11 NOVEMBER 2022
GUERNSEY INTRODUCES A SUMMARY CIVIL FORFEITURE PROCEDURE
On 28 October, Ogier published an article which comments on the effect of the new law change on trustees. The summary procedure will apply where assets in a bank account have been the subject of “no consent” for at least a year.
SERBIAN PRESIDENT HAS REITERATED THAT HIS COUNTRY WILL NOT IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA DUE TO THE UKRAINE WAR
On 11 November, Cumhuriyet reported that, in the Western Balkans, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania have joined the EU and US in sanctioning Russia over the war in Ukraine. Serbia has so far refrained from following suit but faces growing pressure over its neutrality and reluctance to sanction Russia.
AUSTRALIA: CONSOLIDATED LIST OF SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS
On 11 November, Australia relisted a large number of persons and entities subject to its counter-terrorism sanctions. The Consolidated List containing the names of all those subject to sanctions is available at –
INDONESIA: GROUNDED SUPERTANKER UNDER US SANCTIONS REFLOATED
On 10 November, gCaptain reported that the Yong Yong was being towed to an anchorage area in Indonesia after the tanker was successfully refloated. The US shad relaxed some transactions necessary to dock and anchor the tanker safely and make repairs as part of the efforts to free the vessel. It ran aground in October when heading to Nipah, a ship-to-ship transfer hub.
REPORT: JAPAN’S LEGAL IVORY MARKET FUELS SMUGGLING
On 10 November, OCCRP reported that ivory smuggled to China is frequently sourced from Japan’s ivory market, which remains open despite concerns over its connection to illegal wildlife trade. A new report says that available evidence indicates that Japanʼs domestic ivory market is not only contributing to illegal international trade but is actively promoting it.
AUSTRAC CALLS FOR LAWYERS, ACCOUNTANTS, AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS TO BE BROUGHT UNDER AML REGIME
On 11 November, Comply Advantage reported that the CEO of AUSTRAC has again expressed concern over “gatekeeper professions” not being subject to Australia’s AML regime, saying that could induce further criticism from FATF.
SOUTH AFRICA PROVIDES FERTILE GROUND FOR FUNDERS OF TERRORISM
On 11 November, an article from Tech Financials in South Africa says that the US embassy in South Africa has twice raised the alarm recently about terrorism in the country. The US recently designated several persons and entities following media reports showing that ISIS was using South Africa to add to its war chest. The article says that there is a long history of concerns about the country’s deficiencies in dealing with terrorism financing activities within its borders.
CANADA – OPERATIONAL ALERT: LAUNDERING OF PROCEEDS FROM ILLICIT CANNABIS
On 28 September, FINTRAC published its latest Operational Alert on money laundering of the proceeds from illicit cannabis. It notes that while the Cannabis Act provides the legal framework controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis, only licence-holders are able to grow cannabis for sale to ensure that all legal cannabis products meet the strict product safety and quality control requirements. Despite the introduction of the Cannabis Act, unlicensed activity related to cannabis continues.
CROATIA LOWERS THRESHOLD FOR CASH TO BE REPORTED TO AML OFFICE
On 10 November, See News reported that all cash transactions above €10,000 will have to be reported to the money laundering prevention office, lowering the threshold from the current €26,200.
THE ERICSSON CORRUPTION SCANDAL: WHAT WENT WRONG?
The report is available from KYC 360, explaining that, in December 2019, Ericsson admitted that between 2000 and 2016 it had engaged in schemes using third party agreements and consultants to pay bribes in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kuwait and Djibouti. The bribes were paid to secure lucrative contracts with state-owned companies. The report examines the facts to date that have led to a scandal of international corruption, bribery and misconduct.
ASSIGNMENT OF INSURANCE CLAIMS FOR LOSSES UNDER RUSSIAN SANCTIONS
On 10 November, an article from Pillsbury says that Western companies leasing an estimated $10 billion worth of aircraft to Russian airlines are facing a total loss of their property. Western governments have ordered lessors to repossess aircraft, but a Russian Federation decree mandates that Russian airlines not return (or “export”) such aircraft to their Western owners. It also says that, against this background, the path towards recovering insurance for the resulting loss of leased equipment is proving to be rocky – but a secondary market may be emerging to help monetise insurance assets. Finally, it says that negotiating an assignment of rights may provide a pathway to recovery from losses of equipment leased to Russian airlines. Lessors pursuing such a path should engage qualified insurance coverage counsel to help structure such transactions to account for the pitfalls that can derail such a transaction.
OPERATION IRINI SEIZES ARMOURED VEHICLES BOUND FOR LIBYA
On 10 November, defence Web reported that the EU Naval Force’s Operation Irini has seized dozens of BATT UMG armoured vehicles destined for Libya in violation of UN sanctions. Manufactured in the UAE, they were being transported by the MV Meerdijk to Libya when the merchant vessel was inspected.
THE EU HAS RENEWED ITS VENEZUELAN SANCTIONS REGIME
EU Regulation 2022/2194/EU renewed the Venezuelan sanctions regime, with 17 entries being updated.
UK RETAINED EU LAW BILL’S IMPACT ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
On 10 November, an article from Out-Law says that the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill will fundamentally change the UK’s post-Brexit legal landscape if it becomes law, including impacting intellectual property (IP) related legislation.
