On 13th April, Out-Law reported that a journalist should generally be entitled to obtain copies of documentation lodged with the tribunal as part of a tax appeal, including the grounds of appeal and the response of HMRC, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has ruled. The judge said that the common law principle of ‘open justice’ was applicable to all courts and tribunals, and required the documentation sought by journalist Gareth Corfield to be disclosed unless there was a good reason not to do so. In this case, the taxpayer was unable to show that the access sought “would lead to any unfairness or is likely to cause … real harm”.
PC Gamer on 13th April carried an article containing an interview with a cyber security expert about the suspicion that enterprising criminals are turning to more innovative solutions, such as laundering money using massively multi-player games. The expert says that even in a hugely popular game like World of Warcraft, the chances anyone is trying to launder a million dollars are next to none. He also appears to think that the chance of a seemingly legitimate game website set up by criminals to launder through microtransactions is theoretically popular, but unlikely for reasons explained.
On 14th April, website Interest carried an article that looks at the discussion paper published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), said to herald the Government’s latest attempt to clean up the problematic entity known as the FSPR, with previous attempts having run on and off over the past few years. A minister is quoted as saying that some mainly offshore-controlled entities have been ‘free-riding’ off New Zealand’s reputation for sound financial markets regulation by using their registration to imply that they are actively regulated in New Zealand when that is not the case. Amongst the reasons listed for the proposed changes is to assist New Zealand in meeting its obligations under FATF recommendations, which include requiring the licensing or registration of all financial institutions to ensure effective monitoring is in place to confirm financial institutions are meeting their AML/CFT obligations. It is safe to say that the commentary itself appears to be critical of the proposals.
The discussion paper itself is available at –
Handelsblatt on 13th April reported that executives at Sig Sauer, which is currently selling half a million handguns to US armed forces, may be charged with facilitating illegal weapons sales to Colombia. The accused include senior executives and export managers, using an initial shipment to a sister company in the US. Sig Sauer is alleged to have made false statements on export licence applications between 2009 and 2012, leading government officials to believe the guns were destined for the US marketplace. Only German-made handguns could have met the specifications that its US subsidiary had brokered with Colombian police.