OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 29

28th December 2018

SOMALIA ‘CRUCIBLE OF INNOVATION’ GUIDES MARITIME STRATEGIES

In its end-of-year round-up, Homeland Security Today highlighted an article from 2nd March which said that a study of maritime security issues that arose from the battle against Somali pirates revealed a pattern of best practices countries can take in the face of “a new wave of violence against shipping” along with wider crime and safety issues on the high seas.  It reported a new toolkit based on research in the West Indian Ocean from Lesotho up to Pakistan from December 2016 on.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/maritime-security/piracy-perk-somalia-crucible-innovation-guides-maritime-strategies/

The best practice toolkit itself is available at –

http://www.safeseas.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Mastering-Maritime-Security-final.pdf

29th December 2018

3 POLES, A RUSSIAN SAILOR, A MYSTERY WEST AFRICAN … AND BURIED $130,000

The New Zealand Herald on 29th December carried an article telling a story about drug smuggling involving a Polish father and son working for a mystery West African man, a Russian sailor-cum-cocaine smuggler and $130,000 buried in Auckland.  It says that phone taps and covert surveillance tracked hundreds of thousands of dollars and a scheme to flood New Zealand with cocaine and ecstasy, in a plot stretching from across New Zealand, Germany, eastern Europe, Ecuador and Venezuela.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12079303

CHARGES STAYED IN ANOTHER MAJOR BRITISH COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL CRIME CASE

On 28th December, the Vancouver Sun reported that charges have been quietly stayed in another major case allegedly linked to the international drug trade.  In October 2017, RCMP said 2 Vancouver residents had been charged with importing cocaine and trafficking fentanyl after a large drug shipment sent through the Port of Vancouver was seized.  RCMP seized 132 kg of cocaine smuggled inside a container arriving from Brazil, as well as 40,000 fentanyl pills found during a subsequent search of an apartment.

https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/charges-stayed-in-another-major-b-c-case

MONEY LAUNDERING IN GABON THRIVES

Africa News on 26th December reported that the Action Group against Money Laundering in Central Africa denounced the extent of corruption and money laundering activities in the real estate sector in Gabon.

http://www.africanews.com/2018/12/26/money-laundering-in-gabon-thrives-business-africa/

16 VIETNAMESE NATIONALS NABBED IN ALLEGED TELECOM FRAUD IN TAIWAN

Focus Taiwan on 29th December reported that 16 Vietnamese nationals were arrested along with 3 Taiwanese in central Taiwan on suspicion of telecommunications fraud that targeted people in Vietnam.  It says that 14 of the Vietnamese suspects are runaway immigrant workers and 2 are fake tourists who strayed from their tour groups.  Authorities said the ring had swindled some $490,700 from 200 victims over the past 3 months.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201812290005.aspx

AUSTRALIA: FORMER EDUCATION MINISTER HAS $700,000 SUPER ACCOUNT FROZEN BY PROSECUTORS

The Sydney Morning Herald on 29th December reported that prosecutors have frozen $703,000 held in a superannuation account belonging to former education department boss Nino Napoli, who is facing trial next year for allegedly conspiring to steal millions of dollars from the public school system 2007-2014.  His brother Robert Napoli, sister-in-law Dominica Napoli and cousin Carlo Squillacioti have also been charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/nino-napoli-has-700-000-super-account-frozen-by-prosecutors-20181229-p50or5.html

SEYCHELLES ENACTS BEPS LEGISLATION

Tax News on 28th December reported that Seychelles has enacted numerous legislative amendments that are intended to enable Seychelles to comply with the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) minimum standards.  Seychelles is to be peer-reviewed on its compliance with the BEPS minimum standards and other standards and, in 2020, it will be reviewed on its implementation of recommendations on improving dispute resolution mechanisms.

https://www.tax-news.com/news/Seychelles_Enacts_BEPS_Legislation____96989.html

AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE CHARGES 3 MEN IN RELATION TO BULK ILLICIT CIGARETTES SEIZURE

Customs Today on 28th December reported that 3 men have been charged in relation to an alleged importation of 9.5 million illicit cigarettes into Western Australia in October.  The illicit tobacco market in Australia is worth about $600 million a year in evaded revenue.

http://www.customstoday.com.pk/australian-border-force-charge-three-men-in-relation-to-bulk-illicit-cigarettes-seizure/

