Featured

UK GAMBLING COMMISSION: RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMPLIANCE SITS WITH THE LICENCE-HOLDER AND CANNOT BE TRANSFERRED TO ANY THIRD-PARTY

On 17th September, an article from Olswang says that the Gambling Commission has issued a reminder to remote gambling operators that responsibility remains with licence-holders even when the licensee is operating a white label website for a third-party.  This follows the case of FSB Technology (UK) Limited and the voluntary suspension of the white label Blackbet website.

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2019/09/gambling-commission-reminder-the-responsibility-for-compliance-sits-with-the-licence-holder

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

BREXIT IMPORTS AND EXPORTS HELPLINE

The UK Government has publicised its Brexit helpline for traders. It is said to offer information about importing and exporting goods after Brexit.

  • customs declarations and procedures
  • duties and tariffs
  • importing and exporting different goods
  • transporting goods to and from the EU
  • product safety regulations

Imports and exports: Brexit enquiries
Telephone: 0300 3301 331
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

https://www.gov.uk/contact-brexit-import-export-helpline

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PWC INDIA BREACHED INDIAN FOREIGN EXCHANGE RULES

On 17th September, ICAEW reported that PwC India has been fined more than £26 million by the Indian Enforcement Department for breaches of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).  It has been accused of receiving large foreign investments from Netherlands-based PricewaterhouseCoopers Services BV, which allegedly had been disguised as “grants” to avoid FEMA.

https://economia.icaew.com/news/september-2019/pwc-india-breached-indian-foreign-exchange-rules

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

UK-BASED BANK AGREES SETTLEMENT WITH OFAC OVER VIOLATIONS OF SUDAN SANCTIONS

On 17th September, the US Treasury announced a settlement with the British Arab Commercial Bank plc (BACB), a commercial bank located in the UK, and with no offices, business or presence under US jurisdiction.  It is said to have processed 72 apparent violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations worth $190 million in 2010-14.  After consulting with the UK Prudential Regulation Authority, OFAC determined that the Bank’s would face disproportionate impact if required to pay the proposed penalty (over $228 million).  As a result, and in view of the fact that the bankt ceased the conduct, has entered into a settlement agreement, and on condition of maintaining its compliance commitments, BACB will remit only $4 million, with the balance of the proposed penalty suspended.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/CivPen/Documents/20190917_bacb.pdf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 17

17th September 2019

CONTROL OF ARMS EXPORT: EU COUNCIL ADOPTS CONCLUSIONS AND NEW DECISION UPDATING THE EU COMMON RULES AND A REVISED USER’S GUIDE

On 16th September, a news release advised that the EU Council had adopted a Decision amending the Council Common Position of 2008 on the control of arms exports, as well as a revised user’s guide.  The changes take account of developments, including the entry into force of the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the international trade in conventional arms and to which all Member States are parties.  The Council reaffirms that military equipment and technology should be traded in a responsible and accountable way, and renews its commitment to promote co-operation and convergence in Member States’ policies to prevent the export of military technology and equipment which might be used for internal repression or international aggression, or contribute to regional instability.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/09/16/control-of-arms-export-council-adopts-conclusions-new-decision-updating-the-eu-s-common-rules-and-an-updated-user-s-guide/

NSO GROUP INTRODUCES NEW HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY FOLLOWING SCRUTINY OF ITS SPYWARE

On 16th September, Verdict reported that the Israeli company NSO Group has introduced a new Human Rights Policy and a supporting governance framework in an apparent attempt to boost its reputation and comply with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights following criticism that its technology was being used to violate the rights of journalist and human rights defenders.

https://www.verdict.co.uk/nso-group-new-human-rights-policy/

NEW CASH-SMUGGLING ALLEGATION IN HAWAII AGAINST MEGACHURCH LEADER QUIBOLOY AND AIDE

The Inquirer on 17th September reported that a former follower in Hawaii of Filipino megachurch leader Apollo Quiboloy has made new allegations of cash smuggling by a church officer and the pastor himself.  It is alleged that Quiboloy and Felina Salinas ordered members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars from California to the Philippines on 2 separate occasions in 2013 and 2014.  Last year Salinas was indicted for trying to smuggle more than $300,000 in cash from Hawaii to the Philippines on the private jet of church founder Quiboloy.

https://usa.inquirer.net/39667/new-cash-smuggling-allegation-in-hawaii-against-quiboloy-and-aide

FLIPPING DEFENDANTS – SOCPA AGREEMENTS IN THE UK

On 13th September, Kingsley Napley published an article about one of the means that the SFO can use in serious fraud investigations, by getting defendants or would-be defendants to co-operate with the investigation by use of SOCPA Agreements, i.e. agreements under sections 71 to 75 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.  What can be seen as a form of the old common law principle of someone “turning Queen’s evidence”, the provisions offer (rarely) full immunity or, more usually, a status of a co-operating witness, which requires the offender to plead, co-operate with the prosecutor including giving evidence in return for a discount on sentence.  However, use remains unusual – in the period May 2017 – April 2018, there were none of the former and only 14 of the latter type of agreement – amounting to only 0.002% of cases.  The article considers why use of the agreements is so rare, what the agreement might involve and what benefits has it for a defendant.

https://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/insights/blogs/criminal-law-blog/flipping-defendants-a-new-emphasis-or-a-recycled-aim#page=1

2 EUROPEAN WEALTH MANAGERS CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING AS A US PROBE INTO $1 BILLION VENEZUELA BRIBERY SCHEME EXPANDS

On 17th September, KYC 360 reported that the 3 charged are Javier Alvarado Ochoa, a Venezuelan citizen and former president of PDVSA purchasing unit Bariven, and asset managers Daisy Teresa Rafoi Bleuler, a Swiss citizen, and Paulo Jorge da Costa Casqueiro Murta, a citizen of Switzerland and Portugal.  The case concerns the concealing movement of money stolen through bribery and fraud from the PDVSA oil company, Venezuela’s main source of income and foreign currency.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/probe-of-venezuelan-bribery-scandal-widens-with-latest-charges/

CHANCELLOR WARNED BY BUSINESS GROUPS OVER INSOLVENCY ‘CASH GRAB’ BY MAKING HMRC PRIORITY CREDITOR

On 16th September, Accountancy Daily reported that a letter signed by ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS and trade body R3 among others warns that plans to prioritise repayments to HMRC over repayments to other creditors in insolvencies ‘will have serious consequences for the UK economy’.  The change, announced in the Budget 2018, is to make HMRC a preferential creditor again, whereas for several years it has been treated as an unsecured creditor and, as a result, there have been repeated cases of collapses of companies resulting in huge losses in taxes owed to the Government.

https://www.accountancydaily.co/chancellor-warned-over-treasury-insolvency-cash-grab

AUSTRALIA: CHINESE NATIONAL ADMITS TO MONEY LAUNDERING OVER ‘LARGE SCALE PROSTITUTION’ RING

On 17th September, ABC News reported that Hon Leung Chu, 33, a Chinese national, described in court as the main player in a nationwide ‘large scale prostitution’ ring, has pleaded guilty to money laundering charges.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-17/chinese-national-admits-to-money-laundering/11520614

FREIGHT FORWARDER IN HONG KONG CERTIFIED AHEAD OF MANDATORY AIR CARGO SCREENING FROM 2021

On 16th September, Lloyds Loading List reported that the U-Freight Group (UFL) has become one of the first freight forwarders to have one of its logistics hubs in Hong Kong certified by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) as a Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facility (RACSF) as it prepares for industrywide mandatory air cargo screening requirements from 2021.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/U-Freight-prepares-for-2021-mandatory-air-cargo-screening/74985.htm#.XYCQVXdFx9A

MASSIVE COCAINE SEIZURE BY BRAZIL CUSTOMS AS PART OF THE CONTAINER CONTROL PROGRAMME

On 17th September, a news release from the WCO advised that, based on indicators developed using risk analysis techniques and X-ray technology, a container filled with bags of granulated sugar was selected for control. 49 bags containing 1,482 kg of cocaine was found, Antwerp.  It is said that the Port Control Unit (PCU) in Santos, which was established under the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP), is one of the most effective out of over 100 PCUs worldwide.

http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2019/september/massive-cocaine-seizure-by-brazil-customs-as-part-of-the-container-control-programme.aspx

CHINESE STATE-OWNED INSURER PROTECTS EXPORTERS WITH LOW-COST COVERAGE AND PURSUING US IMPORTERS OVER MOUNTING TARIFFS

On 16th September, Insurance Marine News reported that a state-owned Chinese insurer, China Export & Credit Insurance Corp (Sinosure), is supporting Chinese exporters with low-cost coverage, chasing up US importers who prove unwilling or unable to pay mounting tariffs; and there are suspicions among some that this might contravene WTO commitments.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/chinese-state-owned-insurer-protects-exporters-from-shipping-problems/

US: PORSCHE SALESMAN GOT $3 MILLION FOR CARS THAT WILL NEVER EXIST

The Miami Herald on 17th September reported that a salesman at a Porsche dealership ran his own fraudulent shadow business selling cars that never existed.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article235164347.html#storylink=mainstage_lead

WAREHOUSES NEAR TUNBRIDGE WELLS USED IN HUGE GOODS SCAM

A news release from the Kent Police on 17th September reported that 2 men have been jailed for their roles in a large-scale fraud which saw thousands of goods including shipments of wine and flat screen TV delivered from abroad.  Police needed 4 lorries to recover a total of 281 pallets of illegally obtained items which also included nappies, paint, pressure washers and bathroom fittings.  Companies across Europe were duped into fulfilling purchase orders from bogus wholesalers, operating under names of established UK retailers and manufacturers.

https://www.kent.police.uk/news/policing-news/0919/warehouses-near-tunbridge-wells-used-in-huge-goods

JAILED AIRPORT CAR PARK BOSS MUST REPAY ALMOST £300,000 IN STOLEN TAX

The Knutsford Guardian on 17th September reported that jailed airport car park boss Brian Pearson, 59, must repay almost £300,000 in stolen tax or face another 3 years behind bars.  He was jailed in 2017 HMRC revealed the Manchester Airport ‘meet and greet’ parking boss stole more than £466,000 from his employees’ income tax and National Insurance Contributions.  He faces losing assets including a villa in Portugal, a personal pension and savings.  He was an employer, but employee records and salary statements proved that he was taking income tax and NIC for up to 60 of his employees, none of which was paid to HMRC.

https://www.knutsfordguardian.co.uk/news/17907897.jailed-airport-car-park-boss-must-repay-almost-300-000-stolen-tax/

FORT LAUDERDALE ATTORNEY ACCUSED OF PERPETUATING A $330 MILLION FRAUD RUN BY PAYDAY LOAN COMPANY 1 GLOBAL CAPITAL LLC

On 17th September, Law.com reported that Jan Douglas Atlas has been charged with securities fraud over his alleged involvement in a $330 million scheme that prosecutors say hurt almost 3,600 investors across 42 US states.  Prosecutors say Atlas provided “false legal cover” for unlawful practices when he served as outside counsel to 1 Global Capital LLC, which operated from 2014 until it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2018.

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/09/17/veteran-broward-lawyer-outside-counsel-charged-with-securities-fraud/

UKRAINE UNDER EU PRESSURE TO CRIMINALISE TOBACCO SMUGGLING

On 17th September, EurActiv reported that the EU is stepping up the pressure on Ukraine to take a firmer stance on tobacco smuggling and criminalise it in line with the country’s commitments under the terms of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/ukraine-under-eu-pressure-to-criminalise-tobacco-smuggling/

FBI RAIDS MyPayrollHR OWNER’S HOME IN $35 MILLION FRAUD PROBE

The New York Post on 17th September reported that FBI agents have raided the upstate New York home of a payroll company owner, ValueWise CEO Michael Mann, in connection with an investigation involving MyPayrollHR, a ValueWise subsidiary.  MyPayrollHR processed payrolls for about 4,000 companies across the US.

https://nypost.com/2019/09/17/fbi-raids-mypayrollhr-owners-home-in-35m-fraud-probe

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-mann-mypayrollhr-ceo-home-raided-by-fbi-as-human-resource-chief-executive-suspected-of-financial-fraud

https://www.businessinsider.com/mypayrollhr-president-home-raided-by-fbi-investigation-michael-mann-report-2019-9

AUSTRALIAN POLICE UNCOVER SYNDICATE INVOLVED IN CRYPTO LAUNDERING

Coin Telegraph on 17th September reported that law enforcement bodies have uncovered a criminal gang allegedly involved in laundering millions of stolen funds through untraceable assets, including cryptocurrencies.  The Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Federal Police have been conducting investigations into a major fraud and identity theft syndicate which allegedly created fraudulent bank accounts at various Australian banking establishments.  The syndicate laundered the stolen funds via untraceable assets such as jewellery, with the money being transferred back to Australia in the form of crypto.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/australian-police-uncover-syndicate-involved-in-crypto-laundering

MALTA: POLICE BEEFING UP ITS FINANCIAL CRIME UNIT WITH CIVILIAN EXPERTS AND NEW SOFTWARE

In the wake of the critical Moneyval report, Malta Today reported on 17th September that the police force is using the services of civilian financial crime analysts in its efforts to combat money laundering and fraud, and that its financial crime unit will be moving out of police headquarters into a dedicated building at the start of next year.  The Economic Crimes Department now has 58 police constables and sergeants, up from 41 last year., and the force is also investing in specialised intelligence software to create a centralised database of information that would facilitate financial investigations.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/97505/police_beefing_up_its_financial_crime_unit_with_civilian_experts_new_software

UK: GAMBLING LAWS SHOULD APPLY TO GAMING ‘LOOT BOXES’, SAY MPs

On 17th September, an article from Out-Law says that the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee has said loot boxes that can be bought with “real-world money” and the contents of which are unknown at the time of purchase should be considered to be “games of chance played for money’s worth” and regulated as such under gambling laws in Great Britain.  It refers to a Gambling Commission survey in 2018 found that 31% of children aged between 11 and 16 have paid money or used in-game items to open loot boxes.  The Committee said that there should be a ban on loot boxes that contain the element of chance being sold to children playing games.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/gambling-laws-should-apply-to-gaming-loot-boxes-say-mps

CHANGES TO THE UK IMMIGRATION RULES FROM OCTOBER 2019

On 17th September, Out-Law published a detailed article saying that the UK will implement all changes to the shortage occupation list recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) from October 2019, alongside a number of other changes to its points-based immigration system.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/changes-to-the-uk-immigration-rules-from-october-2019

US COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION FILED FRAUD CASE AGAINST GLOBAL BINARY OPTIONS BUSINESS

A release on Mondo Visione on 17th September reported that the CFTC has filed a civil enforcement action in Ohio, charging Jared J Davis of Ohio with fraud relating to a global binary options business he created and operated, using call centres and trade names such as Option Mint, Option King, and Option Queen.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/cftc-charges-former-head-of-international-binary-options-scheme-with-10-million/

 

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

CORPORATIONS THAT USE ALGORITHMS TO FULFIL EMPLOYEE ROLES SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES FOR CRIMINAL LIABILITY AS IF THE BEHAVIOUR INVOLVED EMPLOYEES

A paper from an associate professor at the University of Iowa, College of Law published by the New York University School of Law says that as corporate operations become increasingly automated, algorithms will come to replace employees as the leading cause of corporate harm.  However, it says, the law is not equipped for this development.  The author says that an article he is to publish will spell out the challenge automation poses for corporate law.  The root of the problem, he says, is that the law has nothing to say when automated systems are responsible for the “thinking” (mens rea) behind corporate misconduct.  Algorithms are not employees, nor do they have independent mental states.  He suggests that the ideal solution would find a way to treat corporations the same regardless of whether algorithms or employees are involved.  He concludes that corporate automation is inevitable and desirable, but we should not allow it to compromise our ability to hold corporations accountable when they break the law.

