Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Friday, 18 October 2019

Brazil Supreme Court debates appeal loss rule

The Supreme Court of Brazil has started debating whether to revoke a rule which sends convicted criminals straight to jail after losing their first appeal rather than letting them seek other options, according to reports.

The rule was reportedly instrumental in securing convictions against company executives and politicians implicated in the Operation Car Wash investigation. It encouraged suspects to negotiate plea deals and cooperate with prosecutors as otherwise they could have faced immediate prison time.

The justices are due to vote on the rule on 24 October. If it is overturned, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and other individuals convicted of corruption may be released from prison.

SFO ends Libor investigation

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that it has closed its investigation into manipulation of the London interbank offered rate. 

“Following a thorough investigation and a detailed review of the available evidence, there will be no further charges brought in this case,” the SFO said.

The Libor cases saw the SFO bring charges against 13 individuals over allegations of manipulating the London interbank offered rate. The agency secured five convictions in the investigation.

UBS agrees €10 million money laundering settlement with Italy

A court in Italy has accepted Swiss bank UBS’s request to pay €10 million to settle money laundering allegations, according to reports.

UBS had been under investigation for allegedly helping Italian citizens evade tax and hide assets in Switzerland. Under Italian law, the settlement is not an admission of guilt.

The bank settled a separate money laundering case with Italy in July for €3 million. France is also investigating UBS for similar allegations of potential tax evasion by its clients.

UBS reportedly told Reuters that it was pleased to have resolved the matter.

Anti-corruption campaigners want banks to help investigators identify company owners

Governments should force banks to create central registers that reveal the true beneficiaries of companies, according to a report by Transparency International.

The report found that anti-corruption investigations around the world are hindered because authorities often can’t identify company owners.

“Almost without fail, anonymous shell companies appear at the centre of major cases of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion,” according to the report. 

Australian financial regulator reveals investigations increase

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) said in its annual report, published on 17 October, that enforcement investigations into the country’s biggest financial companies have risen by 51%.

ASIC has recently adopted what it calls a “why not litigate?” approach, after receiving criticism for weak enforcement during a 2018 public enquiry into the country’s banking sector.



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