OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 24

24 August 2018

20180825_AMD001_0

PENSION PLANS AND AML REQUIREMENTS HMRC HAS RELAXED THE REPORTING REQUIREMENT

Squire Patton Boggs published a briefing on 23 August says that by “reporting” requirement, it means the requirement to register on HMRC’s new Trust Registration Service, which arises in respect of a “taxable relevant trust”, where trustees are caught by the reporting duty because they have incurred a liability to any of the various “trigger taxes”.  HMRC has announced that trustees of registered pension plans (i.e. plans that are registered under the Pension Schemes Online or Manage and Register Pension Scheme services) no longer need register.

https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/~/media/files/insights/publications/2018/08/pensions-and-antimoney-laundering-a-further-update/pension-plans-and-aml-requirements.pdf

PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS – LAWYERS MUST EXPLAIN THE RISKS AS WELL AS THE REWARDS TO THEIR CLIENTS

Kingsley Napley on 23 August published an article saying that a recent case has highlighted where a barrister was suspended from practice for 1 month for failing to advise his client about the risks of bringing a private prosecution.  It says that whilst private prosecutions offer an excellent legal remedy, they are typically subject to greater scrutiny than public prosecutions and lawyers who run these cases must take care to ensure they explain the risks, as well as the rewards, to their clients.  The barrister in this case did not advise his client about the risk that the CPS could take over the prosecution in order to discontinue it or that an award of costs could be made against the client.

https://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/insights/blogs/regulatory-blog/private-prosecutions-lawyers-must-explain-the-risks-as-well-as-the-rewards-to-their-clients#page=1

1MDB FUGITIVE JHO LOW HIT WITH MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES IN MALAYSIA

The South China Morning Post on 24 August reported that police have file 8 charges against Low Taek Jho while his father, Low Hock Peng, is charged with 1 charge under the same money laundering Act.

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2161183/1mdb-fugitive-jho-low-hit-money-laundering-charges-malaysia

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVING FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING

The Baltic Course on 24 August reported that the Estonian government Cabinet tasked the government committee working in the Ministry of Finance to draw up proposals by October on how to improve the fight against money laundering.  This follows the Public Prosecutor’s Office launching a criminal proceeding to investigate possible money laundering suspicions in the Estonian branch of Danske Bank.

http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=142662

CRIMINAL ALIEN POPULATION IN US DECLINES; MOST COME FROM 6 COUNTRIES

Homeland Security Today in the US reported on 19 August that from fiscal years 2011 through 2016, the criminal alien proportion of the total estimated US federal inmate population generally decreased from about 25% to 21%.  During this period, the estimated number of criminal aliens incarcerated in federal prisons decreased from about 50,400 to about 39,500, or 22%t. 91% percent of these criminal aliens were citizens of one of 6 countries, including Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Guatemala.

https://www.hstoday.us/federal-pages/government-reports-and-summaries/gao-criminal-alien-population-declines-most-come-from-six-countries/

MADAGASCAR GOVERNMENT MUST TAKE ACTION ON TRAFFICKING OF PRECIOUS WOOD

Transparency International reports on an investigation that puts into perspective the current project of selling thousands of stockpiled rosewood logs, which is backed by the Madagascar Government and the World Bank.  This project could reactivate dormant trafficking networks and enable illegal transactions to be made under cover of authorised transactions, as has occurred in the past. It questions why the World Bank and other technical and financial partners support the current government on this issue, as world heritage and the future of an entire population are at stake. It says the core issues involve existing networks involving elected officials and political figures; logging in protected areas; and illegal export and marketing.

https://www.transparency.org/news/pressrelease/madagascar_government_must_take_action_on_trafficking_of_precious_wood

THE MAKING OF A NON-PROLIFERATION LAW

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on 28 June published an article that describes the legislative process by which the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (NNPA) in the US, the most comprehensive nuclear nonproliferation law created since the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, came to be enacted.

https://thebulletin.org/2018/06/the-making-of-a-non-proliferation-law-a-memoir/

TECH GIANTS TARGET ACCOUNTS LINKED TO IRAN

The Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Report on 24 August says that America’s biggest tech companies are zeroing in on Iran, and are deleting from their online networks of fake accounts, videos and social-media.  Until now efforts have been focused almost exclusively on Russia. Iran’s tactics are different, cybersecurity experts said, focusing on advancing its foreign policy interests in ways not as extreme as Russia’s efforts.

