PARADISE PAPERS: BBC, GUARDIAN AND APPLEBY AGREE SETTLEMENT

On 4th May, the BBC reported that a confidential settlement has been reached between the BBC, the Guardian and law firm Appleby over the reporting of leaked documents detailing offshore tax-avoidance schemes.  Appleby began legal action after details from the documents, known as the Paradise Papers, were published.  About half of the 13.4 million leaked documents were from Appleby, one of the world’s largest providers of offshore legal services.  A joint statement said that it was now clear that the vast majority of documents that were of interest in the Paradise Papers investigation related to the fiduciary business that is no longer owned by Appleby and so were not legally privileged documents.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44001176

EU ADVOCATE GENERAL: VAT ON TAKEOVER COSTS SHOULD BE DEDUCTIBLE

Out-Law reported that Ryanair should be able to deduct the VAT chargeable on costs it incurred in the context of its failed takeover bid for rival Aer Lingus in 2006, according to an EU legal adviser, the Advocate General.  The European Court of Justice is not bound to accept the advice of its adviser.  However, the opinion “clearly focuses on the economic reality of the situation”, according to tax expert Jamie Robson of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/may/advocate-general-vat-takeover-costs-deductible/

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 3

3rd May 2018

FRENCH ‘DARK WEB’ DRUG DEFENDANT LOSES EVIDENCE CHALLENGE OVER US BORDER INSPECTION

Daily Business Review from Law.com on 2nd May reported that a judge reaffirmed that entrants to the US can be subjected to questioning and broad searches of their belongings without breaching any constitutional rights.  A federal judge in Florida has rejected a motion to suppress electronic evidence in a criminal case against Gal Vallerius, a French national who entered the US last year and is accused of being a moderator on a “dark web” drug marketplace.  The decision reaffirms previous decisions holding that entrants to the US can be subjected to questioning and broad searches of their belongings prior to clearing customs.

https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2018/05/02/french-dark-web-drug-defendant-loses-evidence-challenge-over-border-inspection/

COUNCIL OF EUROPE WARNS AGAINST REVERSAL OF PROGRESS IN FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

On 3rd May, a news release from the Council expressed concerns that new legislative initiatives in certain European countries in 2017 reversed reforms previously undertaken to strengthen the prevention of corruption or started reforms that may result in breaches of the Council of Europe´s anti-corruption standards.  Although there was overall progress in introducing new measures to fight corruption in respect of MPs, judges and prosecutors, their practical implementation remained slower than desirable.  The news release announced the latest annual report from GRECO (Group of States Against Corruption of the Council of Europe).

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/council-of-europe-warns-against-reversal-of-progress-in-fight-against-corruption

The report is available at –

http://rm.coe.int/eighteenth-general-activity-report-2017-of-the-group-of-states-against/16807c0e91

MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK CAN BANK ON REGIONAL SUPPORT FOR RE-ELECTION DESPITE CORRUPTION SCANDAL

Radio Australia on 4th May reported that despite allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars of state money ended up in his personal bank account, and arrests of people who bring it up, support for Malaysia’s Prime Minister remains strong in regional areas.  The US DoJ says $4.65 billion was misappropriated from Malaysia’s state investment fund, 1MDB.  Much ended up in the personal bank account of Mr Najib but the Prime Minister later claimed that cash was the gift of an unnamed Saudi billionaire.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-05-04/malaysian-prime-minister-najib-razak-can-bank-on-regional-support-despite-corruption-scandal/1753900?src=ilaw

EU PUSHES MOLDOVA TO STEP UP FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

New Europe on 3rd May reported that the fight against corruption, reforms in the electoral system, and the development of economic co-operation were at the centre of the 4th EU-Moldova Association in Brussels.  In 2015, Moldova was hit with money laundering and banking fraud scandals that involved high-level members of the government, which triggered mass street protests and plunged the national currency, the leu, to record lows and caused inflation to climb to double digits. In response, the EU froze aid to the Moldovan government.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eu-pushes-moldova-step-fight-corruption/

NORFOLK BROTHERS ALAN AND RUSSELL TAYLOR JAILED OVER £17 MILLION FRAUD

On 3rd May, the BBC reported that 2 brothers who scammed more than 200 people out of almost £17 million have been jailed.  Alan Taylor, 38, and Russell Taylor, 37, used the money to fund “lavish” lifestyles.  They persuaded clients to invest with their firm, gaining access to their funds, which were then invested in high-risk schemes, police said.  The financial advisers pocketed any profit but passed on losses to their customers.  The brothers used their company Taylor and Taylor Associates to persuade clients to invest, but then transferred the money to another company they owned, Vantage Investment Group Ltd, and placed it in a high-risk finance scheme.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-43989584?src=ilaw

OFFICIAL SOUGHT ‘BIG PAYDAY’ IN BRIBE SCAM, US JURY TOLD

On 3rd May, Bloomberg reported that Gary Tanner, a former senior director at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, got a $9.7 million kickback from Andrew Davenport, the former head of Philidor Rx Services LLC, after Valeant was manipulated into paying $133 million for an option to buy the mail-order pharmacy, a federal prosecutor said at the start of their fraud and money laundering trial.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-03/ex-valeant-official-sought-big-payday-in-bribe-scam-jury-told?src=ilaw

UK OVERSEAS TERRITORIES HOPE TO DERAIL BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP PLANS

Tax News on 3rd May reported that British Overseas Territories (comprising 14 overseas territories, including Bermuda, the BVI, and the Cayman Islands), have condemned a UK Government proposal to compel the jurisdictions to publicly disclose the beneficial ownership of legal entities established in their territories.  Amendments were also proposed in respect of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man but were withdrawn.

https://www.lowtax.net/news/UK-Overseas-Territories-Hope-To-Derail-Beneficial-Ownership-Plans-76762.html?src=ilaw

PANAMA CANCELS MIGRATORY PERMITS TO FOREIGNERS FOR FRAUD

Prensa Latina on 3rd May reported that the Panamanian National Immigration Service (SNM) cancelled over 500 temporary and permanent residence permits for foreigners, after detecting the use of false documentation in the immigration procedures.

