OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 30

Back home and off the laptop…

30th June 2019

UK OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY WARNED TO KNOW COMMODITY CODES OR RISK DAMAGE FROM NO-DEAL BREXIT

Oilfield Technology on 26th June reported that an oil and gas sector logistics expert has warned UK businesses to ensure they know the Commodity Codes for goods they trade with the EU now or risk damaging consequences from a no-deal Brexit.  Companies currently did not need to quote commodity codes to HMRC for goods traded with the EU, as the UK was part of its customs union. However, that would change if Britain left the bloc without a withdrawal agreement, which could happen as soon as 31st October.

https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/26062019/uk-oil-and-gas-industry-warned-to-know-commodity-codes-or-risk-damage-from-no-deal-brexit/

WHAT THE UK COURT OF APPEAL DECISION ON ARMS EXPORTS TO SAUDI ARABIA MEAN FOR OTHER COUNTRIES

On 24th June, an article on the Just Security website in the US says that the court’s decision could provide guidance for other EU Member States and the US on how they view their own weapons sales to partner nations.  It argues that the Court ruled, in essence, that in making decisions on arms sales, the UK government could no longer ignore uncomfortable facts.  It points out that Criterion 2(c) of the UK Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria — derived from a 2008 EU Common Position on military exports, which is binding on EU States — requires the government to refuse an export license where there is a “clear risk” that the military materiel to be exported “might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

https://www.justsecurity.org/64664/u-k-court-nixes-saudi-arms-sales-what-it-means-for-the-us-and-other-eu-countries/

QUEBEC LOBBYING FIRM MAY HAVE BROKEN SUDAN SANCTIONS WITH DEAL ‘STRIVING’ TO SUPPLY EQUIPMENT FOR MILITARY

The Globe & Mail in Canada on 28th June reported that a Montreal lobbying firm working for a notorious Sudanese military leader to procure equipment for the country’s armed forces could run afoul of Canadian sanctions as well as new arms-brokering controls that come into effect this September, experts say.  Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc is headed by Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli intelligence officer whose firm has previously served as a paid lobbyist for ousted Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and powerful Libyan militia commander Khalifa Haftar.  It says that the firm’s contract with Sudan was signed with General Dagalo, the deputy leader of Sudan’s military council.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-quebec-company-may-have-broken-sudan-sanctions/

OFFICIALS IN FLORIDA SEIZE THOUSANDS OF WEAPONS IN MASSIVE INTERNATIONAL SMUGGLING SCHEME

WLNS.com in Florida reported on 28th June that 2 people have been charged in Florida with orchestrating a massive arms smuggling scheme involving thousands of weapons and parts sent to South America.  Authorities seized 5,300 firearms and components, many of them powerful AR-15 rifles and more than 2 dozen people have been arrested in Argentina, Brazil and the US.  In addition to the rifles and parts, authorities seized 156 handguns, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 167 explosives and 15 silencers as well as $100,000 in cash.

https://www.wlns.com/news/international/officials-seize-thousands-of-weapons-in-massive-international-smuggling-scheme/

AUSTRALIA IS FAILING TO COMBAT DIRTY MONEY ENTERING THE PROPERTY MARKET

On 28 June, Baker McKenzie reported that a professor of law at Latrobe University in Melbourne has told SBS News that Australian real estate was a particularly attractive destination for foreign and local dirty money, and that Australian AML experts have warned the country is lagging behind global standards in the developed world.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/australia-is-failing-to-combat-dirty-money-entering-the-property-market/

HMRC REVENUE JUMPS 14% AFTER OFFSHORE CRACKDOWN

On 28 June, Baker McKenzie reported an FT story that the HMRC offshore, corporate and wealthy unit netted £560 million from investigations into British taxpayers with offshore assets and income, up from £490 million in 2017-18; a 14%. The data also revealed a 72% increase in tax collected since 2016-17 when £325 million was raised.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/hmrc-revenue-jumps-14-after-offshore-crackdown/

SUPPLIERS TO THE US BEWARE: INCREASED COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT OF ANTI-DUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTIES

On 27 June, Baker McKenzie published a Client Alert saying that companies in the Asia-Pacific region should be aware of the scrutiny that covered imports face and, in particular where a related entity in the US acts as the importer, should ensure that they understand the scope of the AD/CVD orders and applicable duty rates.  It says that US tariffs on steel, aluminium, solar panels, and numerous anti-dumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on finished and raw input products have put exporters in a bind.

https://f.datasrvr.com/fr1/819/75060/AD_CVD_Client_Alert_on_Enforcement_Issues_Baker_McKenzie_Asia_Pacific_International_Commercial_and_Trade_20190627.pdf

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TEMPORARILY ALLOWS CERTAIN UKRAINIAN GOODS ON THE SANCTIONS LIST TO BE IMPORTED

On 25 June, Baker McKenzie published an article about the Russian import ban on Ukrainian products, recently amended from 21 June.  It says that the import ban does not apply to goods imported to complete customs procedures for processing outside the customs territory and temporary export; and that the import ban is temporarily lifted with respect to the various products (linked to the energy sector) detailed in the article.

https://www.internationaltradecomplianceupdate.com/2019/06/25/the-russian-government-temporarily-allows-certain-ukrainian-goods-on-the-sanctions-list-to-be-imported/

THE ARAB “SPACE CLUB”

On 26 June, the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University published an article saying that, in recent years, several Arab countries have sped up research, development, and collaborations in the field of space in order to establish an independent technological-scientific infrastructure.  It says that several of the civilian Arab projects in the field of space research could also serve as fertile ground for collaboration with Israel. In the Arab world, but space-related endeavours are seen more than before through the prism of security, which could pose a challenge to Israel over the long term.  It mentions efforts of UAE and Saudi Arabia in using their vast economic resources for research, commercial and even military space uses.  It looks at UAE, saying that its space push is the broadest and most ambitious in the Arab world, with the intention is to become a hub in this field, and has cooperation agreements in the space field with foreign companies.  In 2018, KhalifaSat, the first product of development and production from the UAE, was launched from Japan.  The Saudi Space Agency was established in December 2018, is not progressing in the field as rapidly as its neighbour.  The article reminds one that ArabSat was established under the Arab League’s auspices as far back as 1976, located in Riyadh it purchases and operates communications satellites, and also serve as a platform for influencing public opinion in the Arab world through Arab-owned satellite channels.  The first satellite was launched in 1985, and the most recent one, ArabSat 6A, build by Lockheed-Martin, was launched in April 2019.  It says that it seems that every Arab country wants to put its national flag in space – mentioning efforts of Jordan, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco.

