ISLE OF MAN LONG-TERM INSURERS – AML/CFT GUIDANCE

On 31 December, a news release from the Financial Services Authority advised that revised Guidance Notes on Anti-Money Laundering and Preventing the Financing of Terrorism – for Insurers (Long Term Business) have been published, dated January 2020.   It says that the FSA has been engaged with representatives of the long-term insurance sector for some time to develop a revised guidance document for the sector.  Work is said to continue in relation to the re-drafting of the entire AML/CFT Handbook to reflect the amendments brought in by the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Code 2019 and the FSA said that it is aiming to publish the re-drafted AML/CFT Handbook by the end of Q2 of 2020.

https://www.iomfsa.im/media/2655/long-term-insurers-aml-cft-guidance.pdf

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 30

30th December 2019

 

PANAMA: FORMER SOCIAL PROGRAMME BOSS FACING $139 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE

On 29 December, Newsroom Panama reported that the former head of the National Aid Program has been accused of money laundering, and having a $4 million mansion.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/ex-social-program-boss-facing-139-million-money-laundering-probe

 

SCOTTISH LINK CLAIMED IN PERUVIAN BRIBERY SCANDAL

On 30 December, KYC 360 reported that £13 million was wired to a Scotland-based firm, according to US prosecutors, in connection with the alleged bribery case involving Alejandro Toledo, who governed Peru from 2001 to 2006, was arrested in the US in July in connection with bribes from the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.  Some or all of the funds received through the Scottish company – as well as 2 companies based in the BVI – to another account under his control, held in the name of a Panama-registered shell company.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/scots-link-claimed-in-peruvian-bribery-scandal/

 

NEW EU REGULATION AMENDS THE REGULATION SETTING UP A COMMUNITY REGIME FOR THE CONTROL OF EXPORTS, TRANSFER, BROKERING AND TRANSIT OF DUAL-USE ITEMS 

On 30 December, new EU Regulation 2019/2199/EU amended Regulation 428/2009/EC, which is updated regularly in order to ensure full compliance with international security obligations, to guarantee transparency, and to maintain the competitiveness of economic operators.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2019:338:FULL&from=EN

 

CROATIAN COURT CONVICTS A FORMER CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER AND A THE HEAD OF HUNGARY’S MOL ENERGY GROUP OF BRIBERY

On 30 December, AP reported that a Croatian court has convicted a former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader and CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MOL energy group Zsolt Hernadi, in a corruption case dating back a decade.  It is reported that Hernadi agreed to pay Sanader €10 million to enable MOL to gain control of Croatia’s oil and gas firm INA.  Hungary has in the past rejected a Croatian arrest warrant for Hernadi.

https://apnews.com/73475c2433ab9bec932cca6750041bb6

 

SOUTH KOREA: LIME ASSET MANAGEMENT EMBROILED IN US PONZI SCHEME

On 30 December, Korean Times reported that Lime Asset Management will likely face an investigation over suspicions that it continued to sell fund options to investors despite allegedly being aware of the fact that the options invested in involved a US hedge fund, New York-based investment adviser International Investment Group (IIG), that engaged in fraud.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/biz/2019/12/513_281117.html

 

FACTORY STAFF IN THAILAND “SCAMMED RAY-BAN MAKER OUT OF £160 MILLION”

On 30 December, AOL reported that staff at a factory in Thailand are alleged to have scammed EssilorLuxottica out of up to €190 million.