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?src=ilaw&o=rn&id=27834&SEO=panama-cancels-migratory-permits-to-foreigners-for-fraud

VENEZUELA HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE LIST OF DESTINATIONS FOR WHICH THE UK OPEN GENERAL TRANSHIPMENT LICENCE (OGTL) IS NOT VALID

On 3rd May, the UK export Control Joint Unit released Notice to Exporters 2018/12 announcing that the open general transhipment licence has been updated following Venezuela sanctions.  This follows an inadvertent omission when updating a number of licences in response to the introduction of Venezuela sanctions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-201812-open-general-transhipment-licence-updated-following-venezuela-sanctions

BAN FOR SOLICITOR WHO AIDED DRUG DEALERS AND FRAUDSTERS

The Law Society Gazette on 3rd May reported that Neil Richard Bolton, a solicitor who fixed property deals for drug dealers and mortgage fraudsters has been banned after being jailed for 9 months on money laundering charges. Bolton was employed by a Stockport firm for 13 years until dismissal in 2014.  He dealt with many conveyancing transactions for several criminals subsequently convicted for serious offences including drug dealing, mortgage frauds and tax evasion in a way that facilitated mortgage frauds through the dishonest acquisition of properties by the clients; and to have failed to meet his obligations around issuing client care letters and file maintenance.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/ban-for-solicitor-who-aided-drug-dealers-and-fraudsters/5065959.article

MALTA BILLS TO REGULATE, PROMOTE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Tax News on 3rd May reported that Malta is considering 3 Bills that would regulate the use of distributed ledger technology (blockchain) by regulated entities.

https://www.lowtax.net/news/Malta-Tables-Bills-To-Regulate-Promote-Blockchain-Technology-_76756.html

NEW DRAFT MODERN SLAVERY BILL UNDER DISCUSSION FOR HONG KONG

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner on 3rd May published an article saying that a new draft Bill in expected as part of a broader discussions on human trafficking.  It would criminalise all forms of human trafficking and bring Hong Kong into line with the UK and US in making corporates liable for ensuring responsible business practices in their supply chains.

http://www.blplaw.com/expert-legal-insights/articles/the-ripple-effect-new-draft-modern-slavery-bill-under-discussion-for-hong-kong

UPDATE ON THE MALTA KILLING OF DAPHNE CARUNA GALIZIA

OCCRP on 3rd May provided an article updating details of the case and saying that the car bomb that killed Maltese her last year was detonated from a boat in the Grand Harbor near Valletta, but the motives remained unclear.  The involvement of Maltese parties in a fuel smuggling operation that included Libyan traffickers and Sicilian organised crime is being investigated.

https://www.occrp.org/en/thedaphneproject/death-in-a-smugglers-paradise

EU PRIOR SURVEILLANCE IMPORT LICENSING REGIME

On 27th April, the UK Department for International Trade published Notice to Importers 2902 which sets out the EU revised prior surveillance import licensing arrangements covering imports into free circulation within the EU of aluminium and steel products of certain description detailed in an Annex to the Notice.  An import licence is or may be required for aluminium entries made on or after 12th May.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/703459/Notice_to_importers_2902_-_Prior_surveillance_regime_revision_27_April_2018.pdf

TAX ACTIVISTS SLAM US REPORTING EXEMPTION FOR DEFENCE COMPANIES

On 3rd May, Defence Web reported that tax activists have criticised a US government move to exempt large defence contractors from a financial disclosure rule meant to fight international tax dodging, saying the need for a national security exemption was unproven.  The new rule requires US-based multinational corporations with revenues exceeding $850 million to report revenue annually on a country-by-country basis.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51563:tax-activists-slam-us-reporting-exemption-for-defense-firms&catid=113:international-news&Itemid=248

COMMUNICATIONS DATA RETENTION LAWS CAN APPLY TO CRIMES THAT ARE NOT ‘SERIOUS’, SAYS EU COURT ADVISER

On 3rd May, Out-Law reported that an Advocate General of the CJEU has advised the court that EU law permits communications data laws to be enforced by the police and other authorities even when they crimes they are investigating are not ‘serious’, providing there is no serious interference with privacy rights.  Communications data laws generally require electronic communication service providers to retain details pertinent to communications, excluding their contents, such as details of the routing and duration of phone calls, and the location of those making and receiving emails, to help the police detect and investigate certain crimes.  The court is not obliged to follow the guidance.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/may/communications-data-laws-crimes-eu/

UK UPDATES MISSING TRADER (MTIC) VAT FRAUD GUIDANCE FOR TRADERS

Tax News on 3rd May reported that HMRC, in a first update since August 2006, has redrafted its VAT guidance on the due diligence businesses must undertake to ensure they do not engage in transactions with fraudsters.  The guidance was initially released following the ECJ ruling in joined cases Optigen Ltd, Fulcrum Electronics Ltd, and Bond House Systems Ltd released in 2006.  The revised guidance sets out the checks that should be undertaken by businesses to identify potential fraud, also includes information on the new offence of “Corporate Failure to Prevent the Criminal Facilitation of Tax Evasion,” which entered into force on September 30th last year.

https://www.tax-news.com/news/UK_Updates_Missing_Trader_VAT_Fraud_Guidance_For_Traders____76763.html

AND MORE THINGS YOU AND I MIGHT HAVE MISSED – MAY 1…

Greetings from warm Lisbon!

1st May 2018

SPENT CONVICTIONS AND THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN: NT1 & NT2 V GOOGLE LLC

McDowell Purcell on 24th April published an article that says that a recent decision of the High Court in England and Wales has addressed the interplay between spent convictions and the right to be forgotten in a data protection context.  It explains the decisions in the case – the appeal in respect of NT2 was allowed, however, the appeal in respect of NT1 was not. In explaining the decision and, in particular, the distinction as between the claimants, the judge stated that NT1 had continued to mislead the public and had failed to show remorse. By contrast, in respect of NT2, it was noted that “the crime and punishment information has become out of date, irrelevant and of no sufficient legitimate interest to users of Google search to justify its continued availability”.

https://www.mcdowellpurcell.ie/legal-blog/spent-convictions-and-the-right-to-be-forgotten-nt1-nt2-v-google-llc/

BVI LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ACT 2017 – KEY POINTS

On 17th April, Carey Olsen produced a briefing on this Act that came into force in February.  It creates a modern regime for new limited partnerships and replaces Part VI of the former Partnership Act 1996 for new limited partnerships and for those existing limited partnerships that elect to re-register under the Act.

https://www.careyolsen.com/briefings/bvi-limited-partnership-act-2017-–-key-points

US CHARGES 2 WITH ESPIONAGE IN CHINESE TRADE SECRETS THEFT

On 30th April, World Intellectual Property Review reported that 2 men have been charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage for the benefit of a Chinese company, 1 year after being indicted for conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.  Shan Shi, a citizen of Houston, and Chinese national Gang Liu were charged on April 26th.  They had been acting for the benefit of CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology (CBMF), a Chinese company based in Taizhou.  It is said that Shi and Lui conspired with others to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from a US engineering firm that produces syntactic foam.  The foam is a strong and lightweight material with commercial and military uses.

