2nd November 2018
BRITAIN TO SELL CHINA ‘UNLIMITED’ AMOUNT OF MILITARY RADAR EQUIPMENT, TECHNOLOGY
Yahoo News on 1st November reported that a British defence company has been given the green light to supply an unlimited quantity of goods to China’s military, including airborne radar technology likely to be used by the PLA Air Force. The Open Individual Export Licence (OIEL) has been in place since April. The equipment covered by the licence are described as “target acquisition, weapon control and countermeasure systems” for “aircraft, helicopters and drones”.
RUSSIAN ACCUSED OF SMUGGLING 12 MILLION CIGARETTES INTO GERMANY
Deutsche Welle on 1st November reported that police in Kiel had detained a 43-year-old Russian man who is suspected of smuggling millions of black market cigarettes into the country. The truck driver is believed to be part of a gang that smuggled over 12 million cheap Russian cigarettes into Germany between 2009 and 2011. Cigarette smuggling is a major criminal enterprise in the EU, it says.
HOW IRAN OIL SMUGGLERS MAY BE TRACKED
Oil & Gas 360 on 1st November repeated a Wall Street Journal article on the activities of ship tracking companies, like Tel-Aviv-based Windward Ltd. US-incorporated TankerTrackers.com and Paris-based Kayrros, which track suspicious movements as part of a broader effort to assess global oil supplies. They have as customers government bodies, shippers, vessel owners and insurers as clients. Windward says one of its clients is the UN panel that polices North Korean sanctions, but it declines to disclose other customers. For example, Windward used machine learning to calculate a ship’s distance and speed to understand if the vessel had stopped broadcasting from its radio transmitter to conceal its behaviour. Kayrros relies on Copernicus, a European earth observation program established in 2014 that continuously updates images of vast swatches of ocean waters. The companies are combining satellite images with other tools that can identify suspicious movements, spot decoys and track ships making transfers of cargoes to other vessels. San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc has launched 337 mini-satellites in the past 6 years, making it possible to run a daily scan of the world’s most strategic oil shipping routes. Investigators can use the smallest details, including shadows, to detect how much cargo a vessel is carrying. That can allow them to trace when and if that cargo has been unloaded.
ISLE OF MAN COMPANY AT CENTRE OF CLAIMS AGAINST ARRON BANKS OVER BREXIT FUNDING
The Guardian on 1st November, in a report that the NCA is to investigate Aaron Banks’ funding of the Brexit leave campaign, says that Rock Holdings Limited, an Isle of Man company controlled by the businessman Arron Banks is at the heart of the investigation. The Electoral Commission investigation concluded that there were reasonable grounds to suspect the true source of the money was the Isle of Man-registered business, which would count as an illegal overseas donation to a British political campaign. The Isle of Man company is said to be owned by a nominee shareholder, Fidecs Nominees, itself based offshore in Gibraltar, an arrangement that has the effect of masking the identity of a company’s true owner or owners. However, it says, Banks’ involvement has been confirmed by references to his ownership in the accounts of another of his British businesses.
Politico on 2nd November reported that the Daily Mail article on the Banks affair including the throwaway comment that: The Mail understands that in early 2016, the then-Home Secretary Theresa May declined a request by one of the security services to investigate Banks. The topic was simply too explosive in the run up to the referendum.
US: REDESIGNED BANK SECRECY ACT/ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING (BSA/AML) GUIDANCE WEBSITE LAUNCHED
ACFCS on 1st November reported that the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which releases the financial crime compliance industry “bible” on programmes and procedures, has launched a redesigned Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Infobase website aimed at sharing financial institution examination procedure information with examiners, financial institutions, the public and other stakeholders. The redesign improves site navigation, enhances search capabilities, provides mobile-friendly capability and contains new functionality that allows users to download various sections of the FFIEC BSA/AML Examination Manual.
