraft-firms-sue-insurers-over-losses-from-russia-sanctions-42197356.html

RUSSIA TURNS TO THE CHINESE YUAN FOR CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS

On 5 December, the Payments Journal reported that the Russian Central Bank (RCB) said that roughly 50% of Russian cross-border payments are being made using currencies other than the euro and the dollar, and Russia has been increasingly turning towards the Chinese yuan for cross-border payments. 

https://www.paymentsjournal.com/amid-heavy-sanctions-russia-turns-to-the-chinese-yuan-for-cross-border-payments/

US CITIZEN AND 12 EGYPTIANS STAND TRIAL OVER SMUGGLING EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES

On 6 December, the Egypt Independent reported that 12 defendants, including a US citizen and 11 Egyptians, are on trial at the Cairo Criminal Court after being accused of smuggling Egyptian antiquities.  One of the defendants was arrested red-handed at JFK Airport in the US, leading to authorities discovering the rest of his accomplices.

https://www.egyptindependent.com/us-citizen-12-egyptians-stand-trial-over-smuggling-egyptian-antiquities/ 

UK: ACMD ADVICE ON THE CLASSIFICATION AND SCHEDULE OF REMIMAZOLAM

On 2 December, the Home Office published a report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on the classification and schedule of Remimazolam.  ACMD recommends that remimazolam should be controlled as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.  Remimazolam is a prescription-only medicine, which can only be given by a healthcare professional experienced in sedation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acmd-advice-on-the-classification-and-schedule-of-remimazolam/acmd-advice-on-the-classification-and-schedule-of-remimazolam 

WIRECARD IN THE DOCK AS GERMANY’S BIGGEST FRAUD TRIAL SET TO START

On 6 December, RTE reported that former Wirecard executives go on trial, 2 years after the collapse of the payments company that produced Germany’s biggest postwar fraud scandal and sent shockwaves through the country’s political and financial establishment.

https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2022/1206/1340206-wirecard-trial-to-begin-this-week/ 

REPORT: MONEY LAUNDERING CRITICAL IN SUSTAINING SYNTHETIC OPIOID EPIDEMIC

On 5 December, OCCRP said that increasingly complex money laundering networks play a vital role in sustaining the synthetic opioid trade, which is linked to tens of thousands of deaths globally each year – and a new report from FATF on fentanyl and tramadol says authorities are not doing enough to fight back.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17116-report-money-laundering-critical-in-sustaining-synthetic-opioid-epidemic

MEXICAN PROSECUTOR WHO LED INVESTIGATIONS INTO VIOLENT CRIMES OF ROMANIAN GANG IS ACCUSED OF BEING ON THEIR PAYROLL

On 5 December, a report from OCCRP says that after former member of the Riviera Maya gang was stabbed in Mexico by his onetime comrades.  The Mexican prosecutor who led the investigation didn’t even look into them as suspects.  Now, it says, they may have been paying him off.  The Mexican prosecutor who was allegedly paid off by the head of the Romanian gang also investigated 2 major criminal cases involving its members, including a murder and an attempted murder.

https://www.occrp.org/en/how-a-crew-of-romanian-criminals-conquered-the-world-of-atm-skimming/mexican-prosecutor-who-led-investigations-into-violent-crimes-of-romanian-gang-is-accused-of-being-on-their-payroll

US: THE UYGHUR FORCED LABOR PREVENTION ACT – POTENTIAL IMPACT ON CRITICAL MINERALS SUPPLY FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

On 5 December, an article from White & Case said that the UFLPA established a rebuttable presumption that goods produced wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, or by certain identified entities, are made with forced labour, and therefore subject to an import prohibition in the US.  The US Government has recently signalled that it will dedicate significant resources to bar imports of any product category where supply chain visibility suggests the possibility of forced labour.  It says that there is a strong likelihood that US Customs will pay especially close attention to imported critical minerals and products containing critical minerals.

https://www.whitecase.com/insight-alert/uygher-forced-labor-prevention-act-potential-impact-critical-minerals-supply-clean

COCAINE SEIZURE IN INDIA INCREASED 3,479% IN 2021-22

On 5 December, the Big News Network reported that seizures of cocaine increased from 8.667 kg to 310.21 kg.  There were also big increases in methamphetamine and heroin.

https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/273141464/cocaine-seizure-in-india-increased-3479-pc-in-2021-22-dri-report

FORMER US MARINES PILOT FACING EXTRADITION TO THE US OVER ACTIVITY IN CHINA

On 5 December, the Guardian reported that Daniel Duggan was arrested on return from China at the request of the FBI.  6 weeks of high-security custody later, the charges against him remain sealed.  His arrest coincided with warnings from Australian and British authorities over the practice of former military pilots being offered lucrative contracts to train pilots in China.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/dec/06/shrouded-in-secrecy-the-australian-trial-of-a-former-marines-pilot-facing-extradition-to-the-us

MASS GRAVES IN VENEZUELA CONNECTED TO DISAPPEARANCES IN ILLEGAL MINING HUB

On 5 December, an article from Insight Crime says that the discovery of 3 mass graves in Venezuela’s eastern state of Bolívar points to how sinister the increase in disappearances in the country’s illegal mining epicentre has become.  At least 37 people had gone missing in Bolívar’s mining areas between September 2021 and April 2022.

https://insightcrime.org/news/mass-graves-venezuela-connected-disappearances-illegal-mining-hub/

FRENCH PROSECUTORS NAME UKRAINIAN SUSPECT IN LEBANESE CENTRAL BANK PROBE

On 5 December, Swissinfo reported that French prosecutors said that they have put a Ukrainian woman linked to the governor of Lebanon’s central bank under formal investigation as part of a cross-border probe into alleged fraud to the detriment of the Lebanese state.  Anna Kosakova, with whom central bank governor Riad Salameh has a daughter, is suspected of aggravated money laundering.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/french-prosecutors-name-ukrainian-suspect-in-lebanese-central-bank-probe/48110680

CREDIT SUISSE FIGHTS $600 MILLION DAMAGES AWARD OVER MISHANDLING OF ROGUE BANKER

On 5 December, Swissinfo reported that a Bermuda judge awarded the damages to bank client and Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in March after ruling that Credit Suisse Life had turned a “blind eye” to convicted fraudster Patrice Lescaudron’s misuse of Ivanishvili’s money.  However, a lawyer for a Credit Suisse Group AG unit suggested the size of the ruling exaggerates what the returns would have been if the money had been invested properly. 

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/credit-suisse-fights–600-million-damages-award-over-mishandling-of-rogue-banker/48109196

THE DOWNSIDES OF DIGITAL REVOLUTION: CONFRONTING AFRICA’S EVOLVING CYBER THREATS

On 2 December, a report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that over the past 2 decades, Africa has experienced an unprecedented wave of technological diffusion and innovation.  Africa’s digital revolution carries with it significant potential for benefit, but also enormous downsides, threats and challenges.  The report looks at how Africa’s digital revolution is impacting and amplifying a broad array of security threats, including organised crime, critical infrastructure sabotage, cyber-espionage and armed conflict innovation.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Nate-Allen-Matthew-La-Lime-Tomslin-Samme-Nlar-The-Downsides-Of-Digital-Revolution-Confronting-Africas-evolving-cyber-threats-GITOC-December-2022.pdf

UK: WHICH? CLAIMS BANKS ARE LEAVING CUSTOMERS WIDE OPEN TO SPOOFING FRAUD

On 2 December, Finextra reported claims that security failings at some of the UK’s largest banks are leaving customers vulnerable to fraud. To test how effective banks were at protecting their customers, Which? made calls to a test phone, spoofing the prominent numbers of 14 current account providers.  The firms’ numbers were chosen if they were the ones printed on the back of debit cards or listed as fraud helplines on their websites. It found many were not utilising Ofcom’s ‘Do Not Originate’ (DNO) list, a shared resource with telecoms providers to help them identify and block calls from numbers that are most likely to be spoofed.

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/41419/which-claims-banks-are-leaving-customers-wide-open-to-spoofing-fraud

AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION ONSITE OF BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

On 2 December, FATF-style regional body APG reported that an onsite visit for Brunei Darussalam’ 3rd APG Mutual Evaluation was conducted from 7 to 18 November.  Brunei’s mutual evaluation report will be considered for adoption at the next APG Annual Meeting in July 2023.

https://apgml.org/news/details.aspx?pcPage=1&n=4194

HONG KONG POLICE SHUT DOWN MONEY LAUNDERING SYNDICATE SUSPECTED OF PROCESSING HK$168 MILLION THROUGH 100 BANK ACCOUNTS

On 6 December, the South China Morning Post reported that Hong Kong police have arrested 13 men and shut down a local money laundering syndicate that had used more than 100 bank accounts to process illegal funds.  Those detained included 4 core members of the syndicate and 9 holders of the bank accounts that were used to collect and launder crime proceeds. 

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3202273/hong-kong-police-shut-down-money-laundering-syndicate-suspected-processing-hk168-million-through-100

CANADA IMPOSES ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON THE IRANIAN REGIME: 4 INDIVIDUALS AND 5 ENTITIES TARGETED

On 5 December, Baker McKenzie reported that, on 2 December, Canada announced further amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations in response to the Iranian regime’s “gross and systematic human rights violations and actions that continue to threaten international peace and security”.  There are now over 275 parties listed under Schedule 1 of the Regulations.  Among the newly listed parties are senior officials, prominent regime supporters, entities involved in transporting and developing UAV, and 1 media outlet – Javan News Agency.

https://sanctionsnews.bakermckenzie.com/canada-imposes-additional-sanctions-on-the-iranian-regime-4-individuals-and-5-entities-targeted/

ARMS TRANSFER AND SALW CONTROL-RELATED ASSISTANCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: IDENTIFYING NEEDS AND BRIDGING GAPS

On 6 December, a report from SIPRI provides an updated picture of assistance activities involving countries in the region.  It assesses to what extent assistance delivered in the region has been in line with the needs and requests of MENA countries and provides recommendations on the priorities that should be the focus of future assistance efforts.  It argues that effective arms transfer and small arms and light weapons (SALW) controls are essential to help to ensure that the region, which is already plagued by conflicts and tensions, does not become even more unstable.

https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2022/arms-transfer-and-salw-control-related-assistance-middle-east-and-north-africa-identifying-needs-and

GLOBAL JURISDICTIONS IMPLEMENT RUSSIAN OIL BAN AND PRICE CAP POLICY—NEW COMPLIANCE EXPECTATIONS FOR INDUSTRIES INVOLVED IN GLOBAL OIL TRADE

On 6 December, Wilmer Hale published this Client Alert, saying that the new price cap policy will create complex new sanctions compliance and recordkeeping obligations for global industries involved (directly or indirectly) in Russian energy trade, including the insurance, trade finance, banking, brokering, navigation, shipping and refinery industries.

https://wilmerhalecommunications.com/26/5466/december-2022/global-jurisdictions-implement-russian-oil-ban-and-price-cap-policy.asp

NATIONAL LAWS ON EU SANCTIONS WILL BE BETTER ALIGNED

On 6 December, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald reported that, in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the Council of the EU has decided that Member State legislation on sanctions should be better aligned.  Council Decision (EU) 2022/2332 requires Member States to apply minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences and penalties in the area of sanctions and other restrictive measures.

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/knowledge/disputes/national-laws-on-eu-sanctions-will-be-better-aligned

‘DARK ACTIVITIES’ OF RUSSIAN-LINKED OIL TANKERS HAVE DOUBLED

On 6 December, the Guardian reported on analysis which shows that the number of Russian-affiliated oil tankers “going dark” to avoid being tracked in the South Atlantic has doubled in recent months in a sign of clandestine means being deployed to avoid sanctions.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/06/dark-activities-of-russian-linked-oil-tankers-has-doubled-analysis-shows

WTO REPORT SHOWS INCREASE IN TRADE RESTRICTIONS AMIDST ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY AND MULTIPLE CRISES

On 6 December, a news release advised that the WTO Director-General’s annual overview of developments in the international trading environment shows that trade restrictions are increasing in a context of economic uncertainty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the food security crisis.  WTO members are introducing restrictions at an increased pace, particularly on food, feed and fertilisers.  The stockpile of import restrictions in force also continues to grow.

https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news22_e/tmwto_06dec22_e.htm

MAPPED: WHICH COUNTRIES HAVE THE HIGHEST INFLATION RATE?

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/mapped-countries-with-highest-inflation-rate/

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

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EBA CONSULTS ON NEW GUIDELINES TO TACKLE DE-RISKING

On 6 December, the European Banking Authority launched a public consultation on new Guidelines on the effective management of money laundering and terrorist financing risks when providing access to financial services. Through these Guidelines, the EBA aims to ensure that customers, especially the most vulnerable ones, are not denied access to financial services without valid reason.  This consultation runs until 6 February.  There are 2 sets of guidelines – the first set is adding a new section to the EBA’s ML/TF risk factor guidelines, which set out what financial institutions should do to identify and tackle ML/TF risk; the second set tackles the issue of effective management of ML/TF risks by financial institutions when providing access to financial services.

https://www.eba.europa.eu/eba-consults-new-guidelines-tackle-de-risking

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2022/12/new-common-eu-standards-on-the-development-and-implementation-of-sound?cc_lang=en

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WORLD BANK DEBARS A KOREAN IT COMPANY FOR 3 YEARS FOR AN OBSTRUCTIVE PRACTICE CONNECTED TO A PROJECT IN VIETNAM

A post from the FCPA Blog on 5 December advised that Lotte Data Communications Company Limited (LDCC) and its subsidiaries are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group during the 36-month debarment.  LDCC is part of the Lotte Corporation. Lotte is the fifth-largest chaebol in South Korea.

https://fcpablog.com/2022/12/05/world-bank-debars-korean-chaebols-it-unit/

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EU HUMAN RIGHTS SANCTIONS: ENTRIES FOR 6 INDIVIDUALS AND 2 ENTITIES UPDATED

EU Regulation 2022/2374/EU amended the sanctions regime to update the details for 6 individuals and 2 entities.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.314.01.0081.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A314%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2022.314.01.0090.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:314:TOC

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EU AMENDS DRC SANCTIONS REGIME

EU Regulation 2022/2373/EU amends the 2005 Regulation creating the EU Democratic Republic of Congo sanctions regime, expanding the criteria for designations.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.314.01.0079.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A314%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2022.314.01.0097.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:314:TOC

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RUSSIAN SANCTIONS COST CYPRUS 20% OF OIL TANKER FLEET

On 6 December, the Cyprus Mail reported that approximately 20% of the oil tanker fleet registered in Cyprus have migrated to other registries since 6 October, when the European Commission signalled its intention to cap the price of Russian seaborne oil.

https://cyprus-mail.com/2022/12/06/russian-sanctions-cost-cyprus-20-of-oil-tanker-fleet/

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 5

I don’t know what happened while I was out of the country, but I return to find the number of new Covid cases has rocketed, and the total of reported cases since March 2020 now tops 1 million. Test results for the week to 3 December were up to 19.8%. On the other hand, hospitalisations and fatalities are only a fraction of what they were at the worst moments of the pandemic.

