On 20 January, the Small Arms Survey published this Briefing Paper which identifies the most and least transparent of 50 top and major small arms exporters, based on those states’ reporting of their authorized small arms exports undertaken. This Briefing Paper provides a general overview of states’ reporting of their authorised small arms exports in 2018, while also analysing states showing the largest changes from the preceding year’s Barometer scores. The overall trend shows an increase in the amount of information provided, yet no state managed to achieve the maximum score of 25, Switzerland being the closest with a score of 21.75. It found that the least transparent exporters for 2018 are — in ascending order — Iran; North Korea (both with scores of zero); Saudi Arabia; Israel; and Taiwan, China. The most transparent exporters in 2018, in descending order, were Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Serbia, and UK.
On 20 January, OFAC added 4 Ukraine nationals to its sanctions lists. The individuals are said to have engaged in Russian government-directed influence activities to destabilise Ukraine. 2 of the individuals are current Ukrainian Members of Parliament from the party led by Victor Medvedchuk – who is already subject to US sanctions for his role in undermining Ukrainian sovereignty in 2014. Another is the former Deputy Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.
On 19 January, an article from Moneylaundering.com reported that the former top official of FATF, David Lewis, said he left the post this month because of a perceived lack of support from the group’s president and frustration with its scant success in spurring fundamental improvements to nations’ efforts against illicit finance.
On 18 January, a report from the NGO TRAFFIC says that, before 2015, there was very little awareness of wildlife trafficking via air transport among the aviation industry, but the formation of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership catalysed a global response. At the end of 6 years of the Partnership the report reflects upon its impact and explain how the industry is effectively equipped to help combat this crime.
On 20 January, an article from law firm Mishcon de Rey takes a look at the key differences in terms of the position in the US and UK. It summarises proposals in the US to introduce AML regulation to the art and antiquities market, notably via the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2020 in the US, which expands the definition of financial institutions under the Bank Secrecy Act 1970 to include “a person engaged in the trade of antiquities…”, together with the proposed ENABLERS Act, which would impact the wider art market.
On 19 January, OCCRP reported that from 7 February, the US will ban Mexican fishing vessels from calling in US ports in the Gulf of Mexico over concerns about illegal fishing. This is said to be due to Mexico’s identification for IUU fishing in 2019 and subsequent negative certification in NOAA Fisheries’ 2021 report for its continued failure to combat unauthorised fishing activities by small-hulled vessels (called lanchas) in US waters.
On 20 January, the Council of Europe reported that the Conference of the Parties of Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism – aka the Warsaw Convention – has published a report which evaluates the extent to which 36 member states have legislative or other measures in place to ensure that legal persons can be held liable for money laundering offences when they are committed on their behalf and for their benefit. The Warsaw Convention, opened for signature in Warsaw in 2005, is the first international treaty covering both the prevention and the control of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It says that 17 countries have fully transposed all the provisions of Article 10: Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic and Sweden.