AML AND FRAUD IN AUSTRIA
On 1st June, Austrian law firm Knoetzl published a briefing on the current position and recent developments concerning AML and fraud laws in Austria, including the Beneficial Owners Register Act, which came into force on 15th January.
BLACKBURN MAN CAN APPEAL TOBACCO SMUGGLING EXTRADITION TO ITALY
The Lancashire Telegraph on 4th June reported that High Court judges have ruled that Marek Lewicki can appeal against an order to extradite him to Italy where he faces a prison sentence, having been convicted in his absence by a criminal court in Naples in October 2015 with 11 others of organising a criminal cross-border tobacco smuggling organisation to avoid tax. Any appeal would be strictly limited to the abuse of process argument in relation to the ultimate order to extradite the applicant in respect of all the offences set out in the European Arrest Warrant.
TURKS & CAICOS STEPS UP FIGHT AGAINST FINANCIAL CRIME
On 4th June, the Turks & Caicos Weekly News reported that, according to a recent excerpt from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) website, the territory has drastically improved its money crime prevention regime. It has been subject to scrutiny under the CFATF International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) review for years and has recently submitted a 13th follow-up report on its efforts to combat money laundering. Although the Turks and Caicos Islands is no longer subject to the ICRG monitoring process, its compliance with international standards on money laundering and financial crime will still be reviewed. Last year the territory undertook pre-assessment training in preparation for its mutual evaluation assessment by the CFATF in line with FATF procedures.
CAMPAIGN AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERERS LEADS TO 20% DROP IN FINES
Lawyer Monthly on 30th May reported that the number of fines handed out in the UK for money laundering and terrorist financing rule breaches has fallen 20% in the last year as tougher enforcement delivers a wake-up call, anti-money laundering according to big data specialist, FortyTwo Data. The article provides brief highlights from HM Treasury on SAR received 2015/17.
VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE AGENT FACING MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES IN US
On 3rd June, the Vancouver Sun reported that a former Metro Vancouver realtor who has allegedly been leasing luxury properties to “gangsters” in British Columbia is behind bars in the US charged with international money laundering. Omid Mashinchi, 35, appeared in a Boston courtroom last month and was remanded in custody. US authorities allege that he wired hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money over several months last year to banks in Massachusetts through one of his company’s accounts, and knew the funds involved “represented the proceeds of crime” and “that such transportation, transmission and transfer was designed in whole or in part to conceal and disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership and the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity”. It reports that Mashinchi has started at least 3 companies in British Columbia since 2006, all related to the real estate industry.
CAYMAN MARITIME AND AVIATION SERVICES PARK
Cayman Finance on 4th June published an article saying that the Government has recently granted legislation allowing the addition of offshore aviation services to the Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) special economic zone which consists of 6 business parks. The addition of the aviation park is, it says, expected to be instrumental in further diversifying Cayman’s economy and will assist in growing its client base. The Aviation Services Park joins the maritime sector within CEC to create the Cayman Maritime & Aviation Services Park (CMASP). It is envisioned that CMASP will create the largest transportation services group in the region which will attract international maritime and aviation service businesses to set up a physical presence in Cayman. With this expansion, the CMASP can now include aircraft owners and brokers, technology companies and startups focused on aviation research and development, aircraft manufacturing and repair businesses, head offices of aviation industry businesses, companies that provide management consultancy and any other specialised services relating to the aviation industry.
THE SCOURGE OF TRAMADOL ABUSE – NOT JUST IN NIGERIA
ENACT Africa on 21st May published an article which says that the use of tramadol as a recreational drug is on the rise across Central Africa. The illegal trade and non-medical abuse of this synthetic opioid poses alarming risks for health and security. Health practitioners are faced with the dilemma of restricting the availability of this normally legal medicine to curb the abuse; or jeopardising access to pain treatment for legitimate patients. When abused for non-medical purposes, it can pose various health risks. Ingested with other drugs or alcohol, tramadol use can lead to central nervous system depression, coma, tachycardia, cardiovascular collapse, seizures and respiratory arrest.
UK ZIMBABWEAN ARRESTED OVER “FAKE TEA” KHAT
Zimeye on 5th June reported that a UK-based Zimbabwean is one of 2 people arrested over fake “tea” that turned out to be khat drug. Arrested in Zimbabwe, it is alleged that the khat was destined for the UK.
DEPORTED DRUG BOSS JAILED FOR NEW £63 MILLION HEROIN HAUL IN UK
The Times on 5th June reported that a Turkish “crime lord” deported from Germany for drug running moved to the UK and set up one of Britain’s biggest smuggling rackets in a Derbyshire market town. Fikri Yarasir was jailed for 10 years in 1997 for importing heroin into Frankfurt from Turkey. He then moved to Glossop where he opened Yummies, a pizza takeaway, and began smuggling again. He was caught and jailed for 25 years in April.
LEBANON DETAINS ITALIAN AS ONE OF COCAINE SMUGGLING GANG
Urudupoint on 4th June reported that Lebanon has detained an Italian who was part of a group smuggling cocaine hidden in alcohol bottles through international airports and into Lebanon. He was arrested on arrival from Paraguay, and was one of 8 foreigners involved in the trafficking operation. Authorities also detained 2 Lebanese nationals for selling and transporting the drugs. The group of 4 Italians, 2 Brazilians, an Argentinian and a German “specialised in smuggling large quantities of cocaine into Lebanon“. The cocaine was mixed with liquids and put in alcohol bottles in duty-free bags from a foreign airport.