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2019/09/16/the-problem-of-algorithmic-corporate-misconduct/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

HM TREASURY HAS RENEWED TERRORISM SANCTIONS REGIME AGAINST ELN AND SENDERO LUMINOSO

On 17th September, a Notice from HM Treasury announced that designations have been renewed under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA) for Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) of Colombia and Sendero Luminoso (SL) of Peru.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832052/TAFA_Renewal_Notice_-_ELN_and_Shining_Path_-_17-09-2019.pdf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

HM TREASURY AMENDS DETAILS OF MANY PERSONS AND ENTITIES ON UKRAINE SANCTIONS LIST

On 17th September, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that the details for 19 individuals and 18 entities had been amended following the publication of EU Regulation 2019/1403/EU of 13th September.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832061/Notice_Ukraine__Sovereignty__2019_1403.pdf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OFAC ADDS 3 INDIVIDUALS AND 16 ENTITIES TO VENEZUELA SANCTIONS LIST

On 17th September, OFAC announced that 3 Colombian nationals had been added to its Venezuela sanctions list.  It also added 10 Colombian, 5 Panamanian and 1 Italian companies.  The new sanctions target family members of Alex Saab and Alvaro Pulido, who were themselves designated in July, as well as 16 entities connected to them, for alleged connection to an illegitimate regime to corruptly profit from imports of food aid and distribution in Venezuela.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190917.aspx

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm778?src=ilaw

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

IN THE AMERICAS, ASIA, AFRICA AND EUROPE, THE THEFT OF CARGO, ALONE OR WITH THE VEHICLES, HAS REACHED “ALARMING PROPORTIONS”

On 16th September, Insurance Marine News reported comments of the Policy Director of the International Union of Marine Insurance.  He said that increasingly popular among criminals were more innovative ways of stealing goods which took advantage of constantly growing online connectivity.  “Instead of merely targeting a specific truck and its cargo, many criminals now take advantage of more sophisticated methods such as posing as legitimate transportation companies or jamming vehicle tracking systems”, he said.  It also said that IUMI has issued a revised position paper that reflects the urgency with which this issue needs to be addressed and which outlines several measures to support improved and more effective cross-border coordination, and calls for a higher density of high-security, accessible and affordable parking spaces.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/cargo-theft-anything-but-a-victimless-crime-revised-iumi-position-paper/

https://iumi.com/news/iumi-eye-newsletter-september-2019/cargo-theft-anything-but-a-victimless-crime-revised-iumi-position-paper

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 16

16th September 2019

ISRAEL’S BLACK CUBE SAID TO HAVE UNCOVERED WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION IN PANAMA

On 5th September, the Times of Israel reported that Panama’s La Prensa newspaper revealed recordings of attorney telling agents from private intelligence firm that top judges in the country could be bribed and were like a ‘mafia’.  It said that agents working for the private Israeli intelligence company Black Cube uncovered alleged corruption in Panama’s justice system that included bribes to top judges.  It is said that the investigation focused on attorney Janio Lescure, who had litigated several of suspect cases.  It is reported that Black Cube agents posing as shady Russian businessmen contacted Lescure and told him of their plans to bring women to Panama for prostitution purposes, and they lured him to a meeting in Spain which they recorded.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-black-cube-said-to-have-uncovered-widespread-corruption-in-panama/

POLAND: 2 UKRAINIANS DETAINED AT LARGE-SCALE AMBER SMUGGLING OPERATION IN POLAND

On 15th September, 112 UA reported that 6 people were arrested in a special operation in Warsaw, including 2 citizens of Ukraine, who were claiming they were claiming to be the officers of the intelligence services.

https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/two-ukrainians-detained-at-large-scale-amber-smuggling-in-poland-43576.html

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN ENGLISH FREEZING INJUNCTIONS

On 12th September, law firm HFW published a briefing saying that recent English court judgments have provided interesting developments in 3 areas:

  • Widening the scope of those able to bring an application for a freezing injunction – when faced with a dissolved company applying for the continuation of a freezing injunction against its accountant;
  • Setting out the importance of oral submissions when applying for a freezing injunction; and
  • Confirming when a director’s legal expenses will fall within the “ordinary and proper course of business”.

The briefing looks at each of these in turn and provides a practical conclusion on what parties now need to have in mind when seeking or defending a freezing injunction.

http://www.hfw.com/Thinking-of-applying-for-a-freezing-injunction-or-have-just-received-one-September-2019

POLITICAL RISK IS AT A POST-WORLD WAR II HIGH: IS YOUR ORGANISATION PREPARED?

On 15th August, EY published a paper posing this question.  It says that the complexity of the geopolitical environment, challenges to globalisation, and shifting “rules of the game” around global economic integration and expansion present significant systemic risks that are challenging for global companies to navigate.  The authors set out to explore the relationship between political risk, corporate performance and political risk management, and they say that they found that political risk is at a post-WW2 high, rising threat levels have serious implications across the enterprise, the study of political risk is fragmented and organisations may need to rethink how they manage political risk.  On political risk, for example, at a national level, populist sentiment is growing, with recent research from Deutsche Bank showing support for populism at its highest since the time leading up to WW2.  The paper concludes that strategic management of political risk can help to protect company value and increase growth opportunities.

https://www.ey.com/en_gl/geostrategy/why-you-need-a-strategic-approach-to-political-risk

RUSSIA: CHANGES TO CURRENCY CONTROL REGULATIONS

On 13th September, Noerr LLP published an article on what it described as notable changes in the Russian currency control legislation.  The changes include exemptions from repatriation obligations, reporting on accounts opened with foreign non-banking organisations and the less restrictive regime of use of foreign accounts by Russian residents.  The changes take effect from 1st January.  Amongst the changes explained are an  exemption from the repatriation rules for certain cross-border trade contracts (in roubles only), and express permission for Russian residents to open accounts at foreign finance institutions other than banks – though they must declare such accounts to Russian tax authorities, and are generally obliged to report on payments through such accounts.  Another notable change concerns an entitlement to credit money received from non-residents to their accounts opened with foreign banks located in the territory of a member state of OECD or FATF, provided that this foreign state performs the exchange of information provided in the relevant OECD Convention.

https://www.noerr.com/en/newsroom/news/russia-changes-to-currency-control-regulations

ECONOMIC DURESS: WILL ENGLISH LAW ASSIST A PARTY WHO ENTERS INTO A CONTRACT AS A RESULT OF A LAWFUL THREAT OF CAUSING ECONOMIC HARM?

Vedder Price PC published an article posing this question on 12th September, saying that there was some uncertainty as to the circumstances in which a contract may be avoided for economic duress.  It refers to a recent Court of Appeal case that addresses the point.  The article concludes that the court’s decision reinforces the fundamental importance of ensuring contractual clarity and certainty as a matter of English law, but that the courts will not normally intervene unless a party has acted unlawfully or lawfully but out of bad faith, and without such unlawful or bad faith action parties cannot expect the courts to remedy a bad deal.

https://www.vedderprice.com/economic-duress-will-english-law-assist-a-party-who-enters-into-a-contract-as-a-result-of-a-lawful-threat-of-causing-economic-harm

INDONESIA BAN ON THE EXPORT OF NICKEL

A blog post from Baker McKenzie on 9th September said that Indonesia has announced that it would ban exports of nickel from the country from 1st January, bringing forward such a measure from 2022, and applying the ban to all different types of nickel, rather than just nickel ore with certain percentages.  The ban is said to be expedite smelter building in Indonesia.  The post points out that the country already regulates the export of certain specified products – bauxite (the raw material for aluminium), for example, and other raw materials and by-products, such as tin ore, and other metals.

http://tradeblog.bakermckenzie.com/indonesia-enacts-ban-on-the-export-of-nickel/#page=1

BRITISH COLUMBIA: COURT ORDERS RETURN OF $2 MILLION OF SEIZED CASH

KYC 360 on 16th September reported that a Supreme Court judge in the province has ruled that an interim freeze of assets in the province’s biggest money laundering case was done improperly, and has ordered the release of $2 million in cash to the accused.  A freeze had been imposed on the cash, a $2 million house, casino chips, gift cards and jewellery.  In the case, married couple Caixan Qin and Jian Jun Zhu are accused of running an underground bank called Silver International that allegedly laundered as much as $220 million a year.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/court-ruling-releases-2-million-back-to-accused-in-b-c-s-biggest-money-laundering-case/

HELICOPTER ENGINES A SOURCE OF CONFUSION IN AVIATION FINANCE

On 12th September, Gowling WLG published an article saying that the confusion stems from the way helicopter engines are defined under the Cape Town Convention, i.e. the Convention on International Interest in Mobile Equipment and the Protocol Thereto on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment.  Amazingly perhaps, helicopter engines are not explicitly defined as such in the Cape Town Convention.  The official line is that, when not fitted, a helicopter engine is an “aircraft engine”, but when installed becomes a component or accessory to a helicopter.  The article says that it is not possible to register an international interest with regard to a helicopter engine while it is installed on a “helicopter”, so how can creditors ensure that their interests are adequately protected once the engine is removed?  The article suggests some solutions.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2019/chopper-overhead-helicopter-engines/

PHILIPPINES: LAW ENFORCEMENT ARREST WILDLIFE TRADER WHO EVADED CAPTURE FOR YEARS

Illicit Trade on 15th September reported that wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic has revealed that police in the Philippines have arrested a major illicit wildlife trader who had evaded authorities in the country for a number of years, and who is said to have had traded wildlife online without the required permits.  Investigators also seized several animals, including 3 Peregrine Falcons, 2 Eclectus Parrots, 6 African Spurred Tortoises and 2 Green Iguanas.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/09/coalition-of-law-enforcement-agencies-in-the-philippines-nab-wildlife-trader-who-evaded-capture-for-years

ISLE OF MAN UPDATES ITS BREXIT INFORMATION

BREXIT

https://www.gov.im/brexit

GLOBAL TRADE PROTECTION AND THE ROLE OF NON‑TARIFF BARRIERS

On 16th September, an article on VOX, the CEPR Policy Portal, says that research shows that that trade protection had in fact started much before the Trump Administration took office and imposed tariff changes, in the form of non-tariff barriers (NTB).  An empirical analysis reveals that the average trade dampening effect of such barriers is comparable to that of trade defence instruments such as anti-dumping duties.  However, it says that this negative effect can be mitigated by free trade agreements.  It says that, over the past 3 years, there has been a steady increase in international anti-trade rhetoric around the world, resulting in a real trade conflict between leading economies.  It concludes by saying that analysis demonstrates the importance of exploiting new data on NTB to reveal the significant protectionist impact of non-standard trade policies.  It also proposes that the WTO should shift its focus towards multilateral agreements that aim at limiting the use of NTB to avoid the increase in hidden protectionism that might otherwise result in lower levels of trade.

https://voxeu.org/article/global-trade-protection-and-role-non-tariff-barriers

CYPRUS TO ABOLISH SHIPPING REGISTRATION FEES

Hellenic Shipping News on 16th September reported that Cyprus plans to abolish initial ship registration fees in a bid to boost the Cypriot registry’s competitiveness and attract more vessels, according to the Deputy Minister for Shipping.  The Cypriot registry already ranks 11th in the world with 1,100 ships and a 24.4 million tonnes.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/cyprus-to-abolish-shipping-registration-fees-official/

MALTA: CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT AML TEAM SEIZED OVER €1 MILLION CASH SINCE NOVEMBER 2018

On 16th September, the Malta Independent reported that the Customs Department has launched its Anti-Money Laundering Team, comprised of 9 officials, specialising in the control and investigation of undeclared cash movement, achieving 48 positive cases in 10 months, resulting in the collective discovery of €1,052,436.

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-09-16/local-news/Customs-department-anti-money-laundering-team-seized-over-1-million-since-November-2018-6736213564

FIRST EUROPEAN COURT JUDGMENT ON DAMAGES FOR IMPOSED EU SANCTIONS

On 16th September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the ECJ had upheld a claimant’s appeal against the decision of the EU General Court to reject the claimant’s claim for €2.5 million damages resulting from its designation in 2010 under the EU’s Iran sanctions.  This is said to be the first case involving the test for damages resulting from EU sanctions being imposed.  The claimant is a German company, HTTS Hanseatic Trade Trust & Shipping GmbH, formed in March 2009 by a N Bateni, who is the sole shareholder and director, and which is a shipping agent and technical manager of vessels.  It was designated in 2010 for alleged connections to Iranian shipping line, IRISL.  Despite relisting HTTS, in 2013 IRISL itself was delisted by order of the General Court on the ground that the matters advanced by the Council did not justify the listing of IRSL and, consequently, could not justify the adoption or continuation of restrictive measures against the other shipping companies which had been listed on the basis of their connections with IRISL.  The EU Council had rejected the application for compensation from HTTS.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2019/09/htts-first-ecj-appeal-judgment-on-test-for-eu-sanctions-damages/

THE EBOLA VIRUS IS WINNING IN EASTERN DRC

On 12th September, a Commentary from the Center for Strategic and International Studies says that the current Ebola outbreak was first declared on August 1st 2018, though it is believed to have begun months earlier in April 2018.  More than a year has now passed, and the Commentary says that although the virus fortunately is not a runaway contagion, it is winning.  The opportunity for early, swift, concerted action has come and gone.  It says that, for the first time since the discovery of the virus, there is the real possibility that Ebola in eastern DRC may become endemic, circulating indefinitely within the population. That raises the spectre of multiple, concurrent Ebola outbreaks in the future.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/ebola-virus-winning-eastern-democratic-republic-congo

OIL

https://www.statista.com/chart/19367/share-of-global-oil-production/

CRYPTO FIRMS ASSESS HOW TO COMPLY WITH AML STANDARDS

On 16th September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cryptocurrency industry is rushing to comply with new AML standards published by FATF in June that require exchanges and other businesses to share information about their customers.  The goal of the so-called travel rule for data on movements is designed to help law enforcement track suspicious activity.  It is said that one has a decentralised industry, and the crypto cash businesses do not have the infrastructure in place to send customer data to each other.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/crypto-firms-assess-how-to-comply-with-anti-money-laundering-standards-11568626200

SEC CLOSES FOREIGN BRIBERY PROBE INTO CIENA TELECOMMUNICATIONS

On 16th September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC has closed its FCPA case involving Ciena Corporation, the DoJ having closed its investigation in December 2018.  The investigations trace back to a voluntary disclosure that Ciena made in 2017 in respect of “questionable payments” allegedly made in connection with a customer in SE Asia.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-closes-foreign-bribery-probe-into-ciena-11568403881

UK: EXPORT CONTROL TRAINING BULLETIN – SEPTEMBER TO DECEMBER 2019

On 16th September, the Department of International Trade published the latest bulletin of training events on strategic export controls which are aimed at exporting and trading companies of all sizes, from the sole trader to the multinational.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/export-control-training-bulletin/export-control-training-bulletin-june-to-october-2019

LUFTHANSA LIFTS CARGO BAN IMPOSED OVER LITHIUM BATTERY INCIDENT

On 16th September, Loadstar reported that Lufthansa had advised that its ban on 3 companies over an ‘incident’ involving dangerous goods has been lifted.  The incident involved a shipper apparently mistakenly mislabelling a package involving lithium ion batteries.  Loadstar says that Lufthansa Cargo sent a team to the relevant warehouse operations in Hong Kong, and checked the compliance protocol.  Once satisfied that the correct procedures were in place, it revoked its ban immediately.

https://theloadstar.com/lufthansa-cargo-lifts-flexport-ban-but-the-inside-story-shows-best-practice-at-work

INTERVIEW WITH ALEX WELLERSTEIN ON NUKEMAP VR

On 16th September, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists carried an interview with the creator of the NUKEMAP tool.  NUKEMAP enabled you to see what the effect of a nuclear weapon on a given target – perhaps your home town.  A new version involves a virtual reality experience, in order to help people visualise and personalise the effects of a nuclear weapon.

https://thebulletin.org/2019/09/interview-with-alex-wellerstein-on-nukemap-vr

NUKEMAP itself is available at –

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

BREXIT: NEW WAYS TO DECLARE MERCHANDISE IN BAGGAGE

In its “Brexit Special” Agent Update newsletter of 16th September, HMRC asked: “Are you or your clients planning to travel to or from EU countries after the UK leaves the EU?  And if so, will be carrying small amounts of goods for trade or business use in your baggage or small vehicle?”

