THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 31

31st January 2018

CRISES BETWEEN INDIA ND PAKISTAN: A PRIMER

A blog post on Arms Control Wonk on 30th January provides a primer on the all-too-frequent outbreaks of tension, if not all-out war, between the neighbours on the sub-continent, still engaged in a low-profile military (and nuclear) competition.

https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1204676/crises-between-india-and-pakistan-the-basics/

FACEBOOK IS BANNING ALL ADVERTS PROMOTING CRYPTOCURRENCIES — INCLUDING BITCOIN AND ICO

MSN Money reports that Facebook is banning all ads that promote cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, in an effort to prevent people from advertising what the company is calling “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices”, meaning that no advertiser — even those that operate legal, legitimate businesses — will be able to promote things like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings — or binary options, according to a Facebook blog post.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/facebook-is-banning-all-ads-promoting-cryptocurrencies-—-including-bitcoin-and-icos/ar-BBIupF7?li=AA9SkIr&ocid=spartanntp

INDIA’S PURSUIT OF MISSILE DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC STABILITY IN SOUTH ASIA

Eurasia Review on 30th January published an opinion piece (by a Pakistani researcher, it should be noted) that pointed out that India once again tested a long range missile which it describes as an ICBM with a range of 5-5500 km (technically it might not be considered an ICBM, although the range could actually be made greater, giving its heavy 1.5 ton payload that could be reduced). The missile is capable of delivering a a fusion and fissile nuclear warhead.  This is the fifth missile of the Agni series.  Previously India tested the Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2,000 km range; Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to over 3,500 km range respectively.  India’s ambitions are not only limited to the Ballistic Missile test but it is also planning to develop a sea based version of Agni VI.  Also, considering the no-first use nuclear doctrine that India follows, apparently it is trying to fill the gaps in the anti-missile defence shield. The piece says that while India’s efforts are to enhance its military power in order to seek military parity with China, this will only upraise the rivalry between the nuclear-armed rivals – India and Pakistan.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/30012018-indias-pursuit-of-missile-development-and-strategic-stability-in-south-asia-oped/

ASIA’S NUCLEAR POWERS SWITCH FOCUS TO NEW MISSILE TECHNOLOGIES

On 30th January, The News Lens published an article saying that as the arm races keep escalating in Asia, maintaining strategic stability in 2018 will only become more difficult.  It says that last year saw a step up in the pace of missile testing and the operationalisation and deployment of capabilities that have been in development for some time.   The article considers various programmes and plans of nations in the region.  The missile programme of North Korea and the responses of South Korea and Japan, as well as the successful testing of several long-in-development systems from Pakistan, India, and China, are examples of this – adding to this the revised US nuclear posture. As well as India’s developments (see the Eurasia Review article above), Pakistan is also quietly developing its own ballistic missile capability. The “Ababeel,” with a reported range of 2200 km, was successfully tested early last year.  Pakistan claims it has been equipped with multiple independent re-entry vehicle technologies (MIRV), and another medium-range missile, the Shaheen-III, is in development.  The long-range missile programmes of China are fairly well-documented, but there are some notable new developments, including hypersonic elements.  Since the early 1970s, South Korea has been developing its own short-range ballistic missiles based on an early US design. The Hyunmoo-2 being the latest version and is controlled through a treaty with the US that allows Washington to set the missiles’ range and payload, but last year South Korea began lobbying the Trump administration to loosen the payload restrictions beyond 500 kg.  Japan has announced its intention to add the air-launched, Norwegian-made Joint Strike Missile (JSM) to its inventory, giving it a stand-off strike capability.

https://international.thenewslens.com/article/88697

DRONES

ISRAEL MAKES INROADS INTO CHINESE CYBER-INTELLIGENCE MARKET

Intelligence Online on 31st January claims that Israeli investors and specialist companies are becoming increasingly involved in the Chinese intelligence and surveillance technology market.

https://www.intelligenceonline.com/government-intelligence/2018/01/31/tel-aviv-makes-inroads-into-chinese-cyber-intelligence-market,108291974-eve

