UK-EU IMPORTS/EXPORTS FROM 1 JANUARY 2021

In an attempt to help me get my head around the post-Brexit customs processes from 1 January, I prepared the attached set of Powerpoint slides.  It may, perhaps, help others – though some things seem up in the air, and some things (such as details of the arrangements for goods going to/from/through Northern Ireland) still need to be finalised.

pp

Border Operating Model

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 25

Panama Covid-19 update – glad to say that our district hasn’t made the table of areas with more than 10 new cases day.  That said, there were still 871 new cases reported – a little down on recent figures, with 25 additional fatalities – given a total of 1,275 to date. So far, 909 of that 1,275 were aged 60 or more – i.e. 71%.  There are currently 24.161 active cases, or 41% of the total infections to date.

 

25 July 2020

US: STATEMENT ON UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS EXPORTS

On 24 July, a statement from the White House says that the US is taking action to improve the standards for exporting Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS aka UAV).  While the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is critical in slowing proliferation and promoting peace and security, it says, it is in dire need of modernisation as it applies to UAS. Not only do these outdated standards give an unfair advantage to countries outside of the MTCR and hurt US industry, it says, they also hinder deterrence capability abroad by handicapping partners and allies with subpar technology.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-unmanned-aerial-systems-exports/

THE US HAS LIFTED ITS PROHIBITION ON FUNDING NUCLEAR ENERGY PROJECTS OVERSEAS

On 24 July, World Nuclear News reported that the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) changed its Environmental and Social Policy and Procedures following a 30-day public consultation period.More than 800 responses were received during the public comment period, 98% of which were in support of the proposed change.  The CEO of the DFC said the corporation’s decision – which also brings its definition of renewable energy into alignment with that used by the US Energy Information Administration – marks a “significant step forward” in US efforts to support the energy needs of its allies around the world, and also positions the DFC to accelerate growth in developing economies that have limited energy resources.

https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/USA-lifts-nuclear-finance-ban

DEVICE

AFTER A COVID-19 LULL, NORTH KOREA GETS BACK TO SANCTIONS-BUSTING AS CHINA TURNS A BLIND EYE

On 25 July, NBC News reported that North Korea is carrying out large-scale smuggling operations off the coast of China, importing oil and selling coal and sand (sand is in high demand in China for construction, glass and silicon chips) to keep its economy afloat. It says that much of the sanctions-busting operations rely on front companies registered in China and take place within China’s heavily patrolled territorial waters. It is said that, in the first 5 months of 2020, North Korea imported more than 1.6 million barrels of refined petroleum in dozens of illicit deliveries, mainly through transfers at sea. However, according to recent UN reports, some foreign-flagged tankers have made direct deliveries of oil to the North Korean port of Nampo, instead of transferring the fuel with another vessel at sea under cover of darkness.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/after-covid-19-lull-north-korea-gets-back-sanctions-busting-n1234858

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200725/p2g/00m/0in/045000c

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200725_14/

THE MAN WHO SMUGGLED NISSAN BOSS CARLOS GHOSN OUT OF JAPAN

On 25 July, Brinkwire reported that the former Green Beret who smuggled disgraced Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn out of Japan has revealed the details of the plot. Michael Taylor, 59, and his son Peter are currently being held in US federal custody pending an extradition request from Japan. He revealed the intricate details of the plot for a lengthy article published in Vanity Fair. He said that he and his team studied 5 airports near Tokyo, and found a key flaw at Kansai International—the terminal did not have scanners big enough to accommodate cargo the size of a box that could hold a human. Ghosn was hidden inside a custom-built sub-woofer box.  The airport security staff and baggage handlers had been working all day, and the wearied staff did not give the group or their cargo a second look.

https://en.brinkwire.com/us/man-who-smuggled-nissan-boss-carlos-ghosn-out-of-japan-talks/

DRAFT BEARER SHARES BAN IN PAKISTAN

On 25 July, the Business Recorder reported that the government has decided to amend the Companies Act 2017 and the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2017 to check misuse of bearer securities and prevent companies from money laundering or terrorist financing abuses in line with FATF  recommendations.  The article says that bearer securities are vulnerable to misuse because they can effectively obscure the ownership of a corporate entity, thereby providing maximum anonymity and making such corporate vehicles more susceptible to misuse for illicit purposes, including money laundering. Another amendment is concerned with a register of beneficial owners.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40007762/companies-act-limited-liability-partnership-act-govt-decides-to-promulgate-ord-to-amend-laws

ALIGNING FINANCIAL INCLUSION AND AML/CFT OUTCOMES 

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion has published a toolkit for policymakers which provides practical guidance on aligning financial inclusion and AML/CFT outcomes with respect to the formulation and implementation of related policy and regulation. It has been developed with reference to FATF Recommendations as well as risk-based approach guidance. The toolkit was developed by the AFI Global Standards and Proportionality Working Group (GSPWG) in partnership with the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri). The toolkit is intended for policymakers, regulators, supervisors and other stakeholders involved in the formulation and implementation of policy and regulation that advance both financial inclusion and financial integrity. It provides practical steps to engage with the country frameworks and processes that support financial inclusion and financial integrity.

https://www.afi-global.org/sites/default/files/publications/2020-07/AFI_CENFRI_toolkit_AW_digital.pdf

UK: CHANGES TO VAT TREATMENT OF IMPORTS VALUED AT NOT EXCEEDING £135         

On 23 July, ICAEW published an article saying that, from 1 January, VAT on such low-value consignments it to be collected at point of sale rather than at import. In addition, online marketplaces involved in facilitating the sale of goods in the UK will be responsible for accounting for VAT on sales in the UK on a VAT return.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-overseas-goods-sold-to-customers-from-1-january-2021

https://www.icaew.com/insights/tax-news/2020/july-2020/changes-to-vat-treatment-of-imported-goods

FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS TRIO BEHIND PHONY CRYPTOCURRENCY PLEXCOIN

On 25 July, Finance Feeds reported that a federal grand jury in Cleveland has returned an indictment naming Dominic Lacroix, Yan Ouellet, and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, all of Quebec, Canada, with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to the indictment, from May 2017 to December 2017, the defendants conspired together to induce investors to purchase PlexCoin, a cryptocurrency offered through an entity known as PlexCorps.

https://financefeeds.com/federal-grand-jury-indicts-trio-behind-phony-cryptocurrency-plexcoin/

A CEO’S GUIDE TO FCPA COMPLIANCE

On 24 July, Oberheiden PC published an article saying that, among many other roles, within the context of FCPA compliance, a CEO is tasked with ensuring that their companies have developed strong compliance programmes that effectively guard against the risks of corruption and bribery.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-ceo-s-guide-to-fcpa-compliance-53070/

US AMENDS CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ITAR RESTRICTIONS

On 23 July, World ECR reported that the US State Department has published a final rule which reflects changes made by the UN to the arms embargo on CAR.  UN resolutions are intended to support the CAR government as it works to implement the peace agreement and extend state control over the entire territory of the country.

https://www.worldecr.com/news/us-amends-central-african-republic-itar-restrictions/

THE UK AND THE LUGANO CONVENTION ON THE MUTUAL RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS

On 23 July, a briefing from Irish law firm Matheson advised on the situation re the Lugano Convention on the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments between EFTA and EU states in civil and commercial matters. It is said to provide a much more straight forward than the procedure which pertains under the common law, which effectively involves a new court action and only allows for the enforcement of money judgments. The UK indicated it wanted to accede to the Convention in its own right, but the EU is said to be uncertain as all current signatories are part of the EU single market or substantially participate in it, but the UK has said it intends to leave the single market once the transition period comes to an end and have repeatedly emphasised that they will not be seeking an extension. The article also considers the position on the Hague Convention, which is much more limited in scope than the Lugano Convention

https://www.matheson.com/news-and-insights/article/matheson-brexit-impact-series-recent-developments-for-cross-border-UK

FOREIGN INVESTMENT: FRANCE STRENGTHENS CONTROLS

On 24 July, an article from Simons & Simmons was concerned with a decree aimed at protecting French companies listed on a regulated market which has just been published.  It extends the scope of foreign investment control to any acquisition by a non-European investor of more than 10% of the voting rights of a French company listed on a regulated market. It also says that foreign investment (direct but also indirect) in sensitive sectors must, under certain conditions, be authorised by the Minister of Economy.

https://www.simmons-simmons.com/en/publications/ckd06b7ccbfn40a796gqtoizd/foreign-investment-france-strengthens-controls-

https://www.paulhastings.com/publications-items/details/?id=21a5b96f-2334-6428-811c-ff00004cbded

5 SOUTH KOREANS KIDNAPPED IN WATERS OFF BENIN HAVE BEEN RELEASED

On 25 July, the Yonhap News reported that the South Koreans were released from southern Nigeria, around a month after being abducted in waters about 111 km south from Cotonou Port of Benin, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 24 June, the armed group attacked a 994-ton fishing vessel and a total of 30 crewmen were aboard the Ghanaian-flagged Panofi Frontier, but only 6 of them were kidnapped.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20200725001151320?section=national/diplomacy

OPEN SHIPPING REGISTRIES AS AN ENABLER OF MARITIME SANCTIONS EVASION

A paper for the September edition of Science Direct says that vessels engaged in the evasion of maritime sanctions are predominantly flagged by open registries: registries that impose little to no nationality requirements on vessel owners and operators. This paper investigates the causes of this phenomenon, arguing that open registries generally lack adequate measures for detecting sanctions evasion in their fleets and that they are targeted for flagging services by sanctions evaders. At the root of this vulnerability to flagging sanctions evaders is the for-profit nature of the open registry system which encourages registries to jettison regulation and oversight to increase their marketability in the competitive industry of international flagging.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X20300385?dgcid=author

US SAYS RUSSIAN MILITARY SUPPLYING MORE WEAPONS AND VAGNER GROUP FIGHTERS TO LIBYA

On 25 July, Rferl reported that the US military has accused Russia of supplying more offensive weapons and fighters to Libya in an attempt gain a foothold in the North African country. This comes as Libya’s rival camps face off in a potentially bloody battle over the strategic central coastal city of Sirte. It is said that Russian military cargo aircraft are supplying Vagner fighters and their proxies with air-defence equipment, trucks, armoured vehicles, and fighter jets.

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-accuses-russia-weapons-vagner-libya/30746298.html

THE EU CAUTIONARY STANCE ON FREEPORTS “HAS NO BEARING ON THE UK’S DEVELOPMENT OF FREEPORTS”

An article in Port Strategy on 20 July quoted the head of policy & external affairs at the British Ports Association (BPA) who said that while the EU has around 80 freeports and therefore it is reasonable to examine their impact, he doesn’t “anticipate the EU having any influence over how UK freeports will operate”. It is said that the EU maintains a watchful eye on freeports in Europe as part of new rules governing seaports and following a European Parliament study into “Money laundering and tax evasion risks in free ports” in October 2018.

https://www.portstrategy.com/news101/world/europe/eu-freeports-caution-doesnt-impact-uk

AUSTRALIAN MARITIME SAFETY AUTHORITY (AMSA) LAUNCHING A FOCUSED INSPECTION CAMPAIGN TARGETING CARGO SECURING ARRANGEMENTS ON CONTAINER SHIPS VISITING AUSTRALIAN PORTS

On 23 July, Port Technology reported that the inspection campaign is being initiated in response to several serious incidents involving shipping containers lost overboard recently. It is said that Incident investigations by AMSA have discovered that the improper stacking and securing of cargo and poor maintenance of equipment are likely to have been contributing factors to these incidents. A focused inspection campaign will run from the beginning of August until the end of October and will involve both extended port State control (PSC) inspections and standalone inspections on vessels which are not currently eligible for PSC inspection.

