STILL AWAY AND RELYING ON (UNRELIABLE WI-FI AND A LAPTOP, SO A LOT OF CATCHING UP TO DO WHEN EVENTUALLY HOME…)
19 June 2019
JAPAN POST BANK TO RESTRICT REMITTANCES AHEAD OF FATF EVALUATION
KYC 360 on 19 June reported that Japan Post Bank will soon limit cross-border remittances in an effort to bolster its AML controls, In its last report, FATF had highlighted remittance-related frauds perpetrated by Japanese organised crime groups and noted gaps in the country’s AML reporting requirements. Criminal organisations are suspected of using foreign students to remit money overseas through licensed financial institutions.
16 TONS OF COCAINE WORTH $1 BILLION SEIZED IN PHILADELPHIA
On 18 June, CBS News and others reported that more than $1 billion worth of cocaine had been seized at the Philadelphia Port, involving approximately 16.5 tons from a cargo ship docked at the Packer Marine Terminal. It is the third largest in US history. The ship began its journey in Chile.
BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTERS IN CROWN DEPENDENCIES TO BE MADE PUBLIC
On 18 June, it was reported that the beneficial ownership registers, currently only accessible by local authorities in the UK’s Crown Dependencies, and which show the ultimate owner of a company, are to be made available to the EU, businesses, and the general public by 2023. In 2021 the Dependencies plan to merge their registers with their EU equivalents; in 2022: businesses will be given access in order to do their “due diligence”; and in 2023 the governments of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man will bring legislation before their parliaments to make their registers publicly available.
STATEMENTS FROM ISLE OF MAN, JERSEY AND GUERNSEY ON BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTERS AND MEETING WITH UK PARLIAMENTARIANS
On 19 June, 2 news releases from the Isle of Man confirmed reports that the 3 jurisdictions are to implement a 3-stage process to work towards making their beneficial ownership registers open to the public. One also mentioned a meeting with UK parliamentarians, and Prime Minister Theresa May saying that she was very pleased to see the announcement from Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man and indeed that the UK would continue to work with the Overseas Territories to ensure that they do follow those standards and open those books, so that people can see who is actually owning those companies.
OFAC DESIGNATES RUSSIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTION SUPPORTING NORTH KOREAN SANCTIONS EVASION
On 19 June, OFAC announced the designation of a Russian entity that has assisted North Korea in evading sanctions to access the international financial system. It has targeted Russian-registered Russian Financial Society for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, US-designated Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade Co Ltd, an entity that is owned and controlled by, directly or indirectly, US- and UN-designated Foreign Trade Bank (FTB), North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank.
OFAC WILL ONLY GIVE CREDIT TO FINES PAID TO OTHER AGENCIES FOR SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS WHICH WOULD ALSO GIVE RISE TO AN OFAC PENALTY WHEN “THE SAME PATTERN OF CONDUCT FOR THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME” OCCURS
On 19 June, the EU Sanctions Blog reported a change of policy from OFAC.
HOW 7.4 TONS OF VENEZUELAN GOLD VANISHED FROM UGANDA
On 19 June, the Wall Street Journal carried an article saying that on 2 early-March flights, at least 7.4 tons of gold with a market value over $300 million moved from Venezuela to a refinery in Uganda, it appearing that the Maduro government exported the ingots. It says that gold sales said to be one of the government’s final financial lifelines. The gold that arrived in Entebbe passed through African Gold Refinery Ltd. in a compound at an international airport before being exported to the Middle East, Ugandan police say.
MARITIME ANTI-CORRUPTION NETWORK TO DEVELOP INTERNATIONAL PORT INTEGRITY INDEX
On 19th June, Maritime Executive reported that the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN – a global business network of over 110 companies) has announced a new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark to develop the first ever Global Port Integrity Index and to scale up its collective action activities in West Africa. The Index will provide an overview and comparison of illicit demands in ports around the world and will be based on the unique first-hand data gathered from captains calling port around the world through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting Mechanism.
21 JUNE 2019
US charges 4 ex-executives at Canadian payments firm PacNet with fraud
On 21 June, KYC 360 reported that the DoJ had announced criminal charges accusing 4 former executives of the Canadian payment processor PacNet Services Ltd of running an international mail fraud scheme. PacNet’s founder Rosanne Day, 51, and her colleagues Robert Paul Davis, 63; Genevieve Renee Frappier, 49; and Miles Kelly, 55, were accused in a 41-count indictment of helping make the Vancouver-based company the “payment processor of choice” for fraudulent mass mailers around the world.
Law Commission report on SAR regime – position on UK cannabis investments remains unclear
On 19 June, MacFarlanes published an article about the recent report by the UK Law Commission on the UK’s SAR regime and partly in response to calls for reform that will help manage this flood of SAR. Whilst saying that there are many interesting recommendations made by the Law Commission, it says it does not assist re how POCA places UK investors at risk of committing a money laundering offence when they invest in the (now very significant) legal cannabis industry abroad, for example, in Canada. It says that the ambiguous legal framework observed by MacFarlanes in January and by UK Finance in relation to this issue therefore remains in place and the UK’s finance sector has not been given the clarity it appears to be seeking.
Russia Removes Crimean Ownership Data from Public Register
KYC 360 reported on 21 June that the Russian Federation had removed identifying information for Crimean companies from its public corporate register, according to OCCRP, reversing a prior decision by the Russian government to publish corporate ownership data following the annexation.
Suspected Terrorists Exploit UN Loophole to Reclaim Frozen Funds
On 21 June, KYC 360 reported a Wall Street Journal story about alleged misuse of UN rules that permit blacklisted individuals can request to take back a portion of their frozen money in order to meet essential living expenses on the condition that their home countries advocate for, and oversee, the transfers. The requests are submitted as itemised budgets for food, rent and other expenses.
Italian oil giant Eni rejected a cargo of crude that bore the hallmarks of Iranian oil
On 19 June, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cargo, which was intended for the Milazzo refinery in Sicily, remains on board a Liberia-flagged vessel named White Moon, after Eni said the specifications didn’t match those of its contract for Iraqi oil. The ship’s documents show that the cargo, which Eni bought from the trading arm of Nigeria’s Oando PLC, was Iraqi.
Blockchain in cases of fraud and corporate insolvency
An article from Carey Olsen on 18 June sets out to explore some of the less-publicised potential uses of blockchain technology in the financial services sector and, in particular, how the technology might assist when things go wrong, such as in cases of fraud and corporate insolvency.
Malta: MFSA & FIAU issue Guidelines on Account Opening for Fintechs
On 19 June, GTG Advocates published an article saying that, after consultation, the 2 agencies have published ‘Guidance for Credit Institutions, Payment Institutions and Electronic Money Institutions opening accounts for FinTechs’ – intended to provide further clarity to institutions approached by operators in the Fintech sphere with the aim of making bank account opening a smoother process.
Vigilance Needed to Protect US from Swine Fever and Agroterrorism
Homeland Security Today on 19 June reported calls from officials in the US saying that border vigilance against Chinese pork imports — even a visitor bringing back a pack of infected jerky — is crucial to keep a pathogen from causing economic ruin. The hemorrhagic virus, which one researcher at the conference dubbed “Ebola for pigs,” cannot be spread to humans but China, which has been battling a swine fever outbreak since August, has had to cull hundreds of thousands of pigs. The virus can survive up to 180 days in low-temperature-cured jerky. The article also warns that 61% of diseases that affect humans have a zoonotic origin, and zoonotic diseases account for 70% of emerging diseases.