OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 5

5th July 2018

EUROPOL MEETS CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGES TO THWART CRIMINALS

Mishcon de Reya on 4th July published an article saying that Europol had held meetings with a significant number of prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, payment processors and digital wallet providers to consider how to combat the use of digital assets for money laundering and widespread criminal activity.  Europol estimated that around £3-4 billion in illicit proceeds in Europe were laundered through cryptocurrencies.

https://www.mishcon.com/news/articles/europol-meets-cryptocurrency-exchanges-to-thwart-criminals

MEXICO PROHIBITS THE IMPORT OR EXPORT OF VARIOUS GOODS FROM OR TO NORTH KOREA AND IRAN

On 3rd July, Basham Ringe y Correa published an article saying that the Mexican Ministry of Economy had issued a document on 15th June providing for a ban on the import and export of certain goods to/from North Korea and Iran.  The list of goods (in Spanish) is at –

http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5526421&fecha=14/06/2018

http://www.basham.com.mx/Blog/la-secretaria-de-economia-prohibe-la-importacion-o-exportacion-de-diversas-mercancias-procedentes-o-con-destino-a-corea-del-norte-e-iran/

US ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST SUDAN

Duane Morris LLP on 3rd July published an article saying that, on 29th June, OFAC had announced that the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations have been removed from the Code of Federal Regulations.  This action is the result of the termination of certain Executive Orders (EO) issued by Presidents Obama and Trump.  Nevertheless –

  • an OFAC licence is still required for the exportation or re-exportation to Sudan, or to any person in a third country purchasing specifically for resale to Sudan, of certain agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices as a result of Sudan’s inclusion on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List; though General License A does allow such supplies, subject to conditions;
  • US and non-US persons will still be required to obtain any license required by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), to export or re-export to Sudan certain items (commodities, software and technology) that are on the Commerce Control List or require a licence or other authorisation from BIS for reasons such as end-use or end-user concerns; and
  • other requirements may apply to a transaction under other provisions, such as under banking, blocking of assets, foreign trade, penalties reporting, record-keeping requirements and terrorism.

https://www.duanemorris.com/alerts/us_lifts_economic_sanctions_against_sudan_0618.html

LAW COMMISSION PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON SEARCH WARRANTS

On 4th July, Mishcon del Reya published an article about the public consultation launched by the UK Law Commission on 5th June.   It says that the consultation identifies 4 problem areas in the current law relating to search warrants and suggests provisional proposals to deal with them.  The article summarises these problem areas, including the difference between the provisions governing warrants under different legislation.  The consultation runs to 5th September.

https://www.mishcon.com/news/articles/law-commission-launches-a-public-consultation-on-search-warrants

CAMBODIA: BUSINESSMAN GOES ON TRIAL FOR $3.5 MILLION FRAUD OVER TIMBER EXPORT LICENCE

On 5th July, the Khmer Times reported on a case where Sam Oeun, the owner of car parts business, went on trial for allegedly cheating a timber businessman out of $3.5 million over the sale and export of timber to China in 2013-15.  He was arrested in 2016.  It is alleged that as the victim of the fraud believed the accused knew many Cambodian officials, he paid him about $3.5 million in 2014 as service fees for helping him obtain a timber export licence.

https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50508191/businessman-goes-on-trial-for-3-5m-fraud/

EGYPTIAN CUSTOMS SEIZE OVER 5 TONS OF HASH SMUGGLED FROM LEBANON

The Daily Star in Lebanon on 4th July reported that Customs in Alexandria seized over 5 tons of hashish hidden inside goat and cow skins imported from Beirut.  Lebanese media reported that the shipment left Beirut port in 3 containers.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2018/Jul-04/455407-egyptian-customs-seize-over-5-tons-of-hash-smuggled-from-lebanon-reports.ashx

GUYANA: CAMBIOS, MONEY TRANSFER SERVICES TO COME UNDER GREATER SCRUTINY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING, TERRORIST FINANCING

Demerara Waves in Guyana on 4th July reported that on the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing National Risk Assessment Seminar held to assess implementation efforts by the several government and private sector agencies that were a part of Guyana’s first NRA exercise conducted during 2016/2017 (with assistance from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank).  It was said the risk-based supervisory approach for money transfer services and cambios as they relate to money laundering and terrorist financing would be completed by the end of 2018, and that the Central Bank was finalising guidelines to supervise money transfer services and cambios, following revised guidelines for banks and non-banks that were completed in June and those for insurance companies in January.  The NRA has ranked Guyana’s money laundering profile has been ranked “high” and terrorism financing as “medium” based on data received.  At the Seminar it was said that some cambios were recording unusual transactions and person having transferred US$50,000 every other 2 weeks to certain countries.

