Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Monday, 24 February 2014

UBS to seek forex leniency

UBS is seeking leniency in the EU and US to limit potential fines for alleged foreign exchange benchmark manipulation, unnamed sources have told Bloomberg. This news comes just months after the bank avoided a €2.5 billion EU fine by admitting its role in the Libor scandal. UBS and the European Commission declined to comment on the report. Competition enforcers and financial services agencies in multiple jurisdictions are investigating whether traders at banks, including UBS, colluded to manipulate benchmarks used to set currency prices worldwide.

US closes Baxter FCPA investigation

The US Department of Justice and the US Securities & Exchange Commission have closed their FCPA investigations of pharmaceutical company Baxter International, according to the company’s latest quarterly SEC filing. In 2010, the US authorities contacted Baxter as part of an industry-wide investigation. According to press reports last year, Baxter had investigated alleged wrongdoing in China after it received complaints from whistleblowers.

Separate bribery schemes linked to Alstom used same methods, claims Brazilian authority

The São Paulo Federal Prosecutor’s Office has revealed the connection between two separate corruption investigations related to French engineering company Alstom. Last week, criminal proceedings were opened against 11 individuals in connection with an alleged bribery scheme in the energy sector involving Alstom. The authority has now said that this case is linked to a current investigation of Alstom concerning a separate alleged scheme related to contract bids with the São Paulo metro. A spokesperson for the prosector’s office claimed that the alleged bribery schemes were similar in the way they used false consultancy agreements and payments to offshore companies to conceal the wrongdoing.

Transparency International warns of Ukrainian money laundering

Anti-corruption organisation Transparency International has sent a letter to the UK chancellor George Osborne highlighting the risk of money being laundered from Ukraine into the UK. The non-government organisation warned Osborne that companies such as financial services providers and luxury estate agents should be prepared to carry out investigations of customers if necessary. Transparency said it was issuing the advice after companies were slow to freeze assets in response to money laundering during the Arab Spring. "We believe that those lessons should now be applied to the situation in Ukraine," the organisation said.

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