Jersey: if regulated businesses comply with their duties then the law will protect them

An article from Carey Olsen on 20 September says that the case of Verga v Nedbank shows that if regulated businesses comply with their duties then the law will protect them.  In the case, the claimant argued that the bank defamed or otherwise wronged him in the course of reporting various matters to the police, who had then initiated an investigation which resulted in criminal proceedings being brought in which he was ultimately found not guilty.  In a case said to be of real importance and relevance, the Royal Court struck out the claims on the basis that the bank could claim immunity from suit and also that the claim was time barred.

https://www.careyolsen.com/briefings/jersey-protects-financial-institutions-reporting-suspicions

 

Revised JMLSG Sectoral Guidance Approved by HM Treasury

On 27 September, the National Law Review reported that the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) had announced on its website that HM Treasury has approved revisions to 3 chapters in Part II of the JMLSG’s aAML/CFT sectoral guidance – re credit unions (section 4), asset finance (section 12) and brokerage services to funds (sector 20).

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/revised-jmlsg-sectoral-guidance-approved-hm-treasury

http://www.jmlsg.org.uk/news/ministerial-approval-of-jmlsg-guidance

 

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 27

27 September 2019

The Assad regime used chemical weapons in May

The Wall Street Journal has reported confirmation of such use, saying that the episode took place in May near the village of Kabana as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces sought to subdue resistance in Latakia province.  It says that the incident would mark the first confirmed violation of chemical-weapons accord since a 2018 US military strike on Syria over its alleged poison-gas use.  

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-intelligence-finds-syrian-government-conducted-chlorine-rocket-attack-in-may-11569513600

The role that UK companies have in North Korean efforts to evade international sanctions

RUSI has issued the latest paper in its Project Sandstone series about North Korea, which uncovers North Korea’s links with UK companies.  It suggests that UK shell companies are used to disguise a network of commercial cargo vessels exporting North Korean coal in violation of UN and EU sanctions.  It names ships owned by UK front companies, registered at ‘unit’ addresses in London, with owners and operators in China.  

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/7d0ec91a-dddb-11e9-8221-1b98fc56091e

https://rusi.org/publication/other-publications/project-sandstone-report-4-north-koreas-coal-smuggling-networks

EU and UK adds 7 names to Venezuela sanctions lists

On 27 September, HM Treasury issued a Notice saying that 7 names had been added to the sanctions Consolidated List following EU Regulation 2019/1586/EU.  7 members of the Venezuelan security and intelligence forces.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/834973/Notice_Venezuela_2019_1586.pdf

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.248.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:248:TOC 

Russia detains (another) 262 North Korean sailors for illegal fishing in its waters

On 27 September, NK News reported that in the second such incident in the month, Russian authorities detained a large number of North Koreans for illegal fishing in Russia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

https://www.nknews.org/2019/09/russia-detains-262-north-korean-sailors-for-illegal-fishing-in-its-waters/

Allegation that BNP Paribas Helped Prop Up Sudan Regime 

On 27 September, the Wall Street Journal reported that human rights groups representing victims of the Darfur genocide filed a criminal complaint against BNP Paribas SA alleging the French bank provided financial services to Sudan that propped up its regime.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/darfur-victims-allege-bnp-paribas-helped-prop-up-sudans-regime-11569506447

ABN Amro Group faces criminal probe in Netherlands over a lack of AML/CFT  controls

On 27 September, the Wall Street Journal reported allegations made that the bank had not carried out client due diligence sufficiently, was insufficiently monitoring bank accounts and did not report unusual transactions, or reported them too late.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/abn-amro-probed-over-anti-money-laundering-and-terrorism-financing-controls-11569497038

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/dutch-abn-amro-faces-money-laundering-investigation-shares-tumble/

Denmark proposing steps to protect bankers amid evidence that they regularly receive threats for exposing clients involved in suspicious dealings

On 27 September, KYC 360 reported that the news follows the focus on banker safety that comes as the financial industry digests news of the death of the former head of Danske’s Estonian unit, Aivar Rehe. 

