21st May 2019
CHINA: NEW CRIMINAL STANDARDS TARGET ILLEGAL FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRADERS
On 16th May, R+P China Lawyers published an article about China’s foreign exchange restrictions as a challenge for Chinese individuals who want to invest or hold assets abroad. Every Chinese individual has a yearly quota of $50,000 (or equivalent) that can be converted into foreign currency, but restrictions continue to apply on how these funds can be used. For example, funds cannot be exchanged into foreign currency for investment purposes, and it is prohibited to use the quota of another. It says that regulation has now been tightened, with a very detailed definition of “illegal fund and settlement business”. The article says that the interpretations seem to be particularly focused on Chinese individuals that need foreign currency for private investment purposes, and (especially) intermediaries that assist Chinese individuals or companies with currency swaps.
PANAMA SEIZES A SHIPMENT OF MORE THAN 1,500 PACKAGES OF COCAINE PACKS FROM CUBA HEADED TO TURKEY
The Maritime Herald on 20th May reported that the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) seized a shipment of drugs said to worth around $90 million in a container that arrived at Puerto de Cristobal, Colon, from Cuba with final destination of Istanbul – and although the container was destined for Turkey, it would first dock in Rotterdam.
HUAWEI: WHY THIS EXPORT COMPLIANCE CONSULTANT IS ‘MAD AS HELL’
An article in American Shipper on 20th May concerned a complaint about the handling of the notification of restrictions on Huawei by the US Commerce Department. He says that in 40 years involvement with export control regulation he had never seen “such a terrible mishandling of rulemaking rollout” that he had witnessed with this latest placement of Huawei and 68 of its overseas affiliates on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, saying that there has been mass confusion within the export industry, as well as among the legal community, when the effective date for the Entity List restrictions are to commence. However, he praises BIS, which he says has done a great job in posting real-world FAQ and detailed answers on its website.
See also –
STOP PRESS – on 21st May, it was announced that the implementation of the restrictions had been postponed for 3 months to assist US businesses to adapt.
EX-CREDIT SUISSE BANKER PLEADS GUILTY TO US CHARGE OVER MOZAMBIQUE LOAN
KYC 360 on 21st May reported that Detelina Subeva, 37, a former Credit Suisse Group AG banker has pleaded guilty to a charge that she helped launder money from a kickback scheme involving $2 billion in loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique. Credit Suisse has said that the defendants hid their contact from the bank. She said the kickback came from Privinvest, an Abu Dhabi-based company that contracted with Mozambican state-owned companies.
NEW ZEALAND: FORFEITURE OF ASSETS LEADS TO $620,000 RECOVERED IN CASE INVOLVING FORMER GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL
Scoop on 21st May reported that a Police Asset Recovery Unit investigation into the misappropriation of funds from a government department is leading to the recovery of about $620,000. Since June 2016, the Unit has been investigating Ms Joanne Harrison, former General Manager at the Ministry of Transport, who was sentenced to 3 years 7 months’ imprisonment for the misappropriation of $726,836.07 from the Ministry.
DISHONEST CLAIMANT FACING CONTEMPT CHARGE AS COURT RAILS AT PI FRAUD TACTICS
The Law Society Gazette on 20th May reported that the Court of Appeal has issued a stern warning that dishonest claimants – and their lawyers – will not escape the consequences of their unscrupulous conduct simply by dropping the cases when they begin to unravel. The case involved a claim for noise-induced hearing loss against a former employer but gave false submissions about not playing electric guitar in a rock band.
HUNDREDS ARRESTED AND MORE THAN £310,000 CASH SEIZED AS PART OF NATIONAL ACTIVITY TARGETING COUNTY LINES DRUG GANGS
On 21st May, a NCA news release saying that County Lines drug gangs have been targeted in a week of co-ordinated law enforcement activity across the UK, leading to more than 500 arrests, £312,649 cash and 46 weapons seized.
IRELAND – CENTRAL REGISTER OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF CORPORATES – WEBSITE GOES LIVE
On 17th May, a newsletter from Walkers advised that the website of the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial and Provident Societies went live on 29th April, and the requirement to file beneficial ownership information with the Central Register enters into force from 22nd June. The newsletter details who has access to the Register and the information they can access.