https://www.worldipreview.com/news/us-charges-two-with-espionage-in-chinese-trade-secrets-theft-15863

CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT IS WORKING ON A FRAMEWORK OF GOVERNANCE FOR CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND DIGITAL COIN PROJECTS

The Cayman News Service on 30th April reported that the Cayman Islands Government is working on a framework of governance for cryptocurrencies and digital coin projects taking place in the jurisdiction while it considers how to implement a legislative framework for the sector.

https://caymannewsservice.com/2018/04/cryptocurrencies-cayman-framework/

AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY – CBA BANK HAD “INADEQUATE OVERSIGHT” OF NON-FINANCIAL RISKS, INCLUDING REPUTATIONAL RISKS AND SENSE OF COMPLACENCY WHEN ADDRESSING NON-FINANCIAL RISKS

The Brisbane Times on 1st May reported on the report published following a review commissioned by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) culture which found the board of the bank had “inadequate oversight” of non-financial risks, including reputational risks.  The review also found a sense of complacency within the bank when addressing non-financial risks.  The review was sparked after CBA was sued by Austrac for more than 50,000 failings under AML/CFT laws.  The report found serious failings with the board’s oversight of these issues.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/we-let-you-down-cba-boss-sorry-as-regulator-slams-culture-20180430-p4zcjy.html

HONG KONG’S FIGHT AGAINST DIRTY MONEY – OFFICIALS VOW TO ‘ADDRESS GAPS’

The South China Morning Post on 1st May reported that a just-released government risk assessment describes rise in money laundering reports as ‘significant’.  Produced by the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau, the release of the 132-page report came as local authorities prepared for a major audit of the city’s AML capabilities by a team from FATF in October.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hong-kong-law-and-crime/article/2144097/hong-kongs-fight-against-dirty-money

AUSTRALIA APPOINTS TOP POLICEMAN TO LEAD FIGHT AGAINST OFFSHORE CRIME

Xinhua on 1st May reported that the Australian government has named its first Transnational Organised Crime Coordinator to tackle the growing problem of offshore organised crimes, especially cybercrimes, child exploitation, human trafficking, illicit drugs and firearms, and money laundering.  He will work within the Department of Home Affairs to lead a national effort against “transnational serious and organised crime”.  Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs said a crime co-ordinator was needed because up to 70% of organised crimes occurred offshore.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-05/01/c_137148791.htm

COUNTERFEIT STEROID TRAFFICKING, MONEY LAUNDERING CASE IN US

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on 27th April reported the case of a woman from Massachusetts who imported raw steroid materials from China/Hong Kong into the US and manufactured injectable anabolic steroids which were advertised and sold over social media sites, fitness blogs, and email as “Onyx Pharmaceuticals”.  The steroids were marketed and sold with counterfeit labelling, holograms and branding and distributed all over the US.  Search warrants yielded 9 kg of raw powder steroids, over 35,000 units of finished steroid units, laboratory production equipment, 14,000 fraudulent branding labels and boxes and more than $500,000 dollars in cash.  The investigation was assisted by team members from the US Postal Inspection Service, and the FDA.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-hsi-counterfeit-steroid-trafficking-money-laundering-case-leads-prison-sentence

SURVEY REVEALS UK CONSTRUCTION FIRMS VULNERABLE TO MONEY LAUNDERING AND BRIBERY

Public & Building Control Today on 30th April reported that 97% of middle market UK construction firms consider themselves at risk of falling foul of AML and anti-bribery legislation according to the latest YouGov survey, commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.  he survey of more than 300 UK middle market business leaders also revealed that 47% of firms have suffered, unwittingly or otherwise, in incidents that are outside of the law.

https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/planning-construction-news/construction-firms-vulnerable-to-money-laundering/40923/

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROPOSES LEGISLATION BROADENING ACCESS TO CENTRALISED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

On 30th April, Shearman & Sterling published an article about EU proposals for a Directive aimed at increasing security within EU Member States and across the EU by improving access to financial information, including bank account information, to the relevant authorities and bodies in charge for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of serious forms of crimes. It is envisaged that this will enhance their ability to conduct financial investigations and analysis and improve their co-operation.  In addition, the proposal contains measures to improve the ability of FIU to carry out their tasks under the 4th Money Laundering Directive.  The new 5th Money Laundering Directive already will make it obligatory for Member States to establish centralised bank account registries or data retrieval systems.  The proposal follows a public consultation by the Commission which ran from October 2017 to January 2018 and the Commission has published separately a summary of the responses it received to that consultation.  The proposal will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council.

http://www.mondaq.com/uk/x/696674/Money+Laundering/Reverse+Payment+Patent+Settlements+in+the+Pharmaceutical+Industry+A+Year+in+Review

COURT HOLDS THAT ALL RISKS CARGO POLICY DID NOT COVER FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS FOR A NON-EXISTENT CARGO

On 30th April, Clyde & Co published an article about a recent UK court case – Engelhart CTP v Lloyds Syndicate 1221 – where the claimant bought copper ingots and re-sold them the same day. However, when some of the containers arrived for transhipment, it was discovered that they contained only slag of nominal value.  It was assumed for the purposes of this case that no copper was ever shipped and that the claimant had, in good faith, paid for and taken up fraudulent bills of lading and other shipping documents.  The claimant sought an indemnity under its All Risks marine cargo insurance policy and some of the insurers denied liability on the basis that the loss did not fall within the scope of the policy cover.  It has now been held that the loss was not covered under the policy.  Amongst other things, the judge noted that “Since an All Risks marine cargo policy is generally construed as covering only losses flowing from physical loss or damage to goods, there must be clear words indicating a broader intention.”  No such clear wording existed in this case.

https://www.clydeco.com/blog/insurance-hub/article/marine-engelhart-ctp-v-lloyds-syndicate-1221

TRANSFER PRICING OVERVIEW FOR CENTRAL AMERICA

On 30th April, the TMF Group published a briefing that said that in Central America, there are 2 countries in particular that are engaging with the new transfer pricing landscape. Costa Rica, which is looking to become a full member of the OECD, and Panama, which is under pressure from the OECD to adopt these changes due to its status as a financial centre.  Like other regions around the world, the region is adjusting to the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative, which has resulted in new regulations designed to tackle international tax avoidance.  Panama was the first country in Central America to introduce transfer pricing legislation, with the legal framework created through tax reform in 2010.  However, Panama is not a member of the OECD, but the OECD’s transfer pricing guidelines are generally used to inform national transfer pricing regulations.  If the OECD guidelines interfere, or conflict, with national regulations, then the national regulations will prevail.

