FATF MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT: COLOMBIA

On 20th December, FATF published the mutual evaluation report on Colombia’s AML/CFT system following the onsite visit by the local FATF-style body, GAFILAT, in June 2017.  The report says that Colombia has a reasonable understanding of its main domestic ML/TF risks.  The country’s understanding of risks relies particularly on the results of the 2013 and 2016 National Risk Assessments (NRA).  The report makes a number of recommendations as “priority actions”, including –

  • Establishing a mechanism to maintain accurate and updated information on beneficial owners readily available to competent authorities, and it should strengthen its capacity to provide international co-operation on such information;
  • Colombia should widen the scope of the money laundering investigations to extend to cases where the underlying criminal activities are different from drug trafficking, at least to those that have been indicated as a high risk in the NRA;
  • It should require physical and legal persons, not only reporting entities, to implement the UN Resolutions on TF and PF for WMD.

colombia1

colombia2

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

UNINTENTIONALLY FUNDING TERROR AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PROFESSIONALS

A blog post from Corker Bining on 19th December about 2 recent cases in the UK that concludes by saying that the lesson to be drawn from the cases, Honey Rose and Lane & Letts, is that whilst some offences of unintended consequence may on first reading appear to criminalise conduct irrespective of mens rea, the courts have repeatedly decided that these are not strict liability offences, and that some proof of a culpable mental state is required.  As such, both judgments are good news for regulated professionals, who can take comfort that a prosecution under section 330 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is unlikely to succeed where the suspect information is merely available but not actually known to the defendant.

https://www.corkerbinning.com/unintentionally-funding-terror-and-the-implications-for-professionals/

SECOND LARGEST DRUG HAUL IN MALTA’S HISTORY DISCOVERED BY CUSTOMS

The Times of Malta on 20th December reported that €450,000 worth of cannabis resin found in container at Freeport.  A container from the port of Algeciras in Spain that was heading to Malta was intercepted by the Malta Customs Department at the Freeport.  It was found to be carrying 5,020 kg of cannabis resin.  Customs said this year has been the most positive in the history of the local Customs Department in terms of narcotics hauls, having several large-scale positive cases (details of which it provides).

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20181220/local/customs-make-second-largest-drug-haul-in-maltas-history.697261

2019 TRAVEL RISK MAP NOW AVAILABLE

On 20th December, Blue Sky reported that the Travel Risk Map is produced annually by MedAire’s parent company, International SOS, and Control Risks, and captures risk from a global perspective, allowing businesses, managers, and the individual traveller to visualize potential trouble spots associated with upcoming travel destinations.

https://blueskynews.aero/issue-491/2019-Travel-Risk-Map-now-available.html

 

ALBANIA’S ‘MADE IN EGYPT’ CIGARETTES FLOOD NORTH AFRICA

Balkan Insight on 20th December published a special report saying that a factory in Albania is churning out millions of allegedly ‘counterfeit’ cigarettes a year, despite a criminal investigation prompted by British customs intelligence.  It reports the controversial activities of a cigarette factory with a 50-strong workforce quietly churning out millions of cigarettes in packs bearing the profile of the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt – Cleopatra.  Cleopatra is the most popular brand of cigarette in Egypt and one of the world’s top sellers.  It says that the factory signed a new deal in 2017 with the BVI-based Eques Holding Group to produce up to 175 million pack a year, according to a contract obtained by reporters.  The company is owned by a Iraqi businessman, Faris Al-Rifai, and boasts a licence to use the Cleopatra brand in the EU and Albania, obtained from another BVI company, Worldwide Spirits Supply.  The packs say in Arabic script, ‘Made in Egypt by Eastern Company S.A.E.’, and are emblazoned with Egyptian health warnings.  The Albania Tabak factory has been under the ownership of the Jashari family since December 2010, and the father, Ilir Jashari was convicted of drug trafficking in Italy in June 2010 and in 2016 transferred to an Albanian prison and released in 2017.  The report says that Worldwide Spirits is owned by another company called Middle East Tobacco Co (METCO) based in Cyprus.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/albania-s-made-in-egypt-cigarettes-flood-north-africa-12-19-2018

