The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime has published a report which traces illicit plastic waste flows, supply chains and actors. It says that shipping of different types of waste from Western countries to Asia and Africa has been an ongoing phenomenon since the 1970s. This has highlighted a great power imbalance in what has been labelled ‘waste colonialism. China banned such imports in 2018. Now, it says, SE Asia has become by far the largest recipient of waste from Europe and North America as well as from Australia. In addition, the role of African countries as receiving destinations is growing for both the North American and European waste trade, often coinciding with well-established electronic waste (e-waste) flows, which encompasses products such as computers, televisions and mobile phones. The report finds that although legitimate business operators represent the majority of the culprits, there is evidence of organised criminal groups’ involvement in illicit waste disposal for the purpose of money laundering and tax evasion. In some cases, illicit trade in plastic waste may also converge with the trafficking of other illicit commodities
On 9 November, OFAC advised the issuance of a Finding of Violation to Mashreqbank psc, a financial institution headquartered in the UAE with a branch in UK. Between 2005-2009, Mashreq’s London branch processed 1,760 outgoing payments totalling $4,085,427,520 through financial institutions in the US in violation of OFAC’s now-repealed Sudan sanctions programme, which prohibited the exportation, directly or indirectly, of services to Sudan. This FOV is part of a global settlement between Mashreq, the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
On 9 November. OFAC announced the release of FAQ 934: Are the UN and the US government permitted to conduct stabilisation and early recovery-related activities and transactions involving Syria? Does this apply to their contractors and grantees as well?
On 9 November, The National reported that an MP was found to have voted on UK legislation from the BVI while he worked in a lucrative second job. Sir Geoffrey Cox was paid about £1 million to work for the BVI, on top of his MP’s salary of about £82,000 a year. He was hired to defend the BVI, a UK overseas territory, in an inquiry launched by the Foreign Office.
On 9 November, an article from CNBC said that as the number of bitcoin ATM around the country skyrockets, criminals have increasingly used the machines in schemes including money laundering and drug trafficking. The ease of transactions and relative anonymity allowed when using them has contributed to abuses of the ATM.
On 9 November, The Hour reported that the President had accepted the resignation of Santiago Nieto, the former head of the Mexican Treasury’s FIU following a scandal over his wedding party held in Guatemala.
On 3 November, Ganado Advocates in Malta published an article about a recent judgment handed down in Malta, the gist of which was a clear distinction between those cases where the accused is allegedly involved in the underlying crime that has generated the proceeds (and where the proceeds are likely to still be in the accused’s possession) and those crimes where, although the accused may still be charged with the actual crime of money laundering on the basis of complicity, the nature of the involvement could be the result of a breach of professional duty, perhaps, but not actual knowing participation in the underlying revenue generating crime. In this latter case, it is unlikely that any proceeds of the crime would be in the accused’s possession and, therefore the main aim of the Freezing Order (being that of ensuring that the proceeds of crime are frozen for possible confiscation in the event of a finding of guilt) would not be met.