https://www.porttechnology.org/news/container-ships-visiting-australian-ports-subject-to-new-inspection-campaign/

TRANSNATIONAL TENTACLES – GLOBAL HOTSPOTS OF BALKAN ORGANISED CRIME

On 24 July, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published a report which shows why and how groups from the Western Balkans have become engaged in organised crime abroad, particularly in South Africa, Turkey, Australia as well as in some countries of Latin America and Western Europe, and are described as are modern, dynamic and entrepreneurial. The report suggests that there is not a ‘Balkan Cartel’ per se, although groups from the region sometimes work with each other, and there are also instances of multi-ethnic groups.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Transnational-Tentacles-Global-Hotspots-of-Balkan-Organized-Crime-ENGLISH_MRES.pdf

HOW TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

On 23 July, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published an article about a new report from the OSCE and Tech Against Trafficking, a coalition of global tech companies and experts – “Leveraging innovation to fight trafficking in human beings: A comprehensive analysis of technology tools”.  It is said that the report finds that while technology can be an effective tool in the drive to prevent human trafficking, it has simultaneously enabled traffickers to achieve greater efficiencies.  However, traffickers also deploy technology to scale up their market reach, deliver new types of illicit services, such as livestreaming of sexual abuse and exploitation, to innovate their operations, to target more victims and to launder criminal proceeds anonymously. OSCE also hosted an online event to launch ground-breaking research on how technology is being used to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings.

https://globalinitiative.net/leveraging-innovation-to-fight-trafficking-in-human-beings-a-comprehensive-analysis-of-technology-tools/

https://www.osce.org/secretariat/455458

SAYING NO TO EXTORTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA: LESSONS LEARNED FROM ITALY

On 16 July, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published an article asking can the innovative measures adopted by an Italian NGO to help businesses and consumers combat mafia extortion be replicated in the Northern Triangle? The article says that there are distinct parallels between the way the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the gangs, or maras, of Central America operate. Extortion, which is effectively a form of taxation, is a means by which the mafia or the maras exert territorial control and at the same time seek to legitimize their power; and in both cases, the cash from extortion is used to pay gang members. The article says that the holistic approach pioneered by the Italian initiative to help combat extortion has proven to be a useful tool in generating resilient businesses and communities. Its methods and approach could inspire civil-society organizations in Central America to replicate some of its activities.

https://globalinitiative.net/saying-no-to-extortion/

THOUSANDS OF INDIAN EXPORTERS HAVE BEEN HIT HARD BY NEW TAX REGULATIONS

On 25 July, Reuters reported that the Indian government said in June it had identified thousands of exporters that had claimed tax rebates based on bogus invoices and would require them to submit receipts before issuing refunds. However, this is said to have affected legitimate businesses, already struggling with a fall in orders since March amid a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some businesses had been harassed by tax officials and asked to submit up to 1,500 documents to prove they were complying with the new regulations. However, the government have responded that only 3.5% of India’s 142,000 exporters had been identified as “risky” and after verification tax benefits for genuine exporters would be released within a month.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-india-exporters/indias-exporters-rue-new-red-tape-requirements-from-government-idUKKCN24P0VY

ITALY’S LOMBARDY REGION DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD OVER COVID MEDICAL GEAR

On 25 July, Reuters reported that the governor of Lombardy, the Italian region hardest hit by the coronavirus, denied wrongdoing after he was placed under investigation for suspected fraud over a supply of medical equipment from a company owned by his brother-in-law.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-italy-governor/italys-lombardy-region-denies-allegations-of-fraud-over-covid-medical-gear-idUKKCN24Q0QY

BUSINESSMAN’S FROZEN £190 MILLION UK ASSETS RETURNED TO PAKISTAN

On 25 July, the Hindustan Times reported that, according to its annual report, the NCA international corruption unit restrained or detained £32 million; and £146 million more was been confiscated or forfeited, of which £139 million were returned to developing countries. It says officials have returned £190 million to Pakistan following an investigation into a Pakistani businessman whose assets in the UK were the subject of freezing orders.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/businessman-s-frozen-190-million-uk-assets-returned-to-pakistan/story-VrlgCMCVYx1rulTyCwtWeJ.html

GOVERNMENT HAS PREPARED 8 BILLS TO MOVE PAKISTAN INTO FATF ‘WHITE LIST’

On 25 July, Pakistan Today reported that, according to the Foreign Minister, the government has prepared 8 Bills for legislation on money laundering and terror financing to take Pakistan onto the FATF “white list” again.

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/07/25/govt-has-prepared-8-bills-to-move-pakistan-into-fatf-white-list-says-qureshi

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR ANTI-FINANCIAL CRIME PROFESSIONALS FROM THE UK INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY COMMITTEE REPORT ON RUSSIA

On 22 July, ACFCS published an article examining the report by a top government intelligence body on the overarching risks Russia poses to the UK and which includes a “plethora” of takeaways for AML professionals.

https://www.acfcs.org/special-contributor-report-golden-passports-gilded-gatekeepers-and-oily-oligarchs-key-takeaways-for-anti-financial-crime-professionals-from-the-uk-isc-report-on-russia/

TRANSNATIONAL TENTACLES – GLOBAL HOTSPOTS OF BALKAN ORGANISED CRIME

On 24 July, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published a report which shows why and how groups from the Western Balkans have become engaged in organised crime abroad, particularly in South Africa, Turkey, Australia as well as in some countries of Latin America and Western Europe, and are described as are modern, dynamic and entrepreneurial. The report suggests that there is not a ‘Balkan Cartel’ per se, although groups from the region sometimes work with each other, and there are also instances of multi-ethnic groups.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Transnational-Tentacles-Global-Hotspots-of-Balkan-Organized-Crime-ENGLISH_MRES.pdf

