On 1 March, White & Case published an article saying that, with Brexit looming, the UK’s autonomous sanctions policy is slowly taking shape. The regulations setting out the post-Brexit UK sanctions regimes for Iran, Burma and Venezuela, which will come into force in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, have been published. However, the more difficult aspects of the UK’s post-Brexit sanctions regimes are still to be determined. After examining the new regulations it says that they show that, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK’s new sanctions regimes would include material changes. Businesses would need to pay attention to avoid being caught out by reliance on their understanding of the old regimes, particularly as OFSI appears to be willing to act on even minor breaches
On 6 March, it was reported by KYC 360 that the move comes as other central banks move away from large notes because of concerns about their use by criminals and money launderers.
5 March 2019
CYPRUS YACHT LEASING SCHEME
On 28 February, Chrysses Demetriades & Co published an article saying that Cyprus has introduced a leasing scheme for yachts, whereby a pleasure yacht may be leased by a Cyprus company, as lessor, to a third party, as lessee, who may be any person or company regardless of country of residence or incorporation; and for a period of time not less than 91 days or not exceeding 48 months.
QATAR BOYCOTT: RESTRICTIONS ON MARITIME TRANSPORT EASED?
On 4 March, an article from Clyde & Co posed this question. It said that, since June 2017, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt had instituted restrictions on transport to and from Qatar, including on vessels calling at Qatar. However, on 12 February Abu Dhabi Ports issued an updated Direction in relation to the implementation of restrictions against Qatar. However, there is still some confusion, it says, and the UAE Federal Transport Authority issued a statement on 21 February stating that the embargo between Qatar and the UAE remains unchanged and that a clarification would be issued to the ports.
FBI LAUNCHES NEW MIAMI SQUAD TO ROOT OUT INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION
Business Insider reported this on 4 March, saying that the squad will focus its efforts not only on Miami but also in South America. The Miami squad joins 3 others based in the FBI’s largest field offices — Washington, New York and Los Angeles.
VANUATU’S PRESIDENT TO PARDON CONVICTED FORMER MPs
Radio New Zealand on 5 March reported that Vanuatu’s president plans to pardon 14 former MPs who were convicted and jailed of bribery and corruption in 2015. They were part of a scheme led by former prime minister Moana Carcassess, who paid MPs to support his motion to topple then-Prime Minister Joe Natuman.
POLICE RAID DOZENS OF “EMPTY” HAGUE APARTMENTS
The NL Times on 5 March reported that police suspect that criminals stay in these apartments – they’re rented out, but officially no one is registered as living there.
ISRAELI FORMER GENERAL DENIES SUPPLYING WEAPONS TO SOUTH SUDAN – DESPITE OFAC LISTING
On 5 March, the Sudan Tribune carried a story saying that a former Israeli army general and businessman, Israel Ziv, has denied supplying weapons to the South Sudanese government during the 5-year armed conflict in the country. In December 2018, Ziv together with 2 South Sudanese nationals, were designated by OFAC “for being leaders of firms that supplied the Government of South Sudan with weapons and ammunition”. It says that the Jerusalem Post reported that the former general has appeared before the Israeli Defence Ministry to investigate with him into the allegations of selling arms to South Sudan.
UK: RESPONSE TO CALL FOR EVIDENCE ON THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
On 5 March, the Attorney General’s Office published a news release containing its response to its Call for Evidence on the impact of social media on criminal trials.
Social media not a major threat to criminal justice, says Attorney General’s Office
ISLE OF MAN ANNOUNCES UPDATE OF SYRIA SANCTIONS LISTS
A news release on 5 March announced that the 7 names recently added to EU and UK Syria sanctions lists were also listed in the Island.
