OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 20

Panama Covid-19 update – couldn’t help noticing that Morocco, of all places, is banning flights to and from the UK because of rising coronavirus case rates – in the UK. Latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show tMorocco’s weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on 14 October stood at 10.4 per 100,000 people. The UK’s comparable rate is 445.5.

https://panatimes.com/the-uk-has-more-new-covid-19-cases-than-france-germany-italy-and-spain-combined

Meanwhile, in Panama, fatalities have reached 7,300 with 2 more reported today. There are also 257 new cases reported. There are said to be 2,319 active cases – 37 in ICU and 167 in other wards.

20 OCTOBER 2021

PERU: PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE SEEKS TO PREVENT NEW AMBASSADOR TO VENEZUELA FROM LEAVING COUNTRY

On 19 October, La Prensa reported that the prosecutor’s office in Peru had sought a court order to prevent the new Peruvian ambassador to Venezuela, Richard Rojas García, from leaving to take up the post.  He is said to be under investigation for money laundering.  The previous month Panama had rejected the appointment of the same man as ambassador to Panama.  It is reported that the case involves suspected illegal financing of the 2021 presidential campaign of the Perú Libre party, of which he is the national leader.

https://www.prensa.com/mundo/fiscalia-pide-impedir-viajar-a-nuevo-embajador-de-peru-en-venezuela-panama-ya-habia-rechazado-el-nombramiento-de-richard-rojas-como-embajador-peruano/

FBI RAIDS HOMES OWNED BY RELATIVES OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCH OLEG DERIPASKA

On 19 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI conducted raids of residences in Washington and New York owned by the family of Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska.  A spokesman for Deripaska confirmed that the searches were carried out pursuant to court orders stemming from US sanctions – Deripaska has been under US sanctions since 2016.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-raids-home-owned-by-relatives-of-russian-tycoon-oleg-deripaska-11634673162

https://today.rtl.lu/news/world/a/1804273.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58971032

BELGIUM TRYING TO DILUTE EU BELARUS POTASH SANCTIONS

On 20 October, KYC360 reported that diplomats in Brussels have written to other EU Member States, requesting a loosening of restrictions on Belarusian potash to allow for changes to the potassium content of fertiliser imports.

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/belgium-is-pushing-to-dilute-the-eus-belarus-potash-sanctions/

https://euobserver.com/tickers/153285

CANADA: CASINOS USED FOREIGN HIGH ROLLERS AS MONEY LAUNDERING ‘PAWNS,’ 

On 19 October, Global News reported that the inquiry into money laundering using casinos in British Columbia has heard that in 2012 the RCMP said that such casinos were a very significant source of laundering activity, “using wealthy People’s Republic of China gamblers as willing pawns in their activity”.  An RCMP report provides new details about undercover operations targeting high-end patrons and loan sharks operating in 2 casinos in the province.  Lawyers for the casinos have argued that it wasn’t the company’s responsibility to investigate or reject suspicious cash transactions – but that the company “appropriately relied upon the RCMP and FINTRAC to provide direction.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8277350/bc-casinos-money-laundering-cullen-commission-closing-arguments/

PODCAST: MODERN SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS AND THE SHIFTING REGULATORY LANDSCAPE

On 14 October, Reed Smith released a 20-minute podcast which seeks to provide an overview of the latest developments in this field of law and to offer practical tips to achieve compliance.

https://www.reedsmith.com/en/perspectives/2021/10/modern-slavery-human-trafficking-laws-and-the-shifting-regulatory-landscape

ANTI-CORRUPTION IN GREECE

On 12 October, law firm Ovvadias S. Namias published an interview with its managing partner (also Ovvadias S. Namias) looking at key developments in Greece and key areas of compliance risk.

https://www.lexology.com/gtdt/intelligence/anti-corruption/greece#page=1

BUSINESS-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO THE UK-EU BREXIT TRADE DEAL: NOW FULLY UPDATED

On 15 October, Travers Smith LLP said that it had recently updated its cross-practice area guide to the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which breaks the TCA down into key topics of interest to business. 

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/a-business-friendly-guide-to-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal-now-fully-updated/

It also provided a 3-minute video guide to the TCA –

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/3-minute-video-guide-to-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal/

SINGAPORE TO COUNTER TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING WITH NEW PLATFORM

In its 21 October edition, Global Trade Review reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is readying the launch of a new digital platform to tackle financial crime in the city-state’s banking sector, with the initial phase of the project set to focus on the illicit use of trade finance.  Known as Cosmic, it is being launched together with 6 major commercial banks including Citi, DBS, HSBC, Standard Chartered, OCBC and UOB.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/singapore-to-counter-trade-based-money-laundering-with-new-platform/

PROSECUTING PROJECT RAVEN: A NEW FRONTIER FOR EXPORT CONTROL ENFORCEMENT

On 20 October, an article on Lawfare was concerned with the announcement of a case involving the the US DoJ “unprecedented” resolution of criminal charges against 3 former US military and intelligence members for conspiring to conduct computer network exploitation operations (hacking) on behalf of a foreign government, the UAE.  It is said that the defendants used the tradecraft they learned in the US military and intelligence community to assist a foreign government’s intelligence collection operations. The case marks the first time the DoJ has charged hacking as a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The DoJ resolved the charges with a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).  It is said that it is clear that the DoJ is now focused on former US military and intelligence members and efforts to promote offensive cyber capabilities of foreign governments.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/prosecuting-project-raven-new-frontier-export-control-enforcement