http://demerarawaves.com/2018/07/04/cambios-money-transfer-services-to-come-under-greater-scrutiny-for-money-laundering-terrorist-financing/

GUATEMALA: COURT FREES ON BAIL US-LINKED COLONEL ACCUSED OF LAUNDERING MS13 MONEY

Telesur on 4th July reported that Colonel Ariel Salvador de Leon, who worked with the US Southern Command in border security operations (to protect it from the same gangs he is accused of laundering money for) and was sentenced for collaborating with the Mara Salvatrucha’s money laundering operations, has been released on bail along with another 7 people charged for the same case.  He had been arrested in April.  It is said that De Leon had declared a monthly income of US$1,364, but prosecutors have shown that he accumulated up to US$1,862,586.44 in different bank accounts between 2009 and 2017.

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Guatemalan-Colonel-Accused-of-Laundering-MS13-Money-Released-20180704-0015.html

VISHING PHONE SCAM BOSS GETS EARLY JAIL RELEASE

Bailiwick Express on 5th July reported that Atif Mohammed, the architect of a £1.3 million cold calling scheme that preyed on vulnerable OAP in Jersey, Guernsey and England has been released from jail early.  6 fraudsters – aged between 21 and 45 and including Mohammed’s mother – were jailed for a total of over 20 years in 2016 and, as mastermind of the scam, Mohammed was sentenced to 6 years.  They operated from locations around the UK, posed as bank and Visa officials in order to steal money from OAP bank accounts using a practice known as ‘vishing’.  They would tell their victims that their accounts had been “compromised” and that they should therefore empty their money into a “safe” account, which they had set up.  He obtained contact details of potential victims by coercing his call centre worker girlfriend to disclose sensitive data.

https://www.bailiwickexpress.com/jsy/news/ringleader-13m-phone-scam-targeted-vulnerable-jersey-pensioners-gets-early-jail-release/?t=i#.Wz28GfZFx9A

PLANS FOR A NEW GARDA UNIT SPECIALISING IN INSURANCE FRAUD

The Irish Independent on 5th July reported that groups campaigning for insurance reform have welcomed plans for a new Garda unit specialising in insurance fraud, but the Insurance Reform Alliance, Isme and the body that represents small shops said more needed to be done to tackle fake claims.  Insurance companies have agreed to fund the establishment of a new Garda insurance fraud unit.

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/insurance-fraud-unit-welcomed-but-more-is-needed-37082775.html

HANDMADE AND DEADLY – CRAFT PRODUCTION OF SMALL ARMS IN NIGERIA

Small Arms Survey produced in June 2018 a Briefing Paper which provides new research findings based on extensive fieldwork in 4 Nigerian states.  It reviews demand and supply factors that shape the craft market in Nigeria, finding that demand is driven by insecurity and conflict, but also by cultural and societal factors. Supply is mostly demand driven.  The quality of the products and production methods varies greatly across the surveyed states.  Craft production poses a significant challenge for the Nigerian state and will require a mix of holistic measures to regulate or deter it, ranging from improving security (and security perceptions) and the relationship between security providers and communities, to licensing, measures aimed at providing alternative livelihoods for craft producers, and a more comprehensive application of the relevant legal framework.   Craft weapons are mostly purchased to protect and defend individuals and communities.  Many producers are convinced that craft production is a form of community service in times of heightened insecurity and are often produced in clandestine workshops that safeguard blacksmiths’ anonymity and safety.

firearms

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/T-Briefing-Papers/SAS-BP-Nigeria-craft-weapons.pdf

IRELAND: OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE ENFORCEMENT ENHANCES ITS INVESTIGATIVE CAPABILITIES

Law firm Arthur Cox on 3rd July published an article about the annual report from the ODCE.  It says that severe criticism of its investigation into Anglo Irish Bank and Senator Fitzpatrick forced ODCE to review its investigative practices and procedures. Lessons, it says, have been learned.  Key hires included a digital forensic specialist, an investigative accountant and two enforcement portfolio managers.  Advancements are also reported to have been made to the OCDE’s forensic capabilities.  ODCE will continue to focus on serious wrongdoing and will devote less resources to pursuing criminality on the less serious end of the spectrum.  In order to enhance the operational effectiveness of the ODCE, the Government intends to re-establish it as an independent agency and the report suggest that the Government is working on proposals to progress this.

