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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.