GAFILAT, the FATF-style regional body, has published this report from April 2020. It introduces the practices, challenges and barriers that exist in the GAFILAT member countries regarding the availability and access to basic and beneficial ownership information. Likewise, based on the challenges identified, the work presents proposals, best practices and lessons learned from both Latin American countries and the rest of the world. The last section of the paper presents a possible road map, depending on each country’s context, as well as a list of resources adopted by different countries to overcome obstacles to increased transparency. It says that the transparency of basic and beneficial ownership information is of utmost importance not only to avoid damage to the reputation of countries by obtaining a bad rating or being included in a grey or black list, but mainly to facilitate the work of authorities, reporting institutions and society in general. It says that countries should understand that, although they may opt for different alternatives, they should consider the best cases and learn from others because although efforts and progress will be noticed, in the end international organisations, local authorities, and public opinion will focus on concrete results and the effective possibility of ensuring access to and use of information to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism, among other crimes.
On 23 March, the Basel Institute on Governance commented on a set of FAQ to help companies involved in minerals sectors better address bribery and corruption risks throughout their supply chain. They are said to complement the user-friendly and interactive online version of the gold-standard OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The questions cover some common challenges in identifying, preventing, mitigating and reporting on bribery and corruption risks in mineral supply chains, and are welcomed by the Institute.
On 23 March, a post on the FCPA Blog says that the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) has just published the English version of its revised anti-corruption compliance guidance. It notes that, unlike other similar anti-bribery regimes, in France, a company may be penalised for failure to adopt compliance, even in the absence of bribery suspicions.
On 22 March, an article from ADM Capital Foundation says that Hong Kong authorities seized a record breaking 649 tonnes of rare and endangered wildlife across 1,404 seizures in 2018 and 2019. A new report summarises Hong Kong’s growing wildlife seizures (2018-2019), prosecutions (2017-2020) and the city’s continuing role in the global illicit wildlife trade. It is said that data indicates a shift in trade dynamics with ivory in decline, pangolins (a staple of Hong Kong traffickers) remaining at devastatingly high levels and a worrying diversification of other endangered species in trade. This new report is a follow-up to a 2019 report from the Hong Kong Wildlife Trade Working Group.
On 23 March, Jurist reported that Australia has made regulations to list Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) as a terrorist organisation. It joins 26 other entities, including al Qaeda, the Islamic State and Jaish-e-Mohammad. By listing SKD as a terrorist organisation, all Australian terrorist offences and the penalties for their conviction, including up to 25 years’ imprisonment, apply to SKD. US-based SKD was founded in 2013 and has neo-Nazi ideals, having killed up to 14 persons within the US and the UK.