It warns that there would be new ways to declare them as ‘merchandise in baggage’ (MiB).  MiB means commercial goods intended for trade or business use, carried in your luggage or a small motor vehicle.  For example, if you buy jewellery on a trip to the EU and bring it back in your suitcase to sell in the UK – this would be classed as MiB.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831469/Agent_Update_-_Brexit_special.pdf

The article refers one to a HMRC news release last updated on 28th August –

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bringing-merchandise-from-or-to-the-uk-in-baggage-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal

EU TAX TRANSPARENCY TOOLS PROVE EFFECTIVE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TAX EVASION AND TAX AVOIDANCE

On 16th September, a report from the EU Commission claims that tax transparency rules on the automatic exchange of information between Member States are delivering added value when it comes to countries’ ability to crack down on tax avoidance.  The EU says that the evaluation shows that Member States now receive considerably more information that can help fight tax fraud, evasion and avoidance and are still in the process of finding the most efficient ways to use the data.  The report also details the evolution of EU measures – from mutual assistance to administrative co-operation: 1977-2011; the evolution of administrative co-operation during 2011-2018

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/tax-cooperation-control/administrative-cooperation/enhanced-administrative-cooperation-field-direct-taxation_en

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/sites/taxation/files/2019_staff_working_document_evaluation_on_dac.pdf

OPENING OF SRI LANKA’S TALLEST TOWER MARRED BY CORRUPTION ALLEGATION

On 16th September, Reuters reported that the grand opening of Sri Lanka’s tallest tower was mired in controversy when the President said one of the Chinese companies – Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co. Ltd (ALIT), a Chinese company chosen as one of the main contractors – contracted to work on the project had disappeared with $11 million of state funds.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-tower/opening-of-sri-lankas-tallest-tower-marred-by-corruption-allegation-idUSKBN1W123I

ESTONIA: CORRUPTION TRIAL OF TALLINN EX-MAYOR AND FORMER CENTRE PARTY CHAIRMAN EDGAR SAVISAAR TO CONTINUE NEXT MONTH

On 16th September, ERR reported that at the first hearing next month, parties to the trial will be able to present further applications and evidence, and the trial should then continue later that month.

https://news.err.ee/981006/savisaar-corruption-trial-to-continue-next-month

CYPRUS: MAJORITY OF PEP FAILED TO FILE TAX RETURNS ON TIME

On 16th September, the Cyprus Mail reported that a little more than half of individuals designated as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) failed to file their tax returns on time, a report by the Audit Office has shown.  Of 154 PEP, 84 filed their paperwork outside the allotted deadline.

https://cyprus-mail.com/2019/09/16/majority-of-politically-exposed-persons-failed-to-file-tax-returns-on-time

TURKMENISTAN TRADE MINISTER JAILED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES AFTER FIRING

On 16th September, Rferl reported that Turkmenistan’s minister of trade and foreign economic ties, Amandurdy Ishanov, has been sentenced to an unspecified prison term on corruption charges just days after being dismissed from his post.  He publicly confessed to various corruption-linked unrelated crimes on September 13th.  He said he committed various corruption-related crimes in recent years along with a well-known businessman Charymukhammed Kulov and leaders of several state-owned industrial facilities.

https://www.rferl.org/a/turkmen-trade-minister-jailed/30166652.html

UK ADMITS “INADVERTENT BREACHES” OF UNDERTAKING GIVEN TO COURT RE DEFENCE EXPORTS TO SAUDI ARABIA

A letter published by the Department for International Trade on 16th September and addressed to the Chairman of Parliamentary Committees on Arms Export Controls contains an admission that the Court of Appeal had been advised of 2 “inadvertent breaches” of the undertaking given to the Court by the Secretary of State in the Order of the Court dated 20th June, that the Department would not “grant any new licences for the export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen”.  It also contains an admission that also drawn the Court’s attention was a further export licence recently issued, which is not a breach of the undertaking given to the Court but is inconsistent with the broader commitment made to Parliament on 20th June by the then Secretary of State that the Department would not grant licences to Saudi Arabia or its Coalition partners for the export of arms and military equipment that might be used in the conflict in Yemen.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831880/CAEC_Letter_16092019_1550_Formatted_-_GS.pdf

IRAN “OIL FOR GOLD” SCANDAL ACCUSED APPEARS IN COURT IN TEHRAN

On 16th September, Kenneth Rijock reports, with photos, that Alireza Monfared, accused with others in the theft of billions of dollars of Iran’s illicit oil profits, and who has been in Iranian custody since January, 2017, appeared in public recently, for the first time.  Despite apparently having a Dominica diplomatic passport, he was detained in the Dominican Republic, by Iranian agents, and transported to Iran via Havana and Moscow.

http://rijock.blogspot.com/2019/09/dominicas-favorite-diplomat-billion.html

US: FORMER CREDIT UNION MANAGER GETS JUST 1 DAY IN PRISON FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND BRIBERY IN PUBLIC CORRUPTION CASE

Baker McKenzie on 16th September reported that Kevin M Biederman, a former business development manager for the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, has been sentenced to just 1 day in prison for his role in helping Pennsylvania public officials, including an elected judge, launder money.  He also received a 30-month supervisory release and small fine.  It is not clear why he received such a light sentence.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/former-credit-union-manager-gets-a-day-in-prison-for-money-laundering-bribery-in-public-corruption-case/

UK: LABOUR PARTY EYES PRIVILEGE REFORM TO HIT TAX AVOIDANCE “ENABLERS”

On 16th September, Legal Futures reported that the Shadow Chancellor has said that the Labour Party will look at the role of privilege in hindering the criminal prosecution of professionals advising on tax avoidance, and said that he was drawing up plans for Labour’s manifesto against the “enablers” of tax avoidance, including the big accountancy firms.  He also said that part of the problem is that the people advising HMRC on tax laws (or consulted on proposed laws) are the very people “that then go off and advise on how to avoid the tax that they are designing”.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/labour-eyes-privilege-reform-to-hit-tax-avoidance-enablers

CANADA TIGHTENS FRAUD AND CORRUPTION CONTROLS ON GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT

On 16th September, Dentons published an article about changes to Government Contracts Regulations which affect all suppliers engaged in the federal contracting process and establish rules for federal government bid solicitation and contracts.  The changes include that all bidders and contractors must now declare that, throughout the solicitation process, they have not committed certain offences related to fraud or corruption.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2019/september/16/canada-tightens-fraud-and-corruption-controls-on-government-procurement

US: DoJ CHARGES 2 FORMER PRECIOUS METALS TRADERS WITH MARKET MANIPULATION

On 16th September, it was announced that 2 current precious metals traders and 1 former trader in the New York offices of a US bank have been charged in an indictment for their alleged participation in a racketeering conspiracy and other federal crimes in connection with the manipulation of the markets for precious metals futures contracts, which spanned over 8 years and involved thousands of unlawful trading sequences.  Those named are Gregg Smith, 55; Michael Nowak, 45; and Christopher Jordan, 47.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/us-department-of-justice-current-and-former-precious-metals-traders-charged-wit/

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/cftc-charges-traders-at-major-us-bank-with-manipulating-the-precious-metals-fu/

OVER $352 MILLION AML FINES HANDED OUT GLOBALLY IN THE LAST 4 MONTHS

On 16th September, a release on Mondo Visione reported on an analysis of AML-related penalties handed down between 1st May and 31st August.  The Encompass Corporation says that 20 AML penalties were handed down globally, totalling over $352.5 million – compared to 4 fines totalling $707 million in the same period in 2018; the largest monetary fine was $336 million and the average was $18.5 million; 7 fines given out were for $1 million or over.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/encompass-corporation-aml-penalty-analysis-over-3525-million-of-fines-handed/

IRAN SEIZES ANOTHER OIL TANKER IN GULF FOR ALLEGEDLY SMUGGLING FUEL

Hellenic Shipping News on 16th September reported that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have reportedly seized a vessel in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling 250,000 litres of diesel fuel to UAE.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/iran-seizes-oil-tanker-in-gulf-for-allegedly-smuggling-fuel/

JUVENTUS FOOTBALL CLUB ‘ULTRAS’ LEADERS ARRESTED OVER ALLEGED TICKETING RACKET

On 16th September, the Guardian and others reported that 12 leaders of the club’s hardcore “ultra” football fan groups have been arrested on suspicion of criminal association, money laundering, violence and aggravated extortion in connection with ticket sales.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/sep/16/juventus-ultras-leaders-arrested-over-alleged-ticketing-racket

US CUSTOMS SEEKS TO EXPAND E-COMMERCE PILOT PROGRAMME PARTICIPATION

On 16th September, American Shipper reports that, according to the Express Association of America, additional industry participants in US Customs and Border Protection’s Section 321 pilot will “enhance” the agency’s capability to target illicit products.  The pilot began on 22nd August and runs for a year, and involves the collection of advance data related to e-commerce shipments with import values of less than the $800 de minimis.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/cbp-seeks-to-expand-e-commerce-pilot-participation

FORMER COGNIZANT EXECUTIVE SETTLES FCPA BRIBERY CASE WITH SEC

On 16th September, Law.com reported that the ex-COO for Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, a global tech services company accused of bribing government officials in India to fast-track a construction project, has reached a settlement agreement with the SEC.  Sridhar Thiruvengadam agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty and co-operate with investigators as part of a settlement offer.

https://www.law.com/corpcounsel/2019/09/16/former-cognizant-exec-settles-foreign-corrupt-practices-act-bribery-case-with-sec

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

BREXIT: NEW WAYS TO DECLARE MERCHANDISE IN BAGGAGE

In its “Brexit Special” Agent Update newsletter of 16th September, HMRC asked: “Are you or your clients planning to travel to or from EU countries after the UK leaves the EU?  And if so, will be carrying small amounts of goods for trade or business use in your baggage or small vehicle?”

It warns that there would be new ways to declare them as ‘merchandise in baggage’ (MiB).  MiB means commercial goods intended for trade or business use, carried in your luggage or a small motor vehicle.  For example, if you buy jewellery on a trip to the EU and bring it back in your suitcase to sell in the UK – this would be classed as MiB.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831469/Agent_Update_-_Brexit_special.pdf

The article refers one to a HMRC news release last updated on 28th August –

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bringing-merchandise-from-or-to-the-uk-in-baggage-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

UK: POLICE WARN SCHOOLS AND PARENTS OVER PLAYGROUND MONEY LAUNDERERS

On 15th September, the Sunday Times reported that letters being sent to schools by 45 police forces will tell parents to look for tell-tale signs that their children have become “money mules”, lured into laundering cash for criminals.  It is said that children as young as 8 are handing control of their bank accounts to gangs that target them at school and sports clubs or on social media.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2019-09-15/money/police-warn-schools-and-parents-over-playground-money-launderers-fl5l2mmrq

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

THE IMB NVOCC REGISTER – FOR PROTECTION AGAINST FRAUDULENT BILLS OF LADING

On 16th September, the Hellenic Shipping Report carried an article which provides an introduction to the IMB Register – a business-cantered solution to decrease the incidence of fraudulent bills of lading.  The International Maritime Bureau says that Non-Vessel Owning Common Carriers (NVOCC) are the issuers of over 90% of all suspect bills of lading identified in its database.  These can have false content including the wrong vessel, dates, description of cargoes, container numbers, quantities or parties.  They are presented to banks in order to commit fraud, money laundering, illegal capital flight and sanctions breaches.  The article outlines the objective and key features of the IMB Register.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/the-imb-nvocc-register-protection-against-fraudulent-bills-of-lading/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

REDEMPTIONS TO INVESTORS FROM COLLAPSED FRAUDULENT INVESTMENT FUNDS

Conyers has published a briefing saying that the collapse of an investment fund affected by a fraud will often lead to disputes between the investors who were paid out before the discovery of the fraud, the investors who gave notice to redeem prior to the discovery of the fraud, and the investors remaining in the fund when it collapsed.  In the light of a recent Privy Council case, the article says, it is an appropriate time to review the law in this area alongside earlier decisions of the Privy Council given in the context of investment funds affected by fraud.  The article says that there are 3 principles can usefully be highlighted from the decisions reviewed.

https://conyers-cdn.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019-09-Article-Redemptions-from-Fraudulent-Investment-Funds.pdf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

US GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES DRAFT GUIDANCE ON EXPORT OF SURVEILLANCE KIT

World ECR has published an article about detailed new guidance published by the US State Department on the export of such equipment, which includes, inter alia, a checklist of due diligence considerations, red flags, and resources for assessing the human rights records of potential export markets – and a note that exporters should ‘include human rights safeguards language in contracts’.

https://www.worldecr.com/news/us-government-publishes-draft-guidance-on-export-of-surveillance-kit/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

DUBAI: STANDARD CHARTERED BANK COULDN’T TELL REGULATOR HOW SOME RICH CLIENTS GOT RICH

On 16th September, KYC 360 reported that a previously unpublished Dubai regulatory review from 2 years ago found that the private bank didn’t have documentation to show the sources of some clients’ wealth and in some cases lacked even basic data such as current addresses and phone numbers, according to people familiar with the situation.  Similar failings have been identified at major hubs including Singapore, Hong Kong and London, it is reported.  The article mentions that the private bank has some $65 billion of assets and accounted for about 4% of the operating income of the firm in the first half, and that there is no evidence the bank was involved in wrongdoing.  The Dubai FSA ordered the bank to bring in external consultants to act as an independent check on the clean-up, and it brought in Deloitte LLP.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/stanchart-couldnt-tell-regulator-how-some-rich-clients-got-rich/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 15

15th September 2019

0

https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-cyber-security-hub/

55142500-66a0-46a9-8931-56e9d2ab36a5

https://www.statista.com/chart/15628/un-budget-who-has-paid-their-dues/

SENIOR YUKOM BINARY OPTIONS EXECUTIVE ARRESTED IN HUNGARY

Finance Magnates on 15th September reported that, according to several news sources, a 28 year old person a of dual Israeli-French citizenship and reportedly the company’s served as the company’s VP for marketing, and a 44 year old person with US citizenship were arrested by the Hungarian Police.   It is said that they are suspected of involvement of binary options fraud through the activity of call centres operated in Ukraine and Mauritius.  The arrests follow the indictment of co-owners of Yukom, Lee Elbaz and Lisa Mel, both Israeli nationals, in the US where Mel was convicted and 5 of 15 other defendants pleaded guilty.

