US WITHDRAWAL FROM JCPOA IRAN DEAL – NEW US SANCTIONS IMMINENT

As all media have been reporting, President Trump announced on 8th May that he was pulling the US out of the JCPOA and would be imposing new, tougher sanctions.

OFAC FAQ UPDATED

On 8th May, OFAC published updated FAQ with additional questions.  These provide further guidance on the changes.  OFAC says in particular that, to implement the President’s direction, the Departments of State and US Treasury will take steps necessary to establish a 90-day and a 180-day wind-down period for activities involving Iran that were consistent with the US sanctions relief provided for under the JCPOA.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/iran.aspx

After 6th August, the US will re-impose the following sanctions –

  • Sanctions on the purchase or acquisition of US dollar banknotes by the Government of Iran;
  • Sanctions on Iran’s trade in gold or precious metals;
  • Sanctions on the direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminium and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes;
  • Sanctions on significant transactions related to the purchase or sale of Iranian rials, or the maintenance of significant funds or accounts outside the territory of Iran denominated in the Iranian rial;
  • Sanctions on the purchase, subscription to, or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt;
  • Sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector.
  • Revoking the exemption allowing the importation into the US of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs and certain related financial transactions pursuant to general licenses under the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations;
  • Revoking the exemption allowing activities undertaken pursuant to specific licenses issued in connection with the Statement of Licensing Policy for Activities Related to the Export or Re-export to Iran of Commercial Passenger Aircraft and Related Parts and Services (JCPOA SLP); and
  • Revoking the exemption allowing activities undertaken pursuant to General License I relating to contingent contracts for activities eligible for authorization under the JCPOA SLP.

After 8th November, the US will impose the following –

  • Sanctions on Iran’s port operators, and shipping and shipbuilding sectors, including on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), South Shipping Line Iran, or their affiliates;
  • Sanctions on petroleum-related transactions with, among others, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), including the purchase of petroleum, petroleum products, or petrochemical products from Iran;
  • Sanctions on transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran and designated Iranian financial institutions;
  • Sanctions on the provision of specialized financial messaging services to the Central Bank of Iran and Iranian financial institutions;
  • Sanctions on the provision of underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance; and
  • Sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.

Also, no later that 5th November, other changes will be made, including the restoration to the US SDN sanctions lists of those persons and entities which have been removed following the JCPOA.

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 6

 

MALAYSIAN POLICE STOP TANKER FULL OF MIGRANTS HEADING TO NEW ZEALAND

News Hub in New Zealand on 6th May reported that a rusty tanker crammed with illegal migrants and reportedly bound for Australia and New Zealand has been intercepted by Malaysian police.  In a statement police said the tanker, called Etra, had 98 men, 24 women and 9 children on board.  The migrants were from Sri Lanka and were being smuggled by a syndicate that transports people to Australia and New Zealand.  A boat used to transport the migrants to the tanker was also raided and the 7 on board were arrested.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/05/malaysian-police-stop-tanker-full-of-migrants-heading-to-new-zealand.html

UK ARMED ROBBERY GANG THAT LAUNDERED MONEY THROUGH FOBT SENTENCED

On 6th May, Casino.org reported that a gang of thieves that terrorised North West England with a string of raids on armoued cash-in-transit vehicles, banks, and supermarkets laundered the proceeds of their crimes through fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) in bookmakers’ shops, a court heard.  Between June 2016 and August last year, dozens of raids netted the gang £193,000.  This was literally dirty money: in most of the robberies, the loot was protected by explosive dye packs, which would stain banknotes as the robbers fled.

https://www.casino.org/news/uk-armed-robbery-gang-that-laundered-money-through-fixed-odds-betting-terminals-sentenced

PILATUS BANK MOVES TO TAKE BACK CONTROL

The Times of Malta on 6th May reported that the bank directors were preparing legal action against the Malta FSA.  The bank’s move has raised concerns within the MFSA that money held by the bank could potentially be moved if the attempt is successful, according to a source at the MFSA.  Other sources said it might have implications for an ongoing investigation of the bank’s servers being conducted by the MFSA and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.  The regulator will fight back, the MFSA source said.

