-  Investigations updates from around the world

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bank of China accused of money laundering

China’s state broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), has accused the country's largest bank, the Bank of China, of money laundering. In China, heavy restrictions only allow individuals to exchange up to US$50,000 worth of foreign currency a year.

DoJ calls on criminals to help combat money laundering

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is using a new tactic to fight money laundering by asking criminals which banks are helping them transfer their money, according to Complinet. The report quoted Jonathan Lopez, who was deputy chief of the DoJ’s anti-money laundering department until he moved to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, as saying: “Asking criminals the simple question ‘Who is moving your money?’ can lead the Department of Justice to a financial institution’s doorstep, regardless of the type of financial institution.

Commerzbank settlement may reach US$800 million

Commerzbank is expected to pay the US authorities between US$600 million and US$800 million as part of an investigation into whether it violated US sanctions by allegedly carrying out transactions for the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.

Deutsche Bank to increase compliance staff

Deutsche Bank North America is hiring 500 workers in its compliance department as banks step up their internal oversight. Deutsche Bank is expected to make the hires by the end of the year according to Bloomberg.

Wednesday, 09 July 2014

FCA to investigate high-frequency trading

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a review of competition in the wholesale securities market, including high-frequency trading (HFT) firms and their use of practices such as co-location.

TI issues UK guidance against bribery

Last week the UK division of Transparency International (TI) released a set of guidelines to help companies deal with requests for small bribes and facilitation payments. TI’s guidance includes a set of principles to help companies cope in these difficult situations.

Citigroup and US government closing in on settlement

Citigroup is close to reaching a civil settlement with US authorities over the investigation into the bank’s mortgage-backed securities practices, according to reports. It’s said the bank’s fine is could be around US$7 billion, after the US government first demanded US$10 billion.

Djibouti launches arbitration alleging bribery in port contract

The government of Djibouti has rescinded a port concession and launched an arbitration procedure against Dubai-based port terminal operator DP World, alleging the company paid bribes to secure a concession at the Doraleh Container Terminal.

Canada on course to establish a national securities regulator

Canadian province Saskatchewan, and possibly New Brunswick, will agree to hand over control of their securities regulation to a national agency, according to reports. The Canadian government wants to centralise the country's securities regulation under a single agency called the Co-operative Capital Markets Regulator (CCMR).

US opens settlement talks with German banks

The US authorities have opened settlement negotiations with German banks Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank over allegations that they violated US sanctions, according to Reuters. The New York Times has reported that Commerzbank could be fined at least US$500 million to settle charges that it broke US sanctions in Iran and Sudan.

SFO interviews Airbus staff in Saudi bribery investigation

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has interviewed four former and current staff at an Airbus subsidiary and two UK government officials in connection with a bribery investigation of the aircraft and defence manufacturer, according to a report in The Financial Times.

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

French police shut down bitcoin exchange

On Friday, two people in France were detained and placed under formal investigation for their suspected involvement with a website that illegally sold and lent bitcoins, a form of digital currency, to its users.

Vice-President of Argentina urged to face congress

The Buenos Aires City Mayor, Mauricio Macri, has called for Vice President Amado Boudou to stand in front of congress to face possible impeachment. In June, Boudou was charged with corruption and bribery relating to his alleged acquisition of a bankrupt company that was later given the rights to print the nation’s currency.

Monday, 07 July 2014

ENI under investigation in Italy

Italian prosecutors have launched an investigation into oil group ENI over the purchase of an oil field in Nigeria in 2011, according to Reuters. The investigation will look at payments made by ENI at the time the oil field was purchased.

UK auditors body report addresses company culture

A new report by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors calls on company boards to carefully audit company culture and behaviour to improve ethical standards.

Former EU health commissioner demands compensation from Chief Commissioner Barroso

Former European Health Commissioner John Dalli, from Malta, has launched a court case against European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. Dalli argues that he was forced to resign as health commissioner in October 2012 owing to allegedly incorrect claims made against him.

Fourth guilty plea in US Navy bribery case

A fourth defendant has pleaded guilty to consipracy charges for their part in a bribery scheme involving Singapore-based defence contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), according to reports. Edmond Aruffo, a former manager at GDMA, pleaded guilty in a San Diego US District Court to one count of conspiring to bribe US Navy officials.

Friday, 04 July 2014

Ex-Hong Kong governor attacks Chinese due process

The former British governor to Hong Kong, Chris Patten, has criticised the Chinese government for trying to influence judges, according to reports. The Chinese government sent a message to Hong Kong judges advising them to be "patriotic".

Judge rejects wartime limitations argument in Lance Armstrong lawsuit

A judge presiding over a lawsuit against shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong has thrown out the case after rejecting an argument that the statute of limitations do not apply during wartime. Retired cyclist Floyd Landis was suing Armstong under the False Claims Act concerning events between 1995 and 2004.

SEC subpoenas Biomet

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a subpoena to orthopaedic manufacturer Biomet in connection with "alleged improprieties" in Brazil and Mexico, the company said in an SEC filing.

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