Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 26

Panama Covid-19 update – it is reported that the number of people hospitalised due to Covid-19 has decreased by 71% when comparing the statistical data for the month of October 2021 with those of just one year ago, when 684 people were in hospital. In other news, in considering any relaxation of the face mask mandate, the minister of health has said that the ministry will wait to evaluate how the celebration of the national holidays takes place in November (quite a party month, with several days earmarked for celebrations), while expressing concern about the behavior of the virus that may occur in December.

Meanwhile, it is reported today that 77% of the target population, i.e. that over 12 years old, have been double-vaccinated, with 87.8% have had at least one dose. Despite all that, today saw another 215 new cases and 4 more fatalities. Active cases rose by 7 to 2,283, with 31 in ICU (1 less) and 168 in other wards (i.e. 2 more).

26 OCTOBER 2021

https://www.statista.com/chart/26038/democracy-index-arab-countries/

ECUADOR’S PRESIDENT DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 19 October, the Guardian reported that Ecuador has decreed a state of emergency to confront drug trafficking and other crimes in Ecuador, saying the military and police will take to the streets to provide security.  The President said drug trafficking has brought an increase in homicides, burglaries of homes, thefts of vehicles and goods, and robberies of people.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/19/ecuador-president-declares-emergency-drug-trafficking

THE NEW ICC DIGITAL TRANSACTION RULES

The Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT) Version 1.0 from the International Chamber of Commerce are designed as a high-level structure outlining rules, obligations, and standards for the digitalisation of trade transactions.  They are designed to serve as an overarching framework for Digital Trade Transactions thereby providing global standardisation, consistency and conformity, providing a collective understanding of terms and definitions, whilst promoting and supporting the usage of electronic records/documents/data.  They came into effect from 1 October and constitute the international laws of trade financing practice.

https://2go.iccwbo.org/uniform-rules-for-digital-trade-transactions-urdtt-version-1.html

THE AUSTRALIAN RANSOMWARE ACTION PLAN

On 23 October, an article from Gilchrist Connell advised that the Minister for Homes Affairs had issued the Australian Government’s Ransomware Action Plan, which outlines a range of proposals intended to combat the threat of ransomware. This includes new notification obligations and criminal offences for cybercrimes.  The article details the 3 overriding objectives of the Plan and its key initiatives.

https://www.mondaq.com/australia/new-technology/1124450/the-unveiling-of-the-australian-ransomware-action-plan

The Plan itself is at –

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/cyber-security-subsite/files/ransomware-action-plan.pdf

AUSTRALIA: CROWN MELBOURNE TO KEEP CASINO LICENCE FOR NOW DESPITE ‘DISGRACEFUL’ CONDUCT

On 26 October, ABC News reported that Crown Resorts will keep its Melbourne casino licence for now, despite a Victorian royal commission finding that its conduct was “disgraceful”.  A report said that it should be given a 2-year grace period under the control of a “special manager” to correct an “alarming catalogue of wrongdoing”.  At the end of the grace period, and under monitoring of a “special manager”, that manager will recommend to the regulator whether Crown should keep its Victorian casino licence.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-26/crown-casino-victoria-royal-commission-report/100568072

GUERNSEY’S NEW REGULATORY, SUPERVISORY AND ENFORCEMENT LEGISLATION COMES INTO FORCE ON 1 NOVEMBER

On 22 October, Mourant published an article saying that on 1 November, the new regulatory, supervisory and enforcement laws will come into effect, together with the underlying Rules, Codes and Guidance.  The article highlights some of the provisions in Guernsey’s new regulatory and supervisory legislation that are universal across the different industry sectors.

https://www.mourant.com/news-and-views/updates/updates-2021/revision-of-law-hub.aspx

PANAMA DRUG BUST SEIZES NEW ZEALAND-BOUND CARGO

On 26 October, Sun Media in New Zealand reported that a narcotics police taskforce in Panama has stopped a significant shipment of a “presumed illicit substance” bound for the Port of Tauranga.  A ship was transiting through Panama on its way from Manaus, Brazil, to the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand.

https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/279670-panama-drug-bust-seizes-taurangabound-cargo.html

ANCIENT GOLD EWER RETURNED TO TURKEY AFTER V&A EXPERT LINKS IT TO ILLICIT ANTIQUITIES TRADE

On 26 October, the Art Newspaper reported that a 4,250-year-old gold ewer looted in Anatolia has just been returned to Turkey by the Gilbert Collection, which is housed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum   It had been acquired in 1989 from a Los Angeles dealer who is now known to have handled illicit antiquities.  It is reported that, in 2018, the Gilbert Trust appointed a provenance curator, mainly to check the collection for Nazi-era forced sales or looting, and it was he who linked the ewer to illegal trading.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/10/26/victoria-and-albert-museum-returns-ancient-gold-ewer-to-turkey-after-it-was-linked-to-la-dealer-who-handled-illicit-antiquities

DANISH COMPANY IN COURT FOR VIOLATING EU SYRIA SANCTIONS

On 26 October, The Local reported that a Danish fuel supplier is on trial,accused of violating EU sanctions against Syria by delivering fuel used by Russian warplanes in Syria.  It is claimed that Dan-Bunkering, through its subsidiary in Russia’s Kaliningrad, sold about 172,000 tonnes of fuel to 2 Russian companies between 2015 and 2017.

https://www.thelocal.dk/20211026/danish-company-in-court-for-violating-eu-syria-sanctions/

PROVISIONAL LIQUIDATOR OF ZAMBIA’S KONKOLA COPPER MINES DENIES CHARGES OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND THEFT 

On 26 October, Mining Weekly reported that Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Commission, which also handles money laundering cases, in September arrested the state-appointed liquidator Milingo Lungu and charged him with money laundering and the theft of more than $2 million (a sum subsequently reduced).

https://www.miningweekly.com/article/provisional-liquidator-of-zambias-kcm-denies-theft-money-laundering-2021-10-26

ETHIOPIA: WHAT NEXT?

On 26 October, a Commentary from RUSI said that, mired in a conflict that began in late 2020 between the federal government and insurgent forces in Tigray, Ethiopia faces a number of possible scenarios.  How did it come to this? But, more importantly, where might Ethiopia head next?

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/ethiopia-what-next

UK HOUSE BUYERS AND BUSINESSES WARNED OF PAYMENT DIVERSION FRAUD

A news release from the NCA on 25 October said that the National Economic Crime Centre has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness of payment diversion fraud (PDF) – aka Business Email Compromise (BEC) or Mandate Fraud.  Working with partners in the NCA, City of London Police, UK Finance and Cifas, the multi-agency campaign aims to help small and medium sized businesses and home-buyers protect themselves.  In the year to September 2021 there have been 4,600 cases reported to Action Fraud, with individual losses averaging around £30,000.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/house-buyers-and-businesses-warned-of-payment-diversion-fraud

UK FRAUD SECTOR CHARTERS: ACCOUNTANCY SECTOR; RETAIL BANKING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS 

On 26 October, the Home Office published –

  • a voluntary public-private commitment to better understand, target and reduce fraud in the accountancy sector.  It is between law enforcement, professional supervisory bodies and government to better understand and tackle fraud;
  • a voluntary commitment from the UK retail banking sector to combat fraud through a comprehensive action plan; and
  • a voluntary commitment from telecommunications providers to reduce fraud.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-fraud-taskforce-accountancy-charter

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-fraud-taskforce-retail-banking-charter

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-fraud-taskforce-telecommunications-charter

CHINESE ARMS COMPANY NORINCO’S EX-CHIEF ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION

On 26 October, Khabarhub reported that the former chief of Chinese state-owned defence corporation, North Industries Group Co (NORINCO) has been arrested on corruption charges.  He was reportedly arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes and illegally making profits for relatives and friends.

https://english.khabarhub.com/2021/26/216818

INTERPOL: CHECKS AGAINST INTERPOL AND NATIONAL DATABASES WERE CARRIED OUT ACROSS MEDITERRANEAN SEAPORTS AND AIRPORTS 

A news release from INTERPOL on 26 October said that an international operation aimed at strengthening passenger controls at a number of seaports and airports linking North Africa to Southern Europe has yielded 29 arrests for a variety of offences, including one on terrorism charges. Led by INTERPOL with the support of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and EU’s Frontex, Neptune III involved law enforcement in 5 countries – Algeria, France, Italy, Spain and Tunisia – and was carried out during the Summer 2021 tourist season.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2021/Cash-guns-cocaine-and-a-suspected-terrorist-captured-in-international-border-operation

INTERPOL REPORT IDENTIFIES TOP CYBERTHREATS IN AFRICA

A news release from INTERPOL on 25 October advised that a report gives key insights into cybercrime in Africa. The result of cross-sector collaboration, the African Cyberthreat Assessment Report 2021 will help countries in Africa to understand the most prevalent threats and formulate a coordinated regional response to cybercrime. The top 5 threats are:

  • Online scams: fake emails or text messages claiming to be from a legitimate source are used to trick individuals into revealing personal or financial information;
  • Digital extortion: victims are tricked into sharing sexually compromising images which are used for blackmail;
  • Business email compromise (BEC): criminals hack into email systems to gain information about corporate payment systems, then deceive company employees into transferring money into their bank account;
  • Ransomware: cybercriminals block the computer systems of hospitals and public institutions, then demand money to restore functionality;
  • Botnets: networks of compromised machines are used as a tool to automate large-scale cyberattacks.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2021/INTERPOL-report-identifies-top-cyberthreats-in-Africa

SMUGGLING NETWORK UP IN SMOKE AS 7 ARRESTED IN SPAIN

A news release from Europol on 26 October advised that Moroccan and Malian nationals apprehended after using former tobacco smuggling routes to facilitate illegal immigration between Spain and France. It says that there are new criminal uses for historic tobacco smuggling routes.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/smuggling-network-in-smoke-seven-arrested-in-spain

EMPLOYMENT FRAUD IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR: 12 ARRESTED IN BELGIUM AND ITALY

A Europol news release on 26 October advised that the Belgian Federal Police, the Italian Guardia di Finanza and Luxembourgish Judicial Police, supported by Europol, dismantled a large organised crime group involved in fraud and money laundering.   The criminal organisation, managed by a single Italian family, had several companies in Italy, Romania and Slovakia, which recruited workers locally. The workers were then send to in the construction sectors in Western European countries, mainly in Belgium and Luxembourg. The investigation uncovered that the hiring companies had no activity in the countries they were based in and the employees they hired had never actually worked for the original companies. The fraud is estimated at €20 million without the possible VAT losses.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/employment-fraud-in-construction-sector-twelve-arrested-in-belgium-and-italy

CRIMINAL GROUP BEHIND €45 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME DISMANTLED IN SPAIN

On 26 October, a news release from Europol advised that 5 suspects were arrested in the Spanish province of Valencia for allegedly belonging to a criminal organisation that had laundered more than €45 million in Spain.  The investigation began in 2017 and focused on an organised crime group which controlled companies based in Spain and in tax havens which appeared to be the recipients of large international transactions. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/criminal-group-behind-%E2%82%AC45-million-money-laundering-scheme-dismantled-in-spain

TAXING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY: NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND THE WAY FORWARD

A briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service on 26 October is an update of a March 2019 version.  It looks at the main challenges of taxing the digital economy, EU proposals for taxing the digital economy, digital taxes at the Member State level, the OECD agreement and the way forward.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2021/698761/EPRS_BRI(2021)698761_EN.pdf

DUTCH COURT HAS RULED THAT UKRAINE HAS LEGAL CONTROL OVER A TROVE OF ANCIENT ARTIFACTS FROM CRIMEA THAT WAS ON LOAN TO A DUTCH MUSEUM WHEN RUSSIA SEIZED THE PENINSULA IN 2014

On 26 October, Rferl reported that the items, known as the Scythian Gold, are in the Netherlands because they were borrowed from 4 museums in Crimea and one in Kyiv for an exhibition in early 2014 at Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum – before the seizure of Crimea by Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-crimean-gold-returned-netherlands/31530121.html

IRELAND: REVENUE SEIZE 9.2 MILLION CIGARETTES AT DUBLIN PORT

A news release from the Revenue Commissioners on 22 October advised that officers seized 9.2 million cigarettes at Dublin Port, having originated in Bulgaria and had an estimated retail value of €6.9 million.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2021/pr-102521-cigarettes-dublin-port.aspx

NEW BOOK: ‘THE TRANSNATIONALIZATION OF ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW’

On 26 October, a post on the FCPA Blog advised the publication of a new book, which is recommended.

https://www.routledge.com/The-Transnationalization-of-Anti-Corruption-Law/Bismuth-Dunin-Wasowicz-Nichols/p/book/9780367853013

https://fcpablog.com/2021/10/26/new-book-for-practitioners-and-academics-the-transnationalization-of-anti-corruption-law/

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REQUESTS COMMENTS ON FORCED AND CHILD LABOUR REPORTS

On 11 October, Baker McKenzie reported that on 8 October, the Department of Labor published a notice requesting information and comments on 3 reports on child labour and forced labour practices in foreign countries that are published by the US Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).  The comments will be used in preparing the 2022 edition of the TDA Report and TVPRA List, as well as any updates to the Executive Order List.  The 3 reports are the US government’s key public statements on the issue of forced labour and child labour around the world.  The notice also includes a request for information and/or comment on Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains.  It is said that the 3 ILAB reports are an important source of information for companies seeking to assess and mitigate risk in their global supply chains. 

https://supplychaincompliance.bakermckenzie.com/2021/10/11/department-of-labor-requests-comments-on-forced-and-child-labor-reports/

US: NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS ON RISKS IN THE SEMICONDUCTOR SUPPLY CHAIN

On 24 September, it was announced that the Department of Commerce, given the ongoing shortages in the semiconductor product supply chain are having an adverse impact on a wide range of industry sectors, the Department is seeking responses from interested parties (including domestic and foreign semiconductor design firms, semiconductor manufacturers, materials and equipment suppliers, as well as semiconductor intermediate and end-users) to a number of questions, with responses due by 8 November.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-09-24/pdf/2021-20348.pdf

OFAC AMENDS 1 ENTRY ON SANCTIONS LISTS

On 26 October, in addition to adding Osama Al Kuni IBRAHIM to its SDN List (following the UN having designated him under its Libyan sanctions regime), OFAC advised that the existing entry for Talib Husayn Ali Jarak ISMAIL, a Kuwaiti national said to be linked to Hizbollah, has been amended.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20211026

US VAPING INDUSTRY LOOKS FOR ANSWERS AS POSTAL SERVICE ENDS DELIVERIES

On 25 October, Freight Waves reported that the US e-vapor industry faces a major challenge that has nothing to do with selling to minors, concerns over health risks and black-market fakes.  The US Postal Service’s ban on the shipping of all vaping products, which was mandated by Congress late last year, has taken effect.  This adds to existing delivery bans by FedEx, UPS, and DHL eCommerce Solutions.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/us-vaping-industry-looks-for-answers-as-postal-service-ends-deliveries

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-biggest-business-risks-around-the-world

150 ARRESTED IN INTERNATIONAL DARK WEB DRUG BUST AS POLICE SEIZE €26 MILLION

On 26 October, a news release from Europol advised that police forces across the world have arrested 150 alleged suspects involved in buying or selling illicit goods on the dark web as part of a coordinated international operation involving 9 countries.  The operation involved a series of separate but complementary actions in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and US, with coordination efforts led by Europol and Eurojust. 150 vendors and buyers who engaged in tens of thousands of sales of illicit goods were arrested across Europe and US, and a number of these suspects were considered as High-Value Targets by Europol.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/150-arrested-in-dark-web-drug-bust-police-seize-%E2%82%AC26-million

PHILIPPINES ARRESTS ALLEGED MASTERMIND OF FOREX FRAUD BASED IN EASTERN EUROPE

On 26 October, Finance Magnates reported that Kfir Levy, an Israeli who was the alleged mastermind of a Forex scam scheme, has been arrested in the Philippines a year after fleeing Bulgaria.  Levy is accused of having scammed hundreds of German citizens, stealing around €6.3 million through his bogus company.  The Philippines expects to extradite Levy to Germany.

https://www.financemagnates.com/forex/philippines-arrests-alleged-mastermind-of-forex-fraud-based-eastern-europe

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

UK FINANCE GUIDANCE AIMED AT HELPING FIRMS DEFINE ‘PUBLIC OFFICIALS’ WHEN CARRYING OUT ANTI-BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION RISK ASSESSMENTS

On 26 October, an article from Out-Law published an article saying that the financial industry group guidance sets out a practical, risk-based definition of public officials for the purpose of ABC compliance, saying it is likely to become a sector benchmark and reference point that firms will need to consider as part of ABC risk assessments on cases involving public officials.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/public-officials-defined-uk-anti-bribery-corruption

The guidance, published on 30 September, is at –

https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/system/files/Anti-Bribery-and-Corruption-Compliance-paper-FINAL.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR MISSILES, UAV ETC: CHALLENGES FOR THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR)

On 26 October, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a report saying that additive manufacturing (AM) – aka 3D printing etc – has become an attractive production technology for the aerospace sector, particularly in the area of missiles, space launch vehicles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV).  AM is being used to produce a growing range of components for missiles and UAV.  MTCR has been discussing AM since at least 2013 and seeks to update and harmonise the export controls of the participating states to mitigate the risks posed by AM and ensure the effectiveness of export controls.  This report provides a short introduction to modern AM techniques and describes a range of specific applications of AM in missiles and other delivery systems. It discusses the proliferation risks posed by AM and the engineering and organisational considerations that have to be weighed against the technical capabilities of AM.  It analyses the application of export controls to AM, primarily under the MTCR, by discussing controls on AM production equipment; feedstock materials; transfers of technology and technical assistance; and catch-all controls.  The report concludes by outlining key measures through which the MTCR could strengthen its efforts to address AM and the proliferation risks and challenges to export controls it poses.

