22nd December 2018
PHILIPPINES: SHIPPERS OF STRATEGIC GOODS REQUIRED TO REGISTER BEGINNING FIRST QUARTER OF 2019
The Business Mirror on 22nd December reported that the Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) has released guidelines for the registration of traders, transport companies, and other service providers that import, export and move strategic goods – military, dual-use and nationally controlled goods. Registration will be required beginning the first quarter of 2019. Strategic goods are products considered to be of such military importance—due to security reasons or international agreements—that their export is either subject to specific conditions or prohibited.
ONE-THIRD OF UK ARMS SALES GO TO STATES ON HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHLIST, SAY ANALYSTS
The Guardian on 21st December reported that nearly a third of arms exports authorised by Britain over the past decade were to nations identified by the government as among the worst for human rights, new figures reveal. Military arms deals worth an estimated £39 billion were approved between 2008 and 2017, £12billion of which went to states included on a FCO list of 30 countries, according to analysis by Action on Armed Violence, and the only country on the list to which the UK did not approve arms export deals was North Korea.
INDIAN MAN SMUGGLING SHAHTOOSH SHAWLS CAUGHT IN SWITZERLAND
Swissinfo on 21st December reported that an Indian man in illegal possession of Shahtoosh shawls made from the wool of wild Tibetan antelopes was apprehended by border guards in Basel. They seized 5 shawls during a routine check on a train in Basel heading to Italy. The 53-year-old Indian citizen had 122 shawls in his suitcase, including 5 made from the wool of the Tibetan antelope. International trade in the species is strictly prohibited and the animal has the same protected status as tigers or rhinos. Tibetan antelope wool is considered to be the most precious, warmest and softest in the world.
TAX TREATIES CREATE $4.2 TRILLION CASH FLOW THROUGH NETHERLANDS, MORE THAN 5 TIMES THE VALUE OF THE “REAL” ECONOMY, IN A MAZE OF CORPORATE SHELLS
ACFCS carried a link to a Reuters article on 22nd December saying that a network of favourable tax treaties and an industry devoted to minimising tax bills has made the Netherlands the conduit for an annual flow of capital 5 times the size of its own economy, new research revealed. It says that a network of nearly 150 bilateral tax treaties around the globe has made the Netherlands has been a key hub for corporate entities shifting profits to lower tax jurisdictions for years.
LAW FIRM ACKNOWLEDGES ROLE IN SALE OF JET TO DICTATOR’S SON
On 17th December, the Guardian reported that leading law firm Clifford Chance had issued a statement following a story in Private Eye that that it advised on a deal for the son of Equatorial Guinea’s dictator to purchase a $38 million private jet. The newspaper says that Clifford Chance said it had not acted for Teodorín Obiang in the deal to acquire the jet in 2006, but that it had advised a third party on the sale. It also said it advised Obiang personally when US law enforcement accused him of corruption and attempted to seize his assets in 2011, but it would not accept him as a client today.
IRELAND: CENTRAL BANK CONSULTATION ON NEW DRAFT AML/CFT GUIDELINES FOR THE FINANCIAL SECTOR
Law firm A & L Goodbody reported that regulated businesses are invited to give feedback on the draft Guidelines by 5th April. The Guidelines set out the expectations of the Central Bank regarding the factors that firms should take into account when identifying, assessing and managing ML/TF risks.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SENATE PASSES ‘FUNNY MONEY’ BILL
On 22nd December, the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday reported that the Senate has passed a Bill to amend several laws that aim to curb money laundering.
BRITISH COLUMBIA TRYING TO SEIZE CASH AND HOME OF ACCUSED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE AFTER CRIMINAL CASE FAILS
The Globe & Mail reported on 22nd December that the Civil Forfeiture Office is attempting to seize a $2.5 million Vancouver home and $2 million in cash from a pair – Caixuan Qin and spouse Jian Ju Zhu – accused of running a massive casino money laundering business after the criminal case against them collapsed last month.
EL SALVADOR’S POLITICIANS DENY ATTORNEY GENERAL SECOND TERM
Swissinfo on 22nd December reported that El Salvador’s legislative assembly denied Attorney General Douglas Melendez a second term, after he pursued tough anti-corruption investigations and put a former president in prison. Melendez also jailed his predecessor, a judge and a top businessman, among others, and faced death threats for his work.
