On 9 August, Al Jazeera revealed an exposé showing how English football clubs can be bought by criminals to launder the proceeds of their crimes. It is said to show middlemen telling undercover reporters how they can hide a criminal’s money and identity behind offshore trusts and submit fraudulent due-diligence reports to English football authorities.
CYPRUS LINK TO SHADY INVESTORS BUYING ENGLISH FOOTBALL CLUBS
On 9 August, the Financial Mirror reported that Al Jazeera had exposed how English football clubs can be bought by criminals and become vehicles to launder the proceeds of their crimes, with Cyprus mentioned as a place to buy a new identity. Al Jazeera is said to have carried out covertly-filmed meetings with an offshore trust expert and football dealmaker.
On 9 August, the Department for International Trade published updated guidance which provides further information on the meaning of specific terms used in the schedules to regulations concerned with Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela. If in doubt, exporters should ensure that they seek appropriate technical and legal advice on whether their activity is prohibited.
On 9 August, Reuters reported that Canada has followed the UK and US in increasing its sanctions on Belarus. They would target transferable securities and money market instruments, debt financing, insurance and reinsurance, petroleum products and potassium chloride products. Canada has to date sanctioned 72 Belarusian officials and 5 entities.
On 9 August, FATF published the MONEYVAL follow-up report on the country’s AML/CFT assessment. It says that, overall, Albania has made some progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 5th Round MER, and FATF Recommendation 7, initially rated Non-Compliant in the Mutual Evaluation is re-rated Partially Compliant. It also says that measures taken by the Albanian authorities with respect to virtual assets and VASP are not sufficiently in compliance with the revised requirements of Recommendation 15. Therefore, Albania has been re-rated as Partially Compliant. Albania will remain in enhanced follow-up and will continue to report back to MONEYVAL on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures, and is expected to report back to the Plenary within 1 year.
On 9 August, OFAC advised that a new Executive Order had been issued, alongside a new FAQ and General License. 23 new individuals and 21 entities have been added to sanctions lists. The persons designated are involved in the continuing violent crackdown on peaceful protests; are connected to the Ryanair incident on 23 May; or profit from or sustain the Belarusian regime at the expense of the Belarusian people. Among those targeted are those who provided funds for the regime through energy, tobacco and the construction sectors, the state security services and state-owned enterprises. Also designated are a Belarusian athlete and 2two Belarusian sports organizations tied to the Belarusian regime, including the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus. The 3 new FAQ are 916, 917 and 918 are concerned with the new sanctions and the new General License allowing the winding down of transactions in necessary to the wind down of transactions involving Belaruskali OAO by 8 December. The company is one of the world’s largest producers of key fertilizer ingredient potassium chloride (potash) and a major source of tax revenue and foreign currency for the Lukashenka regime.
The EU is proposing amendment of the Blocking Regulation which can be used to prevent non-EU sanctions having effect against EU persons and businesses. The EU The Commission has proposed that the Blocking Statute could either be amended, or repealed and replaced. The public consultation on possible changes is currently underway and feedback will be accepted until 30 August.
On 9 August, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office advised that the UK has imposed a package of trade, financial and aviation sanctions on Belarus, in response to the continued undermining of democracy and human rights violations by the Lukashenko regime. The US has also announced new sanctions measures.The package includes:
Aviation measures to prevent Belarusian air carriers from overflying or landing in the UK and a prohibition on the provision of technical assistance to President Lukashenko’s fleet of luxury aircraft;
Trade measures on potash, petroleum products, interception and monitoring goods and technology, goods used in cigarette manufacturing, and dual-use goods and technology to reduce the amount of revenue flowing to the Lukashenko regime and to limit its access to items that could enable the internal repression of the Belarusian population; and
Financial measures prohibiting purchases of transferable securities and money-market instruments issued by the Belarusian state, as well as those issued by state-owned banks, and the provision of loans.
It is said that this comprehensive response will also include prohibitions on the provision of insurance and reinsurance to Belarusian state bodies, and changes to the UK Government’s policy to further tighten the existing arms embargo.
The measure on aviation-related technical assistance applies in relation to the following designated persons:
The restrictions on technical assistance relating to the following aircraft would be considered to be for the benefit of the relevant designated persons:
Gulfstream G550 (EW-001PJ)
Boeing 767-300 (EW-001PB)
Boeing 737-800 (EW-001PA)
Mil Mi-8 helicopter (EW-002DA)
Mil Mi-8 helicopter (EW-001DA)
AgustaWestland AW-139 helicopter (EW-001PH)
Embraer ERJ-135BJ Legacy (P4-MSG)
Bombardier BD-700 1A10 Global Express XRS (P4-GMS)
Also on 9 August, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that Russian businessman Mikhail Safarbekovich GUTSERIEV had been added to the sanctions lists, and that entries for 7 other individuals (including President Lukashenko) are amended.