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2021/other-publications/additive-manufacturing-missiles-and-other-uncrewed-delivery-systems-challenges-missile-technology

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

UK AND ISLE OF MAN ADD 1 NAME TO LIBYA SANCTIONS LIST AS UN AND OFAC ALSO DESIGNATES THE INDIVIDUAL

On 26 October, HM Treasury advised in a Notice that Osama Al-Kuni IBRAHIM had been added to its sanctions lists.  He is described as the de facto manager of the Al Nasr detention centre in Libya and has acted on behalf of designated persons and engaged in human rights abuses. On 25 October, the UN advised that he had been added to its Libyan sanctions list.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1028434/Notice_Libya_261021.pdf

https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sc14674.doc.htm

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20211026

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0437

https://www.gov.im/news/2021/oct/26/financial-sanctions-libya/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 22 – THE WARTIME PRESIDENTS

Part 21 – The end of the war and its aftermath

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/25/panama-in-world-war-2-part-21-the-end-of-the-war-and-the-aftermath/

Part 20 – Interned

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panama-in-world-war-2-part-20-interned/

Part 19 – Mustard gas trials and chemical defences of the Canal

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panaman-in-world-war-2-part-19-mustard-gas-trials-and-chemical-defences-of-the-canal%ef%bf%bc/

Part 18 – Disease, illness and discrimination

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-18-disease-illness-and-discrimination/

Part 17 – Forces’ radio stations, the striking force, espionage and wartime post and censorship

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/16/panama-in-world-war-2-part-17-forces-radio-stations-the-striking-force-espionage-and-wartime-post-and-censorship/

Part 16 – Coco Solo naval base, flying boats, submarines and PT Boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-16-coco-solo-naval-base-flying-boats-submarines-and-pt-boats/

Part 15 – 1941-45: a miscellany

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/14/panama-in-world-war-2-part-15-1941-45-a-miscellany/

Part 14 – The Yamamoto plan

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/13/panama-in-world-war-2-part-14-the-yamamoto-plan-of-attack/

Part 13 – Transportation, railway and shipping

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/09/panama-in-world-war-2-part-13-transportation-railway-and-shipping/

Part 12 – The Japanese

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/07/panama-in-world-war-2-part-12-the-japanese/

Part 11 – U-boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-11-u-boats/

Part 10 – Germans in South America and Panama

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-10-germans-in-south-america-and-panama/

Part 9 – the Canal and the expansion of US activity prior to Pearl Harbor and just after

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/01/panama-in-world-war-2-part-9-the-canal-and-the-expansion-of-us-activity-prior-to-pearl-harbor-and-just-after/

Part 8 – Snapshot summaries of air units, including the Brazilians

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-8-snapshot-summaries-of-aircraft-units-including-the-brazilians/

Part 7 – Air bases

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-7-airfields-and-air-bases/

Part 6 – Introduction of radar and the role(s) of Pan American

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-6-the-introduction-of-radar-and-the-roles-of-pan-american/

Part 5 – Naval defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-5/

Part 4 – The Third Locks project, barrage balloons and sea mines 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/19/panama-in-world-war-2-part-4/

Part 3 – The defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-3/

Part 2 – Panama in 1939 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/11/panama-in-world-war-2-part-2/

Part 1 – Introduction 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-1-introduction/  

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 25

Panama Covid-10 update – 132 new cases and 3 new fatalities reported today, with the number of active cases continuing to fall – now at 2,299. as are ICU cases at 29, with another 172 patients in other wards.

25 OCTOBER 2021

FinCEN GRANTS LIMITED RELIEF TO CASINOS

On 21 October, an article from Buckley LLPsaid that FinCEN had announced limited exceptive relief to casinos from some customer identity verification requirements regarding online gaming.  It allows that a casino can use suitable non-documentary methods to verify online customers’ identification and assess the suitability or non-suitability of any particular method of verification should be evaluated based on risk.

https://buckleyfirm.com/blog/2021-10-21/fincen-grants-limited-relief-casinos#page=1

HONEYWELL EXPECTS TO PAY AT LEAST $160 MILLION TO RESOLVE BRIBERY PROBES IN US AND BRAZIL

On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the aerospace and industrial group, Honeywell International Inc, had said that it has recorded a charge of $160 million to allow for an expected loss related to bribery investigations by US and Brazilian authorities.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/honeywell-expects-to-pay-at-least-160-million-to-resolve-bribery-probes-in-u-s-brazil-11634947538

ERICSSON ACCUSED OF BREACHING BRIBERY SETTLEMENT

On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Swedish-based company had been informed by US prosecutors that it failed to provide certain documents and factual information in relation to the 2019 deferred prosecution agreement.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ericsson-accused-of-breaching-bribery-settlement-with-justice-department-11634911285

IRELAND TO BAN FREE BETS IN NEW GAMBLING BILL

On 22 October, iGB reported that Ireland intends to ban free bets and credit card gambling in a Bill that will also establish a specific gambling regulator for the first time.

https://igamingbusiness.com/ireland-to-ban-free-bets-in-bill-to-establish-gambling-regulator

FAKE AND SUBSTANDARD VACCINES AND MEDICINES SPELL TROUBLE FOR CONTROLLING COVID-19

On 25 October, Stat News reported on the emergence of substandard and falsified Covid-19 vaccines and medical products, which are becoming increasingly pervasive.  Counterfeit vaccines and medicines, which include substandard and falsified products, can undermine the efforts to control the pandemic. WHO estimates that in low- to middle-income countries 1 in 10 medical products is falsified or substandard.  It reports that “discovery incidents” — discrete events triggered by the discovery of counterfeit, illegally diverted, or stolen materials — more than doubled between 2014 and 2020.

https://www.statnews.com/2021/10/25/counterfeit-vaccines-medicines-spell-trouble-controlling-covid-19

FINLAND EXPORTS MILITARY MATERIAL WORTH €140 MILLION TO UAE

On 25 October, YLE reported that the government in 2018 suspended the granting of arms export licenses to the UAE and Saudi Arabia due to the countries’ involvement in Yemen hostilities.  However, it granted permits totalling €139.3 million in March 2020 for the export of military vehicle parts to the UAE – in deals accounts for almost all of Finland’s total arms exports last year.  It is said that the parts are used by a UAE company in the manufacturing of military vehicles.

https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finland_exports_military_material_worth_140m_to_uae/12158316

NIGERIA MAKES HISTORY AS IT BECOMES THE FIRST AFRICAN COUNTRY TO DIGITISE ITS CURRENCY

On 25 October, The Guardian in Nigeria reported that Nigeria joins Bahamas, Sweden, Cambodia, South Korea as pioneers of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).  However, it is said that the launch of the “eNaira” is causing unease in the banking sector.

https://guardian.ng/news/banks-in-defining-moment-as-enaira-kicks-off-today/

FATF AGAIN URGES THE PHILIPPINES TO BOOST CASINO JUNKET CONTROLS

On 24 October, GGR Asia reported that FATF has again said the Philippines must demonstrate the country is making use of anti-AML/CFT controls “to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets”.  This comes in an update on the ‘grey list’ of jurisdictions that it regards need increased monitoring in relation to risk of financial crimes.  The Philippines had been added to the list in June.

https://www.ggrasia.com/fatf-again-urges-the-philippines-to-boost-junket-controls/

EU AMENDMENT OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2021/1863/EU has amended the EU sanctions regime in respect of DRC by adding to the criteria for designation under the sanctions planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers or UN personnel, including members of the UN Group of Experts, or against medical personnel or humanitarian personnel.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.377.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A377%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.377.01.0033.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A377%3ATOC

EU EXTENDS SANCTIONS REGIME FOR GUINEA TO OCTOBER 2022

EU Council Decision 2021/1867/CFSP has extended the sanctions regime in respect of the Republic of Guinea to 27 October 2022.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.377.01.0034.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A377%3ATOC

HOMEBUYER SCAMMED INTO HANDING OVER £640,000 TO CRIMINALS AFTER EMAILS TO THEIR SOLICITOR WERE INTERCEPTED

On 25 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Law Society has revealed details of the case in a new campaign against payment diversion fraud. The criminals created an email account made to look like that of the solicitor to request payment. Payment details were provided on headed paper via the spoofed email, and the amount requested was exactly what the buyer had expected to pay.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/emails-intercepted-in-640000-conveyancing-fraud/5110269.article

HUAWEI HAD SECRET OFFSHORE CONTRACTS WITH MEN LINKED TO SERBIAN STATE TELECOM COMPANY

On 25 October, OCCRP reported that Huawei appears to have paid large sums to a former Serbian state telecom executive through an offshore shell company.  It says that a former executive at state telecom company Telekom Srbija likely received over $1 million through an offshore firm in the BVI that had contracts with Chinese technology giant Huawei.  Payments were for consulting services that included introducing Huawei to government officials and arranging meetings for the Chinese company.  In 2016, Huawei inked a major agreement with Telekom Srbija to overhaul Serbia’s telecommunications infrastructure.

https://www.occrp.org/en/the-pandora-papers/chinese-tech-giant-huawei-had-secret-offshore-contracts-with-men-linked-to-serbian-state-telecom-company

US SENTENCES MAN WHO TRAFFICKED DANGEROUS AFRICAN CATS

On 22 October, OCCRP reported that a New York man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trafficking exotic African cats, selling the dangerous animals as pets.  Christopher Casacci, 39, was indicted in January 2020 for charges linked to his “ExoticCubs.com” site, and he imported and sold dozens of caracals and servals for up to $10,000 per a cat in 2018.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15372-us-sentences-man-who-trafficked-dangerous-african-cats

DUTCH CUSTOMS IMPOUND 55,000 DOSES OF IVERMECTIN SENT TO PRIVATE BUYERS

On 22 October, NL News reported that, over the past 3 months, Dutch customs officials have seized 665 packages containing the drug Ivermectin, which is wrongly said to help combat coronavirus, and as part of an international campaign by the World Customs Organisation to stop illegal medicines relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.  It came mainly from India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/10/dutch-customs-impound-55000-doses-of-ivermectin-sent-to-private-buyers/

6 JAILED IN SPAIN FOR SELLING FAKES OF GOYA AND OTHER ARTISTS ONLINE

On 25 October, the Guardian reported that 6 people have been jailed in Valencia after police broke up a criminal gang that was using the internet to sell crudely forged paintings. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/25/six-jailed-spain-selling-fakes-goya-other-artists-online

ARGENTINA’S RISING DRUG TRAFFICKING TRANSIT HUB

An article from Insight Crime on 25 October said that an Argentine province, the Entre Ríos province, bordering Uruguay has become a transit hub for drug trafficking out of Paraguay, revealing a new route for the movement of cocaine.

https://insightcrime.org/news/entre-rios-new-transit-hub-drug-planes-argentina/

TURKEY’S HALKBANK CAN BE PROSECUTED OVER IRAN SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 23 October, Middle East Eye reported that an appeals court has ruled that state-owned Turkish lender Halkbank can be prosecuted over accusations it helped Iran to evade US sanctions.  There was no immediate comment from the Turkish foreign ministry.  It is alleged that Halkbank helped Iran to secretly transfer $20 billion of restricted funds, with at least $1 billion laundered through the US financial system.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkey-halkbank-can-be-prosecuted-over-iran-sanctions-violations-us-court-says

US CUSTOMS SEIZES PIZZA OVENS VALUED AT MORE THAN $300,000

On 19 October, a news release from US Customs and Border Protection advised that officers inspected the rail container and discovered pizza ovens which were in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-officers-seize-pizza-ovens-valued-more-300000-international-falls

MAFIA LUXURY CAR GANG SMASHED IN STRING OF RAIDS ACROSS EUROPE

On 21 October, Vice reported that police had descended on 46 properties in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria during an investigation into an £11 million luxury car tax racket run by the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxdezb/mafia-luxury-car-gang-smashed-in-string-of-raids-across-europe

NO-ONE LIVES ON BOUVET ISLAND BUT THERE ARE A DOZEN AUSTRALIAN BANK ACCOUNTS LINKED TO IT

On 21 October, ABC News reported that the island, a Norwegian dependency, is located towards the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean, and it’s generally windswept, frequently fog-shrouded, and mostly covered by a glacier.  However, it is reported that data released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) shows that almost $2.5 million in Australian bank accounts belonged to foreign tax residents apparently from Bouvet Island.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-22/common-reporting-standard-tax-office-bouvet-island-bank-accounts/100556452

HONG KONG CUSTOMS DETECTS CASE OF ATTEMPTING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT SUSPECTED CONTROLLED MEDICINES AND INVOLVING MONEY LAUNDERING

A news release from the Hong Kong Government on 25 October advised that Customs seized a total of about 1.6 million tablets of suspected controlled medicines with an estimated market value of about $55 million, among which over 70% were controlled virility products, at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).  They were in a batch of outbound air parcels destined for Spain. 

https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202110/25/P2021102500511.htm

MSC CONTAINERSHIP UNDER ARMED ATTACK IN THE GULF OF GUINEA

On 25 October, Loadstar reported that the 1985-built 1,893 TEU MSC Lucia had been boarded by an unknown number of armed men.

https://theloadstar.com/msc-box-ship-under-attack-by-armed-gang-in-the-gulf-of-guinea/

https://www.statista.com/chart/26044/sudan-coup-timeline

THE IMPLICATIONS OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR EXPORT CONTROL

The Fall edition of the Texas National Security Review carried this article which asks how will emerging technology affect prospects for arms control?  It asserts that technologies such as small satellites and artificial intelligence (AI) have applications in arms control monitoring and can affect the amount of information collected or the ease of information processing.  It goes on to says that while intuition suggests that technologies that improve monitoring should make arms control easier to achieve, this is not always the case.  It says that 3 key factors are important in assessing the potential impact of any technology – how it affects unilateral monitoring capabilities; the degree to which it allows demonstrable control over information; and the effect that it has on concealment.  The article considers the likely effects of 4 types of emerging technologies – small satellites, drones, AI, and digital additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing).

https://tnsr.org/2021/09/better-monitoring-and-better-spying-the-implications-of-emerging-technology-for-arms-control/

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/daily-infographic-22b-worth-of-cargo-now-stuck-on-container-ships-off-california

WHISTLEBLOWING, INVESTIGATIONS AND PRIVILEGE: ENRC AND BEYOND

On 25 October, an Insight article from Field Fisher says that the most important case of recent years regarding whistleblowing, investigations and privilege is that brought by the SFO against the mining company ENRC. The case concerned an internal investigation carried out by ENRC into a whistleblower’s allegations of “corruption and financial wrongdoing”.  As the case developed, SFO sought disclosure of documents generated during ENRC’s internal investigation, including interview notes and forensic accountancy documents. ENRC resisted disclosure on the basis that these documents were privileged.  SFO argued that the documents were not created for the dominant purpose of litigation and thus could be disclosed.  The article says that a court ruling threw into question how businesses could investigate possible wrongdoing without creating material, including potentially incriminating documents, that would have to be handed over to investigators.  However, the ENRC decision was overturned on appeal.  It warns that, notwithstanding the appeal decision, it may be a very fine line regarding what the dominant purpose of creating a document is, particularly where it serves multiple purposes, and ultimately each case will turn on its facts.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/whistleblowing-investigations-and-privilege-enrc

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-products-and-fuels-made-from-crude-oil

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/the-largest-oil-and-gas-companies-in-the-world

PETROFAC IN £180 MILLION CASH CALL TO FUND SFO BRIBERY SETTLEMENT

On 25 October, Sky News and others reported that London-listed Petrofac will announce a $250 million equity-raising and wider refinancing weeks after it was fined £77 million by the SFO for bribery offences.

https://news.sky.com/story/petrofac-in-180m-cash-call-to-fund-sfo-bribery-settlement-12444559

US LAUNCHES NEW BUREAU TO COMBAT CYBERCRIME AFTER RISE IN CYBERATTACKS DURING PANDEMIC

On 25 October, Newsweek reported that the Department of State has announced that it intends to create a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy dedicated to tackling the issues of ransomware attacks and a global decline in digital freedom.

https://www.newsweek.com/us-launches-new-bureau-combat-cybercrime-after-rise-cyberattacks-during-pandemic-1642424

ACCOUNTANTS NEEDED TO FIGHT FRAUD ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

On 25 October, AAT reported that a new report from forensic financial expert Crowe and the University of Portsmouth has highlighted the vulnerability of construction projects to fraud and called for a new role involving accountants to prevent abuse of public funds.  The report advocates a kind of ethics watchdog for projects, based on the US model of Integrity Monitors who examine the whole project, from inception and contract letting to completion. They also promote a culture of integrity and honesty to counter the culture of construction, which the report says can be a building site for fraud and bribery.

https://www.aatcomment.org.uk/audience/members/accountants-needed-to-fight-fraud-on-construction-projects/

