Somehow WordPress managed to lose this round-up yesterday…
9 October 2020
A REVIEW OF CANADA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION LANDSCAPE
ON 8 July, Fasken produced an article providing an overview of Canada’s anti-corruption framework under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act with regard to corruption in business dealings involving a foreign public official, and a high-level comparison to the legal frameworks in the US and UK. It also looks at the mechanism of remediation agreements and explores some of the most important and recent case law, to demonstrate the severity and seriousness with which Canadian courts have addressed the issue of bribery and corruption.
PODCAST: HELMS-BURTON LITIGATION HEADING INTO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
US law firm Jones Day has issued a podcast in which 2 Miami-based partners discuss the most recent court actions and decisions related to Title III of the Helms-Burton Act matters involving assets and investments in Cuba.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE UK MODERN SLAVERY ACT 2015
On 6 October, an article from Stephenson Harwood LLP is concerned with the UK government response to a public consultation on transparency in supply chains which demonstrates the government’s commitment to tackling the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking. It advised that companies should review their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to prepare for proposed legislative changes.
US COURT REJECTS CHALLENGE AGAINST TERRORISM LISTING
On 9 October, EU Sanctions Blog reported that a US court has dismissed a challenge by Wael Bazzi, a Belgian citizen, against his listing under terrorism sanctions – a listing in 2019 for conducting business on behalf of his father, a suspected Hizballah financier.
VENEZUELA: PDVSA USED THAI ASPHALT COMPANY TIPCO TO AVOID US SANCTIONS
On 8 October, AP published a long article saying that the Venezuelan oil company turned toa longtime client from Thailand, Tipco Asphalt, to blunt the impact of US sanctions: in exchange for deep discounts on oil, Tipco would pay PDVSA’s obligations and deduct the amounts from what it owed the Venezuelan oil giant, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. The documents — invoices, contracts, shipping records, and wire receipts — were provided to the AP by a former PDVSA consultant located outside of Venezuela. Tipco is one of Asia’s largest distributors of asphalt for roads, highways, and airport runways, with revenue last year of over $1.2 billion, according to its annual report. The article also says that also paid through Tipco is the Prague-based affiliate of Dentons, one of the world’s largest law firms.
UK: OFSI SANCTIONS ANNUAL REPORT
On 9 October, HM Treasury published the OFSIO report to March 2020.
SAUDI ARABIA’S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME: SEPARATING REAL CONCERNS FROM THREAT INFLATION
On 8 October, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said that recent coverage and commentary on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear activities have been characterised by a degree of what can be described as “threat inflation”. It says that while there are legitimate questions about what it eventually intends to do with nuclear technology, the fact is that today the kingdom is not moving to establish either uranium enrichment or plutonium separation capability, without which there is no path to a nuclear weapon. The kingdom’s reported uranium mining activities are far from what is needed for a nuclear weapon.
GERMANY’S DEPLETED URANIUM EXPORT TO RUSSIA MAY HAVE VIOLATED EU LAW
On 9 October, the Brussels Times reported that the German government is facing accusations of violating EU law by exporting depleted uranium to Russia and reminds one that depleted uranium can be processed and due to the high density of the material, projectiles made out of depleted uranium are very effective at penetrating targets like armoured vehicles. The German depleted uranium was exported from the URENCO company in Westphalia to Russia.
US COMMERCE DEPARTMENT IMPLEMENTS MULTILATERAL CONTROLS ON 6 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
On 9 October, Pillsbury reported that the the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had issued a final rule that imposes new multilateral controls on 6 “emerging technologies,” agreed during the December 2019 plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies. These recently developed or developing technologies “essential for the national security of the US” include forensic hacking tools, surveillance software, sub-orbital craft, and manufacturing tools and technology used to make integrated circuits and semiconductors.
US SANCTIONS: SPOTLIGHT ON CUBA
On 8 October, Marine Link published an article saying that the US maintains a comprehensive sanctions programme against Cuba, generally prohibiting all trade between the countries, subject to multiple exceptions, and because the Cuba sanctions programme has several idiosyncrasies that are unique to Cuba Marine Link says that it has addressed the Cuba sanctions programme separately.
MALAYSIA: 3 CONTAINER LORRIES DETAINED FOR SMUGGLING STONES TO THAILAND
On 9 October, The Sun Daily reported that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has impounded 3 illegally modified container lorries believed to be smuggling stones to Thailand which came from a nearby quarry, and were detained during a special operation.