REGIONAL MARITIME SECURITY GOVERNANCE AND THE CHALLENGES OF STATE COOPERATION ON PIRACY

On 24 July, an article from the Center for International Maritime Security says that, to govern maritime piracy through state cooperation, 3 agreements have been set up in different regions of the world.  The parties to these regional agreements agree to arrest, investigate, and prosecute pirates on the high seas, and to suppress armed robbery in their respective territorial waters. In Asia, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) was established in 2006. 14 regional states as well as 6 extra-regional states are currently contracting parties. In East Africa, the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) was agreed on in 2009. To date, 20 states from the Indian Ocean region have signed this agreement on the repression of piracy and armed robbery (later expanded to include maritime crimes more generally) in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The Yaoundé Code of Conduct (YCoC) to combat illicit maritime activities in West and Central Africa was signed in 2013 by 25 regional states.

http://cimsec.org/regional-maritime-security-governance-and-the-challenges-of-state-cooperation-on-piracy/44812

agreements

OPEN SHIPPING REGISTRIES AS AN ENABLER OF MARITIME SANCTIONS EVASION

A paper for the September edition of Science Direct says that vessels engaged in the evasion of maritime sanctions are predominantly flagged by open registries: registries that impose little to no nationality requirements on vessel owners and operators. This paper investigates the causes of this phenomenon, arguing that open registries generally lack adequate measures for detecting sanctions evasion in their fleets and that they are targeted for flagging services by sanctions evaders. At the root of this vulnerability to flagging sanctions evaders is the for-profit nature of the open registry system which encourages registries to jettison regulation and oversight to increase their marketability in the competitive industry of international flagging.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X20300385?dgcid=author

HMRC RED DIESEL CONSULTATION

On 17 July, the RYA urged its members to respond to a consultation being undertaken by HMRC. The government had announced the removal of entitlement to use red diesel (rebated gas oil) from April 2022, except for the agriculture sector (including forestry, horticulture and fish farming), railways, and where red diesel is used to power non-commercial heating systems, such as in homes, narrowboats and places of worship.  The consultation seeks to gather evidence as to whether other sectors, including recreational boating, should be allowed to maintain use of the fuel beyond April 2022.  The consultation closes on 1 October.

https://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/news/Pages/HMRC%E2%80%99s-Red-Diesel-Consultation-is-now-live.aspx

The consultation document is at –

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-reforms-to-the-tax-treatment-of-red-diesel-and-other-rebated-fuels

NIGERIA: FEDERAL HIGH COURT HAS ORDERED FORMER MINISTER OF PETROLEUM TO APPEAR AND ANSWER TO A MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGE

On 25 July, The Nation reported that the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Maudeke, to appear before it and answer to a money laundering charge. Diezani is believed to be in the UK and the judge ordered that the court’s summons should be published on the website of the EFCC and a national daily in a conspicuous manner.

https://thenationonlineng.net/court-to-diezani-surrender-for-money-laundering-trial/

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 24

Panama Covid-19 update – another victim of the virus, Panama has reportedly turned down the chance of hosting the 2021 Under-20 Football World Cup, citing effects or after effects of the pandemic. It is also said to have rejected plans to host the 2022 Central American and  Caribbean Games for the same reason. Even more depressing, were the quoted words of a local doctor that a Panamanian is dying every 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, more importantly, a new record set, sadly, with 41 fatalities in the last 25 hours and 1,176 new cases. To date, 1,250 have died.  Today, 3 more people have been taken into ICU (155 now in total) and 74 to wards (1,243 now in hospital wards, other than ICU).

24 July 2020

HOW THE GOLDEN VISA SCHEME LET RUSSIAN MONEY POUR INTO THE UK

On 23 July, Wired carried a feature following the recent UK parliamentary report on Russian interference in the UK.  The feature focuses on Russian citizens, who came to the UK between 2008 and 2015, and had benefited from the Tier 1 visa programme – a route to residency – also known as “golden visas” – for wealthy foreigners willing to invest millions of pounds in the UK. The Intelligence and Security Committee’s report says that it turned London into a “laundromat” for corrupt foreign money, and cemented Russian influence in the UK’s business and social scene as the “new normal”. The golden visa programme was introduced in 2008, along with other reforms to the immigration system – foreign nationals had to invest a minimum of £1 million (raised to £2 million in November 2014) in the UK – in bonds, share capital or companies. With a £2million investment, they could apply to settle within 5 years; with £5 million, the wait reduced to 3 years; with £10 million, it was just 2 years. Between 2008 and 2015, just over 3,000 individuals came through the scheme.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/russia-report-golden-visas

TRADE COURT LIMITS US PRESIDENT’S POWER TO IMPOSE TARIFFS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY PURPOSES

On 15 July, Arent Fox published an article saying that on 14 July the US Court of International Trade granted judgment in favour of an importer of steel from Turkey, ruling that there are limits on the president’s power to impose tariffs for national security purposes. In March 2018, President Trump issued a proclamation which imposed 25% ad valorem tariffs on US imports of certain steel products and, 5 months later, the administration doubled the Turkish steel tariff to 50% before eventually lowering the tariffs back to 25%. The legislation used allows the President to adjust tariffs to protect national security only within a certain period and following the recommendation of a report from the Department of Commerce finding a threat. The court agreed that the president had acted outside the prescribed period and without a proper report. The article concludes that the judgment means the provision should be narrowly applied to remedy true national security issues. It must be applied consistent with the statute and US constitutional norms and is not a ‘blank check’ for presidential discretion.

https://www.arentfox.com/perspectives/press-releases/trade-court-limits-presidents-power-impose-tariffs-national-security

FRENCH FASHION AND RETAIL GOODS FACE 25% DUTIES STARTING JANUARY 2021

On 24 July, and article from Arent Fox advised that, following a disagreement over how to tax US tech companies in France, the US Trade Representative (USTR) has imposed additional duties of 25% on French goods, effective 6 January 2021 – a cost that importers and retailers will have to absorb or pass on to their customers.

