EU ADDS 3 NAMES TO SOUTH SUDAN SANCTIONS

The European Council has added 3 persons involved in serious human rights violations to the list of those submitted to a travel ban and an asset freeze in view of the situation in South Sudan.  It is the first time that the EU decides to sanction persons in view of the situation in South Sudan in addition to those sanctioned by the UN. The decision brings the total number of persons under restrictive measures in view of the situation in South Sudan to 9, as 6 persons were already listed by the UN.  The 3 new names are – Paul Malong, Malek Reuben Riak and Michael Makuei Leuth

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/02/02/south-sudan-eu-adds-3-persons-involved-in-serious-human-rights-violation-to-sanctions-list/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/minister-for-africa-welcomes-new-eu-sanctions-against-south-sudan

WMD FINANCING ELUSIVE ON INTERNATIONAL PLAYING FIELD – NEW REPORT

report

Homeland 411, a US website, on 1st February published an article on the back of the publication on 24th January of a report from Dr Jonathan Brewer (who also produced the report on proliferation typologies for Project Alpha last year).  This latest report – The Financing of Nuclear and other Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation – which, it says, “explores funding and proliferation of WMD with insight and recommendations of how global leaders can better track sources of WMD financing. It’s not an easy undertaking. In fact, it’s a “needle in a haystack” scenario”. The report breaks down the proliferation financing into 3 phases – fundraising, disguising the funds within the financial system, and then procurement of “material, technology, and logistics” for a given WMD programme.  Dr Brewer is quoted as saying that ultimately it comes down to what regulators require. In the US, banks must follow specific regulations regarding suspect transactions, but overseas, Brewer said his impression is that there’s less expertise, limited resources, and limited use of relevant data. The report urges the international community to enhance its financial controls, otherwise countries such as North Korea and others will continue acquiring illicit capabilities, and calls for better implementation of existing controls.

http://homeland411.com/wmd-financing-elusive-international-playing-field/

The Report is at –

https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/the-financing-of-nuclear-and-other-weapons-of-mass-destruction-proliferation

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 1

1st February 2018

IMF STAFF CONCLUDE VISIT TO THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC

On 31st January, an IMF news release issued an Ed-of Mission statement of preliminary findings.  This included the statement that – the authorities remain committed to carry out reforms aimed at improving the business climate, including by improving governance and continuing to combat corruption. In that regard, efforts should be pursued to resubmit an AML/CFT law in line with international standards. Public finance management reforms should be accelerated to enhance the transparency and credibility of the fiscal framework.

www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2018/01/31/pr1834-imf-staff-concludes-visit-to-the-kyrgyz-republic

AUSTRALIA “A MONEY LAUNDERING HAVEN”

Macrobusiness in Australia on 1st February related the litany of recent criticism of Australia and its property sector.  In 2015, FATF released its report which found Australian homes are a haven for laundered funds, particularly from China.  In March last year, Transparency International ranked Australia as having the weakest AML laws in English-speaking countries, failing all 10 priority areas.  In June 2017, FATF placed Australia on a watch list for failing to comply with AML/CFT reforms.  In December 2017, the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions urged Australia to implement the second tranche of AML legislation covering real estate, noting that the entire ecosystem for the buying and selling property using cross-border fund flows is beyond the reach of regulators.  Now, the Tax Justice Network has released its Financial Secrecy Index for 2018, shaming Australia for failing to police the international dirty money flooding into the housing market.

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/02/another-report-confirms-australia-property-money-laundering-safe-haven/

THE END OF BEARER SHARES IN SWITZERLAND?

On 31st January, Pastalozzi Attorneys at Law published an article in which it said that on 17th January, the Swiss Federal Council published a draft Bill which proposes the conversion of bearer shares into registered shares by operation of law and thereby would abolish bearer shares.  The draft legislation aims at implementing certain recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum).  More specifically, the draft Bill addresses, amongst others, the concerns raised in Global Forum’s Peer Review relating to Switzerland regarding the transparency of ownership of bearer shares.  The wording of the contemplated legislation is currently subject to a legislative consultation process and expected to be discussed in Parliament in winter 2018.  Any respective changes in Swiss law are not to be expected before 2019.

https://pestalozzilaw.com/en/news/legal-insights/end-bearer-shares-switzerland/

REMINDER FOR COMPANY OWNERS IN ISLE OF MAN ON BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTER

On 31st January, Isle of Man Today reported that “the clock is ticking” for all companies to submit details on to the Island’s new central database of beneficial ownership.  Details of principal owners and controllers must be submitted by June 30th this year at the latest.