https://www.tmf-group.com/en/news-insights/articles/2018/april/transfer-pricing-overview-for-central-america/

SWISS 1MDB CASE WIDENS WITH CRIMINAL PROBE INTO PETROSAUDI OFFICIALS

Bloomberg on 1st May reported that Swiss prosecutors have widened their probe into allegations of corruption at Malaysian development fund 1MDB, opening criminal proceedings to look into 2 officials of Saudi Arabian oil producer PetroSaudi who were allegedly involved in the affair.  The investigation into the pair on suspicion of criminal mismanagement, fraud, bribery and aggravated money laundering began in November 2017.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/banking-finance/395579-swiss-1mdb-case-widens-with-criminal-probe-into-petrosaudi-officials?src=ilaw

FORMER CFO OF AUTONOMY GUILTY OF ACCOUNTING FRAUD

The Irish Times on 1st May reported that a case which relates to $10.3 billion price Hewlett-Packard paid for the UK software maker in 2011.  A jury voted to convict Sushovan Hussain on all 16 counts of wire and securities fraud after 3 days of deliberations in San Francisco federal court.  Autonomy was the UK’s second-largest software business when Hewlett-Packard acquired it in 2011.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/former-cfo-of-autonomy-guilty-of-accounting-fraud-1.3480161?src=ilaw

UK EXPORT LICENCES AMENDED TO EXCLUDE BURMA/MYANMAR

On 1st May, the UK Export Control Joint Unit published a new Notice to Exporters 2018/11 which provides for Burma to been removed as a permitted destination from 5 open general export licences (OGEL).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-201811-ogels-amended-to-exclude-burma

CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON THE REFORM OF LIMITED PARTNERSHIP LAW

On 1st May, Berwin Cave Leighton Paisner published a briefing saying that in the UK BEIS has published a consultation on the reform of limited partnership law, in response to its January 2017 call for evidence.  This briefing sets out the main elements of the proposals, along with comments on them.  Responses are requested by 23rd July.  The full picture will emerge when legislation is produced, which BEIS states is the intention “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.

http://www.blplaw.com/expert-legal-insights/articles/funds-briefing-consultation-launched-on-the-reform-of-limited-partnership-law

ISSUES SURROUNDING A US WITHDRAWAL FROM THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT

A briefing from the Washington Institute in April said that President Trump warned in January that absent improvements to the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement, he might decide by the May 12th deadline not to extend the sanctions waivers, effectively withdrawing the US from the deal. In reality, but reimposing sanctions is not a simple flip of a switch: the process requires numerous steps without which withdrawal would have little meaning. This report by distinguished Iran expert Patrick Clawson outlines the options available to the administration should it choose to terminate its co-operation with JCPOA provisions, and the technical, legal, and administrative considerations related to reimplementation of sanctions.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/tactical-issues-surrounding-a-u.s.-withdrawal-from-the-iran-nuclear-agreeme

OLEG DERIPASKA TO REDUCE EN+ GROUP HOLDING IN BID TO AVERT US SANCTIONS

The European Sanctions Blog on 1st May reported that proposals had been aired for Deripaska to reduce his shareholding below 50%, resign from the board and agree to the appointment of others, so that independent directors form a majority.

https://europeansanctions.com/

Meanwhile, Rferl reported that the “US not aiming to ‘put Russian aluminum giant out of business’ With Sanctions

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-not-aiming-put-russian-aluminum-giant-rusal-out-business-with-sanctions-mnuchin-treasury-secretary-deripaska/29201904.html

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 1/2

1st May 2018

SPENT CONVICTIONS AND THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN: NT1 & NT2 V GOOGLE LLC

McDowell Purcell on 24th April published an article that says that a recent decision of the High Court in England and Wales has addressed the interplay between spent convictions and the right to be forgotten in a data protection context.  It explains the decisions in the case – the appeal in respect of NT2 was allowed, however, the appeal in respect of NT1 was not. In explaining the decision and, in particular, the distinction as between the claimants, the judge stated that NT1 had continued to mislead the public and had failed to show remorse. By contrast, in respect of NT2, it was noted that “the crime and punishment information has become out of date, irrelevant and of no sufficient legitimate interest to users of Google search to justify its continued availability”.

https://www.mcdowellpurcell.ie/legal-blog/spent-convictions-and-the-right-to-be-forgotten-nt1-nt2-v-google-llc/

BVI LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ACT 2017 – KEY POINTS

On 17th April, Carey Olsen produced a briefing on this Act that came into force in February.  It creates a modern regime for new limited partnerships and replaces Part VI of the former Partnership Act 1996 for new limited partnerships and for those existing limited partnerships that elect to re-register under the Act.

https://www.careyolsen.com/briefings/bvi-limited-partnership-act-2017-–-key-points

US CHARGES 2 WITH ESPIONAGE IN CHINESE TRADE SECRETS THEFT

On 30th April, World Intellectual Property Review reported that 2 men have been charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage for the benefit of a Chinese company, 1 year after being indicted for conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.  Shan Shi, a citizen of Houston, and Chinese national Gang Liu were charged on April 26th.  They had been acting for the benefit of CBM-Future New Material Science and Technology (CBMF), a Chinese company based in Taizhou.  It is said that Shi and Lui conspired with others to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from a US engineering firm that produces syntactic foam.  The foam is a strong and lightweight material with commercial and military uses.

https://www.worldipreview.com/news/us-charges-two-with-espionage-in-chinese-trade-secrets-theft-15863

CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT IS WORKING ON A FRAMEWORK OF GOVERNANCE FOR CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND DIGITAL COIN PROJECTS

The Cayman News Service on 30th April reported that the Cayman Islands Government is working on a framework of governance for cryptocurrencies and digital coin projects taking place in the jurisdiction while it considers how to implement a legislative framework for the sector.

https://caymannewsservice.com/2018/04/cryptocurrencies-cayman-framework/

AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY – CBA BANK HAD “INADEQUATE OVERSIGHT” OF NON-FINANCIAL RISKS, INCLUDING REPUTATIONAL RISKS AND SENSE OF COMPLACENCY WHEN ADDRESSING NON-FINANCIAL RISKS

The Brisbane Times on 1st May reported on the report published following a review commissioned by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) culture which found the board of the bank had “inadequate oversight” of non-financial risks, including reputational risks.  The review also found a sense of complacency within the bank when addressing non-financial risks.  The review was sparked after CBA was sued by Austrac for more than 50,000 failings under AML/CFT laws.  The report found serious failings with the board’s oversight of these issues.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/we-let-you-down-cba-boss-sorry-as-regulator-slams-culture-20180430-p4zcjy.html

