24th October 2018
GERMAN POLICE ARREST 4 BROTHERS OF INFAMOUS MIRI-CLAN GANG
Deutsche Welle on 23rd October reported that the Miri-Clan gang is believed to consist of several families of Lebanese-Arabic descent spread throughout Germany. The 4 brothers were arrested in 4 cities in connection with selling and smuggling cocaine and marijuana.
JULIUS BAER CLOSES PANAMA OFFICE AFTER BANKER’S GUILTY PLEA
The Financial Times on 23rd October reported that the Swiss bank is to close its presence in Panama after the arrest and conviction in the US of a former employee of the bank in Panama for laundering money embezzled from Venezuela’s state oil company. Matthias Krull was a German banker who worked for Julius Baer in Panama when he participated in a scheme to launder $1.2 billion.
CAPITAL ONE HIT WITH $100 MILLION FINE OVER AML DEFICIENCIES
American Banker on 23rd October reported that the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had announced that it has levied a $100 million civil money penalty against Capital One for deficiencies in its AML programme, stemming from action against Capital One in 2015, charging that the bank had failed to adopt and implement a compliance programme that met AML and Bank Secrecy Act requirements due to an “inadequate system of internal controls and ineffective testing”.
ZAMBIA’S ADMISSION TO EGMONT GROUP OF FIU “A POSITIVE MILESTONE”
The Mast online on 23rd October reported that Zambia’s finance minister has described Zambia’s admission to the Egmont Group as a positive milestone. Confirmation of membership was made at the Plenary of the Egmont Group, recently held in Sydney. The goal of the Egmont Group is to provide a forum for FIU around the world to improve support to their respective governments in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.
BREXIT TO TAKE THE UK OUT OF THE LUGANO CONVENTION GOVERNING JUDGMENTS WITH SWITZERLAND
CMS von Erlach Poncet on 23rd October published an article saying that, as a consequence of leaving the EU at the end of March 2019, the UK will no longer be bound by the Lugano Convention, which currently governs the enforcement of foreign judgments in litigations between Swiss and British parties. The applicable legal regime in the enforcement of judgments will change making it crucial that Swiss and British parties diligently plan any litigation in the years to come.
ECUADOR TO RALLY BANANA EXPORTERS TO FIGHT HARD DISCOUNTER ALDI
EurActiv on 24th October reported that Ecuador, the world’s largest banana exporter, is urging Latin American producers to fight German supermarket chain Aldi’s bid to pay €1 less per case in 2019. The banana crate — weighing 19.5 kg – currently sells for about €6.9.
FIXED ODDS BETTING TERMINALS (FOBT)
On 23rd October, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper looking at the background to the controversy over fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) – electronic machines, sited in betting shops, which contain a variety of games, including roulette. Each machine accepts bets for amounts up to a preset maximum and pays out according to fixed odds on the simulated outcomes of games.
25 FOREIGN SUSPECTS IN TELECOM FRAUD NABBED IN PHILIPPINES
Focus Taiwan on 24th October reported that, acting on a tip provided by the Chinese police, officers cracked down on a telecom fraud ring in the northern Philippines and arrested 25 foreign nationals, thought to be from China and Taiwan, and suspected of posing as judges, prosecutors, and bank staffers to trick an average 100 victims a day in China into transferring money to designated accounts.
SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY HAS LAUNCHED A CLAMPDOWN ON ILLEGAL WASTE HAULAGE AND DISPOSAL
Commercial Motor on 23rd October reported that SEPA launched the clampdown which involves the police and the other 3 UK environmental agencies. Its £3.8 million Life Smart project, will use road stops and site visits to inform hauliers of their responsibilities surrounding waste disposal. According to SEPA, waste crime costs the UK economy approximately £600 million a year and includes illegal transport and dumping of waste in Scotland by hauliers from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
BRITISH COLUMBIA GAMBLING MONOPOLY HIRES THIRD PARTY AML AUDITOR
Calvin Ayre on 24th October reported that British Columbia’s provincial gambling monopoly (BCLC) has hired a third-party auditor in the hopes of reducing “sketchy” transactions at its land-based casinos.
SINGAPORE: 3D PRINTING AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING CENTRE
Customs Today on 23rd October reported that the Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has opted to build a 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Centre – the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation of Next Generation Ports (C4NGP) will be run by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI).
US EXPORT REGULATIONS REVISED TO REFLECT CHANGES TO DUAL-USE GOODS LIST
Sandler Travis Rosenberg on 24th October reported that changes had been made to the Commerce Control List and corresponding parts of the Export Administration Regulations to reflect changes made to the Wassenaar Arrangement’s List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies in December 2017.
