HMRC provides a list of SI and Explanatory Memoranda, last updated on 5th February, which brings together regulations, explanatory memoranda, and an impact assessment in preparation for day 1, if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.
RUSI’s Project SANDSTONE is a new effort to systematically analyse and expose North Korean illicit shipping networks. Using open source data-mining and data-fusion techniques to spot activities of interest without reference to classified data, the project aims to provide open-source intelligence and actionable evidence to those engaged in enforcement and the policy community in general.
A first report examines potential connections between Chinese state-owned enterprises and the North Korean arms trade. It examines in greater detail the networks behind the Jie Shun, a Cambodian-flagged cargo ship that was discovered with a large cache of North Korean munitions hidden underneath a cargo of sanctioned iron ore in 2016.
On 7th February, the European Sanctions Blog reported that the EU General Court has annulled the 2017-2019 Syria sanctions listings of Wael Abdulkarim and Alkarim for Trade and Industry LLC, citing a manifest error of assessment in its grounds for listing Mr Abdulkarim.
The New York Times on 7th February reported that Defense Department told Cameroonian officials that it would hold off on providing military gear and training programs, opening a noteworthy rift with a strategically important partner in the fight against terrorism. Cameroon borders Nigeria, where Boko Haram has begun ramping up attacks after terrorising the north-eastern part of that country in recent years, and it shares a frontier with the Central African Republic, where armed groups have been locked in religious and communal fighting since 2013. The suspended delivery of equipment includes four defender boats, 9 armoured vehicles, a radar system and an upgrade of a Cessna aircraft belonging to Cameroon’s special forces unit, the Rapid Intervention Battalion.
On 8 February, Asharq Al-Awsat reported that Libyan security forces arrested on Wednesday chairman of the sovereign wealth fund, Ali Mahmoud Hassan Mohamed, on for possible “corruption and exploitation of (his) position”. Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), established in order to oversee oil revenues, manages the sovereign fund holds about $66 billion-worth of mostly frozen assets under UN sanctions imposed in 2011 when Gaddafi was toppled.
Ogier on 6th February published an article about a new law set to come into force on 31st March that, it says, represents a substantial revision of Guernsey’s AML/CFT regime designed to satisfy the requirements of the FATF Recommendations and the Guernsey-specific recommendations made by MONEYVAL in 2016. A new draft of the Handbook was released last year and its guidance is said to be already in use by the regulator. The article sets out the key changes to the Handbook and the operational changes that will likely be required in order to comply with the new framework.
Politico on 7th February reported that a Belgian court has found 3 businesses and their owners guilty of shipping 168 tons of a substance potentially used in the making of chemical weapons to Syria between 2014 and 2016 without submitting the appropriate export licences. AAE Chemie Trading, a wholesaler, Anex Customs and Danmar Logistics between €75,000 and €500,000 for exporting high-purity isopropanol – used in products such as the nerve agent sarin. There is no evidence that the chemicals have been used in chemical weapons, or whether they were used in other common products such as paint or cleaning agents. A Belgian MP is quoted as saying that: I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to understand that exporting chemicals to Syria is a problem and these companies should know better.