29th April 2018
CHINA TO BAN ONLINE AND MOBILE POKER
The Express Tribune IN Pakistan on 29th April reported that shares in Chinese companies offering online and mobile poker games have shed up to a fifth of their value over a week, following reports in local media that the government would ban all poker-related applications from June 1st. There has been no official statement so far and the ministry did not respond to a request from Reuters for comment.
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS BEGIN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ITALIAN ARMS COMPANY
Ekklesia on 28th April reported that a coalition of human rights organisations from Germany, Italy and Yemen have begun a legal action against a European arms manufacturer and officials in Italy. The legal action is brought by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Yemen-based Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights and the Italian organisation Rete Italiana per il Disarmo. The legal challenge focuses on a particular bombing of the village of Deir al-Jari in Hudaydah, Yemen, which took place on 8th October 2016. On 17th April, the groups filed a complaint with prosecutors in Rome against the Italian company RWM Italia, a subsidiary of German arms company Rheinmetall, and officials in the Italian arms export licensing agency. The complaint asks prosecutors to investigate whether there is liability on the part of the officials and RWM Italia directors over alleged arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition.
10 INVOLVED IN HAWALA RACKET ARRESTED IN INDIA
The Hindustan Times in its 30th April edition reported that they were arrested while they were returning by a flight from Dubai. It is alleged that the accused would carry credit cards of international banks and cash to Dubai by flight and hand over the same to an operative who would use the same to fund smuggling of gold and electronic items in the country. To date, 24 people have been arrested in the case and 27 more are wanted.
EGYPTIAN POLICE FOIL 8 ISLAMIC RELICS SMUGGLING RUN TO LEBANON
Al Bawaba on 29th April reported that the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities received 8 ancient Islamic artefacts that have been confiscated at Badr harbour last October. The pieces, which were confiscated during a smuggling attempt to Lebanon, have been put on display in the Islamic Art museum in Bab Al-Khalq, Cairo, according to Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page. The Head of Central Administration of Archaeological Units in Ports said that the confiscated pieces include 6 ceramic artefacts that date back to the 19th Century, including a vase, a tea set and 2 metal punnets on which King Farouk’s crest engraved.
BOSNIA STRUGGLES TO COPE WITH MIGRANTS AS ‘BALKAN ROUTE’ TAKES A NEW TURN
The Irish Times on 29th April reported that Bosnia and international organisations are calling for urgent action to manage a surge in the number of migrants arriving in the country, which people smugglers are now using to bypass tighter borders along the “Balkan route” in the EU. More than 1,800 migrants are said to have entered Bosnia so far this year – well over double the number for the whole of 2017.
UK ANNOUNCES CONSULTATION ON CRACKING DOWN ON SCOTTISH LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS (SLP)
On 29th April, Manx Radio repeated a Sky News story that said that UK Ministers have announced plans to crack down on a business loophole which has been used by overseas criminals to launder dirty foreign money. Government research shows one laundering scheme used 100 SLPs to move up to £60 billion out of Russia. Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLP) were first created in 1907 for farm holdings. The Government is launching a consultation on further measures to prevent their abuse. They include a requirement that users have a real connection to the UK and do business or maintain an address in Scotland, closing a loophole which means they can be used by anyone around the world. It is also proposing that new SLP should be registered through a company formation agent, meaning the “front men” will be subjected to anti-money laundering checks.
RESPONSE TO AN INSPECTION REPORT ON UK EXIT CHECKS
On 28th April, the Home Office published a response to the Independent Chief Inspector of Border and Immigration’s report on an inspection of exit checks, which included achievements and recommendations for improvement.
FINCEN ADVISORY ON THE FATF-IDENTIFIED JURISDICTIONS WITH AML/CFT DEFICIENCIES
On 27th April, FinCEN issued an Advisory containing details of the list issued by FATF on 23rd February.