https://www.inss.org.il/publication/shooting-stars-arab-space-club/

CRITICS SLAM BULGARIAN CORRUPTION PROBE

On 25 June, Rferl published an article saying that Bulgaria’s Anti-Corruption Commission says it has found no conflict of interest in a property scandal that led 4 senior government officials to resign after they were found to have bought luxury apartments at discount prices.  4 high-level government officials from Bulgaria’s ruling GERB coalition resigned from office amid a criminal investigation launched after their suspicious real estate deals with the Arteks development firm were uncovered.

https://www.rferl.org/a/critics-bulgarian-corruption-probe-finds-nothing-fishy-in-the-fish-can-/30019663.html

REPORT TO US CONGRESS ON TAIWAN POLITICAL AND SECURITY ISSUES

On 27 June, USNI News published a US Congress report that provides a useful reminder to the situation of Taiwan – officially calls itself the Republic of China (ROC), though Beijing does not like that either.  Since 1979, US-Taiwan relations have been unofficial, a consequence of the Carter Administration’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with the PRC and break formal diplomatic ties with self-ruled Taiwan, over which the PRC claims sovereignty.  It looks at “recent” history, since 1895, when the Qing Dynasty ceded Taiwan (then Formosa) to Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895.  The Kuomintang Party (KMT) of Chiang Kai-shek, assumed control of Taiwan in 1945, after Japan’s defeat in WW2 and in 1949, after losing a civil war to the Communist Party, relocated its base to Taipei.  In 1971, however, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 recognised the PRC’s representatives as “the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations,” and expelled “the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek”, i.e. Taiwan.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6173770/Taiwan-Select-Political-and-Security-Issues-June.pdf

OFFSHORE FREEHOLDERS USE “LEGALISED EXTORTION” AGAINST UK HOMEOWNERS

On 28 June, Global Witness issued an article saying that new analysis reveals that many thousands of leaseholders in the UK are at the mercy of unscrupulous freeholders who hide behind anonymous companies.  It concerns problems faced by thousands of leaseholders whose landlords are mysterious offshore companies like Adriatic and Abacus.  Global Witness has identified a shadowy group of anonymous companies which share addresses or directors, many of whom appear to be nominees and that the number of homes leased by the Abacus and Adriatic group could exceed 35,000.  It says that the complex corporate structures which Abacus and Adriatic operate appear to be designed to make it difficult for leaseholders to buy the freeholds for their homes.  It looks at Abacus and Adriatic, tracing to founder and CEO William Astor – the half-brother-in-law of David Cameron, and the son of the fourth Viscount Astor – a Conservative Peer.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/campaigns/corruption-and-money-laundering/anonymous-company-owners/legalised-extortion/

IMF MUST SECURE TRANSPARENCY IN REPUBLIC OF CONGO BEFORE PROVIDING IT FUNDING

Global Witness has said that, after over a year of negotiations, the IMF announced on 9 May that it had reached a tentative bailout agreement with Republic of Congo.  Upon return from their latest mission, the IMF team applauded Congo’s transparency commitments, yet civil society continue to criticise its opacity.  In the context of repeated broken promises, Global Witness says that the IMF Board must not sign an agreement until all transparency actions are secured and sustained.  It says that part of the problem is Congo’s habit of borrowing billions from private companies to be repaid in oil, so-called “oil-backed loans” saying that too often they become murky funding lines for corrupt ruling groups, hiking up the country’s debt and sending the economy into chaos.  Global Witness says that the existence and terms of all oil-backed loans issued by private companies must be made public. In Congo, this and other key information including its oil production, export and sales statistics and oil-for-infrastructure agreements, must be publicly disclosed before the IMF Board signs any agreement.  This time Congo must be compelled to implement real transparency and abide by its commitments to stop striking these opaque and damaging deals.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/campaigns/oil-gas-and-mining/imf-congo-transparency-actions-before-bailout/

NEW MARITIME BLOCKCHAIN CONSORTIUM FORMED

On 28 June, Insurance Marine News reported that Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), founded by blockchain technology and governance experts BLOC and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), has announced the establishment of a consortium to explore the use of blockchain in tackling the risks and challenges associated with the declaration and handling of dangerous goods.  It will build and test a prototype to assess the potential for distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address the challenges faced by stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/new-blockchain-consortium-formed/

CHINA ACCOUNTS FOR THE BULK OF US FIREWORKS IMPORTS

Statista has republished an article from July 2018 saying that for people aiming to “buy American” for Independence Day, it might prove difficult to obtain US-manufactured fireworks.

https://www.statista.com/chart/14525/china-accounts-for-the-bulk-of-us-fireworks-imports/

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BANGLADESH: NEW IP RULES BAN EXPORT AND IMPORT OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS

On 20 June, HKTDC reported that Bangladeshi customs authorities will prevent the import or export of goods suspected of Intellectual Property (IP) rights infringement once a new regulation comes into force.  The regulation, currently awaiting formal endorsement by the customs department, is expected to be adopted in July 2019.  Owing to its status as a Least Developed Country (LDC), Bangladesh is at present not obliged to enforce internationally recognised IP protection rules.  However, the government expects the incoming rules to bring the country’s IP rights regime in line with international best practices, and in turn boost the confidence of foreign investors.

http://economists-pick-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Economists-Pick-Regulatory-Alert-Asia/BANGLADESH-New-IP-Rules-Ban-Export-and-Import-of-Counterfeit-Goods/raasean/en/1/1X34B7KV/1X0AHPJE.htm

ROMANIAN COURT ACQUITS ISRAELI TYCOON CHARGED WITH LAND FRAUD

Israel Hayom in its 30th June edition reported that Beny Steinmetz was accused of using a Romanian company to offer bribes to secure land rights.  Steinmetz also acquitted of charges of money laundering and conspiracy, but still faces other investigations in Israel.  A court in Brasov has acquitted Beny Steinmetz, communications consultant Yuval Zilberstein, and 2 other Israelis on charges of land fraud.  Steinmetz is said to have made his fortune in diamond mining, engineering and real estate.  The case followed a move by the Romanian government to allow private landowners whose land was nationalised by the Communist regime in the 1940s, to demand their rights to such lands be restored.  He was a partner in and a consultant for a group that held shares in a company that bought land rights from a prince in the Romanian royal family.

https://www.israelhayom.com/2019/06/30/romanian-court-acquits-israeli-tycoon-charged-with-land-fraud/

WEBSITE CLAIMS UK COMPANIES WITH UZBEK LINKS MAY HAVE USED TECHNIQUES TO AVOID BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DECLARATIONS