INTERPOL PRESENTS E-MLA INITIATIVE AT UNODC CONFERENCE
On 23rd October, a news release from Interpol about its initiative on the secure electronic transmission of mutual legal assistance (e-MLA) exchanges. It said that in the coming months the e-MLA team will continue to engage with stakeholders to promote the launch of the second phase of the project and seek their support in developing this important technical platform on facilitating electronic mutual legal assistance.
2 NEW BILLS READY FOR SIGNING IN THE US
The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendment Act – amends 2015 Act to allow for sanctions on foreign persons who assist in, or provide support for, fundraising or recruitment activities for Hizballah; foreign government agencies that provide financial support, arms or other assistance; and Hizballah networks engaged in criminal activities.
The Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act allows for the imposition of sanctions on those members of Hizballah or associates, any foreign person, entity, or instrumentality of a foreign state involved.
Both Acts need to be signed by the President to become law.
UN AGENCIES LAUNCH MANUAL TO HELP MEASURE PROGRESS AGAINST CORRUPTION
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported on 24th October that UNODC and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have and published developed a “Manual on Corruption Surveys”, which helps measure bribery and other forms of corruption through sample surveys. UNODC teamed up with the Mexico-based UNODC-INEGI Center of Excellence for Statistical Information and UNDP to develop the new corruption measurement initiative. The manual is a comprehensive hands-on guide on the measurement of corruption through population- and business-based sample surveys. It also provides methodological guidance on two indicators on bribery prevalence that countries need to produce to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16.5.
The Manual itself is available at –
NEW RESEARCH PROJECTS ANNOUNCED TO TACKLE INTERNATIONAL CRIME INCLUDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING, CYBER-CRIME AND ILLICIT ACTIVITY AT SEA
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the UK has announced on 24th October 5 projects with £1.7 million of funding for projects investigating crime at sea, human trafficking, cyber-crime, crime in Africa and the overlap between crime and extremism. They will run for up to 36 months, commencing in January 2019. The projects are –
The projects are as follows:
- Transnational organised crime at sea: New evidence for better responses
- Deciphering and disrupting the social, spatial and temporal systems behind transnational human trafficking: a data science approach
- Hidden narratives of transnational organised crime in West Africa
- How online technologies are transforming transnational organised crime (Cyber-TNOC)
- The crime-terror nexus: Investigating the overlap between criminal and extremist practices, narratives and networks in Tripoli, Lebanon
£2 MILLION OF FAKE MEDICINES SEIZED IN UK
Police Professional on 24th October reported that diazepam, modafinil and dermal fillers were among the fake and unlicensed medicines and devices confiscated. Airports and mail delivery centres were targeted, as well as websites on both the open and dark web selling ‘falsified’ and unlicensed medical products, leading to 123 websites being shut down and 535 online adverts being removed. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) spearheaded the UK crackdown as part of the larger international operation.
THIS AMAZING TIME-LAPSE VIDEO SHOWS HOW SHIPS GET THROUGH THE PANAMA
PODCAST: THE ABRAMOFF LOBBYING SCANDAL AND BEYOND
In the latest TRACE podcast, Nat Edmonds of Paul Hastings describes his work as a prosecutor on the Jack Abramoff corruption cases and then provides broader insight into the compliance risks and schemes he sees worldwide. The Abramoff case was exposed in 2005 and related to fraud perpetrated by political lobbyists on Native American tribes who were seeking to develop casino gambling on their reservations.
A CRUDE AWAKENING US SANCTIONS ON THE RUSSIAN OIL SECTOR
This article from US law firm, Torres Law, which first appeared in the Newsletter of the International Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, discusses US economic sanctions on Russia as enforced by OFAC and provide an overview of Directive 4 to Executive Order 13662, which prohibits certain transactions related to the Russian oil sector. While Directive 4 does not prohibit all oil sector transactions with companies in Russia, it does create many potential obstacles for US businesses.
OFAC GENERAL LICENCE FOR TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING CERTAIN ENTITIES IN BELARUS
On 24th October, OFAC announced General License 2F which replaces General License 2E and extends to 25th October 2019 the exemption for transactions involving 9 named Belarus entities that would otherwise be blocked by Executive Order 13405 of 2006 (which requires the freezing of property etc of certain persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Belarus). It does not authorise transactions involving other blocked persons or entities, even if conducted through or by any of the named entities. The 9 entities are Belarusian Oil Trade House; Belneftekhim; Belneftekhim USA Inc; Belshina OAO; Grodno Azot OAO; Grodno Khimvolokno OAO; Lakokraska OAO; Naftan OAO; andPolotsk Steklovolokno OAO.