3rd January 2018
CHILE: NEW LAW ON CRIMINAL CONDUCT AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF LEGAL ENTITIES
On 2nd January, Carey published an article providing a summary of a new law which came into force on November 20th and amends the Criminal Code on Criminal Liability of Legal Entities and Law Money Laundering in connection with various criminal conduct relating to corruption and conflicts of interest. The changes included –
- Expanding the definition of bribery to include bribes consisting of any kind of advantage or benefit, not only financial or economic;
- Making it unlawful where a public official requests, accepts, offers or delivers any kind of benefit to which the public official is not entitled;
- Where bribery of a foreign public official is involved, extending the scope of the law to cover any type of economic activity carried out abroad;
- A new criminal offence is created where employees or agents request or receive an economic or other advantage in order to favour or for having favoured a certain party over another party for the execution of a contract (or where someone offers or agrees to provide such advantage to the relevant employee or agent);
- Increases the statute of limitations (time limit) for certain offences and introduces new penalties of temporary or permanent disqualification from obtaining government contracts;
- New rules for offences committed by public officials; and
- Expands the predicate offences for money laundering, by incorporating unlawful “disloyal management” of a third party’s assets and embezzlement.
JORDAN RETRIEVES 58 SMUGGLED ANTIQUITIES FROM CANADA
On 2nd January, Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the Jordanian Antiquities Department had announced that a number of Jordanian smuggled artefacts that were confiscated by the Canadian authorities have been returned. It said that Canadian authorities had confiscated 2 sets of Jordanian artefacts at the airport in 2016 and 2017, which were smuggled by passengers on a airliner from Jordan. These included potteries, small statues, and some coloured jars and glass containers of different sizes and shapes.
TONS OF GARBAGE TO BE SHIPPED BACK TO SOUTH KOREA FROM PHILIPPINES
On 2nd January, CNN Philippines reported that tons of garbage smuggled into the country will be shipped back to South Korea, at South Korea’s cost. 6,500 tons of trash will be returned to Pyeongtaek, South Korea on January 9th. Officials said the consignee, Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation, failed to secure the proper importation permit and misdeclared the shipment, saying that the container vans carried soft plastic (used in reprocessing) and not garbage.
EU: AGREEMENT ON NEW MEASURES DESIGNED TO BOLSTER THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD INVOLVING NON-CASH MEANS OF PAYMENT
ACFCS in its newsletter on 3rd January reported that the EU Parliament and Council had reached an agreement on new measures designed to bolster the fight against fraud involving non-cash means of payment (such as including credit cards, online shopping and virtual currencies). It would upgrade existing EU rules, expand the scope of offences to include transactions through virtual currencies and impose minimum penalties for natural persons ranging from 1 to 5 years. Other measures include harmonising the definitions of some online crime offences, such as hacking a victim’s computer or phishing.
INDIA ADOPTS NEW BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP RULES
Also in its newsletter of 3rd January, ACFCS reported that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs imposed beneficial owner disclosure requirements on Indian companies, saying that those holding 10% or more stake must provide information to the company, which is passed on to the registry.
GUARDIA CIVIL ARREST 20 SUSPECTS IN COSTA DEL SOL DRUG PROFITS MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE
Euroweekly on 2nd January reported that the group is believed to be made up of 2 companies and a total of 69 suspects. The gang is said to have transported drugs in boats off the Costa del Sol and the Bay of Cadiz.
HEALTH CANADA UNVEILS PROPOSED CANNABIS EDIBLES LEGISLATION
In December, Field Law published an article saying that Health Canada has launched a public consultation on its proposed regulations governing cannabis edibles and stated that the legal sale of cannabis edibles will be permitted no later than October 17th. The legalisation of edibles, it says, was delayed in order to address the added issues including dosage, packaging, food regulations, promotion and added awareness. The draft legislation released on December 22nd and covers edibles, extracts and topical forms of cannabis.
NETHERLANDS: RECORD PENALTIES ISSUED BY GAMBLING REGULATOR IN 2018
On 3rd January, Calvin Ayre reported that the Netherlands’ gambling regulator issued a record high total of financial penalties in 2018 – €1,709,800 in financial penalties, nearly twice the €1 million penalty total in 2017 and more than 4 times that of 2016’s penalty package.
