17th April 2019
SUPREME COURT RULES THAT UK COURTS THE CORRECT JURISDICTION TO BRING CLAIM AGAINST ZAMBIAN MINING SUBSIDIARY
On 17th April, Gowling WLG published an article saying that, in a judgment that could have far reaching effects for UK incorporated companies with foreign subsidiaries, the Supreme Court has decided that 1,826 Zambian citizens are entitled to bring a group action in the UK courts in respect of alleged harm to their health and farming activities arising out of toxic discharges into waterways from the nearby Nchanga Copper Mine over many years.
GUIDANCE: ARRESTED AND DETAINED VESSELS, AND ABANDONED SEAFARERS
The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) is a membership organisation which works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers all over the world. It has produced guidance which aims to assist port welfare committee members and welfare agencies dealing with incidents of seafarers being abandoned and vessels being arrested or detained. It outlines the responsibilities of the authorities and other organisations that might become involved when problems are identified aboard a vessel whilst in port.
MEXICAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL RETURN STOLEN WEALTH TO THE PEOPLE
KYC 360 on 17th April reported that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he will create a “Robin Hood” institute to return to the people the ill-gotten wealth seized from corrupt politicians and gangsters – and would put confiscated goods such as real estate, jewellery and cars into the public’s hands.
CANADA HITS VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT WITH MORE SANCTIONS
The Gleaner in Jamaica on 17th April reported that Canada has imposed more sanctions on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro – against 43 high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including regional governors, allegedly implicated in the undermining of democratic institutions. Canada had already sanctioned 70 other people linked to Maduro’s government.
DERIPASKA SAYS HIS GAZ MOTOR GROUP MAY COLLAPSE DUE TO SANCTIONS
Bloomberg on 16th April reported that Oleg Deripaska, the Russian billionaire, said his GAZ Group may not survive if the company is not removed from the US sanctions lists. The main plant of the group in Nizhniy Novgorod was started in 1932 by the Soviet Union with the help of the Ford Motor Company, and Deripaska took control in the 2000s. GAZ is still working with Volkswagen AG and the 2 companies recently held talks to deepen an 8-year-old car-making partnership.
ISLAMIC STATE REPORTEDLY HAS AS MUCH AS $300 MILLION
On 17th April, the website Celebrity Net Worth reported that a UN report from business intelligence consulting firm, Alaco says that the remaining money, much of it derived from “taxation, extortion, theft, oil smuggling,” and various other activities may allow it to maintain its operations into the future despite its officially proclaimed military defeats.
UPDATE ON CAYMAN ISLANDS SUPERVISORY INSPECTIONS
On 9th April, Walkers published an article about a recent Advisory from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority summarising its findings from the on-site inspections it conducted of licensed entities last year. It provides a summary of the key points. There were 164 inspections in 2018, a 40% increase from 2017. It says that the largest percentage inspected were banks with a class B licence (23%), while mutual fund administrators (17.7%), company managers (13.1%) and trusts (12.8 %) – together making up almost 50% of all inspections. It is expected that as a result of the recent CFATF mutual evaluation report there will be changes to CIMA’s supervisory regime, the article says.
FULFILMENT HOUSE DUE DILIGENCE SCHEME REGISTERED BUSINESSES LIST
On 17th April, HMRC published a list allowing one to check if the business that stores your goods in the UK is registered with the Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme if you’re a trader based outside of the EU.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU EGYPT SANCTIONS
A news release from the EU on 17th April reported that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova and Georgia have agreed to align themselves with the EU sanctions regime in respect of Egypt.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SYRIAN SANCTIONS
A news release from the EU on 16th April reported that North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova and Georgia have agreed to align themselves with the EU sanctions regime in respect of Syria.
THE ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON CRISIS: APRIL 2019 UPDATE
On 17th April, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper providing an update, saying that relations between the largely Anglophone regions of Cameroon and the country’s dominant Francophone elite have long been fraught. Over the past 3 years, tensions have escalated seriously and since October 2017 violent conflict has erupted between armed separatist groups and the security forces, with both sides being accused of committing human rights abuses.
PERU’S EX-PRESIDENT ALAN GARCIA ‘SHOOTS HIMSELF’ MOMENTS BEFORE POLICE ARREST AMID MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE
The Daily Mail on 17th April reported that the former President of Peru has reportedly shot himself in the neck just moments before police barged down his front door to arrest him. Alan Garcia, 69, was supposed to face questioning for alleged money laundering but has been rushed to Casimiro Ulloa hospital in Lima after putting a bullet in himself, a police source has said. He is currently under investigation after allegedly accepting bribes from Brazilian construction titan Odebrecht in return for contracts during his most recent spell in office.
UK: FRC TO TARGET AUDITORS’ WORK ON FRAUD
On 17th April, ICAEW reported that auditors can expect to come under greater pressure from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the coming year over their work on going concern and fraud risk, and will include “addressing the need for auditors to do more work now to assess whether companies are a going concern and to address the risk of fraud”.
LEBANON SEIZES 142 KG OF ILLICIT DRUGS IN MAJOR BUST WITH HELP FROM SAUDI AUTHORITIES
On 15th April, Customs Today reported that police in Lebanon have seized more than 800,000 pills of the stimulant Captagon worth about $12 million in an operation co-ordinated with Saudi authorities. It says that Captagon is commonly used in the Syrian war, where fighters say it helps them stay awake for days and numbs their senses. The drug is classified by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as an “amphetamine-type stimulant” and usually blends amphetamines, caffeine and other substances.
7 PEOPLE ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTING TO SMUGGLE 16 MILLION COUNTERFEIT CIGARETTES FROM POLAND TO DENMARK
Customs Today on 17th April reported that Danish law enforcement arrested the people, who are thought to be connected to a wider-ranging smuggling network.
MEMBER OF HONG KONG’S ENDANGERED SPECIES BOARD FINED FOR IVORY TRADING
On 15th April, Customs Today reported that a Hong Kong ivory trader fined for illegal ivory possession sits on a government advisory group for protecting endangered species, records showed, potentially an embarrassing blow as Hong Kong fights ivory smuggling.
HIGH COURT REFUSES TO REMOVE CHARGE DESPITE MORTGAGE FRAUD AND VOID TRANSFER
An article from Walker Morris on 16th April reported that, in a recent case, the High Court considered ‘exceptional circumstances’ which may justify a court not making an order for alteration of HM Land Register despite a transfer being void for fraud. It says that lenders will welcome this High Court decision which emphasises how difficult it can be for a claimant – even a clear victim of fraud – to have a registered legal charge removed from the register.
THE GHOST SHIPS OF LAGOS: HOW WRECKS HAVE BECOME A HAVEN FOR CRIME ON NIGERIA’S COASTLINE
Hellenic Shipping News on 17th April carried an article about the (perhaps “hundreds” of) wrecks of ships are found in Lagos. It says that experts say the wrecks act as groynes, halting the flow of sand down shore and accelerating erosion. There are also suspicions that amid lax marine laws, companies treat Lagos’ waters as a ship graveyard, avoiding the expense of properly disposing of old vessels. Lack of regulation has also helped illicit activity thrive, turning the ghost ships into hideouts for sea criminals.
PODCAST: SURPRISING BRIBERY SCHEMES
In the latest TRACE podcast, Rupert Younger of Oxford’s Centre for Corporate Reputation and Alexandra discuss some novel bribery schemes at Berkeley’s 2019 “Fraudfest”. (The sound quality reflects the conference setting).