OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 5

5th May 2019

 GUYANA: FORMER CARIBBEAN ANTI-FINANCIAL CRIMES BOSS SAYS REMAINING OFF THE BLACKLIST KEY TO OIL SECTOR

Demerara Waves on 4th May reported that the former Executive Director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has cautioned that if Guyana does not maintain a clean bill of financial health, oil companies and staff would encounter bottlenecks in sending their profits and earnings overseas.  Since 2000, most Caribbean countries have been blacklisted by the CFATF, FATF, OECD, the Financial Stability Forum and the EU and other watchdogs; but Guyana has since been taken off the FATF blacklist.  However, the former CFATF Executive Director said Guyana has to be prepared for a CFATF on-site assessment next year.

https://demerarawaves.com/2019/05/04/former-caribbean-anti-financial-crimes-boss-says-remaining-off-the-blacklist-key-to-oil-sector/

UK PLANS REFORM OF COMPANIES REGISTER

On 5th May, Bloomberg reported that Companies House has plans to change the corporate registration system to increase the transparency of company ownership and management information while protecting personal data to prevent fraud.  Directors will be able to suppress personal details such as addresses, whilst making it clearer who is setting up, managing and controlling companies, improving the accuracy and usability of data on the register, and improving information sharing on company accounts to ensure “faster and more sophisticated identification of possible criminal activity.  The consultation was launched on 5th May

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-04/u-k-to-reform-companies-register-to-protect-data-of-executives

https://repairschematic.com/uk-plans-biggest-overhaul-of-companies-house-in-170-years/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-and-consumers-to-be-given-increased-protections-from-criminal-activity

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/corporate-transparency-and-register-reform

HEAD OF BELARUS NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY DETAINED IN MINSK

UA Wire on 5th May reported that the General Director of the leading telecommunications company Beltelecom, Sergey Sivoedov, has been detained and taken into custody in Belarus. He was arrested for allegedly receiving a €15,000 bribe from an unnamed Russian citizen, who was also arrested.

http://uawire.org/head-of-beltelecom-detained-in-belarus

BROTHER OF ALGERIA’S EX-PRESIDENT PLACED IN CUSTODY BY MILITARY JUDGE

Reuters on 5th May reported that the youngest brother of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and 2 former intelligence chiefs – Athmane Tartag and Mohamed Mediene – in custody, joining a string of businessmen and officials under investigation over corruption ahead of a presidential election.  Said Bouteflika, who served as a top adviser to the presidency, acted as Algeria’s de facto ruler after his brother suffered a stroke in 2013.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-algeria-protests/brother-of-algerias-ex-president-bouteflika-placed-in-custody-by-military-judge-state-tv-idUSKCN1SB0G6

LAW FIRM WARNS HAULIERS TO CHECK DRIVERS’ EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND TAX STATUS

On 3rd May, Commercial Motor reported that, following the recent update of statutory guidance by the senior Traffic Commissioner relating to employment status, operators should consider checking the employment status of their drivers and ensure they are not avoiding paying tax by hiding behind a self-employed status, according to law experts at Shulmans LLP.

https://www.commercialmotor.com/news/compliance/check-driver-employment-status-warn-solicitors

IRAN SAYS WILL SELL OIL ON ‘GREY MARKET’

Rferl on 5th May reported that Iran has mobilised all its resources to sell oil on the “grey market,” bypassing US sanctions that Tehran considers illegitimate, its Deputy Oil Minister said.

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-s-deputy-oil-minister-says-his-country-will-sell-oil-on-gray-market-/29922040.html

STFI – IRAN ENTITY TO AID SANCTIONS EVASION?

On 5th May, Kenneth Rijock in his blog introduces one to STFI – a new agency the Special Trade and Finance Institute, said to have affiliations with several Iranian banks and corporations.  This, he says, is the means by which Iran would trade with INSTEX, the “channel” established by UK, France and Germany to facilitate continued trade with Iran.  In what sounds like a version of the classic “black peso exchange” used by Colombian drug traffickers, INSTEX would act as a barter agency – an Iran entity wanting to buy something would have the value of that deal offset against the value of a deal where, for example, a French company wanted to buy something from Iran.  Thus no US dollars would be involved.

http://rijock.blogspot.com/2019/05/stfi-is-irans-new-sanctions-evasion.html

CCCCC

HEZBOLLAH’S MARTYRS FOUNDATION: PURPOSE, MODE OF OPERATION AND FUNDING METHODS

A White Paper dated 14th March from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center sets out to describe Hezbollah’s social institutions and their funding, the officers in positions of leadership, names of front and shell companies, organisational structure, physical locations, and links to the Iranian Martyrs Foundation, which is subject to US sanctions.  It says that Hezbollah maintains an extensive network of social foundations in Lebanon that deal with health, education, welfare and media.  Their main goal is to serve as a supportive framework for the organisation’s military infrastructure, to disseminate its ideology and to strengthen its position among the Shiite community and the internal Lebanese political arena.  Hezbollah’s Martyrs Foundation pays a monthly stipend to every family of a martyr, and its annual expenditures are extremely high and are estimated at roughly $100 million per year and part of it is raised through an extended fundraising network, both in Lebanon and abroad.

https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/app/uploads/2019/04/E_058_19.pdf

UK PLANS REFORM OF COMPANIES REGISTER

On 5th May, Bloomberg reported that Companies House has plans to change the corporate registration system to increase the transparency of company ownership and management information while protecting personal data to prevent fraud.  Directors will be able to suppress personal details such as addresses, whilst making it clearer who is setting up, managing and controlling companies, improving the accuracy and usability of data on the register, and improving information sharing on company accounts to ensure “faster and more sophisticated identification of possible criminal activity.  The consultation was launched on 5th May

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-04/u-k-to-reform-companies-register-to-protect-data-of-executives

https://repairschematic.com/uk-plans-biggest-overhaul-of-companies-house-in-170-years/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-and-consumers-to-be-given-increased-protections-from-criminal-activity

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/corporate-transparency-and-register-reform