4th July 2019
IRELAND: GOVERNMENT SEEKS SUBMISSIONS ON UPDATE TO IRISH EXPORT CONTROL LAW
On 20th June, Irish law firm Arthur Cox published an article saying that the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation is calling for submissions in relation to an update to the primary export control law in Ireland – the Control of Exports Act 2008. Since 2008, the Act has been subject to minimal amendments. It is intended that the updated Act will strengthen DBEI’s enforcement capabilities and this will include revising the offences and penalties in respect of breaches of export controls. Submissions were required by 28th June.
WORLD BANK UNIT IMPLICATED IN COLOMBIAN GRAFT SCANDAL
On 4th July, KYC 360 reported that María Victoria Guarín was a key adviser on Colombia’s biggest-ever transportation project, and an investment officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank unit whose job was to help the government set the terms for competitive bidding by contractors – she was also married to a senior executive of a company that won part of the contract: Grupo Aval (which was partnered with scandal-hit Odebrecht, which has admitted paying $6.5 million in bribes over the deal).
HONG KONG REGULATOR BANS FORMER GOLDMAN BANKER FOR LIFE OVER 1MDB
On 4th July, KYC 360 reported that the Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has banned Tim Leissner from re-entering the industry for life for his crimes linked to the multi-billion-dollar scandal at the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB. He has already been barred from the banking sector in the US and Singapore for his links to the scandal. A Goldman Sachs spokesman said Leissner deliberately hid certain activities from the bank and repeatedly violated its policies and procedures.
INDIA TO BE PLACED ON PAR WITH AMERICA’S NATO ALLIES FOR EXPORTS
An article on QRIUS on 4th July says that the US Senate has passed legislation to accord India the same status as its other US allies, such as South Korea, Japan and Australia. The legislation paves the way for improved maritime security and advanced technology transfer between the 2 countries. The National Defense Authorisation (Amendment) Act contains the proposal to increase US-India defence co-operation in the Indian Ocean in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism and counter-piracy. When enacted, it will thus ensure that the US State Department treats India as a non-member NATO ally for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act.
CINCINNATI ZOO PROVIDES A NEW HOME FOR SMUGGLED BEETLES AND TARANTULAS
On 3rd July, Cincinnati.com reported that 4 Hercules beetles larvae were confiscated at the Louisville airport after being illegally imported from the UK, and it also received 8 Brazilian whiteknee tarantulas, which were among 250 spiderlings confiscated after being illegally imported from Brazil.
MALTA: AML/CFT ASPECTS OF MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY ANNUAL REPORT
On 3rd July, European Gaming published an article about the just released annual report from the MGA. It says that in 2018, the MGA mainly focused on the implementation of the new Gaming Act which empowered the Authority to further strengthen its regulatory oversight. The MGA also says that it continued to further strengthen its AML/CFT supervision, in order to ensure effectiveness in the mitigation of ML/FT risks relating to gambling services, and the MGA and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) jointly issued the Remote Gaming Implementing Procedures. MGA conducted a total of 33 AML/CFT full-scope examinations, 8 of which were conducted jointly with the FIAU. MGA’s Fit & Proper Committee deemed 63 individuals or companies to be unsuitable for a licence, or for a significant role in a licensee, and 8 licence applications were rejected during 2018. Malta also adopted the EU 4th AML Directive, which saw online gaming companies in Malta becoming obliged entities for the first time.
The MGA report is at –
UKRAINE: CEO OF NAFTOGAZ PLEDGES TO ASSIST SWISS IN MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION
On 3rd July, UNION reported that the CEO of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine has said the company will assist the Swiss law enforcement agencies in the case of money laundering by the former company’s leadership re money involved in the purchase of drilling rigs in 2010. money the company lost during the purchase of the so-called ‘Boyko drilling rigs’ in 2010.
INDIA: 9 YEARS AFTER COMMONWEALTH GAMES, AUTHORITIES CHARGE COMPANY UNDER MONEY LAUNDERING LAW
On 3rd July, News 18 reported that an enforcement agency had issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the attachment of properties of Raja Aederi Consultants Pvt Ltd in connection with alleged corruption involved in the renovation of 2 stadiums in Delhi.
FORMER BARCELONA PRESIDENT CLEARED OF MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES BY SPANISH COURT
First Post on 4th July reported that Spain’s National Court has cleared former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell of money laundering, after prosecutors appealed a first acquittal in April. The Rosells had been accused of hiding money illegally obtained by Ricardo Teixeira, the former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation, for TV rights to Brazil friendly matches. Rosell had previously lived and worked in Brazil, where he forged business links.
