THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 10

Still away, so things may not be quite normal…

Meanwhile, the protests have restarted, and even the Pan-American Highway near here was temporarily closed earlier, but seems OK now.

Perhaps I should be more worried about the gap under the door of the cabin, and the dead snake I saw on the driveway…

10 August 2022

FORMER TWITTER EMPLOYEE CONVICTED OF SPYING FOR SAUDI ARABIA

On 9 August, the Wall Street Journal reported that employee Ahmad Abouammo had been found guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia after passing on private user information associated with critics of the kingdom in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Mr. Abouammo, 44, worked at Twitter from 2013 to 2015 and was also found guilty of money laundering, falsification of records and count of wire fraud.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-twitter-employee-convicted-of-spying-for-saudi-arabia-11660076924

US VISA BANS ON 100 BELARUSSIAN OFFICIALS AND AFFILIATES

On 9 August, the US State Department announced the bans for alleged involvement in undermining democratic institutions or impeding the transition to democracy in Belarus.

https://www.state.gov/promoting-accountability-on-the-second-anniversary-of-the-fraudulent-election-in-belarus/

UAE COURT LIFTS PRISON SENTENCE FOR AMERICAN CONVICTED OF MONEY LAUNDERING

On 10 August, Devdiscourse reported that a court had lifted a prison sentence but upheld a conviction on money laundering charges for US citizen and civil rights attorney Asim Ghafoor, who was detained while transiting through Dubai last month.  He was ordered to pay a $1.36 million fine.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/law-order/2139575-uae-court-lifts-prison-sentence-for-american-convicted-of-money-laundering

RUSSIA IS LOOKING TO REINVIGORATE EFFORTS TO IMPROVE RAIL LINKS WITH IRAN

A Commentary from RUSI on 10 August said that Russia will construct a section of the Rasht-Astara railway in Iran, with the aim of linking up the network between Iran, Azerbaijan, India and Russia.  It gives as reasons sanctions meaning that Russia is no longer able to guarantee that the Western rail network will freely transport its goods, and an over-reliance on China for rail trade creating a power imbalance.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/backbone-russia-russian-railways-turns-iran

UK BRIEFING: SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

On 9 August, the House of Commons Library publishing a briefing paper looking at measures announced by the UK in 2014 and 2022.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9481/CBP-9481.pdf

US CUSTOMS SEIZE 165,000 PAIRS OF COUNTERFEIT COTTON DIABETIC SOCKS

On 9 August, the Washington Post reported that US Customs & Border Protection had explained that diabetic socks are specialty socks that are non-elastic to reduce pressure and swelling, that eliminate friction that may cause discomfort, and that help keep the patient’s foot dry.  Another shipment of counterfeit socks, valued at nearly $2 million, was seized last month.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/08/09/fake-socks-shipment-seized-feds/

5 TURKISH BANKS HAVE AGREED TO ACCEPT RUSSIA’S MIR PAYMENTS SYSTEM

On 9 August, Kenneth Rijock warned of potential risks from 5 banks having agreed to accept the Mir system – HALKBANK, ISBANK, ZIRAAT BANK, VIKIFBANK, and DENIZBANK.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2022/08/alert-these-five-turkish-banks-have.html

GUINEA-BISSAU: STATE INSTITUTIONS HIJACKED BY COCAINE CARTELS

On 9 August, OCCRP said that a new report says that Guinea-Bissau continues to serve as a key cocaine transit point between Latin America and Europe, despite government pledges to clamp down on smuggling.  The report refers to a systematic weakening of the judicial system, resulting in its debilitated capacity to take action against smugglers.  It also claims that the cocaine economy has been facilitated by elite protection networks, which over the years became deeply embedded in Guinea-Bissau’s political architecture, and that elites often turn to illicit markets to supplement public budgets and finance election campaigns.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16652-guinea-bissau-state-institutions-hijacked-by-cocaine-cartels

