THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 19

19th October 2019

CHINESE NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 40 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT MILITARY AND SPACE-GRADE TECHNOLOGY FROM THE US TO CHINA

On 18th October, a news release from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised that Tao Li, a 39-year-old Chinese national, had been sentenced to 40 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  Between December 2016 and January 2018, Li worked with other individuals in China to purchase radiation-hardened power amplifiers and supervisory circuits and illegally export them from the US to China.  Such components are primarily used for military and space applications.  Li, who resided in China, used multiple aliases to contact individuals in the US, including representatives of US-based private companies, to try to obtain the electronic components; and, Li and his co-conspirators agreed to pay a “risk fee” to illegally export the electronic components to China.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/chinese-national-sentenced-40-months-prison-conspiring-illegally-export-military-and

BREXIT AND THE FUTURE OF EXPORT CONTROLS

On 17th October, Brodies LLP published an article that reviews what has been done to prepare the UK export controls system for Brexit.  It points out that while the UK is still part of the EU, most of the legislation applicable to export rules is based on EU law.  The key changes to export rules as a result of Brexit broadly fall into 2 categories –

  • changes to licensing processes and applicable licensing authorities in relation to trade involving the EU; and
  • the potential for divergence between the EU and UK’s approach to export and sanctions regulation in a post-Brexit future.

The update is most relevant to businesses that operate internationally or export goods or services to or via the EU.  It may also be relevant to businesses that import goods or services from the EU.

https://brodies.com/binformed/legal-updates/part-2-brexit-and-the-future-of-export-controls

SEC CHAIR LAMENTS PERCEIVED LACK OF INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS

In a round-up of anti-corruption matters for September, SEC Chair Jay Clayton argued that the FCPA enforcement efforts of the SEC may be having unintended consequences due to a lack of coordinated global anti-corruption enforcement efforts.  It is said that it is not clear why Clayton seems to have reverted to a less positive position on international anti-corruption efforts, but he did signal in his September 2019 remarks that he would be pressing this issue when he engages with his international counterparts.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/top-10-international-anti-corruption-80853/

US SLAPS NEW SANCTIONS ON CUBA OVER HUMAN RIGHTS AND SUPPORT FOR VENEZUELA

On 18th October, it was announced that the Department of Commerce said in a statement that it is revoking existing licences for aircraft leases to Cuban state-owned airlines and will deny future applications for aircraft leases.  It will also expand the sanctions on Cuba to include more foreign goods containing US contents.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/US-Sanctions-Cuba-Human-Rights-Venezuela-563428391.html

COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO SMUGGLING ENDANGERED SPECIES GOODS INTO US

On 17th October, WTOP in Virginia reported that court documents indicate The British Shop used false shipping labels to ship the items to the US, including suitcases and cigar boxes made from crocodile leather, sawfish blades and multiple pieces made from sea turtle shell.  The company agreed to forfeit $175,000 in a plea deal.  A Virginia antique dealer and golf course architect, Keith Foster, had previously pleaded guilty to importing the items to his Middleburg shop.

https://wtop.com/alexandria/2019/10/british-company-pleads-to-smuggling-endangered-species-goods/

MALTA: MONEY LAUNDERING CASE LINKED TO DEATH OF DAPHNE CARUANA GALIZIA RETURNED TO MAGISTRATES COURT

On 18th October, the Times of Malta reported that the Attorney General had exercised his discretion and sent the case of brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio from the Criminal Court to a magistrates’ court. If the case was tried before the Criminal Court, the maximum punishment is 18 years or a fine of €2.5 million or both.  When the case is decided by magistrate, the maximum punishment goes down to 9 years or a fine of €250,000 or both.  The decision was taken after the prosecution had declared that it had no further evidence to put forward.  Although both men claimed to be unemployed, they did not file tax returns and had mostly dormant bank accounts – but appeared to lead a lavish lifestyle, owning luxury cars and pleasure boats.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/degiorgio-brothers-to-be-judged-by-a-magistrate-in-money-laundering.742977