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2019/12/30/factory-staff-scam-ray-ban-maker-out-of-a-160m

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-essilorluxottica-fraud/essilorluxottica-discovers-fraud-at-plant-in-thailand-idUKKBN1YY0DZ?rpc=401&

ENBO4pOXsAAf4yV

October 2019 marks 15 years since the establishment of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme.  It began in 4 seaports primarily focused on drug trafficking, but it is now a programme on a global scale, established more than 100 operational units in over 50 countries and has expanded its focus to include airports, dry ports, land border crossings and rail terminals.

https://www.unodc.org/ropan/en/BorderControl/container-control/ccp.html

US CONGRESS PASSES NEW RUSSIA AND VENEZUELA SANCTIONS AND ADVANCES NEW RUSSIA & TURKEY SANCTIONS

On 27 December, Crowell Moring published an article about developments that include passing new Russia-related sanctions, a Venezuela-related government contracts procurement restriction as part of the National Defense Authorization Act and 2 new pieces of legislation that would increase sanctions on Russia and Turkey.  The Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act, which is incorporated into the NDAA, targets the Nord Stream 2 project.  The changes relating to Venezuela were fairly technical modifications, and the provisions relating to Turkey simply contains a limitation on Turkey’s ability to participate in the F-35 programme (further sanctions provision remain in Congress).  The new legislation also further tightens North Korean sanctions, including on non-US entities owned or controlled by US financial institutions, and also modifies existing Syrian sanctions, including on non-US persons facilitating the maintenance or expansion of Syria’s domestic production of natural gas, petroleum, or petroleum products. Finally, the Fentanyl Sanctions Act is intended to create a sanctions programme that targets non-US persons that are identified as “foreign opioid traffickers”, including supplying or sourcing precursors.

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2019/12/congress-passes-new-russia-and-venezuela-sanctions-and-advances-new-russia-turkey-sanctions

 

SANCTIONED NORTH KOREAN TANKER SEEN CONDUCTING SHIP-TO-SHIP TRANSFERS

NK News on 30 December reported that the Nam San 8 was photographed hooked up to small unknown vessel for 2 days in a row in mid-December.  It is included on US and UN sanctions lists, and has been photographed by Japanese forces.

https://www.nknews.org/2019/12/sanctioned-north-korean-tanker-seen-conducting-ship-to-ship-transfers-japan/

 

CLAIM THAT INVESTMENT BY EU COUNTRIES IN RUSSIA INCREASING DESPITE SANCTIONS

In its 31 December edition, Customs Today reported that European companies are investing in the Russian economy in ever-increasing numbers, despite Brussels continuing to impose sanctions on Moscow, according to Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

https://customstoday.com.pk/investment-by-eu-countries-in-russia-increasing-despite-sanctions/

 

GUERNSEY: CLAIM THAT NEARLY £20,000 OF OVERSEAS AID MONEY DIVERTED CHARITABLE PROJECT FOR PERSONAL USE

On 29 December, Guernsey Press reported that the Overseas Aid Commission has provided an update on the suspension of funding of a project as the result of whistle-blowing allegations.  The update was in the Commission’s annual report.  It had been alleged that alleged that the in-country partner had diverted the funds received from the commission and used the money for personal projects, some £19,500.  The Charity Commission for England and Wales regulates the charity concerned.

https://guernseypress.com/news/2019/12/30/claim-that-overseas-aid-funds-misused/

 

GUIDE TO HOW GUERNSEY LEGISLATION IS DEVELOPED

The Guernsey government has published information that allows Islanders to check the status of forthcoming Guernsey or Bailiwick-wide legislation as it proceeds along the path from States Resolution to coming into force.  The details provide a snapshot of the status of each piece of legislation.

https://www.gov.gg/newlegislation

 

IRAN SAYS IT HAS SEIZED TANKER WITH ‘ILLEGAL’ OIL IN HORMUZ

On 30 December, Rferl reported that Iranian state media are reporting that the country’s paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has seized a foreign tanker and crew that it says were carrying illegal oil.  The unnamed vessel was said to be carrying more than 1 million litres of fuel and was taken into custody on December 29.