BLACKLISTING – A POTENTIAL CATASTROPHE FOR BARBADOS’ ECONOMY
On 8 October, an article in Barbados Today says that, already hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Barbados economy could suffer catastrophic loss as a result of being “blacklisted” by the EU Council and by any perception of fraud or money laundering taking place. These comments come as a response to the news that Barbados has remained on the EU Council’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
IRELAND: WOMAN CHARGED OVER MONEY LAUNDERING AT CHARITY CONSOLE
On 9 October, the Irish Times reported that Patricia Kelly, 59, the widow of the late founder of suicide prevention charity Console has appeared in court charged with fraudulent trading and money laundering over a 10-year period.
MALAYSIA: MORE POLICE DETAINED IN CONNECTION WITH ILLEGAL ONLINE GAMBLING AND MONEY LAUNDERING
On 9 October, The Star reported that several senior police officers attached to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters and district police headquarters have been detained. They have been detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), in connection with protecting illegal gambling activities, which is run by a local cartel.
UK: 17 NAMES ON GLOBAL MAGNITSKY SANCTIONS LIST AMENDED
On 9 October, a Notice from HM Treasury announced that corrections have been made to 17 entries, to align them with the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020, which were made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 and provide for the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities or bodies responsible for or involved in serious violations of human rights.
EU FOREIGN INVESTMENT SCREENING MECHANISM BECOMES FULLY OPERATIONAL
On 9 October, the EU announced that the EU framework for screening of foreign direct investment (FDI) will become fully operational as of 11 October.
FORMER GRENADIER GUARDSMAN TRAPPED IN DUBAI AFTER BEING JAILED OVER FAKE CHEQUE SCAM TRIES TO FLEE BY SWIMMING 2 MILES ACROSS PERSIAN GULF
On 9 October, the Mail Online reported that ex-Grenadier Guardsman Robin Berlyn, 50, a former British soldier trapped in Dubai for 7 years after being caught up in a fake cheque scam made a dramatic attempt to flee the country by swimming 2 miles across the Persian Gulf.
PWC SURVEY FINDS 1 IN 5 UK WORKERS FEEL MORE VULNERABLE TO CYBER-CRIME SINCE THE START OF COVID-19
On 9 October, Fintech Times reported that more than 21% UK workers feel more vulnerable to cybercrime since the outbreak of Covid-19, according to a new cybersecurity survey from PwC. Of those people, 35% cite stress or fatigue and 17% cite working in isolation as a reason that they feel more vulnerable. The survey of over 1,200 people currently in work in the UK was conducted in September of this year.
MALAWI: ANTI-CORRUPTION BUREAU ACTS ON SUSPECTED CORRUPT DEAL AT MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
On 8 October, All Africa reported that the ACB has issued a restriction notice to the Ministry of Agriculture restraining it from awarding a contract to a South African company, Spatial Dimension for the Design, Supply, installation and Commissioning of the Land Information Management, and is said to have instituted an investigation in respect of a suspected offence under the Corrupt Practices Act.
SWITZERLAND SHARED BANK ACCOUNT DATA WITH 66 COUNTRIES IN 2020
On 9 October, Swissinfo reported that the Swiss Federal Tax Administration revealed that it had provided details of around 3.1 million bank accounts held by foreigners (or those with a fiscal residence abroad) to their countries of origin or residence under automatic exchange of information (AEOI).
MYANMAR MILITARY PROBES BRIBERY CLAIMS AGAINST OFFICERS TIED TO CHINA-BACKED GAMBLING HUB
On 9 October, The Irrawaddy website reported that the Myanmar military is said to be investigating at least 3 senior officers for allegedly accepting bribes from the Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) to keep silent about illegal gambling activities at a controversial new city development near the Thai border in Karen State. The project has sparked criticism due to a lack of transparency, land confiscations, confusion over the scale of construction and the growing influx of Chinese money into the area, as well as suspected illicit activity and local concerns about the social impacts of casino businesses.
FEDERAL BANKING AGENCIES AND FINCEN: EXEMPTION FROM CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR PREMIUM FINANCE LOANS
On 9 October, the agencies announced the exemption for premium finance loans which provide short-term financing to business and non-business borrowers to facilitate their purchases of property and casualty insurance policies. According to FinCEN, these types of loans present a low risk of money laundering because of the purpose for which the loans are extended and limitations on the ability of a customer to use such funds for any other purpose; and that property and casualty insurance policies themselves are not an effective means for transferring illicit funds.
UK: IMPORTING AND EXPORTING PLANTS AND PLANT PRODUCTS FROM 1 JANUARY
On 9 October, DEFRA published updated information on how to trade in plants and plant products, including trees, inside and outside the EU from 1 January.
UK ADDS 1 NAME TO ISIL/AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS LISTS
On 9 October, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that it had added Jamal Hussein Hassan ZEINIYE to its Consolidated List following his designation by the UN.