http://www.arthurcox.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ODCE-briefing-Jul-2018.pdf

The annual report itself is at –

http://www.odce.ie/Portals/0/Annual_Reports/Annual_Report_ODCE_2017.pdf

COURT OF APPEAL DECISION ON IMPOSTER FRAUD AND FRAUDULENT PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

1 Chancery Lane on 15th May produced a briefing on a Court of Appeal judgment in the conjoined appeals of P & P Property Ltd v Owen White & Catlin LLP and Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya.  It says that it is not good news for conveyancing solicitors and their insurers.  The article explains that both case involved a fraudulent property transaction carried out by an imposter who had stolen the identity of the true owner of an residential investment property in London and purported to sell it to an innocent buyer.  Once the money had been released to the fraudulent vendor (who had made off with it, never to be traced), and before registration, the fraud came to light and the buyer was prevented from obtaining title.  The ultimate question was who should bear this loss.  The article includes a table that seeks to summarise the result.

http://1chancerylane.com/latest-news/court-of-appeal-decision-on-imposter-fraud/

THE EU WITHDRAWAL ACT – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On 5th July, law firm Gowling WLG published a briefing which, it is said, seeks to cast aside the political debates about the Act and outlines what businesses need to know how it works and what it will do.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2018/the-eu-withdrawal-act-what-you-need-to-know

SILK ROAD FINANCIAL HUB INAUGURATED IN KAZAKHSTAN (ASTANA INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE OR AIFC)

EurActiv on 5th July reported that AIFC had been inaugurated in the capital of Kazakhstan, with foreign dignitaries stressed the importance of the project to the Chinese-led Belt and Road initiative, which is also referred to as the New Silk Road.  The AIFC will be based on English common law jurisdiction and use English as the working language, this being seen as the best way to attract foreign direct investment and create the best juridical environment.  The expectation is that in the next 10 years AIFC will become one of the largest Asian financial institutions.  AIFC has created a stock exchange, also inaugurated, in partnership with Nasdaq and the Shanghai stock exchange.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-europe/news/silk-road-financial-hub-inaugurated-in-kazakhstan/

ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT LIFTS TERRORIST TAG FROM 3 OPPOSITION GROUPS

Defence Web on 5th July reported that Ethiopia removed 3 opposition groups from its list of “terrorist” organisations the 2 secessionist groups: Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front, and ‘Ginbot 7’.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52290:terrorist-tag-lifted-from-three-ethiopian-opposition-groups&catid=54:Governance&Itemid=118

CRIME (OVERSEAS PRODUCTION ORDERS) BILL: BRIEFING FOR HOUSE OF LORDS STAGES

On 5th July, the House of Lords Library published a briefing paper on the Bill in preparedness of it starting its progress in the House on 11th July.  The Bill would enable law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to apply through the UK courts for a court order requiring service providers outside the UK to produce or grant access to electronic data for the purposes of investigating and prosecuting serious crimes.  Such an order would be known as an ‘overseas production order’.  Applications for an order could only be made if there was an international agreement in place between the UK and the territory where the relevant provider was based.  To date, no such agreements have been concluded, but the UK has been negotiating a bilateral data-sharing agreement with the United States since 2015 [and the recently enacted CLOUD Act in the US allows for authorities there to enter into such an agreement].

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/LLN-2018-0076

FORMER TOP OFFICIALS IN SIERRA LEONE CHARGED WITH GRAFT

Reuters on 5th July reported that 2 former top officials in Sierra Leone were arrested, the country’s anti-corruption chief said, under a sweeping crackdown on graft by the new President.  It said that –

  • Victor Foh, ex-President Ernest Koroma’s vice president, had been charged with various counts of public fund mismanagement, including the embezzlement of money meant to help poor Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca; and
  • Mansaray Minkailu, the mines minister under Koroma, has been charged for his role in the sale of a stake in a mining project to Koroma’s nephew for an artificially low price.