CONTRACTING WITHIN THE NUCLEAR SECTOR

World Nuclear News on 30th January carried an article that begins by pointing out that contracting within the nuclear sector carries challenges due to the highly regulated nature of nuclear power, the technically complex nature of the goods and services supplied, and the high capital cost of most nuclear projects – whether new build or maintenance. The article seeks to provide recommendations as to the structure of essential internal review processes for 2 key areas of risk in nuclear controls: liability for nuclear damage and nuclear trade law compliance.  On the latter, it says that laws and regulations affecting the import and export of nuclear equipment, materials, software and technologies are complex and vary significantly across jurisdictions.  Important points it raises include –

  • under certain nuclear export control regimes, sharing know-how is considered ‘technology’ subject to regulation. Technology also does not need to be written to constitute an export; conducting seminars and providing advice is often export-controlled;
  • simply providing electronic access to export-export controlled technology to foreign nationals may be considered an export; and
  • Sometimes, it is possible to re-classify technologies and products with regulators to eliminate the need to secure certain licenses. Innovative export licensing can be the difference between a vendor’s ability to proceed with a project.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/V-Contracting-within-the-nuclear-sector-30011801.html

EU BUYERS DOWNPLAY THREAT TO HUMANS FROM ANTIBIOTIC RESIDUES IN INDIAN SHRIMP

Undercurrent News carries an article following the news that in 2017, the EU rejected 15 consignments of shrimp from India — 3 times as many as in 2016, though inspection rates were higher (50% of all consignments into the EU were inspected, versus 10% up to October, 2016).  This is said to mean just 0.22% of all consignments were rejected – but the EU has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy even where very slight contaminations are involved.  It reports that Indian exporters also consider EU’s punishments too harsh; following a rejection, exporters lose their EU licence and there is no process to re-obtain it.  By comparison, if a consignment is rejected by the US, customs authorities will inspect the next 5-10 consignments from the exporter.  However, an EU official is quoted as saying that forbidden substances could be carcinogenic and that compliance at farm level in India in insufficient.

https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2018/01/30/for-eu-eu-buyers-downplay-threat-to-humans-from-antibiotic-residues-in-indian-shrimp/

CAYMAN ISLANDS AML/CFT REGIME

On 29th January, Hedge Week carried an article explaining changes made to the Cayman AML/CFT regime to meet FATF requirements.

https://www.hedgeweek.com/2018/01/29/260626/cayman’s-new-amlcft-regime

Meanwhile the Law Society in the Cayman bemoans the lack of consultation on changes.

https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/01/30/law-society-criticizes-lack-of-consultation-on-anti-money-laundering-regulations/

EUROPOL AND INTERPOL AGREE ACTION IN RESPECT OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES

Bitcoin.com reports that a 2-day workshop involving over 60 financial investigators in Basel has seen Europol and Interpol agree upon a range of measures designed to ramp up efforts to combat the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes. The event saw attendance from over 60 international financial investigators.  The measures agreed are said to include –

  • An increase in “information sharing in the field of money laundering and digital currencies through the use of channels such as Europol, Interpol, the Egmont Group and FIU.net.”;
  • The regulation of “digital currency exchangers and wallet providers under current anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation”;
  • Agreements regarding “clear definition[s] of concepts such as cryptocurrencies, digital currency exchanger, wallet provider and mixer for them to be included in the EU legal framework.”; and
  • “Tak[ing] action against digital currency mixers/tumblers, designed to anonymize transactions, which burdens the work of law enforcement agencies to detect and trace suspicious transactions.”

https://news.bitcoin.com/105481-2/

IMF TELLS MALTA: ‘CRITICAL’ THAT AML LAWS ARE ENFORCED

The Times of Malta on 29th January reports that the IMF in a report warned Malta that sustained efforts are needed to safeguard the financial system’s integrity, saying that “Sustained efforts are needed to safeguard the financial system’s integrity. Robust implementation and effective enforcement of the Anti-Money Laundering framework is critical given the size of Malta’s financial sector, the fast-growing remote gaming activity, and the high demand for the IIP,” it said.  The report is said to be very favourable about the state of the economy.