US, REVERSING COURSE ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS, AND TESTING NEW ONES IN ISRAEL

On 28th December, Pass Blue described “cluster munitions” as a term generally used to describe a weapon launched, dropped or fired from the ground, air or sea that disperses or releases sub-munitions, or bomblets.  It reports that the Trump administration has decided to reverse a policy instituted in 2008 by President George W. Bush (and carried out by President Obama) to end the use of cluster munitions with a failure rate of more than 1% (“duds”), and in 2016, US companies stopped producing cluster munitions.   One risk from their use is that they can leave unexploded ordnance that can detonate years if not decades after their release.  The weapon has been banned by more than 100 countries through the Convention on Cluster Munitions – but the US has not signed nor ratified the treaty – signed by 107 nations, it entered into force in 2010.  The article says that the US is testing the new cluster munition, the M999, in Israel, and made by an Israeli company, IMI Systems.

https://www.passblue.com/2018/12/28/the-us-reversing-course-on-cluster-munitions-is-testing-new-ones-in-israel/

For more information on the Convention see –

http://www.clusterconvention.org/

EU: NEW RULES ON REINFORCED SCHENGEN INFORMATION SYSTEM (SIS) ENTER INTO FORCE

On 28th December, a news release from the EU advised that new rules to strengthen the Schengen Information System (SIS) had come into force.  The upgraded database will help border agencies to better monitor who is crossing the EU’s borders; support police and law enforcement in capturing dangerous criminals and terrorists; and offer greater protection for missing children and vulnerable adults, in line with the new data protection rules.  Under the new rules new functions to be introduced over the next 3 years include the following –

  • national authorities are obliged to create a SIS alert for all cases related to terrorist offences – in line with data protection under the GDPR;
  • will allow SIS alerts to be issued for unknown persons who are wanted in connection with a crime;
  • authorities will be able to issue preventive alerts on persons who are in need of protection, in addition to existing alerts on missing persons; and
  • it will be compulsory to insert into SIS any entry bans issued to third-country nationals preventing them from entering the Schengen area.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6921_en.htm

COMPLEX WEB OF INTERNATIONAL BANKS, SHELL COMPANIES, HELPS NORTH KOREA GAIN ACCESS TO FUNDS

On 29th December, CNBC published a report linking to a Wall Street Journal article that reveals some claimed details of the means used by North Korea saying, for example, that little currency used to fund government activities sits in North Korean banks, but instead moves around global financial firms and corporations.  North Korea uses proxies with hidden government ties across the globe to facilitate moving those payments, according to the report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/29/north-korea-skirts-sanctions-through-web-of-banks-companies-wsj.html

CZECH POLICE CHARGE 5 PEOPLE WITH €50 MILLION EU SUBSIDY FRAUD

Radio Praha on 29th December reported that police have charged 5 people with EU subsidy fraud in connection with an EU grant of €50 million for the construction of a 5-star hotel and wellness centre near Hluboká Castle in south Bohemia.

https://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/police-charge-five-people-with-eu-subsidy-fraud

INDIA: RACING CANCELLED AS POLICE SWOOP ON BOOKMAKERS IN ANTI-CORRUPTION OPERATION

The Racing Post on 29th December reported that racing was cancelled at Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai after police swooped on 18 bookmakers operating at the track following claims of fraud and tax evasion.  They seized c. £160,000 and arrested the layers for allegedly failing to record all bets taken, in the process hiding their true turnover and thus avoiding paying a licensing fee or tax to the government.

https://www.racingpost.com/news/international/racing-cancelled-as-police-swoop-on-bookmakers-in-anti-corruption-operation/359248

UK: TAX PROBE EXTENDS TO RUGBY FOOTBALL

On 29th December, The Rugby paper reported that, having clawed back over £300 million from the football industry since 2015/16, HMRC has turned its attention to rugby as part of a crackdown on improper payments to players.  It claims that 48 clubs at National One and Two level are being investigated, with scrutiny set to be expanded into the Premiership and Championship.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/domestic-club-rugby-union/31757/national-league-tax-probe-to-be-expanded-into-premiership/

THAILAND LEGALISES MEDICAL CANNABIS

On 28th December, Jurist reported that the Thailand National Legislative Assembly had passed amendments to the Bill permitting the production, import, export, possession and use of cannabis and kratom for medical purposes – only organisations and people approved by the public health minister will be licensed for production, import, export, sale and possession of cannabis and kratom.  Kratom is a tropical tree native to SE Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have psychotropic effects.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2018/12/thailand-legalizes-medical-cannabis-and-kratom/

MEDVEDEV ANNOUNCES RUSSIAN BAN ON UKRAINIAN GOODS

Rferl on 29th December reported a ban on Ukrainian goods, including agricultural and industrial products, days after adding Ukrainian firms and individuals to Russia’s sanctions list.

