After the FATF Plenary held this week Panama remains on its grey list…despite apparently having complied with 13 of the 15 action points specified.
21 OCTOBER 2022
SPECIAL BRIEFING – THE BREXIT BONFIRE: THE RETAINED EU LAW (REVOCATION AND REFORM) BILL
On 19 October, Deka Chambers published an article warning that he implications of the Bill’s provisions are as significant as Brexit itself and considers the Bill’s implications for practitioners and places it within its political context.
On 20 October, HFW published this Guide to the Critical Minerals Strategy, which has the aim of ensuring that the minerals needed for the future of electronics, energy generation, transport, and military operations are extracted responsibly in sufficient quantities and are available through well-functioning and transparent markets.
HELPING EU LAWYERS NAVIGATE THE RUSSIAN SANCTIONS’ PACKAGES
In June, the European Lawyers Foundation (ELF) and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) produced this guide based on a webinar held that month. The guide contains information arising from the webinar, including the Powerpoint slides prepared by the speakers, and a section with questions (from the webinar participants) and answers (from the appropriate speakers, in each case representatives of the European Commission).
The Basel Institute on Governance has produced a report saying that donors, governments and anti-corruption practitioners seeking alternative tools to address systemic corruption are increasingly turning to behavioural science. It is argued that interventions that target social norms and seek to shift people’s behaviours away from corrupt practices could be more effective and long-lasting than ones that, for example, simply add more regulations and controls – but few large-scale anti-corruption programmes have so far been informed by behavioural insights – in part due to a lack of evidence on where such an approach would be appropriate, what works and what doesn’t. The report sets out to summarise a set of behavioural explanations (i.e. insights and pitfalls) for why some approaches have failed, while others have been effective. The aim is to provide practitioners designing interventions with evidence to help them develop effective programmes and avoid common pitfalls.
STANDARDS TOOLKIT FOR CROSS-BORDER PAPERLESS TRADE
The International Chamber of Commerce has produced this Toolkit and says that while a cross-border transaction involves multiple actors and requires the exchange of 36 documents and 240 copies on average, fewer than 1% of trade documents are fully digitised. The Toolkit includes –
Foundational Standards and Identifier Standards for all supply chain actors to reduce translation and enable track and trace technologies.
Standards for Commercial Transactions, including those for “Buy,” “Ship” and “Pay” processes.
Transport and Logistics Standards for cargo handling, port/airport clearance and real-time shipment tracking.
Standards for official control documents.
Interoperable digitalization frameworksthat support the exchange of electronic trade documents
EUROPOL ANNOUNCES CAPTURE OF A “HIGH-VALUE TARGET” WITH ARREST IN TENERIFE OF A SUSPECTED PROLIFIC FRAUDSTER
On 21 October, Infosecurity Magazine reported that a 50-year-old Croatian national had been arrested and is believed to have run a large-scale investment fraud operation which managed to extract at least €5 million from victims.
UK: DEALING IN ITEMS CONTAINING IVORY OR MADE OF IVORY
On 21 October, the Department for International Trade updated its guidance, including inserting a new section on importing and exporting ivory items, and with clarified information under ‘Exemptions for dealing in ivory’. Separately, it provided a list of commodity codes that fall under the ban on dealing in ivory.
ADDRESSING THE LINKAGES BETWEEN ILLICIT ARMS, ORGANIZED CRIME AND ARMED CONFLICT
This report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says that illicit arms and ammunition clearly link conflict to crime as well as crime to conflict. Illicit arms can both enable and fuel an armed conflict, while different conflict phases provide opportunities for the diversion of arms and a potentially lucrative income source for organized arms trafficking networks. It says that researchers and practitioners have examined the nexus between 2 of these 3 security challenges: armed conflict, organised crime, and illicit arms. Yet, there has been limited research examining the linkages between all 3 of these security challenges. In response to this knowledge gap, this issue brief explores the different ways in which illicit arms connect armed conflict and organised crime and provides suggestions on how to better address these interconnected challenges. This brief may further inform practitioners and policymakers by framing the conversation for future decision-making and research.
7 MYTHS ABOUT THE ‘HISTORIC’ ISRAEL-LEBANON MARITIME BORDER AGREEMENT
On 21 October, an article from Eurasia Review argues that while commentators in the US and Israel have hailed the agreement on the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, which the Biden administration recently brokered, as a great success, a close examination of the agreement simply does not support this view.
