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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.