https://www.financemagnates.com/binary-options/brokers/exclusive-senior-yukom-executive-arrested-in-hungary/

DR CONGO EX-MINISTER ACCUSED OF $4.3 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT OF EBOLA FUNDS

The Daily Mail on 15th September reported that detained former DR Congo health minister Oly Ilunga, 59, has been accused of embezzling $4.3 million of public funds raised to tackle the Ebola epidemic.  He resigned as health minister in July after being removed as head of the country’s Ebola response team.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7465933/DR-Congo-ex-minister-accused-4-3-million-embezzlement.html

GOVERNMENT PROSECUTORS IN PANAMA HAVE APPEALED THE MARTINELLI NOT GUILTY JUDGMENT

On 15th September, Kenneth Rijock in his blog reported an appeal, brought by Organized Crime prosecutors to the Superior Court of Appeals, as an attempt to overturn the findings of fact, including that the government failed to prove that the electronic surveillance was not authorised by a judicial body.

http://rijock.blogspot.com/2019/09/prosecutors-appeal-seeks-to-nullify.html

DOJ

GIBRALTAR POLICE CO-OPERATES WITH GUARDIA CIVIL IN CRACKDOWN ON MAJOR DRUG SMUGGLING GANG

The Gibraltar Chronicle on 15th September reported that on an operation resulted in 78 arrests and the seizure of over 6 tonnes of cannabis resin, as well 5 rigid-hulled inflatable boats, 6 firearms, 17 vehicles and nearly half a million euros in cash.  It began in February after 3 men were rescued by Spanish maritime rescue services from a vessel that was in danger of sinking near Gibraltar, and the vessel was later recovered by the RGP along with 84 bales of cannabis resin weighing 2.5 tonnes.  A major crackdown on 2 networks saw searches in 25 properties in Cadiz, Seville and Malaga provinces and 20 bank accounts frozen.  Investigators also closed down a boatyard that specialised in building and maintaining large RHIBs of the sort used by smugglers to carry drug shipments from Morocco to Spain.

https://www.chronicle.gi/rgp-cooperates-with-guardia-civil-in-crackdown-on-major-drug-smuggling-gang/

 

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

POLICE ARREST WORKERS OF ISRAELI CYBER GROUP ABILITY ON SUSPICION THEY VIOLATED DEFENCE EXPORT LAW

Haaretz in Israel on 15th September reported that a number of suspects associated with 2 of the cyber group’s subsidiaries are facing charges of fraud, smuggling and money laundering.  However, a court imposed a gag order on the identity of the suspects and many of the details of the investigation.  The subsidiaries of Ability Inc under suspicion are Ability Computer & Software Industries and Ability Security Systems.  Earlier this year it was reported that subsidiaries of the group had broken the law by marketing and exporting eavesdropping and geolocation systems without an export licence and the Defense Ministry suspended the subsidiaries from the registry of defence export companies and their export licences.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-workers-of-cyber-group-ability-arrested-on-suspicion-of-breaching-defense-export-law-1.7843577

https://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Two-Israeli-security-tech-firms-investigated-on-suspicion-of-fraud-601704

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 14

14th September 2019

MYANMAR STRUGGLES TO DEAL WITH MONEY LAUNDERING AND RELATED CRIME

On 14th September, Mizzima, which provides news on/from Myanmar, carried an article saying that one country that is struggling to deal effectively with decades-old criminal enterprises is Myanmar, due to a massive illegal drugs trade, criminal enterprises tied up with ethnic armed groups, terrorist elements, and allegations that members of the military and government are involved.  Corruption has its main roots in the decades-long ethnic conflicts and the successive military regimes that have held power in Myanmar from General Ne Win’s 1962 coup up until a change of guard in 2011 and beyond.  It says that it is no secret that the core problem lies in Myanmar’s illegal drug production and trafficking with the equivalent of billions of dollars being fed into the economy under a variety of guises.  Recently, the director-general of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Bureau of Special Investigation told the media that 90% of money laundering cases his bureau investigates are tied to drugs.  No less than 32 types of drugs – made possible through the drug precursors illegally flowing over the border from China – worth millions of dollars including heroin, methamphetamine, ice and pseudoephedrine have been seized and destroyed by authorities in the last year.  The recent report by the relevant FATF-style regional body said that higher-risk money laundering predicate offences include drug production and trafficking, environmental crimes including illegal resource extraction including jade, wildlife smuggling and illegal logging, human trafficking, corruption and bribery.  The article examines some of the reasons for the failure to tackle the money laundering problems, including the fact that the Northern Shan state is described as a “narco state”, with problems dating back to the fleeing Chinese nationalists coming across the border in 1949 as it lost the civil war.  The article refers to laundering of criminal proceeds through casinos, mineral extractions, banana and rubber tree plantations, real estate development and infrastructure undertakings, and to profits from the drug trade that may remain largely within the country for reinvestment – although the sizeable amount in billions of dollars would be stashed in regional financial centres.  In particular, the article mentions casinos used to launder money, including one which has been designated by OFAC.  Also mentioned as a complication is the “hundi” informal money exchange system that remains popular in Myanmar and with Myanmar expatriates.  This operates like the better known “hawala” system.  Myanmar is also a producer of military weapons, from assault rifles to howitzers – much of Chinese origin, with allegations that such weapons have been supplied to insurgent forces.  The article remarks on impoverished border areas with China now appearing prosperous, fuelled (largely, it is claimed) by illegal trade and money laundering.

http://www.mizzima.com/article/myanmar-struggles-deal-money-laundering-and-related-crime

SOUTH KOREA: JUSTICE MINISTER’S COUSIN DETAINED FOR LINK TO SUSPICIOUS INVESTMENT

The Korea Times on 14th September reported that prosecutors have arrested a cousin of Justice Minister Cho Kuk at the centre of corruption allegations surrounding Cho and his family’s investment in a private equity fund.  He was arrested at Incheon International Airport on embezzlement charges, according to officials.  He is allegedly the de facto head of controversial private equity fund Co-Link PE.  Despite the allegations, Cho was sworn in as justice minister and said that he will not interfere with the ongoing probe.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/09/251_275540.html

NEW RULES FOR ONLINE SHOPPING IN EU TAKE EFFECT

On 13th September, EU Business reported on the new EU rules on online shopping, which came into force on 14th September, and which should make it easier and safer for consumers to pay for goods and services online and to manage their personal finances.  However, some stakeholders are still working to put these technological and practical changes in place, in line with a gradual approach suggested by the European Banking Authority.  Electronic payments will be even more secure thanks to the introduction of “strong customer authentication” (SCA) which will improve the means of tackling online payments fraud.

https://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/online-payment.13dq

FORMER ANDERLECHT FOOTBALL CLUB EXECUTIVE CHARGED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

The Daily Mail reported on 13th September that a former executive of the club, Herman Van Holsbeeck, 64, a former player and coach, had been charged with money laundering, forgery and conspiracy connected to corruption in the transfer of footballers.  It says that this new case is not linked to last years large-scale corruption case which saw raids across Europe.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-7462155/Former-Anderlecht-executive-charged-money-laundering-case.html

INDIA: GOLDMAN SACHS EXECUTIVE EMBEZZLED MILLIONS TO PAY GAMBLING DEBTS

Calvin Ayre on 13th September reported that Goldman Sachs was trying to uncover how much damage may have been caused by a now former executive, Ashwani Jhunjhunwala, who was the VP of the company’s legal team in Bangalore, decided to use the company accounts as his personal piggy bank.  He is alleged to have stolen a minimum of $5.3 million from the company.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/09/13/business/goldman-sachs-exec-embezzles-millions-to-pay-off-gambling-debts/

A WTO REFORM AGENDA

The Brookings Institute in the US has produced a Working Paper saying that the WTO is in need of reform and developing e-commerce rules should be seen as part of WTO reform in 2 respects.  The development of such rules will allow the WTO to demonstrate a capacity to remain relevant to the challenges and opportunities governing international trade today.  Secondly, many of the issues that need to be addressed in a comprehensive outcome on e-commerce would contribute to broader WTO reform.  The Working Paper proposes, among other things, that the WTO become a platform that can enable increased regulatory cooperation and encourage good regulatory practice.  Such a result is needed to overcome many of the current barriers to e-commerce.  Success in the e-commerce context would also position the WTO to better address regulatory barriers to trade more broadly.   The Working Paper is focused on what is needed to support cross-border data flows, as well as the international regulatory cooperation and good regulatory practice that is required to provide an effective mechanism for digital trade governance, and envisions the WTO as a platform for addressing behind-the-border regulation that is an increasingly key barrier to digital trade.

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/WTO-Reform-Agenda_final.pdf

BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER FACES CORRUPTION PROBE

On 14th September, Bloomberg reported a Financial Times story saying that Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who is earmarked as the next EU Justice Commissioner, faces a probe on allegations over claims of corruption and money laundering in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/belgian-foreign-minister-reynders-faces-corruption-probe-ft-1.1316136

NORTH MACEDONIA PROSECUTOR DISMISSED OVER CORRUPTION SCANDAL

An AP report on 14th September says that lawmakers in North Macedonia have dismissed special prosecutor Katica Janeva, who was tasked with investigating high-level corruption after she was detained under suspicion of involvement in a high-profile graft scandal.

https://www.macon.com/news/nation-world/article235101922.html

CANADA: INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY REELING AFTER RCMP DIRECTOR ACCUSED OF VIOLATING OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT

On 13th September, CBC reported that Cameron Ortis, a civilian director general at the RCMP, faces charges under both Security of Information Act and Criminal Code.  Federal departments across government are said to be conducting in-house damage assessments in the wake of his arrest.  Ortis had some of the highest access to classified and allied information within the RCMP during his career.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-security-charge-1.5280643

 

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date.  However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

 

 

 

Featured

GATS IS COMING – A REVOLUTION IN AIRCRAFT TRADING

On 13th September, an article from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner says that every aircraft owner, leasing company and airline should be looking into GATS (the new Global Aviation Trading System) and how it can (will) change the way in which they will acquire, own, lease and trade aircraft.  The firm says that it is a platform that not only has the potential to revolutionise the way aircraft are bought and sold but could realise that potential quite quickly, with significant advantages for aircraft lessors of the new platform – speed and cost of execution being the principal ones, and GATS has the potential to open up the trading of aircraft assets to a broader market.  The GATS platform is not yet fully operational but will be almost entirely virtual, as it is phased in.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/gats-is-coming-a-revolution-in-aircraft-48381/

More detailed information on GATS is available at –

http://www.awg.aero/projects/gats/

This says that the trading and financing of aircraft equipment subject to leases is an increasingly important part of the aviation industry, and inefficiencies are being addressed through development of the Global Aircraft Trading System (GATS), a system designed to modernise aircraft equipment trading and financing.  It also stresses that GATS will be a fully electronic system, with e-signatures, e-delivery of documents and use of a secure e-ledger to record transactions, and it will be a voluntary system open to all industry players.

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 13

13th September 2019

LATVIAN COURT DECLARES PNB BANK INSOLVENT AFTER ECB SUSPENSION

KYC 360 on 13th September reported that a Latvian court declared the country’s sixth-biggest lender insolvent.  The decision comes almost a month after AS PNB Banka became one of only a handful of lenders declared by the European Central Bank to be “failing or likely to fail” and joins Banco Popular Espanol SA, Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA, Veneto Banca SpA and ABLV Bank AS.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/latvian-court-declares-pnb-bank-insolvent-after-ecb-suspension/

A BRIEF GUIDE ON THE NEW EU ANTI-TAX AVOIDANCE DIRECTIVE (ATAD II) INTENDED TO TACKLE AGGRESSIVE TAX PLANNING

WH Partners in Malta on 11th September published an article which describes the Directive as new EU legislation on hybrid mismatches between EU and third countries.  The amendments aim to combat aggressive tax planning used by (mostly) multinational enterprises to avoid tax liabilities.

http://whpartners.eu/news/a-brief-guide-on-the-new-anti-tax-avoidance-directive-atad-ii

JAPANESE ARRESTED IN RAMPANT LIZARD SMUGGLING

The Japan News on 13th September that the smuggling of bobtail lizards (also known as shingleback lizards), which are popular as pets in Asian countries, is rampant and several Japanese involved in such cases have been caught.  Relevant Australian authorities are investigating the smuggling cases in cooperation with international organisations, on the assumption that smuggling syndicates may be involved.  Australia restricts the export of its wild animals and cases of bobtail lizards being smuggled have been on the rise since 2018.

https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0006004628

CHINESE CUSTOMS SEIZE SMUGGLED BIRD’S NESTS

Xinhua on 13th September reported that customs police in southern China’s Guangdong Province has detained 11 suspects who allegedly smuggled 620 kg of edible bird’s nests.  The buyers had purchased bird’s nests in Indonesia and Malaysia in April 2017, and gangs had later smuggled the nests into China.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/13/c_138388428.htm

PURPLEBRICKS’ AML PROBLEMS ARE ‘TIP OF THE ICEBERG’ FOR INDUSTRY

The Negotiator on 13th September carried an article about the news that HMRC is ‘in discussions’ with Purplebricks about the online agent’s AML procedures.  A compliance company’s MD comments on Purplebricks’ current concerns and Countrywide’s recent £215,000 fine, saying that the costs of non-compliance are now a potential threat to any estate agency.

https://thenegotiator.co.uk/purplebricks-aml-problems-are-tip-of-the-iceberg-for-industry/

CHINESE DOMINANCE OF GLOBAL DRUG SUPPLY CREATES POTENTIAL SECURITY RISK, EXPERT SAYS

NBC News on 12th September reported concerns expressed that the vast majority of key ingredients for drugs that many Americans rely on are manufactured abroad, mainly in China, and that this could affect production of vital medicines such as antibiotics.  For example, the last penicillin plant in the US closed in 2004.  One claim mentioned is that if China shut the door on exports of medicines and their key ingredients and raw material, US hospitals and military hospitals and clinics would cease to function within months, if not days.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/u-s-officials-worried-about-chinese-control-american-drug-supply-n1052376

ANALYTICAL REPORT: PREPARING ARMED FORCES FOR DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES

A report from the European Policy Center on 13th September looks at the implications new technologies apply on the defence and security sector, focusing its analysis on the impact on the European armed forces.  Questions involved include: which disruptive technologies are most likely to have an impact on the European armed forces?; and how is the defence sector preparing itself for the integration of emerging technologies?  It says that the armed forces and the defence sector are now facing a challenging and demanding time in general.  The report says that 3 major conclusions leading to several recommendations can be highlighted.  The recommendations include that co-operation between the private sector and armed forces needs to be strengthened in every EU Member State, and armed forces must have access to the best training on new technologies

https://www.epc.eu/documents/uploads/pub_9326_preparing_the_armed_forces_for_disruptive_technological_changes.pdf?doc_id=2195

MAKING ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS AND ONLINE BANKING SAFER AND EASIER FOR CONSUMERS IN THE EU

On 13th September, the EU published FAQ about the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which aims to further modernise Europe’s payment services for the benefit of consumers and businesses.  It promotes the development of innovative online and mobile payments, more secure payments and better consumer protection.  It also aims to improve the level-playing field for payment service providers – including new players or FinTechs – and contribute to a more integrated and efficient European payments market.

https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_QANDA-19-5555_en.htm

UK: INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE GROWERS OF LOW THC CANNABIS (INDUSTRIAL HEMP) – FOR THE PRODUCTION OF SEED AND FIBRE ONLY

On 13th September, the Home Office published updated information which explains that if a company or organisation want to cultivate industrial hemp it needs to apply for a controlled drugs domestic licence.  The licence only allows for the industrial use of the seed and fibre, which are non-controlled parts of the hemp plant.  The licence does not allow for the use of the flowers or leaves (‘green’ or controlled materials).