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-says-seized-tanker-with-illegal-oil-in-hormuz/30352935.html

 

GUINEA BISSAU’S REPUTATION AS MAJOR SMUGGLING HUB

Illicit Trade on 29 December reported on a case where 3 drug gang bosses have been jailed for a total of 42 years after an Interpol-led operation resulted in one of the largest cocaine seizures ever made in Guinea Bissau.  10 suspects from Colombia, Guinea Bissau and Mali were arrested after the seizing some 1.8 tonnes of cocaine that was being transported by sea – and said to have been in transit to be distributed in locations such as northern Europe.

https://www.illicit-trade.com/2019/12/sentencing-of-traffickers-linked-to-1-8-tonne-cocaine-shipment-cements-guinea-bissaus-reputation-as-major-smuggling-hub/

 

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 29

29th December 2019

 

IRAQ THWARTS SMUGGLING OF ANTIQUITIES, INCLUDING A RARE COPY OF THE TORAH

On 29 December, Kurdistan 24 reported that an Iraqi anti-corruption commission announced that it had seized antiquities while smugglers were attempting to transport them out of Iraq, including an extremely rare copy of the Torah, the holy Hebrew scriptures.  It is said that the smugglers had employed an expert in the search for antiquities who excavated an archaeological site in order to find some of the artefact.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/bec11967-0d74-4ef0-841c-8d22b0c51e38

 

2 EXTRADITED BACK FROM PHILIPPINES AND VIETNAM TO TAIWAN FOR TELECOM FRAUD

On 29 December, Focus Taiwan reported that they are said to have been linked to criminal groups targeting Chinese people.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201912290005.aspx

 

US BILL CLASSIFIES 7 MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS AS TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS

On 27 December, Homeland Preparedness News reported that recently introduced legislation in the US Congress classified 7 Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organisations (FTO) as defined by section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  The Gulf Cartel, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Beltran Leyva Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, the Los Zetas Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Tijuana Cartel have been described by the DEA as the most prominent in Mexico.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/41838-bill-classifies-seven-mexican-drug-cartels-as-terrorist-organizations/

 

GARDAÍ AND BIRMINGHAM POLICE WORKING TOGETHER TO TAKE DOWN THE LAST REMNANTS OF THE KINAHAN CARTEL

On 29 December, The Journal in Ireland reported that a number of senior members of the cartel fled to the Midlands city in a bid to rebuild their crumbling empire since the successful prosecutions of many of the criminal gang’s main players., after successful operations conducted by the Criminal Assets Bureau in Ireland.

https://www.thejournal.ie/liam-byrne-birmingham-4861989-Dec2019

 

EU TELLS CROATIA IT HASN’T ERADICATED CORRUPTION

Total Croatia News on 29 December reported that the EU Commission has warned Croatia in its annual review of progress made in public policy measures to correct macroeconomic imbalances that it has not eradicated corruption and that it should reform the system of public salaries, stimulate a longer working life and bring order in healthcare.

https://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/40481-corruption

 

 

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 28

28th December 2019

REACTORS IN UAE ‘RISK ARMS RACE AND A DISASTER LIKE CHERNOBYL’

An article in the Irish Independent on 28 December reported that a leading scientists has claimed that 4 nuclear reactors being built in the UAE could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and leave the Persian Gulf at risk of a Chernobyl-style disaster.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/middle-east/reactors-in-uae-risk-arms-race-and-a-disaster-like-chernobyl-38817500.html

https://moosegazette.net/nuclear-power-plant-in-uae-risks-sparking-arms-race-expert-warns/209171/

 

BAHAMAS LAUNCHES DIGITAL CURRENCY

On 27 December, the Jamaica Observer reported that the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBB) has introduced a digital version of the Bahamian dollar, starting with a pilot phase in Exuma and extending in the first half of 2020 to Abaco.  Project Sand Dollar has the name sand dollar assigned to the proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC).

