Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Friday, 23 August 2019

FCA opens money laundering probe into Al Rayan bank

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating Qatari-owned bank Al Rayan over suspected lax money laundering controls and links to Islamist groups, The Times reports.

Some of Al Rayan’s account holders reportedly include a charity sanctioned in the US for terrorist financing, a mosque with alleged links to Sunni-Islamist fundamentalist group Hamas and an entity connected to a hate preacher who has allegedly said: “all Muslims should be terrorists”.

While it conducts its investigation, the FCA has reportedly restricted the bank from opening accounts for people “categorised as high risk for the purposes of financial crime risk” and “politically exposed persons”.

Al Rayan has reportedly not commented further on the matter.

South Korean Supreme Court sets date for Samsung vice chairman's appeal

The vice chairman of the Samsung Group, Lee-Jae yong, will find out on 29 August whether his five-year sentence for graft will be reduced, according to reports.

The Supreme Court of South Korea will decide if it will uphold a 2018 appeals court decision to reduce Lee’s sentence, given in 2017, to a suspended sentence.

Both Lee and the prosecution appealed against the decision to the Supreme Court, which can either uphold the appeals court’s ruling or reconsider the judgment.

Lee was convicted of bribing Choi Soon-sil, a friend of former Korean president Park Geun-hye, to secure business for the Samsung Group. He denied the allegations.

The Supreme Court is also reportedly due to rule on appeal court decisions in the cases against Park and Choi. They were both fined $16.53 million and handed 25- and 20-year sentences for receiving bribes, respectively.

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Europe, The Middle East and Africa Investigations Review 2019

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The Geopolitics of Data Transfer

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