25th January 2019
PAKISTAN CENTRAL BANK INTRODUCES FRAMEWORK TO COUNTER TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING
On 25th January, Pakistan Today reported that the central bank also told banks to enhance the oversight role of the board of directors and senior management in the areas of ML/TF/PF risks associated with trade transactions, as it introduced a draft framework on risk management of trade-based money laundering and terrorist financing to enable transparency and efficiency across trading finance. It highlighted the main methods by which such people transfer value through legitimate trade transactions – under-invoicing, over-invoicing, short/over shipment, obfuscation of type of goods/services etc; and said that banks should follow a procedure for identification and monitoring of trade transactions with related party and screening procedure of customers for trade transactions.
FRANCE’S NEW INVESTMENT CONTROL IN THE CYBERSECURITY AND TECHNOLOGY SECTORS
The National Law Review on 24th January reported that France, relatively open to overseas investors, has extended its control over foreign investment into certain ‘sensitive’ industries, particularly the IT, cybersecurity, communication, and technology sector. The article provides some details of the controls.
NEW YORK: 6 INDIVIDUALS CHARGED WITH CONSPIRING TO TRAFFIC MORE THAN $30 MILLION OF CONTRABAND CIGARETTES
STL News reported on 24th January that they were charged with conspiring to traffic contraband cigarettes and trafficking contraband cigarettes and defrauding city, state, and federal governments of millions of dollars in tax revenue. It is said that for 6 years these defendants smuggled untaxed cigarettes into the US.
KENYA: THE LUCRATIVE BUSINESSES WHERE CITY CROOKS LAUNDER THEIR MONEY
Nairobi News on 25th January carried an article saying that second-hand car dealers, real estate developers and law firms have emerged as new conduits for laundering dirty cash into the economy, the country’s AML “czar” and banks have said. The Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) and Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) have called for a review of the law to require non-financial firms to start reporting suspicious dealings and transactions. They say that shrewd traders are increasingly moving away from financial systems such as banks when laundering proceeds of crime and corruption after most loopholes were sealed through tighter rules.
FINLAND’S FOREIGN MINISTRY FALLS FOR €400,000 EMAIL SCAM OVER AID MONEY
YLE on 24th January reported that scammers are suspected of duping the Finnish Foreign Ministry into handing over some €400,000 in development funds last February, according to the National Bureau of Investigation. Police said that the swindlers sent an email purporting to come from an employee of the UN Development Programme, UNDP, prompting the Foreign Ministry to pay out the funds.
EX-UKRAINIAN LEADER YANUKOVICH SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN JAIL IN ABSENTIA
Politico reported on 24th January that a judge ruled that the pro-Moscow Yanukovich’s conduct had paved the way for Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the bloody conflict in eastern Ukraine. Yanukovich fled Ukraine for Russia in 2014 after street protests against his rule. His lawyers said they would appeal the decision.
UK: TAKEAWAY BOSS GETS SECOND DISQUALIFICATION AFTER BREACHING FIRST BAN
A news release from the Insolvency Service on 17th January reported that the boss of an Asian-style takeaway in Cardiff has picked up second disqualification after being caught running the business when he had already been banned.
X-FACTOR ACCOUNTANT JAILED FOR £599,000 FRAUD
Accountancy Daily on 25th January reported that an ACCA-qualified accountant who defrauded a former X Factor winner of £599,000 in order to fund a gambling habit has been jailed for 4 years.
CHINA’S FOREIGN FIGHTER PROBLEM
War on the Rocks on 25th January carried an article saying that China has a foreign fighter problem. Like many other states, it is dealing with the complex security and legal implications of its residents leaving the country to join jihadist groups. In Beijing’s case, the problem is not limited to Chinese nationals who have joined jihadist organisations in Syria. Most Chinese foreign fighters have joined the al-Qaeda network, because of historic ties developed in Afghanistan and Pakistan between the East Turkestan Islamic Movement/Turkestan Islamic Party and Osama bin Laden’s organisation. Numbers are lower for the Islamic State.
UK COMPANIES FINED FOR ILLEGAL EXPORTS
The UK Notice to Exporters 2019/02 says that unlicensed exports of dual use goods and breaches of export controls have cost UK companies thousands of pounds. Over the last 7 months, HMRC has issued compound penalties ranging between £1,000 and £4,000 to 3 separate UK Exporters. These related to unlicensed exports of dual use goods and export control breaches.