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=38369&headline=Clock%20ticking%20on%20company%20owners&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2018

US PROSECUTORS ISSUE SUBPOENAS SEEKING INFORMATION FROM FIFA, IOC AND IAAF

On 31St January, the Guardian reported that US federal prosecutors are conducting an extensive investigation into global sports corruption, including at Fifa and the international and US Olympics organisations.  As part of the probe, the DoJ looking at possible racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges related to the world athletics championships and the business executives who have consulted on bids for various other elite competitions.  The investigation is being conducted by the US Attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York in Brooklyn.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/31/us-prosecutors-issue-subpoenas-fifa-ioc-iaaf

BERMUDA LAUNCHES AML CAMPAIGN

The Royal Gazette in Bermuda on 31st January reported that The Premier launched a new campaign today to combat money laundering.  Mr Burt, also the Minister of Finance, said the campaign would recruit the entire island in a bid to fight financial crime.  The campaign, called “It’s just good business”, will highlight efforts to ensure Bermuda meets the highest AML standards.

www.royalgazette.com/news/article/20180131/anti-money-laundering-campaign-launched

NEW LAW ON MONEY LAUNDERING AND PREVENTION OF TERRORISM IN BELGIUM

On 12th December, Peeters Advocaten published a briefing saying that on 16th October a new law on money laundering and prevention of terrorism has entered into force.  As well as the introduction of the UBO register into Belgian law by the law of 18th September, law contains numerous essential modifications in comparison to the law of 19923 that it replaces. This article briefly presents those modifications.

https://www.peeters-law.be/En/news/New-law-on-the-money-laundering-and-the-prevention-of-terrorism/892

MORE SANCTIONS AHEAD AFTER US TREASURY’S REPORTS TO CONGRESS ON RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS?

On 30th January, law firm Steptoe & Johnson published an article that followed the publication on 29th January of list of potential additional sanctions targets and other reports.

https://www.steptoeinternationalcomplianceblog.com/2018/01/more-sanctions-ahead-after-treasurys-reports-to-congress-on-russian-oligarchs-defense-intel-sanctions/#page=1

KENYA “NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT” DECLARED CRIMINAL

On 31st January, Defence Web reported that the Kenyan government had declared the opposition’s ‘National Resistance Movement’ – a loosely organised coalition of opposition lawmakers – a criminal group, paving the way for potential arrests.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50547:kenya-national-resistance-movement-declared-criminal&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118

SOUTH AFRICAN TRIBUNAL TO EXAMINE ARMS DEALS

Also on 31st January, DefenceWeb reported another investigation into the multi-billion Rand Strategic Defence Procurement Packages that saw the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) acquire new, high-tech equipment for its airborne and maritime services in the late 90s.  The first hearings of the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in South Africa open on February 3rd to examine “the continuities between apartheid era economic crime, the post-apartheid arms deal and contemporary state capture”.  The first hearings will focus on the arms trade over the past 40 years.  These, it is said, contributed to the loss of thousands of lives during the apartheid era.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50544:peoples-tribunal-to-examine-the-arms-deal&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118

ARMS PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS REFERRED TO PROSECUTION FOR CORRUPTION IN PRODUCTION OF SOUTH KOREAN MISSILE

On 1st February, the Yonhap News Agency in South Korea reported that the Board of Audit and Inspection said it has referred 3 former and incumbent officials of the state arms procurement agency for alleged corruption in the course of awarding contracts to produce the Cheongung medium-range surface-to-air missile.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2018/02/01/0200000000AEN20180201007700315.html?input=rss

FORMER STEINHOFF CEO REPORTED TO SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE BY COMPANY

The Nation in the UAE reports that Steinhoff International Holdings has reported former CEO Markus Jooste to South Africa’s anti-graft police, pinning the blame for an accounting scandal squarely on the man who built the retailer into a global force.  The owner of Mattress Firm in the US, Conforama in France and Liener in Austria, among many others, referred Mr Jooste to the unit known as the Hawks based on its investigation into financial irregularities.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/former-ceo-reported-to-police-by-world-s-second-biggest-furniture-firm-1.700775?src=ilaw

CAMEROONIAN TROOPS ENTER NIGERIA SEEKING SEPARATISTS

Defence Web on 31st January reported that Cameroonian troops had crossed into neighbouring Nigeria in pursuit of separatist rebels.  Cameroon has been fighting Anglophone separatists who have taken up arms over the past year in an attempt to create a nation which they call Ambazonia. The insurgency represents the gravest challenge yet to the 35-year rule of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.  More than 43,000 Cameroonians are said to have fled as refugees to Nigeria

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50554:cameroonian-troops-enter-nigeria-seeking-separatists-&catid=3:Civil%20Security&Itemid=113

Meanwhile, on 30th January Defence Web also reported that a key Cameroonian separatist leader arrested in Abuja was deported by Nigerian authorities to Cameroon.  Nigerian authorities deported Julius Ayuk Tabe, president of a self-declared breakaway state made up of the Anglophone regions of majority-Francophone Cameroon.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50541:cameroonian-separatist-leader-deported&catid=52:Human%20Security&Itemid=114

