OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 28

Panama Covid-19 update – bit of a big day for me today, as my wife and I returned to the local gym for the first time since last March. They have been open for several weeks, but we didn’t feel happy enough to return until now. Still being cautious, and lots of distancing in the gym, plentiful disinfectant and wipes and the water fountains out of use.

Meanwhile, the daily figures showed a levelling off today, probably a statistical wobble, but with still 666 new cases and 4 new fatalities reported. Over 150 new active cases have been added to the total, which is now 12,132, with 103 in ICU (up by 1) and 573 (down 6) in other hospital wards.

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

BELGIUM: MAJOR FRAUD CASE ENDS AS ACCUSED PAY €50 MILLION SETTLEMENT

On 25 June, the Brussels Times reported that the case concerns Beaulieu International Group, a major textiles company in West Flanders, in the region known for its textile barons, and among them: Roger De Clerck, chief executive of the company.  In the 1980s, he was accused and found guilty of sending his wealth off to tax havens to avoid tax, and separately his 2 sons were arrested in the UK for selling carpets for black money.  The current case that has now been closed began in the early 1990s.  In 2007 Belgium was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for the delay in bringing the case to justice, and was ordered to pay the De Clerck family €20,000. 

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/175132/major-fraud-case-ends-as-accused-pay-e50-million-settlement/

SEC SIGNALS BROAD SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORT FILING OBLIGATION

On 25 June, Bloomberg Law reported that the recent SEC $1.5 million fine for a broker-dealer for failing to file SAR involving cybercriminals’ attempts to gain access to accounts is said to signal the regulator’s intention to strictly enforce cyber-related SAR guidance.  It is said that the firm’s detection and prevention of most of the attempted takeovers before the bad actors could obtain funds was apparently not sufficient to satisfy its AML/BSA obligations.

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/sec-action-signals-broad-suspicious-activity-report-filing-obligation

13 ARRESTED OVER HK$53 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME IN HONG KONG AND CHINA THAT PREYED ON JOBSEEKERS

On 27 June, the South China Morning Post reported that the gang falsified bank and ID information obtained through bogus adverts and tricking jobseekers into handing over their personal information.  The group allegedly lured victims with the promise of easy money and high-paying jobs only to use the details they submitted to set up bank accounts and other means for laundering its ill-gotten gains.  Police said the criminal group also operated an illegal-gambling website, soliciting punters through social-networking sites and instant-messaging software, and took illegal bets on sports such as horse racing and football,

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3138949/13-arrested-over-hk53-million-money-laundering-scheme

RUSSIAN OLIGARCH WITH UK PROPERTY EMPIRE ESCAPES SANCTIONS DESPITE LINKS TO BELARUS DICTATOR

On 28 June, KYC 360 reported that Mikhail Gutseriev’s relationship with the Belarusian dictator is so close that Mr Lukashenko offered to rename a town after him.  It is described as “incredible” that the British Government had declined to place Gutseriev on its sanctions list. 

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/russian-oligarch-with-uk-property-empire-escapes-sanctions-despite-links-to-belarus-dictator

FATF: MAJORITY OF COUNTRIES HAVE NOT IMPLEMENTED ITS CRYPTO GUIDANCE

On 25 June, Coindesk reported that the majority of FATF member countries have yet to put in place its requirements for firms that handle cryptocurrencies, with only 58 of 128 having them in place.  52 are regulating virtual asset service providers (VASP), and 6 are prohibiting the operation of VASP. 

https://www.coindesk.com/fatf-says-most-countries-still-havent-implemented-aml-watchdogs-crypto-guidance

UK: FCA HAS ORDERED BINANCE TO STOP ALL REGULATED ACTIVITY AND ISSUED A WARNING TO CONSUMERS

On 28 June, KYC 360 reported that the FCA has ordered Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, to stop all regulated activity and issued a warning to consumers about the platform which is coming under growing scrutiny globally.  While trading of cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in Britain, offering services such as trading in cryptocurrency derivatives does require authorisation.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/britain-bans-binance-in-latest-cryptocurrency-crackdown

