THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED- FEBRUARY 13

12th February 2018

 2 NEW FAQ ABOUT US VENEZUELA SANCTIONS

On 12th February, OFAC published 2 new FAQ relating to its Venezuela sanctions.  They provide additional guidance on the debt-related prohibitions in Executive Order 13808, including the meaning of “new debt” and the receipt of certain late payments from the Government of Venezuela, including Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA).

OFAC does not consider debt that was created prior to August 25th 2017 to be “new debt” so long as the terms of the debt instrument (including, for example, the length of the repayment period or any interest rate applied) agreed to by the parties do not change on or after August 25th 2017.  Such pre-existing debt does not need to conform to the 30- or 90-day limits, and US persons may collect and accept payment for such debt regardless of whether the relevant segment of the Government of Venezuela, including PdVSA, pays during the agreed-upon payment period.

The second new FAQ is: for debt created on or after August 25th 2017, are US persons permitted to accept payment from PdVSA or other segments of the Government of Venezuela if payment for a debt is not received within the applicable period specified in EO 13808 (90 days for PdVSA, 30 days for other segments of the Government of Venezuela)?  The basic answer is no, unless a licence is held or authorised by OFAC.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/faq_other.aspx#553

US CHARGES 5 VENEZUELANS IN PDVSA BRIBERY CASE

The Seattle Times on 12th February carried an AP story saying that US prosecutors have unsealed charges against 5 former Venezuelan officials in connection with an alleged major bribery scheme at Venezuela’s state-run oil giant PDVSA.  Among those charged with money laundering are Rafael Reiter and Deputy Energy Minister Nervis Villalobos. The indictment alleges that PDVSA vendors sent more than $27 million in bribes to Swiss accounts controlled by Villalobos and another former official, Luis Carlos Leon, who was also charged.  All 3 men were arrested in Spain last year and are facing extradition.  The DoJ has now announced charges against a total of 15 individuals as part of a larger probe into bribery at PDVSA.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/us-charges-5-ex-venezuelan-officials-in-oil-bribery-probe/?src=ilaw

 

UKRAINE DEPORTS OPPOSITION LEADER SAAKASHVILI TO POLAND

Deutsche Welle on 12th February reported that the Ukraine had deported former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, 4 years after he had moved to Ukraine and become a leader of anti-corruption protests there.

http://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-deports-opposition-leader-saakashvili-to-poland/av-42557409?src=ilaw

HONG KONG ISSUES REVISED GUIDELINES FOR “VIRTUAL BANKS”

On 12th February, Hogan Lovells reported that, on 6th February, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority published draft revisions to its “Guideline on Authorization of Virtual Banks”.  The framework will support the authorisation in Hong Kong of ‘virtual banks’, defined as banks which deliver retail banking services primarily, if not entirely, through the internet or other electronic channels rather than through physical branches. Consultation on the Draft Guideline is open to the public to 15th March.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/hkma-reboots-virtual-banking-55255/

INTERNET GAMBLING, CRYPTOCURRENCY AND IRS ENFORCEMENT

On 12th February, Millar Law asked if the reported plans for the IRS to investigate whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being used to cheat the taxman could be extended to online gambling.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/internet-gambling-cryptocurrency-and-79424/

DEBTS AND INSOLVENCY: THE RULE IN GIBBS

On 12th February, law firm Orrick published an article about the English common law rule that a debt governed by English law cannot be discharged or compromised by a foreign insolvency proceeding.  This rule is derived from a Court of Appeal case: Antony Gibbs and sons v La Société Industrielle et Commerciale des Métaux (1890).  The article says the rule has been criticised, but remains extant, and then goes on to provide some advice and notes that it has been disapplied in the context of EU insolvency proceedings (how will Brexit affect this?),and that the rule appears out of step with trends in modern insolvency law.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-rule-in-gibbs-safeguarding-61531/

