US VENEZUELAN SANCTIONS – NEW FAQ, GENERAL LICENSES AND OFAC ADVISORY ON HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT

On 6th August, the US Treasury issued –

  • A Notice about a new Executive Order imposing a more general full import/export economic embargo on Venezuela;
  • A news release and OFAC Guidance “Related to the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance and Support to the Venezuelan People”. This also refers to several General Licenses that facilitate humanitarian support in the sense of remittances, food, medicine, Internet, telecommunications and mail, and the work of NGO and international organisations;
  • 12 amended and 13 new General Licenses; and
  • 3 new FAQ (nos. 679-681).

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/20190805_venezuela_eo.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm752

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/20190805_vz_humanitarian_guidance.pdf

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190806.aspx

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/faq_other.aspx#679

 

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CONGO LAUNDROMAT? HOW THE SON OF THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF CONGO, APPEARS TO HAVE STOLEN OVER $50 MILLION OF STATE FUNDS TO FUND HIS LAVISH LIFESTYLE

Global Witness on 6th August carried reports saying that Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, the son of Republic of Congo’s President, apparently stole over $50 million from the Congolese treasury to fund his luxurious lifestyle.  The money was funnelled through 6 European countries, the US and the BVI, Global Witness reveals in a new investigation.  It also says that a  key role was played by José Veiga, a controversial businessman who is the target of a Portuguese probe into corruption and money laundering in Congo.  The reports claim, amongst other things, that $70 million of Congolese public funds through a network of at least 10 shell companies set up in Cyprus, Estonia and Spain, and the money was spent in Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and UK, according to a police report.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/press-releases/luxury-loving-congo-presidents-son-received-over-50-million-from-public-treasury/

https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/campaigns/corruption-and-money-laundering/sassou-nguessos-laundromat-a-congolese-state-affair-part-ii/

https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/blog/how-following-tainted-public-money-congo-led-me-heart-europe/

congo

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FATF-STYLE BODY ISSUES AML/CFT ASSESSMENT UPDATE REPORTS – BANGLADESH, CAMBODIA, FIJI AND MYANMAR

On 6th August, the FATF-style regional body, the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), published Mutual Evaluation Follow-Up Reports (FUR) for several countries –

  • Bangladesh: 3rd FUR 2019

Bangladesh will remain on enhanced follow-up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

bangla

  • Cambodia 2nd FUR 2019

Cambodia will remain on enhanced (expedited) follow-up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

camb

  • Fiji 3rd FUR 2019

Fiji will remain on enhanced follow-up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

fiji1

fiji2

  • Myanmar 1st FUR 2019

Myanmar will remain on enhanced (expedited) follow-up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

myan

The reports were adopted by the APG Governance Committee on behalf of the APG membership in July 2019.

http://www.apgml.org/news/details.aspx?pcPage=1&n=1151

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THE BASICS: WHAT IS “SET OFF”, AND WHEN DOES THE RIGHT TO SET OFF ARISE?

On 6th August, Gowling WLG published the latest in its Basics guides, saying that, in certain circumstances, if a claim is proven, the defendant will be able to offset monies that are due to it from the claimant – this is known as set off.  The article covers the basics of set off, including the different types of set off and key points you need to know.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2019/what-is-set-off-and-when-does-the-right-arise/

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FATF: HAITI AML/CFT ASSESSMENT REPORT

On 5th August, FATF published the mutual evaluation report from the FATF-style regional body, CFATF.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/mer-fsrb/CFATF-Mutual-Evaluation-Republic-of-Haiti-2019%20.pdf

 

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AUSTRIAN COURT UPHOLDS €2.75 MILLION FINE AGAINST RAIFFEISEN BANK FOR AML FAILINGS

On 6th August, KYC 360 reported that an administrative court has rejected Raiffeisen Bank International’s challenge against a fine over insufficient AML checks.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/austrian-court-upholds-2-75-mln-euro-fine-against-raiffeisen/

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ÁLEX SAAB, VENEZUELA’S MILLION-DOLLAR MONEY LAUNDERER

On 5th August, Insight Crime carried a profile of Alex Saab, recently designated by OFAC.  He has also been indicted on money laundering charges that accuse him of transferring some $350 million out of Venezuela and linked to a scheme included kickbacks to government officials in connection to a 2011 government contract to build low-income housing that was never actually constructed.  It says he is also implicated in a food aid fraud and is also involved in gold exports.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/us-targets-alex-saab-colombia-laundered-millions-venezuela/

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