SAUDI ARABIA EXPANDS ANTI-BRIBERY LEGISLATION TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR
On 16th May, DLA Piper reported replacement of the former anti-bribery law, under which crimes were limited to transactions involving a “public official”. “Public official” was broadly defined to include employees, directors, and chairmen of state enterprises or companies maintaining public facilities or performing public services, and companies engaged in “banking operations”. It says that, overall, the new changes expand the scope of anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation in both public and private sectors.
TERRORISM IN AFRICA
An article in Defence Web on 21st May contained a list of terrorist groups active in Africa.
ARGENTINA’S EX-PRESIDENT KIRCHNER FACES TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION
Al-Jazeera on 21st May published a video that looks at the impact it could have on her future political ambitions. The trial will take place as she herself is running for vice-president in the upcoming election.
5 WAYS PACKAGING IS BRINGING THE FIGHT TO FAKE DRUGS
The European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer on 21st May published an article saying that, with drug counterfeiters increasing in number and determination, it’s crucial to be able to spot fraudulent medicines to stay safe, and this article outlines 5 technological advancements that are taking the fight to fake drugs. These include use of RFID, hand-held spectrometers and the blockchain.
UK CONSULTATION: THE FUTURE OF UK CARBON PRICING
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a news release on 21st May advising of consultation that sets out the UK government’s and the devolved administrations’ approach to UK carbon pricing once the UK has left the EU, and seeks stakeholders’ views on the design of a future scheme.
FROM JANUARY 2020, CIGARETTE PACKAGES SOLD IN BELGIUM WILL ALL HAVE NEUTRAL PACKAGING
TJI reported on 20th May that cigarettes, rolling tobacco and tobacco for use in water pipes, as well as cigarette papers and filters will be affected by the implementation of the new rules. All such products will be sold in greenish-brown packaging, with no sign of the familiar branding, and retailers will have until the end of 2020 to clear stocks of old, non-compliant packaging.
GERMAN REPORT ON “TAX HAVEN JERSEY: OFFSHORING IN EUROPE”
On 21st May, Deutsche Welle published a video report saying that Jersey’s “special status has made it rich by enabling global corporations to avoid tax elsewhere. Now this tax haven faces the prospect of tighter regulation”.
DUTCH MAN ARRESTED OVER $2.2 MILLION BITCOIN MINING FRAUD
Coindesk on 21st May reported that a 33-year-old man in the Netherlands has been arrested for bitcoin mining fraud worth over €2 million. The suspect started his businesses in 2017 by promising investors return of around 0.3 bitcoin a month (currently worth around $2,389), it says. When investors did not get the returns and their mining computers back, several of them filed complaints.
MONEY LAUNDERING AND SHELL COMPANIES DEBATED IN US CONGRESS
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on combating money laundering and illicit financing by anonymous shell companies. C-SPAN in the US on 21st May published a video recording of the hearing where witnesses from the US Treasury and FBI discussed the challenges of tracking illicit financing without a centralised database of beneficial ownership information.
CYPRUS: SUSPECT WANTED IN GERMANY FOR €10 MILLION TAX EVASION FLEES
The Cyprus Mail reported on 21st May that a 45-year-old Chinese man arrested in Cyprus last year on a European arrest warrant issued in Germany in connection with tax evasion has apparently fled after he was released on bail.
JERSEY – WINDING UP OF INSOLVENT TRUST
On 21st May, Appleby published an article saying that the Royal Court had recently handed down an important decision regarding winding up an insolvent trust, determining the proper insolvency regime for such a situation, and who should carry out the winding up.
GAFILAT PRE-ASSESSMENT VISIT TO CHILE
On 21st May, GAFILAT (the relevant FATF-style regional body) advised that the necessary pre-assessment visit had been made to Chile. This marks the start of a process for a mutual evaluation of the country’s AML/CFT system, with on-site visits due in January 2020, with a report on the outcomes due for July 2020.