The Times of India on 29th April reported that Tramadol, a painkiller pharmaceutical drug, has been declared a “psychotropic substance” by the government and its sale in the country will now be strictly monitored after the Narcotics Control Board (NCB) said it was being internationally smuggled, and had possible supply links to the global terror group ISIS. The synthetic opiate is known to be abused on a wide scale by terrorists of the so-called ISIS to suppress pain and boost strength during injury and hence, is also known as the ‘fighter drug’ among international anti-narcotics authorities.
All Africa on 29th April reported that Somalia will host a 2-day international conference in May aimed at stopping the illegal charcoal trade in the Horn of Africa nation and which will bring together Somali environment experts and international donor partners, will discuss ways of stopping the illegal trade, unsustainable production and use of charcoal in the country. According to the UN, 8.2 million trees were cut down for charcoal in Somalia between 2011 and 2017, increasing land degradation and food insecurity, and illegal trade in charcoal acts as major source of funding for militias and terrorist groups such as al-Shabab.
28th April 2018
ENHANCED UK POWERS TO SCRUTINISE MERGERS ON GROUNDS OF NATIONAL SECURITY
On 27th April, Travers Smith LLP published an article saying that the U K government is to introduce enhanced powers to scrutinise mergers on grounds of national security and is considering further, more substantial such powers. This briefing looks at what these changes are likely to mean and whether they represent a move towards a more protectionist approach.
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE BELIZE COMPANIES – DEADLINE 1ST JULY
AGP Law in Cyprus produced a briefing on 27th April explaining changes to Belize company laws. The changes are said to be in in order to achieve full recognition within the evolving international standards of transparency promoted by FATF and OECD. This includes that the Registered Office in Belize will be bound to maintain files with the proper information about the ultimate beneficial owner of companies that they provide services to. Every company which has issued bearer shares shall convert such shares into registered shares and cancel all bearer share certificates, if any.
STOLEN SOMALI WEAPONS FOR SALE ON OPEN MARKET
Defence Web on 26th April reported that at least 600 weapons stolen from a former UAE-run training centre in Mogadishu are for sale in the city, weapons dealers said. The weapons, including new Kalashnikov assault rifles and Chinese versions of them, were stolen by Somali National Army soldiers trained by the UAE at its facility, 3 Somalis who purchased weapons from the soldiers told Reuters. The UAE ended its training programme on April 15th, shortly after security forces at Mogadishu airport seized millions of dollars and temporarily held a UAE plane. The UAE-trained troops began stealing weapons from the facility shortly after the programme was disbanded, dealers said. Soldiers sold guns directly to the dealers and indirectly via their brokers. The looting apparently occurred while the UAE was in the process of emptying its training centre. Meanwhile, a ship docked at Mogadishu port was loaded with equipment from the UAE training centre, including several dozen shipping containers of weapons, dozens of armoured vehicles fitted with anti-aircraft guns and hundreds of cars, a port staff member told Reuters.
PATRICK HO SOUGHT HELP FROM BEIJING TO FIGHT BRIBERY CHARGES, COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW
The South China Morning Post on 28th April reported that that the prosecutor has accused former Hong Kong minister Ho of getting financial support for his legal fees from an unnamed Shanghai-based energy firm.
PHARMACISTS IN IRELAND ALARMED OVER RISE IN ILLEGAL MEDICATIONS
RTE on 28th April reported that there has been a 40% increase in the amount of counterfeit or illegal medications seized in Ireland, according to the Irish Pharmacy Union. Last year almost 1 million medical doses were seized – half of which were steroids. The union fears that many of these anabolic steroids are being used by people to build muscle mass and improve sport performance.
US WHITE COLLAR CRIME ENFORCEMENT LEGAL TRENDS
On 28th April, Harris Beach PLC advised that Harris Beach attorney Brian Mahoney presented a national webinar on “White-Collar Crime Enforcement: Legal Trends and Developments in 2017 and Beyond,” hosted by The Knowledge Group. The article lists the white collar crimes targeted by US prosecutors, and the factors taken into consideration by prosecutors. It also considers trends in FCPS (bribery/corruption) enforcement, and the status of the Yates memo that said that the DoJ would prioritise prosecution of individuals in corporate misconduct investigations.
The webinar itself is available on You Tube –
AUSTRALIA SENDING PLANE TO MONITOR NORTH KOREAN SHIPS’ ‘ILLICIT TRADE’
The Guardian in Australia on 28th April reported that a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft will look for ship-to-ship transfers of goods prohibited under UN sanctions. Apparently, Canada is also send aircraft, and the Royal Navy some ships.
FIFA BANS BRAZILIAN FEDERATION CHIEF OVER GRAFT
Baker McKenzie on 28th April reported that FIFA has banned Brazilian confederation president Marco Polo Del Nero from all football-related activity for life after he was found guilty of receiving bribes.
