20 August 2018
UK: GÜRALP SYSTEMS FOUNDER AND FORMER MD CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION OVER SOUTH KOREA CONTRACTS
On 17 August, the SFO issued a news release saying that Dr Cansun, Guralp founder and Andrew Bell, Managing Director, both formerly employed by Güralp Systems Limited charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to a public official and employee of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) between 2002 and 2015. Güralp Systems Limited is an engineering company specialising in the production of seismic testing equipment.
HMRC DISCUSSION PAPER: AML SUPERVISION FEES
On 20 August, HMRC published a news release in which it sets out the background in a discussion paper and asks businesses to respond to questions about the way it charges fees to the businesses it supervises.
COLOMBIAN CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL GAMBLING
Intergame on 20 August reported that the Colombian gambling regulator, Coljuegos, has detailed a “strong offensive” against illegal gambling activities and services which it claims are avoiding paying taxes that would be diverted to the South American country’s health and social services.
SAUDI ARABIA ANTI-CORRUPTION AND YOUR COMPLIANCE
On 20 August, Thomson Reuters published an article saying Saudi Arabia anti-corruption and AML drive highlights why financial institutions must always know who they are doing business with, including third parties. How, it asks, can they ensure compliance and fight financial crime?
CHINA BUSTS 2 MAJOR ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATIONS
On 20 August, Calvin Ayre reported that China has broken up 2 major online gambling rings, including one that utilised trademarks associated with legitimate Macau casino operators; and arrested over 50 suspects connected to a “transnational” online gambling ring that handled turnover of around $1.1 billion in the past 2 years from around 114,000 customers.
FRAUD DEFENCE CANNOT SURVIVE DISCONTINUANCE OF PROCEEDINGS TO ENFORCE A FOREIGN AWARD
CMS Law on 17 August published an article saying that the Court of Appeal has held that a fraud defence did not give rise to an independent claim and could not survive the discontinuance of proceedings to enforce a foreign award. It concerns the case of Stati and others v Republic of Kazakhstan, in which the claimants were awarded damages in a Swedish arbitration and obtained an enforcement order in England, which Kazakhstan applied to set aside on a number of grounds. It says that the case clarifies the circumstances in which the court will set aside a notice of discontinuance that appears to have been served for tactical reasons which are collateral to the proceedings themselves; and that this aspect of the decision is likely to be relevant beyond the arbitration context.
MALAYSIA MAKES RECORD $12 MILLION RHINO HORN SEIZURE
The Daily Mail on 20 August reported that Malaysia has made a record seizure of 50 rhino horns worth an estimated $12 million at Kuala Lumpur airport as they were being flown to Vietnam. The 50 rhino horns weighed 116 kg. Vietnam is a hot market for rhino horn, which is believed to have medicinal properties and is in high demand among the communist nation’s growing middle class.
MAERSK AND IBM SAY 94 ORGANISATIONS HAVE JOINED BLOCKCHAIN TRADE PLATFORM
Reuters reported on 9 August about a blockchain platform developed by Maersk with IBM aimed at boosting efficiency and limiting the enormous paper trail of global container shipping. It says that the industry has seen little innovation since the container was invented in the 1950s, and cross-border trade still leaves an enormous trail of paperwork and bureaucracy. Maersk says it wants to provide end-to-end solutions for customers rather than just shipping a container from port to port. Port operators in Singapore, Hong Kong and Rotterdam, customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru, and container carrier Pacific International Lines (PIL) are among the companies and organisations that have joined the platform.
BERMUDA’S CHARITIES AMENDMENT ACT: BALANCING AML/CFT STANDARDS AND PRIVACY
On 20 August, Appleby published an article about the amendments made to the Charities Act 2014. These bring local law into line with FATF standards, and ensure that privacy concerns of registered privately-funded charities are adequately respected.
ECUADOR BUS TRAGEDY REVEALS INNOVATIVE TACTICS OF COLOMBIA TRAFFICKERS
Insight Crime on 20 August reported that a fatal bus crash in Ecuador has drawn attention to a new drug trafficking method: international “narco-bus tours” and transnational drug trafficking group dubbed the “Border Merchants” (Los Mercaderes de la Frontera). Authorities discovered a 637 kg shipment of marijuana hidden in a secret compartment beneath the floor of the bus.
NORTH KOREA TO PERMIT ICAO INSPECTIONS
Missile Threat on 20 August reported that North Korea will reportedly admit inspectors from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to conduct in-country inspections to assess measures taken by Pyongyang to improve the safety of commercial aircraft from North Korea’s ballistic missile launches.
US CUSTOMS INTERCEPTS CANS OF BABY FORMULA FILLED WITH PROHIBITED PORK FROM EL SALVADOR
Homeland Preparedness News on 20 August reported that officers at a Washington DC airport recently discovered pork sausage links concealed in an El Salvadoran woman’s baby formula cans. Swine meat from El Salvador is not allowed to enter the US because of the presence of swine vesicular disease (SVD), a highly contagious viral disease of pigs.
INMATES IN 17 US STATES PROTEST OVER “MODERN SLAVERY” PRISON CONDITIONS
The Crime Report reported on 20 August that they say they are protesting exploitative labour practices in correctional facilities and that Americans “need to recognize how we are supporting the prison industrial complex through the dollars that we spend”.