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180506/local/pilatus-moves-to-take-back-control.678305

HMRC ACCUSED OF IGNORING ONLINE VAT FRAUD WORTH £1.2 BILLION A YEAR

The Guardian on 6th May reported that campaigners say no rogue traders have been prosecuted for selling wares on Amazon and eBay without VAT.  The accusation comes after a senior official said that his department had never seized goods from traders suspected of being part of a £1.2 billion-a-year VAT fraud via Amazon’s marketplace and other online sites.  The scam involves foreign companies warehousing products in the UK and selling them without charging VAT via internet marketplaces.  HMRC has recently introduced new “fulfilment house” regulations to seek to control the problem.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/06/hmrc-accused-of-ignoring-online-vat-worth-12bn-a-year

EU COUNCIL OF MEMBER STATES APPROVES NEW LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR TRADE DEFENCE MEASURES

On 4th May, HKTDC reported that on 16th April, the Council of Member States’ ministers approved the so called “modernisation package” of the EU’s trade defence rules.  The modernisation was first proposed by the Commission in 2013 but met resistance in the Council among Member States opposed to greater protectionism.  The Council’s approval paves the way for the final adoption by the European Parliament.  The modernisation of the EU’s trade defence instruments complements the recently approved Regulation on the introduction of the EU’s new anti-dumping methodology, which came into force on 21st December.

http://economists-pick-research.hktdc.com/business-news/freepdfdownloadservlet?articleID=1X0ADVD2&LANGUAGE=en

LAST REACH DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES APPROACHING FAST

On 4th May, HKTDC reported that on 31st May, the third and final REACH registration deadline will expire.  By this date, all Hong Kong entities selling registrable existing chemical substances, or mixtures or articles containing such substances, will have to ensure that those substances (imported into the EU in quantities between 1 tonne and 100 tonnes) have been registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).  It is a key date in the EU regulatory calendar, as after that, if such substances sold in the EU have not been registered, they will no longer be allowed on the EU market.  If an EU-based entity manufactures chemical substances or imports them from outside the EU above 1 tonne per year, that entity may have registration obligations under REACH. Additionally, if it manufactures or imports a product (mixture, article), it may contain substances that need to be registered individually.  If the entity concerned has pre-registered substances it manufactures or imports from outside the EU above 1 tonne but not more than 100 tonnes per year, and has not already registered them, the REACH registration deadline of 31st May applies.

http://economists-pick-research.hktdc.com/business-news/freepdfdownloadservlet?articleID=1X0ADV78&LANGUAGE=en

BRIBERY HIGH IN TAIWAN: SURVEY

In its 7th May edition, the Taipei Times reported that only a quarter of Taiwanese firms reported being victims of economic crime, likely because they tend to be cautious and are less aware of the associated risks, a PwC Taiwan survey showed.  Taiwanese companies reported fewer economic crimes than their global or regional peers, but more cases of bribery and procurement fraud, a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Taiwan has shown.  Misappropriation of assets is still the most common type of fraud in Taiwan, accounting for 39 of all fraud, followed by bribery and corruption at 35%, the survey showed.  Bribery and corruption is higher than the global 25% rate and the Asia-Pacific region’s 30%.

www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2018/05/07/2003692626?src=ilaw

GARDAI RAID ECSTASY PILL FACTORY LINKED TO KINAHAN CARTEL

The Journal on 6th May reported that the Gardai raided suspected ecstasy manufacturing plant in Kildare and seized €500,000 worth of the drug.  Officers discovered the drugs as well as chemicals used to make it. Personal protective equipment was also seized.  3 foreign nationals have been arrested and are being questioned at a number of garda stations.  Gardaí said equipment including blenders and an industrial pill making machine along with suspected controlled drugs in powder and pill form were seized.

http://www.thejournal.ie/kildare-drugs-3997584-May2018/?src=ilaw

AHOY CLUB AIMS TO REVOLUTIONISE THE WAY CLIENTS BOOK CHARTER TRIPS FOR SUPERYACHTS

On 6th May, Superyacht News carried an article saying that a new platform called Ahoy Club hopes to make chartering easier, cost-effective and accessible to the wider market. The enterprise, developed by superyacht owner and businessman Ian Malouf, believes that through its user-friendly, efficient platform, it can lower the costs of chartering by around 20%, generating a higher amount of revenue for superyacht owners and encouraging more ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) to enter into the charter market.