MIGRANT SMUGGLING AND SHAM MARRIAGES ORGANISED CRIME GANG DISMANTLED

On 24 August, Eurojust reported that searches and arrests were synchronised in Romania and Poland against an organised crime group (OCG), involved in recruiting and trafficking men and women from India and Nepal into the EU.  The illegal immigrants participated in sham marriages in order to obtain residence permits. Each migrant paid approximately €12,000 to the smugglers for the full range of services, including the journey to Europe, entry to Germany, application for a residence permit, as well as the arrangement of the wedding ceremony.

http://www.eurojust.europa.eu/press/PressReleases/Pages/2018/2018-08-24.aspx

UK REPORT: REGISTERS OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP

On 24 August, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which looks at the development of beneficial ownership registers in the UK and around the world.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8259

VAT ON PARCELS FROM EU IN THE EVENT OF A HARD BREXIT

Tamebay on 24 August published an article that addresses the situation for VAT on parcels from EU in the event of a Hard Brexit.

https://tamebay.com/2018/08/vat-parcels-eu-event-hard-brexit.html

BIG TOBACCO “HAS ‘HOODWINKED’ GOVERNMENTS WORLDWIDE AND IS SECRETLY FUELLING THE CIGARETTE BLACK MARKET”

The Daily Mail on 24 August published an article saying that leaked documents reveal the lengths cigarette manufacturers go to in order to undermine the Illicit Trade Protocol; an international agreement that was set up in 2012 to ensure tobacco companies pay their taxes.  The ITP requires all tobacco products are marked so their origin can be traced. The world’s 4 major tobacco companies developed their own ‘track and trace’ system and hatched a joint plan to use third parties to promote this system to governments under the pretence it was independent of the tobacco industry.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6091323/Big-tobacco-hoodwinked-governments-worldwide-secretly-fuelling-black-market.html

4 MEN WHO HIRED A PRIVATE JET TO SMUGGLE HALF A TONNE OF COCAINE INTO THE UK FROM COLOMBIA HAVE BEEN JAILED FOR A TOTAL OF 92 YEARS

On 23 August, a news release from the NCA reported the outcome of a 4-week trial.  They were arrested in January 2018 following the Class A seizure by Border Force officers at Farnborough Airport.  The UK group had posed as businessmen involved in the world of crypto currency and the music industry to hire the jet, claiming they were travelling to Bogota to see Bruno Mars.

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/1452-phoney-businessmen-smuggled-huge-haul-of-cocaine-direct-from-colombia-on-board-private-jet

FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE WAS SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON

Jurist on 24 August reported that president Park Geun-Hye was sentenced to 25 years by the Seoul High Court in connection with corruption charges and bribes from companies such as Samsung. This ruling extends the former president’s prison sentence by an additional year.

https://www.jurist.org/

TRIADS THUMPED IN MAJOR POLICE OPERATION IN HONG KONG

The Standard in Hong Kong on 24 August reported that police believe they have dealt a severe blow to triads with 4,283 arrests in the largest joint operation with Guangdong and Macau since 2000.  Operation Thunderbolt 18 saw 1,259 mainlanders and 219 non-Chinese held. The youngest was a 12-year-old for drugs and the oldest was aged 72.  Officers also seized weapons, imitation guns and gambling records.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=199435&sid=4

IS THE ELN TAKING OVER COLOMBIA’S ENDURING HEROIN TRADE?

