The post for 29 October seems to have mysteriously vanised from the site…so here are all the entries reposted…
SWEDISH OPERATOR LeoVegas REPRIMANDED BY DENMARK’S GAMING REGULATOR FOR MONEY LAUNDERING VIOLATIONS
On 29 October, iGB reported that LeoVegas has been reprimanded by Spillemyndigheden for “violating the rules on customer due diligence procedures” relating to the country’s money laundering act.
DoJ VOWS TOUGHER ACTION AGAINST WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
On 29 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Deputy Attorney General has said prosecutors would consider all prior wrongdoing by corporations when deciding how to resolve a new investigation. Previously, prosecutors were allowed to only review cases whose facts were similar to the claims in the latest probe. Corporations also won’t qualify for leniency programmes unless they provide information on all employees or executives believed to have participated in crimes such as fraud or bribery.
HOW DOES THE FCA CRYPTOASSET AML/CFT REGIME AFFECT UK CRYPTOASSET BUSINESSES?
An article from Charles Russell Speechlys on 27 October said that, with the exception of security tokens, the majority of cryptoassets remain unregulated in the UK. However, the FCA has been acting as the AML/CFT supervisor of various types of UK cryptoasset business since 10 January 2020. Since then new cryptoasset businesses wishing to carry out certain activities in the UK have been required to register with the FCA before commencing business.
FREEZING INJUNCTIONS AND THE ENFORCEMENT PRINCIPLE IN ENGLISH LAW
On 25 October, an article from Fox Williams LLP said that in a recent BVI case the Privy Council, including the President and the Deputy President of the Supreme Court and the Master of the Rolls, set out a new juridical basis for freezing injunctions. It provides a brief history of freezing injunctions, which date from the 1970s and, after a long survey of all the relevant cases, one of the judges said that such injunctions are based on an “enforcement principle”, i.e. to facilitate the enforcement of a future judgment rather than to support an existing cause of action (this had already been referred to in some earlier cases).
WAIVING PRIVILEGE IN WITNESS EVIDENCE
On 27 October, an article from RPC said that the High Court has ordered disclosure of privileged notes of a conversation after a witness referred to the conversation in his witness statement. It says that the decision serves as a valuable reminder of the risk of waiving privilege when relying upon privileged material in statements of case or witness statements.
A NEW ROUTE FOR COMPANIES TO MIGRATE TO THE UK
On 27 October, an article from MacFarlanes LLP says that, as part of the Budget measures, the UK Government has published a consultation on changing UK law to allow for corporate redomiciliation. This is an existing feature of company law in some of the UK’s competitor jurisdictions. A consultation has been launched, with responses by 7 January.
AML/CFT AND SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF THE ART MARKET
On 27 October, a briefing from the EU Institute for Strategic Studies quotes the EU’s 2020 Security Union Strategy, which says that ‘trafficking in cultural goods has become one of the most lucrative criminal activities and a source of funding for terrorists as well as organised crime’. It says that the wider ways in which the legitimate art market can be exploited for nefarious purposes such as sanctions evasion and money laundering are relatively understudied. It says that a closer scrutiny of the art market is an important step in combating the major security threat that stems from the link between organised crime and terrorist groups. The Brief examines 4 ways in which the art market serves illicit groups: money laundering; financial accumulation in safe havens like freeports; commercialisation through galleries and auction houses of cultural objects tainted by illegality; and use of cultural objects as collateral and/or payment for drugs or weapons. It assesses the structural factors that facilitate these processes, particularly the market’s commercial, valuation, authentication, transport and legitimation dynamics.
COLTAN CHILD MINERS: THE DARK SIDE OF THE DRC’S WEALTH
On 11 October, an article from ENACT Africa says that the circumvention of regulatory frameworks and weak law enforcement cast doubt on coltan certification in the country. Coltan is one of the world’s most vital minerals. It is used in cellphones, laptops and other devices because of its ability to store and release electrical energy. Children work as washers and diggers in dangerous working conditions. They also engage in petty smuggling and sell coltan for a pittance once they escape with it out of the DRC to towns along the borders with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. It says that miners and extractive companies have also found a way to circumvent the mineral certification protocols; and a comprehensive approach and appropriate policies are urgently needed to address the prevalence of child labour in coltan mining and the associated health and developmental consequences.
