28th December 2018
HEAD OF KOREAN AIR FAMILY ACCUSED OF SMUGGLING
NHK World and others on 27th December reported that South Korean customs authorities have accused family members of the Korean Air chairman of smuggling goods on the company’s aircraft. Those implicated include former Korean Air vice-president Cho Hyun-ah, who is the elder daughter of Chairman Cho Yang-ho, and his wife and younger daughter. The chairman’s wife and daughters are said to have ordered branch offices abroad to buy goods to be carried on Korean Air planes as company items.
RUSSIAN FEDERAL OFFICIALS RAID MAJOR ALCOHOL VENDOR’S OFFICES AND WAREHOUSES
Meduza on 27th December reported that the company, Red & White, is said to be allegedly suspected of trafficking in counterfeit labels and evading taxes, according to a company spokesperson.
VIETNAM: MORE THAN 16,600 CASES OF SMUGGLING AND TRADE FRAUD UNCOVERED IN 2018
Vietnam Plus on 28th December reported that this represents a 10% increase on 2017. Smuggled goods were estimated to be worth more than $73.7 million, an increase of 116% year-on-year. There were 216 drugs smuggling cases, an increase of 114% compared to the same period in 2017. The smuggling of fake goods was said to be getting more difficult to control as smugglers were using advanced techniques. The number of cases increased slightly compared to last year but the value of the smuggled goods increased sharply.
BULGARIA-BASED CORPORATES AND NGO MUST DISCLOSE THEIR ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNERS BY JUNE 2019
On 26th December, Kinstellar reported on significant regulatory developments that marked the year 2018 in Bulgaria. The article sets out the key aspects that businesses need to take into account in order to comply with the new requirements about ultimate beneficial owners.
IRELAND: CAB EYES 1,000 TARGETS OVER PROCEEDS OF CRIME
The Irish Examiner on 28th December reported that the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has almost 1,000 targets who, it believes, are benefiting from the proceeds of crimes including drug trafficking and burglaries. The number of targets has risen by 60% to 973. The figures emerged in an RTÉ interview with the head of the bureau. The great majority of cases involve drug trafficking, followed very closely by people who are involved in burglaries and robberies.
RUSSIAN COMPANIES EN+ PLC AND RUSAL PLC SET TO LEAVE JERSEY
On 28th December, Jersey Evening Post reported that both companies remain set to relocate from Jersey despite the US having lifted sanctions against them after they agreed to reduce their ties to a controversial Russian oligarch and billionaire Oleg Deripaska. The article also said that it is unknown whether there any plans to relocate Basic Element, an investment and management company which is not publicly listed.
US: FIRST THIRD-PARTY CANINE CARGO SCREENING TEAM BEGINS WORK
On 27th December, Homeland Preparedness News reported that the first certified third-party canine team began screening air cargo for explosive devices under a new law that came into force in October, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said. Third-party teams can be used to screen TSA-regulated entities operating under a TSA-approved or accepted security programme air cargo, aircraft operators, and foreign air carriers.
SAUDI BUSINESSMAN EMERGES AS KEY FIGURE IN GHOSN CASE
On 28th December, Nikkei Asian Review carried an article saying that Khaled Al Juffali is thought to have guaranteed credit when Ghosn suffered personal losses. Khaled Al Juffali sits on the board of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.
HMRC ANNOUNCES TOP 10 PROSECUTIONS OF 2018
On 28th December, a news release from HMRC says that smugglers, potential arms dealers and globe-trotting tax fugitives all feature in HMRC’s top 10 criminal cases of 2018.
2 BILLIONAIRE SAUDI FAMILIES BOUGHT 62 EU PASSPORTS FROM MALTA
EU Observer on 28th December reported that 2 families – the Al-Muhaidibs and Al-Agils – bought 62 Maltese (EU) passports for adult and child family members last year, according to the Maltese official gazette.