RETREATING ISIS ARMY SMUGGLED A FORTUNE IN CASH AND GOLD OUT OF IRAQ AND SYRIA
The Washington Post on 21st December reported that, more than a year after the collapse of its self-declared caliphate, the Islamic State is sitting on a mountain of stolen cash and gold that its leaders stashed away to finance terrorist operations and ensure the organisation’s survival years into the future, intelligence officials and terrorism experts say. As the Islamist militants retreated they took with them a haul estimated by independent experts to total about $400 million — nearly all of it looted from banks or acquired through criminal enterprises. While some of this treasure was buried or hidden away, the group’s leaders have laundered tens of millions of dollars by investing in legitimate businesses throughout the Middle East over the past year, the officials said – including real estate companies, hotels and automobile dealerships and, in one case, terrorist money was used to buy shares in a carwash business.
To (maybe) help one understand the complications of the effect(s) of US sanctions on Deripaska’s RUSAL, the infographic above is reproduced from a May 2018 article from The Atlantic Council, which is also worth a read.
MALAYSIA SEEKS $7.5 BILLION IN REPARATIONS FROM GOLDMAN SACHS
Money Control on 22nd December reported that this claim after Malaysian prosecutors filed charges against Goldman Sachs in connection with its role as underwriter and arranger of 3 bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1MDB.
US DoJ RECOVERS OVER $2.8 BILLION FROM FALSE CLAIMS ACT CASES IN FISCAL YEAR 2018
On 21st December, a news release from the DoJ advised that it had obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending September 30th. It says that the Act was originally passed in response to rampant fraud perpetrated against the US military during the Civil War, when crooked contractors defrauded the Union Army by selling it sick mules, lame horses, sawdust instead of gunpowder, and rotted ships with fresh paint. Of the total, $2.5 billion involved the health care industry, including drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organisations, laboratories, and physicians – the 9th consecutive year that civil health care fraud settlements and judgments have exceeded $2 billion. The recoveries reflect only federal losses but, in many of these cases, the Department was instrumental in recovering additional millions of dollars for state Medicaid programs. The release then provides more detail on health car fraud, procurement fraud and then the other, relatively minor recoveries.
LAST CONSPIRATOR IN £35 MILLION LAND SCAM RUN FROM CANARY WHARF IS FINALLY JAILED AFTER 5 YEARS ON THE RUN
On 21st December, the Docklands & East London Advertiser reported that James Maynard had been jailed for 7½ years, and has also been banned from being a company director for 15 years. He is said to be the last of a gang of 5 to be sentenced after fleeing the country before the original trial in 2013. The gang conspired to defraud investors between January 2005 and August 2010, through companies such as Countrywide Land Holdings and Regional Land. They duped 400 investors into buying plots of land claiming they would shoot up in value once planning permission for development had been secured, and even claimed the land would be used for the 2012 Olympics. In reality, the plots were worthless, part of the greenbelt or in conservation areas.
BELGIAN AUTHORITIES UPDATE “BLOCKCHAIN BLACKLIST” WITH 14 NEW EXCHANGES
Cryptoglobe on 22nd December reported that the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has updated its ongoing list of businesses reported to operate cryptocurrency scams. With this most recent addition of 14 websites the “blockchain blacklist” has now expanded to 113 websites to avoid. The article lists the 14 new names, and provides a link to the main list.
ALIPAY AND UNIONPAY DENY LINKS TO NORTH KOREAN CASINO
On 22nd December, Calvin Ayre reported that a casino in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang – Casino Pyongyang at the Yanggakdo Hotel – has no ties to Chinese online payment platforms, at least, not according to the platforms.
INTERPOL RED NOTICE FOR FORMER NIGERIAN MINISTER OF PETROLEUM DIEZANI ALLISON-MADUEKE
Kenneth Rijock in his blog on 22nd December reported that an Interpol Red Notice had been issued for the PEP thought to have stolen more of Nigeria’s oil wealth than any other government official.