Catching up on stuff from before set off on Staycation…
30 JULY 2021
IS CAMEROON BECOMING CENTRAL AFRICA’S BABY TRADING HUB?
On 14 July, ENACT Observer reported that police opened an investigation into a network of traffickers who allegedly buy babies from the country and then sell them in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Chad. This is not the first-time baby trading and trafficking has been linked to the country. Cameroon-based syndicates record and send videos of poor teenage mothers to the traffickers in the DRC to register their willingness. Other actors include medical experts, such as nurses, and babysitters who provide support and care for the pregnant girls and their infants in illegal shelters where the babies are kept in transit. The presence of these experts indicates the high value of babies that are traded.
WHY KENYA’S CHARCOAL BANS DON’T WORK
On 28 July, an article from ENACT Observer says that Kenya’s charcoal industry may be mostly informal, but it’s a big deal to the millions of people who rely on it for fuel or to earn a living – and is Kenya’s fourth biggest revenue earner after tourism, horticulture, and tea. But charcoal production is taking a toll on local ecosystems. To address environmental concerns, the Kenyan government has imposed a series of trade bans on the charcoal business. The article explains why these are not working.
GERMAN SOCIALITE ART COLLECTOR JAILED IN UK FOR KUSAMA PUMPKIN FRAUD
On 29 July, Bloomberg Quint reported that a German art collector was sentenced to 3½ years in prison less time she’d already served after admitting to an art fraud involving the fake sale of a $1.3 million yellow pumpkin sculpture by Yayoi Kusama. Angela Gulbenkian, married into oil baron Calouste Gulbenkian’s family, took the money from a Hong Kong-based art dealer but never delivered the artwork.
CROWN PERTH DIRECTORS DENY KNOWLEDGE OF ALLEGED MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNT
On 30 July, ABC News reported that past and present directors of a key Crown Perth company say they were never told about the existence of a bank account allegedly used by international criminal syndicates to launder hundreds of millions of dollars.
US PLANNING TO TARGET IRAN DRONE, GUIDED MISSILE PROGRAMMES WITH SANCTIONS
On 29 July, The Hill reported that the US is reportedly planning to issue sanctions targeting Iran’s drone and guided missile programmes, with officials citing potential threats to US national security. The planned actions are aimed at disrupting the development of Iran’s weapons programme.
UKRAINE IMPOSES SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIAN E-TAILER WILDBERRIES AND EU-BASED NGO RELATED TO THE DONETSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC
On 28 July, Baker McKenzie reported that Ukraine has imposed economic sanctions against 6 individuals and 10 entities, including 3 non-profit organisations related to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
AML: EU-LEVEL SUPERVISION AND A SINGLE RULEBOOK BY THE END OF 2025
On 29 July, Irish law firm Arthur Cox produced an article outlining EU plans published by the EU, including for a new EU-level Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. In addition, the existing AML/CFT framework will be recast into an EU regulation with direct effect in all Member States. This will remove the need for all EU AML/CFT rules to be transposed into the laws of each Member State, thereby reducing the risk of regulatory divergence.
IRELAND: PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO AUDIT STANDARDS SET TO PLACE A GREATER ONUS ON AUDITORS TO DETECT FRAUD
On 29 July, Field Fisher reported that the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) recently issued a consultation paper, outlining IAASA’s proposals to amend a current audit standard, which will place a greater onus on auditors to assess companies’ financial statements for fraud. The proposed effective date of the revised standards in Ireland is for the audits of financial statements with accounting periods beginning on or after 15 December.
TAIWAN HARBOUR WORKER REFUSES BRIBE AND REPORTS CIGARETTE SMUGGLING TO AUTHORITIES
On 29 July, Taiwan News reported that a harbour worker in Kaohsiung turned down a US$10,700 bribe to look the other way when smuggled cigarettes arrived, and he reported the fact to the authorities. The case involved a container full of cabbages from China substituted with a container of smuggled cigarettes.
GIABA HOLDS TRAINING ON LIBERIA’S MUTUAL EVALUATION ON COUNTRY’S AML/CFT REGIME
On 30 July, All Africa reported that FATF-style regional body GIABA will hold a Pre- Assessment Workshop on the second round of Mutual Evaluation of Liberia’s Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CFT) regime by GIABA. This is in preparation for the on-site evaluation in February.
AUSTRALIAN LOBSTERS ‘SMUGGLED TO CHINA’ DESPITE TRADE BAN
On 8 July, 9 News in Australia reported that, despite a Chinese ban, demand for rock lobsters continues to be strong, with some being smuggled into mainland China.
INDIA: UNITECH MONEY LAUNDERING CASE – LONDON HOTEL RESTRAINED
On 30 July, India Today reported that the Enforcement Directorate has attached a hotel in London owned by a UK-based firm in connection with the money laundering case against Unitech Group.
DAIMLER IS FIGHTING THE TRADE IN FAKE REPLACEMENT PARTS
On 30 July, Automotive World reported that Daimler has continued its efforts to combat product counterfeiters with even more intensive measures in 2020. The focus was above all on safety-related products such as fake brake discs or wheels. It is said that over 1.7 million counterfeit Daimler products were confiscated in 2020, and the company initiated and supported over 550 raids by the authorities -although, owing to the worldwide lockdown, numerous raids had to be postponed.
