The BBC on 19th July reported that police have seized 77 Berlin properties – houses, apartment blocks and garden allotments are worth about €10 million – owned by a Lebanese family suspected of mafia-style crimes, including the theft of a giant gold coin. 3 clan members were detained over theft of the Canadian “Big Maple Leaf” – 100kg of pure 24-carat gold which was stolen from a Berlin museum in March 2017. The gold coin has not yet been found.
These UK Regulations (SI 2018/861) provide for the implementation in the UK of EU Regulation 2018/1001/EU which provided a framework for imposing financial sanctions and a travel ban on those connected to the civil unrest in the Maldives. The Regulations are concerned with the financial sanctions aspects, and provides for licences, information powers, offences and penalties. To date, no-one has been listed under this new sanctions regime.
Also on 19th July, HM Treasury issued a Notice confirming that sanctions can be imposed against those who are responsible for undermining the rule of law or obstructing an inclusive political solution in the Maldives, as well as persons and entities responsible for serious human rights violations or abuses in the Maldives.
On 19th July, a news release notified that the Commission had referred Greece and Romania to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to implement the 4th AML Directive into their national law. Ireland implemented only a very limited part of the rules and is therefore also referred to the Court. The Commission proposed that the Court charges a lump sum and daily penalties until the 3 countries take the necessary action. The Commission has also sent reasoned opinions to Latvia and Spain and an additional reasoned opinion to Malta for failing to transpose the Directive into national law as the assessment of the transposition laws notified by these countries has showed that the transposition is not complete.
On 18th July, FATF released the report it had submitted to the July 2018 G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting. The report, in particular, concentrates on –
- FATF’s work programme on virtual currencies/crypto assets, including money laundering and terrorist financing risks of virtual currencies/crypto assets, the regulatory environment for virtual currencies/crypto assets, revision of global standards and guidance and improving operational capacity;
- Countering the financing of proliferation of WMD;
- Countering the financing of terrorism;
- Improving transparency and the availability of beneficial ownership information;
- Improving the effectiveness of the criminal justice system: FATF engagement with judges and prosecutors;
- De-risking; and
- FinTech, RegTech: digital identity.
On 18th July, FATF released a report from it and the Egmont Group of FIU that assesses the vulnerabilities linked to the concealment of beneficial ownership in order to support further risk analysis by governments, financial institutions and other professional service providers. The report uses over 100 case studies provided by 34 different jurisdictions and the experiences of law enforcement and other experts, private sector input the private sector as well as open-source research and intelligence reports to identify the methods that criminals use to hide beneficial ownership. Vulnerabilities associated with beneficial ownership are analysed, with a particular focus on the involvement of professional intermediaries. The report highlights the importance of the effective implementation of the FATF Recommendations on beneficial ownership to ensure that competent authorities have access to adequate, accurate and timely information on the beneficial ownership and control of legal persons, and arrangements including express trusts.
Marine Link on 18th July reported that the US had submitted the complaint to the UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. The US said that as of May 30th, there had been 89 illicit ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products this year. The US provided a list to the Security Council committee of 89 illicit North Korean transactions and photos.