16th July 2018
US SANCTIONS WOULD BAR USE OF LLOYDS OF LONDON IT PLATFORM FOR IRAN TRADE
KYC 360 on 16th July reported that new US sanctions are likely to prevent the use of a Lloyd’s of London IT platform (partly owned since last year by US company, DXC) for any Iran insurance, adding to difficulties for European insurers providing cover for the country.
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME AND ILLEGAL FISHING HIGHLIGHTED ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST IUU FISHING
ENACT Africa on 5th June reported on the first International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU fishing), saying that IUU fishing is affecting livelihoods and fuelling transnational organised crime at sea and that over 1 billion people worldwide depend directly on fisheries for their livelihoods and protein intake. It says that, beyond its ecological and developmental implications, however, a much-overlooked consequence of IUU fishing is the increasing transnational criminality it attracts. Unemployed or impoverished fishermen, in particular, are easily recruited to use their skills and equipment for maritime-based crimes. Many voluntarily join transnational criminal networks to transport drugs or arms by sea, while others are forcefully sent on fishing expeditions on the high seas and used as slaves on trawlers, particularly across SE Asia.
UK GOVERNMENT POLICY ON VISAS FOR NON-EEA WORKERS ON INSHORE FISHING VESSELS
The House of Commons Library produced a briefing paper on 13th July in anticipation of a Westminster hall debate. It outlines the position on visas in general transit visas for crew entering the UK to join a vessel and shore leave.
TIME TO EASE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA?
On 16th July, ETH Zurich issued a paper suggesting that Western sanctions imposed against Russia following Crimea’s annexation have been a partial success. They displayed Western unity and somewhat constrained Russian action in Eastern Ukraine. However, the sanctions have also alienated the Russian population, strengthened President Putin domestically and failed to bring Russia to the negotiating table. As a result, the authors argue it’s time for Europe to alter its strategy and allow for an easing of sanctions, if Russia first takes de escalatory steps in Ukraine.
EU LEVY ON CHINESE TYRES FUELS UK RETREAD MARKET
Commercial Motor on 13th July reported that the demand for retreaded tyres is soaring after the European Commission introduced a levy on tyres imported from China on 7th May that equates to €52.85 or €82.17 per tyre. Bridgestone is said to be scaling up production at its Bulldog retread factory in Lincolnshire by 25% to meet the increased demand.
US SECONDARY SANCTIONS DEVELOPMENT
An article from White & Case on 13th July on how US export control and sanctions can affect Taiwanese companies includes an interesting diagram that shows the development of so-called US secondary sanctions. The article explains that secondary sanctions target “sanctionable activities” by non-US persons outside the US, such as trade with North Korea or dealings with designated Iranian parties. Direct civil or criminal monetary penalties for violations of secondary sanctions are not the point, because the violation, by definition, lacks a connection to the US or US persons. However, other enforcement measures can be just as serious, if not more so, as the US authorities can blacklist the foreign violator, thereby closing or restricting the violator’s access to US commercial and financial markets. Secondary sanctions thus operate as a powerful deterrent against dealings by non-US persons with US-sanctioned countries or blocked parties. It says that since 2010 US secondary sanctions have increased both in scope and frequency of enforcement.
UK: REPORTING RESTRICTIONS ‘PREVENT SCRUTINY’ OF ECONOMIC CRIMES
The Guardian on 16th July carried an article reporting that excessive court reporting restrictions, inadequate listing information and difficulties in obtaining documents are preventing scrutiny of economic crimes and bribery cases, according to a report by Corruption Watch UK. A high proportion of hearings are effectively being heard in private because of tight legal controls, and fraud trials are disproportionately affected by such court orders, the study said. It claims that the SFO is currently unable to publicise 2 major corporate guilty pleas because of blanket reporting restrictions.
UK: THE SCALE AND NATURE OF FRAUD: A REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE
On 16th July, the Home Office released a set of slides which detail findings from an evidence review undertaken by Home Office Analysis and Insight to bring together what is known about the scale and nature of fraud affecting individuals and businesses in the UK. The aim of the review was to help establish the current state of the evidence base on fraud and identify new areas for research. It draws upon literature from academia and industry, and data from official sources including new data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
IRISH COMPANY DIRECTOR GETS 10 YEARS FOR ARSON AND ATTEMPTED FRAUD
The Irish Times on 16th July reported that David Healy, 47, from Cork has been given a 10-year suspended jail sentence for arson and attempted fraud. He set fire to his business after increasing his insurance cover. He had denied a charge of arson that caused €200,000 worth of damage at Munster Air Compressors – a company of which he was a director, in 2014.