CANADA OVERHAULING AML RULES TO STRENGTHEN FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE FLOWS, INCREASE VALUE, DEPTH OF BANK FILINGS
ACFCS on 1st November also reported that the Department of Finance Canada is proposing an overhaul the country’s existing AML/CFT regime, both to strengthen the timeliness and intelligence value of filings to fight financial crime and be more in line with global standards. The amendments proposed earlier this year to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), if enacted in their current form, will introduce numerous changes.
GHANA FA COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR SANNIE DARRA CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING
Pulse.com in Ghana reported on 1st November that former GFA Communications director has been charged with money laundering by the Ghana Police following an undercover sting and caught on camera receiving monies suspected to be bribes in the latest investigative piece by multiple award-winning journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas on football called ‘Number 12’.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO GOVERNMENT GOES AFTER WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS
On 1st November, the Guardian in Trinidad & Tobago reported that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has warned those involved in corruption, fraud and white-collar crime to watch out, with legislation geared towards tackling corruption and complex fraud cases and specialised judges and magistrates to deal with corruption and white-collar cases in court. Rowley said he had no idea how corrupt T&T was until he assumed office in 2015 and that and “white collar crime is a national cancer in T&T” which his Government intends to fight head-on. He also spoke about the major developments in one of the biggest cases of alleged white-collar crime to reach the courts, involving the Estate Management Business Developmental Company (EMBED) to follow the money in its pursuit of alleged wrongdoing, where total of approximately $400 million was paid out on the eve of the 2015 general elections.
FINNISH COUPLE SENTENCED FOR $11.4 MILLION PAINTING FORGERY SCHEME
UPI on 1st November reported that a Finnish court sentenced a married couple to prison time and fined them $11.4 million for selling forgeries of paintings by the likes of Monet and Matisse. They owned Galerie Vision in Helsinki where they sold more than 200 paintings they purported to be painted by well-known artists.
US WATCHDOG BANS DELOITTE MEXICO PARTNERS
ICAEW on 1st November reported that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has banned 3 audit partners at Deloitte Mexico for deficient work which they then misrepresented to Deloitte’s US firm. This is the fourth time in the last 2 years that a Deloitte firm has run into trouble with the US audit watchdog over audit violations.
AT A GLANCE GUIDE TO GUERNSEY GREEN FUND
On 1st November, Ogier published a briefing on the fund is designed to provide investment managers with an opportunity to assure investors that their investments are contributing to initiatives that have a positive environmental impact on the planet and in so doing inspire confidence that their investments are well regulated.
WARNING TO BUSINESS AS JCPOA WIND-DOWN PERIOD COMES TO AN END
On 1st November, World ECR published a “warning” that 4th November marks the end of a 180-day wind-down period under which companies had the chance to phase out their activities in Iran before the re-imposition of the remaining US sanctions lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). A slew of sanctions has already been re-imposed from August.
UK: INSOLVENCY AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: NEW POWERS TO TACKLE RECKLESS DIRECTORS
On 1st November, Ince & Co published an article saying that the Government has responded to the consultation by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and The Insolvency Service on proposals to improve the corporate governance of firms that are in or approaching insolvency. The government response was published on 26th August and sets out the views of professional advisers, professional associations, business and trade representative groups, and individual businesses from a number of sectors. Having considered the views provided in response to the consultation, the Government proposes taking various actions outlined in the article.
AUSTRALIAN GANGSTER JOHN MACRIS SHOT DEAD IN ATHENS AMBUSH
ABC News on 2nd November reported that a Sydney gangster with links to the notorious Ibrahim family has been shot dead in an ambush in Greece and police are investigating possible connections to organised crime. The 46-year-old was married to a model who appeared on a Greek reality TV show. In Athens, he appeared as a businessman and reportedly owned a security company, but when living in Sydney he was involved in the organised crime scene. In 2012, members of the Ibrahim family were cleared of conspiring to kill Macris, who was believed by some to be linked to the shooting of Fadi Ibrahim.
