18th February 2019
AIRBUS CEO TELLS GERMANY TO REFORM ARMS POLICY FOR GOOD OF EUROPE
NASDAQ on 16th February reported that the Airbus CEO urged Germany to press ahead with plans to create common European regulations on arms exports, saying the issue posed a litmus test for Berlin’s ambitions to foster a European defence policy, and said that without a common European approach Airbus could consider manufacturing German-free products. For example, after Germany decided to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia the decision has blocked the export licence for the sale of the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, which is supposed to equip the Saudi Air Force Eurofigher Typhoon.
INDONESIA: BAUXITE MINING ACTIVITIES CONTINUE ON ISLANDS DESPITE BAN
On 17th February, Antara News reported that bauxite mining on the islands of Angkut, Dendang and Bukit Batu in Bintan District, Riau Islands Province, still continue despite a ban on mining activities on small islands after serious environmental damage.
NORWEGIAN TAX ADMINISTRATION AND DEN NORSKE BANK (DNB) JOIN FORCES WITH UNIVERSITY OF OSLO AND THE NORWEGIAN COMPUTING CENTER TO OUTMANOEUVRE FINANCIAL CRIMINALS
On 18th February, Science Nordic carried an article saying that the underground economy in Norway is flourishing, with each year, at least NOK 150 billion in direct and indirect taxes is lost to evasion. The Norwegian Tax Administration, Gjensidige Forsikring and Den norske Bank (DnB) have now joined forces with researchers at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Computing Center to outmanoeuvre financial criminals. Their project has been called “Personalised Fraud Detection”. Thanks to new digital capabilities, they will have access to far more information than in the past. One of the Tax Administration’s main issues is to find new ways to expose those who cheat on reporting VAT. The project is part of BigInsight, a centre for research-based innovation at UiO. The centre’s speciality is developing all-new statistical methods to uncover irregular patterns in enormous amounts of data.
AUSTRALIA: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROBED OVER AWARDING OF MANUS ISLAND SECURITY CONTRACTS
ABC News reported on 17th February that more than $420 million over nearly 2 years is going to a relatively unknown company, the Paladin Group, that was registered to a beach shack on Kangaroo Island and a PO box in Singapore. Manus Island in Papua New Guinea is one of 2 offshore places (the other is Nauru) where Australia houses would-be asylum-seekers.
LOBBY GROUPS SAY EQUATORIAL GUINEA ON REVENGE MISSION
On 17th February, The East African reported that lobby groups are accusing Equatorial Guinea of waging a vendetta war against anti-corruption crusaders. The accusations come as warrants were issued for 16 individuals accused of money laundering and financing terrorism. Those wanted include a French anti-corruption lawyer, Mr William Bourdon, and 9 human rights and anti-corruption advocates. Amnesty International said in a statement that the arrest warrants were in apparent retaliation for the trial against President Teodoro Obiang’ Nguema’s eldest son for his involvement in money laundering.
MALDIVES: FORMER LEGAL DIRECTOR MINISTER CHARGED WITH AIDING MONEY LAUNDERING AND GIVING FALSE INFORMATION TO STATE AUTHORITIES
On 17th February, Rajje reported that former legal director minister Azima Shakoor has been charged with aiding former President Abdulla Yameen with money laundering and giving false information to state authorities. Yameen has been charged over his illegal financial transactions when he was president.
SOUTH AFRICA: BUSHIRI’S LAWYERS WILL FIGHT FOR HIM TO KEEP HIS LUXURY JET
Times Live on 17th February reported that self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s private jet is subject to an application of attachment by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. The founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church and his wife are currently facing fraud and money laundering charges.
RUSSIA’S GAZPROMBANK “FREEZES ACCOUNTS OF VENEZUELA’S PDVSA”
KYC 360 on 18th February carried a report claiming that Gazprombank has decided to freeze the accounts of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and halted transactions with the firm to reduce the risk of the bank falling under US sanctions.
FBI RAIDS PUERTO RICO BANK AMID VENEZUELA SANCTION PROBE
On 18th February, KYC 360 reported that FBI agents raided BSJI bank in Puerto Rico amid allegations over violations of US sanctions imposed on those who do business with Venezuela’s government.
ENGLISH COURT PROVIDES GUIDANCE FOR COMMENCING PROCEEDINGS ON FOREIGN DEFENDANTS
On 14th February, Lathams published an article saying that in Punjab National Bank (International) Limited v Ravi Srinivasan and others the English Court has set aside permission to bring proceedings against foreign defendants based on non-disclosures and subsequent conduct. It provides guidance on the proper conduct of an application for service out of the jurisdiction and highlights the potential pitfalls an applicant may encounter. It recalls need for full and frank disclosure, particularly of related foreign proceedings or when new material facts arise, and plead fraud with care and precision.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1540 (2004)
The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs has produced a factsheet on UN SCR 1540, which established a programme of action to prevent non-state actors, in particular terrorists, from proliferating nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It is, for example, one of the requirements taken into account by FATF and FATF-style regional bodies during assessments. The Security Council decided that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-state actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and requires all states to adopt and enforce appropriate effective laws to this effect. The Resolution also requires all states to establish various types of domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of such weapons and their related materials.