Over 7,000 new cases were added in the week to 3 December, with 7 fatalities (the same number as the previous week). There were 9,626 reported active cases – nearly 3 times the figure when I left the country at the end of November, but the number of patients in ICU has actually fallen , to just 4 (compared to the 6 or 7 of the previous couple of weeks), with 160 in other wards.

I think I have it too now, but have not yet been tested. My wife had a test, as she had a meeting to go to today, but she was negative, so maybe I haven’t got Covid. Perhaps it was just withdrawal symptoms from not having the unlimited fine food that the ship offered.

Having returned under the weather, and then having my PC literally blow up (I think the power thing blew), today the internet stopped for a while… Luckily I have this back-up PC I had sent from Britain and had recently had checked over and repaired, but I think I need to start dropping Christmas present hints about a new laptop and/or PC…some hope.

5 DECEMBER 2022

FREEZING ASSETS ACROSS JURISDICTIONS

On 29 November, an article from Fenwick Elliott Solicitors started by saying that in international arbitration, winning your case is only half the battle.  The harder part is often getting the money.  Even if an unsuccessful party has assets, gaining access to them is no sure thing. It cautions that merely winning a case in one jurisdiction (where the losing party does not have the funds to satisfy a judgment debt) does not guarantee that its assets in other jurisdictions will be readily available to the victor.  It goes on to say that a recent Australian case illustrates why, in the context of international arbitration, freezing orders are a useful tool, but also highlights the difficulties involved.

https://www.fenwickelliott.com/research-insight/newsletters/international-quarterly/freezing-assets-across-jurisdications

JERSEY: DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS LAW

On 1 December, an article from Ogier discussed the draft Criminal Justice (Deferred Prosecution Agreements) (Jersey) Law which, it says, brings Jersey into line with jurisdictions that have mature DPA regimes, such as the UK and the US.

https://www.lexology.com/commentary/private-client-offshore-services/jersey/ogier/deferred-prosecution-agreements-high-stakes-bargain

EU COUNCIL ADDS SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS TO LIST OF ‘EU CRIMES’ AND EU COMMISSION PROPOSES MEASURES FOR ASSET FORFEITURE AND HYBRID TRIBUNAL

On 1 December, an article from Ropes & Gray LLP reported on developments in the EU, saying that having agreed in principle the measures, the Commission will now need to formulate a directive setting out the minimum rules and the penalties for a sanctions breach, and the draft will then be discussed and adopted by the EU Council and European Parliament.

https://insights.ropesgray.com/post/102i2pe/eu-council-adds-sanctions-violations-to-list-of-eu-crimes-and-eu-commission-pro#page=1

IRREGULAR MIGRATION FROM COLOMBIA TO PANAMA AND ORGANISED CRIME

On 30 November, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised crime published a report saying that, according to Panamanian authorities, the number of migrants who crossed the Darién border region between Colombia and Panama between January and September 2022 amounts to 151,000 people.  That means that, without having finished the year, the figure has already increased by 13% compared to 2021, with 133,000 migrants.  The Darién is a jungle area shared by Colombia and Panama that represents the land connection between Central and South America – it is seen as a dangerous area, due to natural threats as well as those from smugglers and guerrillas, and there are no roads connecting the 2 countries through it.  The article considers the role of the Clan del Golfo (or Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia).

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/colombia-frontera-clan-migracion/

BAN ON OIL SHIPMENTS VIA LITHUANIA TO KALININGRAD TAKES EFFECT
On 5 December, Delfi in Italy reported that the EU’s embargo on most Russian oil imports, announced 6 months ago, comes into force.

https://www.delfi.lt/en/politics/ban-on-oil-shipments-via-lithuania-to-kaliningrad-takes-effect.d?id=91937135

SOUTH AFRICA TO START REGULATING CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGES

On 1 December, My Broadband in South Africa reported an amendment to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) annexure, designating crypto asset service providers as “accountable institutions”, with effect from 19 December.

https://mybroadband.co.za/news/cryptocurrency/472131-south-africa-starts-regulating-cryptocurrency-exchanges.html

DEFENCE CROWDFUNDING ‘EXACERBATED’ LIBEL DAMAGE

On 5 December, the Law Society Gazette reported that a judge has ruled that the fact that more than 1,000 people – including 2 media celebrities – contributed to the crowdfunding of a libel defence exacerbated the harm done by the original publication.  The High Court case in London was concerned with the alleged rise of antisemitism in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/defence-crowdfunding-exacerbated-libel-damage/5114494.article

ITALY HOME TO 11 OF 100-PLUS UNOFFICIAL CHINESE ‘POLICE STATIONS’

On 5 December, the Guardian reported that Italy hosts the highest number of unofficial Chinese “police stations” out of a network of more than 100 around the world, a report by a Spanish civil rights group has claimed.  The civil rights group alleges that the unofficial police stations are used by China to “harass, threaten, intimidate and force targets to return to China for persecution”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/05/italy-home-11-unofficial-chinese-police-stations-world

PANAMANIAN SUSPECTED OF ARRANGING EUROPEAN COCAINE SHIPMENTS WITH DANIEL KINAHAN ARRESTED

On 4 December, the Sunday World in Ireland reported that Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza was arrested in Dubai as part of an international police operation targeting Europe’s super-cartel.  He  is suspected of being the connection who arranged to get Colombian cocaine shipped into Europe.

https://www.sundayworld.com/crime/irish-crime/panamanian-suspected-of-arranging-european-cocaine-shipments-with-daniel-kinahan-arrested/186653185.html

EUROPOL: 8,755 MONEY MULES WERE IDENTIFIED ALONGSIDE 222 MONEY MULE RECRUITERS, AND 2,469 INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED WORLDWIDE

A news release from Europol advised that law enforcement from 25 countries, supported by Europol, Eurojust, INTERPOL and the European Banking Federation (EBF) have joined forces to crack down on one of the most important enablers of money laundering: money mules and their recruiters.  It said that the European Money Mule Action (EMMA8) has gone international, with actions carried out in countries as far apart as Colombia, Singapore and Australia.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/media-press/newsroom/news/2-469-money-mules-arrested-in-worldwide-crackdown-against-money-laundering

THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK IN EU MEMBER STATES FOR THE ACQUISITION AND USE OF PEGASUS AND EQUIVALENT SURVEILLANCE SPYWARE

On 5 December, a briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service considers the existing legal framework in EU Member States for the acquisition and use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2022/740151/IPOL_STU(2022)740151_EN.pdf

FORMER HEADS OF NEW YORK-BASED NGO PLEAD GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO BRIBE ELECTED OFFICIALS OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS

A news release from US DoJ on 1 December advised that 2 Marshallese nationals had pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay bribes to elected officials of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in exchange for passing certain legislation.  The charges involved supporting legislation creating a semi-autonomous region within the RMI called the Rongelap Atoll Special Administrative Region (RASAR) that would benefit the business interests of the defendants and their associates. 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-heads-new-york-based-non-governmental-organization-plead-guilty-conspiring-bribe

VENEZUELA GOLD: 10 WAYS TO ADDRESS ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS (IFF) FROM THE MINERAL TRADE

An article from the Brookings Institution on 1 December says that Venezuela’s gold production and trade illustrate many of the risks and harms associated with IFF.  These include environmental damage, human rights abuses, and security threats for Venezuela and the region. 

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2022/12/01/venezuelas-gold-10-ways-to-address-illicit-financial-flows-from-the-mineral-trade/

KEY PLAINTIFF IN LANDMARK EUROPEAN CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY CASE OWNED COMPANIES IN NOTORIOUS TAX HAVENS

On 1 December, an article from ICIJ says that a business executive in Luxembourg behind a successful effort to roll back corporate transparency in Europe owned companies in high-profile tax havens. 

https://www.icij.org/investigations/luxembourg-leaks/key-plaintiff-in-landmark-european-corporate-transparency-case-owned-companies-in-notorious-tax-havens/

UK: THE ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION REVIEW

On 1 December, Dechert LLP published this article, saying that while in recent years, the UK anti-corruption enforcement landscape has been characterised by the SFO use of deferred prosecution agreements (DPA) to resolve allegations of bribery and corruption against corporates, the past year has seen a slight change of emphasis, with 2 high-profile corporate guilty pleas in bribery cases and no DPA concluded since July 2021.

https://www.dechert.com/knowledge/publication/2022/11/the-anti-bribery-and-anti-corruption-review–united-kingdom—en.html

ABB PAYS $462.5 MILLION TO SETTLE FCPA OFFENCES

On 2 December, a post from the FCPA Blog reported that Swiss conglomerate ABB Ltd had agreed to pay penalties of $462.5 million to resolve charges that it violated the FCPA by bribing a South African official to win contracts for a power plant project.  It was the third time ABB has been charged with FCPA offences, following earlier settlements in 2010 and 2004.

https://fcpablog.com/2022/12/02/double-recidivist-abb-pays-327-million-to-settle-fcpa-offenses/

COULD RUSSIA SANCTIONS WORK IN PRACTICE EVEN IF THEY FAIL ON PAPER?

On 1 December, an article in Freightwaves argues that on paper, sanctions and restrictions to date looks like a convoluted, naively designed and messy fiasco.  In practice, the plan might work, at least partially — though not the way you’d think if you took it literally.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/how-russia-sanctions-could-work-in-practice-even-if-they-dont-on-paper

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/vivekmishrain_moneylaundering-management-insurance-activity-7005331797077028864-2CRm?

VENEZUELAN OIL EXPORTS EXPLOIT FAKE DOCUMENTS AND USE SHIPS LINKED TO IRAN

On 2 December, an article in Insurance Marine News reported that Reuters has identified 3 vessels chartered by little-known companies that exported Venezuelan oil and then used false documents to conceal its origin.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/venezuelan-oil-exports-exploit-fake-documents-and-use-ships-linked-to-iran/

FINANCE SECTOR CAPTURE

This paper from Paul Beckett, an advocate in the Isle of Man, and presented at the online symposium “Notes From a Smaller Island”.  He argues that once a jurisdiction has been captured by its finance sector, a subtle shift takes place.  In the beginning, business is attracted, amongst other things, because the legislation enacted up to that point is in itself attractive when compared to that of the client’s home jurisdiction.  The legislation has developed over the years to serve the interests of the people of what has now become a tax haven.  Once captured, the tax haven is pressurised into creating ever more inventive and commercially-driven legislation, morphing traditional structures and modifying age-old legal concepts.  He says that the Isle of Man has left its wilder tax haven days long behind it, but nevertheless has still been impacted by finance sector capture.  He says that there are 3 examples that he says serve to illustrate how provisions which serve no useful purpose for the day to day lives of the local population have been introduced to benefit clients of the finance sector: Trusts, Companies and Insurance Law.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/paul-beckett-frsa-4664ba25_finance-sector-capture-activity-7004712516530380800-fQkJ?