On 29th June, a post on Naked Capitalism claims that an investigation about businesses primarily operating under the Artel and Akfa brands – Uzbekistan’s equivalent of Samsung and Unilever respectively – both of which were founded by Jahongir Artykhodjaev, the Mayor of Tashkent, and his business partners.  The investigation looks closely at how businesses operating within the Artel-Akfa group use the UK’s corporate transparency regime, and Limited Partnerships to hide ownership.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/06/how-a-central-asian-business-empire-dines-out-on-british-secrecy.html

UK GOVERNMENT WANTS TO HEAR VIEWS ON HOW IT CAN APPROACH THE CHALLENGES OF USING DATA AND ANALYTICS TO COUNTER FRAUD IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

On 27 June, the Cabinet Office published a news release saying that it wants to hear the views of citizens, academia, and industry on how it can approach the challenges of using data and analytics to counter fraud in the public sector.  Over the last few years the Cabinet Office has been exploring how data can improve counter fraud in government, working in collaboration with the private sector and academia.  A paper summarises the key challenges government faces when employing data analysis and data sharing to counter fraud, and asks you to share your own thoughts and the insights of your experience as Government explores how to address them.  It says that the Cabinet Office’s Counter Fraud Centre of Expertise has spent the last 4 years working closely with departments across government and across the UK to identify where and how they can share their data to identify and prevent fraud.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-fraud-in-government-with-data-analytics

4 DUTCH ARRESTED FOR LARGE-SCALE ‘DESIGNER DRUG’ TRAFFICKING TO GERMANY

On 17th June, Customs Today reported that 4 Dutch persons were arrested in the Netherlands and Croatia as part of a major international investigation into large-scale drug trafficking, led by the German police. The Dutch are suspected of delivering psychoactive substances to thousands of German buyers, and this involved at least 15 thousand shipments, according to the police.  At the same time, some 125 Dutch police officers searched 12 locations in the Netherlands.  Among other things, they found and seized kilograms of pills and powders from a warehouse in Almere, and 40 thousand euros in cash elsewhere.

http://www.customstoday.com.pk/four-dutch-arrested-for-large-scale-designer-drug-trafficking/

FEDEX SUES US COMMERCE DEPARTMENT: “WE’RE A TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, NOT A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY”

World ECR reported that Fedex had announced that it has filed a suit against the US Department of Commerce ‘seeking to enjoin the Department from enforcing prohibitions contained in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) against FedEx’.  Fedex says that it believes that the EAR violate common carriers’ rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution as they unreasonably hold common carriers strictly liable for shipments that may violate the EAR without requiring evidence that the carriers had knowledge of any violations.  Media reports have linked the suit with delivery problems encountered involving Huawei goods. The suit, however, does not make explicit mention of the Chinese telecoms company (recently added to the EAR Entity List).

https://www.worldecr.com/news/fedex-sues-commerce-were-a-transportation-company-not-a-law-enforcement-agency/

HUGE CAPTAGON SMUGGLING PLOT AMONG MORE THAN 400 DRUG TRAFFICKING ATTEMPTS THWARTED BY DUBAI CUSTOMS IN Q1 OF 2019

On 28th June, Illicit Trade reported that Customs authorities in Dubai disrupted a plot to smuggle nearly 6 million Captagon pills last month.  More than 5.7 million Captagon tablets were discovered in a shipping container carrying food products at Jebel Ali and Tecom Customs Centre.  Dubai Customs said the seizure increased the number of Captagon pills discovered by its officers over the previous 4 months to 10.7 million.  The smuggling attempt was one of 421 drug trafficking plots thwarted by the agency across land, air and sea entry points over the first quarter of the year.  It explains that Captagon, which is a brand name for the synthetic stimulant fenethylline, was first produced in the 1960s as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fatigue and narcolepsy, but was later outlawed in the 1980s once its highly addictive nature had become known.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/06/huge-captagon-smuggling-plot-among-more-than-400-drug-trafficking-attempts-thwarted-by-dubai-customs-in-q1/

UK CONSOLIDATED LIST OF STRATEGIC MILITARY AND DUAL-USE ITEMS THAT REQUIRE EXPORT AUTHORISATION

Following amendment of the Export Control Order 2008, on 30th June the Department of International Trade published an updated list of ‘controlled’ military and dual-use items that require an export licence.  The Consolidated List includes the –

  • UK Military List [Schedule 2 to the Export Control Order 2008],
  • UK Dual-Use List [Schedule 3 to the Export Control Order 2008]
  • EU Non-military Firearm List
  • EU Human Rights List
  • UK Security and Human Rights List
  • UK Radioactive Source List
  • EU Dual-Use Lists

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/812555/UK_strategic_export_control_lists_20190630.pdf

UK EXPORT CONTROL ORDER 2008 AMENDED AND DUAL-USE CONTROL LIST UPDATED

On 30th June, the Department of International Trade published Notice to Exporters 2019/10.  It reports that the Export Control Order 2008 has been amended and the consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation has been updated accordingly.  A new amending order implements EU Directive 2019/514, making changes to the list of defence-related products corresponding to changes made to the European Common Military List (CML) that was previously updated following changes agreed in the Wassenaar Arrangement (an international export control regime).  It also removes Eritrea from the list of countries at Part 2 Schedule 4, which lists countries and destinations embargoed and subject to transit control for military goods, and revokes provisions that provided for offences connected to breaches of UN and EU sanctions on Eritrea.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-201910-export-control-order-2008-amended-and-control-list-updated/notice-to-exporters-201910-export-control-order-2008-amended-and-control-list-updated

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S PROGRESS IN STRENGTHENING MEASURES TO TACKLE MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING

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On 27 June, CFATF published an article saying that, as a result of Trinidad and Tobago’s progress in strengthening its framework to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing since the 2015 mutual evaluation, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has re-rated the country on 18 of the 40 Recommendations.  Trinidad and Tobago has been in an enhanced follow-up process.  A Follow-Up Report analyses Trinidad and Tobago’s progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in the Mutual Evaluation Report.  The article lists the 18 Recommendations that have been re-rated.  However, it remains in enhanced follow-up.

