OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 28

As the European Medicines Agency (EMA) warned that the pandemic “is not over yet” and the mutation of the virus that causes Covid-19 is “faster” than the process of updating vaccines, and warned that a “new wave is expected in the coming weeks” for new subvariants of Ómicron…the Ministry of Health (MINSA) here reported that there are 6,579 cases of dengue nationwide – 5,917 cases are without warning signs, 647 with warning signs and 15 serious cases have been reported, of which 3 have died. there have also been 4,863 cases of malaria this year.

28 OCTOBER 2022

‘FAT LEONARD’ EXTRADITION GIVES MADURO REGIME AN EDGE IN REDEFINING RELATIONS WITH THE US

On 27 October, USNI News reported that a legal expert has said that the extradition of international fugitive Leonard Francis from Venezuela to the US could mark the start of a major shift in the relationship.  He was arrested while traveling on a Malaysian passport and attempting to fly to Russia after he flew to the country from Cuba.   He had fled the US and is wanted in connection with a huge fraud involving the US Navy in Asia.

https://news.usni.org/2022/10/27/fat-leonard-extradition-gives-maduro-regime-an-edge-in-redefining-relations-with-u-s-says-legal-expert

BELGIUM: CHANGES IN ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNERS LEGISLATION 

On 26 October, an article from White & Case advised about changes from 1 October to Belgian law regarding the recording of ultimate beneficial owners (UBO), in order to ensure compliance with the relevant EU Directive.  The amendments introduce a number of changes to the previous rules, in particular as regards the very definition of the ultimate beneficial owner, as well as the scope of exemptions from the general record-keeping duty.

https://www.whitecase.com/insight-alert/changes-ultimate-beneficial-owners-recording-legislation-modified-definition-ultimate

INCREASE OF THEFT AGAINST SHIPS TRANSITING PHILIP CHANNEL IN SINGAPORE STRAIT

On 28 October, Seatrade Maritime News reported that there has been an increase in the number of incidents of theft, robbery and piracy against ships in the Philip Channel in the west of the Singapore Strait this year.   There have been 8 incidents in the Philip Channel so far this year, compared to 3 in the whole of 2021.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ship-operations/increase-theft-against-ships-transiting-philip-channel-singapore-strait

ENABLING CROSS-SECTOR DATA-SHARING TO BETTER PREVENT AND DETECT SCAMS

A conference report from RUSI on 20 October says that without collaboration and data-sharing, fighting fraud has been described as ‘like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle without knowing who has the next missing piece’.  Better information sharing is one of the Strategic Objectives of the UK Government’s current Economic Crime Plan, and is likely to underpin the upcoming second iteration.

https://static.rusi.org/347_CR_Preventing_Scams_proof%20final.pdf

AFGHANISTAN UNDER THE TALIBAN: THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF SANCTIONS

On 24 October, a Commentary from RUSI asks if, as the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, is the international community helping or exacerbating the situation?

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/afghanistan-under-taliban-unintended-consequences-sanctions

FROM FREEZE TO SEIZE: HOW THE UK CAN BREAK THE DEADLOCK ON ASSET RECOVERY

On 10 October, a Commentary from RUSI observed that the UK continues to impose sanctions, but it is lagging behind allies in developing its approach to the recovery of ill-gotten assets.  It says that it has been months since the last attempt to freeze (and seize and confiscate) oligarch assets.  This inaction is indicative of 2 elements: the persistent confusion among UK policymakers surrounding the ultimate goal of confiscating Russian sanctioned assets, and the inadequacy of the UK’s asset recovery frameworks when faced with this task.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/freeze-seize-how-uk-can-break-deadlock-asset-recovery