ADVISER GOT TIP FROM TIPSY LAWYER, ACTED ON IT AND JAILED FOR INSIDER TRADING

Law 360 on 12th February reported that a financial adviser who admitted to trading King Pharmaceuticals stock after a tipsy lawyer shared inside information with him at dinner was sentenced to 6 months in prison by a federal judge in New York, harsher than the sentence faced by the attorney.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1011752/adviser-who-traded-on-tip-from-atty-gets-6-months-in-prison

MADOFF FEEDER FUND SETTLEMENT

On 12th February, Law 360 reported that the trustee for Bernie Madoff’s closed investment firm announced that the bankrupt estate has settled Ponzi scheme profiteering allegations against a feeder fund, Bermuda-based Alpha Prime Fund Ltd, for just over $76 million, saying the sum covers all transfers received by the fund in the 2 years preceding the collapse of Madoff’s fraud.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1011471

13th February 2018

PROLIFERATION OF MANPAD MISSILES IN SYRIA “A THREAT TO THE WORLD”

On 12th February, Ahval reported that the proliferation of portable anti-aircraft missiles in Syria could lead to large numbers of civilians being killed if the militant groups use them against passenger planes.  Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group that said last year it had split from al Qaeda, but nevertheless retains its hardline Islamist ideology, shot down a Russian Su. 25 warplane over the Syrian province of Idlib this month, using a shoulder-held missile.

https://ahvalnews.com/military/proliferation-manpads-missiles-syria-threat-world

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UKRAINE RAILWAYS COMPANY DENIES TRANSPORTATION OF MILITARY CARGO FROM RUSSIA TO TRANSDNIESTRIA

Ukrainian railways, Ukrzaliznytsia, has denied information that the company was allegedly involved in transportation of military cargo from Russia to Transdniestria by rail.  Portal azov.press had posted information that in 2017 Ukraine unimpededly passed 131 cars to Transdniestria.

http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/484282.html

LEBANON: IMF STAFF CONCLUDING STATEMENT OF THE 2018 ARTICLE IV MISSION

On 12th February the IMF released this Statement.  Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement. Amongst other things, the Statement said that the authorities should strengthen the crisis management framework and AML/CFT framework in line with the 2016 FSAP advice.

It also said that the anti-corruption regulatory framework should be made effective, significantly enhanced and made operational.  This should include passage of legislation to protect whistleblowers; making the illicit wealth law more effective by making the asset declaration system for senior public officials (and their family members and associates) public, with a system of audits, and combined with measures for banks to control and report suspicious activities related to politically exposed persons; establishing and adequately resourcing the planned anti-corruption body with sufficient enforcement powers; and enhancing fiscal transparency including by strengthening governance in the revenue and customs administrations, improving revenue compliance, making the procurement system transparent, and introducing an external audit agency.

http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2018/02/12/ms021218-lebanon-staff-concluding-statement-of-the-2018-article-iv-mission

AMENDMENTS TO HONG KONG AML/CFT REGIME INCLUDING FOR TRUST COMPANIES

Deacons in Hong Kong reported on 12th February that amendments to Hong Kong’s principal AML legislation were passed by the Legislative Council on 24th January.  This will take effect on 1st March and are part of the Hong Kong Government’s efforts to address perceived deficiencies in Hong Kong’s AML/CFT regime prior to a FATF review due this year.  It explains that primary objectives include applying statutory CDD and record-keeping requirements to solicitors and foreign lawyers, accounting professionals, estate agents, and trust or company service providers (TCSP) (collectively called designated non-financial businesses and professions or DNFBP) when these professionals engage in specified transactions (as described); and introducing a licensing regime for TCSP to require them to apply for a licence from the Registrar of Companies and satisfy a “fit-and-proper” test before they can provide trust or company services as a business in Hong Kong.

http://www.deacons.com.hk/news-and-insights/publications/a-new-regime-for-hk-trust-companies.html

BILL TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GLOBAL FORUM IN SWITZERLAND: PROPOSED ABOLITION OF BEARER SHARES AND FURTHER TRANSPARENCY PROVISIONS

