10th June 2018
SOUTH KOREA: FINANCIAL AUTHORITIES TO TIGHTEN AML RULES AHEAD OF FATF VISIT
On 10th June, the Korea Herald reported that financial authorities plan to tighten AML regulations ahead of next year’s assessment of South Korea by FATF, officials said. Currently, South Korea’s AML laws do not cover non-financial professionals such as lawyers and accountants, but a Bill has been proposed to do so.
THAILAND – SPECIAL REPORT: E-WASTE AN AGGRAVATING HEAP OF A TOXIC PROBLEM
The Nation in Thailand on 10th June published this special report says that failure to pass tough laws, regulations has made Thailand an easy target. Thailand has become a critical hub of transboundary electronic waste transport due to its weak laws and poor e-waste management regime. It says that, as electrical and electronic appliances have become part of the everyday life of people worldwide, the volume of e-waste has been growing in a number of countries. In 2016, a UN report said that 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste were generated, an increase of 8% from 2014. Asia generated the greatest quantities of e-waste (at 18.2 tonnes), followed by Europe, the US, Africa and Oceania. China was cited as generating the highest e-waste quantity both in Asia and in the world, at 7.2 tonnes. E-waste is expected to further increase 17% to 52.2 tonnes by 2021.
GLOBAL PEACE INDEX SHOWS WORLD IS BECOMING LESS PEACEFUL
Defence Web on 8th June reported that the 2018 Global Peace Index report has revealed that the world is less peaceful now than at any time in the last decade as tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the last decade remain unresolved, with violence costing the world $14.6 trillion. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia are the least peaceful countries whilst Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark are the most peaceful countries.
UK SERIOUS AND ORGANISED WASTE CRIME REVIEW: CALL FOR EVIDENCE
On 10th June, DEFRA published a news release saying that it would like to know more about the threat and effects of serious and organised crime in the waste sector, and how organisations, such as the Environment Agency, police, local authorities and NCA, respond to the threat. The evidence gathered will be used to inform the serious and organised crime in waste sector review. The consultation ends on 8th July.
FIRST IRAQ-FLAGGED OIL TANKER IN 3 DECADES LEAVES PORT FOR THE US
Arab News on 10th June reported that an Iraq-flagged tanker carrying 2 million barrels of crude oil has set sail for the US, the first such trip in nearly 3 decades, the oil ministry said. Iraq, which has been ravaged by a series of wars since the 1980s, is the oil cartel OPEC’s second biggest producer with 153 billion barrels of proven crude reserves. The country has leased 4 tankers and is expected to obtain 3 others at a later date. Iraq is looking to have its own fleet after decades without its own vessels, planning to invest in the creation of world-class strategic infrastructure for oil and gas, shipping logistics and trading operations, Oil Price.com reported.
FinCEN ISSUES ADVISORY ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ENABLED BY CORRUPT SENIOR FOREIGN POLITICAL FIGURES AND THEIR FINANCIAL FACILITATORS
On 9th June, FinCEN issued an Advisory to highlight the connection between corrupt senior foreign political figures and their enabling of human rights abuses. It says that the use of financial facilitators is one way that corrupt senior foreign political figures access the US and international financial systems to move or hide illicit proceeds and evade US and global sanctions. These corrupt senior foreign political figures and facilitators often contribute directly or indirectly to human rights abuses, which have a devastating impact on individual citizens, societies, and economic development. It goes on to say that US financial institutions may expose themselves to risks by holding the accounts of these corrupt individuals directly or indirectly through correspondent banking relationships. The advisory reminds financial institutions of their obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act to report suspected illicit activity by these facilitators. It also highlights the activities of those who have been subject to sanctions for providing facilitation services to human rights abusers and others engaged in corruption.
INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF INTEGRITY IN TENNIS
CMS Law on 7th June said that a report that addresses betting-related and other integrity issues facing tennis. In early 2016, the 4 organisations principally responsible for governing professional tennis at the international level (ATP, WTA, ITF and the Grand Slam Board) appointed an Independent Review Panel. On 25th April, the Panel published its interim report.
The report is at –
IRISH LEGAL FIRMS BACK CHANGE ALLOWING TRANSFER OF INVESTMENT FUNDS TO AND FROM “TAX HAVENS”
On 10th June, the Irish Independent reported that 12 of Ireland’s biggest law firms have backed a move by the Irish funds industry to ensure it can continue to legally transfer investment funds to and from a number of jurisdictions often regarded as the world’s major tax havens and the Irish Funds Association has asked the Finance Minister to pass legislation to allow funds to migrate to and from certain jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Bermuda and Guernsey.
CANADA RELEASES OFFICIAL DRAFT OF NEW CRYPTO REGULATIONS FOCUSED ON KYC/AML
The Coin Telegraph on 10th June reported that the Canadian government has released an official draft of new regulations on crypto exchanges and payment processors, and which address a “number of deficiencies” that FATF outlined after its evaluation in 2015-16. The new regulations will treat crypto exchanges and payment processors as money service businesses and hence requires them to report large transactions (i.e. over C$10,000) — and a KYC threshold set at transactions of C$1,000 CAD.
“BANNED” BITCOIN EXCHANGE PRESENTED FRAUD & MONEY LAUNDERING RISKS, SAY RBZ
Pindula in Zimbabwe on 10th June reported that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has filed opposing affidavits in the High Court against an application by Golix to have a ban on the company lifted, as RBZ has maintained that Golix presented a risk to the country, and saying that the activities of Bitfinance (Pvt) Ltd) were not only unregulated and illegal, but presented all kinds of risk, including but not limited to fraud, money-laundering, evasion of the country’s exchange.
FORMER PROPERTY BILLIONAIRE SIMON HALABI FACING TAX INQUIRY
This is Money on 10th June reported that Simon Halabi, formerly one of Britain’s richest men and now one of its biggest bankrupts, is under investigation by HMRC, according to a court judgment. A Jersey court has approved the release of documents to HMRC as part of an investigation relating to the empire of the former billionaire. He first came to public prominence when he emerged as one of the developers of The Shard.
SWITZERLAND VOTES TO BLOCK INTERNATIONAL GAMBLING SITES
Calvin Ayre on 10th June reported that Switzerland has voted overwhelmingly in a referendum in favour of a new law (which will take effect at the start of 2019) allowing local casinos to offer online gambling and blocking the domains of these casinos’ internationally licensed online competitors.
POLICE FIND €220,000 CASH IN ROTTERDAM TRASH CAN
Customs Today on 9th June reported that police arrested 3 men in Rotterdam for money laundering after discovering €220,000 in cash in a house’s dustbin.
HIGH SEAS FISHING ISN’T JUST DESTRUCTIVE — IT’S UNPROFITABLE
National Geographic on 6th June reported that government funds prop up more than half of fishing in the open ocean, according to a new study. It found that as much as 54% of high seas fishing would be unprofitable were it not for governments covering some of the industry’s costs. To a lesser degree, the study also found that exploited labour and underreported catch may explain how large vessels afford to fish in international waters.