KENYA: BETTER BORDER SURVEILLANCE IS NEEDED IN ORDER TO STEM SUGAR SMUGGLING INTO THE COUNTRY
On 13 October, an article from ENACT Africa says that high production costs and the mismanagement of factories have led to a drop in sugar production in Kenya over the past 2 decades, opening the door for smugglers. In 2020, sugar made up 48% of the goods smuggled into the country, according to the National Crime Research Centre. The article says that tackling sugar smuggling into Kenya therefore calls for a multi-agency approach. This includes forming investigative and enforcement teams from the Kenya Revenue Authority, National Intelligence Service, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, and the police to work together to stem the networks and actors that facilitate this crime.
THE BRAGG REPORT ON CRYPTO REGULATION IN AUSTRALIA
On 28 October, an article from Clayton Utz says that the Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre chaired by Senator Andrew Bragg has made 12 recommendations in its final report, which, if adopted, would reflect a radical departure from the current regulatory environment for cryptocurrency and other digital assets. The article details the 12 recommendations. It notes that a key theme of many of the recommendations is addressing the current absence of formal regulation of crypto-assets without stifling innovation and growth in this area
UKRAINE: AUTHORITIES HAVE IDENTIFIED AND PREVENTED ALMOST 59 ATTEMPTS TO VIOLATE THE PROCEDURE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS OF CONTROLLED GOODS IN 2021
On 29 October, Interfax Ukraine reported that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have identified and prevented almost 59 attempts worth more than $25 million. In addition, since the beginning of the year, the courts have punished 26 organisers of schemes for the illegal transfer of military products and dual-use goods abroad.
US RETURNS 250 ANTIQUITIES TO INDIA AFTER PROBE INTO STOLEN ART
On 29 October, Al Jazeera reported that the items, worth an estimated $15 million, were handed over during a ceremony at the Indian consulate in New York. This follows an investigation by the Manhattan DA office and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which focused on tens of thousands of antiquities allegedly smuggled into the US by dealer Subhash Kapoor, who has denied the allegations.
12 TARGETED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN RANSOMWARE ATTACKS AGAINST CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
A news release from Europol on 29 October said that 12 individuals wreaking havoc across the world with ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure have been targeted as the result of a law enforcement and judicial operation involving 8 countries, with action taken in Ukraine and Switzerland. These attacks are believed to have affected over 1,800 victims in 71 countries.
EU EXTENDS SANCTIONS ON THE LEADERSHIP OF THE TRANSNISTRIAN REGION OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
EU Council Decision 2021/1893/CFSP has extended the current sanctions regime to 31 october 2022.
BANKRUPTCY: TRUSTEE IN BANKRUPTCY’S RIGHT OF INQUIRY
A briefing paper from the House of Commons Library on 29 October provides an outline of the right of inquiry of a trustee in bankruptcy. In the process, it also summarises the trustee’s statutory powers. The information contained in this paper applies only to England and Wales; Scotland has its own separate legal procedure for individual insolvency called “sequestration”.
UK: TOP SPORTS LAWYER CLEARED OVER FOOTBALL TRANSFER PAYMENTS
On 29 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that one of the country’s top sports lawyers has been cleared by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal of allegations that she was responsible for using a firm’s client account to pay third parties involved in football transfers. She was alleged to have ‘caused or allowed’ Mishcon de Reya’s client account to be used as a banking facility for 5 transactions while she was at the firm between 2011 to 2015.