COLOMBIA SEES HISTORIC LEVELS OF COCA CULTIVATION AND COCAINE PRODUCTION
On 20 October, Insight Crime reported that Colombia has reached its highest-ever levels of coca production and potential cocaine production according to a new UN report, which pointed to the profitability of coca crops and greater agricultural efficiency as being partially responsible.
EPISCOPAL CHURCH EMBROILED IN ARMS TRAFFICKING ACCUSATIONS IN HAITI
On 20 October, Insight Crime reported that an arms trafficking scandal involving the Episcopal Church has highlighted the privileged customs statuses that religious and NGO enjoy in Haiti, which may offer arms traffickers a route to bring high-powered weapons into the country. It refers to a report on arms trafficking accusations for which 3 church officials and other individuals have so far been arrested.
On 20 October, STEP reported that, from 1 November, trustees of existing trusts and similar legal arrangements with a Dutch connection will have 3 months to register the trusts on the Dutch trust register, along with their beneficial owners.
“USED CAR KING OF NEW YORK” PLEADS GUILTY IN NATIONWIDE SCHEME TO SELL THOUSANDS OF FRAUDULENT TEXAS VEHICLE TAGS
A news release from US DoJ on 18 October announced that a 51-year-old man who advertised himself as the “Used Car King of New York” has admitted to conspiring to commit wire fraud. Octavian Ocasio and co-conspirators used the internet to buy and sell the fraudulent state-issued buyer tags and exchange proceeds from the illegal tag sales.
UK: LOCAL COUNCIL HAS BEEN ORDERED TO REVEAL EXACTLY HOW IT BORROWED AND INVESTED £1 BILLION OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY
On 19 October, the Bureau of Investigative Journalists reported that Thurrock Council has been ordered to reveal exactly how it borrowed and invested the money in a tribunal ruling that could have major implications for the financial transparency of public bodies across the UK. The decision comes after a 3-year battle by the council to maintain secrecy over a series of deals that could cost the public purse hundreds of millions of pounds.
WHAT IS INDONESIA’S PROPOSED TIN EXPORT BAN ABOUT?
On 21 October, Insurance Marine News reported that Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of refined tin, is planning to ban exports of the metal to attract investment in processing it domestically, although the government said the timing had yet to be decided. It plans to ban the export of tin ingots to encourage investors to set up productions facilities and develop its industries to process tin into other products at home, a government official said. It has a similar policy for nickel ore.
BLACK SEA GRAIN INITIATIVE OFFERS HOPE, SHOWS POWER OF TRADE
On 20 October, a report from the UN Conference on Trade & Development underlines why it’s critical to renew the initiative next month. Without the initiative, there is little hope for providing food security, especially in developing and least developed countries. Under the UN-led initiative, three seaports have been reopened – Odesa, Chornomorsk, Pivdennyi/Yuzhny. As a result, the number of port calls has increased and more importantly, the volumes carried have risen significantly. Weekly tonnage of grain shipped under the initiative reached 1.2 million tons by September. This is still below 2021 levels, but the gap is closing.
INDIA: 7 PROPERTIES OF POLITICIAN MUKHTAR ANSARI ATTACHED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 21 October, NDTV reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has attached 7 immovable assets of “gangster-turned-politician” Mukhtar Ansari as part of a money laundering investigation against him and his family.
ISLE OF MAN: RUSSIA SANCTIONS NEW NAMES AND 1 AMENDMENT
On 21 October, the Isle of Man followed the UK in announcing that 3 individuals andSHAHED AVIATION INDUSTRIES in connection with the supply and use of Iranian UAV in Ukraine. 1 existing entry was also amended.
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT – NOT ALL SHIPPING THAT TRANSMITS IS LEGIT
On 21 October, Windward produced a short article saying that deceptive shipping practices have existed since the beginning of commercial shipping. Way back in the 17th Century. However, modern shipping does not just use “going dark” (turning off AIS), and the article explains some of these.
