24th November 2019
SPANISH COURT PROBES $91 MILLION BRIBES FOR PANAMA CONTRACTS
MENA-FN on 23rd November reported that a representative of FCC, the Spanish construction conglomerate, appeared before the National Court of Spain re allegedly illegal acts in Panama in which tens of millions of dollars would have been paid in bribes to members of the Martinelli and Varela administrations. The investigation in Spain is still ongoing, and is being undertaken by the anti-corruption prosecutor Teresa Gálvez, who is also investigating the Odebrecht case.
MALAYSIAN MARINE CORPS BUST A SMUGGLING ATTEMPT INVOLVING 642 EXOTIC ANIMALS
On 24th November, World of Buzz reported that a total of 642 exotic animals were recovered in an attempt to be smuggled from Malaysia to Vietnam – including 473 tortoises, 43 freshwater turtles, 100 civets, and 26 monitor lizards.
CANADA: FINTRAC RELEASES KEY UPDATES TO AML OBLIGATIONS, INCLUDING VIRTUAL CURRENCY EXCHANGE MSB REGISTRATION
The ACFCS blog on 22nd November reported that the Canadian FIU had published updates which include providing for virtual currency exchanges to register as money services businesses for compliance purposes and offering more clarification on how to verify individual and corporate identities. The blog post details the updates, including for MSB in Canada acting as virtual currency exchanges that must register and can do so now. The updates also included guidance on how best to review and verify documents, details and data to properly confirm the identify of individuals and corporates to the depth required by Canada’s AML rules. There is also a Policy Interpretation on Ascertaining Identification and ensuring the related documents are authentic.
The MSB guidance is at –
The FINTRAC report on identity verification is at –
The FINTRAC policy on interpretation on ascertaining identification is at –
NEW ZEALAND: MILLIONS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY AND CASH SEIZED IN MOVIE PIRACY INVESTIGATION
The Torrent Freak blog reported a New Zealand Herald story of 23rd November saying that police in New Zealand have reportedly seized $6.7 million in cryptocurrency and $1.1 million in cash as part of a money laundering investigation, allegedly received from a US-based movie piracy site. PayPal noticed unusual activity on an account linked to the suspect and reported the case to the IRS. Police have confirmed that other individuals are under investigation in the US, Canada, and Vietnam.
NAMIBIA’S FORMER FISHERIES MINISTER RELEASED AFTER A HIGH COURT JUDGE DECLARED THAT THE WARRANT FOR HIS ARREST A DAY EARLIER ON CORRUPTION CHARGES WAS INVALID
On 24th November, Reuters reported that Namibia’s former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau has been released after a High Court judge declared that the warrant for his arrest a day earlier on corruption charges was invalid. He had been arrested along with a former client manager from South Africa’s Investec Asset Management, Ricardo Gustavo, after allegations they were involved in a scheme to award fishing licences to Samherji, an Icelandic company, in return for kickbacks.
UK: POLICE SEIZE £10 MILLION OF COCAINE HIDDEN INSIDE FROZEN FISH
On 24th November, media reported that the NCA had found almost 100 kg of cocaine concealed in frozen fish in a truck at Newhaven after coming off a ferry from France.
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