OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 26

26 OCTOBER 2022

GUIDE TO DOING BUSINESS IN CANADA: WHITE COLLAR CRIME/CORRUPTION

On 21 October, Gowling WLG published this article which briefly runs through 8 categories of potential crime and wrongdoing that could affect a business in Canada.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/guides/2022/doing-business-in-canada-white-collar-crime/

SORRY JUDGE, THE DOG ATE MY DISCLOSURE DOCUMENTS!

On 24 October, an article from Seddon Solicitors reflected on the non-disclosure of important evidence in the recent Vardy v Rooney libel case before the High Court in London.  It says that, from a non-defamation lawyer’s perspective, the main post of interest was what was NOT there, and how the Judge dealt with its absence.  Important WhatsApp chat messages were said to have been lost during a boat trip undertaken by witness while on holiday when her phone fell overboard.  The article concludes that if the court is minded to disbelieve whatever the explanation for any missing documents is, their absence may well do far more harm than the documents themselves would have done.

https://www.seddons.co.uk/our-thinking/sorry-judge-dog-ate-my-disclosure-documents

EUROPEAN PUBLIC PROSECUTOR CONCLUDES WORKING ARRANGEMENT WITH THE US AND INCREASES ITS INVESTIGATIVE REACH

On 24 October, an article from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP said that the EU Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), operational since 1 June, already has a large supranational investigatory apparatus, which includes other European institutions such as the European Investment Bank, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Eurojust and Europol as well as the European Delegated Prosecutors in the EU Member States with their national (police) authorities.  To these, in July, it added an agreement with the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Homeland Security. The agreement seeks to facilitate cooperation in investigating and prosecuting criminal offences within their respective competences. Here we look at the potential implications of this agreement for the EPPO.

https://riskandcompliance.freshfields.com/post/102hzw7/european-public-prosecutor-concludes-working-arrangement-with-the-us-and-increase#page=1

EU DELISTS ALL BUT 1 PERSON FROM ITS BURUNDI SANCTIONS

On 26 October, the EU Sanctions blog noted that only leaves only Joseph Niyonzima (alias Kazungu), an officer of the National Intelligence Service, remains on the sanctions list, and that the sanctions have also been renewed for a further year.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/10/eu-de-lists-all-but-1-from-burundi-sanctions/

SINGAPORE PROPOSES BAN ON CRYPTO CREDIT TO REIN IN TOKEN TRADING

On 26 October, Nikkei Asia reported that Singapore has proposed a ban on credit lines to fund cryptocurrency purchases in a public consultation lasting until 21 December.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cryptocurrencies/Singapore-proposes-ban-on-crypto-credit-to-rein-in-token-trading

US: DOES THE TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION REAUTHORIZATION ACT (TVPRA) APPLY EXTRATERRITORIALLY?

On 20 October, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog posed this question about the TVPRA, which creates a civil remedy against perpetrators and others who knowingly benefit from slavery, forced labour, and human trafficking, in the light of a recent case which held that only the TVPRA’s criminal provisions apply extraterritorially and not its civil cause of action.

https://tlblog.org/does-the-tvpra-apply-extraterritorially

FOREIGN DATA PROTECTION LAWS: GREATER IMPACT ON US DISCOVERY THAN FOREIGN BLOCKING STATUTES

On 25 October, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog says that litigants are increasingly relying on foreign data protection laws – especially new laws in China and the EU – to resist discovery requests from courts in the US.  The post argues that foreign data protection laws should have a greater potential impact on US litigation than foreign blocking statutes have had.

https://tlblog.org/foreign-data-protection-laws-greater-impact-on-u-s-discovery-than-foreign-blocking-statutes

US SUPREME COURT: RICO CIVIL CAUSE OF ACTION REQUIRES A DOMESTIC INJURY TO BUSINESS OR PROPERTY

On 25 October, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog said that in a 2016 case the Supreme Court made the above ruling.  A recent petition before the Court asks the Supreme Court to consider what constitutes a domestic injury to intangible property for purposes of RICO’s private right of action. 

https://tlblog.org/cert-petition-highlights-split-on-extraterritorial-application-of-civil-rico

SANCTIONED RUSSIAN OLIGARCH ALEXEY MORDASHOV FINDS SAFE HARBOUR FOR YACHT IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that South Africa will allow Russian steel magnate Alexey Mordashov to pull his superyacht – the 465-foot Nord – into Cape Town, making it the latest port stop on a controversy-laden voyage – from the Seychelles to Vladivostok, Hong Kong and now Cape Town – that shows the limits of Western sanctions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sanctioned-russian-oligarch-alexey-mordashov-finds-safe-harbor-for-yacht-in-south-africa-11666720221