‘DEVIOUS’ £1.4 MILLION BOILER ROOM SCAMMER JAILED IN UK

iExpats on 1st February reports that £1.4 million boiler room scheme mastermind Samrat Bhandari has been jailed in the UK for 42 months. Between 2009 and 2014, Bhandari sold thousands of worthless shares in Symbiosis Healthcare for around £1.4 million by cold-calling elderly investors and pressurising them to buy a stake in the company.  Fellow gang member, Dr Aleem Mirza, had set up the company as a business operating healthcare services in Dubai, which was untrue.

http://www.iexpats.com/devious-1-4-million-boiler-room-scammer-jailed/?src=ilaw

SOUTH KOREAN GOLF EQUIPMENT IMPORTS INCREASE DESPITE ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW

On 1st February the Yonhap News Agency reported that imports of golf equipment into South Korea increased more than 10% last year, despite expectations that the popularity of the costly sport would be dampened by a new anti-corruption law.  Golf is considered a luxury sport in South Korea, and rounds are often paid for as gifts. An anti-corruption law that took effect in September 2016 heavily limits the monetary value of such gifts between people with personal interests at stake.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2018/02/01/0200000000AEN20180201001900320.html?input=rss

ISLE OF MAN FOR FAMILIES AND BUSINESS – IN SPANISH

Dixcart in the Isle of Man has issued an article in Spanish extolling the benefits for business and families of the Island.

https://dixcart.com/articles/in316-s-the-isle-of-man-the-benefits-for-business-and-family-spanish-version

HALF A MILLION US DOLLARS SEIZED LEAVING SOUTH AFRICA

On 29th January, Defence Web reported that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has intercepted currency worth $568,480 from leaving the country.  It intercepted 2 passengers travelling to Dubai as they were about to board their flight, and upon inspection of their checked luggage, brown envelopes containing US Dollars in various denominations were found inside.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50504:currency-worth-r67m-intercepted-at-or-tambo&catid=87:border-security&Itemid=188

UK ONLINE GAMBLING FAIR TERMS GUIDANCE

On 31st January, the Competitions and Markets Agency in the UK issued advice for gambling customers around unfair terms in online gambling promotions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/online-gambling-promotions-advice-for-gamblers

and a “60-second summary” for online gambling operators about using fair terms and practices.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/online-gambling-promotions-dos-and-donts

COINCHECK EXCHANGE LEAK EXPOSES CHINKS IN JAPAN’S REGULATORY ARMOUR

On 29th January, M Lex reports that the biggest cryptocurrency leak in Japanese history has underscored the difficulty regulators face in striking the precarious balance between overseeing an industry that thrives on innovation while also protecting consumers against fraud and security lapses.  Japan’s FSA issued a compliance order against Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, after the company announced that it had lost $534 million worth of NEM coins, a virtual currency.  It also mandated all existing crypto exchanges to review their security in advance of urgent FSA inspections.  Although the FSA’s swift action was made possible by Japan’s legalisation of cryptocurrencies, putting exchanges under the jurisdiction of Japan’s powerful financial watchdog, it has also called into question the effectiveness of the FSA’s vetting process.

https://mlexmarketinsight.com/insights-center/editors-picks/Data-Protection-Privacy-and-Security/asia/coincheck-exchange-leak-exposes-chinks-in-japans-regulatory-armor

US DOJ ISSUES MEMORANDUM PRECLUDING RELIANCE ON AGENCY GUIDANCE IN ENFORCEMENT CASES

On 31st January, Holland & Knight reported that on January 25th, the US Associate Attorney General issued a memorandum limiting use of agency guidance documents in affirmative civil enforcement cases brought by the DoJ.  In a move which could have wide-ranging impact, the “Department may not use its enforcement authority to effectively convert agency guidance documents into binding rules” and “may not use noncompliance with guidance documents as a basis for proving violations of applicable law.”  The Memorandum does permit the use of guidance for proper purposes to explain or paraphrase regulations or statutory legal requirements, but it may not be used to establish that a party violated the applicable statute or regulation.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/doj-issues-memorandum-precluding-55163/

UN SCR 2399 (2018) EXTENDS SANCTIONS REGIME AGAINST CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

On 30th January, the UN announced that it had extended its sanctions regime against the Central African Republic, consisting of an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze on listed individuals and entities, until 31st January 2019, and the mandate of the Panel of Experts facilitating those measures until 28h February 2019.  The arms embargo would not apply to supplies intended solely for the support or use by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), EU training missions, French forces and other State forces providing training.  Nor would it apply to supplies brought into the Central African by Chad or Sudan forces solely for their use in the tripartite force established on 23rd May 2011.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sc13188.doc.htm

MALDIVES PRESIDENT DISMISSES CORRUPTION ACCUSATIONS

On 31st January OCCRP reports that Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has dismissed a petition from opposition leaders that called on the island nation’s Supreme Court to temporarily remove him from office and investigate allegations of corruption against him.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/7570-maldives-president-dismisses-corruption-accusations

UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ORDERS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

With the introduction of UWO in the UK, Field Fisher has produced a briefing on them.