2 BULGARIAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS CHARGED WITH MATCH-FIXING
Novinite on 25th January reported that Bulgarian prosecutors have charged 2 second division players with match-fixing as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in Bulgarian football. They allegedly manipulated unspecified Bansko games in Bulgaria’s second division during the 2016-2017 season.
LITHUANIA STEPS UP AML EFFORT AFTER BALTIC SCANDALS
On 25th January, Reuters reported that, according to its central bank Governor Lithuania has taken extra measures to prevent money laundering after bank scandals in Latvia and Estonia which have harmed its reputation. He said that the central bank has established new departments for money laundering prevention and for electronic money supervision at the start of January, and invested in technical measures to identify money laundering risk.
SWEDISH COUPLE’S LARGE FINE FOR RUNNING ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATION IN SINGAPORE
On 25th January, Calvin Ayre reported that a husband and wife team accused of running an illegal gambling operation will have to pay over US$826,000 in restitution for leading a non-licensed betting service that involved the 4-D lottery. Heng Ee Howe, 60, had been involved in the illegal activity for as long as 15 years along with his wife Tin Suh Chyong, 55. The alleged activity took place 2010-15. Heng collected illegal 4-D bets on behalf of other individuals. He would then consolidate the bets and send them to gambling runners in Malaysia.
REVIEW PROPOSES ENHANCEMENTS TO UK MODERN SLAVERY ACT REPORTING
Out-Law on 25th January published an article saying that more clarity is needed over which organisations are required to comply with modern slavery reporting requirements, while the reports themselves need a consistent structure and far stronger enforcement, an independent review has recommended.
COLOMBIA COCAINE BOOM LIKELY BEHIND RISING EUROPEAN PORT SEIZURES
Insight Crime on 25th January carried an article saying that cocaine seizures at 2 of Europe’s biggest and busiest ports – Rotterdam and Antwerp – jumped by more than a quarter over the last year, underscoring the impact that the increase in global cocaine production — primarily in Colombia — is likely having outside of Latin America.
WHICH CRIMINAL STRUCTURES HAVE GAINED THE MOST STRENGTH IN LATIN AMERICA IN 2018?
Insight Crime on 10th January published a good article focused on 3 groups that have engaged in aggressive expansion, both territorial and economic, and are set to dominate the region’s criminal landscape – the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG) in Mexico; the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN) in Colombia; and the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC) in Brazil.
ENGLISH COUNCIL SECURES ORDER REQUIRING EX-DIRECTORS OF FOOTBALL CLUB TO REPAY £2+ MILLION
On 25th January, Local Government Lawyer reported that Northampton Borough Council has secured a High Court ruling requiring former directors of Northampton Town Football Club to repay more than £2 million. The local authority had loaned more than £10 million to the club to help with a stadium redevelopment but the scheme was never completed.
INSIDE GHANA’S ILLEGAL ARMS TRADE
The BBC World Service carried a feature on 25th January, as a video report on the production of homemade guns, which is big business in West Africa. They can be bought for as little as £7 and blacksmiths in Ghana are estimated to produce up to 200,000 of these guns a year. Sulley Lansah met one of the people who make the illegal firearms and those affected by them.
TURKMENISTAN: A DICTATOR, MILLIONS OF EUROS, AND ITALY’S EXPORT OF WEAPONS
Bellingcat on 25th January carried a post saying that Turkmenistan is among the world’s most repressive countries, and is largely closed off to the outside world. When it comes to press freedom, only North Korea and Eritrea are rated worse. Yet the country is nonetheless a major buyer of EU arms, with Italy supplying by far the biggest part. The article takes a closer look at Italian arms deliveries to Turkmenistan — and traces a selection of arms despite the general lack transparency.
REUTERS REPORTS RUSSIAN MILITARY CONTRACTORS OPERATING IN VENEZUELA
Rferl on 25th January reported that Reuters is reporting that private military contractors working on behalf of Russia are in Venezuela to help embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro strengthen security amid opposition protests and a competing claim to leadership. Sources are saying the contractors are associated with the so-called Wagner group of mostly former Russian service personnel who have been involved in clandestine operations in foreign countries. Private Russian military contractors have been reported in other countries, including Syria, Ukraine, and in African nations.
BERLIN POLICE RAID ILLEGAL ARMS DEALERS
Deutsche Welle on 25th January reported that German police have carried out a series of raids on 26 properties in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg in an attempt to bust an international ring of gunrunners. A simultaneous raid was also carried out in Amsterdam.
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