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https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/home/cfatf-news/562-trinidad-and-tobago’s-progress-in-strengthening-measures-to-tackle-money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing

OUTCOMES OF THE CFATF MAY 2019 PLENARY MEETING

The FATF-style regional body, the Caribbean FATF on 12 June published news of the outcomes of its recent Plenary.  It discussed the progress that Trinidad and Tobago made since the adoption of its MER in 2015, with the Plenary agreeing to re-rate Trinidad and Tobago on 18 FATF Recommendations.  There were updates on the ongoing mutual evaluation status of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Venezuela and St. Lucia.  There were agreed amendments to the 4th Round Mutual Evaluation process.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/home/cfatf-news/563-outcomes-of-the-cfatf-may-2019-plenary-meeting

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 29

Still having problems, and still on the laptop…hope to be back to what passes for normal ASAP…

29 June 2019

UK oil and gas industry warned to know commodity codes or risk damage from no-deal Brexit 

Oilfield Technology on 26b June reported that an oil and gas logistics expert has warned UK businesses to ensure they know the commodity codes for goods they trade with the EU now or risk damaging consequences from a no-deal Brexit. Companies currently did not need to quote commodity codes to HMRC for goods traded with the EU, as the UK was part of its customs union. However, that would change if the UK left the bloc without a withdrawal agreement, which could happen as soon as 31 October.

https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/special-reports/26062019/uk-oil-and-gas-industry-warned-to-know-commodity-codes-or-risk-damage-from-no-deal-brexit/

WHAT THE UK COURT OF APPEAL DECISION ON ARMS EXPORTS TO SAUDI ARABIA MEANS FOR OTHER COUNTRIES.

On 24 June, an article on Just Security in the US says that the Court’s decision could provide guidance for other EU Member States and the US on how to view their own weapons sales to partner nations.  It argues that the Court ruled that, in essence, in making decisions on arms sales, the UK Government could no longer ignore uncomfortable facts. It points out that Criterion 2(c) of the UK Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria — derived from a 2008 EU Common Position on military exports, which is binding on EU States — requires the government to refuse an export license where there is a “clear risk” that the military materiel to be exported “might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

https://www.justsecurity.org/64664/u-k-court-nixes-saudi-arms-sales-what-it-means-for-the-us-and-other-eu-countries/

Meanwhile, a report from SIPRI on 28 June published a background article looks at the UK decision, its background and potential implications.  

https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2019/legal-challenges-eu-member-states-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-current-status-and-potential 

Quebec lobbying firm may have broken Sudan sanctions with deal ‘striving’ to supply equipment for military

On 28 June, the Globe & Mail in Canada reported that a Montreal lobbying firm working for a “notorious” Sudanese military leader to procure equipment for that country’s armed forces could fall foul of Canadian sanctions, as well as new arms brokering controls that come into effect in September, experts say.  Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc is headed by Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli intelligence officer whose firm has previously served as a paid lobbyist for Robert Mugabe and powerful Libyan militia leader Khalifa Haftar. The newspaper says that the firm’s contract with Sudan was signed with General Dagalo, the deputy leader of Sudan’s military council.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-quebec-company-may-have-broken-sudan-sanctions/

OFFICIALS IN FLORIDA SEIZE THOUSANDS OF WEAPONS IN MASSIVE INTERNATIONAL SMUGGLING SCHEME

On 28 June, various outlets reported that 2 people had been charged in Florida with orchestrating a massive arms smuggling scheme involving thousands of weapons and parts to send to South America.  Authorities seized 5,300 firearms and components, including many powerful AR15 rifles. More than 2 dozen people have been arrested in Argentina, Brazil and the US. In addition to the rifles and parts, authorities seized 156 handguns, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 167 explosive grenades, 15 silencers and $100,000 in cash.

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/28/737041530/u-s-agents-announce-thousands-of-weapons-seized-in-operation-patagonia-express?t=1561830620070

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-homeland-security-investigations-announces-results-international-operation 

Taiwan: Peer review shows lowest risk of money laundering

In its 30 June edition, the Taipei Times reported that, following an assessment by members of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the group has promoted Taiwan from “enhanced follow-up” to “regular follow-up,” indicating the lowest risk of money laundering, the group said in a report.  Taiwan made it onto the “regular follow-up” list after achieving “substantial” marks on 7 of 11 factors used to measure a nation’s effectiveness in fighting money laundering. A final report on the third-round peer review is to be presented for membership approval at the APG annual meeting in Canberra on August.  Taiwan was placed on the “regular follow-up” list in 2007 and was demoted to the “enhanced follow-up” list by the APG in 2011, before being placed on the “transitional follow-up list” in 2014. It was removed from the transitional list in July 2017, pending the results of the current evaluation.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2019/06/30/2003717843

Canadian firm named in pig-drug scandal may be victim of fraud

The Montreal Gazette on 28 June reported that Frigo Royal, previously named as the company that had sent contaminated pork to China may have been itself a victim of a fraud.  It says that Canada was first notified by China on June 14 that a pork shipment contained traces of ractopamine, a feed additive banned in the Asian nation. At the time, the Canadian Pork Council said the meat came from Frigo Royal. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency later discovered the export certificate was fake, leading to a blanket ban on all Canadian meat by China and questions about the pork’s origin.   Canada is hoping to resume meat exports to China even as the official investigation continues into the forged documents that triggered the ban.

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-firm-named-in-pig-drug-scandal-may-be-victim-of-fraud-ottawa

Russia & China agree to significantly boost trade in ruble and yuan at the expense of the US dollar

Customs Today on 29 June reported that Moscow and Beijing have inked an intergovernmental agreement to switch to national currencies in bilateral trade and boost cross-currency settlements up to 50% as they ramp up efforts to move away from the US dollar.  The 2 countries will have to develop ruble and yuan financial instruments to boost cross-currency trade and mitigate risks of exchange rate fluctuations.

http://www.customstoday.com.pk/russia-china-agree-to-significantly-boost-trade-in-ruble-and-yuan-at-the-expense-of-the-us-dollar/

When Do Directors Owe Their Duties to a Company’s Creditors Rather Than Its Shareholders?

Conyers has published a briefing about a recent Court of Appeal case in which an otherwise lawful dividend may still be found to be a transaction defrauding creditors.  In addition, the Court of Appeal ruled that, whilst the duty to act in the interests of creditors is engaged at a point when the company’s circumstances fall short of actual, established insolvency, there however needs to be more than “a real, as opposed to remote, risk of insolvency” for the duty to be engaged.

https://www.conyers.com/publications/view/when-do-directors-owe-their-duties-to-a-companys-creditors-rather-than-its-shareholders/

World Drug Report 2019: 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders while only 1 in 7 people receive treatment

On 26 June, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime reported the publication of the report which says that improved research and more precise data have revealed that the adverse health consequences of drug use are more severe and widespread than previously thought. It says that Fentanyl and its analogues remain the key problem of the synthetic opioid crisis in North America, but West and Central and North Africa are experiencing a crisis of another synthetic opioid, tramadol. Global seizures of tramadol jumped from less than 10 kg in 2010 to almost 9 tons in 2013 and reached a record high of 125 tons in 2017.  The Report shows that an area where the international community has had a degree of success is in addressing new psychoactive substances (NPS), evidenced by a decline in the number of NPS identified and reported for the first time to UNODC.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2019/June/world-drug-report-2019_-35-million-people-worldwide-suffer-from-drug-use-disorders-while-only-1-in-7-people-receive-treatment.html?ref=fs2