www.fieldfisher.com/publications/2018/01/unexplained-wealth-orders-what-you-need-to-know#sthash.GQ4l7U8T.dpbs

BREXIT & EXPORT CONTROLS: IMPLICATIONS FOR PROLIFERATION AND NATIONAL SECURITY

On 31st January, Project Alpha published an article on the risks, challenges and ramifications of Brexit for the maintenance and continued enforcement of strategic trade controls.

https://projectalpha.eu/brexit-and-export-controls-challenges-facing-the-uk-and-the-eu-in-controls-and-enforcement-and-the-implications-for-proliferation-and-national-security/

SPANISH POLICE ARREST MD OF CADIZ FC

The Local on 31st January reported that the managing director of Spanish second-tier side Cadiz was arrested in relation to a money-laundering investigation, sources close to the operation told AFP.  Police investigating player transfers arrested Quique Pina in the south-eastern region of Murcia, while raids were carried out in Andalusia, including at the offices of Cadiz. They also raided offices at Granada, the second-tier club Pina served as president between 2009 and 2016 before moving to Cadiz.  An entrepreneur and player agent, Pina also used to own Ciudad de Murcia, a club that rose to the second division before going out of business in 2007.

https://www.thelocal.es/20180131/cadiz-director-arrested-in-money-laundering-investigation

FIRST LOOK AT AUSTRALIA’S PROPOSED NEW ANTI-BRIBERY LAW

On 31st January, Control Risks published a briefing on a series of new laws covering foreign bribery and other economic offences that, if passed into law they will make it much easier to prosecute companies for bribery offenses committed either at home or abroad.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/australia-anti-bribery-laws

ACCOUNTANT, FRIEND AND FINANCIAL ADVISER ‘LAUNDERED THOUSANDS STOLEN FROM BERMUDA GOVERNMENT’

Baker McKenzie reports on 30th January about a Wales-based accountant who has admitted to laundering thousands of pounds stolen from the Government of Bermuda. Jeffrey Bevan, 50, was accused of transferring nearly $2.5 million from his employer into his own bank account and then spending it on properties in Swansea, gambling, and automobiles.  A friend of Bevan’s and a financial adviser are on trial for their alleged roles in the scheme. They deny converting criminal property.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/wales-accountant-friend-and-financial-adviser-laundered-thousands-stolen-from-bermuda-government/

POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND CRIME INCIDENT REPORT, Q4 2017

Control Risks has published its Political Violence and Crime Incident Report Q3, which is based on our incident mapping and analysis service.  It is a quarterly report designed to help organisations gain a better understanding of incident trends throughout the year, using risk monitoring tool CORE.  The report analyses global incidents of war, terrorism, unrest and crime, with commercial relevance.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/reports/political-violence-and-crime-incident-report-q4

Control Risks also reports that political violence and crime rise across the world in 2017-

https://www.controlrisks.com/riskmap-2018/articles/political-violence-and-crime

SAUDI COALITION SAYS REMOTE-CONTROLLED  BOMB BOAT INTERCEPTED

On 31st January, Janes.com reported that another remotely-controlled boat carrying explosives was intercepted on 26th January, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen told journalists in a briefing.

http://www.janes.com/article/77486/saudi-coalition-says-rc-bomb-boat-intercepted

shark 33

RUSSIA’S UNTAPPED ARCTIC POTENTIAL

On 29th January, a Chatham House article explains that company turf wars and Western sanctions are preventing Russia from extracting oil and gas from the Arctic.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/russia-s-untapped-arctic-potential

HOW THE MAFIA INFILTRATED ITALY’S ASYLUM SYSTEM

On 1st February, a Guardian “long read” article is entitled: ‘Migrants are more profitable than drugs’: how the mafia infiltrated Italy’s asylum system.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/01/migrants-more-profitable-than-drugs-how-mafia-infiltrated-italy-asylum-system

FCPA CORPORATE ENFORCEMENT POLICY: CO-OPERATION AS A MITIGATING FACTOR

This issue of Baker McKenzie’s Ethics & Compliance in the Americas newsletter covers what the DoJ considers as co-operation, as updated by the new FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.  Under the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, there will be a presumption of declination if a company self-discloses misconduct, fully co-operates and remediates, absent aggravating circumstances. If a criminal resolution is warranted, there will be a reduction of the fine. Even in situations where there has been no self-disclosure, the company may still have a reduction of the fine, as long as it fully co-operates and timely and appropriately remediates.

https://globalcompliancenews.com/fcpa-corporate-enforcement-cooperation-20180201/

UK: FIRMS TO BE LIABLE TO FINES UP TO £17 MILLION FOR LAX CYBER SECURITY

KYC 360 on 31st January reports that organisations in Britain’s most critical care industries face fines of up to £17 million if they fail to implement effective cyber security measures.  As part of the government’s strategy, new sector-specific regulators will be appointed and will assess critical industries – such as energy, transport and health – to ensure plans are as “robust” as possible.  The new rules will also cover other threats affecting IT such as power outages, hardware failures and environmental hazards.  Also included is ransomware, which makes data or systems unusable until the victim makes a payment.