https://www.internationallawoffice.com/Newsletters/International-Trade/USA/Arent-Fox-LLP/French-fashion-and-retail-goods-face-25-duties-starting-January-2021

CANADIAN COMPANIES CAN FACE CLAIMS IN CANADA FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS THAT OCCUR IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES

On 21 July, an article from Harper Grey LLP is concerned with a Canadian Supreme Court decision which represents a significant shift in Canadian law regarding the potential liability of Canadian corporations who operate internationally. The case involved 3 Eritrean workers, alleged they were forced into a labour regime and were subject to violent, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in a mine operated in Eritrea. This mine was run by Nevsun Resources Ltd.

https://www.harpergrey.com/knowledge/case-summary-canadian-companies-can-face-claims-in-canada-for-human-rights-violations-that-occur-in-foreign-countries/

HMRC CROWN PREFERENCE RESTORED FROM 1 DECEMBER – WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON LENDERS AND UK CORPORATES?

An article on Restructuring Global View on22 July said that, from 1 December HMRC’s claim will sit ahead of floating charge holders and unsecured creditors reducing the monies available for distribution to both when a corporate files for insolvency. The HMRC claim is limited to claims for unpaid employer NIC, PAYE and VAT, those claims are often significant.

https://www.restructuring-globalview.com/2020/07/hmrc-crown-preference-restored-from-1-december-2020-what-is-the-impact-on-lenders-and-uk-corporates/

US FILES COMPLAINT TO FORFEIT MORE THAN $2.37 MILLION FROM COMPANIES ACCUSED OF LAUNDERING FUNDS TO BENEFIT SANCTIONED NORTH KOREAN ENTITIES

A news release from the US DoJ on 23 July advised that a complaint alleges that 4 companies laundered US dollars on behalf of sanctioned North Korean banks.  According to the complaint, the North Korean banks used these laundered funds as part of a scheme to procure goods for the North Korean regime, as well as to illegally access the US financial market.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-files-complaint-forfeit-more-237-million-companies-accused-laundering-funds

CHINESE SHIPS CATCH $440 MILLION WORTH OF SQUID IN NORTH KOREAN WATERS

On 24 July, Dong-A Ilbo reported that analysis of satellite images has been revealed to show that Chinese “dark fleets” have illegally caught $440 million worth of squid in North Korea’s East Sea, which is under the UN sanctions, in about 2 years. “Dark fleets” are illegal and unlicensed ships that do not send their locations nor appear on a public monitoring system.

https://www.donga.com/en/Search/article/all/20200724/2129939/1/Chinese-ships-catch-440-million-worth-of-squid-in-N-Korean-waters

CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO DO MORE ON BRAND MISUSE AND AD FRAUD ON SOCIAL MEDIA AS REPORT REVEALS SCALE OF PROBLEM

On 22 July, World Trademark Review says that a new report has revealed the extent of fraudulent and infringing advertisements on social media platforms targeting major brands, providing an action plan to clamp down on illicit activity. The study identifies 70 major international brands that have been the target of fraudulent and infringing advertisements on social media platforms, some of which receive up to a quarter of a million views before they are detected. The article says that the real value of the report is by shining a light on the tactics employed by fraudsters and what it deems to be the inherent systemic weaknesses on social media and e-commerce platforms that are exploited by criminals to sell counterfeit and illegal goods.

https://www.tracit.org/uploads/1/0/2/2/102238034/call_for_government_to_do_more_on_brand_misuse_and_ad_fraud_on_social_media_as_report_reveals_scale_of_problem___world_trademark_review.pdf

tracit

The report from by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) is available at

https://www.tracit.org/featured-report-fraudulent-advertising-online.html

The Report highlights dangers as including –

  • ​Fraudulent adverts give innocent consumers a false impression of authenticity. Counterfeit goods are generally of poor quality, will not last, are not guaranteed, and may be dangerous;
  • IP theft in the form of trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy stifles economic growth and job creation by discouraging innovation, reducing incentives for companies to invest in R&D and inhibiting creative industries from realizing their full potential;
  • Most fraudulent websites show a disregard for data privacy of any type, including customer data, security, and financial information. Since these websites rarely use any form of security, consumers are often also exposed to credit card fraud, identify theft, and other cybercrimes; and
  • The fraudulent and infringing adverts discovered on Facebook often share similar characteristics and suggest that organized crime groups or organized illicit networks are operating these fraudulent ad campaigns.

 

ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS ADDITION TO ISIL/AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS LISTS

On 23 July, a news release from the Isle of Man confirmed that Noor Wali MEHSUD had been added to the ISIL/Al-Qaida sanctions lists.

https://www.gov.im/news/2020/jul/23/financial-sanctions-isil-daesh-and-al-qaida/

INDIA: PROVINCE GOVERNOR’S BROTHER CAUGHT UP IN SEARCHES OVER FERTILISER SCAM

The Indian Express on 24 July reported that the Enforcement Directorate has conducted nationwide raids, including at properties of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s brother Agrasen, in connection with an alleged fertiliser scam. It is said that the scam concerns alleged illegal export of Muriate of Potash, which is imported by Indian Potash Limited (IPL) and distributed to farmers, through companies, at subsidised rates.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/agrasen-gehlot-fertiliser-scam-rajasthan-ed-6518023/

INDIA GOLD SMUGGLING CASE: POLITICAL INTERFERENCE SUSPECTED AS 78 CUSTOMS OFFICERS GET TRANSFER ORDERS

On 24 July, various media reported that a large number of Customs officers, including some of the top officials have been given transfer orders in the midst of the investigation into the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.

https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/gold-smuggling-case-customs-department-under-pressure-after-78-officers-get-transfer-orders-1.4927568

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2020/jul/24/transfers-in-customs-trigger-row-2174033.html