FROM JAPAN TO THE US THIEVES GRAB CAR PARTS WORTH MORE THAN GOLD

On 26 October, Nikkei Asia reported that thieves worldwide have targeted a key emissions-reducing device in cars.  It cites the example of a Toyota Prius recently stolen in Tokyo that was later recovered with its catalytic converter cut out.  It explains that catalytic converters use ultrarare rhodium, which surged fivefold in a year to nearly $30,000 per troy ounce this March, and palladium, which topped $3,000 in May. By comparison, gold trades around $1,800 per troy ounce.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Commodities/From-Japan-to-U.S.-thieves-grab-car-parts-worth-more-than-gold

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

US EXPORT CONTROLS ON “BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE” EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

On 25 October, KPMG reported on the proposed new rule from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce re the imposition of export controls on certain “brain-computer interface” (BCI) emerging technology.  Comments are due within 45 days.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/10/tnf-us-export-controls-brain-computer-interface-emerging-technology.html

Featured

US: IN EXPORT CONTROL CASE AUTHORITIES IMPOSE CIVIL FINE AND COMPELS THE HIRING OF A COMPLIANCE OFFICIAL OR CEASE OPERATIONS

On 25 October, an article from Bass, Berry & Sims said that the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had announced that it imposed a civil penalty fine against VTA Telecom Corporation for the unauthorised export of controlled commodities to Vietnam.  Additionally, BIS is requiring VTA to improve its export control compliance efforts and retain a Director of Trade Compliance.  Alternatively, VTA can dissolve or cease operations.  VTA was found to have exported without the necessary licence computer processing chips, provided false statements to its US supplier and US Customs, and did so knowingly.  The article says that what is notable about this matter is BIS’s requirement that VTA spend a specified amount of money developing an internal compliance programme (ICP) and designating a company official to oversee compliance with the EAR –  or go out of business.

https://www.bassberrygovcontrade.com/bis-civil-fine-compliance-official

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

CAYMAN ISLANDS: AML/CFT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 205 October, CFATF, the FATF-style regional body for the Caribbean, published a third enhanced follow-up report and technical compliance update.  As is usual with such follow-up, the report only addresses technical compliance, and not effectiveness.  It is said that the Cayman Islands has been under enhanced monitoring since the adoption of its Mutual Evaluation Report of November 2018. It says that it has re-rated the country in relation to Recommendation 15 – New Technologies from Partially Compliantto Largely Compliant; and that the Cayman Islands is Compliant with 22 of the 40 FATF Recommendations and Largely Compliant on 18 of them.  The Cayman Islands will remain in enhanced follow-up on the basis that it had a low or moderate level of effectiveness for 7 or more of the 11 effectiveness outcomes, and will continue to report back to the CFATF on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/documents/4th-round-follow-up-reports/cayman-islands-2/17016-cayman-islands-3rd-enhanced-follow-up-report-and-technical-compliance-re-rating/file

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SUDAN: ARMY DETAINS PRIME MINISTER AND OTHER CIVILIAN LEADERS IN COUP ATTEMPT

On 25 October, the Guardian reported that Sudan’s military has launched a coup, arresting leading politicians and declaring a state of emergency.  Sudan has been on edge since a failed coup plot last month.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/25/sudan-coup-fears-amid-claims-military-have-arrested-senior-government-officials

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

UK PHONE NETWORKS TO BLOCK SCAM CALLS FROM ABROAD

On 25 October, the Guardian reported that phone providers are to automatically block online calls from abroad that are made to look as if they come from UK numbers, as part of efforts to crack down on a rise in foreign scams.  It is also reported that the regulator was also considering whether customers should be forced to show ID when buying multiple sim cards, which can be used by fraudsters to send millions of text messages to victims.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/25/uk-phone-networks-scam-calls-abroad

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 21 – THE END OF THE WAR AND THE AFTERMATH

Part 20 – Interned

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panama-in-world-war-2-part-20-interned/

Part 19 – Mustard gas trials and chemical defences of the Canal

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panaman-in-world-war-2-part-19-mustard-gas-trials-and-chemical-defences-of-the-canal%ef%bf%bc/

Part 18 – Disease, illness and discrimination

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-18-disease-illness-and-discrimination/

Part 17 – Forces’ radio stations, the striking force, espionage and wartime post and censorship

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/16/panama-in-world-war-2-part-17-forces-radio-stations-the-striking-force-espionage-and-wartime-post-and-censorship/

Part 16 – Coco Solo naval base, flying boats, submarines and PT Boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-16-coco-solo-naval-base-flying-boats-submarines-and-pt-boats/

Part 15 – 1941-45: a miscellany

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/14/panama-in-world-war-2-part-15-1941-45-a-miscellany/

Part 14 – The Yamamoto plan

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/13/panama-in-world-war-2-part-14-the-yamamoto-plan-of-attack/

Part 13 – Transportation, railway and shipping

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/09/panama-in-world-war-2-part-13-transportation-railway-and-shipping/

Part 12 – The Japanese

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/07/panama-in-world-war-2-part-12-the-japanese/

Part 11 – U-boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-11-u-boats/

Part 10 – Germans in South America and Panama

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-10-germans-in-south-america-and-panama/

Part 9 – the Canal and the expansion of US activity prior to Pearl Harbor and just after

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/01/panama-in-world-war-2-part-9-the-canal-and-the-expansion-of-us-activity-prior-to-pearl-harbor-and-just-after/

Part 8 – Snapshot summaries of air units, including the Brazilians

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-8-snapshot-summaries-of-aircraft-units-including-the-brazilians/

Part 7 – Air bases

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-7-airfields-and-air-bases/

Part 6 – Introduction of radar and the role(s) of Pan American

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-6-the-introduction-of-radar-and-the-roles-of-pan-american/

Part 5 – Naval defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-5/

Part 4 – The Third Locks project, barrage balloons and sea mines 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/19/panama-in-world-war-2-part-4/

Part 3 – The defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-3/

Part 2 – Panama in 1939 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/11/panama-in-world-war-2-part-2/

Part 1 – Introduction 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-1-introduction/  

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 24

PANAMA COVID-19 UPDATE – the opening up of Panama has resulted in the monthly index of economic activity (Imae) registering a growth of 12.48% between January and August 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year. Activities such as transportation, storage, and communications register growth, but there are segments, such as hotels, which do not.

Meanwhile, the The Panamanian Association of Hotels (Apatel) and the National Chamber of Tourism of Panama (Camtur), as well as the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), have asked for the US to be removed from the Red List, but the Ministry of Health replied that as Panama currently maintains good control of the pandemic, the restrictions cannot be completely eliminated.

The Flower and Coffee Fair in Boquete from 13 january is one of the countrywide fairs to be allowed under the relaxed restrictions.

Meanwhile, no fatalities reported today. 134 new cases. The number of active cases has fallen by one to 2,276, with 32 in ICU and 166 in other wards.

24 OCTOBER 2021

US: SCHEME FOR THE ILLEGAL EXPORT OF REBREATHER DIVING EQUIPMENT TO LIBYA IN 2016

On 23 October, the Tampa Free Press reported that a federal jury had convicted a pair of Florida residents for their roles in an illegal exports scheme. Peter Sotis, 57, and Emilie Voissem, 45, are said to have, participated in a scheme to illegally export of rebreather diving equipment to Libya in 2016.  Rebreathers enable a diver to operate undetected for long periods of time underwater by producing little to no bubbles and by efficiently re-circulating the diver’s own breath after replacing its carbon dioxide with oxygen; and because of these enhanced capabilities, rebreathers are regarded as dual-use items.

https://www.tampafp.com/florida-residents-convicted-attempting-to-illegally-export-controlled-items-to-libya/

CRIMINAL GANGS SMUGGLE SODAS INTO PORTUGAL TO AVOID SUGAR TAX

On 24 October, Deutsche Welle reported that a tax on sugar has led to a new group of organised criminals smuggling soda over the border from Spain.  In Portugal, soft drinks since 2017 have been subject to a sugar tax, while in Spain it is only subject to VAT. As a result, soft drinks are increasingly being illegally moved across the border.

https://www.dw.com/en/criminal-gangs-smuggle-sodas-into-portugal-to-avoid-sugar-tax/a-59549572

ECUADORIAN NAVY SAILING SHIP INTERDICTS DRUG SMUGGLERS IN THE PACIFIC

On 23 October, USNI News reported that a 3-masted training ship had interdicted a drug-laden high-speed smuggling vessel off the coast of Colombia.  The smugglers were using a so-called “narco submarine”.

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/23/ecuadorian-navy-sailing-ship-interdicts-drug-smugglers-in-the-pacific

BANGLADESH: THE AMOUNT OF MONEY SMUGGLED THROUGH FALSE INFORMATION ON IMPORTS AND EXPORTS IS ESTIMATED AT $8-9 BILLION A YEAR

On 23 October, the Business Standard reported that according to the executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh, adding the money of politically influential and corrupt individuals, the total would amount to $12-15 billion.  The remarks were made at an event in Dhaka titled “Offshore Wealth of Developing Countries: Impediment Towards Inclusive Growth”.   At least 80% of the total amount of money that is being laundered from the country is done through over and under-invoicing in the export-import trade processes, experts said. 

https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/crime/money-being-smuggled-out-would-be-12-15b-year-319915

HONG KONG AUTHORITIES ARREST TRUCK DRIVER OVER LOAD OF 17,000 HAIRY CRABS

On 24 October, the South China Morning Post reported that authorities also seized another 1.1 tonnes of contraband frozen meat in the same shipment.  The goods were detected at a Control Point, near the border with Shenzhen, and lacked the necessary health and other paperwork.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3153510/pinched-hong-kong-authorities-arrest-truck-driver-over

PROFIT FROM ILLICIT MINING, NOT POLITICAL POWER, BEHIND INSURGENCY IN GREAT LAKES AREA OF AFRICA

On 24 October, The East African carried an article saying that the huge profits from smuggling of minerals is the main reason behind a surge in rebel movements in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.  A UN Special Envoy said that those that import minerals from the region to ensure the mines do not become a centre of bloodshed.  The region consists of 10 countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/news/east-africa/profit-from-illicit-mining-behind-insurgency-in-great-lakes-3593352

SMUGGLED LUXURY CARS DISCOVERED IN SHOWROOMS IN THE PHILIPPINES

On 22 October, the Straits Times reported that suspected smuggled high-end luxury cars were discovered in Xavierville, Quezon City and San Simon, Pampanga.  They were discovered in showrooms during a joint operation by the customs and police.

https://www.nst.com.my/world/region/2021/10/739015/smuggled-luxury-cars-discovered-several-cities-philippines

TAIWAN: 9 INDICTED IN CONTROVERSIAL CAT SMUGGLING CASE

On 23 October, the Taipei Times reported that prosecutors have indicted 9 men who in the middle of August allegedly smuggled 154 cats from China, saying that they face prison sentences of up to 7 years.  The case sparked a debate over pet smuggling and the handling of seized animals. 

https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2021/10/23/2003766621

RUSSIAN TYCOON GRANTED ASYLUM IN MONTENEGRO

On 23 October, the TASS news agency in Russia reported that Telman Ismailov, who is accused of murders and abductions in Russia, has been granted political asylum in Montenegro, after Swiss authorities dropped money laundering proceedings against him.

https://tass.com/emergencies/1353323

CHINA’S ANTI-SANCTIONS LAW FOR HONG KONG RAISES UNCERTAINTY FOR GLOBAL BANKS AND FINANCIAL FIRMS

On 24 October, the International Business Times reported on the anti-sanctions law implemented by the Chinese government last June and planned for Hong Kong.  It was recently announced by the Chinese government, however, that the new law would not be imposed on Hong Kong – for now.  The article sets out to explore the details of the law, why China decided to at least temporarily hold back on imposing the law against Hong Kong, and how the law represents the Chinese government’s overarching policy of “long-arm” jurisdiction in the ongoing struggle between the world’s largest economies.

https://www.ibtimes.com.au/chinas-anti-sanctions-law-hong-kong-raises-uncertainty-global-banks-financial-firms-1762262

IRAQ: FORMER UNDERSECRETARY FOR THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, ZIAD QATTAN, JAILED OVER CORRUPTION CHARGES

On 24 October, Shafaq reported that the former official had been convicted in connection with irregularities in contracts concluded with 2 private companies to equip the Iraqi army with a reconnaissance system and armoured vehicles.  In 2018, he had been extradited from Jordan and prosecuted for corruption.

https://shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Former-undersecretary-of-the-Defense-Ministry-handed-new-prison-sentences

PLUTONIUM’S JOURNEY FROM ASSET TO WASTE

On 7 September, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an interesting (i.e. worrying) article on the history of plutonium and its journey from being regarded as a vital energy asset to an eternally troublesome waste product.  It follows publication of a new book on the subject, which opens with the discovery of plutonium in the early 1940s and the precipitous development of its related technologies — weapons and production systems — during WW2 and subsequent Cold War.  Then came the “fast breeder” and reprocessing stage that it is said so gripped the imagination and drove policy in the 1970s, but that soon lost credibility.  It ends with reference to the onerous task of guarding and disposing of over 300 tons of plutonium waste -considerably more when US and Russia’s military excess is added in.  How to render this dangerous waste eternally safe and secure is now the question, it says.

https://thebulletin.org/premium/2021-09/the-history-of-nuclear-powers-imagined-future-plutoniums-journey-from-asset-to-waste/

HONG KONG BANKS TO DISCLOSE RELATED PROPERTY OF CLIENTS WHO BREACH SECURITY LAW

On 24 October, the Straits Times reported that banks in Hong Kong have been advised to disclose the related property of clients who are found in breach of the city’s national security law, according to the latest guidelines from its banking association.  The guidance is in the FAQ section on AML/CFT on the website of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).  The FAQ are not official guidelines, but apply to both Hong Kong and international banks.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kong-banks-to-disclose-related-property-of-clients-who-breach-security-law

https://www.state.gov/alvaro-pulido-vargas/

SINGAPORE: 257 PEOPLE UNDER PROBE OVER SCAMS AND AS MONEY MULES INVOLVING MORE THAN $10.9 MILLION

On 22 October, the Straits Times reported that the suspected scammers and money mules – 177 men and 80 women – are believed to be involved in more than 849 scam cases, police said.  They were caught during a 2-week operation conducted by officers from the Commercial Affairs Department and 7 police land divisions.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/257-people-under-investigation-over-scams-involving-more-than-109-million

PLANTATION GIANT SOCFIN ACCUSED OF DODGING TAXES IN AFRICA

On 21 October, Mongabay said that a new report accused Belgian-French multinational Socfin, which operates rubber and palm oil plantations across West Africa, of shifting profits from Africa to Switzerland.  The report claimed that that a large portion of the company’s overall profits were booked in Switzerland instead of the countries where it operates its network of rubber and oil palm plantations; and that the data suggest Socfin is systematically tacking on high fees for trading services in Switzerland while claiming some of those plantations are losing money.  Société Financière des Caoutchoucs is a Belgian company that is majority-owned by its chairman, Hubert Fabri, along with French billionaire Vincent Bollaré.  It holds the rights to agricultural concessions that cover nearly 400,000 hectares of land, including plantations in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Cameroon.

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/10/plantation-giant-socfin-accused-of-dodging-taxes-in-africa/

JAILED SYDNEY ACCOUNTANT LOSES DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST AUSTRALIAN TAX COMMISSIONER

On 22 October, the Guardian reported that the Sydney-based accountant, had claimed that remarks made at the National Press Club in 2017 defamed him by painting him as having engaged in the worst kind of money laundering, insider trading and tax fraud.  The accountant has always denied doing anything wrong in relation to his activities in setting up and helping run offshore structures for his clients, many of which involved Asiaciti Trust, an offshore provider featured in the Pandora Papers.  He was jailed after being convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice by asking a witness to give false evidence during hearing of a tax liability lawsuit in 2013.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/22/vanda-gould-jailed-sydney-accountant-loses-defamation-case-against-australian-tax-commissioner

CANADA: 88 VEHICLES VALUED AT $5 MILLION DOLLARS RECOVERED IN VEHICLE THEFT INVESTIGATION

On 21 October, the York Regional Police issued a news release advising that it recovered 88 stolen vehicles in connection with an ongoing vehicle theft investigation.  The thieves used tools like screwdrivers to gain access to vehicles through the driver or passenger door, while ensuring not to set off alarms. Once inside, an electronic device, typically used by mechanics to reprogramme the factory setting, is connected to a port below the dashboard and programmes the vehicle to accept a key the thieves have brought with them. Once the new key is programmed, the vehicle will start and the thieves drive it away.

https://www.yrp.ca/en/Modules/News/index.aspx?newsId=d6e794a3-012f-4bbd-8a14-c854f1371598

PANDORA PAPERS FAQ

On 3 October, OCCRP published a useful set of FAQ about the Pandora Papers.

https://www.occrp.org/en/the-pandora-papers/faq-about-the-pandora-papers

HOW THE ASSAD REGIME SYSTEMATICALLY DIVERTS TENS OF MILLIONS IN AID

On 20 October, an article from CSIS claims that, despite sanctioning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Western countries have become one of the regime’s largest sources of hard currency.  In addition to the diversion of aid itself, with the example of high-protein biscuits for starving children being diverted to the army, the Syrian government makes international aid agencies use a distorted exchange rate, which allowed it to divert nearly 51 cents of every international aid dollar spent in Syria in 2020.  Donor countries have provided around $2.5 billion in aid every year since 2014 to help those in need; but as they seek to help those suffering under Syrian government rule, they are simultaneously helping secure the government that is causing the suffering.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/how-assad-regime-systematically-diverts-tens-millions-aid

THE COMPLETE TEXT OF THE FIAU NOTICE AND IMPOSITION OF €337,422 FINE AGAINST NBG BANK MALTA LIMITED

On 24 October, Kenneth Rijock in his blog published the complete text of a notice issued by the FIAU in Malta.  The bank was found to be in breach of a number of money laundering regulations.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2021/10/read-complete-text-of-fiau-notice-and.html

https://newsbook.com.mt/en/nbg-bank-fined-e337422-by-fiau/

SOUTH AFRICA: COMPANIES AMENDMENT BILL SHOULD UNLOCK A NEW ERA OF CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY

On 24 October, Daily Maverick reported that one should welcome the newly published Companies Amendment Bill, which offers a game-changing overhaul of corporate ownership transparency.  The Bill seeks to bring about a host of long-overdue changes to the Companies Act, which came into effect a decade ago.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-10-24-companies-amendment-bill-should-unlock-a-new-era-of-corporate-transparency

NIGERIA: EFCC GRILLS EX-SENATE PRESIDENT ANYIM OVER ALLEGED FRAUD

On 24 October, the Premium Times reported that the ex-Senate President and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim is said to be under interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged fraud which also allegedly involves former aviation minister, Stella Oduah.  It notes that the EFCC is currently proceedings against Ms Oduah, along with Chinese construction giant, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd, and other defendants on separate money laundering charges.