BANK PROFITS NEED TO FALL IN FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING
In an article from Reuters on 28th December, European Central Bank board member, and president of the Dutch central bank (KNB), Klaas Knot said that banks need to step up the fight against money laundering and accept lower profits in return, and that banks need to adhere to rules and laws under any circumstance. This has its costs, he is quoted as saying, automatically lowering profitability.
HONG KONG FINES JP MORGAN BRANCH OVER AML LAUNDERING LAPSES
On 28th December, Reuters reported that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) had fined the Hong Kong branch of JPMorgan Chase & Co HK$12.5 million ($1.60 million) and reprimanded it for breaching AML/CFT rules – it had failed to “establish and maintain effective procedures” for identifying and handling wire transfers and for complying with rules on CDD and “continuous monitoring” of business relationships, in 2012-14.
INDICTMENT OF VENEZUELA’S TV MOGUL BELISARIO
On 28th December, the Global Investigative Journalism Network published the indictment from the US DoJ for Venezuelan TV mogul, Raul Gorrin Belisaro and alleging that he bribed high-level Venezuelan government officials, including the nation’s former treasurer Alejandro Andrade. The Miami-based mogul owns the Globovision TV news network. He allegedly bribed Venezuelan officials through gifting show horses, luxury watches, cars and property, and in return, the indictment charges, he was to secure the rights to conduct foreign currency exchanges for the Venezuelan government.
ZIMBABWE: FORMER BOSS OF SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY IN COURT IN $30 MILLION SCANDAL
Daily News Live on 28th December reported that Elizabeth Chitiga, former head of NSSA, appeared in court charged with criminal abuse of office and fraud linked to the award of $80 million housing project contracts.
AIR WEAPONS IN THE UK
On 28th December, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper which says that, in the year ending March 2017, there were 3,200 recorded crimes involving air weapons in England and Wales, which accounted for one third of all crimes involving firearms. The most common type of offence involving an air weapon is criminal damage, followed by violence against the person. Since the 1st January 2017, Scotland has had a system of licensing air weapons. In England and Wales there is no need to acquire a licence to hold an air weapon. In Northern Ireland air weapons are covered in the licensing scheme that applies to all firearms. The Government announced a review in 2017 of air weapons regulation in England and Wales.
US SAYS DRUG GANGS MOVING MONEY VIA CHINA CRYPTO CHANNELS
Baker McKenzie on 28th December reported that US law enforcement agencies are said to be worried that large drug cartels and transnational criminal organisations are making increasing use of cryptocurrency channels to conduct their money laundering operations, with a shift toward Chinese and Asian money launderers.
US COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AGREES TO PAY $36 MILLION IN FCPA SETTLEMENT
Baker McKenzie on 28th December reported that California-based Plantronics Inc, a maker of communications products, has settled allegations of foreign bribery violations at its Polycom unit, agreeing to pay $36 million in penalties. It is said that the misconduct had occurred before its acquisition of Polycom in July, and before Polycom itself went private in 2016, adding that everyone involved had left Polycom before the acquisition.
AZERBAIJAN EXTRADITES KYRGYZSTAN’S FUGITIVE EX-CUSTOMS CHIEF
Rferl on 28th December reported that Kyrgyzstan’s former customs chief, Adamkul Junusov, has been extradited from Azerbaijan to Bishkek, where he is wanted on charges of abuse of office. He is charged with “corrupt” activities as head of the Customs Service from 2013 to 2016, with alleged actions said to have cost the state treasury some $2.1 million. He is the latest of several former officials facing corruption charges who worked under President Almazbek Atambaev from 2011-17.
US DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS LINKED TO ILLEGALLY-MADE SYNTHETIC OPIOIDS UP 45%
Illicit Trade on 26th December reported that the so-called opioid crisis in the US continued to spiral last year, with overdose deaths linked to illegally-manufactured fentanyl rocketing by 45.2% between 2016 and 2017, data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has revealed.