The Wilson Center has published this report after the US and Venezuela exchanged 7 US citizens unjustly imprisoned in Venezuela for 2 of Nicolás Maduro’s nephews serving prison sentences in the US for drug trafficking. That swap, and advanced negotiations over cooperation in the energy sector, have raised expectations of a change in US Venezuela policy that could eventually lead to the rebuilding of Venezuela’s democratic institutions. Nevertheless, the report concludes that it is not clear whether the US will continue reengaging with the Venezuelan regime to promote political negotiations, given strong opposition in the US Congress.
US ATTORNEY GENERAL COALITION WANTS FENTANYL LABELLED AS WMD
On 23 September, Kentucky Today said that fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest report, more than 75,000 Americans died from overdose of synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, in the 12-month period ending in February 2022. Now 18 attorneys general are urging President Joe Biden to classify the drug fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD).
EU: LAWMAKERS TO START WORK ON ANTI-SLAPP, STAKEHOLDERS WARN JUST ‘FIRST STEP’
On 21 October, EurActiv reported that the EU Commission’s anti-SLAPP Directive is a necessary starting point but will not be enough on its own to comprehensively tackle the issue of abusive litigation, a key lawmaker working on the file has said. SLAPP are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.
PROJECT AURUM: A PROTOTYPE FOR 2-TIER CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY (CBDC)
On 21 October, a release on Mondo Visione advised that Project Aurum is a collaboration between the BIS Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute. The aim was to bring to life 2 very different types of tokens: intermediated CBDC and stablecoins backed by CBDC in the interbank system. The latter is unique in the study of CBDC to date. Privacy, safety and flexibility said to be core to the system.
An Explainer from the Stimson Center has said that the growing global chemical trade and threat of chemical terrorism creates an urgent need for national implementation of transport security measures. It starts by reminding one about the explosion in August 2020 of the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in the Port of Beirut’s waterside Warehouse #12, having been there for 6 years. This, it says, demonstrated the severe and fatal consequences of underdeveloped customs procedures, chemical transport security, and physical protection measures, all of which permitted dangerous chemicals to sit abandoned in storage facilities at the Port for years. But it is far from the only incident in recent years. It is said that there are clear gaps in the standards for securing hazardous chemicals during transport. These gaps include challenges in implementing effective and harmonised security practices on the frontlines, where chemicals move in and out of countries. All UN Member States are required by Security Council Resolution 1540 to implement specific procedures and measures to secure chemicals that pose a proliferation concern. However, only a small number of countries — just 32 in 2019 — have any laws or regulations governing security of chemicals of proliferation concern in general, never mind setting specific standards for chemicals in transit.
On 21 October, FATF reported that the outcomes included –
reiterating that all jurisdictions should be vigilant to emerging risks from the circumvention of measures taken against Russia in order to protect the international financial system;
agreeing to release, for public consultation, draft guidance on Recommendation 24 to help countries and the private sector implement FATF’s strengthened requirements on beneficial ownership to prevent criminals from hiding illicit activity behind opaque corporate structures;
approved the release of a public consultation document on proposed revisions to Recommendation 25 on transparency and beneficial ownership of legal arrangements;
approved a report on the illicit proceeds generated from the supply chains for fentanyl and related synthetic opioids;
discussed a report on money laundering through arts, antiquities and other cultural objects, which will be finalised by February 2023;
delegations were updated on other ongoing work, including a project on countering the laundering of proceeds from ransomware attacks; to update to the FATF best practices paper on combating the abuse of non-profit organisations; projects and activities to implement the March 2022 Strategic Vision for the Global Network of 206 jurisdictions that have jointly agreed to strengthen their regimes to tackle money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing;
delegates were updated on the ongoing projects to strengthen the FATF’s Standards on asset recovery,) and to enhance the asset recovery inter-agency networks such as ARINs/CARIN;
new jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring (“grey list”) are the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Tanzania;
Nicaragua and Pakistan have been removed from the grey list – however, FATF is strongly concerned by the potential misapplication of the FATF Standards resulting in the suppression of Nicaragua’s non-profit sector, and Pakistan will continue to work with APG to further improve its AML/CFT system;
Myanmar has been added to the list of high-risk jurisdictions;
Somehow the entry for yesterday managed to get lost…
20 OCTOBER 2022
ISLE OF MAN: ANTI-BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION (ABC) HUB
On 20 October, the Isle of Man announced the setting up of this hub, a website which includes a confidential reporting form which provides what is described as a secure pathway for raising any suspicions or concerns that bribery or corruption is taking place. Reports can be made about an organisation or individual and anyone making a submission has the option to remain anonymous. Information and guidance is provided for all sectors of the community on how to recognise bribery and corruption, including possible ‘red flags’.
