News about the shadow economy and economic crime

UK: SFO ends investigation into bribery by British American Tobacco

1/15/2021
The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has terminated its investigation into British American Tobacco (BAT), as well as its subsidiaries and associated persons. It was investigating the company over...

Estonia: Suspects in Porto Franco corruption case under arrest

1/14/2021
The Estonian businessman, Hillar Teder, and Kersti Kracht, former adviser to the Estonian Finance Ministry, have been placed under arrest due to their alleged involvement in corruption activities...

Germany: Pauls temporarily removed from duty at Commerzbank

1/14/2021
Heike Pauls, an analyst at Commerzbank, has been temporarily relieved of her duties. She recommended Wirecard shares up until shortly before its insolvency and dismissed the Financial Times reports...

Hungary: Court orders arrest of the ex-CEO of Tuke Busz

1/14/2021
In Hungary, the court of Kaposvar has ordered the arrest of the ex-CEO of the local coach operator Tuke Busz for fraud related to the purchase of used buses from Netherlands. As a result, the local...

Russia: UMoney by order of CBR suspends some international payments

1/14/2021
UMoney service, previously Yandex.Money, which belongs to Sberbank (Sber), by order of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) for six months has suspended payments from individuals to non-resident...

Lithuania: Central bank to inspect 35 financial market participants in 2021

1/14/2021
The Financial Market Supervision Service (FRPT) of the Bank of Lithuania plans to carry out inspections of 35 financial market participants to assess their compliance with legislative requirements in...

Russia: FAS fines Kvadrat-S for competition law violation

1/14/2021
The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia has fined the Kvadrat-S company on the grounds of violation of the law on protection of competition. The amount of the fine is RUB 250,000 (EUR...

Russia: Share of counterfeit furniture rises to 20% in 2020

1/13/2021
According to the Association of Furniture and Woodworking Enterprises of Russia, the share of counterfeit furniture increased to 20%, i.e. RUB 40bn (EUR 443.14mn USD 540.01mn), in 2020. The share...

UK: Farmers face growing threat of cybercrime

1/12/2021
Farmers have been warned of the rising threat of cybercrime as more people use online tools to run their businesses. One or more digital attack was reported by 60% of agricultural businesses in 2019,...

UK: IFB warns of rise in insurance scams during pandemic

1/12/2021
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has warned that consumers could lose more than GBP 3bn (EUR 3.35bn USD 4.09bn) per year as a result of insurance fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic. It states that in...

Latvia: Parlt committee approves amendments to money laundering law

1/12/2021
The Defence, Internal Affairs, and Corruption Prevention Committee of the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, has approved of amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering, Terrorism, and...

Lithuania: Court rejects Šiauliu Bankas complaint against regulatory fine

1/12/2021
Lithuania's Vilnius Regional Administrative Court rejected a complaint from Šiauliu Bankas against the Bank of Lithuania's decision to fine the bank in 2019. The central bank imposed a fine of EUR...

Germany: Condor files complaint against Lufthansa

1/12/2021
The German holiday airline Condor has filed a complaint against the German airline Lufthansa at the German federal cartel office. Condor accuses Lufthansa of abusing its dominant market position...

Austria: Consumers warned against internet vaccines

1/12/2021
Austrian consumers have been warned not to buy coronavirus vaccines off the internet. The chemist organisation Österreichische Apothekerkammer said that any vaccines on the internet must be fakes....

Denmark: Most pension firms break industry framework for medium-risk products

1/12/2021
Industriens Pension is the only Danish pension company to stay within the framework of what constitutes a medium-risk pension product. This takes place despite Danish trade association Forsikring...

France: Competition authority suspects wine and spirits companies set prices

1/11/2021
The competition authority is investigating three major wine and spirits companies suspected of setting prices, including Marie Brizard and Copagef, the parent company of Castel Frères, with Baron de...

Latvia: Police strikes against money laundering flower business

1/11/2021
A criminal process directed against a money laundering operation disguised as a flower business in Latvia's capital Riga has resulted in the confiscation of EUR 4.5mn in property and finances, the...

Hungary: Jofogas warns clients over phishing attempt

1/11/2021
The Hungarian online marketplace Jofogas has warned its clients over phishing attempts experienced recently. Jofogas requests its clients not to open links sent in private emails for payment purposes...

Slovakia: Supreme Court confirms verdict in TV Markiza case

1/11/2021
The Supreme Court in Slovakia has confirmed the verdict of the Specialised Criminal Court in the TV Markiza promissory notes case. Businessmen Marian Kocner and Pavol Rusko were sentenced to 19 years...

Romania: ANAF gains access to bank accounts due to European Directive

1/11/2021
The National Fiscal Agency (ANAF) in Romania has access to the bank accounts of both companies and private individuals as of 11 January 2021 following the implementation of the 2018/843 European...

UK: Data shows rise in HMRC communications data requests

1/11/2021
RPC, the city law firm, revealed that HMRC made 18,464 requests to access communications data to support its criminal investigations in 2019, up from 18,263 the previous year. The rise in requests...

Hungary: GVH ends investigation into stake of Spar in Tesco

1/11/2021
The Hungarian competition office GVH has ended the investigation launched into a stake of the Austrian-owned supermarket retail chain Spar in the local subsidiary of the UK-owned hypermarket retail...

Russia: Amendments to anti-money laundering law come into force

1/10/2021
In Russia, amendments to the anti-money laundering law have come into force. Currently, all real estate transactions in the amount of RUB 3mn (EUR 33,235.16 USD 40,501.06) or more are subject to...

Germany: Winterkorn's health may prevent court case

1/8/2021
The health of former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn may prevent the court case in which he is to be tried along with other managers in relation to the diesel emissions scandal. He has medical...

Belgium: Scam involving Netflix membership circulating

1/8/2021
A new scam involving Netflix is circulating in Belgium. Targets are invited to participate in a raffle to win a one-year Netflix Premium subscription. However, this is just a scam phishing for...

Netherlands: Privacy First takes legal action against state over UBO register

1/8/2021
Dutch interest organisation Privacy First has started legal action against the Dutch state regarding the UBO register. Privacy First demands that business owners are no longer obliged to be...

Germany: Notebooksbilliger issued EUR 10.4mn fine

1/8/2021
The data protection officer in the German state of Lower Saxony has imposed a EUR 10.40mn (USD 12.67mn) fine on the German online retailer for electrical products Notebooksbilliger. The fine was...

UK: Manuka Doctor found in violation of ad code

1/8/2021
New Zealand honey exporter Manuka Doctor has been found in violation of the UK Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) code for promoting its product as a "self-treatment" for coughs and making...

Slovakia: Penta co-founder Hascak released from custody

1/7/2021
On 7 January 2021 the Slovak Supreme Court released the co-founder of Czech and Slovak financial group Penta, Jaroslav Hascak, from custody after it cancelled the decision of the Specialized Criminal...

Lithuania: Food regulator orders peanut butter maker to change brand name

1/6/2021
Lithuania's State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) has ordered the local food producer, Sviestas Sviestuotas, to change its name. VMVT said the brand name, Sviestas Sviestuotas ("Buttered Butter"),...