OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 30

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TREASURY COMMITTEE’S VIRTUAL CURRENCIES INQUIRY PUBLISHES FCA AND BANK OF ENGLAND EVIDENCE

On 25th May, Katten reported that the UK’s House of Commons Treasury Committee has updated its webpage on its inquiry into what it refers to as “digital currencies”.  The webpage now provides links to written evidence the Treasury Committee has received from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England in which they outline their work in this area. See –

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/treasury-committee/inquiries1/parliament-2017/digital-currencies-17-19/publications/

https://www.corporatefinancialweeklydigest.com/2018/05/articles/uk-developments/treasury-committees-virtual-currencies-inquiry-publishes-fca-and-bank-of-england-evidence/#page=1

CAYMAN ISLANDS: THE NEW AML REGULATIONS

An article from Cayman Finance on 29th May claims that the Cayman Islands’ new Anti-Money Laundering Regulations replace the Money Laundering Regulations and while there is a noticeable difference with the name, the Regulations mainly seek to formalise the AML practices of the jurisdiction which have been followed by industry through the Guidance Notes on the Prevention and Detection of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Cayman Islands.  This, it says, means little change has occurred in how businesses operate as the recommendations were adhered to for several years through the Guidance Notes.

http://www.mondaq.com/caymanislands/x/705426/Money+Laundering/The+New+AntiMoney+Laundering+Regulations

DOJ POLICY ON CO-ORDINATION OF CORPORATE RESOLUTION PENALTIES – NEW DOJ POLICY TO PREVENT “PILING-ON”

On 30th May, Wilmer Hale released a briefing reporting that on May 9th Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced a new DoJ policy regarding the coordination of corporate resolution penalties.  This policy is intended to reduce duplicative penalties against corporations by encouraging co-ordination between the various law enforcement authorities, both domestic and international.

https://wilmerhalecommunications.com/26/2520/may-2018/new-doj-policy-to-prevent–piling-on-.asp?sid=bb393f11-1ef2-4374-af54-3e02c54406ef

TRACE PODCAST: SANCTIONS UPDATE: TURBULENT TIMES

In the latest TRACE podcast, Amanda DeBusk, sanctions expert with Dechert LLP, provides an update on Iran, China’s ZTE and North Korea.

https://www.traceinternational.org/bribe_swindle_or_steal

WHITE COLLAR FRAUD CASES HIT 20-YEAR LOW IN US

Law.com’s Compliance Hotspot newsletter reported on 30th May that white-collar prosecutions in the US are on track to hit a 20-year low, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a non-profit research centre that analyses government data.  TRAC found in its latest report that about 3,250 cases were brought between October 2017 and April — a 4.4% drop from the same period in fiscal year 2017 and a 33.5% decline from 5 years ago. Separately, it is reported that at the SEC, meanwhile, penalties fell to a 4-year low in the fiscal year that ended in September 2017.

http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/514/

RISK OF EXTRADITION TAKES SECOND PLACE TO NEED TO GIVE PRACTICAL EFFECT TO A FREEZING ORDER

Gowling WLG, in the May 2018 edition of its Finance Litigation newsletter, reported on a case where the UK Court of Appeal has found that a debtor’s fears of extradition did not obviate the need for him to be cross-examined in person as to his assets under a worldwide freezing injunction.  In the case, the bank involved had made out a strong case against the respondent that he had been involved in a massive international fraud and was concealing evidence about relevant assets. The public interest in the court giving maximum practical effect to the freezing order it had granted was strong.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2018/finance-litigation-cases-and-issues-may-2018

LIABILITIES OF LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES AND DIRECTORS OF CHINESE COMPANIES

On 30th May, a briefing from Gowling WLG provided information highlighting the potential legal liabilities associated with individuals, including foreigners, acting as a legal representatives or directors of Chinese registered companies, e.g. a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) and Sino-foreign joint venture (JV) for civil liabilities, administrative liabilities, criminal liability.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2018/liabilities-of-legal-representatives-and-directors

FREIGHT AND BREXIT INQUIRY LAUNCHED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE

On 30th May, BIFA reported that the House of Commons Transport Committee has launched an inquiry to examine the potential effects of Brexit on UK freight operations and assess the preparatory steps operators, their customers and the Government need to take.  Road haulage, maritime and aviation sectors may need to take different steps to prepare for the effects and harness the opportunities, of Brexit. But there has been little published analysis of sector-specific freight needs.  The Transport Committee inquiry is offering freight operators and their diverse customers, the opportunity to specify these needs.  Though the terms of reference are wide, the Committee hopes the sector will also be forthcoming about the issues involved.