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/491525-efcc-grills-ex-senate-president-anyim-for-alleged-n750million-fraud.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

DIGITAL INTEGRITY: EXPLORING DIGITAL EVIDENCE VULNERABILITIES AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES FOR OPEN-SOURCE RESEARCHERS

This paper written by Bellingcat investigators Giancarlo Fiorella, Charlotte Godart and Nick Waters about “digital evidence vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies for open-source researchers” is available (for 1 month) to view free online in the Journal of International Criminal Justice.  The paper asserts that researchers working with digital evidence must be aware of its vulnerabilities if they hope to maximise its value for justice and accountability.  In this paper, the authors highlight 2 important vulnerabilities: the impermanent nature of digital evidence, and its susceptibility to attack from online disinformation and misinformation campaigns.  The paper offers techniques to help counter these vulnerabilities.

https://academic.oup.com/jicj/article/19/1/147/6320889

Featured

STUDY INTO CURRENT PRACTICES AND THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF AML TRANSACTION MONITORING IN THE CAPITAL MARKETS SECTOR IN EUROPE

The Association for Financial Markets in Europe has published this report which says that a key challenge that the industry faces is how to best identify money laundering activities, and that this has intensified in recent years following high-profile cases in the capital markets space which has, understandably increased regulatory scrutiny of firms’ AML controls.  AFME represents European wholesale firms’ and says that this paper is specifically targeted at its members.  It is said to consider how effective the current AML transaction monitoring approaches in the markets sector are and reviews the results that they yield.  It identifies how existing systems can be enhanced and the evolving skillset that is needed to support this.  It also looks at the use of data, technology, and enhanced analytics to further drive improvements, building stronger more efficient solutions and leveraging opportunities for intelligence-led investigations.  Finally, it also reviews the processes around the submission of SAR and explores the advantages to the sector as a whole in establishing greater collaboration between private and public sector bodies.  It is also said to consider the benefits of convergence, between market abuse surveillance function and the AML transaction monitoring function.  It makes a number of recommendations in what it describes as an initial roadmap to improve monitoring.

https://www.afme.eu/Portals/0/DispatchFeaturedImages/AFME_TransactionMonitoring2021-2.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

GUINEA: AN ILLEGAL $6 BILLION GOLD ‘BONANZA’ THREATENS ENDANGERED CHIMPANZEES

On 19 October, Mongabay reported that Australia’s Predictive Discovery has announced that it had found more than $6 billion in “bonanza”-grade gold deposits in eastern Guinea.  However, exploration is taking place inside the boundaries of Haut Niger National Park, in violation of the law establishing the park.

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/10/in-guinea-an-illegal-6b-gold-bonanza-threatens-endangered-chimpanzees/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

BVI INQUIRY HEARS CLAIMS OF SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION AND JURY INTIMIDATION

On 24 October, the Guardian carried an article about the UK government commission of inquiry into mis-governance in the British overseas territory.  It is said to have revealed a dark underside to the BVI, as well as exposing a deep well of resentment among some of the Caribbean island’s politicians at the controls placed on them by the UK.  Allegations range from unaudited spending on a $40 million Covid stimulus fund, the handing out of contracts worth close to £100,000 to politically connected people, a £10 million land development deal, the selective granting of BVI citizenship or “belonger” status, handing out of Crown Property and drug running.  The commission of inquiry was set up in January 2021 by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.  A former commissioner of police has referred to “a total deficit of trust and confidence as to Royal Virgin Island police force professionalism, integrity and ability to act on information offered, instead of divulging amongst colleagues and friends”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/24/bvi-inquiry-hears-claims-systemic-corruption-jury-intimidation

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 20 – INTERNED

Part 19 – Mustard gas trials and chemical defences of the Canal

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panaman-in-world-war-2-part-19-mustard-gas-trials-and-chemical-defences-of-the-canal%ef%bf%bc/

Part 18 – Disease, illness and discrimination

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-18-disease-illness-and-discrimination/

Part 17 – Forces’ radio stations, the striking force, espionage and wartime post and censorship

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/16/panama-in-world-war-2-part-17-forces-radio-stations-the-striking-force-espionage-and-wartime-post-and-censorship/

Part 16 – Coco Solo naval base, flying boats, submarines and PT Boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-16-coco-solo-naval-base-flying-boats-submarines-and-pt-boats/

Part 15 – 1941-45: a miscellany

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/14/panama-in-world-war-2-part-15-1941-45-a-miscellany/

Part 14 – The Yamamoto plan

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/13/panama-in-world-war-2-part-14-the-yamamoto-plan-of-attack/

Part 13 – Transportation, railway and shipping

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/09/panama-in-world-war-2-part-13-transportation-railway-and-shipping/

Part 12 – The Japanese

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/07/panama-in-world-war-2-part-12-the-japanese/

Part 11 – U-boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-11-u-boats/

Part 10 – Germans in South America and Panama

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-10-germans-in-south-america-and-panama/

Part 9 – the Canal and the expansion of US activity prior to Pearl Harbor and just after

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/01/panama-in-world-war-2-part-9-the-canal-and-the-expansion-of-us-activity-prior-to-pearl-harbor-and-just-after/

Part 8 – Snapshot summaries of air units, including the Brazilians

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-8-snapshot-summaries-of-aircraft-units-including-the-brazilians/

Part 7 – Air bases

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-7-airfields-and-air-bases/

Part 6 – Introduction of radar and the role(s) of Pan American

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-6-the-introduction-of-radar-and-the-roles-of-pan-american/

Part 5 – Naval defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-5/

Part 4 – The Third Locks project, barrage balloons and sea mines 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/19/panama-in-world-war-2-part-4/

Part 3 – The defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-3/

Part 2 – Panama in 1939 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/11/panama-in-world-war-2-part-2/

Part 1 – Introduction 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-1-introduction/  

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 23

Panama Covid-19 update – it is reported that 2022 will see country fairs go ahead, but that entry to such events will be subject to proving one is fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, one “industry” seemingly unaffected by the pandemic is drugs trafficking, as it is reported that security forces in Panama have seized a record 98 tons of drugs so far this year – more than in the whole of 2020 (84.8 tons). 2019 saw 90 tons seized and 2018 75 tons.

Today has seen another 150 new cases repoirted, and 1 new fatality. Active cases shows a significant drop in numbers, to 2,277; with 31 in ICU and 166 in other wards.

23 OCTOBER 2021

CLARIFYING TERRORISM FINANCING RISK IN EUROPEAN CROWDFUNDING

This briefing from RUSI says that a new financial technology (fintech) highlighted as a potential avenue for terrorism financing (TF) is crowdfunding: collecting funds online from many sources, in order to finance a project, business, loan or other endeavour.  This is said to have enjoyed a recent burst of exposure because of its reported significance to extreme right-wing (XRW) groups.  This is not a new concern, FATF listed crowdfunding among its emerging global TF risks in 2015.  After looking at the theoretical and practical risks, the paper considers the implications for counterterrorist financing.

https://raytoddblog.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/a2297-followingthecrowd.pdf

GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER WARNS IRAQI OFFICIALS OVER PARTICIPATION IN OPERATIONS TO TRANSPORT REFUGEES TO THE EU VIA BELARUS

On 23 October, Republic World reported that the interior minister has warned Iraqi officials that their participation in operations to transport refugees to the EU via Belarus might result in criminal consequences and a review of airline licences. 

https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/europe/germany-warns-iraqi-airlines-of-sanctions-over-refugee-transport-from-belarus-to-eu.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58952867

ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE 5.2 MILLION CAPTAGON PILLS INTO SAUDI ARABIA THWARTED

On 22 October, Zawya reported that Saudi Arabia Customs has prevented an attempt to smuggle the Captagon amphetamine pills into the country, “crushed” and hidden in a consignment of “carbonate powder” bags.

https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/legal/story/Attempt_to_smuggle_Captagon_pills_into_Saudi_Arabia_thwarted-SNG_254398007/

MALTA-BASED BANK FINED OVER €300,000 FOR MONEY LAUNDERING PRACTICES

On 23 October, Lovin Malta reported that NBG Bank has been fined €337,422 for money laundering regulations breaches by the FIAU – including weak oversight of a “very well-known” businessman’s multi-million US dollar transactions.  NBG bank was formerly known as Finansbank Malta and has been in Malta since 2005, mainly working with high net-worth clients and corporations.

https://lovinmalta.com/news/malta-based-bank-fined-over-e300000-for-money-laundering-practices/

OVERSEAS SATELLITE COLLEGES RAKE IN MILLIONS TAX-FREE FOR UK PRIVATE SCHOOLS

On 18 October, The Times reported that private schools are exploiting their charitable status to claim back millions in tax on income from satellite campuses in Abu Dhabi, China, Egypt and Kazakhstan.  Dulwich, Harrow, Marlborough and Repton are said to be among 20 exclusive schools that used the legal loophole to recoup an estimated £13 million in tax.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/overseas-satellite-colleges-rake-in-millions-tax-free-for-private-schools-including-harrow-50qs309bc

EXPERTS WARN OF INCREASING CYBER SECURITY THREATS FOR THE AFRICAN MARITIME INDUSTRY

On 22 October, Defence Web reported that the number of cyber attacks around the world continues to grow and this includes those targeted at the maritime sector.  It cites an attack on Transnet, a major South African rail, port and pipeline company, which handles 60% of the country’s container traffic in its Durban port.  It was hit with a ransomware attack which caused massive disruptions and container terminals had to switch to manual processing of cargo until IT systems were restored.  It says that ports are attractive targets that are vulnerable to cyber attacks. It reports on a webinar from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) held in September which centred around maritime cyber security in Africa.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/experts-warn-of-increasing-cyber-security-threats-for-the-african-maritime-industry/

ICAEW BACKS NEW ACCOUNTANCY SECTOR FRAUD CHARTER

On 21 October, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales said that, developed in conjunction with the Home Office, the charter has 4 main actions to be delivered in collaboration between the accountancy profession, government and law enforcement agencies. It is said that it is important for ICAEW to work with the government to improve understanding of the fraud threat across the sector and help strengthen trust in the profession.

https://www.icaew.com/insights/viewpoints-on-the-news/2021/Oct-2021/ICAEW-backs-new-Accountancy-Sector-Fraud-Charter

WHY ARE US AUTHORITIES TRYING TO CURB THE RISE OF DELTA8 THC?

Are 22 October, Jurist reported that a decision by Texan authorities to make theirs the latest state to ban Delta-8 THC has highlighted the growing tension surrounding this federally legal, but increasingly scrutinized marijuana-derived compound.  A little-known hemp by-product, Delta-8 has proliferated in recent years.  The article considers Delta-8 and its precarious legal status in the US.

https://www.jurist.org/features/2021/10/22/explainer-why-are-us-authorities-scrambling-to-curb-the-rise-of-delta-8-thc/

IRELAND: GENERAL SCHEME OF THE GAMBLING REGULATION BILL

On 21 October, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald published a report saying that the Bill takes into consideration a number of expert reports including the Interdepartmental Working Group On Future of Licensing and Regulation of Gambling 2019.  It would introduce a new independent Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, changes to licensing and enforcement etc.

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/knowledge/betting-and-gaming/publication-of-the-general-scheme-of-the-gambling-regulation-bill

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL ISSUES AROUND NFT?

 On 14 October, Osborne Clarke published an article about the legal issues raised by the growing commercial activity around non-fungible tokens (NFT). 

https://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/what-are-legal-issues-around-nfts

OFAC VIOLATIONS FROM SALES THROUGH DISTRIBUTORS AND SALES AGENTS

On 13 October, Williams Mullen published an article saying that one of the most common methods of exporting is sales through overseas distributors, sales representatives and marketing agents.  However, this also is one of the greatest areas of export compliance risk – if your distributor sells to a prohibited country or prohibited party, your company can have liability in many instances.  Reflecting on a recent US case, it says that sales through third party intermediaries can be a valuable strategy for international sales – but a sale to a third-party intermediary, by itself, does not get you off the hook if your product winds up in the hands of a bad guy or in a bad country.

https://www.williamsmullen.com/news/ofac-violations-sales-through-distributors-and-sales-agents

PANDORA LEAKS SHOW KLEPTOCRACY IS FLOURISHING IN THE UK

A commentary from Chatham House on 21 October pointed out that, in response to the recent revelations of the Pandora Papers, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer claimed the UK is one of the best in the world at tackling money laundering – a debatable claim given, while the UK laws are robust, enforcement of them is often lacking.  However, it says that this misses the main issue anyway, because the majority of the Pandora stories are not about money laundering – the transference of illicit funds – but the proceeds of grand corruption or ‘kleptocracy’.

https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/10/pandora-leaks-show-kleptocracy-flourishing-uk

NEW DATA TOOL EXPLORING CRIMES COMMITTED BY US QANON OFFENDERS

On 24 September, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) published a new data tool, which users can interact with to explore criminal offenses committed in the United States that were motivated by the QAnon and PizzaGate conspiracy theories, going back to 2016.

https://www.start.umd.edu/news/start-produces-new-data-tool-exploring-crimes-committed-us-qanon-offenders

https://www.start.umd.edu/publication/qanon-offenders-united-states

NEW ZEALAND: POLICE DISMANTLE SOPHISTICATED DRUG DEALING AND MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION

On 22 October, the New Zealand Herald reported that assets totalling around $3.5 million have been seized by police in a series of raids executed on a New Zealand drug and money laundering network.  The restrained assets include 6 properties, a catamaran, a yacht, a leisure boat, a jet ski, a motorbike and classic cars.  It involved a 10-month-long investigation into the sale and supply of methamphetamine and associated offending.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/police-dismantle-sophisticated-drug-dealing-and-money-laundering-operation/OSND7G6BVAYSUQ62IEVO4O4WZQ/

BOSS OF FAILED BOSTON IndyCar RACE PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING

On 22 October, Autosport reported that a former CFO of the Boston Grand Prix organisation which was trying to bring an IndyCar race to the city was indicted in September 2020 for channelling funds for his own personal gain and laundering the proceeds of the scheme, which he failed to report as income.  John Casey pleaded guilty to “23 counts of wire fraud, 3 counts of aggravated identity theft, 4 counts of money laundering and 3 counts of filing false tax returns”.

https://www.autosport.com/indycar/news/boss-of-failed-boston-indycar-race-pleads-guilty-to-fraud/6699312/

AUSTRALIAN ART DEALER ADMITS TO MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR FRAUDS OVER BACON AND BASQUIAT PAINTINGS

On 23 October, WA Today reported that a globe-trotting Australian art dealer has admitted to frauds involving multimillion-dollar artworks in a case in the Channel Islands.  Andy Valmorbida, 42, was described as “serially dishonest” in a judgment last month in a civil case in Jersey.  He is a member of the Valmorbida family who made hundreds of millions of dollars importing Italian goods into Australia in the 1950s.  Valmorbida was being sued by tycoon and former hedge fund manager Christian Hore over unpaid debts and had admitted during cross-examination to a series of frauds involving multimillion-dollar artworks.

https://www.watoday.com.au/national/victoria/australian-art-dealer-admits-to-multimillion-dollar-frauds-over-bacon-basquiat-paintings-20211021-p591zp.html

IRISH SIBLINGS FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD FACE UP TO 20 YEARS IN US JAIL 

On 23 October, the Irish Examiner reported that 3 executives of a large US construction company, Navillus Contracting, which was founded by a Kerry family face up to 20 years in jail after being found guilty of fraud.  Donal O’Sullivan, 60, and his sister Helen O’Sullivan, 61, together with Padraig Naughton, 49, faced charges in New York.  They are said to have devised a fraudulent scheme to avoid making required contributions to union benefits funds on behalf of Navillus’ workers, in order to deprive the workers of benefits they had earned and deserved.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40728258.html