FCA DOES NOT NEED THE PERMISSION OF THE INSOLVENCY COURT TO TAKE REGULATORY ACTION AGAINST A COMPANY IN LIQUIDATION
On 29 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that the High Court has ruled in a case concerned with the collapse of construction giant Carillion. The High Court was asked to determine whether regulatory action against a company in liquidation constitutes an ‘action or proceeding’ that requires the permission of the insolvency court.
GANG SMUGGLED HUGE AMOUNTS OF ILLICIT ALCOHOL INTO THE UK AND STOLE MORE THAN £16 MILLION IN DUTY AND VAT
The Argus on 29 October reported tha gang members had been jailed for a total of 34 years. Ringleader Shafqat Majeed, 52, was given 10 years in prison for spearheading the multimillion-pound VAT and duty fraud while living a life of luxury and driving flash cars. The gang used a sophisticated network of fictitious businesses and created a trail of false paperwork on an industrial scale to cover up the conspiracy, and used a fake network of businesses and supply chains.
FOREIGN MILITARY SALES IN THE ERA OF GREAT POWER COMPETITION
On 28 October, a Commentary from RUSI says that there have been calls for the US to revise its foreign military sales (FMS) procedures because of competition with Russia and China – specifically said in relation to Chinese sales of UAV to states in the Middle East and North Africa. It is said that the inventories of Iraq, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Morocco suggest that these countries have pursued a procurement policy that emphasises a range of factors, including: support for domestic industry; systems that fit the country’s military needs; and geopolitical considerations – so acting for more pragmatic than geo-political reasons.
THE DUTCH TAX OFFICE PRACTICE OF BLACKLISTING PEOPLE FOR ALLEGED TAX FRAUD RULED A MAJOR CONTRAVENTION OF EU PRIVACY LAWS
On 29 October, Dutch News reported that the Fraud Sign Prevention (FSV) was in use from 2013 until 2020, and a precursor of that system had been in place since 2001. The lists contained the names of 270,000 alleged perpetrators of income tax fraud, including minors and the parents innocently caught up in the childcare benefit scandal.
WHERE IS BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA RE CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF POWER?
On 29 October, the Sarajevo Times reported on the country’s position in the Index of the Rule of Law of the World Justice Project (WJP). Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) dropped to 72nd place out of 139 countries in the world and received the worst marks in the parameters that measure the absence of corruption.
UN: MONITORING SDG 16 KEY FIGURES AND TRENDS – INTENTIONAL HOMICIDE; HUMAN TRAFFICKING; UNSENTENCED DETENTION; ARMS TRAFFICKING; CORRUPTION; WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING
The UN Office on Drugs & Crime has published an update on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 targets. Some show some progress, but others show little improvement. Among its findings is that oly one third of firearms collected between 2016 and 2019 could be successfully traced to the point of diversion into the illicit market. It finds that bribery is 5 times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries, and it affects citizens interacting with essential public services and the COVID-19 pandemic may further exacerbate the problem. Some progress is visible in the reduction of ivory trafficking, but traffickers are shifting away from ivory to more lucrative products like pangolin scales.
APPLICATION OF THE NEW DATA PROTECTION ACT IN BVI
On 28 October, an article from Appleby is concerned with the BVI Data Protection Act, which is based on the GDPR and came into effect on 1 July.
NIGERIAN MAFIA USE VENEZUELAN DRUG MULES TO REACH EUROPE
On 28 October, Insight Crime reported that a Nigerian trafficking network is now using “mules” to move drugs from South America to Europe, exemplifying how this growing drug consumer market is drawing mafias from around the world to the Americas. The Nigerian mafias have become a small, yet growing player in South America’s drug trafficking scene and use Venezuelans as drug mules to carry cocaine to France, leaving from Brazil, Suriname and French Guiana.
LAOS SEIZES TONS OF METH IN ASIA’S LARGEST-EVER DRUG BUST
On 28 October, RFA reported that authorities in north-eastern Laos’ have made the largest-ever drug bust in Asian history, seizing 55 million methamphetamine pills and 1.5 tons of crystal meth. The seizure took place in Bokeo province, in the centre of the Golden Triangle, a region of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand notorious for the production and distribution of narcotics.