FRANCE: DECREE IMPLEMENTING LAW ON WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS PUBLISHED
On 19 October, Jones Day reported that the Decree specifies the procedures for collecting and processing whistleblower alerts and determines the list of agencies competent to receive external alerts under the so-called “Waserman Law”, which implemented EU Directive 2019/1937 into French law.
ISRAEL AND LEBANON REACH HISTORIC DEAL THAT WILL PAVE THE WAY FOR OFFSHORE ENERGY EXPLORATION IN PREVIOUSLY-CONTESTED AREAS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
On 19 October, an article from Herbert Smith Freehills reported on an agreement between Lebanon and Israel over a maritime border dispute that had erupted more than a decade ago between the 2 countries. It establishes a permanent maritime boundary that will pave the way for the exploration and exploitation of reportedly hydrocarbons-rich, and previously untapped reservoirs in the Mediterranean Sea.
CYPRUS: LIMITED LIABILITY SHIPPING COMPANY (LLSC) – NEW VEHICLE FOR OPERATION AND OWNERSHIP OF CYPRUS-FLAGGED SHIPS
On 19 October, an article from ASC Law Firm in Cyprus reported a new shipping framework and the the creation of a new one-stop-shop dedicated to shipping services – with a new registry regulated by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping and not the Registrar of Companies.
BVI: ENTITIES REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN ADEQUATE SYSTEMS AND CONTROLS INCLUDING A COMPLIANCE MANUAL
On 19 October, an article from Walkers explained that all persons subject to the provisions of the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act and the International Tax Authority Act have to take account of, and act upon, amendments published in June, to ensure that they are in compliance with the amendments (which are detailed in the article).
COLLECTION PROBLEMS CONCERNING LETTERS OF CREDIT (LC)
On 19 October, Amereller Legal Consultants said that companies trading in the Middle East, Africa and Asia are increasingly facing collection problems concerning letters of credit (LC), the longstanding core of trade finance. Hence, LC are not providing the same assurance of payment as traders have historically expected due to foreign currency reserve shortages in a number of countries. It notes that the recent foreign remittance crisis has reminded the trade finance community of the importance of confirmed letters of credit, explaining that a confirmed letter of credit is a “back-to-back” letter of credit issued by the seller’s bank on the assurance of the letter of credit issued by the buyer’s bank. Given the additional cost, usually 0.5-2% of the letter of credit value, many traders have forgone confirmed letters of credit in recent years.
GERMANY: SUPPLY CHAIN DUE DILIGENCE – QUESTIONNAIRE FOR REPORTING PUBLISHED BY GERMAN AUTHORITY
On 18 October, Mayer Brown published an article saying that the authority, BAFA, had shed some light on what is expected of the reporting entities by publishing 38 detailed questions (in addition to some general information on the reporting entity) covering the whole spectrum of due diligence obligations under the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (SCDDA). The first reports will be due no later than 4 months after the end of the financial year of the reporting entity that ends during the calendar year 2023 (for enterprises with 3,000 or more employees) or 2024 (for enterprises with 1,000 or more employees).
THE RECENT HISTORY OF DRONE ATTACKS ON MIDDLE EAST OIL FACILITIES AS A PRECEDENT FOR SAFETY OF NORTH SEA FACILITIES
On 17 October, Dryad Global reported that the recent history of drone attacks on Middle East oil facilities offers a foreboding precedent (with most air- or sea-based attacks being successful) for the effectiveness of these military devices in targeting energy infrastructure, and international oil majors in Norway and the UK would be foolish to ignore the threat.
CHINA PATH TO INDIAN OCEAN USING MYANMAR RAIL NETWORK
On 20 October, Nikkei Asia reported that the opening in recent months of a rail link connecting western China to Myanmar offers Beijing the potential to establish a vital route to the Indian Ocean. For Myanmar, it is an opportunity to boost exports to China and become an international logistics hub.