VIETNAM SEIZES OVER 8 TONS OF SMUGGLED STRAWBERRIES

On 24 July, Saigon Online reported that police had discovered 2 consignments at Lien Khuong Airport over 2 days and totalling some 8 tons.

https://sggpnews.org.vn/law/lam-dong-seizes-600-boxes-of-smuggled-fresh-strawberries-87694.html

GOLDMAN SACHS REACHES $3.9 BILLION SETTLEMENT IN 1MDB MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

Fox Business has reported that Goldman Sachs had reached agreement with Malaysia over the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund that was used to launder money.  It is said that said Goldman Sachs had agreed to pay the government of Malaysia $2.5 billion and to guarantee that it gets at least $1.4 billion in proceeds from assets that have since been seized around the globe.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/goldman-sachs-reaches-3-9b-settlement-in-1mdb-money-laundering-case

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/goldman-sachs-announcement-on-agreement-with-government-of-malaysia/

PANGOLINS:  INACCURATE RECORD-KEEPING AND LOOPHOLES THAT ALLOWED THE COMMERCIAL TRADE TO CONTINUE BEYOND AN INTERNATIONAL BAN

Unearthed reported that although CITES members agreed an international ban on the commercial trade in pangolins in 2016, an Unearthed investigation has found apparent loopholes and reporting errors since then. Although the ban came into force on 2 January 2017, data held by the CITES Secretariat states that China and Hong Kong, which are both signatories to the treaty, legally imported almost 13 tonnes of pangolin scales – i.e. equivalent to over 16,000 pangolins – in that year. There was a loophole which permitted the commercial sale of specimens caught before the ban came into force – but this was closed last year. While China has usually been accused of being the destination for pangolin scales, the report details US imports – where pangolin leather has been used in the fashion trade. US imports can involve small, supposedly “non-commercial” imports – a loophole which continues to exist.

https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2020/07/23/pangolin-ban-legal-trade-cites-china-us/

EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS APPOINTED FIRST CHIEF TRADE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (CTEO)

A news release from the EU on 24 July advised that the appointment of the CTEO is an important step in strengthening the EU’s implementation and enforcement agenda, both inside the EU and globally. The CTEO will also help EU exporters gain more value from partner markets and will also strengthen the enforcement of sustainable development commitments, notably in relation to the climate agenda and labour rights.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1409

More information on trade enforcement –

https://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/policy-making/enforcement-and-protection/

EU: REVIEW OF PASSENGER NAME RECORD (PNR) DIRECTIVE SHOWS IT DELIVERED RESULTS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AND SERIOUS CRIMES

On 24 July, a report from the EU on the use of the Directive which regulates the collection and processing of PNR data by the EU Member States. This data is composed of the information provided by passengers and gathered by airlines in the normal course of their business. The review concludes that the processing of PNR data has delivered results in the fight against terrorism and serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, child sexual abuse, child abduction and participation in organised crime groups.

https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-security/20200724_com-2020-305-review_en.pdf

IRELAND: FORMER MEMBER OF THE DEFENCE FORCES ACCUSED OF BEING A MEMBER OF THE ISLAMIST TERRORIST ORGANISATION AND FUNDING TERRORISM

On 24 July, RTE reported that an additional charge of financing terrorism has been brought against Lisa Smith, 38, is accused of being a member of ISIS 2015-19.

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2020/0724/1155324-lisa-smith-court

GIBRALTAR: £5,000 FINE FOR LOCAL REAL ESTATE AGENT’S FAILURE TO MEET MONEY LAUNDERING OBLIGATIONS

A news release from Gibraltar on 24 July announced that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued a £5,000 financial penalty to a local real estate agent for failing to submit documents to the OFT.  Local real estate agents are required to submit various documents to the OFT under AML/CFT laws.

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/press-releases/5000-fine-for-local-real-estate-agents-failure-to-meet-money-laundering-obligations-4912020-6062

TOP SWISS PROSECUTOR OFFERS RESIGNATION OVER FIFA CASE FALLOUT

On 24 July, Al Jazeera reported that Switzerland’s Attorney General Michael Lauber has offered to resign, after a court largely upheld a ruling against him over his bungled corruption investigation against global football body FIFA.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/top-swiss-prosecutor-offers-resignation-fifa-case-fallout-200724124354196.html

US FUGITIVE WORKING AS PORN ACTOR ARRESTED IN BALI

On 24 July, the South China Morning Post reported that Marcus Beam, accused of misappropriating about $500,000 from investors, was arrested with his American girlfriend. He had been making and selling sex videos to support his living expenses in Bali.

https://www.scmp.com/print/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3094647/us-fugitive-working-porn-actor-arrested-bali

PHARMACY OWNERS SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING AND TAX EVASION IN $200 MILLION COMPOUNDING PHARMACY SCHEME

On 23 July, a news release from the US DoJ was concerned with allegations that the owners of Advantage Pharmacy and compound prescription distributor for Advantage Pharmacy.  Those accused were involved in a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, including TRICARE, by dispensing, distributing, and marketing medications known as compounded medications, which ordinarily are medications that are specially combined or formulated to meet the individual needs of patients.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdms/pr/pharmacy-owners-sentenced-prison-conspiracy-commit-health-care-fraud-conspiracy-commit

THE ROLE OF THE LEGAL ENTITY IDENTIFIER IN THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S ILLICIT MONEY CLAMPDOWN

A post from Finextra on 24 July reported on the crucial role of the LEI in the EC’s AML/CFT legislative reforms. The LEI is an internationally-recognised standard that harnesses precisely the kind of technological innovation referenced in the EU Action Plan. The LEI is a 20-character, alpha-numeric code, based on the ISO 17442 standard, that connects digitally to key reference information to enable clear and unique identification of legally registered persons, companies and organizations collectively known as legal entities. The article provides an example of how the LEI could be used to combat e-commerce fraud. Using LEI their identity could have been automatically verified prior to their engagement with consumers and, as a result, their capacity to trade without the required supervision would have been removed entirely.

