SECRET DOCUMENTS REVEAL FINANCIAL NETWORK SUPPORTING SUDAN’S MOST POWERFUL MILITIA

On 9th December, Global Witness reported that a new report is said to reveal how the most powerful military leader in Sudan has captured a large swathe of the country’s gold market, and controls a network of front companies; and how the RSF militia bought a fleet of almost 1,000 Toyota pick-up trucks – easily converted into highly mobile ‘technicals’ with mounted machine guns – were used to suppress popular uprisings around the country for over a decade.  It contains allegations about Sudan’s most powerful military leader – Mohammed ‘Hemedti’ Hamdan Daglo – and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia he controls, uses front companies and banks based both in Sudan and the UAE.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en-gb/campaigns/conflict-minerals/exposing-rsfs-secret-financial-network/

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WHITE-COLLAR CRIME PROSECUTIONS REACH 5-YEAR LOW – DESPITE RISE IN FRAUD REPORTS

The Law Society Gazette on 9th December reported that according to a study by Thomson Reuters, the number of white-collar crime prosecutions fell by 14% last year to 6,669; down from almost 9,500 prosecutions in 2015, and 7,786 in 2017.  It is said that fraud is becoming more sophisticated and increasingly involves cross-border transactions, meaning information has to be gathered from foreign authorities, making cases harder to investigate.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/white-collar-crime-prosecutions-reach-five-year-low-despite-rise-in-fraud-reports/5102436.article

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NCA: SARS EXTENDED MORATORIUM PERIOD USED SPARINGLY

On 6th December, Allen & Overy LLP published an article about the 2019 NCA Suspicious Activity Reports Annual Report.  It comments on the revelation that, while over 50% more requests for a Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) were made, and thus the number of DAML SAR that are granted remains high, the use of a new power to extend the moratorium period to up to 6 months, introduced in 2017, has not been used often.  It explains that a DAML SAR allows entities or individuals to seek from the NCA permission to process funds that they know or suspect could be the proceeds of crime.  34,543 DAML SARs were filed and 1,332 were initially refused, with 17 were subsequently granted following further review during the moratorium period. This equates to a refusal rate of approximately 4%.  Interestingly, the article points out that the number of the similar Defence Against Terrorism Financing (DATF) SAR filed remained low: there were 392 filed, but with a greater percentage (around 10% of the total) refused, a higher refusal rate than for DAML SAR.  The article also comments on the fact that the moratorium period for DAML SAR was extended only in a small proportion of cases.  The article also comments on the effect of the existence of the risk of committing a “tipping off” offence having submitted a DAML SAR, and the NCA makes it clear in its report that its expectations are no different even where a reporter faces a civil claim from a customer.

https://www.aoinvestigationsinsight.com/sars-extended-moratorium-period-used-sparingly-reveals-nca-report/#page=1

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THINGS THAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 8

8th December 2019

PHILIPPINES: HOW DUTERTE EMBRACED THE OLIGARCHS

On 4th December, an article in the Nikkei Asian Review said that during his populist campaign for president in 2015 and 2016, Duterte took aim at the corruption and excesses of wealth-hoarding ruling families.  Despite initial actions, the article says, that Duterte has simply opened the door to a new wave of businesspeople and loyalists, who have been given access to political power and lucrative government contracts.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Crony-capital-How-Duterte-embraced-the-oligarchs

VATICAN INVESTMENTS LINKED TO GLOBAL MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATIONS

On 8th December, Eurasia Review carried an article saying that a fund in which the Vatican’s Secretariat of State has invested tens of millions of euros has links to 2 Swiss banks investigated or implicated in bribery and money laundering scandals involving more than a billion dollars.  The Holy See Press Office said that “investigations are in progress” regarding the Centurion Fund and other investments made by the Secretariat of State.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/08122019-vatican-investments-linked-to-global-money-laundering-investigations/

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL (SAF)?