Corruption is described as having been rife under President Koroma.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-leone-politics/former-top-officials-in-sierra-leone-charged-with-graft-idUKKBN1JV1EV?src=ilaw

EX-QUEBEC CONSTRUCTION MOGUL TONY ACCURSO GETS 4-YEAR PRISON TERM

The Globe & Mail reported on 5th July that Accurso had been imprisoned following his conviction on fraud and corruption charges.  The scheme was orchestrated by former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt (jailed previously) and the charges involved a kickback scheme between 1996 and 2010 in which companies paid off city officials in exchange for public contracts.

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-ex-quebec-construction-mogul-tony-accurso-gets-four-year-prison-term/?src=ilaw

SPANISH POLICE CAPTURE KEY MEMBERS OF RUSSIA’S `THIEVES IN LAW’

Bloomberg reported on 5th July that police in Madrid said about 130 members of the Vory V Zakone crime group have been arrested in Spain and France (including 7 key members of its Armenian faction) after more than 70 properties were raided, uncovering evidence of criminal activities including drug-trafficking, money laundering, extortion and illegal activity around sports betting.  An investigation was triggered by the assassination of 2 Georgian citizens in Barcelona in January 2016, and police uncovered a turf war between Georgian and Armenian factions of the Vory V Zakone.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-05/spanish-police-capture-key-members-of-russia-s-thieves-in-law?src=ilaw

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News/2018/N2018-066

MALTA PASSES 3 BILLS CONCERNED WITH BITCOIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCY

Dixcart on 5th July said that the parliament in Malta approved 3 Bills on 26th June: the Virtual Financial Assets Billwhich provides regulation on virtual currencies and initial coin offerings (ICO); the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill which is concerned with the registration and certification of technology service providers; and the Digital Innovation Authority Bill– which will establish the Malta Digital Innovation Authority and sets out rules for the internal governance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

https://dixcart.com/articles/hn-three-bills-on-distributed-ledger-technology-relating-to-crypto-currency-and-bitcoin-have-been-approved-by-the-malta-parliament

HONG KONG TO AMEND THE AML/CFT GUIDELINES

Finance Magnates reported on 5th July about the consultation by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) on proposed amendments to its AML/CFT guidance.  Responses have to be made by 9th August.  Changes include a new definition of a PEP to include customers who have been entrusted with a prominent function by an international organisation.  The adjustments also propose that licensed corporations can use technology to allow non-face-to-face account opening but only if they can clearly demonstrate they have adequate safeguards against impersonation risk.

https://www.financemagnates.com/institutional-forex/regulation/sfc-to-amend-the-guideline-of-aml-and-counter-terrorist-financing/?src=ilaw

CREDIT SUISSE’S INVESTMENT BANK IN HONG KONG AGREES TO PAY $47 MILLION CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR CORRUPT HIRING SCHEME THAT VIOLATED THE FCPA

On 5th July, a news release from the DoJ in the US reported that Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited (CSHK), a Hong Kong-based subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group AG (CSAG), a Swiss-based issuer of publicly traded securities in the US, had reached a resolution with the DoJ and agreed to pay a $47 million criminal penalty for its role in a scheme to corruptly win banking business by awarding employment to friends and family of Chinese officials.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/credit-suisse-s-investment-bank-hong-kong-agrees-pay-47-million-criminal-penalty-corrupt?src=ilaw

JERSEY TIGHTENS AML LEGISLATION FOLLOWING MONEYVAL EVALUATION

On 5th July, Accountancy daily reported that Jersey has introduced new legislation designed to strengthen its capability to fight financial crime in response to the findings of Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL report of 2016.  The article says that the Jersey government has passed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law, including to widen the definition of “criminal property”.

https://www.accountancydaily.co/jersey-tightens-anti-money-laundering-legislation?src=ilaw

ILLEGAL CIGARETTE TRADE COSTING SOUTH AFRICA $510 MILLION A YEAR

Reuters on 5th July reported that a new study claimed that a new study by a tobacco industry group showed that South Africa has become one of the biggest markets for illegal cigarette sales and is losing out on $514 million a year in potential tax revenue.  The study claimed that the trade spiked between 2014 and 2017 after a probe into the underground industry was dropped by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).  A packet of cigarettes should incur a minimum tax of 17.85 rand ($1.31), yet packs are sold on the black market for as little as 5 rand.  The study was funded by The Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa, which includes arms of global manufacturers like Philip Morris International, Alliance One and British American Tobacco.

