Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Friday, 26 April 2019

New York and Irish authorities open investigations into Facebook

Authorities in New York and Ireland announced investigations into social media company Facebook on 25 April.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said in a statement that its investigation concerns “hundreds of millions of user passwords” stored in plain text on the company’s servers.

The New York Attorney General’s Office said that it is investigating “Facebook’s unauthorized collection of 1.5 million Facebook users’ email contact databases”.

On the same day, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said that its investigation found that Facebook refuses to address serious privacy deficiencies.

“Facebook’s refusal to act responsibly is deeply troubling given the vast amount of sensitive personal information users have entrusted to this company,” Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien said in a statement. 

Ghosn released on bail after agreeing to restrictions on contacting his wife

The former CEO of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, was released on 500 million yen ($4.5 million) bail on 25 April after agreeing not to meet or speak with his wife without court approval, according to reports. 

Ghosn was indicted on 22 April on a fresh charge that he enriched himself with $5 million from the Japanese car maker.

His wife, Carole Ghosn, is not a suspect in the case but was questioned as a witness on 11 April by Japanese prosecutors.

Ghosn, who is facing three other charges, reportedly called the bail conditions “cruel and unnecessary”.  He denies wrongdoing.

DOJ investigating Ford over emissions certification process concerns

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Ford after it voluntarily disclosed concerns relating to road load estimations to US environmental agencies in February, the car manufacturer revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.  

The company said the investigation concerned the emissions certification process but not the use of defeat devices.

Ford said it disclosed the matter to the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board on 18 and 21 February respectively, as well as other government bodies.

“We are fully cooperating with all government agencies,” Ford’s report reads.

UN asked to examine if former AgustaWestland exec was “unlawfully” swapped for Dubai princess

Lawyers acting for former AgustaWestland executive Christian Michel, who was extradited from the UAE to India in December 2018 to face bribery charges, have asked the UN Special Procedures Branch to examine the case. 

In the petition, lawyers at the Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers claim Michel was “unlawfully” traded in exchange for Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, who was returned to the UAE in March 2018 after being arrested off the coast of India.

British citizen Michel is one of three middlemen accused of bribing officials to secure the sale of 12 helicopters from Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland to the government of India in 2010. He denies wrongdoing. 

Cayman Islands ushers in new AML regulations following CFATF recommendations

The Cayman Islands’ Department of Commerce & Investment (DCI) new anti-money laundering regulations will come into effect on 1 May, according to reports.

The regulations will, among other things, oblige money-lending business to submit proof of the source of their funds when making applications for business licences. The lenders will also be subject to due diligence reviews by the DCI compliance and enforcement unit before the licences are granted. 

The new regulations are being implemented in response to a  2015 report by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, which said that the Cayman Islands failed to accurately assess money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

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