On 10 June, OFAC issued General License N-1 re Iran and authorising certain activities to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; and General License 21A re Syria authorising certain activities to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
On 10 June, the Guardian reported that MPs from the all-party parliamentary group on anti-corruption and responsible tax criticised the proposals as “unambitious, uninspired and insipid”, and saying the Law Commission had excluded essential changes that would have made it easier to punish companies and directors for failing to prevent money laundering. The Commission’s role is to recommend updates to the law, ensuring that it remains fair, modern and simple. The review will now be passed to Government, which will decide which, if any, of the recommendations will be adopted.
The Law Commission says that options for reform to corporate criminal liability include widening the scope for attributing liability to corporations for the conduct of senior management – which would reform the established, and problematical, “identification doctrine”. The report also contains the option of extending “failure to prevent” offences so that they capture other economic crimes by corporations, including an offence of “failure to prevent fraud”. This would cover a situation in which the company has failed to put measures in place to prevent their own employees or agents committing fraud for the benefit of the company. New financial penalties and reporting requirements for corporations are also presented as possible reform measures.
On 10 June, MONEYVAL published a fourth follow-up report on Slovenia following its 2017 mutual evaluation report. It says that Slovenia has moderately improved its measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, demonstrating some progress in the level of compliance with the FATF standards. There has been an upgrade of Slovenia from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” in the area related to assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks. However, there are still significant legislative deficiencies as regards the criminalisation of terrorism financing. In the light of the new report, MONEYVAL has decided to apply its Compliance Enhancing Procedures (CEP), and the first step would be to inviting the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to send a letter to the country’s authorities requesting the necessary corrective measures to be taken. Slovenia will also remain in enhanced follow-up and will continue to report back to MONEYVAL on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures. Slovenia is expected to report back in 1 year’s time.
On 10 June, MONEYVAL released the enhanced follow-up report on Moldova following its 2019 mutual evaluation report. The new report details the upgrading of the country’s ratings from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” in 4 areas related to the activities of designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBP), customer due diligence (CDD), politically exposed persons (PEP), and higher risk countries. However, in the field of new technologies, where new international requirements for virtual assets have been introduced, Moldova’s rating has been downgraded. It notes that some minor deficiencies also remain, including those concerning the definition of the close associates of politically exposed persons, and the lack of customer due diligence requirements in some sectors. Moldova is expected to report back to MONEYVAL on further progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures in 1 year’s time.
On 9 June, the National Law Review published an article about new measures to prevent the provision of internet services to or for the benefit of designated persons, introduced by the UK on 29 April. On 4 May, the UK regulator, Ofcom, issued an Open Letter to industry on the subject, and referred one to its 2017 guidance on regulatory investigations.