Presentations from Tech UK of a panel event on 21st November. The event was concerned with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into effect in the UK and across Europe on 25th May 2018. Its sister legislation, the Law Enforcement Directive, comes into effect slightly earlier, on the 6th May 2018. Both are currently working their way through Parliament in the Data Protection Bill, and together they represent the most significant reform of data protection laws for 20 years. The Bill will have profound implications for organisations across all sectors that collect and process personal data.
The Law Society Gazette on 22nd November reported that Royal Society and Royal Society of Edinburgh scientists are collaborating with judges to make scientific evidence easier to understand in court by producing “plain English” guides – on DNA fingerprinting and forensic gait analysis
with planned guides to include the physics of vehicle collisions. The aim is to provide an authoritative account of a technique, as well as the technique’s limitations and challenges associated with its application.
OFAC on 21st November sanctioned 1 individual, 13 entities, and 20 vessels as the US continues to take action multilaterally and unilaterally to disrupt North Korea’s illicit funding of its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. The new sanctions target third-country persons with long-standing commercial ties to North Korea, as well as the transportation networks that facilitate North Korea’s revenue generation and operations. Designated are 4 Chinese companies and an individual, the Maritime Administration of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Ministry of Land and Maritime Transportation of the DPRK, 6 North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 named vessels. OFAC remarks that North Korea is known to employ deceptive shipping practices, including ship-to-ship transfers, a practice prohibited by UN SCR 2375. Also designated is the Korea South-South Cooperation Corporation for having engaged in, facilitated, or been responsible for the exportation of workers from North Korea, including exportation to generate revenue for the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea.
On 21st November Finextra published a useful guide to “merchant fraud”. It identifies 3 types used to acquire or launder funds –
- “Bust out fraud” – a merchant applies for a merchant account without any intention of actually operating a legitimate business. These merchant accounts are then used to process fraudulent transactions or to acquire lines of credit before abandoning the account altogether;
- “Identity swap” – merchants who use a fake or stolen identity or set up a bogus online storefront in order to secure a merchant account, because they are on sanctions or other watch lists; and
- “Transaction Laundering (a.k.a. Factoring)” – occurs when an unknown business uses an approved merchant’s payment credentials to process payments for products and services that the acquirer is not aware of, and the article reports that $352 billion is estimated as being laundered this way every year in the US alone.
Bright Line Law reports on the recent case of Serra & Another v Republic of Paraguay  EWHC 2300 (Admin) in which, although principally concerned with extradition, the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court also addresses the question head-on. The Paraguayan offence of money laundering did not exist when the appellant’s companies obtained, allegedly fraudulently, $35 million from another company, Cajubi. The appellants submitted that although they may have been engaged in a money laundering offence post-July 2009 (when money laundering became an offence in Paraguay), but their conduct did not constitute an offence in the UK and thus, they should not be extradited to face that charge. The lower court had disagreed, finding that the conduct would have amounted to offences contrary to sections 327 and/or 329 of POCA 2002 in the UK. The appellants’ argument was that “a person cannot possess criminal property within section 329 of the 2002 Act if all that occurs is that he retains property which it was not unlawful for him to possess in the requesting state until a change in the law.” In response to the proposition, the High Court’s decision included that: “[W]e see no difficultly with the concept that the possession of property which was not unlawful at a particular point in time may become unlawful by virtue of a prospective change in the law with the consequence that as from the date of the law change a person who retains such property or continues to possess it commits a criminal offence.”
HM Treasury and Department of International Trade announcement 21st November. The Bill will allow the UK to set and collect its own duty on goods coming into the country and will allow the government to implement different outcomes of the EU negotiations, including an implementation period.
Explanatory Notes, Impact Assessment etc at
EU Regulation 2017/2153 and Council Decision 2017/2163/CFSP add Dmitry Vladimirovich Ovsyannikov, mayor of Sevastopol, to its list of persons designated respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine with effect from 21st November.