http://www.superyachtnews.com/owner/changing-the-charter-game

SHIPPERS URGED TO PREPARE NOW FOR US-CHINA TARIFFS

Lloyds Loading List on 6th May reported that an array of solutions is available to help shippers avoid the full impact of new US tariffs on Chinese imports due to be implemented this summer, according to one US customs expert, including ‘tariff engineering’.  But simply changing the origin or tax code of imported products in a bid to ‘game’ the system could lead to criminal charges, they warned.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/Shippers-urged-to-prepare-now-for-US-China-tariffs/71871.htm#.Wu9_UUxFzIU

US CARD CLUB PAYS PENALTY TO FINCEN

On 3rd May, FinCEN notified that a California company, Artichoke Joe’s, operating as Artichoke Joe’s Casino, a card club located in San Bruno, California which has been in operation since 1916.  It contains 38 tables offering card and tile games, including baccarat, blackjack, poker, and Pai Gow.  It has agreed to pay a fine of $550,000, with $275,000 stayed for a 2-year period, and agreed to modify its surveillance, work with the city of San Bruno to improve co-ordination with law enforcement, replace employees at the Pai Gow tables, and provide additional training on loan-sharking, illegal drugs, and compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act.  It is said that the company had failed to operate an adequate AML/CFT programme.

https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement_action/2018-05-03/AJC%20Assessment%2005.03.18.pdf

BANNING AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS IS NOT THE ANSWER, SAYS ARTICLE

Chatham House on 2nd May carried a commentary saying that a simple ban of lethal autonomous systems, as advocated for by some states, misses the complexity of the issue and how highly-automated systems could actually enhance adherence to international law.  Possibilities were considered at the UN’s Group of Government Experts (GGE) meeting discussing lethal autonomous weapon systems.  The commentary says that the forum is the right place to address the implications of new technology, but it clearly needs to be more specific about the risks it is considering.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/banning-autonomous-weapons-not-answer

ILLEGAL GUNS AND AMMO WORTH US$1.34 MILLION SEIZED IN TAIWAN AFTER PASSING THROUGH HONG KONG

The South China Morning Post on 5th May reported that Taiwan police have confiscated illegal firearms worth at least $1.34 million shipped through Hong Kong in the biggest seizure of weapons headed to the island in 10 years.  Officers also arrested 6 people but none of them was the mastermind, a spokesman for the force said.  109 firearms along with 12,378 rounds of ammunition – were found inside 2 large injection moulding machines in a container.  The illegal firearms were shipped by a Guangzhou-based courier to northeast Taiwan through Hong Kong.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hong-kong-law-and-crime/article/2144820/illegal-guns-and-ammo-worth-us134-million

MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING RISKS FACING HONG KONG’S TRUST OR COMPANY SERVICE PROVIDERS

On 4th May, Herbert Smith Freehills published a briefing explaining that the Hong Kong Government had produced a report which examines the ML/TF threats and vulnerabilities facing various sectors in Hong Kong and the city as a whole.  Set out below are a summary of the findings in relation to trust or company service providers (TCSP).

https://sites-herbertsmithfreehills.vuturevx.com/96/16702/compose-email/money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing-risks-facing-hong-kong-s-trust-or-company-service-providers.asp

The report itself is at –

https://www.fstb.gov.hk/fsb/aml/en/doc/hk-risk-assessment-report_e.pdf

UK GOVERNMENT COULD BE FORCED TO BAN SAUDI ARMS SALES AFTER CAMPAIGNERS WIN RIGHT TO APPEAL RULING

On 4th May, the Independent reported that British weapons sales to Saudi Arabia could be ruled unlawful after legal action by campaigners was given the go-ahead.  Judges have granted the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) permission to appeal a ruling by the High Court in July 2017 that allowed the UK to continue granting export licences despite allegations British weapons had been used to kill civilians in Yemen.  Lawyers representing CAAT argued that the decision to grant the licences was against British arms export policy, which states that the government must deny applications “if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-yemen-unlawful-court-appeal-ruling-a8336326.html