UK SANCTIONS AND ASSET FREEZING ORDERS: HIGH COURT HAS SET ASIDE DECISION TO VARY TWO AFO
On 20 October, the EU Sanctions blog reported on the decision of the High Court in London set aside a decision by Westminster Magistrates in July to vary 2 AFO obtained by the NCA against firms which manage the financial and security needs of Petr Aven. The case concerns the interaction between a basic needs licence granted by OFSI in favour of Mr Aven and the AFO obtained by the NCA.
OIL CAP PLANS WILL OPEN A NEW FRONT IN RUSSIA–WEST CONFLICT
On 20 October, an article from the Carnegie Center reported on a new proposal from the EU that any vessel transporting Russian crude oil — and, in 3 months’ time, Russian oil products — being sold above the price cap would be prohibited from obtaining any shipping industry services from EU providers, such as insurance, financing, servicing, and bunkering. It considers the possible reaction from Russia and Indian, Chinese, and Persian Gulf shipping companies.
US: THE IMPORT OR EXPORT OF “DRUG PARAPHERNALIA” TO OR FROM STATES WHERE CANNABIS IS LEGAL
On 18 October, an article from Harris Bricken reported on a recent decision of the US Court of International Trade that indicates the import or export of “drug paraphernalia” to or from states where cannabis is legal represents an exception to the federal ban imposed by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Drug paraphernalia is “any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance”. However, the article warns that a challenge by the US Government is probably coming.
CANADA: RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA AND DISINFORMATION AGAIN TARGETED BY NEW SANCTIONS
On 18 October, an article from Tereposky & DeRose LLP reported that, on 17 October, the Government of Canada announced additional sanctions targeting 34 individuals and 1 entity “complicit in the dissemination of Russia disinformation and propaganda”.
US: MULTIPLE FOREIGN NATIONALS CHARGED IN ALLEGED SCHEMES TO SEND MILITARY TECHNOLOGY TO RUSSIA
On 19 October, CNN and others reported that the DoJ announced charges against nearly a dozen people and 2 companies in connection with illegal schemes to send military technology to Russia, some of which has allegedly been recovered from battlefields in Ukraine. The DoJ said in a statement that some of the defendants also tried to send “nuclear proliferation technology” to Russia, but that it was intercepted before it arrived.
NIGERIA: FORMER LAGOS ATTORNEY GENERAL ARRAIGNED ON MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
On 20 October, the People’s Gazette reported that former Lagos attorney general Supo Shashore has been arraigned before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on a 4-count charge of money laundering.
NEW ORLEANS PASTOR ADMITS DEFRAUDING HIS CHURCH OF $900,000 TO SPEND ON CARS AND PAYING OFF CREDIT CARDS
On 20 October, Yahoo News reported that a New Orleans pastor, Rev. Charles Southall III, the executive pastor of First Emanuel Baptist Church, has pleaded guilty to money laundering and admitted to defrauding donors of almost $900,000 meant to benefit his church.
2 MORE BRITISH COLUMBIA REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE FIRMS HAVE BEEN FINED FOR AML VIOLATIONS
On 19 October, BIV reported that the fines were for violations and a “failure to take into consideration the money laundering or terrorist activity financing risk of its products and delivery channels, its geographic location or its clients and business relationships”.
USTREASURY RELEASES CFIUS ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTY GUIDELINES
On 20 October, a news release from the US Treasury announced that it had released the first-ever CFIUS Enforcement and Penalty Guidelines. The Guidelines provide the public with important information about how CFIUS will assess whether and in what amount to impose a penalty or take some other enforcement action for a violation of a party’s obligation, and factors that CFIUS may consider in making such a determination, including aggravating and mitigating factors. Transaction parties’ compliance is critical to ensuring the protection of national security.
MEXICO TURNS TO ‘LAWFARE’ TO TACKLE ITS US GUN PROBLEM
On 20 October, the World Politics Review reported that Mexico had launched a second lawsuit in the US against the firearms business in the US, this one going after a handful of gun shops and distributors, claiming they knowingly and deliberately violate U.S. law. The litigation is being directed from the highest levels of Mexico’s government. The first case was dismissed due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act 2005 (PLCAA), under which gunmakers enjoy wide-ranging immunity shielding them from liability for the misuse of their products. Mexico had argued that despite the law, the manufacturers were guilty of negligence and of violating Mexican and US gun import laws.
