Panama Covid-19 update – Day 2 of the opening up process, and news video showed even the massive Albrook Mall not exactly packed…
Meanwhile, 576 new cases and 16 new fatalities are reported. So we have 21,287 active cases, with 113 in ICU, 683 in other wards and 364 in the hotels. After 2,364 deaths, we are said to have had 477,033 tests (over 10% of the entire population), with a 24.1% positive rate, and now 78.9% of those known to have been infected said to be “recovered”. Of the 2,364 fatalities, 1,136 (48%) were in the age range 60-79, while only 21 (around 0.9%) were in the under-20s.
29 September 2020
FinCEN FILES UPDATE –
‘Fincen files’ underscore urgency of AML reform
On 28 September, American Banker reported that investigation has detailed a frustrating lack of communication between the public and private sectors. Rather than a one-way dialogue that consists of filing SAR, it’s critical that the feedback loop between law enforcement and the private sector is strengthened. It also says that access to thorough, transparent and accurate data is also essential. In many jurisdictions including the US, it’s relatively easy to obscure the identity of individuals exercising control in a business relationship. It points out that Congress is considering a secure beneficial-ownership registry of legal entities. This transparency will provide law enforcement and the private sector with needed information to help identify criminals looking to exploit the financial system, and the Bill would modernise Treasury Department authorities and certain AML/CFT requirements, allowing financial institutions to better assist law enforcement in its efforts to detect and deter financial crime and terrorism.
PHISHERS TARGET BUSINESSES WITH FAKE GDPR COMPLIANCE REQUESTS
On 28 September, BitDefender reported that a new phishing campaign uses the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance as a lure and leverages misconceptions regarding the relatively recent, yet stringent data protection law to steal email login credentials from unsuspecting targets.
TRANSPARENCY IN SUPPLY CHAINS – MODERN SLAVERY: HOLDING BUSINESS AND PUBLIC BODIES TO ACCOUNT
On 25 September, an article from Mayer Brown comes as the UK published its response to the 2019 “Transparency in supply chains consultation and reflects a growing trend to reinforce transparency on steps taken to identify and mitigate modern slavery in supply chains. There are already public disclosure requirements entrenched in laws in the UK, Australia and California. Public disclosure requirements have also been proposed in Canada and Hong Kong. These latest measures foreshadow heightened regulatory expectations and reflect increasing stakeholder scrutiny on how organisations identify, mitigate and report on modern slavery in their businesses and in their supply chains. The article identifies the key takeaways from the UK response and suggests what is next, with both a Bill and guidance for business expected.
HACKER RELEASES INFORMATION ON LAS VEGAS-AREA STUDENTS AFTER OFFICIALS DON’T PAY RANSOM
On 28 September, the Wall Street Journal reported that a hacker published documents containing Social Security numbers, student grades and other private information stolen from a large public-school district in Las Vegas after officials refused a ransom demanded in return for unlocking district computer servers. It says it reflects a more aggressive approach by hackers and the threats for educational establishments as hackers have taken advantage of schools heavily reliant on online learning and technology to run operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
UK COMPANIES HOUSE BUSINESS PLAN 2020 TO 2021 AND STRATEGY 2020 TO 2025
On 29 September Companies House published its business plan which covers April 2020 to March 2021 and provides information on its key activities, targets and financial forecasts for the year. It also published its strategy, setting out its purpose, vision and strategic goals for the next 5 years. This follows the publication of the UK government response to the corporate transparency and register reform consultation.
MARITIME INDUSTRY REMAINS VULNERABLE TO CYBER ATTACKS
On 28 September, USNI News reported that, while handling 90% of the global economy daily, maritime industry ashore and afloat remains increasingly vulnerable to cyber disruptions and attacks from “ne’er do wells and bad actors” that threaten financial markets and the country’s national security, according to the head of the US Maritime Administration. It is said that cyber disruptions in San Diego and Barcelona in 2018 and continuing ransomware attacks on European transport companies underscore the vulnerability of these interlocked modes of economic movement. The article reports on a virtual meeting hosted by the Atlantic Council on 24 September.
EX-PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN ASIF ALI ZARDARI INDICTED ON MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
On 29 September, KYC 360 reported that Asif Ali Zardari, had been indicted in a money laundering case, the latest legal action against him and one that his supporters say is part of a wider trend against politicians opposed to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Zardari is the husband of assassinated prime minister Benazir Bhutto and was arrested in June 2019, but released on medical grounds in December.