ISLE OF MAN CHIEF MINISTER MAKES URGENT STATEMENT TO ISLAND PARLIAMENT OVER UK BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTER MOVES
A news release from the Isle of Man Government on 5 March contained an “urgent statement” made to Tynwald by the Chief Minister on that day. He said that, as stated in the joint statement with Jersey and Guernsey, the deferral of consideration of the Bill provides the Island with the opportunity to undertake real and meaningful engagement with the UK Government regarding public registers. He also said that, as a Crown Dependency along with Jersey and Guernsey, the Isle of Man is not represented in the UK Parliament; and it is therefore a long-standing convention that the UK does not legislate on domestic matters for Crown Dependencies [n.b. as with most British constitutional law, it remains only a “convention”, and probably, legally, the UK could legislate for each of them if it so wished]. He also said that there is no EU Member State or internationally-recognised model of public register which provides the required standard of accuracy in addition to balancing concerns regarding privacy and the safety of individuals’ data; but the Island was “fully committed to working globally in helping to define what those standards could look like in the future”.
ELITE UK SCHOOLS TOOK SHADY MONEY, EU BANK LEAK SHOWS
EU Observer on 5 March reported that several of Britain’s elite private schools received money from shady offshore firms with ties to fraud in Russia, according to documents obtained by the OCCRP. It claims that Charterhouse school received €350,000 from a St Lucia-based firm linked to a fuel tax scam at a Moscow airport and to the Troika Laundromat money-laundering operation.
FOREIGN INVESTMENT SCREENING: NEW EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK TO ENTER INTO FORCE IN APRIL
The EU on 5 March reported that the Council of the EU had approved a new framework to screen foreign direct investments coming into the EU, thus concluding the legislative process.
MUTUAL ASSISTANCE ON CUSTOMS AND AGRICULTURAL MATTERS (REVOCATION) (EU EXIT) REGULATIONS 2019
These Regulations revoke legislation relating to mutual assistance in relation to the application of the law on customs and agricultural matters: following the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. This instrument will revoke Council Regulation (EC) No. 515/97 on mutual assistance as this mutual assistance is based on an agreement which is limited to Member States.
US ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS EXTENDED FOR ANOTHER YEAR
On 5 March, Defence Web reported that President Trump has extended by a year sanctions against Zimbabwe saying the new government’s policies continue to pose an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to US foreign policy.
US: OVER $25 MILLION IN FORFEITED FUNDS – PART OF A SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO ROOT OUT FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING IN AFGHANISTAN
On 5 March, the US DoJ issued a news release saying that it has reached a settlement of its civil forfeiture case against assets owned by Hikmatullah Shadman that he wrongfully acquired as a government contractor in Afghanistan. The civil settlement is part of a global settlement that involved the resolution of a criminal case and False Claims Act allegations.
EU TO BROADEN TAX HAVEN BLACKLIST, WEIGHS UAE, BERMUDA LISTING
Reuters on 5 March reported that 10 jurisdictions could be added to a draft tax haven blacklist, including the UAE and Bermuda, an EU official told Reuters, in a move that would triple the number of listed countries. The existing list includes only 5 jurisdictions: Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and the 3 US territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.
ARMENIAN PHILANTHROPIST AT CENTRE OF NEW LAUNDERING SCANDAL
Eurasianet on 5 March reported on the OCCRP Troika Laundromat affair, saying this new investigation has uncovered a money laundering scheme close to Armenia’s most famous philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan. Vardanyan was the head and controlling shareholder of Troika Dialog, once Russia’s largest private investment bank.
CORK BUSINESSES AND IRISH TV STARS INCLUDED IN REVENUE’S LIST OF TAX DEFAULTERS
On 5 March, Eco Live in Ireland reported on the latest list of tax defaulters. This includes news that Transbound Limited, a Cork haulage company has been ordered to pay just short of €1 million to Revenue in respect of underdeclaration of VAT.
INTERPOL’S RED NOTICES AND EXTRADITION: WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE’S NO EXTRADITION TREATY?
Estlund Law on 5 March published an article to answer the question: what would happen next as the Interpol Red Notice is issued by a country with no treaty in place with the country to which you have travelled- does that mean you could get released, or could they still request your extradition?