OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 11

11 SEPTEMBER 2022

2022 US GOVERNMENT FRAUD, WASTE, & ABUSE REPORT

Thomson Reuters has published its annual survey on the ability of US state and local governments to prevent, detect, and investigate fraud-related activity.  For the survey state and local government employees are asked to candidly assess how well prepared they are to meet their job challenges in terms of tools, resources, staffing, and time — now and in the future.

https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/en/insights/reports/2022-government-fraud-waste-and-abuse-study/form

On 3 August, Thomson Reuters also published a post highlighting 5 things from the report – agencies still want to spend more time preventing program fraud, waste, and abuse; more government agencies are confident that they have the tools to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse; state and local government workers expect fraud, waste and abuse to increase over the next 2 years; many government agencies still don’t use case management software in their operations; and other third-party risk and fraud solutions are nearly tied with Google as the most-used resource for public records searches.

https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/blog/5-insights-from-the-2022-fraud-waste-abuse-report/

UK: WHO DOES AND DOESN’T PAY TAXES?

In March, the IFS in the UK published this analysis which uses administrative tax data from audits of self-assessment tax returns to understand what types individuals are most likely to be non-compliant.  It finds that non-compliance is common, with one-third of taxpayers underpaying by some amount, although half of aggregate under-reporting is done by just 2% of taxpayers.  Third-party reporting reduces non-compliance, while working in a cash-prevalent industry increases it.  However, it says that compliance also varies significantly with individual characteristics: non-compliance is higher for men and younger people.  These results matter for measuring inequality, for understanding taxpayer behaviour, and for targeting audit resources.

https://ifs.org.uk/journals/who-does-and-doesnt-pay-taxes

NORWEGIAN COUPLE ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED TAX FRAUD AFTER FLEEING TO DUBAI

On 9 September, E24 reported that the couple failed to turn up for trial in 2018 and fled to Dubai, but now have returned to Norway and have been arrested.  The case is said to involve research expenses for 12 companies, resulting in the defendants receiving large amounts from a support scheme for Norwegian business and industry.  While in Dubai they are said to have made substantial investment in properties there.

https://e24.no/naeringsliv/i/JQoA0m/dubai-investorer-paagrepet-paa-gardermoen?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vg.no

HOW MILITARY CONTROL OF THE ECONOMY OBSTRUCTS DEMOCRACY IN SUDAN

On 29 June, C4ADS published this report saying that, in October 2021, a Sudanese state-affiliated cartel staged a coup against the civilian-led transitional government, and now, they use their control of Sudan’s economy to evade justice.  They are said to constitute a “deep state” within Sudan and working across state structures to enrich its members and insulate them from accountability.  Among the report’s recommendations are that private enterprises and aid providers should disengage from business with state-controlled enterprises.

https://c4ads.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/BreakingtheBank-Report.pdf

PAKISTAN: COURT FREEZES 13 BANK ACCOUNTS OF COMPANIES RELATED TO PM’S YOUNGER SON

On 11 September, The Telegraph Online reported that a special court has ordered the freezing of 13 bank accounts of companies related to Suleman Shehbaz, the younger son of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in connection with a multi-million dollars money laundering case.  It is said that Prime Minister Shehbaz and his sons Hamza Shehbaz (the former Punjab chief minister) and Suleman are facing charges for alleged money laundering.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/pakistan-court-freezes-13-bank-accounts-of-companies-related-to-pms-younger-son-suleman/cid/1885947

STATE AND TRENDS OF CARBON TRADING IN 2022

The World Bank has produced this report which provides an up-to-date overview of existing and emerging carbon pricing instruments around the world, including international, national and subnational initiatives.  It also investigates trends surrounding the development and implementation of carbon pricing instruments and how they could accelerate the delivery of long-term mitigation goals.  Specifically, this includes the use of carbon taxes, emissions trading systems and crediting mechanisms. Key topics covered in the 2022 report include cross-border approaches to carbon pricing, challenges and opportunities from rising energy prices, and new technologies and governance frameworks shaping carbon markets.

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/37455?cid=ccg_tt_climatechange_en_extp_evergreen_traffic_image&twclid=2e9l2954xlimzkecr6edmqsuc

RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE MIKHAIL FRIDMAN OFFERS $1 BILLION TO UKRAINE IN HOPE OF SANCTIONS RELIEF

On 8 September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Russian businessman is offering to transfer $1 billion of his personal wealth into a Ukrainian bank he co-founded, a proposal that people familiar with the issue said is intended to persuade the UK to lift sanctions against him.  Fridman denied having made a quid pro quo offer to Ukraine.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-billionaire-mikhail-fridman-offers-1-billion-to-ukraine-in-hope-of-sanctions-relief-11662659071

BENTLEY MULSANNE STOLEN FROM LONDON DISCOVERED ALMOST 5,000 MILES AWAY IN PAKISTAN

On 8 September, Sky News reported that the Bentley Mulsanne V8 is a flagship car of the British motor company, and is worth upwards of £240,000, making it the brand’s largest and most expensive handcrafted saloon. The vehicle had been taken to Pakistan on fake documents of a European diplomat, and was found with forged registration plates, one of which was handmade.

https://news.sky.com/story/bentley-mulsanne-stolen-from-london-discovered-almost-5-000-miles-away-in-pakistan-12692549

IRAN PROBES $170 MILLION FRAUD IN PETROCHEMICAL FIRM

On 11 September, Iran International claimed news of an $170 million apparent embezzlement case at one of Iran’s natural gas producers.  It says that Mehr Petrochemicals produces the highest-grade polyethylene in the Middle East but it stands at the verge of bankruptcy.

https://www.iranintl.com/en/202209112208

UK: IMPERIAL COLLEGE TO SHUT JOINT RESEARCH VENTURES WITH CHINESE DEFENCE FIRMS

On 11 September, The Observer reported that Imperial College will shut down 2 major research centres sponsored by Chinese aerospace and defence companies amid a crackdown on academic collaborations with China. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/11/imperial-college-to-shut-joint-research-ventures-with-chinese-defence-firms

4 BLOCKS OF “WEAK POINTS” IN THE SANCTIONS POLICY AGAINST THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

An NGO has produced this report: Sanctions Policy Against Russia in 2014-2022: Gaps and Circumvention Schemes.  It says that more than 30 loopholes that the Russian government and businesses use to avoid Western sanctions were identified; and has conducted its research of at least 160 cases when Russia circumvented the Western sanctions imposed during 2014-2022.

https://statewatch.org.ua/en/publications/trap-aggressor-analysts-have-found-more-than-30-ways-for-russia-to-bypass-sanctions/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed! 

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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