On 12th February, Lenz & Staehelin reported that on 17th January the Swiss Federal Council opened the consultation process for the proposed law to implement the recommendations of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. In particular, the Bill proposes the abolition of bearer shares (respectively their conversion into registered shares) and criminal fines for breaches of the duties to notify the ultimate beneficial owner and to keep a corresponding register of ultimate beneficial owners. Companies would under the proposed bill also be required to have an account with a Swiss bank.  The consultation process lasts until 24th April, following which the Bill will be revised and is expected to be submitted to parliament for deliberations in Winter 2018/19.  This article briefly summarises the main points of the Bill.

https://www.lexology.com/library/document.ashx?g=5202c686-7ab8-46ee-8bdf-145e7569765c

PROPERTY DEALS ACCOUNT FOR ONE-THIRD OF ALL UK MONEY LAUNDERING ALERTS

On 13th February, Estate Agent Today reported that almost a third of all SAR concerning possible AML infringements and reported to the NCA have involved property deals.  32% of all SAR ‘red flag alerts’ for the years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 have involved residential conveyancing.  This is far larger than any other industry; by comparison, just 4% of the red flag alerts in the same period involved commercial conveyancing.

https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2018/2/conveyancing-triggers-one-third-of-alerts-over-money-laundering-problems?source=newsticker

UK COURT AWARDS $90 MILLION CLAIM AGAINST VIJAY MALLYA

The Indian Express on 12th February reported that a UK court had awarded a Singapore aircraft leasing company $90 million in a claim against “liquor tycoon” Mallya, who is currently fighting an extradition request to the UK by India over charges relating to alleged defaults on bank loans to his Kingfisher Airlines.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/uk-court-awards-boc-aviation-usd-90-million-against-vijay-mallya-5061197/

UK TRUST REGISTER UPDATE

On 9th February, Boodle Hatfield provided an update on the introduction of a trust register in the UK.  It said that HMRC had extended the effective deadline for UK trusts from 31st January to 5th march, and had issued updated guidance.  It also reported that a HM Treasury minister has confirmed that once the UK leaves the EU, the UK will oppose any EU pressure to grant public access to the register, in order to protect individual privacy rights.

https://www.boodlehatfield.com/the-firm/articles/trust-register-an-update/

CAN THE EU DELIVER?  THE EU REGULATION ON CROSS-BORDER PARCEL DELIVERY

On 8th February Morrison Foertster published a briefing saying that the EU has reached a provisional agreement on a proposed new Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services.  The Commission’s aim is to make pricing and tariffs more transparent and give national regulators increased monitoring rights over the cross-border parcel delivery market.  This reform is part of the EU’s Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy designed to accelerate the creation of a digital single market across the EU.

https://www.mofo.com/resources/publications/180208-eu-cross-border-parcel-delivery.html

 

TARGETED TERROR: THE SUICIDE BOMBERS OF AL-SHABAAB

On 13th February, the Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) published an article that starts by saying that one tactic that al-Shabaab uses in its reign of terror is suicide bombing.  Despite recognition of the seriousness of the threat that al-Shabaab’s suicide bombers pose, very little is known about how, when, and why al-Shabaab elects to employ the tactic of suicide bombings.  This report from CTC seeks to answer these questions.  It also reveals information about just who serves as al-Shabaab’s suicide bombers; where they target; al-Shabaab’s suicide bombing delivery tendencies; and timing trends along months and days of the week.  In conclusion, the authors offer suggestions about how to combat the group’s suicide bombing efforts in the future.

https://ctc.usma.edu/targeted-terror-suicide-bombers-al-shabaab/

ESTONIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE SECURITY ANALYSIS 2018