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Bahamas_launches_digital_currency

 

NAMIBIAN EX-MINISTERS EMBROILED IN FISH SCANDAL IN JAIL FOR NEW YEAR

The Sowetan Live on 28 December reported that 2 former ministers and 4 others accused of taking bribes to offer fishing rights in Namibia’s biggest corruption scandal will see in the New Year from custody after a court dismissed their urgent release application.  They are accused of taking kickbacks from subsidiaries of Iceland’s biggest fishing company Samherji to secure quotas.

https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/africa/2019-12-28-namibian-ex-ministers-embroiled-in-fish-scandal-in-jail-for-new-year

 

CHINA ARRESTS 103 PEOPLE IN BUST OF COUNTERFEIT DRUG RING AND SEIZES £5.5 MILLION WORTH OF FAKE GLUE

On 27 December, the Telegraph reported that counterfeit glue ring made products purporting to be ones manufactured by German adhesive brand Loctite.  Police seized more than 470,000 fake Loctite adhesive products and labels.  The real manufacturer Henkel has has about half a dozen factories in the country, including one in Shanghai, which is the largest adhesives plant in the world.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/27/china-arrests-103-people-bust-counterfeit-drug-ring-seizes-55/

 

GUINEA BISSAU: NEW ERA OF ANTI-DRUG ACTION

A news release from Interpol on 27 December advised that one of Guinea Bissau’s largest cocaine seizures has resulted in the sentencing of 3 drug kingpins arrested during a police operation supported by INTERPOL. The resulting 14-year prison sentences were a record in Guinea Bissau.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2019/Guinea-Bissau-triple-prison-conviction-marks-new-era-of-anti-drug-action-with-INTERPOL

 

PAKISTAN DETAINS ANOTHER OPPOSITION LEADER OVER CORRUPTION

On 25 December, OCCRP reported that Ahsan Iqbal, a senior Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader, was detained by officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over alleged misappropriation of government funds in the construction of the Narowal Sports City, near the border to India.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/11360-pakistan-detains-another-opposition-leader-over-corruption

 

STATISTICAL SURVEY SHOWS INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND GLOBAL ECONOMY COOLING DOWN

On 10 December, UNCTAD reported that the UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2019 provides a wide range of statistics and indicators relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment, maritime transport and development.  It goes on to say that global trade and economic output have stagnated this year.  Merchandise trade is predicted to drop by 2.4% to $19 trillion, and trade in services is predicted to only increase by 2.7% to $6 trillion.  Real global economic output (GDP) is now expected to grow by 2.3% this year, 0.7 percentage points less than last year.  The handbook boasts numerous maps, figures, infographics and tables, accompanied by descriptive text, all of which reveal interesting, sometimes curious, recent developments, such as foreign direct investment from the US turning into negative in 2018.

https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2259

 

THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TERM “WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL”

On 28 December, a Target Letter alert notified one that 80 years ago, on 27 December 1939, Edwin Sutherland introduced the phrase “white-collar criminal”.

https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?e=7ccf838fc8&u=1684e2d964bfa9b5d101ab1dc&id=c9e4e5d1a9

 

A PROBE THAT EXPOSES THE CORRUPTION BEHIND ISRAEL’S JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

On 28 December, Haaretz carried an article about the ongoing investigation involving former President of the Israel Bar Association Efraim Nave (described in the newspaper as “uninhibited, power-hungry and socially savvy”) and alleged bribery.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-a-probe-that-exposes-the-corruption-behind-israel-s-judicial-appointments-1.8323811

 

3 OF ABU HAMZA’S SONS ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF £1 MILLION SCAM WITH THE ‘HELP OF A BANK WORKER’

The Telegraph on 28 December reported that 3 of radical preacher Abu Hamza’s sons have been arrested over fraud and money laundering offences allegedly carried out with the help of a bank worker.  They were among 6 people reportedly arrested and bailed.  The offences are said not to be terrorism related.  Abu Hamza is serving life without parole in the US for supporting terrorism, having been extradited in 2012.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/28/three-abu-hamzas-sons-arrested-suspicion-1million-scam-help/

 

RUSSIAN COMPANIES INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH IRAN REGARDLESS OF US SANCTIONS

On 27 December, Customs Today reported that this had been said by Rustam Zhiganshin, Russia’s trade representative in Iran.

https://customstoday.com.pk/russian-companies-interested-in-working-with-iran-regardless-of-us-sanctions/

 