AUSTRALIA’S FOREIGN BRIBERY LAWS: A RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR SCREENING RED FLAG “ASSOCIATES”
A briefing from Nyman Gibson Miralis outlines a 6-step plan to develop an effective risk assessment process.
ANOTHER PROMINENT ALGERIA BUSINESSMAN JAILED FOR CORRUPTION
Asharq Al-Awsat on 4th July reported that a court in Algiers has sentenced a prominent businessman to jail on corruption charges. Ahmed Mazouz, the owner of a food company, is close to former premiers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, who are in prison on similar charges. 6 of the country’s top businessmen and members of their families have now been jailed, all of whom are close to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and/or the former premiers.
VANCOUVER ‘FRUIT IMPORTER’ FOUND BURNED AND DEAD IN COLOMBIA
News Vancouver on 3rd July reported that a Canadian man whose body was found burned in Colombia last month is connected to the sprawling investigation into money laundering in Vancouver. Richard Yen Fat Chiu, 47 – who had identified himself as an importer and exporter of fruit when he arrived in the country – was discovered on the Venezuelan border on June 20th. Court documents say Chiu may have led a double life, and that he was convicted in 2002 in Massachusetts for conspiracy to distribute and possess heroin.
ITALY WIDENS PROBE INTO ALLEGED OBSTRUCTION IN NIGERIA ENI GRAFT CASE
On 4th July, Reuters reported that Italian prosecutors are widening an investigation into suspected obstruction of justice by officials of oil group Eni, sources said, threatening to open a new legal front for the company as it defends itself in a major corruption trial which centres on the 2011 purchase of a Nigerian oilfield by Eni and oil major Shell. Eni and Shell have denied any wrongdoing in that case, one of the industry’s biggest corruption scandals.
CHINA’S NEW FOREIGN INVESTMENT LAW: THE IMPACT ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
On 3rd July, Hogan Lovells published an article saying that the FIL will take effect from January 1st, and the existing legislation that has formed the backbone of Foreign Direct Investment regulation in China since the 1980s will be repealed on the same day. The article looks at the impact of this change. It says that the FIL is an attempt by the PRC government to align the corporate governance rules applicable to domestic capital companies on the one hand and foreign invested enterprises on the other.
US SANCTIONS REGULATOR OUTLINES EXPECTATIONS FOR GLOBAL SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE: IMPACT ON PRIVATE EQUITY
On 3rd July, Hogan Lovells published a briefing saying that The Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments offers private equity and other fund managers a detailed insight into OFAC’s expectations with respect to an organisation’s sanctions compliance programme for the first time. The Framework outlines 5 components OFAC considers to be essential for an effective risk-based sanctions compliance programme, and OFAC also highlights “root causes” of sanctions violations. The briefing says that the Framework is particularly relevant following the Government’s escalation of sanctions, such as its recent re-imposition of sanctions against Iran and Cuba. The new OFAC guidelines not only apply to US companies generally, but also to non-US companies which may find themselves subject to US sanctions laws, such as non-US companies that conduct business in or with the US, that employ US citizens or that use US-origin goods or services.
UK: ILLEGAL WASTE SITE ‘SIZE OF 3 FOOTBALL PITCHES’
On 3rd July, Commercial Motor reported that case of a waste site operator who has been given a suspended prison sentence after operating illegally for more than 2½ years. Barry Connally, director of Rhino Recycling, ran a site in Pershore without the necessary environmental permit. An investigation estimated that nearly 9,000 tonnes of waste were being stored illegally.
UK REMOTE GAMING ASSOCIATION (RGA) AND ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH BOOKMAKERS (ABB) BEING REPLACED BY A SINGLE BODY – THE BETTING AND GAMING COUNCIL (BGC)
On 4th July, Calvin Ayre reported that a new, single agency is expected to become active later this year. The 2 bodies being replaced represent a combined group of more than 100 gambling operators in the country.
A REFLECTION ON THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY REGARDING HOW EEA FIRMS CAN PROVIDE FINANCIAL SERVICES INTO THE UK POST-BREXIT
On 2nd July, an article from Allen & Overy says that it is unlikely that clarity on the Brexit saga will be forthcoming any time before 31st October. It warns that a hard Brexit would result in UK financial services providers losing their rights to provide products and services into the EU. This gives rise to a ‘cliff-edge’ risk of market disruption as it may become unlawful for UK providers to undertake new business, and potentially even to service existing business, in the EEA. In the UK, it says, both the legislator and the regulators have taken extensive action to ensure that EEA firms and other market participants accessing the UK market are provided with a high level of comfort that their access rights will be maintained (for a time limited period), whatever the outcome of the political negotiations; but that it is clear that recognition of trading venues on either side of the channel is a political pawn in the Brexit game.
