Europe

National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing: Lithuania

National risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing of Lithuania issued by Financial Crime Investigation Service the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.

Please see below some highlights from the report.

The national risk assessment assesses the money laundering and terrorist financing risks affecting the internal Lithuanian market and cross border activities that are of priority concern in Lithuania.

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Spanish employment company “Terra Fecundis” involved in social fraud

Spanish employment company “Terra Fecundis” involved in a social fraud in France reports LeMonde.fr 

A big social fraud case in France concerning a Spanish temporary work company: Terra Fecundis, with headquarter in Murcia, is on trial at this point in Marseille court, France.

Defendants are accused of having providing for several years, thousands of workers – mainly from Latin America – without having declared them in accordance with the law requirements and by ignoring various obligations relating to minimum wages, overtime , paid holidays, etc. The damage would be heavy for the employed women and men, but also for the French Social Security, not paying  the contributions which, according to the accusation amounts to more than 112 million euros between early 2012 and end of 2015.

More on:
https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2020/04/06/une-affaire-hors-norme-de-fraude-sociale-bientot-devant-la-justice_6035702_3224.html

 

Report: INTERNET ORGANISED CRIME THREAT ASSESSMENT 2019

Europol Report: INTERNET ORGANISED CRIME THREAT ASSESSMENT (IOCTA) 2019

This annual assessment of the cybercrime threat landscape highlights the persistence and tenacity of a number of key threats.

Ransomware maintains its reign as the most widespread and financially damaging form of cyber-attack, while criminals continue to defraud e-commerce and attack the financial sector. Criminals target and exploit vulnerable minors across the globe. All of these crimes seriously impact the physical, financial and psychological safety, security and stability of our society and require a coherent and coordinated response by law enforcement.

A crucial priority reported by both EU Member States and the private industry is Business Email Compromise (BEC). This scam exploits the way corporations do business, taking advantage of segregated corporate structures, and internal gaps in payment verification processes. Such attacks vary by the degree of technical tools used. Some attacks can successfully employ only social engineering, while others deploy technical measures such as malware and network intrusion.

While using ransomware to deny an organisation access to its own data may be the primary threat in this year’s report, denying others access to that organisation’s data or services is another significant threat. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks are yet another datafocused threat to cope with. Of all the motivations behind such attacks, those with an extortion element were overwhelmingly the most prevalent.

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Books: Something Will Turn Up

Books: Something Will Turn Up, by David Smith

The Sunday Times economics editor David Smith presents a readable, informative history of the British economy since World War II.

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Great Britain was the first leading manufacturing country. Even as late as 1950, it produced 25% of the world’s manufacturing exports. It generated a trade surplus in manufactured goods that amounted to as much as 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Until the 1970s, the United Kingdom’s West Midlands manufacturing region maintained wage levels just slightly lower than those of the prosperous and diversified southeast region around London. That stands in marked contrast to today’s large income disparity between the regions. When the trade surplus in manufactured goods disappeared in 1982, never to return, it took many well-paid blue-collar Midlands jobs with it.

As the British Empire became the Commonwealth, its countries maintained strong trade links with the United Kingdom, underpinned by continuing preferential trade agreements. In the 1950s, the UK traded 40% of its exports and 35% of its imports with Commonwealth nations. Given the damage World War II had inflicted on mainland Europe’s economy, the captive markets of the Commonwealth gave the UK a postwar advantage. But that contributed to complacency and a lack of investment in British manufacturing; Britain took the Commonwealth markets for granted.

While Europe – and especially Germany – recovered its manufacturing capability in the postwar period, Britain’s manufacturing continued to decline. It suffered from low investment, a “failure to modernize,” inflation and poor industrial relations. High interest rates decimated the sector during the “strong pound recession” of the early 1980s. Four million manufacturing jobs disappeared between 1973 and 1983.

The volume of manufactured goods peaked in 1973 and didn’t regain those heights, in real terms, until 2010. Specialized manufacturing still matters to the United Kingdom. Japanese-owned automobile plants have returned the UK to its status as a net car producer, but other sectors of the economy have since become more important than manufacturing.

AML EU framework

5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive)

​The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which amends the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 19 June 2018. The Member States should have been transposed this Directive by 10 January 2020.