EU ADDS 3 IRANIAN INDIVIDUALS AND 1 ENTITY TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS LISTS FOR BEING INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND DELIVERY OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES TO RUSSIA
EU Regulation 2022/1985/EU has added 4 names to the sanctions, including Shahed Aviation Industries, for actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
US: WOMAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING FEMA OF $156 MILLION
On 19 October, OCCRP reported that the DoJ had indicted a woman, Tiffany Brown, 43, of Atlanta, for allegedly defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of $156 million by falsely claiming to have provided 30 million meals to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
OCCRP PUBLISHES SPANISH-LANGUAGE “FOLLOW THE MONEY” HANDBOOK
On 7 September, OCCRP reported that the manual contains tips and tricks on how to access records and information in 19 Latin American countries. The free guide is intended to help journalists search for documents and data in Latin America.
A PROLIFIC SCAMMER ARRESTED IN TENERIFE AS A RESULT OF A COMPLEX INVESTIGATION INVOLVING 4 COUNTRIES
On 20 October, Europol reported that the suspect – a 50-year-old Croatian national – is believed to have been running a large-scale, multi-layered investment fraud scheme which siphoned at least €5 million out of unsuspecting investors. Over 70 German victims have been identified so far.
On 19 October, the Brussels Times reported that Belgian customs recently found about 1 tonne of cocaine while checking a container in Antwerp Port. The drugs were hidden in a container that had arrived in Antwerp from Panama and was to travel on to the Netherlands.
NEW ZEALAND FINANCIAL MARKETS AUTHORITY FORMALLY WARNS WHOLESALE PROPERTY INVESTMENT FIRMS AFTER DISCOVERING NON-COMPLIANT PRACTICES
On 20 October, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the FMA commenced a review of wholesale investments into property-related offers after noting an increase in complaints made and concerns raised about how such wholesale offers were being promoted, and whether the appropriate investors were being targeted and accepted. 7 warnings have been issued by the FMA to offerors using non-compliant eligible investor certificates, and FMA also found several practices in the market which it considers may increase the risk an investor may be misled.
HAITIAN GANG LEADER ‘BARBECUE’ TARGETED IN UN SANCTIONS RESOLUTION
On 18 October, Insight Crime reported that Haitian gang leader Jimmy Chérizier, aka “Barbecue”, is a central target of potential UN Security Council sanctions, while a separate resolution has called for an international armed force to help the country address its security crisis.
CLAIMS THAT COMMODITY TRADER GLENCORE DELIVERED SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF RUSSIAN-ORIGIN ALUMINIUM TO LONDON METAL EXCHANGE-REGISTERED WAREHOUSES IN SOUTH KOREA
On 20 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that sources did not say how much of Rusal’s aluminium had been delivered by Glencore to the LME warehouses; and Glencore and the London Metal Exchange declined to comment.
BRAZIL POLICE ARREST INTERNATIONAL GANG INVOLVED IN PYRAMID SCHEME
On 20 October, Agencia Brasil reported that the federal police had executed 41 search warrants and arrested 9 people over an alleged pyramid scheme said to have affected about 1.3 million people in some 80 countries.
SOUTH AFRICA: RESERVE BANK’S ATTACHMENT SWOOP ON EX-STEINHOFF CEO MARKUS JOOSTE’S BILLIONS IN ASSETS
On 19 October, the Daily Maverick reported that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) links former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste to contraventions of the Exchange Control Regulations. The SARB argues Jooste used companies in the Steinhoff group as well as his racehorse company Mayfair Speculators to syphon money away from Steinhoff to enrich himself and others. In an attempt at clawing back these funds, the SARB is now chasing after all assets linked to Jooste.
HOW RUSSIAN SHIPS ARE LAUNDERING GRAIN STOLEN FROM OCCUPIED UKRAINE
On 17 October, a report from Bloomberg claims that exporters are mixing grain from multiple ports and vessels, obscuring the origin of commodities like wheat and barley, and allowing large volumes to be sold abroad without detection; and using ship-to-ship transfers between legitimate and illegitimate products to mix them in order to try to launder them into a legitimate supply chain.