A PLAN TO PUSH BACK AGAINST CHINA’S FISHING PRACTICES

On 2 December, an article from War on the Rocks discusses China’s large fishing fleet — and maritime militia — that it now uses to encroach on the sovereignty of its neighbours.  It says that the US Coast Guard is well positioned to work with countries to push back against China’s fishing practices, and to take the lead on this issue.  It has the capabilities to provide willing partners and allies with advice and assistance on illegal fishing and can work with coastal states on identifying and remedying the threat.

https://warontherocks.com/2022/12/a-plan-to-push-back-against-chinas-fishing-practices/

https://www.statista.com/chart/12221/the-worlds-biggest-arms-companies

POST-BREXIT CALAIS DAYTRIPPERS REAP THE REWARDS ON A FESTIVE CAR TRIP

On 5 December, The I newspaper in the UK carried a report reminding Britons that, as third-country nationals they are entitled to claim the tax back on their shopping in the EU. A wide variety of goods qualify for a VAT refund (up to 20%) including cosmetics, technology, jewellery, and food and drink items.  Alcohol and tobacco limits, however, have returned to pre-Single Market levels.

https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/travel/post-brexit-booze-cruise-daytrippers-festive-calais-2009743

BRIBERY, FRAUD CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST EX-NEW YORK LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

On 5 December, the Mail Online reported that bribery and fraud charges against Brian Benjamin were dismissed by a federal judge, leaving him to face only records falsification charges.  The judge said that prosecutors failed to allege an explicit example in which Benjamin provided a favour for a bribe, an essential element of bribery and honest services fraud charges.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-11504231/Bribery-fraud-charges-dismissed-against-ex-NY-Lt-Governor.html

UK: COPS RESPONDED TO A BREAK IN AND FOUND 10 TONNES OF FAKE GOODS AND A HUGE STASH OF ILLEGAL MEDICINES

On 5 December, the Manchester Evening News reported that police officers went to investigate a burglary and discovered 10 tonnes of fake goods. They also seized 80,000 illicit prescription drugs.  The recovery was part of Operation Vulcan which has a huge remit to investigate a stretch of Bury New Road in the Strangeways are which has been a hub for selling counterfeit goods for decades.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/cops-responded-break-found-ten-25678466

HSBC MALTA €82,000 FINE FROM MONEY LAUNDERING WATCHDOG

On 5 December, Malta Today reported that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has fined HSBC €82,000 for violating local AML laws.  The   FIAU explained that the bank failed to document the justification for a €2 million transaction by one of its clients.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/business/business_news/120190/hsbc_malta_slapped_with_82000_fine_by_money_laundering_watchdog#.Y45yUsvMKUk

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/william-j-callahan-iii_nationalsecurity-sanctions-antimoneylaundering-activity-7005528769046147072-4tUT

JoSTC: THE NEW JOURNAL FOR THE EXPORT CONTROL COMMUNITY

The European Studies Unit (ESU) of the University of Liège has announced the hosting of the Journal of Strategic Trade Control (JoSTC), a peer-reviewed and open-access journal with the intention of providing authoritative and thought-provoking sound resources to academics, practitioners and stakeholders involved in and concerned with strategic trade control issues.  The first issue in due in the Spring.

https://www.esu.ulg.ac.be/the-journal-of-strategic-trade-control-has-been-launched/

https://www.jostc.org/

THE OPIOID CRISIS IN THE UNITED STATES: A BRIEF HISTORY

On 30 November, the US Congressional Research Service published this briefing paper

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF12260

VENEZUELA: OVERVIEW OF US SANCTIONS

On 30 November, the US Congressional Research Service published this briefing paper explaining that for over 15 years, the US has imposed sanctions in response to activities of the Venezuelan government and Venezuelan individuals.  The earliest sanctions imposed related to Venezuela’s lack of cooperation on antidrug and counterterrorism efforts.  New and extended sanctions followed under various administrations, and including in response to the increasing authoritarianism of President Nicolás Maduro.

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF10715

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

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AGREEMENT ON PRICE CAP ON RUSSIAN CRUDE OIL

On 5 December, Wikborg Rein marked the introduction of the price cap.

https://www.wr.no/en/news/sanctions-alerts/agreement-on-price-cap-on-russian-crude-oil/

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/12/03/russian-oil-eu-agrees-on-level-of-price-cap/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-ban-on-russian-oil-and-oil-products

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1138

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1141

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/eu-adopts-russian-oil-price-cap/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/explainer-russian-oil-price-cap-put-to-the-test/

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 4

Still not well, but neither is the better PC…

4 DECEMBER 2022

US WHITE SUPREMACIST FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES LOCATED IN BULGARIA

On 29 November, Bellingcat reported that US far-right extremist Rob Rundo is facing charges of rioting and conspiracy in a trial due to start next spring in Los Angeles. However, he also has a far-right fashion brand to promote and a tough-guy image to project.  Bellingcat says that it has traced him to Bulgaria, using photos posted online.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2022/11/29/us-american-white-supremacist-facing-criminal-charges-located-in-bulgaria/

RUSSIA ASSEMBLES ‘SHADOW FLEET’ OF MORE THAN 100 OIL TANKERS TO BUST WESTERN SANCTIONS

On 3 December, Business Insider in South Africa reported that Russia has said has said it would not sell oil to countries enforcing the new oil price cap, potentially strengthening its relationships with countries more sympathetic to Putin including India, China, and Turkey.  The new tankers, bought anonymously, are generally 12 to 15 years old and would be expected to be scrapped in the next few years. 

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/russia-shadow-fleet-of-oil-tankers-putin-tries-bust-sanctions-2022-12

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE’S HIDDEN TURBULENCE

On 2 December, an article in Defence Web reported that the archipelagic island state just off the coast of Gabon, is regarded as a beacon of democracy in Africa. However, it says, something is bubbling beneath the tranquil surface of the otherwise idyllic island country, with another failed coup in November.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/governance/governance-governance/iss-sao-tome-and-principes-hidden-turbulence/

7 SUPPOSEDLY ANCIENT OBJECTS SOLD BY A LONDON DEALER TO MEMBERS OF THE QATARI ROYAL FAMILY FOR A TOTAL OF $4.9 MILLION WERE OF MODERN ORIGIN

On 1 December, the Law Society Gazette reported on a 159-page judgment in a High Court case in London alleging breach of contract, misrepresentation and the tort of negligence against John Eskenazi Limited and its owner John Eskenazi. 

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sheikh-and-fakes-159-page-judgment-probes-asian-antiquities/5114467.article

IRELAND GAMBLING BILL COULD BAN ALL FORMS OF PROMOTIONS

On 2 December, iGB reported that the legislation will create a regulated online gambling market in Ireland.  The sector will be subject both to taxes and to a new statutory authority which will act as the sector’s regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority.

https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-compliance/legal/ireland-gambling-bill-could-ban-all-forms-of-promos/

AUSTRALIA PASSES NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION BILL

On 3 December, OCCRP reported that the Bill establishes the country’s first national investigative body to tackle corruption after years of debate over the need for an independent watchdog for politicians.  It will operate independently of the government,, and investigate public officials for corruption, look into corruption allegations that occurred before its establishment as well as after, and hold public hearings in “exceptional cases”.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17111-australia-passes-national-anti-corruption-commission-bill

ILLEGAL MINING SPREADS TO FURTHEST REACHES OF AMAZON IN ECUADOR

On 2 December, Insight Crime reported that police operations in Ecuador this year have uncovered shocking levels of environmental damage caused by illegal mining in the far-flung province of Napo, showing how the practice continues to proliferate in remote corners of the Amazon rainforest.

https://insightcrime.org/news/napo-ecuador-canary-gold-mine/

SHOULD EUROPE BE BRACING FOR THE SPREAD OF TUSI PINK COCAINE?

On 2 December, Insight Crime reported that seizures of pink cocaine, or “tusi,” in Spain show how this synthetic drug has moved from primarily being used in Latin American cities to gaining a permanent foothold in Europe.

https://insightcrime.org/news/should-europe-bracing-for-spread-tusi-pink-cocaine/

UK: SOLICITOR JAILED FOR 12 YEARS FOR CASTLE FRAUD AFTER PRIVATE PROSECUTION

On 2 December, Legal Futures reported that a solicitor has been jailed for 12 years for fraud by abuse of a position of trust following a private prosecution brought by his former client.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/solicitor-jailed-for-12-years-for-castle-fraud-after-private-prosecution

ISLE OF MAN: FSA ENCOURAGES ACTION TO ENSURE ACCURACY OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP INFORMATION

A news release from the FSA on 2 December said that Isle of Man-registered companies and other legal entities that fall within the scope of the Beneficial Ownership Act 2017, are being urged to ensure that information recorded on the beneficial ownership database is accurate and up to date.  It is working in conjunction with the Central Registry and the FIU to spearhead an awareness-raising campaign aimed at improving the quality of entries.

Meanwhile, the Beneficial Ownership (Obliged Entities Access) Order 2022 is on the agenda for the Island’s parliament in December.  This mirrors a recent change in corresponding UK legislation.

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2022/dec/authority-encourages-action-to-ensure-accuracy-of-beneficial-ownership-information/

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-SD-0293-MEMO.pdf

ISLE OF MAN FINANCIAL SERVICE AUTHORITY ANNUAL REPORT

The December Order paper for the Isle of Man’s parliament includes this Report.

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-GD-0075.pdf

ISLE OF MAN: DORMANT ASSETS ACT 2019 – ANNUAL REPORT 2022

The December Order paper for the Isle of Man’s parliament includes this Report.  It covers the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2022 – the adjustment to the reporting date brings the Annual Report in line with the anniversary of the establishment of the Fund.  The closing balance of the Reserve Account included on the 2020 Annual Report was £4,106,525.02.

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-GD-0086.pdf

https://www.csis.org/analysis/price-cap-russian-oil-running-stand-still

ARMS SALES OF SIPRI TOP 100 ARMS COMPANIES GROW DESPITE SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES

On 5 December, SIPRI is to release its latest report saying that sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached $592 billion in 2021, a 1.9% increase compared with 2020 in real terms, but it was still below the average for the 4 years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic (3.7%).

https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2022/arms-sales-sipri-top-100-arms-companies-grow-despite-supply-chain-challenges

FAKERS, FAST SIGN-UPS AND FRAUD: THE CRISIS AT THE UK’S COMPANIES HOUSE

On 3 December, the Guardian carried an article saying that big banks are getting increasingly frustrated with what they see as lax controls at Companies House, and are pushing hard for reform.  UK-registered companies have played a role in a string of scandals in which money was smuggled out of Russia and into Europe in what is believed to be one of the biggest money laundering efforts in history.  A drive to clean up Britain’s business register forms a key part of its economic crime and corporate transparency Bill.  However, while the current version of the Bill grants Companies House more power to demand identity checks, experts at the biggest high street banks feel it falls short in 2 key areas.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/dec/03/crisis-uk-companies-house-fake-directors-fraud

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 3

Now, with my main PC having blown up and using an old back-up one (which luckily I had repaired a few weeks ago)…but just to complicate things am now feeling less than 100%, hence why so late with this post for 3 December.

3 DECEMBER 2022

UK NOTICE TO EXPORTERS 2022/30: ECJU FOLLOW UP TO CUSTOMER SURVEY UPDATE

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade issued a new Notice to Exporters, saying that in March 2021 it issued a Notice to Exporters asking exporters to complete a customer survey on ECJU’s current service and what could be improved.  The new Notice reports on the key outcomes from the survey, and what work is underway over the next year.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202230-ecju-follow-up-to-our-customer-survey-update/nte-202230-ecju-follow-up-to-our-customer-survey-update

UK GUIDANCE: TRADING UNDER SANCTIONS WITH RUSSIA

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade published updated guidance on what import and export restrictions apply due to sanctions for UK companies when trading with Russia.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-under-sanctions-with-russia

UK: PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES TO A PERSON CONNECTED WITH RUSSIA

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade published guidance on a regulation which prohibits a legal or natural person from providing, directly or indirectly, accounting, business and management consulting, and public relations services to a ‘person connected with Russia’. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/professional-and-business-services-to-a-person-connected-with-russia/professional-and-business-services-to-a-person-connected-with-russia

UK: WEALTHY RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF MULTIPLE OFFENCES

A news release from the NCA on 2 December advised that it had conducted a major operation to arrest a 58-year-old wealthy Russian businessman on suspicion of offences including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.  2 other men were arrested – one on suspicion of money laundering and obstruction of an NCA Officer, and another, who is the former boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, who was arrested at his home in London, for offences including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  Other sources indicate the “wealthy Russian” nis one who is on the sanctions lists.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/wealthy-russian-businessman-arrested-on-suspicion-of-multiple-offences

https://www.politico.eu/article/2380338/

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EU: FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO RUSSIA/UKRAINE SANCTIONS

EU Regulations 2022/2367/EU and 2022/2368/EU amend the existing regime to update it re the scheme for oil purchased at or below a pre-established price cap agreed by the Price Cap Coalition.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.311.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A311I%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.311.01.0005.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A311I%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.311.01.0008.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A311I%3ATOC

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_22_7469

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-ban-on-russian-oil-and-oil-products

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UK: WEALTHY RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF MULTIPLE OFFENCES

A news release from the NCA on 2 December advised that it had conducted a major operation to arrest a 58-year-old wealthy Russian businessman on suspicion of offences including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.  2 other men were arrested – one on suspicion of money laundering and obstruction of an NCA Officer, and another, who is the former boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, who was arrested at his home in London, for offences including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  Other sources indicate the “wealthy Russian” nis one who is on the sanctions lists.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/wealthy-russian-businessman-arrested-on-suspicion-of-multiple-offences

https://www.politico.eu/article/2380338/

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UK: PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES TO A PERSON CONNECTED WITH RUSSIA

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade published guidance on a regulation which prohibits a legal or natural person from providing, directly or indirectly, accounting, business and management consulting, and public relations services to a ‘person connected with Russia’. 