HOW LIVERPOOL’S COCAINE TRADE IS FIGHTING OFF THE ALBANIAN MAFIA

On 28 December, the Liverpool Echo reported that, while Birmingham, London and Manchester’s drugs trades have all fallen under the influence of gangs with roots in Albania, only Liverpool is holding out against the trend.  It is said that Liverpool’s cocaine trade has yet to be influenced by the Albanian organised crime gangs.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/how-liverpools-cocaine-trade-fighting-17437765

 

 

 

 

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 27

27th December 2019

 

WORLD’S LONGEST-SERVING RULER MUST REVEAL HIS ASSETS FOR AN IMF BAILOUT

On 27 December, KYC 360 reported that Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo must declare his assets before the country receives more financial support from the International Monetary Fund.  It needs an IMF bailout to deal with a crisis that shrank its economy by a third to $13 billion last year.  He has been accused by prosecutors in the US and France of squandering the tiny Central African’s vast oil wealth.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/worlds-longest-serving-ruler-must-reveal-his-assets-for-an-imf-bailout/

SOUTH AFRICAN DIRECTORS TO FACE INCREASED LEGAL SCRUTINY IN 2020

On 24 December, Clyde & Co said that press coverage in recent weeks suggests that the public and legal scrutiny on directors is likely to increase in 2020.  It will see a significant shift towards active steps being taken by companies, regulators and state authorities in bringing directors to task for alleged misconduct.  It is also anticipated that claimants such as trade unions and customers will utilise class action lawsuits.

https://www.clydeco.com/blog/insurance-hub/article/south-african-directors-to-face-increased-legal-scrutiny-in-2020#page=1

 

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA’S BORDER POLICE PREVENT THE ILLICIT TRAFFICKING OF 17 MILITARY METAL DETECTORS

The Sarajevo Times on 27 December reported that military equipment was discovered during a thorough inspection of driven by a BiH citizen.  They later also found 13 more metal detectors and 2 more at another location, also in Sarajevo.

http://www.sarajevotimes.com/members-of-border-police-prevented-illicit-traffic-of-military-weapons/

 

EU PLANS TO ROLL OUT E-LICENSING REGIME FOR DUAL-USE EXPORTS BY 2021

On 26 December, Export Compliance Daily reported that the system is being tested by 4 Member States — Latvia, Italy, Romania and Greece — and the EU plans to add Belgium soon.

https://exportcompliancedaily.com/news/2019/12/26/eu-plans-to-roll-out-elicensing-regime-for-dualuse-exports-by-2021-1912240008

 

NEW UK OPEN GENERAL IMPORT LICENCE (OGIL)

On 24 December, the UK issued an updated OGIL, dated 20 December.  Article 1 of the Import of Goods (Control) Order 1954 prohibits the importation of all goods into the UK, but Article 2 of that Order permits the importation of goods under the authority of a licence and the OGIL allows the importation of all goods into the UK, subject to the exceptions which it sets out.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/855153/Open-General-Import-Licence-ogil.pdf

 

UNDERGROUND AND HOME-MADE FIREARMS

In October, The Firearms Blog published a 2-part article saying that occasionally police operations across the world show up weapons produced solely for the criminal market.  Some of these are improvised while others are semi-professionally produced in illicit workshops.  Documented in the articles, with fascinating photographs, are a handful of interesting examples uncovered in recent months.  They include a gun disguised as a bicycle pump (in the UK), a booby trap gun (from Northern Ireland), a home-made 6-barrel shotgun, modified nail guns (from China), etc.