HONG KONG CUSTOMS SEIZES HK$400,000 WORTH OF SMUGGLED BIRD’S NEST
The Bangkok Post on 3rd July reported that customs officers have seized 10 kg of the popular and precious delicacy in a spare tyre concealed in an altered structure underneath the rear of a car at the border checkpoint of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge port, the first smuggling case involving an outgoing private car detected at the site. In April, customs seized 105 kg of smuggled bird’s nest worth HK$3.5 million in an operation, and in the past 18 months customs officers seized 1,112 kg of smuggled bird’s nest in 14 cases.
US CUSTOMS SEIZES RAT MEAT AT CHICAGO’S O’HARE AIRPORT
VoA on 3rd July reported that US Customs and Border Protection agents at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have thwarted a man’s attempt to import several pounds of African rat meat. The man declared the 32 lb of meat on June 26th when his flight arrived from the Ivory Coast, and the meat was confiscated and destroyed. Regulations prohibit the entry of African meats to prevent the spread of African swine fever.
CITY COUNCIL SECURES £350,000 IN COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS DEFRAUDED BY LOCAL PLUMBING COMPANIES
Local Government Lawyer on 4th July reported that victims of 2 plumbing companies who defrauded their clients have been fully compensated for their financial losses, after Southampton City Council prosecuted the individuals involved. 8 defendants were found guilty of money laundering and fraud offences, and a further defendant had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. Between them the 9 defendants had paid, or had been ordered to pay, compensation totalling more than £350,000, and this figure is said to increase as subsequent compensation payments are scheduled to be paid up until July 2020. The trial followed a 4-year investigation by the city council’s Trading Standards team, which put evidence before the court of 177 victims, who had paid sums varying from £200 to more than £18,000 for plumbing and drainage work.
FIRST GUIDELINES FOR FRENCH DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS
On 3rd July, Clifford Chance published a briefing saying that the convention judiciaire d’intérêt public (CJIP) is the French equivalent to the deferred prosecution agreement and was introduced in 2016, allowing prosecutors to enter into out of court settlements with corporate entities in complex criminal cases. On 27th June, financial crime enforcement agency, PNF, and the anti-corruption regulator tasked with monitoring controlling compliance programmes, AFA, jointly published their first guidelines on the CJIP.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL MINING DISPUTES
On 2nd July, Clifford Chance published a briefing saying that mining activities are accompanied by a high risk of adverse impacts on human rights. Mining operations are complex, and managing the associated risks is challenging, but failing to do so effectively increases the potential for disputes. The briefing discusses the ways in which human rights issues typically arise in mining projects, assesses recent efforts by the mining industry to address those issues – spurred by stakeholder pressures and legislative developments – and considers the variety of dispute resolution methods that are utilised to seek remedy against businesses for alleged human rights harms associated with mining operations. It considers the key role played by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), the global authoritative standard on business and human rights, in framing the way in which disputes arise in the sector.
IMPORTANT UK SUPREME COURT RULING ON RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS
On 3rd July, Eversheds Sutherland published a briefing reminding one that contractual terms which aim to prevent an employee from joining a competitor immediately after leaving employment are, in principle, unenforceable unless they are necessary to protect a legitimate interest of the former employer and are reasonable with reference to the interests of the parties and of the public. The briefing is concerned with a case where the Supreme Court has overturned a decision of the Court of Appeal, finding that a contractual restriction purporting to limit a former employee from “engaging, being concerned or interested in” any competing business after leaving was an unreasonable restraint of trade because the restriction was too widely drafted.
UK: ADMISSIBILITY OF WRITTEN STATEMENTS AND THE USE OF DIGITAL SIGNATURES
A Q&A from the Police National Legal Database on 3rd July asked: is a written witness statement admissible as evidence if it has a digital signature, or is a ‘wet signature’ required? It also asked if there are any rules regarding the admissibility of digital signatures on statements? The answer explains that, although a ‘wet signature’ can still be applied, there are no requirements in legislation for such a signature to be used; the requirement for a signature can always be accommodated using digital materials and electronic methods of transmission, where possible; and any doubts as to the provenance, authenticity or integrity of a digital document containing a digital signature would need to be tested in the same way that they would be tested in respect of a traditional ‘wet’ signature on paper. It says that it is arguable that an e-mail from a named e-mail account could also be considered to ‘purport to be signed’ by the account holder, particularly so if it is a secure account and one that requires a password to obtain access.
US SENATOR CONCERNED THAT US-SUPPLIED MISSILES FROM UAE APPEAR TO BE IN USE WITH LIBYAN GROUP
A letter from Senator Robert Menendez on 1st July detailed concerns that the UAE may have transferred US-origin Javelin surface-to-air missiles to the Libyan National Army (which, despite its name, is not the internationally-recognised government army), in violation of US export law.
