On 14th March, a news release from the CJEU advised that a claim by Korea National Insurance Corporation and other individuals against listing and effect of EU sanctions measures had been rejected. Cases T-533/15 and T-264/16 refer.
On 15th March, HM Treasury issued a Notice detailing the amendments made to the entries for 31 individuals and 5 entities that remain subject to sanctions. The amendments relate to updated or corrected information and follows publication of EU Regulation 2018/388/EU.
OFAC said the sanctions counter “destabilizing activities” by Russia — which include interfering in the U.S. vote and spearheading last year’s “NotPetya” cyberattacks.
On 15th March, OFAC advised that 14 individuals and 1 entity – INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC (a.k.a. AZIMUT LLC; a.k.a. GLAVSET LLC; a.k.a. MEDIASINTEZ LLC; a.k.a. MIXINFO LLC; a.k.a. NOVINFO LLC) – had been added to the lists of CAATSA-related Russian sanctions. The entries for 5 individuals and 4 entities were also amended. It also issued updated FAQ relating to the CAATSA-based sanctions and on General Licence GL.1 (Authorising Certain Transactions with the Federal Security Service or FSB) – now reissued as GL.1A.
GL.1A, like GL.1, is connected with transactions involving the FSB that are necessary and ordinarily incidental to requesting, receiving, utilising, paying for, or dealing in certain licenses and authorisations for the importation, distribution, or use of certain information technology products in the Russian Federation. It only authorises certain transactions with the FSB acting in its administrative and law enforcement capacities – all other transactions involving US property etc remain prohibited under specifically licensed. The licence does not does authorise the export of any goods, technology, or services directly or indirectly to the FSB (or any other blocked person or entity) except for the limited purposes of complying with certain rules, regulations, and investigations involving the FSB or requesting certain licences or authorisations for the importation, distribution, or use of information technology products in the Russian Federation.
On 15th March, the OECD and the EU IPO have released a joint report – Trade in Counterfeit Goods and Free Trade Zones – which finds that exports of counterfeit and pirated goods from a country or economy rise in parallel with the number and size of free trade zones it hosts. Comparing growth in free trade zones, measured by the number of firms and employees in the zone, and customs seizure data from around the world shows that establishing a new free trade zone is associated with a 5.9% rise in the value of counterfeit exports from the host economy.
AA.com on 15th March reported that Mossack Fonseca says ‘economic and reputational damage’ caused by tax scandal led to shutdown and that it will close completely at the end of March.
On 15th March, the New Zealand Herald reported on the publication of a national risk assessment report from the FIU. An estimated $1.35 billion of criminal proceeds is generated for money laundering in New Zealand every year but the actual transactional value is thought to be several times higher – $750m comes from drug offending, $500m from fraud and $100m from other offences such as burglary. The report replaces its predecessor from 2010 and is used along with Sector Risk Assessments, published by the Reserve Bank, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Financial Market Authority. In April 2017, the police launched the first dedicated money laundering investigations team – a group of 8 detectives and specialists. The report notes that, although transnational laundering through real estate has received a high degree of media interest in New Zealand, this typology has not been common in international requests to the FIU. The article includes a link to the report.