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/10/24/underground-arms-watch-october-pt-1/

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/10/31/underground-arms-watch-october-pt-2/

 

DANSKE BANK SUED BY INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS OVER MONEY LAUNDERING

On 27 December, BNN Bloomberg reported that a group of international investors who manage trillions of dollars in assets has filed in Copenhagen what it says is the first in a series of lawsuits against Danske Bank in connection with the money laundering scandal engulfing Denmark’s largest lender.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/danske-sued-by-international-investors-over-money-laundering-1.1366981

 

ART TRADE CONCERNED ABOUT NEW EU AML LAW

On 27 December, the Art Newspaper reported that when the UK implements the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive from 10 January, for the first time, many art and antique dealers will have to comply with stringent obligations designed to combat financial crime and terrorist funding.   It also says that German Association of Art Dealers and Galleries (BVDG) is lobbying against “extremely strong and hard to fulfil” new regulations.  Explaining some of the requirements in the UK, the article says that many fear that the nature of art transactions makes complying with the Directive almost impossible, and dealers worry they will lose sales if they have to interrupt a deal to collect onerous details from prospective buyers, especially at art fairs.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/new-eu-law-calls-for-tough-action-on-dirty-money

 

US CUSTOMS ARRESTS CHINESE NATIONAL IN $23.8 MILLION SCHEME TO SELL COUNTERFEIT LAPTOP COMPUTER BATTERIES ON EBAY AND AMAZON

A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 19 December announced that a California man, Zoulin Cai, aka “Allen Cai”, 28 – a Chinese national who moved to Los Angeles County in 2012 – had been arrested on federal criminal charges that he participated in a $23.8 million scheme to manufacture and ship counterfeit laptop computer batteries and other electronics from China to the US, where the bogus batteries were sold to unsuspecting buyers in online marketplaces.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-hsi-arrests-chinese-national-238-million-scheme-sell-counterfeit-laptop-computer

 

PROPOSED US EXEMPTION ALLOWING THAT CERTAIN TRANSFERS OF ENCRYPTED TECHNICAL DATA ARE NOT EXPORTS, RE-EXPORTS, OR RETRANSFERS SUBJECT TO THE INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN ARMS REGULATIONS

On 27 December, Torres Law reported that the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has published an interim final rule, with comments due by 27 January, and the new rule to take effect on 25 March.

https://mailchi.mp/torrestradelaw/interim-final-rule-creates-itar-end-to-end-encryption-carve-out?e=2bb4b5b8de

JAPAN PACHINKO OPERATOR SEARCHED AS PROBE INTO CASINO BRIBERY CASE WIDENS

On 27 December, the Mainichi in japan reported that prosecutors have raided the office of a Tokyo company operating a pachinko parlour chain over a consulting contract it signed with a firm run by a former secretary to a legislator who is under arrest on suspicion of accepting bribes.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20191227/p2a/00m/0na/013000c

 

ISLE OF MAN FSA HAS AGREED TO MAKE ITS WEBSITE CONTENT AVAILABLE TO A LEADING PROVIDER OF REGULATORY RISK INTELLIGENCE

A news release from the Financial Services Authority on 24 December saying that it has recently agreed to make its website content available to Corlytics, a leading provider of regulatory risk intelligence.  It says that Corlytics collates, categorises, interrogates and analyses regulatory notices from global regulators with a view to ensuring better regulatory outcomes for regulated firms, regulators and ultimately consumers.

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2019/dec/iomfsa-and-corlytics/

 

NEW REPORT SHOWS IMPORTANCE OF SHIPPING TO UK ECONOMY

A news item from Hellenic Shipping News dated 28 December reported that the UK shipping industry brings in a remarkable £19 billion to the economy, an increase of 41% from 2010, and directly supports 181,000 jobs, according to a new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/new-report-shows-importance-of-shipping-to-uk-economy/

 

PIRACY ALONG MALACCA-SINGAPORE STRAITS JUMP NEARLY FOUR-FOLD

A news item from Hellenic Shipping News dated 28 December reported that piracy has surged this year along SE Asia’s straits of Malacca and Singapore, one of the world’s busiest trade routes.  Incidents along the shipping choke point have risen to 30, from 8 last year – and the highest figure since 104 incidents in 2015.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/piracy-along-malacca-singapore-straits-jump-nearly-fourfold/

 

