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/