Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Monday, 07 October 2019

President Trump must surrender tax returns

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed US President Donald Trump’s attempt to block a subpoena for his tax returns.

According to court documents, District Judge Victor Marrero dismissed Trump’s “extraordinary claim” that the US president enjoys absolute immunity from criminal processes while in office.

Mazars, the accounting firm used by Trump, will now have to surrender eight years of the president’s tax returns to the court in a response to a subpoena by New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Vance is investigating allegations that Trump paid hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and former playboy model Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York has reportedly granted a temporary stay on the ruling following an appeal by Trumps legal team.  

Danske Bank traders urged to make as many transactions as possible regardless of origin, says former banker

A former trader at Danske Bank has told Bloomberg that the bank heaped bonuses on bankers executing large amounts of transactions for non-residents.

“You were directly motivated by getting as many clients as possible,” Mihail Murnikov reportedly said. “Everything else wasn’t important,” he added. 

He told Bloomberg that by 2013, Danske Bank’s Estonian employees were told to process half a million transactions for 4,000 non-resident clients, mostly from the former Soviet Union.

Murnikov was a trader at Danske Bank’s international banking unit in Estonia between 2009 and 2015. The bank has been swamped by an international money laundering scandal after an internal investigation revealed that €200 billion worth of suspicious transactions were moved through Danske’s Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

Malaysian former prime minister’s brother fined for receiving stolen 1MDB funds

Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency says it has fined 80 people and “entities” for misappropriating funds from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, Reuters reports.

The brother of ex-prime minister Najib Razak and the former head of Malaysia’s second-largest bank are reportedly among those fined.  

The head of Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission did not reveal the size of the fines, but reportedly said they could be as large as two-and-a-half times the amount the individuals received from the fund.

Malaysian prosecutors hope to eventually recover around $4.5 billion allegedly taken from fund, which was created by Najib during his tenure in 2009.

 

Zimbabwe enlists neighbouring countries in corruption fight

Zimbabwe‘s president will sign memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Botswana and Zambia that will allow Zimbabwe to recover stolen assets taken out of the country by corrupt officials, according to reports.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly urged the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to focus on recovering stolen government funds since taking office in 2018.

“We want to make sure that we recover everything that was stolen from the nation. So right now we are also concentrating on, apart from the criminal investigations, linking evidence to the properties that were purchased with a view to recovering those properties whether in Zimbabwe or outside,” a ZACC spokesperson reportedly said.

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