BREXIT: UK PUBLISHES UPDATED GB-EU BORDER OPERATING MODEL
On 9 October, Lloyds Loading List reported that the UK has “ramped up preparations” for the end of the UK’s transition period after leaving the EU with an updated Border Operating Model that provides further detail on how the GB-EU border will work and the actions that traders, freight and logistics intermediaries, and hauliers involved in UK-EU trade will need to take before the end of this year and beyond.
FREIGHT ASSOCIATIONS WELCOME NEW UK BORDER OPERATING MODEL
Freight transport and forwarding associations have welcomed the release yesterday by the UK government of the latest, updated version of the UK’s new Border Operating Model for EU-UK cross-border trade, which will come into force from 2021.
UK IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS ‘MUST ACT NOW’ TO PREPARE FOR 1 JANUARY
Many international traders, especially SMEs, still lack sufficiently clear information about what to do before Great Britain’s exit from the EU’s single market and customs union on 1 January, according to one well-placed UK logistics consultant.
UK MAY BUILD UP TO 10 INLAND CENTRES TO PROCESS CUSTOMS CHECKS AND PAPERWORK FOR TRUCKS BOUND FOR EUROPE AFTER BREXIT AND FINE DRIVERS WITHOUT THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION
On 9 October, Reuters reported that the UK may build up to 10 centres to process customs checks and paperwork for trucks bound for Europe after Brexit and will fine drivers who head to ports without the correct documentation. It said that it had identified 10 sites around the country including in the county of Kent – home to the ports of Dover and Folkestone which sail to Calais – in central England and near the ports sailing to Ireland.
PERU’S ILLEGAL MINING STRUGGLES
On 9 October, an article in Insight Crime says that Peruvian authorities have destroyed yet another illegal mining site in one of the country’s most popular national parks, but the ongoing failure of official efforts to target this trade strongly suggests operations will resume again before long. Concerns surrounding the clandestine extraction of silver, zinc and other minerals in the park have been raised for several years.
SWISS CEO DEFENDS COMPANY’S RECORD IN PERU – DEFENDS ROLE WITH ARTISANAL MINERS
On 8 October, Swissinfo reported that PX Precinox CEO has defended his company’s record in Peru and says abandoning artisanal miners is not the way to achieve more sustainable and transparent mining practices. The article explains that PX Precinox has struck up a partnership with Minera Veta Dorada, an ore processor that buys gold from so-called artisanal small-scale miners who have been certified by the government or have applied to do so. Canadian-owened Veta Dorada was recently named in an investigation following a nationwide police operation in which illegal mine shafts were exposed and gold shipments seized.
CORONAVIRUS YET TO HALT PERU’S CONTRABAND CIGARETTE TRADE
On 9 October, Insight Crime reported that police in Peru have recently seized large quantities of contraband cigarettes in one of the capital’s most populous districts, in the latest reflection of the regional boom in demand for black market tobacco amid the coronavirus pandemic. The seizure comes amid a string of operations targeting the bustling contraband cigarette trade.
CHILE MUSEUM HEIST REVEALS BLACK MARKET IN CULTURAL OBJECTS
On 9 October, an article in Insight crime reported that the silver and textiles stolen from a museum in Chile reveal how thieves target depositories of artifacts and precious metals. Guards discovered the break-in at the Cañete Mapuche Museum — which houses some 1,400 objects related to the Indigenous Mapuche community — in September, and more than 100 items were stolen, including Mapuche silverwork, fabrics and stone artifacts.
FCA URGING MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO INVESTED IN AN UNAUTHORISED LAND BANKING SCHEME, AND WHO MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SOME OF THEIR MONEY BACK TO GET IN CONTACT
On 9 October, a release on Mondo Visione said that, between late 2009 and May 2011, members of the public invested approximately £3 million in an unauthorised collective investment scheme established and operated by Synergy Land Group Limited and its director, Samuel Exall trading as Synergy Land Group. The FCA urges investors who think they might have invested, or might recall family members investing in this scheme, to get in contact.
NIRAV MODI EXTRADITION: JUDGE TO HEAR ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE ON 3 NOVEMBER
On 9 October, India Today reported that fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi is fighting extradition charges related to the estimated $2 billion PNB fraud and money laundering case brought against him by the Indian government.
ONLINE RANSOM GANGS INCREASINGLY OUTSOURCE THEIR WORK
On 8 October, the Krebs on Security blog (which is always interesting, even if I don’t always…or ever… understand the detail) reported on “subcontractors” being hired.
OFAC: 2 INDIVIDUALS AND 1 FINANCIAL INSTITUTION ADDED TO NICARAGUAN SANCTIONS LISTS
On 9 October, OFAC advised that 2 individuals and the COOPERATIVA DE AHORRO Y CREDITO CAJA RURAL NACIONAL RL (aka CARUNA RL) had been added to its SDN Lists. It has designated the financial institution, as well as the Attorney General Ana Julia Guido De Romero and the Secretary of the Presidency Paul Herbert Oquist Kelley, in an effort to target key financial operations and government officials that continue to undermine Nicaragua’s democracy.