PROSECUTORS IN DETROIT UNCOVER MASSIVE MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION BETWEEN US AND DUBAI

On 23 October, the Miami Herald reported that federal prosecutors in Detroit have seized about $12 million in cash they allege was part of a massive money-laundering operation, called “The Shadow Exchange,” operating between the US and UAE.  Shell companies involved in the scheme, mostly located in Dubai, used fake invoices and other methods to disguise the origins of money, sent to banks — including major US banks.  It is said to have provided services to persons seeking to transfer US dollars in a manner calculated to avoid anti-money laundering measures of the financial system and the scrutiny of international law enforcement.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article255233896.html#storylink=mainstage

SHADOW INFLATION: SHIPPING COSTS ARE UP WAY MORE THAN YOU THINK

On 22 October, American Shipper published an article saying that costs are not just about freight rates. As service quality plummets, effective inflation goes even higher.  As rates have skyrocketed, delivery reliability has collapsed amid historic port congestion. Ocean cargo shippers are paying more than they ever have before for the worst service they’ve ever experienced.  A consultancy recently predicted that global container rates will increase by an average 126% this year versus 2020, including both spot and contract rates across all trade lanes.  Service metrics have sunk as rates have risen.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/shadow-inflation-shipping-costs-are-up-way-more-than-you-think

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SEIZURES OF POACHED GIANT CLAMS RISE AND LINKS TO IVORY TRADE SURFACE

On 15 October, Mongabay reported that new report released by the Wildlife Justice Commission identifies the giant clamshell trade as a “cause for concern”.  China and Japan are noted as potential markets of concern in the giant clamshell trade. However, little is known about the giant clamshell trade, which has prompted experts to call for more investigations into the issue.  In the last 50 years, there has been a considerable increase in the illegal poaching of clams for luxury food, the aquarium trade, and the ornamental carving industry

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/10/as-seizures-of-poached-giant-clams-rise-links-to-ivory-trade-surface/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS – SURVEY RESULTS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FATF STANDARDS

On 22 October, FATF published a report saying that it had initiated an industry survey in consultation with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) to identify areas where divergent AML/CFT rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments.  The survey results highlight, among others, that lack of risk-based approach and inconsistent implementation of the AML/CFT requirements increases cost, reduces speed, limits access and reduces transparency.  Inconsistent national approaches also create obstacles in identifying and verifying customer and beneficial owners, effective screening for targeted financial sanctions, sharing of customer and transaction information where needed, and establishing and maintaining correspondent banking relationships

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/pdfs/Cross-Border-Payments-Survey-Results.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 19 – MUSTARD GAS TRIALS AND CHEMICAL DEFENCES OF THE CANAL

Part 18 – Disease, illness and discrimination

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-18-disease-illness-and-discrimination/

Part 17 – Forces’ radio stations, the striking force, espionage and wartime post and censorship

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/16/panama-in-world-war-2-part-17-forces-radio-stations-the-striking-force-espionage-and-wartime-post-and-censorship/

Part 16 – Coco Solo naval base, flying boats, submarines and PT Boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-16-coco-solo-naval-base-flying-boats-submarines-and-pt-boats/

Part 15 – 1941-45: a miscellany

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/14/panama-in-world-war-2-part-15-1941-45-a-miscellany/

Part 14 – The Yamamoto plan

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/13/panama-in-world-war-2-part-14-the-yamamoto-plan-of-attack/

Part 13 – Transportation, railway and shipping

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/09/panama-in-world-war-2-part-13-transportation-railway-and-shipping/

Part 12 – The Japanese

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/07/panama-in-world-war-2-part-12-the-japanese/

Part 11 – U-boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-11-u-boats/

Part 10 – Germans in South America and Panama

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-10-germans-in-south-america-and-panama/

Part 9 – the Canal and the expansion of US activity prior to Pearl Harbor and just after

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/01/panama-in-world-war-2-part-9-the-canal-and-the-expansion-of-us-activity-prior-to-pearl-harbor-and-just-after/

Part 8 – Snapshot summaries of air units, including the Brazilians

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-8-snapshot-summaries-of-aircraft-units-including-the-brazilians/

Part 7 – Air bases

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-7-airfields-and-air-bases/

Part 6 – Introduction of radar and the role(s) of Pan American

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-6-the-introduction-of-radar-and-the-roles-of-pan-american/

Part 5 – Naval defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-5/

Part 4 – The Third Locks project, barrage balloons and sea mines 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/19/panama-in-world-war-2-part-4/

Part 3 – The defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-3/

Part 2 – Panama in 1939 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/11/panama-in-world-war-2-part-2/

Part 1 – Introduction 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-1-introduction/  

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 22

Panama Covid-19 update – it was reported yesterday that Panamanians who have completed the complete vaccinationscheme against Covid-19 (i.e. 2 doses) will be granted the digital vaccination certificate of the EU.

Meanwhile, today saw a small rise of 8 in the number of active cases – 2,324; despite the numbers of those in hospital and hospital-hotels (presumably the more seriously affected) all falling. There were 193 new cases and 3 new fatalities reported, with 33 patients in ICU and 156 in other wards.

22 OCTOBER 2021

US: LARGEST-EVER PAYMENT MADE BY CFTC TO WHISTLEBLOWER

On 21 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had made a $200 million award to a whitleblower whose information helped US and UK regulators investigate manipulation of global interest-rate benchmarks by Deutsche Bank AG.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cftc-issues-its-largest-whistleblower-award-of-nearly-200-million-11634837176

US ISSUED IN EXPORT LICENCES WORTH $100 BILLION TO SUPPLIERS OF HUAWEI AND SMIC

On 21 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Commerce Department issued more than $100 billion worth of export licences for semiconductors and other products to suppliers of Huawei Technologies and another blacklisted Chinese tech company, as a global chip shortage started to bite.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-issues-100-billion-in-export-licenses-to-suppliers-of-huawei-smic-11634869839

THE NEW ICC TRADE FINANCE DIGITAL TRANSACTION RULES

On 20 October, an article from CETINKAYA in Turkey said that the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published the Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT), which constitute the international laws of trade financing practice, and came into force on 1 October. Work on the URDTT began in December 2018 following the realisation that there was a lack of rules for digital transactions. URDTT is a comprehensive set of rules designed to cover all parties of digital commerce transactions.  Its core mandate is to pave the way for commercial transactions in compliance with the UNCITRAL Model Law.

https://www.cetinkaya.com/insights/the-new-icc-digital-transaction-rules

The Rules are available at –

https://2go.iccwbo.org/uniform-rules-for-digital-trade-transactions-urdtt-version-1.html

US: REPORT TO CONGRESS ON EMERGING MILITARY TECHNOLOGIES

On 22 October, USNI News made available a report to the US Congress from the Congressional Research Service which provides an overview of selected emerging military technologies in the US, China, and Russia – including AI-based, biotechnology, directed-energy (laser) weaponry and hypersonic.

https://news.usni.org/2021/10/22/report-to-congress-on-emerging-military-technologies-3

US: NEW RULES GOVERNING EXPORT OF HACKING AND CYBERDEFENCE TOOLS

On 21 October, ZD Net reported on the new US export controls from the Commerce Department designed to stop companies from selling hacking tools to China, Russia and other countries that may use them for nefarious purposes. Companies would be barred from selling some technology to certain countries without a specific licence.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/us-rolls-out-new-rules-governing-export-of-hacking-cyberdefense-tools/

AUSTRALIA DEFENCE EXPORT CONTROLS – RED FLAGS FOR DEFENCE INDUSTRY

On 22 October, Australia Defence Magazine published an article listing a number of  Red Flag checks which it is said will reduce the likelihood of an inadvertent breach of export controls.  It is said that these simple checks are easily applied and should be completed as part of an initial licence or agreement screening programme.

https://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/defence-export-controls-red-flags-for-defence-industry

ARTWORKS SEIZED OR IMPOUNDED BY CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES

On 20 October, as part of an article on the detention of an “artist robot” and its artwork from Egypt, the Guardian detailed other instances of artworks seized or detained by various countries’ authorities in recent years.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/20/egypt-detains-artist-robot-ai-da-before-historic-pyramid-show

2 SOUTH KOREAN COMPANIES TO SUPPLY ENGINES FOR TURKEY’S ALTAY TANK

On 22 October, Defense World reported that the 2 companies had signed contracts to supply engine and transmission mechanisms for the Altay battle tank.  The programme had suffered a setback due to Turkey’s political differences with Germany, where the engines were originally sourced, due to an arms embargo on Turkey, imposed for its involvement in the Syrian Civil War.

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/30650/Two_South_Korean_Companies_to_Supply_Engines_for_Turkey_s_Altay_Tank#.YXKrYfrMKM8

AUSTRALIAN LOBSTER SMUGGLING TO HONG KONG LABELLED A ‘NATIONAL SECURITY RISK’

On 22 October, the Sydney Morning Herald and others reported that Australia’s $80-million-a-month access into the Chinese lobster market may shut after the lobsters were identified as a national security risk by Hong Kong’s new customs chief.  Australia’s monthly exports to Hong Kong have boomed by 2000% since China banned the lobsters from the mainland in October 2020.  Rampant smuggling of Australian rock lobsters into mainland China has now been described as a national security threat, and the new head of customs has vowed to crack down on the trade.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/national-security-risk-australian-lobster-smuggling-rocks-hong-kong-20211022-p592a9.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/22/smuggling-australian-rock-lobsters-into-china-a-national-security-threat-hong-kong-customs-chief-says

INDIA: EXPORTER TRIED TO SMUGGLE IDOL THROUGH BENGALURU AIRPORT

On 22 October, the Times of India reported that a Delhi-based exporter attempted to smuggle to Japan an antique stone statue last year and that he has now been arrested.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/exporter-trying-to-smuggle-idol-through-kia-cargo-held/articleshow/87192484.cms

BULGARIA SEIZES OVER 40 KG OF SMUGGLED GOLD ITEMS AT BORDER

On 22 October, the Big News Network reported that Bulgarian customs inspectors have seized 41.6 kg of smuggled gold jewellery at Danube Bridge checkpoint near Vidin at the border with Romania, the largest shipment in 17 years.  It was found in a car with German registration, driven by Bulgarians, and which was traveling from Bulgaria to Germany.

https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/271549828/bulgaria-seizes-over-40-kg-of-smuggled-gold-items-at-border

MONEYVAL COMMENCES EVALUATION PROCESS OF NORTH MACEDONIA AND ROMANIA

On 19 October, the Council of Europe reported that MONEYVAL has commenced its 5th round mutual evaluation process of North Macedonia and Romania with a high-level exchange.  Training was provided by the MONEYVAL Secretariat, which takes place approximately 1 year in advance of the onsite visit. 

https://www.coe.int/en/web/moneyval/-/moneyval-commences-evaluation-process-of-north-macedonia-and-romania

PROSECUTORS IN DETROIT UNCOVER MASSIVE MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION BETWEEN US AND DUBAI

On 22 October, the Detroit Free Press reported that federal prosecutors in Detroit have seized about $12 million in cash they allege was part of a massive money laundering operation, called “The Shadow Exchange,” operating between the US and UAE.  It is also alleged that some of the laundered money was used to buy armoured vehicles for an illegal drug trafficking operation based in Michigan.  The shell companies involved in the scheme, mostly located in Dubai in UAE, used fake invoices and other methods to disguise the origins of money.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2021/10/22/feds-detroit-seize-12-m-international-money-laundering/6126386001/

CHINESE TAX AGENCY INVESTIGATING HIGH-PROFILE DEVELOPER

On 22 October, Mail Online reported that the Chinese government has said that it is investigating possible tax evasion by a subsidiary of high-profile real estate developer SOHO China Ltd.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-10120377/Chinese-tax-agency-investigating-high-profile-developer.html

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/business/beijing-tax-authority-probe-soho-china-unit-suspected-tax-evasion-2262471

UK: ICAEW BACKS THE ACCOUNTANCY SECTOR FRAUD CHARTER

On 22 October, Accountancy Magazine reported that the charter which is supported by the accountancy profession, government and law enforcement agencies sets out a set of actions to close in on potential vulnerabilities that fraudsters may exploit.

https://www.accountancytoday.co.uk/2021/10/22/icaew-backs-the-accountancy-sector-fraud-charter/

UK: NEW CAMPAIGN APPEALS TO LORRY DRIVERS IN CRACKDOWN ON PEOPLE SMUGGLING

On 22 October, an NCA news release said that lorry drivers across Britain are being urged to lock their vehicles and report any suspicious activity that could be linked to people smuggling, in a joint appeal being led by the NCA and Border Force.  The campaign will target freight drivers across England, Scotland and Wales with messaging at service stations and ports.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/new-campaign-appeals-to-lorry-drivers-in-crackdown-on-people-smuggling

AGREEMENT REACHED AT OECD TO END EXPORT CREDIT SUPPORT FOR UNABATED COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

On 22 October, a news release from the OECD advised that the ban will come into effect once Participants complete their formal internal decision-making processes, which are expected by the end of October 2021.  The Participants to the Arrangement are Australia, Canada, EU, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, and US.

https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/agreement-reached-at-oecd-to-end-export-credit-support-for-unabated-coal-fired-power-plants.htm

LUXEMBOURG FIRST IN EUROPE TO LEGALISE GROWING AND USING CANNABIS

On 22 October, the Guardian reported that adults will be permitted to grow up to 4 cannabis plants in their homes or gardens under laws that will make it the first country in Europe to legalise production and consumption of the drug.  Luxembourg will join Canada, Uruguay and 11 US states in flouting a UN convention on the control of narcotic drugs, which commits signatories to limit “exclusively for medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import distribution, trade, employment and possession of drugs” including cannabis.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/22/luxembourg-first-in-europe-to-legalise-growing-and-using-cannabis

INDICTMENT OF SAAB PARTNERS DETAILS VAST VENEZUELA AID KICKBACK SCHEME

On 22 October, Insight Crime reported that 5 business partners of Álex Saab – an accused money launderer and ally of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro – have been indicted by US prosecutors on charges of being part of a multi-million dollar graft scheme in which Venezuelan officials got kickbacks for overpriced food and medicine contracts.

https://insightcrime.org/news/indictment-saab-partners-details-vast-venezuela-aid-kickback-scheme/

PRIVY COUNCIL CLARIFIES JURISDICTION OF FREEZING ORDERS IN KEY BVI CASE

On 22 October, an article from out-Law advised that the Privy Council has ruled that courts have the power to grant a freezing injunction against a party to help the enforcement of a prospective or existing foreign judgment.  However, it is said that the introduction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) (Amendment) Act 2020 had limited the impact of the Privy Council’s judgment on BVI law, but that nevertheless it will avoid the BVI being used as a jurisdiction by parties who want to avoid the enforcement of foreign judgments

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/privy-council-clarifies-jurisdiction-of-freezing-orders-in-key-bvi-case

MOZAMBIQUE’S TUNA BONDS SCANDAL: YES, IT’S ABOUT MONEY, BUT MORE THAN THAT – IT’S ABOUT HUMAN LIVES

On 21 October, an article from the Basel Institute on Governance reminds one that 20 people are facing corruption and money laundering charges in the country. Swiss bank Credit Suisse has agreed to pay $475 million in fines and write off $200 million in debt owed by Mozambique as part of a series of settlements with regulators in the US, UK and Switzerland for its role in the affair.

https://baselgovernance.org/blog/mozambiques-tuna-bonds-scandal-yes-its-about-money-more-its-about-human-lives

SOME NFT ARE PROBABLY ILLEGAL. DOES THE SEC CARE?

On 20 October, Coindesk said that the US Government still doesn’t really know how to regulate the $2.5 trillion crypto market.  It’s not that the laws don’t exist, or that Congress is uninterested in digital assets – it’s more that there’s a lack of consensus on how to apply existing regulations to an industry that seems to mutate every few weeks.

https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2021/10/20/some-nfts-are-probably-illegal-does-the-sec-care/

SANDILE SHEZI: SOUTH AFRICA’S YOUNGEST MILLIONAIRE ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED FRAUD

On 20 October, The South African reported that the flamboyant Bitcoin trader, 23, and youngest millionaire businessman has been arrested for fraud charges.

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/sandile-shezi-arrested-police-bitcoin-trader-fraud-youngest-millionaire-durban/

OFAC AMENDS 1 ENTRY ON ITS SDN SANCTIONS LIST

On 22 October, OFAC advised that the entry for alleged drug trafficker Jaime GONZALEZ HIGUERA (aka EL TUNCO; TUNCO) has been amended.  It formerly referred to Jaime Huberto GONZALEZ HIGUERA.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20211022

US: FORMER FEDEX GROUND SENIOR MANAGER SENTENCED IN $3.25 MILLION STOLEN-GOODS SCHEME

On 22 October, Freightwaves reported that a former senior manager of a FedEx Ground facility in Delaware has been sentenced to more than 3 years in prison and ordered to pay back more than $1.1 million and forfeit over $1.8 million in property for his involvement in a decadelong stolen-goods scheme 2009-19.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/former-fedex-ground-senior-manager-sentenced-in-325m-stolen-goods-scheme

IAEA GUIDANCE ON COMPUTER SECURITY FOR NUCLEAR SECURITY

On 21 October, the International Atomic Energy Authority advised that it had issued guidance to support experts worldwide in implementing computer security measures to strengthen their national nuclear security regimes.