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/denmark-moves-to-protect-bankers-who-blow-the-whistle-on-dark-money/

Supply chain and compliance in the agricultural sector

On 23 September, the Red Flag Group issued an article on developing a robust due diligence and risk-management framework, saying that this is particularly true in developing economies, where the agricultural sector’s added value in terms of share of GDP reaches up to 50% and contributes as much as 30% to the national GDP in certain countries.  It looks at the 2 sides of the supply chain – producers of agricultural inputs or technologies; and those involved in transportation, handling, processing etc. Given the complexity of chains, it says that an appropriate assessment of the potential risks that may surface along the agri-food business supply chain should take into account its specific structure, as well as the behaviour and performance of each partner in the chain.  It looks at common risks, including social issues over human rights and exploited labour issues etc. It also considers environmental and economic issues, and considers some case studies.  

https://insights.redflaggroup.com/articles/supply-chain-compliance-in-the-agricultural-sector

Operation in Mediterranean Detects Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters

On 24 September, Homeland Security Today reported that a maritime border operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL – Operation Neptune II, which ran during July, August and September – has detected more than a dozen suspected foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) travelling across the Mediterranean.  The Operation focused on the threats posed by suspected FTF potentially using the maritime routes between North Africa and Southern Europe during the busy summer tourist season. The intelligence-led operation also targeted criminal networks involved in human trafficking, people smuggling, firearms trafficking and the drugs trade.  It involved officials at 7 seaports in the 6 participating countries – Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/maritime-security/maritime-border-operation-detects-returning-foreign-terrorist-fighters/

Threats against anti-corruption framework in Brazil multiply

On 23 September, an article from Transparency International starts by saying that 9 in 10 Brazilians see corruption in the public sector as a major problem – although petty corruption seems to affect relatively few people, with the third lowest bribery rate in the region at 11% for bribes paid to access basic public services.  However, it says that expectations have soured, however, since the election, with several developments threaten not only Lava Jato (Car Wash), but also the important progress Brazil has achieved in its anti-corruption legislative and institutional frameworks.

https://voices.transparency.org/threats-against-anti-corruption-framework-in-brazil-multiply-d6c4acfbfd4c

British-flagged Stena Impero tanker has left Iran

On 27 September, Defence News reported that the tanker seized in July had left Iran en route for Dubai.  

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sea/sea-sea/stena-impero-departs-iran-port/

5 people sentenced for distributing and selling an estimated 4.8 million litres of illicit fuel to motorists and haulage companies across the SE England

On 27 September, Forecourt Trader reported that 5 people, including the former owners of a Sussex petrol station, have been sentenced for distributing and selling an estimated 4.8 million litres of illicit fuel to motorists and haulage companies across the south-east of England.  They illegally mixed kerosene with diesel and sold it as legitimate road fuel to motorists at petrol stations – and later switching from kerosene to biodiesel in an attempt to further their deception. VAT was also evaded.

https://forecourttrader.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/17480/

Drug smuggling duo from Liverpool hid huge haul of cocaine on board a yacht 

On 27 September, a news release from the NCA advised that 2 men who hid £60 million worth of cocaine on a yacht travelling from South America to the UK in August 2019 have been convicted of drug smuggling.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/drug-smuggling-duo-from-liverpool-hid-huge-haul-of-cocaine-on-board-a-yacht

Amazon acquires US customs broker

On 27 September, Lloyds Loading List reported that Amazon has acquired US customs broker, INLT as it seeks to expand the services it offers merchants on its online marketplace.  INLT is based in Los Angeles and Philadelphia and employs around a dozen staff. It makes software for sellers to manage costs and customs clearance of cross-border shipments.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/Amazon-acquires-US-customs-broker/75088.htm#.XY5zrW5Fz4g

US Achieves Overhaul of International Postal Rates at UPU Congress

On 27 September, Sandler Travis Rosenberg published an article explaining the changes at the Universal Postal Union Congress – only the third-ever congress in the history of this specialised United Nations agency.  It says that, according to press reports, the congress resulted in an agreement by acclamation that will allow high-volume importers of mail and packages to begin imposing “self-declared rates” for distributing foreign mail from January 2021, with a 5-year period for phasing in new fees.

https://www.strtrade.com/news-publications-UPU-postal-mail-packages-rates-self-declared-093019.html

Hong Kong-bound passenger detained with 49 kg peacock feathers at a Delhi airport

Times Now News on 26 September reported that officials apprehended a passenger travelling with peacock feathers from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport to Hong Kong – he having 3 bulky bags in his luggage.  The export of peacock feathers is prohibited since peacocks are protected under Schedule I of India’s Wildlife Protection Act. The article also mentions previous large seizures of peacock feathers.