https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/19130/supporting-the-european-commissions-illicit-money-clampdown

SFO DEFENDS CHARGING DECISIONS IN ANNUAL REPORT AS CASELOAD DROPS

On 24 July, the Law Society Gazette reported that the SFO has defended its charging decisions following a year of ‘high profile acquittals’, saying it has ‘fulfilled its duty in pursuing the matters that have been prosecuted’.  The number of individuals and organisations charged by the SFO rose to 9 in 2019-20, up from 8 the previous year but significantly down on 2017-18 when 28 charges were brought.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sfo-defends-charging-decisions-as-caseload-drops-/5105147.article

The annual report is at –

https://www.sfo.gov.uk/download/annual-report-2019-2020/?wpdmdl=26949&refresh=5f1b01a105f161595605409

ITALIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE DELAYED THE APPLICATION OF A NEW VAT SYSTEM ON YACHT CHARTERS UNTIL NOVEMBER 2020

On 24 July, Superyacht News reported that, in 2019, the European Commission announced that the application of VAT on charters as practised in Italy, France, Malta, Cyprus and Greece would no longer be applicable in 2020.  The rules should have been applied to superyacht charter contracts in Italy executed after 15 June, but the Italian authorities have announced that the new system will be applicable to all contracts executed after 1 November.

https://www.superyachtnews.com/business/application-of-new-italian-vat-system-delayed

FRAUDSTER ARRESTED FOR $15 MILLION PONZI SCHEME THAT TARGETED AFGHAN BANK NYC OFFICE

In his blog on 24 July, Kenneth Rijock reported that NAIM ISMAIL, an Afghan-American businessman wanted for perpetrating a $15 million Ponzi scheme has been arrested pursuant to an indictment issued in the Southern District of New York. One of the victims was the New York office of an unnamed Afghanistan bank.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2020/07/fraudster-arrested-for-15m-ponzi-scheme.html

US CUSTOMS SEIZES COUNTERFEIT AND ALTERED AFRICAN PASSPORTS DESTINED TO FLORIDA

A news release from US Customs & Border Protection on 24 July advised that officers intercepted 7 counterfeit and altered African passports in Philadelphia that were destined to an address in Palm Beach County, Florida.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/philadelphia-cbp-seizes-counterfeit-and-altered-african-passports

MALAYSIA: CUSTOMS FOIL ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE IN 23 MILLION WHITE AND KRETEK CIGARETTES

On 24 July, the Edge Markets reported that the Royal Customs Department has foiled an attempt to smuggle in about 23 million white and kretek cigarettes in Port Klang.  Early investigations are said to have found that the smuggling syndicate was believed to have brought the cigarettes in from Vietnam by declaring the containers as consolidated cargo to dupe the authorities. Kretek are apparently cigarettes of Indonesian origin, made with a blend of tobacco, cloves and other flavours.

https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/customs-foil-attempt-smuggle-23-million-white-and-kretek-cigarettes

SINGAPORE: PARADISE PAPERS TRUST COMPANY FINED $793,000 FOR ‘SERIOUS BREACHES’

An article from ICIJ on 24 July was concerned with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) fining Asiaciti Trust US$793,000 for “serious breaches” of requirements relating to secretive offshore trusts. The infractions occurred over more than a decade between 2007 and 2018. Asiaciti did not adequately identify and monitor risks associated with high-profile, political clients, according to MAS. ICIJ also exposed Asiaciti’s efforts in the Paradise Papers, including its chasing US clients for Cook Island trusts – hard-to-pierce safe holdings used to manage wealth and assets.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/paradise-papers-trust-company-fined-793000-for-serious-breaches/

FATF CONSULTS ON UPDATING GUIDANCE FOR PROLIFERATION FINANCING RISKS

On 24 July, an article from Shearman & Sterling LLP reported that FATF has opened a consultation on amendments to Recommendation 1 and its Interpretive Note. Recommendation 1 provides guidance on assessing risks and applying a risk-based approach to money laundering and terrorist financing risks. Responses are due by 31 August.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/financial-action-task-force-consults-on-79080/

FINANCIAL CRIME ASSESSMENT OF ETHIOPIA

On 24 July, Financial Crime News published a short and long version of its assessment of Ethiopia.

https://thefinancialcrimenews.com/ethiopia-country-threat-assessment-by-fcn-summary/

UK: NHS PROVIDES JUST 18 PRESCRIPTIONS FOR CANNABIS-BASED MEDICAL PRODUCTS IN 2019

On 23 July, the Pharmaceutical Journal reported that only 6.5% of the total number of cannabis-based medical products prescribed in 2019 were prescribed through the NHS. The medical use of cannabis was legalised in November 2018, but patients have repeatedly complained about a lack of NHS prescriptions for the drug.

https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/20208207.article

BULGARIA DITCHES GAMBLING COMMISSION IN FAVOUR OF TAXMAN

On 24 July, Gambling Insider reported that Bulgaria’s National Assembly has approved the 2nd reading of a Bill amending the Gambling Act, dismantling the State Gambling Commission (SGC) and transferring oversight of all gambling activities to the National Revenue Agency. The SGC will be shut down over a period of 3 months. The Bill includes allocating 10% of all gambling proceeds towards cultural development. Other amendments will impose stiffer financial capital requirements for launching new gambling operations.

https://www.gamblinginsider.com/news/9633/bulgaria-ditches-gambling-commission-in-favour-of-taxman

EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR A NEW DIRECTIVE ON ADMINISTRATIVE TAX COOPERATION

On 24 July, Tax News reported that the new Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC 7) will deal with the exchange of information on online platforms’ sales, and a new Communication on Tax Good Governance. It will set out a framework for member states to automatically exchange the information they receive on the taxable activities of business users of online platforms.

