On 19 March, the Toronto Star reported that the Cullen Commission report into money laundering through the British Columbia real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors has been delayed until December. The COVID-19 pandemic created delays by forcing the hearings and much of its work to be done online.
An article from Sayari on 18 March says that public records from Iran’s official stock exchange database can help investigators by providing crucial details on the ultimate beneficial owners (UBO) of Iranian subsidiaries based in high-risk jurisdictions. To show how this is done, it looks at 2 sanctioned Iranian companies and investigate their ties to offshore subsidiaries based in Hong Kong, Germany, and the UAE.
On 18 March, a post from Transparency International posed this question. Starting with reference to the case of Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of the former authoritarian president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov. It is said that Karimova did not launder the proceeds of corruption in Uzbekistan but chose more reliable and reputable locations to manage her illicit fortune. One of these was Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre, with between $100 million and $300 million said to have passed through. It is reported that Transparency International Ireland published a report recently suggesting that these cases could be the tip of something much bigger. It examines the extent to which Ireland is prepared to detect, freeze and repatriate the proceeds of overseas corruption laundered through the Irish economy; and suggests that Ireland is ill-prepared to address many of the incentives that facilitate the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and organised crime through our financial services sector and the wider economy.
On 19 March, Tax News reported that the Australian Government has confirmed that it will amend its offshore banking unit regime after it was designated a harmful tax regime by the OECD and the EU. The regime was established in 1992. It provides a more attractive tax rate for offshore banking activity conducted by Australian registered banks. Existing participants operating within the OBU regime will continue to access the concessional tax rate for a period of two years, up to the end of the 2022-23 income year.