https://kyc360.com/news/uk-fines-17m-firms-poor-cyber-security/

GIBRALTAR DEFENDS STANCE ON TOBACCO SMUGGLING

The Gibraltar Government has said it is determined to “stamp out the menace of smuggling” as it lashed out at suggestions the Rock was seeing a return to the ‘the Bad Old Days’.

http://chronicle.gi/2018/02/govt-defends-record-on-tackling-tobacco-crime/

UKRAINIAN KILLER ROBOTS”

Medium carries an article about Ukrainian soldiers using a remote-controlled turret on 6 wheels and with an attached camera to fire at Russian-led separatist fighters in a nearby house.  That was in May 2017, and it was said to have been developed with only $10,000 by a group of Donbas-native volunteers.  The article includes photos and video.

https://medium.com/dfrlab/minskmonitor-ukrainian-killer-robots-2970d49faa30

CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP THROUGH INVESTMENT – ADVANTAGES AND HOW IT WORKS

On 30th January AGP Law Firm published a briefing explaining that there are 4 legal ways of obtaining citizenship of Cyprus for non-EU citizens.

https://www.agplaw.com/cyprus-citizenship-investment-advantages/

RUSSIAN EX-GOVERNOR CONVICTED ON ‘ABSURD’ BRIBERY CHARGES

Rferl on 1st February reports that a Russian court has convicted former Kirov Oblast Governor Nikita Belykh of taking a bribe, delivering a widely expected guilty verdict after the high-profile trial of the prominent liberal politician.  He pleaded not guilty and has called the charges “absurd,” saying he was the victim of a “banal provocation” by law enforcement authorities. After his arrest, federal investigators published a photo of a man they said was Belykh sitting at a table covered with stacks of €100 notes.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-bribery-belykh-kirov-oblast-trial-verdict/29010887.html

UKRAINE TAX CHIEF NASIROV FIRED AMID EMBEZZLEMENT PROBE

Rferl on 31st January reported that the Ukrainian government has fired tax and customs service chief, Roman Nasirov, who was suspended from the post after his arrest on suspicion of embezzlement in March 2017.  Nasirov is being investigated on suspicion of defrauding the state of $70 million.  He is one of the highest officials to face prosecution in Ukraine.  He was arrested after the National Anticorruption Bureau accused him of signing off on grace periods for a number of taxpayers, including companies linked to a former lawmaker who fled the country in 2016 while facing a corruption investigation.

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-tax-chief-fired-embezzlement-probe-nasirov/29009564.html

REVISITING THE EU’S SECURITY PARTNERSHIPS

On 30th January the European Institute for Security Studies published a new paper.  Common Security & Defence Policy (CSDP) partnerships have traditionally focused on 2 sets of issues: the role of third countries in CSDP operations and missions; and partnerships between the EU and international organisations, the UN, NATO, the African Union and the OSCE in particular.  More recently, the EU has started to reach out to third states on other security matters, such as terrorism and migration, but also hybrid threats, cyber, and resilience issues. The revised European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) also features security (and CSDP) more prominently than had been the case initially.

https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Brief%201%20Security%20Partnerships.pdf

FRONTEX NAVAL OPERATION TO LOOK FOR ‘FOREIGN FIGHTERS’

EU Observer on 1st February reports that the EU border and coast guard agency Frontex is stepping up intelligence-gathering of migrants plucked from the sea following the launch of a new Central Mediterranean naval operation.  It launched its Themis mission, geared towards cracking down on alleged terrorist suspects and criminals. Vessels will still perform search and rescue, when required. But its redoubled security-centric mandate marks a departure from previous Frontex naval operations, and exposes a broader EU refocussing on people rescued at sea as potential threats.

https://euobserver.com/migration/140806

EUROPEAN ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATORS FILE DATA PROTECTION COMPLAINT AGAINST UNLAWFUL PAYMENT BLOCKING SCHEME IN NORWAY

On 18th January the European Gaming & Betting Association issued a news release saying that it has asked the Norwegian Data Protection Inspectorate (DPI) to urgently investigate a Norwegian payment blocking scheme for serious breaches of the privacy of Norwegian citizens when conducting online payments. The scheme established by the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) is in contravention of Norwegian Data Protection laws and the European Convention on Human Rights according to the EGBA.

www.egba.eu/online-privacy-european-online-gambling-operators-file-data-protection-complaint-unlawful-payment-blocking-scheme-norway/

CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017

On 1st February the Home Office issued a set of publications about the contents of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, including about Unexplained Wealth Orders, confiscation reconsideration, extending the SAR moratorium etc.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-finances-act-2017

CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017: CONFISCATION, ENFORCEMENT, DEFENDANT’S MONEY HELD BY A THIRD PARTY