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security-saudi-britain/british-court-allows-appeal-against-uk-arms-sales-to-saudis-idUKKBN1I51N7?il=0

TARGETED SANCTIONS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS ON GROUNDS OF GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS – IMPACT, TRENDS AND PROSPECTS AT EU LEVEL

The European Parliament Think Tank on 26th April produced a briefing paper saying that sanctions are one of the tools utilised to address human rights violations.  They are also an increasingly prominent tool in the European Union’s foreign policy.  This study analyses the evolution of targeted sanctions regimes imposed by the EU, as well as by the UN, against individuals on grounds of gross human rights violations.  It focuses on the most recent developments in international sanctions practice.  It provides recommendations on how this tool could be further developed at EU level, making reference to the option of adopting a Global Magnitsky-type legislation allowing for the designation of human rights abusers worldwide.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2018/603869/EXPO_STU(2018)603869_EN.pdf

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 4/5

COMMERCIAL COURT CLARIFIES SCOPE OF STANDARD UNDERTAKING NOT TO ENFORCE WORLDWIDE FREEZING ORDER ABROAD WITHOUT COURT’S PERMISSION

Herbert Smith Freehills on 3rd May produced a briefing saying that the Commercial Court has recently considered the scope of the standard undertaking provided in connection with worldwide freezing orders, which requires the applicant to seek the court’s permission before seeking to enforce the order outside England and Wales, or seeking an order of a “similar nature”.  The court held that the claimant bank was not in breach of its undertaking by obtaining orders in Lithuania and Switzerland seizing certain of the respondent’s assets, as the foreign courts had independent jurisdiction to make the orders which did not derive from the making of the worldwide freezing order in England.

https://hsfnotes.com/litigation/2018/05/03/commercial-court-clarifies-scope-of-standard-undertaking-not-to-enforce-worldwide-freezing-order-abroad-without-courts-permission/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+HerbertSmithLitigationNotes+(Herbert+Smith+Litigation+Notes)#page=1

UK VAT GROUPING RULES – “INFORMAL” CONSULTATION

RPC on 1st May reported that HMRC wrote to the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) in February inviting it to discuss HMRC’s “interim” views on possible changes to the VAT grouping rules, with a response requested by 16th March on 3 possible options for widening the scope of the VAT grouping rules, by allowing “non-corporate” entities to join a VAT group.

https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/tax-take/corporate-tax-update-first-quarter-2018/#page=1

TRIBUNAL HOLDS THAT UK BROKER DID NOT CONSTITUTE A UK FIXED ESTABLISHMENT OF A NON-EU INSURER FOR VAT PURPOSES

On 1st May, RPC published a briefing saying that in January the First-tier Tribunal held9 that the resources of a UK insurance broker did not constitute a “fixed establishment” for VAT purposes in the UK of a non-EU insurer.  As a result, the UK broker was entitled to recover input tax attributable to the supplies it provided to the non-EU insurer.  The UK broker, a company incorporated in England and Wales, provided broking, underwriting and claims handling services to a Gibraltar-incorporated insurance company.  The insurer made supplies of insurance, via the broker, to UK customers.  The broker received a commission from the insurer.

https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/tax-take/corporate-tax-update-first-quarter-2018/#page=1

PROCEDURES FOR RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS IN THE BVI

On 9th March, Harneys published a guide to the recognition and enforcement of foreign court judgments in the BVI.

https://www.lexology.com/navigator#!results/498/view

5th May 2018

CYBER PIRATES: THE LATEST THREAT TO OCEAN SHIPPING

Homeland Security Today on 1st May published an article saying that high tech has reached the high seas, and there are no safe harbours.  That point was made very clear in a recent webinar hosted by the National/International Maritime Law Enforcement Academy and presented by RiskSense, a New Mexico-based cybersecurity practitioner.  It linked to a website, Supply Chain Dive, where a fuller article was available.  This cites as an example a cyberattack which was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping.  The malware surfaced in Ukraine after being spread by a malicious update to MeDoc, the country’s most popular accounting software.  Maersk picked up an infection that hooked into its global network and shut down the shipping company, forcing it to halt operations at 76 port terminals around the world.