VIETNAM’S FURNITURE SECTOR ‘NERVOUS’ OVER US LOGGING PROBE

On 28 June, Nikkei Asia and China Smart reported that Vietnam overtook China last year in furniture exports to the US, shipping $7.4 billion worth of the goods, compared with China’s $7.3 billion.  However, under the Trump Administration, the Office of the US Trade Representative in October launched 2 investigations into Vietnam – one into currency manipulation, and another into the country’s timber sector.  The latter is focused on whether Vietnam imports illegally harvested or endangered timber in violation of its own laws, those of the origin country and CITES regulations. 

https://chinagosmart.com/vietnams-furniture-sector-nervous-over-us-logging-probe

COVERT RECORDINGS REVEAL THAT ADVISOR SOUGHT TO BRIBE PERU JUDGES TO FLIP ELECTION RESULT

On 27 June, Newsroom Panama reported that Vladimiro Montesinos, a controversial presidential adviser to the former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori (1990 – 2000), has been heard in audios where he is urges a retired commander to bribe 3 of the 4 magistrates of the National Elections Jury (JNE) to manipulate the appeals of the presidential elections, and favour Keiko Fujimori, affecting the virtual winner (but not yet official) Pedro Castillo.  He is said to have been using the landline of the maximum-security prison where he is imprisoned.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/world/advisor-seeks-to-bribe-peru-judges-to-flip-election-result

US: BIS ADDS 5 CHINESE COMPANIES TO ENTITY LIST FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

On 23 June, an article from Thompson Hine LLP reported that, on 24 June, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) placed 5 Chinese companies on the Entity List for human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang.  The Entity List is used by BIS to restrict the export, reexport and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to persons (individuals, organizations, companies) reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US.

https://www.thompsonhinesmartrade.com/2021/06/bis-adds-five-chinese-companies-to-entity-list-for-human-rights-violations/#page=1

SERCO EXECUTIVES ACQUITTED – WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT THE DPA PROCESS IN THE UK?

An article from Clyde & Co on 25 June says that of the 9 deferred prosecution agreements concluded to date, none have resulted in successful prosecutions against individuals in these organisations, despite hefty fines being paid, significant costs being incurred and some level of wrongdoing often being agreed.  It is said that, given the lack of individual convictions, to date, there is a risk large companies may begin to regard a DPA as nothing more than “the cost of doing business” operating on an assumption that their executives are unlikely to face justice.

https://connectedworld.clydeco.com/post/102h1bx/serco-executives-acquitted-what-does-this-say-about-the-dpa-process

UK: FCA PLANS TO CHANGE THE UK’S COMPANY LISTINGS REGIME TO ATTRACT SPECIAL ACQUISITION COMPANIES (SPAC)

On 24 June, an article from Rahmann Ravelli reported that the Financial Conduct Authority has set out proposals for a more flexible listings regime that will bring the UK closer to the approach being taken by its major financial rivals.  The aim is to lure SPAC (special purpose acquisition companies) to London and, having put out its proposals to consultation, the FCA is now set to have its new rules in force in the coming months.

https://www.rahmanravelli.co.uk/articles/the-fca-and-spacs/

IRELAND: BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF TRUSTS – NEW REGULATIONS

On 21 June, an article from Mason, Hayes and Curran LLP says that new regulations recently commenced in Ireland, and revoke and replace the 2019 beneficial ownership of trust regulations.  They clarify the types of express trusts which are caught by the legislation and what the new regulations require.

https://www.mhc.ie/latest/insights/beneficial-ownership-of-trusts-new-regulations-have-commenced

ISRAEL:  COURT REFUSES TO RULE ON SALE OF SPY TECH TO RUSSIA

On 28 June, Haaretz reported that the Supreme Court has ruled that Israel’s defence exports, including the sale of offensive cyber technologies to foreign countries, and the policy that governs them is beyond the jurisdiction of Israeli courts.  It rejected an application by human rights activists targeting the Defense Ministry and the Cellebrite company.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/tech-news/.premium-top-court-refuses-to-rule-on-israeli-sale-of-spy-tech-to-russia-1.9948267