On 1st February, Home Office Circular 012/2018 which provides information on relevant amendments introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.  It explains that amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 provides for 2 sets of powers relating to the enforcement of a confiscation order in relation to defendant’s money which is held by another person; notably, by a bank in an account or by a law enforcement agency following its seizure.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0122018-criminal-finances-act-confiscation-enforcement-defendents-money-held-by-a-third-party/circular-0122018-criminal-finances-act-confiscation-enforcement-defendents-money-held-by-a-third-party

OTHER HOME OFFICE CIRCULARS PROVIDING INFORMATION ON CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017 CHANGES

On 1st February, the Home Office issued a whole series of Home Office Circulars explaining new or changed procedures under proceeds of crime and anti-terrorism legislation –

·        Circular 011/2018: Criminal Finances Act: confiscation reconsideration

·        Circular 010/2018: Criminal Finances Act: further information orders

·        Circular 009/2018: Criminal Finances Act: extension of powers and new assault and obstruction offence

·        Circular 008/2018: Criminal Finances Act: extending the moratorium period for suspicious activity reports

·        Circular 007/2018: Criminal Finances Act: sharing information within the regulated sector

·        Circular 006/2018: Criminal Finances Act: disclosure orders

·        Circular 005/2018: Criminal Finances Act: forfeiture of money held in bank and building society accounts

·        Circular 004/2018: Criminal Finances Act: unlawful conduct, gross human rights abuses or violations

·        Circular 003/2018: Criminal Finances Act: unexplained wealth orders

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-finances-act-2017

EXPORT CONTROL (VENEZUELA SANCTIONS) ORDER 2018

SI 2018/108 provides for the enforcement in the UK of trade restrictions against Venezuela specified in Regulation (EU) No. 2017/2063 concerning restrictive measures against Venezuela.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/108/note/made

PYRAMID SCHEMES CAUSE HUGE SOCIAL HARM IN CHINA

On 1st February, The Economist carried an article which begins by explaining that authorities call them “business cults”.  Tens of millions of people are ensnared in these pyramid schemes that use cult-like techniques to brainwash their targets and bilk them out of their money.  In July 2017 victims of one such fraud held a rally in central Beijing (pictured), an extremely unusual occurrence.  The police quickly dispersed it and the government, in panic, declared a 3-month campaign against the scams.  Hundreds of them were closed down and thousands of people arrested.  But the cults are adopting new guises. The problem may still be growing.

https://www.economist.com/news/china/21736182-ponzi-schemes-cause-huge-social-harm-china-crackdowns-may-not-be-working-pyramid-schemes-cause?src=ilaw

AER LINGUS WORKER ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND ORGANISING PEOPLE SMUGGLING AT DUBLIN AIRPORT SENT FORWARD FOR TRIAL

On 1st February the Irish Independent reported that Peter Kernan, 57, of Co Kildare.  He had been originally charged in January 2017 with unlawfully facilitating the entry of 2 non-nationals into the State on January 9th and January 22nd, 2017, with 20 further charges since being laid.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/aer-lingus-worker-accused-of-money-laundering-and-organising-people-smuggling-at-dublin-airport-sent-forward-for-trial-36556904.html?src=ilaw

SWISS REGULATOR SANCTIONS RUSSIA’S GAZPROMBANK AFTER PANAMA PAPERS LEAK

Breaking News reports that Switzerland’s market regulator has banned the national affiliate of Russia’s Gazprombank from taking new private clients over money laundering concerns during a 10-year period which emerged from the Panama Papers leak.  The move marks the first time that Swiss markets authority FINMA has specifically identified any company over wrongdoing following the leak that exposed international tax avoidance worldwide.

https://www.breakingnews.ie/business/swiss-regulator-sanctions-russias-gazprombank-after-panama-papers-leak-825935.html?src=ilaw

FRANCE TO FINANCE EXPORTS TO IRAN, AIMS TO SIDESTEP US SANCTIONS

Reuters on 1st February reported that France will start offering euro-denominated credits to Iranian buyers of its goods later this year, a move to bolster trade while keeping it outside the reach of US sanctions, the head of state-owned investment bank Bpifrance said.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-iran-france-usa/france-to-finance-exports-to-iran-aims-to-sidestep-u-s-sanctions-idUKKBN1FL48U

BLACK LISTING OF UKRAINE CREATED DISTRUST IN ESTONIA

The Post Times in Estonia reports that Ukraine’s decision to add Estonia to the list of countries it considers tax havens managed, in just a few weeks, to create a situation where Estonian companies were avoided by both banks and business partners.  The Ukrainian government added Estonia, Latvia, Iran, Cuba, Laos, Lebanon, Malta, Monaco, UAE, Singapore, Georgia, and Hungary to its list of tax havens in late 2017.

https://news.postimees.ee/4394811/black-list-created-distrust-in-estonia?src=ilaw

