-  Investigations updates from around the world

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

Visa implicated in US sanctions accusations

BuzzFeed reports that credit card company Visa may have violated US sanctions by allowing a former Russian official included on the Magnitsky list, which prohibits entrance to the US and access to the US banking system, to spend US$16,000 on his credit card in transactions that passed through US correspondent banks.

Conflict minerals rule partially postponed

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday postponed the date by which companies must issue statements disclosing the presence of conflict minerals in their products.

Friday, 02 May 2014

Swiss citizen pleads guilty to tax fraud in US

Swiss citizen Josef Dörig has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by helping US clients avoid paying tax, the US Department of Justice has said. Dörig, 72, admitted to conspiring to help US citizens avoid US taxes by concealing their assets and income in secret bank accounts.

Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas at risk of criminal charges

Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas could be criminally charged in the US in separate investigations, concerning the banks' breaches of tax laws and sanctions respectively, according to Bloomberg. Credit Suisse is in danger of being criminally charged in connection with the US Department of Justice's investigation into banks that helped US citizens avoid paying taxes.

FCA bans rogue trader supervisor

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned former UBS trader John Christopher Hughes from working in financial services, after he failed to prevent unauthorised activity by rogue ETF trader Kweku Adoboli which cost the bank £1.

UBS bans wealth managers from entering France

Swiss bank UBS has banned dozens of its employees from going to France, according to Swiss news organisation RTS. Employees disobeying the block face losing their jobs. RTS says French authorities interviewed a UBS employee in early April, as part of an investigation of the bank's sale of products allegedly designed to avoid French taxes, which may have prompted the travel ban.

Thursday, 01 May 2014

Dolce and Gabbana tax evasion sentences reduced

Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana yesterday both received 18-month suspended sentences for hiding millions from Italy’s tax authorities, reduced on appeal from an original 20 months.

ICE selected to run key derivatives benchmark

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has picked London-based ICE Benchmark Administration to run the influential ISDAfix benchmark, Bloomberg reports. ISDAfix underpins the price of contracts in the US$400 trillion market for swaps, a type of derivative.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Indonesia jails energy regulator head for taking bribes

Indonesia’s corruption court yesterday sentenced the head of the country’s energy watchdog to prison for seven years after he took over US$1.5 million in bribes, according to reports. Rudi Rubiandini was found guilty of money laundering and taking bribes to influence tenders for oil contracts.

US arrest warrant for Indian MP on hold

Attempts to arrest an Indian MP wanted by US authorities in connection with a bribery investigation have been delayed, according to local reports in India. Last week, Indian authorities received a red letter notice from Interpol for the provisional arrest of Ramachandra Rao.

OLAF head backs European prosecutor

The head of Europe’s anti-fraud office, Giovanni Kessler, is supportive of calls to replace OLAF with a fully independent Europe-wide public prosecutor, to improve the prosecution of transnational crime in Europe.

BNP Paribas: sanctions fines could be well over US$1.1 billion

Paris-based bank BNP Paribas says it could potentially face sanctions fines “far in excess” of the US$1.1 billion it has put aside to pay them. In its first quarter results, published today, the bank said it recently discussed US dollar payments to countries subject to US sanctions with enforcers.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

OLAF presents 2013 report

In 2013, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) completed a record number of investigations, reduced the average time spent on them, and issued the highest number of recommendations in five years, the organisation has said.

US and Australia sign FATCA agreement

Australia yesterday signed an intergovernmental agreement with the United States to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Guinean government revokes BSGR mining contracts

Guinea’s government has withdrawn the mining licences it issued to the joint venture between mining companies Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR) and Vale, after it discovered evidence of corruption, according to reports.

Barcelona FC cleared in tax fraud case

Spain’s football governing body has cleared Barcelona Football Club after it was accused of committing tax fraud when it purchased a player from Brazil last year, according to reports. At the time of the transfer, Barcelona said it paid €57.

Monday, 28 April 2014

DoJ officials conduct interviews in London in Forex investigation

US Department of Justice officials have travelled to London to carry out interviews in connection with alleged rigging of foreign exchange rates, according to the Financial Times. The DoJ is interviewing several UK traders, who are deemed to be at the “periphery” of the investigation, in London rather than the US.

Ukrainian civil service bonuses may reduce bribe temptation

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development might create a special fund that will be used to pay bonuses to Ukrainian government officials, according to the Kiev Post. The Ukrainian Tax Service chief Ihor Bilous said the scheme might help prevent civil servants from accepting bribes.

Turkey financial enforcer replaces 14 senior staff

Turkey’s Capital Markets Board (SPK) has dismissed three deputy chairs and 11 department heads, the agency announced on Friday. Cihan, a Turkish news agency, reports the agency said dismissals were made because of “management necessity”.

SEC subpoenas United Technologies

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating engineering, technology and defence company United Technologies after it self-reported an internal investigation of a non-employee sales representative to the agency.

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