HONG KONG’S FIGHT AGAINST DIRTY MONEY – OFFICIALS VOW TO ‘ADDRESS GAPS’

The South China Morning Post on 1st May reported that a just-released government risk assessment describes rise in money laundering reports as ‘significant’.  Produced by the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau, the release of the 132-page report came as local authorities prepared for a major audit of the city’s AML capabilities by a team from FATF in October.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/hong-kong-law-and-crime/article/2144097/hong-kongs-fight-against-dirty-money

AUSTRALIA APPOINTS TOP POLICEMAN TO LEAD FIGHT AGAINST OFFSHORE CRIME

Xinhua on 1st May reported that the Australian government has named its first Transnational Organised Crime Coordinator to tackle the growing problem of offshore organised crimes, especially cybercrimes, child exploitation, human trafficking, illicit drugs and firearms, and money laundering.  He will work within the Department of Home Affairs to lead a national effort against “transnational serious and organised crime”.  Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs said a crime co-ordinator was needed because up to 70% of organised crimes occurred offshore.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-05/01/c_137148791.htm

COUNTERFEIT STEROID TRAFFICKING, MONEY LAUNDERING CASE IN US

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on 27th April reported the case of a woman from Massachusetts who imported raw steroid materials from China/Hong Kong into the US and manufactured injectable anabolic steroids which were advertised and sold over social media sites, fitness blogs, and email as “Onyx Pharmaceuticals”.  The steroids were marketed and sold with counterfeit labelling, holograms and branding and distributed all over the US.  Search warrants yielded 9 kg of raw powder steroids, over 35,000 units of finished steroid units, laboratory production equipment, 14,000 fraudulent branding labels and boxes and more than $500,000 dollars in cash.  The investigation was assisted by team members from the US Postal Inspection Service, and the FDA.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-hsi-counterfeit-steroid-trafficking-money-laundering-case-leads-prison-sentence

VATICAN MAKES CHANGES TO DONATION LAWS TO HELP FIGHT TERRORISM AND MONEY LAUNDERING

World Religion News on 30th April reported that the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), its financial watchdog, has taken on the role of examining all suspicious donations made to charities in the name of the Vatican.  The AIF will also investigate foundations.  These actions form a component of the new financial reforms initiated by Pope Francis.  The AIF annual report showed progressive consolidation of all reports with the aim to import the Vatican into international norms compliance for terrorist financing and money laundering.

https://www.worldreligionnews.com/religion-news/vatican-makes-changes-to-donation-laws-to-help-fight-terrorism-and-money-laundering

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PROPOSES LEGISLATION BROADENING ACCESS TO CENTRALISED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

On 30th April, Shearman & Sterling published an article about EU proposals for a Directive aimed at increasing security within EU Member States and across the EU by improving access to financial information, including bank account information, to the relevant authorities and bodies in charge for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of serious forms of crimes. It is envisaged that this will enhance their ability to conduct financial investigations and analysis and improve their co-operation.  In addition, the proposal contains measures to improve the ability of FIU to carry out their tasks under the 4th Money Laundering Directive.  The new 5th Money Laundering Directive already will make it obligatory for Member States to establish centralised bank account registries or data retrieval systems.  The proposal follows a public consultation by the Commission which ran from October 2017 to January 2018 and the Commission has published separately a summary of the responses it received to that consultation.  The proposal will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council.

http://www.mondaq.com/uk/x/696674/Money+Laundering/Reverse+Payment+Patent+Settlements+in+the+Pharmaceutical+Industry+A+Year+in+Review

COURT HOLDS THAT ALL RISKS CARGO POLICY DID NOT COVER FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS FOR A NON-EXISTENT CARGO

On 30th April, Clyde & Co published an article about a recent UK court case – Engelhart CTP v Lloyds Syndicate 1221 – where the claimant bought copper ingots and re-sold them the same day. However, when some of the containers arrived for transhipment, it was discovered that they contained only slag of nominal value.  It was assumed for the purposes of this case that no copper was ever shipped and that the claimant had, in good faith, paid for and taken up fraudulent bills of lading and other shipping documents.  The claimant sought an indemnity under its All Risks marine cargo insurance policy and some of the insurers denied liability on the basis that the loss did not fall within the scope of the policy cover.  It has now been held that the loss was not covered under the policy.  Amongst other things, the judge noted that “Since an All Risks marine cargo policy is generally construed as covering only losses flowing from physical loss or damage to goods, there must be clear words indicating a broader intention.”  No such clear wording existed in this case.

https://www.clydeco.com/blog/insurance-hub/article/marine-engelhart-ctp-v-lloyds-syndicate-1221

TRANSFER PRICING OVERVIEW FOR CENTRAL AMERICA

On 30th April, the TMF Group published a briefing that said that in Central America, there are 2 countries in particular that are engaging with the new transfer pricing landscape. Costa Rica, which is looking to become a full member of the OECD, and Panama, which is under pressure from the OECD to adopt these changes due to its status as a financial centre.  Like other regions around the world, the region is adjusting to the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative, which has resulted in new regulations designed to tackle international tax avoidance.  Panama was the first country in Central America to introduce transfer pricing legislation, with the legal framework created through tax reform in 2010.  However, Panama is not a member of the OECD, but the OECD’s transfer pricing guidelines are generally used to inform national transfer pricing regulations.  If the OECD guidelines interfere, or conflict, with national regulations, then the national regulations will prevail.

https://www.tmf-group.com/en/news-insights/articles/2018/april/transfer-pricing-overview-for-central-america/

SWISS 1MDB CASE WIDENS WITH CRIMINAL PROBE INTO PETROSAUDI OFFICIALS

Bloomberg on 1st May reported that Swiss prosecutors have widened their probe into allegations of corruption at Malaysian development fund 1MDB, opening criminal proceedings to look into 2 officials of Saudi Arabian oil producer PetroSaudi who were allegedly involved in the affair.  The investigation into the pair on suspicion of criminal mismanagement, fraud, bribery and aggravated money laundering began in November 2017.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/banking-finance/395579-swiss-1mdb-case-widens-with-criminal-probe-into-petrosaudi-officials?src=ilaw