https://www.rferl.org/a/medvedev-announces-russian-ban-on-ukrainian-goods/29682961.html

EU STEPS UP WTO ACTION AGAINST CHINA OVER TECHNOLOGY TRANSFERS

On 28th December, EU Business reported that the EU is stepping up its challenge in the WTO to practices that force European companies to give up sensitive technology and know-how as a precondition for doing business in China, building on a case first launched in June and “in the light of additional findings concerning the incompatibility of the Chinese measures on the approval of investments and the protection of foreign companies’ intellectual property rights with the agreed multilateral rules”.

https://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/wto-china-tech.20jd

DELIVERY OF CARGO WITHOUT PRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL BILL OF LADING

On 29th December, Hellenic Shipping News published a warning from the TT Club warning to shipping not to succumb to any commercial pressure to release goods without the appropriate documents.  Under no circumstances, it says, accept faxed or photocopied bills of lading or guarantees and only act upon receipt of original documents.  It warns that, as the original bills represent surety for the purchase price, if the carrier hands the goods over to an unauthorised party who does not hold the original, he is effectively denying the legitimate holder the security the original bills represent, by virtue of preventing that entity from themselves surrendering the bill and collecting the goods from the carrier.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/delivery-of-cargo-without-production-of-the-original-bill-of-lading/

ASIA’S IRAN CRUDE IMPORTS HIT MORE THAN 5-YEAR LOW AS SANCTIONS BITE

Hellenic Shipping News reported on 29th December that imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia hit their lowest in more than 5 years in November as US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports took effect, government and ship-tracking data showed.  China, India, Japan and South Korea imports last month were down 12.7% from the same month a year earlier.  However, it notes that Asia’s Iranian oil imports are set to rise from December after the US granted 8 countries waivers from sanctions against Iran’s oil exports for 180 days.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/asias-iran-crude-imports-hit-more-than-5-yr-low-in-nov-as-sanctions-bite/

https://www.compoundchem.com/2018/12/29/2018yir/

 

REPORT MAPS PRESENCE OF ITALIAN MAFIA IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES – MALTA TOPS LIST

Website news site, The Shift, on 28th December carried an article says that Malta is the country with the highest number of references (per capita) in Italian anti-mafia police reports on the mob’s activities abroad, according to a report mapping the presence of the Italian mafia in other countries.  The report is from Transcrime, the Joint research centre of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, the Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna and the Università degli Studi di Perugia.  It says that while Spain, Germany and the Netherlands rank highest in terms of the number of mentions in the reports analysed, Malta, Luxembourg and the Netherlands rank higher if the number of references is weighted by the local population.  The report also states that Malta is a destination for Italian mafia criminals on the run, and highlights the fact that Malta’s strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean makes the country a potential hub for organised crime involved in a variety of illicit trafficking routes.  The report says that the business sector with the most evidence of infiltration of organised crime – is the gambling/gaming industry, in all its subsectors: casinos, bingo games, video lottery (VLT) and slot machine stalls, and online gaming websites.  It also details the oil smuggling scandal involving Maltese, the mafia and Libyan militias.

https://theshiftnews.com/2018/12/28/report-maps-presence-of-italian-mafia-in-foreign-countries-malta-tops-list/

The report is available at –

http://www.transcrime.it/en/pubblicazioni/more-modelling-and-mapping-the-risk-of-serious-and-organised-crime-infiltration-in-legitimate-businesses-across-european-territories-and-sectors/

BERMUDA, CROWN DEPENDENCIES AND OTHERS ON DUTCH “LOW TAX JURISDICTIONS” LIST

Bernews on 28th December reported that Bermuda is one of 21 nations and territories included on a list of low-tax jurisdictions released by the Netherlands Government in what they said was an aim to “implement new measures to combat tax avoidance,” with the European nation listing jurisdictions that “either have no corporation tax or have a corporation tax rate that is lower than 9%”.  4 other British Overseas Territories and all 3 UK Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man) are listed, along with the 5 jurisdictions currently blacklisted by the EU, plus the Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Vanuatu and UAE.  Additional measures to be implemented for those on the list are said to be –

  • additional measure on controlled foreign companies (CFC) which will come into effect on 1st January, aiming to prevent companies avoiding tax by moving mobile assets to low-tax jurisdictions;
  • a conditional withholding tax on interest and royalties from 1st January 2021 on companies registered in the jurisdictions which will pay 20.5% tax from 2021 on interest and royalties received from the Netherlands, to prevent funds being channelled to tax havens through the Netherlands; and
  • the Tax and Customs Administration will no longer issue rulings on transactions with companies headquartered in jurisdictions on the list.

