Here are this week’s headlines, brought to you by our Student Commercial Awareness Team:
- Deutsche Bank Headquarters Raided for Money Laundering
Reported by Rui Ci Lee
On Thursday 29 November 2018, police and prosecutors raided the Frankfurt headquarters of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank. The investigation is directed at money laundering activities exposed by the Panama Papers, an information leak from a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca in 2016. It has been alleged that the bank had helped its clients create shell companies and off-shore accounts to facilitate tax avoidance. The Panama Papers revealed that the Deutsche Bank unit in the British Virgin Island dealt with more than 900 clients and processed 311 million euros in 2016.
Deutsche Bank has also been hit by several other money laundering scandals. In September 2018, the bank was found to have acted as a correspondent bank in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal. Suspicious payments amounting to 200 billion euros were funnelled through Estonian branch of the Danish bank. In 2017, Deutsche Bank was also fined $630 million by US and UK regulators for a Russian money laundering scheme. Under this scheme, the bank’s clients had illegally moved money out of Russia via shares bought and sold through the bank’s Moscow, London, and New York offices.
These scandals have taken a toll on Deutsche Bank’s already poor market performance – the bank’s shares dropped further by 3% when news of Thursday’s probe broke out. The bank’s chief executive Christian Sewing has made attempts to restructure management to get the bank back on track. However, chief regulatory officer Sylvie Maherat explains that years of acquisitions and expansions have left the bank’s compliance framework in a patchwork state. Proper modernisation coordination of the bank’s compliance methods across various businesses and regions will be key to preventing further money laundering activities.
- Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Admits Lying to Congress
Reported by Laura Clarke
Michael Cohen, former lawyer of US President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to lying to congress in relation to the Russia inquiry.
He admitted that he misled federal lawmakers about a proposed deal to build a Trump Tower project in Moscow. Prosecutors wrote in a charging document that Cohen lied in order to ‘minimise links between the Moscow project and Donald Trump’.
Cohen said he submitted a false written statement about a trump organisation plan to construct a skyscraper bearing Mr Trump’s name in the Russian capital.
“I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1,” Cohen said in court. ‘Individual 1’ has previously been identified as Mr Trump.
Trump said his former right-hand man was “lying” in attempts to seek a reduced sentence.
The hearing which took place on Thursday was the latest twist in the US department of justice investigation into whether Mr Trump collaborated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
If Mr Cohen can provide evidence supporting his claims Mr Trump will face a political and potentially legal nightmare.
Cohen has also admitted to eight criminal charges, including tax evasion, brank fraud and campaign finance violations.
Read more here
- Government relaxing restrictions on non-EU doctors
Reported by Nathan Gore
Ahead of the UK’s potential upcoming departure from the EU, the government is set to relax immigration rules on NHS doctors. These new rule changes are aimed to allow more non-EU doctors to enter and work in Britain.
This is all aimed at tackling the chronic shortage of doctors and medics, a problem that the NHS has been dealing with for some time. Ministers have agreed to significantly expand the 1,500 doctors a year allowed to come and work in Britain under the medical training initiative (MTI).
This news means that the maximum number of non-EU medics able to come to the UK may rise to perhaps as many as 3,000.
The fact that the government are having to raise this cap indicates how severe the current problem of under-staffing is, throughout the NHS.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has been lobbying the Home Office over the issue in recent months. He recently wrote to Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, to suggest the change and has played a key role in making it happen.
The NHS in England is short of 9,337 doctors, according to the latest official figures on staffing.
Read more at the Guardian.
- Rapist Fathers Rights Over Victim’s Children
Reported by Sarah Mullane
A petition calling for fathers to be denied access to children conceived through rape has been signed by more than 200,000 people following the courageous decision of rape victim, Sammy Woodhouse, to speak out.
Ms Woodhouse became the victim of child sexual exploitation at the hands of notorious serial rapist, Arhsid Hussain, when she was only fifteen years old. Following her attack, Ms Woodhouse became pregnant, and later gave birth to her son. As a member of a notorious child-grooming gang, Hussain was found guilty and jailed for 35 years in 2016.
However, after contacting Rotherham Council this year for their support when seeking a care order for her son, Ms Woodhouse was shocked to find that the council had contacted her rapist to notify him of proceedings involving the child. Despite not being named on the birth certificate, or having any parental responsibility, the council argued that they were legally required to contact the father of the child under these circumstances.
As it stands, the current legislation in England and Wales enables rapists and other sexual abusers to participate in proceedings regarding their children, posing a risk to the child’s safety. Though the council argue that their decision was a legal one, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that “local authorities can apply to courts to request permission not to notify parents without parental responsibility about care proceedings” and it is now for the local authority to work urgently to address the failings in Ms Woodhouse’s case.
Ms Woodhouse chose to waive her anonymity in order to bring light to her ordeal and encourage others to seek justice when experiencing the same down fallings in help that she herself has experienced.
Her petition, which has been backed by several politicians, including Rotherham MP Sarah Champion, seeks to start a debate with the aim to change the law, so that other survivors will not have to relive the pain and abuse, as she has had to.