On 12th December the EU published Council Decision 2017/2282/CFSP that extended current EU sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Congo to 12th December 2008.
DUTCH BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED ON LIBERIAN SANCTIONS CHARGES
As often is the case, Defence Web has a story not commonly seen elsewhere. It reports that a Dutch businessman convicted in April of selling weapons to ex-Liberian president and warlord Charles Taylor has been arrested in South Africa on a Dutch warrant, officials said. “Blood timber” trader Guus Kouwenhoven, 75, (known in Liberia as “Mister Gus”) was sentenced as an accessory to war crimes for providing arms to Taylor’s government in violation of a UN embargo. He had been living in Cape Town and refused to return to the Netherlands for trial, citing health problems, and so was not present at the trial. He is said to have run 2 timber companies in Liberia 2000-03 and used them to smuggle arms, according to the Dutch court that sentenced him to 19 years in prison.
On 11th December FATF published its report on Portugal’s AML/CFT regimes and concludes that Portugal has a sound and effective regime for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing, but should improve implementation of measures aimed at non-financial business and professions. Non-financial businesses and professions and their supervisors lack the understanding of the risks involved. It says that Portugal should allocate appropriate means and resources to the FIU so that it can adequately manage and investigate the increasing volume of suspicious transaction reports, and conduct strategic analysis to identify ML/TF trends and patterns, and should also maintain adequate and comprehensive ML/TF-related statistics in order to better support and document its understanding and analysis of risks, and demonstrate the actions taken and results achieved.
HMRC on 11th December published the 2016/17 accounts. These accounts calculate the total share of common duties due to the Isle of Man government and the balance owing to either the Isle of Man or the UK. VAT and other indirect taxes and duties arising in the Isle of Man are collected on behalf of the Manx Government by the Isle of Man Customs & Excise Service.
On 11th December the Home Secretary announced the creation of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) within the NCA. The multi-agency centre will plan, task and co-ordinate operational responses across agencies bringing together the UK’s capabilities to tackle economic crime more effectively. Supported by enhanced intelligence and analytical capabilities it will draw together expertise from across law enforcement agencies, Government and the private sector.
The appeal of former Ukraine president, Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych against EU sanctions imposed against him has been rejected by the CJEU. Cases C-598/16 and C-599/16 refer, see Official Journal OJ C424 of 11th December.