CLIENTS OF ESTONIA’S E-RESIDENCY PROJECT LINKED TO CRYPTO SCAMS
On 29 September, KYC 360 reported that foreigners granted remote access to Estonia’s digital infrastructure through its e-residency programme are being linked to crypto-currency frauds abroad. It is said by the country’s FIU that companies registered overseas and headed by Estonian e-residents have been involved in “a few large-scale exit scams”, and have also been linked to organising suspicious ICO.
CHINA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WATCHDOG PROMISES TO TARGET OVERSEAS FUNDS
On 27 September, the South China Morning Post reported that China’s top anti-corruption body has said it will step up its efforts to target funds sent overseas by corrupt officials and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection promised to punish money laundering and collect all assets acquired corruptly. The article links this to calls by a Canadian-based singer for justice for her mother Zhang Mingjie, the former deputy director of the development and reform bureau in Harbin, detained for 6 charges on corruption charges.
UK BORDER OPERATING MODEL: KEY FEATURES AND TAKEAWAYS FOR BUSINESSES
On 25 September, Mayer Brown published an article about the model which explains how the UK Government will operate controls on the import and export of goods between Great Britain (Northern Ireland to remain technically part of the EU customs single market) and the EU from 1 January. It points out that import procedures will be introduced in 3 phases between 1 January and 1 July 2021, whereas export procedures will (broadly speaking) be introduced all at once on 1 January. The article summarises the key points of these phases and explores the practical issues that British businesses ought to consider in preparation.
IRISH INVESTMENT LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS SET FOR REFORM AS GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES NEW AMENDMENT BILL
On 25 September, Irish law firm Arthur Cox published an article saying that the Minister for Finance had announced the publication of the Investment Limited Partnerships (Amendment) Bill 2020 which, once enacted, will modernise the Irish investment limited partnership (ILP) structure and bring it in line with comparable partnership vehicles in other leading jurisdictions. The article examines the purposes of the Bill, Bill, and says one of its effects is to extend the beneficial ownership requirements applicable to corporate and unit trust fund structures to ILP and common contractual funds. One notable thing the Bill would do would be to introduce the possibility of establishing “umbrella” ILP that are divided into compartments or “sub-funds” with segregated liability (as with PCC or ICC structures).
UK DISCLOSURE PILOT AND KNOWN ADVERSE DOCUMENTS (KAD)
On 24 September, an article from Osborne Clarke says that the Disclosure Pilot Scheme began in the Business and Property Courts on 1 January 2019 and will continue until 31 December 2021, at which point it is likely to become permanent. The pilot scheme introduced the concept of Known Adverse Documents (KAD) and a recent case has examined a party’s duty in relation to KAD for the first time. KAD cover “documents (other than privileged documents) that a party is actually aware (without undertaking any further search for documents than it has already undertaken or caused to be undertaken) … are adverse”. The article expresses doubts about the concept, mentioning that that standard disclosure would no longer be the default position, so the party may not always be required to conduct a reasonable search under the pilot scheme.
NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF EMERGING SATELLITE TECHNOLOGIES
An article from the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Science Direct on 28 September explores the national security implications of advances in satellite rendezvous and proximity operations and on-orbit servicing technology. It illustrates how the dual-use nature of these technologies, their proliferation as a result of military requirements and changing commercial markets, and the absence of a set of rules governing behaviour have transformed the security environment.
IRAQ SETS UP COMMITTEE TASKED WITH BUILDING A NUCLEAR RESEARCH REACTOR
On 29 September, Nuclear Engineering International reported that Iraq’s Prime Minister has ordered the formation of a committee tasked to build a nuclear research reactor, the Iraqi Radioactive Sources Regulatory Authority (IRSRA), and that Iraq is “looking forward to restoring its position in nuclear science, which it occupied in the 1970s and 1980s”. The research reactor will be used to help produce medical isotopes and pharmaceuticals, and used in agricultural and industrial applications, and would take approximately 5 years to build and would be a boon for Iraqi employment, providing training and work opportunities and help the oil-rich country move away from its dependency on fossil fuels for energy.