https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN1JV1YD-OZATP?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FAFRICATopNews+%28News+%2F+AFRICA+%2F+Top+News%29&&rpc=401

GIBRALTAR ADMITS SOME WILL LOSE OUT IN NEW TAX MODEL FOR GAMBLING SECTOR POST-BREXIT

i-Gaming Business on 5th July reported that Gibraltar has admitted there will be “winners and losers” as it unveiled major changes to its licensing and duties as it prepares for the potential impact of a ‘hard Brexit’.  The new charging model, which replaces the flat-rate gambling charges paid by licensees since 2005, will mean “substantially higher” annual licence fees.  Gambling tax will be paid only by B2C operators on their gross receipts, both gaming receipts and betting receipts, at what a minister describes as the “very low rate” of 0.15%.

http://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/gibraltar-admits-some-will-lose-out-new-tax-model

LEGAL DEFINITION SAVES “LOOT BOXES” FROM BEING CLASSIFIED AS GAMBLING IN FRANCE

Calvin Ayre on 5th July reported that so-called “loot boxes” in video games may look like a form of gambling but, legally speaking, they’re not, according to French gaming regulator.  It says that what kept the French regulator from declaring loot boxes as a form of gambling was the fact that the items from these microtransactions did not generate real-world monetary value.  However, the regulator said it considered that they undermined the objectives of France’s public policy on gambling.  The issue continues to divide regulators – the UK Gambling Commission has saidthat loot boxes did not meet the legal definition of gambling, but Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia have already stated that loot boxes are a form of gambling.

https://calvinayre.com/2018/07/05/business/legal-definition-saves-loot-boxes-gambling-classification-france/

A BANK’S DUTY TO PROTECT COMPANIES FROM FRAUD BY AUTHORISED OFFICERS

On 5th July, a briefing from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner considered a recent Court of Appeal case involving the so-called “Quincecare duty” on banks.  The key points, it said, were that nanks (and other financial institutions) have a duty to protect companies from fraud by authorised officers although the extent of the duty will depend upon the services being provided; that an objective test needs to be satisfied as to whether there were reasonable grounds for the bank to believe that the payments were attempts at misappropriation; and that fraud by a sole director/shareholder is not automatically attributed to the company, so creditors can be protected in an insolvency situation.  The Quincecare duty, the briefing explains, comes from a case in which Barclays Bank extended a loan to Quincecare for an amount of £400,000, the vast majority of which was subsequently fraudulently misapplied by the company’s chairman.  The briefing says that the decisions serve as a reminder that banks are under a duty to protect against fraud and can be held liable for not doing so in circumstances where they have been put on notice (or should be on notice) of fraudulent activity; and a reminder to liquidators that claims against banks can and do succeed and should not be considered too difficult to pursue.

http://www.blplaw.com/expert-legal-insights/articles/singularis-v-daiwa-banks-beware!

ALIBABA CHIEF CONFIRMS ‘BIG INVESTMENT’ AT LIÈGE AIRPORT

Lloyds Loading List on 5th July reported that the Chinese e-commerce giant plans worldwide network of sites designed to give SME the same sort of logistics infrastructure as larger companies and that the investment at Liege is part of the global expansion of subsidiary Cainiao’s Smart Logistics Network.  Liège’s airport authority confirmed that e-commerce shipments from the Cainiao network were already entering the European market via Liège and that establishing the hub would increase these volumes and result in more flights between Asia and Liège.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/Alibaba-chief-confirms-‘big-investment’-at-Liège-Airport/72299.htm#.Wz5VFPZFx9A

JERSEY EVENING POST: FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR CONTINUES TO DECLINE

On 5th July, an article on the newspaper’s website says that the long-term decline in Jersey’s financial services sector continued last year with the industry’s contribution to the economy almost a third smaller than it was a decade ago.  Latest figures produced by Statistics Jersey showed that the Gross Value Added – economic output – of the Island’s most important industry declined by 2% last year in real terms, taking into account inflation.  It follows a similar level of decline in 2016 and a more than 30% fall in real terms output since 2007.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2018/07/05/financial-services-sector-continues-to-decline/