The Blue Sky website carried an article by Air BP’s Commercial Development Manager, Low Carbon.  It explains that SAF stands for “sustainable aviation fuel”, and it is produced from sustainable, renewable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to fossil jet fuel.  Using SAF results in a reduction of CO2 emissions compared to fossil jet fuel over the lifecycle of the fuel.  It goes on to explain that typical feedstocks used are cooking oil and other non-palm waste oils from animals or plants; solid waste from homes and businesses, such as packaging, paper, textiles, and food scraps that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration.  Other potential sources include forestry waste, such as waste wood, and energy crops, including fast growing plants and algae.  Air BP’s BP Biojet and is currently made from used cooking oil and other waste.  He says that SAF can be blended at up to 50% with fossil jet fuel and all quality tests are completed as per a regular jet fuel. Once blended, SAF has the same characteristics as fossil jet fuel and the blend is then re-certified as Jet A or Jet A-1 (as is normal avtur or aviation kerosene, used in jet and turboprop engines) and can be handled in exactly the same way as a regular jet fuel.

https://blueskynews.aero/contributors/What-is-Sustainable-Aviation-Fuel-Tom-Parsons-AirBP.html

 

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 7

7th December 2019

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE DISTINCTIVE ROOTS OF THE SUCCESSFUL US CORPORATE ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM

On the Compliance & Enforcement Blog from the New York University School of Law a post contained what those seeking to rival the US at corporate criminal enforcement should know about the US system’s distinctive roots.  It says that there are 2 sources – the first is an extremely broad and easy-to-apply corporate liability rule; and the second is the power granted to prosecutors to negotiate and settle cases.  It refers to a new paper which is said to demonstrate how heavily the US system of corporate criminal enforcement depends on laws governing corporate investigations.  It also says that US prosecutors have benefited greatly from their ability to shift the locus of investigation from the public to the private sector because, in contrast to many other countries.  The paper is said to contrast the US system and how it works with planned changes in the EU.  It also reveals limitations of the US approach when used to induce corporate investigations overseas, and encourages reflection on the appropriate scope of rights to be granted to individuals subject to public and private investigations, respectively.

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2019/12/05/for-those-seeking-to-rival-the-united-states-at-corporate-criminal-enforcement-what-you-should-know-about-the-u-s-systems-distinctive-roots/

The paper itself is at –

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3478298

THE SELF-APPOINTED SPIES WHO USE GOOGLE EARTH TO SNIFF OUT NUKES

The Atlantic on 6th December carried an article looking at the “motley crew” of outside watchdogs has found creative ways to deter proliferation.  These are identified as journalists, hobbyists, professors, students, political-opposition groups, advocacy groups, non-profit organisations, for-profit companies, think tanks, and former senior government officials with informal links to international weapons inspectors, US policymakers, and intelligence leaders.  It points out that since the early 2000s, commercial satellites have become common and that the annual number of satellite launches has quadrupled in the past 5 years; and that some analysts estimate that more than 8,000 small satellites will be launched in the next decade.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/12/new-nuclear-sleuths/602878/

SRI LANKA: IMPORT AND RE-EXPORT OF SOME SPICES BANNED, AND CONTROLS ON GARBAGE

On 7th December, the Daily Mirror and others in Sri Lanka reported that a gazette notice announced a ban on the import and re-export of pepper, arecanut, tamarind, cinnamon, ginger, clove and several other crops.  It also announced a ban on the re-exporting of garbage, the processing of garbage or recourse recycling for re-export.  It is said that the measures were adopted to protect and promote minor crop cultivators and small and medium scale industrialists.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/print/front_page/Import-and-re-export-of-some-spices-banned/238-179189

PIPE DREAM: THE AFRICAN CANNABIS EMPIRE THAT NEVER WAS

NBC News on 5th December carried a feature on the Trade Park affair, in which a British company claimed that it had enlisted US tobacco and drug companies to build a 154-square-mile cannabis farm in West African rainforest and bring thousands of job to impoverished locals.  However, it is said that many of the major backers touted by Trade Park, including Bayer and the makers of Marlboro cigarettes, said they’d never heard of the project, and the residents in Cameroon, are left to deal, empty-handed, with the fallout from a failed dream.  The affair involves companies formed at Formation House, itself the centre of a case highlighting the risks of CSP and shell companies formation in the UK.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pipe-dream-african-cannabis-empire-never-was-n1096551

BRAZIL POLICE TARGET VENEZUELAN GOLD SMUGGLING RING

The Star in Canada on 6th December reported that Brazil’s federal police have targeted an operation that allegedly smuggled Venezuelan gold worth some $74 million between 2017 and 2019, with 22 arrests in 5 states, related to a scheme that funnelled gold from illegal mines in Venezuela to a company in the state of Sao Paulo.  The organisation was comprised of Venezuelans and Brazilians living in a northern state who purchased the illegal gold and, with the help of corrupt public agents, obtained falsified documents to hide its origin.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/americas/2019/12/06/brazil-police-target-venezuelan-gold-smuggling-ring.html

