8th June 2018
ASIAN PORTS UNDER PRESSURE DUE TO CHINA WASTE IMPORT BAN
Loadstar on 8th June reported that port operations in SE Asia have come under increasing pressure from a build-up in scrap cargo, following China’s crackdown on imported waste. In Vietnam, a dramatic increase in scrap-laden containers forced Ho Chi Minh City’s overloaded Cat Lai port to temporarily stop receiving plastic and paper waste on 1st June. Until this year, China was by far the biggest recipient of scrap, importing around half of the world’s plastic waste. However, a ban on plastic and a variety of other waste materials, announced last July, came into force in January and was expanded in April.
9 COUNTRIES UNITE AGAINST EU EXPORT CONTROLS ON SURVEILLANCE SOFTWARE
On 8th June, EurActiv reported that an EU proposal to impose export controls on technology products that can be used as spyware is at risk of being delayed as a group of 9 countries led by Sweden (the others are the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Poland and UK) have pushed back against the overhaul. Diplomats from the 9 countries warned that the proposal could lead to “portraying Europe as a technology-averse continent and an unlikely home for any global frontrunners on ICT or other technologies of the future generations”.
$1.4 BILLION ZTE SETTLEMENT
The American Journal of Transportation reported that Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE Corporation) and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd (ZTE Kangxun) have agreed to severe additional penalties and compliance measures. Under the new agreement, ZTE must pay $1 billion and place an additional $400 million in suspended penalty money in escrow before BIS will remove ZTE from the Denied Persons List. These penalties are in addition to the $892 million in penalties ZTE has already paid to the USgovernment under the March 2017 settlement agreement. ZTE will also be required by the new agreement to retain a team of special compliance coordinators selected by and answerable to BIS for a period of 10 years. Their function will be to monitor on a real-time basis ZTE’s compliance with US export control laws.
DENIAL OF EXPORT PRIVILEGES AGAINST ZTE CORPORATION TO BE LIFTED ONCE ORDER IS SIGNED
2 DUTCH NATIONALS DETAINED FOR SMUGGLING OVER 16 TONNES OF DRUGS PRECURSORS
The Focus news agency on 8th June reported that authorities have intercepted large-scale smuggling of 16.2 tonnes of precursors for synthetic drugs at the Varna-West port. 2 Dutch nationals were detained on charges of smuggling 3 types of precursors from 2017 to March 2018.
TAIWAN LAW STUDENT DETAINED ON ARMS TRAFFICKING CHARGES
The Taipei Times on 9th June reported that a Chinese-American graduate student surnamed Lin is being held on suspicion of running a syndicate shipping firearms from the Philippines to Taiwan and onward to Hong Kong and cities in China. Lin was born in China, but his family later moved to Hong Kong, a National Police Agency official said, adding that he obtained UK citizenship and US citizenship before moving to Taiwan to study law 7 years ago. Based on courier mail delivery records over the past year, it is said that Lin might have shipped firearm components for at least 20 handguns to Hong Kong and China. Lin placed orders with Philippine underground manufacturers to modify or manufacture replica parts, then smuggled them to Taiwan in shipping containers, hiding the firearm parts inside motors, pumps and machinery. Lin hired people to pick up the cargo using forged documentation and repackaged the parts for courier delivery to China.
MONEY LAUNDERING AND CENSORSHIP FEARS IN SWISS GAMBLING VOTE
The Luxembourg Times on 8th June reported that Switzerland wants to introduce rules to legalise online gambling. Instead it has drafted a new law that critics say amounts to internet censorship, sparking a referendum. The Bill was designed by lawmakers to crackdown on internet gambling-related crime. But civil liberties advocates are concerned at the stipulation that ISP will be required to block Swiss surfers from accessing gambling websites that don’t belong to Swiss casino operators, and redirect them to a ‘legal’ gambling website.
JAMAICA MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE YIELDS $30 MILLION IN CASH AND HIGH-END VEHICLES
The Gleaner on 8th June reported that over $30 million in cash and a number of high-end motor vehicles were seized during a police operation, marking the culmination of a high-level, multi-agency money laundering investigation that is pointing to a political figure, law enforcement sources have revealed. Investigators are reportedly focusing on suspected breaches of the Proceeds of Crime Act, which has a limit of $1 million for persons doing business with financial institutions.
