5th February 2019
INDIVIDUALS İN CROSS-BORDER INVESTIGATIONS OR PROCEEDINGS: THE UK PERSPECTIVE
On 4th February, BCL Solicitors published a useful article which looks at the key issues that can arise when acting for an individual who is present in the UK and subject to a criminal investigation or proceedings here or in one or more overseas jurisdictions. It looks at practical issues, such as asset freezing and restraint, account monitoring orders, asset tracing, confiscation and forfeiture, search and seizure, the meaning of being interviewed under caution, extradition (and the difference between EU European Arrest Warrants and other forms of extradition); as well as considering reputation risks and potential settlements.
MILLIONS IN CRYPTOCURRENCIES FROZEN AFTER CANADIAN FOUNDER’S DEATH
KYC 360 on 5th February reported that about C$180 million in cryptocurrencies have been frozen in the user accounts of Canadian digital platform Quadriga after the founder, the only person with the password to gain access, died suddenly in December.
ISRAEL REINSTITUTES EXPORT LICENCE OF FOR DRONE MAKER AERONAUTICS
C Tech and others 4th February reported that the Israeli Ministry of Defense has reinstituted effective immediately the export licence of Israeli drone maker Aeronautics Ltd. In August 2017, the ministry halted Aeronautics’ licence to export a loiter munition UAV system to an unnamed but prominent client (Azerbaijan) – ongoing probe into claim company performed illegal live test against Armenians.
COUNTERFEIT CHIPS FOR USE IN B-1 BOMBER AND OTHER US MILITARY EQUIPMENT
The Register on 4th February reported that Rogelio Vasquez, owner of California-based PRB Logics Corporation, has pleaded guilty to selling fake branded semiconductor chips from China, some of which made their way into US military systems. July 2009 to May 2016, according to the indictment, he acquired old, used or discarded chips that had been altered to appear as new from sources in China, and then sold them to subcontractors, who resold them to customers in the US, including defence contractors.
DEUTSCHE SHRINKS CORRESPONDENT BANKING AFTER DANSKE SCANDAL
PYMNTS.com on 4th February reported that, in the wake of an investigation of over €200 billion in suspected money laundering at Danske Bank’s Estonia branch, Deutsche Bank has said it has sharply cut down on its correspondent banking services, with the bank’s worldwide correspondent portfolio about 40% smaller than it was in 2016.
THE COSTLY CLEAN-UP AT JULIUS BAER BANK
Finews Asia on 4th February reported that the private bank has said that a 3-year regulatory clean-up of money laundering scandals will draw to a close this year and, for the first time, Julius Baer told investors what the review will cost. The project to review data on its clients will cost an estimated $87.4 million in total. It is said that it accepted dicey clients, including in Latin America where Julius Baer is rethinking its business.
US IMPOSES VISA RESTRICTIONS ON GHANA
On 31st January, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a news release advising, in co-ordination with the Department of State, the implementation of visa sanctions on Ghana due to lack of co-operation in accepting their nationals ordered removed from the US. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies treasury Secretary Pompeo that co-operation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.
TAXATION: EU LIST OF NON-COOPERATIVE JURISDICTIONS
The EU has a useful homepage for all you need to know about its tax “blacklist” process and which states are on it.
UGANDA: CABINET APPROVES AML AMENDMENT BILL
All Africa on 5th February reported that the Cabinet has approved the Anti-money Laundering Amendment Bill, 2018. The amendment is meant to bolster Uganda’s global reputation and co-operation in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, and will enable Uganda to get admitted in the Egmont Group, a united body of 159 FIU. Uganda was only in November 2017 removed the from the FATF “list of shame”, after being placed on the list in February 2014.
£5.9 MILLION TAX FRAUD PUTS ENGINEERING BOSS IN JAIL
Accountancy Daily on 5th February reported that a North-East England engineering company boss has been jailed for more than 8 years for a £5.9 million tax fraud, following an HMRC investigation. Stanley Miller failed to hand over tax deductions from staff pay packets and used phoney invoices to claim VAT repayments at his 3 companies; MGM Precision Ltd, T-Tec (Precision Engineers) Ltd and SLM Engineering Ltd.
EGYPT APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF RUSSIA INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Customs Today on 2nd February reported that the Egyptian President has issued a presidential decree approving the establishment and operation of a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The zone will be 5.25 square km large, with investments of $6.9 billion, and will be built in 3 phases over a period of 13 years.
UK: MAN SENTENCED TO 2 YEARS FOR ILLEGAL OPERATIONS OF INVESTMENT SCHEME AND FRAUD
A news item on Mondo Visione on 5th February reported that in a case brought by the FCA Manraj Virdee was sentenced to a 2-year prison sentence suspended for 2 years and he was further ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community. The sentence followed earlier guilty pleas to 4 charges relating to misleading consumers, fraud and the illegal operation of an unauthorised investment scheme worth over half a million pounds.