9th July 2018
CAYMAN ISLANDS: SUSPICIOUS FINANCE REPORTS SKYROCKET
On 8th July, the Cayman Compass reported that an unusually large number of suspicious activity reports were filed with the Cayman Islands Financial Reporting Authority during the last half of 2017. There were 563 reports filed between July 1st and December 31st, only slightly less than was reported during the previous 12 months. Suspected tax evasion was the most common reason for entities making SAR at 33%. Suspected fraud was reported in 102 cases, there were 28 cases of suspected money laundering (5%) and suspected drug trafficking or terrorism-related financing made up about 1% of all reports.
GARDAÍ BELIEVE A DUBLIN TANNING BED SALON IS BEING USED TO WASH HEROIN MONEY
The Journal in Ireland on 9th July reported that police and tax authorities are investigating a small Dublin tanning shop as they probe an alleged link to money laundering and drug dealing. It has, this year, turned over what sources say is an ‘inordinate sum of money for a relatively small business’. The shop has been bringing in around €1,500 per day on average – meaning it needs 155 customers every single day for 6 months to sustain that amount of cash.
SUPERCAR FRAUDSTER JAILED
The Stratford Observer on 9th July reported that a fraudster has been jailed for scamming customers out of nearly £250,000 when he promised to order supercars. Nicholas O’Neil, 47, of Idlicote-based Drive Direct was jailed for 5½ years for defrauding unsuspecting customers by promising to order cars such as Ferraris, Bentleys and Porsches. He worked closely with David Chandler, 49, who ran Kis Cars in Hertfordshire. Chandler’s part in the scheme saw victims conned out of another £91,000, taking the total between the pair to some £340,000. The men were both from New Zealand, knew each other well and plotted a scheme to extract money from car dealers and buyers who had approached them wanting to purchase top-of the range super cars.
PODCAST: VAT FRAUD BY SELLERS ON AMAZON
This 30-minute podcast from 6th July consists of a discussion with Richard Allen of RAVAS (Retailers Against VAT Abuse), who began by running an online mail order business and when he started sales were made directly, rather than through websites such as Amazon. He says that VAT fiddles began to appear in 2003 people started suffering from problems with VAT when the Channel Islands started exploiting a VAT loophole, and then supplies from China began exploiting loopholes.
CHINA SET TO IMPOSE TOTAL BAN ON WASTE IMPORTS BY 2020
Loadstar on 9th July reported that China at the beginning of 2018 introduced a partial ban on waste imports – seeking to tackle its air pollution problem – which is said to have possibly affected as much as 5 million teu of global box traffic, and according to Recycling Today, it is now intent on a complete ban by 2020.
BRIEFING: JERSEY’S LLC
A briefing from law firm Ogier on 6th July is intended to provide a summary of the main legal requirements and general principles applicable to the establishment and operation of a Jersey Limited Liability Company (LLC), formed under the Limited Liability Companies (Jersey) Law 2018.
PODCAST: SPOTLIGHT ON CANADA
In the latest TRACE podcast about the world of financial crime – corruption, fraud, money laundering and sanctions, James Klotz with TRACE’s partner firm, Miller Thomson, discusses anti-bribery efforts in Canada, the patchy enforcement of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA) and last year’s repeal of the facilitation payment exception.
EX-BDO JERSEY DIRECTOR JAILED FOR £2.6 MILLION FRAUD
Accountancy Daily on 9th July carried a report saying that Richard Arthur, a former managing director with BDO in Jersey has been jailed for defrauding clients of £2.6 million, with the court told he used the money to fund an ‘extravagant lifestyle’ which included buying a Formula 1 racing car and paying off debts relating to companies in which he had invested.
GENUINE CIGARETTES SMUGGLED FROM ALGERIA GIVES EU ANOTHER HEADACHE
EurActiv on 9th July reported that the increasing flow of genuine cigarettes from Algeria into Europe is giving politicians a fresh headache. A report has found increasing flows from Maghreb countries toward France, and the political instability in the region makes it difficult to establish the real final destination of these cigarettes, OLAF admits. Flows from Algeria to France have increased 300% since 2012 and accounted for more than 31% of total flows into France in 2016, with the majority of products identified as Marlboro.
