On 26 October, an article from Out-Law published an article saying that the financial industry group guidance sets out a practical, risk-based definition of public officials for the purpose of ABC compliance, saying it is likely to become a sector benchmark and reference point that firms will need to consider as part of ABC risk assessments on cases involving public officials.
On 26 October, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a report saying that additive manufacturing (AM) – aka 3D printing etc – has become an attractive production technology for the aerospace sector, particularly in the area of missiles, space launch vehicles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV). AM is being used to produce a growing range of components for missiles and UAV. MTCR has been discussing AM since at least 2013 and seeks to update and harmonise the export controls of the participating states to mitigate the risks posed by AM and ensure the effectiveness of export controls. This report provides a short introduction to modern AM techniques and describes a range of specific applications of AM in missiles and other delivery systems. It discusses the proliferation risks posed by AM and the engineering and organisational considerations that have to be weighed against the technical capabilities of AM. It analyses the application of export controls to AM, primarily under the MTCR, by discussing controls on AM production equipment; feedstock materials; transfers of technology and technical assistance; and catch-all controls. The report concludes by outlining key measures through which the MTCR could strengthen its efforts to address AM and the proliferation risks and challenges to export controls it poses.
On 26 October, HM Treasury advised in a Notice that Osama Al-Kuni IBRAHIM had been added to its sanctions lists. He is described as the de facto manager of the Al Nasr detention centre in Libya and has acted on behalf of designated persons and engaged in human rights abuses. On 25 October, the UN advised that he had been added to its Libyan sanctions list.
Panama Covid-10 update – 132 new cases and 3 new fatalities reported today, with the number of active cases continuing to fall – now at 2,299. as are ICU cases at 29, with another 172 patients in other wards.
25 OCTOBER 2021
FinCEN GRANTS LIMITED RELIEF TO CASINOS
On 21 October, an article from Buckley LLPsaid that FinCEN had announced limited exceptive relief to casinos from some customer identity verification requirements regarding online gaming. It allows that a casino can use suitable non-documentary methods to verify online customers’ identification and assess the suitability or non-suitability of any particular method of verification should be evaluated based on risk.
HONEYWELL EXPECTS TO PAY AT LEAST $160 MILLION TO RESOLVE BRIBERY PROBES IN US AND BRAZIL
On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the aerospace and industrial group, Honeywell International Inc, had said that it has recorded a charge of $160 million to allow for an expected loss related to bribery investigations by US and Brazilian authorities.
On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Swedish-based company had been informed by US prosecutors that it failed to provide certain documents and factual information in relation to the 2019 deferred prosecution agreement.
FAKE AND SUBSTANDARD VACCINES AND MEDICINES SPELL TROUBLE FOR CONTROLLING COVID-19
On 25 October, Stat News reported on the emergence of substandard and falsified Covid-19 vaccines and medical products, which are becoming increasingly pervasive. Counterfeit vaccines and medicines, which include substandard and falsified products, can undermine the efforts to control the pandemic. WHO estimates that in low- to middle-income countries 1 in 10 medical products is falsified or substandard. It reports that “discovery incidents” — discrete events triggered by the discovery of counterfeit, illegally diverted, or stolen materials — more than doubled between 2014 and 2020.
FINLAND EXPORTS MILITARY MATERIAL WORTH €140 MILLION TO UAE
On 25 October, YLE reported that the government in 2018 suspended the granting of arms export licenses to the UAE and Saudi Arabia due to the countries’ involvement in Yemen hostilities. However, it granted permits totalling €139.3 million in March 2020 for the export of military vehicle parts to the UAE – in deals accounts for almost all of Finland’s total arms exports last year. It is said that the parts are used by a UAE company in the manufacturing of military vehicles.
NIGERIA MAKES HISTORY AS IT BECOMES THE FIRST AFRICAN COUNTRY TO DIGITISE ITS CURRENCY
On 25 October, The Guardian in Nigeria reported that Nigeria joins Bahamas, Sweden, Cambodia, South Korea as pioneers of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). However, it is said that the launch of the “eNaira” is causing unease in the banking sector.