SOUTH KOREA BANNING ANONYMOUS VIRTUAL BANK ACCOUNTS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING

On 5th December, Blockchain Reporter said that the South Korean recently approved legal amendments supporting a real-name trading system as part of AML compliance, aimed at ensuring that virtual assets-handling companies in South Korea are in compliance with the recommendations FATF.

https://blockchainreporter.net/2019/12/05/south-korea-anonymous-virtual-bank-accounts-cryptocurrency-trading/

CHILE’S STATUS AS MARIJUANA DESTINATION OF CHOICE FOR COLOMBIAN SMUGGLERS

Insight Crime on 6th December reported that a seizure of the largest drug bust in the country’s history of a marijuana shipment of over 4 tons in Chile in November has confirmed that the Chilean market makes it a destination of choice for Colombia’s marijuana smugglers.  The seizure was made from a boat off the southern region of O’Higgins.  It says that seizures of marijuana have been steadily increasing.  Chile’s higher than average consumption of marijuana may be attributable to its successful economy and growing middle class, as the second-wealthiest country in Latin America.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/chiles-status-as-marijuana-destination-of-choice-confirmed-by-record-bust/

GUERNSEY: PWC DISMISSES CLAIMS OF NEGLIGENCE IN NOT DETECTING PONZI SCHEME WITH PROVIDENCE

On 6th December, Guernsey Press reported that PwC want to have dismissed the allegations of negligence, breach of duty and breach of contract that had been put forward by the administrators of Providence Investment Funds, which was put into administration in 2016, owing investors more than £37 million.

https://guernseypress.com/news/2019/12/06/pwc-dismisses-claims-of-negligence-in-not-detecting-ponzi-scheme-with-providence/

68 ARRESTS IN SPAIN FOR FRAUD INVOLVING OLD CARS AND THEIR AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS

A news release from Europol on 7th December advised that the Guardia Civil, supported by Europol, carried out an operation targeting companies involved in considerable CO2 gas emissions.  30 companies involved were investigated and 68 individuals arrested.  The companies were involved in monitoring the activities of authorised centres managing end-of-life vehicles in Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country.  The investigators looked into the way criminals were disposing of the toxic substance contained in the air conditioning systems.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/68-arrested-in-spain-for-pumping-out-76-million-kilos-of-co2

SWEDISH FAMILY SMUGGLED PALLETS OF BEER FROM GERMANY TO SCANDINAVIA DAILY

On 25th November, IOGT International reported that a Swedish family has been uncovered in their operation to smuggle several hundred boxes almost every day – smuggling about 6 pallets of beer containing about 79 cartons each, every day, from Germany to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.  Alcohol taxation is lower in Germany, making alcohol far cheaper than in most Scandinavian countries and border shops across Northern Germany are selling cheap beer for export to Scandinavia.

https://iogt.org/news/2019/11/25/germany-sweden-cross-border-alcohol-smuggling/

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NEW GUIDE: INSOLVENCY TOOLS TO SUPPORT CROSS-BORDER ASSET RECOVERY IN CORRUPTION CASES

On 3rd December, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (a World Bank and UNODC joint effort) published a step-by-step guide for asset recovery practitioners on the use of insolvency proceedings in recovering corruption proceeds.  The report outlines the procedures associated with insolvency actions, explores challenges associated with this approach, and provides practical methods for various strategic and technical concerns.  The book makes particular use of case studies to demonstrate the benefits of cross border insolvency proceedings in international corruption cases and further elaborate the challenges that practitioners face in this pursuit.  It is intended to inform policymakers, public officials, and those who have been entrusted with recovering their nations’ stolen assets how insolvency can be used to pursue proceeds of corruption. It may also serve as a quick reference for other practitioners — insolvency professionals, auditors, financial institutions, in-house counsel, and others who deal with corruption.

https://star.worldbank.org/sites/star/files/going-for-broke.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

 

SWEDISH TELECOM ERICSSON AGREES TO PAY $1 BILLION OVER US BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS

The Japan Times and others on 7th December reported that Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve allegations of bribery spanning Asia and the Middle East.  An Egyptian subsidiary also pleaded guilty in New York to a charge of conspiring to violate the FCPA.  It is said that Ericsson’s corrupt conduct involved high-level executives and spanned 17 years and at least 5 countries, all in a misguided effort to increase profits, and the alleged corruption occurred in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/12/07/business/swedish-telecom-ericsson-agrees-pay-1-billion-u-s-bribery-allegations/?src=ilaw#.XeteLHd2umQ

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/sec-charges-multinational-telecommunications-company-with-fcpa-violations/

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/us-department-of-justice-ericsson-agrees-to-pay-over-1-billion-to-resolve-fcpa/

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