MAPPING ANTI-CORRUPTION AUTHORITIES AROUND THE WORLD – SURVEY REPORT AND Q&A WITH THE FRENCH ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCY

On 22 June, the Basel Institute on Governance said that its recently published report, Global Mapping of Anti-Corruption Authorities, fills a critical gap in information about national anti-corruption authorities (ACA) around the world. ACA are key institutions to prevent and combat corruption, but until now centralised data on their mandates, activities and even existence has been lacking. The survey is a project of the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) in partnership with the Council of Europe’s GRECO, OECD and the Network of Corruption Prevention Authorities (NCPA). In a Q&A, Izadora Zubek, International Affairs Officer at the AFA, explores some of the report’s key findings and their implications for anti-corruption practice and cooperation. Among the matters considered in the survey was the role of the ACA, and prevalence of, anti-corruption strategies. The survey seems to confirm that many governments have chosen to fulfil the requirements of UN Convention Against Corruption, in particular of Article 5 that calls upon States parties to adopt effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies, through the development of a national anti-corruption strategy or action plan, and few respondents said that their country had no such strategy.

https://www.baselgovernance.org/blog/mapping-anti-corruption-authorities-around-world-qa-french-anti-corruption-agency

The survey report itself is at –

https://rm.coe.int/ncpa-analysis-report-global-mapping-acas/16809e790b

 

 

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US: GM AND FIAT CEO ORDERED TO MEET TO RESOLVE TRADE UNION BRIBERY SUIT

On 23 June, BNN Bloomberg reported that the the CEO of General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV were ordered to meet face-to-face by 1 July to resolve a lawsuit over bribery of labour union officials. A federal judge in Detroit told them to talk in person to try and resolve a legal claim. Last year, GM alleged that former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne (who died in 2018) and other Fiat Chrysler executives were involved in an effort to bribe trade union officials to get better contract terms than competing car makers. A federal corruption probe into the matter that has put 9 union and Fiat Chrysler leaders in jail.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/gm-fiat-ceos-ordered-to-meet-to-resolve-union-bribery-suit-1.1455077

 

 

 

 

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ISO 20022 PAYMENT SYSTEMS MESSAGING STANDARD

Accuity has published a White Paper on the new standard which it describes as a common standard language for payments messaging. It was developed to replace a proliferation of disparate message formats that arose over the years in line with the growth of the internet, other technological advancements, and specific jurisdictional requirements. ISO 20022 ensures that the sender and receiver of a message interpret the information exactly the same way by addressing 2 key elements of messaging communication: semantics and syntax. The initial focus of ISO 20022 “is on international (cross-border) financial communication between financial institutions, their clients and the domestic or international ‘market infrastructures’ involved in the processing of financial transactions”. However, ISO 20022 is expected to reach even further and completely transform the entire payments ecosystem. China, Japan, India, Brunei and Switzerland are early adopters, others will follow. In the UK, for example, there are currently 3 different infrastructures, each using its own format to send payments domestically: Clearing House Automated Payments System (CHAPS), BACS and the Faster Payments Service (FPS) – all of these are said to have committed to standardising using ISO 20022. It is said that the new standard has potential benefits when screening for financial crime,  as an advantage of the ISO 20022 message format is that its inherent extensibility can accommodate more detailed information about all parties involved in a payment.

https://accuity.com/resources/a-guide-to-iso-20022-and-its-impact-on-financial-crime-screening/

 

 

 

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STRATEGIC TRADE CONTROLS – HOW WCO HELPS CUSTOMS BUILD CONTROL CAPACITY

A feature in the latest edition of WCO News looks at the WCO approach to capacity building of customs administrations in the domain of strategic trade controls and outlines what has been achieved in this area.

https://mag.wcoomd.org/magazine/wco-news-92-june-2020/how-the-wco-builds-capacity-to-implement-strategic-trade-controls/

 

 

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DENTONS FRAUD CHECKLIST

On 23 June, Dentons has produced a simple checklist of matters that firms should consider when evaluating their fraud prevention controls.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/articles/2020/june/23/-/media/539f915766b84b6b9bb83b05f028f6d6.ashx

 

 