Guardian on 27th April reports that books of gibberish are listed on Amazon.com for thousands of dollars. “Worthless” books priced at up to thousands, of dollars and which contain only nonsensical text have been identified as possible vehicles for money laundering by an author whose name was, he says, used to send almost $24,000 to an unknown and fraudulent seller. It is relatively straightforward to publish a title that contains any text, provided that this isn’t “placeholder” or dummy text and allowing fake books to be sold on the Amazon website at a price chosen by the seller.
27th April 2018
US TREASURY SANCTIONS CHINESE FENTANYL TRAFFICKER JIAN ZHANG
On 27th April, the US Treasury announced that it had added the above to its Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation list. In addition, OFAC designated 4 additional Chinese nationals acting on behalf of Jian Zhang and Zaron Bio-Tech (Asia) Limited, an entity registered in Hong Kong that is owned or controlled by Jian Zhang.
SHIPPERS UNVEIL NEW INITIATIVE TO STRENGTHEN SUPPLY CHAIN IN WAR AGAINST FAKES
Loadstar on 27th April reported that some of the world’s largest shippers have expanded their fight against the trade in counterfeit goods. They have called on maritime logistics suppliers, container carriers and the freight forwarders that coordinate shipments, to introduce policies to ensure they only carry legitimate trade. The International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group introduced a KYC best practices agreement the TOC Container Supply Chain event in Singapore, urging maritime operators to verify the legitimacy of their customers and take steps to identify high-risk shipments.
DUTCH GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES NEW DEFINITION UBO
On 13th April, NautaDutilh published an article saying that on 6th April the Dutch Minister of Finance published an updated draft decree which contains the new definition of ultimate beneficial owners (UBO) of companies and other entities. The article goes on to explain the new definitions. They are expected to become effective by the summer of 2018, perhaps as early as 1st June. The Dutch UBO register will be implemented separately by means of an amendment to the Dutch Trade Register Act 2007, probably not before 2019.
INDIAN GOVERNMENT PROMOTES IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNAL COMPLIANCE PROGRAMMES FOR EXPORT CONTROLS
Baker McKenzie on 25th April published an article saying that the Indian Director General of Foreign Trade has called upon industry to introduce internal compliance programmes (ICP) for export controls. His comments came at the launch of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) ICP module for Indian industry, proposed as an industry template.
IMPLICATIONS OF CAATSA FOR INDIA’S DEFENCE RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA AND AMERICA
On 26th April, the India-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis produced an article saying that recent reports have highlighted that India’s planned defence procurement from Russia could potentially come under US sanctions under a newly enacted law, Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). This Brief examines CAATSA and its likely implications for India’s defence and security co-operation with 2 of its main arms suppliers, Russia and the US.
COURT ORDERS SEIZURE OF ASSETS OF FUGITIVE BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
Gulf News on 27th April reported that an Indian court has ordered the confiscation of assets belonging to absconding Bollywood star Mamta Kulkarni, in connection with a drug smuggling case involving the former actress and her husband Vicky Goswami. She is believed to be in Canada. The court’s order is a fallout of one of the biggest operations in April 2016, when Mumbai’s Thane police busted a gang smuggling narcotic drugs.
STOLEN SUCCULENTS: CALIFORNIA HIPSTER PLANTS AT CENTRE OF SMUGGLING CRISIS
The Guardian on 27th April reported that demand in China and Korea has led to thousands of dudleya being stolen from California as officials lament ‘plant poaching’. In China, they are prized for their chubby limbs and cute shapes. In Korea, they are a treasured hobby for housewives.
VAT: MISSING TRADER FRAUD (MTIC) GUIDANCE
On 27th April, HMRC published updated guidance on how to spot VAT missing trader fraud and how to protect yourself or your business from organised criminals.
COMPANIES (DISCLOSURE OF ADDRESS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2018
These UK regulations (SI 2018/528) amend the Companies (Disclosure of Address) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/214) to remove restrictions on making information about individuals’ residential addresses unavailable to the public by the Registrar of Companies.
ZAMBIA REQUIRES MINING COMPANIES TO COUGH UP RECORDS
The Lusaka Times on 27th April reported that in a move that will hopefully reduce corporate tax evasion in Zambia’s mining sector, multinational companies must now document all their “related party transactions” to show they aren’t using them to reduce their tax bill.
UK ADVICE FIRM INVESTIGATED OVER ALLEGED FRAUD
The Financial Reporter on 27th April reported that the City of London Police has launched a criminal investigation into Kingsbridge Asset Management and its associated companies over alleged fraudulent activity. It provided specialist financial advice to high net worth clients between 1992 and 2010. It is alleged that management and staff including financial advisers conspired together to defraud a large number of company clients, resulting in significant financial losses. The company ceased trading in 2010, but it is believed there may be hundreds of people affected by this alleged activity and may be victims of fraud.
OVERSEAS COMPANIES: RESTRICTING DISCLOSURE OF UK ADDRESS
On 27th April, UK Companies House issued a news release advising updated guidance on how to restrict access to your address on the public register.