6 MEN HELD IN SEYCHELLES ON SUSPICION OF SMUGGLING GOLD

On 20 October, the Seychelles News Agency reported that the Seychelles Supreme Court has remanded 6 men – a Seychellois and 5 Malagasy nationals – on suspicion of alleged gold smuggling.  They were arrested in Port Victoria after local law enforcement officers said they found around 23 kg of suspected gold onboard their vessel.

http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/15684/+men+held+in+Seychelles+on+suspicion+of+smuggling+gold

600 KG OF SEA CUCUMBER SEIZED IN INDIA’S SOUTHERN TAMIL NADU COAST

On 20 October, WION reported that an Indian Coast Guard team in southern Tamil Nadu state seized 600 kg of sea cucumber from a small boat that was involved in smuggling.  It notes that sea cucumbers are an important constituent of the marine ecosystem as they play a key role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.  In India, sea cucumber is treated as an endangered species.

https://www.wionews.com/india-news/600-kgs-of-smuggled-sea-cucumber-worth-4-million-seized-in-indias-southern-tamil-nadu-coast-422273

ZIMBABWE LOSES $30 MILLION TO SMUGGLED WASHING POWDER

On 20 October, Bulawayo 24 reported that the Detergents Manufacturers Association (DMA) claims that Zimbabwe is losing approximately $30 million a year through the smuggling of Maq washing powder. 

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-210692.html

TOBACCO IMPORTS TO NORTH KOREA LEAD TRADE WITH CHINA

On 20 October, NK Pro reported that imports of tobacco products far outstrip medicine, even as DPRK’s population remains unvaccinated.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/cigarettes-over-medicine-tobacco-imports-to-north-korea-lead-trade-with-china/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/640349/UK_slavery_infographic_v3.pdf

UK: TAX INFORMATION AND IMPACT NOTE (TIIN) RE UK FREE ZONES

On 19 October, HMRC published a Policy Paper, a tax information and impact note (TIIN), for businesses trading in or moving goods to or from the UK that wish to store or process goods in a free zone, and authorities responsible for operating free zones.  The relevant rules apply from 8 November.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-free-zones-customs-excise-and-vat-regulations-2021/the-free-zones-customs-excise-and-vat-regulations-2021

HOW ONE OF SCANDINAVIA’S BIGGEST BANKS DISMANTLED ITS CORRESPONDENT BANKING NETWORK

On 20 October, Global Trade Review published an article about Swedish lender Handelsbanken, saying that, after watching other Nordic banks become embroiled in financial crime scandals over the last few years, Handelsbanken wanted to do everything it could to minimise the risk of befalling the same fate. Its trade finance division, with its sprawling network of correspondent banking relationships in developing countries, was quickly identified as high risk by the compliance department.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/how-one-of-scandinavias-biggest-banks-dismantled-its-correspondent-banking-network

8 ARRESTED IN BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG FOR FRAUD AND ILLEGALLY USING CHEAP LABOUR BY EXPLOITING MIGRANT WORKERS

On 20 October, the Brussels Times reported that around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part of an investigation into widespread fraud and social dumping.  It explains that “social dumping” is the term given to illegally using cheap labour by exploiting migrant workers and thereby circumventing employment regulations.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/189995/8-arrested-in-belgium-and-luxembourg-for-fraud-and-social-dumping

MALAYSIAN GRAFT BUSTER HELD FOR STEALING $8 MILLION IN CASH UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 20 October, the Straits Times reported that a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer is being detained for the alleged theft of $6 million cash held as evidence is now under investigation for drug trafficking.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysian-graftbuster-held-for-stealing-s81-mil-cash-now-a-suspected-drug-dealer

POLICE DETAIN 11 ACROSS EUROPE IN MAFIA PROBE AND THE TRADE IN LUXURY VEHICLES

On 20 October, Reuters reported that police in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria detained 11 people and raided 46 residential and commercial buildings in an investigation into tax fraud by the ‘Ndrangheta mafia.  They illegally claimed VAT by selling exclusive cars several times in different European countries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crime-europe/police-detain-11-across-europe-in-mafia-probe-idUSKBN2HA10D

SOUTH AFRICA’S ‘YOUNGEST’ MILLIONAIRE ARRESTED FOR ‘FRAUD’

On 20 October, Sowetan Live reported that forex trader Sandile Shezi became a millionaire at the age of 23.  He has been charged with fraud, and has surrendered himself in the presence of his lawyers. 

https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-10-20-sas-youngest-millionaire-arrested-for-fraud

US: $1.9 MILLION WORTH OF FAKE CHANEL EARRINGS SEIZED 

On 19 October, a news release from US Customs & Border Protection advised that officers at the port of Memphis selected for inspection a shipment from UAE en route to an apartment in Little Rock, Arkansas.  They found 500 pairs of earrings that had the recorded trademarks of Chanel. This was the same shipper and consignee of a previous, nearly identical shipment just days before.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/19-million-worth-fake-chanel-earrings-seized-destined-little-rock

MALTA: CUSTOMS SEIZE STOLEN CARS, LEADING TO ARREST OF CANADIAN CARJACKERS

On 20 October, the Times of Malta reported that the 12 cars were being shipped by container to Abu Dhabi, being shipped through Malta and this has led to the arrest in Canada of people suspected of being behind a series of violent carjackings. 