These amendments introduce substantial improvement to better equip the Union to prevent the financial system from being used for money laundering and for funding terrorist activities.

These amendments will:
– enhance transparency by setting up publicly available registers for companies, trusts and other legal arrangements;
– enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units, and provide them with access to broad information for the carrying out of their tasks;
– limit the anonymity related to virtual currencies and wallet providers, but also for pre-paid cards;
– broaden the criteria for the assessment of high-risk third countries and improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from such countries;
– set up central bank account registries or retrieval systems in all Member States;
– improve the cooperation and enhance of information between anti-money laundering supervisors between them and between them and prudential supervisors and the European Central Bank.

 

Here you can find the factsheet on the main changes of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

 

George Friedman despre Europa

Notițe de lectură despre strategia politică a SUA in Europa, descrise de George Friedman în “Următorul deceniu: de unde venim … și încotro ne îndreptăm” (2011): Capitolul 8-9.

Majoritatea acestor ţări[din Europa de Est] nu au fost independente până când Primul Război Mondial nu a dus la prăbuşirea imperiilor austro-ungar, rus, otoman şi german. În general, au fost împărţite, subjugate şi exploatate. În cazul Ungariei, spre exemplu, presiunea nu a fost prea mare. În alte cazuri, a fost de-a dreptul brutală. Dar toate aceste naţiuni ţin minte ocupaţia nazistă, şi apoi pe cea sovietică, iar acele ocupaţii au fost monstruoase. Este adevărat că regimul german şi cel rus de astăzi sunt diferite, dar epoca ocupaţiei este încă proaspătă în amintirea est-europenilor, iar urmările faptului de a se fi aflat în sfera de influenţă germano-rusă le-au marcat caracterul naţional. Acea amintire va continua să le modeleze comportamentul în deceniul următor.

Europa contemporană este în căutarea unei ieşiri din infern. Prima jumătate a secolului XX a fost un măcel, începând cu Verdun şi terminând cu Auschwitz. În a doua jumătate, europenii au trăit sub ameninţarea unui posibil război nuclear ruso-american, purtat pe pământ european. Epuizată de vărsarea de sânge şi de neliniştea continuă, Europa a început să-şi imagineze o lume în care toate conflictele erau de natură economică şi gestionate de birocraţii de la Bruxelles. […] În cei douăzeci de ani de după prăbuşirea Uniunii Sovietice, părea că îşi găsiseră utopia, dar acum, viitorul este mult mai puţin sigur. Privind înainte spre următorii zece ani, nu văd o întoarcere a tranşeelor şi a lagărelor de concentrare, dar întrevăd o creştere a tensiunilor geopolitice la nivel continental şi, alături de ele, rădăcinile unor conflicte mai serioase.

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EU TERRORISM SITUATION AND TREND REPORT 2018 (TESAT)

This 2018 edition of the annual TESAT report issued by EUROPOL provides an overview of the nature and volume of terrorism that the EU faced in 2017.

“The human suffering and the threat of terrorist attacks still remains high in Europe. In 2017 European countries were again hit by terrorist attacks and there were many innocent victims of this indiscriminate violence. It therefore goes without saying that combatting terrorism remains a top priority for Europol.”

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Trafficking in human beings in EU

TRENDS AND CHALLENGES IN ADDRESSING TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS IN THE EU

The trends in the statistical data for the period 2013-2014
– In total there were 15 846 ‘registered victims’ (both identified and presumed) of trafficking in the EU.
– Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is still the most widespread form (67 % of registered victims), followed by labour exploitation (21 % of registered victims). The
other 12% were registered as victims of trafficking for other forms of exploitation.
– Over three quarters of the registered victims were women (76 %).
– At least 15% of the registered victims were children.
65% of registered victims were EU citizens.
-The top five EU countries of citizenship for registered victims in 2013-2014 were Romania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Poland. These are the same countries as for the years 2010-2012.
-The top five non-EU countries of citizenship were Nigeria, China, Albania, Vietnam and Morocco.
6 324 people had formal contact with the police or the criminal justice system in connection with the crime of trafficking in human beings.
– In total, 4 079 prosecutions and 3 129 convictions for trafficking in human beings were reported in the EU.

Report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings
Brussels, 19.5.2016