Press review
15 March 2024

Press review – Week of 11 March 2024

This week’s press review covers the implementation by the AMF of two guidelines issued by the European Banking Authority, the adoption by the European Parliament of the IA Act, the opening of an investigation by the National financial prosecutor's office (PNF) against the Altice group, the indictment of a French border police officer for corruption and a conviction for tax fraud linked to the “Dubai Papers”.

 

#Dispute resolution & regulatory investigations:

Fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism: the AMF applies two guidelines issued by the European Banking Authority

On 12 March 2024, the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) updated its position on risk factors and on the provision of access to financial services to take account of new guidelines from the European Banking Authority (“EBA”) published on 31 March 2023. The first ones complement the guidelines on money laundering and terrorist financing risk factors, with specific provisions for non-profit organizations. The second ones aim to enhance the effective management of money laundering and terrorist financing risks by limiting risk mitigation practices, in particular through the exclusion of certain clients. > Read article

 

#Ethics & Compliance:

IA Act: MEPs broadly adopt regulation governing artificial intelligence systems

On Wednesday 13 March 2024, the European Parliament adopted a regulation aimed at regulating artificial intelligence (AI) systems. With the aim of regulating the most dangerous uses of AI, the text prohibits, for example, citizen rating and mass surveillance systems. It also provides that AI systems will have to comply with obligations in terms of transparency and copyright and that systems considered to be high-risk will have to apply stricter requirements, such as an impact assessment on fundamental rights. A European AI Office will also be set up to monitor and impose sanctions. Nevertheless, the regulation has been widely criticized by the AI industry and France, who see it as a major obstacle to development. > Read article

 

#White collar crime:

Altice targeted by an investigation by the financial prosecutor’s office over suspicions of corruption

Like its Portuguese counterpart, the French public prosecutor’s office, and more specifically the National financial prosecutor’s office (PNF), has launched an investigation into the telecom group Altice for private corruption, money laundering and concealment of these crimes, following the discovery of an alleged system of commissions on fraudulent transactions worth over one hundred million euros. An internal audit was carried out by the group, leading to the dismissal of several employees and the reinforcement of the group’s purchasing policies.> Read article

Corruption in Paris’ pounds: another police officer indicted

An officer of the air and borders police (PAF) based at Roissy Airport has been indicted of corruption, concealment and violation of professional secrecy in the context of the Inter Dépannage case, a vast corruption scandal involving the namesake company which used to dominate the pounds’ market in the west of Paris. Seven policemen have now been charged in this case. The police officer is particularly suspected of allowing the head of said company to access restricted areas of the airport, in return for free leasing of high standing vehicles, free repairs and the repurchase of personal vehicles to advantageous conditions. During his hearing with the magistrate, the officer denied any irregular behavior. > Read article

 

#Criminal tax law:

“Dubai Papers”: a French family that had hidden over 100 million euros abroad convicted of tax fraud

On Tuesday 12 March, Paris Criminal Court (tribunal correctionel de Paris) sentenced a mother and her son to a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 1.75 million euros for aggravated tax fraud and the laundering of this offence. Having previously undergone significant tax adjustments totaling 38 million euros, the two individuals were judged this time under a procedure of guilty plea (CRPC). This procedure is part of the context of the “Dubai papers” which revealed the existence of an international tax fraud network for which a total of ten people have already been sentenced. However, other CRPC procedures could be launched as over 300 people linked to the “Dubai papers” are being targeted by the National financial prosecutor’ office (PNF). > Read article

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