10th April 2019
TAIWAN: NEW TAIPEI CITY WOMAN DETAINED FOR SUSPECTED ROLE IN “LARGEST CURRENCY COUNTERFEITING CASE FOR YEARS”
On 10th April, the Taipei Times reported that woman has been detained for allegedly colluding with a counterfeiting ring in China that forged Japanese yen, US dollars and Deutsche marks that could fool experts. It is said that she in set up a company for the smuggling operation in 2012 and took trips to China to meet with a forgery ring, and would smuggle counterfeit Japanese yen on her return flight to Taiwan. She reportedly had a sales catalogue made up for her customers and also sold the forged bills to intermediaries, who profited by selling the fake bills or spending them at stores.
ACHIEVING COMPLIANCE IN HIRING UNDER US EXPORT CONTROL AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS
Covington & Burley LLP on 3rd April published an article about the February court case where Honda Aircraft was held to have violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against non-US citizens in an attempt to comply with requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). This was the latest in a series of recent enforcement actions pursuant to which DoJ has targeted companies that misinterpreted their duties under the export control laws in a way that violated the INA. Both the ITAR and the EAR impose limitations on who may access regulated technology and software source code, even within the US – to prevent what might be seen as “intangible exports”.
BARBADOS EXPECTED TO “DO CONSIDERABLY BETTER” IN THE UPCOMING MUTUAL EVALUATION EXERCISE BY FATF
The Barbados Advocate on 10th April reported that the country’s Attorney general had said that he expected the country to do considerably better in the upcoming Mutual Evaluation Exercise to be conducted by FATF than it did when the last such exercise was carried out in 2016. He said that in that peer review process Barbados “performed abysmally” in relation to the 40 Recommendations. He spoke as he led off the debate on the Companies (Amendment) Bill and the Charities (Amendment) Bill in the House of Assembly, both of which have to be changed to help the country be compliant with the FATF, and are aimed at AML/CFT.
JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE EUROPEAN SUPERVISORY AUTHORITIES (ESA) HAS PUBLISHED ITS 2018 ANNUAL REPORT
A release on Mondo Visione on 9th April reported that the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESA) – EBA, EIOPA and ESMA – had published its 2018 Annual Report. It says that, in the area of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, the ESA enhanced their focus on ensuring consistent application of AML/CFT rules across the EU and improving standards of AML/CFT supervision – “in a year that presented a number of high-profile cases involving several EU banks”, the report says. At the start of 2018, the ESA focus was on FinTech and how various innovative solutions are used by firms to meet their AML/CFT obligations. Another area of focus was on addressing shortcomings with respect to co-operation and information-sharing, both at domestic level between different authorities and across borders in other EU Member States.
The report is available at –
SINGAPORE: MAS RENEWS CALL FOR USE OF DATA ANALYTICS IN AML/CFT PROGRAMMES
On 9th April, Regulation Asia reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has renewed calls for financial institutions to further develop their data analytics capabilities in the interest of improving the effectiveness of their AML/CFT programmes. MAS is planning to publish a guidance paper on good practices and its findings from thematic inspections in this area. The Payment Services Act, which was passed in January, is said to be an example of MAS’ progressive stance on regulation. The Act will broaden the scope of payment activities covered under MAS’ AML/CFT regulation, while also allow for requirements to be calibrated to firms according to the risks posed by their activities.
RCMP’S EMBRACE OF CIVIL FORFEITURE LETTING MONEY LAUNDERERS OFF THE HOOK IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, EXPERTS SAY
The Globe & Mail on 9th April reported that criminals are exploiting long-standing BC staffing shortages at the RCMP’s money laundering unit, knowing they are unlikely to face criminal charges and that any civil-forfeiture proceedings will only target a fraction of their assets, according to experts.
UK: CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIERS IN CARTEL PROBE
The Irish Independent on 10th April reported that a British company that provides products to construction firms and is also active in Ireland has been accused by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of being involved in a cartel in the UK that sought to reduce competition and inflate prices.
EU URGES COMPANIES TO TAKE PRECAUTIONARY STEPS FOR REACH COMPLIANCE BEFORE BREXIT
On 9th April, HKTDC reported that, on 3rd April, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recommended that companies subject to the REACH framework prepare for UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a transition period, no matter how the future plays out. In its technical notice, ECHA reminded companies to initiate the transfer of REACH registrations and other assets before Brexit takes effect, as, in the event of a hard Brexit (also known as a no-deal Brexit), all registrations will cease to be valid.
On 9th April, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which sets out to answer frequently asked questions about banking scams, and describes the scale of the problem; the types of scam; what help is available for victims; and government and industry action.
REPORT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR AT SMALL UK AIRFIELDS AND AIRPORTS: PROJECT PEGASUS
On 10th April, Border Force issued updated guidance on how to report suspicious or unusual behaviour at a small UK airfield or airport.
REPORT SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR AT SEA: PROJECT KRAKEN
On 10th April, Border Force issued updated guidance on how to report suspicious or unusual behaviour at sea.
UK – CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS ON THE QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF AUDIT
On 10th April, the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published a call for submissions for the independent review by Sir Donald Brydon into the quality and effectiveness of audit. The review will look at audits as a product and what audits should be in the future. It will address the audit expectation gap: the difference between what people think an audit does and what it actually does. It will also look at the scope of an audit, any changes that may need to be made to it and how it can better serve the public interest.
IRISH ECONOMIC CRIME BUREAU TO FIGHT MONEY LAUNDERING INVOLVING MONEY MULES
The PAYPERS website on 10th April reported that the Bureau has been investigating a €2 million money laundering fraud involving 200 “money mules”. It is reported that criminals are recruiting young people to help launder stolen or illegal money using their bank account. In 2018, over 1,600 money mule cases were reported by Irish banks.