CHARTERER LINKED TO RUSSIAN OLIGARCH WINS $2 MILLION APPEAL OVER SANCTIONS DISPUTE

On 28 October, TradeWinds reported that a court in London has reinstated a $2 million arbitration award to a charterer linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska after judges ruled that a shipowner should have accepted payment in euros to avoid sanctions concerns.  Dutch bulker specialist MUR Shipping triggered a force majeure clause in its contract of affreightment with charterer RTI in April 2018, 4 days after the US imposed sanctions on Deripaska, who was then president of RTI’s parent company, Rusal.

https://www.tradewindsnews.com/tankers/charterer-linked-to-russian-oligarch-wins-2m-appeal-over-sanctions-dispute/2-1-1342953

SPAIN SANCTIONS FULL OVERHAUL OF GAMBLING LAW

On 28 October, SBC News reported that Spain will undertake significant changes to its gambling market following the Senate’s approval to reform the Gambling Law of 2011. 

https://sbcnews.co.uk/featurednews/2022/10/28/spain-sanctions-full-overhaul-of-gambling-law/

HOW COULD US SANCTIONS ON NICARAGUA GOLD EFFECT ILLEGAL MINING IN COSTA RICA?

On 27 October, the Tico Times reported that gold is Nicaragua’s number 1 export reaching almost $900 million in 2021.  It says that Costa Rica currently has no legal gold operations. However, in the 1990s Costa Rica had granted a mining concession in a remote jungle location not far from the Nicaraguan border, but in reaction to fierce opposition to the open pit mine, it cancelled the concession back in 2011.  That has not stopped mining in the area.  Given its proximity to Nicaragua and the fact that access is to the location is very difficult, local authorities have struggled to combat illegal mining.  Almost all of those working in these mines are poor Nicaraguans that cross the border without documentation.

https://ticotimes.net/2022/10/27/how-could-u-s-sanctions-on-nicaragua-gold-effect-illegal-mining-in-costa-rica

SWITZERLAND: AML – NEW GUIDANCE FROM THE MEF AND THE NEW GOVERNMENT’S POSITIONS ON BITCOIN REGULATION

On 28 October, The Cryptonomist reported that a very recent circular which replaces a previous one has provided new guidance on AML sanction proceedings. 

https://en.cryptonomist.ch/2022/10/28/anti-money-laundering-bitcoin-regulation/

EURO BANKING ASSOCIATION (EBA) PUBLISHES FRAUD TAXONOMY

On 28 October, Finextra reported that the EBA has made its payment fraud taxonomy available to the public in a bid to curb the rising threats to the European payments system.  The taxonomy has been developed by the EBA’s expert group on payment fraud-related topics, and is designed to provide a “simplified and straightforward framework to describe fraud scenarios related to all kinds of payments, including card transactions”. The hope is that the taxonomy will be used by banks to develop some common terminology around payment fraud that will then make it easier for them to share data and intelligence. 

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/41222/eba-publishes-fraud-taxonomy/transaction

EU: A MEMBER STATE CANNOT EXTRADITE A THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONAL TO ANOTHER THIRD COUNTRY WHERE THAT NATIONAL HAS BEEN CONVICTED BY FINAL JUDGMENT IN ANOTHER MEMBER STATE FOR THE SAME ACTS

A news release from the CJEU on 28 October was concerned with a German case involving an extradition request made by the US authorities for the purpose of prosecuting a Serbian national who, for that reason, was remanded in custody in Germany.

https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-10/cp220175en.pdf

UK: RUSSIA (SANCTIONS) (EU EXIT) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 15) REGULATIONS 2022

These Regulations make further amendments to the Russia sanctions regime and comes into force on 29 October, with the exception of the prohibition on the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) which will come into force on 1 January. 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/1110/contents/made

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/1110/pdfs/uksiem_20221110_en.pdf

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/10/new-uk-russia-sanctions-measures-to-enter-into-force-tomorrow/

WILDLIFE EXPERTS: RHINO HORN TRAFFICKING IS ON THE RISE WORLDWIDE

On 27 October, OCCRP reported that the findings of the Wildlife Justice Commission’s (WJC) report show a dire situation for rhinoceroses, one of the world’s last forms of megafauna.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16953-wildlife-experts-rhino-horn-trafficking-is-on-the-rise-worldwide

https://wildlifejustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Rhino-Horn-Trafficking-Report-2022-V19-Spreads.pdf