SOUTH KOREA AND WFP IN DISCUSSION WITH US ON SANCTIONS EXEMPTIONS FOR RICE PROVISION TO DPRK
The Yonhap News Agency on 2nd July reported that South Korea is closely co-operating with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) to discuss sanctions exemptions with the US over its plan to send rice aid to North Korea – with a plan to provide 50,000 tons of domestically harvested rice to North Korea through the WFP, which will handle its delivery and distribution there.
NEW GREENPEACE REPORT WARNS OF ‘IRREVERSIBLE HARM’ FROM DEEP SEA MINING
An article on Ekklesia on 4th July is concerned with a new report from Greenpeace International which says that world’s oceans could face severe and irreversible harm unless tighter environmental safeguards are put in place to protect them from the risks of deep sea mining.
The report is available at –
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS REGIMES
North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway and Georgia have aligned themselves with EU on its new sanctions regime to deter and respond to cyber-attacks which constitute a threat to the EU or its Member States.
North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Moldova and Georgia have aligned themselves with the further extension of EU sanctions on Syria.
North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Moldova have aligned with EU amended sanctions involving Iran.
HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER AND STEPSON OF FORMER MALAYSIAN PREMIER ARRESTED
On 4th July, the Coconuts website in Malaysia reported that Riza Aziz has been arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Riza’s company Red Granite Pictures most famously bankrolled the Hollywood blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese.
ALBANIA’S SELF-CONSUMING CORRUPTION IS UNDERMINING ITS PATH TO EU ACCESSION
On 4th July, Emerging Europe carried an article saying that NATO member Albania, which Transparency International rates as one of Europe’s most corrupt countries, has only made limited progress in combating corruption, including money laundering and bribes, despite firing crooked judges and prosecutors. European ministers met in Luxembourg last year and agreed to open talks, but in June the decision was unexpectedly postponed. Many EU countries see the political tension in the country as a sign that Albania is not yet ready to join. The leaders of the main political parties are accusing each other of corruption, while seeking the power to rule the country which is facing major problems. The opposition called the protests, but the Washington Post recently revealed that its leader, Lulzim Basha, and 2 other party officials have been accused of illegally spending about $650,000, which is linked to Russia through a lobbyist and a foreign company. This, it says, is nothing new – 8 years ago, Ilir Meta, the current president, appeared in a video that was leaked to the media, discussing a $700,000 bribe.
WILLIAM HILL TO CLOSE 700 BOOKMAKERS BLAMING REDUCTION IN FOBT STAKES
On 4th July, Calvin Ayre reported that, following the reduction in the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals to £2, William Hill has announced the upcoming closure of 700 betting shops.
CHINA: CUSTOMS TO CRACK DOWN ON EXPORT OF IP INFRINGING PRODUCTS
China Daily on 4th July reported that customs across the country have launched a special action on intellectual property protection for the second half of the year. Customs will strengthen cooperation in law enforcement with relevant local departments and enhance supervision on infringing products in all dimensions, with consumer electronics, automotive accessories, personal care supplies, clothing, bags and footwear as key regulatory targets – and will focus on protecting the well-known brands of transnational corporations and domestic enterprises with advantages in exporting intellectual property, to enhance the confidence of enterprises in investing in China.
UK: TOTAL OF MORE THAN 60 YEARS IN PRISON FOR AMPHETAMINE LAB GANG
A news release from Merseyside Police on 4th July welcomed the sentencing of 10 men and a women to a total of 61 years and 9 months in prison following 2 linked operations into the large-scale production of amphetamines. The investigation centred around the creation of 2 illicit drug laboratories by criminals operating across the north of England.
UK: ‘PROFOUND AND FAR-REACHING’ POLICING REFORM URGENTLY NEEDED, SAYS CHIEF INSPECTOR OF CONSTABULARY
On 4th July, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary warned that profound and far-reaching aspects of police reform are needed, or services face unacceptable compromises in quality of service levels of public safety. This was as the Inspector published the Annual Assessment of Policing in England & Wales 2018. Most police forces are said to be performing well, and praised the police for their integrity and bravery. But he also called on leaders in police forces and institutions to make bold and long-term decisions to improve policing. He said there was continued controversy about the 43-force structure of policing in England and Wales, with a need for the police service to function as part of a single law enforcement system.
STOWAWAY MIGRANT’S FROZEN CORPSE ALMOST CRUSHES LONDON SUNBATHER AFTER FALLING FROM COMMERCIAL FLIGHT
On 2nd July, Illicit Trade reported that the frozen corpse of a migrant who had hidden in a plane’s landing gear fell just one metre away from a sunbather in south London as the aircraft on which he had stowed away approached Heathrow Airport. Kenyan customs are said to be investigating how the stowaway evaded controls.