14th February 2019
AUSTRALIA: UNIVERSITIES RELIEVED AFTER DEFENCE IS DENIED SWEEPING NEW POWERS OVER RESEARCH
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 14th February that the Department of Defence in its submission to an independent review of the Defence Trade Controls Act had sought to exert greater control over research partnerships because of national security concerns about sensitive and valuable technology ending up in the hands of foreign powers. However, the report found there was scope for tightening up the law to protect Australia’s national security interests and address “inadequate control of emerging and sensitive military and dual-use technology”.
STOLEN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ARTEFACT RETRIEVED AT AMSTERDAM
Egyptian Streets on 13th February reported that the Egyptian Embassy in Amsterdam had received a limestone bust which had been stolen from an illegal excavation. It had been among the objects on display at an art exhibition in Amsterdam, in March 2018. Legal procedures were taken in order to confiscate the bust stolen from an archaeological site in the 1990s.
SECOND REPORT ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF CORRESPONDENT BANKING RELATIONSHIPS (CBR) IN THE ARAB REGION
On 13th February, Zawya reported on the Arab Monetary Fund, IMF and World Bank publication of the 2nd report on the withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Relationships (CBR) in the Arab region. The report indicates that about one third of respondent banks experienced a decline in the number of CBR accounts since 2012. Participating banks indicated that they saw the insufficient business generated from the relationships to justify the cost as the most important reason for the pressures.
LUXEMBOURG: FREEPORT ACCUSED OF SHADINESS, SAYS IT SURPASSES EU RULES
The Delano website on 13th February carried an article saying that, after an attack by a German MEP, the company running the freeport at Findel Airport has argued that Luxembourg law is much stricter than EU rules, that it offers security not secrecy, and that politics not policy is at play. The facility provides high security and climate-controlled storage units, with safety features such as advanced fire control and backup power supplies.
UK ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY – 1 YEAR ON
On 14th February, 6 KBW published an article asking what action has been taken since the launch of the UK anti-corruption strategy in 2017? The author discusses the ‘year one update’ reviewing progress so far and considers what developments practitioners can expect to see in 2019.
CYBER ATTACK ON MALTA BANK TRIED TO TRANSFER CASH ABROAD
KYC 360 on 14th February reported that Bank of Valletta which accounts for almost half of Malta’s banking transactions, had to shut down all of its operations after hackers broke into its systems and shifted funds overseas. It involved the creation of false international payments totalling €13 million to banks in Britain, the US, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong.
ESTONIA DROPS AML LEGISLATION BEFORE ELECTION
On 14th February, KYC 360 reported that Estonia’s parliament has dropped a proposed law that would have toughen rules on money laundering, drafted after a scandal involving Denmark’s Danske Bank. It is expected to be revived later this year following the March 3rd general election.
DRONE SWARMS AND THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
On 14th February, War On The Rocks published an article asking one to imagine hundreds of airborne drones darting through New York City, seeking out targets and dosing them with nerve agent. It says that drone swarm technology could have a significant impact on every area of military competition, from enhancing supply chains to delivering nuclear bombs. This article examines the implications for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons. When it comes to chemical and biological weapons, drone swarms can improve both defence and offence, but appear to strongly favour offence by addressing key challenges to delivery. Drone swarm technology is likely to encourage chemical and biological weapons proliferation and improve the capabilities of states that already possess these weapons. Terrorist organisations are also likely to be interested in the technology. The article’s conclusions include that the US Commerce Department should adopt new rules restricting the export of swarming-capable drones and related technologies – and these rules should especially focus on technology with the potential to improve chemical and biological weapons delivery. It also says that the State Department should evaluate whether and to what extent existing international treaties are sufficient to discourage proliferation of CBRN-relevant drone swarm technology.
PHARMACEUTICALS: COMMISSION WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON PROPOSAL TO FACILITATE EU EXPORTS
On 14th February, the EU reported agreement on a new Regulation introduces a carefully framed exception (‘export manufacturing waiver’) to the patent protection of an original medicine for export and stock-piling purposes. Thanks to the waiver, EU-based companies will be entitled to produce and export a generic or biosimilar version of an SPC-protected medicine during the term of the certificate. EU-based companies will be entitled to manufacture a generic or biosimilar version of an SPC-protected medicine during the term of the certificate, if done exclusively for the purpose of exporting to a non-EU market where protection has expired or never existed.
3 FRENCH TERROR FINANCE SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN MOROCCO
Defence Web on 13th February reported that 3 Frenchmen were arrested in the Moroccan city Sale close to Rabat on suspicion of financing terrorism and connections with militant groups.
CROWN DEPENDENCIES CUSTOMS UNION (ISLE OF MAN)(EU EXIT) ORDER 2019
On 14th February, this UK SI 2019/257 was published, alongside other SI covering Jersey and Guernsey, and concerned with the continuing customs union between the UK and its 3 Crown Dependencies. The 4 jurisdictions form a common customs area, and the Isle of Man and UK also form a common area for VAT and most excise duties as well. They all form part of the Common Travel Area (together with Ireland), allowing the free movement of their citizens within the 5 territories.
UK RIOT COMPENSATION GUIDANCE LEAFLET
Just in time for Brexit (!), the Home Office has published this leaflet which information on the process for making a claim for victims who have suffered damage as a result of a riot.
UK: EXTENDING THE MORATORIUM PERIOD FOR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTS (SAR)
On 14th February, Home Office Circular 8/2018 provides an understanding of the responsibilities of the different agencies when an extension has been sought, and is issued to ensure consistency in practice by law enforcement agencies in the operation of the provisions. Under the proceeds of crime legislation, if one is refused permission to carry on with a transaction after lodging an SAR a 31-day moratorium period commences. This period can be extended to a maximum of 186 days, and the tipping off provisions of POCA 2002 do not apply if an extension is sought (though what can be said and to whom is still limited). If nothing more is heard from the NCA by the end of a moratorium, then consent is deemed to have been given to proceed.
