MEXICAN CARTELS ARE TAKING CONTROL OF THE FISHING AND LOGGING INDUSTRY

On 23 May, El Pais carried an article reporting claims that organised crime groups are trafficking species to China in exchange for the chemical precursors necessary to make drugs such as fentanyl.

https://english.elpais.com/international/2022-05-23/mexican-cartels-are-taking-control-of-the-fishing-and-logging-industry.html

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THE SANCTIONED OLIGARCH’S SON AND A £160 MILLION LONDON PROPERTY EMPIRE

On 24 May, the Guardian carried an article claiming that Said Gutseriev, a 34-year-old businessman with British and Russian nationality, appears to have spent years amassing a collection of at least 7 properties in central London.  He is the son of a Russian billionaire, Mikhail Gutseriev, sanctioned for supporting President Lukashenko of Belarus.  6 of the properties were acquired between 2004 and 2012, when Said was either at school or university, or was just starting his career at commodities trader Glencore.  Said attended £14,500 a term Harrow school before studying at Oxford.  A spokesperson for Said Gutseriev said he has no financial or commercial links to his father, and always acts in accordance with applicable law, including on sanctions.  The article says that the information about assets linked to him in the UK raises questions about whether sanctions should apply to family members.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/24/the-sanctioned-oligarchs-son-and-a-160m-london-property-empire

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FATF: ISRAEL AML/CFT EVALUATION FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 24 May, FATF published its follow-up report on Israel, following the 2018 evaluation of its AML/CFT systems.  FATF has now re-rated the country on FATF Recommendation 16 (Wire transfers) from partially compliant to largely compliant.  The report also looks at whether Israel’s measures meet the requirements of FATF Recommendations 2 and 15, which changed since their mutual evaluation.  FATF agreed to upgrade the rating of Recommendation 15 (New technologies), to largely compliant.  Now it says that Israel is compliant on 16 Recommendations and largely compliant on 19.   It remains partially compliant on 4 Recommendations (1 Recommendation is non-applicable to Israel) and will continue to report back to FATF on its progress.  It will remain in regular follow up and will report back to FATF on progress achieved on improving the implementation of its AML/CFT measures in June 2024.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/content/images/Follow-Up-Report-Israel-2022.pdf

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PRO-RUSSIAN EX-PRESIDENT OF MOLDOVA DETAINED FOR ALLEGED ‘TREASON’ AND CORRUPTION

On 24 May, EurActiv reported that Moldova had detained pro-Russian ex-president Igor Dodon on suspicion of treason and corruption, prosecutors said, as the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine has heightened tensions in the country.  Investigators suspect Dodon of having taken money in 2019 from a political ally and powerful oligarch, Vladimir Plahotniuc, who fled the country in 2020 under the shadow of graft allegations and has been refused entry by the US.  Dodon led Moldova between 2016 and 2020 and was openly backed by Moscow.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/pro-russian-ex-president-of-moldova-detained-for-treason/

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UK: DEFENDING FAILURE TO PREVENT OFFENCES

On 20 May, an article from BCL Solicitors LLP explains that commercial organisations can now be held criminally liable if an ‘associated person’ commits certain types of offence, subject to a defence which requires them to prove that they did all they reasonably could to prevent the offending.  It asks why aren’t more organisations defending themselves?

https://www.mondaq.com/uk/corporate-crime/1194554/defending-failure-to-prevent-offences

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