15th June 2019
SWEDISH GAMBLING REGULATOR’S NEW AML EFFORTS
On 14th June, Calvin Ayre reported that Spelinspektionen has announced that it is joining forces with other agencies in the country to create a new strategy designed to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, and it will work with other groups to develop the strategy, which will be deployed across the gambling industry, as well as others. Exchanging information creating a repository of data that can be used to identify, map and analyse risks tied to illicit activities. Measures will include in-depth checks to uncover the identity of the person or persons requesting a licence, not just a cursory review of the operator’s business name, and companies approved for licences will also be forced to include KYC procedures.
SEIZURE OF 563 ANTI-PERSONNEL LANDMINES IN COLOMBIA
On 14th June, Insight Crime reported the seizure of 563 anti-personnel landmines suspected of belonging to the Urabeños drug trafficking group. Authorities said the devices were set to be deployed in the territory where the group is fighting guerrillas from the Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN for control. There are also said to be strong suspicions that the ELN has deployed landmines as part of this same conflict. From 1990 until March 31, 2019, Colombia tallied 11,375 victims of landmines, 2,293 of whom died.
LAW SOCIETY AGREES TO REVIEW NDA GUIDANCE
Legal Futures on 14th June reported that the Law Society has performed a rapid u-turn and agreed to review its controversial practice note on non-disclosure agreements (NDA). It also said that it will take into account the recent recommendations of a Parliamentary Committee and its crucial function of acting in the public interest.
BELGIUM CANCELS EXPORT LICENCES FOR ARMS SUPPLIES TO SAUDI ARABIA
On 14th June, VRT News in Belgium reported that the Council of State had cancelled export licences issued by the Walloon Government in 2017 for weapons and military equipment produced by FN and CMI Defence.
IRELAND: REVIEW OF LARGE CASES – HIGH WEALTH INDIVIDUALS DIVISION (LC-HWID)
On 14th June, the Irish Revenue Commissioners published a report on a review of the case base of LC-HWID and includes recommendations for revised criteria to be applied to determine what cases will come within the remit of the Division – implementation of which will expand the size of the Division’s case base. The LC-HWID was established as part of the realignment of the Revenue during 2018, and following a 2009 review that found that High Net Worth Individuals posed significant challenges to tax administrations due to the complexity of their affairs, their revenue contribution, the opportunity for aggressive tax planning, and the impact of their compliance behaviour on the integrity of the tax system. There are currently 200 HWI (primary cases) and 278 associated parties (secondary cases) in the HWI case base, and the resources available to manage the HWI case base have been increased.. The core recommendation is to confirm the proposed increase in the case base of LC-HWID to include taxpayers with net assets ≥ €20 MILLION.
CANADA: FEDERAL, PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENTS WORKING TOGETHER TO COMBAT MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING IN CANADA
On 14th June, the Government of Canada issued a news release saying that several of Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Finance and ministers responsible for AML and beneficial ownership transparency came together in Vancouver to advance a national response to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Canada. They resolved to work collaboratively and to each do our part, using the appropriate tools at their disposal to detect, stop and prosecute financial criminals in their jurisdictions.
CAN THE SFO REALLY USE “PARTICIPATING INFORMANTS” TO PROSECUTE?
A post on the FCPA Blog on 14th June poses this question, and posed by Martin Kenney, Managing Partner of Martin Kenney & Co, Solicitors. This follows remarks by Lisa Osofsky, head of the SFO and a former FBI lawyer, and points out that the law in the UK is somewhat different to that in the US, and the UK approach to the subject of covert investigation is likely much more rigid than Ms Osofsky is used to. He refers to the Regulation of Investigative Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and its comprehensives rules and guidance, complicated further, he says, by the unyielding manner in which it is overseen and administered – and the hurdles to the police using a Participating Informant (PI) are many.
ESTONIA QUESTIONED 3 ARIPANK STAFF IN NEW MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE
Reuters on 15th June reported that Estonian police have said that they held 3 employees of a local bank, Tallinna Aripank, for questioning for 48 hours as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering and bribery. The 3 were detained on 11th June and released after 2 days in a case not linked to the Danske Bank probe. Tallinna Aripank is one of the region’s smaller lenders.
UK INTRODUCES VAT REVERSE CHARGE ON RENEWABLE ENERGY GUARANTEES OF ORIGIN
On 13th June, Out-Law published an article about the introduction of a reverse-charge VAT arrangement for supplies of renewable energy certificates with effect from 14th June. Renewable energy guarantees of origin (REGO), in the UK can be traded separately from the electricity they relate to, and if purchased from suppliers in another EU Member State they are zero-rated for VAT. They could then be sold on in the UK charging VAT at the standard rate. Fraudsters were able to defraud HMRC by buying the certificates VAT-free, selling to UK purchasers charging VAT, but then failing to pay that VAT (a form of “MTIC” fraud).