A news release from US DoJ on 25 May advised that an Austrian man had been arrested in the UK on criminal charges related to his alleged participation in a conspiracy to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through the US financial system as part of a scheme to pay bribes around the world and defraud the Brazilian government. An indictment charges Peter Weinzierl, 55, and Alexander Waldstein, 73, both of Austria, for their role in a massive money laundering scheme involving Odebrecht SA, a Brazilian-based global construction conglomerate. Weinzierl was arrested to a provisional arrest request from the USm while Waldstein remains at large. Weinzierl served as CEO and Waldstein as officer of an Austrian bank, and both served as board members of an Antiguan bank.
2 FORMER PANAMANIAN PRESIDENTS ON TRIAL IN ODEBRECHT CASE
On 25 May, Prensa Latina reported that former Panamanian presidents Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) and Juan Carlos Varela (2014-2019) are on trial for receiving bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. They are said to be among 50 individuals and a legal company on trial for alleged economic crimes, including money laundering.
On 25 May, the NCA published its annual threat assessment – the 2021 National Strategic Assessment. The report uses intelligence from across law enforcement, government, the third sector and private industry to set out the UK’s understanding of the threat posed by organised criminals.
An article from Gowling WLG on 25 May says that the UK’s autonomous sanctions regime is not a simple “copy and paste” of existing EU law. It is said that the UK is keen to demonstrate that it is a robust player on the global stage, which includes lively sanctions activity and enforcement. As such, the UK’s domestic legislation has introduced harsher penalties and in places goes further than the EU counterparts to which it was formerly bound. The article considers the key implications of the UK sanctions and export control regime and the factors that businesses will need to consider in order to avoid the risk of civil or criminal penalties in the post-Brexit landscape.
On 25 May, KYC 360 reported an EU Observer story concerning Greek billionaire, Ivan Savvidi. 62 and born in Georgia. Despite the EU having banned EU nationals from doing business in Russia-occupied Crimea and blacklisting people who harmed “the territorial integrity” of Ukraine. However, the Savvidi family is involved in Crimea food-supply, according to a paper trail seen by EU Observer and by the EU foreign service. Savvidi has also had business dealings in the Russia-occupied Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian authorities, and he has openly funded pro-Russian occupation propaganda events.