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U.S. government freezes stolen assets of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha- A civil forfeiture complaint was unsealed this month indicating that the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is seeking recovery of more than USD$550 million in connection with the largest kleptocracy forfeiture action brought in the Department’s history. This is not the first time that the DOJ has gone after a former kleptocrat, however; in 2011, the government brought an action against the assets of President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. The son of Equatorial Guinea’s president has also been put under formal investigation recently in France for money laundering.
Japanese Corporation pleads guilty to FCPA charges- Japanese trading company Marubeni agreed to pay a USD$88 million fine to the DOJ regarding charges that it worked in concert with a Connecticut company, among others, to bribe high-ranking Indonesian officials in the state-owned electric company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara. It is the company’s second foreign-bribery payout in two years.
US and EU implement economic sanctions related to events in Ukraine and Russia- As part of a broader economic sanctions policy against Russia, the US and EU have added a growing list of individuals to their denied parties watchlists over the past few weeks. The lists include Gennady Nikolayevich Timchenko, who was until recently co-owner of the Gunvor Group, one of the largest international energy traders.
FCA fines Besso Limited for anti-bribery systems failings- The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Besso Limited £315,000 (~$520,000) for a failure to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of bribery and corruption. Besso is a FCA-regulated insurance broking firm wholly owned by Besso Insurance Group Limited.
China’s anti-bribery campaign aims high- Several news reports have hinted that Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, may be under investigation for bribery. If true, Zhou would be the highest ranked person in the communist party to be targeted by President Xi Jinping’s recent campaign against corruption.
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