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/now-available-iaea-guidance-on-computer-security-for-nuclear-security

https://www.iaea.org/publications/13629/computer-security-for-nuclear-security

HOW TO APPLY TO BE A FREEPORT CUSTOMS SITE OPERATOR

On 22 October, HMRC issued updated guidance to find out who can be a Freeport customs site operator and what you’ll need to apply and get authorised.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-to-be-a-freeport-customs-site-operator

US OFFERS REWARD FOR ANOTHER ASSOCIATE OF VENEZUELA’S PRESIDENT MADURO

On 22 October, IBT Times reported that the US has offered a $10 million reward for the arrest on money laundering charges of Alvaro Pulido, who is Colombian and an associate of businessman Alex Saab, whose extradition infuriated Nicolas Maduro.  He has been indicted alongside Alex Saab on allegations they ran a network that exploited food aid destined for impoverished Venezuelans and moved $350 million into foreign accounts.

https://www.ibtimes.com/us-offers-reward-another-associate-venezuelas-maduro-3322683

EL PASO MAN ACCUSED OF $3.9 MILLION FRAUD INVOLVING STOCKS, CRYPTOCURRENCIES INVESTMENTS

On 22 October, the El Paso Times reported that he is accused of stealing more than $3.9 million in a Ponzi-like scheme that involved fraudulently promising clients his company would invest their money in stocks and cryptocurrencies.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission officials filed a civil compliant against Abner Alejandro Tinoco and his investment company, Kikit & Mess Investments LLC.

https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/crime/2021/10/22/el-paso-man-abner-alejandro-tinoco-accused-nearly-4-million-dollar-fraud-ponzi-like-scheme/6137162001/

AMERICANS TRICKED OUT OF MORE THAN $586 MILLION IN COVID-RELATED SCAMS

On 20 October, The News Tribune reported that scammers have bilked American consumers out of more than $586 million through fraud schemes inspired by the global COVID-19 pandemic between October 2020 and October 2021.  Americans filed more than 269,000 fraud complaints related to coronavirus.

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/nation-world/article255157717.html#storylink=mainstage_card

CYPRUS-BASED COMPANY AND SOUTH AFRICAN LAW FIRM HAVE AGREED TO GIVE UP NEARLY £29 MILLION THAT WAS ALLEGEDLY LINKED TO MONEY LAUNDERING

On 22 October, AOL reported that City of London Police said they had reached an agreement with the 2 companies that would see them give up the €34 million from 2 bank accounts.  The report said that there were no responses from representatives of Xiperias and Du Toit & Co.

https://www.aol.co.uk/money/companies-agree-forfeit-29m-allegedly-153201841.html

UK LAW COMMISSION’S RECENT PROPOSALS FOR THE REFORM OF ENGLISH LAW REGARDING POSSESSION OF ELECTRONIC TRADE DOCUMENTS

On 22 October, an article from Hellenic Shipping News explained proposals and the accompanying draft legislation from the Law Commission which suggest that more universal digitisation of electronic bills of lading and other trade documents will soon be a reality.  It says that the proposals herald a far-sighted and welcome modernisation of English law to reflect the new digital world; and what will be important going forward is that the global marketplace perceives that enough of the technological challenges around electronic trade documents have been overcome to facilitate widespread uptake. If that can be achieved, then English law will be ready to help realise the full potential of digital trade documents.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/a-question-of-possession/

DRUG BUST ON BOARD THAI BULK CARRIER IN NIGERIA RAISES EYEBROWS

On 21 October, Insurance Marine News reported that the Thai bulk carrier Chayanee Naree, which had been in Nigerian waters south of Lagos since arrival from Santos, Brazil, on 1 October was seized on 9 October.  The Nigerian authorities said that agencies were alerted by Nigerian Interpol, and an intelligence report received from the UK Border Force.  It is said that that a bag was found with 30 packages of cocaine inside weighing 32.9kg and that the crew of 22 Thai nationals were arrested.  The article poses questions about the events, including the time taken to search the ship and uncover the drugs.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/drug-bust-on-board-thai-bulk-carrier-in-nigeria-raises-eyebrows/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PODCAST: DRAGO KOS AND THE OECD WORKING GROUP ON BRIBERY

In the latest TRACE podcast, Drago Kos joins the podcast to talk about the work of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, its ambitious Revised Recommendation, what he hopes the group will accomplish in his final year with the WGB and the search to find his replacement.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS – SURVEY RESULTS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FATF STANDARDS

On 22 October, FATF published a report saying that enhancing cross-border payments is a key priority of the G20.  FATF had initiated an industry survey in consultation with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) to identify areas where divergent AML/CFT rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments.  The survey results highlight, among others, that lack of risk-based approach and inconsistent implementation of the AML/CFT requirements increases cost, reduces speed, limits access and reduces transparency.  Inconsistent national approaches also create obstacles in identifying and verifying customer and beneficial owners, effective screening for targeted financial sanctions, sharing of customer and transaction information where needed, and establishing and maintaining correspondent banking relationships.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/pdfs/Cross-Border-Payments-Survey-Results.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

COUNTERING THE EXTRATERRITORIAL EFFECTS OF US SANCTIONS

On 22 October, a briefing paper from the EU Institute for Strategic Studies is concerned with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions and why they pose a challenge to the EU.  It outlines the responses that have been activated or are being contemplated to counter them, explaining why an effective remedy remains elusive.  It concludes by indicating possible ways forward.

https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/creativity-wanted-countering-extraterritorial-effects-us-sanctions

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SANCTIONS: ASSET FREEZES AND THE PAYMENT OF ADVANCES ON COSTS

On 19 October, an article from Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific was said to be the first in a series of 3 concerned with the potential impact of economic sanctions on arbitral and financial institutions.  They will address critical issues faced by such institutions as a result of restrictions on transfers of funds under primary and secondary sanctions programmes.  Subsequent entries Subsequent articles will focus on US secondary sanctions against Iran and against Russia.  The first discusses the potential effects of asset freezes.  It points out that, in general, sanctions regimes do not prohibit the submission to arbitration of disputes involving one or more targeted parties.  However, sanctions imposing an asset freeze usually prohibit making available to designated persons, directly or indirectly, any assets or economic resources.  Hence, it might be unlawful to transfer back the unused portion of an advance on costs, and it may need to be placed in a frozen account instead.

http://arbitrationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2021/10/19/asset-freezes-and-the-payment-of-advances-on-costs-are-the-proceedings-bound-to-end-before-they-have-even-begun/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE FOR THE CRYPTO WORLD

On 20 October, an article from Doughty Street Chambers starts by asserting that the increased use of virtual currency as a payment method brings greater exposure to sanctions risks, whether in respect of UN and trade sanctions or listed individuals and entities. Taking as a starting point recent OFAC advice, it says that although directed to liability in the US, the considerations involved will also inform good compliance practices under the UK autonomous sanctions regime.  It says that the advice from OFAC highlights sanctions compliance best practices tailored for the crypto-asset sector applying the 5 essential components of OFAC’s preferred sanctions compliance programme.

https://insights.doughtystreet.co.uk/post/102h8v5/sanctions-compliance-for-the-crypto-world

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 21

Panama Covid-19 update – 205 new cases and 3 new fatalities; 2,316 active cases, with 38 in ICU and 163 in other wards.

21 OCTOBER 2021

16 ARMED ROBBERIES AGAINST VESSELS IN SINGAPORE STRAIT DURING OCTOBER

On 21 October, Seatrade Maritime News reported that the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has issued another alert on boarding of vessels in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait with 6 incidents this month.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ship-operations/six-armed-robberies-against-vessels-singapore-strait-during-october

HMRC FORFEITURE ORDERS OVER 5 BUILDING SOCIETY ACCOUNTS UNDER THE CONTROL OF A MAN IS SUSPECTED OF FRAUDULENTLY CLAIMING OVER £20 MILLION IN FURLOUGH FUNDS FOR MADE-UP EMPLOYEES ACROSS 4 COMPANIES 

On 19 October, Stevens & Bolton reported that the 4 companies under the control of Rajanish Garibe. Garibe show very little evidence of trading activity and are all registered to a virtual mailbox service in London.  

https://viewpoints.stevens-bolton.com/post/102h8tf/quick-raj-change-your-name-to-maria-back-date-some-filings-at-companies-house

WHY IT MATTERS WHETHER SOFTWARE IS “GOODS” OR “SERVICES”

On 19 October, an article from Travers Smith LLP says that a recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has significant consequences for software providers which conduct sales of software to their customers through agents, both in the EU and the UK.  It also highlights a wider debate around whether software should be treated as goods or services and why this matters.  While it says that, sStrictly speaking, the CJEU’s judgment only settles the question of whether software is goods in relation to the narrow issue of the EU Commercial Agents Directive, it highlights a wider debate as to the treatment of software, for example, in relation to consumer law.

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/why-it-matters-whether-software-is-goods-or-services/

TIEA: MUTUAL EXCHANGE AGREEMENTS IN THE OFFSHORE WORLD

On 20 October, an article from Collas Crill explained that, according to the OECD, there are currently 518 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA), which were entered into between 2000 and 2012. The article considers how courts have approached TIEA requests in 3 offshore jurisdictions – Jersey, Guernsey and the BVI.  While highlighting common principles, the article notes that an authority will not be expected to investigate and make determinations on issues of foreign law, particularly where they are not raised.  Neither will it be obliged to provide the TIEA request itself. Whilst some information must be provided, confidentiality is regarded as important.

https://www.mondaq.com/guernsey/tax-authorities/1123194/fears-for-tieas-mutual-exchange-agreements-want-to-rule-the-offshore-world

SWEDEN: DANSKE BANK HAS DEFICIENCIES IN ITS AML WORK

On 20 October, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority released a news release saying that Danske Bank has not sufficiently assessed the risk of how the bank’s products and services in Sweden may be used for money laundering and terrorist financing.  It must therefore rectify these deficiencies no later than 30 June 2022.

https://www.fi.se/en/published/press-releases/2021/danske-bank-has-deficiencies-in-its-anti-money-laundering-work/

UK: GOVERNMENT TASKFORCE TO TACKLE SHARP RISE IN SCAMS DURING PANDEMIC

On 21 October, the Guardian reported that a government taskforce representing banks, telecoms companies and consumers is to meet the Minister for Security to discuss ways to tackle the sharp rise in scams that has hit the UK since the start of the pandemic.  The relaunch of the government’s Joint Fraud Taskforce is accompanied by new charters committing the sectors used by criminals to actions to protect people’s money.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/20/45-million-people-in-uk-received-scam-texts-or-calls-in-last-three-months

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/joint-fraud-taskforce

AUSTRALIA: REGULATOR ORDERS BLOCKING OF ANOTHER 5 OFFSHORE GAMBLING SITES

On 21 October, iGB reported that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested ISP in the country block access to another 5 offshore online gambling websites.  It says that ACMA has successfully blocked a total of 324 websites it said were operating in Australia illegally.

https://igamingbusiness.com/acma-orders-blocking-of-another-five-offshore-gambling-sites

NEW US EXPORT RULE WOULD LIMIT SALES OF HACKING TOOLS TO RUSSIA AND CHINA

On 20 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Commerce Department had unveiled export controls intended to curb the sale of hacking tools to countries including China and Russia.  It will require companies to obtain a licence to sell hacking technology to certain countries and takes effect in 3 months’ time.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-u-s-rule-would-limit-sales-of-hacking-tools-to-russia-and-china-11634759525

UK: LAW SOCIETY CRITICISES AML REGULATION FOR BEING ‘TICK BOX EXERCISE’

On 21 October, The Negotiator said that the Law Society for England and Wales has criticised the UK AML rules as a ‘tick box’ exercise that does not take a risk-based or proportionate approach to regulation.  It says that many estate agents in more far-flung areas of the UK away from prime central areas feel the AML regulations they must follow by law are overly heavy-handed given the low risk of money laundering involved.

https://thenegotiator.co.uk/law-society-criticises-aml-regulation-for-being-tick-box-exercise/

EU LEGISLATORS APPEAR TO BE APPROACHING COMMON GROUND ON SEVERAL KEY POINTS OF THE E-EVIDENCE CROSS-BORDER PROPOSAL 

On 21 October, EurActiv reported that a legislative proposal is intended to facilitate law enforcement access to electronic evidence in another Member State.  The proposal dates back to 2018 and has been the object of several discussions between the EU Parliament, Council, and Commission.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/data-protection/news/council-document-hints-at-progress-on-cross-border-electronic-evidence/

CUM-EX TAX FRAUD REVELATIONS FURTHER ‘BLOTCH’ ON IRELAND’S REPUTATION

On 21 October, the Irish Times reported that revelations that Ireland facilitated a financial fraud scheme that siphoned billions of euros from other European countries’ tax authorities have been described as a further “blotch” on the country’s record.  Irish-based funds and banks were used by a group of hedge funds to carry out the scheme, which was based around claiming multiple refunds of dividend withholding tax.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/cum-ex-tax-fraud-revelations-further-blotch-on-ireland-s-reputation-1.4706798

CUM-EX LEAVES LUXEMBOURG TAXPAYERS €2.2 BILLION SHORT

On 21 October, the Luxembourg Times reported claims that the tax fraud scheme cost Luxembourg taxpayers €2.2 billion over the past 2 decades.  The total loss of tax revenue in 12 countries – including Germany, France and Belgium – is now estimated to be €150 billion, almost 3 times the original amount.

https://www.luxtimes.lu/en/business-finance/cumex-leaves-luxembourg-taxpayers-2-2-bn-short-61713c0dde135b9236f31849

UK: INFORMATION-SHARING TO TACKLE ECONOMIC CRIME

A video from RUSI on 21 October consists of the Head of Intelligence at UK Finance Karen Baxter setting out a future vision of information-sharing to tackle economic crime in the UK.

https://rusi.org/news-and-comment/video-commentary/karen-baxter-information-sharing-tackle-economic-crime

SAUDI ARABIA ARRESTS 21, MAINLY PUBLIC OFFICIALS, FOR CORRUPTION

On 20 October, OCCRP reported that Saudi authorities said they have arrested 21 people accused of corruption and fraud.  In the latest round of arrests, authorities have detained public officials who allegedly received bribes to issue permits that should not have been issued or fix other administrative problems.  Among the accused are also managers of companies, bank employees, doctors and citizens who paid the bribes.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15359-saudi-arabia-arrests-21-mainly-public-officials-for-corruption

US CUSTOMS WITHHOLD RELEASE ORDER ON SUPERMAX CORPORATION AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES OVER RUBBER GLOVES

On 20 October, a news release from US Customs & Border Protection reported that officers at all US ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd., Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd., and Supermax Glove Manufacturing.  This is based on information that reasonably indicates their use of forced labour in manufacturing operations.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-issues-withhold-release-order-supermax-corporation-bhd-and-its

THE FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME

On 20 October, a report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that success in addressing transnational organised crime hinges on multilateral cooperation. However, existing cooperation regimes are ineffective at countering the rapid changes in the organised crime landscape and countries increasingly tend to turn to national solutions.  The report identifies 5 scenarios for the future of international criminal justice cooperation based on observed trends and raises thought-provoking questions about possible outcomes and impacts on transnational organised crime.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/GITOC-The-future-of-international-cooperation-against-transnational-organized-crime.pdf

VTB CAPITAL ALSO AGREES TO SETTLEMENT WITH SEC FOR ROLE IN MISLEADING INVESTORS OVER MOZAMBIQUE BOND OFFERINGS

A news release from the SEC advised that VTB Capital had joined Credit Suisse in a settlement for fraudulently misleading investors and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a scheme involving 2 bond offerings and a syndicated loan that raised funds on behalf of state-owned entities in Mozambique.

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2021-213

https://fcpablog.com/2021/10/19/credit-suisse-pays-sec-99-million-to-resolve-mozambique-kickback-fcpa-offenses/

US: AUSTRIA, FRANCE, ITALY, SPAIN, AND UK HAVE AGREED A JOINT STATEMENT THAT THEY WILL WITHDRAW ALL UNILATERAL MEASURES REGARDING THE IMPOSITION OF DIGITAL SERVICES TAXES

On 21 October, KPMG reported that the US Treasury had made this announcement about a political compromise reached on a transitional approach to existing “unilateral measures”.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/10/tnf-us-treasury-statement-digital-services-taxes-austria-france-italy-spain-uk.html

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0419

VENEZUELA’S CRUMBLING OIL INDUSTRY IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL TIME BOMB

On 21 October, Oil Price.com reported that the collapse of Venezuela’s oil industry could lead to significant environmental consequences, and that oil spills are likely to increase due to a lack of infrastructure investment and maintenance.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Venezuelas-Crumbling-Oil-Industry-Is-An-Environmental-Time-Bomb.html

US CUSTOMS “WITHHOLD RELEASE ORDER” ON TOMATOES PRODUCED BY FARM IN MEXICO

On 21 October, KPMG reported another WRO from US Customs and Border Protection.  This one relates to fresh tomatoes produced by a tomato farm in Mexico and its subsidiaries.  It is said that information exists that “reasonably indicates” the use of forced labour involving the farm’s workers.  From 21 October, officers at all US ports of entry will detain fresh tomatoes produced by the tomato farm and its subsidiaries.  The WRO affects Agropecuarios Tom SA de CV, and Horticola SA de CV, and their subsidiaries. 