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-63395322

US ALLEGES SEAGATE BROKE EXPORT RULES TO SELL HUAWEI HARD DRIVES

On 26 October, Devdiscourse reported that Seagate Technology Holdings says that it has been warned that the company may have violated export control laws by providing hard disk drives to a customer on a trade blacklist.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/business/2227406-us-alleges-seagate-broke-export-rules-to-sell-huawei-hard-drives-source

MALTESE BUSINESSMAN WHO PROVIDED RHIBS USED TO EVACUATE MERCENARIES FROM LIBYA IS ACQUITTED OF LIBYA SANCTIONS BREACH

On 26 October, Malta Today reported that a Maltese chartering company owner and 4 employees have been acquitted of supplying vessels for the evacuation of mercenaries from Libya in breach of EU sanctions.  They had been charged with breaching EU rules after sending 2 Malta-registered RHIB to Libya without the necessary clearance, having been leased on the pretext that they were going to be used to evacuate ‘geological survey workers’ from Libya in 2019.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/119449/maltese_businessman_who_provided_mercenary_escape_boats_acquitted_of_libya_sanctions_breach#.Y1kl5bbMKUk

TÜRKIYE LAUNCHES OPERATION BREATH-2 AGAINST ILLICIT TOBACCO

On 26 October, Daily Sabah reported on the launch of Operation Breath-2 and the arrest of 198 suspects determined to be members of criminal organisations.  It targeted 9 criminal groups at 583 addresses across 7 provinces.  It is said that 108 criminal groups were detected in other operations against the smuggling of tobacco products and hollow cigarette tubes known as macarons, and that Türkiye’s long struggle against the use of tobacco has lasted for more than 20 years.

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/investigations/turkiye-launches-operation-breath-2against-illicit-tobacco

HONG KONG: 2 ARRESTS IN $446 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

On 26 October, The Hindu reported that Hong Kong authorities have arrested 2 men for allegedly laundering funds worth US$446 million by reselling precious metals, in one of the city’s largest money laundering cases.  They were involved in a scheme selling around 8 tonnes of precious metals — mostly gold and palladium — between 2020 and 2021.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/hong-kong-arrests-two-in-446-million-money-laundering-case/article66056147.ece 

LUXURY WATCHES AMONG HK$20 MILLION HAUL OF GOODS SEIZED BY HONG KONG CUSTOMS FROM MACAU-BOUND RIVERBOAT

On 25 October, the South China Morning Post reported that up to 400 watches worth up to HK$222,000 each were among the haul; mobile phones, jewellery and camera lenses also impounded.  A customs officials said that some of the more than 6,000 seized items were probably intended for mainland China in a bid to dodge high import charges imposed by authorities there.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3197181/luxury-watches-among-hk20-million-haul-goods-seized-hong-kong-customs-officers-macau-bound-riverboat

CHINESE COTTON SOLD IN UK COULD BE FROM PERSECUTED UYGHURS, COURT HEARS

On 25 October, the BBC reported claims that the UK Government acted unlawfully by not investigating whether some cotton imports come from Uyghur forced-labour camps in China.  Lawyers for the World Uyghur Congress said there were “reasonable grounds” to believe UK retailers had benefited from cotton made by Uyghurs held in China.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-63390458?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA

WHAT LIES BEHIND BOLIVIA’S EXPANDING COCAINE TRADE?

On 25 October, an article from Insight Crime said that the power of Brazilian gangs and local crime clans, coupled with struggling government policies, have led to Bolivia’s cocaine trade rising steadily in recent years.  It spoke to Joaquín Chacin, a security and drug trafficking specialist and an associate researcher at the Higher University of San Simón in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

https://insightcrime.org/news/what-lies-behind-bolivias-expanding-cocaine-trade/

MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE PROPOSES MEASURES TO REDUCE RISKS TO CONSUMERS FROM CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADING AND ENHANCE STANDARDS OF STABLECOIN-RELATED ACTIVITIES

On 26 October, a release on Mondo Visione advised that MAS has published 2 consultation papers proposing regulatory measures to reduce the risk of consumer harm from cryptocurrency trading and to support the development of stablecoins as a credible medium of exchange in the digital asset ecosystem. These measures will be part of the Payment Services Act.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/monetary-authority-of-singapore-proposes-measures-to-reduce-risks-to-consumers-f/

