Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

ESMA publishes AIFMD guidance

The European Securities and Markets Authority, which regulates the EU’s financial markets, has issued a question and answer document to clarify the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The directive harmonises alternative investment fund manager regulations across Europe, and yesterday’s publication aims to promote common regulatory approaches in the application and implementation of the AIFMD. The document will be updated as the authority receives more questions.

Chinese court approves former Everbright trader lawsuit

The Beijing First Intermediate Court has allowed a former trader’s lawsuit against the Chinese securities regulator to go ahead. Last week, former Everbright Securities employee Yang Jianbo filed a case against the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission, which had banned him from trading for life, after finding him guilty of insider dealing. Yang was one of four traders at Everbright who were punished for selling shares after realising that Everbright had bought US$3.9 billion worth of stock accidentally. Yang contests that there was no intention to commit insider dealing and that the authority gave him permission to continue trading after he notified them of the error.

Contractor pleads guilty to US army bribes

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that an independent contractor for a trucking company delivering fuel to the US army in Afghanistan has admitted to his role in offering bribes to an army serviceman to cover up missed fuel deliveries. After pleading guilty on 14 February, the contractor could face a maximum of 15 years behind bars and a US$250,000 fine.

German/Swiss tax proposal abandoned

Germany and Switzerland have abandoned talks about introducing a tax agreement between the two countries, according to reports. The German and Swiss governments had been discussing the possibility of introducing a tax accord that would help prevent German citizens from hiding money from German tax authorities. The agreement would have allowed German authorities to claim back tax owed to them from money held in Swiss bank accounts, while at the same time maintaining anonymity for the account holders. It would have been similar to the tax agreement that exists between the UK and Switzerland.

Belgium probes tax evasion claim

Belgium’s Special Tax Inspectorate is investigating alleged tax evasion by energy company GDF Suez. According to a confidential report by the country’s energy authority, the Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas, GDF Suez is said to have overcharged its local unit by €500 million, thereby cutting the local company’s profits and its tax bill, reports national business daily De Tijd/L’Echo. GDF Suez has rejected the accusation.

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