WIRECARD: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE 5-YEAR FT INVESTIGATION

On 2 September, the Financial Times published a report, a long article about the newspaper’s investigation into the scandal.  An excellent, fascinating read.

https://www.ft.com/content/745e34a1-0ca7-432c-b062-950c20e41f03

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-wirecard-accounts-financial-times/german-prosecutors-drop-probe-into-ft-over-wirecard-idUSKBN25U2VT

DEFERRED BUT NOT DETERRED – THE DEFERRED DAC6 REPORTING OBLIGATIONS: AN EU OVERVIEW

On 3 September, Eversheds Sutherland published a briefing saying that the majority of EU Member States have now exercised the option to the defer relevant time limits for reporting and exchanging information under DAC6 in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  DAC6 is an EU Directive which requires intermediaries and, in some cases, taxpayers to report information relating to a wide range of cross-border arrangements to EU tax authorities.  Each tax authority will then periodically share the information they receive with other EU tax authorities.  The start of reporting and information-sharing requirements was originally 1 July, with the first reports due by the end of August, but Member States were given the option to defer the reporting dates, and the brief explains the options.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/documents/services/taxation/DAC6-deferred-but-not-deterred.pdf

SOPHISTICATED SCHEMES REVEALED IN COSTA RICA GOLD RING

On 2 September, Insight Crime reported that raids across Costa Rica have exposed a web of front companies filtering illegally mined gold to the US.  In late August, Costa Rican authorities carried out 32 raids and arrested 27 people.  Police also recovered gold bars, drugs, cash, and falsified export documents.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/costa-rica-illegal-gold-bust/

RUSSIA STEPS UP SUPPORT FOR PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTOR IN LIBYA AS ARMS EMBARGO FAILS

On 3 September, Defence Web reported that Russia has stepped up its logistic support for private military contractor Wagner Group in Libya with some 338 military cargo flights from Syria in the 9 months to the end of July to aid Wagner fighters backing eastern-based Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, according to a UN report.  The report also found that Turkey, the UAE, Jordan, Russia, and Qatar breached an arms embargo on Libya, and says that the arms embargo remains totally ineffective.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/national-security/russia-steps-up-support-for-private-military-contractor-in-libya-un-report/

DELOITTE REPORT: SOUTH ASIA BANKS NEED TO TAKE LONG-TERM VIEW TO CURB MONEY LAUNDERING

On 3 September, Sambad reported that banks need to take a wider and long-term view, apart from trying to meet the minimum regulatory requirements, to curb and avoid money laundering activities, according to a survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP – South Asia Anti-Money Laundering Preparedness Survey Report 2020.  The survey conducted with leading banks and financial institutions in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh earlier this year, highlighted “siloed risk management” approaches across banking operations, CDD, sanctions screening, and trade-based transactions as the root cause for systemic inefficiencies leading to fraud.

https://sambadenglish.com/banks-need-to-take-long-term-view-to-curb-money-laundering/

The report itself can be accessed at –

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/in/Documents/finance/Forensic/in-forensic-AML-Survey-report-2020-noexp.pdf

REPORT – COVID-19: TRENDS IN MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING

On 3 September, the Council of Europe published a new report aimed at helping the global community to counter new criminal activities which are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic, including the sale of counterfeit medicines and cybercrime.  The aim is to assist policymakers, practitioners and the private sector in applying a more targeted and effective response to the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in Europe.  The report found that the urgent need to acquire specialised medical equipment and supplies created vulnerabilities for fraud, corruption and subsequent money laundering.  Authorities in charge of supervising money laundering and terrorist financing threats have had to find innovative ways to carry out their tasks by using secure electronic means.  Nevertheless, international cooperation against money laundering and terrorist financing does not appear to have been negatively impacted by the emergency measures taken to combat COVID-19.

https://rm.coe.int/moneyval-2020-18rev-covid19/16809f66c3

AML/CFT SUPERVISION OF CORRESPONDENT BANKING

On 3 September, the Bank of International Settlement published a paper about measures taken to address the decline in correspondent banking relationships, including further examination of the dimensions of the decline and implications for financial inclusion and financial stability; clarifying regulatory expectations; supporting domestic capacity-building in jurisdictions that are home to affected respondent banks; and strengthening tools for due diligence by correspondent banks.  It says that effective supervision is also crucial to successfully addressing some of the concerns which may lead to loss of relationships.  The paper aims to contribute to the international dialogue by focusing on supervisory practices relating to correspondent banking activities.  It is said that while it was found that legal and regulatory frameworks in place are consistent with international standards, their implementation is more variable and would benefit from greater alignment with the standards and convergence across jurisdictions.

https://www.bis.org/fsi/publ/insights28.pdf

SMALL ARMS TRAFFICKING IN SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST ASIA – ANALYSIS

On 3 September, Eurasia Review carried an article which says that, according to the UN, “small arms and light weapons” will mean any man-portable lethal weapon that expels or launches, is designed to expel or launch, or may be readily converted to expel or launch a shot, bullet or projectile by the action of an explosive, excluding antique small arms and light weapons or their replicas.  The article focuses on the different dimensions of the small arms problem in South and South East Asia and aims to highlight the areas seriously affected by the proliferation, accumulation and the misuse of small arms and it aims to highlight the gravity of the situation in the region by describing ways in which the small arms problem manifests itself within the South Asian context.  It also considers the role of the UN and regional initiatives.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/03092020-small-arms-trafficking-in-south-and-south-east-asia-analysis/

OFAC ADDS 3 INDIVIDUALS AND 11 ENTITIES TO SANCTIONS LISTS

On 3 September, OFAC announced that it had added 11 entities to its SDN List, plus 3 individuals connected to certain of those entities.  6 of the “front companies” in various jurisdictions are said to be entities based in Iran, UAE, and China and linked to Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd (which was itself designated in January).  The other 5 entities are said to have been knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran.  The 3 individuals named, 2 Chinese and 1 Iranian national, are to be principal executive officers of these sanctioned entities.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20200903

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1114