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/10/tnf-cbp-wro-tomatoes-farm-mexico.html

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-issues-withhold-release-order-tomatoes-produced-farm-mexico

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 18 – DISEASE, ILLNESS AND DISCRIMINATION

Part 17 –  Forces’ radio stations, the striking force, espionage and wartime post and censorship

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/16/panama-in-world-war-2-part-17-forces-radio-stations-the-striking-force-espionage-and-wartime-post-and-censorship/

Part 16 – Coco Solo naval base, flying boats, submarines and PT Boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-16-coco-solo-naval-base-flying-boats-submarines-and-pt-boats/

Part 15 – 1941-45: a miscellany

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/14/panama-in-world-war-2-part-15-1941-45-a-miscellany/

Part 14 – The Yamamoto plan

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/13/panama-in-world-war-2-part-14-the-yamamoto-plan-of-attack/

Part 13 – Transportation, railway and shipping

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/09/panama-in-world-war-2-part-13-transportation-railway-and-shipping/

Part 12 – The Japanese

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/07/panama-in-world-war-2-part-12-the-japanese/

Part 11 – U-boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-11-u-boats/

Part 10 – Germans in South America and Panama

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-10-germans-in-south-america-and-panama/

Part 9 – the Canal and the expansion of US activity prior to Pearl Harbor and just after

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/01/panama-in-world-war-2-part-9-the-canal-and-the-expansion-of-us-activity-prior-to-pearl-harbor-and-just-after/

Part 8 – Snapshot summaries of air units, including the Brazilians

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-8-snapshot-summaries-of-aircraft-units-including-the-brazilians/

Part 7 – Air bases

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-7-airfields-and-air-bases/

Part 6 – Introduction of radar and the role(s) of Pan American

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-6-the-introduction-of-radar-and-the-roles-of-pan-american/

Part 5 – Naval defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-5/

Part 4 – The Third Locks project, barrage balloons and sea mines 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/19/panama-in-world-war-2-part-4/

Part 3 – The defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-3/

Part 2 – Panama in 1939 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/11/panama-in-world-war-2-part-2/

Part 1 – Introduction 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-1-introduction/  

Featured

FATF PLENARY 19-21 OCTOBER – JORDAN, MALI AND TURKEY ADDED TO GREY LIST; BOTSWANA AND MAURITIUS REMOVED

On 21 October, FATF reported on the Plenary, a hybrid (i.e. part-virtual) event.  It is reported that delegates finalised work in a number of important areas, including –

  • updated guidance for a risk-based approach to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASP);
  • a final report on survey results on implementation of the FATF Standards on cross-border payments; and
  • a report for government officials that focuses on the digital transformation of AML/CFT for operational agencies.

The Plenary also –

  • issued a statement on the evolving situation in Afghanistan; and
  • issued another on the risks associated with the financing of ISIL, Al-Qaeda and Affiliates. 

It also agreed (in the wake of the Pandora Papers, about which a statement was released) to release for consultation, the proposed revisions to FATF Recommendation 24 on beneficial ownership of legal persons to ensure greater transparency about the beneficial ownership of legal persons, and take action to mitigate the risks.  A draft of a proposed amended Recommendation 24 and its Interpretative Note are available.

The Plenary agreed to add several indicative examples of environmental crimes to the FATF Glossary to clarify for countries the types of offences that could fall within this category, depending on their risk and context. This, it is said, will help authorities follow the money and stop the criminal networks behind illegal waste trafficking, logging, and other crimes.

Jordan, Mali and Turkey were added to the FATF Grey List (Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring, while Botswana and Mauritius have been removed.

The list of “High Risk Jurisdictions” remains unchanged – North Korea and Iran.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-fatf-plenary-october-2021.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

HOW GLOBAL BANKS PROFIT FROM RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

On 21 October, Global Witness published a report saying that, through their backing of agribusiness, financial institutions have bankrolled and profited from the destruction. Banks and asset managers based in the EU, UK, US and China have made deals worth $157 billion with companies accused of destroying tropical forest in Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa since the Paris Climate Agreement – and netted $1.74 billion in interest, dividends and fees from financing the parts of agribusinesses groups that carry the highest deforestation risk.  JPMorgan has made deals worth an estimated $9.38 billion with companies accused of deforestation, making it the biggest deforestation lender in the US, EU, UK and China. 

https://www.globalwitness.org/documents/20209/Deforestation_Dividends_-_October_2021.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

AUSTRALIA: POLICE SEIZE LARGE AMOUNT OF LEGO AS PART OF $27 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING BUST

On 21 October, the West Australian reported that police have seized tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Lego as part of a probe into an alleged money laundering operation.  Detectives seized a large amount of property at the addresses, including more than $100,000 worth of Lego and electronics.

https://thewest.com.au/news/police-seize-large-amount-of-lego-as-part-of-27m-money-laundering-bust-c-4297625

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

ASSAD REGIME ‘SIPHONS MILLIONS IN AID’ BY MANIPULATING SYRIA’S CURRENCY

On 21 October, the Guardian reported that the Syrian government is siphoning off millions of dollars of foreign aid by forcing UN agencies to use a lower exchange rate, according to new research.  The Central Bank of Syria has, in effect, made $60 million in 2020 by pocketing $0.51 of every aid dollar sent to Syria.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/oct/21/assad-regime-siphons-millions-in-aid-by-manipulating-syrias-currency

https://www.csis.org/analysis/how-assad-regime-systematically-diverts-tens-millions-aid

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 20

Panama Covid-19 update – couldn’t help noticing that Morocco, of all places, is banning flights to and from the UK because of rising coronavirus case rates – in the UK. Latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show tMorocco’s weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on 14 October stood at 10.4 per 100,000 people. The UK’s comparable rate is 445.5.

https://panatimes.com/the-uk-has-more-new-covid-19-cases-than-france-germany-italy-and-spain-combined

Meanwhile, in Panama, fatalities have reached 7,300 with 2 more reported today. There are also 257 new cases reported. There are said to be 2,319 active cases – 37 in ICU and 167 in other wards.

20 OCTOBER 2021

PERU: PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE SEEKS TO PREVENT NEW AMBASSADOR TO VENEZUELA FROM LEAVING COUNTRY

On 19 October, La Prensa reported that the prosecutor’s office in Peru had sought a court order to prevent the new Peruvian ambassador to Venezuela, Richard Rojas García, from leaving to take up the post.  He is said to be under investigation for money laundering.  The previous month Panama had rejected the appointment of the same man as ambassador to Panama.  It is reported that the case involves suspected illegal financing of the 2021 presidential campaign of the Perú Libre party, of which he is the national leader.

https://www.prensa.com/mundo/fiscalia-pide-impedir-viajar-a-nuevo-embajador-de-peru-en-venezuela-panama-ya-habia-rechazado-el-nombramiento-de-richard-rojas-como-embajador-peruano/

FBI RAIDS HOMES OWNED BY RELATIVES OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCH OLEG DERIPASKA

On 19 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI conducted raids of residences in Washington and New York owned by the family of Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska.  A spokesman for Deripaska confirmed that the searches were carried out pursuant to court orders stemming from US sanctions – Deripaska has been under US sanctions since 2016.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-raids-home-owned-by-relatives-of-russian-tycoon-oleg-deripaska-11634673162

https://today.rtl.lu/news/world/a/1804273.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58971032

BELGIUM TRYING TO DILUTE EU BELARUS POTASH SANCTIONS

On 20 October, KYC360 reported that diplomats in Brussels have written to other EU Member States, requesting a loosening of restrictions on Belarusian potash to allow for changes to the potassium content of fertiliser imports.

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/belgium-is-pushing-to-dilute-the-eus-belarus-potash-sanctions/

https://euobserver.com/tickers/153285

CANADA: CASINOS USED FOREIGN HIGH ROLLERS AS MONEY LAUNDERING ‘PAWNS,’ 

On 19 October, Global News reported that the inquiry into money laundering using casinos in British Columbia has heard that in 2012 the RCMP said that such casinos were a very significant source of laundering activity, “using wealthy People’s Republic of China gamblers as willing pawns in their activity”.  An RCMP report provides new details about undercover operations targeting high-end patrons and loan sharks operating in 2 casinos in the province.  Lawyers for the casinos have argued that it wasn’t the company’s responsibility to investigate or reject suspicious cash transactions – but that the company “appropriately relied upon the RCMP and FINTRAC to provide direction.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8277350/bc-casinos-money-laundering-cullen-commission-closing-arguments/

PODCAST: MODERN SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS AND THE SHIFTING REGULATORY LANDSCAPE

On 14 October, Reed Smith released a 20-minute podcast which seeks to provide an overview of the latest developments in this field of law and to offer practical tips to achieve compliance.

https://www.reedsmith.com/en/perspectives/2021/10/modern-slavery-human-trafficking-laws-and-the-shifting-regulatory-landscape

ANTI-CORRUPTION IN GREECE

On 12 October, law firm Ovvadias S. Namias published an interview with its managing partner (also Ovvadias S. Namias) looking at key developments in Greece and key areas of compliance risk.

https://www.lexology.com/gtdt/intelligence/anti-corruption/greece#page=1

BUSINESS-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO THE UK-EU BREXIT TRADE DEAL: NOW FULLY UPDATED

On 15 October, Travers Smith LLP said that it had recently updated its cross-practice area guide to the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which breaks the TCA down into key topics of interest to business. 

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/a-business-friendly-guide-to-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal-now-fully-updated/

It also provided a 3-minute video guide to the TCA –

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/3-minute-video-guide-to-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal/

SINGAPORE TO COUNTER TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING WITH NEW PLATFORM

In its 21 October edition, Global Trade Review reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is readying the launch of a new digital platform to tackle financial crime in the city-state’s banking sector, with the initial phase of the project set to focus on the illicit use of trade finance.  Known as Cosmic, it is being launched together with 6 major commercial banks including Citi, DBS, HSBC, Standard Chartered, OCBC and UOB.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/singapore-to-counter-trade-based-money-laundering-with-new-platform/

PROSECUTING PROJECT RAVEN: A NEW FRONTIER FOR EXPORT CONTROL ENFORCEMENT

On 20 October, an article on Lawfare was concerned with the announcement of a case involving the the US DoJ “unprecedented” resolution of criminal charges against 3 former US military and intelligence members for conspiring to conduct computer network exploitation operations (hacking) on behalf of a foreign government, the UAE.  It is said that the defendants used the tradecraft they learned in the US military and intelligence community to assist a foreign government’s intelligence collection operations. The case marks the first time the DoJ has charged hacking as a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The DoJ resolved the charges with a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).  It is said that it is clear that the DoJ is now focused on former US military and intelligence members and efforts to promote offensive cyber capabilities of foreign governments.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/prosecuting-project-raven-new-frontier-export-control-enforcement

6 MEN HELD IN SEYCHELLES ON SUSPICION OF SMUGGLING GOLD

On 20 October, the Seychelles News Agency reported that the Seychelles Supreme Court has remanded 6 men – a Seychellois and 5 Malagasy nationals – on suspicion of alleged gold smuggling.  They were arrested in Port Victoria after local law enforcement officers said they found around 23 kg of suspected gold onboard their vessel.

http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/15684/+men+held+in+Seychelles+on+suspicion+of+smuggling+gold

600 KG OF SEA CUCUMBER SEIZED IN INDIA’S SOUTHERN TAMIL NADU COAST

On 20 October, WION reported that an Indian Coast Guard team in southern Tamil Nadu state seized 600 kg of sea cucumber from a small boat that was involved in smuggling.  It notes that sea cucumbers are an important constituent of the marine ecosystem as they play a key role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.  In India, sea cucumber is treated as an endangered species.

https://www.wionews.com/india-news/600-kgs-of-smuggled-sea-cucumber-worth-4-million-seized-in-indias-southern-tamil-nadu-coast-422273

ZIMBABWE LOSES $30 MILLION TO SMUGGLED WASHING POWDER

On 20 October, Bulawayo 24 reported that the Detergents Manufacturers Association (DMA) claims that Zimbabwe is losing approximately $30 million a year through the smuggling of Maq washing powder. 

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-210692.html

TOBACCO IMPORTS TO NORTH KOREA LEAD TRADE WITH CHINA

On 20 October, NK Pro reported that imports of tobacco products far outstrip medicine, even as DPRK’s population remains unvaccinated.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/cigarettes-over-medicine-tobacco-imports-to-north-korea-lead-trade-with-china/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/640349/UK_slavery_infographic_v3.pdf

UK: TAX INFORMATION AND IMPACT NOTE (TIIN) RE UK FREE ZONES

On 19 October, HMRC published a Policy Paper, a tax information and impact note (TIIN), for businesses trading in or moving goods to or from the UK that wish to store or process goods in a free zone, and authorities responsible for operating free zones.  The relevant rules apply from 8 November.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-free-zones-customs-excise-and-vat-regulations-2021/the-free-zones-customs-excise-and-vat-regulations-2021

HOW ONE OF SCANDINAVIA’S BIGGEST BANKS DISMANTLED ITS CORRESPONDENT BANKING NETWORK

On 20 October, Global Trade Review published an article about Swedish lender Handelsbanken, saying that, after watching other Nordic banks become embroiled in financial crime scandals over the last few years, Handelsbanken wanted to do everything it could to minimise the risk of befalling the same fate. Its trade finance division, with its sprawling network of correspondent banking relationships in developing countries, was quickly identified as high risk by the compliance department.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/how-one-of-scandinavias-biggest-banks-dismantled-its-correspondent-banking-network

8 ARRESTED IN BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG FOR FRAUD AND ILLEGALLY USING CHEAP LABOUR BY EXPLOITING MIGRANT WORKERS

On 20 October, the Brussels Times reported that around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part of an investigation into widespread fraud and social dumping.  It explains that “social dumping” is the term given to illegally using cheap labour by exploiting migrant workers and thereby circumventing employment regulations.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/189995/8-arrested-in-belgium-and-luxembourg-for-fraud-and-social-dumping

MALAYSIAN GRAFT BUSTER HELD FOR STEALING $8 MILLION IN CASH UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 20 October, the Straits Times reported that a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer is being detained for the alleged theft of $6 million cash held as evidence is now under investigation for drug trafficking.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysian-graftbuster-held-for-stealing-s81-mil-cash-now-a-suspected-drug-dealer

POLICE DETAIN 11 ACROSS EUROPE IN MAFIA PROBE AND THE TRADE IN LUXURY VEHICLES

On 20 October, Reuters reported that police in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria detained 11 people and raided 46 residential and commercial buildings in an investigation into tax fraud by the ‘Ndrangheta mafia.  They illegally claimed VAT by selling exclusive cars several times in different European countries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crime-europe/police-detain-11-across-europe-in-mafia-probe-idUSKBN2HA10D

SOUTH AFRICA’S ‘YOUNGEST’ MILLIONAIRE ARRESTED FOR ‘FRAUD’

On 20 October, Sowetan Live reported that forex trader Sandile Shezi became a millionaire at the age of 23.  He has been charged with fraud, and has surrendered himself in the presence of his lawyers. 

https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-10-20-sas-youngest-millionaire-arrested-for-fraud

US: $1.9 MILLION WORTH OF FAKE CHANEL EARRINGS SEIZED 

On 19 October, a news release from US Customs & Border Protection advised that officers at the port of Memphis selected for inspection a shipment from UAE en route to an apartment in Little Rock, Arkansas.  They found 500 pairs of earrings that had the recorded trademarks of Chanel. This was the same shipper and consignee of a previous, nearly identical shipment just days before.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/19-million-worth-fake-chanel-earrings-seized-destined-little-rock

MALTA: CUSTOMS SEIZE STOLEN CARS, LEADING TO ARREST OF CANADIAN CARJACKERS

On 20 October, the Times of Malta reported that the 12 cars were being shipped by container to Abu Dhabi, being shipped through Malta and this has led to the arrest in Canada of people suspected of being behind a series of violent carjackings. 