CHINESE SUPPLIER OF WESTERN AVIATION PRODUCTS HAS SHARED OWNERSHIP WITH US-DESIGNATED MILITARY END-USER
On 19 October, Kharon reported that an investigation had apparently revealed that a Chinese aviation equipment supplier supplied by Western aerospace companies – Shenzhen Chengtai Aviation Company Limited – shares ownership and is co-located with a Hong Kong-based firm that the US Government named as a “military end user”.
IS CHINA REALLY USING EX-RAF PILOT FOR TRAINING IN TACTICS INSIGHTS?
The Drive asked this question in an article on 18 October, saying that dozens of British former frontline military pilots have been hired by China to provide training and intelligence to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to reports corroborated by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). Around 30 apparently began working for China from the end of 2019 onward and are said to be earning around £240,000 a year. They are said to be teaching the PLA students at a privately-run training centre in South Africa, the Test Flying Academy of South Africa, or TFASA.
UK ADDS 4 NEW ENTRIES TO RUSSIAN SANCTIONS LIST AND AMENDS ANOTHER – NEW NAMES LINKED TO SUPPLY OF IRANIAN DRONES TO RUSSIA
On 20 October, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that Saeed AGHAJANI; Mohammad BAGHERI; Seyed Hojjatollah QUREISHI; and SHAHED AVIATION INDUSTRIES had been added to the lists. At the same time the existing entry for Oleksandr SAULENKO has been amended.
PUTIN’S VODKA GIFT TO BERLUSCONI BREACHED EU SANCTIONS
On 20 October, EurActiv reported that the 20 bottles of vodka sent to Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi as a birthday gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin breach European sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission has said.
WHO SYRIA CHIEF ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION, ABUSE AND FRAUD IN DAMNING INVESTIGATION
On 20 October, the Telegraph reported that the head of the World Health Organization in Syria has been accused of mismanaging millions of dollars, being abusive towards staff and cosying up to a regime waging war against its citizens.
US DOJ SUES INDICTED FOUNDER OF A CRYPTOCURRENCY “MIXER” TO RECOVER A $60 MILLION CIVIL PENALTY IMPOSED IN 2020 FOR ALLEGED FAILURES TO MAINTAIN AN EFFECTIVE AML PROGRAM
On 20 October, Reuters reported that the DoJ is suing Larry Harmon of Ohio who ran a cryptocurrency “mixer,” or “tumbler” called Helix, that US authorities said could send virtual currency in a way that concealed the source or owner. FinCEN imposed a $60 million civil money payment on Harmon and alleged that Harmon was operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Last year, Harmon pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge.
FORMER BOLIVIAN MINISTER PLEADS GUILTY IN THE US TO NRIBERY AND MONEY LAUNDERING
On 20 October, the Rio Times reported that former Bolivian government minister Arturo Murillo, the most influential in the administration of former de facto president Jeanine Áñez (2019-2020), has pleaded guilty to crimes such as bribery and money laundering in the US.
RESPONDING TO ILLEGAL MINING AND TRAFFICKING IN METALS AND MINERALS: A GUIDE TO GOOD LEGISLATIVE PRACTICES
This new guide from the UN Office of Drugs and Crime states that its purpose is to support Governments in adopting or improving national legislation related to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of illegal mining and trafficking in metals and minerals, through the legislative framework offered by the Organised Crime Convention. The guide approaches illegal mining and trafficking in metals and minerals from a criminal justice perspective. Broader topics such as the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining and the development of rural mining communities are addressed only briefly. The extraction of hydrocarbons and related activities are excluded from the guide because they are usually regulated by a distinct set of laws that regulate the oil and gas industry.
On 20 October, Eurojust – the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation – published this report which presents key findings based on Eurojust’s money laundering casework and expertise built up over the years. It is the Agency’s first dedicated publication on money laundering. The report aims to support national authorities dealing with cross-border money laundering cases by providing an overview of the legal and practical challenges, as well as solutions, including the use of Eurojust’s judicial cooperation tools. Between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2021 almost 3 000 corruption cases were registered at Eurojust, with cases steadily rising since 2016.
On 30 September, the RegTech Times published an article saying that, with the relation between human trafficking and money laundering in mind, there are a number of signs that can help identify instances of human trafficking with respect to bank account activity.