UK BREXIT COIN DESIGNS LEAKED…
CHANGES TO THE CRIME PURPOSE IN THE REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000 (RIPA)
PNLD on 2nd November reported that section 22 of RIPA has been amended so that access to certain communications data (traffic or location data) from telecommunications and postal operators by public authorities (such as the police) may be authorised only for the purpose of the prevention or detection of serious crime – the crime purpose has been changed from ‘for the purpose of preventing and detecting crime or preventing disorder’ to ‘for the applicable crime purpose’, which is defined in new subsection (2A).
UK PUBLISHES AML STRATEGY, TARGETS LAWYERS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS
KYC 360 on 2nd November reported that the just-released UK Serious and Organised Crime Strategy which has set out a 4-point plan to address crime and outlining a crackdown on professional enablers and sectors targeted by launderers, such as public schools.
IAEA MEETING WITH WASTE MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL ON SAFE, EFFICIENT DISPOSAL OF HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE (HLW) AND SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL
Homeland Preparedness News reported on 1st November that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently met with waste management personnel in Vienna to discuss safe, efficient disposal of high level radioactive waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel. It included a delegation from the International Association for Environmentally Safe Disposal of Radioactive Materials (EDRAM). The article says that there is still no facility for disposing of HLW or spent nuclear fuel not destined for re-processing or re-use. However, officials said progress is being made, particularly in Finland, Sweden, and France, on developing DGD, which entails permanently placing solid radioactive waste in a facility located underground in a stable geological formation.
ISLE OF MAN SANCTIONS UPDATES
On 2nd November, the Isle of Man FSA issued a news release advising of recent updates to the Island’s sanctions regimes.
PIRATES IN THE GULF OF GUINEA BELIEVED TO BE HOLDING MORE THAN 30 CREW MEMBERS HOSTAGE
Loadstar on 2nd November reported that pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are now believed to be holding more than 30 crew members hostage after a series of vessel hijackings off West Africa. It says that, historically, piracy off the coast of West Africa has focused on tanker hijackings, but with the drop in oil prices in recent years authorities have seen a move towards other ship types. Following waves of attacks on ships in the Indian Ocean during the 1990s, carriers resorted to recruiting armed guards. However, while successful, local legislation in Nigeria renders such a move impractical for carriers.
THE WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING-SECURITY NEXUS: TARGETING THE ORGANISED CRIME THREAT
On 10th October, the Royal United Services Institute, on the eve of the London Conference on international wildlife trafficking, RUSI’s Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research, United for Wildlife, and the Wildlife Conservation Society hosted an event to examine these topics. The event focused on a key component of the wildlife trafficking–security nexus: the organised crime dynamics driving wildlife trafficking. It brought together academics, practitioners, NGO representatives and analysts to discuss practical measures to more effectively address the security dimensions of wildlife trafficking, with a focus on Africa. The event included a brief panel discussion followed by an opportunity for questions and further discussions. RUSI has made available a 43-minute video of the panel discussion and Q&A.
UK AID TO CRACK DOWN ON CRIMINAL GANGS DRIVING THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
Also on 10th October, at the IWT event, the International Development Secretary announced new joint initiative with the Foreign Office to target wildlife traffickers and criminal gangs, tackling the global scourge of the illegal wildlife trade. The UK aid project will launch investigations, seize assets and train law enforcement in East and Southern African countries and will be the largest known project of its kind to crack down on financial crimes associated with the illegal wildlife trade in the world.
‘VERY FEW PEOPLE’ LIKELY TO GET PRESCRIPTION FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS AS IT BECOMES LEGAL IN THE UK
The Pharmaceutical Journal on 1st November reported that NHS guidance for patients explains that medical cannabis is likely to be prescribed for a limited number of conditions and only if all other treatment options have already been explored. The guidance explains that it is only likely to be prescribed for children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy, adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy, and adults with muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England have also written to all NHS staff to tell them that cannabis-based products for medical use should only be prescribed where there is clear published evidence, where there is clinical need that cannot be met by a licensed medicine and where established treatment options have been exhausted. In addition, MHRA guidance includes a checklist for pharmacies that are dispensing cannabis-based products, which includes ensuring that the decision to prescribe was made by a doctor registered on the specialist register.