FORMER CFO OF AUTONOMY GUILTY OF ACCOUNTING FRAUD

The Irish Times on 1st May reported that a case which relates to $10.3 billion price Hewlett-Packard paid for the UK software maker in 2011.  A jury voted to convict Sushovan Hussain on all 16 counts of wire and securities fraud after 3 days of deliberations in San Francisco federal court.  Autonomy was the UK’s second-largest software business when Hewlett-Packard acquired it in 2011.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/former-cfo-of-autonomy-guilty-of-accounting-fraud-1.3480161?src=ilaw

CONSULTATION LAUNCHED ON THE REFORM OF LIMITED PARTNERSHIP LAW

On 1st May, Berwin Cave Leighton Paisner published a briefing saying that in the UK BEIS has published a consultation on the reform of limited partnership law, in response to its January 2017 call for evidence.  This briefing sets out the main elements of the proposals, along with comments on them.  Responses are requested by 23rd July.  The full picture will emerge when legislation is produced, which BEIS states is the intention “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.

http://www.blplaw.com/expert-legal-insights/articles/funds-briefing-consultation-launched-on-the-reform-of-limited-partnership-law

ISSUES SURROUNDING A US WITHDRAWAL FROM THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT

A briefing from the Washington Institute in April said that President Trump warned in January that absent improvements to the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement, he might decide by the May 12th deadline not to extend the sanctions waivers, effectively withdrawing the US from the deal. In reality, but reimposing sanctions is not a simple flip of a switch: the process requires numerous steps without which withdrawal would have little meaning. This report by distinguished Iran expert Patrick Clawson outlines the options available to the administration should it choose to terminate its co-operation with JCPOA provisions, and the technical, legal, and administrative considerations related to reimplementation of sanctions.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/tactical-issues-surrounding-a-u.s.-withdrawal-from-the-iran-nuclear-agreeme

OLEG DERIPASKA TO REDUCE EN+ GROUP HOLDING IN BID TO AVERT US SANCTIONS

The European Sanctions Blog on 1st May reported that proposals had been aired for Deripaska to reduce his shareholding below 50%, resign from the board and agree to the appointment of others, so that independent directors form a majority.

https://europeansanctions.com/

Meanwhile, Rferl reported that the “US not aiming to ‘put Russian aluminum giant out of business’ with sanctions

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-not-aiming-put-russian-aluminum-giant-rusal-out-business-with-sanctions-mnuchin-treasury-secretary-deripaska/29201904.html

2nd May 2018

UK COMPANIES AND THE ROLE OF A SENIOR ACCOUNTING OFFICER (SAO)

On 25th April, MacFarlanes published a briefing explaining the role of SAO under UK law, which requires certain UK companies to appoint a senior accounting officer.  The SAO of a qualifying company must ensure that the company establishes and maintains ‘appropriate tax accounting arrangements’, on pain of a personal financial penalty.  HMRC appear to be taking a stricter approach to SAQ, and the SAO regime forms part of the company’s Business Risk Review (BRR) performed by HMRC.  This process has been recently under consultation and the government has concluded that the reformed BRR framework should allow for more consideration of the volume of tax risk management work already required by large businesses, such as the SAO provisions and the publication of tax strategies.  It explains that the regime applies only to companies incorporated under the Companies Act 2006, so it does not apply, for example, to companies incorporated outside the UK even if they are resident in the UK or operate through a UK branch.  In addition, UK open-ended investment companies, partnerships, and LLP are all excluded from the regime.  It is further limited to UK incorporated companies which alone, or with other UK incorporated companies in the same group, have annual turnover of more than £200 million or a balance sheet total of more than £2 billion (aka ‘qualifying companies’).

https://www.macfarlanes.com/insights/2018/senior-accounting-officer/

INTERACTIVE: THE MISSILE WAR IN YEMEN

Updated on 13th April, the Missile Threat project produced this guide to the missile war element of the Saudi Arabia-launched Operation Decisive Storm intended to bolster the internationally recognised Yemeni government.  An interactive map shows the relative intensity of missile and missile defence-related activity across the Arabian Gulf which has occurred as part of the ongoing Yemen conflict beginning in June 2015.  There is also an interactive timeline.

https://missilethreat.csis.org/missile-war-yemen/?utm_source=CSIS+All&utm_campaign=5bf1d8a33e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f326fc46b6-5bf1d8a33e-217622157

ISRAEL: SECRET FILES DETAIL IRAN’S NUCLEAR SUBTERFUGE

On 30th April, the New York Times provided a comprehensive guide to the recent presentation by the Israeli PM on intelligence material and where he accused Iran of lying for years about its efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/world/middleeast/israel-iran-nuclear-netanyahu.html?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkdNNU1ERmxaVE15WkdGbCIsInQiOiJYYnpQK2xaeEJKQmpicXpuS0JmUUZzaEM5bmVqU012cDlNSVo5QlFsQXI0RUozZWFXOWcyN2pBMkY0YjRoZEZvQ1dzQTE3Y2tteWNqdkpqcUxIWFwvREl2OXgzOVhGR3BWK251VlpxTnJJSGhYcE9zYkVDQlF6K2w4T1prdEFNR1MifQ%3D%3D

Meanwhile a podcast from the Arms Control Wonk website discusses the Iranian nuclear weapons programme, how Netyanyahu added to what we already knew about its programme, and why the JCPOA is important to verify that Iran’s bomb programme remains confined to dusty files in binders and CD in a dilapidated warehouse.

https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1205128/netanyahu-and-the-atomic-archive/

US: CUTTING OFF CHINESE RESEARCHERS AT UNIVERSITIES

On 2nd May, Inside Higher Ed published an article saying that the White House reportedly considers new restrictions barring Chinese citizens from engaging in sensitive research at US universities, and that higher education groups say they want to protect national security interests, but US universities must remain open.  Among the possibilities under consideration, according to the New York Times, are restricting which types of visas Chinese nationals are eligible for and expanding existing regulations that already apply to Chinese nationals who conduct research with military or intelligence value at American universities.  The newspaper also reported that the exact scope of the possible restrictions is not clear, but that they could affect collaborative research in technologies that relate to China’s “Made in 2025” plan to achieve domination in fields like advanced microchips, artificial intelligence and electric cars.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/05/02/white-house-reportedly-weighs-restrictions-chinese-citizens-doing-sensitive-research

US RETURNS THOUSANDS OF SMUGGLED ANCIENT ARTEFACTS TO IRAQ

Yahoo News and others on 2nd May reported that about 3,800 artefacts, including Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating to 2100 BC, that were illegally smuggled to US retailer Hobby Lobby Stores Inc were returned to Iraqi officials in Washington.  Last year, the US company Hobby Lobby was accused of illegally smuggling thousands of ancient tablets out of Iraq for their newly built Biblical museum in Washington DC.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-returns-thousands-smuggled-ancient-214742608.html

http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/hundreds-of-ancient-tablets-smuggled-to-the-us-from-mysterious-lost-city/

