19th November 2018
BRITISH COLUMBIA: PORTAL LAUNCHED FOR REPORTING DIRTY MONEY IN HORSE RACING, REAL ESTATE, LUXURY CARS
Voice Online in Canada reported on 18th November that people in the province have been invited to provide input to a fact-finding review of potential money laundering in horse racing, real estate and luxury car sales by reporting information through an anonymous tip portal. Following a report earlier this year into money laundering through British Columbia casinos, 2 further probes are underway concerned with the real estate sector – one is investigating instances of illicit activity on behalf of the Ministry of Attorney General, and the other is looking for legislative, regulatory and other actions that can be taken to prevent money laundering. The portal is open until 31st January.
INVESTMENT SCREENING AND IMPLICATIONS FOR EU-CHINA INVESTMENT RELATIONS
ECIPE, the European Centre for International Political Economy has published a paper saying that, in the context of the proposal to establish an EU investment screening framework and the ongoing negotiations of the EU-China investment agreement, ECIPE in co-operation with the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) organised a discussion with stakeholders on the threats and opportunities of Chinese investments in European technology and European investments in China in September 2018. The paper is based on stakeholder opinions expressed during this discussion, as well as subsequent stakeholder consultations conducted by the authors. It says that how stringent the investments screening will be applied in the EU will be the central issue in the future.
NIGERIAN OIL CORPORATION PROBE
Defence Web on 15th November reported that a probe by the Nigerian Senate into whether state oil firm Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), from NLNG, a venture owned by the state oil firm and foreign energy companies, improperly withdrew money expanded with the amount under investigation doubling to over $2.2 billion, a committee said. The withdrawals are said to have taken place between 2016 and 2018. NLNG, which produces liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export, is a joint venture company owned by NNPC and foreign energy firms Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and ENI.
AUSTRALIA: EX-TECH BOSS JAILED FOR FRAUD AFTER ‘LIVING HIGH LIFE’ IN THAILAND
The Brisbane Times on 19th November reported that John Falconer, 70, the former director of technology company TZ Ltd who fled to Thailand while he was being investigated has been sentenced to at least 3 years for fraud, after he told a court he was not “living the high life” or having “one big party” despite spending money on cocaine and lavish meals. He was extradited from Thailand in September 2017 after he helped to transfer $6.2 million in cash and shares from TZ between 2006 and 2008, then gave false information to the regulator. Falconer personally benefited by $1.416 million, while the rest of the money went to other beneficiaries, including to pay the large gambling debts of his co-offender, Andrew Sigalla.
LIBERIA IS FIRST FLAG STATE TO JOIN MARITIME ANTI-CORRUPTION NETWORK
The Maritime Executive on 18th November reported that Liberia has become the first ship registry to be admitted to the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) as an associate member. Established in 2011, MACN is said to include over 100 members globally and works to raise awareness of the challenges faced; implement the MACN Anti-Corruption Principles and co-developing and sharing best practices.
See MACN at –
EU AMENDS IRAQ SANCTIONS TO REMOVE RAFIDAIN COMPANY FOR BUILDING DAMS (AKA STATE ORGANIZATION FOR DAMS)
EU Regulation 2018/1781/EU has amended the EU Iraq sanctions list in line with the decision of the UN on 13th November, to remove the RAFIDAIN COMPANY FOR BUILDING DAMS (alias STATE ORGANIZATION FOR DAMS) from the list with effect from 20th November.
TYCOON LESZEK CZARNECKI TO BE QUESTIONED IN POLISH FINANCIAL PROBE
Radio Poland on 19th November reported that the Polish billionaire expected to be questioned by prosecutors after he reportedly accused the head of the country’s financial watchdog of attempted corruption. The business tycoon and owner of banks, including Getin Noble Bank, was expected to give testimony to prosecutors in the southern city of Katowice, public broadcaster TVP Info reported. He has alleged that the former head of the Polish regulator KNF in March offered him favourable treatment in return for millions in financial gain.
SHARP DROPS IN OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION AND PRICE OF DRY OPIUM IN AFGHANISTAN
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported on 19th November that the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan remains at very high levels despite a decrease by 20% compared to 2017. The potential production of opium decreased by 29% in 2018 compared to last year, while farm-gate prices hit an all-time low, according to the 2018 Afghanistan Opium Survey – mainly attributed to the severe drought that has hit Afghanistan.
SPANISH POLICE SEIZE 650 KG OF COCAINE AND ARREST 11 IN INTERNATIONAL DRUG BUST
The Latin American Herald Tribune on 19th November reported that, with the help of the US DEA and Colombia’s Technical Investigation Team (CTI), Spanish national police managed to track down and monitor a safe house used by the alleged criminal network in the north-western province of Galicia.