On 2nd November, a letter to clinicians from the Chief Medical Officer and NHS England following the rescheduling of legislation to allow the medicinal use of cannabis-based products –
Meanwhile, on 30th October –
LEGAL MEDICAL CANNABIS COULD BE MISUSED, PAIN CONSULTANTS WARN
Medical cannabis could appear on the illegal market and lead to a crisis similar to the misuse of opioid prescriptions, a group of pain medicine consultants have warned in a letter to The Times.
TAIWAN: MONEY LAUNDERING AMENDMENTS PASS BEFORE EVALUATION OF AML/CFT REGIME
The Taipei Times in its 3rd November edition reported that, ahead of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering’s (APG) visit to Taiwan for its 3rd round of mutual evaluations, the parliament passed amendments to the Money Laundering Control Act which included an article stipulating a maximum fine of US$325,330 for firms that do not have an internal auditing mechanism, and the definition of financial institutions being broadened to include entities that engage in virtual-currency trading. The evaluation team arrives on 5th November [nothing like leaving things to the last moment…].
2 UK ASSET RECOVERY FIRMS SHUT FOR FAILURE TO RECOVER ASSETS
International Adviser on 2nd November reported that an Insolvency Service investigation has lead the UK High Court to order 2 ‘asset recovery’ companies into liquidation, after their claims were found to be false. Asset Recovery Associates (ARA) and Asset Recovery Resources (ARR) were incorporated in July 2011 and December 2012 respectively, shared the same office address in Warrington, as well as the same director, Alexander Goodrich.
UK MOVIE PRODUCER CHARGED WITH £500,000 FRAUD
The Guardian reported on 2nd November that a hedge fund executive who produced a feature-length Brexit film encouraging Britons to vote leave in the 2016 EU referendum has appeared in court charged with committing a fraud of more than £500,000. David Shipley, 36, is alleged to have committed fraud by false representation by Photoshopping his wage slips to make it appear he was paid much more than he really was in order to secure a loan approval.
GAMBLING REGULATORS IN NETHERLANDS ISSUE MORE FINES AGAINST ONLINE CASINO OPERATORS
Calvin Ayre on 2nd November reported that the KSA in the Netherlands have issued more 6-figure fines against online casino operators serving Dutch punters without Dutch permission.
CALIFORNIA MAN CONVICTED OF LAUNDERING MONEY FOR MEXICO-BASED KIDNAPPING RING
Baker McKenzie on 2nd November reported that Luis Francisco Murillo Morfin, 33, laundered tens of thousands of dollars in ransom payments on behalf of a violent Mexico-based kidnapping ring. The kidnappers targeted 2 dozen Mexican nationals in August 2015, having lured them by promising to smuggle them into the US. But the kidnappers then put them in the trunks of cars, drove them through fake border checkpoints and took them to a “stash house” in Tijuana. The ring then contacted the victims’ families in the US to extort money from them, officials said.
US TO GRANT ‘JURISDICTIONS’ WAIVERS FROM NEW IRANIAN SANCTIONS
Rferl reported on 2nd November that the US says that 8 “jurisdictions” will receive temporary exemptions to sanctions set to be imposed on Iran’s oil and financial industries on 5th November, but that Washington will “aggressively enforce” the measures designed to put “maximum pressure” on Tehran. Speaking in a telephone briefing with reporters, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to specify which countries or entities would receive waivers but said the list will be made public on November 5th.
SOUTH KOREA “TO GET US SANCTIONS WAIVER ON IRAN OIL IMPORTS FOR 180 DAYS”, SAY SOURCES