In Syria, Russia found the chance to showcase its swagger–and its robot weapons

An article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on 28 June said that one of the goals of Russian intervention was to make money. Specifically, by selling some of the military hardware Russia was showcasing in Syria. It turns out that weaponry includes next-generation robotic systems, some which can operate autonomously. Russian arms makers showed off some of these military technologies in June at a major arms convention in Moscow. However, even if Russian arms makers and the government are touting experience in Syria as a selling point for robotic weaponry, the country’s arms exports may actually be falling, the article says.

https://thebulletin.org/2019/06/in-syria-russia-found-the-chance-to-showcase-its-swagger-and-its-robot-weapons/

Eversheds Sutherland response to UK Jurisdiction Taskforce consultation on cryptoassets, distributed ledger technology and smart contracts

On 28 June, the law firm published its evidence submitted to Parliament regarding the promotion of blockchain and cryptoasset technologies in the United Kingdom.  In May, the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce published a consultation paper to identify key issues of legal uncertainty regarding cryptoassets, DLT and smart contracts with the aim of providing clarity in this area of law through the means of a legal statement.  The consultation ran to 21 June. The UKJT is one of the 6 task forces of the LawTech Delivery Panel. Its objective is to demonstrate that English law and the jurisdiction of England and Wales together provide a state-of-the-art foundation for the development of DLT, smart contracts and associated technologies.  The consultation sought input from stakeholders on the principal issues of perceived legal uncertainty about the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English private law, to inform what should be addressed in the legal statement.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Financial_services/uk-jurisdiction-taskforce-crypto-280619

Luxembourg isn’t a tax haven anymore

On 27 June, an article from law firm Eversheds Sutherland contained a statement by the Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration of the OECD that Luxembourg fully respects the rules and is not dragging its feet, described as a welcome acknowledgement of the efforts of Luxembourg to ensure that it no longer bears the characteristics of a tax haven.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Tax_planning_and_consultancy/Luxembourg-isn_t-a-tax-haven-anymore

Dentons’ Taking Security Guide

On 28 June, Dentons published its Taking Security Guide which offers a clear, practical Q&A style overview of the requirements and regulations on taking security in more than 30 countries across the globe.  This Guide is intended to be an overview only and it does not serve as exhaustive advice on taking security in the jurisdictions covered. 

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/guides-reports-and-whitepapers/2019/june/28/dentons-taking-security-guide

ISLE OF MAN: ACTS FOR PROMULGATION AT TYNWALD DAY 2019

The Tynwald Library in the Isle of Man has published a list of the recent Acts to be promulgated at the open air sitting of Tynwald on the national day of 5 July.  Each Act of Tynwald must be promulgated on Tynwald Hill within 18 months of enactment or it ceases to have effect.

http://www.tynwald.org.im/about/tynday/TD2019/Pages/2019Acts.aspx

 

 

Dentons’ Taking Security Guide

On 28 June, Dentons published its Taking Security Guide which offers a clear, practical Q&A style overview of the requirements and regulations on taking security in more than 30 countries across the globe.  This Guide is intended to be an overview only and it does not serve as exhaustive advice on taking security in the jurisdictions covered. 

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/guides-reports-and-whitepapers/2019/june/28/dentons-taking-security-guide

Taiwan: Peer review shows lowest risk of money laundering

In its 30 June edition, the Taipei Times reported that, following an assessment by members of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the group has promoted Taiwan from “enhanced follow-up” to “regular follow-up,” indicating the lowest risk of money laundering, the group said in a report.  Taiwan made it onto the “regular follow-up” list after achieving “substantial” marks on 7 of 11 factors used to measure a nation’s effectiveness in fighting money laundering. A final report on the third-round peer review is to be presented for membership approval at the APG annual meeting in Canberra on August.  Taiwan was placed on the “regular follow-up” list in 2007 and was demoted to the “enhanced follow-up” list by the APG in 2011, before being placed on the “transitional follow-up list” in 2014. It was removed from the transitional list in July 2017, pending the results of the current evaluation.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2019/06/30/2003717843

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 28

Still away, but home soon!

28 June 2019

Amount of Nuclear Material under IAEA Safeguards Continues to Increase

On 25 June, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced the publication of its Safeguards Statement for 2018.  The IAEA seeks to verify that States around the world use nuclear material solely for peaceful purposes. It does this by applying technical measures, known as safeguards. Each year, the IAEA reports to its Board of Governors on its findings and conclusions through the Safeguards Implementation Report. This forms the basis of the Safeguards Statement.  The year also saw an increase of the number of nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities at which safeguards inspectors conduct verification activities, reaching a total of 1,314 worldwide. Since 2010, the amount of nuclear material under safeguards has increased by 24%.  

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/amount-of-nuclear-material-under-iaea-safeguards-continues-to-increase-safeguards-statement-2018

IAEA Conference on the Management of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors 

On 24 June, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced the start of this conference where over 300 professionals, regulators and policy makers in the field of spent fuel management are meeting in Vienna. It explains that management of spent fuel is a complex undertaking, involving storage, transportation, possibly recycling, and disposal. Countries operating nuclear power programmes either reprocess and recycle their spent fuel, or they condition it for disposal in deep underground repositories. 

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/iaea-conference-on-the-management-of-spent-fuel-from-nuclear-power-reactors-begins

Pharmacists ask Home Office for guidance on THC levels in cannabidiol oil

On 28 June, the Pharmaceutical Journal reported that confusion around the legal threshold for tetrahydrocannabidol (THC) in cannabidiol oil has led the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to request “clear guidance” on the matter.  It has written to the home secretary calling for “clear guidance” on the permissable level of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabidol (THC) in cannabidiol (CBD) oils. A recent report found that almost half of the commercially-available CBD oil it tested contained detectable amounts of THC, making them “technically illegal within the UK” – 45% of products tested had “measurable levels of THC”, with a mean content 0.04%.  CBD is not psychoactive and so is not a controlled substance. It may be sold through retail outlets as long as no medical claims are made for a product. 

The report can be found at –

https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/51b75a3b/files/uploaded/Report%20%7C%20CBD%20in%20the%20UK%20-%20Exec%20Summary.pdf 

https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/20206419.article

OFAC Sanctions Nicolas Maduro’s Son for Serving in Venezuela’s Government 

On 28 June, the US Treasury announced that it has targeted Nicolas “Nicolasito” Ernesto Maduro Guerra (Maduro Guerra) for being a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela.  