OFAC LISTS HEAD OF HAMAS POLITICAL BUREAU

On 1st February, the Middle East Monitor reports on the US listing the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, on the OFAC terrorism list.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180201-us-lists-ismail-haniyeh-on-terrorism-list/?src=ilaw

THE ILLEGAL CIGARETTE TRADE IN BULGARIA

The Bulgarian News Agency BTA reports on the size of the illegal cigarette market in Bulgaria on 1st February.  It mentions that in 2007, illegal cigarettes were 11.2% of the entire cigarette market in Bulgaria. By 2010, this share had risen to 30.7% and the cigarette market was virtually inundated by contraband cigarettes.  Despite the shrinking illegal market in the years that followed, criminal revenues remain too big to be neglected.  Its authors bring to attention the huge illegal market in loose tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes. Contraband loose tobacco makes up as much as 75% of the total market. This quantity is equal to 861 million cigarettes (0.75 gr per cigarette). Some 86% of the contraband loose tobacco is locally produced.

http://www.bta.bg/en/c/DF/id/1737236?src=ilaw

EU’S COURT OF JUSTICE UPHOLDS FINES ON KUEHNE & NAGEL, DEUTSCHE BAHN AND OTHERS FOR FORMING CARTELS IN THE AIR FREIGHT SECTOR

On 1st February, New Europe reported that the ECJ said the Commission was right to fine a group of freight forwarding companies over cartel charges, dismissing an appeal brought by logistics groups Kuehne & Nagel, Panalpina, Schenker, Deutsche Bahn and others, 13 in all.  In March 2012, the Commission imposed fines amounting in total to €169 million on a number of companies by reason of their participation, in periods between 2002 and 2007, in various agreements and concerted practices on the market for international air freight forwarding services. Those services included the organisation of transportation of items, and could also include activities such as customs clearance, warehousing or ground services, on behalf of customers according to their needs.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eus-court-of-justice-upholds-fines-on-kuehne-nagel-deutsche-bahn-and-others-for-forming-cartels-in-the-air-freight-sector/

CANADA’S FINTRAC’S MONEY LAUNDERING PENALTIES IN LIMBO AFTER COURT RULING

CBC News in Canada reported on 1st February that Canada’s watchdog against terror financing and money laundering has been partially neutered after losing a landmark court case over the way it penalises offending businesses.  Since May 2016, the federal agency known as Fintrac has been unable to levy fines on firms that violate tough financing regulations — and will remain toothless until at least the summer when a review of its penalty programme is completed.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fintrac-money-laundering-fines-penalties-court-federal-appeal-manulife-bank-1.4510370?src=ilaw&cmp=rss

THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU OVER RUSSIA SANCTIONS

On 31st January the EU announced that Candidate Countries Montenegro and Albania, Norway, members of the EEA, as well as Ukraine align themselves with Council Decision 2017/2426/CFSP concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine.

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/01/31/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-in-view-of-russia-s-actions-destabilising-the-situation-in-ukraine/pdf

VENZUELA CRYPTOCURRENCY TO GO ON PRE-SALE IN FEBRUARY

The European Sanctions Blog reports that Venezuela’s President Maduro has announced that a ‘pre-sale’ of the country’s proposed ‘Petro’ cryptocurrency will commence on 20th February.

https://europeansanctions.com/

TAIWANESE ACCUSED OF SUPPLYING COAL TO NORTH KOREA

On 1st February, the European Sanctions Blog reports that a former High Court judge and his son, as well as 2 others have been accused of violating UN sanctions against North Korea (though Taiwan is not a UN member state). Specifically, for having chartered a vessel (using a Chinese intermediary) in order to transport North Korean coal to Vietnam in 2017.

https://europeansanctions.com/

GIBRALTAR GOVERNMENT DOES NOT TURN A BLIND EYE TO SMUGGLING

A news release from the Gibraltar Government on 1st February refutes allegations that it does not do enough to combat tobacco smugglers.

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/sites/default/files/press/2018/Press%20Releases/55-2018.pdf

PLANS FOR JERSEY AIRCRAFT REGISTER

Jersey Evening Post reports that new plans to transform Jersey’s struggling Aircraft Registry are due to be announced soon, the Economic Development Minister has said.  There is currently just 1 aircraft – a privately owned Cessna – on the list.
https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2018/02/01/new-plans-for-aircraft-registry/#lPheJyLSAzCrWhMF.99

ITALY ARRESTS CAMORRA MEMBER WHO HID IN MEXICO

OCCRP reports that Italian authorities detained a member of the Camorra crime syndicate who landed in Rome after having been expelled from Mexico where he lived for more than a decade under a false name.  A court in Verona sentenced Salvatore Longo in 2007 to more than 9 years in prison for extortion and usury.  However, Longo had already left Italy.  He acquired a new identity and lived in Mexico with a local woman and ran a pizza restaurant in Tijuana.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/7580-italy-arrests-camorra-member-who-hid-in-mexico

HONG KONG BANS IVORY TRADE IN ‘HISTORIC’ VOTE

On 1st February the BBC reported that ivory sales will be phased out gradually in Hong Kong, stopping completely in 2021.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-42891204