US: WITHHOLD RELEASE ORDER ON GARMENTS PRODUCED BY NATCHI APPAREL LTD IN INDIA OVER FORCED LABOUR CLAIMS

On 10 August, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that Importers of detained shipments will have an opportunity to export their shipments or submit proof that they were not produced with forced labour.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/august/import-detention-order-targets-garments-from-india-company

INTERPOL CAMPAIGN ON THE USE OF MONEY MULES IN FACILITATING THE MOVEMENT OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDS

On 10 August, INTERPOL announced the launch of a new campaign to raise global awareness and highlight the massive use of money mules in facilitating the movement of criminal proceeds.  The campaign hashtag, #YourAccountYourCrime, clearly reminds the general public that they are responsible for keeping their accounts safe and that there are consequences for moving money on behalf of a third party.  The 2-week campaign over 10-26 August will run on social media and be supported by 34 countries worldwide.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2022/YourAccountYourCrime-Global-campaign-exposes-use-of-money-mules

PERU: POLICE RAID PRESIDENTIAL PALACE OVER ARREST WARRANT FOR PRESIDENT’S SISTER-IN-LAW

On 10 August, Deutsche Welle reported that, after allegations of corruption and money laundering, police are on the lookout for Peruvian President Pedro Castillo’s sister-in-law and searched his residence.  Police had acquired an arrest warrant for Yenifer Paredes, 26, for alleged corruption and money laundering. 

https://www.dw.com/en/peru-police-raid-presidential-palace-over-arrest-warrant-for-presidents-sister-in-law/a-62763738

CRYPTO CRIMINALS LAUNDERED $540 MILLION BY USING A SERVICE CALLED RENBRIDGE

On 10 August, CNBC said that a new report claimedthat RenBridge had been used to launder at least $540 million in crime-related crypto cash since 2020, with cross-chain bridges being used to send digital assets across blockchains, bypassing a centralised service that can trace transactions.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/10/crypto-criminals-laundered-540-million-using-renbridge-elliptic-says.html

ISRAEL: MAYOR ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF BRIBERY, FRAUD AND BREACH OF TRUST

On 10 August, the Times of Insrael reported that an unnamed mayor, a municipality’s director-general and 2 businesspeople have been detained by a police anti-corruption unit.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/mayor-arrested-on-suspicion-of-bribery-fraud-and-breach-of-trust/

COMPLYING WITH OFAC’S TORNADO CASH SANCTIONS: KEY QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGES

On 9 August, Elliptic issued a Q&A outlining some key questions and issues related to the Tornado Cash sanctions imposed by OFAC, and offering thoughts on how compliance teams can respond. 

https://hub.elliptic.co/analysis/complying-with-ofac-s-tornado-cash-sanctions-key-questions-and-challenges/

BANGLADESH BANK HEIST: PHILIPPINES CASINO OWNER GETS ACCOUNTS UNFROZEN

On 8 August, Casino.org reported that the Philippines Court of Appeals has upheld an order to unfreeze the bank accounts of a Chinese Filipino casino owner embroiled in the 2016 theft.  The casino had received $21 million wired by a local foreign exchange brokerage service used for remittances.  The money was part of the $101 million stolen by cybercriminals from the Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank using malware.  The casino owner told a Philippine Senate tribunal he had been told to expect the money by 2 high-rolling junket agents, and claimed that the 2 men owed him $10 million in gambling debts, with the remaining $11 million being distributed among their junket clients.  The casino owner was cleared by the tribunal and has repaid $15 million back to the Bangladesh Bank.

https://www.casino.org/news/bangladesh-bank-heist-casino-owner-gets-accounts-unfrozen/

IRAN PLACES FIRST CRYPTO-FUNDED IMPORT ORDER

On 9 August, Coindesk reported that the government had amended the country’s digital assets laws 2 years ago to allow locally mined crypto to be used for imports payments.  The import order is said to be worth $10 million.

https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/08/09/iran-places-first-crypto-funded-import-order-worth-10m-report/