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm719

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190628.aspx

Advisory on Widespread Public Corruption  in Venezuela

On 3 May, OFAC issued an updated Advisory  to alert financial institutions of continuing widespread public corruption in Venezuela under the regime of Nicolas Maduro, which the U.S. Government considers illegitimate.   It also alerts financial institutions to additional methods utilized by corrupt Venezuelan senior political figures (and their associates, family members, and front persons) to move and hide corruption proceeds.

https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2019-05-03/Venezuela%20Advisory%20FINAL%20508.pdf

Financier Bill Browder Plays the Long Game to Expose Russian Money Laundering

On 28 June, the Wall Street Journal carried an interview with Browder, who has asked prosecutors across Europe to open criminal investigations into suspicious transactions linked to the death of Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 while in Russian custody after he was detained on charges related to the tax fraud he uncovered.  In several cases, however, prosecutors have rejected his requests. Browder described his focus on criminal investigations as a first step in his long-term plan to push for legal action against bank executives whose companies have laundered money linked to the Magnitsky cases.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/financier-bill-browder-plays-the-long-game-to-expose-russian-money-laundering-11561647331

Not Every FCPA Declination Must Be Public

The Wall Street Journal reported on 28 June that the US DoJ does not always publicise its decision to drop the prosecution of a company that may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In circumstances where the conduct and its financial impact are minor, the decision not to prosecute may be kept under wraps. See the speech containing this information at –

https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/deputy-assistant-attorney-general-matt-miner-delivers-remarks-american-bar-association

US Charges Former and Current Venezuelan Electricity Officials

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the US DoJ is to prosecute Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez, a former minister of electric power, and Eustiquio Jose Lugo Gomez, a former government procurement official, with laundering the proceeds of a bribery scheme involving Venezuela’s state-owned electricity company, Corporación Eléctrica Nacional SA, or Corpoelec.  They have also been listed by OFAC.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-charges-former-and-current-venezuelan-electricity-officials-11561677301

European Commission study on taxes in the field of aviation and their impact

An article from CMS Law reports that the European Commission ordered a study of taxes imposed in the EU and selected non-EU countries. The study contains an inventory of taxes in the air transport sector and an assessment of their economic and environmental impacts.  The report concluded that, in general, new taxes or an increase in existing taxes would have a negative impact on the air transport sector in terms of direct employment or direct value-added, but at the level of each Member State the impact on overall employment, fiscal revenue and GDP would be negligible. New or increased taxes would lead to a reduction in passengers and flights and therefore limit the negative impacts on the environment. However, it says, these straightforward conclusions must be tempered by the differences between the national taxation regimes and the various priorities given to the sector by Member States.

https://www.eiseverywhere.com/emarketing/view.php?id=1469ad4897b7e23fc3509d33d34980ae0a14cfda21e56b669b14cfdab2037d3b-MjAxOS0wNiM1ZDBhNDA0ZjQ0ZDI3

Reporting requirements under German Anti-money laundering law 

An article from Park Wirtschaftstrafrecht examines the requirements to submit SAR in Germany, and the consequences of non-reporting.

https://www.lexology.com/library/document.ashx?g=b49fd832-7fc6-4ae2-9bf5-5e53797888f9

Modern slavery: UK directors can be personally liable for employee exploitation

An article from Allen & Overy on 25 June said that the High Court has held a company’s officers personally, jointly and severally liable to its employees as victims of modern slavery. The officers had deliberately and systematically utilised coercive, threatening and punitive financial measures to exploit the company’s employees and force them to live and work in abysmal conditions. This breached the officers’ duties to act in the company’s best interests and induced it to breach its contractual and statutory obligations to the claimant employees.  The article says that the decision illustrates that company officers may be held personally liable for modern slavery and also clarifies the law on a director’s liability for inducing a company’s breach of contract.

http://www.allenovery.com/publications/en-gb/Pages/modern-slavery-directors-can-be-personally-liable-for-employee-exploitation.aspx

Origin Fraud – when “Made in Vietnam” is not made in Vietnam

An article from K&L Gates on 27 June says that, in the face of actual or potential US tariffs, companies in China have been busy trying to diversify their manufacturing operations or realign their supply chains for goods destined for the United States. It says that Vietnam remains a favoured production location for companies looking outside of China. Unfortunately, some companies have tried to take a “short cut”, importing China-origin goods into Vietnam and relabeling them as “Made in Vietnam”, so as to avoid additional US import duties. It says that other countries, such as Malaysia, Cambodia, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic, have also been identified as possible conduit countries for fraudulent origin labelling.  It is said that Vietnam Customs is aware of this problem and has increased its enforcement actions. It says that mislabeling the country of origin is illegal in the country of import as well as the country of export; and goods of this nature transiting or transshipping through third countries may also contravene the customs laws of those countries. 

http://www.klgates.com/origin-fraud–when-made-in-vietnam-is-not-made-in-vietnam-06-25-2019/

US adds 5 recently developed or developing technologies to the Export Administration Regulations’ Commerce Control List (CCL) that are essential to US national security

An article from Arent Fox on 28 June said that in May the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had amended 4 export control classification numbers (ECCN) and added a new one.  The 5 additions implemented changes made to the Wassenaar Arrangement List of Dual-use Goods and Technologies and are said to be essential to US national security.. The article reviews the new additions.

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=0e74a872-1c36-4b83-a379-79a54ebcaccc

Malta to Launch New Agency to Fight Financial Crime

On 28 June, KYC 360 reported that Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has disclosed plans to create a new governmental agency tasked with increasing money laundering prosecutions in the country.  The structure of the proposed investigatory body has yet to be determined.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/malta-to-launch-new-agency-to-fight-financial-crime/

China Quietly Defies US Sanctions on Iran

On 28 June, KYC 360 reported claims by the FT that satellite imagery and other data show that the government of China has continued to purchase Iranian crude oil.  The FT says that the government of China received its first delivery of Iranian oil when a Suezmax tanker docked in Jianzhou Bay.  Another Iranian supertanker is expected to deliver as much as 2-million barrels of oil to the Chinese province of Tianjin before the end of the month, according to the report.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/china-quietly-defies-us-sanctions-on-iran-ft/

Montenegro – widely condemned law does not deserve a second chance

Transparency International on 26 June reported on what is calls unconstitutional amendments to the Law on Classified Information in Montenegro, which would undermine the country’s freedom of information laws and anti-corruption efforts. The draft law was already withdrawn once by the government in March this year, after a coalition of 25 Montenegrin NGO opposed it.  The proposed law would allow the government to declare information classified if its disclosure would affect the ability of a government body to function. It would also remove controls over the manner in which state bodies declare information classified. It also reports that the European Commission said that Montenegro should reverse the growing trend of public institutions declaring information classified as a matter of priority, as it prevents effective oversight by civil society.

