Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

German prosecutors charge six Volkswagen employees

The Braunschweig public prosecutor announced that it has charged six more Volkswagen employees with serious fraud, false certification and tax evasion in relation to the company’s diesel emissions scandal.

The prosecutor said in a statement on 14 January that it has filed an 876-page indictment as well as 114 files of evidence with the Braunschweig district court, alleging that the individuals helped dupe authorities in Europe and the US about the volume of emissions that certain Volkswagen engines were emitting.

The Braunschweig prosecutor filed charges against Volkswagen former CEO Martin Winterkorn in April 2019 for his role in the case, and says it is still investigating 32 other individuals.

Corruption trial of former athletics chief delayed by new evidence

A French court has agreed to delay the trial of former head of World Athletics Lamine Diack after prosecutors said they had received new evidence, according to The Guardian.

Prosecutors reportedly told a judge they had recently been sent records of statements that Diack’s son made to investigators in Senegal, as well as banking details from consultancy firms owned by the defendant.

French prosecutors have charged Diack with corruption and money laundering as part of a scheme that allegedly allowed athletes suspected of doping to pay bribes to compete in international events. Diack denies the charges.

Lekoil investigates fake $184m loan

Nigeria-headquartered oil company Lekoil has said in a 13 January statement that it intends to notify authorities in several jurisdictions about a fake loan agreement that it entered into. 

Lekoil announced on 2 January that it had agreed a $184 million loan with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) that was facilitated by a company named Seawave Invest, which Lekoil called an “independent consultancy firm specialising in cross-border transactions”.

However, in its latest announcement the company said that it suspects it actually agreed the deal with “individuals who have constructed a complex façade in order to masquerade as representatives of the QIA”.

Lekoil said it is still investigating the matter.

Seawave Invest has not commented publicly on the matter. 

South Korea securities company settles spoofing charges with CFTC

South Korean securities company Mirae Asset Daewoo has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle charges brought by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over alleged spoofing.  

Announcing the settlement on 13 January, the CFTC said that a trader at Daewoo Securities in Seoul engaged in spoofing – the term used for when traders place orders that they cancel before execution to create a false sense of demand in the market – on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange between December 2014 and April 2016.   

Mirae Asset Daewoo has not publicly commented on the settlement. 

Daewoo Securities and Mirae Asset Securities merged in December 2016 to become South Korea’s largest securities company by equity, according to a company statement at the time.

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