This report from the Human Trafficking Institute in the US sets out to provide the only exhaustive review of human trafficking prosecutions in US federal courts. The Report presents data from both sex trafficking and forced labour prosecutions and supplements its analysis with information from civil human trafficking lawsuits. To mark the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), which made human trafficking a federal crime, this year’s edition of the Report also highlights data and trends spanning 2 decades of anti-trafficking enforcement in the US. One thing it highlights is that human trafficking does not necessarily involve cross-border movement. In fact, it says, fewer than half of active sex trafficking cases involved schemes spanning more than one state. Moreover, of foreign national victims, 17% were not trafficked across the border into the US; rather, they were exploited abroad or after entering the country.
On 11 June, the i newspaper in the UK said that a report by an academic at the University of Portsmouth claims that organised crime is going uninvestigated by police who are “hiding behind the veil” of the Action Fraud national crime reporting agency – this being useful for concealing an “inadequate” police response. Figures from Action Fraud, the arm of the police responsible for recording scams and fraud, show that between 2019 and 2020, over 800,000 people reported being a victim of fraud, with £2.3 billion finding its way into criminal hands. The report argues radical change is required to address the investigative gap through either regionalization or a national solution, through a National Economic Crime Agency. It considers some of the arguments for against such approaches and calls for a debate to commence on the future structures for policing economic crime.
On 19 June, a report from Kharon says that vessels owned by a South Korean company – oung Sung Global Co Ltd – reportedly under investigation for violating UN sanctions against North Korea have disabled their location transponders in waters known to be hotspots for illicit sanctions evasion activity. A South Korean official told Yonhap News that Young Sung Global is under investigation due to the alleged transfer of a vessel to North Korean ownership.
On 11 June, a news release from the Government of Jersey says that it has begun to engage the financial services industry in discussions about amendments to the Island’s financial crime strategy – designed to ensure that Jersey meets international standards set by FATF. A minister is quoted as saying that over the next 18 months there will be a great deal of work, encompassing policy, legislation and procedures, where there will be a lot of change, particularly in the areas of risk understanding, supervision, enforcement action, criminal prosecution and confiscation. A launch event organised through Jersey Finance involved the Government, the States of Jersey Police (SoJP), and the Jersey FSC presented the actions that should be expected by the industry in order to ensure that Jersey continues to meet international standards.
On 11 June, the Council of Europe published this 5th Round Mutual Evaluation Report which calls on authorities to improve the regulatory framework and to strengthen the practical application of measures to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. However, it praises the overall framework and practical actions in place for international co-operation, which enables San Marino to provide generally timely and constructive mutual legal assistance, but finds that further improvements are needed in enhancing supervision, preventative measures related to transparency of legal persons and legal arrangements, money laundering investigation and prosecution and financial sanctions for terrorist financing. Interestingly, San Marino will be subject to MONEYVAL’s regular follow-up reporting process 9i.e. not the enhanced follow-up procedure) as a result of the positive report, thus becoming one of only 5 member-jurisdictions with this outcome so far.