Dutch FIOD and US DoJ conduct simultaneous operations against worldwide multi-million euro fraud with false letters

On 1 en 2 June, the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Division (FIOD) searched a total of ten locations in a criminal investigation into six companies who, in the Netherlands, operate mailboxes which are suspected of being used for global fraud. The six companies are suspected of ( being involved in) fraud and attempted fraud of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide by way of false letters. It is assumed that the total fraud amount runs up to the millions. Simultaneously with the operations conducted by the FIOD, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a civil complaint against two of the suspected companies and one director in the Netherlands, on behalf of hundreds of thousands of victims.

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GRECO publishes its annual report: Progress needed in preventing corruption in respect of MP´s, judges and prosecutors

The Chair of the Council of Europe´s anti-corruption body GRECO, Marin Mrčela, has stressed the need for mobilising policy-makers to address the shortcomings identified in the prevention of corruption prevention in respect of parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors. 

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Fighting terrorism: share criminal records of non-EU nationals, too, urge MEPs

The European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which EU countries use to exchange information on the criminal convictions of EU citizens, should be extended to include non-EU nationals, Civil Liberties Committee MEPs said on Monday. MEPs also want the system to be used to check the criminal records of people seeking to work with children.

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Council of Europe experts urge Jersey to increase money laundering convictions

Jersey has a mature and sophisticated regime for tackling money laundering and the financing of terrorism, as well as an internationally-recognised mechanism to ensure transparency of beneficial ownership information. 

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TRACE Launches First Global Beneficial Ownership Registry

TRACE International, a worldwide leader in advancing commercial transparency and raising anti-bribery compliance standards, today launched TRACEpublic, the first global registry of beneficial ownership. 

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New rules on the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting apply as of today

The Directive on the protection of the euro and other currencies through criminal law measures introduces tougher sanctions for criminals and improved tools for cross-border investigation. These EU rules must be implemented and applied by all Member States as of today. 

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First sentence for corporate bribery conviction

Southwark Crown Court recently handed down the first sentence in relation to a corporate conviction under section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) which deals with 'Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery'. 

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ACAMOL-CZ: Project to strengthen anti-corruption and anti-money laundering systems in the Czech Republic

In recent years the Czech Republic has placed high priority on expanding its involvement in relevant international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering fora. Its ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in November 2013 has been the last remaining milestone in this process. At the same time a range of challenges in implementing the relevant international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards remain on multiple levels, including policymaking, legislative and institutional dimensions as well as effective application of relevant norms. 

The Project to strengthen anti-corruption and anti-money laundering systems in the Czech Republic aims to address the existing gaps and build capacities of Czech authorities in the abovementioned areas. Implemented through a joint partnership of the Financial Analytical Unit of the Czech Republic (Project Promoter) and the Council of Europe (Project Partner), the Project is financed by the Norway Grants. As the Project Partner the Council of Europe is implementing a selected number of activities in the areas of its particular expertise. 

With a duration of 20 months the Project will comprehensively aim to identify and analyse corruption and money laundering risks in the Czech Republic; develop policy and legislative proposals to improve criminal legislation pertaining to anti-corruption and AML/CFT; deliver tailored training to law enforcement authorities on criminal investigations of corruption; elaborate guidelines for recovery of criminal assets; develop legislative and regulatory proposals to strengthen the regime for political party financing; improve whistle-blower protection mechanisms.

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Fighting intellectual property crime

Fighting intellectual property crime is a key priority for law enforcement authorities in safeguarding consumers against dangerous and substandard products and tackling the criminal networks involved in these low risk/high revenue illegal activities. 

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EU ready to launch second tranche of assistance to combat corruption

The European Union is ready to provide the second tranche of assistance to Ukraine worth EUR 600 million, if a number of conditions, particularly regarding the fight against corruption, is fulfilled. EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said this at a press conference, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

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New corruption cases in Romania target Targu Mures mayor and county council president

Romania’s National Anticorruption Department (DNA) has prosecuted Targu Mures mayor Dorin Florea and his son Dan Aurel Florea in a new high profile corruption case in the local administration. The president of the Mures County Council has also been indicted by the DNA in a separate corruption case. 

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Bulgaria Presents New Anti-Graft Draft Law before European Envoys

Bulgaria’s new anti-corruption draft law now before Parliament is more stringent than the version presented last year, Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva has told envoys of the European Union and the European Economic Area.

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Bosnia to Toughen Law on Parties' Transparency

Bosnia's parliament is due to approve a law designed to increase transparency in the finances of political parties - but some experts say the planned changes do not go far enough. 

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Council of Europe launches action plan to strengthen judicial independence and impartiality

Justice ministers from across Europe have given their backing to the Council of Europe’s new 2016-2021 action plan on strengthening judicial independence and impartiality.

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GRECO report indicates low progress

In it’s latest compliance report on Albania, the Council of Europe anti-corruption monitoring body GRECO concludes that only one of the ten recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report has been dealt with in a satisfactory manner. These recommendations cover corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.

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