US: IRANIAN DUO INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY TO SEND BANNED COMPUTERS TO IRAN
On 28 September, LA.com reported that a federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted 2 Iranian men – Ebrahim Azadegan, 42, and Alireza Alvandi, 45 – with participating in a conspiracy to procure and illegally send export-controlled computer servers to Iran. The computer servers were dual-use commercial goods, meaning they had both a commercial application and a military or strategic one. The computers were controlled by the Commerce Control List for anti-terrorism and national security reasons.
TANKERS CARRYING IRANIAN FUEL BEGIN ENTERING VENEZUELAN WATERS
On 28 September, NASDAQ reported that the first of a group of 3 tankers carrying Iranian fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela had arrived in its waters. It says that the Iran-flagged tanker Forest, transporting some 270,000 barrels of fuel entered Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone without any disturbances. 2 other tankers are en route and are due to arrive in October.
UK TO RETURN LOOTED SUMERIAN ARTIFACT TO IRAQ
On 28 September, Arab News reported that an ancient artifact that may have been looted before being smuggled to the UK is set to return to Iraq. A Sumerian temple plaque featuring the seated figure of a high priest or ruler, carved from limestone and dating from around 2400 BC was spotted for sale and seized by police in 2019 following a tip off by experts at the British Museum.
SRI LANKA: TROOPS APPREHEND MORE SMUGGLED TURMERIC STOCKS
On 29 September, Adaderana reported that Army personnel have seized a consignment of 946 kg of turmeric, suspected to have been smuggled into the country illegally via the sea route.
COURT REJECTS CHALLENGE TO NEW US EXPORT CONTROLS RULES
On 28 September, an article from Steptoe reported that the DC District Court issued a memorandum opinion dismissing a lawsuit against the US Department of Commerce filed by a US-based carrier in June 2019 in response to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) decision to add a major Chinese telecommunications manufacturer and numerous affiliates to the Entity List in May 2019. The carrier was concerned as, under the Export Administration Regulations, carriers and other intermediaries can be held liable for facilitating violations of their customers. It had argued that the EAR’s strict liability standard would require the company either to cease all business operations that create a reasonable risk of violating the EAR (e.g., shipping packages to persons on the Entity List) or to “proceed with its business operations and face a substantial risk that it will violate the EAR and suffer harm”. The article describes the carrier’s suit as a long shot given the high bar to challenging US agency actions.
MALTA: MGA CANCELS PLAYBAY MALTA LICENCE
On 28 September, Linkedin reported that, after the gambling regulator found ‘systemic deficiencies’ in its compliance with AML/CFT obligations, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) cancelled the licence of Playbay Malta Limited, which runs HDbets.com.
EU, UNODC AND UNICRI LAUNCH ANTI-CORRUPTION AND MONEY LAUNDERING PROJECT IN LIBYA
On 29 September, the Libya Herald reported that the EU, in collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), is launching a new project entitled “Building Libya’s National Capacity to Prevent and Combat Corruption and Money Laundering”. It will train Libyan authorities and law enforcement agencies to enable them to better combat corruption and financial crimes. Authorities will also be trained in techniques to trace, confiscate, and recover assets linked to such crimes. The project will last 3 years.
OFAC EXTENDS AUTHORISATION ON “WIND DOWN” TRANSACTIONS FOR CERTAIN CHINESE ENTITIES
On 28 September, an article Cadwalader Cabinet reported that OFAC had extended its authorisation for certain “wind down and divestment” transactions and activities related to blocked subsidiaries of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC). The authorisation was originally set to expire on 30 September, and will now run to 30 November.
CBD UK REGULATIONS EXPLAINED – MYTH VERSUS REALITY
On 29 September, an article from Bird & Bird said that the scope for more CBD-based products is continually expanding and, according to the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis, the UK CBD market is currently worth £300 million (double that of the current Vitamin C market) and is expected to reach £1 billion by 2025, suggesting that this wave of popularity is more than just a passing fad. It says that it is therefore crucial that businesses selling CBD-based products are clear on what it is they are selling to consumers and how this differs from other cannabis products, as well as being up-to-speed on the new and existing regulations so that suppliers ensure they are compliant.
SAN MARINO: COUNCIL OF EUROPE ANTI-CORRUPTION BODY CALLS FOR A STRUCTURAL REFORM OF THE JUDICIARY
On 29 September, the Council of Europe reported that its anti-corruption body GRECO recommends that the composition of the state’s Judicial Council be changed to limit political influence. It also calls for a reappraisal of the workload, internal procedures and resources of the court to improve and streamline its operation. Transparency and accessibility of public information on judicial activity must also be stepped up.
