30th December 2018
THOUSANDS OF TURKISH PISTOLS SEIZED IN ETHIOPIA
New Business Ethiopia on 29th December reported that the seizure of illegal Turkish pistols in Ethiopia has been common over the past few months. So far, it says, several thousands of made in Turkey pistols have been discovered by the police being smuggled into Addis Ababa. In the latest incident, 108 were found on a minibus in the city.
US WITHDRAWS CORRUPTION CHARGE AGAINST FORMER BARBADOS MINISTER
On 28th December, Caribbean 360 reported that the US DoJ has withdrawn one of the charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that was brought against Donville Innis. This is in light of a recent US court decision that a non-resident foreign national cannot be held criminally liable for aiding or abetting, or conspiring to violate, the FCPA, unless the Government can show he acted as an agent of a domestic concern, or while physically present in the US.
The South China Morning Post on 30th December reported that travellers and shippers are now required to declare any cash sum of more than HK$120,000 (US$15,600), and one sent in currency worth HK$3 billion (US$390,000) by air. It reported that the amount declared is even larger than Hong Kong government spending for the current financial year and is equivalent to half of the city’s fiscal reserves, and that 96% of the total had been sent by financial institutions. Amongst the details provided, it said that 8,126 individual travellers declared a total of HK$89.8 billion (US$11.6 billion), and that one visitor working in financial services declared HK$230 million and arrived by sea accompanied by hired guards – the cash being stored in waterproof bags and from another Asian country.
The Directive sets out 5 key anti-avoidance measures, and 3 of the agreed measures come into force on 1st January. The new rules will ensure that all Member States implement coordinated measures against tax avoidance, to boost their collective defences against aggressive tax planning. It also sets out a common approach to tackling external threats of tax avoidance and to help prevent companies from shifting untaxed profits out of the EU –
- Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rule: To deter profit shifting to no or low tax countries;
- Interest Limitation: To discourage companies from creating artificial debt arrangements designed to minimise taxes; and
- General Anti-Abuse Rule: To counter-act aggressive tax planning when other rules do not apply.
Further rules governing hybrid mismatches to prevent companies from exploiting mismatches in the tax laws of 2 different EU countries in order to avoid taxation, as well as measures to ensure that gains on assets such as intellectual property moved from a Member State’s territory become taxable in that country (exit taxation rules) will come into force as of 1st January 2020.