BOTH SIDES CLAIM VICTORY IN UK SURVEILLANCE LAW CHALLENGE
The Law Society Gazette on 27th April reported that in the latest crowd-funded challenge to the government’s powers to monitor electronic communications has left both sides claiming victory. Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Holgate ordered the government to amend a provision of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 granting powers to require telecoms operators to store records of communications, including tracking information and web browsing. Campaign group Liberty hailed the judgment has a ‘landmark victory for privacy rights’. However in its response the Home Office said the government had already conceded that ‘aspects’ of Part 4 were inconsistent with EU law, ‘and has committed to bring forward amendments to remedy these inconsistencies’.
EU VAT CO-OPERATION PROPOSALS TO BE AMENDED
Tax News on 27th April reported that The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has requested a number of changes to the EU Commission’s proposals for enhanced administrative cooperation in VAT matters, according to a document released on April 23rd.
FURTHER RESTRICTIONS ON NEONICOTINOIDS AGREED
DEFRA reported on 27th April that further restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides said to affect bees have been approved following a vote in the European Commission. The UK voted in favour of the proposals that will see a ban on outdoor use of 3 neonicotinoids – Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam. Currently, their use is banned for oilseed rape, spring cereals and sprays for winter cereals, but they can be used to treat sugar beet, various horticultural crops and as seed treatments for winter cereals.
HM TREASURY RENEWS TERRORISM SANCTIONS LISTING
On 27th April, HM Treasury issued a news release saying that it had renewed the designation of Mohammed Fawaz KHALED.
DANGERS AND SOLUTIONS FOR US COMPANIES TRADING WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES
The AP&S Law Blog on 27th April produced an article advising on compliance of US companies with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA). The FCPA was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.
JORDANIAN INSURER SUES AIG IN UK OVER SYRIAN BANK THEFT
Law 360 on 27th April reported that the European arm of American International Group Inc, AIG Europe Ltd, is being sued for approximately $584,000 in a London court over reinsurance that Jordan Insurance Company based in Amman says it is owed over losses resulting when money was stolen from a bank in Syria.
ATM RAIDERS JAILED IN JOINT CROSS-BORDER INVESTIGATION IN EU
On 27th April, Europol reported that in early 2018 Germany and the Netherlands set up a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in co-operation with Europol and Eurojust. The aim of this JIT is to tackle ATM-related organised crime. On 17th April, only a few weeks after the JIT was set up, the investigators already had the chance to score their first big success.
THE PLIGHT OF PANGOLINS
In the latest TRACE podcast, Professor Katharine Abernethy discusses the dramatic and illegal overhunting and subsequent smuggling of pangolins, the most trafficked animal in the world, to supply the Asian market with their scales believed—without evidence—to cure cancer.
US TREASURY ISSUES BELARUS GENERAL LICENSE 2E
On 27th April, the US Treasury advised that it had issued a licence authorising until 30th October certain transactions otherwise blocked by Executive Order.
G7 MINISTERS ENDORSE INTERPOL GLOBAL TASK FORCE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Homeland Security Today on 25th April reported that G7 Security Ministers have backed the INTERPOL Global Task Force on Human Trafficking to combat this multi-billion-dollar form of modern-day slavery. The ministerial support was outlined in the commitments paper issued at the end of a meeting in Toronto attended by the INTERPOL Secretary General. It also said that running projects supported by Canada, Germany and the USA, the INTERPOL Global Task Force on Human Trafficking has significant experience in co-ordinating operations targeting forced labour of children and other forms of human trafficking around the world.
On 27th April, a news release from the Jersey government reported that the Island has co-operated fully in a review of the arrangements for the Exchange of Notes on Beneficial Ownership between the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. This allows a commitment made in 2016 between the UK, 6 of the Overseas Territories, and all of the Crown Dependencies to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement co-operation through the sharing of beneficial ownership information.
The report is at –
112 International on 27th April reported that a Corruption park is to be opened in Hryshko National Botanical Garden in Kyiv on June 1st. This project was created to attract attention to the top-corruption topic in an interactive form. The Corruption park will consist of nine inflatable tents with a total area of 700 square meters. Each has a story – about corruption as a phenomenon known by ancient Sumerians, basic corruption systems, large informational block on corruption agencies with the artefacts of real criminal cases. The last hall is entitled “The State we dreamed of”, which shown Ukraine without corruption.
On 27th April, the House of Commons Library published this report as the Bill has its final stages in the Commons scheduled for 2nd May.
On 27th April, EU Regulation 2018/648/EU provided for the replacement of the entry relating to Mohammed Omar Ghulam Nabi.
On 27th April, the EU published EU Regulation 2018/647/EU, which makes the changes detailed below, amending Regulation 401/2013/EU. See also EU Council Decision 2018/655/CFSP.
On 26th April, a news release advised that the EU Council has imposed further restrictive measures on Myanmar/Burma, strengthening the EU’s arms embargo and extended it for a further year. It also targeted the Myanmar/Burma army and border guard police officials. It imposed restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression and prohibited the provision of military training to and military co-operation with the Myanmar/Burma army. The necessary legislation will be published on 27th April.
On 27th April, HM treasury issued a news release confirming the changes to UK lists.