COLOMBIAN VET CHARGED WITH SMUGGLING LIQUID HEROIN IN PUPPIES

SBS News and others on 2nd May reported that a 38-year-old Colombian vet has appeared in a New York court, accused of injecting liquid heroin into puppies to evade border control.  Andres Lopez Elorez was arrested in Spain on a US warrant and extradited to the US.  Prosecutors say he used his vet skills to surgically implant packets of liquid heroin into the bellies of puppies transported from Colombia to the US where the heroin was surgically removed, officials said.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/colombian-vet-charged-with-smuggling-liquid-heroin-in-puppies

CURTIS WARREN ALLY GOES ON TRIAL OVER 200 KG SPANISH COCAINE SMUGGLING PLOT

The Liverpool Echo on 2nd May reported that Brian Charrington was previously jailed over drugs offences, once worked with Warren on South American drug deals.  He has gone on trial in Spain over allegations centred around a 200 kg cocaine smuggling plot.  He is said to have orchestrated a drug trafficking operation 5 years ago from his fortress villa in the resort of Calpe, 15 miles north of Benidorm.  Charrington, a former car dealer, had set up a drugs empire in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the UK.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/curtis-warren-ally-goes-trial-14603766

GHANA: FATF AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT

On 30th April, FATF announced that a GIABA report provides a summary of the AML/CFT measures in place in Ghana as at the date of the on-site visit in 2016.  It analyses the level of compliance with the FATF 40 Recommendations and the level of effectiveness of Ghana’s’ AML/CFT system and provides recommendations on how the system could be strengthened.  This Mutual Evaluation Report was adopted by the GIABA at its annual meeting in May 2017 and the findings of the assessment have also been reviewed and endorsed by the FATF.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/mutualevaluations/documents/mer-ghana-2018.html

ART DEALERS PUSH BACK AGAINST EU’S NEW AML/CFT RULES

The Financial tribune in its 3rd May edition reported that some art dealers predict that the new rules in the EU 5th ML Directive will make business transactions unnecessarily complicated and at least 2 trade organisations are pushing back.  The International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations argued in a position paper that the regulations put “an unacceptable burden on the art market business”, and that the measures are disproportionate to the risk.  The British Art Market Federation also opposes the stricter standard and says that its main concern now is to “work with the government to minimise the administrative effect on small businesses”.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/art-and-culture/85669/art-dealers-push-back-against-eu-s-new-rules

US ART DEALERS MAY SOON BE SUBJECT TO GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL REGULATION

Art Net on 2nd May reported that that art world has been put on high alert with news of new government oversight.  US clients of a leading art law firm were warned that legislators have their sights trained firmly on art dealers and the market.

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/us-art-dealers-financial-regulation-1277351

 

EX-NETFLIX EXECUTIVE ALLEGEDLY BANKED PAYOLA FOR TECH DEALS WITH WEB TV GIANT

On 2nd May, The Register reported that a former vice-president at Netflix has been indicted for allegedly taking illegal kickbacks while making multimillion dollar deals with the streaming giant’s tech providers.  Michael Kail, 49, formerly the VP of Internet Technology at Netflix, is said to have taken more than half a million dollars in payoffs from companies that wanted to sell Netflix the equipment it uses to prop up its massive video library.  He is charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering.  The payments were made by 3 companies seeking deals with Netflix, though the DoJ believes that Kail was also given stock options by “numerous other Netflix business partners” while in his VP role.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/02/exnetflix_veep_charged_with_taking_payola_for_tech_deals/

ISLE OF MAN: THE ENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRATION AWARDS

An article from Appleby on 2nd May provided an overview of the Isle of Man’s Arbitration Act 1976, modelled on the 1950 Act of Parliament of the same name, blending into it some of Parliament’s afterthoughts.

http://www.mondaq.com/IsleofMan/x/698114/Arbitration+Dispute+Resolution/Curiouser+And+Curiouser+The+Enforcement+Of+Arbitration+Awards

BULGARIA EXTRADITES PRIME SUSPECT IN ÇIFTLIK BANK FRAUD SCHEME TO TURKEY

The Daily Sabah on 2nd May reported that a man wanted by Turkey for his involvement in notorious Çiftlik Bank (“Farm Bank”) fraud scheme was extradited by Bulgaria.  Düzgün Genç (whose name and last name is roughly translated as Honest Young Man) is accused of being one of co-founders of the scheme that tricked gullible Turks out of their life savings.  Çiftlik Bank, a virtual farming simulator, made $264.1 million in less than a year from more than 132,000 people who invested real money for virtual animals. Basically, a Ponzi scheme which promised customers doubled earnings in less than a year, it inspired other fraudsters who made the most of virtual farm frenzy before authorities, one by one, started shutting them down, seizing companies and detaining their owners.

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/05/03/bulgaria-extradites-prime-suspect-in-ciftlik-bank-fraud-scheme

FAT LEONARD: AUSTRALIAN NAVY OFFICER REVEALED AS SUSPECT IN MASSIVE US NAVY BRIBERY AND FRAUD CONSPIRACY

Radio Australia on 3rd May reported that a senior Australian Navy liaison officer allegedly shared US naval secrets in exchange for lavish dinners at fi5ve-star hotels and time with prostitutes.  “Fat Leonard” — real name Leonard Francis — was a Singapore-based naval contractor, keen to court favour with the sailors, since his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), provided millions of dollars of services to the US Navy’s ships each year.  In return for those favours, the US officers would leak him classified information.  Some even altered Navy fleet movements, so Francis’s company would be in pole position for the US Navy’s business.  The case involved corruption at every stage of the contracting process for the US Navy’s port visits in SE Asia.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-05-03/fat-leonard-australian-navy-officer-revealed-as-suspect-in-massive-us-navy-bribery-and-fraud-conspir/1753618

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA (SANCTIONS) (OVERSEAS TERRITORIES) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2018

This Order in Council (SI 2018/528) amends a 2012 Order to make changes corresponding to those made by the Order above.