https://www.transparency.org/news/pressrelease/montenegro_widely_condemnded_law_does_not_deserve_a_second_chance

African oligarchs and their global networks of corruption

An article from the African Investigative Publishing Collective and ZAM on 26 June says that what all countries that have been investigated have in common is that corruption is not a simple crime committed by individual rotten apples, but by oligarchs with international connections.  The article says that a transnational investigation has been all about middlemen – international businesspeople, bankers, accountants, lawyers and sometimes even diplomats, who are “connected to the very top”.  An investigation over 9 months in different African countries show that African oligarchs from Mozambique and Mali to Liberia and Kenya are assisted by such international and local business connectors in joint efforts to make money from natural resource wealth and state budgets.

https://city-press.news24.com/News/african-oligarchs-and-their-global-networks-of-corruption-20190626

Morocco’s surging trade in fossils

ENACT Africa on 7 June published an article asking how do Morocco’s rare fossils end up in auctions and collections as far afield as Paris or Mexico City?  The Atlas mountain range contains large quantities of fossils.  Traditionally, local populations have exploited these resources, selling ancient fossils to tourists and collectors.  Since the 2000s, however, this activity has transformed into a structured and lucrative business, though the export of ‘objects of anthological or archaeological interest’ is prohibited by law. 

https://enactafrica.org/research/trend-reports/moroccos-surging-trade-in-fossils

ISLE OF MAN SETS OUT POSITION ON PUBLIC REGISTER OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF COMPANIES

On 28 June, the Isle of Man published a document  that sets out the Government’s position in relation to a recent announcement regarding public beneficial ownership registers.  The document is said to provide helpful background information and clarifies the commitments made.

https://www.gov.im/media/1366258/the-isle-of-man-and-public-registers-of-beneficial-ownership-of-companie.pdf

EU REMOVES 17 ENTITIES FROM IRAQ SANCTIONS LISTS

EU Regulation 2019/1103/EU has followed the lead of the UN and removed 17 entities from its Iraq sanctions lists.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.175.01.0031.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:175:TOC

India: IMA “Ponzi scam” – the unravelling of an investment fraud

The Hindu in its 29 June edition said that when the Bengaluru-based IMA Group of Companies wound up its operations, it not only left thousands of investors in the lurch but also raised questions on political patronage to Ponzi schemes that are being run in the name of Islamic banking.  It is about the IMA Group of Companies and its founder and managing director, Mohammed Mansoor Khan. It says that Mansoor was involved in the real estate, jewellery, healthcare and education sectors and fashioned his company as a ‘halal trading firm’, allegedly with the blessings of local political and religious leaders. His modus operandi was similar to that of a Ponzi scam where customers were lured by high dividends.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/the-unravelling-of-an-investment-fraud/article28213945.ece

New York man charged by US authorities boasted of generating returns of 362% in fewer than 5 years by day-trading Standard & Poor’s 500 futures contracts 

CNBC on 28 June reported that Paul Rinfret has been charged with defrauding investors out of more than $19 million and spending much of it on luxuries.  The DoJ charged Paul Rinfret with securities fraud and wire fraud, while the SEC filed civil charges against the 70-year-old.  

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/28/us-charges-new-york-man-who-boasted-of-investment-returns-with-fraud.html

IMF urges Latvia to push on with fight against money laundering

Reuters on 28 June reported that the IMF has urged Latvia to maintain momentum in its fight against money-laundering as the Baltic nation tries to restore its reputation after recent scandals involving the financial sector.  The country’s third largest bank ABLV was shut down last year. Stung by international criticism, the government has launched an effort to clean up the financial sector ahead of an upcoming review by Moneyval.  Earlier this month, the Latvian parliament boosted powers of its banking regulator in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-latvia-imf/imf-urges-latvia-to-push-on-with-fight-against-money-laundering-idUKKCN1TT2AS

Unenforced judgments costing companies millions

On 28 June, the Law Society Gazette reported that, in a survey of more than 500 financiers in the UK, US and Canada, 78% of respondents said their companies are owed at least $10 million by judgment debtors, while half said their companies are owed $20 million or more.  The research also found that legal costs are deterring businesses from entering disputes in the first place. Over 60% of respondents said their companies had avoided court action because of legal expenses.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/unenforced-judgments-costing-companies-millions/5070790.article

UK information watchdog raids Liverpool offices over data sales to PI firms

The Law Society Gazette on 28 June reported that the ICO had searched 2 Liverpool addresses as part of a probe into personal data sold to solicitors.  the business targeted was suspected of carrying out high volumes of data-farming activity, known as blagging or vishing. It is alleged that motor accident victim data has been illegally obtained since 2017, with the details sold to solicitors for personal injury claims.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/watchdog-raids-liverpool-offices-over-data-sales-to-pi-firms/5070784.article

National Audit Office report on Serious and Organised Crime 

In the UK, the NAO has published a report saying that the challenges in tackling serious and organised crime are formidable. There are more than 4,500 identified UK organised crime groups operating in changing and often unpredictable ways. The government estimated that the annual social and economic cost of serious and organised crime was £37 billion in 2015-16. The government published its serious and organised crime strategy in 2013 and revised it in 2018.  The NAO examined the government’s strategic response to serious and organised crime, and the extent that the enablers to successful implementation of the 2018 strategy have been put in place. We examined the work of the Home Office and the NCA, who together oversee and co-ordinate the government’s response. The report does not look in detail at how other government bodies are set up to contribute. It says that serious and organised crime is evolving at a rapid rate, as criminal networks identify new vulnerabilities and adapt their activity in response to law enforcement action and the opportunities offered by new technology.  It says that there remain some significant and avoidable shortcomings that may prevent government and its partners from meeting its aim to “rid our society of the harms of serious and organised crime”. 

https://www.nao.org.uk/report/serious-and-organised-crime/

WILLIAM HILL CANCELS SWISS BETS AND RETURNS CANCELLED BETS

On 28 June, Calvin Ayre reported that UK-based William Hill has told clients in Switzerland that all ante-post wagers will be voided and they will no longer accept bets from the country as of mid-day on June 28.  The reasons provided for canceling the wagers was due to “regulatory reasons”, but the company does not state specifically what regulations forced the decision.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/06/28/business/william-hill-to-no-longer-accept-swiss-wagers-cancels-existing-bets/

The Curious Case of Dr. K and Mr Chrysostomides

On 28 June, OCCRP published an article about Kypros Chrysostomides, one of Cyprus’s most elite lawyers.  But to Paul Manafort, he was known as “Dr. K.,” the fix-it man, who set up more than a dozen shell companies in Cyprus for Manafort and Manafort’s former associate Rick Gates. Through those companies, the American lobbyists received payments for political consultancy work in Ukraine.  