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180129/local/robust-implementation-and-effective-enforcement.669256

See IMF report at –

http://www.imf.org/en/Publications/CR/Issues/2018/01/29/Malta-Selected-Issues-45591

BULGARIA TARGETING OWNERS OF EXPENSIVE CARS IN CRACKDOWN

Jaopnik on 30th January reported that Buying Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Maybachs and flaunting wealth seems like a good idea until Bulgaria, one of the most impoverished members of the EU, decides to have police stop and check expensive cars and investigate owners for tax fraud and money laundering.  Quoting in turn a France 24 report, it says that Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor has ordered checks of all 435 luxury Maybach, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari vehicles, saying that “The aim of the checks is to determine the origin of the money for purchasing these vehicles and if it came as a result from tax fraud or money laundering”.   The government is also aid to be cracking down on big spenders in real estate, checking out a few hundred people who spent over $300,000 on an apartment or house in 2015 and 2016.

https://jalopnik.com/buglaria-is-targeting-owners-of-expensive-cars-to-crack-1822535662

MALTA REACTS TO FEEDBACK ON THE PROPOSED REGULATION APPLICABLE TO COLLECTIVE INVESTMENT SCHEMES INVESTING IN VIRTUAL CURRENCIES

WH Partners in Malta on 29th January published a briefing on such investment and announcements made by the Malta FSA, including on investment by means of a PIF (Professional Investor Funds), and that the new framework should extend to Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) and Notified Alternative Investment Funds.  MFSA has also clarified that PIF may also be set up as Incorporated Cell Companies (ICC) or Incorporated Cells of either SICAV ICC or a Recognised Incorporated Cell Company.

http://whpartners.eu/news/mfsa-reacts-feedback-proposed-regulation-applicable-collective-investment-schemes-investing-virtual-currencies/

CITIES AND TERROR: AN INDIVISIBLE AND BRUTAL RELATIONSHIP

On 29th January the Guardian ran an interesting article explaining in a historical context that through successive waves of terrorist attacks, the city has consistently been the target – for reasons that are unlikely to change any time soon, tracing matters back to Feenian attacks on London in the 19th Century and through post-colonial struggles up to date.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jan/29/cities-terror-attacks-brutal-relationship-terrorism

UKRAINE: NEW MONEYVAL REPORT ON COMBATING MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING

MONEYVAL at the Council of Europe on 30th January published its report on the AML/CFT systems of Ukraine, saying that new legal provisions are required to render more dissuasive sentences for the crimes, more resources are needed, and high-level cases are to be investigated and prosecuted more actively.  Since the last evaluation in 2009, Ukraine has taken a number of welcome steps.  Ukrainian authorities demonstrate a reasonably good understanding of ML/FT risks. However, understanding could be enhanced in such areas as cross-border risks and risks posed by the non-profit sector and legal persons. Besides, more robust statistics should back up the risk analysis.  Ukraine faces considerable money laundering risks due to the corruption and illegal economic activities, including fictitious entrepreneurship, tax evasion and fraud. The sheer size of the shadow economy exacerbated by the widespread use of cash makes the country especially vulnerable.  Money laundering is still essentially seen as a “secondary level” crime, an adjunct to a predicate offence. Whenever a sentence for money laundering is given, it is almost always less than for the predicate offence. The sanctions generally need to be more dissuasive in practice.  As far as terrorism financing is concerned, Ukraine has introduced it as a separate offence and is putting a system in place for countering it. However, there are still technical deficiencies that need to be addressed to bring the framework in line with international standards.  Ukraine is to report back to MONEYVAL at the first Plenary in 2019 about the implementation of its recommendations under enhanced follow-up procedures.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/ukraine-new-report-on-combatting-money-laundering-and-terrorism-financing

The report is at –

https://rm.coe.int/fifth-round-mutual-evaluation-report-on-ukraine/1680782396

UN SANCTIONS TO BE AVAILABLE FOR HATE SPEECH IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC OR ATTACKS ON AID WORKERS

