The webinar held on the 25th Nov. 2021 was organized by the International Malaysian Society of Maritime Law(IMSML), with invited speakers Mr. Nathan Wheeler, Founder of LSR Services, and Mr. Oon Thian Seng, Partner of law firm T S Oon & Partners, Malaysia. The seminar highlights the complications of vessel ownership and how to determine true beneficial ownership from sham setups and facades, and the use of evidence to establish admiralty jurisdiction. The seminar discusses the legal considerations and the obstacles when the beneficial ownership is hidden behind shell companies operating in less transparent and offshore jurisdictions. To access the seminar details please click on the link below.
Please click here to view the seminar:
ASIA EXPERTS | COLLABORATION | OFFSHORE & CROSS-BORDER
LSR Services runs targeted commercial investigations into low-profile companies, cross-border trades and finance flows worldwide.
Founded in 2008, LSR has carved out an impressive niche, working for Big 4 accountancy firms, leading trade finance banks, private trading conglomerates, Lloyd’s syndicates, lawyers and TCIs.
Discretion is our middle name and our ISO 9001:2015 audited approach underlines our unique professionalism and expertise in this sector.
Recent cases include recoveries in USA, South Africa, Rotterdam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong on behalf of finance providers, lawyers and insurers. Identification of documentary and trading fraud in the finance of steel products, textile, oil and agriproducts trades. Forensic investigations into trade flows and the arrest of cargo and ships.
LSR listens to the details, understands what you need and gets you results that save time & money, increase recovery rates and give you a competitive advantage.
Business As Usual!
Even as the world battles the pandemic the USA sanctions teams appear be even more active than usual. Companies cannot drop the ball on their sanctions compliance as the downside could be crippling.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the USA has so far issued more than 100 sanctions-related notices this year, running significantly ahead of the nearly 100 notices published in the entire 2019. These have included activities in the obvious States like North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela, but also Hong Kong, China, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and Mali.
The maritime and international trade industry is designated as high-risk sectors. Observers believe the focus on shipping will only intensify this year as countries continue to circumvent sanctions, taking advantage of the opaque chartering and vessel ownership environment to trade. OFAC, however, has shipping in the cross-hairs and has given not-so-subtle notice by releasing high quality satellite images showing mid-ocean ship-to-ship transfer of cargoes and detailing unusual document trails, whilst participating in multinational naval operations to disrupt sanctions busting.
This highlights the risk to businesses trying to navigate (or not) the sanctions minefield; it is not always easy to know which companies, subsidiaries or individuals have been sanctioned or if sanctions have been lifted against them. This is especially important because of the catch-all 50% rule, which captures any subsidiary or affiliate that is owned, or controlled, by 50% or more and would not be named specifically by, for example, OFAC. Just because it’s not on the SDN list certainly does not mean it is sanction free.
The downside of falling foul of sanctions can be enormous – recent cases include two Rosneft subsidiaries sanctioned in response to an attempt to assist Venezuela, Aviation services company, SITA, based in Geneva, paying US$7.8 million to settle with OFAC, Britain’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) fining Standard Chartered Bank a total of £20.5 million for breaching EU financial sanctions and Dutch authorities issuing charges for nearly US$ £6.5 million in penalties for the export of gas turbine components to Iran.
The only credible defense is an operable due-diligence system at least to mitigate the penalties, with an audit trail of KYC procedures that go beyond a surface-scratching fig-leaf. Companies cannot afford to take their eyes off the sanctions ball because you can rightly assume that the sanctions regimes will not.
LSR Services provides sanctions-related advice, due-diligence services and risk-management tools for shipping companies, commodity traders and financing institutes. We are trusted to reveal disguised structure and uncover the truth. Contact us on email@example.com or phone Nathan Wheeler (founder) /Cari Chan (CEO) direct for a confidential tele-meeting on +852 25370090.