Included in this issue: Criminal Finances Bill gets Royal Assent; Executive Director at the FCA delivers speech regarding cyber security; FIFA council member resigns following bribery scandal and more...

General

Criminal Finances Bill gets Royal Assent

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 expands the powers of law enforcement agencies (and their partners) in a bid to tackle the financing of terrorism, tax evasion and corruption and money laundering.

The Act contains various provisions, including new criminal offences for corporations who fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion (UK or foreign tax evasion) by their staff. The Act also creates unexplained wealth orders which can oblige those who are suspected of serious crime or corruption to explain the source of their wealth. Further measures include powers to seize the proceeds of crime and terrorist monies held in bank accounts in addition to an extension on the moratorium period available to the NCA following the submission of a consent SAR and provisions by which banks can share information regarding suspicious activity.

Executive Director at the FCA delivers speech regarding cyber security

Nausicaa Delfas delivered a speech on 24 April at Financial Information Security Network in which she highlighted key cyber security issues faced by institutions and consumers alike. The main focus was to explain the way in which the risk landscape has evolved and to provide a suitable strategy to manage exposure.

Delfas emphasized that risk management requires a back to basics approach and a shift in mind-set. Information sharing was also cited as a critical way of tackling cyber security on a collective basis.

FCA Appoints New Chief Criminal Counsel

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed a new Chief Criminal Counsel, Vincent Coughlin QC. The hire comes as the FCA looks to revamp its Enforcement Division and at a time when the FCA has pledged in its annual business plan to start prosecuting money-laundering offences where there are "particularly serious or repeat" failures. The appointment also comes at a time when there has been an increase in the number of insider-trading cases being investigated by the FCA, with the agency opening 70 such cases in 2016 alone.

Bribery and Corruption

SFO opens an investigation into KBR, Inc.

Following suspected offences of bribery and corruption, the SFO has opened a new investigation into the activities of KBR, Inc., a US incorporated engineering, procurement and construction company which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The investigation extends to KBR's UK subsidiaries and its officers, employees and agents.

The SFO confirmed that the investigation relates to another ongoing investigation into Unaoil's activities.

SFO charges F.H. Bertling Ltd

F.H. Bertling Ltd, a logistics and freight operations company, has been charged by the SFO with one count of conspiracy to give or accept corrupt payments (in contravention of section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977). The SFO claims that four other individuals conspired with F.H. Bertling Ltd to give or accept those payments in order to enable F.H. Bertling Ltd to retain or enter into various supply contracts. An additional individual has also been charged with a separate count of conspiracy to give or accept corrupt payments.

F.H. Bertling Ltd and the individuals will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 19 May 2017.

FIFA council member resigns following bribery scandal

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah (former FIFA council member who also heads the Olympic Council of Asia) has resigned from his football related positions after become embroiled in the most recent FIFA bribery scandal. Despite denying involvement, he stated that "it is in the best interests of FIFA and the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) … to withdraw my candidacy for the FIFA Council and resign from my current football positions."

Money Laundering

Economic committee to vote on European Commission's proposal to update blacklist

The economic committee is due to vote on a proposal made by the European Commission to update a blacklist of countries that are linked to money laundering and terrorist funding. A similar proposal was rejected by MEPs in January on the basis that the list was not comprehensive enough. It was argued that the list should include countries linked with tax evasion in order to be fit for purpose.

Cyber-Crime

NCA publishes research into why young people become involved in cyber crime

The report assesses the key motivations which drive certain young people to get involved with cyber-crime. It also reveals that the average age of suspects in NCA cyber-crime investigations is just 17 compared to 37 in economic crime cases and 39 in drugs cases. The research is intended to identify gaps in understanding in order to propose recommendations and identify where NCA resources should be targeted.

Health and Safety

Food company fined £2 million after death of worker

Bakkavor Foods Limited has been fined after a worker died when a number of plastic bales fell on him trapping him underneath.

The company had failed to consider and plan the stacking of the bales and had no safe system of work. Employees were not trained in stacking bales and there was a lack of monitoring in the bale area.

Bakkavor Foods Limited Foods in Wigan plead guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974 and was fined £2million with £32,595.10 costs.

Construction worker fatality

Hague Construction Limited have been fined £100,000 after the death of a ground worker who was constructing and installing drainage boxes.

Hague had failed to plan the lifting operation or supply the workers with safe and appropriate equipment to carry out the work.

Hague Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,918.