THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 27

27 June 2019

Report Offers Recommendations for Responding to a Deliberate Biological Event

NTI reported on 27 June that a new report finds that global leaders and organisations are unprepared to effectively respond to a deliberate biological event and offers recommendations to address the preparedness deficit.  The report draws on lessons learned during a dramatic tabletop exercise with senior leaders on the eve of the 2019 Munich Security Conference. It presents key findings and recommendations for urgent improvements to avoid catastrophic consequences of deliberate and other high-consequence biological events.  It says that the risks of a global catastrophic biological event are growing, intensified by an increasingly interconnected world, terrorist and state interest in weapons of mass destruction, global political instability, and rapid advances in biotechnology.  The report is at –

https://www.nti.org/analysis/reports/spreading-plague-lessons-and-recommendations-responding-deliberate-biological-event/

US Clothing Importer faces Lawsuit and Criminal Charges for Undervaluing Goods

On 26 June, Crowell Moring reported that Manhattan-based children’s apparel companies Stargate Apparel Inc, Rivstar Apparel Inc, and their CEO, Joseph Bailey are facing allegations that Bailey, Rivstar, and Stargate violated the False Claims Act when they submitted invoices to US Customs understating the true value of imported goods from China in 2007-15.  The alleged fraud was first brought to light by a whistleblower who filed a complaint under the FCA.

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2019/06/clothing-importer-faces-fca-suit-and-criminal-charges-for-undervaluing-goods

North Korean vessels exploiting tracking system flaws to evade sanctions

NK News on 26 June reported that following a UN report on North Korean vessels spoofing signals to hide their identity and conduct shipments in violation of sanctions, a new report sheds light on the methods used to trick the international tracking system.  The report, published by RUSI as part of its Project Sandstone series, delves into the case of the North Korean vessel Tae Yang and its attempts to spoof its identity as the Mongolian-flagged chemical tanker called the Krysper Singa.  It involves ships sending false information resulting in tracking systems recording the wrong ship. 

https://www.nknews.org/2019/06/north-korean-vessels-exploiting-tracking-system-flaws-to-evade-sanctions-report/

The report is at –

https://rusi.org/publication/other-publications/project-sandstone-3-trail-tae-yang-ais-spoofing-and-north-korean-coal

Canada Probes Fake Export Certificates Amid Dispute With China 

The Wall Street Journal on 26 June reported that Canada’s Trade Minister has vowed to find out the source of fake Canadian export certificates, saying this alleged criminal activity represents another blow to Canadian farmers who have become collateral damage in a deepening row between Beijing and Ottawa. The emergence of forged export documents forced Canada to accede to Beijing’s request to halt all China-bound meat shipments.  It is said to represent another blow to Canadian farmers who have become collateral damage in a deepening row between Beijing and Ottawa.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/canada-probes-fake-export-certificates-amid-dispute-with-china-11561574020

UK: PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE CALLS FOR TAX ON LIBYAN FUNDS TO BE USED FOR VICTIMS OF IRA

On 27 June, the EU Sanctions Blog reported that the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of the House of Commons has said that the government should draw on the £5 million in tax revenue earned from frozen Libyan assets to compensate victims of IRA bombs made with explosives supplied by the Gaddafi regime.  The report also suggests that licences should not be issued to release Libyan funds without a compensation package being agreed. The report is at –

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmniaf/2352/235202.htm

3 Indian state-run companies forming a joint venture to secure minor metals such as lithium and cobalt that could fuel India’s plan for mass adoption of electric vehicles by 2030

The Nikkei Asia Review on 27 June reported that National Aluminum, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Corporation plan on exploring mines in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and other countries for metals used to produce EV batteries, besides building strategic reserves of tungsten, nickel and rare earths, and using a joint venture called Khanij Bidesh India.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade-war/India-scrambles-to-look-overseas-for-rare-earths-used-in-EVs

In-depth study on reports to the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA)

On 27 June, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute announced the publication of a new Background Paper informed by an in-depth study on reports to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA).  Since 1993 states have been asked to annually report exports and imports of major arms to UNROCA as a transparency mechanism to prevent destabilizing accumulations of arms. UNROCA has been a partial success with most states participating at least once since 1993.  Reporting to UNROCA has never been universal and has in recent years dropped to barely 25% of UN member states — the lowest levels since 1993. The report paper focuses on reporting for 2017 — the most recent reporting year — as indicative for both the problems of participation and quality, and argues that UNROCA needs to be reinvigorated and expanded in scope.