TERRORISM ACT 2000 (ENFORCEMENT IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM) ORDER 2018

This UK Order (SI 2018/521) makes provision for orders made under the Terrorism Act 2000 in one part of the UK to be enforced in another part of the UK.  The Act provides for various orders to be issued in relation to a terrorist investigation.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/521/note/made

SOCIETE GENERALE IS READY TO PAY UP TO $1 BILLION TO END US PROBES

On 2nd May, Bloomberg reported that Societe Generale SA is nearing an agreement to pay as much as $1 billion to resolve 2 US probes – into the rigging of benchmark interest rates and allegations of bribery in Libya – according to people familiar with the matter.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-02/socgen-is-said-ready-to-pay-up-to-1-billion-to-end-u-s-probes?src=ilaw

FACTSHEET: MODERN SLAVERY

The Home Office blog on 2nd May contained a factsheet on modern slavery in the UK and how the government is combating it.

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/05/02/factsheet-on-modern-slavery/

HMRC MONEY LAUNDERING SUPERVISION: REPORT COVERING 2015 TO 2017

On 1st May, HMRC released a report which describes HMRC’s role in tackling financial crime in the supervised sectors and highlights its priorities and achievements.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/money-laundering-supervision-report-covering-2015-to-2017

UK SANCTIONS AND ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING BILL: EXCEPTIONS AND LICENCES POLICY NOTE

On 1st May, the FCO published a document which sets out the government’s intended approach to exceptions and licences when the UK becomes responsible for implementing its own sanctions regimes.  When it receives Royal Assent, it will enable the UK to impose and implement sanctions to comply with international obligations.  It will also support wider foreign policy and national security goals.  Currently, both UN and EU sanctions regimes include various exceptions to the prohibitions within those regimes and enable the provision of licences so that valid actors, such as non-government organisations (NGO), can carry out humanitarian activity in countries affected by sanctions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sanctions-and-anti-money-laundering-bill-exceptions-and-licences-policy-note

PODCAST: ANONYMOUS SHELL COMPANIES

In the latest TRACE podcast, Gary Kalman of the FACT Coalition argues for transparency in corporate ownership and an end to the use of anonymous shell companies in this timely discussion about offshore accounts.

https://www.traceinternational.org/bribe_swindle_or_steal

JAMAICA AS FIREARMS TRAFFICKING ROUTE

The Gleaner on 2nd May reported that Selvin Hay, who serves as a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in charge of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) crime and security portfolio, has said that based on factors such as geographical location and the presence of 145 unmanned ports across the island, Jamaica is a prime location for firearm trafficking.  By sheer geography, Jamaica is placed in the midst of a trafficking route right across South America, North America and Europe.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20180502/jamaica-firearms-trafficking-route-dcp-hay

NORTH KOREA’S FATHER-AND-SON SPYING TEAM HAVE ASSETS FROZEN IN BRITAIN

On 29th April, The Times reported (as already mentioned in the UN Panel of Experts report etc) a father-and-son spying team from North Korea are suspected of raising funds in Europe for Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons programme have assets in the UK which have now been frozen by the British government.  Kim Su Gwang, 41, and his father, Kim Yong Nam, 70, separately infiltrated 2 leading UN agencies and used their work as cover to allegedly handle a network of spies across the continent.  Kim Su Gwang is known to have made regular trips to London, raising concerns he could have used British banks to transfer money back to North Korea circuitously.  The men and their wives were placed under sanctions by HM Treasury on April 20th.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/north-koreas-father-and-son-spying-team-have-assets-frozen-in-britain-5qx5tbqbc

WHY THE BIKE INDUSTRY HAS A TOUGH TIME CATCHING COUNTERFEITERS

A commentary published on 2nd May by the Cycling Industry News explained how affected the bicycle industry may be and offering a few solutions.

https://cyclingindustry.news/comment-why-the-bike-industry-has-a-tough-time-catching-counterfeiters/

SOLICITOR “TAKEN IN” BY GANGSTER STRUCK OFF FOR MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES

Legal Futures on 3rd May reported that a solicitor who claimed that he “unwittingly facilitated” money laundering on behalf of an associate of convicted murderer and drug dealer Dale Cregan has been struck off.  Neil Richard Bolton was jailed for 9 months after being convicted of 7 counts of failing to comply with money laundering regulations and one count of failing to disclose his suspicions while working at Stockport firm, Harvey Roberts Solicitors.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/solicitor-taken-in-by-gangster-struck-off-for-money-laundering-offences

WHERE SHOULD THE BRITISH NATIONALS, WHO WERE PART OF AN INFAMOUS ISIL TERRORIST CELL KNOWN AS “THE BEATLES,” BE TRIED?

RAND International has reflected on the question of where “international” terrorists be tried if or when caught.  It suggests that, in an interconnected world, with an increasing number of fragile states, the International Criminal Court (ICC) may be the most ideal institution to try these accused terrorists. The court would ensure that the legal status of terrorists, the nationalities of their victims, and the location of the crimes are taken into account — all while upholding the core values of Western democracies.

https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/03/terrorism-on-trial-the-problem-of-prosecuting-international.html

GULF STATES SCRAMBLE FOR SOMALIA SEAPORTS

Defence Web on 2nd May reported that a battle for access to seaports is underway in one of the world’s unlikeliest places: Somalia, now caught in a regional struggle between Saudi Arabia and the UAE on one side with Qatar backed by Turkey on the other.  The Middle Eastern feud is driving the desire to control the Horn of Africa and its waters, according to diplomats, businessmen, scholars and Somali officials.
http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51554:gulf-states-scramble-for-somalia&catid=49:National%20Security&Itemid=115

MOROCCO SEVERS TIES WITH IRAN OVER SUPPORT FOR POLISARO FRONT

Defence Web on 2nd May reported that Morocco has severed diplomatic ties with Iran over Tehran’s support for the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, the Moroccan foreign minister said.  Morocco claimed Western Sahara since colonial power Spain left in 1975. But Polisario fought a guerrilla war for independence for the Sahrawi people until a UN-backed ceasefire in 1991, monitored by UN peacekeepers.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51550:morocco-severs-ties-with-iran&catid=56:diplomacy-a-peace&Itemid=111

NORTH KOREA (UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2018

This UK Order (SI 2018/523) which further amends a 2009 Order, giving effect to certain aspects of further United Nations sanctions imposed against North Korea by UN SCR 2397 adopted on 22nd December.  This Order extends the offences related to carriage of goods to North Korea to include: industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, and iron, steel and others metals. It also extends the offences related to carriage of goods from North Korea to include: earth and stone, including magnesite and magnesia; food and agricultural products; machinery and electrical equipment; ships, boats and floating structures; and wood.  This Order adds offences of providing classification services to, or knowingly registering or maintaining on the register, a ship that the person committing the offence has reasonable grounds to believe was involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by relevant UN SCR.  It also adds an offence of knowingly obtaining or transferring, directly or indirectly, fishing rights from North Korea.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/523/contents/made