FATF AGAIN URGES THE PHILIPPINES TO BOOST CASINO JUNKET CONTROLS
On 24 October, GGR Asia reported that FATF has again said the Philippines must demonstrate the country is making use of anti-AML/CFT controls “to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets”. This comes in an update on the ‘grey list’ of jurisdictions that it regards need increased monitoring in relation to risk of financial crimes. The Philippines had been added to the list in June.
EU AMENDMENT OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO SANCTIONS
EU Regulation 2021/1863/EU has amended the EU sanctions regime in respect of DRC by adding to the criteria for designation under the sanctions planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers or UN personnel, including members of the UN Group of Experts, or against medical personnel or humanitarian personnel.
HOMEBUYER SCAMMED INTO HANDING OVER £640,000 TO CRIMINALS AFTER EMAILS TO THEIR SOLICITOR WERE INTERCEPTED
On 25 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Law Society has revealed details of the case in a new campaign against payment diversion fraud. The criminals created an email account made to look like that of the solicitor to request payment. Payment details were provided on headed paper via the spoofed email, and the amount requested was exactly what the buyer had expected to pay.
HUAWEI HAD SECRET OFFSHORE CONTRACTS WITH MEN LINKED TO SERBIAN STATE TELECOM COMPANY
On 25 October, OCCRP reported that Huawei appears to have paid large sums to a former Serbian state telecom executive through an offshore shell company. It says that a former executive at state telecom company Telekom Srbija likely received over $1 million through an offshore firm in the BVI that had contracts with Chinese technology giant Huawei. Payments were for consulting services that included introducing Huawei to government officials and arranging meetings for the Chinese company. In 2016, Huawei inked a major agreement with Telekom Srbija to overhaul Serbia’s telecommunications infrastructure.
US SENTENCES MAN WHO TRAFFICKED DANGEROUS AFRICAN CATS
On 22 October, OCCRP reported that a New York man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trafficking exotic African cats, selling the dangerous animals as pets. Christopher Casacci, 39, was indicted in January 2020 for charges linked to his “ExoticCubs.com” site, and he imported and sold dozens of caracals and servals for up to $10,000 per a cat in 2018.
DUTCH CUSTOMS IMPOUND 55,000 DOSES OF IVERMECTIN SENT TO PRIVATE BUYERS
On 22 October, NL News reported that, over the past 3 months, Dutch customs officials have seized 665 packages containing the drug Ivermectin, which is wrongly said to help combat coronavirus, and as part of an international campaign by the World Customs Organisation to stop illegal medicines relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. It came mainly from India, Hong Kong and Singapore.
An article from Insight Crime on 25 October said that an Argentine province, the Entre Ríos province, bordering Uruguay has become a transit hub for drug trafficking out of Paraguay, revealing a new route for the movement of cocaine.
TURKEY’S HALKBANK CAN BE PROSECUTED OVER IRAN SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS
On 23 October, Middle East Eye reported that an appeals court has ruled that state-owned Turkish lender Halkbank can be prosecuted over accusations it helped Iran to evade US sanctions. There was no immediate comment from the Turkish foreign ministry. It is alleged that Halkbank helped Iran to secretly transfer $20 billion of restricted funds, with at least $1 billion laundered through the US financial system.
US CUSTOMS SEIZES PIZZA OVENS VALUED AT MORE THAN $300,000
On 19 October, a news release from US Customs and Border Protection advised that officers inspected the rail container and discovered pizza ovens which were in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.
MAFIA LUXURY CAR GANG SMASHED IN STRING OF RAIDS ACROSS EUROPE
On 21 October, Vice reported that police had descended on 46 properties in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria during an investigation into an £11 million luxury car tax racket run by the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate.
NO-ONE LIVES ON BOUVET ISLAND BUT THERE ARE A DOZEN AUSTRALIAN BANK ACCOUNTS LINKED TO IT
On 21 October, ABC News reported that the island, a Norwegian dependency, is located towards the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean, and it’s generally windswept, frequently fog-shrouded, and mostly covered by a glacier. However, it is reported that data released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) shows that almost $2.5 million in Australian bank accounts belonged to foreign tax residents apparently from Bouvet Island.