EGYPT ARRESTS CUSTOMS CHIEF OVER ALLEGED BRIBES
Arab News on 9th July reported that Gamal Abdelazim “obtained bribes… in exchange for the smuggling of goods prohibited for import and without payment of required customs duties,” according to the administrative control authority tasked with tracking graft. He was also accused of asking workers to “prepare false reports in order to reduce the fines on seized goods”.
SRI LANKA COURT TO HEAR AVANT GARDE FLOATING ARMOURY CASE AGAINST FORMER DEFENCE SECRETARY ON OCTOBER 30TH
The Colombo Page in Sri Lanka on 9th July reported that the Colombo Magistrate Court has decided to postpone the case filed by the Bribery Commission against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and 8 other suspects in the Avant Garde floating armoury case. The Bribery Commission has filed charges against the defendants accusing them of causing a financial loss to the Government by paving the way for the operation of a floating armoury by the Avant Garde Maritime Services. The armoury was for use of those companies providing anti-piracy maritime security protection in the Indian Ocean area. Former defence officials involved include the former navy commanders Somathilaka Dissanayake, Jayanath Colombage and Jayantha Perera. Sujatha Damayanthie, a former Additional Secretary to the Defense Ministry, is also a suspect, it says, but has left the country.
SWITZERLAND VOWS TO RETURN STOLEN ASSETS TO KENYA
AA.com in Turkey on 9th July reported that Switzerland and Kenya have signed an MoU for the return of illegally acquired assets and money stolen from Kenya through illegal, corrupt means. Switzerland will also support Kenya’s war on corruption following the recent alleged theft of $100 million from the National Youth Service.
GERMANY DELAYS IRANIAN FUNDS REPATRIATION AHEAD OF US SANCTIONS
DEBKA File on 9th July reported that a finance ministry spokesperson has said that the European-Iranian Trade Bank’s repatriation of €300 million to Iran, to avoid the US sanctions squeeze, had been delayed. It is said to be subject to a review by the Bafin markets regulator and the customs agency’s FIU, which scrutinizes transactions AML/CFT purposes. The delay may hamper efforts to repatriate the funds before renewed US sanctions take effect.
WESTERN BALKANS NATIONS PLEDGE TO SHARE INFORMATION BETTER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SERIOUS AND ORGANISED CRIME AND TERRORISM
On 9th July, the Ministers of Interior and security of the 6 Western Balkan countries signed a declaration in London pledging to share with one another law enforcement and counter-terrorism information in a “legal, timely, proactive, secure, high-quality, efficient and effective” manner.
UNIQUE CHALLENGES MAKES BIOSECURITY A TOP PRIORITY FOR NEW ZEALAND
On 5th July, Homeland Security Today in the US published an article focusing on how New Zealand’s heavy reliance on agriculture, aquaculture and international trade make biosecurity a priority. A government minister is quoted as saying that protecting against biothreats is as big of a concern as other threats to national security, and it is one of the country’s top 5 risks. The article mentions that 12,000 passengers were issued with infringement notices last year after they were found to have undeclared biosecurity-risk goods, and that shipping containers entering New Zealand’s ports have also been steadily increasing, and foreign stowaways such as seeds or stinkbugs pose unique risks.
ARGENTINA: FIRST CONVICTION OF AN UNAUTHORISED ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATOR,
Calvin Ayre on 9th July reported that, in what local prosecutors hope is the first of many such actions, a man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for his role in operating multiple online gambling sites linked to the Miljugadas brand.
IRISH CUSTOMS SEIZES CANNABIS-INFUSED ‘JELLY SWEETS’, HERBAL CANNABIS AND CONTRABAND CIGARETTES
On 9th July, the Irish Revenue Commissioners released a news release saying that in 3 separate operations Revenue officers seized 2 kg of cannabis-infused ‘jelly sweets’, 650g of herbal cannabis and 50,000 contraband cigarettes. The jelly sweets were discovered, with the assistance of a detector dog Stella, in a parcel from the US declared as ‘beauty products’.