https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/ocean-shipping-carriers-cyber-risk/522417/

In another article on Homeland Security Today on 1st May, the shipping sector is advised to avoid the next cybersecurity catastrophe by keeping the supply chain safe.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/cybersecurity/avoid-next-cybersecurity-catastrophe-keeping-supply-chain-safe/

UKRAINE TO FORM ANTI-CORRUPTION COURT IN FIRST HALF OF 2018, TO GET IMF MONEY

Interfax reported on 5th May that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has expressed his confidence that the process of creating an Anti-Corruption Court will be completed in the first half of 2018, possibly in May.

https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/503411.html?src=ilaw

BRITAIN’S ‘MOST WANTED’ MAN ARRESTED OVER SPANISH DRUG PLOT

The National in UAE and others reported on 5th May that armed police arrested one of Britain’s most wanted criminals over an alleged large-scale cannabis plot identified by UK and Spanish authorities.  Jamie Acourt, 41, is accused of being part of a conspiracy to supply drugs in Britain.  His arrest came after a joint police operation between Scotland Yard, the NCA and Spanish National Police.  He was one of 5 white men suspected of murdering Stephen Lawrence in a racist 1993 knife attack that shocked Britain.  He has always maintained his innocence and charges against him were eventually dropped for lack of evidence.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/britain-s-most-wanted-man-arrested-over-spanish-drug-plot-1.727452?src=ilaw

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/1344-most-wanted-fugitive-jamie-acourt-arrested-outside-gym-in-barcelona

UK MODERN SLAVERY TRAINING: RESOURCE PAGE

On 4th May, the Home Office issued updated training and awareness raising resources available to public sector organisations to help their staff understand modern slavery and learn to spot the signs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-training-resource-page

BRAZILIAN AUTHORITIES TARGET $1 BILLION IN ANTI-GRAFT OPERATION

On 4th May, OCCRP reported that Brazil has conducted one of the country’s largest anti-corruption operations ever when authorities cracked down on a money laundering network of politicians and businessmen accused of moving US$1 billion to accounts in over 50 countries.  The operation is related to “Car Wash” investigation, one of the largest anti-graft efforts in the world, that began in 2014.  The recent operation came after a plea bargain with 2 money changers, Vinicius Claret and Claudio Barbosa. The men had transferred dirty money for Sergio Cabral, former governor of Rio de Janiero, according to Reuters.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/8038-brazilian-authorities-target-us-1-billion-in-anti-graft-operation

TAIWAN CRACKING DOWN ON ORGANISED CRIME

On 4th May, OCCRP reported that Taiwan said it had arrested 310 known criminals, including several organised crime bosses.  The among those arrested by the National Police Agency are 4 men affiliated with the Bamboo Union, the largest of Taiwan’s 3 Triad gangs involved in organised killings, sex trafficking and drug trade.  The 4 men are also members of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party, which wants Taiwan to be back under full control of China and is led by Chang An-Le, also known as the “White Wolf.”

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/8037-china-and-taiwan-cracking-down-on-organized-crime

JTI REVEALS EXTENT OF ILLEGAL TOBACCO IN STAFFORDSHIRE

Talking Retail on 3rd May reported that an undercover operation conducted for Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has revealed the widespread availability of illegal tobacco in Staffordshire, with 17 out of the 48 stores visited in Stoke found to be selling illegal products.

https://www.talkingretail.com/news/industry-news/jti-reveals-extent-illegal-tobacco-staffordshire-03-05-2018/

TOBACCO SMUGGLING GANG JAILED AFTER FLOODING NORTH EAST ENGLAND WITH 12 MILLION ILLICIT CIGARETTES

The Chronicle on 3rd May reported that a smuggling gang who flooded the North East with more than 12 million illegal cigarettes after stashing then inside cable drum discs have been jailed.  Ringleader Dainius Pranskaitis and his gang were caught red-handed by HMRC officers unloading cigarettes from the hollowed out concealments at an industrial unit in Durham.