UK: DIGITAL SERVICE TAX
On 29 September, a briefing paper from the House of Commons Library discusses the background to the UK Government proposals to introduce a Digital Services Tax from April 2020 – in the context of wider concerns as to the challenge of taxing digital businesses and moves to agree reforms to the international tax system.
UK: PASSENGER PURCHASES OF ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO
On 29 September, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper which looks at the allowances and rules for the purchases by travellers before and after 31 December, when the UK Brexit transition period is due to end.
ECONOMIC CRIME IN THE UK
A briefing paper from the House of Commons Library on 29 September says that the precise scale of economic crime in the UK is unknown, but it could run to tens or hundreds of billions of pounds per year. The extent of these crimes – which include money laundering, fraud and corruption – led the Intelligence and Security Select Committee in its July 2020 report on Russia to note that London is considered a ‘laundromat’ for corrupt money. It notes that, following the September 2020 leak of the FinCEN papers, which put a spotlight back on the scale of economic crime in the UK, the Treasury Committee wrote to the Government to clarify how it would be responding.
BVI HAS REITERATED ITS COMMITMENT TO WORKING TOWARD ESTABLISHING A PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE REGISTER ON THE BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF COMPANIES
On 29 September, Tax News reported that, in a Financial Services update, Premier and Finance Minister Andrew Fahie said the Government is committed to working with the UK Government to implement a register that is “in line with international standards and best practices as they develop globally and, at least, as implemented by EU Member States”. Fahie also said that the BVI is committed to adhering to global standards on combatting money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism. However, he stressed that there are legitimate concerns that, without the appropriate checks and balances, publicly accessible registers could be abused.
UK: 2 PEOPLE WHO RUN 3 LINCOLN RESTAURANTS ON LIST OF DELIBERATE TAX DEFAULTERS FOR UNPAID TAX WORTH UP TO £2.8 MILLION
On 29 September, the Lincolnite reported that 2 people who run 3 Lincoln restaurants are on a government list of deliberate tax defaulters for unpaid tax worth up to £2.8 million. All 3 establishments are linked to the same directors who are both listed as active directors for the restaurants.
FIFTH MAN SENTENCED FOR HIS ROLE IN NORTHERN IRELAND £16 MILLION TOBACCO TAX EVASION FRAUD
On 29 September, the Belfast Newsletter reported that 4 men had previously been sentenced last year for the plot in which illicit tobacco and cash were found inside vehicles. Now Thomas Paul Mullan has been sentenced to 9 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years.
MALAYSIA: COURT SETS ASIDE STANLEY THAI’S FINE AND JAIL TERM FOR INSIDER TRADING
On 29 September, the Malay Mail reported that the High Court has set aside the 5-year jail term and a fine imposed on APL Industries Berhad (APLI) CEO Datuk Seri Stanley Thai (aka Thai Kim Sim), 60, for insider trading. Another appellant, Tiong Kiong Choon, 60, also had his conviction quashed after the court found that their convictions in 2017 were unsafe.
WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE (EPPO), WHO RUNS IT, AND HOW MIGHT IT SAVE THE EU BILLIONS OF EUROS?
On 29 September, Rferl provided an Explainer about the independent body set up by the EU to investigate, prosecute, and bring to judgment crimes involving its budget. 22 or 27 Member States are taking part. It has a single office in Luxembourg headed by a European chief prosecutor working with one European prosecutor from each participating Member State and will start work later this year.
UK: RETIRED HIGH COURT JUDGE TO LEAD POST OFFICE HORIZON IT INQUIRY
On 29 September, a news release from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced that a retired High Court judge will chair an inquiry will establish a clear account of the implementation and failings of Horizon over its lifetime, a scandal that led to many Post Office subpostmasters being accused of theft and fraud for what turned out to be apparent failing in the Horizon accounting software.
