AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES WHISTLEBLOWING BILL

Global Compliance News reported on 26th March that the House of Representatives has passed the Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2018.  Although the Bill is yet to receive royal assent, the new whistleblowing legislation will most likely commence operation on 1st July.  The Bill, which was amended in its passage through the Senate in December last year, will consolidate and expand the existing private sector whistleblowing regime.  The Bill includes an expansion of the types of persons that qualify for whistleblowing protections – these protections also extend to whistleblowers who disclose misconduct relating to an entity’s tax affairs; and the requirement for public and certain larger private companies to have in place compliant whistleblowing policies.

https://globalcompliancenews.com/australian-parliament-passes-whistleblowing-bill-20190219/

UBER FREIGHT LAUNCHING IN EUROPE – AND ITS EUROPEAN RIVALS

Silicon Canals in the Netherlands on 22nd March reported that Uber is planning to expand its lesser-known service called Uber Freight in Europe in April.  This new business from Uber aims to helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies, and comes a couple of years after it entered the US market in an attempt to revitalise the trucking industry and bring new opportunities to both carriers and shippers across the country.  The article focuses on 9 other European start-ups hoping to give Uber competition.

https://siliconcanals.nl/news/startups/uber-freight-launching-in-europe-9-local-startups-which-can-give-the-tech-giant-a-run-for-its-money/

CROSS-BORDER CANNABIS INVESTMENT: MANAGING MONEY LAUNDERING RISK

On 25th March, White & Case published an article saying that Canada legalised recreational cannabis in October 2018 and it may be that other countries follow suit.  UK and US investors, and those who facilitate investments in legal recreational cannabis businesses overseas, need to be aware of money laundering risks that arise and what they can do to protect themselves.  It points out that, in the UK, cannabis is a controlled drug and it remains unlawful to possess, produce, grow and sell cannabis for recreational purposes.  While it may be legal in Canada, funds generated due to investment in the recreational cannabis sector may be classified as proceeds of crime in the UK.  In the US, funds derived strictly from Canada’s legal cannabis sector may not necessarily represent proceeds of crime, but there are sufficient risks for a US investor to be wary – and it says the situation in the US is far from straightforward.  The article suggests that, if UK investors, or others, are concerned that they may commit a substantive money laundering offence relating to investing in overseas cannabis production or distribution, they can make a SAR seeking consent to proceed from the NCA.  If consent is granted, then the investor will have a defence to a substantive money laundering offence in relation to the relevant transaction.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/cross-border-cannabis-investment-41915/

EXTRATERRITORIAL REACH OF THE CLOUD ACT

Swiss law firm Meyerlustenberger Lachenal published an article on 24th March about the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act), enacted in the US last year.  It allows the US government to access – under certain circumstances – data stored worldwide.  It considers the possible effects of the Act for Swiss companies – saying that they must be aware of the risks associated with choosing a cloud provider that is potentially subject to the CLOUD Act.  The articles says that CLOUD Act allows US government authorities to avoid international mutual legal assistance rules and tools, and it also establishes a framework for bilateral agreements on cross-border data requests.

https://www.mll-news.com/extraterritorial-reach-of-the-cloud-act/

 

UK COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS DISCLOSURE ORDER DESPITE RISK OF PROSECUTION IN IRAN

On 22nd March, Herbert Smith Freehills published an article saying that the Court of Appeal has upheld a first instance decision requiring the claimant Iranian bank to produce customer documents in unredacted form, subject to measures to protect their confidentiality, despite the fact that compliance would put the claimant in breach of Iranian law; and, it says, gives a helpful illustration of the court’s approach where a party asserts that the production of documents under its disclosure obligations will contravene foreign criminal law.  The article contrasts this decision with that of the High Court where the court declined to grant a party permission to use documents received on disclosure in the English litigation in order to comply with a US grand jury subpoena.  It says that the decisions highlight the difficulties that may be faced by a party that finds itself caught between conflicting obligations in this way.

https://hsfnotes.com/litigation/2019/03/22/court-of-appeal-upholds-disclosure-order-despite-risk-of-prosecution-in-iran

 

 

GERMAN FREIGHT FORWARDER SILENT ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS INVESTIGATION

NK News on 26th March reported that the forwarder, Müller + Partner, was previously linked to companies accused of luxury goods shipments to DPRK; and it failed to respond to multiple inquiries by the UN Panel of Experts regarding its role in the transport of sanctioned goods to North Korea, the Panel’s latest report indicates.  Müller + Partner, which says it received an “operation license for Pyongyang, North Korea” in 2000, was linked in the report to Singaporean firms OCN and T Specialist, both of which are under investigation for exporting sanctioned luxury goods to the DPRK.

https://www.nknews.org/2019/03/german-freight-forwarder-silent-on-north-korea-sanctions-investigation/

 

FRANCE BANS IRAN’S AIRLINE MAHAN AIR FOR TRANSPORTING ARMS AND TROOPS TO SYRIA AND OTHER WAR ZONES

On 25th March, the Saudi Gazette reported that France has banned flights in and out of the country by Iran’s Mahan Air, following Germany in doing so, and following pressure from the US.  The French ban on the airline, which had 4 flights a week to Paris from Tehran, takes effect from April 1st, and the airline’s website is no longer taking reservations and calls to its offices in Paris were not answered.  Mahan Air, established in 1992 as Iran’s first private airline, has the country’s largest fleet of aircraft and has flights to a number of European countries, including France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/561934/World/France-bans-Irans-airline-for-flying-arms-troops-to-Syria-elsewhere