CORRUPTION AND FRAUD IN THE UK

An Occasional paper from RUSI on 17th June discusses the forms that corruption and fraud take in 4 UK sectors: the financial sector; construction; the National Health Service; and local government.  At present, it argues, there are knowledge gaps on this subject that stakeholders would do well to address.  As the UK’s Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017–2022 demonstrates, addressing corruption is an essential part of the UK government’s efforts against economic crime.  However, relatively little is known about the scale and types of corruption in the UK.

https://rusi.org/publication/occasional-papers/whats-name-corruption-and-fraud-uk

FUNDS SENT HOME BY MIGRANT WORKERS SUPPORT 1 IN 9 PEOPLE GLOBALLY

An article on Ekklesia on 17th June reported that remittances from international migrant workers to their families are expected to rise to over $550 billion in 2019, up some $20 billion from $529 billion last year, according to the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on the occasion of the UN International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR).  He also said that money sent home by the world’s 200 million migrant workers adds up to more than three times the level of official development assistance (ODA) and surpasses foreign direct investment (FDI), even though 85% of earning still remain in host countries.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/28450

HOW THOUSANDS OF BRITISH PATIENTS MAY HAVE TAKEN TAINTED NHS DRUGS SOLD BY THE MAFIA

The Daily Mail made this claim in an article on 15th June, saying that commonly prescribed drugs were stolen in Italy and then sold to British pharmacists and hospitals, exposing patients to potentially lethal consequences.  Stockpiles of medications deemed unsafe, as they may have been handled or stored improperly, are now known to have landed in Britain 5 years ago, and health chiefs admit they have no record of who they were prescribed to.  Among them is the prostate cancer treatment bicalutamide, also known by the brand name Casodex, and the statin rosuvastatin, or Crestor.  The article ties in with a Channel 4 TV investigation.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7145159/How-thousands-British-patients-taken-tainted-NHS-drugs-sold-mafia.html

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 16

16th June 2019

FATHER OF PAKISTAN BOMB AQ KHAN APPLIES TO HIGH COURT FOR RELEASE FROM HOUSE ARREST

The Times of India on 16th June reported on AQ Khan, the founder of Pakistan’s enrichment programme (and associated with other programmes, including that of North Korea), who made a televised confession of his guilt in 2004 and was placed in house arrest for 5 years, released from it in 2009 and then restricted again after that US warned Pakistan that he still posed a serious proliferation risk.  He has applied to the High Court to be released from the restrictions.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/father-of-pak-bomb-moves-hc-seeks-freedom-of-movement/articleshow/69808278.cms

UK: HUGE CANNABIS FACTORY FOUND IN OLD BINGO HALL AFTER POLICE NOTICE STRONG SMELL

The Mirror on 15th June reported that a cannabis farm found at The Gala Bingo building in Kettering is thought to be worth £2.8 million.  Northamptonshire Police first became suspicious about the building when it started letting off a strong smell of marijuana.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/huge-£28m-cannabis-factory-found-in-old-bingo-hall-after-police-notice-strong-smell

NSO SPYWARE GROUP TO ADOPT IMPROVED HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY

The Times of Israel reported on 16th June that controversial NSO Group, whose spyware has reportedly been used by repressive regimes ad implicated in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, will align itself with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and to improve the transparency of its operations and client base.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/controversial-nso-group-to-adopt-policy-of-closer-respect-for-human-rights/

UK: ILLEGAL EEL EXPORTERS EXPOSED BY BBC COUNTRYFILE

On 16th June, the BBC reported that a reporter posing as a UK fisherman who had legally caught the eels on the River Severn was approached by Chinese and Russian buyers and a UK exporter.  They were prepared to pay up to 7 times the normal catch price if the eels could be sent out of the EU. An export ban on the endangered species has been in place since 2010.  The illegal trade has previously been focused on stocks in France and Spain but now smugglers have turned their attention to the UK, where glass eels can only be caught by licensed fishermen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-48647168

THE COST OF COMPLIANCE: CAN ANOTHER 1MDB HAPPEN AGAIN?

On 15th June, the Asean Post posed this question, saying that screening processes in ASEAN have risen due to the corruption scandal surrounding Malaysia’s collapsed sovereign wealth fund.  The scandal has led to an 8% to 9% increase in the cost of AML compliance for companies over the past 2 years – and the amount is expected to rise by a similar percentage this year.  It reports that a new survey by LexisNexis Risk Solutions: ‘True Cost of AML Compliance’, estimated the true cost of compliance in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore to be US$6.09 billion annually – with Singapore representing just over half of this amount.

https://theaseanpost.com/article/can-another-1mdb-happen-again

BRIBERY PROBE INTO THE US INVESTOR BEHIND THE LARGEST PRIVATELY-OWNED REHAB CENTRE IN UK SPARKS TALK OF A SALE

The Daily Mail on 15th June reported that one of Britain’s largest privately-owned treatment centres for drug addicts (UK Addiction Treatment Centres, aka UKAT) could be about to change hands after its US investor became embroiled in an FBI investigation into the alleged bribery of public officials.  It reports that the US company, Eli Global, and its CEO, Greg Lindberg, were being investigated by the FBI and the US Attorney’s office and that reports claim Lindberg has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-7144927/Bribery-probe-U-S-investor-UK-Addiction-Treatment-Centres-sparks-talk-sale.html

LAW SOCIETY CALLS FOR TASKFORCE TO SAVE AILING CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Law Society Gazette on 14th June reported that the Law Society has called for a legal aid taskforce made up of solicitors, barristers, prosecutors and judges – this being one of 11 recommendations outlined in the Society’s report, Justice on Trial 2019: Fixing our criminal justice system.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/society-calls-for-taskforce-to-save-ailing-criminal-justice-system/5070621.article

The report is available at –

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/research-trends/justice-on-trial-2019/

 

OECD: MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING AWARENESS HANDBOOK FOR TAX EXAMINERS AND TAX AUDITOR

This Handbook is intended to raise the awareness level of tax examiners and tax auditors regarding money laundering and terrorist financing, and who may come across indicators of unusual or suspicious transactions or activities in the normal course of tax reviews or audits and report to an appropriate authority.  An update of the 2009 edition, it describes the nature and context of money laundering and terrorist financing activities, so that tax examiners and tax auditors, and by extension tax administrations, are able to better understand how their contributions can assist in the fight against serious crimes. It covers a wide gamut of methods and frauds, including smurfing, trade-based money laundering, bitcoin and loan-back money laundering.

http://www.oecd.org/tax/crime/money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing-awareness-handbook-for-tax-examiners-and-tax-auditors.pdf

BREXIT AND YOUR BUSINESS: DODGING THE PITFALLS – Q&A IN HONG KONG

On 12th June, HKTDC published a Q&A article saying that 3 years after the UK voted to leave the EU, the date and the manner of its departure remain “frustratingly unclear”, and uncertainty over the UK’s departure is escalating and the risk of a damaging no-deal Brexit is now higher than ever.  The Q&A is designed to help Hong Kong traders take precautionary arrangements, whether there is an orderly Brexit or a disorderly one.

http://economists-pick-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Economists-Pick-Research-Articles/Brexit-and-Your-Business-Dodging-the-Pitfalls/rp/en/1/1X32LK39/1X0AHN8V.htm