UK: ALERT ISSUED ON THE ILLICIT FINANCE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SOUTH SUDAN

The NCA has issued an alert saying that the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, has published an alert on the illicit finance risks associated with South Sudan.  The alert highlights the red flags that members of the regulated sector and others should be aware of when seeking to do business in South Sudan or with South Sudanese entities.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/alert-issued-on-the-illicit-finance-risks-associated-with-south-sudan

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FATF: GUIDANCE ON DIGITAL ID

On 6 March, FATF published guidance it has developed that will help governments, financial institutions, virtual asset service providers and other regulated entities determine whether a digital ID is appropriate for use for customer due diligence.  It says that digital ID systems are evolving rapidly.  To determine whether a digital ID is suitable, governments, financial institutions and other stakeholders should –

  1. Understand the assurance levels of the digital ID system’s technology, architecture and governance; and
  2. Given its assurance levels, determine whether it is appropriately reliable, independent in light of potential risks that it is used to facilitate illicit finance.

It is said that the guidance is technology-neutral, and has benefitted from a public consultation with the private sector.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/pdfs/Guidance-on-Digital-Identity.pdf

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THE PHANTOM FLEET: NORTH KOREA’S COAL SMUGGLERS IN CHINESE WATERS

On 5 March, RUSI published the 6th report in its Project Sandstone series which says that a large fleet of North Korean cargo ships continues to deliver coal to China in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions, in what appears to be a large-scale, coordinated effort to evade sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme.

https://rusi.org/publication/other-publications/project-sandstone-report-6-phantom-fleet-north-korea’s-smugglers

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HM TREASURY REMOVES 2 INDIVIDUALS FROM UKRAINE SANCTIONS LISTS

On 6 March, HM Treasury issued a Notice advising that Mykola Yanovych Azarov and Edward Stavytskyi have been removed from the Consolidated List in the UK, following the publication of EU Regulation 2020/370/EU.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/870998/Notice_Ukraine__Misappropriation__2020_370.pdf

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OFAC ISSUES NEW FAQ RELATING TO HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE EXEMPTIONS FOR IRAN

On 6 March, OFAC released a new FAQ related to the manner in which humanitarian goods or assistance can be provided to the Iranian people in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran, consistent with the Iran-related sanctions administered by OFAC.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20200306.aspx

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HM TREASURY AND ISLE OF MAN AMEND 5 ENTRIES ON LIBYAN SANCTIONS LIST

On 6 March, HM Treasury published a Notice saying that the entries for 6 individuals had been amended following the publication of EU Regulation 2020/371/EU.  The Isle of Man followed suit the same day.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/870993/LibyaNotice_2020_371.pdf

https://www.gov.im/news/2020/mar/06/financial-sanctions-libya/

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SAND DREDGING IN NORTH KOREA AND SALES TO CHINA

C4ADS has produced a report of its preliminary findings of sand dredging in North Korea.  It says that sand is a critical material with various uses in modern infrastructure, such as concrete and glass in construction, and silicon chips in electronics; and as the price of sand has risen rapidly in recent years, so has the practice of both licit and illicit sand excavation and trade around the world.  DPRK started trading sand in the 90s and between 1991 and 2017, the DPRK’s neighbours, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Russia, have periodically imported sand from North Korea.  However, in December 2017, UN SCR 2397 imposed a sectoral ban on “earth and stone (HS Code 25)”, which includes sand.  However, C4ADS says, publicly available information suggests that the sale of DPRK-origin sand is ongoing.

https://c4ads.org/blogposts/against-the-grain

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