NETHERLANDS ISSUED 91 WAIVERS TO SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

On 24 October, NL Times reported that the Dutch government has issued 91 waivers from sanctions against Russia since February.  Ministries shielded the names of the companies involved, the value of transactions which were exempted, and the business sectors concerned.

https://nltimes.nl/2022/10/24/netherlands-issued-91-waivers-sanctions-russia

HOW A PORTION OF AFGHANISTAN’S FOREIGN RESERVES ENDED UP IN GENEVA

On 25 October, Swissinfo reported on f how $3.5 billion belonging to the Afghan people dodged lawsuits and the Taliban to land in a trust fund in Switzerland – and what happens now to this money.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/how-a-portion-of-afghanistan-s-foreign-reserves-ended-up-in-geneva/47994058

PODCAST: OLIVER BULLOUGH AT THE TRACE LONDON FORUM

In the latest TRACE podcast, speaking at the TRACE London Forum, Oliver Bullough, author of Butler to the World, discusses the UK’s role as an enabler of financial crime, efforts toward accountability, the balance between transparency and privacy, and the weaponization of lawsuits in British courts to silence journalists.

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

GERMANY SETS OUT PLANS FOR CANNABIS LEGALISATION AMID EU LAW WORRIES

On 26 October, EurActiv reported that the German health minister had presented plans for legalising cannabis for recreational use – a key promise of the country’s “traffic light” government, although the project could still be halted by the EU Commission.  Plans foresee that the production, distribution and sale of limited amounts of cannabis should be legalised – but it remains unclear whether the government’s plans are compliant with EU law.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/all/news/germany-sets-out-plans-for-cannabis-legalisation-amid-eu-law-worries/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/26/germany-to-legalise-cannabis-for-recreational-use

HOW THE UK BECAME ONE OF THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN WESTERN EUROPE

A worrying article in The Atlantic on 25 October refers to what is described as a deeper story of decades-long economic dysfunction that holds lessons for the future.  It says that UK living standards and wages have fallen significantly behind those of Western Europe and by some measures, in fact, real wages in the UK are lower than they were 15 years ago, and will likely be even lower next year.

https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2022/10/uk-economy-disaster-degrowth-brexit/671847/

COUPLE CHARGED IN HAWAII TOURIST BOAT FRAUD SCHEME THAT ALLEGEDLY NETTED $28 MILLION FROM 400 INVESTORS

On 25 October, Yahoo Finance reported that a couple are facing criminal charges after federal prosecutors said they defrauded hundreds of investors out of $28 million with false claims about building a watercraft that could partially submerge to give passengers underwater views, but used a large sum of the money for their own benefit. 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/couple-charged-hawaii-tourist-boat-200409535.html

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

US SANCTIONS IRANIAN OFFICIALS AND ENTITIES RESPONSIBLE FOR ONGOING CRACKDOWN ON PROTESTS AND INTERNET CENSORSHIP

On 26 October, the US Treasury advised that OFAC had designated 10 Iranian officials for the brutal ongoing crackdown on nationwide protests in Iran, as well as 2 Iranian intelligence actors and 2 Iranian entities involved in the Iranian government’s efforts to disrupt digital freedom. Today’s action comes 40 days after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s arrest and death in the custody of Iran’s Morality Police and the ongoing brutal crackdown on peaceful protests in Iran.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221026

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1048

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

SANCTIONS: US TREASURY TARGETS CORRUPTION AND RUSSIA’S MALIGN INFLUENCE OPERATIONS IN MOLDOVA

On 26 October, a news release advised that OFAC had taken action to counter the Russian persistent malign influence campaigns and systemic corruption in Moldova by imposing sanctions on 9 individuals and 12 entities.  The individuals and entities sanctioned today include oligarchs widely recognized for capturing and corrupting Moldova’s political and economic institutions and those acting as instruments of Russia’s global influence campaign, which seeks to manipulate the US and its allies and partners, including Moldova and Ukraine. The designations include former Moldovan government official Vladimir Plahotniuc, who engaged in state capture by exerting control over and manipulating key sectors of Moldova’s government, including the law enforcement, electoral, and judicial sectors.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221026

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1049

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

RUSSIAN ASSETS FROZEN IN UK CROWN DEPENDENCIES AND OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

On 26 October, a post on the EU Sanctions blog reported on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee having published the Government response to a June 2022 report.  This includes the detail that Overseas Territories have frozen Russian assets with a combined estimated value in excess of $9 billion, including $8.4 billion by the Cayman Islands and more than $400 million by the BVI.  Crown Dependencies have frozen assets worth over £1 billion, including £1.9 million by the Isle of Man, £5 million by Guernsey and £1.15 billion by Jersey.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/10/uk-government-responds-to-committee-report-on-illicit-finance-russia-sanctions/