ISLE OF MAN: TRUST SERVICES COMPANY ACCUSED OF DIVERTING MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF CLIENT MONEY – AND USING IT TO FUND THE LIFESTYLE OF THE FAMILY OF ITS BOSS

IOM Today on 18th October reported the case of Montpelier (Trust and Corporate) Services Ltd.  The Deemster (high court judge) appointed an inspector to investigate the company’s affairs and Montpelier says that it will appeal the decision.  The Financial Services Authority had applied for the appointments in the public interest.  the FSA alleged that millions of pounds of client money were paid to companies beneficially owned by Edward Watkin Gittins.

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=51427

HONDURAN PRESIDENT IMPLICATED IN BROTHER’S BRIBERY CONVICTION

On 19th October, Reuters reported that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez emerged battered from the trial and conviction of his brother after the US DoJ concluded that the evidence showed narcotraffickers had bribed the president and his party.  Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez was found guilty of conspiring to import cocaine, illicit weapons possession and lying to US authorities.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-honduras-drugs-president/honduran-president-hobbled-after-being-implicated-in-brothers-bribery-conviction-idUKKBN1WY03N

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/tony-hernandez-conviction-honduras/

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/how-his-extradition-policy-exposed-honduras-president/

TRANSPARENCY AND TAX EVASION: EVIDENCE FROM THE FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT (FATCA)

On 1st February, a Working Paper from the Graduate School of Stanford Business examines how US individuals respond to regulation intended to reduce offshore tax evasion. Specifically, it studies investment responses to FATCA, which requires foreign financial institutions to report information to the US government regarding US account-holders.  It documents a $15.3 billion decrease in equity foreign portfolio investment to the US from tax haven countries after FATCA implementation.  The paper also provides evidence of other important consequences of this regulation, including increased expatriations of US citizens and greater investment in alternative assets not subject to FATCA reporting, such as residential real estate and artwork.

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/gsb-cmis/gsb-cmis-download-auth/471531

UNDERCOVER POLICING IN ENGLAND AND WALES

On 18th October, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which explains the regulatory framework that governs undercover policing operations in England and Wales and the oversight mechanisms intended to ensure compliance with that framework.  It also looks at the ‘undercover policing scandal’ which followed revelations that undercover officers had in the past engaged in intimate relationships with surveillance subjects and used the identities of dead children for cover.  It explains the resultant litigation and the forthcoming public Inquiry into undercover policing.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8660

PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS IN ASIA

On 19th October, Hellenic Shipping News reported on a report on Q3 2019 piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.  It says that there were a total of 54 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships (comprising 49 actual incidents and 5 attempted incidents) were reported in Asia during January-September 2019.  This compared to 64 incidents during January-September 2018 (comprising 50 actual incidents and 14 attempted incidents), and this represents a 16% decrease in the total number of incidents reported.  However, in terms of actual incidents, there was only 1 incident less during January-September 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/recaap-isc-3rd-quarter-report-on-piracy-and-armed-robbery-against-ships-in-asia/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

 

 

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 18

18th October 2019

OFAC AMENDS VENEZUELA GENERAL LICENSE

On 17th October, OFAC advised that it had issued an amended General License 13D authorising certain activities involving Nynas AB.  The License expires on 14th April 2020.  Nynas AB is a Swedish manufacturer of speciality naphthenic oils and bitumen products, it is jointly owned by a Finnish company and Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA.  OFAC had issued a licence allowing limited transactions with Nynas, but that measure was set to expire on October 25th.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/venezuela_gl13d.pdf

TO BUY VENEZUELAN OIL, GO TO PANAMA CITY

On 24th September, Hellenic Shipping News had published an article claiming that to order Venezuela oil one could go to a helix-shaped skyscraper popularly known as “The Screw,” in Panama City that houses a Rosneft Oil Co PJSC office.  It was said to have been manned by 3 oil traders, 2 of whom used to work for PDVSA, and helped Russian oil company Rosneft to handle 70% of all oil exported by Venezuela in August.  PDVSA and Rosneft had been partners in oil-producing ventures in Venezuela and since 2014.  It is said that Rosneft has taken on a more active role in trading Venezuelan oil after the US tightened Venezuelan sanctions.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/to-buy-venezuelan-oil-youll-need-to-go-straight-to-panama-city/