AFTER 21 YEARS, UK FRAUD FUGITIVE IS ARRESTED IN SOUTH AFRICA
On 19th April, an NCA news release reported that a British fugitive, Brandon William Pyatt from Manchester, now 64, has been tracked down by NCA officers and arrested in South Africa after 21 years on the run. He was convicted of a serious of fraud and deception offences at Chester Crown Court in 1998 and sentenced to 5 years in prison. As well as being wanted by the NCA for the original offences he is also wanted by South Yorkshire Police, and for fraud and theft offences allegedly committed during his time in South Africa.
MALAYSIA TOPS THE WORLD IN ILLEGAL CIGARETTES
TJI reported on 10th April that Malaysia has the highest penetration of illicit cigarettes in the world, according to a study commissioned by the Confederation of Malaysian Tobacco Manufacturers. Illegal cigarettes are said to have accounted for almost 60%, or 12 billion sticks, of the domestic tobacco market in 2018, an increase of 3.3% from 2017.
EU BRIEFING: PROTECTION OF WHISTLE-BLOWERS
On 10th April, the EU Parliament issued a briefing saying that the proposed new EU Regulation on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of EU law covers a broad swathe of EU law, including money laundering, corporate taxation, data protection, protection of the EU’s financial interests, food and product safety, environmental protection and nuclear safety. The EU Parliament is due to vote on approving a compromise text on the proposal during the final plenary session of this term.
NEW UK TAX ON OFFSHORE IP RECEIPTS NOW IN FORCE
On 10th April, Eversheds Sutherland reported that, with effect from the 6th April, revenue earned by offshore companies from intangible property used to generate UK sales will be subject to UK income tax.
US: TSA LAUNCHES PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ABOUT NEW ID REQUIREMENTS
Homeland Preparedness News on 10th April reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently launched a public awareness campaign to educate travellers on the agency’s new identification requirements from 1st October 2020, anyone who flies will be required to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s licence, or another acceptable form of identification: e.g. US military ID, federal government PIV card or a valid passport. REAL ID-compliant licences have a star on the top of the card.
SANCTIONS AND SMUGGLING ACROSS THE IRAN/IRAQI KURDISTAN BORDER
On 10th April, an illustrated report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime says that smuggling of goods across this border has been happening for decades. Over time, this illicit trade has become consolidated, and operated by well organised criminal networks. It says that a network of businessmen on either side, deploy smugglers or delivery drivers who transfer goods to collection points in the mountainous border regions and Kurdish couriers who carry the goods, by foot or on horseback, on the last part of the route across the border into Iran. Smuggling from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran has financial benefits for the communities on either side of the border. It says that there has been no study relating specifically to how these renewed sanctions on Iran are affecting this smuggling trade. Nor has there been any in-depth study on the types of goods – from wholesale foodstuffs and electrical items to weapons and narcotics – that are smuggled across this border region.
THE IUU ILLEGAL FISHING INDEX
In February, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime published this Index, a tool designed to provide a better understanding of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing worldwide. It analyses and evaluates, state by state, the global implications of IUU fishing, thereby helping policymakers identify where interventions are most needed. IUU fishing is a major threat to ocean ecosystems worldwide, undermining efforts to sustainably manage global fisheries and effectively conserve ocean biodiversity. It is also a significant economic and social disruptor, is detrimental to the legal fishery trade and has been linked to organised crime. The Index which benchmarks countries’ vulnerability, prevalence and response to IUU fishing, based on a suite of 40 indicators. Scores are provided at country, regional and ocean basin levels, and can be filtered by indicator.
US CANCELS BASEBALL AGREEMENT WITH CUBA
On 10th April, the EU Sanctions Blog reported that the US government has rejected a deal negotiated by the Obama administration between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Cuban Baseball Federation (CBF) which allowed players to compete in the US without having to defect from Cuba; OFAC now ruling that payments involved would breach Cuban sanctions regulations.
CARGO HANDLER WFS HAS SEIZED A JET AIRWAYS AIRLINER AT AMSTERDAM FOR NON-PAYMENT
On 10th April, Loadstar reported that a Boeing 777-300ER, due to fly to Mumbai, was held at Schipol airport. It is thought to be one of the aircraft that Jet owns outright, rather than leases. While Jet has already grounded more than 75% of its fleet – some 25 aircraft – over the lack of payments to lessors and staff – the rest of the fleet could also be grounded over non-payment of fuel bills.
In a weekly podcast, TRACE President Alexandra Wrage explores the world of financial crime – corruption, fraud, money laundering and sanctions. Through interviews with investigative reporters, business people and prosecutors, Alexandra examines different angles of financial crime and explores what motivates people to break the law, how wrongdoers cover their tracks and what can be done to put a stop to the looting. In the latest release it provides “Compliance Minutes”, a series of quick discussions on critical topics in anti-bribery.
GLOBAL TRENDS TO 2030 – CHALLENGES AND CHOICES FOR EUROPE
On 10th April, the EU Institute for Strategic Studies published a report from ESPAC, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System provides a framework for co-operation and consultation at administrative level, on a voluntary basis, between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European External Action Service, with the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Investment Bank and the European Union Institute for Security Studies as observers, to work together on medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the EU. What role will Europe play in this fast-changing world? How can the EU ensure that it does not end up a middle power, caught between the US and China? What will it take for Europe to hold its destiny in its own hands in 2030? Amongst its predictions are that international trade will increase, irrespective of the decisions of the US; terrorism will continue to be an issue for Europe as recruitment has not ceased and ideological motivation remains; on climate change, due to an increase in temperature of 1.5 degrees compared to preindustrial times, we will incur economic and environmental damage