On 1 January, a news release from US State Department advised that BFI has been added to the List from early January, when direct financial transactions with BFI will be prohibited. BFI has been listed on the basis that it is controlled by the Cuban military. Direct financial transactions with entities on the Cuba Restricted List are generally prohibited under the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, because the financial transactions would disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services at the expense of the Cuban people and private enterprise in Cuba.
On 5 January, the CFATF, the FATF-style regional body, published a report on its first virtual Plenary meeting, held in December. The Plenary –
Discussed the mutual evaluation report (MER) of St Lucia;
Adopted amendments to the CFATF Procedures for the Fourth Round of AML/CFT Mutual Evaluations;
Discussed and adopted of Jamaica’s 3rd Follow Up Report (FUR);
Approved of Sint Maarten’s exit from the Third Round of Mutual Evaluations;
Discussed the Follow-up Process for Barbados and Cayman Islands’ FUR with re-ratings;
Held a number of virtual working group meetings; and
Provided updates on the Supervision Project funded by the Government of the UK and the Government of Canada, the 11th European Development Fund Implementation of the Mutual Evaluation Programme Project, and received updates from the Group of Co-operating and Supporting Nations (COSUN) and Observer Organisations
On 6 January, an article from Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions on Mondo Visione predicts what is expected to be the key fraud trends will be in 2021. It says that fraud has evolved significantly in 2020, with fraudsters taking advantage of people’s fears and uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic. LexisNexis® Risk Solutions predicts much of this behaviour will continue to evolve in 2021.
An article from Out-Law on 6 January says that a speedy response can enable businesses to minimise any economic loss and business interruption they might experience, and it can also help them to limit the extent of that breach and meet reporting requirements they may be subject to. With a focus on Hong Kong, the article highlights the heightened risk environment businesses are operating in. Any business can be impacted by a data breach, and when there is a breach of security of data and when personal data is involved, it is likely to constitute a breach of data protection principles. The law firm behind Out-Law found that the way businesses organise the data they hold and address security weaknesses identified in the aftermath of cyber incidents has come into sharp focus from regulators across the globe. The article details the important information that businesses should seek to decipher in the immediate aftermath of a data breach, and what needs to be considered after the incident.
On 6 January, an article from Out-Law says that, as businesses seek to understand their options after Schrems II, it is important they recognise that the picture continues to evolve. Authorities across Europe and beyond have given their response to the CJEU ruling, with fresh guidance and proposed new transfer tools issued. The law firm behind Out-Law has compiled a directory of the related statements and guidance issued by EU institutions, national data protection authorities and other relevant regulatory bodies, which will be updated as further announcements are made.
An article in Insight Crime on 6 January says that the killing of Albanian national Adriatik Tresa inside his luxury property in Ecuador has revealed details of his alleged criminal activities, painting a picture of how violent proxies of Albanian mafias operate in the Andean country. Albanian-speaking crime syndicates began to make inroads in the country from 2011, and the groups have increasingly brokered cocaine deals between Colombian suppliers and various European syndicates, as well as negotiated their own shipments. But the Albanian groups in Ecuador have brought with them their own brand of violence, including contract killings.
On 6 January, EurActiv reported that new EU rules came into force on 1 January, prohibiting the shipment of unsorted plastic waste to foreign countries. Although the move will increase pressure on Europe to recycle, activists say the ban is likely to increase landfilling and waste burning inside the EU. The new rules ban the export of plastic waste outside Europe, except for clean plastic waste sent for recycling.
On 5 January, a statement from the White House advised that a new Executive Order tasks the Secretary of Commerce to identify prohibited transactions involving 8 Chinese software applications, including payment services; directs the Secretary of Commerce to identify and take appropriate action against other software applications; and develops a programme to control the export of exploitable US user data to foreign adversaries. The EO prohibits certain transactions with Chinese payment applications: Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office, with effect from 18 February.
On 5 January, Carey Olsen provided a briefing on the Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Law 2020 and associated secondary legislation, which entered into force on 6 January and establishes a new, central register of beneficial owners and significant persons in Jersey. The new law is intended to satisfy FATF Recommendation 24 on beneficial ownership of legal persons, and the types of entities covered are companies, foundations, Incorporated Limited Partnerships (ILP), Separate Limited Partnerships (SLP), Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP). It says that most of the relevant information (and more) is already reported to and centrally held by the Jersey FSC as part of its function as financial services regulator. Information on beneficial owners will not to be made publicly available, and a decision on whether and, if so, when and the extent to which such information may be made public will be deferred until a consensus on approach has been reached in the EU, anticipated to be some time in 2022. Information on significant persons will be made publicly available on the FSC’ website, subject to exceptions, from mid-2021. The information to be made public will relate to current significant persons only. Nominated person information will not be made publicly available, nor will information on who has nominated a “nominated director”.