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2019/sipri-background-papers/reporting-united-nations-register-conventional-arms-2017

Ireland’s Central Bank Fines JP Morgan €1.6 Million for Outsourcing Violations       

KYC 360 on 27 June reported that the fine is the first-ever to cite outsourcing-related violations, which are an area of “particular focus” for the regulator.  It is said that the bank “persistently failed” over a number of years to obtain such approvals and did not implement adequate controls to ensure that the third-party relationships were in compliance with regulatory requirements, according to the central bank.      

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/irish-central-bank-fines-jpmorgan-e1-6-million-for-outsourcing-violations/

Israel seeks Swiss help in overseas tax crackdown                                                     

On 27 June, KYC 360 reported that Israel’s finance ministry has sought help from Switzerland in identifying Israelis it believes have undeclared assets at Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) and Bank Julius Baer.  It says that thousands of Israelis have disclosed foreign accounts containing billions of dollars under a government amnesty programme in recent years, as they sought to avoid prosecution in a crackdown on unreported capital.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/israel-seeks-swiss-help-in-overseas-tax-crackdown/

UK government new plans to create an “express freight contingency arrangement” to safeguard supplies of critical medicines if it leaves the EU without a deal 

Loadstar on 27 June reported that the UK government has announced new plans to create an “express freight contingency arrangement” to keep supplies of critical medicines coming into the country if it leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

https://theloadstar.com/whitehall-unveils-new-express-emergency-freight-plan-for-no-deal-brexit/

Money laundering and fraud offences in Germany 

On 22 May, an article from Park Wirtschaftstrafrecht provides an explanation on how the money laundering, terrorism financing and fraud offences are treated in Germany.

https://www.lexology.com/gtdt/tool/workareas/report/anti-money-laundering-and-fraud/chapter/germany

Extraterritoriality: The UK Perspective

This article, a chapter of the Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations, published in January, starts by saying that English criminal law applies to all persons who come within the territory of England and Wales.  In addition, there are now a number of mechanisms that enable UK authorities to investigate and prosecute offences committed overseas.

https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/benchmarking/the-practitioner’s-guide-to-global-investigations-third-edition/1179175/extraterritoriality-the-uk-perspective

Ireland: Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2019 Published 

On 25 June, Mason Hayes Curran published an article saying that, on 20 June, the Irish Government published the Investment Limited Partnership (Amendment) Bill 2019, which proposes to reform and modernise Irish legislation regulating investment limited partnerships.  It is anticipated that the reform of Irish investment limited partnership legislation, if enacted, will make Ireland an attractive domicile for the establishment of regulated partnerships. An ILP is one type of Irish vehicle that can be used for managing Irish regulated investment funds.  An ILP is established and governed by a partnership agreement between one or more general partners, and one or more limited partners, i.e. the investors. An ILP is not an incorporated undertaking, it does not have a separate legal existence. The article summarises the content and intent of the Bill.

https://www.mhc.ie/latest/insights/investment-funds-investment-limited-partnership-amendment-bill-2019-published

UK Introduces Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019 – Extension of the SFO’s Evidence Gathering Powers

Baker McKenzie on 26 June reported that the Act allows UK law enforcement agencies to apply for a court order with extra-territorial effect to obtain data stored electronically, directly from communications service providers based outside the UK, in order to assist with domestic investigations and prosecutions of serious crime.

https://globalcompliancenews.com/uk-introduces-crime-overseas-production-orders-act-2019-extension-sfo-evidence-gathering-powers-20190506/#page=1

What is the role of MI6 in International Criminal Law?