EGYPT: 3 ARRESTED OVER SMUGGLING EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES TO FRANCE

On 28 June, Egypt Independent reported that Egypt’s Public Prosecution had announced that police forces have arrested 2 Egyptians and a French citizen over charges of smuggling antiquities that Egypt has retrieved from France.  The investigation began in 2019, after a French citizen informed the Egyptian embassy in Paris that a deceased Frenchman had acquired antiquities illegally.

https://www.egyptindependent.com/three-arrested-over-smuggling-egyptian-antiquities-to-france/

PHILIPPINES PROMPTED TO TIGHTEN JUNKET CONTROLS AS FATF PLACES COUNTRY ON GREY LIST

On 28 June, Inside Asian Gaming reported that the Philippines is said to have committed to working with FATF on strengthening its AML/CFT regime, including demonstrating that supervisors are using controls to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets.

https://www.asgam.com/index.php/2021/06/28/philippines-prompted-to-tighten-junket-controls-as-global-aml-watchdog-increases-monitoring/

EU CONSULTATION ON ALLOWING TAX ADMINISTRATIONS TO RESOLVE CROSS-BORDER TAX ISSUES FACED BY SME OPERATING WITHIN THE EU

On 23 June, Accountancy Daily reported that the European Commission has launched a consultation on a possible programme to allow the tax administrations of Member States to resolve cross-border tax issues faced by SME operating within the EU.  The consultation runs to 15 September.  Such a programme would allow the tax administrations of Member States to resolve together, in a preventive manner, cross-border tax issues faced by small and medium enterprises operating within the EU.

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/news/eu-cooperative-compliance-programme_en

UK: MONEY LAUNDERING GUIDANCE FOR ART MARKET

On 28 June, Accountancy Daily reported that HMRC has published guidance to help art market participants to recognise and understand the risks of money laundering.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/money-laundering-understanding-risks-and-taking-action-for-art-market-participants

CYBER INSURANCE AND THE CYBER SECURITY CHALLENGE

On 28 June, an Occasional Paper from RUSI explores cyber insurance’s potential contribution to countering the cyber risks.  It explores whether cyber insurance can incentivise better cyber security practices among policyholders; but it finds that the shortcomings of cyber insurance mean that its contribution to improving cyber security practices is more limited than policymakers and businesses might hope.

https://static.rusi.org/247-op-cyber-insurance.pdf

THE NETANYAHU BRIBERY CASE: ISRAELI LAWYER ACCUSES THE GERMAN JUDICIARY AND POLITICIANS OF NOT HELPING TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE

An article in Der Spiegel on 28 June carries an interview with Israeli lawyer Eliad Shraga about allegations that Benjamin Netanyahu was involved in dirty deals in the purchase of submarines from German defence company ThyssenKrupp.  Case 3000,” as the affair is called in Israel, centres around the sale of submarines and corvettes from the German defence company ThyssenKrupp to the Israeli Defense Force. Witnesses claim that Netanyahu and his office put pressure on them to purchase the vessels.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israeli-corruption-fighter-on-the-submarine-affair-a-2945c687-4a60-46d7-a559-1c52f6af5e06#ref=rss

IRAQ: FORMER GOVERNOR SUMMONED FOR ALLEGED BRIBERY

On 28 June, Shafaq reported that the Federal Commission for Integrity had issued a summons against the former Governor of al-Diwaniyah and his Deputy in the wake of a complaint filed by a contractor.

https://shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Former-Governor-summoned-to-court-for-bribery

ABUSE TECHNIQUES OF SOME INTERPOL MEMBER COUNTRIES

On 22 June, Estund Law reported that, in May, a paper focuses on cases where INTERPOL member countries have abused their access to its databases; the most common types of charges alleged in abusive cases; and strategies that practitioners can utilise to increase their likelihood of success in cases of INTERPOL abuse.

http://ielr.com/content/interpol%E2%80%99s-expanding-reach-use-and-consequences-global-survey-abuse-techniques-some-interpol