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/customs-seize-stolen-cars-leading-to-arrest-of-canadian-carjackers.908917

US ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS ON ITS WORK TO COMBAT ELDER FRAUD AND ABUSE

A news release from US DoJ on 19 October advised that it has issued its Annual Report to Congress on its Activities to Combat Elder Fraud and Abuse, which summarises the department’s extensive elder justice efforts to 30  June 2021. 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-issues-annual-report-congress-its-work-combat-elder-fraud-and-abuse-0

https://www.justice.gov/file/1443096/

US: CEO OF MAJOR DEFENCE CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH BRIBERY

A news release from US DoJ on 18 October advised that Frank S Rafaraci, 68, the CEO of Multinational Logistics Services (MLS), a large ship husbanding company that has received over $1 billion in US Navy contracts since 2010, appeared in court to face a criminal charge for his alleged participation in a bribery scheme.  MLS is a defence contractor that provides ship husbanding services, such as refuelling and stocking provisions, to US Navy ships at ports worldwide.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ceo-major-defense-contractor-charged-bribery

GERMANY: NEW REPORT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING DATA COLLECTION FILLS LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION GAPS

On 19 October, a new report says that KOK (a government-funded NGO network that coordinates and oversees victim support efforts across Germany) has published the first evaluation of its trafficking data tool.  It contains the first evaluation of the KOK data tool, which was used to collect information on more than 700 cases of human trafficking and exploitation between January 2020 and the end of June 2021. 

https://www.kok-gegen-menschenhandel.de/fileadmin/user_upload/medien/Publikationen_KOK/KOK_Data_Report_2021_englisch_web.pdf

BREXIT: UK FREIGHT EXECUTIVES TELLING EUROPEAN EXPORTERS TO BE PREPARED FOR FULL CUSTOMS DECLARATIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF 2022

On 20 October, Loadstar reported that European suppliers should be prepared for 1 January, when UK customs authorities will need full customs declarations completed to allow shipments across the border.  It says that any shippers hoping the UK Government would again drop the proposed regulations are likely to be disappointed, said the head of border industry engagement at the UK Border and Protocol Delivery Group, part of the Cabinet Office.

https://theloadstar.com/get-ready-for-full-uk-border-controls-in-january-is-the-message-to-europe/

US TREASURY RELEASES LONG-AWAITED SANCTIONS POLICY REVIEW

On 20 October, a Client Alert from Wilmer Hale reports on the Review which describes the US sanctions framework and the US Treasury’s future sanctions priorities.  It reflects on the evolution over 2 decades of US sanctions, noting various policy successes while emphasising the importance of modernising sanctions so that they can remain an effective national security tool.  The Treasury outlines 5 steps that will “modernize and adapt its sanctions policy and operational framework” to address “new, emerging challenges,” including cybercriminal activity, the role of digital currencies, and an increasingly complex financial and technical infrastructure.

https://www.wilmerhale.com/en/insights/client-alerts/20211019-treasury-releases-long-awaited-sanctions-policy-review

ARIZONA’S NEW ALTERNATIVE BUSINESS STRUCTURE (ABS)

On 14 October, an article from Greenberg Traurig was published by Law 360 says that since 1 January Arizona has had a new alternative business structure, or ABS, the first of its kind in the US in which non-lawyers may own a law-practicing entity.  However, one condition of a licence is that the ABS appoint an Arizona lawyer as its compliance lawyer.

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2021/10/published-articles/can-ariz-nonlawyer-ownership-create-a-new-type-of-atty

US: AUSTRALIAN SENTENCED FOR MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR TEXT-MESSAGING CONSUMER FRAUD SCHEME

A news release from US DoJ on 20 October advised that Michael Pearse, an Australian national who was extradited to the US from in January, has been sentenced to 109 months in prison for his participation in a fraudulent scheme to charge hundreds of thousands of mobile phone customers millions of dollars in monthly fees for unsolicited, recurring text messages without the customers’ knowledge or consent – a practice the conspirators referred to as “auto-subscribing”.  The scheme ‘earned’ Pearse and his co-conspirators at least $50 million, of which Pearse pocketed more than $10 million.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/australian-national-sentenced-more-9-years-prison-multimillion-dollar-text-messaging

UNAOIL APPEAL: APPELLANT CLAIMS NEW DISCLOSURES REVEAL ALLEGEDLY IMPROPER AND UNLAWFUL ATTEMPT BY SFO TO UNDERMINE A FAIR TRIAL

On 20 October, Yahoo News reported on the Court of Appeal case brought by Ziad Akle, a former executive of energy consultancy Unaoil, who was convicted of bribery and jailed in 2020.  His lawyers has accused the SFO of a “deliberate and blanket decision” not to disclose relevant material, undermining Akle’s right to a fair trial.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/uk-serious-fraud-office-weaponised-183701023.html

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TIMBER TRAFFICKING FROM MYANMAR TO CHINA 

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime has produced a report saying that illegally harvested wood is used for construction and to manufacture luxury furniture, but, with China’s own forest reserves being protected, the environmental cost of such profitable economic activity is borne by its southern neighbour.  It also says that Myanmar has been too heavily dependent on revenues from timber exports, especially teak, to be able to resist the Chinese market – or that of the EU.  The report identifies the routes and various actors that play a role in these illicit flows and the transformation process as the product moves through the supply chain from source to end markets.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Myanmars-illicit-timber-Flows-drivers-and-actors.pdf

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FATF’S RE-RANKING OF CANADA’S COMPLIANCE WITH AML/CFT MEASURES

On 19 October, an article from McCarthy Tétrault LLP considers the recent FATF follow-up report.  It says that 8 FATF Recommendations were re-rated, 7 of which saw ratings increase. One FATF Recommendation pertaining to non-profit organisations saw its rating decrease from “Compliant” to “Partially Compliant”.  Canada is no longer Non-Compliant with any FATF Recommendation.

https://www.mccarthy.ca/en/insights/blogs/techlex/fatfs-re-ranking-canadas-compliance-anti-money-laundering-and-counter-terrorist-financing-measures#page=1

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WHAT THE NATWEST CASE TELLS US ABOUT CORPORATE LIABILITY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