https://www.timesnownews.com/mirror-now/crime/article/hong-kong-bound-passenger-detained-with-49-kg-peacock-feathers-at-delhis-igi-airport/495626

US customs officers have seized counterfeit jewellery imitating $90 million of genuine products

The World Intellectual Property Review on 26 September reported the discovery of a “cache of more than 3,200 fake Cartier bracelets” worth $42 million at the Deer Park Community Church in North Carolina, and the arrest of North Carolina pastor Jiangang Lan.

https://www.worldipreview.com/news/preacher-s-arrest-leads-to-seizure-of-counterfeit-cartier-jewellery-18687

Mexican former state attorney general jailed 20 years for drug trafficking

On 27 September, Reuters reported that the former attorney general of Mexico’s Pacific coast state of Nayarit – Edgar Veytia, who was Nayarit’s top law enforcement official from 2013 until his arrest in San Diego in 2017 – has been jailed for 20 years.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mexico-drugs/mexican-former-state-attorney-general-jailed-20-years-for-drug-trafficking-idUSKBN1WB37A

US Senate Earmarks $2 million To Combat Trade-Based Money Laundering

On 27 September, Baker McKenzie reported that the Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Committee earmarked $2 million in Trad- Based Money Laundering (TBML) risk assessment funding in the FY 2020 budget.  It would allow FinCEN to analyse the threat TBML poses on national security. TBML encompasses cartels and terrorist organisations’ hijacking international trade networks to transfer funds across international borders. A senator who helped frame the move is quoted as saying that trade-based money laundering is America’s biggest national security threat that almost no one is paying attention to.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/us-senate-earmarks-2m-to-combat-trade-based-money-laundering/

SEC charges Canadian clean fuel technologies company and former CEO with FCPA violations

On 27 September, an article on Mondo Visione said that the SEC announced that Westport Fuels Systems, Inc, a Canadian clean fuel technology company and Nancy Gougarty, of Leesville, South Carolina, have agreed to pay more than $4.1 million to resolve charges that they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to a foreign government official in China.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/sec-charges-canadian-clean-fuel-technology-company-and-former-ceo-with-fcpa-viol/

UN Secretary-General Calls for Ending Country’s Designation as Terrorist-Supporting State and Immediate Lifting of Sanctions

On 27 September, the UN announced that UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ had made the remarks at the high‑level event on Sudan in New York.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sgsm19784.doc.htm

A 12,000-Mile Voyage Could Be in Vain Due to Iran Oil Sanctions

Hellenic Shipping News on 27 September reported on the 2months and 12,000 miles journey of the tanker Da Yuan Hu, which left Singapore and headed to Mexico to pick up a shipment of crude oil.  However, the The White House has announced penalties against the vessel’s owner, China’s COSCO Shipping Tankers (Dalian) Co, in connection with violating sanctions by shipping Iranian crude.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/a-12000-mile-voyage-could-be-in-vain-due-to-iran-oil-sanctions/





US Senate Earmarks $2 million To Combat Trade-Based Money Laundering

On 27 September, Baker McKenzie reported that the Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Committee earmarked $2 million in Trad- Based Money Laundering (TBML) risk assessment funding in the FY 2020 budget.  It would allow FinCEN to analyse the threat TBML poses on national security. TBML encompasses cartels and terrorist organisations’ hijacking international trade networks to transfer funds across international borders. A senator who helped frame the move is quoted as saying that trade-based money laundering is America’s biggest national security threat that almost no one is paying attention to.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/us-senate-earmarks-2m-to-combat-trade-based-money-laundering/

 

The role that UK companies have in North Korean efforts to evade international sanctions

RUSI has issued the latest paper in its Project Sandstone series about North Korea, which uncovers North Korea’s links with UK companies.  It suggests that UK shell companies are used to disguise a network of commercial cargo vessels exporting North Korean coal in violation of UN and EU sanctions.  It names ships owned by UK front companies, registered at ‘unit’ addresses in London, with owners and operators in China.  

