On 26th September, the EU Parliament Research Service provided a briefing in preparation for the October Plenary of the Parliament. It says that the Commission proposed, in 2016, a new Regulation to improve the EU legal framework on the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in cross-border cases. It covers new types of confiscation orders, speeds up procedures and ensures victims’ rights to compensation and restitution. The European Parliament is due to vote during its October plenary session on the agreed text reached in trilogue negotiations.
The Law Society Gazette on 26th September reported that the High Court in London has awarded the UK arm of natural resources company China Molybdenum Company (CMOC) £7 million, in a case in which a worldwide freezing injunction against ‘persons unknown’ was approved for the first time.
YLE in Finland has published an article on 26th September which reveals complexities in the business dealings behind Airiston Helmi, a company at the centre of a major money laundering investigation in Finland.
An Interpol news release on 26th September concerns the release of a new report: The World Atlas of Illicit Flows, compiled by INTERPOL, RHIPTO – a Norwegian UN-collaborating centre – and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. It warns that the illegal exploitation and taxation of gold, oil and other natural resources is overtaking traditional sources of threat finance, such as kidnapping for ransom and drug trafficking, which fund terrorist and militant groups. It also says that, of the $31.5 billion in illicit flows generated annually in conflict areas, 96% goes to organised criminal groups, with this money helping fuel violent conflict. The illicit exploitation of natural/environmental resources, such as gold, minerals, diamonds, timber, oil, charcoal and wildlife, is the single-largest overall category of threat finance to conflicts today, estimated at 38% of illicit flows to armed groups in conflict – rising to 64% when illicit taxation and extortion by the same non-state armed groups are added. The report provides the following breakdown of source of funds –
- 38% – Environmental crime (including illegal exploitation of oil, minerals and gold)
- 28% – Drugs
- 26% – Illegal taxation, extortion, confiscation and looting
- 3% – External donations
- 3% – Money extorted through kidnapping for ransom
- 1% – Charcoal
- 1% – Antiquities
The report also provides of illicit smuggling by 7 main extremist groups of insurgents and terrorists, which together have funding estimated at $1 to $1.39 billion a year.
The report (warning: large download) is available at –
On 26th September, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg reported that the Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule that adds 14 entities in Belarus, Iran, Russia, and Singapore to the Entity List. also modifies 1 entry in the UAE to specify 2 aliases and removes 1 entity in Hong Kong.
The Entity List and its requirements etc can be found at –
HFW in its Yachts Marketing Bulletin on 25th September reported that the Panama Maritime Authority has for many years been one of the largest shipping registries in the world but for a number of reasons it has never had much of a presence in the yachting industry. However, PMA announced on 18th September that it will be adopting the Red Ensign Group Yacht Code with effect from 1st January and that it will be accepting the registration of commercial vessels under both Parts A and B of the Code, said to bring much needed clarity to the registration of commercial yachts in Panama. HFW says that the Panamanian registry has been running since 1917, has about 22% of the world’s commercial fleet on its books and, as an ‘open registry’, has very limited restrictions on ownership.