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/tobacco-smuggling-gang-jailed-after-14612225

TAIWANESE ARRESTED IN EUROPE FOR FRAUD IN JOINT OPERATION

Focus Taiwan on 4th May reported that Slovenian and Croatian police have cracked down on a cross-border telecommunication fraud group that included over 90 Taiwanese nationals, in a joint operation with Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).  It says that Taiwanese authorities have set up a big data-based monitoring system in which if a person who leaves the country is suspected of going abroad to commit fraud, local police at the person’s destination will be notified – due to the image of the country being tainted by its nationals being involved.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201805040023.aspx

BAR COUNCIL SOUNDS PRIVILEGE WARNING AHEAD OF GDPR ROLL OUT

The Law Society Gazette on 4th May reported that barristers have warned that ‘clumsily drafted’ data protection laws due to go live this month could hand ‘big brother powers’ to data watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) by granting it access to privileged material without client consent.  According the Bar Council, the government should properly scrutinise the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) bill, before it goes live on 25th May.  A barrister is quoted as saying that there is nothing in the Bill to prevent the ICO from both obtaining legally privileged material and then disclosing it to a third party for use in any sort of legal proceedings. That would run a coach and horses through the confidential nature of clients’ communications with their lawyers.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/bar-council-sounds-privilege-warning-ahead-of-gdpr-roll-out-/5065981.article

2 SLOVAKIAN MEN FROM LIVERPOOL ARRESTED FOR IMPORTING A MACHINE GUN

2 Slovakian men living in Liverpool have been arrested in connection with the seizure of a machine gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.  The weapon, a Slovakian-made Stribog SR9, was found by Border Force officers as they searched a VW refrigerated van on the evening of 30th April.  The weapon was loaded and hidden in a specially adapted concealment.

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/1343-two-arrested-over-attempted-machine-gun-importation

REMOTE GAMBLING ASSOCIATION OFFERS GUIDANCE FOR NEW DATA PROTECTION LAWS

On 4th May, the RGA has published guidance to help licensed gambling operators comply with obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

http://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/rga-offers-guidance-new-data-protection-laws

US CUSTOMS E-COMMERCE STRATEGY

US Customs and Border Protection has published its e-commerce strategy.  This strategy highlights private industry and foreign governments as key resources in CBP’s continuous assessment of the e-commerce environment.  The strategy includes efforts to educate the public and trade community to ensure they understand their responsibilities as importers to comply with customs regulations.  The strategy also emphasises enforcement initiatives, such as streamlining enforcement processes affected by increasing e-commerce volumes, leveraging enforcement partnerships with partner government agencies and foreign governments, and improving data collection from CBP targeting systems and field personnel.

https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2018-Mar/CBP-E-Commerce-Strategic-Plan_0.pdf

A SPECIAL ADVISER WILL HELP RCMP TACKLE BRITISH COLUMBIA’S ‘INFAMOUS’ MONEY LAUNDERING INDUSTRY

On 4th May, Baker McKenzie reported that, amid growing fears that the Vancouver region has become a hotbed for money laundering, Mounties in British Columbia have tapped a former Crown prosecutor to help them step up their investigation of financial crimes.  The selection of John Ahern as a “financial crime special adviser” comes at a time of heightened concern that illicit money is being funnelled through Lower Mainland casinos, and possibly other sectors, on a large scale.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/canada-a-special-adviser-will-help-rcmp-tackle-b-c-s-infamous-money-laundering-industry/

ISLAMIC STATE’S INTENT TO DISRUPT ELECTIONS IN IRAQ, LIBYA, AND TUNISIA WILL INDICATE GROUP’S ENDURING CAPABILITIES

Janes.com on 4th May reported that the Islamic State’s ability to follow through its threats will be a key indicator to assess the group’s current capabilities across the region and its ability to project guidance and provide support to multiple local affiliates.

http://www.janes.com/article/79809/islamic-state-s-intent-to-disrupt-elections-in-iraq-libya-and-tunisia-will-indicate-group-s-enduring-capabilities

GUN-MAKER BERETTA SAYS IT’S FOUND THE ‘KEY TO PENETRATING MARKETS’

Defense News on 4th May reported that Italian gun-maker Beretta is eyeing a new technology transfer deal with Argentina after concluding a similar deal with Qatar, claiming handing over technology to allow international customers to build their own guns is the future.  The firm is looking at transferring technology to Argentinian state manufacturer Fabricaciones Militares.

