10th August 2018
HOW TO REMOVE A COMPANY FROM THE EAR CONTROLLED ENTITY LIST
On 9th August, China Law Insight published an article that explains that the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are a set of regulations issued under the Export Administration Act that governs the export of certain US-origin commodities, including foreign-made products that incorporate certain US-origin goods, technology, or software. It also explains that being placed on the Controlled Entity List signifies that a committee has determined that the entity have been, or pose a significant risk of, acting contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests and the EAR impose additional licensing requirements on, and limit the availability of most licence exceptions for, exports, re-exports, and transfers of US-origin controlled goods and technology to such companies. The article lists the 44 Chinese businesses recently added to the List and goes on to outline the procedure to seek removal from the List.
NORTH KOREAN SMUGGLING SOUTH KOREAN COOKWARE
On 10th August, the Sierra Leone Times carried an article claiming that South Korean electric rice cookers made in the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea and seized illegally by North Korea after the complex was shut down 2 years ago are being smuggled for sale to China by a North Korean trading company run by the sanctions-hit country’s powerful military. The cookware, left behind in the complex in 2016, were being moved “little by little, at first” by the company during the last year, it was claimed.
FUGITIVE MARK ACKLOM’S EXTRADITION FROM SWITZERLAND BLOCKED OVER NEW ALLEGATIONS
Sky News reported on 10th August that the extradition to the UK of fugitive Mark Acklom has been blocked because Swiss prosecutors have launched an investigation into new fraud allegations. If Acklom, 45, is charged and convicted in Switzerland, his British trial could be delayed for years. He is alleged to have lured “investors” by pretending to be an associate of Elon Musk and posed as a Spaniard named Manuel Conesa Escolar. A company called Swiss Disks claimed to be developing a black box data recorder for driverless cars.
AUSTRALIA: SOFTWARE MAGNATE ANTHONY CASTAGNA JAILED FOR $2.6 MILLION TAX FRAUD
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that former Macquarie Bank consultant Anthony Dante Castagna has been jailed for a minimum of 4 years for defrauding the taxpayer of $2.6 million through an “elaborate charade”.
AUSTRALIA: JAMES ESTATE WINES’ EX-CHIEF ON 99 CHARGES IN $20 MILLION CHEQUE FRAUD SCHEME
On 10th August, the Brisbane Times reported that former Hunter Valley vineyard owner David Anthony James has been charged with being involved in a cheque fraud scheme worth almost $20 million, whereby he deposited valueless cheques into an account and was able to draw down on uncleared funds. It reports that in 2013 his Hunter Valley print and wine empire collapsed, leaving company debts of more than $25 million.
BELGIUM: NEW RULES ON THE CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF LEGAL ENTITIES
On 8th August, NautaDutilh published a briefing explaining that the principle that legal entities can be held criminally liable was first introduced into Belgian law in 1999 and that this had now been adapted the existing rules on 2 major points. Firstly, the complicated system of non-concurring criminal liability has been repealed (it is explained that, under the old rules, only the legal entity or the natural person acting on its behalf could be held criminally liable and only the party that committed the more serious wrongful act would be deemed at fault). Secondly, the new law abolishes the immunity from criminal prosecution of certain legal entities of public law (notably municipalities and the federal government). The new rules entered into effect on 30th July but do not have retrospective effect.
NEW ADVANCED MANIFEST REGULATIONS APPLIED BY CHINESE CUSTOMS
On 10th August, BIFA reported that from 1st August advanced manifests must be submitted for all sea and air shipments inbound/outbound/via China comprising certain specific information. The legislation requires that complete and accurate digital manifest data must be submitted to China Customs before departure for air shipments, and 24 hours before loading for sea shipments.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE SAYS MACEDONIA MADE NO REAL PROGRESS ON PREVENTING CORRUPTION
On 10th August, the GRECO committee of Moneyval reported that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had made no substantial progress in implementing recommendations on preventing corruption among MPs, judges and prosecutors. Only 6 of the 19 recommendations made 4½ years ago have been implemented satisfactorily and of the remaining recommendations, 8 have been partially implemented and 5 have not been implemented.