UPDATING THE EUROPEAN DIGITAL IDENTITY FRAMEWORK
On 29 October, a briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service said that the 2014 EU Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS Regulation or eIDAS) was the first digital identity legislation to provide the basis for cross-border electronic identification, authentication and website certification throughout the EU. While application has been mixed the pandemic increased the need for such solutions to be put in place to access public and private services. In June, the Commission put forward a proposal building on the eIDAS framework.
SANCTIONS REFRESHER: VENEZUELA AND CUBA
On 29 October, Hellenic Shipping News provided an update on the position re sanctions as they affect the maritime sector.
ART TRADE IN ‘CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE’ OVER UK GOVERNMENT AS ECONOMIC CRIME LEVY
On 29 October, the Art Newspaper reported that the Levy threatened to disproportionately affect galleries, which measure turnover differently to auction houses; and the Government has published its policy paper on the new economic crime levy after several months consultation with members of the art trade.
UK: MODERN SLAVERY AND MONEY LAUNDERING – THE DUTY MOST COMPANIES DON’T KNOW THEY HAVE
An article from BCL Solicitors asks: do UK companies have a duty to prevent, or report, forced labour or human trafficking? The answer, for now, is ‘not quite’, it says – but duties in this area are strengthening in practice, thanks to laws on modern slavery and money laundering.
SEARCH AND SEIZURE: THE POTENTIAL OF ASSET FORFEITURE FOR COUNTERING EXTORTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA
On 28 October, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published a report saying that extortion has become an endemic problem in Central America. To provide a comprehensive response to this crime, the countries of the region have begun to make use of asset forfeiture, a tool that reduces the ﬁnancial assets available to organised crime. It describes how this legal procedure has evolved and been applied in the region, sets out the advantages it offers in the ﬁght against organised crime and proposes strategies for better implementation.
CHILE TO DUBAI, A THRIVING ROUTE FOR GOLD TRAFFICKERS
On 28 October, an article from Insight Crime says that Chile has become a convenient exit point for illegal gold from the Amazon, with Dubai emerging as a consistent destination for such shipments. Leaders from 3 groups, part of a so-called “Gold Cartel were recently arrested for smuggling over 500 kg of gold from Chile to Dubai in UAE.
INTERNATIONAL MARITIME OPERATION FINDS TERRORISTS AMONG TOURISTS
On 29 October, Homeland Security Today reported that an international operation aimed at strengthening passenger controls at a number of seaports and airports linking North Africa to Southern Europe has yielded 29 arrests for a variety of offenses, including 1 on terrorism charges. Operation Neptune III involved law enforcement in 5 countries – Algeria, France, Italy, Spain and Tunisia – and was carried out during the summer 2021 tourist season.
MARITIME SECURITY EXPERTS MEET TO DISCUSS ROOT CAUSES OF PIRACY AND COUNTERMEASURES
On 22 October, an article from Homeland Security Today reported that 45 officers from 17 Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Member States participated virtually in a capacity building virtual lecture on 19 October.
OFAC SANCTIONS NETWORK AND INDIVIDUALS IN CONNECTION WITH IRAN’S UAV PROGRAMME
On 29 October, OFAC announced that it had designated members of a network of companies and individuals that have provided critical support to the UAV programmes of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its expeditionary unit, the IRGC Qods Force (IRGC-QF). OFAC is also designating Saeed Aghajani, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force (IRGC ASF) UAV Command. The IRGC-QF is said to have used and proliferated lethal UAV for use by Iran-supported groups, including Hizballah, HAMAS, Kata’ib Hizballah, and the Houthis, and to Ethiopia, where the escalating crisis threatens to destabilise the broader region. Lethal UAV have been used in attacks on international shipping and on US forces.
