25th December 2019
CONGO PROSECUTORS PROBE ISRAELI BILLIONAIRE’S LOAN TO STATE MINING COMPANY
On 25 December, KYC 360 reported that Democratic Republic of Congolese prosecutors are investigating a €200 million line of credit issued to state mining company Gecamines by a company owned by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler.
CHINA-BACKED 500.COM TIED TO JAPAN’S CASINO SCANDAL
On 25 December, Nikkei Asian Review reported that online sports lottery provider 500.com is said to be suspected of bribing Tsukasa Akimoto, a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who was involved in crafting the country’s gaming policy, and who Tokyo prosecutors have arrested.
BIMCO PUBLISHES NEW SANCTIONS CLAUSES TO MEET GEOPOLITICAL CHALLENGES
On 25 December, Port News reported that BIMCO – the world’s largest international shipping association with a global membership that includes shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents – says its Documentary Committee has approved 2 charter party sanctions clauses to help owners and charterers manage due diligence policies and navigate an increasingly complex environment of economic and trade sanctions imposed by governments. The clauses – one for time charters and one for voyage charters – have been written by representatives from shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs and lawyers specialised in sanctions. The clauses provide the ability to terminate the contract and to claim damages in limited circumstances when the counterparty and/or the third parties listed in the warranties are sanctioned, and they provide an objective test for whether an activity or person is sanctioned to avoid uncertainty about operating the clause. The article also reports that sanctions clauses for ship sale and purchase agreements, ship management agreements, and contracts of affreightment will be published early next year in addition to the version for container trades.
MALTA CANCELS 18 GAMBLING LICENCES
On 24 December, Casino Buzz reported that the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has said that it has been committed to combat illegal gambling operations that aid money laundering and said that it has cancelled 18 operator licences in the first 6 months of 2019, which the MGA has said that it is a part of its efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
SOUTH KOREAN COURT HAS ACQUITTED BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (BAT) FROM CHARGES OF TAX EVASION
Tobacco Reporter on 25 December reported that, in April, prosecutors indicted BAT Korea and 2 senior executives on charges of evading $43 million in taxes by falsely reporting a cigarette shipment one day before a cigarette tax hike went into effect.
HONG KONG DRUG SEIZURES SURGE 74%
On 24 December, Customs Today reported that Hong Kong customs and police seized nearly HK$1.9 billion in drugs in the first 11 months of 2019, a 74% jump over the same period last year, with syndicates thought to be becoming more brazen as they assume the ongoing protests have undermined law enforcement.
SWITZERLAND DROPS CASE AGAINST SAUDI- AND UAE-LINKED AEROSPACE COMPANY PILATUS
On 24 December, Customs Today reported that Switzerland has dropped a case against the aerospace company Pilatus over charges that it failed to inform the government of its ties to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is said that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) confirmed reports that it had closed its investigation into part of the matter, after determining the Swiss company’s actions did not violate the law.
BRAZIL: BOLSONARO SIGNS ANTI-CRIME BILL AIMED AT CORRUPTION AND VIOLENCE
Al Jazeera on 25 December reported that has signed into law an anti-crime Bill that toughens measures to stem a rampant deadly crime wave, although he vetoed some parts of the Bill.