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade published guidance on a regulation which prohibits a legal or natural person from providing, directly or indirectly, accounting, business and management consulting, and public relations services to a ‘person connected with Russia’. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/professional-and-business-services-to-a-person-connected-with-russia/professional-and-business-services-to-a-person-connected-with-russia

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 2

Still on my travels,so usual apology over omissions, duplications etc. Might get back to what passes for normal next week…

2 DECEMBER 2022

US FACT SHEET: LIMITING KREMLIN REVENUES AND STABILISING GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLY WITH A PRICE CAP ON RUSSIAN OIL

On 2 December, the US Treasury published this Factsheet which says that, following agreement by the 27 Member States of the EU, the members of the G7 (the US Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and UK) and Australia (collectively, the “Price Cap Coalition”) are joining the EU in adopting a price cap of $60/barrel on seaborne crude oil of Russian Federation origin.  Next week, the Price Cap Coalition will ban a broad range of services — including maritime insurance and trade finance — related to the maritime transport of crude oil of Russian Federation origin (“Russian oil”) unless purchasers buy the oil at or below $60/barrel.  Importers who purchase Russian oil at or below the price cap will maintain access to an array of Coalition-country services vital to the oil trade. On 5 February, this ban on services will extend to the maritime transport of Russian-origin petroleum products unless the products are sold at or below a price cap to be announced before 5 February.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1141

See also –

STATEMENT BY US SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY JANET L. YELLEN ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PRICE CAP

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1138

OFAC: US AND CANADA SANCTION ADDITIONAL CORRUPT HAITIAN POLITICIANS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 2 December, OFAC announced that it had designated Haitian nationals Rony Celestin and Richard Lenine Hervé Fourcand.  Celestin is a current Haitian senator. Fourcand is a former Haitian senator.  It notes that Canada has also designated the 2 men.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1137

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221202

https://www.statista.com/chart/28878/expected-cost-of-cybercrime-until-2027

COMBATING ILLICIT MARITIME ACTIVITY: NEXT STEPS FOR JEDDAH AMENDMENT

On 1 December, Homeland Security Today reported that Signatory States to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area, aka the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017, have agreed the next steps to enhance implementation of the amended code; with a resolution involving enhancement of the DCOC/JA information sharing network.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/maritime-security/combating-illicit-maritime-activity-next-steps-for-jeddah-amendment/

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/security-features-american-money/

US MOVES TO DISMISS CHARGES AGAINST HUAWEI CFO

On 2 December, Global Investigation Review reported that Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder and current CFO at the company, agreed to a 4-year DPA, back-dated to the time of her arrest in 2018, in 2021.

https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/just-sanctions/article/us-moves-dismiss-charges-against-huawei-cfo

YEMEN: COMPETITION FOR OIL SALES THREATENS VESSELS

On 4 November, Risk Intelligence published an article about the situation in and around Yemen, including several IED attacks on vessels.

https://www.riskintelligence.eu/analyst-briefings/competition-for-oil-sales-threatens-vessels-in-yemen

SOMALIA: NEW PORT SHOWS IMPROVING MARITIME SERCURITY SITUATION

On 23 November, an article from Risk Intelligence says that, while the maritime security situation appears to have improved, the same cannot be said for the position on land.

https://www.riskintelligence.eu/analyst-briefings/somalia-new-port-shows-improving-maritime-security

SWITZERLAND HAS FROZEN CHF 7.5 BILLION AND 15 PROPERTIES IN 6 CANTONS UNDER ITS RUSSIA SANCTIONS

On 2 December, EU Sanctions blog reported on data released by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/switzerland-says-chf-7-5-billion-frozen-under-russia-sanctions/

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-say-its–8-billion-of-frozen-russian-assets-is–only-a-fraction–of-total/48101160

SIPRI LAUNCHES 2 REPORTS ON THE FUTURE OF THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR)

On 2 December, SIPRI said that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a cornerstone of the non-proliferation architecture for missiles and other uncrewed aerial vehicles.  However, geopolitical and technical developments and operational challenges threaten the regime’s effectiveness and create a need for reform in several areas.  This SIPRI Report provides a comprehensive analysis of current challenges to the MTCR and extensive policy recommendations to the MTCR partners.  A SIPRI Policy Brief summarises the findings and presents the policy recommendations from the SIPRI Report.

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2022/other-publications/missile-technology-control-regime-crossroads-adapting-regime-current-and-future-challenges

UK: TYCOON ‘LINKED TO LAUNDROMAT MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION’ IN SECRECY BATTLE

On 2 December, Yahoo reported an Evening Standard story that a multi-millionaire businessman found by a court to be linked to a vast international money laundering operation is fighting to keep his identity secret in a potentially landmark legal battle.  It refers to the “Azerbaijan laundromat” in which a complex network of offshore and UK companies was used to shift huge sums around the world. 

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/tycoon-linked-laundromat-money-laundering-130515811.html

FRENCH FILM STAR SECURES JUDGMENT AGAINST ALLEGED FRAUDSTER IN IRISH COURT

On 2 December, Breaking News reported that French film star Dany Boon has secured formal High Court judgments against several entities he alleges have defrauded him out of millions of euro.

https://www.breakingnews.ie/business/french-film-star-secures-judgment-against-alleged-fraudster-in-irish-court-1400560.html

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/courtandcrime/arid-41020415.html 

£4.5 BILLION LOST TO FRAUD IN 3 COVID SCHEMES – EAT OUT TO HELP OUT SCHEME RECORDED 9.5% RATE OF FRAUD

On 2 December, Sky News reported that HMRC chief executive Jim Harra has said the £4.5 billion was lost to fraud in the furlough, self-employed support, and Eat Out to Help Out Covid schemes.

https://news.sky.com/story/4-5bn-lost-to-fraud-in-three-covid-schemes-as-rishi-sunaks-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme-recorded-9-5-rate-of-fraud-hmrc-says-12758935

US TRADERS IGNORING MYANMAR SANCTIONS TO IMPORT CONFLICT TEAK

A report from the Environmental Investigation Agency on 1 December provides an overview of how the imports of teak into the US have escalated since the coup to provide desperately needed hard currency for the regime and its cronies and carried out in defiance of US sanctions.  It provides a rebuttal to the ‘stockpile narrative’ used by US teak traders to justify teak imports from Myanmar into the US in light of US sanctions.  It also highlights how these teak imports contravene the US Lacey Act, which is in place to combat the consumption of illegal timber.

https://eia-international.org/report/acts-of-defiance-how-us-traders-are-ignoring-sanctions-to-import-conflict-teak-from-myanmar/

WOLFSBERG PRINCIPLES FOR USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING IN FINANCIAL CRIME COMPLIANCE

On 1 December the Wolfsberg Group published its Principles for Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Financial Crime Compliance.  The document identifies 5 elements that support an ethical and responsible use of AI/ML: Legitimate Purpose; Proportionate Use; Design and Technical Expertise; Accountability and Oversight; Openness and Transparency.

https://www.wolfsberg-principles.com/sites/default/files/wb/Wolfsberg%20Principles%20for%20Using%20Artificial%20Intelligence%20and%20Machine%20Learning%20in%20Financial%20Crime%20Compliance.pdf

OPERATION ADMIRAL: EPPO UNCOVERS ORGANISED CRIME GROUPS RESPONSIBLE FOR VAT FRAUD ESTIMATED AT €2.2 BILLION

On 29 November, a news release from the European Public Prosecutors Office advised that it, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies of 14 EU Member States, carried out simultaneous investigative measures, including more than 200 searches, in relation to a complex VAT fraud scheme based on the sale of popular electronic goods. This action took place in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. 

https://www.eppo.europa.eu/en/news/operation-admiral-eppo-uncovers-organised-crime-groups-responsible-vat-fraud-estimated-eu22

CANADA: VICTIMS OF ALLEGED CHINESE CURRENCY EXCHANGE SCAM WANT INVESTIGATION INTO MILLIONS LOST

On 1 December, CBC reported that foreign currency exchange businesses, while legal, operate in an area that lacks regulation to protect victims; making consumers vulnerable to fraud and creating the potential for millions of dollars to be laundered into British Columbia.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/chinese-currency-exchange-scam-victims-want-investigation-1.6668491

HONDURAS TO SUSPEND SOME CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN URBAN AREAS WITH A SIGNIFICANT PRESENCE OF CRIMINAL GROUPS, DEPLOY 20,000 NATIONAL POLICE OFFICERS, AND INSTITUTE SECURITY CHECKS 

On 29 November, Insight Crime reported on developments in Honduras as the President declared a state of exception as extortion cases reached uncontrollable levels, raising fears she may be inspired by controversial but widely popular measures in neighbouring El Salvador. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/honduras-state-exception-may-set-worrying-precedent/

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US TRADERS IGNORING MYANMAR SANCTIONS TO IMPORT CONFLICT TEAK

A report from the Environmental Investigation Agency on 1 December provides an overview of how the imports of teak into the US have escalated since the coup to provide desperately needed hard currency for the regime and its cronies and carried out in defiance of US sanctions.  It provides a rebuttal to the ‘stockpile narrative’ used by US teak traders to justify teak imports from Myanmar into the US in light of US sanctions.  It also highlights how these teak imports contravene the US Lacey Act, which is in place to combat the consumption of illegal timber.

https://eia-international.org/report/acts-of-defiance-how-us-traders-are-ignoring-sanctions-to-import-conflict-teak-from-myanmar/

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SIPRI LAUNCHES 2 REPORTS ON THE FUTURE OF THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR)

On 2 December, SIPRI said that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a cornerstone of the non-proliferation architecture for missiles and other uncrewed aerial vehicles.  However, geopolitical and technical developments and operational challenges threaten the regime’s effectiveness and create a need for reform in several areas.  This SIPRI Report provides a comprehensive analysis of current challenges to the MTCR and extensive policy recommendations to the MTCR partners.  A SIPRI Policy Brief summarises the findings and presents the policy recommendations from the SIPRI Report.

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2022/other-publications/missile-technology-control-regime-crossroads-adapting-regime-current-and-future-challenges

 

 

 

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OFAC: US AND CANADA SANCTION ADDITIONAL CORRUPT HAITIAN POLITICIANS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 2 December, OFAC announced that it had designated Haitian nationals Rony Celestin and Richard Lenine Hervé Fourcand.  Celestin is a current Haitian senator. Fourcand is a former Haitian senator.  It notes that Canada has also designated the 2 men.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1137

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221202

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OFAC: NEW NORTH KOREA AND TERRORISM SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS

On 1 December, OFAC announced that 6 new individuals and 2 entities had been added to its SDN List.  The counter-terrorism listings concern Hizballah accountants and a weapons facilitator; and the North Korea sanctions target Workers’ Party of Korea officials supporting DPRK weapons programs.

 

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221201

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1135

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1134

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ISLE OF MAN TO REMAIN ON ‘ENHANCED FOLLOW-UP’ AS MONEYVAL AML/CFT REPORT FINDS CONTINUED DEFICIENCIES

On 29 November, AML Intelligence reported that the Isle of Man will remain under the group’s enhanced follow-up procedure and is expected to report back in 3 years’ time.  This comes after a fourth follow-up report on the Isle of Man, following an AML/CFT mutual evaluation report that was adopted in December 2016.  According to MONEYVAL, the Isle of Man retained moderate deficiencies implementing just 1 recommendation – FATF Recommendation 23 – with which the Isle of Man was only “partially compliant”.  The report also notes that the Isle of Man’s fifth round MER was adopted in December 2016 and, in line with the rules it was expected that the Isle of Man address most, if not all, of its technical compliance deficiencies by December 2019.  As it has done so, the length of follow-up reporting intervals was increased.

https://www.amlintelligence.com/2022/11/news-isle-of-man-to-remain-on-enhanced-follow-up-as-moneyval-report-finds-continued-deficiencies/

https://www.coe.int/en/web/moneyval/-/isle-of-man-required-to-take-further-steps-against-money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-13-fur-iom/1680a93100

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BANKS FAILING TO COMPLY WITH ANTI-CORRUPTION RULES AND SANCTIONS LISTS

On 1 December, the Guardian reported on a study by a US and a UK university which found that criminals including terrorists and tax evaders, as well as government officials subject to sanctions, can easily breach regulations meant to bar them from the international finance system.  Researchers emailed 5,000 banks and 7,000 other financial intermediaries in 273 countries and financial jurisdictions in 2020-21 to test compliance with rules meant to combat money laundering; the financing of terrorism; tax evasion; and Magnitsky Act legislation that allows sanctions to be imposed against specified Russian government officials.  They also set up 12 shell companies in countries recognised as a low risk for corruption including the UK and the US, and a high-risk including Papua New Guinea and Pakistan, as well as in offshore jurisdictions, such as the BVI.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/dec/01/banks-failing-to-comply-with-anti-corruption-rules-and-sanctions-lists-magnitsky

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FATF: MONEY LAUNDERING FROM FENTANYL AND SYNTHETIC OPIOIDS

On 30 November, FATF published this report, saying that organised crime groups are fuelling a synthetic opioid crisis that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of drug overdose deaths in the past decade.  This report looks at the way proceeds are laundered from synthetic opioids trafficking.  Organised crime groups use a range of methods including bulk cash smuggling, cash couriers, trade-based money laundering and virtual assets (crypto), as well as shell companies and the services of professional money launderers.  The report includes relevant risk indicators that will help identify potential trafficking of illicit synthetic opioids.  

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/methodsandtrends/documents/money-laundering-fentanyl-synthetic-opioids.html

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 30

Once again, apologies for any oversights, omissions,duplications etc.

30 NOVEMBER 2022

FTX BANKRUPTCY – WHAT NEXT FOR THE INDUSTRY

On 30 November, Wilmer Hale issued a Client Alert, saying that while the full impact of the FTX bankruptcy is not yet clear, various responses from the executive branch and federal and state regulators indicate that, in the short term, agencies will continue to use their existing authorities to seek information about the practices of crypto market participants and to enforce existing rules to protect customers and avoid further market contagion.

https://www.wilmerhale.com/en/insights/client-alerts/20221130-ftx-bankruptcy

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Financial_services/FTX_files_for_Chapter_11_bankruptcy

HOW DO TERRORISTS USE FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGIES?