AMERICAN MAN RETURNED 19 ANTIQUITIES TO THE COUNTRIES THEY CAME FROM AFTER READING REPORTS IN THE GUARDIAN ABOUT THE REPATRIATION OF LOOTED ANTIQUITIES
On 11 November, the Guardian reported that he realised that the ancient pieces worth up to £80,000 – including 2 7th– and 8th-century Cypriot vases – that he had inherited from his grandmother could have come from illicit excavations because they have no collecting history. He wanted to do the right thing legally and ethically by returning the items to Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Pakistan and, after an agreement with his 2 siblings, he has returned them.
FTX ASSETS FROZEN BY BAHAMAS REGULATOR AS CRYPTO EXCHANGE FIGHTS FOR SURVIVAL
On 11 November, the Guardian reported that the securities regulator in the Bahamas has frozen the assets of the Bahamas subsidiary of FTX, as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange struggles for survival.
CAYMAN ISLANDS: OFFSHORE LEGAL AND FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRM TO PAY THE LARGEST-EVER FINE COLLECTED BY CIMA AND MORE THAN $767,000 IN LEGAL FEES FOR COSTS
On 8 November, the Cayman News Service reported that Intertrust has agreed to pay $5 million to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority after the courts dismissed its appeal against an administrative fine of over $4.23 million for its failure to meet AML regulations.
NEW ZEALAND: SUPREME COURT REJECTS APPEAL OVER $53 MILLION BANK TRANSFERS
On 4 November, Stuff reported that a mother and son who claimed they had no idea a wealthy Chinese-Canadian businessman ran a $202 million pyramid scheme when they transferred money into New Zealand banks for him, have failed to have an appeal heard at the Supreme Court.
EUROJUST COORDINATES ACTION AGAINST MASSIVE INVESTMENT FRAUD WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS WORLDWIDE
On 10 November, a news release advised that, at the request of the Spanish, German and Finnish authorities, Eurojust and Europol have supported an action against a massive investment fraud involving the use of cryptocurrencies. The victims of this major online fraud are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. During operations on 8 and 9 November in Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine, 15 call centres were searched and 5 suspects arrested. The suspects presented themselves as brokers who would help the investors earn large amounts of money through small investments, deceived the victims by gaining their trust online and encouraged victims to invest via web platforms controlled by the criminal organisation, which resulted in them losing large sums of money.
JET AIRWAYS INVESTOR FRITSCH’S PROPERTY RAIDED IN LIECHTENSTEIN
On 10 November, Bloomberg reported that prosecutors in Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria raided multiple properties linked to Florian Fritsch, one of the investors trying to revive India’s Jet Airways, as part of a broader investigation into suspected fraud and money laundering.
UN CANCELS AFRICAN ENERGY FINANCE INITIATIVE OVER FRAUDSTER’S ROLE
On 11 November, Climate Home News reported that the UN Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) has scrapped its flagship Team Energy Africa initiative after reviewing the involvement of the African Energy Chamber, a trade group headed by oil and gas lobbyist, Cameroonian-born lawyer NJ Ayuk. Team Energy Africa, a coalition of African investors and institutions, was created earlier this year to mobilise $500 billion of private sector investment into 250GW of “clean” energy across Africa by 2030.
TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN MADAGASCAR’S LYCHEE MARKET
On 10 November, Transparency International said that it had sent submissions to France’s Parquet National Financier (the national financial prosecutor’s office) and Madagascar’s Pôle Anti-Corruption (anti-corruption court) calling for investigations into possible criminal actions by companies and individuals involved in the Malagasy lychee trade. The reports detail a number of allegations into possible corruption on the part of French companies and citizens and of Malagasy organisations exporting to the EU – that these countries cannot continue to ignore.
IS THE ISRAELI-LEBANESE MARITIME BOUNDARY AGREEMENT REPLICABLE FOR OTHER AREAS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN?
An article from War on the Rocks on 11 November said that maritime disputes between Eastern Mediterranean states over access to hydrocarbon resources — and questions about the feasibility of several grandiose projects — dampened commercial interest. It asks if Israel and Lebanon’s willingness to compromise set in motion a domino effect that unlocks the region’s stranded hydrocarbons? And could this happen quickly enough to help Europe deal with its current energy problems? Israel and Lebanon are hardly the region’s only quarrelling parties. Greece and Turkey have a decades-long, multifaceted maritime dispute, and the Cyprus conflict has a maritime dimension as well.
SOUTH KOREA: NGO CHIEF ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF SMUGGLING CASH INTO NORTH KOREA
On 11 November, NK News reported that a South Korean man, the chairman of a Seoul-based NGO, allegedly violated foreign transactions law as head of organisation that engaged with DPRK.
JBS, THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MEAT COMPANY, HAS ADMITTED TO BUYING ALMOST 9,000 CATTLE FROM A CRIMINAL DESCRIBED BY PROSECUTORS AS “ONE OF THE BIGGEST DEFORESTERS IN BRAZIL”
On 11 November, Unearthed reported that the cattle were bought between 2018 and 2022 from farms in the Amazon owned by rancher Chaules Pozzebon or his family. Trade records suggest the beef may potentially have been shipped overseas, including to the US.