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/controlled-drugs-industrial-hemp

UK: ACCESS TO CRITICAL MATERIALS

On 13th September, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which explains that critical materials (CM) – such as cobalt, helium and rare earth elements – are key to UK manufacturing, including for the aerospace, automotive, energy and chemical sectors, which rely on materials typically extracted and processed abroad. CMs are vital components of several emerging technologies, including electric vehicles, renewable energy infrastructure such as wind turbines, and digital technologies such as computers and smartphones.  The UK imports most of its CM and faces international competition for key resources. This briefing looks at the demand and supply of CM in the UK and ways of improving supply security.  Amongst the key points made are that access to CM may be restricted by political, environmental, economic, legal and social factors; the security of supply may be improved by opening or expanding mines, diversifying suppliers and increasing resource efficiency through recycling, reuse or substitution of materials; and that UK industry relies on CM, but the UK Government does not have a specific CM strategy.

CM

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/POST-PN-0609/POST-PN-0609.pdf

UNDERCOVER POLICING IN ENGLAND AND WALES

On 13th September, a House of Commons Library briefing paper sets out to explain the regulatory framework that governs undercover policing operations in England and Wales and the oversight mechanisms intended to ensure compliance with that framework.  It also looks at the ‘undercover policing scandal’ which followed revelations that undercover officers had in the past engaged in intimate relationships with surveillance subjects and used the identities of dead children for cover.  It explains the resultant litigation and the forthcoming public Inquiry into undercover policing.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8660

MOZAMBIQUE HIDDEN DEBT SCANDAL: THIRD CREDIT SUISSE BANKER PLEADS GUILTY IN US

On 13th September, All Africa reported that Surjan Singh, the third of the 3 former executives of Credit Suisse, charged by the US DoJ in connection with the Mozambique “hidden debts” scandal, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in a New York court.  2 other former Credit Suisse bankers, Detelina Subeva and Andrew Pearse, entered guilty pleas earlier in the year, and all 3 have been freed on bail.  They were all originally arrested in London in January.

https://allafrica.com/stories/201909130748.html

MALTA: MFSA SAYS MOST RECOMMENDATIONS IN MONEYVAL REPORT ALREADY IN PLACE OR IN PROGRESS

On 13th September, the Malta Independent reported claims that most recommendations made in the recent critical Moneyval report have already been implemented or are work in progress.

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-09-13/local-news/MFSA-says-most-recommendations-in-Moneyval-report-already-in-place-or-in-progress-6736213495

INDIA: INTERPOL RED NOTICE FOR NIRAV MODI’S STEP-BROTHER NEHAL MODI IN PNB FRAUD CASE

On 13th September, the Telegraph India reported that Nirav Modi’s step-brother, a Belgian national, is suspected to have destroyed evidence on the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.  A Red Notice is “a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/interpol-s-red-notice-on-nehal-modi-will-it-help/cid/1704715

FRENCH RIGHT-WING POLITICAL POWER BROKER JAILED IN FRAUD TRIAL

On 13th September, AFP reported that a French court has jailed for 4 years Patrick Balkany, a right-wing power broker who for decades along with his wife dominated politics in a wealthy suburb of Paris on charges of hiding millions of euros worth of assets from the tax authorities.  His wife, Isabelle Balkany, was given a 3-year jail term.

https://www.afp.com/en/news/3954/french-right-wing-power-broker-jailed-fraud-trial-doc-1k92kt1

FRAUD INVESTIGATION INTO CASE INVOLVING CZECH PRIME MINISTER HALTED

Radio Prague on 13th September reported that the Chief Prague State Attorney has halted a 4-year-long investigation into suspected EU fraud by the country’s prime minister, Andrej Babiš, and members of his family.

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/fraud-investigation-into-case-involving-czech-prime-minister-halted

CAN EL SALVADOR’S NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION DELIVER?

Americas Quarterly on 13th September published an article saying that El Salvador’s President has announced an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) to create the International Commission against Corruption and Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES).  This is said to be part of the President’s desire to shake up El Salvador’s ideologically polarised and corrupt political system.  The article says, however, that there are reasons to be cautious about projecting just how successful he and the CICIES will be.

https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/el-salvadors-new-international-anti-corruption-commission

PANAMA STRENGTHENS ITS LAW CRIMINALISING TAX EVASION

On 13th September, Tax News reported that Panama’s Cabinet Council has approved a proposed legislative amendment of Law 70 of January 2019, which criminalised tax evasion for the first time.  The amendment would enable errant taxpayers to enter into an agreement with the authority for payment of the tax evaded only once.

https://www.tax-news.com/news/Panama_Strengthens_New_Law_Criminalizing_Tax_Evasion____97315.html

UK NOTICE TO EXPORTERS 2019/14: 3 OPEN GENERAL LICENCES UPDATED

On 13th September, the Department for International Trade published Notice to Exporters 2019/14 saying that the Department has amended 3 open licences with respect to exports to Hong Kong.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-201914-3-open-general-licences-updated/notice-to-exporters-201914-3-open-general-licences-updated

NORWAY: SEX DOLLS MIMICKING CHILD-LIKE QUALITIES REPRESENT THE SEXUALISATION OF CHILDREN AND VIOLATE CRIMINAL LAW

On 13th September, Jurist reported a Norwegian Supreme Court decision which stems from an attempted 2016 import of a silicone doll from Hong Kong to Norway.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2019/09/norway-court-rules-child-like-sex-dolls-violate-criminal-law/

US CUSTOMS TRADE PARTNERSHIP AGAINST TERRORISM (C-TPAT) – AN UPDATE TO THE MINIMUM SECURITY CRITERIA

On 12th September, an article from Clark Hill PLC is concerned with C-TPAT, a voluntary and incentive-based programme that has been an integral part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s cargo enforcement strategy to combat terrorism, illegal contraband, and other threats in the international supply chain since 9/11, bridging the gap between private sector businesses and the federal government in the collaborative effort to improve border security – including importers, exporters, customs brokers etc.  Each applicant to join the programme must ensure their supply chain security practices meet certain minimum security criteria, and in return benefit from such things as reduced cargo examinations and shorter wait times at border crossings.  The article says the updated MSC is broken down into Corporate Security, Transportation Security, and People and Physical Security, and within each of those main categories there are 12 subcategories where requirements are further broken down.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/customs-trade-partnership-against-81924/

NEW ZEALAND: NEARLY 1,500 KG OF METHAMPHETAMINE SEIZED BY CUSTOMS AND POLICE IN RECORD BREAKING YEAR

On 13th September, the New Zealand Herald published an article and video saying that for nearly 10 years, a shipment of nearly 100 kg of methamphetamine was easily the largest in New Zealand history.  This has changed.  More methamphetamine has been seized in New Zealand so far this year than any other.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12266336

MIAMI HEALTHCARE EXEC SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN BIGGEST MEDICARE FRAUD CASE

Baker McKenzie on 13th September reported that Philip Esformes has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for paying bribes and receiving kickbacks in a massive $1 billion Medicare fraud case touted by federal prosecutors as the biggest in the nation.  It is said that his scheme to generate thousands of Medicare patients for his chain of assisted-living and nursing-home facilities in Miami-Dade was “unmatched in our community, if not our country.”

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/miami-healthcare-exec-sentenced-to-20-years-in-biggest-medicare-fraud-case/

INDIA-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR: CURRENT SITUATION

On 13th September, the EU Parliament Research Service published a briefing on the situation in respect of Kashmir following the decision of the Indian Parliament to approve the withdrawal of Article 370 of the Constitution, which had guaranteed Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, a high degree of autonomy.  India has deployed 46,000 troops, arrested regional political leaders and thousands of activists, suspended internet and communications across the valley, and shut down schools and colleges.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2019/640157/EPRS_ATA(2019)640157_EN.pdf

 

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

US DESIGNATES UGANDAN FORMER POLICE INSPECTOR GENERAL KALE KAYIHURA

Ugandan media on 13th September reported that Kayihura had been designated by the US Treasury for using corruption and bribery to strengthen his political position and serious human rights abuses.  All property and interests in property of Kayihura, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by him alone or with other designated persons, that are in the US or in the possession or control of US persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.

https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1507030/trump-administration-slaps-sanctions-kayihura

https://home.treasury.gov/index.php/news/press-releases/sm775

 

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SCHEDULE OF COUNTRIES’ AML/CFT NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

On 12th September, FATF published a list of links to national risk assessments undertaken and published, and which FATF assessors look at closely during the assessment of FATF Recommendation 1 and Immediate Outcome 1 (a rating of effectiveness, rather then purely technical compliance).  Also listed are supranational risk assessments undertaken by the EU, for Australia and SE Asia (co-led by Australia and Indonesia, with contributions from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand), and GAFILAT (a FATF-style regional body for Latin America), as well as that from the European Supervisory Authorities for the EU financial sector.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/methodsandtrends/documents/ml-tf-risks.html

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF: ENHANCED FOLLOW-UP REPORT ON AML/CFT ASSESSMENT OF MAURITANIA

In the FATF Business Bulletin released on 12th September, a link is provided to the 1st enhanced follow-up report prepared in April by FATF-style regional body, MENA-FATF.  The original mutual evaluation report was published in 2018.  Mauritania was re-rated on 3 FATF Recommendations 13 (to LC), 17 and 18 (both to PC).  However, the country will remain in the enhanced follow-up process and submit its second follow-up report in 2020.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/MENAFATF-Follow-up-Report-Mauritania.pdf

fatf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

EU AMENDS DETAILS OF 21 PERSONS AND 19 ENTITIES ON UKRAINE SANCTIONS LISTS

EU Regulation 2019/1403/EU advised the amendment (i.e. replacement) of the entries for 21 individuals and 19 persons on the list of those subject to sanctions for actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.236.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:236:TOC

See also Council Decision 2019/1405/CFSP –

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.236.01.0017.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:236:TOC

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

VALENTIN P GAPONSTEV, A RUSSIAN-BORN US CITIZEN WHO FOUNDED THE LASER TECHNOLOGY COMPANY IPG PHOTONICS, SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN A LIST OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS WHO COULD BE LIABLE TO SANCTIONS

On 13th September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the US Treasury has said that Gaponstev should not have been included in a list contained in a report published for the purpose of the CCATSA sanctions Act.  The list in the Report was not a sanctions list, but it identified oligarchs who were supposedly close to the Russian regime, and at the time of publication in January 2018, the Treasury Secretary said that the Treasury would use this report to inform sanctions decisions.  An agreed settlement to a lawsuit brought by Gaponstev contained the confirmation that the Treasury had based its original list on one taken from a Forbes magazine article, but that it had now revised the list in the view of new information.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2019/09/ofac-says-it-should-not-have-included-gasponstev-in-us-russian-oligarch-list/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OFAC ADDS 1 INDIVIDUAL AND 3 ENTITIES TO NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS LISTS

On 13th September, OFAC announced that a Ugandan national, Kale KAYIHURA (aka Edward Kalekezi Kayihura MUHWEZI), as well as 3 further North Korean entities, to its North Korean sanctions lists.  The 3 North Korean entities are cyber groups designated for targeting critical infrastructure.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190913.aspx

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/461289-treasury-sanctions-three-north-korean-cyber-groups-for-targeting-critical

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm774

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

HIGH COURT IN LONDON RULES THAT US SECONDARY SANCTIONS ARE A “MANDATORY PROVISION OF LAW” FOR PURPOSES OF LOAN AGREEMENT

On 13th September, the EU Sanctions Blog reported on a High Court case concerned with a claim brought by a Cypriot lender against an English borrower about the interpretation of a loan agreement which provided that the borrower would not be in default if it refused to make repayments “in order to comply with any mandatory provision of law”.  As the beneficial owner of the claimant was subject to US (Russia) sanctions this could trigger secondary sanctions against anyone who facilitated a significant transaction with the designated person or entity.  The defendant argued that in refusing to make payment to the claimant it was acting in order to comply with those sanctions, and the Court agreed with that interpretation and held that the parties should be inferred to have had intended to include US secondary sanctions as mandatory provisions within the meaning of the agreement.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2019/09/uk-court-says-us-secondary-sanctions-arent-a-mandatory-provision-of-law/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

DUTCH BANKS WANT TO TEAM UP TO FIGHT MONEY LAUNDERING

On 13th September, the NL Times reported that 5 Dutch banks – ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and Volksbank – want to team up and establish an organization to tackle money laundering together.  The idea is that by viewing the banks’ total 10 billion transactions per year together, it will be easier for the organisation – Transactie Monitoring Nederland (TMNL) – to identify suspicious activities.

https://nltimes.nl/2019/09/13/dutch-banks-want-team-fight-money-laundering

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SAN MARINO SEIZES $19 MILLION FROM CONGO DICTATOR WHO SPENT $100,000 ON CROCODILE SHOES

On 13th September, KYC 360 reported that the money was allegedly deposited by Denis Sassou Nguesso, the president of the Republic of Congo, the former French colony also known as Congo-Brazzaville.  It was part of €69 million that was deposited in the republic’s banks by President Sassou Nguesso and his entourage between 2006 and 2011.  It was kept in 36 separate accounts, some of them belonging to the president’s relatives.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/san-marino-seizes-19m-from-congo-dictator-who-spent-100000-on-crocodile-shoes/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 12

12th September 2019

SAUDI BUSINESSMAN TESTS US JURISDICTION OVER 1MDB-LINKED ASSET

On 12th September, KYC 360 reported that Tarek Obaid, a businessman with dual Saudi and Swiss citizenships, is to argue before a Los Angeles-based federal judge that the judge doesn’t have jurisdiction to order the seizure of his shares in Palantir Technologies Inc, allegedly bought with 1MDB-linked funds.  It says that the question of whether the civil forfeiture lawsuits for overseas assets, acquired by foreigners with Malaysian money, actually belong in a Southern California courtroom.  The article reflects on the possible effect on the 30 forfeiture lawsuits seeking real estate, investments, art and jewellery valued at $1.7 billion that Low Taek Jho (aka Jho Low), the Malaysian financier and alleged mastermind behind the looting of 1MDB, and his accomplices bought.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/saudi-businessman-tests-u-s-jurisdiction-over-1mdb-linked-asset/

INVESTIGATIONS AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIME: IRELAND’S ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW BEGINS TO BITE

On 11th September, McCann Fitzgerald published an article on a recent case of alleged corruption involving a Garda, information from the Criminal Assets Bureau investigation and a director of a company under investigation.  It also mentioned that a Garda Anti-Corruption Unit is to be established.