On 31st January, EurActiv reported that the UN Security Council had renewed its arms embargo on the Central African Republic and added incitement to hatred as well as attacks on aid workers as criteria for sanctions.  It unanimously adopted a French-drafted Resolution that would pave the way to targeted sanctions against those fomenting anti-Muslim or anti-Christian violence in the strife-torn country.  Resurgent armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have resorted to hate speech to stoke tensions.  Since the UN set up a sanctions regime in 2013, 11 individuals including former president Francois Bozize and 2 entities have been hit by a global travel ban and an assets freeze. Last year, the council added attacks on peacekeepers, recruiting child soldiers and sexual violence as criteria for sanctions.  The new Resolution added attacks against aid workers as grounds for sanctions after at least 13 relief staff were killed in CAR last year, making it one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarian operations.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/development-policy/news/un-to-slap-sanctions-for-hate-speech-in-central-african-republic/

PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002 (INVESTIGATIVE POWERS OF PROSECUTORS: CODE OF PRACTICE) ORDER 2018

This Order SI 2018/93 brings into operation on 31st January a revised code of practice providing guidance for prosecutors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on the exercise of certain functions under POCA.  The revised code is required because of amendments to POCA by the Criminal Finances Act 2017, and relates to the exercise of functions under Chapter 2 of Part 8 of the Act by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland as well as officers of the Serious Fraud Office.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/93/contents/made

EXCHANGING INFORMATION ON CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS UNDER EU ARRANGEMENTS

The House of Commons EU Scrutiny Committee has issued a report that includes reference to a proposed EU Directive amending Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA as regards the exchange of information on third country nationals and as regards the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) and replacing Council Decision 2009/316/JHA; and a proposed EU  Regulation establishing a centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on third country nationals and stateless persons (TCN) to supplement and support the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS-TCN) and amending Regulation No 1077/2011.  Neither have been cleared by the Committee.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmeuleg/301-xi/30106.htm#_idTextAnchor009

ATM “JACKPOTTING”

On 31st January, Time.com said ATM “jackpotting” — the installation of malicious software and hardware onto ATMs — has finally hit the US; and the article claims to provide a guide to what it means.

http://time.com/money/5125106/what-is-atm-jackpotting/?src=ilaw

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT ALCOHOL AND DRUG TREATMENT IN PRISONS FROM THE 2016-17 STATISTICS

A blog post from Public Health England on GOV.uk about the 2016-17 statistics report for people receiving drug and alcohol treatment in prisons and other secure settings in England shows similar patterns to what has recently been seen in community treatment.

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2018/01/31/what-we-learned-about-alcohol-and-drug-treatment-in-prisons-from-the-2016-17-statistics/

ESTATE AGENT ACCUSED OF FRAUD, FALSE ACCOUNTING AND THEFT AMOUNTING TO £450,000

Letting Agent Today on 31st January reported that the former director of a lettings agency in Plymouth is to appear in court in March facing charges of fraud, false accounting and theft amounting to an estimated £450,000.  Heather Crabb owned and operated Drake Homes from 2005 until it closed in September 2016.

https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2018/1/letting-agent-on-charges-of-fraud-false-accounting-and-theft-amounting-to-450-000

EXPORT FROM UK OF MILITARY OR DUAL USE GOODS, SERVICES OR TECHNOLOGY

On 31st January, the Export Control Joint Unit published a guide on seeking a licence to supply anything on the UK strategic export control lists to someone based outside the UK (except for exporting most ‘dual use’ items to EU countries).

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-military-or-dual-use-goods-services-or-technology-special-rules

CBI PASSPORTS WILL REMAIN A PROBLEM FOR COMPLIANCE DUE TO HIGH RISK STATUS OF APPLICANTS

Kenneth Rijock in his blog on 30th January said that compliance officers at international banks in North America, and in the EU, continue to be on guard for prospective customers whose primary method of identification is a passport obtained through a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme from the 5 East Caribbean English-speaking republics.  They fear, he maintained, that a CBI passport holder is concealing his or her true identity, may in truth and in fact be a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), or an individual engaged in financial crime, a terrorist financier, in possession of the proceeds of corruption, or a criminal suspect in his home country.

