Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, the SEC awards millions in a bribery case. Read the full story and more news below:
Whistleblower Awarded USD 3.5M in Bribery Case
A whistleblower received more than USD 3.5M by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday. The SEC awarded the unnamed whistleblower for reporting violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by cybersecurity company Juniper Network, Inc. According to the Wall Street Journal, an investigation relating to the company’s Russian and Chinese subsidiaries began in 2012 after the same tipster notified the SEC that the company was engaging in a “large ‘channel partner discounting’ bribery scheme.” In addition to the award given to the tipster by the SEC, Juniper Network, Inc. agreed to pay nearly USD 12M in a settlement with the commission.
Hackers Return USD $260M After Cryptocurrency Theft
Hackers involved in one of the biggest ever cryptocurrency heists have returned a portion of USD $613M in stolen cryptocurrency. Poly Network, a decentralized financing platform used to facilitate peer-to-peer transaction and trading of cryptocurrencies, announced Wednesday that a third of the stolen coins had been returned. A person claiming to be the hacker behind the theft said in a statement that it was “always the plan” to return the tokens and that they were intent only on “exposing the vulnerability” of the hack.
New Zealand Bank Warned Over Anti-Money Laundering Failure
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has officially warned the Westpac Banking Corporation for failing to report suspicious transactions under anti-money laundering laws. Financial institutions are required to report transactions which pose a high risk of money laundering, including any international wire transfers of USD $1,000 or more. Westpac Banking Corporation’s anti-money laundering systems were allegedly set up in a way which failed to detect suspicious transactions. More than 8,000 transactions were missed by the system between July 2019 and February 2019.
Over 200 arrested in Saudi Arabia Corruption Crackdown
Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority announced Monday that more than 200 individuals, including government employees, were arrested for alleged involvement in bribery, abuses of office and power, and forgery. The arrests were preceded by investigations into 461 individuals who were accused of criminal and administrative offenses. Concerns were previously expressed by Human Rights Watch, calling on Saudi officials “reveal the legal and evidentiary basis for each person’s detention,” and ensure that those arrested can “exercise their due process rights.”
U.K. to Enforce Sanctions Against Officials in Alleged Corruption Connection
New sanctions were handed down Monday against 22 officials allegedly involved in corruption cases in South Africa, Russia and other countries. The sanctions were delivered as part of the U.K.’s new global anticorruption regime that seeks to deter corruption and human-rights violations worldwide.
The individuals include business executives and government officials, some of whom are accused of involvement in a fraudulent tax graft scheme. U.K. officials say that more than USD $230M in Russian state property was diverted using a tax refund scheme. Sanctions against the individuals include asset freezes, travel bans and more.
China Fires Back at US Over Human Rights Claims
Chinese officials are firing back at the US over claims of human rights abuses against the country. Recently, the US government has denounced human rights abuses against Uygurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang, describing its use of “re-education” camps and forced labor as genocide. A Xinjiang government spokesperson called the claims a “smear” and emphasised the U.S.’s own human rights issues such as racial discrimination and mass surveillance.