SAN FRANCISCO: AIRLINE EMPLOYEES FIND PACKAGE WITH 3 HUMAN FOETUSES, WOMAN CHARGED WITH SMUGGLING

On 17th October, the Mercury News reported that a Colorado woman has been charged with trying to smuggle human tissue from the US to the UK, after airport package screeners flagged a package containing 3 foetuses before it was boarded onto an international flight.  Authorities believe the foetuses were stillborn and from the 1920s and 1930s that were donated to a university in Omaha and somehow made their way onto the black market.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/17/sfo-employees-find-package-with-three-human-fetuses-woman-charged-with-smuggling/

67 ISRAELIS ARRESTED OVERSEAS FOR KHAT SMUGGLING IN ONE YEAR

On 17th October, the Jerusalem Post reported that in the 11 months since Israeli citizens were first arrested overseas for khat-smuggling, the number has reached 67 with no end in sight, according to the Foreign Ministry.  This followed a further arrest in Barcelona and the arrest of 3 persons in Paris.  Israelis are currently serving prison time in France, Sweden, Spain, Ireland and Turkey.  One was arrested with 9 full suitcases of khat.  One point which has confused Israelis is that khat is not illegal in Israel, but it is illegal in most European countries, and handlers appear to tell the smugglers that khat is legal in Israel and only a small issue in other countries.

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/67-Israelis-arrested-overseas-for-khat-smuggling-604963

LONDON LETTING AGENTS SENTENCED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

On 18th October, The Negotiator reported that 3 London letting agents have been given suspended sentences following an investigation into their activities.  It says that an investigation found that Oliver Knights had been used as a vehicle for fraud that led to at least £50,000 financial loss for tenants and landlords.  The 3 defendants pleaded guilty to money laundering, having knowingly allowed their bank accounts to launder the proceeds of lettings frauds in 2013-2015, the proceeds specifically relating to rental payments received for properties that were never available to rent.  It is said that Oliver Knights advertised properties to let on Rightmove, Zoopla, Gumtree and their own site. Would-be customers paid deposits and rent in advance only to be told that the property was no longer available, or to not hear anything further from Oliver Knights representatives, and some properties offered for rent had never been available and had been falsely advertised.

https://thenegotiator.co.uk/london-letting-agents-sentenced-for-money-laundering/

ICELAND FACES POSSIBLE GREY LISTING FOR INADEQUATE AML POLICIES

On 17th October, the Iceland Review reported that the US and UK are attempting at the FATF Plenary to have Iceland put on a grey list for its lacklustre legislature concerning money laundering.  Iceland reportedly has full support from the EU.

https://www.icelandreview.com/news/iceland-faces-possible-grey-listing-for-inadequate-money-laundering-policies/

EU AMENDS CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SANCTIONS

On 17th October, EU Regulation 2019/1735/EU amended the EU sanctions regime for CAR following UN Security Council Resolution 2488 of 12th September, amending the EU measures so that they correspond to those of the UN.  The changes include an exemption for supplies to UN, CAR and other security forces of training and assistance, non-lethal equipment, and weapons and ammunition for security and wildlife ranger services.

https://undocs.org/s/res/2488(2019)

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2019:265:FULL&from=EN

INDUSTRY/REGULATOR FORUM TO CONSIDER HAZARDOUS SHIPS’ CARGO CONCERNS

On 17th October, Lloyds Loading List reported that a panel of experts from industry and regulators will seek solutions next month to the ongoing threat of containership fires, after a number of high-profile episodes has brought the issue of misdeclared dangerous goods transport to the fore.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/Forum-to-consider-hazardous-cargo-concerns/75241.htm#.Xal20ndFymQ