US GOLD MINING COMPANY VIOLATED ENVIRONMENTAL LAW MORE THAN 3,000 TIMES

On 28 October, OCCRP reported that a federal judge found that a gold mining company has violated environmental laws more than 3,000 times at its Buckhorn Mine in “one of the unspoiled natural areas” of Washington State.  She found the company Crown Resources liable for pollution of waters in and around the Buckhorn Mountain Mine which flows into the Kettle River watershed, a tributary of the Columbia River.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16954-u-s-gold-mining-company-violated-environmental-law-more-than-3-000-times

THE RISK OF CROSS DEBARMENT BY MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS

On 28 October, an article from Out-Law says that multilateral development banks (MDB), such as the World Bank, police fraud, corruption, collusion and other forms of corporate misconduct.  Those who engage in wrongdoing can be barred from projects, and a system of cross-debarment operates which means the debarment decisions by one MDB are recognised and applied by other MDB if certain conditions are met.  It is therefore important that businesses reliant on work from MDB-funded projects familiarise themselves with how cross-debarment works and understand what they can do to avoid it.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/cross-debarment-multilateral-development-banks

PANAMA’S EX-PRESIDENT TO FACE HEARING FOR MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME

On 26 October, OCCRP reported that former Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli will face a preliminary hearing for his alleged role in the “New Business” money laundering scheme, related to the purchase of a Panamanian media outlet.  It notes that the former President faces another open corruption investigation into his role in a scheme involving bribes paid out by Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht; and his 2 sons were sentenced in a US court in May to 3 years each for laundering $28 million from bribes given by the same Brazilian construction company.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16947-panama-s-ex-president-to-face-hearing-for-money-laundering-scheme

ANOTHER AUSTRALIAN CASINO OPERATOR IS IN TROUBLE AS INDUSTRY SCRUTINY INTENSIFIES

On 26 October, Casino.org reported that another casino operator, albeit much smaller, is in trouble for violating gaming rules in Australia.  ABC News reported that the Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns violated Queensland’s Casino Control Act.  The company that holds its casino licence, Reef Corporate Services Ltd, acknowledged its breaches in court.

https://www.casino.org/news/another-australian-casino-operator-is-in-trouble-as-industry-scrutiny-intensifies/

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE SECOND US GOVERNMENT DOMESTIC TERRORISM ASSESSMENT

On 28 October, a post from Lawfare said that the new report is the second iteration of the Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism.  From additional granularity in the size and scope of the threat of domestic terrorism to a more forthcoming acknowledgement of its complexity, it should provide a road map for US domestic counterterrorism efforts.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/assessment-second-us-government-domestic-terrorism-assessment

THE MODERNISATION OF THE INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (IDB) SHOULD PROCEED

An article in Americas Quarterly on 17 October argues that a change of leadership at the Inter-American Development Bank should not delay implementation of a sorely needed reform agenda.  The IDB is the largest development bank in the Americas, whether measured by assets, capital or shareholders.  Established in 1959 ahead of all other such regional multilateral lenders around the globe, it is owned by 48 governments, including 26 borrowing members from Latin America and the Caribbean and 22 non-borrowing nations. The US has a 30% stake, by far the single largest holding.

https://americasquarterly.org/article/the-modernization-of-the-idb-should-proceed/

US: MASTERMIND BEHIND MASSIVE MARRIAGE FRAUD CONSPIRACY SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON

On 27 October, a news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement advised that Ashley Yen Nguyen, 58, was also ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release and pay $334,605 in fines. She pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2020.  As part of her plea, she admitted to conspiring to engage in marriage fraud, mail fraud, immigration fraud, money laundering and making false statements in a tax return.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/mastermind-behind-massive-marriage-fraud-conspiracy-sentenced-10-years-prison