A public consultation was held from 25th September to 22nd October, which resulted in no changes being made to the list.

http://bernews.com/2018/12/bermuda-on-dutch-low-tax-jurisdictions-list/

The official news release is at –

https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2018/12/28/netherlands-publishes-own-list-of-low-tax-jurisdictions-in-fight-against-tax-avoidance

The Dutch Government also issued a factsheet on its tax policy agenda on tackling tax avoidance and evasion –

http://cloudfront.bernews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Factsheet-tax-evasion-and-tax-avoidance.pdf

NEW DELAWARE LLC REGULATIONS

The WHYY website on 28th December reported that new regulations in Delaware place tougher restrictions on business entities formed there and ask for more from Delaware registered agents — businesses licensed in Delaware must have a registered agent located in the state.  Under the new rules, they are required to regularly vet LLC — and entities seeking to form an LLC — and ensure they are not associated with individuals and agencies sanctioned by the feds or banned from doing business in the US.  They must also evaluate a client’s information when transferred from another agent, or upon new contact information.  Delaware has more than 800,000 LLC, and last year received $273.8 million from taxes, penalties and interest.

https://whyy.org/articles/new-delaware-llc-regulations-aim-to-prevent-bad-actors/

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 28

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.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181227_23/

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2018/12/28/2018122801248.html

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.

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/12/27/russian-federal-officials-raid-major-alcohol-vendor-s-offices-and-warehouses-days-before-crucial-holiday-sales

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.

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/over-16600-cases-of-smuggling-trade-fraud-uncovered/144299.vnp

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.

https://www.kinstellar.com/locations/news-deals-insights/detail/news-and-insights/815/bulgaria-based-corporates-and-ngos-must-disclose-their-ultimate-beneficial-owners-by-june-2019

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.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/–894323.html

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.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2018/12/28/two-jersey-based-russian-firms-due-to-leave-island/

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.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/31891-first-third-party-canine-team-begins-work/

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.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Nissan-s-Ghosn-crisis/Saudi-businessman-emerges-as-key-figure-in-Ghosn-case

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.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hmrc-announces-top-10-prosecutions-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.

https://euobserver.com/tickers/143804

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.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-netherlands-cenbank-money-laundering/bank-profits-need-to-fall-in-fight-against-money-laundering-ecbs-knot-idUKKCN1OR0SJ?src=ilaw

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.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-hongkong-jp-morgan/hkma-fines-jpmorgan-hong-kong-branch-over-anti-money-laundering-lapses-idUKKCN1OR0SD

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.

https://gijn.org/2018/12/28/document-of-the-day-indicting-venezuelas-tv-mogul-belisario

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.

https://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2018/12/28/ex-nssa-boss-in-30m-scandal

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.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN03641

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.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/us-says-drug-gangs-moving-money-via-china-crypto-channels/

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.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/plantronics-unit-agrees-to-pay-36-million-in-fcpa-settlement/

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.

https://www.rferl.org/a/azerbaijan-extradites-kyrgyzstan-s-fugitive-ex-customs-chief/29681085.html

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.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2018/12/us-drug-overdose-deaths-linked-to-illegally-made-synthetic-opioids-up-more-than-45-last-year-cdc-reveals/

JERSEY FSC CONSULTS ON CHANGES FOR ALL CODES OF PRACTICE

An article from Appleby on 28th December was concerned with a consultation document issued by the FSC that contains proposals that will affect all registered persons under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998.  The amendments modify regulatory requirements as a result of issues the FSC has identified during its supervision of registered persons, or which are designed to ensure that the regulatory requirements comply and keep up to date with international standards.  The closing date for responses is 7th January.

https://www.applebyglobal.com/insights/insights-2018/jersey-fsc-consults-on-changes-for-all-codes-of-practice.aspx

ISTANBUL POLICE SEIZE 260 TONS OF CHEMICALS USED IN MAKING BONZAI DRUG

Daily Sabah reported on 27th December that narcotics police in Istanbul had seized around 250 tons of raw materials for bonzai, a life-threatening synthetic drug.  5-fluoro, a synthetic cannabinoid can be used for manufacturing tons of bonzai.  Bonzai, a synthetic cannabis, accounts for the majority of drug-related deaths.  A report by the Turkish police directorate says at least 564 people died from bonzai use last year.  Bonzai is better known as phenazepam in the rest of the world and believed to have first been developed in the Soviet Union during the 1970s.  In Turkey, it is said, producers of the illegal drug add pesticide and similar substances to the drug to accelerate its effects.

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/12/28/istanbul-police-seize-260-tons-of-chemicals-used-in-making-bonzai