https://www.lowtax.net/news/EU-Announces-DAC7-Review-Of-Corporate-Tax-Code-Of-Conduct-97765.html

FORMER KYRGYZ DIPLOMAT IMPLICATED IN CUSTOMS-FRAUD CASE FREED

On 24 July, Rferl reported that Erkin Sopokov, the former consul-general in Istanbul, whose statements to reporters led to a corruption scandal that shook the country in November, has been fined and released from custody. He was ordered to pay $3,920 but given no jail time when the verdict and sentence were announced on 10 July.  It is reported that Sopokov made a deal with investigators and pleaded guilty to abuse of office and illegal enrichment – no more details were provided.

https://www.rferl.org/a/former-kyrgyz-diplomat-implicated-in-customs-fraud-case-freed-from-custody/30745565.html

FBI ARREST FORMER AMAZON AND MICROSOFT EXECUTIVE OVER $5.5 MILLION CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND FRAUD

On 24 July, the Daily Mail reported that Mukund Mohan, 48, a Washington technology executive has been taken into custody and charged.  He is accused of handing in fake documents and incorporation records to claim money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – which was set up to help businesses keep staff employed during coronavirus.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8557365/FBI-arrest-former-Amazon-Microsoft-executive-5-5million-coronavirus-relief-fund-fraud.html

GERMANY: LAWYER AT CUM-EX TAX SCANDAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE ARRESTED IN BRIBERY PROBE

On 24 July, BNN Bloomberg reported that a member of the Frankfurt General Prosecutors’ Office, one of the agencies investigating the Cum-Ex scandal in Germany, was arrested over allegations he accepted kickbacks from a businessman who ran a company that provided expert evaluations for the prosecutors.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/lawyer-at-tax-scandal-prosecutor-s-office-arrested-in-bribery-probe-1.1470465

US: FORMER CEO AND FOUNDER OF TECHNOLOGY COMPANY CHARGED IN INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEME

A news release from the US DoJ on 24 July advised that Daniel Boice, 41, the CEO and co-founder of Trustify Inc, a privately-held technology company founded in 2015 and based in Arlington, Virginia, was charged in an indictment for his alleged role in a fraud scheme resulting in millions of dollars of losses to investors.  The indictment alleges that, beginning in 2015, he fraudulently solicited investments in Trustify, a privately-held technology start-up company that connected customers with private investigators.  He allegedly raised approximately $18.5 million from over 90 investors by, among other things, falsely overstating Trustify’s financial performance.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-ceo-and-founder-technology-company-charged-investment-fraud-scheme

PRIVATBANK, THE UKRAINIAN LENDER NATIONALISED BY THE STATE IN 2016 NOW CLAIMS ITS FORMER OWNERS LAUNDERED NEARLY $800 MILLION IN THE US

On 24 July, Rferl reported that Privatbank has filed an amended complaint in a Delaware court against tycoons Ihor Kolomoyskiy and Hennadiy Boholyubov, claiming the men laundered $660 million through a group of U.S. companies called Optima and an additional $100 million through other US entities. The bank is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the tycoons.

https://www.rferl.org/a/privatbank-in-amended-complaint-claims-kolomoyskiy-partner-laundered-nearly-800-million/30745765.html

UN: THOSE INCITING VIOLENCE, UNDERMINING PEACE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC COULD MEET SANCTIONS CRITERIA

On 24 July, a news release from the UN advised that the UN Security Council Committee Established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic has said in its report that individuals who commit acts of incitement to violence and then engage in or provide support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the Central African Republic could meet the sanctions criteria specified in Security Council resolutions.

https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/sc14261.doc.htm

PAKISTAN: NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU TELLS HIGH COURT THAT LEADERS OF THE PAKISTAN MUSLIM LEAGUE-QUAID (PML-Q) INVOLVED IN MONEY LAUNDERING

On 24 July, Pakistan Today reported that NAB has told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi were involved in laundering money through fictitious accounts. This was stated so in a reply by NAB to a petition filed by the Chaudhry brothers in the court to restrict the anti-corruption watchdog from reopening an old inquiry against them for owning assets beyond means.

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/07/24/chaudhry-brothers-laundered-money-through-fake-accounts-nab-tells-lhc/

HOW CRIMINALS ARE USING PPE AS A MONEY LAUNDERING TOOL

On 24 July, Data Breach Today reported claims that money launderers are devising new tactics during the pandemic. For example, some are coming up with ways to use personal protective equipment, or PPE, as a form of currency.

https://www.databreachtoday.com/how-criminals-are-using-ppe-as-money-laundering-tool-a-14698

3 TAKES ON THE SAME CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS – THE SWISS, FRENCH AND UK COURTS AND ALSTOM

On 23 July, an article from Global Arbitration Review argues that the Swiss, French and UK courts’ different treatment of an award against Alstom highlights the need for more uniformity in the approach to corruption allegations in international arbitration. It is said that all the courts through which the case passed, in the UK, France and Switzerland, are all arbitration-friendly.  However, the case’s various incarnations show how difficult it is to realise the international consensus against corruption. When every jurisdiction has its own standards to prove illegality on a case-by-case basis, the result is less uniformity and predictability. The litigation, which started in 2013, was brought against Alstom, a French rail transport group, before a Geneva-seated International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitral tribunal. The arbitral award governed by Swiss law was rendered in 2016. The article concludes that develop a common approach to dealing with such allegations of corruption. Differences in case law concerning issues of illegality should not stymie joint efforts to combat corruption, money laundering and other illegal conduct.

https://www.redlionchambers.co.uk/bribery-corruption-and-international-arbitration-meet-again-the-case-of-alexander-brothers-limited-hong-kong-sar-v-1-alstom-transport-sa-2-alstom-network-uk-limited-2020-ewhc-1585-comm/

https://fcpablog.com/2020/06/24/practice-alert-alstoms-china-agent-wins-arbitration-award-in-uk-despite-serious-indicia-of-bribery/