OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 11

11th February 2019

3D-GUN BLUEPRINT WEBSITE OWNER SUES NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Washington Times on 10th February reported that the website owner is challenging a law signed late last year that gun-rights advocates say criminalises their free speech rights to post the blueprints.  A coalition of gun-rights groups recently asked a federal court in New Jersey to block the Attorney General from enforcing the law and direct him to stop sending cease-and-desist messages over the online posting of the files.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/feb/10/3d-printed-gun-blueprint-website-owner-sues-new-je/

JAILED ART DEALER DODGED TAX ON MILLION DOLLARS COMMISSION FOR PAINTING

KYC 360 on 11th February reported that New Jersey art dealer, Brian Gimelson made more than $1.2 million over the sale of a purportedly original painting by Caravaggio, but set up a company in his wife’s name to facilitate the deal.  He was jailed for 18 months and has to pay $432,456 in restitution.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/art-dealer-got-wife-to-open-bank-accounts-dodges-tax-on-1-2-million/

MRR

The Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Report said on 11th February that tipsters who blew the whistle on tax fraud in the US collected a record $312.2 million in awards during fiscal 2018.  The total was more than 6 times the average annual figure for the previous ten years, according to the IRS.

EU PHARMA STAKEHOLDERS TAKE ACTION TO TACKLE FAKE MEDICINES

An article on EurActiv on 11th February reported that a number of pharma stakeholders have announced the official launch of the European Medicines Verification System (EMVS), which will make use of new technologies to improve safety in the medicines’ supply chain against fake products.  The new system is part of the Falsified Medicines Directive and is managed by consortia of stakeholders, ranging from pharma manufacturers, both innovative and generic pharma industry, to wholesalers, community pharmacists, hospitals and hospital pharmacies.  Surveys suggest that the prevalence of counterfeit medicines in the legal supply chain in Europe is approximately 0.005%.  Manufacturers will serialise the packaging of prescription medicines with a Unique Identifier, which will then be uploaded by the manufacturer to the European Hub (the EMVS).

https://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/eu-pharma-stakeholders-take-action-to-tackle-fake-medicines/

SOUTH AFRICA – AN EMERGING PLAYER IN THE GLOBAL UNMANNED MILITARY VEHICLE MARKET

Defence Web on 11th February reported that local company Milkor is now part of a handful of elite companies around the world producing armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Its first UAV weapon is a small-diameter laser-guided bomb.  The 12-metre wingspan MA380 will carry 2 of these weapons.  Milkor’s smaller MA80 may be able to carry 1 laser-guided bomb.  The company’s third UAV, the hand-launched MA18, is built for tactical surveillance and is unarmed.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/industry/industry-industry/south-africa-an-emerging-player-in-the-global-unmanned-military-vehicle-market/

UK INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF DRUGS: TERMS OF REFERENCE

On 11th February, the Home Office announced the terms of reference for the major independent review of drug misuse announced in October, that would build on the work under way since the government’s drug strategy was published in 2017.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-drugs-terms-of-reference

RCMP ARRESTS 15 PEOPLE, SEEK 4 OTHERS ALLEGEDLY TIED TO INTERNATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME

Canoe.com in Canada on 11th February reported that the RCMP, Canadian revenue Agency and other police forces in Canada involved in operation that saw the arrest of 15 people in a series of raids in Montreal and Toronto targeting what investigators say is an extensive international money laundering network with ties to organised crime.

https://canoe.com/news/national/rcmp-arrests-19-people-allegedly-tied-to-international-money-laundering-scheme

COURT ISSUES INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANT FOR ROMANIAN BUSINESSMAN

Romania Insider on 11th February reported that a Court has issued an arrest warrant for Romanian businessman Florian Walter in a case of tax evasion that damaged the state budget by €4.5 million.  He was also the main shareholder of FC Petrolul Ploiesti and Universitatea Cluj football clubs and, before that, he was one of the shareholders of Dinamo football club.