Something different to read.  The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service has issued a report “International Security and Estonia 2018”.  As one might expect, it spends a great deal of time considering Russia and Russia’s impact on the country, looking at the domestic political situation in Russia in this election year, the Russian military and its foreign policy (including the use of companies like energy producer, Rosneft).  One section deals with the effect of sanctions on Russia.  It considers information warfare units targeting NATO and the use/misuse of events, including historical events (as sorts of “fake news” propaganda).  It says that 2017 showed that the cyber threat against the West is growing and claims that most of the malicious cyber activity originates in Russia.  It considers the general terrorism threat to Europe, and the continuing North Korean missile programme.  On North Korea, it considers that due to the sanctions, North Korea has been forced to find alternatives to guarantee the flow of hard currency, and it is therefore possible that cyberattacks with economic motives from Pyongyang may increase – and it cautions that North Korea may want to (continue) selling weapons and technology to terrorist groups.

https://www.valisluureamet.ee/pdf/raport-2018-ENG-web.pdf

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?  WHAT NEXT FOR IRAN’S AFGHAN FIGHTERS IN SYRIA?

On 13th February, War on the Rocks carried an article asking this question after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards sent thousands of Afghan refugees and immigrants to fight in Syria.  It asks, what Iran will do with these tens of thousands of battle-hardened fighters.  Will it deploy them elsewhere in the Middle East?  Initial indications are that Iran is actually downsizing the contingent of Afghan fighters, sending them back to Iran where their families — mostly refugees or undocumented immigrants — have been promised permanent residency.  This gives the fighters’ families a secure future, but it also gives the leadership in Tehran the security of knowing that it can, if needed, draw again on these veteran fighters who are now indebted to the government.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/02/mission-accomplished-whats-next-irans-afghan-fighters-syria/

HOW BUSINESS CAN HELP OFAC FIGHT NORTH KOREAN SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 13th February, the US Treasury published the speech given by Treasury Under-Secretary Sigal Mandelker at the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association AML and Financial Crimes Conference.  In this speech, in the context of North Korean sanctions, she commended efforts for institutions to delve deeper, to seek to identify shell and front companies used in sanctions violations, money laundering etc.  The sort of information that might be sought, and passed to authorities included –

  • If you find transactions involving entities listed on UN, OFAC, or other public lists, who are the counterparties to those transactions?
  • Who are the beneficial owners of these entities? And what other accounts have they set up?
  • Where do these entities bank?
  • What are some common physical or email addresses associated with these entities?
  • What other characteristics do they share? And can you identify other entities that share those same characteristics or engage in similar activities or typologies?
  • When you exit a customer because of these or other risks, where do those customers go?  Do you see them try to access the financial system in some other way, such as indirectly through other financial institutions?

She also recommend a review of the FinCEN advisory of November, which describes how North Korea uses complicated trade-based payment schemes to launder funds, and ensure that the institution is working to identify these schemes, typologies, and the actors behind them.
Being proactive, answering these types of questions, and then conducting additional analysis is, she said, where compliance programmes can add additional value to our efforts to disrupt North Korea’s illicit financial networks.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-release/sm0286

FIRMS IN BVI OWN 23,000 UK PROPERTIES

On 13th February the BBC reported that a quarter of property in England and Wales owned by overseas firms is held by entities registered in the BVI, BBC analysis has found.  It is the official home of companies that own 23,000 properties – more than any other country – owned by 11,700 firms registered in the BVI.  BBC analysis was conducted at HM Land Registry data, and showed that there are around 97,000 properties in England and Wales held by overseas firms, as of January 2018.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42666274

MALAYSIA WILL RETALIATE AGAINST EU GOODS IN CASE OF PALM OIL BAN

On 13th February, EurActiv reported that the European Parliament’s decision to ban palm oil, Malaysia’s biggest export item, is “drastic and discriminatory” and Kuala Lumpur is ready to retaliate with its own trade measures against Europe’s products if the ban takes effect, Malaysia’s Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/interview/minister-malaysia-will-retaliate-against-eu-goods-in-case-of-palm-oil-ban/