EU COURT ANNULS SANCTIONS ON FORMER UKRAINE PRIME MINISTER MYKOLA YANOVYCH AZAROV

A judgment of the CJEU announced on 19th December had the effect of annulling the sanctions imposed by the EU in July 2017 on Azarov, who fled to Russia with ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.  Politico translates the judgment as saying that “even the head of a notoriously corrupt government appointed by a president who lived in an opulent palace with a private zoo is protected under the EU’s fundamental legal rights”.  The General Court had previously rejected Azarov’s case, but his appeal has now succeeded.  The CJEU set aside the judgment of the General Court, annulled the decision contained in Council Decision 2015/364/CFSP and awarded Azarov his costs.  EU Case 530/17 refers.

Azarov’s EU assets remain frozen until at least March 2019, because post-2015 EU decisions to keep him blacklisted included “new reasoning” – meaning that he has to fight separate appeals against those decisions.

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 19

19th December 2018

SHOULD THERE BE A SYSTEM FOR TRACKING IRELAND’S ANTIQUES WHEN THEY LEAVE?

Dublin Inquirer on 19th December carried an article which explains the current system for the licensing of export of cultural goods from Ireland.  Applications for licences for documents and manuscripts can be obtained from the National Library, with licences issued by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.  Paintings and drawings come under the National Gallery, and archaeological objects are looked after by the National Museum.  These procedures are said to be in line with the relevant EU Directive.  The article says that an expert review group had proposed a licensing system for furniture and other fine arts but this was not pursued.

https://dublininquirer.com/2018/12/19/should-there-be-a-system-for-tracking-ireland-s-antiques-when-they-leave

PAKISTAN: ASSESSMENT FOR FATF IDENTIFIES PRIMARY SOURCES OF TERRORIST FUNDING

The Express Tribune on 19th December reported that a Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment report has been approved by the government.  It identifies foreign funding, drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, robbery and bank heists as primary sources of funding in Pakistan.  The report has been prepared as part of implementation of an action plan that FATF gave Pakistan as a prerequisite to exit from its grey list.  The report will be presented at a meeting of the Asia Pacific Joint Group in Australia, and the Asia Pacific Group will then present Pakistan’s case in the FATF plenary in February 2019.  It is said to be the first comprehensive risk assessment report that has been jointly prepared by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and has identified sources of terror financing and given recommendations for plugging loopholes.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1870009/1-fatf-actions-plan-report-identifies-primary-sources-terror-funding/

https://nation.com.pk/19-Dec-2018/nec-okays-terror-financing-risk-assessment

LA FASHION DISTRICT EXECUTIVES GET PRISON FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

The Center Dispatch on 19th December reported that brothers Morad and Hersel Neman, executives of a textile company in the Los Angeles Fashion District are going to federal prison for conspiring to launder money for international drug cartels.  Prosecutors say in 2013 the brothers used their company, Pacific Eurotex to launder $370,000 supplied by an undercover agent posing as a courier for a drug cartel.  As part of a plea deal, they agreed to forfeit more than $3 million.  The case was part of a sweeping investigation into drug money laundering in L.A.’s Fashion District, during which authorities seized more than $100 million.

http://www.ccenterdispatch.com/news/state/article_a34c9378-0314-5a05-a5a0-5151c5e51df9.html

CUM-EX DIVIDEND TRADE INVESTIGATIONS

On 17th December, law firm Ropes & Gray published a podcast (a transcript is also available) in which investigations now underway in Europe involving so-called “cum-ex dividend trades” are discussed.  In the podcast, the trades are described as “aggressive dividend arbitrage trade” and “the biggest tax swindle in the history of Europe”.

https://www.ropesgray.com/en/newsroom/podcasts/2018/December/Podcast-Cum-Ex-Dividend-Trade-Investigations#page=1