US COAST GUARD HALTS ILLEGAL USE OF ‘PAPER CAPTAINS’ IN WASHINGTON-BASED TUNA FISHING OPERATION

On 27 October, Homeland Security News reported that many fishing vessels have engaged in a pattern and practice of hiring foreign nationals to serve on US commercial fishing vessels in the capacity of captain, and the USCG has ended the use of illegal foreign nationals on a commercial fishing vessel that operated out of the State of Washington.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/maritime-security/coast-guard-halts-illegal-use-of-paper-captains-in-wash-based-tuna-fishing-operation-2/

CUSTOMS: NEW AGREEMENT TO IMPROVE TRADE FLOWS BETWEEN THE EU AND MOLDOVA ENTERS INTO FORCE ON 1 NOVEMBER

On 28 October, the EU announced that a new agreement between the EU and Moldova will enter into force on 1 November, improving trade facilitation for businesses. The new arrangements mean that both the EU and Moldova will mutually recognise each other’s Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programmes. 

https://taxation-customs.ec.europa.eu/news/customs-new-agreement-improve-trade-flows-between-eu-and-moldova-enters-force-1-november-2022-10-28_en

BaFin ISSUES WARNING ABOUT FAKE OFFERS OF ASSISTANCE FROM UK FCA

On 28 October, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the German regulator, BaFin, has become aware that consumers are currently being contacted by persons purporting to work for the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who are claiming to offer assistance with the recovery of lost funds. Those contacted are first asked to transfer high sums of money, with the claim that this is required for “verification”.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/warning-of-fraud-bafin-issues-warning-about-fake-offers-of-assistance-from-the/

ILLEGAL FISHING SPURS BILLIONS IN LOSSES FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, STUDY SAYS

On 26 October, the Guardian reported that developing countries are losing billions of dollars due to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which siphons off revenue through illicit financial flows, according to a new study by the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC).

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/26/illegal-fishing-billions-losses-developing-countries

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

PUBLICATION OF THE WOLFSBERG FINANCIAL CRIME PRINCIPLES FOR CORRESPONDENT BANKING

On 28 October, the Wolfsberg Group published its updated Financial Crime Principles for Correspondent Banking.  This updates the 2014 version and provides guidance and best practices for banks, draws a distinction between Correspondent Relationships and Correspondent Banking activity, addresses entities other than banks who have Correspondent Relationships, and incorporates revised FAQ that were previously a separate document.  The Principles detail risk-based due diligence measures that, when undertaken, allow the Correspondent Bank to assess the profile, customer base and Financial Crime Programme of its Respondent customers. 

https://www.wolfsberg-principles.com/sites/default/files/wb/Wolfsberg%20Correspondent%20Banking%20Principles%202022.pdf

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU: NEW AML GUIDANCE ON THE USE OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP PAVES THE WAY FOR A MORE EFFICIENT PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING

On 28 October, the EU announced that the Commission has published guidance on the use of public-private partnerships (PPP) to prevent and fight money laundering and terrorist financing.  The guidance aims to improve stakeholders’ general understanding of what PPPs are, and to encourage, where possible, their role in the effective fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.  The document provides guidance on the main features and the associated opportunities, specific legal considerations, as well as observed best practices of PPP. 

https://finance.ec.europa.eu/financial-crime/eu-context-anti-money-laundering-and-countering-financing-terrorism_en

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU: AML – THE LATEST ASSESSMENT OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING RISKS ACROSS THE SINGLE MARKET IS NOW AVAILABLE

On 28 October, the EU advised that the Commission has adopted the Supranational Risk Assessment (SNRA) Report, a tool to help Member States identify and address money laundering and terrorist financing risks.  The report shows that while most recommendations of the previous assessments (the last such report dates from 2019) have already been implemented, it underlines the fact that weaknesses in identifying beneficial ownership continue to remain a considerable threat to the financial system, as anonymity remains a critical vulnerability for all sectors and activities.  The report also re-calculates the risk levels of certain areas where changes have been detected since 2019, e.g. crypto-assets and online gambling, where risks are now higher.