NEW PATTERNS OF PROFIT SHIFTING EMERGE FROM COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY DATA

On 28 June, an article from VOX at the Centre for Economic Policy Research uses new microdata to show how the profit-shifting response to tax-rate changes depends on tax-rate differentials. Profit-shifting is significantly more sensitive to tax-rate changes in countries with tax rates lower than the world average, and less sensitive in countries close to the average. As a result, policies aimed at guaranteeing a minimum level of taxation may be effective and efficient in curbing profit shifting by reducing tax-rate differentials.

https://voxeu.org/article/new-patterns-profit-shifting-emerge-country-country-data

HOW TAJIKISTAN’S LEADING MICROLENDING ORGANISATION ALLOWED A SUSPICIOUS CLIENT TO FUNNEL MILLIONS ABROAD

On 25 June, a report from OCCRP about Imon International, Tajikistan’s leading microfinance institution, and transactions beginning in 2017 which revealed serious lapses in Imon’s AML standards and became a key episode in a battle over the microlender’s future.  It says that such suspicious transactions are a fundamental part of the country’s so-called “grey economy,” in which local entrepreneurs use dodgy intermediaries to buy goods for import.  The affair was investigated twice, one by Imon itself and the other by Deloitte, and these provide a rare glimpse into the internal operations of a Tajik financial institution as it dealt with a problematic client and the subsequent fallout.  The Deloitte audit identified another 9 Imon clients that exhibited similarly suspicious features, including the use of identical counterparties, depositors, registration addresses, and corporate officers – and between January 2014 and December 2018, these clients sent $61 million abroad through their Imon accounts.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/how-tajikistans-leading-microlending-organization-allowed-a-suspicious-client-to-funnel-millions-abroad

CEO OF SOUTH FLORIDA ARMOURED TRANSPORT COMPANY CHARGED IN MULTIMILLION DOLLAR DIRTY GOLD MONEY LAUNDERING CONSPIRACY

A news release from the US DoJ on 23 June was concerned with a $140 million transnational illicit gold smuggling operation aimed at laundering cash and with alleged ties to criminal activity.   It names Jesus Gabriel Rodriguez, Jr, 45, who owned and operated Transvalue, a South Florida company that transported gold, cash, and other valuables by armoured truck, both domestically and internationally, and illicitly-sourced gold being flown into the US from Curacao from March 2015. 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/ceo-south-florida-armored-transport-company-charged-multimillion-dollar-dirty-gold

COCAINE TRAFFICKING THROUGH DUTCH FLOWER AUCTION

On 23 June, the NL Times reported that police believe they’ve dismantled a criminal network that used the flower auction in Aalsmeer for cocaine trafficking.

https://nltimes.nl/2021/06/23/cocaine-trafficking-dutch-flower-auction-criminal-gang-busted

FLORIDA COMPANY SETTLE OVER UNLICENSED EXPORTS OF STUN GUNS, POLICE BATONS, HANDCUFFS AND PEPPER SPRAY TO COLOMBIA, GUATEMALA, MEXICO, NIGERIA, PAKISTAN, PANAMA, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND URUGUAY

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has announced it has reached a settle with Skyline USA Inc over alleged unlicensed exports and failure to comply with EAR recordkeeping requirements.

https://efoia.bis.doc.gov/index.php/documents/export-violations/export-violations-2021/1316-e2669/file

HMRC LAUNCHES ALMOST 13,000 PROBES INTO THE SUSPECTED MISUSE OF COVID SUPPORT SCHEMES

On 28 June, the Daily Mail reported that, by the end of March, HMRC had kicked off 12,828 investigations into claims on the furlough scheme, self-employed income support, and Eat Out to Help Out.  So far more than £64 billion has been paid out by the taxpayer to furloughed staff who have been unable to work due to the pandemic.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-9734515/HMRC-launches-probes-suspected-misuse-Covid-support-schemes.html

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF REMOTE WORK ARRANGEMENTS: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE US, UK, AND FRANCE

On 28 June, an article from Hogan Lovells says that employers should be aware of several legal issues and considerations that may apply when employees work from home and that “home” is located in another state or country.  It considers tax implications and how pay and labour laws apply.  It then goes on to look at other implications.

