22nd September 2018
US COURT SENTENCES BUSINESSMAN FOR UNLAWFUL EXPORT TO PAKISTAN MILITARY
LY News in India on 22nd September reported that Imran Khan, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Khan specifically admitted that, between August 2012 and January 2013, he procured, received and exported to Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, or the National Institute of Lasers & Optronics. All of these companies are listed in the US Department of Commerce Entity List, meaning that they were subject to export control prohibitions and restrictions. When US manufacturers asked about the end-user for a product, the defendants either informed the manufacturer that the product would remain in the US or completed an end-user certification indicating that the product would not be exported. Earlier this year, Khan’s father, Muhammad Ismail, and his brother, Kamran Khan, each pleaded guilty to money laundering, for causing funds to be transferred from Pakistan to the US in connection with the export control violations.
2 JAILED AFTER SMUGGLING £25 MILLION WORTH OF CANNABIS IN PARCELS OF RABBIT HAY
The Evening Standard reported on 21st September that 2 used-car salesmen who smuggled at least £25 million of cannabis into the UK hidden among parcels of rabbit hay have been jailed for a total of more than 18 years. Mark Owens, 58, and Paul Seabrook, 52, were the British end of an international smuggling ring, who used the odour of the animal bedding to disguise the smell of the drugs. Kent Police seized a lorry near to the Dartford Crossing in May 2016, seizing a metric ton of cannabis which had originated in The Netherlands.
UN PROGRAMME ORGANISES CRACKDOWN ON “RIP ON, RIP OFF” SMUGGLING
Maritime Executive on 21st September reported that a recent international operation to crack down on containerised drug shipments netted 5.8 tonnes of cocaine in 14 separate seizures around the globe. 44 countries and 52 seaports participated in the 2-week enforcement operation, “Sports Bag-2,” which was held under the UNODC-World Customs Organization Container Control Programme (CCP). In particular, the sting targeted “rip on and rip off” trafficking – the contamination of legitimate containerised shipments with drugs, often packed in sports bags. This method involves internal facilitators at the originating or transit port placing bags of illicit items into already-packed shipping containers for retrieval before customs inspection. Neither the consignor or the consignee is aware that an illicit commodity has been transported within their consignment. Last year’s operation netted about 7.1 tonnes of cocaine in 19 seizures. UNODC says that with more than 90% of the world’s cargo transported by sea, CCP and similar programmes are essential to ensuring the security and integrity of the international supply chain.
PHISHING, VISHING AND SMISHING: ORGANIZED CYBERCRIME UNDER GDPR, COULD NEW DATA RULES BE MAKING THINGS WORSE?
A newsletter from ACFCS on 21st September relayed an article from Email Insider saying that far from helping, GDPR and other privacy laws could actually hamper investigation of cyber crimes. For one thing, regulatory measures such as GDPR and the EU NIS Directive are limiting law enforcement’s ability to access data. In addition, the redacting of all personal data from WHOIS records is “significantly hampering the ability of investigators across the world to identify and investigate online crime,” a Europol report states. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, it says, here is the most bizarre thing: that steep GDPR fines for data breaches could lead to “scenarios where hackers may try to extort companies over their data loss,” the report states. “While this is not new, it may be that the hacked companies would rather pay a smaller ransom to a hacker for non- disclosure than the steep fine that might be imposed by their competent authority”.
UGANDA: MOBILE MONEY TOOL POTENTIAL FOR TERRORISM FINANCING
The Daily Monitor in Uganda on 22nd September reported that the US government has in its Global Terrorism Index report warned about mobile money services in Uganda as being vulnerable to exploitation by criminals and terrorists to finance illicit activities in and out of the country. Saying that the country’s AML Act does not put the same requirements on mobile money transfer.
Bank of Uganda revealed in December that with 22 million subscribers currently registered for mobile money, the platform had become instrumental in bringing Ugandans into the formal banking sector.
UK GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES DEFINITION FOR CANNABIS-BASED PRODUCTS FOR MEDICINAL USE
The Home Office on 21st September published a news release saying that cannabis-based products for medicinal use will be available for specialist doctors to prescribe legally. The Home Secretary has now set out how cannabis-based products for medicinal use will be defined in order to make it lawful for them to be prescribed when specialist doctors believe this is appropriate. The government has been clear it has no intention of legalising the recreational use of cannabis. Due to the known harms of smoking and the potential operational impact on misuse and diversion, smoking will remain prohibited. Patients will not be able to get cannabis-based medicinal products from their general practitioner.