LIBYA’S SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND TO MOVE OFFICES AFTER ABDUCTIONS AND THREATS
On 10th August, Defence Web reported that Libya’s sovereign wealth fund has decided to move from its main office in Tripoli due to security breaches after a number of staff were threatened or abducted. Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) holds about $66 billion-worth of mostly frozen assets and has long been at the centre of leadership disputes and power struggles.
HAULAGE PERMITS AND TRAILER REGISTRATION ACT 2018
On 9th August, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on the above Act, outlines its provisions, explains those issues which were raised during its passage through Parliament, and provides some background as to where the Act has come from and what issues it is designed to address. The Act seeks to put into position a framework to replace the EU-linked current structure and meet relevant international requirements.
SOUTH AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA BITCOIN VAT EXEMPTION
On 10th August, VAT Live reported that SARS is proposing to follow the EU model on indirect tax, and not make trades subject to VAT. Other countries which have followed this route include Japan, Singapore, and, latterly, Australia. SARS is proposing to treat cryptocurrencies as an asset of intangible nature, and not a private currency as other countries have. The issue, acquisition, collection, buying or selling or transfer of ownership of any cryptocurrency will be included under the definition of financial services any transactions would be exempt from VAT.
GAMBLING ADVERTISING IN ITALY ENDED
Calvin Ayre on 10th August reported that gambling advertising in Italy is no more. The country’s parliament has passed a Bill banning all gambling advertising and going forward, no gambling products can be advertised on the TV, radio or Internet. Not only is gambling advertising now outlawed, so are sports sponsorships.
LATIN AMERICA’S BIGGEST PORT IN BRAZIL JUST MADE ITS LARGEST COCAINE SEIZURE EVER — THE LATEST BUST IN A THRIVING DRUG-TRAFFICKING CORRIDOR
Customs Today on 10th August reported that officials in Brazil intercepted a shipment of 2,052 kg of cocaine at the port of Santos, near São Paulo, the biggest bust ever made at the port. Revenue officials found the drugs at a container terminal at a wharf in Guaruja. During a survey of the containers, customs officials found it hidden among legal, declared shipments of coffee, sugar, and soy. The containers were to be loaded on a ship called the Cap San Marco, destined for Hamburg, Le Havre, and Algeciras.
ISLE OF MAN CONSULTS ON PUTTING THE LAW RELATING TO CONTEMPT OF COURT ON TO A STATUTORY FOOTING
On 10th August, the Isle of Man launched a consultation on the proposed Contempt of Court Bill 2018. Following a recent incident which led to the discharge of a jury, it became apparent that, unlike in the UK, there is no legal provision prohibiting unauthorised recording in courts other than perhaps the inherent power of the court to regulate its own proceedings. The consultation runs to 28th September.
ANTI-CORRUPTION SURVEY SHOWS CHINA, LATIN AMERICA RISKS WORRY IN-HOUSE LEGAL TEAMS
Corporate Counsel from law.com on 10th August carried an article says that the 6th annual global anti-corruption survey from legal recruiter AlixPartners found that 90% of companies operating in Latin America, and 94% of companies operating in China, reported their industries are exposed to corruption risk. In addition, the report revealed that in-house counsel are also concerned about growing risks in Russia, Africa and the Middle East – 31% of respondents said Russia is a place where it is impossible to avoid corrupt business practices, while 27% said Africa. About 11% more respondents this year said the Middle East has “significant” corruption risk than said this in the 2017 survey, and some 44% of respondents said their companies have pulled out or delayed an acquisition due to corruption risks, up 7% over the prior year.
CHINESE CORRUPTION INQUIRY FINDS $39 MILLION IN CASH AT HOMES OF EX-BOSS OF HUARONG ASSET MANAGEMENT
South China Morning Post on 10th August reported that Lai Xiaomin, chairman of state-owned firm, has been under investigation for ‘serious discipline violations’ since April. Set up in 1999 to handle distressed assets, Huarong is one of China’s big 4 “bad” banks, which between 1999 and 2005 soaked up non-performing loans from state-owned banks.
