3rd February 2019
CIGARETTE-SMUGGLING DOESN’T PAY: RECORD $34 MILLION FINE FOR SINGAPOREAN
The Independent in Singapore reported on 3rd February that, in the highest penalty imposed, a Singapore cigarette smuggler, Ng Ghim Hong, 33, was fined a record S$34 million and jailed. He was part of a Singapore-Malaysia syndicate when he was caught red-handed at a warehouse with “an unprecedented quantity” of duty-unpaid cigarettes.
5 SLOVAKIAN NATIONALS ARRESTED IN SRI LANKA FOR SMUGGLING ENDANGERED SPECIES GENE SAMPLES
Newsfirst in Sri Lanka reported on 2nd February that 5 Slovakian nationals who attempted to smuggle gene samples of endangered species, plants and insects from the Sinharaja Forest were arrested by Wildlife officers.
AS DIRTY CASH FLOW REVIEW NEARS, NEPAL SCRAMBLES TO MAKE AND AMEND 50 LAWS
The Kathmandu Post on 3rd February reported that a recent expose showed that as many as 55 Nepalis and Non-resident Nepalis had invested in offshore companies and two-thirds of foreign direct investment in Nepal came from the tax haven countries and territories – just ahead of the third Mutual Evaluation by Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the regional FATF-style body, in 2020. A government report says Nepal still needs to make as many as 50 laws compatible with the global standards on AML/CFT, and states that Nepal has a number of deficiencies in the areas of legislation, regulatory mechanisms and enforcement to tackle.
AML INFORMATION-SHARING IN A TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED AND PRIVACY-CONSCIOUS WORLD
On 2nd February, White & Case published an article highlighting the several barriers to financial companies sharing of information to combat money laundering in the US. It says that policymakers and regulators should ensure that the AML framework is clear and flexible to allow space for new technologies to flourish while protecting customer privacy and other core policy goals. The barriers and difficulties include – SAR confidentiality, privacy requirements applicable to the US financial sector, European data protection and privacy (GDPR). It looks at technology-enabled solutions for more effective information-sharing, including DLT and AI.
SRI LANKA’S FORMER AMBASSADOR TO US PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO CHARGES OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND EMBEZZLEMENT
Colombo Page on 3rd February reported that Jaliya Chitran Wickramasuriya, a relative of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering and embezzlement, in connection with the embezzlement of $320,000 funds of the Sri Lankan government intended for the purchase of a new embassy building in Washington.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION WOULD INCLUDE PANAMA IN HIGH-RISK LIST FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
On 30th January, La Prensa in Panama reported that the EU would be would be including Panama in a new list of high-risk countries with deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime.