OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 10

10 OCTOBER 2022

US SANCTIONS SHIPPING COMPANY AND INDIVIDUALS FOR ALLEGED OIL EXPORTS TO NORTH KOREA

On 7 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that OFAC has imposed sanctions against a shipping company and 2 individuals for allegedly exporting oil to North Korea, which the US said supports Pyongyang’s nuclear and military programs.  It sanctioned 2 individuals, Kwek Kee Seng of Singapore and Chen Shih Huan of Taiwan, as well as Marshall Islands-registered shipping company New Eastern Shipping Co, which the US said owns a vessel called the Courageous that was involved in alleged sanctions evasion activities. It also sanctioned 2 Singaporean companies that are owned or controlled by Mr. Kwek.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-sanctions-shipping-firm-individuals-for-alleged-oil-exports-to-north-korea-11665170335

INDIA: INVESTIGATION INTO CONNECTION BETWEEN COUGH SYRUPS MADE IN INDIA AND THE DEATHS OF 66 CHILDREN IN THE GAMBIA

On 10 October, DNA India reported that the Pharmaceutical Exports Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) has suspended Maiden Pharmaceuticals’ membership in light of the controversy surrounding the connection between the cough syrups made in India and the deaths of 66 children in the Gambia.

https://www.dnaindia.com/business/report-maiden-pharma-may-lose-import-export-licence-over-cough-syrup-controversy-in-gambia-2991613

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/killer-cough-syrup-maiden-pharma-gambia-children-death-whistleblower-interview-copp-licence-2282687-2022-10-08

EU SANCTIONS TARGET RANGE OF RUBBER-INDUSTRY IMPORTS

On 10 October, the European Rubber Journal reported that the latest round of EU sanctions on Russia includes bans on various imports relating to the rubber industry, including “prepared rubber accelerators; compound plasticisers for rubber or plastics, n.e.s.; anti-oxidising preparations and other compound stabilisers for rubber and plastics”, as well as import restrictions on petroleum products.

https://www.european-rubber-journal.com/article/2092186/eu-sanctions-target-range-of-rubber-industry-imports

AUSTRALIA: NSW GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES FIRST-TIME TRIAL OF CASHLESS GAMING MACHINE TECHNOLOGY TO TACKLE MONEY LAUNDERING AND GAMBLING-RELATED RISKS

On 10 October, Casino Guardian reported that the New South Wales Government is to launch a new digital wallet that is aimed at reducing money-laundering risks and gambling-related harm is being rolled out for the first time in New South Wales.  According to reports, up to 200 people are set to take part in the trial.

https://www.casinoguardian.co.uk/2022/10/10/nsw-government-launches-first-time-trial-of-cashless-gaming-machine-technology-to-tackle-money-laundering-and-gambling-related-risks/

UK: HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES LINKED TO ORGANISED CRIME BASED YARDS FROM COMPANIES HOUSE

On 10 October, the Open Democracy website claimed that hundreds of companies set up by 2 companies linked to the world’s most notorious organised crime gangs shared an address just yards from the government agency responsible for the UK’s company register.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/money-laundering-companies-house-transparency-international-report/

UK PAYMENT SERVICES REGULATOR: CONSULTATION PUBLISHED ON AUTHORISED PUSH PAYMENT FRAUD (APP) AND REIMBURSEMENT

On 7 October, Bird & Bird published an article about a consultation issued in September and proposed measures aim to improve the level of protection for victims of authorised push payment fraud by mandatory reimbursement for victims in all but exceptional cases.  It says that the UK Government intends to legislate in the Financial Services and Markets Bill to allow regulatory action to be taken by the PSR to require banks and other payment service providers to reimburse APP scam losses.  The new Bill is currently in passage through the House of Commons.

https://www.twobirds.com/en/insights/2022/uk/uk-payment-services-regulator-consultation-published-on-app-fraud-and-reimbursement

CRYPTO, CRIME AND COMPLIANCE IN LATIN AMERICA

On 7 October, RUSI published an article assessing the current state of cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America, identifying examples where abuse (either by states or by criminals) may occur, and outlining how domestic and global policymakers should respond.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-newsbrief/crypto-crime-and-compliance-latin-america

UK: SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOUR OF DIRECTORS IN SEMINAL CASE ON DIRECTORS’ DUTIES IN ‘ZONE OF INSOLVENCY’

On 7 October, an article from Skadden said that the Supreme Court has confirmed that there are circumstances in which company directors are required to consider the interests of creditors and has given guidance on when the duty arises.  It acknowledged that the requirement to consider the interests of creditors may arise prior to insolvent administration or liquidation becoming inevitable, but made clear that until insolvent liquidation or administration was inevitable, creditor interests would not necessarily be paramount.

https://www.skadden.com/-/media/files/publications/2022/10/uksupremecourtrulesinfavourofdirectorsinseminalcaseondirectorsdutiesinzoneofinsolvency.pdf

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/supreme-court-rules-on-directors-duty-to-act-in-interests-of-creditors

https://www.harneys.com/our-blogs/offshore-litigation/momentous-decision-of-uk-supreme-court-confirming-directors-duty-to-consider-interests-of-creditors

OECD PRESENTS NEW TRANSPARENCY FRAMEWORK FOR CRYPTO-ASSETS TO G20

On 10 October, a news release from the OECD advised that it had delivered a new global tax transparency framework to provide for the reporting and exchange of information with respect to crypto-assets.  The framework responds to a G20 request that the OECD develop a framework for the automatic exchange of information between countries on crypto-assets, and will be presented to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors for discussion at their next meeting on 12-13 October.

https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/oecd-presents-new-transparency-framework-for-crypto-assets-to-g20.htm

https://www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/crypto-asset-reporting-framework-and-amendments-to-the-common-reporting-standard.pdf

SPANISH POLICE ARREST 16 LINKED TO THEFT OF 58 TONNES OF COPPER CABLE

On 7 October, OCCRP reported that the theft was on behalf of a larger criminal organisation.  Civil Guard investigators claim the suspects’ operation involved the use of false invoices and the financial information of a deceased individual to pass off their possession of the stolen copper as legitimate.  Police identified several wastewater treatment plants as the sites from where the cables were stolen, as well as multiple scrap metal yards where they were potentially pawned off.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16865-spanish-police-arrest-16-linked-to-theft-of-58-tonnes-of-copper-cable

NETHERLANDS: INDIVIDUAL ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF CIRCUMVENTING EU TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

On 7 October, a news release from Europol advised that the suspect is believed to have been supplying Russia with goods which could have been used for military purposes and supplied microchips to companies/entities in Russia, among other things.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/media-press/newsroom/news/suspect-arrested-in-netherlands-for-circumventing-eu-trade-sanctions-against-russia

UK EXPECTED TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO THE DATA PROTECTION AND DIGITAL INFORMATION BILL OR SCRAP THE BILL AND RESTART THE PROCESS OF REFORM

On 6 October, an article from Out-Law predicted that the recently appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has pledged to deliver a simplified “business and consumer-friendly, British data protection system”, and that the UK “can be the bridge across the Atlantic and operate as the world’s data hub”.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/donelan-trails-data-protection-and-digital-information-bill-rethink

ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE RUSSIAN–UKRAINIAN WAR ON THE EASTERN NEIGHBOURHOOD

The EU Institute for Strategic Studies has published a new brief which reviews the currently available data to produce a preliminary assessment of how the war has affected the EU’s eastern neighbourhood on 3 levels: demographic, geoeconomic and geopolitical.  While focusing on the immediate consequences of the conflict, it also explores how trends set in motion or accelerated by the war may play out in the future.  It concludes with reflections on what the war and related regional dynamics mean for the EU’s policy in the eastern neighbourhood.

https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Brief_10_Impact%20of%20Russian-Ukraine%20war%20on%20the%20Eastern%20Neighbourhood_web.pdf

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/money-laundering-techniques-5-trade-based-tbml-art-baptiste-/

NEW UK PROPERTY OWNERSHIP REGISTER DISPLAYS EARLY SIGNS OF WEAKNESS

On 6 October, ACAMS published an article saying that it has found that that a large proportion of entities that have submitted their details to date complied only by letter, and not in spirit, with the requirement.

https://www.moneylaundering.com/news/new-uk-property-ownership-register-displays-early-signs-of-weakness/

US: BOTCHED REVIEW OF SUSPECT PPP LOANS

On 6 October, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) reported on the outcome of an FoI request, saying that the Small Business Administration (SBA) flagged nearly 2.3 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans worth at least $189 billion — about a quarter of those made — for further review between August 2020 and September 2021.  It claims that a substantial number of loans flagged as potentially going to fraudsters or ineligible recipients have now been forgiven.

https://www.pogo.org/investigation/2022/10/the-great-pandemic-swindle-feds-botched-review-of-billions-in-suspect-ppp-loans

JALISCO NEUVA GENERACIÓN CARTEL (CJNG) CONTROLS 78% OF MONEY LAUNDERING IN MEXICO

On 5 October, Vallarta News Daily reported that research has found that the cartel had formed 138 companies specifically to launder money.

https://www.vallartadaily.com/jalisco-nueva-generacion-cartel-controls-78-of-money-laundering-in-mexico/

US: EPA RELEASES PROPOSED FINDING ON LEADED AVGAS

On 8 October, Flying reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed finding on leaded aviation fuel, triggering a response from the consortium of general aviation associations that have been working on the removal of lead from avgas with the FAA and industry partners.  The finding does not call for any immediate ban on avgas containing lead.  It’s simply the initial step required for the agency to exercise its authority to “address this source of lead pollution”.  There is unleaded avgas available, with distribution in California and expanding, and can be used in piston engines with lower compression and utilising the Swift supplemental type certificate (STC) for the range of engines and airframes.

https://www.flyingmag.com/leaded-aviation-fuel/

The Caucasus Region has been engulfed in a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region for decades, with the root of the violence harkens back to the 1980s.  The map allows one to step back and look at the region in its larger context.  While most media has focused on the tensions, this map breaks down the entire Caucasus region, providing key facts and information.  What are the countries that comprise the region?  What is the main economic activity in the area? How is the population distributed?

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-explainer-caucasus-region

WHISTLEBLOWERS ACCUSE EY OF WHITEWASHING SUSPICIOUS TRADES AT LONGSTANDING FRENCH CLIENT

On 10 October, the Irish Times reported that whistleblowers have accused EY of whitewashing suspicions of money laundering and tax evasion in an investigation it conducted this year for longstanding client Leonteq – a listed fintech that designs bespoke investment products. 

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/2022/10/10/whistleblowers-accuse-ey-of-whitewashing-suspicious-trades-at-longstanding-french-client/

EU PARLIAMENT VOTE TO REGULATE THIRD-PARTY FUNDING OF LITIGATION

On 10 October, Arent Fox Schiff published an article saying that the European Parliament approved a report by its committee on legal affairs that calls for the introduction of a new regulatory framework to prevent abuses that may be caused by third-party-funded lawsuits. 

https://www.afslaw.com/perspectives/international-arbitration-dispute-resolution-blog/eu-parliament-voted-regulate-third

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MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE AND POLICE FORCE TAKE ACTION AGAINST FORMER BSI BANK DEPUTY CEO

A release on Mondo Visione on 10 October advised that Raj Sriram, former Deputy CEO and Head of Private Banking of BSI Bank Limited, Singapore Branch, has been issued a 24-month conditional warning by the Singapore Police and a 10-year prohibition order by MAS for his contribution to BSIS’ failure to file STR regarding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)-related transactions.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/monetary-authority-of-singapore-and-singapore-police-force-take-action-against-f/

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UK AMENDS 3 ENTRIES ON MALI SANCTIONS LIST

On 10 October, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that 3 existing entries on the Consolidated List have been amended.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1110029/Notice_Mali_101022.pdf

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UK: ECONOMIC CRIME AND CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY BILL 2022-23 

On 7 October, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on this Bill.  Its 3 stated objectives are –

  • Prevent organised criminals, fraudsters, kleptocrats and terrorists from using companies and other corporate entities to abuse the UK’s open economy;
  • Strengthen the UK’s broader response to economic crime; and
  • Support enterprise by enabling Companies House to deliver a better service for over 4 million UK companies, and improving the reliability of its data to inform business transactions and lending decisions across the economy.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9625/CBP-9625.pdf

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SINGAPORE: TERRORISM FINANCING NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY

On 7 October, the Monetray Authority of Singapore published the results of a Terrorism Financing (TF) National Risk Assessment (NRA) undertaken in 2020.  This found that certain sectors, notably money remittance (or payment service providers carrying out cross-border money transfer service) and banks, are more inherently vulnerable to the threats, given the relative ease in which their services may be accessed, coupled with Singapore’s status as a financial and transport hub and proximity to countries exposed to terrorism activities.  MAS also issued a National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) that outlines Singapore’s national approach to address the risks and serves as the roadmap to guide the development of future action plans to effectively prevent, detect, investigate, and enforce against terrorism financing.  Singapore has adopted a 5-point strategy which comprises:

  1. Coordinated and Comprehensive Risk Identification;
  2. Strong Legal and Sanctions Frameworks;
  3. Robust Regulatory Regime and Risk Targeted Supervisory Framework;
  4. Decisive Law Enforcement Actions; and
  5. International Partnerships and Cooperation.

https://www.mas.gov.sg/publications/monographs-or-information-paper/2022/terrorism-financing-national-risk-assessment-2020

https://www.mas.gov.sg/-/media/MAS-Media-Library/publications/monographs-or-information-paper/AMLD/2022/National-Strategy-for-Countering-the-Financing-of-Terrorism.pdf

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UK ADDS 7 INDIVIDUALS AND THE MORALITY POLICE TO IRAN SANCTIONS LISTS

On 10 October, HM Treasury publishe a Notice advising that 7 more individuals and the Morality Police had been added to the Iran human rights sanctions list.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1110025/Notice_Iran__Human_Rights__101022.pdf

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