UK STILL SHIPPING PLASTIC WASTE TO POORER COUNTRIES DESPITE CONSERVATIVE PLEDGE
Unearthed reported on 9 October, that the UK has continued to send plastic waste to developing countries, despite widespread concerns about increased plastic pollution and a Conservative Party manifesto pledge to stop the practice. It says that an Environment Bill would have given ministers powers to ban waste exports to low and middle-income countries, but the legislation was withdrawn during the pandemic. There is now confusion over whether it will be put to parliament at all. It also says that more than 300 tonnes a day of plastic scrap has been sent to non-OECD countries so far in 2020.
US COAST GUARD: OPERATION NORTH PACIFIC GUARD 2020 TARGETS IUU FISHING
On 8 October, Homeland Security Today reported that Operation North Pacific Guard is an annual high seas US fisheries international law enforcement operation designed to detect and deter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The Coast Guard cutter involved crew conducted at-sea inspections aboard 11 fishing vessels from 4 different nations during this year’s operation and found 14 potential violations, including potential serious violations aboard 3 Chinese-flagged squid fishing vessels. As a result, nearly the entire Chinese fleet of 31 vessels stopped fishing and fled hundreds of nautical miles west across the Pacific Ocean, avoiding further inspection.
FORMER QUEBEC PREMIER JEAN CHAREST FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST PROVINCE OVER CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS
On 9 October, CBC reported that former Quebec Liberal premier Jean Charest has filed a lawsuit against the Quebec government, alleging that his privacy has been violated by the province’s anti-corruption unit. The anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC, which has an ongoing investigation into provincial Liberal Party financing while he was premier, from 2003 to 2012.
VIRTUAL TAX HAVENS: CLAIM THAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE HELPING TAX DODGERS HIDE THEIR LOOT
In Australia, an article in The New Daily reported claims by 2 Australian-based researchers using profit transferred through Facebook Pay (yet to be introduced into Australia).
UN REPORT REVEALS LINKAGES BETWEEN HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND FORCED MARRIAGE
On 7 October, UN News reported that the UN Office on Drugs & Crime has published a report which documents the interlinkages between trafficking in persons and marriage, and provides steps for governments and other authorities to strike back; said to be the first publication that looks at the issue globally and through the lens of the international, legal obligations that States have to address trafficking in persons. IT involved research conducted in 9 countries in different regions of the world, over a 12-month period. The countries covered were Canada, Germany, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.
The report is at –
SINGAPORE’S POLICE ANTI-SCAM CENTRE MAKES LARGEST-EVER RECOVERY
On 8 October, CAN reported that the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) Anti-Scam Centre has recovered S$6.6 million from an email scam, its largest recovery since it was set up in June last year. It had been alerted by United Overseas Bank (UOB) and the FBI to a suspected case of money laundering.
CHINESE DEVELOPER AGREES TO PAY $1 MILLION IN CITY HALL BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION CASE
On 7 October, the Los Angeles Times reported that Jia Yuan USA Co, the subsidiary of a China-based real estate company, has agreed to pay $1.05 million to resolve a federal investigation into its involvement in the ongoing City Hall bribery and corruption scandal.
TURKISH COURT ORDERS SEIZURE OF ASSETS FOR 14 BUSINESS PEOPLE IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 9 October, Ahval reported that an Istanbul court approved an appeal by the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office to seize assets for a total of 14 individuals, as part of an investigation for money laundering. Seized assets include several pharmaceutical, technology, investment, energy and communications companies, several of which are involved in a court case in the US involving the so-called “Mormon brothers” and that tied the members of a polygamous Mormon crime family to some of the most influential figures in Turkey.
INDIA: OPPOSITION CONGRESS PARTY ALLEGES CORRUPTION IN IRON ORE EXPORT
On 9 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that Congress has alleged corruption in export of iron ore and has demanded a list of companies that received licence to export iron ore since 2014.
THE TRANSACTION MONITORING UTILITY IN THE NETHERLANDS
The Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime has released a video in which Nick Maxwell, Head of the RUSI ‘Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing’ (FFIS) Research programme interviews Jeroen Rijpkema from the Dutch Banking Association and Baldwin Kramer, Financial Advisory Partner at Deloitte NL about the development and future ambitions of the Transaction Monitoring Utility in the Netherlands (TMNL). A coalition of banks, comprising ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and de Volksbank, will use Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL) to identify unusual patterns in payments traffic that individual banks cannot identify.
I had omitted the following link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y