EUROPE’S MOST WANTED FEMALE FUGITIVES

On 18th October, Europol advised that 21 EU Member States have selected one of their most wanted fugitives to feature in a publicity campaign for the eumostwanted website. Europe’s Most Wanted was initiated in January 2016.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/crime-has-no-gender-meet-europe’s-most-wanted-female-fugitives

Details of the 21 women are at –

https://eumostwanted.eu/crimehasnogender

DERIPASKA-LINKED COMPANY WAS RAIDED FOR UNDISCLOSED US INQUIRY

On 18th October, Bloomberg reported that prosecutors in the US are seeking records from a company associated with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska as part of a previously unreported investigation, according to documents filed in the High Court in London.  The company is Terra Services Ltd, a real estate business that until last year was controlled by Deripaska.  The action in the US was part of the investigation of Russian election interference.  The company is challenging a search warrant obtained by the NCA that led to the December 2018 seizure of at least 25,000 electronic documents from a British storage unit it owned, and it has asked a London judge to prevent the documents from being handed over to the Americans.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/deripaska-linked-firm-was-raided-for-undisclosed-u-s-inquiry-1.1333504

REVIEW OF PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES ACT 2016: ACMD CONTRIBUTION

On 18th October, the Home Office published a summary of the contribution of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to the impact review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 in the UK.  The Act had effectively banned the so-called “legal highs”.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/840471/ACMD_contribution_to_the_Impact_Review_of_the_Psychoactive_Substances_Act_2016odt.odt

GAMBLING-RELATED HARMS: UK EVIDENCE REVIEW

On 18th October, Public Health England published a news release containing information about the scope of the review of the prevalence of gambling, its associated health harms and their economic and social burden.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gambling-related-harms-evidence-review

MONGOLIA, ICELAND AND ZIMBABWE ADDED TO FATF GREY LIST

On 18th October, Bloomberg reported that the 3 states had been included on a list of countries monitored by FATF on AML/CFT grounds.  FATF said that each jurisdiction has developed an action plan with the FATF to address the most serious deficiencies.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/mongolia-added-to-watch-list-by-agency-policing-money-laundering-1.1333535

CONVERSATION WITH AMBASSADOR OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

On 14th October, RUSI released a podcast of a conversation with BBC Journalist Frank Gardner, in which Prince Khalid discussed the security and political challenges faced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Tensions in the Gulf region have soared following a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil facilities, and the Kingdom is faced with a plethora of security challenges. These come at a time of extensive social and economic reforms inside the Kingdom. Prince Khalid discussed all these questions and offered his views on the Kingdom’s security and prosperity in the years to come.

https://rusi.org/event/conversation-hrh-prince-khalid-bin-bandar-al-saud-ambassador-kingdom-saudi-arabia-united

US DEPORTS CONVICTED TERRORIST TO SUDAN

On 18th October, a news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised that Amir Abdelghani, 59, a Sudanese national convicted in 1996 with 9 others as part a large-scale terrorism plot against the US, has been deported and handed over to his Sudan authorities.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-deports-convicted-terrorist-sudan

US TREASURY LAUNCHES THE COUNTER-HIZBALLAH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP (CHIP) TO THWART ILLICIT FINANCIAL ACTIVITY

On 18th October, the US Treasury published a news release which said that the US Treasury had convened the first meeting of CHIP to build multilateral co-operation for targeting Hizballah’s global financial networks.  Over 30 countries representing the Middle East, the Western Hemisphere, Europe, Asia, and Africa participated in this event, which was held on the sidelines of World Bank/IMF meetings.  It is said that the next step for meeting participants will be to send technical experts to the Law Enforcement Coordination Group (LECG), which will next convene in The Hague in December.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm796