REFORM OF THE UK COMPANY REGISTRY – MORE NEEDED
On 29 September, a Commentary from RUSI said that proposed changes to the UK company formation regime are welcome but must be complemented by statutory reforms to the role of Companies House and sustainable resourcing. It says that, over the past decade, increasing numbers of cases have come to which have led many, including the author, to question whether it is right that you can form a company in the UK, without any proof of identity within 24 hours for a mere £12. It then says that, from the wide-ranging reforms proposed, there are 4 areas which have the most potential in reducing the role of UK companies as the money launderers’ vehicle of choice. https://rusi.org/commentary/clamping-wheel-money-launderers-vehicle-choice-reform-uk-company-registry
CYBERCRIME NETWORK PHISHING BANK CREDENTIALS ARRESTED IN ROMANIA
A news release from Europol on 29 September advised that a joint operation between Estonia, Lithuania and Romania, supported by Europol and Eurojust, led to the dismantling of an organised crime group involved in fraud, phishing and money laundering. On the action day, officers from the Romanian Police searched 4 houses and arrested 3 individuals. Further investigations into the scale of the activity are still ongoing. The criminal organisation launched phishing attacks via text messages and emails impersonating legitimate banking institutions.
COVID 19 CORONAVIRUS: GERMAN BOAT CREW WHO ENTERED NEW ZEALAND UNLAWFULLY STILL WAITING FOR FLIGHT HOME
On 29 September, the New Zealand Herald reported that the crew of a German yacht who sailed into New Zealand breaking the country’s Covid-19 border restrictions are still being held in police custody while they continue to wait for a flight home. The crew were intercepted by NZ Customs on 25 September after it had been alerted that the boat was still planning to breach New Zealand’s border restrictions after being denied exemption Visas by the Ministry of Health.
BRAZIL GOES AFTER GANG FINANCES BUT WITH LITTLE GUARANTEE OF SUCCESS
On 29 September, Insight Crime reported that recent operations in Brazil against the country’s 2 leading gangs, the PCC and Red Command, show that authorities are varying up their tactics but may still struggle to have a long-term impact. Numerous suspected gang members were allegedly part of a longstanding money laundering scheme run by the groups, whose leaders are in prison. The scheme involved drug trafficking, the buying and selling of weapons and ammunition, theft of goods, of vehicles, of commercial establishments and financial institutions, among other crimes.
JP MORGAN AGREES $920 MILLION PAYMENT OVER ALLEGATIONS OF SCHEMES TO DEFRAUD THE PRECIOUS METALS AND US TREASURY MARKETS
On 29 September, Mondo Visione carried 3 separate releases saying that JP Chase & Co has entered into a resolution with the Department of Justice to resolve criminal charges related to two distinct schemes to defraud: the first involving tens of thousands of episodes of unlawful trading in the markets for precious metals futures contracts, and the second involving thousands of episodes of unlawful trading in the markets for US Treasury futures contracts and in the secondary (cash) market for US Treasury notes and bonds, and involving spoofing and manipulation.
SEC CHARGES SWEDISH NATIONAL IN THAILAND OVER MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ONLINE OFFERING FRAUD TARGETING RETAIL INVESTORS WORLDWIDE, INCLUDING HUNDREDS OF INVESTORS FROM THE DEAF, HARD OF HEARING, AND HEARING LOSS COMMUNITIES
A release on Mondo Visione on 29 September advised that an SEC complaint alleges that from November 2012 to June 2019, Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson, through his entity, Eastern Metal Securities, defrauded over 2,000 retail investors in nearly every state in the US, as well as in over 45 countries around the world, and solicited investors for what he described as a “Pre Funded Reversed Pension Plan,” falsely claiming that the investment platform was run by award-winning economists and promising a pay-out based on the value of gold.
REPORT: MONEY LAUNDERING AND FRAUD IN CANADA
The Criminal Intelligence Service Canada has published a report and on 29 September detailed its highlights in a release.
UK: HOW MULTINATIONALS CIRCUMVENT ANTI-TAX AVOIDANCE REGULATIONS
A post on the LSE Business review blog on 29 September considers profit-shifting, which generally takes 3 major forms: debt-shifting, transfer pricing and patent reallocation. The article sets out to answer the question of how anti-tax avoidance regulations are affecting profit shifting of multinational firms, and considers the effects of a 2010 UK reform that targeted debt-shifting. It finds that following the reform, multinationals reduce the amount of debt they hold in the UK – but that these companies move the debt that they held in the UK to other high-tax countries. This debt reallocation is accompanied by real operations reallocations. Corporations affected by the reform moved a share of their total assets and employment away from the UK to where they locate their debt. Thus, this reform did not change their overall tax payment and did not limit profit-shifting, as intended. Instead, our paper provides novel evidence on the ineffectiveness of such anti-tax avoidance regulations and on how multinationals circumvent them.
