13th January 2020
UK: DIRECTOR BANNED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN NUISANCE MARKETING CALLS
On 6 January, the Insolvency Service reported that Gregory Francis Rudd (53), the sole director of Keurboom Communications Limited of Cambridge, has been banned for 6 years after his company permitted its lines to be used to make millions of nuisance marketing calls. B
Between October 2014 and March 2016, up to 99.5 million automated marketing calls were made, through Keurboom’s lines, to people who had not provided their consent.
UK: BANKRUPT WHO CONTINUED TO RUN PAYROLL COMPANY DESPITE BEING BANNED DISQUALIFIED FOR 9 YEARS
On 8 January, the Insolvency Service reported that Addrees Ahmed (46) will be joined on the disqualified directors register by his wife, Robina Shaheen (42), also of Birmingham, after she allowed her husband to control the payroll company, Academy Management Services Limited.
LIBERIAN REGISTRY INTRODUCES A SIMPLIFIED VESSEL REGISTRATION PROCESS
On 13 January, Seatrade Maritime News reported that the Expedited Registration Process, or ERP, introduced on 1 January, reduces the number of requirements and allows for technology and digital files to replace administrative work, creating a more simplified process overall. There is a claimed 50% reduction in time required.
UK: WITNESS EVIDENCE WORKING GROUP (WEWG) REPORT ON IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CURRENT PRACTICE RE FACTUAL WITNESS EVIDENCE IN THE BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES
On 8 January, DLA Piper published an article saying that the WEWG, which included judges, barristers, solicitors and a nominee representing client users, issued its report in December which followed consideration by focus groups and the WEWG of the results of an online survey among stakeholders. It is said that the report did not make any finite conclusions other than that there was “little enthusiasm for radical reform”, and instead it made various recommendations to assist in the creation of best practice guidelines which would hopefully streamline the approach of the different courts. The survey is said to have found that only 6% of the respondents thought that the current approach to factual witness statements “fully achieved” the aim of producing the best evidence possible, and concerns demonstrated that there is significant room for improvement.
UN APPROVES SANCTIONS EXEMPTIONS FOR MSF, SWISS HUMANITARIAN AID IN NORTH KOREA
On 10 January, NK News reported that 2 European humanitarian organisations have been granted sanctions exemptions from the United Nations for projects in North Korea.
ICE AND US MARSHALS ARREST SALVADORAN TERRORIST FOR DEPORTATION
On 13 January, a news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised the arrest of Rene Antonio “Scrapy” Hernandez-Mejia, a Salvadoran national wanted in El Salvador, He is wanted for being part of the 18 Revolutionary Pandilla, a terrorist organisation which is a faction of an El Salvadorian gang called Shadow Park Locos. It is alleged that this gang is involved with crimes such as homicide, extortion, and terrorism.
HMRC LIST OF DELIBERATE TAX DEFAULTERS
On 13 January, HMRC published the latest, updated list of deliberate tax defaulters.
UK: CROWN SEEKS £5 MILLION FROM MAN JAILED IN SCOTLAND’S LONGEST TRIAL
On 13 January, STV reported that Edwin McLaren, 54, faces having to hand over more than £5.3 million, in a further revised assessment, to the Crown under proceeds of crime legislation. He was jailed for 11 years in 2017 for his involvement in a £1.6 million property fraud scheme.
A WEALTHY CROATIAN BUSINESSMAN WITH TIES TO PRESIDENT PUTIN RECEIVED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM RUSSIA UNDER THE GUISE OF FICTITIOUS REAL ESTATE PURCHASES
On 13 January, an OCCRP reported claimed that the exact source of the money is unknown – but the offshore company that made the payments is connected to a network that was used to launder funds stolen from the Russian state budget. The report points the finger at family members and close associates of Mihajlo Perenčević.
FRANCE: RUSSIAN ATHLETICS DOPING TRIAL POSTPONED UNTIL JUNE
On 13 January, OCCRP reported that the trial of former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Lamine Diack, 86, who is accused of corruption, money laundering and breach of trust., has been delayed until June. In the trial, 6 individuals are accused of having tried to cover up the doping of 23 Russian athletes.
SPAIN: HEFTY SENTENCES SOUGHT FOR BRIBERY IN SAUDI ARMS DEALS
On 13 January, OCCRP reported that Spanish prosecutors are seeking long sentences for 8 individuals suspected of having bribed Saudi officials to get contracts to export weapons, as part of an investigation into corruption that had been going on for 25 years. It is claimed that over $100 million in bribes were paid by the now dissolved state-owned weapons manufacturer Defex to various Saudi dignitaries. Authorities investigated 11 contracts between Defex and Saudi Arabia, many of which were for ammunition and spare parts, and noticed that the bribes were paid to accounts in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, BVI, Panama, Bahamas, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Delaware, and Saudi Arabia.
US SUPREME COURT REJECTS LOWER COURT RULING THAT IRANIAN ASSETS HELD OUTSIDE OF THE US COULD BE SEIZED TO SATISFY A JUDGMENT ISSUED IN THE US AGAINST IRAN
On 13 January, Jurist reported that the suit involves family members of US troops killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corp barracks in Lebanon. The family members won the lawsuit against Iran, then sought to recover the money owed to them by Iran as stipulated by the judgment. The case involves Bank Markazi’s assets held outside of the US. The Supreme Court has rejected the Second Circuit’s ruling and sent the case back to the lower court so that it could issue a new decision based on the new National Defense Authorization Act, a new law signed by President Trump in December, which could help US troops’ families recover damages owed to them by Iran.
SRI LANKA: CHINESE MAN HELD WITH OVER 200 SCORPIONS
On 13 January, Adaderana reported that a Chinese national has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake when he attempted to smuggle over 200 live scorpions out of the country.
LEEDS BUSINESSMAN SUBJECT TO FIRST “MCMAFIA” ORDER OVER ALLEGED LINKS TO ORGANISED CRIME HAS £1.13M FROZEN
On 13 January, the Yorkshire Post reported that Leeds entrepreneur Mansoor Mahmood Hussain, 39, is being asked to either explain the source of his wealth or hand it over to the NCA under an Unexplained Wealth Order which involves funds in a bank account linked to the company 500 M Ltd.
LITHUANIA FEARS NEW BELARUSIAN NUCLEAR PLANT HASN’T ‘LEARNED LESSONS OF CHERNOBYL’
An article on Rferl on 13 January reports on a controversial project funded by a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear energy monopoly Rosatom. The Lithuania capital, Vilnius, lies a mere 40 km from the Astravets plant. The same Russian-made VVER-type reactors that will be used near Astravets are slated for installation in a range of other countries by Rosatom — which has emerged as the world’s leading nuclear reactor supplier.