EUROPEAN COURT OPINION CLOUDS FUTURE OF TRANSATLANTIC COMMERCIAL DATA TRANSFERS

On 24 December, Lawfare reported that the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a long-awaited preliminary opinion on whether US surveillance laws violate the fundamental rights of individuals whose personal data are transferred across the Atlantic for commercial purposes, such as for cloud services, finance and consumer transactions.  However, a final judgment from the CJEU, which may or may not follow the advocate general’s recommendations, is expected in a few months.  The article says that the Opinion constitutes the European court’s most in-depth look to date into whether US privacy protections for intelligence collection against foreigners meet EU standards.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/european-court-justice-opinion-clouds-future-transatlantic-commercial-data-transfers

https://www.lawfareblog.com/foreign-intelligence-and-other-issues-initial-opinion-schrems-ii

 

 

 

 

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 26

26th December 2019

UK POLICE DROP INQUIRY INTO $4 BILLION ONECOIN SWINDLE

On 26 December, KYC 360 reported that City of London police have confirmed to The Times that its investigation into OneCoin, whose founders are thought to have stolen £4 billion in total and whose operations were partly run from London, has been concluded with no arrests or prosecutions.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/uk-police-drop-inquiry-into-4bn-onecoin-swindle/

 

HOW US SANCTIONS COULD HIT RUSSIA’S NORD STREAM GAS PROJECT

On 26 December, KYC 360 published a short article from Reuters containing an explanation of why the US move may have come too late.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/factbox-how-u-s-sanctions-could-hit-russias-nord-stream-gas-project/

 

IUU FISHING: PANAMA’S YELLOW CARD REINSTATED

On 25 December, Maritime Executive reported that the re-imposition of the yellow warning card against Panama is unprecedented, since no country has had a warning reinstated once it has been lifted, and it sends an important message to all exporting countries that progress on tackling illegal fishing must continue after the card is lifted.  The warning that could lead to seafood import bans to the EU – was issued in November 2012 for inadequate monitoring of their fishing fleets or waters, neglecting to impose sanctions on illegal operators, and failing to develop robust fisheries laws.  Panama imposed new laws and improved processes and the card was lifted in 2014.

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/iuu-fishing-panama-s-yellow-card-reinstated

https://www.elcapitalfinanciero.com/ue-envia-advertencia-a-panama-en-materia-pesquera/

 

CHINA TARGETS TIGHTER CONTROLS ON ITS GROWING ARMS TRADE

On 25 December, Yahoo News carried a report from the South China Morning Post saying that China is set to introduce legislation to tighten control over the country’s opaque sales of arms and nuclear technology, as it becomes a bigger player in the global weapons trade.  Exporters would have to establish an internal compliance review system to ensure the items were properly used; there would also be a blacklist of importers who violated end-use terms, endangered national security, or used controlled items for terrorism.  Government agencies would also assess buyers and take corresponding risk control measures, including banning exports to those countries.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/china-targets-tighter-controls-growing-113900229.html

 

US STATE DEPARTMENT PUBLISHES LONG-AWAITED ITAR RULE ON ENCRYPTION AND OTHER EXCLUDED ACTIVITIES

On 24 December, Steptoe & Johnson published an article saying that on December 26 the State Department was to publish a long-awaited rule amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) by providing a definition of activities that are not exports, re-exports, retransfers or temporary imports.  This definition is said to provide much-needed guidance on whether and under what circumstances end-to-end encrypted technical data is controlled under the ITAR.  The proposed effective date of the new final rule is set to be March 25.  ITAR lists 5 activities that are not considered exports or other “controlled events” that would otherwise require a licence or approval.

https://www.steptoeinternationalcomplianceblog.com/2019/12/state-department-publishes-long-awaited-itar-rule-on-encryption-and-other-excluded-activities

 

WORKING PAPER ON MONEY LAUNDERING AND FINANCING OF TERRORISM RISKS IN ISLAMIC BANKING

On 26 December, Zawya reported that the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has announced a joint paper titled ‘Joint Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) – Arab Monetary Funds (AMF) Working Paper on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Risks in Islamic Banking’.  The 2 groups aimed to examine AML/CFT methods, trends and typologies as specifically related to Islamic banking, and attempted to address whether there is any evidence that ML/FT risks in Islamic banking are indeed different from those that arise in conventional banking.  The Working Paper is said to be a response to risks which might emanate from the intrinsic characteristics of instruments and arrangements used in Islamic banking, or from the nature of the contractual relationship between Islamic banks and their customers.  It is said that the paper discusses survey responses received from banking regulatory and supervisory authorities and does not find any significant difference in the risks between conventional and Islamic banking.  The Working Paper includes a useful glossary of terms used in Islamic banking.