US PRIVATE MILITARY AND SECURITY COMPANIES (PMSC) AND THE RISKS OF CORRUPTION AND CONFLICT

On 9 August, a new report from Transparency International catalogues conflict and corruption around the word – harm it says is caused by leaving the privatisation of national security to grow and operate without proper regulation.  It argues that exploitation of global conflicts is becoming a bloodier business.  Most private military and security firms are registered in the US, so Transparency International is calling on Congress to take a leading role in pushing through meaningful reforms under its jurisdiction when draft legislation faces review in September. The time has also come, it says, for accreditation standards to be enforced rather than only encouraged, at both a national and international level.

https://ti-defence.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Hidden-Costs-US-Private-Military-and-Security-Companies-and-the-Risks-of-Corruption-and-Conflict-Web-PDF.pdf

KIM JONG UN MEGAYACHT SPOTTED AT SECLUDED BEACH WHILE LEADER OUT OF PUBLIC VIEW

On 10 August, NK Pro reported that satellite imagery showing the vessel near new mansions on east coast is a sign that Kim is vacationing.  The 180-foot (55-metre) megayacht was moored at a beach on the Hodo Peninsula north of Wonsan.  He is said to have other boats, including the largest, a 260-foot (80-metre) craft featuring an Olympic-sized pool and multi-story lounge.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/kim-jong-un-megayacht-spotted-at-secluded-beach-while-leader-out-of-public-view/

DHS ADDS ENTITIES AND SETS PROCESSES TO REMOVE AND ADD ENTITIES TO THE UYGHUR FORCED LABOR PREVENTION ACT ENTITY LIST

On 9 August, Crowell reported that the Department of Homeland Security had added entities to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s (UFLPA’s) Entity List, which serves as a consolidated register of the 4 lists, as required by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.  At the same time, DHS also provided the process for listed entities to submit requests for removal from the UFLPA Entity List.  The Act went into effect on 21 June and requires US Customs and Border Protection to “apply a rebuttable presumption that goods mined, produced, or manufactured by entities on the UFLPA Entity List are made with forced labour, and therefore, prohibited from importation into the US”.

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2022/08/dhs-adds-entities-and-sets-processes-to-remove-and-add-entities-to-the-uyghur-forced-labor-prevention-act-entity-list/

PODCAST: “VERY BAD PEOPLE”

In the latest TRACE podcast, Patrick Alley, co-founder of Global Witness and author of “Very Bad People: The Inside Story of the Fight Against the World Network of Corruption”, joins the podcast to discuss the early days of his Global Witness investigations, how their efforts gained momentum and where we should be focusing our attention next.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  At Buy me a Coffee one-off contributions start as low as $3, at

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

US PRIVATE MILITARY AND SECURITY COMPANIES (PMSC) AND THE RISKS OF CORRUPTION AND CONFLICT

On 9 August, a new report from Transparency International catalogues conflict and corruption around the word – harm it says is caused by leaving the privatisation of national security to grow and operate without proper regulation.  It argues that exploitation of global conflicts is becoming a bloodier business.  Most private military and security firms are registered in the US, so Transparency International is calling on Congress to take a leading role in pushing through meaningful reforms under its jurisdiction when draft legislation faces review in September. The time has also come, it says, for accreditation standards to be enforced rather than only encouraged, at both a national and international level.

https://ti-defence.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Hidden-Costs-US-Private-Military-and-Security-Companies-and-the-Risks-of-Corruption-and-Conflict-Web-PDF.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  At Buy me a Coffee one-off contributions start as low as $3, at

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

COMPLYING WITH OFAC’S TORNADO CASH SANCTIONS: KEY QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGES

On 9 August, Elliptic issued a Q&A outlining some key questions and issues related to the Tornado Cash sanctions imposed by OFAC, and offering thoughts on how compliance teams can respond. 

https://hub.elliptic.co/analysis/complying-with-ofac-s-tornado-cash-sanctions-key-questions-and-challenges/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  At Buy me a Coffee one-off contributions start as low as $3, at

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

CRYPTO CRIMINALS LAUNDERED $540 MILLION BY USING A SERVICE CALLED RENBRIDGE

On 10 August, CNBC said that a new report claimedthat RenBridge had been used to launder at least $540 million in crime-related crypto cash since 2020, with cross-chain bridges being used to send digital assets across blockchains, bypassing a centralised service that can trace transactions.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/10/crypto-criminals-laundered-540-million-using-renbridge-elliptic-says.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  At Buy me a Coffee one-off contributions start as low as $3, at

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 9

As you might have guessed, out and about on the road again – so things might not be as good or comprehensive as susual (if they ever are), and once more struggling with the laptop – why of the several in the house is this one I end up with when away from home?