CARS AND CASH WORTH OVER £1.2 MILLION CLAWED BACK FROM EVANS HALSHAW FRAUDSTER
Teeside Live on 10th August reported that assets including cars and 4 houses have been clawed back from Allan Curry, a fraudster who fiddled car dealer Evans Halshaw out of £2.7 million and who was jailed for 6 years in December. His ill-gotten gains were confiscated and Pendragon, the firm which owns the Evans Halshaw group, launched a civil claim against Curry to recover get its losses back.
YANUKOVYCH LOBBYIST ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO GIVE A $200,000 BRIBE TO A PROSECUTOR
Ukrinform on 10th August reported that Ukrainian law enforcers have detained Oleksiy Tamrazov, a former first deputy chairman of PJSC Ukrgazvydobuvannya.
BUILDINGS TUMBLE AS KENYA CRACKS DOWN ON CONSTRUCTION CORRUPTION
Bloomberg on 10th August reported that the demolitions are part of a widening state clampdown on corruption as President Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to improve controls over public funds, with 3 buildings demolished in a week. Kenya’s public prosecutor said his office would investigate government officials that authorised the structures.
WOLVERHAMPTON MAN ACTED AS BANKER FOR HUMAN SMUGGLING NETWORK
On 10th August, an NCA news release said that Egyptian national, Ahmed Saleh Elsayed Mustafa, 39, was arrested by NCA officers in January 2017 as part of a joint operation with the Danish police. His criminal boss and now convicted people smuggler, Mohamed Elsaid Khalil Ali, was arrested in Esbjerg, Denmark shortly before Mustafa’s arrest. Ali facilitated the travel of 51 migrants who entered the UK from Denmark via the port of Immingham hidden within freight lorries between May 2016 and January 2017. On 6th August at Birmingham Crown Court, Mustafa pleaded guilty to money laundering and helping an asylum seeker to enter the UK. He has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison.
UK GAMBLING OPERATORS CAN EXPECT REQUESTS FOR DATA FOR RESEARCH INTO HARM
Out-Law on 10th August reported that gambling companies operating in Britain will be asked to disclose more data to help inform research into harmful play. It says that the Gambling Commission said the research will look into “whether some gambling products and environments are more harmful than others”. The first phase of the project will focus on online gambling.
ENGLISH COURT HAS JURISDICTION ALLOWING CONSPIRACY CLAIM BY GUERNSEY COMPANY AGAINST PERUVIAN RESIDENTS IN GAMBLING CASE
Out-law on 10th August carried an article saying that the Court of Appeal has ruled that a Guernsey-registered online gambling company (Eurasia Sports Ltd, is a betting agency incorporated and regulated in Alderney) can pursue a conspiracy claim against a group of Peruvian-resident customers in the English courts. The company operates through an agency called Xanadu, which is incorporated in Ireland but which provided its relevant services through consultants based in England. Eurasia has claimed that 11 defendant individuals, all of whom were resident in Peru at the time of the relevant events, conspired to defraud it by placing bets on credit that they had no intention of repaying. Before the case could proceed, Eurasia first had to establish that it was able to bring its claims in England and Wales, based on the common law – this was a complex argument that could include not just the UK and Peru, but also Alderney, Guernsey, Ireland, Peru and Malta
AFRICA SHOULD PRIORITISE WAR ON TAX EVASION AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Baker McKenzie on 10th August reported that the Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA) Vera Songwe, African Leadership Forum 2018 in Kigali, has said that combating bribery, money laundering and tax evasion should be a priority if Africa has to finance its transition to middle income status and increase prosperity.
CAPTURE OF VENEZUELA GANG IN PERU IS OMINOUS SIGN FOR REGION
Insight Crime on 10th August reported that the recent capture of several members of a Venezuela criminal group in Peru illustrates how criminals in are migrating and sometimes carrying their criminal habits with them. The gang, Train of Aragua (El Tren de Aragua) operates in one of Venezuela’s central coastal states and it is reported that at least 15 members have entered Peru in recent weeks. In Venezuela, it has more than 200 members who operate on the streets and thousands more that work from within Venezuela’s prisons. Venezuela’s political crisis has spurred massive migration including, it seems, its criminals.