https://finance.ec.europa.eu/financial-crime/eu-context-anti-money-laundering-and-countering-financing-terrorism_en

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK: OFSI ISSUES SANCTIONS AND LEGAL FEES GUIDANCE

On 28 October, a blog port from OFSI says that, in acknowledging the importance of a person’s ability to be receive legal advice and representation, OFSI has long had a position of not prohibiting the provision of legal advice to a designated person under an asset freeze. Payment for legal services, including payment for legal services provided on credit, by contrast has required a licence.  However, OFSI has issued a general licence to permit the payment of legal fees owed by individuals and entities designated under either of these regimes.

https://ofsi.blog.gov.uk/2022/10/28/legal-fees-general-licence/

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OFAC ADDS 15 KHORDAD FOUNDATION BEHIND BOUNTY ON SALMAN RUSHDIE TO SANCTIONS LISTS

On 28 October, OFAC announced that the 15 KHORDAD FOUNDATION (aks BONYAD-E PANZDAH-E KHORDAD) had been added to its SDN List.  This is an Iran-based foundation that has issued a multi-million-dollar bounty for the killing of prominent author Salman Rushdie.  Since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s order pronouncing a death sentence on Rushdie in February 1989, 15 Khordad Foundation has committed millions of dollars to anyone willing to carry out this act.  Since putting its bounty on Rushdie, the 15 Khordad Foundation, which is affiliated with the Supreme Leader, has raised the reward for targeting the author.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221028

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1059

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

CHINA’S ROLE IN TRANSNATIONAL CRIME AND ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS

On 27 October, a report from Global Financial Integrity says that China is unique in that the government itself engages in certain types of criminal activity — specifically forced labour and intellectual property rights violations.  In addition, the country’s political, economic, and social policies have extensive repercussions on the presence and prevalence of these crimes, both domestically and internationally.  Furthermore, it says, the country’s willingness to cooperate and act on these crimes within the global context has been relatively limited.  The report scrutinises China’s role in 4 different transnational crimes — drug trafficking, counterfeiting and IP theft, human trafficking and wildlife trafficking — as well as the illicit financial flows (IFF) associated with these crimes.

https://gfintegrity.org/report/made-in-china/

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

DIRECTOR LIABILITY FOR CYBER BREACHES: TRANSATLANTIC WARNING SIGNS?

On 27 October, an article from White & Case said that 2 legal cases in the US in the past month suggest that regulators and prosecutors are becoming more determined to take personal action against directors and senior executives who fail to deal adequately with cyber security breaches.  Uber’s former chief security officer has been found guilty of criminal obstruction charges for failing to report a cyber breach to the authorities in what is believed to be the first time a US company executive has been criminally prosecuted over a cyber breach.  Earlier, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had taken action against the CEO of an online drinks delivery business over the company’s security failures which led to a cyber breach that exposed the personal information of 2.5 million customers.

https://www.whitecase.com/insight-alert/director-liability-cyber-breaches-transatlantic-warning-signs

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU: 7 ENTRIES ON TUNISIA SANCTIONS LIST DELETED

EU Regulation 2022/2073/EU of 27 October deleted 7 entries following a review.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.280.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A280%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2022.280.01.0047.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:280:TOC

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

AUSTRAC ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE ON PREVENTING TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING (TBML)

On 28 October, Regulation Asia reported that the guidance describes the most common TBML methodologies and provides indicators and behaviours to help financial service providers detect and report suspicious activity.

https://www.regulationasia.com/austrac-issues-new-guidance-on-preventing-tbml/

https://www.miragenews.com/trade-based-money-laundering-on-radar-in-new-884003/

https://www.austrac.gov.au/business/how-comply-guidance-and-resources/guidance-resources/preventing-trade-based-money-laundering-australia

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y