DANISH VAT MONEY FOR JIHADISTS IN SYRIA

On 11th September, OCCRP reported that 14 businessmen, suspected of being linked to terrorists in Syria, defrauded the Danish Treasury for years, raking in some $120 million through VAT fraud.  2 in the group are suspected of direct ties with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and they allegedly operated a number of companies that went bankrupt with some $14.5 million unpaid in VAT and nearly $10 million in debt to private creditors.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/10660-danish-vat-money-for-jihadists-in-syria

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FATF: UPDATED CONSOLIDATED AML/CFT ASSESSMENT RATINGS

On 11th September, FATF published an updated consolidated schedule of AML/CFT assessment ratings, including the Panama and Dominican Republic update reports.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/4th-Round-Ratings.pdf

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FATF: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

FATF on 11th September published the August 2019 follow-up report to the AML/CFT assessment of the Dominican Republic following its 2018 mutual evaluation report.  Recommendation 18 (Internal controls and foreign branches and subsidiaries) has been re-rated from Partially Compliant to Largely Compliant.  The Dominican Republic will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT (the FATF-style regional body) on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/GAFILAT-FUR-Dominican-Republic-2019.pdf

dom rep

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FATF: PANAMA AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

panama 1

FATF on 11th September published the August 2019 follow-up report to its 2018 mutual evaluation report.  Panama has been making important progress and has been re-rated on 4 FATF Recommendations – Recommendation 3 from PC to LC; Recommendation 20 from LC to C; Recommendation 24 (Transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons. Countries should take measures to prevent the misuse of legal persons for money laundering or terrorist financing) from NC to PC; and Recommendation 30 from PC to C.  Panama will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

panama 2

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/GAFILAT-Follow-Up-Report-Panama-2019.pdf

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THE NEXT STEPS IN PREVENTING CRIMINAL ABUSE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY

On 10th September, an Occasional Paper from RUSI sets out to support domestic authorities that will regulate virtual asset service providers and supervise their compliance with AML/CTF regulations in identifying next steps they should take to effectively prevent criminal abuse of cryptocurrency.

https://rusi.org/publication/occasional-papers/intention-action-next-steps-preventing-criminal-abuse-cryptocurrency

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US: REPORT ON CONFLICT MINERALS REGULATION COMPLIANCE

On 10th September, American Shipper reported a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that says that companies’ compliance with due diligence requirements under an SEC rule continues to be high.  It says that almost all companies required to conduct due diligence to determine the countries of origin for conflict minerals used in their products did so last year.  The regulation generally requires companies to disclose whether they sourced tin, tantalum, gold and/or tungsten from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  In 2018, 1,117 companies filed conflict minerals disclosures, about the same number as in 2017 and 2016, the GAO said.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/gao-releases-yearly-report-on-conflict-minerals-regulation-compliance

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US E-COMMERCE IMPORTERS SET FOR BIG PRICE HIKES ON PARCELS FROM CHINA

Lloyds Loading List on 10th September reported that, with the US expected to leave the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Convention in October, the US Postal Service has declined to comment on reports of potential fourfold inbound price rises from ‘developing’ countries, such as China.  The Trump Administration had announced plans to leave the UPU in protest against cheap delivery rates for imported parcels, especially from China, that put US domestic shippers at a competitive disadvantage.  It is said that such a move would be expected to lead to significant price rises for international parcels from several countries that have been classed as ‘developing’ countries under UPU rules, including China, with one analyst estimating that it would lead to a rate hike of at least 300% on postal parcel traffic to the US from those countries.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/US-e-commerce-importers-set-for-big-price-hikes-on-parcels-from-China/74957.htm#.XXithndFx9A

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PODCAST: EPISODE 1 OF THE SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION REPORT FROM RUSI

Released on 11th September, this podcast discusses the latest financial crime news, including with Misha Glenny (author of “McMafia”), and the latest developments with the impounded Iranian oil tanker the Adrian Darya-1, HMRC’s largest ever money laundering fine and the trailer of the Laundromat film.  There is also news of an upcoming paper on the effectiveness of the AML regime and what can be done to make it more effective.

https://www.rusi.org/multimedia/episode-1-suspicious-transaction-report

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SHADOW DIRECTORS: WHO ARE THEY, WHAT ARE THEIR DUTIES, AND WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR LIMITATION PERIODS, ACCESSORY LIABILITY AND D&O INSURANCE?

On 10th September, a briefing from 4 New Square Chambers addresses these points.  It says that the subject of shadow directors is highly topical as a result of the drive towards greater corporate transparency and establishing who really owns and controls companies as well as the desire, particularly in insolvency, to maximise recoveries following on from corporate wrongdoing.  The Chambers offer both a podcast and handout (dated February 2019) on the subject.

https://www.4newsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Shadow-Directors-by-Michael-Bowmer.pdf

https://www.4newsquare.com/podcast/shadow-directors-who-are-they-what-are-their-duties-and-what-are-the-implications-for-limitation-periods-accessory-liability-and-do-insurance/

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NEW GERMAN DRAFT ACT TO COMBAT CORPORATE CRIME

On 6th September, Paul Hastings published an article about a new draft law that would allow for the prosecution of corporate crimes, in response to and consistent with the recommendations of the OECD Working Group on Bribery that Germany improve its prosecution of legal persons – the Corporate Sanctions Act (Verbandssanktionengesetz, or VerSanG-E).  This would enhance enforcement against corporations for business-related crimes, facilitate punishment of culpable companies, promote internal investigations, and incentivise investment in corporate compliance programmes.  The Act is expected to significantly change the compliance and investigation practice in Germany and beyond, and may also pose major risks on M&A deals, at least where the target is integrated into the buyer’s group.  The article outlines key takeaways, including creating incentives for investments in compliance, as a mitigating factor and that can lead to a substantial reduction of penalties.  It is also said to weaken privilege protection for documents.

https://www.paulhastings.com/publications-items/details/?id=2f72c86d-2334-6428-811c-ff00004cbded

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