IN NEW INITIATIVE, US COAST GUARD TARGETS ILLEGAL FISHING
On 29 September, Real Clear Defense reported a Forbes article which says that, after a long absence, fish and fishery patrols are back as a USCG priority. In a little-noticed event earlier this month, it announced a new focus on IUU fishing.
US ADDS FINANCIAL INSTITUTION TO CUBAN RESTRICTIONS LIST
A news release from the US State Department on 28 September advised that it was adding American International Services (AIS) to the Cuba Restricted List. It says that AIS is a financial institution controlled by the Cuban military that processes remittances sent to the Cuban people. The Cuban military also uses AIS, its parent company FINCIMEX, and other entities to charge fees and manipulate the remittance and foreign currency market. As a result of the action, direct financial transactions with AIS by US businesses etc are now prohibited.
SEC CHARGES FORMER PRESIDENT OF CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT COMPANY WITH OPERATING A FRAUDULENT PONZI SCHEME AND DEFRAUDING MORE THAN 1,300 INVESTORS – MANY OF WHOM WERE ELDERLY AND RETIRED
On 29 September, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the SEC has charged the former president of a Marin, California real estate development and management company with operating a fraudulent Ponzi scheme and misappropriating over $26 million from more than 1,300 investors – many of whom were elderly and retired – 2015-20. It named Lewis I Wallach and the now-deceased founder of Professional Financial Investors Inc (PFI).
LIBYA’S GNA ARRESTS TOP OFFICIALS OVER CORRUPTION
On 29 September, Libya Observer reported that security authorities loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) have arrested a large number of top officials, including minsters, over corruption allegations.
INDIA: 300 IDENTIFIED OVERSEAS ACCOUNTS ALLEGEDLY LINKED TO “HAWALA KING” NARESH JAIN
On 29 September, The Hindu reported that the Enforcement Directorate has identified about 300 overseas accounts allegedly linked to the sco-called ‘hawala king’ Naresh Jain, 61, who was recently arrested on money laundering charges. The overseas accounts were opened in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Funds were also transferred through more than 600 domestic bank accounts. In addition, it is said that about 500 shell companies were incorporated for money laundering activities. A joint international operation culminated in the arrest of the accused and 9 others by the Dubai police in April 2007. It is alleged that Jain jumped bail in Dubai and escaped to India via Nepal in May 2009, and he was arrested again in India in 2010.
FORMER CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER OF THE BOSTON GRAND PRIX CHARGED IN A SCHEME TO DEFRAUD FINANCING COMPANIES
On 29 September, AP reported that the former chief financial officer of the Boston Grand Prix has been charged in a scheme to defraud financing companies who gave him money for ice rink he owned, federal authorities said. John F. Casey has been indicted on 8 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of aggravated identity theft, 3 counts of money laundering and 3 counts of filing false tax returns.
EXPANSION OF THE UK TRUST REGISTER: IMPLICATIONS FOR NON-UK RESIDENT TRUSTEES
On 24 September, an article from Charles Russell Speechlys says that whilst there have been a few welcome changes to certain requirements proposed at the start of the consultation, as the final proposals for the expansion of the UK Trust Register under the Fifth Money Laundering Directive were finally laid before Parliament. The new regulations are likely to produce some questionable results, it says. The article focuses on the position of non-UK resident trustees, including the information which will need to be registered, whether such information can be publicly accessed, and the key dates to consider in this context.
THE HARMONISED TARIFF SYSTEM (HTS OR HS): HS CODE CLASSIFICATION
An article from Global Trade Magazine on 27 July is concerned with the use and operation of the HS Code system, used worldwide to classify imports, exports etc. Introduced from 1988. It explains that, in the US, one has roughly 16,000 HS codes to choose from, with a customs ruling database for US classifications only (CROSS) that is 206,000 classifications strong. One important fact it explains is that, to make it more complicated — although harmonised globally at the first 6-digit level, local authorities are allowed to differentiate products using the subsequent digits (producing a longer code, with only the first 6 common and universally recognised). For example, the US and EU both support HS codes that have 10 digits, but few are the same or represent the same products. As import declarations are filed locally, this implies that, for each importing country, a different HS code must be identified and then maintained for any product shipped into that country.
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