HOW LATIN AMERICA CAN PUNISH CORRUPTION WITHOUT KILLING COMPANIES

On 15th October, the Americas Quarterly carried an article which uses the case of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht as an example, and says that this extreme case exposes a broader issue for anti-corruption in Latin America.  Some countries have developed powerful tools to detect grand corruption and punish companies but, it is argued, they lack mechanisms to “remove the cancer without killing the patient”.  In order to contain the economic damage and ultimately strengthen anti-corruption enforcement, it says, Latin American countries need to find more efficient ways to penalise companies – and this means actively working to preserve the good parts of the businesses in question.  It is said that the Odebrecht scandal has affected millions of innocent people, including tens of thousands of Odebrecht (and subsidiary) employees.  The article says that Odebrecht’s spectacular collapse should emphasise the importance of stronger institutions and better norms to minimise the pain that grand corruption inflicts.  The company has broken many records, but it will not be the last one to test the limits of anti-corruption enforcement in Latin America.

https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/how-latin-america-can-punish-corruption-without-killing-companies

MEXICO: A POWERFUL UNION BOSS OFFERS AN ANTI-CORRUPTION TEST

An article in Americas Quarterly on 19th August is concerned with the head of Pemex’s largest workers’ union since 1993, Carlos Romero Deschamps, 75, who has spent the last 3 decades parrying corruption accusations while amassing a personal fortune.  Having stepped down from heading the UIF union, the federal attorney general’s office has said it would investigate the union leader over possible corruption.  In the past he has seemed immune, having allegedly helped funnel millions of dollars in Pemex money to the 2000 presidential campaign of Francisco Labastida Ochoa, part of the Pemexgate scandal.

https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/mexico-powerful-union-boss-offers-anti-corruption-test

HOW CORRUPTION SPOILS OUR FOOD

On 16th October, an article from Transparency International on World Food Day takes a look at the many ways corruption affects this basic human necessity.  It says the threat starts at the very origin of food — land. Land corruption has a huge impact on farming and thus on food security, especially of the communities living on and around the land in question.  Them it says, there are numerous corruption risks further down the food supply chain, too, citing how the European horse meat scandal in 2013 showed meat that began as horse meat at an abattoir in Romania had become “beef” by the time it reached France.  The article also says that large companies can make use of bribery, poor labour conditions and environmental crimes.  It gives the example of Brazilian meat packer, JBS, which was running a massive bribery scheme spending over $250 million on bribes for politicians across the spectrum and, 2 years ago, was fined $3.2 billion, one of the biggest fines in history.

https://voices.transparency.org/rotten-deals-how-corruption-spoils-our-food-d95308c553c7

SEARCH FOR SECURE TRUCK PARKING STANDARD AS CRIME RISES IN EUROPE

On 18th October, Loadstar reported that the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) wants to work with the EU to create a common standard for secure truck parking, in a bid to prevent cargo crime that has reached record levels this year.  It says that TAPA launched its Parking Security Requirements (PSR) – a tiered certification programme for parking operators – a year ago, giving members an online planning tool so they can select secure sites, as well as providing crime intelligence along the route; and the EU is working on something similar.  It says that, in Q2 2019, the top 10 countries for recorded losses were France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Spain, Russia, South Africa, Belgium, Romania and Italy – accounting for 91.8% of all recorded incidents, with the majority of cargo losses were from trucks, mostly when parked in unsecured or unclassified locations.

https://theloadstar.com/tapa-and-eu-want-a-common-standard-for-secure-truck-parking-as-crime-rises

FATF PUBLIC STATEMENT ON NORTH KOREA AND IRAN

On 18th October, FATF published a Public Statement emphasising the need to maintain the strictest controls in respect of these countries and reviewing the status in respect of both of them.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/high-risk-and-other-monitored-jurisdictions/documents/public-statement-october-2019.html

KENYA: FORMER DEPUTY AUDITOR GENERAL AMONG 6 ARRESTED OVER AUDIT SOFTWARE TENDER

On 18th October, KBC reported that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission-EACC has arrested 6 people including former and current employees of the Office of the Auditor General over irregular procurement of audit software.  Former Deputy Auditor General Stephen Kinuthia, The director of ICT Justus Ongera, , Anne Mwangi the manager of the IT Department, Directors of Enkei Holdings Desmond Kinuthia, Charles Njuguna and Nelson Kinuthia are in custody.

