On 14 April, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the WFE), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, has published a briefing paper setting out human-rights related disclosure practices within stock exchanges. It says that the impact of the pandemic has helped to create awareness of and drive momentum behind the need for social change.
On 14 April, FinCEN issued an Advisory urging financial institutions to focus their efforts on detecting the proceeds of foreign public corruption — a priority for the US Government. The Advisory provides typologies and potential indicators of kleptocracy and other forms of foreign public corruption, namely bribery, embezzlement, extortion, and the misappropriation of public assets. It also reminded one of the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program, which offers rewards payments for information leading to seizure, restraint, or forfeiture of assets linked to foreign government corruption, including the Government of the Russian Federation.
On 12 April, a Commentary from RUSI says that legislation banning Russian-linked merchant ships from UK ports raises an urgent need for fast and effective solutions for screening ships, as well as clear guidance for port authorities on detecting Russian-linked ships or cargoes. It notes that guidance does not specify what is meant by ‘persons connected with Russia’. Sanctions do not apply to other ships originating from or destined for Russian ports, ships carrying Russian cargo to or from Russia, or ships with a Russian captain or crew. It also notes that responsibility for identifying links continues to rest with ports themselves. It also considers how Russia may react to the restrictions.
On 12 April, RUSI issued a Commentary says that the newest report by the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea shows that the country remains committed to its WMD pursuits. It also shows that after nearly 15 years of sanctions, countries continue to fail to implement adequate measures to prevent North Korea from accessing global financial channels. The Commentary identifies the takeaways as –
North Korea continues to pursue WMD, but the UN Security Council is unlikely to Act;
Implementation efforts are still lacking, enabling sanctions evasion; and
North Korea continues to see cryptocurrency exchanges as low-hanging fruit
The 26 April Tynwald Order Paper also includes this Report being laid before the parliament. It notes that, since 1 January 2021, 1 January 2021, financial and trade sanctions, including those relating to terrorism, are now aligned to those implemented in the UK under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 rather than, as pre-Brexit, EU sanctions law; and that revised sanctions guidance was also published towards the end of 2020, explaining the changes for Island businesses. It reports that the power to issue a Direction was not exercised during 2021, and that no Freezing Orders were issued during 2021. It also reports that there are currently no funds notified to the Treasury as being blocked or frozen for the purposes of the sanctions measures concerned with terrorism or proliferation.