http://rijock.blogspot.com/

ARGENTINA ZERO TAX FROM ONLINE GAMBLING IN 2017

Calvin Ayre on 30th January reported that Argentina’s plans to carve itself a slice of online gambling revenue have so far earned the federal government a whopping total of zero pesos, as provinces and international operators thumb their nose at national regulations.

https://calvinayre.com/2018/01/30/business/argentina-online-gambling-tax-raises-zero-pesos/

IRAN CLAIMS TO HAVE SEIZED 8 SMUGGLING SHIPS

Customs Today on 30th January reported claims that the Iranian coastguard of southwestern province of Khuzestan has confiscated 8 freighters carrying smuggled goods into Iran.  The freighters were said to be carrying 15,000 blankets, more than 13,000 cans of beverages, 10,000 packets of chewing gum, more than 2,000 kg of tea, etc. and were said to have been loaded in littoral states of the Persian Gulf, being worth about $250,000.

http://www.customstoday.com.pk/iranian-coastguard-seizes-8-freighters-smuggling-goods-in-persian-gulf/

HONG KONG DROWNING IN WASTE AS CHINA RUBBISH BAN TAKES TOLL

Customs Today says on 31st January that Hong Kong is grappling with a growing mountain of waste resulting from China’s ban this year on imports of 24 types of unprocessed rubbish – part of an effort to upgrade its recycling industry and reduce pollution.  The Hong Kong government acknowledges its inability to cope with the problem, saying that it lacks the land to develop an effective recycling industry. Critics say, meanwhile, that the city has done too little to upgrade and develop its waste management system.

http://www.customstoday.com.pk/hong-kong-drowning-in-waste-as-china-rubbish-ban-takes-toll/

Meanwhile the Shanghai Daily reported that Shanghai Customs has seized nearly 14,000 tons of solid wastes like plastic, slag and cotton from overseas since last year and 12 criminal cases related to the seizure have been filed, officials said.

http://mobile.shanghaidaily.com/metro/society/14000ton-solid-wastes-seized-by-Customs/shdaily.shtml

THREAT IN UK FROM HIGHLY ADDICTIVE MEDICINES

BBC Radio’s “File on 4” examines the threat from prescription drugs and medicines in the UK.  While Fentanyl is currently in the spotlight in the US and the UK, it is tranquilisers and other sedatives often used by heroin users to dull withdrawal symptoms which are contributing to many more deaths. Nowhere is the problem more acute than in Scotland where benzodiazepines contributed to nearly half of all drug deaths.  Many of the pills known as “street valium” or “blues” are made in back street laboratories run by organised crime gangs. Users gamble with their lives as the ingredients and strength of the tablets are often unknown.  File on 4 has discovered that organised crime gangs have also become involved in diverting significant numbers of highly addictive medicines from the legitimate supply chain onto the black market.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09ply52

COUNTERFEIT HERBAL MEDICINES ARRESTS IN HONG KONG

On 31st January the South China Morning Post reported that 5 held as Hong Kong customs break up gang selling fake Chinese medicine to stores.  About 4,000 items of counterfeit proprietary Chinese medicine with an estimated street value of HK$500,000 were also seized.  A local syndicate that supplied counterfeit Chinese herbal pills and medicated balm to local retail outlets.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2131254/five-held-hong-kong-customs-break-gang-selling-fake-chinese

BIG INCREASE IN POSTAL IMPORTS OF DRUGS IN HONG KONG

On 14th December the South China Morning Post had reported that Hong Kong customs officers had uncovered 3 times more airmailed drugs than the previous year in first 11 months of 2017.  A general rise in number of parcels a factor in smugglers’ move to freight, with some sending illegal goods to innocent recipients, for collection later. The total narcotics haul was 6,384 kg, up 346% year on year. Nearly 90% of the confiscated drugs was the stimulant khat.  A spokesman is quoted as saying that many air parcels do not have electronic data as they are not required to declare [contents] in advance. It mainly relies on the experience and alertness of our officers in detecting such cases.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2124210/hong-kong-customs-officers-uncover-three-times-more