On 13 October, an article from BCL Solicitors LLP noted that NatWest has pleaded guilty to failures under the UK’s money laundering regulations, but asks if it is it right to call this a ‘failure to prevent’ on its part?  It points out that the same sort of offence (in bribery) has been the basis of several DPA in recent years, in which companies have (in effect) made admissions to the SFO about the guilt of ‘associated persons’.  It explains that, while no criticism seems to be made about the bank’s initial CDD, it then failed to institute ongoing monitoring, or to conduct enhanced CDD as it should have done in later years.  It is noted that it is important to note that the FCA did not have to prove that any offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act occurred, but that nevertheless, the money laundering regulations provided a route to prosecute NatWest for its failure in ongoing monitoring with respect to the customer.  The article argues that a comparison with the offence under section 7 of the Bribery Act is instructive.

https://www.bcl.com/failure-and-fault-what-the-natwest-case-tells-us-about-corporate-liability-for-money-laundering/

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SFO v PETROFAC: PLEA BARGAIN v DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD COMPLIANCE

On 20 October, 5 St Andrew’s Hill chambers published an article about the recent decision whereby Petrofac Limited was sentenced following guilty pleas to 7 counts of failing to prevent bribery, contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, after a 4-year corruption and money laundering investigation by the SFO and the earlier guilty pleas of David Lufkin, its former Global Head of Sales.  Bribes totalling $81 million were made to win contracts worth $7.5 billion in 3 Middle East countries.  It is said that the case appears to be a departure from the SFO’s recent strategy of negotiating DPA, and the company avoiding any criminal conviction – but the article outlines factors specific to this case made it unlikely the SFO and Petrofac could reach a DPA, including that Petrofac began cooperating relatively late on in the investigation.  The article goes on to examine lessons learned from a compliance standpoint. The article concludes that the case stands as a stark reminder to corporations, especially those operating internationally to have robust procedures in place to prevent bribery and corruption and the necessary safeguards to handle any allegations of wrongdoing when or if they arise.  

https://www.5sah.co.uk/knowledge-hub/articles/2021-10-19/sfo-v-petrofac-plea-bargain-versus-dpas-and-the-importance-of-good-compliance

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 19

Panama Covid 19 update – it has been reported that Panama has received more than 7.8 million doses of vaccine, most of them from t Pfizer, since the vaccination process began in January.

The Rt reproductive infection rate has crept up again this week, from 0.86 to 1.91, although still below the important figure of 1.0. 203 new cases were reported and 2 new fatalities. Active cases number 2,256, with 41 in ICU and 159 in other wards.

19 OCTOBER 2021

CHINA BUSTS MAJOR MARITIME OIL SMUGGLING CASE

On 19 October, Macau Business reported that the case involved an oil tank and 4 fishing boats, said the China Coast Guard.  A total of 21 suspects were detained and 4,730 tonnes of refined oil were seized on the spot.

https://www.macaubusiness.com/china-busts-major-maritime-oil-smuggling-case/

MALTA’S ATTRACTIVENESS AT AN ALL-TIME LOW AS INVESTORS FLAG GREY LISTING CONCERNS

On 19 October, Malta Today and others reported that a new survey found that more foreign investors consider Malta to be currently unattractive for foreign direct investment (FDI) than attractive.  The recent FATF grey listing was highlighted as a major concern by many respondents.  

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/business/business_news/112775/ey_survey_maltas_attractiveness_at_an_alltime_low_as_investors_flag_grey_listing_concerns#.YW603frMKM8

https://lovinmalta.com/news/huge-red-flag-alert-maltas-appeal-to-investors-has-nosedived-badly-since-greylisting/

EU: F-GASES WORTH MORE THAN €10 MILLION SEIZED IN A WEEK

A news release from Europol on 19 October advised that between 20 and 25 September, Europol supported a Joint Inspection Week targeting the trafficking of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases).  This led to detection of 706 administrative infringements, 7 arrests and seizure of 2,105 cylinders or the equivalent of 142 288 tonnes of CO2 with an estimated value of more than €10 million.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/f-gases-worth-more-%E2%82%AC-10-million-seized-in-week

UK SANCTIONS GUIDANCE: BELARUS

On 19 October, the Home Office published updated guidance on the sanctions regime for Belarus.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/republic-of-belarus-sanctions-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-the-republic-of-belarus

EU: AMENDMENT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SANCTIONS REGIME

EU Regulation 2021/1819/EU has amended the EU sanctions regime in respect of the Central African Republic in the light of UN Security Council Resolution 2588 Resolution which extends the exemptions to the arms embargo and broadens the scope of the restrictive measures.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.369.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A369%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.369.01.0011.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2021:369:TOC

EU EXTENDS ISIL/AL-QAIDA AND BURUNDI SANCTIONS FOR ANOTHER YEAR

2 new EU Council decisions have extended the 2 EU sanctions regimes to 31 October 2022.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.369.01.0014.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2021:369:TOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.369.01.0015.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2021:369:TOC

US: FINRA ISSUES GUIDANCE ON FINCEN AML/CFT PRIORITIES

On 18 October, Holland & Knight published an article saying that FinCEN had issued national priorities for AML/CFT policy and encouraged banks and covered non-bank financial institutions (NBFI), including broker-dealers, to prepare to incorporate the priorities into their AML/CFT compliance programmes once FinCEN’s implementing regulations are published.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/finra-issues-guidance-on-fincen-aml-cft-3071272/

TIME FOR WIDER REFORM OF THE UK AML SUPERVISORY REGIME

On 18 October, a Commentary from RUSI followed the third annual report of the UK’s ‘supervisor of supervisors’, OPBAS, which raises questions about the need for more fundamental reforms of the UK’s AML supervision regime.  It says that OPBAS is using a new methodology based on ‘effectiveness’ rather than ‘compliance’ – demonstrates the extent to which challenges remain.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/shape-or-ship-out-time-wider-reform-uk-aml-supervisory-regime