DENMARK: REGULATOR CLAIMS SUCCESS AGAINST ILLEGAL GAMBLING
Calvin Ayre on 3rd January reported that Denmark’s regulatory agency claims that the number of unauthorised gambling sites offering services to local gamblers without local permission identified remains “continuously low”. While finding a low number of illegal products overall, the regulator stated that there is an increasing problem of illegal gambling through Facebook and has so far worked to close 4 Facebook groups. Skin betting is also a concern and the Authority expects to include 20-25 skin betting sites in its next blocking session.
SAUDI CUSTOMS PILOTS SHIPMENT TRACKING ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
Customs Today on 3rd January reported that Saudi Customs is currently experimenting with tracking shipments on the blockchain. The project will link the Saudi customs officials’ existing shipment tracking platform, known as Fasah, to a blockchain-based one, powered by TradeLens. Saudi Customs is said to be just one of more than 90 organisations from around the world experimenting with the TradeLens platform.
TAIWAN TO BAR FOREIGN PASSENGERS IMPORTING MEAT
Customs Today on 2nd January reported that, in the wake of growing violations of meat being brought into Taiwan by passengers arriving from other countries, its Council of Agriculture is to implement new rules to bar those carrying meat from entering the country from as soon as January 2019.
FORMER USC BASKETBALL COACH PLEADS GUILTY IN CORRUPTION CASE
The Wall Street Journal on 2nd January reported that Anthony “Tony” Bland, a former assistant basketball coach at the University of Southern California, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for steering top players to financial advisers and sports business managers.
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE HAS A TERRORISM PROBLEM, CAN IT BE RESOLVED?
A commentary on the War on the Rocks website on 3rd January said that humanitarian assistance can fuel terrorism in 3 main ways –
- insufficient oversight of funds or recipients means that terrorists can inadvertently benefit from aid;
- terrorist groups can tax, steal, or divert aid for their own ends; and
- terrorists can become directly involved in charitable organisations and influence the distribution of aid.
REPORT ON USE OF US ARMED FORCE ABROAD: 1798-2018
On 28th December, the US Congressional Research Service published a report which lists hundreds of instances in which the US has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It provides a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted. However, there were only instances of actual declarations of war – the war with Great Britain declared in 1812; Mexico declared in 1846; Spain declared in 1898; WW1, during which the US declared war with Germany and with Austria-Hungary during 1917; and WW2, during which the US declared war against Japan, Germany, and Italy in 1941, and against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania in 1942. There were also “undeclared wars” – including the Undeclared Naval War with France 1798-1800; the First Barbary War 1801-1805; the Second Barbary War of 1815; the Korean War of 1950-1953; the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1973; the Persian Gulf War of 1991; global actions against foreign terrorists after 9/11 attacks on the US; and the war with Iraq in 2003. With the exception of the Korean War, all of these conflicts received congressional authorisation in some form short of a formal declaration of war. Other, more recent instances have often involved deployment of US military forces as part of a multinational operation associated with NATO or the UN.
WHAT LESSONS CAN RETAILERS LEARN FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S INVESTIGATION INTO GUESS’ DISTRIBUTION ARRANGEMENTS?
Bird & Bird on 3rd January published a briefing about the fashion brand Guess, which was fined nearly €40 million for imposing anti-competitive restrictions on its authorised retailers. This, it says, is an announcement demonstrates the increased scrutiny of distribution arrangements in the e-commerce sector and is yet another warning for retailers to ensure that all of their commercial agreements are compliant with competition law.
FORMER RUSSIAN OFFICIAL REPORTEDLY EXTRADITED BY FRANCE TO FACE FRAUD CHARGES
Rferl on 3rd January reported that Russian authorities say that Aleksei Kuznetsov was extradited to Russia. Kuznetsov served as finance minister for the Moscow region between 2000 and 2008 and, according to investigators, he, along with “accomplices,” caused losses of more than $160 million and the money was allegedly used to buy property abroad. In January 2018, a Russian court convicted his former wife, Janna Bullock, a US citizen who the US refused to extradite, of large-scale fraud and money laundering and sentenced her to 11 years in prison after a trial in absentia.
PAKISTAN: INVESTIGATORS SEIZES 29 PROPERTIES OWNED BY MQM POLITICAL PARTY’S CHARITY WING
On 3rd January, Pakistan Today reported that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had seized 29 properties in a money laundering case pertaining to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) charity wing, Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF). The FIA is quoted as saying that the money which was earned as rent on these properties was used for 2 purposes — it used to be sent to London through at least 6 facilitators and was also given to the families of deceased and imprisoned party workers.
