SPAIN: SUBMARINE CARRYING 3,000 KG OF COCAINE INTERCEPTED

Euro Weekly on 24th November reported that 2 people have been arrested off the Aldán coast in Pontevedra, Spain, after being caught carrying a large quantity of narcotics on a 20-metre long submarine which reportedly came from South America.  A third person was not arrested.

https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2019/11/24/news-in-spain-submarine-carrying-3000-kilos-of-cocaine-intercepted-in-pontevedra-spain/#.XdwA73d2umR

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/11/25/inenglish/1574680401_772913.html

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UK: HIGH COURT DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO STOP A CRIMINAL TRIAL IN MAGISTRATES’ COURT TO PROTECT THE CREDITORS OF A COMPANY IN VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION

An article from Out-Law on 25th November concerned a case where a company that recycled non-hazardous waste had entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.  Subsequently, the National Resource Body for Wales (NRBW) took criminal proceedings against the company and its directors in the Magistrates Court over multiple alleged offences.  The liquidators sought an order to stay the criminal proceedings.  The judge is quoted as saying that the criminal proceedings should not be stayed in any event because the wider public interest to prosecute for serious environmental offences outweighs the disadvantage of the cost to Paperback’s creditors of defending the case and paying any fines.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/legal-updates/high-court-cannot-stay-liquidated-companys-magistrates-court-case

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INVESTIGATION INTO CORRUPTION IN KYRGYZ CUSTOMS SERVICE SPURS PROTESTS

On 25th November, OCCRP reported that nearly a thousand people marched peacefully in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Monday in a protest response to publication of the outcome of an investigation that revealed that a secretive Uighur family had for years been smuggling goods from China into Kyrgyzstan and onward to other countries.  The profits they made with the help of corrupt customs officials were then channelled out of the country.  Rferl reported that the protesters demanded the arrest of a powerful customs official who is alleged to have provided cover for the activities.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/11181-investigation-into-corruption-in-kyrgyz-customs-service-spurs-protests-in-bishkek

https://www.rferl.org/a/kyrgyz-demonstrations-over-alleged-customs-crimes/30290871.html

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SOUTH AFRICA BLOCKS ARMS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA AND UAE (AND OMAN AND ALGERIA) IN INSPECTION ROW

On 25th November, Defence Web reported that the dispute centres on a clause in export documents that requires foreign customers to pledge not to transfer weapons to third parties and to allow South African officials to inspect their facilities to verify compliance.  One company, RDM, said some of its exports to the Middle East had not been approved since March.  Saudi Arabia and UAE, which account for at least a third of South Africa’s arms exports and are engaged in a war in Yemen, have rejected the inspections which they consider a violation of their sovereignty.  Oman and Algeria have also refused inspections and seen their imports from South Africa blocked.  Exports now make up the bulk of revenues for major defence companies in South Africa.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/south-africa-blocks-arms-sales-to-saudi-and-uae-in-inspection-row/

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NEW ZEALAND: 2019 FIU NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT

On 25th November, Scoop reported that the New Zealand Police FIU had published an updated assessment of the money laundering and terrorism financing risks New Zealand faces.  The National Risk Assessment 2019 along with Sector Risk Assessments published by the Reserve Bank, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Financial Market Authority, form a comprehensive package of public risk assessments.

The NRA is available at –

https://www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/businesses-and-organisations/financial-intelligence-unit-fiu/fiu-reports

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1911/S00310/2019-financial-intelligence-unit-national-risk-assessment.htm

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BELIZE: ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE LEGISLATION

On 22nd November, the Lexology website carried an article from Morgan & Morgan on draft economic substance regulations, with the issue of final Guidelines on the matter is expected sometime before the end of this year.  Accordingly, International Business Companies (IBC) engaged on what is defined as “relevant activities” will need to meet adequate economic substance in Belize, and an IBC carrying on any relevant activity is thus classified as an Included Entity.  But those that are not Included Entities (aka Non-Included Entities) do not require substantial economic presence in Belize.  The article lists what are classed as Included Entities.  It also deals with the status of Pure Equity Holding Companies, other holding companies and IBC carrying on relevant activity with outside control, management & tax residence.

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=410737e1-2a2c-4608-b1de-01dae545c6b5

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CAYMAN ISLANDS: GOLD SMUGGLING TRIAL SET TO BEGIN

On 24th November, the Cayman Compass reported that the trial of 5 men accused of playing varying roles in laundering millions of dollars’ worth of gold through Cayman is set to begin in the Grand Court.  The charge stems from $135,000 that was found hidden beneath a compartment in the private jet used to transport the gold to Cayman.

https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/11/24/gold-smuggling-trial-set-to-begin/

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