https://www.hlemploymentblog.com/2021/06/legal-implications-of-remote-work-arrangements-perspectives-from-the-u-s-uk-and-france/

NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR UAE COMPANIES UNDER UPDATED TARGETED FINANCIAL SANCTIONS GUIDANCE

On 28 June, an article from Akin Gump says that the UAE has introduced a significant change to how it administers sanctions regimes, more broadly imposing its own unilateral targeted sanctions and associated freeze orders and reporting requirements.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-requirements-for-uae-companies-6870348/

CHINESE-MEXICAN BUSINESSMAN SUSPECTED OF PROVIDING CHINESE CHEMICALS TO MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS AND BEING INVOLVED IN MONEY LAUNDERING TO FACE ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL CHARGES

On 28 June, Borderland Beat reported that Zhenli Ye Gon has lost a case before a court in Mexico which refused to accept his motion sought to prevent the Attorney General’s Office issuing additional criminal charges against him.  In 2007, Mexican authorities raided his mansion in one of the most-exclusive neighbourhoods in Mexico City. In his mansion they found $205.6 million in cash pilled in several rooms. 

https://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/06/mexican-chinese-precursor-drug-supplier.html

COMPANIES LINKED TO UZBEK GOVERNMENT WON MAJOR COVID CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS

On 28 June, Rferl claimed that construction contracts for 2 major COVID-19 medical facilities near Tashkent went to companies linked to the Uzbek president’s inner circle and the capital city’s mayor.  The projects were initially projected to total about $100 million, according to initial documents reviewed by Rferl, and it says that it highlights Uzbekistan’s continued problem of entrenched corruption — including no-bid contracts, monopolistic price gouging, violations of public transparency law, and insider trading.

https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbek-corruption-covid-president/31330444.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

A DECADE OF THE UK BRIBERY ACT – LESSONS FOR COMPANIES FROM ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS SO FAR

An article from Allen & Overy on 28 June asks what can companies learn from concluded enforcement actions in the past decade?  It identifies –

·         Beware insider risk;

·         Bribes are usually disguised;

·         A single corrupt transaction can be enough to attract prosecutor attention;

·         Policies and procedures must be effective;

·         Shore up the final defences; and

·         Weigh up the pros and cons of entering into a deferred prosecution agreement.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-decade-of-the-uk-bribery-act-lessons-1520300/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OFAC SANCTIONS HEAD OF THE PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS DEPARTMENT AT THE BELARUS MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

On 28 June, OFAC announced that it had added Oleg Leonidovich SLIZHEVSKY to its sanctions lists in respect of Belarus.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210628

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

US SANCTIONS MALI-BASED LEADER OF THE ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA IN THE GREATER SAHARA (ISIS-GS)

On 28 June, OFAC added Ousmane Illiassou Djibo to its terrorism sanctions lists.  He is alleged to have participated in assaults on local forces and developed a network to kidnap and attack westerners in Niger .

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210628

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

THE LEGALITY AND POLICY RAMIFICATIONS OF HIGH SEAS SEIZURES OF FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSELS FOR VIOLATING US SANCTIONS

On 23 June, an article on Lawfare considered if the US could interdict vessels carrying oil etc from Iran to Venezuela.  It considers customary international law and the law of the sea in the form of 2 international treaties, one of which (the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS) the US has not ratified.  It is said that both treaty and customary international law proscribe state interference with foreign-flagged vessels outside exceptional circumstances.  It warns that eroding flag-state sovereignty on the high seas would be of immense value to less scrupulous state actors or those seeking to radically reshape the world order, and the potentially dangerous effects of abridging traditional freedoms on the high seas must outweigh short-term foreign policy benefits.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/legality-and-policy-ramifications-high-seas-seizures-foreign-merchant-vessels-violating-us-sanctions

[from a personal view, having been involved in such questions – and drafting an arrangement to authorise boardings – that proved to work in practice only days later, I can testify that it is not as clear and easy to tackle vessels in international waters as one might presume…]

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

FATF CONSULTATION: REVISION TO RECOMMENDATION 24 (BENEFICIAL OWNERS)