https://www.romania-insider.com/florian-walter-international-arrest-warrant

SINGAPORE: LAW PASSED TO TACKLE MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERROR FINANCING RISKS IN PRECIOUS STONES AND METALS SECTOR

The Straits Times on 11th February reported that dealers in precious stones and metals will have to register with the Law Ministry and carry out stricter checks on customers.  The Law Ministry will continue to work with dealers of precious stones and metals to help them comply with the new rules.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parliament-law-passed-to-tackle-money-laundering-and-terror-financing-risks-in-precious

GUERNSEY: IMMUNO BIOTECH FINANCE BOSS GUILTY OF MONEY LAUNDERING

On 11th February, the BBC reported that Peter Dawson-Ball, 64, the financial controller of a firm that sold an unlicensed blood product has been found guilty of money laundering.  He worked for David Noakes, who was jailed in November for manufacturing, supplying and selling unlicensed blood product GcMAF.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-47200876

SWITZERLAND INVESTIGATING VENEZUELA-LINKED CORRUPTION

Swissinfo on 11th February reported that Switzerland’s Attorney General has opened an investigation into a corruption case involving Venezuela.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/money-laundering-_switzerland-investigating-venezuela-linked-corruption/44747888

PETROFAC FACES POTENTIAL £400 MILLION LAWSUIT FOLLOWING EX-EMPLOYEE’S BRIBERY CONVICTION

City AM on 11th February reported that the oil field services company is facing the lawsuit from angry investors after its shares crashed when former global head of sales at Petrofac, David Lufkin pleaded guilty to bribery and corruption charges.

http://www.cityam.com/273060/petrofac-faces-potential-400m-lawsuit-following-ex

CONFRONTING MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING: MOVING CANADA FORWARD

On 11th February, an article from Dentons comments on the contents of a report from the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance.  Every 5 years the Committee reviews the country’s AML/CFT law.  This report noted that Canada’s AML policies are lax compared to the UK and the US.  The article summarises the overarching themes of the Report, emphasising beneficial ownership, exchange of information and privacy rights and virtual currency.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/confronting-money-laundering-and-81371/

Q&A – SUBSTANCE LEGISLATION: SCOPE, TESTS AND SANCTIONS

On 11th February, Ogier published an article which sets out an overview of substance legislation across jurisdictions – Jersey, Guernsey, BVI and Cayman (among others), with particular relevance to questions about how the law came about, the scope of the law, the definitions attached to the tests involved, and sanctions for non-compliance.

https://www.ogier.com/publications/qa-substance-legislation-scope-tests-and-sanctions

US CUSTOMS AT JFK SEIZE $3.7 MILLION COUNTERFEIT WATCHES

On 11th February, US Customs and Border Protection reported that a routine inspection of a shipment from Hong Kong led to the discovery and seizure of counterfeit watches worth an estimated manufacturer suggested retail price of $3.7 million, had they been genuine.   The seized watches were infringing on the Michael Kors, Rolex, Piguet, Hublot, and Nike trademarks.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-jfk-seizes-counterfeit-watches

CRYPTOCURRENCY FRAUD DISMANTLED IN ROMANIA BY POLICE AND US SECRET SERVICE

Baker McKenzie on 11th February reported that over 100 Romanian police officers and US Secret Service agents raided several addresses in Bucharest and 9 counties as part of a large-scale action to destroy a specialised computer fraud organisation that caused damages worth $34 million.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/cryptocurrency-fraud-dismantled-in-romania-by-police-and-us-secret-service/

ISIL/DA’ESH CONTINUES EVOLUTION INTO COVERT GLOBAL NETWORK ENJOYING ACCESS TO MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

A news release from the UN on 11th February reported that a top anti-terrorism official addressed the UN Security Council.  The Counter-Terrorism Directorate Chief expressed concern that the group exploits mobile money payments, anonymity of blockchain technology.  This was in the light of the 8th “Report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL to international peace and security and on the range of the United Nations’ efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat”.   He said the threat has been increased by the presence of returning, relocating or released foreign terrorist fighters.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sc13697.doc.htm

