11th November 2018
WEBSITE ALLEGEDLY SPREADS FALSEHOODS ABOUT SINGAPORE’S INVESTIGATIONS INTO 1MDB-RELATED FUNDS FLOWS
On 9th November, the Singapore Government issued a news release seeking to counter what it said were inaccuracies in a recent newspaper report, and to set out what it said were the facts.
DOCUMENTING SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS: A BASIC GUIDE
The Small Arms Survey has published a new guide offering practical advice on recording the identification characteristics of small arms and light weapons will help to ensure that all essential data is recorded accurately, so that a specialist may make a conclusive identification. It gives a step-by-step approach to documenting small arms and light weapons, as well as an overview of safety procedures and guidelines for undertaking documentation work in the field. It concludes with a section on the weapon that is most commonly observed in conflict zones: the AK (Kalashnikov) rifle and its variants, copies, and derivatives. It includes a discussion of the identifying features and markings of small arms and light weapons. Small arms include handguns, rifles and carbines, assault rifles, shotguns, sub-machine guns, and light and medium (‘general-purpose’) machine guns. Light weapons include heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable antitank guns, recoilless rifles, rocket launchers, portable anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW), man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), and mortars of calibres up to 120 mm.
THE ILLEGAL MARKET FOR TARANTULAS IS HAIRY BUSINESS
On 31st October, National Geographic published an article saying that scientists report a significant amount of illegal activity involving tarantulas, believed to be fuelled largely by hobbyists willing to pay hundreds of dollars apiece for pet spiders. The market for preserved tarantulas is also said to be driving the illegal trade, but to a lesser extent. “Smuggling is rampant — it’s widespread globally,” says Henriques, chairman of the spider and scorpion specialist group for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Many nations ban or require special permits for the export of tarantulas and for the capture of certain species or species in particular areas, such as national parks.
INDIA: MINING BARON AND FORMER MINISTER JANARDHANA REDDY ARRESTED
In India, the Telegraph on 11th November reported that former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy was arrested after hours of questioning by police in connection with a bribery case. The crime branch also arrested Reddy’s aide, Ali Khan.
OIL EXECUTIVE IMPRISONED FOR LAUNDERING $45 MILLION
The Malta Independent on 11th November reported that aA former director of Gasol, once the lead partner of the Delimara power station project in Malta and which bowed out of the project under what can be described strange circumstances, has been sentenced in the UK for his leading role for making away with and laundering $45 million out of $300 million deal. Osman Shahenshah, former co-founder and CEO of Afren and a former director of Gasol, has been sentenced to 6 years for one count of fraud; 6 years concurrent for one count of money laundering; and 4 years concurrent for one count of money laundering. He and an associate, Shahid Ullah, were sentenced for fraud and money laundering offences they had committed while they were respectively CEO and Chief Operating Officer of Afren Plc – for a scheme they created to profit from business deals Afren made with its Nigerian oil partners, without the knowledge of Afren’s Board of Directors.
CRYPTO EXCHANGES SHOULD TAKE A HARD LOOK AT VPN IP ADDRESS-MASKING SERVICES
Coindesk on 19th November published an article by a lawyer who advises on global AML, fraud, trading compliance and banking regulatory matters commenting on a New York Attorney General report on its fact-finding enquiries to multiple virtual currency trading platforms believed to be operating in New York. One of its many interesting findings was how virtual private networks (VPN) may permit market manipulation. He argues that one needs to look at the issue of VPN in the broader context of their overall compliance programme. IP addresses (which may be checked as part of KYC programme) can also be masked using VPN which route connectivity through a third-party network. This permits an individual to feign residency in a different jurisdiction or open several accounts and pretend that they are not related. He also says that VPN access can also pose risks from an AML perspective. He advises that cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the US or doing business with customers in the US should promptly review their policies.
CYPRUS: REVISED DEFINITION OF A SHELL COMPANY
Kenneth Rijock in his blog directs one to a new circular from the Central Bank of Cyprus dated 2nd November which provides a useful revised definition of what it sees as being a “shell company”.