An article from Nyman Gibson Miralis in Australia says that the UK Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) – otherwise known as MI6 – conducts secret overseas operations and gathers intelligence to help protect UK interests.  The article explores the key activities of the MI6 and look at a case study of their intelligence in action – as detailed on the SIS website.

https://ngm.com.au/mi6-international-criminal-law/

Malta: Council of Europe demands public inquiry into the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia

On 27 June, the Council of Europe announced that a Council group has listed a series of “serious concerns” over the investigation into the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and demanded the setting up of an independent public inquiry into her death within three months.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/pace-demands-public-inquiry-into-death-of-daphne-caruana-galizia

North Macedonia needs more government transparency and a de-politicised police force

On 27 June, the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published a report on corruption prevention in respect of top executive functions and law enforcement agencies in North Macedonia.  Expressing particular concern at the lack of transparency in respect of government activities, GRECO calls for more regulation and transparency relating to persons carrying out top executive functions, including advisors and external associates hired at the discretion of the central government.  It calls for public access to information concerning names and functions of those attending its sessions and to ensure transparency concerning government officials’ contacts with lobbyists and third parties seeking to influence public decision-making. It also suggests complementing the regime for reporting situations of conflicts of interests with practical guidance and training.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/greco-north-macedonia-should-increase-government-transparency-and-de-politicise-police-force

FATF REPORT TO G20 LEADER SUMMIT

On 27 June, FATF has published its report to the G20 Leaders’ Summit, which will take place in Osaka, Japan on 28-29 June. The report sets out FATF’s ongoing work to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.  The report provides an overview of the FATF’s recent and future work in the areas involved.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/report-g20-leaders-jun-2019.html

Illegal fishing: EU lifts Taiwan’s “yellow card” following reforms

On 27 June, the EU advised that the European Commission decided to lift the yellow card acknowledging the progress made by Taiwan and the major upgrade of its fisheries legal and administrative systems to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).  After the issuing of the yellow card in October 2015, the Commission and Taiwan have engaged in over 3 years of intense cooperation and dialogue. As a result of that cooperation, Taiwanese authorities now have a broad range of modern and efficient tools to fight IUU fishing in place.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-3397_en.htm

Statutory review of the arrangements on sharing beneficial ownership information between the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories

On 27 June, the Home Office issued a news release saying that in 2016 the UK, the 3 Crown Dependencies and the 6 British Overseas Territories with major financial centres committed to improve longstanding law enforcement co-operation on the exchange of company beneficial ownership information.  The bilateral agreements, referred to as the Exchange of Notes Arrangements, commenced in July 2017. Now a 18-month Statutory Review of the Exchange of Notes examines their implementation and effectiveness in the period 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2018.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statutory-review-of-the-exchange-of-notes-arrangements

OFAC Sanctions Officials of the Maduro Regime for “Rampant Corruption”

On 27 June, a news release from the US Treasury advised that OFAC had designated 2 Maduro regime officials who continue to engage in significant corruption and fraud to the detriment of the people of Venezuela.  They are the former minister of Electric Power and President of the National Electric Corporation (CORPOELEC), Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez, and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Investments, and Strategic Alliances for the Ministry of Electric Power, Eustiquio Jose Lugo Gomez.

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

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190627.aspx

UK GAMBLING COMMISSION RELEASES ENFORCEMENT REPORT

On 27 June, Calvin Ayre reported that the commentary on the work of the Commission, some of the penalties it has had to assess, and lessons the industry should take.  The report itself is broken down into 7 disciplines relevant to the industry: safer gambling, AML, marketing and advertising, illegal activities, affordability, consumer protection and compliance.  In the 2018/19 regulatory year, the Commission imposed £19.6 million in penalties.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/06/27/business/ukgc-releases-2018-19-enforcement-report/

3 members of the same Texas family plead guilty in federal court after having been busted for running one of the largest online gambling operations in the country

On 27 June, Calvin Ayre reported that Larry Tillery, wife Judy Kay and son Brian – managed to keep their enterprise running for 30 years without getting caught, and the family-owned Daylight Motors used car dealership reportedly helped process as much as $52 million in illegal bets from 2011 to 2016, according to the DoJ.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/06/27/business/everythings-bigger-in-texas-including-illegal-sports-gambling/