Submissions are required by 8th June –

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/freight-and-brexit-17-19/

https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2018/may/freight-and-brexit-inquiry-launched?l=y

IRAN SANCTIONS: AEROSPACE FOCUS

On 29th May, HFW produced a briefing detailing how the recently announced reimposed US sanctions might affect the aerospace industries – manufacturers, lessors, financiers, airlines.

http://www.hfw.com/Iran-sanctions-Aerospace-focus-May-2018

GETTING PREPARED FOR THE 2018 YACHTING SEASON

Another briefing from HFW on 30th May said that now is the time for those in yachting to consider both recent changes and possible challenges ahead – mentioning VAT issues in the EU, French social security, the Red Ensign Group (REG) relatively new Yacht Code, cyber piracy and GDPR.

http://www.hfw.com/Getting-prepared-for-the-2018-Yachting-Season

INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2016 (COMMENCEMENT NO. 5 AND TRANSITIONAL AND SAVING PROVISIONS) REGULATIONS 2018

These UK Regulations (SI 2018/652) bring into force provisions in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 relating to the interception of communications and equipment interference.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/652/contents/made

NEW ADVICE ON VAT FOR PROPERTY SEARCHES IN UK

On 30th May, the Law Society Gazette reported that conveyancers should consider charging VAT on fees for electronic property searches pending a definitive court ruling, the Law Society advises on guidance to firms on the First-tier Tax Tribunal ruling in Brabners. This follows a meeting with HMRC to seek clarity on how HMRC intends to approach the VAT treatment of searches.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/new-advice-on-vat-for-property-searches/5066273.article

PAKISTAN RECOVERS $1.3 MILLION FROM CORRUPTION SUSPECT   

OCCRP on 29th May reported that Pakistan’s anti-graft authorities recovered $1.3 million and a luxurious Toyota Landcruiser from the former head of the Lahore Development Authority, Ahad Cheema, in the eastern city of Lahore.  Cheema was arrested in February under suspicion of misusing his authority and corruption involving a housing project. The case is known as the “Ashiana Housing scam”.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/8143-pakistan-recovers-us-1-3-million-from-corruption-suspect

EX-EXEC OF MEXICAN BANK PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD IN US

On 30th May, Baker McKenzie reported that a former partner and part-owner of Mexico’s InvestaBank SA, Carlos Djemal Nehmadhas, 57, pleaded guilty to a US charge that he fraudulently obtained $21 million in tax refunds from the Mexican government.  He was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison in Manhattan.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/ex-exec-of-mexican-bank-pleads-guilty-to-wire-fraud/

The new Venezuela currency notes…

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INFORMATION EXCHANGES DRIVING UP SERIOUS TAX EVASION CASES IN UK

Out-Law reported on 30th May that the number of serious tax evasion cases identified by HMRC increased by over one fifth last year, as HMRC has begun to receive more information about taxpayers with offshore bank accounts.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/may/information-exchanges-serious-tax-evasion-cases/

EUROPOL ANNOUNCES NEW DARK WEB INVESTIGATIONS TEAM TO TACKLE ILLICIT HIDDEN MARKETPLACES

Illicit Trade on 30th May reported that law enforcement officials from 28 countries gathered at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague to discuss a coordinated approach to tackling illegal activity on the dark web.  Europol announced the establishment of a dedicated dark web investigations team, which it said will work with partners and law enforcement agencies in Europe and across the globe to limit the size and scope of this underground illegal economy.  It will share information and provide operational support and expertise in different crime areas. It will also work towards the development of tools, tactics, and techniques to conduct dark web investigations and identify major threats and targets.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2018/05/europol-announces-new-dark-web-investigations-team-to-tackle-illicit-hidden-marketplaces/

US-IRAN SANCTIONS: WHAT SHOULD NON-US BUSINESSES DO NOW?