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/knowledge/administrative-and-public-law/disputes-investigations-white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-law

IRELAND: FUNDS, MANAGEMENT COMPANIES AND INVESTMENT FIRMS SHOULD PREPARE FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF AML/CFT INSPECTION

Dillon Eustace on 10th September published an article explaining why funds, management companies and investment firms should prepare for the possibility of a AML/CFT inspection by the Central Bank of Ireland’s dedicated Anti-Money Laundering Division.  It also explains what they should expect.  It says that the number of AML inspections has more than doubled in the last 2 years (72 in 2018) and last year the CBI held 59 AML review meetings and issued 259 risk evaluation questionnaires for completion.  The number of enforcement cases for AML breaches has also increased recently – in the last 3 years 7 firms have been fined for AML breaches, with 3 of these fines running into 7-figure sums.

https://www.dilloneustace.com/publications/aml-inspections-funds-industry

WHAT’S MISSING FROM US BSA/AML REFORM?  THE FUNDAMENTAL FLAW

On 10th September, White & Case published an article saying with all the talk of reform in the US systems, an underlying flaw is that the 2 principal objectives of the Bank Secrecy Act (creating actionable financial intelligence and preventing money laundering) align in theory but conflict in practice, and the tension between the objectives results in conflict among the agencies overseeing the regime, procedure-driven approaches to compliance by financial institutions, and a corresponding misalignment of compliance resources away from AML activities with potentially greater value.  It says that the problem dates back to the passage of the Annunzio-Wylie Anti-Money Laundering Act of 1992, reinforced by the PATRIOT Act of 2001.  The practical consequence of the changes of 1002 was, the article says, to skew the incentives for financial institutions from a risk-based and reasonableness approach to financial intelligence investigations to a procedure-driven approach that has since become misaligned with the real risks of money laundering.  The article concludes that the current US BSA/AML regime results in AML programmes at financial institutions that are rigid and process-driven and that align resources to proving a negative rather than addressing real AML risks.

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/alert/whats-missing-bsaaml-reform

AML AND FRAUD IN THE BVI

On 7th January, Harneys had produced the AML and fraud framework in the BVI.  It remarked on then recent developments and the legal and enforcement framework.

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=f468ea03-6562-4d45-b9c2-2f9a0b91b551

355 METERS OF SNAKESKIN SEIZED FROM PASSENGER’S LUGGAGE AT ISTANBUL AIRPORT

Daily Sabah in Turkey on 11th September reported that Turkish customs and anti-smuggling officers seized 93 pieces of snakeskin, which when combined reached a lengthy 355 meters, from a passenger who tried to smuggle it in checked baggage at Istanbul Airport (IST) from Indonesia.  The market value of the snakeskin seized was estimated to be around $55,447.

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2019/09/11/355-meters-of-snakeskin-seized-from-passengers-luggage-at-istanbul-airport

FIDUCIARIES IN CYPRUS TO BE REGULATED BY SINGLE LAW

In Cyprus on 12th September reported that the supervision of undertakings providing administrative services (Fiduciary Services) to private companies in Cyprus will soon be amended at the request of Moneyval, informed sources have said.   By law, fiduciaries have been regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) since 2012, but registered lawyers and accountants who provide fiduciary and corporate services via their respective firms and associated companies have been regulated throughout by the Cyprus Bar Association and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus.

https://in-cyprus.com/fiduciaries-in-cyprus-to-be-regulated-by-one-single-law/

UK BANKS TAKE AN ACCELERATED APPROACH TO MERGE FRAUD, FINANCIAL CRIME OPERATIONS

The Paypers on 12th September reported research on 12th September that most UK banks plan to integrate their fraud and financial crime compliance systems and activities, in response to new criminal threats and punishing fines.  It found that 60% of banks across the regions surveyed have strategic plans for further integration, either to fully integrate functions or share resources where synergies exist, and a further 20% are actively seeking to obtain synergies even if they are only taking a tactical approach.

https://www.thepaypers.com/digital-identity-security-online-fraud/uk-banks-take-an-accelerated-approach-to-merge-fraud-financial-crime-operations/780622-26

UK CANNABIS ACCOUNTING INDUSTRY READY TO ROLL

On 12th September, Accounting Web reported that mainstream acceptance of cannabis is increasing across the world, and more than 50 countries have legalised some form of cannabis for medical use, including the UK which amended its laws in November 2018.  It quotes the head of practice at one firm saying that accountants servicing the cannabis sector have become essential in navigating the complex tax regulations that were introduced.  It also says that European law firms have started to spin off cannabis-specific practices from their life science arms, where the work would traditionally have been carried out.  The US accounting sector is also grappling with the tax implications of serving cannabis businesses, with some clear lessons for Europe to learn should recreational markets begin to open up.  The article points out that the UK’s medicinal market is currently so small and wrapped in red tape it may as well not exist, and yet the UK itself is the world’s largest exporter of legal cannabis in the world.  It also cites a report by specialist cannabis analysts Prohibition Partners projects the UK’s medicinal market could be worth up to £8.8 billion in the next decade – though, to date, Home Office bureaucracy has ensured that very few patients who meet the strict criteria have managed to get hold of cannabis.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/finance-strategy/uk-cannabis-accounting-industry-ready-to-roll

UK PORTS PUSH AHEAD WITH ‘FREEPORT’ PLANS

Lloyds Loading List on 11th September reported that a new coalition of airport and seaport operators, Port Zones UK, calls for planning reforms to assist development of Foreign Trade Zones, expected to become more relevant if and when the UK leaves the EU.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/UK-ports-push-ahead-with-‘Freeport’-plans/74964.htm

LAW FIRMS “NEED DATA-SHARING GUIDANCE” TO AVOID GDPR BREACHES

Legal Futures on 12th September reported that the Information Commissioner needs to provide specific guidance to law firms on how they can lawfully share personal data, leading City law firm Kennedys has argued.  It was responding to the Information Commissioner’s Office consultation on a new statutory code of practice on data sharing.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/law-firms-need-data-sharing-guidance-to-avoid-gdpr-breaches

4 SENTENCED FOR THEIR PART IN THE UK’S LARGEST-EVER VISA FRAUD

A CPS news release on 11th September advised that 4 people have been sentenced for their part in the UK’s largest immigration fraud and attempting to cheat HMRC of payroll tax.  The case centred on ‘immigration advisors’ who created a network of sham companies to cheat the Home Office.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/four-sentenced-their-part-uks-largest-ever-visa-fraud

FOREIGN BANKS COULD LOSE ACCESS TO US DOLLARS IF FOUND TO FACILITATE TERRORIST FINANCING

On 12th September, the RANE Network reported a Wall Street Journal story saying that the new Executive Order imposing enhanced sanctions could result in foreign financial institutions losing access to banks, money services businesses, and cryptocurrency exchangers and administrators, as well as to the world’s largest economy and the dollar, which is critical to most of the world’s trade and finance.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-u-s-powers-help-target-terrorist-financing-treasury-official-says-11568247532

US COMPILING LIST OF BUSINESSES WITH LINKS TO CHINESE MILITARY

The Financial Times reports that the Pentagon is compiling a list of businesses with Chinese military ties, as part of an increased Trump Administration effort to stop China from getting a hold of sensitive technologies and protect US defence supply chains.

US: ICE HAS A NEW $30 MILLION CONTRACT WITH ISRAELI PHONE CRACKING COMPANY CELLEBRITE

On 12th September, the Daily Beast reported that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has expanded its work with Cellebrite, an Israeli data extraction company best known for offering to crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone at the behest of the FBI in 2016.  It is said that the company’s technology can bypass most smartphones’ locks and download data from all their apps for law enforcement.  The article says that it is unclear what use ICE will put Cellebrite’s technology to and where it will do so.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ice-has-a-new-dollar30m-contract-with-israeli-phone-cracking-company-cellebrite

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=3082dfd011655a4709b395ce53aa693d&tab=core&_cview=0

FORMER No. 2 AUDITOR AT KPMG LLP WILL GO TO PRISON OVER AUDIT SCHEDULE SCANDAL

On 11th September, the Wall Street Journal reported that David Middendorf, the former second-in-command of KPMG’s US audit practice, was convicted for his role in a scheme to steal the names of the firm’s clients whose audits were going to be reviewed by the nation’s accounting regulator.  He is to be jailed for 1 year and 1 day.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ex-kpmg-partner-sentenced-to-a-year-and-a-day-in-steal-the-exam-scandal-11568217009

LUFTHANSA CARGO BANS VAPE SHIPPER AND FORWARDERS AFTER LITHIUM ION “INCIDENT”

Loadstar reported on 12th September that Chinese vape manufacturer, ShenzhenAbuFan Technology, has been blacklisted by Lufthansa Group carriers for all forms of airfreight.  China Freight and Flexport Asia have also been blacklisted over the same incident.  Loadstar describes the situation as a reminder of the dangers of misdeclaring lithium ion battery shipments.

https://theloadstar.com/lufthansa-cargo-blacklists-vape-shipper-and-forwarders-after-lithium-ion-incident

HAPAG-LLOYD IS PILOTING ITS OWN ONLINE INSURANCE PRODUCT AS PART OF A DIGITAL OFFERING

On 12th September, Loadstar reported that the initiative, Quick Cargo Insurance, is intended to try to overcome the widespread practice of shippers relying on the limited cover provided under the terms of carriers’ bills of lading.

https://theloadstar.com/hapag-lloyd-unveils-its-own-online-insurance-for-ocean-cargo

TRADING IN DRUG PRECURSORS IF THERE’S NO BREXIT DEAL

On 12th September, HMRC published updated information on how trading in drug precursor chemicals would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.  Essentially, you will need to apply for an import and/or export licence when trading with EU countries in certain categories of drug precursor chemicals if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and current rules for trading in these chemicals with countries outside the EU will apply to trade with the EU.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trading-in-drug-precursors-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

FIREARMS MOVEMENTS WITH EUROPE IF THERE IS NO BREXIT DEAL

On 12th September, HMRC provided updated information, reminding one that UK residents would no longer be able to use a European Firearms Pass.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/travelling-with-a-european-firearms-pass-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

UK: MAN AND WOMAN TO REPAY MORE THAN £10 MILLION AFTER BEING CONVICTED IN 2017 FOR THEIR ROLES IN A MULTI-MILLION POUND FRAUD

On 12th September, the Bucks Herald reported that David Mills, 62, and his wife Alison Mills, 54, were convicted alongside 4 others in 2017 for their roles in fraudulent trading, corrupting banking officials and money laundering.  They were sentenced to a total of more than 18 years’ imprisonment following Operation Hornet, a 6-year investigation led by Thames Valley Police which uncovered their illicit activities.  They defrauded struggling businesses out of huge sums of money to fund a lavish criminal lifestyle.  They have now been ordered to repay money and assets valued at £10,451,949.54 under a confiscation order which will include the seizure of luxury yachts and holiday properties.

https://www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/crime/thames-valley-police-s-operation-hornet-snares-multi-million-pound-fraudsters-1-9069070

SRI LANKA: THE AVANT GARDE FLOATING ARMOURY CASE – COURT OF APPEAL ORDERS RELEASE OF SUSPECTS

On 12th September, the Daily Mirror in Sri Lanka reported that the Court of Appeal has set aside both the orders and directed the Magistrate’s Court to discharge the 8 accused including former defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the corruption case filed by the Bribery Commission.  The Commission had filed the corruption case against the defendants for allegedly causing a tax loss to the government by permitting Avant-Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd to operate a floating armoury.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Avant-Garde-Case-CA-directs-Magistrates-Court-to-release-Gota-7-others/108-174429

UK: NEW EXPORT SECURITY STRATEGY

On 12th September, the Department for International Trade announced this new strategy which is intended to set out how the Government will ensure that UK companies remain at the forefront of growing global demand for security exports and services.  It is intended that support will involve encouraging businesses to export; providing export “know how” and guidance; connecting businesses with partners in the UK and overseas; and ensuring that no viable UK security export fails for a lack of finance or insurance from the private sector through promotion of the UK Export Finance (UKEF) offer to business.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-security-export-strategy-will-boost-british-exports

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/security-export-strategy-growing-uk-exports-for-global-security

AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE CLOSE ALLEGED BRIBERY INVESTIGATION OF TABCORP

On 12th September, Calvin Ayre reported that Australian Federal Police (AFP) are said to have opted to end their 3-year investigation of Australia’s largest gambling operator, Tabcorp.  The investigation began when it was alleged that Tabcorp had made a payment of $200,000 to a business link to the PM of Cambodia.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/09/12/business/australian-federal-police-end-investigation-of-tabcorp/

ALLY OF PRESIDENT MACRON TARGETED IN FRENCH CORRUPTION PROBE

Baker McKenzie on 12th September reported that French prosecutors have opened a probe into the past business activity of the speaker of the National Assembly, examining whether Richard Ferrand, who ran Mr. Macron’s presidential campaign, abused his role as an executive at Mutuelles de Bretagne in 2011.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/ally-of-president-macron-targeted-in-french-corruption-probe/

US: THREAT FROM DOMESTIC TERRORISTS RISING, EXPERTS TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS

On 12th September, Homeland Preparedness reported that, on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, experts testified to US Congress that while Islamic jihadists remain a threat to the security of the US, so too do domestic terrorists in the form of white supremacists and other radical right-wing groups – and witnesses stated that Americans were more likely to die at the hands of an American with a gun than at the hands of an international terrorist.

https://homelandprepnews.com/countermeasures/36375-threat-from-domestic-terrorists-rising-experts-testify/

FARMER JAILED FOR SMUGGLING GARLIC INTO AUSTRALIA

On 12th September, Illicit Trade reported that Letitia Anne Ware, 53, was jailed for 11 months for illegally importing 2,000 garlic bulbs, in violation of the country’s strict importation laws.  Garlic imports are strictly controlled due to the risk from xylella fastidiosa bacteria.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/09/farmer-jailed-for-smuggling-illicit-garlic-shipments-into-australia

SCOURGE OF SLAVERY INCREASES AMID NEW RANGE OF GLOBAL ISSUES, SAYS UN EXPERT

On 12th September, an article on Ekklesia the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Urmila Bhoola, said in a report presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva that over 60% of those in forced labour work in the private sector and 98% of women and girls subjected to forced labour have experienced sexual violence.  In a world where over 40 million people are enslaved and 1 in 4 victims is a child, the scourge of modern-day slavery is only likely to increase as a result of environmental degradation, migration and demographic shifts.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/28851

MyPayrollHR, A NOW DEFUNCT CLOUD-BASED PAYROLL PROCESSING FIRM BASED IN NEW YORK, HAS ABRUPTLY CEASED OPERATIONS OWING $35 MILLION

On 12th September, a post on the Krebs on Security blog said that countless people have had money drained from their bank accounts and the scandal has left nearly $35 million worth of payroll and tax payments in legal limbo.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/09/ny-payroll-company-vanishes-with-35-million/

sea1

sea2

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/container-conundrum

CANADA ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND APPOINTS SPECIAL ADVISER

On 7th September, Homeland Security Today reported that the Canadian government has announced substantial funding and its new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking.  The new strategy takes a whole-of-government approach that will empower victims and survivors to regain self-confidence and control over their lives; prevent more of these crimes from taking place; better protect those who are most vulnerable to trafficking; prosecute human traffickers for their heinous crimes; and embrace partnerships with provinces and territories and other organisations.  To support the new strategy, the Minister of Public Safety has now appointed a new Special Advisor on Human Trafficking, retired RCMP Assistant Commissioner.  She will offer ongoing advice and recommendations to the government on its efforts to combat human trafficking and bring awareness domestically and internationally.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/human-trafficking/canada-announces-funding-to-combat-human-trafficking-appoints-special-advisor/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