OECD: NEXT ROUND OF REVIEW REPORTS REFLECTING THE OUTCOME OF THE STAGE 2 PEER MONITORING

On 18 October, Accountancy Daily said that the latest batch of peer review reports on progress re BEPS Action 14 Minimum Standard, which seeks to improve the resolution of tax-related disputes between jurisdictions.

https://www.accountancydaily.co/cch_uk/tat/news_015588_peerevrpt

https://www.oecd.org/tax/beps/beps-actions/action14/

MEXICO’S CJNG CARTEL IS EXTENDING INTO CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA WITH ALLIANCES AND THREATS

On 19 October, Borderland Beat reported that Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) is stretching its criminal empire south into Central and South America by making alliances, threatening authorities, and appropriating drug routes.  CJNG has spread operations to almost every state in Mexico and most recently to countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Chile.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/10/mexicos-powerful-jalisco-cartel-is.html

THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN

On 18 October, in his blog, Kenneth Rijock provided details of the allegations against Saab, following his extradition from Cape Verde to the US.  On the same day, the DoJ issued a news release.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2021/10/allegations-against-alex-nain-saab-moran.html

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colombian-businessman-charged-money-laundering-extradited-united-states-cabo-verde

US CUSTOMS SEIZE COUNTERFEIT APPLE AIRPODS VALUED AT MORE THAN $800,000

On 18 October, a news release from US Customs and Border Protection advised that officers at the International Falls Port of Entry targeted a rail container and discovered counterfeit Apple AirPods that were in violation of intellectual property rights regulations.   They seized 384 pair of the counterfeit AirPods with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $813,216 if the goods had been genuine. 

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-officers-international-falls-seize-counterfeit-apple-airpods-valued

CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY (CBDC) – HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AND THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION 

On 19 October, VOX, from the Centre for Economic Policy Research, published 2 articles.

One argues that technological change in money and finance is inevitable, driven by the financial incentives of a market economy, and identifies 4 key lessons central banks could learn from history to enable them to provide digital currency to effectively fulfil their public mandates.

The other identifies open research questions around the international macro-financial dimension of CBDC, including what is different about them, and what the implications for international central bank cooperation are. It says that addressing these questions would not only push the frontier of knowledge, it would also provide the conceptual backbone and evidence that could usefully inform future policy decisions on CBDC.

https://voxeu.org/article/central-bank-digital-currency-historical-perspective

https://voxeu.org/article/open-questions-international-dimension-central-bank-digital-currencies

https://theconversation.com/why-banning-financing-for-fossil-fuel-projects-in-africa-isnt-a-climate-solution-169220

US: FEDERAL FIREARMS PROSECUTIONS ROSE 34% BETWEEN 2000-2016

On 18 October, The Crime Report reported that a study has found that the increase in investigations, prosecutions and convictions was largely driven by firearms possession offences.  Between 2000 and 2016, federal investigations for possession offenses increased 67%, and convictions rose by 72%. 

https://thecrimereport.org/2021/10/18/federal-firearms-prosecutions-rose-34-between-2000-2016-report/

US: TAX COMPLIANCE PROPOSALS CLAIMED TO IMPROVE TAX FAIRNESS WHILE PROTECTING TAXPAYER PRIVACY

A factsheet from the US Treasury on 18 October says that, unsurprisingly, taxpayers who accrue income in hard-to-trace ways exhibit much lower rates of compliance, as there is no third-party source that reports income to tax authorities.  It goes on to say that differences in compliance have led to a two-tiered system of tax administration, whereby taxes are mandatory for wage earners and beneficiaries of federal programmes — like Social Security recipients — while other taxpayers have far more discretion over whether they pay their taxes.  US Treasury estimates that the cost of tax evasion among the top 1% of taxpayers exceeds $160 billion a year.  The factsheet is concerned with proposals from Congress to tailor the compliance regime to shed light on income that is unreported to the IRS presently.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0415

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/irs-10000-dollars-bank-accounts-treasury

SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION IN ASIA PACIFIC

On 18 October, KPMG published an article about disruption in the region, including those caused by labour shortages, the effects of reduced passenger aircraft traffic, the slowdown in the manufacture of microchips, and saying that supply chain restructuring continues to challenge trade and customs professionals.  However, it also says that, as Asia-Pacific jurisdictions continue to expand their existing free trade networks, companies can often get a boost from the considerable import duty relief available in the region.

https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2021/10/supply-chain-disruption-in-asia-pacific.html

US: LIBERIAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO $23 MILLION COVID-19 RELIEF FRAUD

A news release from the US DoJ on 19 October advised that a Liberian national who orchestrated a fraudulent scheme to secure more than $23 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans has pleaded guilty to a federal financial crime.  Steven Jalloul, 43, a tax consultant from the Dallas area, was first charged via criminal complaint in September 2020.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/liberian-national-pleads-guilty-23-million-covid-19-relief-fraud

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/cryptocurrencyfraud

WHAT DOES 2022 HAVE IN STORE FOR THE SHIPPING & LOGISTICS INDUSTRY?