MITIGATING THE RISK OF INFRINGING GOODS BY WORKING WITH US CUSTOMS

On 29th January, a blog from Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie involved an article focused on the role US CBP plays in enforcing intellectual property rights at the US border.  CBP is authorized to search and seize any goods presented for importation into the U.S. and has legal authority to determine whether they infringe upon a federally-registered trademark.

https://blog.lrrc.com/outdoor/

REASONS WHY DRUG TRAFFICKERS MIGHT BE TURNING TO “MULES” IN ARGETINA

Insight Crime reports that authorities in Argentina say increased vigilance and enforcement has caused a spike in the use of so-called “mules” to transport drugs to the country, but there are other possible explanations.  According to figures from Argentina’s Ministry of Security the number of drug mules arrested in the South American country increased by 175% in 2017, in comparison with 2016.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/3-reasons-mules-argentina/

UNECE LAUNCHES TEAM OF SPECIALISTS TO SUPPORT ACTION FOR SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES

On 31st January, the UN Economic Commission for Europe explains that overfishing and illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing (IUU) accounts for 25% of the fish resources in the oceans and cost a staggering $23 billion.  As a result, future fish stocks are at risk of depletion, ocean biodiversity is impacted and the economic security of legitimate fishery workers are at stake.  It says that it has established a Team of Specialists (ToS) on Sustainable Fisheries, which held its first meeting this week in Geneva. The ToS is an inter-governmental body comprised of experts and stakeholders from across the fisheries value chain, including government agencies, the private sector, civil society, international organizations and academia.  The objective of the Team of Specialists is to “promote, facilitate and support the implementation of the Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange (FLUX) standard or other sustainable fisheries standards on a global scale”.  Use of FLUX will allow fishery management organizations (FMO) to automatically access the electronic data from fishing vessels needed for stock management, such as vessel and trip identification, fishing operations.

www.unece.org/info/media/presscurrent-press-h/trade/2018/unece-launches-team-of-specialists-to-support-action-for-sustainable-fisheries/doc.html

THE EU TRADE SECRETS DIRECTIVE

Irish law firm LK Shields provides a briefing on the EU Trade Secrets Directive, which aims to protect innovation and development by simplifying the laws governing trade secrets.

https://www.lkshields.ie/news-insights/special-insights/trade-secrets

NEW STUDY REVEALS HEATHROW ROUTES TO CHINA ADD £510 MILLION PER YEAR TO UK GDP

CILT on 31st January reports that research, carried out by Frontier Economics, reveals Heathrow’s direct flights to China already contribute more than £510 million annually to the UK economy and creates nearly 15,000 jobs.  Just 1 extra flight per week, on to these existing routes, would provide a further cash injection of £16 million a year as a result of increased business travel, and stimulation for increased trade and investment between China and the UK.

https://ciltuk.org.uk/News/Latest-News/ArtMID/6887/ArticleID/15249/New-study-reveals-Heathrow-routes-to-China-add-163510-million-per-year-to-UK-GDP

LOOKING FOR AFRICA’S BIGGEST ELECTRONICS DUMP BUT FOUND A COMMUNITY OF CREATORS INSTEAD

On 30th January, Medium carried a fascinating article about where much of the West’s e-waste goes (or went).  It demonstrate how cutting back on the pollution and simply exporting e-waste to the Third World (as we aren’t supposed to call it now) has unexpected side effects.  Agbogbloshie, a sprawling slum in the center of the Ghanaian capital Accra, it is home to more than 8,000 people from Ghana’s 4 main tribes, and has received unwanted international attention for the way some of its residents choose to make a living. Copper is worth good money and can be found hidden in the wires and motherboards of old PCs, laptops, and mobile phones shipped to Ghana from the US and Europe.  To extract the precious metals, young men from all parts of the country — mainly from the predominantly Muslim north — burn a huge amount of plastic, generating toxic fumes that have a devastating impact on their health and the area’s population; but used and recycled computers are relied on by many in Accra.