NICARAGUA: THIRD ENHANCED FOLLOW-UP AML/CFT ASSESSMENT REPORT

On 12th September, FATF-style regional body GAFILAT published the 3rd Enhanced Follow-up Report following the mutual evaluation report of 2017.  The new report analyses the progress made by Nicaragua in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER.  This report does not address Nicaragua’s progress on effectiveness.  A subsequent follow-up evaluation will analyse the progress made on effectiveness, which may eventually result in a new rating of the Immediate Outcomes.  In general, Nicaragua has been making important progress in relation to addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated in relation to FATF Recommendation 7 to Largely Compliant, Recommendation 10 to Compliant, Recommendation 12 to Compliant, and Recommendation 25 Largely Compliant.  Nicaragua will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

http://www.gafilat.org/index.php/es/biblioteca-virtual/miembros/nicaragua/informes-de-seguimiento-11/3495-third-enhanced-follow-up-report-of-nicaragua/file

nicaragua

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FARMER JAILED FOR SMUGGLING GARLIC INTO AUSTRALIA

On 12th September, Illicit Trade reported that Letitia Anne Ware, 53, was jailed for 11 months for illegally importing 2,000 garlic bulbs, in violation of the country’s strict importation laws.  Garlic imports are strictly controlled due to the risk from xylella fastidiosa bacteria.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/09/farmer-jailed-for-smuggling-illicit-garlic-shipments-into-australia

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

NUCLEAR SECURITY BRIEFING BOOK

Available online, this publication produced by King’s College London was originally published as a reference guide on the international nuclear security framework for participants attending the recent Nuclear Security Summits (NSS).  It has subsequently been expanded to include the post-NSS period  so it can continue to be a useful resource for policy makers, practitioners and others attending international meetings such as IAEA General Conferences and International Conferences on Nuclear Security.  It sets out to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the international nuclear security framework and its evolution in response to perceived threats and challenges.  It also includes information on nuclear and radioactive materials in order to explain the nature of the threat, and discusses international agreements and initiatives considered by the authors to be most relevant to nuclear security.  It starts with the basics – basic atomic physics and nuclear terrorism scenarios, discusses the history of international co-operation on nuclear security, then moves on to discuss nuclear security instruments and initiatives, as well as UN and IAEA resources.

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/security-studies/assets/nsbb.pdf

kcl

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

JERSEY: £6.7 MILLION CONFISCATED IN 20 MONTHS

On 12th September, the Jersey Evening Post reported that between November 2017 and July this year the criminals were made the subjects of confiscation orders, netting the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund £6,708,097.  The majority of the confiscated funds from the period, around £6.5 million, have gone towards ‘phase six’ of work at La Moye Prison.  Interestingly, of the criminals who were made subject to confiscation orders, 9 of them had just £1 taken from them, and the majority of the recovered money came from a single criminal – £5,837,271 in total.  Only 3 other orders worth more than £100,000 were made.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2019/09/12/67-million-confiscated-in-20-months/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF CONSOLIDATED SCHEDULE OF AML/CFT ASSESSMENT RATINGS

On the 12th September, following the release of the 2 most recent follow-up reports, FATF issued an updated version of its schedule of AML/CFT assessment ratings.

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

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF: ISLE OF MAN AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 12th September, FATF published the 2nd Enhanced Follow-up Report from MONEYVAL to the mutual evaluation report on the Isle of Man of December 2016.  In the light of progress made, MONEYVAL has re-rated the jurisdiction on 4 of the 40 FATF Recommendations – Recommendation 11 from LC to C; Recommendation 12 from LC to C; Recommendation 17 from LC to PC; and Recommendation 25 from PC to C.  The Isle of Man will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/content/images/MONEYVAL-2nd-Enhanced-Follow-Up-Report-Isle-of-Man.pdf

IOM

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF: UKRAINE AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 12th September, FATF published the 1st Enhanced Follow-up Report from MONEYVAL that comes after the mutual evaluation report of 2017.  However, as only limited progress has been made, no request for any re-rating of markings in the MER have been made.  It says that limited measures have been taken to implement the new elements under FATF Recommendations 2, 7, 18 and 21 and, as a result, they remain rated as Recommendations 2 (C), 7 (PC) and 18 (LC) remain rated as in the 2017 MER, but Recommendation 21, initially rated as C, is downgraded and re-rated as LC.  Ukraine will remain in enhanced follow-up, and will continue to report back to MONEYVAL on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures in a year’s time.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/Moneyval-Follow-Up-Report-Ukraine.pdf

ukraine1

ukraine2

Featured

VIRTUAL GLOBAL CULTURAL PROPERTY TASK FORCE (VGCPTF) MEETS IN LONDON

On 12th September, a news release from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the first meeting of the Virtual Global Cultural Property Task Force (VGCPTF) -composed of arts and antiquities investigators from more than a dozen nations.  It says that the VGCPTF initiative will also promote and support cross-training programs to expose foreign law enforcement to US investigative and prosecutorial procedures and vice versa, increasing detection, seizures and repatriations of looted and trafficked antiquities to their rightful owners.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-hsi-new-york-kicks-virtual-global-taskforce-london-centered-arts-and-antiquities

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

HMRC FACES LEGAL FIGHT OVER HANDING BRITONS’ DATA TO US TAX OFFICIALS

The Guardian on 12th September reported that is facing a legal battle to block it from handing personal details about British citizens to US tax authorities.  The case will challenge the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires foreign financial firms with US operations – including UK banks – to report information about US taxpayers to the IRS or face huge fines.  Law firm Mishcon de Reya has taken on the UK case for a client who alleges HMRC is breaching citizens’ data protection and privacy rights.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/12/hmrc-faces-legal-fight-for-handing-britons-data-to-us-tax-officials

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

MALTA: MONEYVAL AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT – MORE NEEDED TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE MONEY LAUNDERING AND STRENGTHEN ITS SUPERVISORY SYSTEM

 

malta1

On 12th September, Moneyval published its July 2019 MER on Malta’s AML/CFT systems.  It calls on the Maltese authorities to strengthen their practical application of their measures to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism.  It acknowledges that the authorities have demonstrated a broad understanding of the vulnerabilities within the system, but a number of important factors – notably predicate offences, financing of terrorism, legal persons and arrangements, the development of new technologies and the use of cash – appear to be insufficiently analysed or understood.

malta2

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2019-5-5th-round-mer-malta/16809737c0

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

MOLDOVA: AML/CFT MUTUAL ASSESSMENT REPORT – MOLDOVA NEEDS BETTER CRIMINAL ASSET RECOVERY AND CONFISCATION SYSTEMS

moldova1

On 11th September, the Council of Europe published a news release as it released the mutual evaluation report on Moldova.  The news release summarised the findings of the report.  Based on the results of its evaluation, MONEYVAL decided to apply its enhanced follow-up procedure and invited Moldova to report back in 2021.

https://search.coe.int/directorate_of_communications/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=090000168097366c

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2019-6-5th-round-mer-repmoldova2/168097347a

moldova2

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

US STATE DEPARTMENT SIGNALS INCREASED EXPORT FOCUS ON SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

On 9th September, Hogan Lovells published an article about recent draft guidance from the State Department on the export of hardware, software and technology with surveillance capabilities and/or parts or know-how.  It says that this guidance is consistent with the Trump Administration’s recent focus on the use of surveillance by certain governments against civilian populations in trouble spots around the world.  While it is not mandatory for export control and sanctions compliance purposes, but it is relevant for companies to consider in building and enhancing their compliance programmes.  The draft guidance focuses on the export of items that “can be misused to violate or abuse human rights when exported to government end-users or private end-users that have close relationships with the government”.  Notably, the guidance does not apply to just makers of items designed for surveillance, such as cameras or listening devices, but has much broader implications.  Comments on the draft guidance may be submitted by 4th October.  The article says that the draft guidance can be understood as a set of “best practices” that companies operating in this space should use to benchmark their own policies and procedures against the US Government’s expectations for exporters of sensitive technologies that are susceptible to misuse in the wrong hands, and as a roadmap for steps that companies can take to mitigate these risks, and it takes a broad approach to what is considered appropriate “due diligence” that exporters should undertake.

https://f.datasrvr.com/fr1/719/44849/09_10_19_State_Department_signals_increased_focus_on_surveillance_technology_and_human_rights_abuses.pdf

https://www.worldecr.com/news/us-government-publishes-draft-guidance-on-export-of-surveillance-kit/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

US: FOREIGN EXTORTION PREVENTION ACT: BROADENING THE SCOPE OF BRIBERY PROSECUTIONS?

Ropes & Gray on 9th September published an article about a Bill introduced in the House of Representatives in late July would allow the US Government to prosecute foreign officials who take bribes.  It would make it illegal for a “foreign official” to improperly demand or receive anything of value in return for “being influenced in the performance of any official act” or “being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official duty of such official or person”.  The new Bill would amend the existing law which prohibits bribery of US domestic public officials, and seeks to fill what many see as a gap in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  At present, the US Government is limited in its ability to prosecute foreign nationals who accept bribes, or otherwise participate in bribery schemes, if they have no nexus with the US.  The Bill could make it easier for US prosecutors to target foreign officials who demand or receive bribes, increasing the number of bribery enforcement actions.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-foreign-extortion-prevention-act-86483/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 11

11th September 2019

BULGARIAN ARMS EXPORTS TOTAL $844.3 MILLION IN 2018

Janes.com on 10th September reported that Saudi Arabia was the biggest defence market, with $170.6 million, followed by India and Afghanistan.  The top 10 buyers of Bulgarian arms in 2018 also included the US, Turkey, Algeria, UAE, Azerbaijan, Poland, and Egypt.

https://www.janes.com/article/91004/bulgarian-arms-exports-total-usd844-3-million-in-2018

3-D PRINTERS COULD HELP SPREAD WMD

The Scientific American carried an article on 10th September saying that experts warn that new technology makes it easier to covertly produce WMD, with a new report from a multi-institutional research group led by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, which says the proliferation of 3-D printers, combined with advances in artificial intelligence, could make it much easier for nations or individuals to covertly build nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.  It is not just the basic 3-D printing, the potential for the technology goes much further — some researchers have claimed that the ability to print almost anything imaginable is possible.  The article says that industrial-scale 3-D printers are already advancing technology related to extremely dangerous weapons – the US National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), for instance, is using these machines to produce models of nuclear weapons for testing; Raytheon has a 3-D printer that can manufacture 80% of a missile, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory is using these machines to make high explosive.  The new report suggests that 3-D printing could be part of the WMD supply chain within the next 10 years.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/3-d-printers-could-help-spread-weapons-of-mass-destruction/

THE US LVS (LOW-VALUE SHIPMENT) EXPORT LICENSE EXCEPTION

On 9th September, Tucker Arensberg published an article which sets the scenario of a new overseas customer that requires several low-value shipments and when you check the US Commerce Control List you discover this new business will require an export licence – what do you do?  The short piece provides tips on use of the LVS, with the last being to always read the entire ECCN entry involved, as there may be specific restrictions to LVS applicability depending on the destination and reason for control.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-lvs-license-exception-what-is-it-20551/

ART EXPORT CONTROLS IN EUROPE

The Antique Trades Gazette on 5th September carried a report on a recent conference held in London.  This conference discussed, amongst other things, export controls in Europe.  It was noted that, on top of the new EU Regulation on cultural property exportation, individual countries in Europe have introduced and updated laws for the export and import of cultural property.  It was said that there remain significant challenges in the exportation of art and antiques and some of the key points were detailed in a presentation at the conference – with the UK, Italy and Germany considered.

https://www.antiquestradegazette.com/news/2019/art-business-conference-highlights-changing-auction-buyers-and-the-challenges-of-european-export-regulations/

CHINESE BRONZE ARTEFACTS REPATRIATED FROM JAPAN TO DEBUT IN BEIJING EXHIBITION

The Global Times in China on 10th September reported that, after a 5-month investigation and collaboration between authorities in China and Japan, a set of ancient bronze relics that had been smuggled overseas in recent years were returned home in late August.  The 8 bronze wares are among the most valuable relics to be successfully brought back to China in recent years.  They had been listed for auction on the website of a Japanese auction house but it appeared they were China’s cultural relics that had been smuggled abroad at some point.  Since 1949, more than 150,000 lost relics have been returned to China by different methods, such as law enforcement co-operation, litigation, negotiation and donations, and an exhibition in Beijing focuses on just 25 cases of repatriated lost relics.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1164172.shtml

DUTCH GAMING AUTHORITY SANCTIONS BWIN, UNIBET AND TAKES ACTION AGAINST AFFILIATE MARKETING WEBSITES: WHO’S NEXT?

CMS Law on 10th September published an article saying that, as well as the fines on operators, the DGA announced that 23 affiliate websites stopped advertising for gambling sites after the DGA informed them that the sites’ activities were illegal and threatened them with sanctions.  The article looks at the fines imposed.  It concludes by saying that it can be expected that the DGA will continue its enforcement initiatives and that more sanctions will follow in the coming months.  The decisions once again confirm that operators should refrain from using certain technology and tools for the Dutch market, although the firm thinks that it might already be too late for operators to amend their behaviour because the DGA has probably more sanctions coming up based on investigations in the past.