On 7 October, the Global Trade Magazine published a short article saying that the logistics industry which was valued at $7,641.2 billion in 2017 plummeted to $5,200 billion in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was mainly responsible for this massive slowing of logistics activities across the world. With the COVID situation easing gradually and the world getting back on track, the logistics industry is projected to reach $12,975.64 billion by 2027. The article looks at some of the top trends that will determine what is in store for the logistics industry in 2022.

https://www.globaltrademag.com/what-does-2022-have-in-store-for-the-shipping-logistics-industry/

IAEA CHIEF WARNS IRAN NUCLEAR SURVEILLANCE IS NO LONGER ‘INTACT’

On 19 October, World News Era reported that the head of the UN’s atomic watchdog has warned that stop-gap measures to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities are no longer “intact” amid concerns that talks to resurrect a global agreement to curb Iran’s atomic work have stalled.  He also said that he urgently needed to meet its foreign minister to discuss proposals to reinvigorate the fragile surveillance programme.

https://worldnewsera.com/news/finance/iaea-chief-warns-iran-nuclear-surveillance-is-no-longer-intact/

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INSIGHTS FROM UN PANEL OF EXPERTS REPORT ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS AND GNS MANIPULATION

INSIGHTS FROM UN PANEL OF EXPERTS REPORT ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS AND GNS MANIPULATION

Windward considers the Report from the point of view of the shipping sector.  It says that deceptive practices, like AIS manipulation, should be a concern for all compliance professionals.

http://wnwd-6091557.hs-sites.com/the-latest-on-gns-manipulation-and-dprk-new-research

Separately, Windward also offered another report –

HOW TO MANAGE RISK IN THE AGE OF GNS MANIPULATION

This claims a 5,000% increase in GNS manipulation cases.

http://wnwd-6091557.hs-sites.com/the-latest-on-gns-manipulation-and-dprk-new-research

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WORLD BANK GROUP DEBARMENT SANCTIONS SYSTEM REPORT 2021

On 18 October, the World Bank published the Report, saying that the Report, which is prepared jointly by the World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD), and Sanctions Board, is said to illustrate how the institution’s sanctions system has grown and evolved to meet the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing global anticorruption landscape.  In fiscal year 2021, the World Bank Group sanctioned 57 companies and individuals, of which 54 were debarred with conditional release, making them ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group.  In addition, 3 companies were sanctioned with conditional non-debarment, leaving them eligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed operations after meeting certain agreed-upon conditions.  It also recognised 92 cross-debarments from other multilateral development banks (MDB), while 45 World Bank Group debarments were eligible for recognition by other MDB.

A full list of the businesses and individuals currently debarred by the World Bank Group can be found at –

www.worldbank.org/debarr

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/10/18/world-bank-group-sanctions-system-promotes-accountability-and-transparency-in-combatting-corruption-in-fiscal-year-2021

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CREDIT SUISSE RESOLVES FRAUDULENT MOZAMBIQUE LOAN CASE IN $547 MILLION COORDINATED GLOBAL RESOLUTION

On 19 October, a US DoJ news release advised that the Swiss-based bank and its UK subsidiary have admitted to defrauding US and international investors in the financing of an $850 million loan for a tuna fishing project in Mozambique, and have been assessed more than $547 million in penalties, fines, and disgorgement as part of coordinated resolutions with criminal and civil authorities in the US and the UK.  Credit Suisse will pay approximately $475 million to authorities in the US and the UK, as well as restitution to victims in an amount to be determined by the court.  Separately, re a parallel civil cases the SEC said that transactions “that raised over $1 billion were used to perpetrate a hidden debt scheme, pay kickbacks to now-indicted former Credit Suisse investment bankers along with their intermediaries, and bribe corrupt Mozambique government officials”.   

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/credit-suisse-resolves-fraudulent-mozambique-loan-case-547-million-coordinated-global

https://www.ibtimes.com/credit-suisse-pay-475-mn-settle-us-uk-charges-mozambique-bond-offer-3319888

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58974089

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/credit-suisse-fined-147190276-us200664504-and-undertakes-to-the-uk-finan/

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 18

Panama Covid-19 update – the booster vaccination campaign is underway and nearing our area, expecting it in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the daily statistics continue to look encouraging – 131 new cases and 2 new fatalities; with active cases down to 2,315, with 43 in ICU and 161 in other wards.

18 OCTOBER 2021

UK: FACILITATING TAX EVASION

On 15 October, law firm Rahman Ravelli provided a summary of the position re the investigation and prosecution of this offence in the UK, including where non-UK tax evasion might be involved and reasonable precautionary measures that might be taken.

https://www.rahmanravelli.co.uk/articles/facilitating-tax-evasion/

US: ANTICORRUPTION TASK FORCE LAUNCHES NEW MEASURES TO COMBAT CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA

A news release from DoJ on 15 October advised that the DoJ had announced a tip-off line to help assist its Anticorruption Task Force (the Northern Triangle Anticorruption Task Force) fight corruption in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.  Tips regarding possible corruption or movements of ill-gotten funds that are received through the email address will be reviewed by the Anticorruption Task Force.  The Task Force will determine whether the tip indicates a possible jurisdictional link to the US – including use of the US financial system – that would allow the Task Force to investigate, to prosecute, and, where appropriate, to forfeit and return stolen assets to the people of El the countries.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-anticorruption-task-force-launches-new-measures-combat-corruption-central

AUSTRALIA CORRUPTION IN FOCUS AS INQUIRY INTO FORMER PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES OPENS

On 18 October, the Guardian and others reported on the opening of the Independent Commission against Corruption inquiry into Gladys Berejiklian   Involved are are 2 grants for projects in the seat of Wagga Wagga made when Berejiklian was either treasurer or premier, and where the local MP was a man with whom she had a close personal relationship.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/18/the-opening-of-icacs-inquiry-into-gladys-berejiklian-was-a-contrast-to-her-shock-resignation

DUBAI HALTS AIR CARGO IMPORTS AMID SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS

On 15 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Dubai’s main cargo handler said it would stop accepting most imports of airfreight arriving at the emirate’s main airport as it rushes to reduce a backlog that has snarled processing and delivery of goods across the UAE.  It affects cargo destined for UAE destinations only.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/dubai-halts-air-cargo-imports-amid-supply-chain-snags-11634301083

STABLECOIN GIANT TETHER HIT WITH $41 MILLION FINE

On 15 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tether had agreed to pay federal regulator CFTC a $41 million penalty in the latest result of the Biden administration’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency markets.  Labelling the stablecoin a “commodity”, the CFTC issued the fine having accused Tether of falsely claiming that it backed each of its crypto tokens with an equivalent amount in US dollars.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/stablecoin-giant-tether-hit-with-41-million-fine-in-latest-crypto-crackdown-11634321524

KYRGYZSTAN: 280 SETS OF SMUGGLED KIMONO FROM TAJIKISTAN DETAINED

On 18 October, the AKI Press reported that a smuggled shipment of 280 sets of kimono from Tajikistan has been detained.  The 280 sets of kimono were found in the car with no documents at a border post.

https://akipress.com/news:663659:Smuggled_280_sets_of_kimono_from_Tajikistan_detained_in_Batken/

DUBAI: POTENTIALLY GROUND-BREAKING JUDGMENT IN RESPECT OF DIRECTORS’ LIABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF CORPORATE INSOLVENCY

On 18 October, Bird & Bird published an article saying that the Court of First Instance had held a company’s board of directors and managers personally and jointly liable for the company’s outstanding debts.  It is said that the potential impact of this decision is considerable, emphasising the extent of liability for directors and managers of UAE-based companies and the potential for significant personal consequences. 

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2021/uae/dubai-courts-a-stark-warning-for-directors-of-companies-in-liquidation

UK: CONSULTATION DOCUMENT ABOUT THE FUTURE OF DATA PROTECTION LAW

On 18 October, Bird & Bird published a briefing about the consultation paper issued in September, saying that it proposes a raft of changes to the UK’s data protection law. Some are small changes and clarifications intended to resolve uncertainties in the GDPR drafting, while others are fundamental reforms.  The consultation is open to all respondents until 19 November.  It says that the proposed changes would significantly change the UK’s data protection landscape and, some of this would be welcome while other proposals are problematic or unclear.

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2021/uk/changing-direction-uk-consults-reforms-to-its-data-protection-law

UK: REGULATOR WARNS CHARITIES, AS NEW FIGURES SHOW OVER £8 MILLION REPORTED LOST TO FRAUD

On 18 October, a news release from the Charity Commission advised that the Commission warned charity leaders to protect their organisations against fraud and cybercrime, after new figures show charities reported almost £8.6 million of lost funds in the last financial year.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/take-action-on-fraud-regulator-warns-charities-as-new-figures-show-over-8-million-reported-lost-to-crime-last-year

UK: LAW SOCIETIES CONDEMN ‘HARMFUL’ ECONOMIC CRIME LEVY

On 18 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Law Society (of England and Wales) and the City of London Law Society (CLLS) have stated that they ‘strongly opposed’ the levy, which aims to raise £100 million per year by taxing businesses that are subject to UK money laundering regulations and have annual revenue of over £10.2 million.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/law-societies-condemn-harmful-economic-crime-levy/5110194.article

LIBYA’S FEUDS SPILLS OVER TO US IN COURT CASE

On 18 October, the Arab Weekly reported that the relationship between the Tripoli-based government and the Libyan National Army (LNA) leadership has arisen in a case brought by prosecutors in Virginia against the Commander-in-Chief of the LNA, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which alleges Haftar committed “atrocities” in his country’s civil war.

https://thearabweekly.com/libyas-feuds-spills-over-us-dbeibah-backs-prosecution-haftar-virginia-case

US: FORCED AND CHILD LABOUR LISTS AND REPORTS UNDERGOING ANNUAL REVIEW

On 18 October, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that enforcing the prohibition on imports of goods made with forced and child labour continues to be a high priority for US Government agencies.  The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs is requesting comments and information no later than Jan. 15 to be used in the preparation of certain lists and reports regarding forced and child labour in foreign countries.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/october/forced-and-child-labor-lists-and-reports-undergoing-annual-review

FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT OF US OPERATIONS AT A CANADIAN OIL-SERVICES COMPANY DEFRAUDED SHAREHOLDERS OF ALMOST $1 BILLION

On 18 October, an article from OCCRP said that Joseph A Kostelecky, 60, of North Dakota, has admitted that he conspired to commit fraud during his tenure as the highest-ranking US executive of the now-defunct Poseidon Concepts Corporation in 2011-12.  He falsely reported roughly $100 million in revenue, which he claimed originated from long-term contracts with Poseidon’s customers.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15336-american-executive-defrauded-shareholders-of-almost-1-billion

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/senior-executive-oil-services-company-pleads-guilty-securities-fraud-scheme-caused-over-886

CRYPTOASSET INVESTMENT FRAUD: INSIDE THE INVESTIGATION

On 18 October, Out-Law published an article in which an expert in the field shares his insights into how criminals are using deceit and digital wallets, bitcoin and the blockchain, to defraud investors out of hundreds of thousands of pounds and the techniques used to trace cryptoassets. He also discusses how engaging highly qualified civil law experts can support the recovery of assets suspected to have been stolen. 