NEW ZEALAND COMPANY PAYS THE PRICE FOR INDIRECT EXPORT TO NORTH KOREA

In the latest edition of its “Trust & Verify” newsletter, VERTIC carries an article about the penalties imposed on New Zealand aircraft manufacturer, pacific Aerospace, for supplies of aircraft parts to North Korea.  In September 2016, a P-750 aircraft built by the company was sighted at the Wonsan air show in the DPRK.  Pacific Aerospace had entered into a joint venture with Beijing General Aviation Company (a Chinese company), under which the Pacific Aerospace supplied specific aircraft to BGAC, including the P-750 that was seen in Wonsan.  BGAC told Pacific Aerospace that it had sold the aircraft to another Chinese company which in turn intended to base the plane in North Korea, where it would be used for tourism purposes – Pacific Aerospace was notified in January 2016 that the aircraft had in fact arrived in the DPRK and that the aircraft manufacturer’s warranty had been transferred to the new owner when it purchased the aircraft.  The New Zealand subsequently supplied spare parts.

http://www.vertic.org/media/assets/TV/TV161.pdf

US CUSTOMS DISCOVER $1 MILLION IN FAKE SUPERBOWL RINGS

IP Pro on 5th July reported that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Philadelphia has seized $1 million worth of counterfeit Super Bowl rings. The shipment of 108 Super Bowl rings, which represented various teams, including the Eagles, was seized on 29th June.  An authorised replica ring costs $10,000 and are only created when a team wins the Superbowl.

http://www.ipprotheinternet.com/ipprotheinternetnews/trademarksarticle.php?article_id=6036

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2018/07/counterfeit-versions-of-10000-super-bowl-rings-intercepted-by-us-border-control-officers/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

3 CHARGED AFTER 150 KG OF COCAINE FOUND ON SHIP IN HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA

The Chronicle Herald on 26th June that divers inspected a ship docked at the Halterm Container Terminal on June 9th and found approximately 150 kg of cocaine hidden on the bottom of the vessel.  The 3 suspects allegedly had diving equipment with them when they were arrested near the container terminal.  Sources said the cocaine was discovered on the Arica, a Liberian-registered container ship that docked in Montreal before stopping in Halifax.  The drugs were wrapped in plastic and concealed in the ship’s sea chest, a recess on the bottom of the vessel through which ocean water is drawn in for cooling, firefighting and other purposes.  Most sea chests are protected by a removable grating.  The newspaper reports that this is the second big cocaine seizure in Nova Scotia waters in just over 9 months.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1580431-three-charged-after-150-kilos-of-cocaine-found-on-ship-in-halifax

PORTUGUESE POLICE MAKE MAJOR HIGH-SEAS DRUGS BUST

The Portugal News Online on 28th June reported that officers detained 3 men on a sailing boat deep in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, south of the Azorean island of Faial, who were attempting to smuggling 1,400 kg of cocaine to Europe.  The operation is said to have involved an exchange of information with the UK’s NCA, within the parameters of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N), an international entity whose headquarters are in Lisbon.

http://www.theportugalnews.com/news/portuguese-police-make-major-high-seas-drugs-bust/46053

PERU: COCAINE SEIZED ON CONTAINER SHIP CAP SAN SOUNIO, “PROBABLE CREW COMPLICITY”

The Maritime Bulletin on 30th June reported that Peruvian DEA officers searched very large container ship Cap San Sounio on 29th June at Callao container terminal, on arrival from Buenaventura, Colombia. They found and seized 24 kg of cocaine, hidden in a compartment under the cargo deck.  The article says that the cocaine is believed to be destined for Europe and that the place where cocaine was found implies possibility of crew complicity, as it was not hidden, as in majority of container ships drug busts, in a container.

http://maritimebulletin.net/2018/06/30/cocaine-seized-on-container-ship-cap-san-sounio-probable-crew-complicity/

AFGHAN OPIATE TRAFFICKING ALONG THE NORTHERN ROUTE TO RUSSIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

A June 2018 report from the UN Office for Drugs and Crime examined the northern route that supplies opiates, mainly in the form of heroin to the Russian Federation while Central Asian countries constitute smaller markets and transit countries along the route.  An estimated 42.5 to 74.5 tons of pure heroin annually entered the northern route from Afghanistan over the period 2011-2015.  The main, but not the only, heroin trafficking route from Afghanistan to the Russian Federation seems to cross Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.  The report looks at the transportation methods employed and the organisations involved.  The report says that there was no evidence of trafficking of heroin precursors, particularly acetic anhydride, along the northern route over the period 2011-2015.  UNODC estimates that the heroin industry in Afghanistan requires between 313,000 and 783,000 litres of acetic anhydride (around 0.02 – 0.06% of the annual global licit production) per year.  Most acetic anhydride appears to enter Afghanistan through the southern and western provinces, rather than the northern provinces.

