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News Round Up

15 August 2014

GlaxoSmithKline now faces allegations that it bribed Syrian doctors and officials to boost its medicine sales. These allegations follow accusations of corruption in its Syrian non-prescription business.

The latest charges were made in an anonymous email sent to the company's senior staff last week. GSK has said it will investigate the new claims; which are said to involve its own staff and local distributors. GSK has suspended relations with its Syrian distributors until the investigation is completed.

The company has been the subject of bribery allegations in China, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Poland.


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned that senior managers at 'money service businesses' face up to two years imprisonment and unlimited fines if their neglect leads to money laundering or terrorist financing activities. In its latest guidance document, HMRC has said that senior figures at businesses such as currency exchanges, money remittance providers and third party cheque cashers could be held "personally liable" in cases where failings in anti-money laundering checks are identified in their company.

"Senior managers must: identify, and manage effectively, the risks that their business may be exploited to launder money or finance terrorists; take a risk-based approach that focuses more effort on higher risks; appoint a nominated officer to report suspicious activity; [and] devote enough resources to deal with money laundering and terrorist financing," the guidance said.


The 2014 Basel AML Index has identified Iran as the highest-risk country for money laundering and terrorism financing

Published by the Basel Institute on Governance, this year’s Index – which covers 162 countries - ranks Finland and Estonia as those with the lowest risk of money laundering and terrorism funding.

The current Basel AML Index edition identifies the following 10 countries as being at the highest risk: Iran, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Mali, Swaziland, Mozambique and Myanmar.

Among the OECD countries, Austria, Germany, Greece, Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Turkey are the worst performers with an above average high-risk score.

Croatia, Dominica, Grenada, Macedonia and St. Lucia have seen the biggest improvements

in reducing their risk since last year’s Index whereas Brazil, Ivory Coast, Panama and Saudi Arabia have seen their risk increase most since 2013


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