US: OPERATOR OF COUNTER-ANTIVIRUS SERVICE “SCAN4YOU” SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON
A DoJ news release on 21st September reported that Ruslans Bondars, 38, a Latvian “non-citizen” (i.e. a citizen of the former USSR who resided in Riga) had been sentenced to 168 months in prison for offences related to his operation of “Scan4you,” an online counter-antivirus service that helped computer hackers determine whether the computer viruses and other malicious software they created would be detected by antivirus software. Scan4you differed from legitimate antivirus scanning services in multiple ways. For example, while legitimate scanning services share data about uploaded files with the antivirus community and notify their users that they will do so, Scan4you instead informed its users that they could upload files anonymously and promised not to share information about the uploaded files with the antivirus community.
MORE CHINESE ONLINE GAMBLING ARRESTS
Calvin Ayre on 21st September reported that police in Cixi City in Zhejiang province have arrested 71 individuals suspected of involvement in a pair of illegal online casino operations offering baccarat games to Chinese gamblers.
INDIA SET TO PAY FOR IRANIAN OIL USING RUPEE FROM NOVEMBER
The Times of India on 20th September reported that India will settle payments for Iranian oil using rupee using local banks from November, according to sources in the industry. Indian refiners are currently using State Bank of India and Germany-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG to buy Iranian oil in euros. SBI has told refiners it would stop handling Iranian payments in November.
UK: MORE OVERSIGHT NEEDED ON ANTI-TERROR LEGISLATION TO PROTECT FUNDAMENTAL LEGAL RIGHTS
Ekklesia on 22nd September reported that fundamental legal rights could be put at risk if the government proceeds with the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill in its current form, the Law Society of England and Wales has warned. The Law Society president has said that the idea people could be questioned for an hour before being able to get legal advice runs against all the usual standards of justice. Even after an hour, a suspect would have to proactively request a solicitor, rather than being offered legal support. The government needs to ensure everyone suspected of a crime is entitled to a solicitor and properly informed of their legal rights.
MALDIVES POLICE SEIZE OPPOSITION HEADQUARTERS ON EVE OF ELECTION
Al Jazeera on 22nd September reported that the US and UK condemned the action after special operations police raided the 7-storey building in Male citing an investigation into “bribery and influencing votes”. President Abdulla Yameen is seeking re-election in the Indian Ocean nation, better known for its upmarket honeymoon resorts, after a first 5-year term marred by allegations of corruption and human rights abuses. The allegations of graft include the embezzlement of at least $79 million from tourism revenues and conspiracy to launder $1.5 billion through the Maldives central bank. Yameen has denied any wrongdoing. Observers say they do not expect the poll to be free or fair.
KINGPIN OF HIZBALLAH’S ILLICIT MONEY NETWORK ARRESTED BY BRAZILIAN POLICE
DEBKA File on 22nd September reported that Assad Ahmad Barakat, alleged mastermind of Hizballah’s financial network in the notorious South American “Triple Frontier” region, has been detained by Brazilian police near the Paraguay-Argentine border. A Lebanese national, Barakat is reputed to run Hizballah’s large-scale smuggling, drug-trafficking and money-laundering rings for funding is terrorist operations from the Triple Frontier” which is a hotbed of these and other crimes. In 2006, the US Treasury listed Barakat as a “global terrorist”.
CONVICTION OF NIGERIAN MIDDLEMEN ‘SPELLS TROUBLE FOR SHELL AND ENI ON EVE OF MAJOR TRIAL’
Ekklesia on 22nd September reported that 2 middlemen have been found guilty of corruption offences relating to Shell and Eni’s 2011 deal for one of Nigeria’s most promising oil licences. Emeka Obi and Gianluca Di Nardo have been sentenced to 4 years jail time and confiscations of over €100 million. A larger trial including Shell, Eni and 13 other defendants is ongoing. For years, Shell had claimed that it only paid the Nigerian Government for the OPL 245 oil block but in 2017 Shell admitted it had dealt with Etete who had awarded the OPL 245 oil block to his own secretly owned company, Malabu, while serving as Oil Minister. The case against Eni and Shell alleges that $520 million from the deal was converted into cash and intended to be paid to the then Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the government and other Nigerian government officials. The prosecutors further allege that money was also channelled to Eni and Shell executives with $50 million in cash delivered to the home of Eni’s Roberto Casula.
FinCEN ADVISORY ON THE FATF-IDENTIFIED JURISDICTIONS WITH AML/CFT DEFICIENCIES
On 21st September, FinCEN published an Advisory detailing the updating in June by FATF of its list of jurisdictions with strategic AML/ CFT deficiencies.
SIGNIFICANT SUMS OF CASH SEIZED DURING RAIDS ON ORGANISED CRIME GANG IN COUNTY WEXFORD
The Irish Mirror on 22nd September reported that the Kinahan cartel was dealt another blow after gardai seized up to €1.2 million believed to be linked to the gang. Gardai tackling organised crime discovered the huge sum after stopping 2 vehicles in Co Wexford. 4 men were arrested.