CHINA SEIZES $1.5 BILLION IN ONLINE LENDING CRACKDOWN
On 18th February, Associated Press reported that China’s policy ministry says it investigated 380 online lenders and froze $1.5 billion in assets in a crackdown following an avalanche of scandals in the huge but lightly regulated industry. Regulators have steadily tightened control over Chinese online lenders following a string of failures and fraud cases that prompted protests and complaints of official indifference to small investors.
FATF ASIA PACIFIC GROUP “SATISFIED WITH PAKISTAN PERFORMANCE”
On 18th February, the News International in Pakistan reported that the Asia Pacific Group (APG) – the regional FATF-style body – has presented its report to the International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) expressing satisfaction over the measures taken by Pakistan to curb terror financing and money laundering, The News reports.
VANUATU OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF ABUSE OF POWER AMID CORRUPTION CLAIMS
Radio New Zealand on 18th February reported that an anti-corruption activist in Vanuatu alleges that the country’s Public Service Commissioner abused her power while investigating corruption allegations. The Commissioner was one of 2 officials to push for criminal charges against people who alleged her recruitment process was unfair.
SHIPPING RADIOACTIVE WASTE AND SPENT FUEL AFTER A NO-DEAL BREXIT
On 18th February, the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a news release which outlines what operators need to do to move radioactive waste and spent fuel to and from EU countries if the UK leaves without a deal. It will still be a criminal offence to ship radioactive waste and spent fuel without valid authorisation and documentation, and if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, operators may need to get new authorisations to ship radioactive waste or spent fuel.
CHINESE REPORTS OF ARREST OF 6 INDIVIDUALS BUYING AND SELLING LUXURY GOODS TO LAUNDER THE PROCEEDS OF NARCOTICS CRIME
Kenneth Rijock in his blog posted on 17th February that an English translation of a Chinese website reported that law enforcement authorities in Paris have arrested 6 Chinese nationals, all engaged in the local purchase and resale in China of high-end luxury goods, for the purpose of laundering the proceeds of narcotics crime. The individuals allegedly were involved in more than the equivalent of more than $5 million in purchases.
GUERNSEY TO GROW MEDICINAL CANNABIS
The Jersey Evening Post on 18th February reported that a Guernsey company has been given the green light to grow medicinal cannabis and work with a UK-based team to cultivate the plant for use in the health-and-wellbeing market.
MALTA HAS SUSPENDED THE GAMING LICENCE OF WORLD-OF-BETS.EU
On 18th February, Intergame reported that the Malta Gaming Authority has suspended the gaming licence of World-of-bets.eu with effect from 15th February.
UK TRADE FINANCE CHALLENGER BANK DIASPORA PREPARES
On 15th February, Banking Tech reported that London-based Diaspora is getting ready to spread its wings with the launch of its trade finance challenger bank. The idea is apparently to build a trade finance ecosystem where sellers, buyers, and funders can transact international trade and commodity finance deals over the blockchain. Diaspora plans to offer SME “bespoke” funding solutions, including invoice factoring.
KALASHNIKOV UNVEILS SUICIDE DRONE
The Alert 5 website showed on 18th February a short video, saying that Russia’s Kalashnikov Group has unveiled its suicide drone dubbed KUB-BLA at the IDEX-2019 arms exhibition in the UAE.
UK: HIGH COURT TO HEAR MODERN SLAVERY CLAIMS ON BEHALF OF LITHUANIAN WORKERS
Ekklesia on 18th February carried an article about a 4-day trial in the High Court which will hear the claims of 11 Lithuanian workers who allege they were trafficked to the UK and put to work in gruelling conditions catching chickens at farms all over the UK. The farms supplied chickens and eggs for brands such as ‘Happy Eggs’, available in supermarkets across Britain. The claimants allege they were beaten by supervisors, housed in filthy and overcrowded conditions, deprived of rest, and that a Lithuanian ‘middle-man’ threatened them with eviction, violence and aggressive Rottweiler dogs.
UK: ESTATE AGENTS MUST STEP UP TO MARK ON MONEY LAUNDERING, SAYS SENIOR GOVERNMENT CRIME EXPERT
The Negotiator on 18th February reported that the number of estate agents filing SAR has increased by 30% over the past 12 months but still only represents a tiny minority of the total number submitted. The Director for Economic Crime, Cyber Crime and Corruption Richard Riley revealed that estate agents filed 710 SAR last year, an improvement on previous efforts but representing just 0.15% of the national total.
HONG KONG WATCHDOG ISSUES RECORD FINE TO CHINESE BROKER OVER FAILURE TO REPORT MONEY LAUNDERING
The South China Morning Post reported on 18th February that the SFC had fined mainland Chinese state-owned firm Guosen Securities (HK) Brokerage a record HK$15.2 million (US$1.9 million) for failure to report money laundering activity. The fine surpasses the previous highest one of HK$6 million in 2014.