NEW TECHNOLOGY REVEALED TO HELP FIGHT TERRORIST CONTENT ONLINE

On 13th February a news release announced that the Home Office has announced the development of new technology to automatically detect terrorist content on any online platforms.  Tests have shown this new tool can automatically detect 94% of Daesh propaganda with 99.995% accuracy.  It has an extremely high degree of accuracy, for instance if it analyses one million randomly selected videos, only 50 would require additional human review.  The tool can be used by any platform, and integrated into the upload process, so that the majority of video propaganda is stopped before it ever reaches the internet.  Developed by the Home Office and ASI Data Science, the technology uses advanced machine learning to analyse the audio and visuals of a video to determine whether it could be Daesh propaganda.  The Home Office and ASI will be sharing the methodology behind the new model with smaller companies, in order to help combat the abuse of their platforms by terrorists and their supporters.  Many of the major tech companies have developed technology specific to their own platforms and have publicly reported on the difference this is making in their fight against terrorist content. Smaller platforms, however, are increasingly targeted by Daesh and its supporters and they often do not have the same level of resources to develop technology.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-technology-revealed-to-help-fight-terrorist-content-online

US PUSHES MOTION TO PUT PAKISTAN ON FATF WATCHLIST

On 13th February, Reuters reported that the US has put forward a motion at FATF to place Pakistan on a global terrorist-financing watch list, according to a senior Pakistani official.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-pakistan-militants-financing-exclusiv/u-s-pushes-motion-to-put-pakistan-on-global-terrorist-financing-watchlist-idUKKCN1FX2IY?src=ilaw

HOW TO SPOT FAKE GOLD AND AVOID FRAUD

On 13th February, Forbes published an article saying that there are many safeguards to protect yourself from buying fake gold.  The best way to ensure the authenticity of gold products is buying gold bars and coins strictly from LBMA (the London Bullion Market) approved dealers, mints and refineries. This way, their authenticity is guaranteed.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviergarret/2018/02/13/how-to-spot-fake-gold-and-avoid-fraud/#803f2701646d

CUBA AND US SECOND MEETING ON MONEY LAUNDERING

Prensa Latina on 13th February reported that authorities from Cuba and the US met in Washington for their second technical meeting to prevent and fight money laundering.

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?src=ilaw&o=rn&id=24549&SEO=cuba-and-u.s.-exchange-on-fighting-money-laundering

AUTHORITIES CRACK DOWN ON ‘GOLDFINGER’ TAX EVASION IN GERMANY

Handelsblatt in Germany on 13th February reported that a tax loophole, which used fake gold-trading companies to avoid tax, may have cost Germany billions, but now the law is cracking down hard, with tax lawyers and investors facing prosecution following police raids.  It says that the scheme involved wealthy taxpayers setting up their own gold-dealing companies to have gold transactions reclassified as “professional dealing”.  That allowed them to pay a 0% professional rate, rather income tax or capital gains tax on their earnings. The loophole was originally legal, but was outlawed in 2013. However, some lawyers involved in the tax avoidance scam kept it up even after it became illegal.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/finance/germany-crackdown-gold-tax-evasion-886563

OVERSEAS BUSINESS RISK – COLOMBIA

On 13th February, the UK Department for International Trade released updated information on how UK companies can control risks when doing business in Colombia.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-business-risk-colombia

TRADER ORDERED TO PAY BACK £567,000 FOR SELLING COUNTERFEIT DVD

The Sentinel on 13th February reports that Paul Foster, 53, has been ordered to pay more than £567,000 for selling counterfeit DVD on eBay.  He was caught out by an investigation from Staffordshire Trading Standards, which caught him buying the counterfeit DVD from China and selling them worldwide.  In January 2016 he was jailed for 16 months, and an investigation was launched to find out how much he had earned from the sales.  He also has to pay £36,000 costs.

