On 28 July, the Guardian reported that the US has proposed to use him in a prisoner exchange for the WNBA star Brittney Griner and the former US Marine Paul Whelan, 2 high-profile Americans held by Russia. The 2005 crime drama Lord of War, featuring Nicolas Cage was believed to have been loosely based on Bout’s life. Bout was finally arrested at a luxury hotel in Bangkok in 2008, in a spectacular US sting operation in which undercover DEA agents posed as rebels from the Colombian group FARC, and 4 years later he was sentenced in a court in New York to 25 years in prison.
On 28 July, KPMG published a report which covers information from more than 40 countries, and in addition to providing details about existing legislation, also contains information regarding upcoming regulations that are under consideration by governments through formal political processes or are in the process of being promulgated.
On 28 July, an article from Field Fisher says that the High Court in London has further demonstrated its desire to support victims of cryptocurrency fraud by granting injunctions over misappropriated cryptoassets in a recent case. It says that the reaction to this judgment has predominantly focussed on the first use of an NFT as a means of serving a court order on persons unknown. However, the article contends, victims of cryptocurrency fraud should pay more interest to the High Court’s determination of there being a good arguable case that the cryptocurrency exchanges hold these proceeds of fraud as a constructive trustee on behalf of the victim.
On 28 July, the sanctions arm of HM Treasury, OFSI, said that due to exceptionally high demand at present, OFSI was unable to provide substantive engagement on specific licenses within 4 weeks. It said that it was prioritising cases where there are issues of personal basic needs and/or wider humanitarian issues at stake which are of material impact or urgency, or which are deemed to be of particular strategic, economic or administrative importance.
On 26 July, PYMNTS.com reported that South African banking regulator has warned that the country’s banking industry is at risk of becoming ensnared in money laundering and terrorist financing activity. The Prudential Authority of the South African Reserve Bank said the country’s 5 biggest banks, which control nearly 90% of assets, were most at risk. One of the major banks reported it had 8,388 clients with unknown citizenship, and another said it had 1,782 clients with an unknown country of incorporation.
A post on the FCPA Blog on 28 July said that the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was ratified in 2005, and that today, around 60 countries have at least one independent anti-corruption agency. And the results are dismal, the post argues. It notes that a World Bank report has said that most independent anti-corruption agencies “have fallen short of achieving the organisational standards set by UNCAC . . . and in many cases have not had any significant impact on the trends, types and levels of corruption in their jurisdictions”. It goes on to list 5 ways in which politicians sabotage these agencies.
On 28 July, the Guardian reported that Bremen, Germany’s smallest city-state, is planning to shut down all of its betting shops after the state’s interior senator said their owners had failed to convince him that they were not fronts for money laundering. The betting shops have until 5 August to legally challenge the decision or supply the senate with paperwork showing how they obtained their start-up capital to open their businesses in the first place, such as a loan agreement with a bank. Bremen authorities say they are tackling a problem that is not unique to their city but widespread across Germany.
On 28 July, HM Treasury issued updated general guidance on the approach OFSI takes to financial sanctions including sector and regime specific guidance, as well as information on monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions.
On 28 July, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Law Commission of England and Wales had provisionally suggested in a consultation paper that the law should explicitly recognise a category of legal objects alongside ‘things in possession’ and ‘things in action’.