UK: DEDICATED CARD AND PAYMENT CRIME UNIT PREVENTS RECORD £94 MILLION OF LOSSES
On 18th February, UK Finance reported on the work of the DCPCU, a specialist anti-fraud police unit sponsored by the finance industry – bringing the unit’s total estimated savings from reduced fraud activity to £600 million since it was established in April 2002. It also secured 48 convictions and disrupted 11 organised crime groups in 2018.
UK NOTICE TO EXPORTERS 2019/04 – SOFTWARE OPEN EXPORT LICENCES UPDATED
On 18th February, the Department of International Trade announced the publication of the new Notice about changes to 3 Open General Export Licences (OGEL) for military goods and software. The changes made reflect a review of the software entries in Schedule 2 of the Export Control (Order) 2008 – ML21.b.4, which refers to software that is both specially designed for military use and specially designed for command, communications, control and intelligence (C3I) applications, or command, communications, control, computer and intelligence (C4I) applications.
UK RENEWS 3 TERRORISM SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS
On 18th February, HM Treasury published a Notice saying that the designation of 3 persons under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA) had been renewed – Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN, Abdelkarim AL-NASSER and Ibrahim AL-YACOUB.
INTERNATIONAL JOINT INVESTIGATION TEAMS (INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS) (EU EXIT) ORDER 2019
This UK SI (SI 2019/274) will ensure that, following its exit from the EU, the UK can continue lawfully to participate in JIT with EU Member States that have not incorporated into domestic law the Second Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 1959, but which have adopted certain relevant UN Conventions, and which this Order will designate into UK law. Currently, the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union and the Council Framework Decision on joint investigation teams together provide the legal bases in EU law on which competent authorities of 2 or more Member States may set up a JIT. Following the UK’s exit, the legal basis for JIT with EU Member States will be provided, in most cases, by the Second Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 1959 – with gaps in coverage provided by the designation of 3 UN Conventions by this SI – the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime 2000; the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988; and the United Nations Convention against Corruption 2003.
IRELAND: COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR DEVELOPER WHO OWES €1 MILLION TO REVENUE
On 18th February, the Irish Times reported that James Jordan, a property developer who owed more than €1 million in unpaid taxes and penalties has received 240 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty to knowingly and wilfully submitting 16 incorrect VAT returns, 6 incorrect income tax returns, 4 incorrect invoices and 3 false claims of income tax relief.
MONEY LAUNDERER CAUGHT AFTER CHRISTIE’S AUCTION HOUSE REPORTED FRAUD ATTEMPT
On 18th February, a news release from the NCA said that a prolific money launderer who processed more than £6 million has been convicted after a NCA investigation. Kazeem Akinwale, 43, was caught after Christie’s auction house reported an attempted diversion fraud. In March 2016, the auction house informed the NCA that hackers had spoofed an employee’s email address, trying to divert the payment for a customer invoice into a new bank account.
MAN USED LAUNDERED MONEY TO PAY OFF £96,000 COURT ORDER FOR FRAUD
The Metro on 18th February reported that a criminal used laundered money to pay cash he owed to the government after being jailed for running a counterfeiting operation. John Farrell, 61, used £75,000 in VAT repayments to pay back most of a £96,000 confiscation order. The order had been imposed after a jail sentence for running a counterfeiting operation at a factory in East Kilbride producing fake banknotes.
IRELAND: FSAI DEVELOPS NEW DNA FOOD SCANNING TOOL TO CLAMP DOWN ON FOOD FRAUD
The Journal on 18th February reported that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has developed a new scanning tool to identify the entire DNA content of food in a bid to clamp down on misleading labelling and food fraud. The analytical tool, which can identify all the ingredients and biological sources in a food, will help the FSAI to protect consumers.
ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER FACES KIDNAP CHARGES FOR CONFINING MIGRANTS ON SHIP FOR 5 DAYS
Reuters reported on 18th February that Italian interior minister and senator Matteo Salvini could lose his legal immunity if his own party decides he should face trial on kidnapping charges. In August he ordered 150 migrants aboard an Italian coast guard ship held for 5 days. His party says that never in the past has the judiciary asked parliament to authorise a trial for a minister who had acted in the performance of his duties.
FORMER INTERNATIONAL CRICKETER AND 2 OTHER MEN DENY CONSPIRING TO OFFER BRIBES TO CRICKET PLAYERS IN THE PAKISTAN SUPER LEAGUE
The BBC on 18th February reported that Nasir Jamshed, an ex-opening batsman for Pakistan, Yousef Anwar and Mohammed Ijaz were arrested after an inquiry into alleged spot-fixing by the NCA. All 3 defendants entered not guilty pleas at Manchester Crown Court.
FORMER MALDIVES PRESIDENT JAILED UNTIL END OF MONEY LAUNDERING TRIAL
UPI reported on 18th February that Abdulla Yameen, former president of the Maldives has been taken into custody until his money laundering trial is completed.
ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING
On 18th February, the EU Parliament Research Service produced a briefing paper about the IUU Regulation (1005/2008), which is the core of EU’s legal framework for action against global IUU fishing. Its primary objective is to prevent, deter and eliminate the trade of IUU-caught products into the EU. One of its key components is a multiple-step procedure for dealing with non-EU countries considered unco-operative in the fight against IUU fishing