Hoping to avoid the restarted road blocking protests when we head home – they are due to begin again from tomorrow – though the odd road block might help curb the breakneck speed of the local “coaster” minibuses on the route we are using. That said, it is a good way to get a feel for the local communities and people to use the public transport – which I always try to do whereever I go. Panama is no different from other places I have been in at least one way – people getting on the bus in rural areas tend to say hello when they get on, which you never encounter in a city.

9 AUGUST 2022

RUSSIA ADDS 62 CANADIANS TO SANCTIONS TRAVEL BAN 

On 9 August, the EU Sanctions blog reported that Russia had added a further 62 Canadians to its travel ban list on 5 August. 

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/08/russia-bars-62-canadian-citizens-from-entry/

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE RUSSIANS GOING TO AVOID SANCTIONS? THE UAE 

On 9 August, an article from VOX answered its own question.  For years, sanctioned businessmen close to Putin have been investing big in the UAE’s luxury real estate, and recently it has become a sanctuary for yachts. 

https://www.vox.com/world/23283965/russia-sanctions-united-arab-emirates-dubai-emirates-finance-money-yachts

RUSSIA STARTS STRIPPING JETLINERS FOR PARTS AS SANCTIONS BITE 

On 9 August, Reuters reported that Russian airlines, including state-controlled Aeroflot, are stripping jetliners to secure spare parts they can no longer buy abroad because of Western sanctions, industry sources have told Reuters. 

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/exclusive-russia-starts-stripping-jetliners-parts-sanctions-bite-2022-08-08/

UAE TIGHTENS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT RULES 

On 8 August, the Khaleej Times reported that the UAE has tightened real estate investment rules and asked the property agents, brokers, and law firms to report cash transactions worth Dh55,000 and above to the FIU. 

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/uae-issues-new-reporting-requirements-for-real-estate-transactions

WHAT CAN COMPLIANCE PROFESSIONALS LEARN FROM HM TREASURY’S LATEST AML/CFT REVIEW? 

An article in Finextra in Ireland on 9 August posed this question, saying that in June, HM Treasury published its “Review of the UK’s AML/CFT regulatory and supervisory regime”. The article sets out to provide some initial observations from the Review, before delving into the some of the detail and extracting some points of interest and key learning points, with a particular focus on new technologies. 

https://www.finextra.com/the-long-read/459/what-can-compliance-professionals-learn-from-hm-treasurys-latest-amlcft-review

CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND – ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING BULLETIN FOR THE FUNDS SECTOR: FINDINGS AND EXPECTATIONS 

On 9 August, an article from Walkers said that the Central Bank of Ireland had published a bulletin which details its findings and expectations across certain key areas – corporate governance; AML/CFT/FS business risk assessment; outsourced AML/CFT/FS activities; and customer due diligence (CDD).  

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/54a08cd7-ba12-42f1-90ae-b185a4071a16.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1660046872&Signature=UbNpjHFafO%2F89ATqugBb7GLUsQY%3D

WAS LEBANON THE WORLD’S BIGGEST PONZI SCHEME? 