WHAT MIGHT A TRUMP WITHDRAWAL FROM THE WTO MEAN FOR US TARIFFS?
A November 2018 Policy Brief from the Peterson Institute for International Economics posed this question. It says that a decision to withdraw the US from the WTO — if deemed legal under US law — could deal a disastrous blow to US foreign trade and would likely cripple an organisation that has helped foster peaceful commercial relations for over 7 decades.
US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION FORCED LABOUR WEBINAR
Available online (using Adobe Connect software) is a webinar from US CBP on 22nd August in which the CBP Office of Trade with speakers from the Department of Labor, Department of State (DOS) and a non-profit organisation, Verite, gave updates on their role and responsibilities. This included an overview of the Department of Labor’s Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains. It also included a presentation by Verite on the Responsible Sourcing Tool. It covers all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its non-performance and for which the worker does not offer himself voluntarily. Merchandise not entitled to entry into the US therefore includes that made using: slave labour; prison/convict labour; forced child labour; indentured labour under penal sanctions.
VIETNAM ARRESTS EX-DEPUTY HEAD OF HO CHI MINH CITY IN GRAFT CRACKDOWN
Reuters on 19th November reported that Vietnamese police had arrested Nguyen Huu Tin, 61, a former deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s business hub, as the country steps up a crackdown on corruption.
SEC PROVIDES GUIDANCE ON HOW TO FIX THE FAULTY INITIAL COIN OFFERING
An article from Stinson Leonard Street on 19th November concerned with 2 settled enforcement actions related to illegally offered ICO, included reference to the remedial provisions in the agreements and required to fix the faulty offerings – including telling all “investors” that they will get their money back, and making sure that they do.
JERSEY GRANTED PERMISSION TO NEGOTIATE TRADE DEAL WITH UAE
The Jersey Evening Post on 19th November reported that Jersey has been granted “long-awaited” permission by the UK government to negotiate an international trade deal on its own behalf. However, local politicians and business said that the process involved needs to be streamlined if the Island is to prosper post-Brexit. Until now, it says, Jersey has not had the legal power to negotiate a treaty with any foreign government on matters outside of international tax.
ARE UKRAINE’S ANTI-CORRUPTION REFORMS WORKING?
A report from Chatham House on 19th November says that Ukraine’s vicious circle of corruption begins with the power groups that have created and sustained a system in which citizens believe that it is impossible to live without corruption. The process of cleaning up institutions must start at the top. It says that progress is lacking in priority areas such as customs, deregulation, privatisation, de-monopolisation and the reform of public administration. Defence spending is particularly opaque. Corruption schemes remain untouched in some parts of the energy sector. An overhaul of the civil service is also essential. Reforms of the law enforcement agencies are proceeding slowly, if at all, and it is too early to say whether judicial reform will lead to improvements. The newly created National Anti-Corruption Bureau has yet to achieve a high-level prosecution because of the influence of vested interests over the judiciary.
ENSURING THERE’S NO SLAVE LABOUR IN YOUR BLACK FRIDAY WAREHOUSE
CILT in the UK on 19th November carried an article and infographic saying that cases of modern human slavery are rising all the time, up 35% in the past year and the warehousing sector is considered a higher risk. Manufacturers, retailers and their logistics service providers should be extra cautious about who they employ or engage to support them through the busy Black Friday period, to ensure they are not inadvertently exploiting victims of modern slavery. It includes some best practice advice for companies, issued by Hope for Justice, to protect the workers in the supply chain.
HM TREASURY ADDS 1 NAME TO LIBYAN SANCTIONS LIST
On 19th November, a Notice notified that, alongside UN, EU and US sanctions actions, the UK has added Badi Salah to its Libyan sanction lists.
CALL TO ACTION TO END FORCED LABOUR, MODERN SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAUNCHED AT UN
On 19th November, the UK Department for International Trade reported that the Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking was launched during the 72nd Meeting of the UN General Assembly.
UK: HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURGE LINKED TO ALBANIAN GANGS
OCCRP on 19th November reported that sophisticated Albanian gangs are linked to the upsurge of trafficking victims in the UK, most of whom are brought from Albania and passed around Europe as commodities through expansive criminal networks.
COURT OF APPEAL CONSIDERS FRAUD VICARIOUS LIABILITY TEST
An article from Out-Law on 19th November reported that the Court of Appeal has overturned a finding of the High Court of fraudulent misrepresentation against a postal equipment supplier, on the grounds that it was not ‘vicariously liable’ for the dishonesty of its agent. The issue of vicarious liability of the principal on the grounds of ostensible authority for the agent has been referred back to the High Court, saying that the High Court judge in the case had applied the wrong legal test when he found the appellant liable for the conduct of his agent.