AUSTRALIA: LAW CHANGE FAVOURS PARALLEL IMPORTERS

On 13th December, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick in its POF Blog reported that, in August, section 123 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 was replaced with a new section 122A.  It says that this amendment favours parallel importers in Australia, which may cause brand owners to reassess their commercial strategies.  Parallel imports, also called grey imports, are genuine goods imported by someone other than the trade mark owner or an authorised licensee.  The new section provides a limited defence to parallel importers who make “reasonable inquiries” in relation to the trade mark before the time of use.  The changes also provide that parallel importers only have to prove that it was reasonable to assume that the registered owner had actually applied or consented to the application of the trade mark to the goods.  Brand-owners may still be able to take action against a parallel importer if the products present a risk to public health and safety, or do not comply with Australian labelling requirements.

https://www.pof.com.au/legislative-amendment-casts-grey-shadow-over-imports/#page=1

FRANCE: AN AGREEMENT FOR THE SALE AND PURCHASE OF AN AIRCRAFT BETWEEN A FRENCH SELLER AND BUYER MAY NOW BE MADE IN FOREIGN CURRENCY

On 19th December, Odi-Se Avocats reported a change in French commercial law.  It says that since the 1930s, French law has made it clear that parties to domestic contracts must make payments using French currency.  While there was an exception to this rule for international payments, the criteria for making international payments were unclear, and this had a direct impact on the aviation industry.  Following further amendments, since 1st October the currency limitations do not apply to transactions of an international nature or transactions between professionals where payment in a foreign currency is common practice in the relevant industry.  The aviation industry was directly targeted by the reference to ‘common practice’.

https://www.internationallawoffice.com/Newsletters/Aviation/France/Odi-se-Avocats/Lifting-of-currency-restrictions-impact-on-aviation-industry

AUSTRALIA: POLICE SEIZE $2 MILLION CASH FROM TRIO TRAVELLING IN CAR

ABC News on 19th December reported that 2 Australian citizens and a Chinese man have been remanded in custody after facing court over a major cash seizure in the Western Australia Goldfields. Police say the people were in a four-wheel-drive vehicle driving from Perth to the eastern States.  It is the second high-profile cash seizure by police in the area this year.  In an unrelated matter in June, detectives found more than $1.3 million cash in a suitcase on a train, and 2 Malaysian women were charged with possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-19/wa-police-seize-cash-as-three-charged-over-proceeds-of-crime/10636236

OVER 100 CUSTOMS OFFICERS FIRED DUE TO CORRUPTION IN AZERBAIJAN THIS YEAR

The Trend news agency on 19th December reported that Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee fired over 100 employees due to corruption in 2018 and over 30 facts of corruption in the customs system were revealed.

https://en.trend.az/business/economy/2995668.html

US STATE DEPARTMENT DESIGNATES SERBIAN MAN UNDER HUMAN RIGHTS LAW

On 18th December, the US State Department designated Goran Radosavljevic, a Serbia national and former Serbian police general, due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.  It says that Radsosavljevic was credibly implicated in the 1999 murder of the Bytyqi brothers, 3 Albanian-American brothers killed in Serbia after the Kosovo War.  He is thus barred from entering the US.

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-sanctions-serb-police-murders/29664275.html

RAMSAY’S ‘BEST UK CHINESE RESTAURANT’ OWNERS BANNED FOR UNDER-DECLARING TAX

The Caterer on 18th December reported that the owners of a restaurant which was chosen as Best UK Chinese restaurant by Gordon Ramsay on Ramsay’s Best Restaurant have been disqualified after under-declaring the company’s full cash takings to the tax authorities.  The Yu and You Restaurant and Bar, a Chinese eatery in Lancashire, featured on the Channel 4 programme in 2010.

https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/543633/ramsays-best-uk-chinese-restaurant-owners-banned-for-under-declaring-tax