Cocaine found on Brazilian President’s Plane Traveling to G20

On 27 June, OCCRP reported that Spanish authorities confiscated nearly 39 kg of cocaine from a member of the Brazilian military who was traveling with President Jair Bolsonaro to the G20 summit in Japan.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/10070-cocaine-caught-on-brazilian-president-s-plane-traveling-to-g20

Chinese Authorities Seize 1.2 tons of Smuggled Dried Seahorse 

On 27 June, OCCRP reported that Chinese authorities seized over 1.2 tons of smuggled dried seahorse at the port of Qingdao.  It is estimated that 1 kg of dried seahorses costs up to $1,800 – making the delivery was worth $2.16 million. One of the largest hauls in China, it was discovered during a routine X-ray control of containers that arrived to China from Peru.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/10073-chinese-authorities-seize-1-2t-of-smuggled-dried-seahorse

EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report

On 27 June, Europol published this report.  In 2018, terrorism continued to represent a major security threat in EU Member States.  Compared to 2017, the number of attacks and victims in the EU dropped significantly. However, the number of disrupted jihadist terrorist plots increased substantially.  The level of threat from terrorism has therefore not diminished; if anything it has become more complex.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/threat-terrorism-in-eu-became-more-complex-in-2018

US Customs and Border Protection seizes Ancient Egyptian mummy linens 

On 26 June, the Times Herald reported that  officers seized ancient Egyptian mummy linens during enforcement operations at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.  A Canadian mail truck was selected for an enforcement examination. The seized artifacts are believed to be from the Ptolemaic Dynasty 305-30 BC and the importer was unable to prove that the artifacts were removed from Egypt prior to April 2016, which is in violation of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act.

https://eu.thetimesherald.com/story/news/2019/06/26/u-s-customs-and-border-protection-seizes-ancient-egyptian-mummy-linens/1569487001/

Former Uzbek Prosecutor-General Sentenced To 10 Years For Corruption

Baker McKenzie on 27 June reported that former Uzbek Prosecutor-General Rashidjon Qodirov has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges.  Qodirov was arrested in February 2018 and charged with extortion, bribery, and abuse of office, some three years after he was sacked amid a purge of officials connected to the investigation of Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of late President Islam Karimov.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/former-uzbek-prosecutor-general-sentenced-to-10-years-for-corruption/

Belgium’s KBC Bank Faces Money Laundering Charges

On 27 June, Baker McKenzie reported that the bank  has been summoned by authorities in Belgium to face charges of alleged involvement in money laundering, the latest in a wave of accusations against European banks.   The charges are a result of investigations by the Ghent public prosecutor’s office into alleged tax fraud and money laundering by a number of related clients.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/belgiums-kbc-bank-faces-money-laundering-charges/

Corporate fraud and corruption: China and Hong Kong

On 27 June, Control Risks published an interview with Mavis Tan, a Senior Partner in the Compliance, Forensics, and Intelligence practice at Control Risks, who spoke to Financier Worldwide on trends in corporate fraud, bribery and corruption in China and Hong Kong, and key legal and regulatory changes emerging to combat it.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/corporate-fraud-and-corruption-china-and-hong-kong

UN report reveals huge rise in opioid abuse and cocaine production

Illicit Trade on 26 June reported that a new UN study reveals that worldwide use of opioids is rocketing, with the number of people using such drugs in 2017 reaching 53 million, which was 56% up on the previous year – this was partly thanks to more data being available to survey compilers in countries such as India and Nigeria.  The UN said that opioids such as fentanyl and tramadol were responsible for some two-thirds of the 585,000 people who lost their lives as a result of drug use in 2017.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/06/un-report-reveals-huge-rise-in-opioid-abuse-and-cocaine-production-on-international-day-against-drug-abuse-and-illicit-trafficking/

Northern Ireland mother who bought abortion pills for daughter faces criminal trial

On 27 June, Ekklesia reported that a date has been listed for the criminal trial of a mother who bought abortion pills online for her then 15-year-old daughter, despite the outcome of a judicial review challenging the decision to prosecute her still being unknown.  The mother – who cannot be named to ensure her daughter’s anonymity – is accused of two charges of unlawfully procuring and supplying abortion pills in 2013.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/28507

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s