27th May 2018
SPYING, TERRORISM AND THE FAR-RIGHT WORRY SWISS AUTHORITIES
On 24th May, Swissinfo reported that Russian spying activity in Switzerland is continuing at a high level, while economic espionage by China is also a leading concern, says the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) in its annual report: Security Switzerland 2019. It also points to the terrorist threat and the rise of the far right as dangers to Swiss security. The report says that nearly a third of accredited Russian diplomats in Switzerland are either known to be or suspected to be members of the Russian intelligence services.
THOUSANDS OF TONNES OF PLASTIC WASTE EXPORTED FROM AUSTRALIA IS COVERING INDONESIAN VILLAGES IN STEAMING PILES OF TOXIC RUBBISH
The Mail Online on 26th May carried a report saying that Australia’s contribution to the plastic waste flooding villages is undeniable – with Indonesia becoming the second-largest export destination for our rubbish since China cracked down on the practice in recent years.
11 INDIANS GET SWISS NOTICES TO SHARE BANKING DETAILS
On 27th May, NDTV reported that, since 25th March, at least 25 notices have been issued to Indian customers of Swiss-based banks and, subject to appeal, the information could be then shared with Indian authorities.
ISRAEL: FORMER SOCCER PLAYER AMONG 9 DETAINED FOR SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING
The Times of Israel on 27th May reported that those arrested included a former elected local authority official suspected of receiving bribes.
BOLLORÉ LOGISTICS TO ‘REPATRIATE’ 100 CONTAINERS OF CANADIAN WASTE FROM PHILIPPINES
Lloyds Loading List on 24th May reported that the shipment and disposal will be paid for by government of Canada to help end a long-standing diplomatic spat between the 2 countries. Philippine authorities claim that the containers, which arrived in 2013 and 2014, were falsely labelled as containing plastics meant for recycling and were in fact filled with tonnes of household waste. It added that the containers have caused port congestion and are a hazard to public health.
US COURT EXPRESSES CONCERN WITH GOVERNMENT’S OUTSOURCING OF CORPORATE INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS
On 27th May, an article from Hogan Lovells says that in a recent decision that could have critical implications for corporate internal investigations conducted pursuant to a government agency’s request, the Southern District of New York expressed concern with the government’s “routine outsourcing” of investigations to the targets of those investigations seeking co-operation credit. The court noted the corporate target’s “uniquely coercive position” over its employees, who may also be potential targets of the investigation; and it has the potential to profoundly affect the structure and scope of co-operation agreements between the government and the corporate targets of criminal investigations.
MILITARY SPENDING AND ARMS IMPORTS BY IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA, QATAR AND THE UAE
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has published a factsheet which provides a concise overview of trends and patterns of military expenditure and of arms imports — the main source of modern major arms for these states — in the period 1994–2018.
LIFETIME BAN FOR JAILED £14.5 MILLION PONZI SCAMMER
iExPats on 27th May reported that Freddy David, a disgraced financial adviser faces a lifetime ban from financial services as he serves a 6-year jail sentence for the part he played in running a £14.5 million Ponzi scam. It says that he was managing director of wealth manager HBFS Financial Services Ltd, which defrauded 55 victims.
ROMANIANS REJECT CONTROVERSIAL CHANGES TO ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS AND JUDICIAL REFORMS
Rferl on 27th May reported that, in a vote on 26th May, Romanians have overwhelmingly rejected measures seen as making it more difficult to combat rampant state corruption, according to partial official results of a referendum on the matter.
INDIA – BAN OF PLASTIC SCRAP IMPORTS
Hellenic Shipping News on 27th May reported that with effect from 1st June, India will no longer accepts shipments of plastic scrap from all origins.
NEW €100 AND €200 NOTES COME INTO CIRCULATION TO COMBAT MONEY LAUNDERING
The Luxembourg Times on 27th May reported that new €100 and €200 notes will come into circulation across Europe on 28th May in a bid to combat counterfeiting and money laundering. New €10, €20 and €50 notes have also been released. The new notes are taller than the original €100 and €200 notes meaning they can be more easily processed by machines. The banknotes also feature enhanced security features – not visible to the naked eye – which can be processed and authenticated more quickly. They also have an enhanced “emerald number” – a shiny number which changes colour from green to blue.
ROMANIA’S RULING PARTY LEADER JAILED FOR CORRUPTION
Deutsche Welle on 27th May reported that Romania’s most powerful politician, Liviu Dragnea has been jailed for 3½ years following a Supreme Court ruling. The decision came after Dragnea’s PSD party suffered huge losses in the EU elections. Dragnea, 56, had appealed the 2018 verdict for using his influence to procure fake public jobs for 2 women, who were actually working for the PSD at the time. He was expected to be imprisoned within 24 hours of the Supreme Court ruling.
BAHAMAS: CUSTOMER SERVICE AT BANKS STILL ‘DEGRADED’ BY APPLICATION OF AML/CFT SAFEGUARDS
The Governor of the Central Bank is quoted in the Nassau Guardian on 27th May as saying that customer service experience at banks is still “too degraded” due in part to the application of AML/CFT safeguards that make opening bank accounts tedious. He explained that the pressure for regulatory guidance to be tedious persists for institutions, despite some changes to make the process less of a burden for customers.