On 9 August, an article in Eurasia Review reported that the World Bank had published a scathing report on Lebanon’s financial crisis and alleged acts of deception that appear to have made the country’s economic collapse inevitable.  The report compares the Mediterranean country’s economic model since 1993 to a Ponzi scheme.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/09082022-was-lebanon-the-worlds-biggest-ponzi-scheme-analysis/

The report can be found at – 

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/08/02/lebanon-s-ponzi-finance-scheme-has-caused-unprecedented-social-and-economic-pain-to-the-lebanese-people

COLOMBIA: ACCUSED PARAMILITARY DRUG LORD GUILLERMO LEÓN ACEVEDO GIRALDO (“MEMO FANTASMA”) FREED PRISON IN BOGOTÁ, RELEASED FROM PRE-TRIAL DETENTION 

On 8 August, Insight Crime reported that this was despite being seen as a flight risk and amid indications of corruption and witness-tampering.  He is facing charges of money laundering and criminal conspiracy, and he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison if found guilty. His trial is set to continue in October. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/memo-fantasma-freed-from-colombian-prison/

AUSTRALIA: UPDATED AML/CFT COMPLIANCE E-LEARNING FROM AUSTRAC 

https://elearn.austrac.gov.au/ 

30 LOOTED ANTIQUITIES RETURNED TO KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

On 9 August, a news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised of the return of 30 antiquities to the Kingdom of Cambodia, which were stolen as part of an organized looting network and sold by antiquities dealer, Douglas Latchford.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/30-looted-antiquities-returned-kingdom-cambodia

US ACTION AGAINST CHINESE CABLE MANUFACTURER FOR VIOLATING US EXPORT CONTROLS

Pn 9 August, KPMG reported that the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an administrative charging letter against a Chinese company alleging violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for causing, aiding, and/or abetting violations of the EAR.  It is alleged that in 2014-16 the cable manufacturer served as a “cut-out” between a Chinese technology company, that was under investigation by the US Government for EAR violations at the time, and Iranian telecommunications companies.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/08/tnf-us-bis-charging-letter-chinese-cable-manufacturer-violating-us-export-controls.html

KPMG E-INVOICING AND DIGITAL REPORTING GLOBAL UPDATE

On 9 August, KPMG released its latest update.

https://tax.kpmg.us/content/dam/tax/en/pdfs/2022/e-invoicing-digital-reporting-global-updates.pdf

A CASE FOR MORE OVERSIGHT OF MILITARY AID TO UKRAINE

An Issue Brief from the Arms Control Association on 9 August made this argument, pointing out that the US alone has committed $9.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration.  It notes that the EU launched a new platform in July to discuss how to prepare to tackle organized crime in connection with the war in Ukraine, and it was announced that the main subject on the agenda was illegal arms smuggling of weapons originally sent to the Ukrainian armed forces.  Europol has also stated that it was working with Ukrainian officials to reduce the risk of illegal arms trafficking into the European Union.

https://www.armscontrol.org/issue-briefs/2022-08/case-more-oversight-military-aid-ukraine

US: HOW DOMESTIC EXTREMISTS ARE EMBRACING CRYPTOCURRENCY

An article in Homeland Security Today on 4 August said that America’s domestic extremists are flocking to cryptocurrency and have raised millions of dollars from crypto donations over the last several years.  It says that research highlights 3 important ways that domestic extremists use cryptocurrencies- they receive donations from supporters for content they produce; they take cryptocurrency as payment for merchandise, often exists alongside more traditional payment methods, supplementing rather than supplanting credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of payment; and they solicit cryptocurrency to support their operations, for legal defence, purchasing supplies (including VPN), or providing support to a group or to individuals.

https://www.hstoday.us/featured/profit-of-hate-how-domestic-extremists-are-embracing-cryptocurrency/

AL-QAIDA IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT: AN APPRAISAL OF THE THREAT IN THE WAKE OF THE TALIBAN TAKEOVER OF AFGHANISTAN

An article in the August edition of the CTC Sentinel says that, having set its eyes particularly on India and the contested Kashmir region, Al-Qaida and its regional affiliate in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS) are currently pushing out targeted propaganda to recruit new operatives and to instigate new insurgencies in the region.  Although it was founded almost 8 years ago, AQIS remains the newest formal affiliate of the global network.

https://ctc.westpoint.edu/al-qaida-in-the-indian-subcontinent-an-appraisal-of-the-threat-in-the-wake-of-the-taliban-takeover-of-afghanistan/

