Read on for the latest news and updates in bribery and corruption; money laundering; health and safety and more...
Bribery and Corruption
Sons of ex-Panamanian President charged with bribery and money laundering
U.S. federal prosecutors have charged two sons of Ricardo Martinelli, the former Panamanian President, in relation to a Latin American corruption scandal involving the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht. The corruption scandal, uncovered in 2014, saw Odebrecht pay government officials across multiple countries more than $700m in bribes. The Martinelli sons are alleged to have acted as intermediaries for the payment to a high-ranking Panama official of $28m in bribes between 2009 and 2014, the period during which their father was in office. The criminal complaint filed in the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, also accuses the pair of managing secret bank accounts to facilitate payment of the bribes via American banks.
Reuters, 6 July 2020
Deutsche Bank agrees to pay $150m fine for compliance failures
The German lender, Deutsche Bank, has agreed to pay a $150m fine to the New York State Department of Financial Services, relating primarily to its dealings with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. The bank was found to have processed millions of dollars of potentially suspicious transactions by Epstein. Such transactions included suspicious cash withdrawals, payments to alleged co-conspirators and payments to Russian models. This settlement is the first example of enforcement action against a bank for its dealings with Epstein. Deutsche Bank was also fined for, and acknowledged deficiencies in, its relationship with Danske Bank Estonia and FBME in Cyprus. The bank stated: "We have invested almost $1bn in improving our training, controls and operational processes, and have increased our anti-financial crime team to more than 1,500 people”.
FT, 8 July 2020
Wirecard Executive arrested on suspicion of fraud
Wirecard executive Oliver Bellenhaus, who ran Wirecard's CardSystems in the Middle East, has been arrested by Munich prosecutors on suspicion of aggravated fraud. This follows the arrest of former Chief executive Markus Braun, while prosecutors state that they are investigating a number of additional suspects. Munich prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into Wirecard. CardSystems, which was the largest individual unit within the Wirecard group, was placed into liquidation in May. Wirecard's auditors, EY, have refused to sign off on its accounts, highlighting concerns of fraud.
FT, 6 July 2020
Microsoft seizes domains used in COVID-19 related cyber-attacks
Unsealed court filings have revealed that Microsoft was granted permission by a U.S. federal court to seize malicious web domains which sought to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. The web domains existed across 62 countries and utilised fake emails to target and defraud individuals and businesses.
Forbes, 7 July 2020
UK adopts global human rights sanctions programme
The UK has announced a new unilateral sanctions regime targeting persons around the world involved in human rights abuses. The new list targets Russian officials involved in the detention and death of Sergei Magnitsky, Saudi officials involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, two senior officials of the Myanmar Armed Forces responsible for atrocities against the Rohingya population and two North Korean government ministries responsible for operating political prisoner and forced labour camps. OFSI has also issued a related guidance note on how these measures are implemented and enforced.
gov.uk, 6 July 2020
Health and Safety
Requirements for businesses to maintain records of staff, customers and visitors
Addleshaw Goddard has produced a note in relation to the Government's updated guidance on the importance of maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors. Under the new guidance, businesses/organisations will be required to keep a temporary record of staff, customers and visitors for 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.
Addleshaw Goddard, 3 July 2020
Local lockdown regulations for Leicester come into force
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) Regulations 2020 came into force on 4 July 2020, re-imposing stricter lockdown measures on Leicester. The Regulations are the first example of local lockdown legislation to be passed in the UK.
HSE urges businesses to become COVID-secure
Following the opening of more sectors last weekend, HSE has urged businesses to become more COVID-secure and has highlighted 5 practical steps that businesses can take. Inspections are ongoing. According to HSE, some of the most common issues that HSE and local authority inspectors are finding include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime – particularly at busy times of the day – and providing access to welfare facilities to allow employees to frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap.
HSE, 2 July 2020
Farm owners fined after worker crushed
The owners of a farm in Perthshire have been fined £4,000 for a series of health and safety failings which led to an employee losing part of his leg after it was crushed under more than a tonne of concrete during an operation to create a silage pit on the farm. The court heard the farm’s owners had broken health and safety guidelines by exposing their employee to the danger of injury. The farm’s owners, A & P Grewar, were fined after admitting failing to carry out any risk assessment and being responsible for their employee’s injury.
SHP, 6 July 2020
Government publishes response to consultation on violence and abuse toward shop staff
The Government has responded to a call for evidence run by the Home Office on the subject of violence and abuse towards shop staff. The Government recognises that the violence and abuse shop workers face can have a significant impact, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. The response outlines the government’s plans to tackle this crime.
Home Office, 7 July 2020