US CONFIRMS DEPARTURE OF RWANDAN GENOCIDE SUSPECT AFTER DENATURALISATION
On 29 October, US Immigration & Customs Enforcement confirmed in a news release the departure of a Rwandan man suspected of human rights abuses in his home country, who had been residing in Buffalo, New York. Peter Kalimu (aka Pierre Kalimu or Fidele Twizere) was denaturalised and ordered removed from the US following charges alleging his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He departed the US on 21 October.
UKRAINE HOLDS FIRST-EVER ILLEGAL ASSET CONFISCATION
On 29 October, Euromaiden Press reported that, on 27 October, an appeal court upheld a decision to confiscate $46,000 from MP Illia Kyva.
MALTA HAS DEFENDED ITS SPENDING AFTER THE EU CHIEF PROSECUTOR COMPLAINED ON MALTA’S LACK OF REPORTING ON EU FUNDING FRAUD
On 29 October, Malta Today reported that European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kovesi had complained that the level of crime-detection in Malta related to the EU budget is “practically zero”.
CHINESE-AMERICAN MONEY LAUNDERING KINGPIN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
On 29 October, OCCRP reported that a US court has sentenced the kingpin of an international money laundering network to 15 years in prison for his role in laundering at least $30 million in illicit drug proceeds on behalf of transnational drug trafficking organisations. Xizhi Li, 48, a Chinese national and a naturalised US citizen, who previously resided in Mexico, led a network of conspirators in laundering millions for multiple criminal enterprises dating back to 2008.
EX-AIDE TO GABON’S PRESIDENT BONGO JAILED FOR 5 YEARS FOR CORRUPTION
On 29 October, The South African reported that Brice Laccruche Alihanga, 41, a once-powerful chief of staff under Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison after a high-profile trial sparked by an anti-corruption crackdown. He had become a powerbroker in the oil-rich state after Bongo suffered a stroke in October 2018 and spent months convalescing abroad.
US: DUTCH NATIONAL FACES CHARGES FOR PARTICIPATION IN TERROR FINANCING RING
A news release from US DoJ on 29 October advised that, after 7 years of extradition hearings, Farhia Hassan, 38, had been extradited to the US to face charges stemming from her alleged participation in a terrorist financing ring in support of the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab. It is alleged that she was involved with a group of women from more than a dozen countries around the world who ran a fundraising ring to provide financial support to al-Shabaab from in or about February 2011 through in or about July 2014.
INDIA: SUGAR EXPORT FRAUD – MUMBAI WOMAN ‘KINGPIN’
On 29 October, New Indian Express reported that police had accused Archana Bahulekar, 46, of being the alleged kingpin of the massive fraud. The accused allegedly forged a bill to convince him that a quantity of sugar was shipped to Ghana and they also fabricated fake bank records of the transaction.
SEC ANNOUNCED THAT IT HAS CHARGED A CALIFORNIA COMPANY AND ITS CO-FOUNDERS AND CO-MANAGERS FOR FRAUDULENTLY RAISING $13.5 MILLION FROM MORE THAN 100 RETAIL INVESTORS
On 29 October, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the SEC had announced that it has charged BNZ, a Newport Beach, California-based company, and its co-founders and co-managers Brett Barber and Louis Zimmerle, for fraudulently raising $13.5 million from more than 100 retail investors.
INDIA: AUTHORITIES SEIZES HELICOPTER IN ON REQUEST OF US AUTHORITIES OVER ITS ALLEGED END-USE IN A PROHIBITED COUNTRY
On 29 October, India Today reported that the Enforcement Directorate in Chennai has seized the helicopter of a Bangkok-based company, Marilog Avion Services Co Ltd, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the request of US authorities in the Free Trade Warehouse Zone in Chennai.
UK UPDATED ADVISORY NOTICE – MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING CONTROLS IN OVERSEAS JURISDICTIONS
On 28 October, HM treasury released an updated Advisory Notice which contains advice about risks posed by unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing controls and following the most recent FATF Plenary.
CREDIT SUISSE DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT (DPA)
The 65-page DPA between Credit Suisse Group AG and the US is available online.
Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed! I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y