BENFICA CLUB PRESIDENT NAMED SUSPECT IN CORRUPTION PROBE

Baker McKenzie reports that Portugal’s prosecutors named the head of football club Benfica, Luis Filipe Vieira, as a formal suspect in an investigation into a corruption scheme, the second high-profile inquiry to involve the Lisbon club in less than a week.  The prosecutor general’s office said Benfica Vice President Fernando Tavares was also a suspect in the case, along with a high-ranking judge and 9 other people.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/benfica-club-president-named-suspect-in-corruption-probe/

SUSPECTED BALKAN CRIME BOSS JAILED FOR 6 YEARS IN KOSOVO

Reuters reports that Suspected Balkan crime boss Naser Kelmendi was sentenced to 6 years in prison in Kosovo for trafficking drugs, but cleared of murder, organized crime and other charges.  the Kosovo-born ethnic Albanian with Bosnian citizenship was blacklisted in 2012 by U.S. authorities, who have accused him of heading a family network distributing heroin and other drugs through Afghanistan to Turkey and into Europe.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kosovo-trial-kelmendi/suspected-balkan-crime-boss-jailed-for-six-years-in-kosovo-idUSKBN1FL5SA?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29&&rpc=401

OVERSIGHT REGIME NEEDED TO IMPROVE SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT

KYC 360 on 1st February carried an article that began by saying that in December 2017, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report detailing the breadth of non-compliance with UN sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).  In particular, it determined that the DPRK has either co-operated with or took advantage of apparent deficiencies in the regulatory regimes of 49 countries to conduct commerce despite the prohibitions imposed on the country. In addition, ISIS has also identified where another 13 countries have apparently unintentionally been involved in sanctions violations, but not as part of an ongoing pattern of abuse.  The 19 countries identified in providing financial services, facilitating the use of front companies, and other non-military transactions includes Germany, India and Poland.  The 18 countries which were implicated in imports of sanctioned goods include Barbados, France, and Ireland. The 20 countries who assisted in vessel reflagging or otherwise facilitating shipments included Greece and Japan.  The article suggests that what is needed to truly give sanctions more teeth – an oversight regime similar to FATF’s focused on export control standards and enforcement.

https://kyc360.com/article/sanctions-fault-dear-brutus/

CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017 AMENDMENTS TO POCA/ATCA PROCEDURES ETC

CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017

On 1st February the Home Office issued a set of publications about the contents of the Criminal Finances Act 2017, including about Unexplained Wealth Orders, confiscation reconsideration, extending the SAR moratorium etc.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-finances-act-2017

CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017: CONFISCATION, ENFORCEMENT, DEFENDANT’S MONEY HELD BY A THIRD PARTY

On 1st February, Home Office Circular 012/2018 which provides information on relevant amendments introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017.  It explains that amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 provides for 2 sets of powers relating to the enforcement of a confiscation order in relation to defendant’s money which is held by another person; notably, by a bank in an account or by a law enforcement agency following its seizure.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0122018-criminal-finances-act-confiscation-enforcement-defendents-money-held-by-a-third-party/circular-0122018-criminal-finances-act-confiscation-enforcement-defendents-money-held-by-a-third-party

OTHER HOME OFFICE CIRCULARS PROVIDING INFORMATION ON CRIMINAL FINANCES ACT 2017 CHANGES

On 1st February, the Home Office issued a whole series of Home Office Circulars explaining new or changed procedures under proceeds of crime and anti-terrorism legislation –

·        Circular 011/2018: Criminal Finances Act: confiscation reconsideration

·        Circular 010/2018: Criminal Finances Act: further information orders

·        Circular 009/2018: Criminal Finances Act: extension of powers and new assault and obstruction offence

·        Circular 008/2018: Criminal Finances Act: extending the moratorium period for suspicious activity reports

·        Circular 007/2018: Criminal Finances Act: sharing information within the regulated sector

·        Circular 006/2018: Criminal Finances Act: disclosure orders

·        Circular 005/2018: Criminal Finances Act: forfeiture of money held in bank and building society accounts

·        Circular 004/2018: Criminal Finances Act: unlawful conduct, gross human rights abuses or violations

·        Circular 003/2018: Criminal Finances Act: unexplained wealth orders

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-finances-act-2017

UN SCR 2399 (2018) EXTENDS SANCTIONS REGIME AGAINST CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

On 30th January, the UN announced that it had extended its sanctions regime against the Central African Republic, consisting of an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze on listed individuals and entities, until 31st January 2019, and the mandate of the Panel of Experts facilitating those measures until 28h February 2019.  The arms embargo would not apply to supplies intended solely for the support or use by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), EU training missions, French forces and other State forces providing training.  Nor would it apply to supplies brought into the Central African by Chad or Sudan forces solely for their use in the tripartite force established on 23rd May 2011.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sc13188.doc.htm

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