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WARNINGS AND LESSONS FOR CONSPIRACY CASES

In a Criminal Law Newsletter from 4 King’s Bench Walk on 12 June considers the recent case of R v Johnson in the Court of Appeal in England and its implications for practitioners drafting conspiracy indictments and advising clients in relation to them. It stresses the importance of asking: what is the precise conspiracy that is being alleged? A quote from the judgment is that the moral of the case is that the prosecution should always think carefully, before making use of the law of conspiracy, how to formulate the conspiracy charge or charges and whether a substantive offence or offences would be more appropriate.

http://www.4kbw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Conspiracy.pdf

 

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THE SPOILS OF RUSSIA’S TRASH REFORMS GO TO THE WELL-CONNECTED

A report from OCCRP on 23 June reported on the results of a government initiative launched when the government enacted laws in 2017 meant to close many of Russia’s old landfills and to introduce modern incineration and recycling technologies. Regions were divided into “waste management zones,” and companies were invited to bid on tenders to handle waste in each zone. The winning companies received 10- to 15-year contracts, which since 2019 have been paid through a new “waste removal” line item on local citizens’ utility bills – payments which have grown significantly in places. It comments on angry protests held, and says that a survey has revealed that the 4 largest operators in the country are all associated with Putin or other senior officials. The article highlights the EkoLine group as among the top 3 beneficiaries of Russia’s waste reforms. Companies in the group have received waste management contracts in several districts in the Moscow region, worth more than $1.2 billion. It says that EkoLine’s owners are not disclosed in any public records, and the company has a complex ownership structure involving several offshore firms that stretch from Russia to Hong Kong, Gibraltar, and New Zealand. Following these links, it is said, reporters found that the majority owner of this entire holding is a UK citizen named Mark Omelnitski, whose name was prominent in the Panama Papers affair.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/the-spoils-of-russias-trash-reforms-go-to-the-well-connected

 

 

 

 

 

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NORTH MACEDONIAN EX-PROSECUTOR AND A TV STAR JAILED IN CORRUPTION CASE

On 23 June, OCCRP reported that the country’s former anti-corruption prosecutor for misuse of office and her collaborator, a controversial ex-reality star and businessman, have been jailed for corruption that resulted in the release of the country’s richest man from detention. The former head of the Special Prosecution, Katica Janeva, was sentenced to 7 years, while Bojan Jovanovski, aka Boki 13, was sentenced to 9 years. The case began in July 2019 when Boki 13 and his security chief, businessman Zoran Milevski, were arrested at the Greek border trying to leave North Macedonia with €1.5 million which they had allegedly obtained from the wealthiest man in Macedonia, Jordan Orce Kamchev.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/12587-north-macedonian-ex-prosecutor-and-a-tv-star-jailed-in-corruption-case

 

 

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UK SANCTIONS GUIDANCE – BOSNIA-HERZOGOVINA, NICARAGUA, LEBANON, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

On 23 June, the FCO published a series of documents on various UK sanctions regime which come into force from 11pm on 31 December 2020. From that date, it is planned that UK-only sanctions will replace the current EU-derived ones.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-bosnia-and-herzegovina

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-nicaragua

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-the-central-african-republic

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-lebanon

 

 

 

 

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WIRECARD ‘DISASTER’ PILES ON PRESSURE FOR CORPORATE REFORM IN GERMANY – FORMER BILLIONAIRE CEO MARKUS BRAUN ARRESTED

On 23 June, various media reported that Wirecard’s fall from grace prompted calls for an overhaul of Germany’s system of corporate oversight. The scandal involves Wirecard’s admission that €1.9 billion euros booked in its accounts was likely never to have existed. It is reported that Markus Braun, the architect of Wirecard’s push to make it one of Germany’s largest tech companies, has been on suspicion of presenting false information, inflating the digital payment company’s balance sheet and sales through fake transactions, suspicion of false accounting and market manipulation. He was accused of doing this to make the company look more attractive to investors and customers.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/06/23/wirecards-former-billionaire-ceo-markus-braun-arrested-over-allegations-of-fraud

https://www.reuters.com/article/wirecard-accounts-germany/wirecard-disaster-piles-on-pressure-for-corporate-reform-in-germany-idUSL8N2E013F

 

 

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