GUATEMALA: ANTI-CORRUPTION BODY RETURNS TO WORK AFTER PRESIDENT FINALLY RELENTS
Telesur on 14th February reported that, after months of trying to ban the anti-corruption commission from carrying out its international mandate, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has finally allowed the International Commission against Corruption in Guatemala (CICIG) members to continue their work.
UKRAINIAN COURT FREEZES UK-BASED ASSETS OF EX-HEAD OF STATE FISCAL SERVICE
112UA on 14th February reported that a district court has arrested $297,730 stored on the British accounts of Roman Nasirov. It says that Nasirov has been holding the sum on his accounts in the UK for 3 years; however, the money was never listed in his declarations that he filed while serving as the government official – except for the declaration that he filed when running for the presidency this year.
1MDB WHISTLEBLOWER UNDER INVESTIGATION IN SWITZERLAND
Swissinfo on 14th February reported that the Swiss Attorney General has opened an investigation, on the grounds of suspected economic espionage, into Xavier Justo, a Swiss citizen and the whistleblower who brought to light the 1MDB corruption scandal. He leaked data from his ex-employer PetroSaudi to show massive siphoning of cash from the 1MDB Malaysian sovereign fund.
AVIATION SECURITY FOR PASSENGERS AND CARGO IF THERE’S NO BREXIT DEAL
On 14th February, the UK Department for Transport published a news release on how possible changes to aviation security would affect businesses and passengers if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal. For cargo security, the UK intends to recognise EU cargo security from the outset, and will not require new cargo security designations for carriers from EU airports. This recognises that security standards are already aligned and equivalent. It will minimise disruption to the European and global cargo networks. The EU has stated that it intends to recognise the UK cargo security regime as equivalent and allow cargo to continue to fly into the EU. This means that cargo can fly from the UK to the EU without a security designation.
FAQ: IMPACT OF BREXIT ON TRADE MARKS
On 13th February, TLT Solicitors published an FAQ on the future of trade marks following Brexit
MISUSE OF INTERPOL’S RED NOTICES AND IMPACT ON HUMAN RIGHTS – RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
In January 2019, the EU Parliament Research Service produced a report which says that international organisations continue to report the abuse by some states of Interpol’s Notice System to persecute national human rights defenders, civil society activists and critical journalists in violation of international standards of human rights. Whilst recent Interpol reforms have made significant impact on safeguarding individuals both substantially and procedurally – considering the significant increase in the number of Notices and Diffusions in the Interpol system, reforms remain to be fully implemented. The report also provides a summary overview of Interpol and the Notice System.
EU PREPAREDNESS AGAINST CBRN WEAPONS
In January 2019, the EU Parliament Research Service produced a report saying that EU continue to strengthen capacities in the field of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) preparedness and response. The use of EU mechanisms and Member States’ military assets is one of the possibilities for strengthening prevention capacities that must be explored more thoroughly.
KENYA TO ROLL OUT MOBILE PHONE SERVICE THAT WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO CHECK AUTHENTICITY OF MEDICINES
Illicit Trade on 7th February reported that authorities in Kenya are to roll out a new system that will allow members of the public to check whether their medicines are genuine using their mobile phones. The Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board has said that both locally-produced and imported medicines are to be assigned unique identifier codes that will be used during the verification process.
IRISH HIGH COURT REJECTS CLAIM BY MONEY LAUNDERER OVER STOLEN NORTHERN BANK CASH
On 14th February, RTE reported that the High Court has rejected a claim by a convicted money launderer that the State unlawfully seized millions of pounds in sterling from him which was stolen in the Northern Bank robbery in Belfast in December 2004. Over £26 million was taken in the robbery of which more than £2.4 million was found in Ted Cunningham’s home. He claimed the fact that the money was in his home was “prima facia” evidence that he owned it.
UK GAMBLING ADVERTISING GUIDANCE PROMOTES DATA AND SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
On 13th February, Out-Law reported that stricter standards will apply to gambling adverts in the UK from April this year as regulators address the risk of “irresponsible” marketing and seek to protect children from harm.
IRISH DATA PROTECTION WATCHDOG ISSUES ‘NO DEAL’ BREXIT DATA TRANSFERS GUIDANCE
On 13th February, Out-Law said that businesses in Ireland have been urged to ensure that their transfer of personal data to the UK in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario is compliant with data protection law.
GAMBLING GIANT PADDY POWER BETFAIR HIT BY £49 MILLION TAX DEMAND IN GREECE AND GERMANY
The Mail Online on 13th February reported that the company said a German court found it owes £36 million related to a 2012 tax assessment of Betfair Exchange, which operated there until November that year. It was also hit with a demand for taxes from 2012, 2013 and 2014 financial years which it said was related to Paddy Power’s interim licence in Greece.
OFAC $5 MILLION PENALTY FOR GERMANY-BASED COMPANY FOR SALES TO CUBA
On 14th February, OFAC announced a $5,512,564 penalty against AppliChem GmbH of Darmstadt for 304 violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, as it sold chemical reagents to Cuba. In 2012, the Illinois Tool Works Inc (ITW), based in Glenview, Illinois, acquired AppliChem, a German company that manufactures chemicals and reagents for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. AppliChem continued to complete and collect on existing orders with Cuban nationals under pre-acquisition contracts following its acquisition by ITW, and ITW submitted a voluntary self-disclosure to OFAC in 2013.