UK: TOBACCO SMUGGLING TRUCK DRIVERS SENT TO PRISON

Commercial Motor on 18th December reported that 2 truck drivers who attempted to smuggle more than 1.5 million cigarettes into the UK hidden between bags of wood pellets, have been sent to prison following an HMRC investigation. Marin Vasilev, 40, of Cambridge, was caught in May 2018 at the Port of Dover.  Vasilev was arrested, the cigarettes seized, and the case referred to HMRC. Venelin Nikolov, 45, from Sofia, Bulgaria, was traced 2 months later in connection with the seizure.

https://www.commercialmotor.com/news/compliance/tobacco-smuggling-truck-drivers-sent-prison

US SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN CONSIDERED BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE

The latest edition of the Trust & Verify newsletter from Vertic included an article saying that in October the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the US to ease sanctions it had re-imposed on Iran after withdrawing from the JCPOA.  The judges did not request the US to lift all of the new sanctions, but to remove any resulting impediments to the free exportation to the territory of Iran of goods and/or services required for humanitarian needs and the safety of civil aviation.  It says that the decision raises a number of legal and political issues related in particular to the background to the case, the Court’s reasoning, the consequences of the decision, including the US reaction, and the extent to which the JCPOA and UN SCR 2231 are relevant and applicable.

http://www.vertic.org/media/assets/TV/TV162.pdf

US POISED TO HIT NICARAGUA WITH FURTHER SANCTIONS

World ECR reported that new legislation – the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act – is set to bite Ortega government.  It says that the Nicaraguan government could soon find its access to the international financial markets restricted, following passage of the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act.  It imposes conditions upon US approval of international loans to the Nicaraguan government, which the US holds responsible for serious human rights violations and sustained corruption.

https://www.worldecr.com/news/us-poised-to-hit-nicaragua-with-further-sanctions/

The Bill is available at –

https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=4213

UK COUPLE WHO NAMED BABY AFTER HITLER JAILED FOR TERROR GROUP MEMBERSHIP

The Guardian reported on 18th December that a neo-Nazi couple who named their baby son after Adolf Hitler and made their home a “shrine to extreme racism” have been jailed for membership of a terrorist group.  They and 4 others jailed over National Action membership.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/18/uk-couple-who-named-baby-after-hitler-jailed-for-terror-group-membership

REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE BILL INTO US CONGRESS TO PUT FINANCIAL PRESSURE ON IRAN

Homeland Preparedness on 18th December reported that the Blocking Iranian Illicit Finance Act is claimed to be to protect the global financial system from Iranian illicit finance and impose maximum financial pressure on Iran.  One Congressman is quoted as saying that said that withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was just the first step in ratcheting up pressure on Iran.

https://homelandprepnews.com/policy/31801-republican-lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-put-financial-pressure-on-iran/

MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE (MAS) INCREASED THE BAN AGAINST MR TIM LEISSNER TO A LIFETIME PROHIBITION ORDER

On 19th December, a news release on Mondo Visione reported that this follows Mr Leissner’s admission to criminal charges brought against him by the US DoJ.  Leissner has pleaded guilty to involvement in funds flows related to 1MDB.

http://www.mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/monetary-authority-of-singapore-bans-tim-leissner-for-life/

PIRATES SEIZE 8 POLISH CREW AND 3 OTHERS FROM SHIP OFF NIGERIA COAST

Hellenic Shipping News on 19th December reported that pirates boarded a container ship, MV Pomerenia Sky, off the coast of Nigeria, seizing 11 crew including 8 from Poland, the vessel’s management firm and Polish state media reported.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/pirates-seize-eight-polish-crew-three-others-from-ship-off-nigeria-coast/

PODCAST: LOTTERY FRAUD

In the latest TRACE podcast on tax evasion, money laundering and fraud, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein describes his research – and that of colleagues – into the surprising forms of financial crime associated with lotteries.  Their research was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

https://www.traceinternational.org/bribe_swindle_or_steal

BRAZIL ARRESTS MORE THAN 50 POLICE OFFICERS ACCUSED OF TAKING CARTEL BRIBES

The New York Times on 18th December reported that more than 50 police officers who patrolled the same area in São Paulo, Brazil, have been arrested, accused by state prosecutors of taking bribes from the country’s largest drug gang to allow its members to sell narcotics.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/world/americas/brazil-police-arrests.html