IRELAND: JUDGE RULES 84 VEHICLES SEIZED IN TIPPERARY REPRESENT PROCEEDS OF CRIME
On 30 July, The Carlow Nationalist and others reported that a High Court judge has ruled that 84 motor vehicles and a trailer seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau from a motor dealer’s yard in Co Tipperary represent, directly or indirectly, the proceeds of crime. The judge concluded, from evidence presented by CAB, that Agne Khan and her husband Khurran Khan, who live in the UK West Midlands, were “at the heart of very large mandate frauds” and others, such as Jawad Khan, were employed in motor dealership businesses used to launder proceeds.
CHINA: FORMER SENIOR BANKING REGULATOR PROBED
On 30 July, Caixin reported that Cai Esheng, a former vice-chairman and Communist Party committee member of the now-defunct China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), has been put under investigation by the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog.
REFORM OF THE GERMAN TRANSPARENCY REGISTER ENTERS INTO FORCE
On 30 July, Taylor Wessing reported that on 1 August significant amendments to the German Anti-Money Laundering Act (Geldwäschegesetz, or “GWG”) will enter into force and which will significantly increase the importance of the German transparency register – with new reporting obligations for these companies triggered.
EDPB ISSUES DRAFT GUIDELINES ON CODES OF CONDUCT FOR DATA TRANSFERS
On 30 July, CMS Law reported that the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued its draft Guidelines on the codes of conduct to be used as a tool for facilitating data transfers – the second in a series that provide details and practical information on the provisions of the GDPR regarding codes of conduct. The guidelines are open for public consultation until 1 October.
AUSTRALIA PREPARES TO DEPORT ‘NDRANGHRETA LEADER TO ITALY
On 29 July, OCCRP reported that Australia plans to deport convicted drug trafficker Francesco “Frank” Madafferi, who has been in an Australian prison since 2014 for helping import from Naples some 15 million ecstasy pills concealed in tomato tins. It is also reported that that his own lawyers, were police informants while ostensibly defending him.. Acquaro was shot dead outside of his office in 2016, after it was revealed that Gobbo was an informant.
8 ARRESTS FOLLOWING THE SEIZURE AT SEA OF 15 TONNES OF HASHISH BY SPANISH AUTHORITIES
On 30 July, a news release from Europol advised that police have dismantled an organised crime network involved in large-scale drugs trafficking, arresting 8 of its members. These criminals were about to smuggle 15 tonnes of hashish into Spain when they were arrested.
SOUTH AFRICA: SECURITY AND OPERATIONAL THREATS TO PERSIST
On 30 July, Control Risks issued this warning after the violent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces in South Africa prompted by the sentencing and subsequent imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma has begun to ease.
RE-EVALUATING COMPLIANCE RISK ASSESSMENTS IN TODAY’S WORLD
On 30 July, Control Risks published an article presenting 5 considerations for demonstrating awareness of an evolving risk profile and for preventing and detecting issues. It says that regulators expect one to meaningfully consider evolving risk, and to design procedures to detect when risk events occur and revise processes as new lessons are learned. It says that the very nature of the “new normal” and subsequent changes to the business environment result in an evolving risk profile. If anything, companies should be working harder than ever to demonstrate awareness of their evolving risk profile and doing everything feasible to prevent and detect issues.
COLOMBIA’S COCAINE KEEPS ON REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
On 30 July, Insight Crime reported that, while the amount of coca crops in Colombia has dipped for the third year, the country’s cocaine production continues to reach record highs, according to new figures from the UN. It says that, while the trends may appear perplexing, there are reasons – technical, territorial and criminal – that coca and cocaine figures may plausibly be at odds.
WHAT DOES THE UK NATIONAL SECURITY AND INVESTMENT ACT 2021 MEAN FOR FINANCE TRANSACTIONS?
On 30 July, Eversheds Sutherland published a briefing posing this question and focused on the potential implications of the Act on finance transactions. For the background and detail of the content of the Act it refers one to the briefings and podcast published by its Competition, EU and Trade team. It briefly explains what the Act is and the sectors affected, mentions guidance issued by the UK Government and then goes on to list the 5 ways the Act may impact on finance transactions.
ISLE OF MAN: AML/CFT SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION DOCUMENT
On 30 July, the FSA published this supplement to the AML/CFT Handbook released on 23 July. The new information requirements and guidance for persons, entities and arrangements which are covered by various Acts under which the various regulated industries operate in the Island.
ADELAIDE MAN CHARGED OVER ALLEGED $38.5 MILLION TAX FRAUD
A news release from the Australian Federal Police on 30 July advised that a 74-year-old South Australian had been charged in relation to an alleged taxation fraud spanning 15 years and totalling more than $38.5 million. Authorities allege the accused failed to disclose overseas trust assets in his income tax returns and therefore evaded income tax in Australia between 1999 and 2013.
THE GLOBAL EXPANSION OF RUSSIA’S PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANIES
On 23 July, an article from the Center for Strategic and International Studies examines Russia’s growing use of private military companies (PMC) to increase its influence through irregular means. Although Russian PMC present only one of a variety of national security threats and challenges facing the US, this report assesses that they warrant a more substantive and coordinated response from the US and its partners.
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