http://www.unodc.org/documents/publications/NR_Report_21.06.18_low.pdf

SAMOA: HARSHER PENALTIES FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

Baker McKenzie on 5th July reported that the 2018 Money Laundering Prevention Amendment Act has been enacted, and brings with it much harsher penalties, with money laundering offences attracting a 15-year imprisonment term instead of the previous 7 years.  Samoa has in the past been listed as a tax haven and linked with money laundering activities.  According to the Central Bank, these amendments are crucial to Samoa’s efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to meet international standards.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/harsher-penalties-for-money-laundering-under-new-samoa-law/

‘NDRANGHETA “IN JUVENTUS TICKET-TOUTING FOR 10 YEARS”

Ansa in Italy on 5th July reported that the Calabria-based mafia has been involved with ticket touting at Juventus for 10 years, prosecutor Marcello Tatangelo told a trial into Mob infiltration in northwest Italy, referring to ties between mafia bosses and Bianconeri ultra leaders.

http://www.ansa.it/english/news/2018/07/05/ndrangheta-in-juve-ticket-touting-for-10-yrs_bdf48268-4782-495f-8e2e-b63a86c98341.html

EU: CROSS-BORDER PARCEL DELIVERY SERVICES

The EU Parliament Research Service provided a briefing on 5th July on an EU Regulation to enable consumers and businesses to compare parcel delivery prices on a dedicated website, while national regulatory authorities will be provided with greater powers to monitor cross-border tariffs and assess those they consider to be unreasonably high.  Research showed that current cross-border parcel delivery prices charged by universal service providers can be almost 5 times higher than domestic parcel delivery prices.  The Regulation applies from 22nd May, with the exception of Article 8 on penalties for its infringement, which applies from 23rd November 2019.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/586616/EPRS_BRI(2016)586616_EN.pdf

ONLINE ARMS TRAFFICKING IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

An article from Medium, that originated with the Small Arms Survey, on 5th July examines the use of Russian language Dark Web websites.  However, it does say that most of the weapons being traded online are occurring on the open Internet and that this trade takes place on both sides of the Russia/Ukraine border, but is especially prominent in Ukraine, where auction houses dedicated to military history likewise serve as vendors for private firearms sales.  Historical memorabilia and antique shotguns are sold by private individuals alongside military rifles fit with silencers and thermal scopes.  It falls primarily on users to provide accurate information about their weapon permits.  The article says that the use of nominally legitimate platforms to mask the illegal trafficking of firearms has been documented in Ukraine.  The information, material and contacts available online are also reported to have facilitated conversion and even manufacture – citing a 2011 Russian court case where a man was convicted of illegal manufacturing of ammunition and attempting to restore a sub-machine gun – having met others on the Internet who helped.

https://medium.com/@SmallArmsSurvey/wired-weapons-online-arms-trafficking-in-russia-and-ukraine-162291dd1a00

AFTER 4 YEARS AS A FUGITIVE LAWYER WANTED FOR INVESTMENT FRAUD RETURNED TO FLORIDA

The Daily Business Review from Law.com on 5th July reported that the former inhouse lawyer and president of Florida-based online commodities company, Commodities Online, charged in a $19 million investment scheme was back in federal court in Texas, facing extradition back to Florida, more than 4 years after being declared a fugitive.  Michael R. Casey, 71, was originally charged in 2012 and the FBI say that in 2010/11 he and his alleged co-conspirators sold participation interests in purported short-term pre-sold commodities contracts, promising returns that ranged from 3% to 33%.  However, prosecutors claimed there were no profits, and those investors who requested cash pay-outs were paid with new investor money (i.e. in a Ponzi-type arrangement).  The firm was shut down by the SEC in 2011 and in the subsequent case he jumped bail.  The article says that Casey had practised law in Fort Lauderdale for 36 years and was once the chairman of the Broward County Bar Association’s corporation, banking and business law section and that he had worked for several well-known law firms, including Greenberg Traurig from 2001 until 2007.

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2018/07/03/after-four-years-on-the-lam-former-in-house-lawyer-to-be-extradited-to-fla/

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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