https://www.kbc.co.ke/former-deputy-auditor-general-among-six-arrested-over-audit-software-tender

FORMER FRENCH POLITICIAN PATRICK BALKANY JAILED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

RFI reported on 18th October that Balkany, 71, mayor of Levallois-Perret, a suburb north-west of Paris, has been given a 5-year prison sentence for money laundering.  Corruption charges against him were dropped.  His wife and son were also given 4-year and 6-month sentences respectively.  They are said to have profited from a network of shell companies and offshore bank accounts and thus were able to hide around €13 million from the tax office between 2007 and 2014.

http://en.rfi.fr/france/20191018-french-politician-balkany-gets-five-year-jail-term-money-laundering

IRELAND: SUSPECT IN €29 MILLION VAT CAROUSEL FRAUD ARRESTED BY GARDAÍ IN CO LOUTH

The Irish Times on 18th October reported that the latest arrest is the third in a 2-year criminal investigation into a suspected €29 million cross-border VAT fraud.  Gardaí believe the latest suspect to be detained, who is based in the North but who has business interests south of the border, is the mastermind of the scam.  In September 2016, gardaí started a multi-agency investigation into a multi-million euro VAT carousel fraud.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/suspect-in-29-million-vat-fraud-arrested-by-gardaí-in-co-louth-1.4055374

 CRIMINAL ASSETS BUREAU BOSS SAYS ‘MINI-CAB’ UNITS ACROSS IRELAND WILL ‘DILUTE’ THE STRENGTH OF THE AGENCY

The Journal on 18th October reported comments of DCS Pat Clavin, who heads up CAB.  Plans were outlined in the programme of government, published in 2016, to establish regional or local “mini-CAB” offices in a bid to crack down on local criminal’s benefiting from the proceeds of crime.

https://www.thejournal.ie/mini-cab-units-will-weaken-the-agency-4857221-Oct2019

IRELAND ISSUES GUIDE ON DUAL-RESIDENT COMPANIES

On 18th October, Tax News reported that the Irish Revenue has published guidance on dual-resident companies that explains new rules introduced under the BEPS multilateral convention on tax treaties.

https://www.tax-news.com/news/Ireland_Issues_Guide_On_DualResident_Companies____97378.html

GREECE TO ATTRACT WEALTHY WITH LUMP SUM TAX

On 18th October, Tax News said that media reports indicate that proposals are inspired by a similar scheme recently introduced in Italy and would allow qualifying taxpayers to pay a fixed amount of €100,000 per year in tax, plus €25,000 annually per dependent family member – with other conditions attached.

https://www.tax-news.com/news/Greece_To_Attract_Wealthy_With_Lump_Sum_Tax____97381.html

UK SEAT AT WTO TO INCLUDE CHANNEL ISLANDS

A news release from the Department for International Trade on 18th October advised that the UK has notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it will extend its WTO membership to include the Channel Islands.  The UK’s membership of the WTO currently includes Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, and will be represented by the EU until Brexit is concluded.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uks-independent-seat-at-wto-to-includechannelislands

https://www.gov.je/News/2019/Pages/StatementWorldTradeOrganisation.aspx

https://www.gov.gg/article/174798/UK-membership-of-World-Trade-Organization-to-be-extended-to-Bailiwick

NEARLY 4,000 CONTAINERS OF PLASTIC WASTE IN VIETNAM’S PORTS

Vietnam Plus on 18th October reported that more than 3,800 plastic waste containers have piled up for more than 90 days at Vietnam’s 3 major ports, and in total there are some 6,456 containers stacked at seaports containing plastic waste and used commodities.  However, the General Department of Vietnam Customs’ data revealed a significant fall of the number of waste containers pilling up at ports across the country in 2019.

