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The position relating to PEPs has always been complex but Unexplained Wealth Orders are about to take that complexity to a level previously unthought of.

The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats which contain asbestos. The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners.

CoNet Section: 

This really is a story about money laundering. Stay with us: first, it's not at all a done deal that whatever happens in Brexit, UK lawyers will lose out for any reason except sentiment. Yes, long term, international recognition may be more complex but that could well turn out to be to the advantage of English (specifically, but perhaps one or two South Wales firms might be included) lawyers as their gene pool becomes less diluted. But everyone acknowledges that there should be some kind of hedge against that risk and so large firms are putting in place measures to be, in effect, dual citizens (not legally accurate, of course). Now Theresa May, in need of a win, has done something that will both assist UK lawyers and really, really get up the nose of those Eurocrats who are trying to frustrate the will of the UK people. And there's a not-to-well hidden benefit for British businesses outside the legal sector, too.

So, it's simple: you attach an electronic signature to an electronic document and off it wings by e-mail. Job done, right? Apparently "some businesses are still unsure if electronic signatures would satisfy legal requirements," says The Law Commission. But instead of just saying "of course, in the absence of fraud or some other frustrating or negating matter, that's a validly executed document" the Law Commission has produced "proposals." So, not simple at all, then.

CoNet Section: 

When the USA passes laws relating to offshore income and assets, it's big news and around the world US citizens and those providing services to them get into something of a flap. But when the UK introduced, in November last year, a requirement for "anyone who has undeclared UK tax liabilities that involved offshore matters or transfers to disclose the relevant information about this non-compliance" there was barely a ripple. There should have been a storm because penalties are potentially devastating.

CoNet Section: 

One of the basic principles of UK company law was for generations that there is a public register of the officers of companies and that that register includes the "Usual Residential Address" of directors and secretaries, with that information being maintained, and publicly accessible, for both current and historical data. That was then and this is now.. and surprisingly it's nothing to do with GDPR.

The announcement of a new consultation begs a question: if the register will apply to those who own "land," i.e. real estate, what about those who own property in long leases (i.e. personalty and not land) in the great estates of London which are, after all, some of the most expensive property in the world. WMLR digs into the proposed Bill to investigate this and other issues.

Consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/...
Announced 23 July 2018 Closes 17 September 2018

On Friday 13th July 2018, the UK's Serious Fraud Office obtained, from a Magistrates' Court, a warrant for the arrest of Benedikt Sobotka has been issued over his failure to appear for questioning in an ongoing corruption investigation into ENRC and related companies. Failure to appear when required to do so is itself a criminal offence, independent of the allegations under investigation.

BIScom Subsection: 

In the wider world of financial services, there's a tendency to forget that there are regulators for other areas of commerce, too. In the UK, in accounting, the last stop for action relating to accounting and audit misconduct is the Financial Reporting Council. It's one of those bodies that replaces gravitas with slogans on its website (which is "flashy" but doesn't work properly) but when it gets its teeth into a case, it acts as a proper regulator. It levies only small fines but it's paying more and more attention to the big boys.

CoNet Section: 

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has, far too late, waded into the scandal over businesses that offer completely unnecessary, and very costly, services relating to the mis-selling of Personal Protection Insurance. The industry around selling what amounts to little more than form-filling assistance and which has collected in excess of GBP1,000 million, has force-fed advertising and is now ramping up the pressure on those who have not yet made a claim. The FCA has countered with its own advert. It's rubbish and in the wrong place.

BIScom Subsection: 

A correspondent asks "As a UK individual how do I report / alert the US authorities to the a craptocurrency used by employees and the Chairman of a group of companies with offices in St Louis, Missouri ?"

Here's the answer, and it explains differences between OFAC and FinCEN, etc. reports.

BIScom Subsection: 

One would think that, after the revelation that more than GBP1,000 million had been collected by form fillers providing entirely unnecessary services for those claiming PPI refunds, the market would have died. Maybe you'd have thought that the action against those pretending to be official websites would have discouraged others from doing something similar. And, of course, there's law that spamming individuals is a crime. Welcome to Magnetise Media Ltd which says it's registered by the Claims Management Regulator and listed by the Ministry of Justice. Hopefully Trading Standards and the Information Commissioner have files, too.

BIScom Subsection: 

A report in yesterday's Law Society's Gazette quotes a passage from a speech given by David Green, the outgoing head of the Serious Fraud Office under whose watch the SFO's performance has seen a significant improvement. But there is one area where this publication forcefully disagrees with him: the development of US-style Deferred Prosecution Agreements. In his speech, he speaks strongly in favour of them, it is reported.

CoNet Section: 

A director entered into an agreement to bribe someone into making sure the company was awarded a contract worth GBP6 million, approx. A new CEO found out, prevented payments, filed a suspicious activity report, asked the police to investigate. Then it all got complicated ...

FCRO Subsection: 

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