CUTTING TRADITIONAL DRUGS WITH DANGEROUS NEW SYNTHETICS IS A PROFITABLE BUSINESS MODEL: EXPECT TO SEE MORE OF IT

On 11th February, Illicit Trade carried an article saying that a study published by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence revealed that just under 1% of US teenagers are knowingly consuming the synthetic cathinone flakka, a powerful stimulant.  It also says that it is now commonly being added by dealers to more traditional illicit substances such as ecstasy and cocaine.  Flakka, or alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, is part of a group of new psychoactive substances that has risen in popularity across the western world over recent years.  Flakka is routinely referred to as being similar to cocaine, but is in fact potentially far more dangerous.  The UK also sees the use of bath salts, or “monkey dust” as it referred to

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/02/cutting-traditional-drugs-with-dangerous-new-synthetics-is-a-profitable-business-model-expect-to-see-more-of-it/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

BAHAMAS GAMING BOARD: WEB SHOPS FREE FROM MONEY LAUNDERING THREAT

On 11th February, the Nassau Guardian reported that the Gaming Board has determined that gaming houses are free from the threat of money laundering or terrorist financing, finding that most gaming house players have an average account balance of $5 and an average transaction amount of $60.  This information was released in the Group of Financial Services Regulators’ (GFSR) Bahamas 2018 AML/CFT Report, published on the website of the Central Bank of The Bahamas.

https://thenassauguardian.com/2019/02/11/gaming-board-web-shops-free-from-money-laundering-threat/

UNDERSTANDING TRADE BALANCES

A briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service seeks to easily explain trade balances, GDP, balance of payments and so on – and dispel some of the common misapprehensions.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2019/633187/EPRS_ATA(2019)633187_EN.pdf

 MYANMAR GOVERNMENT ASKS COMPANIES TO TIGHTEN ANTI-GRAFT MEASURES

The Myanmar Times on 11th February said that companies in Myanmar are now required to establish mechanisms for employees to report suspected corrupt practices, according to the latest government announcement.  Last month, the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) updated the anti-corruption code of ethics for companies.

https://www.mmtimes.com/news/govt-asks-companies-tighten-anti-graft-measures.html

AUSTRALIA: 2 MEN FACED COURT OVER A MAJOR $1.3 BILLION DRUG BUST LINKED TO A MEXICAN CARTEL 

The Sydney Morning Herald on 11th February reported that US federal agents had revealed that they had intercepted 1.7 tonnes of methamphetamine bound for Australia – the largest meth seizure ever recorded on US soil and the biggest intercepted drug haul bound for Australia.  The drugs were “artfully concealed” inside a shipment of loudspeakers on a ship in Los Angeles.  3 others charged, including 2 Americans – one a prominent figure in the audio equipment industry in California and ran a series of companies selling stereos, speakers, subwoofers and digital amplifiers.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/men-face-court-over-massive-ice-haul-as-bandidos-make-extraordinary-denial-20190211-p50x1a.html

THE NEW ENGLISH COURT DISCLOSURE PILOT, WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR LITIGANTS?

HFW has issued a briefing which outlines the mandatory English High Court Disclosure Pilot (the Pilot) which from 1st January applies to most actions in the Business and Property Courts.  It says that this is a whole-scale change to disclosure process of which all users of the English High Court should be aware.  The Pilot is intended to reduce the scope and therefore the cost of disclosure by reference to a 2-stage disclosure process – “initial” and “extended” disclosure.

http://www.hfw.com/downloads/00942-HFW-Client-Guide-Disclosure-Pilot.pdf

THE BASICS: HOW TO WIND UP A CORPORATE DEBTOR

A briefing from Gowling WLG says when a company has debts and appears to be struggling, what can you do to try to get your debts settled?  Is applying for a winding up the answer?  The briefing considers what one needs to consider, and examines the key steps in the process.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2019/how-to-wind-up-a-corporate-debtor/

nca

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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