HONG KONG CUSTOMS DETECTS CASE OF ATTEMPTING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT SUSPECTED CONTROLLED MEDICINES AND INVOLVING MONEY LAUNDERING
A news release from the Hong Kong Government on 25 October advised that Customs seized a total of about 1.6 million tablets of suspected controlled medicines with an estimated market value of about $55 million, among which over 70% were controlled virility products, at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). They were in a batch of outbound air parcels destined for Spain.
THE IMPLICATIONS OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR EXPORT CONTROL
The Fall edition of the Texas National Security Review carried this article which asks how will emerging technology affect prospects for arms control? It asserts that technologies such as small satellites and artificial intelligence (AI) have applications in arms control monitoring and can affect the amount of information collected or the ease of information processing. It goes on to says that while intuition suggests that technologies that improve monitoring should make arms control easier to achieve, this is not always the case. It says that 3 key factors are important in assessing the potential impact of any technology – how it affects unilateral monitoring capabilities; the degree to which it allows demonstrable control over information; and the effect that it has on concealment. The article considers the likely effects of 4 types of emerging technologies – small satellites, drones, AI, and digital additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing).
WHISTLEBLOWING, INVESTIGATIONS AND PRIVILEGE: ENRC AND BEYOND
On 25 October, an Insight article from Field Fisher says that the most important case of recent years regarding whistleblowing, investigations and privilege is that brought by the SFO against the mining company ENRC. The case concerned an internal investigation carried out by ENRC into a whistleblower’s allegations of “corruption and financial wrongdoing”. As the case developed, SFO sought disclosure of documents generated during ENRC’s internal investigation, including interview notes and forensic accountancy documents. ENRC resisted disclosure on the basis that these documents were privileged. SFO argued that the documents were not created for the dominant purpose of litigation and thus could be disclosed. The article says that a court ruling threw into question how businesses could investigate possible wrongdoing without creating material, including potentially incriminating documents, that would have to be handed over to investigators. However, the ENRC decision was overturned on appeal. It warns that, notwithstanding the appeal decision, it may be a very fine line regarding what the dominant purpose of creating a document is, particularly where it serves multiple purposes, and ultimately each case will turn on its facts.
PETROFAC IN £180 MILLION CASH CALL TO FUND SFO BRIBERY SETTLEMENT
On 25 October, Sky News and others reported that London-listed Petrofac will announce a $250 million equity-raising and wider refinancing weeks after it was fined £77 million by the SFO for bribery offences.
US LAUNCHES NEW BUREAU TO COMBAT CYBERCRIME AFTER RISE IN CYBERATTACKS DURING PANDEMIC
On 25 October, Newsweek reported that the Department of State has announced that it intends to create a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy dedicated to tackling the issues of ransomware attacks and a global decline in digital freedom.
ACCOUNTANTS NEEDED TO FIGHT FRAUD ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
On 25 October, AAT reported that a new report from forensic financial expert Crowe and the University of Portsmouth has highlighted the vulnerability of construction projects to fraud and called for a new role involving accountants to prevent abuse of public funds. The report advocates a kind of ethics watchdog for projects, based on the US model of Integrity Monitors who examine the whole project, from inception and contract letting to completion. They also promote a culture of integrity and honesty to counter the culture of construction, which the report says can be a building site for fraud and bribery.
FROM JAPAN TO THE US THIEVES GRAB CAR PARTS WORTH MORE THAN GOLD
On 26 October, Nikkei Asia reported that thieves worldwide have targeted a key emissions-reducing device in cars. It cites the example of a Toyota Prius recently stolen in Tokyo that was later recovered with its catalytic converter cut out. It explains that catalytic converters use ultrarare rhodium, which surged fivefold in a year to nearly $30,000 per troy ounce this March, and palladium, which topped $3,000 in May. By comparison, gold trades around $1,800 per troy ounce.