https://medium.com/@felipearaujo22/i-was-looking-for-africas-biggest-electronics-dump-but-found-a-community-of-creators-instead-654027ce5c5b

FACE TRIAL OVER BRIBERY, OR DRASTICALLY CHANGE? THIS GERMAN COMPANY CHOSE CHANGE

On 30th January, Corporate Council reported that in 2013, Bilfinger, an industrial services company based in Mannheim, Germany, avoided a bribery trial by signing a 3-year deferred prosecution agreement with US prosecutors that included strict compliance reforms.  However, by September 2015, an independent monitor said the company still had not met the terms of the deal. The company had 2 choices: keep doing the same things and risk going to court on criminal charges, or do something radical. It went radical.  It implemented a highly dramatic process of change, which is detailed in the article.

https://www.law.com/corpcounsel/sites/corpcounsel/2018/01/30/face-trial-over-bribery-or-drastically-change-this-german-company-chose-change/?kw=Face%20Trial%20Over%20Bribery%2C%20or%20Drastically%20Change?%20This%20German%20Company%20Chose%20Change&et=editorial&bu=Corporate%20Counsel&cn=20180131&src=EMC-Email&pt=Afternoon%20Update

THE NEW DOJ FCPA ENFORCEMENT POLICY

Also on 30th January, Corporate Counsel carried an article saying that the new FCPA policy in the US provides the much-needed assurance that fulsome voluntary self-disclosure of FCPA violations will likely serve to avoid criminal prosecution.  At the same time, the new FCPA policy signals that the government will continue to combat corporate misconduct by focusing on individual misconduct.

https://www.law.com/corpcounsel/sites/ctlawtribune/2018/01/30/dojs-new-fcpa-enforcement-policy-clarity-for-companies-and-a-warning-for-individuals/?kw=DOJ%27s%20New%20FCPA%20Enforcement%20Policy:%20Clarity%20for%20Companies%20and%20a%20Warning%20for%20Individuals&et=editorial&bu=Corporate%20Counsel&cn=20180131&src=EMC-Email&pt=Afternoon%20Update

OFAC ADDS TO ITS TERRORISM DESIGNATIONS

On 31st January, OFAC added Ismail HANIYEH and 3 entities – HARAKAT AL-SABIREEN, HASM  and LIWA AL-THAWRA to its counter-terrorism designations.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180131.aspx

REMOTE WARFARE AND THE BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY IN NIGERIA

The Oxford Research Group on 31st January announces a report by Open Briefing which examines the effectiveness of the use of remote warfare by the Nigerian government, its regional allies and Western states to counter the threat of Boko Haram.  International support to Nigeria and its neighbours has increased, with the US, the UK, France, Russia and China providing training, equipment, intelligence and military aid.  The analysis for this report shows that while the operations carried out by the Nigerian military, alongside its regional and international partners, have degraded Boko Haram, they have also encouraged the factional forces to metastasise, build resilience and craft new tactics to sustain ongoing political violence.

http://oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/remote_control_project/remote_warfare_and_boko_haram_insurgency

SOMALIA: ANTI-AL SHAHAAB OPERATIONS REVIEWED

Also on 31st January, the Oxford Research Group announced a briefing drawing upon a number of interviews conducted with serving and former UK and EU military personnel and round-table material and examines the international involvement in military operations to counter Al-Shabaab.  Somalia should serve as a cautionary example of the difficulties of an approach that is becoming popular in Western capitals – working by, with, and through local troops to confront terrorist groups.  The success of light-footprint remote warfare requires strong local buy-in, effective ground forces, and careful international support.  Current signs suggest that the anti-al-Shabaab operations have fallen short on each of these key criteria.

https://remotecontrolproject.org/publications/briefing-falling-short-security-somalia/

AL-QAEDA IN THE ISLAMIC MAGHREB: A META-STRATEGY OF SURVIVAL

On 10th January, Sustainable Security, a project of the Oxford Research Group, published an article saying that during the last decade, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) managed to survive despite suffering 4 major fragmentations. There are several drivers behind the group’s survival.  This article examines the group’s origins and how it has survived, despite those 4 major fragmentation episodes.