On 9 November, the International Center for Counter Terrorism issued an article saying that, although FATF highlight several anecdotal case studies which demonstrate this, they note that the prevalence of such technologies is unclear. In essence, policymakers are highlighting a potential concern, yet there is little robust data to either support or challenge it.  It refers to an article from the same author which seeks to explore how terrorists are using financial technologies in 3 ways – How are terrorists moving money? How are terrorists making purchases? Does the use of technology affect terrorists’ success?

https://icct.nl/publication/how-do-terrorists-use-financial-technologies

IRAN’S CENTRIFUGES: MODELS AND STATUS

On 30 November, the Wisconsin Project published an article saying that Iran possesses thousands of gas centrifuges that are the mainstay of its nuclear program. Gas centrifuges spin uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) to separate uranium isotopes suitable for nuclear fuel, a process known as uranium enrichment.  In recent years, Iran has developed and deployed centrifuge models that can enrich greater amounts of uranium with fewer machines relative to its original IR-1 design. Iran’s increasing mastery of centrifuge design and manufacturing raises the risk of a “sneak out,” and it reflects an acquisition of knowledge that cannot be reversed.  A table sets out the capacity and primary materials of each of Iran’s currently-deployed centrifuge models, as well as the number of each model known from publicly-available IAEA reports to be installed and/or enriching uranium at Iran’s 3 declared enrichment sites.  In addition to the models listed in the table, Iran has developed several other centrifuge designs that are not currently installed at any of its declared sites.

https://www.iranwatch.org/our-publications/weapon-program-background-report/irans-centrifuges-models-status

OFAC ADDS 4 AFGHANS TO SANCTIONS LIST

On 30 November, OFAC added 4 individuals to its SDN List.  They are said to be linked to Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan or Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221130

UK ADDS 22 MORE NAMES TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS LIST

On 30 November, HM Treasury issued a Notice

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1121008/Notice_Russia_301122.pdf

UK: GAMBLING COMMISSION FINES ASPIRE FOR WHITE-LABEL AML BREACHES

On 30 November, iGB reported that the Gambling Commission has fined Aspire Global £237,600 for AML failings, it having breached a licence condition which outlines prevention measures for money laundering and terrorist financing.

https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-compliance/compliance/gambling-commission-hands-aspire-global-aml-fine

https://gamblingindustrynews.com/news/regulation/ukgc-fines-ag-communications/

ENACT AFRICA ORGANISED CRIME INDEX 

ENACT Africa advised the availability of this Index that provides the first-ever multidimensional measure of organised crime and its impact.  It is is based on analysis and inputs from 120 experts across the continent and an extensive literature review.  It reports on mafia-style groups, criminal networks, state-embedded actors and foreign criminals.  A dedicated website allows for comparison between countries, enabling policymakers to compare data and identify local, national and regional trends.

https://enactafrica.org/organised-crime-index

US: BIS ISSUES FIRST FAQ FOR CHINESE SUPERCOMPUTERING AND SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING EXPORT CONTROLS

On 29 November, Squire Patton Boggs reported that the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security had issued its first FAQ which cover the following topics: the applicability of the new restrictions on exports and reexports to Hong Kong and Macau; the definition of fabrication “facility;” deemed export/reexports; US person definition and restrictions; licenses; and encryption.

https://www.tradepractitioner.com/2022/11/bis-issues-first-faqs-for-chinese-supercomputering-and-semiconductor-manufacturing-export-controls/#page=1

A GLOBAL GUIDE FOR CITIZEN MONITORING OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE

This paper from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems sets out to be the definitive guide to citizen monitoring of campaign finance and is said to represent a decade of research and direct experience.

https://www.ifes.org/document/vote-free-global-guide-citizen-monitoring-campaign-finance

UK: CRYPTO FRAUD VICTIM WINS INFORMATION ORDER AGAINST OVERSEAS EXCHANGES

On 30 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that a victim of a $10.7 million cryptocurrency fraud can obtain information about the alleged perpetrators from exchanges located in at least 6 jurisdictions around the world, the High Court has ruled – from 6 businesses based abroad: Bitflyer, Binance, Payward, Luno PTE, Coinbase Global and Huobi Global.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/crypto-fraud-victim-wins-information-order-against-overseas-exchanges/5114438.article

ENHANCED CO-OPERATION AND DISCLOSURE OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE: NEW COUNTRIES JOIN ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TO CYBERCRIME CONVENTION

On 30 November, the Council of Europe advised that the Budapest Convention has been signed by Croatia, the Republic of Moldova, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and UK. With this, 30 states are now signatories to this Protocol.  In addition, Brazil also acceded to the Convention on Cybercrime. With Brazil, 68 states are now Parties to the Convention on Cybercrime. The Protocol provides tools for enhanced co-operation and disclosure of electronic evidence – such as direct co-operation with service providers and registrars, effective means to obtain subscriber information and traffic data, immediate co-operation in emergencies or joint investigations – that are subject to a system of human rights and rule of law, including data protection safeguards.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/enhanced-co-operation-and-disclosure-of-electronic-evidence-new-countries-join-additional-protocol-to-cybercrime-convention

FATF: WEBINAR ON MONEY LAUNDERING THROUGH THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR

On 30 November, FATF advised that a webinar on 14 December will explore how criminals launder the proceeds of crime through the real estate sector and what authorities and the private sector can do to detect and disrupt these financial flows.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfrecommendations/documents/webinar-real-estate.html

APPROVAL OF EU REGULATION ON FOREIGN SUBSIDIES DISTORTING THE INTERNAL MARKET

On 30 November, KPMG reported that the EU Council had approved the European Parliament’s position on the Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market.  The approval marks the adoption of the Act, which will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the EU Official Journal.  The EU Regulation gives the Commission powers to investigate financial contributions received in non-EU countries by groups operating in the EU internal market.  Contributions that may be subject to investigation include tax exemptions granted to an undertaking where these are limited, in law or in fact, to one or more undertakings or industries.

https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2022/11/etf-495-approval-of-regulation-on-foreign-subsidies-distorting-the-internal-market.html

UN WARNS OF NEW PIRACY DYNAMICS IN THE GULF OF GUINEA

On 29 November, OCCRP reported that the Gulf of Guinea is safer than it used to be, with a steady decline in piracy incidents and armed robbery at sea reported in the past year.  However, it also says that a new report from the UN says that may be due to a shift in tactics by criminal networks to the theft of oil, known as “bunkering”.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17097-un-warns-of-new-piracy-dynamics-in-the-gulf-of-guinea

BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DATA IS CRITICAL IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

On 30 November, OCCRP published an article following a judgment from the European Court of Justice that struck down an EU requirement that Member States should provide this information to the public.  It argues that the ECJ has just done more to help organised crime and dark money flows than the worst criminal could manage.

https://www.occrp.org/en/beneficial-ownership-data-is-critical-in-the-fight-against-corruption/

For a different perspective –

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/cjeu-rules-eu-anti-money-laundering-directive

SPAIN MAKES 44 TONNE MARIJUANA BUST FROM HIDDEN CAMP IN THE PYRENEES

On 30 November, OCCRP reported that, in a remote and almost inaccessible area of the Aragonese Pyrenees along the border between France and Spain, police dismantled 9 marijuana plantations that together operated as one of the largest growing operations Spanish authorities have ever seen.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17098-spain-makes-44-tonne-marijuana-bust-from-hidden-camp-in-the-pyrenees

UK: BANKS STOPPING LAW FIRMS WITH LICENCES ACTING FOR SANCTIONED PEOPLE

On 30 November, Legal Futures reported that there have been “numerous scenarios” where banks have stopped solicitors working under government licences for those subject to UK sanctions by refusing to process transactions, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).  Law firms can act for those designated under the UK sanctions regime, subject to certain limitations and conditions, under a ‘legal fees general licence’.  However, the SRA said that having an OFSI licence “permits certain actions but does not compel third parties to take or facilitate” them.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/banks-stopping-law-firms-with-licences-acting-for-sanctioned-people

GERMANY’S TAX REFORMS AND THE FIGHT AGAINST TAX FRAUD AND EVASION

On 30 November, a briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service says that a quarter of all tax revenue in the EU is collected in Germany alone. Given the country’s weight in the EU economy, the German tax system plays a key role in facilitating cross-border trade and company growth in the EU, and in strengthening the EU-wide fight against abusive tax practices. However, the publication of the ‘cum ex files’ in 2018 revealed that Germany had lost billions in tax revenue because of aggressive dividend arbitrage practices.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2022/739223/EPRS-AaG-739223-Germany-tax-reforms-FINAL.pdf

UK: FCA HAS FINED JULIUS BAER INTERNATIONAL LIMITED (JBI), AN INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND WEALTH MANAGEMENT FIRM, £18 MILLION

On 30 November, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the fine was for failing to conduct its business with integrity, failing to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs and failing to be open and cooperative with the FCA.  The FCA has also decided to ban Gustavo Raitzin, former Regional Head for Bank Julius Baer (BJB), Thomas Seiler, former BJB Sub-Regional (Market) Head for Russia and Eastern Europe and JBI non-executive director, and Louise Whitestone, former relationship manager on JBI’s Russian and Eastern European Desk.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/uk-financial-conduct-authority-fines-julius-baer-international-limited-18m-and/

RUSSIAN OIL SANCTIONS ARE APPROACHING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR TANKERS AND LNG?

On 30 November, an article on Hellenic Shipping News asked this question, saying that as the latest EU sanctions on Russian oil are coming into force in early December, the article takes a look at how the nearing sanctions are impacting values and trade within the Tanker and LNG markets.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/russian-oil-sanctions-are-approaching-what-does-it-mean-for-tankers-and-lngs/

MYSTERY SHOPPERS SENT TO ONTARIO CASINOS MADE AWAY WITH OVER $35,000 DESPITE NO PROOF OF WINNINGS

On 30 November, CTV and others reported that mystery shoppers sent to 4 Ontario casinos to assess money laundering practices were able to make away with a number of cheques totalling over $35,000 despite limited play and no proof of winnings, an auditor general report finds. 

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mystery-shoppers-sent-to-ontario-casinos-made-away-with-over-35k-despite-no-proof-of-winnings-1.6175029

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/highlights-from-the-ontario-auditor-general-s-2022-report-1.6174876

https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2022/11/30/ontario-casinos-need-to-improve-their-anti-money-laundering-enforcement-auditor-general-says.html

US: 3 INDICTED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN VIOLENT CRISIS IN CAMEROON, INCLUDING RANSOM DEMANDS FROM US RELATIVES

On 28 November, a DoJ news release advised that their conspiracy Included kidnapping Cameroonians, demanding ransoms from US relatives to fund separatist militia groups in Cameroon.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-indicted-involvement-violent-crisis-cameroon

IS LONG-AWAITED REFORM OF THE UK’S OUTDATED CORPORATE PROSECUTION RULES COMING ONE STEP CLOSER?

On 30 November, Spotlight on Corruption posed this question, saying that, in a highly positive development, the UK Government responded to a proposed amendment by saying it is taking this extremely seriously and looking at whether these reforms could be introduced in the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. 

https://www.spotlightcorruption.org/is-long-awaited-reform-of-the-uks-outdated-corporate-prosecution-rules-coming-one-step-closer/

AZERBAIJANI OFFICIALS ARRESTED IN $160 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT CASE

On 28 November, OCCRP reported that Azerbaijan’s State Security Service had arrested 2 high-ranking officials on charges of embezzling more than $160 million.  They are the current head of the Customs Tariff Regulation and Payments Department in Azerbaijan’s Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, and the republic’s finance minister.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17090-azerbaijani-officials-arrested-in-us-160-million-embezzlement

LATVIAN CORRUPTION WATCHDOG REPORTS POSSIBLE BRIBERY ATTEMPT INVOLVING STATE OFFICIAL

On 28 November, the Baltic News Network reported that the Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) informed of the decision to request the Prosecution Office for Investigation of Public Office Holders Misconduct Offences to commence criminal prosecution of a sworn advocate for possible attempt to bribe a state official.

https://bnn-news.com/latvian-corruption-watchdog-reports-possible-bribery-attempt-involving-state-official-240447

RUSSIAN TYCOON TO FACE NEW PROBE OVER BILLIONAIRE RIVIERA VILLAS

On 29 November, Yahoo Finance reported that Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, 56, and his family are set to face a fresh probe in France, with a new team of prosecutors examining how his daughter came to own several luxury villas on the Riviera, and who the ultimate beneficiary is.  A Paris prosecution unit in charge of tackling organised crime known as Junalco is leading the investigation into the financial flows.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russian-gold-billionaire-face-probe-050000982.html

GERMAN CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST 6 BANKERS FOR MONEY LAUNDERING LINKED TO THE $2 BILLION CUM-EX TAX SCANDAL IN DENMARK THROWN OUT

On 28 November, Bloomberg Tax reported that judges in Koblenz ruled that the charges against the bankers, who worked at North Channel Bank, can’t proceed for legal reasons.

https://news.bloombergtax.com/daily-tax-report-international/german-court-throws-out-money-laundering-charges-over-cum-ex-1

GAMBLING OPERATORS KEEP MILLIONS WHEN AUSTRALIANS STEAL TO FUND ADDICTION

On 28 November, an article in the Guardian said that when gambling addicts steal hundreds of thousands of dollars for losing bets, the victims of theft have little recourse, and advocates say that must change.  It refers to a recent case where a former Sydney financial adviser pleaded guilty to multiple fraud-related offences, having lost more than $8 million to sports gambling, much of it belonging to his clients and friends, some of them elderly and vulnerable.  The victims of his crimes never got their money back.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/nov/28/proceeds-of-gambling-firms-keep-millions-when-australians-steal-to-fund-addiction

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 29

Apparently the WHO has decreed that monkeypox should now be called mpox…

The standard recent apology in advance for any duplication, omission etc…but still away…

29 NOVEMBER 2022

DANISH FSA REPORTS JYSKE BANK TO POLICE FOR POSSIBLE BREACH OF AML ACT

On 28 November, Yahoo Finance reported that the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) said in a statement it among other things had found “significant shortcomings” in the bank’s customer due diligence measures.