TRAVELLING IN THE COMMON TRAVEL AREA IF THERE’S NO BREXIT DEAL

On 19th December, the Home Office issued an update to the Notice which confirms the approach to the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements and the associated rights and privileges of British and Irish citizens if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without a deal. It clarifies that British and Irish citizens are not required to take any action to protect their existing entitlements.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/travelling-in-the-common-travel-area-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

MORE BREXIT-RELATED GUIDANCE (FOR IF THERE IS NO DEAL)

The UK continues to roll out Brexit-related guidance and information.  On 19th December, the Home Office issued updated information on –

  • How travelling with a European Firearms Pass would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal;
  • Travelling to the EU with a British passport if there is no deal;
  • How trading in drug precursor chemicals would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/latest?organisations%5B%5D=home-office

The Department for International Trade published –

  • How exporting controlled goods would be affected if the UK leaves the EU with ‘no deal’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exporting-controlled-goods-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

The Health & Safety Executive published –

  • How the export and import of some hazardous chemicals would be regulated if the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/export-and-import-of-hazardous-chemicals-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

UK COMPANY DIRECTORS DISQUALIFICATION ACT 1986 AND FAILED COMPANIES

On 19th December, The Insolvency Service published an updated version of a document which contains information related to Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and failed companies.  It seeks to answer such questions as: what is director disqualification?; what is a disqualification undertaking?; what penalties are there for contravention of a disqualification order or undertaking? What is unfit conduct?

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/763139/CDDA-and-failed-companies-december-2018.pdf

ACTIONS AGAINST BANK ACCOUNT SCAMS IN THE UK

On 19th December, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper saying that “push payment” scams are a growing form of financial fraud.  The industry, financial regulators and the police are working together to try to reduce its impact, it says.  This document outlines some current initiatives.

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8350

POLISH POLICE SMASH VAT FRAUD GANG

On 19th December, Mobile News reported that Polish police have smashed £25 million VAT carousel fraud involving mobile phones and other high-value electronic goods.  Around 17 people suspected of the VAT fraud were arrested.  The case covers 3 years of the gang selling electronic equipment market without paying the due VAT and investigators found carousel fraud where multiple trades were done on the same goods between successive Polish and foreign companies.  There is also a video of a raid on the website.

http://www.mobilenewscwp.co.uk/2018/12/19/polish-police-smash-vat-fraud-gang/

HEAD OF COLLAPSED INVESTMENT GROUP ARRESTED FOR SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES IN THE ISLE OF MAN

The local media in the Isle of Man has (eventually) reported the arrest of Dr Alan Louis on suspicion of money laundering last week.  He was arrested as he left the courthouse at the close of disqualification proceedings against him and 2 other directors of Louis Group IOM.  There were said to be some 120 separate Louis Group companies in the Island, with Dr Louis saying he employed or relied upon some 40 staff in the Island.  The total losses of investors’ money has been estimated at £50 million by liquidators.  The investors came from the Isle of Man, UK and South Africa; seemingly attracted by a “low-risk”, property-backed investment and the values the company projected.  Liquidators are said to have found a “culture of absolute control, fear and intimidation, hidden fees and highly questionable retrospective or missing documentation”.

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=38995&headline=Third%20Louis%20Group%20director%20disqualified&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2018

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=43944&headline=Louis%20Group%20case%20comes%20to%20a%20close&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2018

POLICE IN SPAIN RECOVERED HUNDREDS OF LOOTED ARCHAEOLOGICAL ITEMS

OCCRP on 18th December reported that artefacts included a prehistoric ax mould and a medieval seal, that were stolen from sites in the Tietar Valley more than 3 decades ago.  In addition to great historic value, the Spanish Civil Guard said the 257 antiquities, which span from prehistory to the 15th Century, are worth an estimated $350,000.