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/7d0ec91a-dddb-11e9-8221-1b98fc56091e

https://rusi.org/publication/other-publications/project-sandstone-report-4-north-koreas-coal-smuggling-networks

 

EU and UK adds 7 names to Venezuela sanctions lists

On 27 September, HM Treasury issued a Notice saying that 7 names had been added to the sanctions Consolidated List following EU Regulation 2019/1586/EU.  7 members of the Venezuelan security and intelligence forces.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/834973/Notice_Venezuela_2019_1586.pdf

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.248.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:248:TOC

 

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 26

26 September 2019

North Korea evading UN sanctions to cash in on soaring domestic demand for smartphones

On 26 September, the Asahi Shimbun reported that economists estimate as many as 6 million North Koreans–a quarter of the population–now have mobile phones.  The phones are said to feature Taiwanese semiconductors, batteries made in China and a version of Google’s open-source Android operating system. Pyongyang-branded smartphones examined by Reuters are powered by chips from Taiwan’s MediaTek and run a version of Google’s Android operating system.  

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201909260022.html

MONEYVAL: swift action needed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing risks

On 25 September, the Council of Europe published the 2018 Moneyval annual report which calls on states to ensure that they have appropriate measures in place to combat “dirty money”.  It highlights a number of initiatives that MONEYVAL carried out in 2018 to address several pressing challenges: including the need to raise the awareness and effectiveness of prosecutors and judges in the repression of money laundering, associated offences and terrorist financing; as well as to step up efforts to combat the financial flows associated with slavery, human trafficking and forced labour.

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-annual-report-2018/168097e0a2

California: 8 popular restaurants to close after CEO is accused of $300 million fraud scheme

ABC News in SanDiego reported on 25 September that several popular restaurants run by a well-known San Diego businessperson, Gina Champion-Cain, will close after Champion-Cain and her company, ANI, were sued by the SEC in August over allegations she led a massive scheme to defraud investors.

https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/eight-popular-restaurants-to-close-after-ceo-is-accused-of-300-million-fraud-scheme

Chinese media calls on other Asian countries to join fight against gambling

On 26 September, Calvin Ayre reported that media is arguing that “more efforts are still needed from joint law enforcement ”co-operation between China and neighboring countries “for the long-term benefits of local economies”.  

https://calvinayre.com/2019/09/26/business/china-media-takes-shot-online-gambling/

Record Cocaine Hauls Confirm Guinea-Bissau’s ‘Narco-State’ Reputation

On 25 September, an article from Insight Crime reported that Guinea-Bissau has failed to contain its role in the international drugs trade, and shipments of cocaine from Latin America are continuing to come across the Atlantic.  It has now seized 1.8 tonnes of cocaine hidden in flour bags and arrested 8 people, including 3 Colombians – the second time in 6 months Guinea-Bissau broke its own record for the largest haul of cocaine in its history.  It says that it is believed these drugs would have found their way to markets in Europe, with the most recent seizure having a street value of between $65 million and $90 million.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/guinea-bissau-colombia-cocaine-hauls/

Trump to Impose Travel Ban On ‘Senior Iranian Officials’ And Family Members 

Rferl on 26 September reported that President Donald Trump has stepped up pressure on Tehran, authorising the State Department to bar senior Iranian officials and family members from entering the US as immigrants or non-immigrants.  The White House did not specify individuals but listed “senior officials of the government of Iran…and the immediate family members of senior officials of the government of Iran”.  

https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-travel-ban-iranian-senior-government-officials/30184344.html

Danske Bank Executive Ensnared in Money Laundering Scandal Found Dead 

On 26 September, KYC 360 reported that Aivar Rehe, the former head of Danske Bank in Estonia, the unit at the centre of a $220 billion money laundering scandal, was found dead after disappearing.  He was CEO of the branch until he left in 2015.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/danske-bank-executive-ensnared-in-money-laundering-scandal-found-dead/

Oil Traders Rattled by US Sanctions on Chinese Shipping

On 26 September, KYC 360 reported that 4 shipping companies were charged with knowingly violating restrictions on handling and transacting Iranian petroleum, with additional sanctions placed against executives and 2 other companies that control them.  

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/oil-traders-rattled-by-u-s-sanctions-on-chinese-shipping-firms/

Mexico: Unnamed Soccer Teams Investigated for Money Laundering 

KYC 360 on 26 September reported that several Mexican regional soccer teams are being investigated for alleged money laundering, sources from the Mexican Ministry of Finance confirmed.  The FIU Director told reporters that several clubs and athletic promoters are being investigated for money laundering.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/mexico-unnamed-soccer-teams-investigated-for-money-laundering/

OFAC designates 3 Russian individuals, MARITIME ASSISTANCE LLC  of Russia and 5 Russian-flag vessels

On 26 September, OFAC announced the addition of 3 individuals, 1 company and 5 vessels to its sanctions lists.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190926.aspx

UK Government encourages food exporters to get ready for post-Brexit animal health regulations

On 26 September, BIFA advised that importers and exporters of animals and animal products are being urged to prepare for Brexit on 31 October, as these will be subject to new requirements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.  This would include foodstuffs ranging from cuts of meat to cheese, as well as fish and fishery products.  The rules would also apply to the import and export of live animals and other consignments such as germplasm and animal by-products.

https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2019/sep/government-encourages-food-exporters-to-get-ready-for-animal-health-regulations?l=y

New version of the UCC Implementing Act

On 26 September, BIFA advised that the new EU Regulation amends and corrects the Union Customs Code Implementing Act as regards Import (release for free circulation), Exit of excise and non-EU goods, data exchange between Member States and data requirements in declarations.  It will enter into force as of 1 October.  

https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2019/sep/new-version-of-the-ucc-implementing-act?l=y

EU divided over implementation of Payments Directive

On 26 September, EurActiv reported that the EU had Commission questioned some Member States’ decision to grant at least 18 months to banks for the full implementation of the European Payments Services Directive 2, which requires stronger authentication procedures for online payments.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/eu-divided-over-implementation-of-payments-directive/

Trophy hunting: the UK legal perspective

On 26 September, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which says that there is an ongoing debate about trophy hunting, its contribution to wildlife conservation and links to wildlife trafficking. Those opposed to trophy hunting are calling for a ban on imports of hunting trophies into the UK.  It says that trophy hunting is legal as long as it complies with a country’s existing hunting legislation, including ensuring all proper permits have been obtained. Exports and imports of hunting trophies from endangered species must be licensed under CITES. Control on imports of hunting trophies by the EU were strengthened in 2015 to address concerns about links to wildlife trafficking. 

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7908

UK: Human Rights and Trade Deals

On 26 September, the House of Lords Library published a briefing prepared in advance of the debate due to take place on 3 October. Lord Harries of Pentregarth (Crossbench) is to move that “this House takes note of the case for ensuring that human rights are respected in any future trade deals with other countries”.  It says that trade agreements worldwide have increasingly included clauses which require the parties to meet certain conditions on human rights. These may include rights relating to labour conditions, political participation, environmental issues and standards in relation to specific goods.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/LLN-2019-0117

Public designation of Raul Castro by US State Department due to involvement in gross violations in human rights

On 26 September, the State Department publicly designated Raul Modesto Castro Ruz, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and First Secretary of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces.  As a result, he and his immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the US. The Department is also publicly designating his children, Alejandro Castro Espin, Deborah Castro Espin, Mariela Castro Espin, and Nilsa Castro Espin.

https://www.state.gov/public-designation-of-raul-castro-due-to-involvement-in-gross-violations-of-human-rights/

Regulator warns Kenyans to avoid forex platform

On 26 September, The Star in Kenya reported that the Capital Markets Authority had warned Kenyans had raised concerns over Interweb Global Fortune and its director.

https://www.the-star.co.ke/business/2019-09-26-regulator-warns-kenyans-against-forex-trading-platform

Italy declares war on tax dodgers in bid to fix finances, cut taxes

On 26 September, Reuters reported that Italy’s government has announced a new crackdown on tax evasion as part of its 2020 budget.  

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-italy-economy-taxavoidance/italy-declares-war-on-tax-dodgers-in-bid-to-fix-finances-cut-taxes-idUKKBN1WB20R

Former first lady of El Salvador on trial for money laundering

On 26 September, Prensa Latina reported that the trial of former Salvadoran First Lady Ana Ligia Mixco came closer t with a commitment to return $17 million dollars allegedly embezzled during the presidency of Antonio Saca.  Mixco is already serving 10 years in prison for embezzling more than $300 million.  