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/the-curious-case-of-dr-k-and-mr-chrysostomides

Switzerland to Tighten its AML Rules

An article from OCCRP on 28 June reported that  Switzerland plans to tighten its AML regulations and bring them in line with international standards. The Parliament will review the proposals later this year, and if passed they will come into effect in 2021. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/10083-switzerland-to-tighten-its-anti-money-laundering-rules

Nearly $140,000 Worth Of Tyres From China Seized By Customs Officers In Philadelphia

CBS in Philadelphia on 28 June reported that a total of 3,942 tyres were seized in Philadelphia earlier in June.  Valued at nearly $140,000, they violated federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations.  Described as trailer or mobile home tires, they were headed to a business in Pennsylvania.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/06/26/nearly-4000-tires-seized-customs-officers/

UK Supreme Court clarifies the rules for establishing anchor defendant

On 28 June, Ince & Co published an article about a recent decision allowing proceedings against a UK-based “anchor defendant”, so also securing jurisdiction in England against the overseas defendant.  In the case, 1,826 Zambian citizens living in close proximity to a mine, alleged that discharge from the mine polluted the local waterways, caused personal injury, and damaged property, leading to loss of income. The claim was brought in both negligence and for breach of Zambian environmental law.  The article says that the Supreme Court’s decision is out of the ordinary in that it bucks the trend of refusing jurisdiction in cases where anchor defendants are sued in respect of claims against overseas subsidiaries. In doing so, the Supreme Court has emphasised four key factors, which the article details.

https://www.incegd.com/en/knowledge-bank/sins-of-the-fathers-supreme-court-clarifies-the-rules-for-establishing-anchor-defendants

US FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES UKRAINIAN OLIGARCH’S APPEAL AND HE IS EXTRADITED FROM AUSTRIA

On 28 June, Buckley carried an article about the case of  Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash. The decision of the court allowed several criminal charges –– including one count of aiding and abetting an FCPA violation –– to proceed.  Shortly after, the Austrian supreme court allowed his extradition to the US.  

https://buckleyfirm.com/blog/2019-06-28/federal-judge-denies-ukrainian-billionaire%E2%80%99s-motion-dismiss-criminal-charges-and-austrian-supreme-court-grants-us-extradition-request-0

US: CEO and director of investment firm convicted of conspiracy to bribe Haitian officials

On 28 June, Buckley reported that the CEO of investment firm Haiti Invest LLC and one of its directors had been convicted.  The plan was to bribe Haitian officials “at all levels of government” in order to obtain governmental approval of a proposed $84 million project to develop a port in north-western Haiti.  To conceal the bribes, the defendants allegedly said that they would funnel the agents’ funds through a US-based non-profit organisation that one of them controlled, which purported to sponsor social programmes for Haitian residents. 

https://buckleyfirm.com/blog/2019-06-28/ceo-and-director-investment-firm-convicted-conspiracy-bribe-haitian-officials-0

Isle of Man “Fit and Proper” Assessments – updated documents from 1 July 

On 28 June, the FSA in the Isle of Man published updated its fitness and propriety guidance documents, saying that this was relevant to all persons that are licensed, authorised or registered under the Financial Services Act 2008, Insurance Act 2008, Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000 or that have responsibility for collective investment schemes under the Collective Investment Schemes Act 2008.

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2019/jun/fitness-and-propriety-assessments-updated-documents-from-1-july-2019/

Canadian sanctions amended in relation to Nicaragua Ukraine Venezuela and Yemen

Dentons on 28 June published an article saying that, in co-ordination with the United States and the United Nations, and in light of recent developments in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Yemen and Ukraine, Canada recently amended its sanctions related to these countries.  The article details the changes made.  It also reminds Canadian exporters that Canada imposes sanctions on a number of other countries, including the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2019/june/28/canadian-sanctions-amended-in-relation-to-nicaragua-ukraine-venezuela-and-yemen

UN REMOVES A FURTHER 13 ENTITIES FROM ITS IRAQ SANCTIONS LIST

On 28 June, the UN advised that 13 further entities had been removed from the lisy of those subject to sanctions concerning Iraq.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sc13868.doc.htm

Europol seized 15 million eels from criminal smuggling gangs last year

Illicit Trade on 28 June reported that 15 million endangered eels were seized from traffickers by Europol last year, the EU’s law enforcement agency has revealed, and that  it had arrested 153 eel smugglers over the past 12 months, which was up 50% on the previous year. Most of the arrests were made in Spain, France and Portugal. It is estimated that eels worth an estimated €3 billion are smuggled every year.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/06/europol-seized-15-million-eels-from-criminal-smuggling-gangs-last-year/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

German chemical company Brenntag defends its Syria deliveries

On 26 June, the BBC reported that German chemical wholesaler, Brenntag, has denied circumventing EU export rules on restricted chemicals, some of which were delivered to Syria in 2014.  A Swiss subsidiary of Brenntag supplied isopropanol and diethylamine to Syria. They can be used in pharmaceuticals, but can also be used to make the nerve agents Sarin and VX.  Brenntag says the deliveries also complied with Swiss law.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48773571

Ukraine: SBU powerful channel of illicit firearms trafficking

On 25 June, the Security Service of Ukraine reported that it had blocked the unlawful activities of the organised crime group, which established a mechanism for the illicit manufacture and sale of firearms and ammunition in the country. The offenders smuggled from Western European countries parts for firearms through the checkpoints of one of the western regions of Ukraine. Then in the specially equipped workshops the combat weapons were manufactured from the parts.  Law enforcement officers seized sub-machine gun, 11 Glock, CZ, Walther, Heckler & Koch pistols, over a thousand of rounds and parts kits sets for manufacturing of pistols. 

https://ssu.gov.ua/en/news/1/category/21/view/6205#.espMKTG1.dpbs

Rules of Origin Key to Success of African Continental Free Trade Area

An article from UNCTAD, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, says that rules of origin – the criteria needed to determine the nationality of a product – could make or break the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that entered into force in May,  A new report notes that rules of origin could be a game changer for the continent as long as they are simple, transparent, business friendly and predictable. Currently intra-African trade is a mere 15%, compared to around 47% in America, 61% in Asia and 67% in Europe, according to UNCTAD data for 2015 to 2017, but the AfCFTA could radically change that.

https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2128

The report: “Economic Development in Africa  Report 2019: Made in Africa – Rules of Origin for Enhanced Intra-African Trade”, is available at –

https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/aldcafrica2019_en.pdf?user=46