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/nearly-4000-plastic-waste-containers-clogged-in-vietnams-ports/162231.vnp

KUWAIT: 127 KG OF FAKE COINS CONFISCATED AT AIRPORT CARGO

The Kuwait Times on 17th October reported that in what was called a “bizarre” case and as ‘the first of its kind in Kuwait,’ customs officers confiscated a shipment containing forged 100 fils coins.

https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/kd-2000-worth-of-fake-coins-confiscated-at-airport-cargo/

US CONTINUES SANCTIONS BREAK FOR SWEDISH REFINER WITH VENEZUELAN TIES

On 18th October, American Shipper reported on OFAC extending its General License for Nynas AB, 50% owned by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petrόleos de Venezuela S.A.  This is the fourth time that OFAC has extended General License No. 13 for Nynas AB.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/u-s-continues-sanctions-break-for-swedish-refiner-with-venezuelan-ties

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This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NICARAGUA GOVERNMENT’S ALLEGED DRUG TRADE TIES DEEPEN WITH ARREST

Insight Crime on 18th October reported that a government official tied to the ruling party in Nicaragua is alleged to have led a sophisticated drug trafficking ring that moved cocaine through Central America, adding to longstanding suspicions of official party links to the international drug trade.  Francisco Sarria García (aka “El Doc”) is a representative of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) on behalf of the governing Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional — FSLN).

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/nicaragua-governments-alleged-drug-trade-ties-deepen-arrest/

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

FINLAND: “WALL OF SHAME” TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING

On 18th October, yle reported that a public list of non-compliant firms is meant to spur them to meet the requirements of a new AML law.  It is planning to establish its first “wall of shame” for companies and other so-called “reporting entities” that have not taken the necessary steps to prevent money laundering in line with the 2017 Anti-Money Laundering Act.

https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finland_founds_wall_of_shame_to_prevent_money_laundering/11027324

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

FATF GREY LIST UPDATE

On 18th October, FATF published an update on its so-called “grey” list of countries with deficiencies in their AML/CFT systems.  While the listed jurisdictions have strategic AML/CFT deficiencies they have also developed an action plan with FATF; and each jurisdiction has provided a written high-level political commitment to address the identified deficiencies.  FATF welcomes these commitments.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/high-risk-and-other-monitored-jurisdictions/documents/fatf-compliance-october-2019.html

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OUTCOMES OF THE FATF PLENARY, 16TH TO 18TH OCTOBER

On 18th October, FATF released a notice advising of its Plenary in Paris.  In major strategic initiatives, it considered –

  • the money laundering risk from stablecoins and other emerging assets; and
  • understanding and leveraging the use of “digital identity”.

Various mutual evaluation reports and follow-up reports were considered; and, in respect of jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies –

  • Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia are no longer subject to monitoring – taken off “grey” list;
  • Iceland, Mongolia and Zimbabwe are now subject to monitoring – added to “grey” list;
  • considered Pakistan’s progress – kept on “grey” list, with further consideration in February; and
  • continuing to monitor Iran’s actions to address deficiencies in its AML/CFT system. Iran will remain on the FATF Public Statement until the full Action Plan has been completed.  Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism-financing in the Action Plan, FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system

Other matters considered were –

  • promoting and facilitating more effective supervision at national level – with a programme of outreach to national supervisors approved, which aims to explore ways of making supervision more effective;
  • new Best Practices on Beneficial Ownership for Legal Persons approved;
  • new work on combating the laundering of proceeds of illegal wildlife trade.  FATF will work to develop good practices in tackling the financial flows linked to illegal wildlife trade; and
  • strategic review – to consider the experience of the conduct of mutual evaluations to date, and how to go forward.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-plenary-october-2019.html

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK AMENDS SANCTIONS ENTRY FOR ANJEM CHOUDARY

On 18th October, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that the entry for Anjem CHOUDARY in the Consolidated List had been amended in line with preceding UN and EU amendments.  On the ISIL/Al-Qaida sanctions lists, he was released from prison in the UK in October 2018 but is on licence until April 2021.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/840555/Notice_ISIL_2019_1731.pdf

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y