Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Court upholds privilege over government communications discussing Meng Wenzhou arrest

The Supreme Court of British Columbia in Canada has sided with local prosecutors in a disclosure dispute with Huawei CFO Meng Wenzhou. 

The court upheld the Canadian Attorney General’s privilege claims over 43 of 44 communications between US and Canadian authorities in the lead up to Meng’s arrest at Vancouver airport in 2018, in a judgment unsealed on 8 October. 

Meng’s lawyers wanted the court to force the government to hand over the communications as part of Meng’s attempt to challenge her extradition from Canada to the US.

Federal courts in Brooklyn and Seattle have unsealed a string of charges against the CFO and her employer over alleged fraud, sanctions breaches and trade secret theft. Meng and Huawei deny wrongdoing.

Deutsche Bank fined €13.5 million in Germany over AML breaches

Deutsche Bank said in a 13 October statement that it has agreed to pay a €13.5 million administrative fine for filing late suspicious activity reports between 2010 and 2015 in connection with transactions processed by Danske Bank – the German lender’s correspondent bank at the time.

Deutsche Bank added that the Frankfurt prosecutor has closed its criminal investigation into Deutsche Bank employees who were suspected of aiding and abetting money laundering at Dankse Bank’s Estonian branch due to a lack of evidence.  

Dankse Bank has previously admitted that acute compliance failures may have allowed unverified customers to transfer up to $200 billion through accounts at Danske Bank Estonia.

Transparency International: foreign bribery enforcement in decline since 2018

Only four countries – the US, the UK, Switzerland and Israel – actively enforced against foreign bribery in 2019, down from seven the year before, according to a report by Transparency International.

The NGO found that 34 countries, representing 46.1% of global exports, carried out limited or no foreign bribery enforcement at all. Among them are China, Hong Kong and India, which did not open a single foreign bribery investigation between 2016 and 2019, according to Transparency International.

Six countries, including France and Spain, improved their foreign bribery enforcement since 2018, Transparency International said, while four countries got worse, including Germany which accounts for 7.6% of global exports.

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