On 25 June, FATF published a White Paper about a number of potential changes to Recommendation 24.  It invites contributions from stakeholders, including companies and other legal persons, financial institutions, designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBP), and non-profit organisations.  The deadline for comments is 20 August.  Recommendation 24 is concerned with the transparency and beneficial ownership (BO) of legal persons.  The questions posed include tightened controls on bearer shares and nominees; who should have access to beneficial ownership information; and how should the accuracy of the data be confirmed.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/publicconsultation/White-paper-R24-Public-Consultation.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

CANADA ADDS 3 FAR RIGHT ORGANISATIONS TO TERRORISM SANCTIONS LIST

On 27 June, Jurist reported that 4 new terrorist entities had been added to its terror list, 3 of which – US-based Three Percenters militia, Aryan Strikeforce and American neo-Nazi James Mason – are associated with far-right extremist ideology.  They join the Proud Boys on Canada’s list.  There are severe penalties under the Criminal Code for people and organisations that participate in or deal with the property or finances of a listed entity. 

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-safety-canada/news/2021/06/government-of-canada-lists-four-new-terrorist-entities.html

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/06/canada-adds-three-far-right-extremist-entities-to-terror-list/#

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK: ATTORNEY GENERAL LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT CONTEMPT OF COURT ONLINE

On 28 June, a news release advised that a new campaign has been launched by the Attorney General, warning of the legal consequences of prejudicing the judicial process via social media.  The #ThinkBeforeYouPost campaign aims to highlight the dangers of committing contempt of court online.  The campaign will provide advice and guidance on what information, if posted publicly, could leave social media users at risk of being held in contempt of court.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/attorney-general-launches-new-campaign-to-combat-contempt-of-court-online

Factsheet –

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/996657/Contempt_of_court_-_fact_sheet.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU: NEW E-COMMERCE VAT RULES FROM 1 JULY

A news release from the EU on 28 June says that the new rules are part of efforts to ensure a more level playing field for all businesses, to simplify cross-border e-commerce and to introduce greater transparency for EU shoppers when it comes to pricing and consumer choice.  The EU VAT system was last updated in 1993 and has not kept pace with the rise in cross-border e-commerce that has transformed the retail sector in recent years.  The new rules come into force on 1 July and will affect online sellers and marketplaces/platforms both inside and outside the EU, postal operators and couriers, customs and tax administrations, as well as consumers. 

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/api/files/document/print/en/ip_21_3098/IP_21_3098_EN.pdf

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/vat/modernising-vat-cross-border-ecommerce_en

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

FATF: MONEY LAUNDERING FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME

On 28 June, FATF published a report saying that environmental crime – such as forestry crime, illegal mining and waste trafficking – is an extremely profitable criminal enterprise, generating billions in criminal gains each year. It fuels corruption, and converges with many other serious and organised crimes, such as tax fraud, drug trafficking and forced labour.  The report identifies methods that criminals use to launder proceeds from environmental crime, but also tools that governments and private sector can apply to disrupt this activity. When properly implemented, it says, the FATF Recommendations provide effective tools to go after these illicit financial flows.  It is said that, as a priority, countries should:

  1. Consider the risks of criminals misusing their domestic financial and non-financial sectors to conceal proceeds from environmental crimes. This extends to countries without domestic natural resources as FATF work shows that criminals hide proceeds from these crimes across regions, including trade and financial centres; and
  2. Countries must also strengthen inter-agency cooperation between financial investigators and environmental crime agencies, to detect and pursue financial investigations into environmental crimes. This includes working with foreign counterparts to share information, facilitate prosecutions and recover assets that are moved and held abroad.

It is also said that the private sector also has an important role in detecting financial flows from environmental crimes,; and the FATF study identifies good practices and risk indicators to help financial and non-financial sectors detect potential cases.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/Money-Laundering-from-Environmental-Crime.pdf

See also handouts available for crime authorities and the public and private sectors –

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/Money-laundering-from-environmental-crime-handout.pdf

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/Money-laundering-from-environmental-crime-handout%20-env-crime-authorities.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y