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/9050-spanish-police-recover-hundreds-of-plundered-artifacts

BRAZIL’S ANDRADE GUTIERREZ CONSTRUCTION COMPANY TO PAY $381 MILLION FINE TO SETTLE GRAFT CHARGES

Baker McKenzie reported on 19th December that the deal to settle corruption allegations against it with Brazilian federal authorities is part of the so-called “Car Wash” graft investigation.  It is one of more than 30 construction companies being investigated in the sprawling probe.

http://www.riskandcompliancehub.com/brazils-andrade-gutierrez-to-pay-381-million-fine-to-settle-graft-charges/

CHINA’S CUSTOMS SEIZE 91,600 TONNES OF SMUGGLED WASTE

Xinhua on 19th December reported that China’s customs authority seized 91,600 tonnes of illegal trash imports in its latest round of crackdown against “foreign garbage”.  The smuggled rubbish included waste plastics and mineral residue, and nearly 857 customs officers in 11 provincial regions including Guangdong and Tianjin detained 129 suspects and broke up 38 smuggling rings during the action.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-12/19/c_137684958.htm

GERMANY: TIGHTER CONTROLS ON FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

On 19th December, Clifford Chance published an article which says that the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has adopted amendments to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance subjecting even more deals to its review process.  The amendments are expected to come into force at the beginning of 2019.  A recent case involving a Chinese company was the first-ever deal to be formally authorised for prohibition by the German government.

https://www.cliffordchance.com/briefings/2018/12/germany_follows_throughwithtightercontrolso.html

80,000 TONS OF NUCLEAR WASTE SITTING IN LIMBO IN THE US

Futurity on 17th December carried an article saying that thousands of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel are in temporary storage in 35 US states, with no permanent solution in the works.  It says that experts now show how to end this status quo.  The waste is spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste from defence programmes sit in pools, dry casks, and large tanks at more than 75 sites throughout the country.  A new study recommends that the US reset its nuclear waste programme by moving responsibility for commercially-generated, used nuclear fuel away from the federal government and into the hands of an independent, non-profit, utility-owned and -funded nuclear waste management organisation.

https://www.futurity.org/nuclear-waste-storage-1934572/

 

US TREASURY ADDS 19 PEOPLE AND 4 ENTITIES TO SANCTIONS LISTS FOR ELECTION INTERFERENCE, HACKING, AND OTHER MALIGN ACTIVITIES

On 19th December, the US Treasury added 19 individuals and 4 entities to its sanctions lists.  Those listed included a former officer of the GRU for having acted on behalf of sanctioned oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, and new designations related to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), an entity previously sanctioned for its efforts to interfere in US elections, and so-called Project Lakhta.  Also listed are 15 members of the GRU for their involvement in a wide range of malign activity, including attempting to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, efforts to undermine international organisations through cyber-enabled means, and the Skrypal assassination attempt in the UK.  The news release also says that, between 2016 and 2018, Russia targeted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and other international non-political organisations using cyber hacking techniques.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20181219_33.aspx

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm577

OFAC INTENTION TO TERMINATE THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON DERIPASKA COMPANIES – EN+ GROUP, RUSAL, AND JSC EUROSIBENERGO – IN 30 DAYS

On 19th December, OFAC announced that it had submitted a notification to Congress of its intention to terminate the sanctions imposed on En+ Group plc, UC Rusal plc, and JSC EuroSibEnergo in 30 days.  The letter lays out the situation, as OFAC sees it, from the initial designations in April, through applications by the 3 companies for delisting and the change in circumstances of the companies.  It provides details of the restructuring agreed by the companies.  However, it says that OFAC will continue to enforce its sanctions on Oleg Deripaska aggressively (he is linked to all 3 companies, they being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Oleg Deripaska and other entities he owns or controls), including by closely monitoring the companies’ compliance with the Terms of Removal agreement.  All of Deripaska’s property and interests in property, including entities in which he holds a 50% or greater interest, will remain blocked, and his investment in these companies is effectively frozen and Deripaska cannot obtain cash either in return for his shares or from future dividends issued by En+, Rusal, or ESE.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Documents/20181219_notification_removal.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm576