OFAC EXTENDS EXPIRY DATE OF 2 UKRAINE SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENSES RELATING TO GAZPROM

On 1st November, OFAC announced the amendment of 2 of its General Licenses that –

  • authorise certain transactions necessary to divest or transfer debt, equity, or other holdings in certain blocked persons; and
  • authorise certain activities necessary to maintenance or wind down of operations or existing contracts with GAZ Group, and certain automotive safety and environmental activities.

Another General License is amended to include an expanded authorization for certain safety-related activity and a new authorization for certain activities to comply with environmental regulatory requirements. ​

The new expiry date is 31st March 2020.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20191101.aspx

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USING COMPELLED TESTIMONY AGAINST A CO-DEFENDANT: HEARSAY, CONFESSIONS AND THE PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION

A briefing from Corker Bining on 1st November says that it is a well-established principle of criminal law that compelled testimony (such as that which may be obtained under its powers by the SFO) can only be admitted in evidence against the compelled person is extremely limited circumstances.  However, it asks, is it easier to admit compelled testimony against – or on behalf of – a co-defendant tried on the same indictment as the compelled person?  The article offers 2 scenarios and says, in conclusion, that the privilege against self-incrimination has never been regarded by the courts as absolute, and that the use immunity granted as a quid pro quo for the compulsion of the interview applies only to the subsequent use of such interview by a prosecutor, not a co-defendant.  Therefore, compelled testimony can, in carefully prescribed circumstances, return to damage the compelled person at trial.

https://www.corkerbinning.com/using-compelled-testimony-against-a-co-defendant-hearsay-confessions-and-the-privilege-against-self-incrimination/

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UK REMOVES LIBYAN ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUP FROM LIST OF PROSCRIBED TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS

The Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2019, from 1st November removed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group from the list in Schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000, so that the organisation is no longer proscribed.  The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, aka Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, was an armed Islamist group which was active during the Libyan civil war in 2011.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/1446/contents/made

For information on the organisation, see –

https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list/summaries/entity/libyan-islamic-fighting-group

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PROBE OF ORIGIN FRAUD LIKELY IMPACT CHINA’S ALUMINIUM EXPORTS TO VIETNAM

The Shanghai Metals Market on 1st November reported that China’s exports of aluminium extrusion to Vietnam, around 10-12% of China’s total exports since 2018, will likely face impact after a place-of-origin fraud was uncovered.  Vietnam authorities seized a suspicious aluminium shipment worth $4 million that was heading to the US and other countries.

https://news.metal.com/newscontent/100988594/probe-of-origin-fraud-likely-impact-chinas-aluminium-exports-to-vietnam

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FATF CONSOLIDATED AML/CFT ASSESSMENTS

On 31st October, following its publication of the evaluation report on the Philippines, FATF published an updated consolidated table of all AML/CFT assessments carried out to date.

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

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FOLLOWING CRIMINAL CASH FROM THE STREETS OF LONDON TO THE GOLD MARKETS OF DUBAI

On 28th October, the BBC released a short (3½ minute) animation linked to its recent BBC TV “Panorama” documentary which revealed how an international crime gang laundered million in drug money.  This animation shows the extraordinary lengths the gang went to make their dirty drug money appear ‘clean’.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-50123587/how-money-laundering-works

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US IMPOSES ADDITIONAL CUBA TRADE RESTRICTIONS

On 21st October, Arent Fox published an article saying that the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security announced another major policy change towards Cuba by further restricting the Cuban government’s access to items subject to US export controls.  The change will have a significant impact on exporters and re-exporters currently using certain licence exceptions to export to Cuba, who export non-US origin products with US-origin content to Cuba, and who lease commercial aircraft to Cuban state-owned airlines.  It also has potential implications for non-US airlines who fly to other countries (e.g. Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea).  The article details the new restrictions, which include aircraft and vessels are not eligible for a licence exception for aircraft, vessels, and spacecraft (AVS) if they are leased to or chartered by a national of Cuba or a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and it removes BIS’s general policy of approval for applications to export or re-export aircraft leased to Cuban state-owned airlines, and for the the export or re-export of certain aircraft and vessels on temporary sojourn.  The article ends by providing guidance for companies which have been exporting or re-exporting from third countries to Cuba under one of the licence exceptions, or you have been re-exporting foreign-made items incorporating US-origin controlled content under de minimis.

https://www.arentfox.com/perspectives/alerts/bis-imposes-additional-cuba-trade-restrictions-and-restricts-use-temporary

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IRELAND: SENIOR ACCOUNTABILITY REGIME (SEAR) FOR PROMINENT FIGURES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES

The Times on 1st November quoted Ireland’s Finance Minister as saying that the new rules to hold individual bankers who do wrong to account will not result in jail but will still help to change culture.  He is said to be working on legislation to bring in a senior accountability regime (SEAR) for prominent figures in financial services companies, as a response to the tracker mortgage scandal, where banks overcharged thousands of their own customers.  On 7th October, Irish law firm A & L Goodbody produced a briefing on the proposed SEAR regime, saying that, together with other measures SEAR is part of the Central Bank of Ireland’s wider framework to boost  transparency and accountability in the financial sector by making it easier to identify individuals responsible for certain functions, decisions and failings.  The firms likely to be targeted include banks, investment firms and certain insurance companies and individuals in those businesses.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bankers-to-be-held-to-account-but-will-not-face-jail-w8l7566j5

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US NEW SANCTIONS ON IRAN CONSTRUCTION SECTOR

On 1st November, Rferl reported that the US will have additional authority to “prevent Iran from acquiring strategic materials for the IRGC, its construction sector, and its proliferation programmes”, with the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of raw and semi-finished metals, graphite, coal, and software for integrating industrial purposes will be sanctionable if those materials are to be used in connection with the Iranian construction sector.  A factsheet lists the materials affected, which includes stainless steel 304L tubes; MN40 manganese brazing foil; MN70 manganese brazing foil; and stainless steel CrNi60WTi ESR+VAR (chromium, nickel, 60% tungsten, titanium, electro-slag remelting, vacuum arc remelting).

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-sanctions-iran-construction-irgc-extends-civilian-nuclear-waivers/30247366.html

The factsheet is at –

https://www.state.gov/findings-pursuant-to-the-iran-freedom-and-counter-proliferation-act-ifca-of-2012/

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