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2019/09/dutch-gaming-authority-sanctions-bwin-unibet-and-takes-action-against-affiliate-marketing-websites?cc_lang=en

COMMERZBANK FRANKFURT OFFICES RAIDED IN WIDENING TAX SCANDAL

On 11th September, KYC 360 reported that he raids are tied to controversial trading practice across the industry known as 2Cum-Ex”.  The tax scandal has caught up multiple financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and Societe Generale SA.  It explains that the scandal resulted from various forms of dividend stripping, relied on the sale of borrowed shares just before a company was scheduled to pay dividends.  This allowed more than one investor to claim a refund on a tax that was normally paid only once, effectively double-dipping at the expense of the state.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/commerzbank-frankfurt-offices-raided-in-widening-tax-scandal/

BRAZIL ARRESTS FORMER MINISTER’S SON FOR BRIBES LINKED TO GIANT DAM

On 11th September, KYC 360 reported that Brazilian authorities arrested a former energy minister’s son – Marcio Lobao, the son of former senator and energy minister Edison Lobao – for allegedly receiving bribes worth $12 million together with his father, involving the construction of a giant dam.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/brazil-arrests-former-ministers-son-for-bribes-linked-to-giant-dam/

FLAG INJUNCTIONS: PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE TO SHIP ARRESTS UNDER MALTA LAW

An article from Fenech & Fenech Advocates in Malta on 11th September says that while ship arrests are a powerful legal remedy for creditors, they have one major limitation: they are possible only where the targeted vessel actually enters Maltese waters.  Thus, a vessel can be arrested only when it is physically present within Malta.  It explains that Maltese law offers creditors another practical and useful mechanism to ensure that they can adequately secure maritime-related claims, which may arise in connection to vessels.  Section 37 of the Merchant Shipping Act affords a creditor the right to request the courts to issue an injunction over any vessel flying the Maltese flag, to ensure that it cannot be sold, transferred or deregistered from the Maltese ship registry.  The article explains the role of such an injunction and says that the section 37 injunction provides creditors with an interesting, cost-efficient remedy where a ship arrest is not possible.

https://www.internationallawoffice.com/Newsletters/Shipping-Transport/Malta/Fenech-Fenech-Advocates/Flag-injunctions-practical-alternative-to-ship-arrests

HOW TO PREPARE FOR NEW INCOTERMS

On 31st July, AKD Benelux Lawyers published an article about the new Incoterms 2020 rules being released this Autumn.  These are the globally used, standardised set of trade terms for the international sale and delivery of goods.  The new rules, which will update the 2010 version, will be published later in 2019, but will not take effect until 1st January 2020.  The rules are updated regularly to meet the demands of international commerce and reflect changing trade practices and evolving modes of transport.  The updated rules have been developed with the assistance of relevant parties and interest groups, such as carriers, international traders, insurers, lawyers and economists.  For example, it has been reported that, due to a lack of use in practice, the FAS rule has been deleted from the 2020 rules.  The changes highlighted include a new Cost and Insurance (CNI) rule is expected to be introduced, whereby sellers will be responsible for taking out insurance, while buyers bear the risk and costs of carriage.

https://www.internationallawoffice.com/Newsletters/Shipping-Transport/International/AKD/How-to-prepare-for-new-Incoterms

FATF PRESIDENT SPEECH AT THE QUEEN MARY – HSBC ANNUAL LECTURE ON FINANCIAL CRIME

On 10th September, FATF published the text of a speech given by Xiangmin Liu at Queen Mary University in London.  He set out to address the evolutions of technology in financial services present both opportunities and challenge as they relate to money laundering and terrorist financing risks, and the work of FATF to mitigate against the new risks but also to harness the opportunities technology offers.  He also spoke about the need to focus on effective implementation, being the world beyond standard setting.  On the last point, he said that while standard setting is the FATF’s key role, the FATF also plays a role in supporting authorities to put the standards in practice — by facilitating dialogue between countries, and by developing good practises so that the global AML/CFT community can benefit from these technologies in future years.  He said that the Supervisors’ Forum, and the FATF’s focus on technology issues – FinTech, RegTech, and SupTech will help make sure it can realise those benefits.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/speech-xiangmin-liu-london.html

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP) AND BREXIT

On 11th September, the UK Intellectual Property Office published 2 news releases.  One set out what it said were the facts on the future of intellectual property laws following the decision that the UK will leave the EU.  The other how the exhaustion of intellectual property rights would be affected if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ip-and-brexit-the-facts

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exhaustion-of-intellectual-property-rights

PROPERTY FRAUDS COST LAND REGISTRY MILLIONS AS MANY SCAMS FAIL TO BE PREVENTED

Property Industry Eye on 11th September reported that an FoI request to the Land Registry has shown that there have been 678 claims for property fraud over the last 14 years, with the total pay-out across England and Wales has been £73.3 million, averaging £107,669 per claim.  The article explains that a typical property fraud is where someone else assumes the identity of the rightful owner and gets the deeds altered, often going on to be a fake seller; or diverts buyers’ funds by hacking into solicitors’ emails.

https://propertyindustryeye.com/property-frauds-cost-land-registry-millions-as-many-scams-fail-to-be-prevented/

COMPANIES URGED TO DO MORE TO COMBAT SEAFOOD FRAUD

On 10th September, Food Manufacture carried an article reporting calls for seafood businesses to join a certification scheme after a Virginia-based seafood producer deliberately mislabelled crab meat worth $4.3 million.  The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) “blue label” scheme was mentioned, being found on over 30,000 products in 100 countries.  A recent study found 21% of sampled fish did not match the description.

https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2019/09/10/Firms-urged-to-use-MSC-to-combat-fraud-in-seafood

UK: TERROR LEGISLATION WATCHDOG REJECTS CALL TO CHANGE TREASON LAWS

An article in the Guardian on 10th September reports on proposals to amend treason laws in a bid to tackle Britons who fight on behalf of extremist groups or enemy states should be rejected, Jonathan Hall QC, who was appointed as an independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in May, has said in his inaugural speech in the role.  He said treason laws, which date back to 1351, should be left alone.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/sep/10/terror-legislation-watchdog-rejects-change-treason-law

WILD WEST OF HONDURAS: HOME TO NARCOS AND THEIR POLITICIANS

An analysis article in Insight Crime on 10th September looks at western Honduras, a remote mountainous region bordering El Salvador and Guatemala that has traditionally served as a route for all types of contraband, including drugs.  It is also where President Juan Orlando Hernández and his brother Tony got their start in national politics.  Tony Hernandez has been implicated in a court case in New York of being a link with organised crime.  The western region is said to have been perfect for smuggling drugs, and things had been going smoothly for the trafficking clans until 2013, when US authorities started to pursue them.  However, the article concludes by saying that an already lawless region has become even more violent.  Gone are the days in which everything moved under a few powerful chiefs with the best protection that a drug trafficker can hope for: political influence and power.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/wild-west-honduras-home-to-narcos-politicians/

CONTAINER INSPECTIONS REVEAL MISDECLARED CARGO, POOR STOWAGE

Insurance Marine News on 11th September reported that a survey of 500 containers by the US-based National Cargo Bureau (NCB) has found problems in 55% of containers.  The surveying organisation – which normally inspects export containers leaving the US – offered to undertake free inspections of a sample of containers, including imports, for members of the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS), which has 17 members, which control more than 60% of containerised cargo capacity.  Maersk and subsidiary Hamburg Süd, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM agreed to participate in the programme.  Of the 500 containers inspected, 55% failed with one or more deficiencies; 49% of the import containers containing dangerous goods failed; and 38% of containers with dangerous goods exports failed.  Of the import containers with dangerous goods, 44% had problems with the way cargo was secured, 39% had improper placarding and 8% had misdeclared cargo. Of the export containers with dangerous goods, 25% had securing issues, 15% were improperly placarded and 5% were misdeclared.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/container-inspections-reveal-misdeclared-cargo-poor-stowage/

MARITIME LAW AND MALICIOUS ACTS: HOW MALICIOUS DO THEY HAVE TO BE?

An article in Insurance Marine News on 11th September reported on a presentation at the Marine Insurance Legal Breakfast Forum, hosted by Kennedys Law and part of London International Shipping Week, which took a historical and contemporaneous look at the various legal interpretations, particularly referring to the Atlantic B and related cases.  It considered the way that “any terrorist of person acting maliciously or from a political motive” is interpreted and continues to cause disagreements in courts of law.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/malicious-acts-how-malicious-do-they-have-to-be/

NEW YORK LAWYER SENTENCED FOR SCRAP METAL SHIPPING FRAUD

On 10th September, American Shipper reported that Staten Island attorney Richard Luthmann has received a 4-year prison term and was ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution for defrauding businesses in the US and overseas.  According to the DoJ, he and his co-conspirators formed “multiple shell companies” during the summer of 2015 to sell scrap metal to customers in the US and overseas.  They convinced these customers to pay them in advance for the scrap metal and then failed to deliver the shipments.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/new-york-lawyer-sentenced-for-scrap-metal-shipping-fraud

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS FOR US HUAWEI EXPORT CONTROLS

On 10th September, American Shipper reported that export compliance experts find little new in the US Bureau of Industry and Security’s FAQ answers related to the Chinese telecom’s placement on the Entity List and temporary general licence.  Most of the FAQ lack new information for compliance experts who have been dealing with the Huawei export controls since the Spring, and some of BIS’ answers to the questions were incomplete.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/more-questions-than-answers-for-huawei-export-controls

PODCAST: IMPRISONED IN CHINA

In the latest TRACE podcast, an interview with Peter Humphrey and his wife, who were well-respected compliance professionals active in China when they were arrested, tried and imprisoned for 2 years.

https://traceinternational.org/bribe_swindle_or_steal

UK ACCUSES IRAN OF SELLING OIL FROM FORMER GRACE 1 TO SYRIA

On 11th September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the UK has accused Iran of delivering oil “to Syria and Assad’s murderous regime” in breach of its assurances that it would not deliver oil to any EU-sanctioned entity in Syria or elsewhere following the release of the Adrian Darya 1 (formerly the Grace 1).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-condemns-iran-over-the-adrian-darya-1-oil-tanker–2

US TRADE AGENCY WARNS CBD COMPANIES ABOUT TREATMENT CLAIMS

On 10th September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Trade Commission is taking aim at certain companies that sell cannabidiol, or CBD, and have claimed their products can treat or cure serious diseases and health conditions.  It has sent warning letters to 3 companies that sell CBD oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies and creams, warning that it is illegal to advertise a product that can prevent or cure a disease without reliable scientific evidence to support such claims.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ftc-warns-cbd-companies-about-treatment-claims-11568132532

COLORADO MAN SENTENCED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING BITCOIN

A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement dated 23rd August advised that that a Colorado man was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in federal prison for money laundering Bitcoin.  Emilio Testa, 32, is an Australian national and Boulder, Colorado resident.  Testa agreed to exchange Bitcoin for cash from narcotics proceeds.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/colorado-man-sentenced-366-days-money-laundering-bitcoin

MELIÁ CUBAN HOTELS HIT WITH HELMS-BURTON CLASS ACTION

Law.com on 11th September reported that Spanish hotel chain Meliá Hotels International SA faces a class-action suit in the most sweeping action so far under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows Americans to sue companies doing business in Cuba if they profit from property expropriated after the 1959 Cuban revolution.

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/09/11/melias-cuban-hotels-hit-with-helms-burton-class-action

CZECH BILLIONAIRE’S PROPERTY FIRM SEEKS END TO FUND’S RICO SUIT

Bloomberg on 11th September reported that Radovan Vitek’s company, CPI Property Group, said the New York hedge fund, Kingstown Capital Management, accusing him of a $1 billion fraud is wrongfully attempting to apply US racketeering law to businesses that operate overseas.  CPI claims it was filed too late and overlaps with claims already made in a case pending in Luxembourg since 2015.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/czech-billionaire-s-property-firm-seeks-end-to-fund-s-rico-suit-1.1314728

MOLDOVA: MASSIVE FRAUDS AT MOLDOVAGAZ STARTED 20 YEARS AGO
The IPN News Agency on 11th September reported that the problems at the company are largely due to fraudulent administration, with the tacit knowledge and agreement of the shareholders, especially of the majority shareholder Gazprom, aggravated by the abusive conditions imposed by Gazprom when signing gas delivery and transit contracts.

https://www.ipn.md/en/massive-frauds-at-moldovagaz-started-20-years-ago-watchdog-report-7966_1068039.html

BELGIUM: PLAYER’S AGENT ARRESTED IN MONACO IN MONEY LAUNDERING SOCCER PROBE

VoA on 11th September reported that police have arrested 2 people, including a player’s agent, as part of an international money laundering and corruption investigation in soccer, with several raids taking place in Monaco, Belgium and London – leading to the arrest of the agent in Monaco.  Prosecutors did not reveal the agent’s identity and said his assistant was arrested in the Liege area.  The agent is suspected of collecting undue commissions over players’ transfers.  This case is not related to the massive corruption scandal that engulfed Belgian soccer last year when authorities carried out 57 police raids in the country and around Europe in a probe into financial fraud and match-fixing.

https://www.voanews.com/europe/players-agent-arrested-money-laundering-soccer-probe

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49662132

ALLEGED PHILADELPHIA PONZI SCHEMER BRENDA SMITH’S LARGEST INVESTOR LOST $46,000,000

The Philadelphia Inquirer on 11th September reported that Brenda Ann Smith, accused of committing investment fraud in Philadelphia, may have had help, according to a new investor lawsuit.  It is alleged that Smith never put to work most of the $100 million she raised, and instead wired newly raised funds out to earlier investors, co-conspirators and outside companies, according to accusations against her.  She was arrested in August and charged with stealing at least $63 million through an investment fraud.  The SEC has frozen her assets, and 2 of co-conspirator Renato Escobar Iregui’s accounts along with more than 2 dozen others.

https://www.inquirer.com/business/brenda-smith-rittenhouse-square-hedge-fund-scam-ponzi-surefire-dividend-20190911.html

HONG KONG CUSTOMS SEIZES 12,000 PAIRS OF COUNTERFEIT SPORT SHOES

Inside Retail Hong Kong on 11th September reported that Hong Kong Customs seized about 12,000 pairs of suspected counterfeit sports shoes, with an estimated market value of about $1 million.  The fake goods were discovered in a shipping container at a Customs Cargo Examination Compound.

https://insideretail.hk/2019/09/11/hong-kong-customs-seizes-12000-pairs-of-counterfeit-sport-shoes/

MEXICAN CORRUPTION WATCHDOG INVESTIGATES HEAD OF NATIONAL POWER UTILITY

Baker McKenzie reported on 11th September that Mexico has opened an investigation into the assets of Manuel Bartlett, head of the national electricity company CFE, according to the Public Administration Ministry, which investigates complaints against public servants.  It has been reported that Bartlett had built up a real estate portfolio comprising 25 properties worth some $41 million, far more than the assets reported in his public declaration.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/mexican-corruption-watchdog-investigates-head-of-national-power-utility/

CHINA ENERGY ENGINEERING GROUP HUNAN ELECTRIC POWER DESIGN INSTITUTE CO LTD BANNED BY WORLD BANK

On 11th September, a post on the FCPA Blog reported that this Chinese company had been debarred and is ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects during a 20-month debarment following alleged fraud for fraud involving a project in Zambia.

https://www.fcpablog.com/blog/2019/9/11/world-bank-debars-state-owned-chinese-engineering-and-constr.html

FAKE NBA RINGS INTERCEPTED AT LOS ANGELES AIRPORT CARGO FACILITY

American Shipper on 12th September reported that US Customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport recently confiscated 28 counterfeit National Basketball Association championship rings with a retail value of $560,000 and in an air cargo package that arrived from China.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/fake-nba-rings-intercepted-at-l-a-airport-cargo-facility

NCA

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

 

Featured

DANISH VAT MONEY FOR JIHADISTS IN SYRIA

On 11th September, OCCRP reported that 14 businessmen, suspected of being linked to terrorists in Syria, defrauded the Danish Treasury for years, raking in some $120 million through VAT fraud.  2 in the group are suspected of direct ties with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and they allegedly operated a number of companies that went bankrupt with some $14.5 million unpaid in VAT and nearly $10 million in debt to private creditors.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/10660-danish-vat-money-for-jihadists-in-syria

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF: UPDATED CONSOLIDATED AML/CFT ASSESSMENT RATINGS

On 11th September, FATF published an updated consolidated schedule of AML/CFT assessment ratings, including the Panama and Dominican Republic update reports.

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

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

FATF on 11th September published the August 2019 follow-up report to the AML/CFT assessment of the Dominican Republic following its 2018 mutual evaluation report.  Recommendation 18 (Internal controls and foreign branches and subsidiaries) has been re-rated from Partially Compliant to Largely Compliant.  The Dominican Republic will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT (the FATF-style regional body) on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/GAFILAT-FUR-Dominican-Republic-2019.pdf

dom rep

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF: PANAMA AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

panama 1

FATF on 11th September published the August 2019 follow-up report to its 2018 mutual evaluation report.  Panama has been making important progress and has been re-rated on 4 FATF Recommendations – Recommendation 3 from PC to LC; Recommendation 20 from LC to C; Recommendation 24 (Transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons. Countries should take measures to prevent the misuse of legal persons for money laundering or terrorist financing) from NC to PC; and Recommendation 30 from PC to C.  Panama will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

panama 2

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/GAFILAT-Follow-Up-Report-Panama-2019.pdf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y