BOOSTING CO-OPERATION BETWEEN TAX AND CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES FOR A SAFER AND MORE PROSPEROUS EU
On 8th June, the EU announced that for the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing measures to make tax and customs co-operation between Member States better and more efficient. The new Customs Programme will help put in place a modern Customs Union which puts the interests of EU business and citizens at its heart, while the Fiscalis Programme will support co-operation between Member States’ tax administrations and better contribute to the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Continued funding of these programmes will, the Commission says, help the EU to progress in offering businesses unfettered and easy access to the EU’s Single Market so that trade can flourish, protect citizens from dangerous goods entering the Union at external borders and ensure that Member States are equipped to fight tax avoidance and tax evasion.
SOUTH AFRICA’S ZUMA MAKES SECOND COURT APPEARANCE ON CORRUPTION CHARGES
Defence Web on 8th June reported that former South African President Jacob Zuma has appeared at the Durban High Court for the second time on corruption charges relating to a $2.5 billion arms deal in the late 1990s.
IMDB CASE DEVELOPMENT
Prensa Latina on 8th June reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission issued a pursuit and detention order against businessman Low Taje Jho, involved in the corruption case of the 1 Malayaia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund. A similar document was also issued against Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, former director of the SRC International Company, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, and arrest warrants for former Goldman Sachs bank director, Roger Ng and former 1MDB president Shahrol Halmi said to be prepared.
US GRANTS EXTRADITION OF FORMER PANAMA PRESIDENT RICARDO MARTINELLI
The BBC on 8th June reported that US authorities have approved the extradition of Panama’s ex-president Ricardo Martinelli. Martinelli, 66, is wanted in Panama over allegations of illegal wiretapping and corruption. He has been held in Miami, Florida, since last June. He denies any wrongdoing and says the charges against him are politically motivated. He governed the country from 2009 to 2014.
GHANA SOCCER BOSS SUSPENDED IN CORRUPTION ROW
News 24 on 8th June reported that FIFA said its ethics committee had “provisionally banned” Kwesi Nyantakyi from “all football activities at both national and international level” with immediate effect.
ENRC SUES DECHERT FOR NEGLIGENCE OVER SFO PROBE
The Law Society Gazette reported on 8th June that mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), has filed a negligence claim against international firm Dechert in the latest twist in the battle over legal professional privilege (LPP). ENRC is engaged in a long running battle with the SFO surrounding corruption allegations. ENRC, which denies the allegations, had previously engaged Dechert to assist it but parted company with the US firm in 2013. The claim is said to relate to a period towards the end of 2010 early 2011 when Dechert was advising ENRC over self-reporting allegations to the SFO.
GLENCORE FACES ADDITIONAL LEGAL CHALLENGE OVER CONGO MINE
Reuters on 8th June reported that a Congolese-American businessman is seeking more than $1 billion in a Congo court from 2 Glencore executives and their ex-partner in a copper and cobalt mine, saying they defrauded him when he relinquished his shares. His suit is the latest legal headache in Congo for Glencore, which is also locked in disputes with state miner Gecamines over a copper and cobalt project and its former partner in Mutanda Israeli billionaire, Dan Gertler.
ILLEGAL GAMBLING AGENT THE FIRST PERSON CONVICTED UNDER SINGAPORE’S ORGANIZED CRIME ACT (OCA).
On 8th June, Calvin Ayre reported that Or Poh Soon, 55, had pleaded guilty to acting as an agent for unauthorised online gambling operators that accepted lottery and sports bets via at least 6 websites, including Peng888.com. He was one of dozens arrested in 2016.
HEATHROW AIRPORT WORKER JAILED IN “INSIDER THREAT” CASE
The NCA on 8th June reported that an airport security officer who was at the centre of a Colombian organised crime group’s cocaine route into the UK has been jailed for 13 years, after an NCA investigation. Farhan Iqbal, 31, used his insider knowledge and privileged access to Heathrow Airport to take consignments of the Class A drug before passing them on.
NEW ZEALAND AIRCRAFT-MAKER FINED FOR NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS BREACH
On 8th June, the European Sanctions Blog reported that Pacific Aerospace Ltd had been fined US$52,633 for indirectly exporting aircraft parts to North Korea, in violation of UN sanctions.
