17th August 2019
US COMMERCE DEPARTMENT ADDS TO THE BANNED ENTITY LIST
Yahoo News on 16th August carried an article saying that the Department of Commerce had added 17 companies and individuals to its Entity List for posing a risk to US national security and foreign policy interests. Amendments were also made to were made to 17 China entries, 4 Hong Kong entries and 2 Russian entries. 3 entries were removed: Jereh International and Yantai Jereh Oilfield Services Group Co Ltd. of China, and Deira General Marketing of the UAE. It explains that the Entity List subjects US exporters to specific export licensing requirements and prohibitions when conducting business with the listed entities. An End-User Review Committee (ERC), which is composed of export control officials from the Commerce, State, Defense, Energy and Treasury departments, decides which entities are added to the list.
1 TONNE OF COCAINE FROM ECUADOR SEIZED IN LE HAVRE
On 16th August, EU-OCS reported that French customs officials had confiscated cocaine worth around €74 million in the northern French port of Le Havre. A tonne of cocaine was discovered in a shipment of palm kernels from Ecuador.
TIME TO PREPARE FOR THE 5th AML DIRECTIVE
Finextra on 16th August carried an article saying that the 5AMLD is set to become law throughout the EU on 10th January. The article briefly details the changes it introduces – cryptocurrencies are set to face the same regulations that have applied to financial institutions under 4AMLD; pre-paid card companies to carry out checks on customers using cards funded with more than €150, down from €250 under 4AMLD; in 3 years, KYC will be required for all remote payments, and prepaid cards issued outside the EU will face prohibition unless issued from a country that enforces equivalent legislation with the same AML/CFT standards; KYC to be undertaken not just on customers but also on the businesses they trade with; organisations must have access to the EU’s list of high-risk countries and update their due diligence processes to ensure compliance; and upgraded penalties for non-compliance.
FINNISH POLICE CHARGE 2 IN RECORD LAUNDERING CASE
Bloomberg Law on 16th August reported that Finnish police have charged 2 Estonian nationals in connection with what is likely to be Finland’s biggest money laundering case. They are alleged to have moved as much as €140 million of Russian organised crime money in 2014 by wiring roubles to bank accounts in Finland opened by a Finnish construction company they managed.
UK: INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE GROWERS OF LOW THC CANNABIS (INDUSTRIAL HEMP) – SEED AND FIBRE ONLY
On 16th August, the Home Office published a series of documents on cannabis and cannabis-related matters, licences and controls. This one dealt with licences for industrial hemp, which are valid for 1 year only. The licence only allows for the industrial use of the seed and fibre, which are non-controlled parts of the hemp plant. The licence does not allow for the use of the flowers or leaves (‘green’ or controlled materials).
UK: LOW THC CANNABIS (INDUSTRIAL HEMP) LICENSING FACTSHEET
This factsheet represents the Home Office’s view on the domestic control measures applicable to so-called ‘low THC’ Cannabis cultivation (Industrial Hemp). It is intended as a resource for existing licensees and prospective licensees. They should note the limitations for which a licence may be granted under the industrial hemp policy, namely for production of non-controlled hemp products from fibre and seed only.
PAKISTAN SUBMITS 450-PAGE REPORT TO FATF
The News International in Pakistan on 17th August reported that, after hiring 2 international consultants for finalising compliance report, Pakistan has submitted 450-page report along with detailed annex on 27-point action plan given by FATF that will be scrutinised in face-to-face meeting at Bangkok next month.
UK: PROTECTING CULTURAL OBJECTS ON LOAN
On 16th August, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published updated guidance on how UK museums and galleries can arrange to protect exhibits on loan from abroad from court-ordered seizure. It says that it offers protection for international loans in this way because, in some cases, the ownership of art can be disputed and many other countries will not lend to the UK without this protection.
ALBANIAN MAYOR OUSTED FOR ALLEGED DRUG CRIME
OCCRP on 16th August reported that the incoming mayor of the northern Albanian city Shkodra – Valdrin Pjetri, who was to become the city’s first Socialist mayor – was forced to resign after an opposition party exposed his past conviction on drug-related charges. Under Albania’s “decriminalisation law” no individual convicted of serious crimes can hold public office, and if convicted of less serious crimes, potential officials must disclose their criminal history. The law represented an intensive effort to rid Albania’s public institutions of corruption and ties to organised crime.
BRAZIL CRACKS DOWN ON GANGS AND CORRUPT GOVERNMENT AGENTS
On 16th August, OCCRP reported that Brazilian authorities have arrested more than 115 suspected members of various criminal gangs, as well as government officials allegedly linked to organised crime and corruption, with 300 search warrants executed in 9 states. Authorities also suspended a number of officers who are being investigated.
BRITISH PRESS IGNORES THE CONTINUING HORROR IN AFGHANISTAN
An article on Politics.co.uk on 15th August reported that Afghanistan is witnessing a sharp rise in violence. Last month was the worst for civilian casualties from explosive weapons since at least October 2010. The numbers are increasing. In 2011, some 1,970 people – civilians and security personnel – were killed or injured by suicide attacks in Afghanistan. By 2018, it was at least 3,079 – a rise of 56%. However, such rising violence in the country, though, has been largely ignored by the UK media. An examination of UK news outlets shows that some of Britain’s most influential press outlets have severely under-reported civilian casualties from explosive weapons in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year. Both the US and the Taliban insist there has been progress in the peace talks and have reportedly resolved differences over the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan – but it raises a fundamental question: has the West’s intervention in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 made the country a safer place?
GDPR: INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS
The Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK has produced guidance if there is no Brexit deal, for a UK-based business or organisation to which GDPR currently applies to your processing of personal data and it sends personal data outside the UK; receives personal data from the EEA; or receives personal data from countries or territories which are covered by an adequacy decision.
STANDARD CHARTERED FACES £10 MILLION FINE IN UK OVER SANCTIONS FAILINGS
On 17th August, Sky News reported that the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has notified Standard Chartered that it intends to impose a penalty of more than £10 million in the coming weeks for failing to prevent sanctions breaches. The bank has already been hit this year by penalties totalling more than £800 million from regulators in London and New York for violating sanctions against Iran.
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