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

MILLIONS IN UN FUNDING FLOW TO WAR PROFITEERS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS IN SYRIA

On 25 October, OCCRP reported that a new study finds that the UN has paid out tens of millions of dollars to Syrian companies linked to war profiteers, human rights abusers, and sanctioned figures linked to the Bashar Al-Assad regime.  The UN paid out roughly $137 million to Syrian companies linked to human rights abusers, war profiteers, sanctioned people, and other figures connected to the Bashar Al-Assad regime in 2019 and 2020.

https://opensyr.com/en/pages/p-16

https://www.occrp.org/en/37-ccblog/ccblog/16940-millions-in-un-funding-flow-to-war-profiteers-and-human-rights-abusers-in-syria-study-shows

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

HELPFUL HINTS FOR IDENTIFYING POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS (PEP)

On 26 October, a post from Kenneth Rijock pointed one towards tips from Robert Mitchell, from Riskscreen, who has posted his personal list for profiling Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) that compliance officers will find instructive; he calls it “TIGHT”.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2022/10/read-robert-mitchells-helpful-hints-for.html

 

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

AUSTRALIA: KEY FINDINGS FROM THE NSW CRIME COMMISSION INVESTIGATION INTO MONEY LAUNDERING USING “POKIES”

On 26 October, the Brisbane Times and others reported that a joint law enforcement agency inquiry led by the NSW Crime Commission investigated for the first time the nature and extent of money laundering activity that may be occurring in licensed premises in New South Wales, and concerns that cash flowing through the state’s poker machines had made them attractive to criminals to make it appear that their money was legitimately acquired.  It is said that NSW poker machines in pubs and clubs turned over $95 billion in 2020-21, and while it was not possible to quantify how much of this was the proceeds of organised crime, the amount was estimated to be in the billions. 

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/nsw/key-findings-from-the-nsw-crime-commission-investigation-into-money-laundering-in-pokies-20221026-p5bt0s.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-26/slot-machines-are-laundering-billions-in-drug-money-in-australia

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-26/billions-of-dollars-funnelled-through-pokies-to-launder-money/101578730

https://www.crimecommission.nsw.gov.au/files/nswcc-media-release-report-into-money-laundering-via-egms-in-pubs-and-clubs.pdf

 

 

 

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

BROKER FOR ISRAELI ARMS TO MYANMAR ARRESTED IN THAILAND – ACCUSED OF DRUG DEALING, MONEY LAUNDERING

On 26 October, Haaretz reported that a corporation in Myanmar implicated in crime and corruption – whose top executives were arrested in Thailand on drug and money laundering charges – is said to have served as a middleman between Israeli arms exporters and the military junta ruling Myanmar.  The UK imposed sanctions on the corporation, Star Sapphire Trading, for its ties to the Myanmar army during the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/security-aviation/2022-10-26/ty-article/.premium/broker-for-israeli-arms-to-myanmar-arrested-in-thailand-for-drug-dealing-money-laundering/00000184-1052-d19c-ade5-335628680000

 

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

CJEU REMOVES FORMER GOVERNOR OF SEVASTOPOL FROM EU SANCTIONS LIST

On 26 October, MSN reported that the General Court of the EU had annulled the European sanctions against Dmitry Ovsiannikov, governor of Sevastopol between 2017 and 2019, finding that once he left office no responsibility can be attributed for the violation of the territorial integrity of Crimea.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/cjeu-removes-former-governor-of-sevastopol-from-eu-sanctions-list/ar-AA13ohY5

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/10/eu-court-annuls-listing-of-former-governor-of-sevastopol/

 

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

MIXED RESULTS IN 2021 UN ARMS TRADE TREATY REVIEW

On 25 October, a report from the Stimson Center says that States Parties to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) are required to report on their conventional arms exports and imports each year.  These reports have the potential to provide much-needed transparency in the notoriously opaque global arms trade – but ATT annual reporting has yet to live up to its full potential.  The report highlights the key trends, transparency issues, and good practices exemplified by the 2021 annual reports and considers whether some of the negative transparency trends that have plagued reporting for years may finally be showing signs of reversing.

https://www.stimson.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/October-2022-Report-Single-Pages.pdf

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y