The IFSB is an international standard-setting organisation that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing global prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry.  The UAE-based AMF promotes development and trade among member countries and helps directing financial strategies by establishing policies and modes for co-operation.

https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/press-releases/story/The_IFSB_Issues_Joint_IFSBAMF_Working_Paper_on_Money_Laundering_and_Financing_of_Terrorism_MLFT_Risks_in_Islamic_Banking-ZAWYA20191226100847/

 

IN CANADA, NEARLY ALL ACCUSED MONEY LAUNDERERS GET THEIR CHARGES DROPPED

An article in The Star in Canada on 26 December said that white-collar criminals have little to fear from the Canadian judicial system, in which nearly all money laundering charges get thrown out before trial, according to statistics obtained by the Star; with 86% of charges for laundering the proceeds of crime laid between 2012 and 2017 withdrawn or stayed.  Only 9% of money laundering charges during that period resulted in a guilty plea or a conviction – while 64% of all criminal cases in Canada during the same period resulted in a guilty finding.

https://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2019/12/26/in-canada-nearly-all-accused-money-launderers-get-their-charges-dropped.html

PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS WHO WERE ASKED OR HAD TO PAY A BRIBE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS IN PANAMA BETWEEN 2016 AND 2019

An article on the Statista website reported that, in a survey carried out between 2018 and 2019, nearly 16% of respondents in Panama said that they had been asked or had to pay a bribe in different interactions with public and private authorities (police officers, government employees, schools, hospitals, at work, among others) – a rise of 2% over the survey results in 2016 and 2017.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1068218/people-experiences-bribery-public-services-panama/

 

ANTI-BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION LAWS – COMPARISON OF COUNTRIES’ LAWS

A fascinating website tool from Dentons allows one to select 1, 2 or 3 countries, and any or all key points to view/compare key points in the selected territories.

https://www.antibriberylaws.com/

 

BRIBERY SCANDAL CASTS SHADOW ON JAPAN’S CASINO POLICY

On 26 December, Reuters provided an “Explainer” saying that prosecutors have arrested a ruling-party lawmaker previously in charge of casino policy on suspicion he accepted bribes from a company seeking to build a casino.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-japan-casino-corruption-explainer/explainer-bribery-scandal-casts-shadow-on-japans-big-casino-gamble-idUKKBN1YU0CC

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/japan-casino-bribery-investigation-widens-arcade-operator-raided-191226072439716.html

 

AUTHORITIES IN TAIWAN DISRUPT AN UNAUTHORISED ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATION AND “LARGEST KNOWN” UNDERGROUND BANKING NETWORK MOVING MONEY FROM THE CHINESE MAINLAND

On 26 December, Calvin Ayre reported on coordinated raids on 72 locations in multiple cities, including the capital Taipei, searching for evidence of underground banking and illegal gambling.  This followed disruption in August of an underground banking network that the authorities believe was an offshoot of the main network.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/12/26/business/taiwan-disrupts-cross-border-gambling-underground-banking/

 

CAMBODIA’S CASINOS TOLD TO HALT THEIR ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATIONS BY JANUARY 1

On 26 December, Calvin Ayre reported that government officials would conduct inspections of local casino operators to ensure they are complying with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s August directive, which declared that no new online licences would be issued and that existing licences wouldn’t be renewed when they expired at the end of this year.

https://calvinayre.com/2019/12/25/casino/cambodia-casinos-face-legal-action-online-gambling/