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/local-news/man-ordered-pay-back-567000-1210336

2 ARRESTED IN UK NATIONWIDE WASTE CRIME INVESTIGATION

Let’s Recycle on 13th February reported that 2 men have been arrested for questioning in London, in connection with alleged waste crime, fraud and money laundering offences across the country, as part of a nationwide waste crime investigation, a joint operation by the Environment Agency, the Metropolitan Police and the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN).  The pair, who have not been identified, are believed to be involved in organised crime across the country, including in Lancashire, Middlesborough, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Kent.

https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/two-arrested-nationwide-waste-crime-investigation/

CAYMAN “A TOP DOMICILE FOR BLOCKCHAIN ENTREPRENEURS”

Tax News on 13th February reported a speech by the Cayman Islands Premier in which he claimed that Cayman were one of the top 3 jurisdictions for blockchain start-ups.

https://www.lowtax.net/news/Cayman-A-Top-Domicile-For-Blockchain-Entrepreneurs_76379.html

US TREASURY TO REVIEW FINCEN’S CRYPTOCURRENCY PRACTICES

Proskauer on 13th February published an article referring to both the annual plan of FinCEN and a recent interview of the Secretary for the Treasury where he expressed concern about the use of bitcoin (and presumably other cryptocurrencies) for the illicit transfer of funds, and emphasised that although the US Treasury still does not have an official position on cryptocurrencies, working groups have been deployed for that purpose and the subject matter is one that the Treasury will “be watching very carefully”.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/u-s-treasury-to-review-fincen-s-25977/

HONG KONG SECURITIES COMMISSION LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO 7 CRYPTO EXCHANGES

Reed Smith on 13th February published an article saying that, in February, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission released a statement which, among other things, said that it had sent letters to 7 cryptocurrency exchanges warning against listing instruments that qualify as “securities” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance without a required licence, and it had sent letters to 7 crypto token issuers inquiring about compliance with the securities laws.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/hong-kong-securities-commission-24305/

UK FROZE £580 MILLION DR CONGO ASSETS 2005-2016

HM Treasury has reported that from 23rd July 2005 to 30th September 2016, it froze approximately £580 million of funds in the UK under the EU DRC sanctions regime when 38 people and 9 entities were subject to EU asset-freezing measures. The figures for 2017 have yet to be finalised.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-02-05/126713/

TURKEY DETAINS 100 PEOPLE IN ONLINE GAMBLING RAIDS

Calvin Ayre on 13th February reported that Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News had said that over 1,000 police officers had staged a series of simultaneous raids across 9 provinces in Turkey in an operation targeting illegal online sports betting operators. Launched by Turkey’s cyber-crime unit, they targeted 140 different house addresses in Istanbul, Ankara and other major cities. The report failed to specify the names of the gambling sites targeted in the police action.  Roughly 100 individuals were detained during the early morning raids and taken to police stations for questioning.

https://calvinayre.com/2018/02/13/business/turkey-arrests-100-online-gambling-crackdown/

EX-NOMURA TRADER CANNOT DITCH SEC FRAUD SUIT

Law 360 on 13th February reports that a former head trader at Nomura, former Nomura Securities International Inc MD James Im, must face a US SEC lawsuit accusing him of lying to customers about the prices he hadd paid for commercial mortgage-backed securities he was reselling, a New York federal judge has ruled.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1011840

BANNED GUAM SOCCER CHIEF “STEERED SUCCESSOR’S ELECTION”

OCCRP on 13TH February repeated a New York Times report that the “disgraced” former head of soccer in Guam, who was banned from the sport after he admitted taking bribes in exchange for his support in FIFA elections, tried to influence the election of his successor.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/7637-nyt-banned-guam-soccer-chief-steered-successor-s-election

CAN ONE BE SO RECKLESS AS TO BE FRAUDULENT?