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/05/04/gun-maker-beretta-says-its-found-the-key-to-penetrating-markets/#.Wu2S-3MsDOQ.twitter

HOW WESTERN SANCTIONS WILL ALTER TIES BETWEEN RUSSIAN BIG BUSINESS AND THE KREMLIN

The Carnegie Center on 3rd May published an article saying that the latest round of US sanctions has hit Russia hard.  In the future, the Russian state will have to share the emerging risks and minimise socioeconomic consequences for the impacted regions and industries. This will lead to a new wave of property redistribution based upon state — not economic — interests.

https://carnegie.ru/commentary/76248

ISRAEL LOOKS TO SUPPLY MORE ARMS TO AFRICA

Defence Web on 4th May reported that the Israeli ministry of defence has prepared a new plan to increase the export of military hardware to Africa starting this year.  Israel’s defence-related exports in 2017 totalled $9.2 billion, an all-time record, and a 40% increase over 2016 when defence-related transactions totalled $6.5 billion.  The majority of sales were for air defence systems (31%).  According to the Israeli Ministry of Defence, 58% of these exports went to Asia and the Pacific, stemming primarily from the $2 billion defence contract Israel signed with India.  As examples of efforts, it reports that in March the Israeli defence Minister visited Tanzania Rwanda, and Zambia.  This was the first official visit by an Israeli defence minister to the continent in decades.  Also, according to the Israeli press, an Israeli security mission made a secret visit to Rwanda in February in an effort to sell weapons and military technology to the country.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51577:israel-looks-to-supply-more-arms-to-africa&catid=7:Industry&Itemid=116

VENEZUELA SAYS IT IS TAKING OVER BANESCO BANK FOR 90 DAYS, ARRESTS 11 TOP BANK EXECUTIVES

On 3rd May, Reuters reported that Venezuelan authorities had seized the country’s largest private bank and announced the arrest of 11 top executives for “attacks” against the country’s rapidly depreciating bolivar currency.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-bank/venezuela-says-taking-over-banesco-for-90-days-arrests-11-top-bank-execs-idUSKBN1I422Z

BOSNIAN ARRESTED IN CROATIA IN CONNECTION WITH 2016 TUNISIAN ASSASSINATION

On 4th May, Defence Web reported that Croatian police had arrested a Bosnian citizen who may be extradited to Tunisia over alleged involvement in the killing of a Tunisian in 2016 that Palestinian group Hamas said was a member.   Mohammed Zawari, an aerospace engineer and drone expert, was shot dead in December 2016.  Tunisian authorities later arrested 10 Tunisians but 2 foreigners suspected of plotting the killing escaped.  Hamas blamed Israel for the killing of Zawari, who was a member for 10 years.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51591:bosnian-arrested-in-connection-with-2106-tunisian-assassination&catid=56:diplomacy-a-peace&Itemid=111

US SHOULD PRIORITISE TRANSNATIONAL BIOTHREATS NOW, EXPERTS WARN

On 4th May, Homeland Security Today reports that America’s response to potential worldwide biological threats — either naturally occurring or imposed by terrorists — must evolve, experts told the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense during its April 25th public meeting addressing current transnational biothreats and the global security efforts to combat them.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/28278-prioritize-transnational-biothreats-now-experts-warn/

UK-GIBRALTAR CONSULTANCY REQUIREMENT ON INSURANCE REGULATION

On 4th May, HM Treasury issued a news release saying that firms are being invited to undertake consultancy work on a requirement to produce a diagnostic review of the Gibraltarian insurance regulatory regime.  Gibraltar’s continued access to UK financial services will be underpinned by mutual confidence in regulatory standards, supervisory capacities and capabilities; and commitment both to information sharing specifically and to joint regulatory working more generally.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-and-government-of-gibraltar-consultancy-requirement