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/danish-fsa-reports-jyske-bank-140442205.html

CHINA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 29 November, FATF published the Second Enhanced Follow-up Report on China, saying that, overall, it has made progress in addressing some of the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2016 Mutual Evaluation report.  The country has been upgraded on 2 FATF Recommendations: Recommendation 7 – Targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation; and Recommendation 24 – Transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons.  China is now compliant on 9 Recommendations, largely compliant on 22 and partially compliant on 5 Recommendations.  The country remains non-compliant on 4 Recommendations.  China will remain in enhanced follow up and will continue to inform the FATF of progress achieved on improving the implementation of its AML/CFT measures.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/content/images/Follow-Up-Report-China-2022.pdf

FATF CONSOLIDATED AML/CFT ASSESSMENT RATINGS

On 29 November, following publication of the update on China, FATF issued an updated consolidated schedule of all AML/CFT ratings to date.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/4th-Round-Ratings.pdf

UK: NOTICE TO EXPORTERS – REVISED EXPORT LICENCE UNDERTAKINGS

On 29 November, the Department for International Trade issued Notice to Exporters 2022/29 which advised of revised undertakings to be used in support of various types of export licences.  Exporters will be required to use undertakings in the new format if signed after the 31 December.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notices-to-exporters-202229-revised-licence-undertakings-and-notice-of-expiry-of-previous-undertaking-templates/nte-202229-revised-licence-undertakings-and-notice-of-expiry-of-previous-undertaking-templates

UK: SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY – COMPLYING WITH THE UK SANCTIONS REGIME

On 28 November, the SRA released new guidance designed to help solicitors understand their obligations and how to comply with them.  It says that it will have regard to it when exercising its regulatory functions.

https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/guidance/financial-sanctions-regime/ 

CANADA: AN ENTIRE AGREEMENT CLAUSE IS NOT A COMPLETE BAR TO A FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION DEFENCE

An article from Dickinson Wright on 29 November was concerned with an Ontario Court of Appeal case which overturned a summary judgment decision on the basis that an entire agreement clause in an agreement of purchase and sale will not preclude a defence of fraudulent misrepresentation.  This was despite the general rule that when a contract contains an “entire agreement” clause, a party cannot rely on prior representations to avoid its obligations under the agreement.

https://www.canada-usbizlawblog.com/2022/11/29/an-entire-agreement-clause-is-not-a-complete-bar-to-a-fraudulent-misrepresentation-defence/

UK: FORMER PREMIER LEAGUE STAR IN COURT CHARGED OVER ALLEGED £15 MILLION PYRAMID SCAM

On 29 November, the Evening Standard reported that Ex-Charlton Athletic defender Richard Rufus, 47, allegedly claimed to be a successful foreign exchange trader to convince his alleged victims to invest.  But Rufus, who offered returns of 60% a year from the “low-risk” scheme, is said to have lost money “hand over fist”.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/premier-league-paul-elliott-southwark-crown-court-london-david-davies-b1043463.html

HIGH COURT OF SINGAPORE HAS DISMISSED AN CLAIM BY KUVERA RESOURCES PTE LTD CONCERNING THE VALIDITY AND ENFORCEABILITY OF A CLAUSE REQUIRING COMPLIANCE WITH US SANCTIONS

On 29 November, the EU Sanctions blog reported on a recent case involving a situation in 2019 when JP Morgan’s sanctions screening revealed that coal being shipped on a vessel fell within the scope of US Syria sanctions.  It informed Kuvera that it was unable to accommodate the presentation of documents and Kuvera brought proceedings for breach of contract.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/11/singapore-court-sanctions-clause-judgment/

ALL DUTCH I-GAMING OPERATORS ORDERED TO STOP CASHBACK BONUSES

On 29 November, iGB reported that Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has ordered all Dutch i-gaming licensees to stop offering cashback bonuses.

https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-compliance/compliance/all-dutch-operators-ordered-to-stop-cashback-bonuses

DUTCH GAMBLING OPERATORS UNDER TAX INVESTIGATION FOR PRE-2021 ACTIVITIES

On 29 November, iGB reported that 8 operators are under tax investigation for their activities in the country before it regulated online gambling, with authorities planning to look into 7 more.

https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-compliance/legal/operators-under-tax-investigation-for-dutch-grey-market-era-activities

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CHINA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 29 November, FATF published the Second Enhanced Follow-up Report on China, saying that, overall, it has made progress in addressing some of the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2016 Mutual Evaluation report.  The country has been upgraded on 2 FATF Recommendations: Recommendation 7 – Targeted financial sanctions related to proliferation; and Recommendation 24 – Transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons.  China is now compliant on 9 Recommendations, largely compliant on 22 and partially compliant on 5 Recommendations.  The country remains non-compliant on 4 Recommendations.  China will remain in enhanced follow up and will continue to inform the FATF of progress achieved on improving the implementation of its AML/CFT measures.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/content/images/Follow-Up-Report-China-2022.pdf

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 28

In Panama, Covid positive test results are back up to 20%. Meanwhile, in another lesson of letting your guard down, here in the Netherland Antilles we hear of how the small island of Bonaire was wholly Covid-free when the pandemic broke – until the Government decided that civil servants just had to travel between the various islands…cue an outbreak and lockdown.

Meanwhile, the government in Panama has apparently established a task force to tackle the city’s garbage problem,labelling it (as I always thought) a potential health problem…

28 NOVEMBER 2022

THE PROS AND CONS OF PLEADING CIVIL FRAUD

On 23 November, an article from Taylor Wessing in their “Fraud Essentials” series highlights some of the key pros and cons to pleading civil fraud.  It warns that it can be more challenging to succeed with a fraud claim because it is generally more likely that someone has acted negligently (or otherwise failed to comply with a legal obligation) than it is that they have acted fraudulently.

https://www.taylorwessing.com/en/insights-and-events/insights/2022/11/fraud-fundamentals-the-pros-and-cons-of-pleading-civil-fraud

TURKEY: NEW COMMUNIQUE OF THE FINANCIAL CRIMES INVESTIGATION BOARD ON PEP

On 24 November, Hergüner Bilgen Ozeke advised in an article that the FCIB has defined “politically exposed persons” as a high-risk group to which enhanced measures shall be applied for the first time from 17 November.

https://herguner.av.tr/publications/new-communique-on-politically-exposed-individuals/

UK: ICO REVISES GUIDANCE ON DATA TRANSFER RISK ASSESSMENTS

On 25 November, an article from Travers Smith LLP advised that the ICO in the UK had issued revised guidance and a new Transfer Risk Assessment (TRA) tool which can be used to undertake a transfer risk assessment, which is required where there’s a restricted transfer of data outside the UK (not covered by UK “adequacy regulations”) that relies upon an “appropriate safeguards” mechanism in Article 46 of the UK GDPR, such as standard contractual clauses.  The article says that the proportionate, risk-based approach to TRA is welcome and organisations, particularly those with an exclusively UK focus, may now choose to follow the ICO’s approach over that of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/ico-revises-guidance-on-transfer-risk-assessments/

GEORGIA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 28 November, FATF-style regional body MONEYVAL issued a follow-up report on Georgia.  It says that the countryhas demonstrated good progress and has been upgraded from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” with the FATF Recommendation 29 on FIU.  However, other developmentswere not sufficient to upgrade the ratings of Recommendations 22, 28 or 35, as moderate deficiencies in relation to the scope of covered designated non-financial businesses and professions and the sanctioning regimes remain.  Georgia is expected to report back to MONEYVAL on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures a year’s time.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/-/moneyval-report-on-georgia-improvements-in-the-financial-monitoring-service-powers-to-disseminate-information-to-law-enforcement-authorities-but-other

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-12-fur-ge/1680a92f17

EU HAITI SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2022/2309/EU of 25 November imposed a sanctions regime to mirror that of the UN, and designates Jimmy Cherizier, described as one of Haiti’s most influential gang leaders and leads an alliance of Haitian gangs known as the ‘G9 Family and Allies’.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32022R2309&from=EN

FRENCH NGO ACCUSE A FORMER GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL RESPONSIBLE FOR NEGOTIATING ACCESS TO AFRICAN TUNA FISHERIES OF HAVING BEEN RECRUITED BY THE LARGEST TUNA LOBBY IN FRANCE

On 27 November, OCCRP reported that the NGO believe that the case indicates collusion between the French government and the tuna fishing sector.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17085-french-ngos-suspect-conflict-of-interest-in-tuna-sector 

WHY WAS ISRAEL’S MOST WANTED MOBSTER HIDING OUT IN SOUTH AFRICA?

On 25 November, Vice asked this question about Yaniv Ben Simon, 46, said to be Israel’s most wanted.  He may have been living in South Africa for up to 15 years, has been the subject of an Interpol Red Notice – a request to law enforcement worldwide to seize and arrest an individual – for conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder since 2015.  He is also of 2 attempted mob hits in 2003 and 2004 which wounded 5 people while working for the Abergil Israeli crime organisation.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/88q7x5/yaniv-ben-simon-south-africa

LAFARGE: US PROSECUTION RAISES ALARM BELLS FOR TERRORIST FINANCING COMPLIANCE

On 25 November, an article from Risk Screen carried this warning, saying that the recent prosecution of French cement company Lafarge should be a wake-up call for any organisation with a complacent attitude toward counter terrorist financing. 

https://riskscreen.com/blog/lafarge-us-prosecution-raises-alarm-bells-for-terrorist-financing-compliance/

US EASES VENEZUELA OIL SANCTIONS AFTER GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION INK DEAL

On 26 November, Al Jazeera reported that the Biden administration had eased some oil sanctions on Venezuela after the government of Nicolas Maduro and the opposition signed a broad ‘social accord’ to create a UN-administered fund to provide humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people.  The US responded by issuing a 6-month licence to Chevron to resume limited oil extraction operations in Venezuela.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/26/us-eases-venezuela-oil-sanctions-after-govt-opposition-ink-deal

AIRBUS SAYS REACHED SETTLEMENT WITH FRENCH PROSECUTOR ON LIBYA, KAZAKHSTAN BRIBERY PROBE

On 24 November, Yahoo Finance reported that, subject to court approval, Airbus said it has reached a settlement with the French financial prosecutor (PNF) concerning judicial investigations related to Libya and Kazakhstan.

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/airbus-says-reached-settlement-french-153953393.html?

TRADE FINANCE COMPLIANCE AS A RESULT OF EU SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA

On 27 November, Insurance Marine News reported that S&P Global Market Intelligence has published a summary of the trade finance compliance implications of the many packages of sanctions imposed by the EU on companies trading with Russian entities and individuals since February. 

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/trade-finance-compliance-as-a-result-of-eu-sanctions-on-russia/

ARGENTINA TO REVAMP AML LAW, PROPOSES CREATION OF VASP REGISTRY

On 28 November, Bitcoin.com reported that the changes would prepare the country for the review that FATF is slated to do next year.

https://news.bitcoin.com/argentina-to-revamp-anti-money-laundering-law-proposes-creation-of-vasp-registry/

EU COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY DECIDES TO ADOPT A DECISION TO MAKE VIOLATION OF EU SANCTIONS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE

On 28 November, EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU Commission will now propose a Directive containing minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences and penalties for the violation of EU sanctions. The draft Directive will then be discussed and adopted by the Council and Parliament.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/11/eu-council-unanimously-adopts-decision-to-criminalise-violation-of-eu-sanctions/

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN OFAC AND PAYWARD INC RE CRYPTO EXCHANGE KRAKEN OVER SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 28 November, OFAC advised of a $362,158.70 settlement re potential civil liability for apparent violations of sanctions against Iran.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221128 

ABB NEARS DEAL TO RESOLVE THIRD US BRIBERY CASE AGAINST COMPANY

On 25 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Swiss-based ABB is nearing a deal to pay around $325 million to resolve bribery allegations in South Africa, an outcome that would make the Swiss industrial company a third-time violator of US anti-bribery laws.  The settlement between ABB and US, German, Swiss and South African authorities would resolve corruption investigations into the company’s work on South Africa’s Kusile power plant.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/abb-nears-deal-to-resolve-third-u-s-bribery-case-against-company-11669407951 

US BLOCKS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC COMPANY’S SUGAR IMPORTS OVER ALLEGED FORCED LABOUR

On 25 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that US Customs has blocked imports of sugar and sugar-based products from a Dominican Republic-based company – Central Romana Corp – because of its alleged use of forced labour, a move that comes amid a broader crackdown.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-blocks-dominican-republic-companys-sugar-imports-over-alleged-forced-labor-11669235643

 

 

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GEORGIA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 28 November, FATF-style regional body MONEYVAL issued a follow-up report on Georgia.  It says that the country has demonstrated good progress and has been upgraded from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” with the FATF Recommendation 29on FIU.  However, other developmentswere not sufficient to upgrade the ratings of Recommendations 22, 28 or 35, as moderate deficiencies in relation to the scope of covered designated non-financial businesses and professions and the sanctioning regimes remain.  Georgia is expected to report back to MONEYVAL on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures a year’s time.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/-/moneyval-report-on-georgia-improvements-in-the-financial-monitoring-service-powers-to-disseminate-information-to-law-enforcement-authorities-but-other

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-12-fur-ge/1680a92f17

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 27

Greetings from sleepy Aruba…like any other small Dutch town on a Sunday.

27 NOVEMBER 2022

HOW GREEK COMPANIES AND GHOST SHIPS ARE HELPING RUSSIA

An article in Foreign Policy on 23 November says that Greek and other European shipping companies are currently — and legally — helping Russian exporters get their oil to the desired destination.  What’s more, a growing ghost fleet of ships that officially don’t exist and cannot, as a result, be traced or investigated is transporting sanctioned Russian goods around the world, just as it was already transporting banned Iranian, Venezuelan, and North Korean commodities.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/11/23/how-greek-companies-and-ghost-ships-are-helping-russia/

NIGERIA LAUNCHES NEW BANKNOTES TO HELP CURB CORRUPTION

On 24 November, Al Jazeera reported that Nigeria has launched newly designed currency notes, a move that the central bank says will help curb inflation and money laundering.  The new denominations of 200 ($0.46), 500 ($1.15) and 1,000 naira ($2.30) are the first time Nigeria’s currency has been redesigned in 19 years and will be in circulation by mid-December.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/11/24/nigeria-launches-new-banknotes-to-help-curb-corruption

TAX AND OVERVIEW OF THE UK’S SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY REGIME

On 25 November, an article from Travers Smith provided an overview of the UK’s sovereign immunity regime and review of HM Treasury consultation on reforms to restrict the availability of sovereign immunity from direct taxation.

https://www.traverssmith.com/media/wb2iyx4d/sovereign-immunity-consultation-travers-smith-tax.pdf

GANGS OF CYBERCRIMINALS ARE EXPANDING ACROSS AFRICA

On 27 November, the Guardian reported that police and investigators fear organised gangs of fraudsters are expanding across sub-Saharan Africa, exploiting new opportunities as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis to make huge sums with little risk of being caught. 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/27/gangs-of-cybercriminals-are-expanding-across-africa-investigators-say

TAX HAVENS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE: DEVELOPMENT, POLICY RESPONSES, AND DECOLONIZATION, 1961-1979

This PhD thesis is said to contribute a historical assessment of the British administrative tax haven experience as the phenomenon unfolded in a formative stage during the 1960s and 1970s.  The study’s primary focus is how the British administration allowed tax haven developments to proliferate within British dependencies, a focus that will extend to the responses of sub-institutions of the British state in the context of decolonization. Institutions operating under the authority of HM Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office headed the negotiation of a formal UK tax haven policy established in 1971.

https://bora.uib.no/bora-xmlui/handle/11250/3033912

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 26

As before, the apology for any oversights, duplications etc etc…at least I saw flying fish today!