On 13th February, law firm Allen & Overy provided an analysis of the obiter comments in Celtic Bioenergy Ltd v Knowles Ltd.  In that case, the judge set aside an arbitration award on the grounds of fraud.  She decided that the arbitrator had been deliberately misled by the defendant and that the award had, therefore, been obtained by fraud.  This case is being cited as one of the few examples where an application to set aside an award on the grounds of fraud has actually succeeded.  It concludes that it remains to be seen whether the obiter comments might represent a deviation from the prior jurisprudence pointing towards a lowering of the extremely high threshold, or whether such comments will be re-evaluated as and when a “recklessness case” proper reaches the court.  Lowering the threshold will inevitably increase the potential for challenges against arbitral awards and for tactical litigation.

www.allenovery.com/publications/en-gb/Pages/Can-one-be-so-reckless-as-to-be-fraudulent-An-analysis-of-the-obiter-comments-in-Celtic-Bioenergy-Ltd-v-Knowles-Ltd.aspx

35% OF INDIA’S STATE AND TERRITORY CHIEF MINISTERS FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES

The Jurist website on 13th February reveals that a new report by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch claims that 11 of the 31 chief ministers of the various states and union territories of India, representing 35% of these chief ministers, have declared criminal charges against themselves in self-sworn affidavits. The chief ministers represent the heads of the various state governments and are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the state. These affidavits were the latest filed by the individuals prior to contesting in assembly elections of the various states.  8 of these 11 chief ministers have declared charges as serious as murder, attempted murder and criminal intimidation.

http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2018/02/new-report-reveals-35-percent-of-indias-chief-ministers-have-criminal-charges-1.php

INFRAUD OWNER, ACCUSED OF $530 MILLION FRAUD, ARRESTED IN BANGKOK

BTC Manager reports that a Russian national, Sergey Sergeyevich Medvedev, accused of being the co-founder of the dubious Dark Web marketplace Infraud has been arrested in Bangkok at the request of US authorities.  He had fled Moscow, where he had been the co-founder of the Infraud Organization along with Svyatoslav Bondarenko.  After Bondarenko went missing in 2015, Medvedev became the sole owner and administrator.  Infraud was a cybercrime organisation that had been operating since October 2010, its motto was “In Fraud We Trust” and was primarily involved in stealing personal credit card and online banking information and also selling this information over the Dark Web.

https://btcmanager.com/infraud-organization-co-founder-cccused-530-million-fraud-arrested-bangkok/

IRELAND’S CYBERCRIME STRATEGY ‘RUDDERLESS’

The Irish Examiner on 13th February reported that the body tasked with overseeing cybersecurity for the Irish Government has issued a public warning that some websites are being used to illegally mine cryptocurrencies.  The National Cyber Security Centre said it was “aware that a number of websites using software from a third-party vendor is causing visitors to those sites to mine cryptocurrency without their express permission”.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/irelands-cybercrime-strategy-rudderless-827769.html

US: WHEN BORDER SEARCHES BECOME UNREASONABLE
In the US, National Review argues that allowing warrantless searches everywhere within 100 miles of the US border leads to much abuse.  Under a 1946 law, US Customs and Border Protection CBP claims the right to search people and places without a warrant if the purpose of the search is to find illegal aliens and the search occurs within a “reasonable distance” of an international border
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456282/border-patrol-warrantless-searches-often-unconstitutional

NO POWER TO GRANT IMMIGRATION BAIL IF NO POWER TO DETAIN

The UK Human Rights Blog from One Crown Office Row carries a posting on 13th February reporting on a case where, on 8th February, the Supreme Court held that the power (in an immigration case) to grant bail and impose bail conditions in respect of a person pending deportation ceases to be lawful if there is no legal basis for detaining that person.  The power to impose bail conditions is inextricably linked to the power of detention.  Once the Home Secretary ceases to have the power to detain a person under immigration law, she can’t then impose conditions on that person’s freedom through bail conditions.

https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2018/02/13/no-power-to-grant-immigration-bail-if-no-power-to-detain-jake-richards/

RETRIAL OF FORMER FRENCH MINISTER FOR TAX DODGING BEGINS

On 13th February, the Risk & Compliance website reported that the retrial of France’s former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac is due to start.  He received a 3-year jail sentence in 2016 for tax fraud in one of the biggest scandals of Francois Hollande’s presidency and resigned in 2013 after being given the job was to crack down on tax dodgers.