FORMER SPANISH KING’S EX-MISTRESS SAYS HE LAUNDERED MONEY
The Digital Journal in Canada on 16th July carried a story saying that Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, the former mistress of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos claimed he was involved in money laundering, sparking calls for an investigation.
MONTENEGRO: EX PRESIDENT MAROVIC HAD MILLIONS ON SECRET SWISS ACCOUNT
OCCRP on 16th July reported that Swiss authorities have confirmed to Montenegro’s Prosecution Office that the wife of former President Svetozar Marovic had millions in an HSBC account in Switzerland at the time when he denied the family even had an account and offered the money alleged to be on it to anyone who proves it exists. It tells us that Marovic and his son were jailed during an investigation in 2015 into a corruption case and Marovic was suspected of having led an organised criminal group that stole tens of millions of euro from the municipality of Budva. Both were released pending trial but the family moved to Belgrade and remain out of the reach of Montenegrin authorities.
BROCHURE: UK SPACEFLIGHT PROGRAMME
On 16th July, the UK Space Agency, CAA and DfT published this brochure which says it is a guide to the UK spaceflight programme which aims to enable commercial markets for regular, reliable and responsible access to space from UK spaceports; and explains how the UK Space Agency, Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority are working together to deliver the UK Spaceflight Programme, which will enable the growth of this market in the UK.
FRAUDSTER MADE MORE THAN £750,000 SELLING KODI BOXES PROVIDING ILLEGAL ACCESS TO PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL AND MOVIES: JAILED FOR MORE THAN 3 YEARS
The Mail Online on 15th July reported that John Haggerty, also known as Gilfillan, was the prime mover in a husband and wife scam lasting 2 years. Haggerty had multiple passports in different names and set up an offshore ‘dummy company’ in Nevis to hide the true purpose of his business and, in collusion with his wife, supplied the Immigration Service with false documents to sponsor an Egyptian national who maintained the illegal streaming service for the company. He ran the scam through a business called Evolution Trading. He has been jailed for 5 years and 3 months for conspiracy to defraud, and his wife, Mary Gilfillan, was given a suspended prison sentence for her lesser role.
THE 2017 LIFTING OF US SANCTIONS ON SUDAN: RATIONALE AND REALITY
In October 2017, the US lifted 3 of the most significant components of its sanctions regime against Sudan as part of a shift in bilateral relations. A report from HSBA describes the specific sanctions changes, their stated rationales, and their documented and likely future effects on Sudan’s internal conflicts, particularly in Darfur. HSBA is the Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, a multi- year project administered by the Small Arms Survey. It was developed in cooperation with the Canadian government, the UN Mission in Sudan, the UN Development Programme, and a wide array of international and Sudanese partners. The report finds that although the sanctions themselves had a broad impact on Sudan’s economy, they did not consistently hinder key regime functions, including government institutions’ ability to transact in US dollars, obtain US-origin goods and services, and acquire military and dual-use materiel. It also says that the easing of sanctions effectively reflects international acceptance of Sudan’s longstanding strategy of seeking militarised counter-insurgency solutions. It comments on the government’s neglect of formal peace processes in favour of moving directly to ‘post-conflict’ civilian disarmament—which is being implemented by a militia, in violation of the UN arms embargo, and being used as a counter-insurgency instrument—and placing pressure on internally displaced persons to return home. The easing of sanctions is likely to legitimate these tactics.
BLOCKCHAIN IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE
A briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service on 16th July says that whilst initially used for digital currencies, most research into blockchain technology has been carried out for the finance industry. In recent years, however, research and development on supply chains and trade-related business processes have also gained ground. Start-ups and large companies have already exploited a wide range of blockchain-based applications in these areas, but the opportunities generated by this technology in international trade have yet to be fully exploited. It examines blockchain opportunities in trade-related areas, and examples of blockchain-empowered applications in trade, as well as challenges presented by blockchain technology – including data protection issues, cross-border data movements, the legal validity and enforcement of contracts, and there is a need for a harmonised regulatory approach.
US REGULATOR CFTC ISSUES NEW CUSTOMER ADVISORY ON DIGITAL TOKENS – USE CAUTION AND RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING
Mondo Visione carried a new advisory from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US which warns customers to use caution and do extensive research before purchasing virtual coins or tokens, including those that are self-described as “utility coins,” or “consumption coins”. This is the 4th advisory about virtual currencies the CFTC has issued to give customers a greater understanding of virtual currencies. The other 3 advisories are –
- Beware virtual currency pump and dump schemes
- Beware of “IRS approved” virtual currency IRAs
- Customer Advisory: understanding the risks of virtual currency trading
The latest advisory is available at –