Woman at centre of ‘McMafia order’ will not be extradited back to Azerbaijan 

The Evening Standard on 26 September reported that Zamira Hajiyeva, 55, had won her extradition battle after a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled she would not get a fair trial in Azerbaijan.  She is alleged to have been a member of an “organised criminal group” of 37 people involved in embezzling $97 million from the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) 2009-2015. Her husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, 57, was the chairman of the state-controlled bank 2001-2015, and was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/woman-at-centre-of-mcmafia-order-will-not-be-extradited-back-to-azerbaijan-a4247676.html

SEC Charges PwC LLP with Violating Auditor Independence Rules

On 26 September, an article from Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP concerned reports that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, along with one of its partners, Brandon Sprankle, was charged by the SEC with violating the auditor independence provisions of the federal securities laws. Both PwC and Mr. Sprankle agreed to settle the charges with the SEC for over $7.9 million.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/sec-charges-pwc-llp-with-violating-60092/

Apple and Google purge “hidden” gambling apps

On 26 September, Calvin Ayre reported that Asian-facing gambling apps are disguising themselves as non-gambling products to circumvent restrictions in both Apple and Google app marketplaces.  It is reported that that Apple’s iOS App Store and Google Play had purged “hundreds of fake apps” said to be gambling apps masquerading as apps dealing with far less controversial subjects, such as weather, travel or wine.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/09/26/business/apple-google-purge-chameleon-gambling-apps/

US to remain a member of Universal Postal Union

On 26 September, Lloyds Loading List reported that a compromise deal will allow the US Postal Service to declare its own rates for imported small parcels from China and rest of world – the US had accused China of enjoying unfair advantages in mail imports into the US, effectively undervaluing its products versus US rivals.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/US-to-remain-member-of-Univeral-Postal-Union/75067.htm#.XY0NqG5Fz4g

Jersey drops 12 places in global finance centre rankings

On 26 September, the Jersey Evening Post reported that the latest Global Financial Centre Index, compiled by the London-based Z/Yen think tank every 6 months, has ranked Jersey in position 59.  It was at 13 in the list in 2009, was still well ahead of the other Crown Dependencies, Guernsey (92) and the Isle of Man (89), which also slid down the rankings by 17 and 5 places respectively.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2019/09/26/jersey-drops-12-places-in-global-finance-centre-rankings/

Swedish Ericsson Set to Pay Record Settlement in US Corruption Probe

On 26 September, OCCRP reported that telecom equipment producer Ericsson AB expects to pay a record $1 billion to settle a US corruption probe concerning its conduct in 6 different countries.  

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/10739-swedish-ericsson-set-to-pay-record-settlement-in-us-probe

Pakistan: Ex-City Official Arrested for Fixing Parks that Don’t Exist

OCCRP on 26 September reported that Pakistani authorities had arrested Liaquat Ali Qaimkhani, the former head of Karachi’s parks and horticulture, who is suspected of having embezzled $6.4 million through fake companies he had established to repair 71 non-existent parks over the past 2 decades.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/10738-pakistan-ex-city-official-arrested-for-fixing-parks-that-don-t-exist

66 suspected of arranging illegal adoptions and surrogacies, and human egg trafficking in Greece

A news release from Europol on 26 September advised that Greek law enforcement authorities, supported by Europol, had dismantled an organised crime group involved in the trafficking of human beings (selling ova), illegal adoption and money laundering. Since 2016, the criminal network recruited vulnerable pregnant women from Bulgaria and transported them to Thessaloniki in Greece where they were placed under medical observation and sent to private hospitals to deliver their children. The newborns were then illegally adopted for between €25,000 and €28,000 each.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/66-suspected-of-arranging-illegal-adoptions-and-surrogacies-and-human-egg-trafficking-in-greece

FBI Plans Wave Of Money Mule Arrests

On 26 September, Baker McKenzie reported that the FBI is preparing to apprehend dozens of money mules who appear to have ignored the bureau’s warnings to cease opening and using bank accounts to launder the proceeds of fraud.  In March that the FBI and US Postal Service targeted as many as 600 money mules with warning letters, civil forfeiture, and even criminal prosecution as part of a nationwide crackdown on attempts to defraud elderly citizens out of their savings.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/fbi-plans-wave-of-money-mule-arrests/

Why Hong Kong is China’s Sanctions Hot Spot

On 26 September, an article from Clifford Chance says that FATF in the recent evaluation report encourages Hong Kong to closely monitor its exposure to proliferation financing, especially from North Korea.  It is also said to be the latest reminder that there are sanctions risks lurking under Hong Kong’s compliant surface that are bigger than you might think. 

https://onlineservices.cliffordchance.com/online/freeDownload.action?key=OBWIbFgNhLNomwBl%2B33QzdFhRQAhp8D%2BxrIGReI2crGqLnALtlyZe0dv96JxTuCSqrUFXRUYTJLp%0D%0A5mt12P8Wnx03DzsaBGwsIB3EVF8XihbSpJa3xHNE7tFeHpEbaeIf&attachmentsize=226466