26 November 2022

CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) NEW GUIDELINES FOR THE LICENSING OF BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ON IMPLEMENTATION AML/CFT/ CPF REGULATIONS

On 26 November, the New Telegraph and others reported on what the new guidelines are for and what they cover.

https://www.newtelegraphng.com/cbn-releases-anti-money-laundering-guidelines-for-licensing-of-banks-others/

US: SOUTH KOREA’S SHINHAN FINANCIAL ORDERED TO IMPROVE AML OVERSIGHT

 On 25 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the financial group has agreed to bolster the oversight of its AML program as part of a settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC).  The FDIC in 2021 found deficiencies and weaknesses, according to an FDIC order issued in October.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/shinhan-financials-u-s-unit-ordered-to-beef-up-money-laundering-oversight-11669417664

US: CISA, NSA, AND ODNI RELEASE GUIDANCE FOR CUSTOMERS ON SECURING THE SOFTWARE SUPPLY CHAIN

On 18 November, Homeland Security Today reported that the 3 agencies had published the third of a 3-part series on securing the software supply chain.  It and the accompanying factsheet provides recommended practices for software customers to ensure the integrity and security of software during the procuring and deployment phases.  The previous Parts were for developers and customers.

https://www.cisa.gov/uscert/ncas/current-activity/2022/11/17/cisa-nsa-and-odni-release-guidance-customers-securing-software

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/pietro-odorisio-30ab009a_criminals-launder-illegaactivities-activity-7002290060003835904-8pWr

https://twitter.com/conflictarm

DISSECTING IRANIAN DRONES EMPLOYED BY RUSSIA IN UKRAINE

Conflict Arms Research has issued a report saying that its investigators physically documented a number of UAV in Ukraine in November 2022 and are conducting a detailed dissection of their design characteristics and key components, comparing them with CAR’s previous documentations of similar technology used in conflicts in the Middle East.  It confirms that the UAV originate in Iran, and that they include many recently manufactured components produced by companies mostly based in the US, which raises important questions regarding the effectiveness of existing sanction regimes.

https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/7a394153c87947d8a602c3927609f572

EMERGING MISSILE TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR – ANALYSIS

On 26 November, Eurasia Review provided this analysis, saying that traditionally, much of the focus on missiles has been on those capable of delivery of WMD.  But new missile trends are emerging. Modern missiles have registered huge advances in speed, range, navigation, use of advanced materials, and endurance. Earlier, when accuracy was not easy to achieve, missiles were seen to have a strategic effect only when carrying a nuclear warhead.  Not anymore. 

https://www.eurasiareview.com/26112022-emerging-missile-trends-to-watch-out-for-analysis/

INTEGRITY AND COMPLIANCE TASKFORCE REPORT CONTAINING SEVERAL POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ON INTEGRITY AND COMPLIANCE

On 22 November, the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime published this report which provides several recommendations such as promoting sustainable governance while supporting ESG initiatives by optimising sustainable governance compliance disclosures and monitoring.  Other main recommendation areas are fostering Collective Action to be better protected against integrity risks, fostering agility in counteract measures to combat money laundering and strengthening governance to mitigate cybercrime risks.  It says that these recommendations should aide business in notably supporting the UN targets in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and contributing to the achievement of the 3 priorities of the Indonesian G20 Presidency, namely global health architecture, digital transformation, and sustainable energy transition.

https://www.gcffc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Integrity-and-Compliance-Taskforce-Paper.pdf

OFAC: VENEZUELA-RELATED GENERAL LICENSES AND FAQ

On 26 November, OFAC advised the issue of 2 General Licenses and 2 related FAQ.  The General Licenses are for authorising certain transactions related to Chevron Corporation’s joint ventures in Venezuela and authorising transactions involving Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PdVSA) necessary for the limited maintenance of essential operations in Venezuela or the wind down of operations in Venezuela for certain entities.

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/venezuela_gl41.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/venezuela_gl8k.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/added/2022-11-26

US: CISA, NSA, AND ODNI RELEASE GUIDANCE FOR CUSTOMERS ON SECURING THE SOFTWARE SUPPLY CHAIN

On 18 November, Homeland Security Today reported that the 3 agencies had published the third of a 3-part series on securing the software supply chain.  It and the accompanying factsheet provides recommended practices for software customers to ensure the integrity and security of software during the procuring and deployment phases.  The previous Parts were for developers and customers.

https://www.cisa.gov/uscert/ncas/current-activity/2022/11/17/cisa-nsa-and-odni-release-guidance-customers-securing-software

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/pietro-odorisio-30ab009a_criminals-launder-illegaactivities-activity-7002290060003835904-8pWr

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DISSECTING IRANIAN DRONES EMPLOYED BY RUSSIA IN UKRAINE

Conflict Arms Research has issued a report saying that its investigators physically documented a number of UAV in Ukraine in November 2022 and are conducting a detailed dissection of their design characteristics and key components, comparing them with CAR’s previous documentations of similar technology used in conflicts in the Middle East.  It confirms that the UAV originate in Iran, and that they include many recently manufactured components produced by companies mostly based in the US, which raises important questions regarding the effectiveness of existing sanction regimes.

https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/7a394153c87947d8a602c3927609f572

https://twitter.com/conflictarm

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 25

Apologies for any duplication, oversights and so on…but greetings from Colombia!

Meanwhile, back in Panama it has been announced that, with the rise in Covid cases, face masks are to be made mandatory once more in all public and private schools.

25 NOVEMBER 2022

TURKISH GOVERNMENT CALLS OUT “DEMEANING” HALKBANK PROSECUTION

On 25 November, Global Investigation Review reported that the Turkish government said the DoJ prosecution of Halkbank has strained political ties between the 2 countries, describing the US criminal case as “a demeaning move against Türkiye’s dignity”.

https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/just-sanctions/article/turkish-government-calls-out-demeaning-halkbank-prosecution

Q&A: RUSSIAN EU SANCTIONS AND SHIPPING INSURANCE BAN

On 23 November, Vortexa issued this Q&A that attempts to shed light on 10 key questions and distil the determinants that could influence the new environment of Russian operations in shipping and trading.

https://www.vortexa.com/insights/freight/qa-russian-eu-sanctions-and-shipping-insurance-ban

UK: COURT OF APPEAL ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS AND A FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSE IN A SHIPPING CONTRACT

On 25 November, the EU Sanctions blog reported on a case where a shipowner sought to rely on the clause to suspend its obligation to load a cargo when its parent company became subject to US sanctions in 2018 so there were difficulties making payment in US dollars which was contractually required.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/11/uk-court-of-appeal-judgment-on-us-sanctions-force-majeure-clause-mur-shipping/

BELGIUM AND THE RUSSIAN DIAMONDS

https://www.statista.com/chart/28815/import-value-of-diamonds-from-russia-to-belgium

THE DARK SIDE OF FOOTBALL: AFRICAN PLAYERS SMUGGLED FOR CASH

On 25 November, All Africa and others reported that many players from West and Central Africa are increasingly embarking on dangerous journeys through North Africa to Europe, where they are sold lofty dreams of superstardom. In the quest to become the next Sadio Mané or Didier Drogba, the young players, usually naïve teenagers, are subjected to appalling conditions while trying to illegally cross the Mediterranean Sea.

https://allafrica.com/stories/202211250005.html

CYPRUS: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 25 November, MONEYVAL released its second enhanced follow-up report on Cyprus, saying that it has made some progress in improving its level of compliance with FATF standards.  The report examines a range of legislative, regulatory and institutional measures taken by the Cypriot authorities concerning risk assessment and monitoring of its non-profit sector, the powers available to investigative authorities to intercept communications and apply controlled delivery techniques to cash and bearer negotiable instruments, as well as virtual assets related services and supervision thereof.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/-/moneyval-report-on-cyprus-improvements-on-measures-to-combat-money-laundering-and-the-financing-of-terrorism

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-17-fur-cy/1680a92582

EMBASSIES AND ELEPHANTS: NORTH KOREA’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

On 25 November, RUSI published an Occasional Paper which examines North Korea’s involvement in aspects of the illegal wildlife trade (IWT), which it says has been recognised, but not accorded similar levels of scholarly attention. T his paper reviews the evidence on the regime’s engagement in the IWT.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/occasional-papers/embassies-and-elephants-north-koreas-involvement-iwt 

UK: PSEUDONYMOUS CLAIMANT DEBARRED FROM PROCEEDINGS

On 25 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that the High Court has ruled that an operator and publisher of a website – the operator of the bitcoin.org website, which is believed to be based in the US – is not entitled to participate in court proceedings under a pseudonym – even with legal representation.  The case was a copyright infringement action involving Dr Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist resident in Britain who has brought a series of legal actions over his claim to be the inventor of the bitcoin digital currency.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/pseudonymous-claimant-debarred-from-proceedings/5114415.article

UK NOTICE TO IMPORTERS 2953: RUSSIA IMPORT SANCTIONS

On 25 November, the Department for International Trade published Notice to Importers 2953 on the import prohibitions in force under the Russia Sanctions Regulations 2019, as amended, saying that it should be read alongside the statutory guidance.  First issued in March, it has been amended to reflect the change to the entry into force date of the UK ban on Russian oil and oil products to 5 December from the original date of 31 December.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-importers-2953-russia-import-sanctions/nti-2953-russia-import-sanctions

NCA SECURES £50 MILLION IDENTIFIED BY BARCLAYS AS THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME

A news release from the NCA on 25 November advised that it has obtained a ruling from the High Court that allows Barclays to hand over criminal funds to the NCA in a first-of-its-kind civil recovery case.  The money was identified by the bank in a number of accounts and transferred to secure holding accounts.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/nca-secures-50m-identified-by-barclays-as-the-proceeds-of-crime

FAQ: WHAT IS CORRESPONDENT BANKING?

On 25 November, OCCRP published this article saying that that criminals, sanctions dodgers, and corrupt politicians are also able to filter billions in tainted cash through the conventional banking system using nothing more than standard money transfers.

https://www.occrp.org/en/troikalaundromat/faq-what-is-correspondent-banking

GLOBAL CYBER REGULATIONS: WHAT IS KNOWN AND PREPARING FOR THE REST

On 24 November, Control Risks produced an article that asks what challenges do the changes create for organisations?  And what do they need to be aware of to stay ahead and thrive in this increasingly complex environment?  Proactively understanding the risks you face and drivers of regulation has never been more important. 

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/global-cyber-regulations-what-we-know-and-preparing-for-what-we-dont

COCAINE BROKERS: THE ‘NDRANGHETA IN SOUTH AMERICA

On 23 November, an article from Insight Crime says that Italy’s ’Ndrangheta Mafia has capitalised on South America’s cocaine boom to secure its role as one of the most influential drug trafficking groups in the world.  Based in the southern Italian region of Calabria, this group has grown to become a multibillion-dollar enterprise with a presence that spans the globe.  In a 3-part series, InSight Crime explores the ‘Ndrangheta’s role in South America’s cocaine trade.

https://insightcrime.org/investigations/cocaine-brokers-ndrangheta-south-america/

LAO AUTHORITIES SEEM POWERLESS TO STOP CRIME IN GOLDEN TRIANGLE ECONOMIC ZONE

On 25 November, an article from RFA on the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in northern Laos says that it is a haven for criminal activities including prostitution, scamming and drug trafficking, but Lao authorities are essentially powerless to stop it.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/golden-triangle-11252022131629.html

EU: TRADE-RELATED POLICY OPTIONS OF A BAN ON FORCED LABOUR PRODUCTS

On 25 November, a briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service provided an in-depth analysis which explores how EU trade policy tools can effectively tackle the import and circulation of forced labour products in the European single market in order to help implement the Commission’s decent work worldwide initiative.  The report compares the option of an EU import ban on forced labour goods to the option of prohibiting the marketing of such products, in light of the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the EU market published on 14 September.  The paper also analyses the likely economic and social impact of the proposed measures (in the EU and abroad), as well as the legal feasibility of these tools.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2022/702570/EXPO_IDA(2022)702570_EN.pdf

TAXATION OF THE INFORMAL ECONOMY IN THE EU

On 25 November, a briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service is concerned with a study that provides estimates of the size and development of the shadow economy in the EU up to 2022 and analyses the main factors that drive economic agents to enter the shadow economy activities (Part 1).  Moreover, the study reviews and elaborates on the main driving forces and the policy measures implemented to reduce the shadow economy in 6 EU countries (Germany, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Romania and Greece) (Part 2).