UK CORRECTS 1 ENTRY ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS LIST

On 9 August, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that the entry relating to Mun CHO’NG-CH’O’L had been amended.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1097036/Notice_Democratic_People_s_Republic_of_Korea_090822.pdf

UK: FINANCIAL TRADING FIRM IS SUING ACCOUNTING FIRM MAZARS OVER THE ITS REFUSAL TO PROVIDE PAYROLL SERVICES BECAUSE THE OWNER IS A RUSSIAN CITIZEN

On 9 August, the EU Sanctions blog reported on the case involving XTX Markets.  The owner in question is Alexander Gerko, who is a dual Russian and UK citizen and is not designated under any sanctions regime.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/08/xtx-markets-alleges-discrimination-against-russian-owner/

UK: CRIMINAL BAR ASSOCIATION IS BALLOTING MEMBERS ON WHETHER TO MAINTAIN THE CURRENT INDUSTRIAL ACTION OR CALL STRIKE

On 9 August, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Associations is asking members whether to maintain the current action – alternating weeks of strike action combined with a refusal to accept new instructions and ‘returned’ cases – or escalate it.  This comes after it emerged that the government is refusing to budge on legal aid funding.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/criminal-bar-balloted-on-uninterrupted-strike-action/5113379.article

COURT OF APPEAL: CLIENTS DO NOT OWE SOLICITORS DUTY OF GOOD FAITH

On 9 August, the Law Society Gazette reported that retainers do not contain an implied term that their client will act in good faith, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an appeal by a London law firm.  It was said that there is no authority that supports the proposition that, when retaining a solicitor to act for him or for her, the client owed that solicitor a duty of good faith.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/clients-do-not-owe-solicitors-duty-of-good-faith-court-of-appeal-rules/5113311.article

A FORMER SOLICITOR WHO DISHONESTLY FUNNELLED NEARLY £20 MILLION OF INVESTORS’ MONEY FROM THE CAYMANS-BASED AXIOM LEGAL FINANCING FUND INTO HIS OWN POCKET HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF FRAUD

On 9 August, the Law Society Gazette reported that Timothy Schools, 61, received ‘just over £19.5 million’ from the fund, which was valued at around £120 million before it collapsed in October 2012.  It was said that the fund was set up to lend money to firms pursuing no-win no-fee claims – but made loans in 2009 only to ATM Solicitors, so-called because he used it as ‘his personal cash machine’.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/axiom-fund-solicitor-faces-prison-after-fraud-conviction-/5113386.article

IRELAND: THE COMPANIES (CORPORATE ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY) ACT 2021 AND PERSONAL PUBLIC SERVICE NUMBERS (PPSN)

An Article from Eversheds Sutherland on 5 August said that the objective of changes contained in the Act is to validate the identity of directors to improve the accuracy and integrity of company information held on the Register of Companies and to reduce fraud and identity theft, in efforts to assist the recently-established Corporate Enforcement Authority in cracking down on corporate white collar crime in Ireland.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/global/ireland/director_identity_overhaul

COLOMBIA HAS DETECTED $20 BILLION LIKELY TIED TO MONEY LAUNDERING

On 9 August, FX Empire reported that Colombia’s financial crimes unit, intensifying efforts to catch fraud, has detected some $20 billion in financial operations potentially tied to money laundering over the last 3½ years.  The figure is equivalent to more than 6% of Colombia’s annual GDP.

https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/colombia-has-detected-20-billion-likely-tied-to-money-laundering-official-1091481

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  At Buy me a Coffee one-off contributions start as low as $3, at

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

UK: FINANCIAL TRADING FIRM IS SUING ACCOUNTING FIRM MAZARS OVER THE ITS REFUSAL TO PROVIDE PAYROLL SERVICES BECAUSE THE OWNER IS A RUSSIAN CITIZEN

On 9 August, the EU Sanctions blog reported on the case involving XTX Markets.  The owner in question is Alexander Gerko, who is a dual Russian and UK citizen and is not designated under any sanctions regime.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/08/xtx-markets-alleges-discrimination-against-russian-owner/