Out-Law provided a briefing on 30th May saying that as we approach 4th August, when US secondary sanctions begin to be reactivated, businesses with connections to Iran should be carefully considering their next steps.  It says that, in the face of such uncertainty, non-US businesses should start planning their exit from Iran – or, if committed to Iranian businesses notwithstanding the risk of US enforcement, establishing if they will be able to proceed on a legal and practical level.  It says that businesses should begin by asking themselves several questions which the article details.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/may/us-iran-sanctions-non-us-businesses/

 

JERSEY FINANCE FIRM CEO BARRED FOR ‘SERIOUS INCOMPETENCE’

The Jersey Evening Post on 30th May reported that the chief executive of a Jersey finance firm has been banned from the industry after acting with a ‘serious lack of integrity’ and ‘incompetence of the most serious kind’.  The Royal Court rejected David Jonathan Francis’s appeal against the decision of the Jersey FSC to publicly criticise his business activities as chief executive and a major shareholder of Horizon Trustees (Jersey) Limited and to bar him from practice.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2018/05/30/finance-firm-chief-barred-for-serious-incompetence/



PSYCHIC TURNED FINANCIER TO FACE TRIAL ON FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES IN IRELAND

Breaking News on 30th May reported that a psychic turned financier – astrologer and tarot reader, Simon Gold, 53 – is facing trial accused of fraud and money-laundering offences.  Mr Gold is best known for his firm Astrology Ireland and has billed himself as “Ireland’s Leading 7th Generation Psychic Astrologer & Tarot Master”.

https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/psychic-turned-financier-to-face-trial-on-fraud-and-money-laundering-charges-846037.html

 

RISK OF EXTRADITION TAKES SECOND PLACE TO NEED TO GIVE PRACTICAL EFFECT TO A FREEZING ORDER

Gowling WLG, in the May 2018 edition of its Finance Litigation newsletter, reported on a case where the UK Court of Appeal has found that a debtor’s fears of extradition did not obviate the need for him to be cross-examined in person as to his assets under a worldwide freezing injunction.  In the case, the bank involved had made out a strong case against the respondent that he had been involved in a massive international fraud and was concealing evidence about relevant assets. The public interest in the court giving maximum practical effect to the freezing order it had granted was strong.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2018/finance-litigation-cases-and-issues-may-2018

 

OFAC – NEW AND AMENDED IRAN AND UKRAINE/RUSSIA SANCTIONS LISTINGS

OFAC DESIGNATES IRANIAN ENTITIES ON SERIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, AS WELL AS 5 INDIVIDUALS

On 30th May, the US Treasury announced that OFAC had designated 2 Iranian entities for committing serious human rights abuses on behalf of the Government of Iran, as well as 3 leaders of one of these entities, the Ansar-e Hizballah organisation.  OFAC also designated an entity that has operated information or communications technology that facilitates monitoring or tracking that could assist or enable serious human rights abuses by or on behalf of the Government. OFAC also designated 2 individuals for engaging in censorship activities that prohibit, limit, or penalise the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, and one individual for acting for or on behalf of an entity engaged in such censorship activities.   These designations, it says, come in the wake of recent protests by the Iranian people and the regime’s subsequent brutal crackdown. Included in the new designations is Abdulali Ali-Asgari, current Director General of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) – itself already designated – and has acted on behalf of the organisation.

At the same time, OFAC has made amendments to the Iran sanctions entries relating to AL-BILAD ISLAMIC BANK FOR INVESTMENT AND FINANCE P.S.C, and AL-NASER AIRLINES (a.k.a. ALNASER AIRLINES),

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180530.aspx

OFAC AMENDS 1 ENTRY ON ITS UKRAINE/RUSSIA SANCTIONS LISTS

In its announcement of 30th May, OFAC also announced the amendment of one entry on its Ukraine/Russia sanctions list – DART AIRLINES (a.k.a. DART AIRCOMPANY; a.k.a. DART UKRAINIAN AIRLINES; a.k.a. TOVARYSTVO Z OBMEZHENOYU VIDPOVIDALNISTYU ‘DART’; a.k.a. “DART, LLC”; a.k.a. “DART, TOV”).

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180530.aspx

 

THE GOOD AND THE BAD OF REFORMS TO US FIREARMS EXPORT CONTROLS

On 29th May, Forbes produced an article which starts by pointing out that the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) processes about 39,000 export licence applications annually – about 10,000 are in the firearms and related items categories and of these, about 6,000 are for items that will move to the Commerce Control List (CCL) — including the vast majority of non-automatic and semi-automatic firearms under .50 calibre, and their ammunition.  It then outlines the advantages and disadvantages for businesses of the changes. The two main issues it highlights are keeping noise suppressors (commonly if incorrectly known as silencers — the noise made by a firearm can be suppressed, but not silenced) on the USML; and automatic firearms will remain on the USML even though manufacturers commonly produce both automatic and semi-automatic firearms on the same line, or using the same parts.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedbromund/2018/05/29/the-good-and-the-bad-of-reforms-to-firearms-export-controls/#d48f85e6b9a6