www.riskandcompliancehub.com/france-retrial-of-former-budget-minster-for-tax-dodging-starts/

WIKILEAKS CABLES ARE ADMISSIBLE IN ENGLISH COURT PROCEEDINGS

CMS Law on 13th February reported that the Supreme Court has held that the High Court was wrong to exclude a Wikileaks cable from evidence in judicial review concerned with a challenge by the Chagos Refugees Group (CRG) to the British Government’s decision to establish a marine protected area around the Chagos islands, preventing Chagossians from continuing their commercial fishing businesses in the region. However, the issues raised are of wider application.  A leaked cable from the US Embassy in London to the State Department in Washington summarising a conversation between British and US officials regarding the reasons for establishing the protected area was involved, and the FCO had argued that the cable formed part of the US Embassy’s diplomatic archive, which was protected by the 1961 Vienna Convention, and was therefore inadmissible.

http://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2018/02/wikileaks-cables-are-admissible-in-english-court-proceedings

A PROTECTION PROGRAMME TO RESCUE WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF THE ’NDRANGHETA

An article from Chatham House on 13th February details a radical programme by an Italian judge that provides a protection programme to rescue women and children of the ’Ndrangheta, a mafia clan that kills those who dare to betray it.  The judge reasoned that since courts intervene to protect children from drug-addicted or alcoholic parents, it would be possible to remove them from homes where their only option was to join a dangerous criminal organization, describing it as a form of child abuse.  He used the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says children can be removed if their human rights are not respected and their well-being is at risk.  Changes meant that if a mother fled into witness protection, her children could be taken to join her so they would not be used as blackmail to make her recant.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/italian-judges-radical-plan

LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE AND THE DATA PROTECTION BILL 2018

An article from LK Shields explores the impact of the Data Protection Bill 2018, which implements the GDPR, on legal professional privilege (LPP) in Ireland.

https://www.lkshields.ie/news-insights/publication/legal-professional-privilege-and-the-data-protection-bill-2018

AEB RELEASES NEW BREXIT REPORT ON GLOBAL TRADE RISKS, CHALLENGES, INVESTMENTS, AND OPPORTUNITIES

CILT on 13th February said that software and adviser company, AEB, has released a report (free to download) with details of the results of a survey of businesses involved in global trade and includes a global trade action plan template with useful check-points of preparation that every business needs to have on screen.

https://ciltuk.org.uk/News/Latest-News/ArtMID/6887/ArticleID/15432/AEB-releases-new-Brexit-report-on-global-trade-risks-challenges-investments-and-opportunities

The report is at –

https://www.aeb.com/uk/media/uk-brexit-conference-results-2017.php

GIBRALTAR CREATING “WORLD’S FIRST RULES” FOR INITIAL COIN OFFERINGS

KYC 360 carries an article on 13th February that says that Gibraltar has started working on what it says are the world’s first rules for initial coin offerings (ICO), following feedback on a consultation on digital assets.  A Bill is expected to be considered by Parliament in the second quarter of this year.

https://kyc360.com/news/gibraltar-creating-worlds-first-rules-initial-coin-offerings/

UK PROPOSES TOUGHER RULES ON INVASIVE SPECIES

Dentons on 13th February reported that the UK Government’s intention to introduce a broader range of penalties for offences involving invasive non-native animal and plant species in England and Wales has been outlined in a new consultation document.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2018/february/13/tougher-enforcement-rules-for-invasive-species

SINGAPORE GUILDEINES TO PROTECT E-PAYMENT USERS

Monde Visione on 13th February reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched a public consultation on proposed guidelines to protect users of electronic payments.  The proposed E-payments User Protection Guidelines aim to encourage wider adoption of e-payments by setting standards on the responsibilities of financial institutions1 and e-payment users.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/monetary-authority-of-singapore-guidelines-to-protect-users-of-electronic-payme/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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