3rd November 2018
UK TO EXTRADITE POLISH SUSPECTS DESPITE CONCERNS
EU Observer reported on 2nd November that the High Court has said 3 Polish suspects can be extradited under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW), despite the “current concerns regarding changes that impact the independence of the Polish judiciary”. They had hoped the UK would follow Ireland, which blocked a Polish EAW this year on those grounds.
FATF PUBLISHES COOK ISLANDS MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT
FATF has published the mutual evaluation report on Cook Islands’ AML/CFT regime prepared for the Asia Pacific Group (APG), a FATF-style regional body and based on an on-site visit undertaken in November/December 2017.
2 MEN ADMIT TO TONER FRAUD THAT PROSECUTORS CLAIM COST XEROX $21 MILLION
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in the US on 2nd November reported that 2 men have admitted defrauding Xerox Corp. through a “labyrinthine” scheme. They and others created the Florida-based company, HDH Graphics, which also went by the name Aldar Securities. The entities were “sham” printing companies, prosecutors say. All 5 of the accused are Florida residents.
‘CRACKS SHOWING’ AS HMRC SEEKS TO MANAGE DAUNTING WORKLOAD
The Parliament website on 2nd November published a report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee which says that HMRC has a daunting task as it prepares for the UK’s exit from the EU, in whichever form that takes, whilst reprioritising its ongoing projects and day to day services. The recently announced further delay to HMRC’s new Customs Declaration Service, which means that it is very unlikely to be ready for exporters by the time of Brexit, and the need for further development of HMRC’s systems so that by March 2019 they can handle postponed accounting for import VAT in the event of no deal, underline the risks.
New US Army lighter personal armour
CONTRADICTORY FORCES: FINANCIAL INCLUSION OF REFUGEES AND KYC REGULATIONS
On 30th October, a paper in the Journal of Banking Regulation said that providing access to financial services for asylum seekers and refugees is made difficult by KYC financial regulations adopted as part of efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Difficulties in identifying asylum seekers and refugees further complicate the urgent necessity of opening simple bank accounts, which is a crucial step towards integration. The authors review certain financial inclusion initiatives and assess EU banking regulations from the perspective of offering financial services to asylum seekers and refugees. The conclusion is that the solution to the financial inclusion problem is not to ease regulation, but to tailor it to the specific needs of refugees, while offering clear guidelines to banks and improving refugee identification, and the authors make several recommendations.
UK CRYPTOASSETS TASKFORCE PUBLISHES REPORT ON CRYPTOASSETS AND DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY
On 2nd November, CMS Law published a briefing saying that the Cryptoassets Taskforce (consisting of HM Treasury, FCA and the Bank of England) issued its final report setting out the UK’s policy and regulatory approach to crypto assets and distributed ledger technology (“DLT”). The report, it says –
- assesses the benefits and risks of cryptoassets and DLT;
- describes the existing regulatory perimeter and how/to what extent cryptoassets are currently regulated; and
- sets out the measures that the authorities intend to take to mitigate risks to consumers and market integrity; to prevent the use of cryptoassets for illicit activity; to guard against potential future risks to financial stability; and to encourage responsible development of cryptoassets and DLT-related activity in the UK.
The briefing provides some details and says that the report sets out the direction of travel for the UK’s regulatory approach based on existing findings and work undertaken to date.
CONTROVERSIAL UZBEK BUSINESSMAN ELECTED HEAD OF AMATEUR BOXING FEDERATION
Rferl on 3rd November reported that Gafur Rakhimov, an Uzbek businessman with alleged ties to organised crime has been elected president of the amateur boxing federation (AIBA), despite fears that his appointment could lead to the sport’s ejection from the Olympics.