GUERNSEY SUBMITS EVIDENCE TO UK’S INQUIRY ON TAX AVOIDANCE AND EVASION
On 8th June, the Guernsey Government reported that it has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Sub-Committee to help it understand, as part of its inquiry into tax avoidance and evasion, how the island helps global efforts to combat such practices.
SUSPECTED NEW PAKISTAN ENRICHMENT FACILITY NEARS COMPLETION
Project Alpha at Kings College London reported on 1st June that a time-lapse shows construction at a site called Kahuta (a “a probable centrifuge plant”) since 2016 mirrors Pakistan’s rapid build-up of nuclear weapons capabilities in recent years.
FATF MEETING IN LATE JUNE TO DECIDE PAKISTAN’S DESTINY
Baker McKenzie on 7th June reported that a plenary meeting of FATF to be held from June 24th to 29th, 2018 in Paris would decide whether to place Pakistan on its grey list or not. Authorities in Islamabad have gone all out to ensure that the country avoids being put on the grey list, which could have ramifications for the economy.
WHAT IF IRAN LEAVES THE NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT)?
An article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on 8th June posed this question after Iranian officials warn that the country may withdraw from the landmark NPT. It says that Iran’s exit from the pact would be hugely damaging, stressing the global non-proliferation system to its limits. Iran would not be the first country to withdraw from the NPT – North Korea pulled out of the treaty in 2003. The article asks what can be done if Iran defies predictions and decides tomorrow to exit the NPT?
POSSIBLE NEXT STEPS IN UN SMALL ARMS PROCESS
The Small Arms Survey has produced a briefing paper which outlines possible next steps in the UN small arms process as proposed by participants in the thematic symposia that were held in October–November 2017 as part of a EU project designed to support preparations for the Third Review Conference of the UN Small Arms Programme of Action (PoA). The many recommendations include that –
- states should exchange information on brokering licences, brokers operating outside their country of nationality, and disbarred brokers.
- states should share information on states that do not comply with end-user undertakings relating to re-export.
- whole-of-government approaches to arms control should be strengthened to involve all relevant branches of government, including police, customs, and arms export licensing authorities.
UK POLICE SMASH CHINESE ORGANISED CRIME GANG ‘WHICH LAUNDERED MILLIONS THROUGH UK HIGH STREET BANKS’
The Mail Online on 8th June reported that 8 Chinese nationals were arrested in raids in London and Bracknell. Officers recovered £600,000 in cash. The operation was led by the City of London Police’s Financial Investigation Unit. The force are responsible for investigating fraud across England and Wales.
EU AGREES ON JAIL TERMS AND SANCTIONS FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
KYC 360 on 8th June reported that the main bodies of the EU have agreed on new legislation outlining criminal offences and sanctions regarding money laundering, part of a Directive aimed at combating financial crime. Differences between EU countries in defining and sanctioning money laundering offences affects cross-border police and judicial co-operation and can be exploited by criminals and terrorists, officials say.
ETIHAD AIRWAYS DEVELOPS INDUSTRY E-LEARNING COURSE TO COMBAT WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING
The Routes website reported that, recognising that wildlife traffickers are exploiting the interconnected air transport sector, Etihad Airways has developed a new 20-minute online module designed to inform its employees of the business risks associated with the illegal wildlife trade and ways to prevent them. The e-learning module was developed with the support of TRAFFIC through the USAID funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project. The introductory course covers: the implications of wildlife trafficking; wildlife trafficking trade routes; how wildlife is smuggled by air; risks to the aviation industry; and ways to prevent and report wildlife trafficking. In addition to the Etihad Airways e-learning module, ROUTES has available a suite of comprehensive training materials for members of the air transport sector to learn how they can play a critical role in combating wildlife trafficking.
EU DRUGS REPORT: COCAINE STRENGTH AND AVAILABILITY INCREASING
Illicit Trade on 8th June reported that the availability and potency of cocaine is rising across Europe, according to a new report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Cocaine consumption is also up in EU countries, as is the production of a range of other drugs. Cannabis remains the most widely-used illicit drug in Europe, noting that some 17.2 million young people in European nations aged between 15 and 34 have used cannabis in the last year, and that 1% of European adults use the drug daily or almost daily.
The report is available at –