Insight Crime on 24 August reported that reports have emerged that guerrilla group the ELN (National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) has taken control of the heroin business in the south of Colombia, which, if confirmed, would represent a huge shift in trafficking patterns for this diminished but enduring trade.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/eln-taking-colombias-enduring-heroin-trade/

SHIFTING EX-FARC MAFIA ALLIANCES FUEL COLOMBIA CRIMINAL SHAKE-UP

On 24 August, Insight Crime carried an analysis saying that the restructuring of Colombia’s underworld in the wake of the demobilization of the FARC guerrillas continues apace, with cells of criminalised former fighters seeking new alliances, rebuilding old ones and striking out on their own.  The former FARC have rapidly emerged as central players in the Colombian underworld, using their criminal and military experience to take control of drug trafficking real estate and activities.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/shifting-ex-farc-mafia-alliances-fuel-colombia-criminal-shakeup/

7 CHINESE COMPANIES EACH TOPPED $5 BILLION IN DEFENCE SALES — AND COULD RIVAL US COMPANIES

On 23 August, Defense News published an article saying that, as the second-biggest arms spender in the world. Chinese companies are logically going to rank among the largest defence firms.  A London-based think tank has concluded that 7 Chinese firms would rank among the top 20 defence companies in the world, The report looked at 8key defense firms from China — the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), China Electronics Technology Enterprise (CETC), China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC), China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).

https://www.defensenews.com/top-100/2018/08/23/these-7-chinese-companies-each-topped-5b-in-defense-sales-and-could-rival-american-firms/

BRITISH AIRWAYS TO END DIRECT FLIGHTS TO IRAN IN SEPTEMBER

KYC 360 reported on 24 August that British Airways says it will end its direct flights to Iran’s capital in September as “the operation is currently not commercially viable”.

https://kyc360.com/news/british-airways-to-end-direct-flights-to-iran-in-september/

JOINT LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATION LEADS TO ARREST OF LARGEST DARK NET FENTANYL VENDOR IN THE US

Homeland Preparedness News on 24 August reported that Operation Darkness Falls, a joint operation targeting fentanyl and other drug distributors over the dark net, has resulted in several arrests associated to such bad actor behavior, including the most recent arrest of MH4Life, the fourth most prolific dark net fentanyl vendor in the world and the top vendor in the US.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/30151-joint-law-enforcement-operation-leads-to-arrest-of-largest-dark-net-fentanyl-vendor-in-the-us/

WCO PUBLISHES NEW GUIDES SUPPORTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AEO PROGRAMMES AND MUTUAL RECOGNITION

On 24 August, the WCO announced that it had released 2  key documents that will provide detailed guidance and further support for the implementation of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes and their complementary Mutual Recognition Arrangements/Agreements (MRA) in a more effective and harmonized manner globally –

  • the Customs AEO Validator Guide; and
  • the MRA Strategy Guide.

The Customs AEO Validator Guide is primarily intended to build capacities in Customs administrations with regard to the AEO validation process, in particular the validation of security related provisions and management policies.  The MRA Strategy Guide is aimed at assisting Customs administrations with the development of MRAs, including the negotiation and implementation.

http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2018/august/wco-publishes-new-guides-supporting-the-implementation-of-aeo-programmes-and-mras.aspx

US COURT SAYS FCPA DOESN’T APPLY TO FOREIGNERS WITHOUT US TIES

Law 360 reported on 24 August that a US federal court ruled that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act doesn’t apply to foreign nationals without ties to US entities for bribery crimes that take place outside of the US, rejecting the government’s bid for a broad interpretation of the anti-bribery law in a case against a former Alstom SA executive.

https://www.law360.com/articles/945200/breaking-2nd-circ-says-fcpa-doesn-t-apply-to-foreigners-without-us-ties

UN COUNTER-TERROR CHIEF – ISIL CONTINUES TO POSE A SERIOUS CHALLENGE WORLDWIDE

Defence Web on 24 August reported that the UN Security Council has been told that, despite serious military setbacks, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) may still have around 20,000 fighters and continues its dangerous transformation into a covert global network, while focusing on the activities of its regional offshoots.  These were among the key findings in a new report into the threats posed by ISIL presented to the UN Security Council by senior UN counter-terrorism officials. While the flow of foreign ISIL fighters returning home is slower than feared, the dangers posed by bomb-making expertise gained in conflict zones, such as preparation of improvised explosive devices and weaponised drones, is a cause for concern.  Former fighters back in their home countries have the potential to radicalise others.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52888:isil-continues-to-pose-a-serious-challenge-worldwide–un-counter-terror-chief&catid=56:diplomacy-a-peace&Itemid=111