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2022/734007/IPOL_STU(2022)734007_EN.pdf

GERMANY: HEIST OF ANCIENT CELTIC TREASURE TROVE THE WORK OF ORGANISED CRIME

On 24 November, an article from OCCRP reported that nearly 500 golden coins produced by an ancient Celtic culture in what is now southern Germany were stolen from the Celtic and Roman Museum in the Bavarian town of Manching, Germany; and there’s a suspicion that it involves organised crime.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17080-germany-heist-of-ancient-celtic-treasure-trove-the-work-of-organized-crime

INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS SEEK TO WEAKEN HAITI’S PATRONAGE SYSTEM BETWEEN POLITICIANS AND GANGS

On 24 November, an article from Insight Crime says that a raft of sanctions from the United States and Canada targeting senior Haitian politicians threatens to pull back the curtain on the country’s long history of patronage between political parties and violent gangs.

https://insightcrime.org/news/international-sanctions-seek-to-weaken-haitis-patronage-system-between-politicians-gangs/

WHY CASINOS ARE STILL FAILING TO CRACK DOWN ON MONEY LAUNDERING AND HOW THEY CAN TACKLE IT

On 24 November, a blog post from Finextra says that failings of the big gambling players to clamp down against money laundering not only contributes to the proliferation of criminal activity such as human trafficking and illicit arms dealings, but it also highlights how casinos now act as a platform for modern slavery. 

https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/23284/why-casinos-are-still-failing-to-crack-down-on-money-laundering-and-how-they-can-tackle-it

SLOVAKIA CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR KAZIMIR FACES RENEWED BRIBERY CHARGES

On 24 November, the BBC says that the head of Slovakia’s central bank, Peter Kazimir, is facing bribery charges for a second time.  Prosecutors had earlier dropped charges over the alleged bribe, which goes back to when he was a finance minister. He has condemned the allegation and denies any wrongdoing.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63744283

SANCTIONED CROATIAN BUSINESSMAN SECRETLY BANKROLLED CROATIAN TOURIST DEVELOPER

On 24 November, OCCRP reported claims that Mihajlo Perenčević, a Croatian businessman sanctioned due to his important strategic business in Russia, has extensive financial ties to a major Croatian tourism developer with a portfolio of property and assets worth some €200 million.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17075-sanctioned-croatian-businessman-secretly-bankrolled-croatian-tourist-developer

HUMANITARIAN EXEMPTIONS IN UNILATERAL SANCTIONS REGIMES SAID TO BE INEFFECTIVE AND INEFFICIENT

On 23 November, an article from the UN Office for the Human Rights High Commissioner said that UN human rights experts have called on the international community to pay heed to the ineffectiveness, structural weaknesses and superficial character of the exemptions in relation to the multifaceted negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the lives and rights of millions of people.

https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2022/11/humanitarian-exemptions-unilateral-sanctions-regimes-ineffective-and-inefficient

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CYPRUS: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 25 November, MONEYVAL released its second enhanced follow-up report on Cyprus, saying that it has made some progress in improving its level of compliance with FATF standards.  The report examines a range of legislative, regulatory and institutional measures taken by the Cypriot authorities concerning risk assessment and monitoring of its non-profit sector, the powers available to investigative authorities to intercept communications and apply controlled delivery techniques to cash and bearer negotiable instruments, as well as virtual assets related services and supervision thereof.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/-/moneyval-report-on-cyprus-improvements-on-measures-to-combat-money-laundering-and-the-financing-of-terrorism

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-17-fur-cy/1680a92582

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 24

24 NOVEMBER 2022

ACTION AGAINST CRIMINAL WEBSITE THAT OFFERED ‘SPOOFING’ SERVICES TO FRAUDSTERS: 142 ARRESTS

On 24 November, Eurojust issued a news release saying that judicial and law enforcement authorities in Europe, Australia, the United States, Ukraine and Canada have taken down a website that allowed fraudsters to impersonate trusted corporations or contacts to access sensitive information from victims, a type of cybercrime known as ‘spoofing’. The website is believed to have caused an estimated worldwide loss in excess of £100 million (€115 million).  In a coordinated action led by the United Kingdom and supported by Eurojust and Europol, 142 suspects have been arrested, including the main administrator of the website.

https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/news/action-against-criminal-website-offered-spoofing-services-fraudsters-142-arrests

100 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN UK’S BIGGEST FRAUD INVESTIGATION

On 24 November, the Guardian reported that more than 100 people have been arrested in the UK’s biggest ever fraud operation, which brought down a website police describe as a “one-stop spoofing shop” used by scammers to steal tens of millions of pounds from Britons via fake bank phone calls.  At one stage almost 20 people every minute of the day were being contacted by scammers hiding behind false identities created using the site and it is estimated that criminals may have stolen close to £50 million. The actual amount is likely to be higher as fraud is often underreported.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/nov/24/100-people-arrested-ispoof-uk-biggest-investigation

https://www.ladbible.com/news/operation-elaborate-police-contact-victims-text-scam-20221124

https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/international-law-enforcement-smashes-100m-global-phone-scam/

COURTS TAKE ON THE “CONTROL QUESTION” UNDER CANADIAN ECONOMIC SANCTIONS

On 23 November, an article from McCarthy Tetrault said that, unlike their counterparts in the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, sanctions authorities in Canada have not released any guidance on this question – whether Canadian economic sanctions prohibit them from engaging in dealings involving entities that are owned or controlled by persons designated or listed by the Canadian government.  Nor have any Canadian courts directly considered this issue, at least not until now.  The court also indicated that the interpretation of a “person in Canada” for the purposes of determining to whom the prohibitions in the Russia Regulations apply may be interpreted fairly broadly.

https://www.mondaq.com/canada/export-controls-trade-investment-sanctions/1253636/courts-take-on-the-control-question-under-canadian-economic-sanctions

MONEY LAUNDERING TECHNIQUES – ONLINE GAMING CURRENCIES, B2B CREDIT CARDS & CHINESE MONEY BROKERS

The latest newsletter from Baptiste Forestier.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/money-laundering-techniques-8-online-gaming-b2b-forestier-cams

NORWAY: ADDITIONAL SET OF SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA

On 24 November, Wikborg Rein reported that, on 28 October, Norway imposed additional sanctions on Russia, aligned with the EU eighth package.

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/new_sanctions2/id2941995/

BVI TO INTRODUCE THE VIRTUAL ASSETS SERVICE PROVIDERS ACT

On 21 November, an article from Conyers said that the BVI is proposing to introduce virtual assets service provider (VASP) legislation and has recently circulated a draft bill in the form of the Virtual Assets Service Providers Act, 2022 for industry consultation. Once enacted, this will introduce a new legal framework and registration regime for any BVI entity caught within scope of the VASP Act.

https://www.conyers.com/publications/view/bvi-to-introduce-the-virtual-assets-service-providers-act/

SALE/PURCHASE OF RUSSIAN COMMERCIAL VESSELS AND YACHT MANAGEMENT: THE IMPACT OF EU AND UK SANCTIONS

On 23 November, HFW published this article which sets out some considerations to keep in mind in order to avoid breaching EU and/or UK sanctions if you are looking to buy or sell a commercial vessel from/to a Russian owner, or to provide technical management services to a yacht owned by a Russian national/company.

https://www.hfw.com/Articles

MEXICO LAUNCHES ONLINE PLATFORM FOR DUAL-USE PRECURSORS

On 23 November, the Washington Post reported that the Government claims it will allow authorities to track the importation and consumption so-called “dual-use” precursor chemicals that are often used to make synthetic drugs like meth and fentanyl.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mexico-launches-online-platform-for-dual-use-precursors/2022/11/23/4e2d7b5c-6b89-11ed-8619-0b92f0565592_story.html

SLOVAKIA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 24 November, MONEYVAL released a follow-up report on Slovakia which reports the upgrading of the country’s ratings from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” in four areas related to the ML/TF risk assessment, suspicious transaction reporting, designation of a competent authority for ML and maintaining comprehensive statistics.  However, in the field of new technologies, where international requirements for virtual assets have recently been introduced, Slovakia’s rating has been downgraded.  It also welcomes the adoption of the Action plan to manage and mitigate ML and TF risks. Previously identified deficiencies regarding the requirement to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit have also been addressed.  It says that Slovakia has equally taken necessary steps in the area of establishing a competent authority to investigate ML cases and a requirement to keep and maintain comprehensive statistical data.

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-16-fur-sk/1680a9211a

SOMALIA’S AL-SHABAB MILITANTS WIDENING REVENUE BASE

On 9 November, VoA reported that UN experts say the Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab has widened its revenue stream beyond its traditional activities, like charging tolls at checkpoints, to illegally taxing properties and construction.  They say the terrorist group is seeking more funds to pay about $1 million per month in salaries to its fighters. The report says despite Somalia’s crackdown on al-Shabab, the militants are also able to move funds through local and Islamic banks.

https://www.voanews.com/a/somalia-s-al-shabab-militants-widening-revenue-base-/6827225.html

ISLE OF MAN RUSSIA SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENCE

On 24 November, the Isle of Man advised of a General Licence which allows for payment to utility companies for gas and electricity by designated persons who own or rent properties in the Isle of Man or UK.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/nov/24/sanctions-general-licence/

THE DEVELOPMENT, MOTIVATIONS AND CONCERNS OF CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCIES (CBDC) IN AFRICA RELATIVE TO OTHER EMERGING AND DEVELOPING REGIONS

On 24 November, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the Bank for International Settlements has issued a report saying that the interest of African central banks in CBDCs has shot up in recent times. While all of those surveyed are analysing CBDC, only few have projects at advanced stages (pilot or live).

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/bis-central-bank-digital-currencies-in-africa/

https://www.bis.org/publ/bppdf/bispap128.pdf

HONG KONG: SUSPECTED SYNDICATE LEADER CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH RAMP-AND DUMP SCHEMES

On 24 November, a release on Mondo Visione advised that a suspected ringleader of a sophisticated ramp-and-dump syndicate has been charged with various criminal offences stemming from an earlier joint operation of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Police.  13 other people were charged in connection with the case earlier.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/hong-kong-securities-and-futures-commission-suspected-syndicate-leader-charged/

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SLOVAKIA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 24 November, MONEYVAL released a follow-up report on Slovakia which reports the upgrading of the country’s ratings from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” in four areas related to the ML/TF risk assessment, suspicious transaction reporting, designation of a competent authority for ML and maintaining comprehensive statistics.  However, in the field of new technologies, where international requirements for virtual assets have recently been introduced, Slovakia’s rating has been downgraded.  It also welcomes the adoption of the Action plan to manage and mitigate ML and TF risks. Previously identified deficiencies regarding the requirement to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit have also been addressed.  It says that Slovakia has equally taken necessary steps in the area of establishing a competent authority to investigate ML cases and a requirement to keep and maintain comprehensive statistical data.

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2022-16-fur-sk/1680a9211a

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THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 23

“Technical issues” (in other words, away from home and struggling with technology, connections etc…) but here anyway is what I have.

23 NOVEMBER 2022

THE LATIN AMERICA TO ASIA WILDLIFE TRADE

On 23 November, the Wilson Center issued this report which explores the role of China and other Asian countries in the Latin American wildlife trade and trafficking.

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/latin-america-asia-wildlife-trade

REVEALED: TORY PEER MICHELLE MONE SECRETLY RECEIVED £29 MILLION FROM ‘VIP LANE’ PPE FIRM

On 23 November, the Guardian provided an update into the story involving allegations that Mone and her children secretly received £29 million originating from the profits of a PPE business that was awarded large government contracts after she recommended it to UK ministers.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/23/revealed-tory-peer-michelle-mone-secretly-received-29m-from-vip-lane-ppe-firm

OFAC SANCTIONS IRANIAN OFFICIALS CONNECTED TO THE CONTINUED PROTEST CRACKDOWN

On 23 November, OFAC announced that it was designating 3 Iranian security officials for the Iranian regime’s continued crackdown on ongoing protests throughout the country, including most recently in Kurdish areas. 

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1125

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221123

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST ASSET MANAGEMENT, STATE PENSION AND SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUNDS ARE PASSIVELY INVESTED IN COMPANIES WHICH HAVE ALLEGEDLY BEEN INVOLVED IN THE REPRESSION OF UYGHUR MUSLIMS

On 20 November, the Financial Times reported that a new report shows how leading asset managers and pension funds are exposed to index funds that include companies accused of being complicit in rights violations.

https://www.ft.com/content/d57c1744-34c4-4283-b733-60d8a0f03249

IKEA SUPPLIERS ALLEGEDLY USED BELARUS PRISONERS UNDER FORCED LABOUR CONDITIONS

On 18 November, CNN reported that a new report claims that IKEA furniture was allegedly produced by prisoners in Belarus penal colonies under forced labour conditions.

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/18/business/ikea-suppliers-belarus-labor-allegations/index.html

UKRAINE FA HEAD ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING OVER ARTIFICIAL GRASS FACTORY

On 23 November, the Guardian reported that Andriy Pavelko, head of Ukraine’s football association, who served on Fifa’s disciplinary body until 2020, has been accused of fraud and money laundering related to the construction of an artificial grass factory.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/23/ukraine-fa-head-accused-of-money-laundering-over-artificial-grass-factory

CANADA: PROBE BRINGS DOWN NATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERING GROUP AND “UNDERGROUND BANK” WITH 7 ARRESTED

On 23 November, CBC reported that a nationwide money laundering organisation that allegedly serviced the largest criminal groups in Canada was brought down following a complex, 3-year investigation that began in Calgary. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/money-laundering-calgary-project-collector-1.6661985

AUSTRALIA: ING BANK HAS VOWED TO FIX ITS AML/CFT SYSTEMS AFTER AUSTRAC FOUND FLAWS IN THE LENDER’S COMPLIANCE

On 23 November, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that AUSTRAC has said it accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from ING’s Australian business, and the lender would ensure ING beefed up its reporting of suspicious transactions, its risk assessments, and its program for complying AML/CTF laws.

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/ing-slapped-with-anti-money-laundering-enforceable-undertaking-20221124-p5c0w9.html

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OFAC SANCTIONS IRANIAN OFFICIALS CONNECTED TO THE CONTINUED PROTEST CRACKDOWN

On 23 November, OFAC announced that it was designating 3 Iranian security officials for the Iranian regime’s continued crackdown on ongoing protests throughout the country, including most recently in Kurdish areas. 

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1125

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221123