REGULATORY POLICY COMMITTEE OPINION ON DEFRA IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF PROHIBITING THE COMMERCIAL DEALING OF IVORY IN THE UK
On 3rd January, DEFRA published the opinion of the RPC on its impact assessment. The opinion provides the background to the measure, including exemptions allowed. It examines the main costs to businesses, including antique dealers, auction houses and individuals. It also recommends that DEFRA should set out its plans to review/evaluate the ban, particularly how any unintended consequences would be investigated.
BRIEFING: VAT REGISTRATION IN THE UK
On 3rd January, the House of Commons Library published a research paper discusses how the VAT registration threshold has been set in recent years and the debate there has been about whether the threshold is too high or too low.
UK P+I CLUB MAKES “MINDFULNESS” RECORDINGS AVAILABLE TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH
On 3rd January, Superyacht News reported that the UK P&I Club has unveiled a new scheme that will allow its members access to materials aimed to improve mental health, with ‘mindfulness’ recordings to crew. A form of mental training, with Buddhist roots, mindfulness encourages a daily practice of focusing on one’s thoughts and breathing. It says that the Club’s focus on mindfulness illustrates the growing awareness of wellbeing in the maritime industry, and the importance of crew maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on board.
MALAYSIA: CUSTOMS SEIZES 20 TONNES OF FIREWORK
On 2nd January, The Sun Daily reported that customs had seized 20 tonnes of firecrackers and fireworks – believed to have been smuggled from China – in what is believed to be the biggest such seizure by the department in 2018.
THAILAND: 2 SHIPMENTS OF ENDANGERED LIVE EELS SEIZED AT AIRPORT
The Nation reported on 21st December that Customs officials have seized 2 shipments of live European glass eels, which are banned for export by CITES, at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
SOLICITOR JAILED FOR FINE WINE SCAM ORDERED TO REPAY £22,000
Legal Futures on 3rd January reported that a solicitor, Michael Lloyd Wilson, 46, who set up Global Wine Investments Ltd (GWI) and took £100,000 in a fine wine scam on investors has been ordered to pay back less than a quarter of the sum or face more jail time.
TO WHAT EXTENT CAN A CLAIM FOR DISHONEST ASSISTANCE BE MADE AGAINST BANKS WHEN RECEIVING FRAUDULENT BANK PAYMENTS?
A briefing from Dentons on 3rd January says that for such a claim to succeed, a prospective claimant would need to show that the financial institution had a dishonest state of mind or the necessary knowledge, and this would not be easy. In the article, Dentons considers the factors necessary to bring a claim for dishonest assistance with particular reference to the case of Autogas and its implications for banks.
TAIWAN SAID TO BE SALVAGING J85 TURBOJET AIRCRAFT ENGINES FOR USE ON MISSILES
Alert 5 reported on 3rd January that a report from United Daily News says Taiwan is studying how to salvage functioning General Electric J85 small single-shaft turbojet engines from its F-5 fighter fleet and reuse them on missiles. The engine has been installed on the Ryan Firebee target drone as well, therefore the approach is not new, it says.
6 CREW MEMBERS ARE MISSING FOLLOWING A REPORTED PIRATE ATTACK OFF THE COAST OF BENIN
On 3rd January, Port technology reported that 6 crew members are missing following a reported pirate attack on the 2,668 TEU MSC Mandy, a Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) vessel, 55 nautical miles off the coast of Benin in West Africa.
CHINA WIDENS RESTRICTIONS ON FERROUS, NON-FERROUS SCRAP IMPORTS FROM 1ST JULY
Hellenic Shipping Report on 3rd January reported that from July 1st, imports of 8 kinds of solid waste, including ferrous, copper and aluminium scrap move to a list of restricted waste material, as these were earlier in the list of unrestricted waste. China categorises solid waste imports into 3 lists: banned, restricted and unrestricted. The restrictions followed a July 2017 announcement on limiting the import of foreign waste, from December 31st waste car parts, electrical appliances and ship scrap have been banned. Vietnam has also implemented more stringent inspections on scrap imports, due to concerns it would become the next destination for the type of material that China has refused to import, leading to more onerous and time-consuming customs checks.
VIRTUAL CURRENCIES IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
Harneys has published the chapter covering the Cayman Islands from The Virtual Currency Regulation Review published by The Law Reviews. The chapter gives a general introduction to the legal and regulatory framework in Cayman. In addition, it looks at the securities and investment laws; banking and money transmission; AML; regulation of exchanges; regulation of issuers and sponsors; tax; and other issues.