https://sustainablesecurity.org/2018/01/10/al-qaeda-in-the-islamic-maghreb-a-meta-strategy-of-survival/

GETTING READY FOR THE UK CUSTOMS DECLARATION SERVICE (CDS)

On 31st January, HMRC issued a news releases reminding that businesses that import or export goods outside the EU will need to prepare for the new service for declaring these.  HMRCwill begin a phased launch of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) in August 2018. CDS will replace the existing Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, with all declarations taking place on CDS from early 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/getting-ready-for-the-customs-declaration-service

AML GUIDANCE FOR THE UK ACCOUNTANCY SECTOR

On 31st January, HMRC issued updated guidance to help prevent money laundering and terrorist financing if you provide audit, accountancy, tax advisory or related services.  It has been produced by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies and is based on law and regulations as of 26th June 2017.  The guidance will be published as final when it’s approved by HM Treasury.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/anti-money-laundering-guidance-for-the-accountancy-sector

EU: PUBLIC CONSULTATION TO ESTABLISH FIRST WORLDWIDE ‘COUNTERFEIT AND PIRACY WATCH LIST’

On 31st January the EU published a news release explaining that the aim is to identify the marketplaces outside the EU where counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse are common practice.  It says that the Commission will also monitor the measures taken by local authorities to reduce the availability of goods and services infringing intellectual property rights in identified markets.  Responses are required by 31st March.

https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/web/guest/news/-/action/view/4015196

GUIDANCE ISSUED UNDER SECTION 2A OF THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002

On 31st January, the Home Office published this general guidance for ‘relevant authorities’ – NCA, SFO, FCA, HMRC, CPS and the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland – in the exercise of powers under the 2002 Act.  It replaced previous guidance from 2009 and follows changes made by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/678293/2018_01_s2A_Guidance.pdf

9 SUSPECTS ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR USE AS SEX SLAVES IN NETHERLANDS

A news release from Eurojust on 31st January reports that Dutch and Romanian police have arrested 9 suspects in the Netherlands and Romania on 30th January on suspicion of human trafficking.  The victims, all between the ages of 19 and 25, were recruited in Romania by the main suspect to work in prostitution in the Netherlands.

http://www.eurojust.europa.eu/press/PressReleases/Pages/2018/2018-01-30.aspx

PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT AND ANTI-TERRORISM, CRIME AND SECURITY ACT: CODES OF PRACTICE

On 31st January, the Home Office issued updated guidance following changes made by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.  The codes above cover the exercise of powers to search and seize and detain property; the operation of investigation powers; and the exercise of new seizure, detention and forfeiture powers under ATCSA 2001, and come into force on 31st January.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proceeds-of-crime-act-and-anti-terrorism-crime-and-security-act-codes-of-practice

PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002 (INVESTIGATIVE POWERS OF PROSECUTORS: CODE OF PRACTICE) ORDER 2018

This Order, SI 2018/93, provides for the revised code of practice for the exercise of functions under Chapter 2 of Part 8 of the Act by the DPP, the Director of the SFO and the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland as well as officers of the SFO w.e.f. 31st January

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/93/contents/made

GARDAÍ ARREST 55 PEOPLE IN MAJOR CO KILKENNY OPERATION

The Irish Times reported on 31st January that a total of 55 people have been arrested in a large scale Garda operation targeting organised crime in Kilkenny.  The arrests took place over the previous 3 days as part of ‘Operation Storm’ targeting a range of criminal activity.  A total of 55 people have been arrested in a large scale Garda operation targeting organised crime in Kilkenny.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/gardaí-arrest-55-people-in-major-co-kilkenny-operation-1.3375810?src=ilaw

LIVERPOOL MAYOR QUIZZED UNDER POLICE CAUTION

On 31st January, ITV reported that late last year the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has been interviewed under caution by police. He was questioned by officers from Lancashire, relating to an ongoing fraud investigation that has seen the council’s chief executive Ged Fitzgerald arrested.

www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2018-01-31/liverpool-mayor-quizzed-under-police-caution/?src=ilaw

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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