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/cryptoasset-investment-fraud-inside-the-investigation

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/crypto-investment-frauds-daily-scourge

UK: REALITY STAR ACQUITTED AS £3 MILLION “COLOURED DIAMONDS” FRAUD TRIAL COLLAPSES

On 15 October, the BBC reported that a fraud trial involving “The Only Way is Essex” star Lewis Bloor has collapsed after the CPS admitted it failed to disclose some evidence.  About 200 people were conned into buying coloured diamonds at a 600% mark-up, prosecutors had claimed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-58927034

WHO SUFFERS FRAUD? UNDERSTANDING THE FRAUD VICTIM LANDSCAPE IN THE UK

On 13 October, a report by the Victims’ Commissioner drew on data from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Crime Survey for England & Wales (CSEW) and researchers used an analytical technique to segment the population of fraud victims into a set of 9 mutually exclusive groups or clusters.

https://victimscommissioner.org.uk/published-reviews/who-suffers-fraud/

HACKERS FAKE DOCUSIGN AND OFFER FRAUDULENT SIGNING METHODS

On 14 October, IT Pro reported that researchers have revealed criminals’ new tactics to impersonate major brands to steal and harvest victims’ credentials.  It is said that hackers impersonate major brands to perform phishing attempts, and one frequently seen attempt mimics legit communications from DocuSign.

https://www.itpro.co.uk/software/document-management-systems-dms/361240/hackers-fake-docusign-and-offer-fraudulent-signing

US: MAN CHARGED WITH SELLING MULTIPLE FORGED PAINTINGS BY CONTEMPORARY ARTIST RAYMOND PETTIBON

A news release from US DoJ on 13 October advised the indictment of CHRISTIAN ROSA WEINBERGER, aka Christian Rosa, for his role in a scheme to defraud art buyers through the sale of forged paintings by the artist Raymond Pettibon accompanied by fake certificates of authenticity in 2017-20.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/man-charged-selling-multiple-forged-paintings-contemporary-artist-raymond-pettibon

IATA LAUNCHES CEIV LITHIUM BATTERY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

On 16 October, Homeland Security Today reported that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new industry certification programme — the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Lithium Battery – to improve the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries across the supply chain.  Shipments of lithium batteries (alone or with finished products) must comply with well-established global safety standards for how they are manufactured, tested, packed, marked, labelled, and documented.

https://www.iata.org/en/programs/cargo/dgr/ceiv-lithium-battery/

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airport-aviation-security/iata-launches-ceiv-lithium-battery-certification-program/

US: TSA SETS 20-YEAR RECORD FOR FIREARM AIRPORT DETECTIONS BEFORE THE YEAR IS THROUGH

On 15 October, Homeland Security Today reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said that its officers have detected a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints this year, establishing a 20-year record with 3 months remaining in the calendar year, despite fewer passengers traveling due to the pandemic.  By 3 October, TSA officers had stopped 4,495 airline passengers from carrying firearms onto their flights, compared to the record of 4,432 firearms in the full calendar year 2019.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airport-aviation-security/tsa-sets-20-year-record-for-firearm-catches-before-the-year-is-through/

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airport-aviation-security/tsa-sees-gun-epidemic-at-checkpoints/

FATF PLENARY 18-21 OCTOBER

On 18 October, FATF said that a 3-day Plenary is being held which will finalise key reports, including the revised guidance on virtual assets and their service providers (VASP) and discuss next steps to strengthen its standards on transparency of beneficial ownership.  Delegates will also discuss the outcomes of the FATF’s survey to identify areas where AML/CFT rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments. FATF is leading work on this aspect of the G20 priority to improve cross-border payments.  FATF will also update its statements identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/plenary-october-2021.html

SCOTTISH WASTE COMPANY FACING BILL OF £99 MILLION IN UNPAID TAXES AND FINES

On 18 October, MRW reported that Barr Environmental has been presented with a £99 million bill of backdated waste taxes and fines by Revenue Scotland, for not paying landfill taxes on materials it reused, and for paying the incorrect and lower tax band for filter cake.

https://www.mrw.co.uk/news/scottish-waste-firm-facing-bill-of-99m-in-unpaid-taxes-and-fines-18-10-2021/

GERMANY TO TRY 2 FORMER STEINHOFF EXECS ON FRAUD CHARGES

On 18 October, London Southeast reported that a German court has announced that it would put on trial 2 former managers of scandal-hit retail giant Steinhoff International Holdings NV, accused of using fake transactions to artificially inflate the group’s profits.  Steinhoff was hit by a huge scandal in 2017 and the South Africa-based company, listed in both Frankfurt and Johannesburg, saw nearly 98% of its value wiped out as it faced a barrage of litigation from aggrieved shareholders and business partners, including former chairman Christo Wiese.

https://www.lse.co.uk/news/germany-to-try-two-former-steinhoff-execs-on-fraud-charges-469lrx53wx7xxw8.html

UK FREE ZONE REGULATIONS

On 18 October, the Free Zones (Customs, Excise and Value Added Tax) Regulations 2021 were published.  They set out the customs duty, excise duty and VAT rules that will apply for UK free zones. Free zones are secure customs zones located within a freeport, where business can be carried out inside the UK land border, but where different customs, VAT and excise rules apply.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1156/pdfs/uksiem_20211156_en.pdf

THE SHADOWY BUSINESS EMPIRE BEHIND THE METEORIC RISE OF SHERIFF TIRASPOL FOOTBALL CLUB

On 18 October, Rferl carried a feature saying that Sheriff Tiraspol’s improbable run in the Europe Champions League has been splashed in headlines around the globe, especially after their win in late September over Real Madrid.  Sheriff Tiraspol is part of a larger business empire founded by 2 men with shadowy pasts – Viktor Gusan and Ilya Kazmaly of Sheriff Ltd – that not only dominates business but politics in Transdniester, a breakaway region of Moldova that borders Ukraine and is dependent on Russia for support.

https://www.rferl.org/a/moldova-sheriff-tiraspol-murky-business/31516518.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y