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/customs-seize-stolen-cars-leading-to-arrest-of-canadian-carjackers.908917

US ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS ON ITS WORK TO COMBAT ELDER FRAUD AND ABUSE

A news release from US DoJ on 19 October advised that it has issued its Annual Report to Congress on its Activities to Combat Elder Fraud and Abuse, which summarises the department’s extensive elder justice efforts to 30  June 2021. 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-issues-annual-report-congress-its-work-combat-elder-fraud-and-abuse-0

https://www.justice.gov/file/1443096/

US: CEO OF MAJOR DEFENCE CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH BRIBERY

A news release from US DoJ on 18 October advised that Frank S Rafaraci, 68, the CEO of Multinational Logistics Services (MLS), a large ship husbanding company that has received over $1 billion in US Navy contracts since 2010, appeared in court to face a criminal charge for his alleged participation in a bribery scheme.  MLS is a defence contractor that provides ship husbanding services, such as refuelling and stocking provisions, to US Navy ships at ports worldwide.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ceo-major-defense-contractor-charged-bribery

GERMANY: NEW REPORT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING DATA COLLECTION FILLS LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION GAPS

On 19 October, a new report says that KOK (a government-funded NGO network that coordinates and oversees victim support efforts across Germany) has published the first evaluation of its trafficking data tool.  It contains the first evaluation of the KOK data tool, which was used to collect information on more than 700 cases of human trafficking and exploitation between January 2020 and the end of June 2021. 

https://www.kok-gegen-menschenhandel.de/fileadmin/user_upload/medien/Publikationen_KOK/KOK_Data_Report_2021_englisch_web.pdf

BREXIT: UK FREIGHT EXECUTIVES TELLING EUROPEAN EXPORTERS TO BE PREPARED FOR FULL CUSTOMS DECLARATIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF 2022

On 20 October, Loadstar reported that European suppliers should be prepared for 1 January, when UK customs authorities will need full customs declarations completed to allow shipments across the border.  It says that any shippers hoping the UK Government would again drop the proposed regulations are likely to be disappointed, said the head of border industry engagement at the UK Border and Protocol Delivery Group, part of the Cabinet Office.

https://theloadstar.com/get-ready-for-full-uk-border-controls-in-january-is-the-message-to-europe/

US TREASURY RELEASES LONG-AWAITED SANCTIONS POLICY REVIEW

On 20 October, a Client Alert from Wilmer Hale reports on the Review which describes the US sanctions framework and the US Treasury’s future sanctions priorities.  It reflects on the evolution over 2 decades of US sanctions, noting various policy successes while emphasising the importance of modernising sanctions so that they can remain an effective national security tool.  The Treasury outlines 5 steps that will “modernize and adapt its sanctions policy and operational framework” to address “new, emerging challenges,” including cybercriminal activity, the role of digital currencies, and an increasingly complex financial and technical infrastructure.

https://www.wilmerhale.com/en/insights/client-alerts/20211019-treasury-releases-long-awaited-sanctions-policy-review

ARIZONA’S NEW ALTERNATIVE BUSINESS STRUCTURE (ABS)

On 14 October, an article from Greenberg Traurig was published by Law 360 says that since 1 January Arizona has had a new alternative business structure, or ABS, the first of its kind in the US in which non-lawyers may own a law-practicing entity.  However, one condition of a licence is that the ABS appoint an Arizona lawyer as its compliance lawyer.

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2021/10/published-articles/can-ariz-nonlawyer-ownership-create-a-new-type-of-atty

US: AUSTRALIAN SENTENCED FOR MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR TEXT-MESSAGING CONSUMER FRAUD SCHEME

A news release from US DoJ on 20 October advised that Michael Pearse, an Australian national who was extradited to the US from in January, has been sentenced to 109 months in prison for his participation in a fraudulent scheme to charge hundreds of thousands of mobile phone customers millions of dollars in monthly fees for unsolicited, recurring text messages without the customers’ knowledge or consent – a practice the conspirators referred to as “auto-subscribing”.  The scheme ‘earned’ Pearse and his co-conspirators at least $50 million, of which Pearse pocketed more than $10 million.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/australian-national-sentenced-more-9-years-prison-multimillion-dollar-text-messaging

UNAOIL APPEAL: APPELLANT CLAIMS NEW DISCLOSURES REVEAL ALLEGEDLY IMPROPER AND UNLAWFUL ATTEMPT BY SFO TO UNDERMINE A FAIR TRIAL

On 20 October, Yahoo News reported on the Court of Appeal case brought by Ziad Akle, a former executive of energy consultancy Unaoil, who was convicted of bribery and jailed in 2020.  His lawyers has accused the SFO of a “deliberate and blanket decision” not to disclose relevant material, undermining Akle’s right to a fair trial.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/uk-serious-fraud-office-weaponised-183701023.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

TIMBER TRAFFICKING FROM MYANMAR TO CHINA 

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime has produced a report saying that illegally harvested wood is used for construction and to manufacture luxury furniture, but, with China’s own forest reserves being protected, the environmental cost of such profitable economic activity is borne by its southern neighbour.  It also says that Myanmar has been too heavily dependent on revenues from timber exports, especially teak, to be able to resist the Chinese market – or that of the EU.  The report identifies the routes and various actors that play a role in these illicit flows and the transformation process as the product moves through the supply chain from source to end markets.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Myanmars-illicit-timber-Flows-drivers-and-actors.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FATF’S RE-RANKING OF CANADA’S COMPLIANCE WITH AML/CFT MEASURES

On 19 October, an article from McCarthy Tétrault LLP considers the recent FATF follow-up report.  It says that 8 FATF Recommendations were re-rated, 7 of which saw ratings increase. One FATF Recommendation pertaining to non-profit organisations saw its rating decrease from “Compliant” to “Partially Compliant”.  Canada is no longer Non-Compliant with any FATF Recommendation.

https://www.mccarthy.ca/en/insights/blogs/techlex/fatfs-re-ranking-canadas-compliance-anti-money-laundering-and-counter-terrorist-financing-measures#page=1

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

WHAT THE NATWEST CASE TELLS US ABOUT CORPORATE LIABILITY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

On 13 October, an article from BCL Solicitors LLP noted that NatWest has pleaded guilty to failures under the UK’s money laundering regulations, but asks if it is it right to call this a ‘failure to prevent’ on its part?  It points out that the same sort of offence (in bribery) has been the basis of several DPA in recent years, in which companies have (in effect) made admissions to the SFO about the guilt of ‘associated persons’.  It explains that, while no criticism seems to be made about the bank’s initial CDD, it then failed to institute ongoing monitoring, or to conduct enhanced CDD as it should have done in later years.  It is noted that it is important to note that the FCA did not have to prove that any offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act occurred, but that nevertheless, the money laundering regulations provided a route to prosecute NatWest for its failure in ongoing monitoring with respect to the customer.  The article argues that a comparison with the offence under section 7 of the Bribery Act is instructive.

https://www.bcl.com/failure-and-fault-what-the-natwest-case-tells-us-about-corporate-liability-for-money-laundering/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SFO v PETROFAC: PLEA BARGAIN v DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD COMPLIANCE

On 20 October, 5 St Andrew’s Hill chambers published an article about the recent decision whereby Petrofac Limited was sentenced following guilty pleas to 7 counts of failing to prevent bribery, contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, after a 4-year corruption and money laundering investigation by the SFO and the earlier guilty pleas of David Lufkin, its former Global Head of Sales.  Bribes totalling $81 million were made to win contracts worth $7.5 billion in 3 Middle East countries.  It is said that the case appears to be a departure from the SFO’s recent strategy of negotiating DPA, and the company avoiding any criminal conviction – but the article outlines factors specific to this case made it unlikely the SFO and Petrofac could reach a DPA, including that Petrofac began cooperating relatively late on in the investigation.  The article goes on to examine lessons learned from a compliance standpoint. The article concludes that the case stands as a stark reminder to corporations, especially those operating internationally to have robust procedures in place to prevent bribery and corruption and the necessary safeguards to handle any allegations of wrongdoing when or if they arise.  

https://www.5sah.co.uk/knowledge-hub/articles/2021-10-19/sfo-v-petrofac-plea-bargain-versus-dpas-and-the-importance-of-good-compliance

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 19

Panama Covid 19 update – it has been reported that Panama has received more than 7.8 million doses of vaccine, most of them from t Pfizer, since the vaccination process began in January.

The Rt reproductive infection rate has crept up again this week, from 0.86 to 1.91, although still below the important figure of 1.0. 203 new cases were reported and 2 new fatalities. Active cases number 2,256, with 41 in ICU and 159 in other wards.

19 OCTOBER 2021

CHINA BUSTS MAJOR MARITIME OIL SMUGGLING CASE

On 19 October, Macau Business reported that the case involved an oil tank and 4 fishing boats, said the China Coast Guard.  A total of 21 suspects were detained and 4,730 tonnes of refined oil were seized on the spot.

https://www.macaubusiness.com/china-busts-major-maritime-oil-smuggling-case/

MALTA’S ATTRACTIVENESS AT AN ALL-TIME LOW AS INVESTORS FLAG GREY LISTING CONCERNS

On 19 October, Malta Today and others reported that a new survey found that more foreign investors consider Malta to be currently unattractive for foreign direct investment (FDI) than attractive.  The recent FATF grey listing was highlighted as a major concern by many respondents.  

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/business/business_news/112775/ey_survey_maltas_attractiveness_at_an_alltime_low_as_investors_flag_grey_listing_concerns#.YW603frMKM8

https://lovinmalta.com/news/huge-red-flag-alert-maltas-appeal-to-investors-has-nosedived-badly-since-greylisting/

EU: F-GASES WORTH MORE THAN €10 MILLION SEIZED IN A WEEK

A news release from Europol on 19 October advised that between 20 and 25 September, Europol supported a Joint Inspection Week targeting the trafficking of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases).  This led to detection of 706 administrative infringements, 7 arrests and seizure of 2,105 cylinders or the equivalent of 142 288 tonnes of CO2 with an estimated value of more than €10 million.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/f-gases-worth-more-%E2%82%AC-10-million-seized-in-week

UK SANCTIONS GUIDANCE: BELARUS

On 19 October, the Home Office published updated guidance on the sanctions regime for Belarus.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/republic-of-belarus-sanctions-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-the-republic-of-belarus

EU: AMENDMENT OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SANCTIONS REGIME

EU Regulation 2021/1819/EU has amended the EU sanctions regime in respect of the Central African Republic in the light of UN Security Council Resolution 2588 Resolution which extends the exemptions to the arms embargo and broadens the scope of the restrictive measures.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.369.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A369%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.369.01.0011.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2021:369:TOC

EU EXTENDS ISIL/AL-QAIDA AND BURUNDI SANCTIONS FOR ANOTHER YEAR

2 new EU Council decisions have extended the 2 EU sanctions regimes to 31 October 2022.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.369.01.0014.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2021:369:TOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.369.01.0015.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2021:369:TOC

US: FINRA ISSUES GUIDANCE ON FINCEN AML/CFT PRIORITIES

On 18 October, Holland & Knight published an article saying that FinCEN had issued national priorities for AML/CFT policy and encouraged banks and covered non-bank financial institutions (NBFI), including broker-dealers, to prepare to incorporate the priorities into their AML/CFT compliance programmes once FinCEN’s implementing regulations are published.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/finra-issues-guidance-on-fincen-aml-cft-3071272/

TIME FOR WIDER REFORM OF THE UK AML SUPERVISORY REGIME

On 18 October, a Commentary from RUSI followed the third annual report of the UK’s ‘supervisor of supervisors’, OPBAS, which raises questions about the need for more fundamental reforms of the UK’s AML supervision regime.  It says that OPBAS is using a new methodology based on ‘effectiveness’ rather than ‘compliance’ – demonstrates the extent to which challenges remain.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/shape-or-ship-out-time-wider-reform-uk-aml-supervisory-regime

OECD: NEXT ROUND OF REVIEW REPORTS REFLECTING THE OUTCOME OF THE STAGE 2 PEER MONITORING

On 18 October, Accountancy Daily said that the latest batch of peer review reports on progress re BEPS Action 14 Minimum Standard, which seeks to improve the resolution of tax-related disputes between jurisdictions.

https://www.accountancydaily.co/cch_uk/tat/news_015588_peerevrpt

https://www.oecd.org/tax/beps/beps-actions/action14/

MEXICO’S CJNG CARTEL IS EXTENDING INTO CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA WITH ALLIANCES AND THREATS

On 19 October, Borderland Beat reported that Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) is stretching its criminal empire south into Central and South America by making alliances, threatening authorities, and appropriating drug routes.  CJNG has spread operations to almost every state in Mexico and most recently to countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Chile.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/10/mexicos-powerful-jalisco-cartel-is.html

THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ALEX NAIN SAAB MORAN

On 18 October, in his blog, Kenneth Rijock provided details of the allegations against Saab, following his extradition from Cape Verde to the US.  On the same day, the DoJ issued a news release.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2021/10/allegations-against-alex-nain-saab-moran.html

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colombian-businessman-charged-money-laundering-extradited-united-states-cabo-verde

US CUSTOMS SEIZE COUNTERFEIT APPLE AIRPODS VALUED AT MORE THAN $800,000

On 18 October, a news release from US Customs and Border Protection advised that officers at the International Falls Port of Entry targeted a rail container and discovered counterfeit Apple AirPods that were in violation of intellectual property rights regulations.   They seized 384 pair of the counterfeit AirPods with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $813,216 if the goods had been genuine. 

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-officers-international-falls-seize-counterfeit-apple-airpods-valued

CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCY (CBDC) – HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AND THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION 

On 19 October, VOX, from the Centre for Economic Policy Research, published 2 articles.

One argues that technological change in money and finance is inevitable, driven by the financial incentives of a market economy, and identifies 4 key lessons central banks could learn from history to enable them to provide digital currency to effectively fulfil their public mandates.

The other identifies open research questions around the international macro-financial dimension of CBDC, including what is different about them, and what the implications for international central bank cooperation are. It says that addressing these questions would not only push the frontier of knowledge, it would also provide the conceptual backbone and evidence that could usefully inform future policy decisions on CBDC.

https://voxeu.org/article/central-bank-digital-currency-historical-perspective

https://voxeu.org/article/open-questions-international-dimension-central-bank-digital-currencies

https://theconversation.com/why-banning-financing-for-fossil-fuel-projects-in-africa-isnt-a-climate-solution-169220

US: FEDERAL FIREARMS PROSECUTIONS ROSE 34% BETWEEN 2000-2016

On 18 October, The Crime Report reported that a study has found that the increase in investigations, prosecutions and convictions was largely driven by firearms possession offences.  Between 2000 and 2016, federal investigations for possession offenses increased 67%, and convictions rose by 72%. 

https://thecrimereport.org/2021/10/18/federal-firearms-prosecutions-rose-34-between-2000-2016-report/

US: TAX COMPLIANCE PROPOSALS CLAIMED TO IMPROVE TAX FAIRNESS WHILE PROTECTING TAXPAYER PRIVACY

A factsheet from the US Treasury on 18 October says that, unsurprisingly, taxpayers who accrue income in hard-to-trace ways exhibit much lower rates of compliance, as there is no third-party source that reports income to tax authorities.  It goes on to say that differences in compliance have led to a two-tiered system of tax administration, whereby taxes are mandatory for wage earners and beneficiaries of federal programmes — like Social Security recipients — while other taxpayers have far more discretion over whether they pay their taxes.  US Treasury estimates that the cost of tax evasion among the top 1% of taxpayers exceeds $160 billion a year.  The factsheet is concerned with proposals from Congress to tailor the compliance regime to shed light on income that is unreported to the IRS presently.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0415

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/irs-10000-dollars-bank-accounts-treasury

SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION IN ASIA PACIFIC

On 18 October, KPMG published an article about disruption in the region, including those caused by labour shortages, the effects of reduced passenger aircraft traffic, the slowdown in the manufacture of microchips, and saying that supply chain restructuring continues to challenge trade and customs professionals.  However, it also says that, as Asia-Pacific jurisdictions continue to expand their existing free trade networks, companies can often get a boost from the considerable import duty relief available in the region.

https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2021/10/supply-chain-disruption-in-asia-pacific.html

US: LIBERIAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO $23 MILLION COVID-19 RELIEF FRAUD

A news release from the US DoJ on 19 October advised that a Liberian national who orchestrated a fraudulent scheme to secure more than $23 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans has pleaded guilty to a federal financial crime.  Steven Jalloul, 43, a tax consultant from the Dallas area, was first charged via criminal complaint in September 2020.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/liberian-national-pleads-guilty-23-million-covid-19-relief-fraud

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/cryptocurrencyfraud

WHAT DOES 2022 HAVE IN STORE FOR THE SHIPPING & LOGISTICS INDUSTRY?

On 7 October, the Global Trade Magazine published a short article saying that the logistics industry which was valued at $7,641.2 billion in 2017 plummeted to $5,200 billion in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic was mainly responsible for this massive slowing of logistics activities across the world. With the COVID situation easing gradually and the world getting back on track, the logistics industry is projected to reach $12,975.64 billion by 2027. The article looks at some of the top trends that will determine what is in store for the logistics industry in 2022.

https://www.globaltrademag.com/what-does-2022-have-in-store-for-the-shipping-logistics-industry/

IAEA CHIEF WARNS IRAN NUCLEAR SURVEILLANCE IS NO LONGER ‘INTACT’

On 19 October, World News Era reported that the head of the UN’s atomic watchdog has warned that stop-gap measures to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities are no longer “intact” amid concerns that talks to resurrect a global agreement to curb Iran’s atomic work have stalled.  He also said that he urgently needed to meet its foreign minister to discuss proposals to reinvigorate the fragile surveillance programme.

https://worldnewsera.com/news/finance/iaea-chief-warns-iran-nuclear-surveillance-is-no-longer-intact/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

INSIGHTS FROM UN PANEL OF EXPERTS REPORT ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS AND GNS MANIPULATION

INSIGHTS FROM UN PANEL OF EXPERTS REPORT ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS AND GNS MANIPULATION

Windward considers the Report from the point of view of the shipping sector.  It says that deceptive practices, like AIS manipulation, should be a concern for all compliance professionals.

http://wnwd-6091557.hs-sites.com/the-latest-on-gns-manipulation-and-dprk-new-research

Separately, Windward also offered another report –

HOW TO MANAGE RISK IN THE AGE OF GNS MANIPULATION

This claims a 5,000% increase in GNS manipulation cases.

http://wnwd-6091557.hs-sites.com/the-latest-on-gns-manipulation-and-dprk-new-research

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

WORLD BANK GROUP DEBARMENT SANCTIONS SYSTEM REPORT 2021

On 18 October, the World Bank published the Report, saying that the Report, which is prepared jointly by the World Bank Group’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD), and Sanctions Board, is said to illustrate how the institution’s sanctions system has grown and evolved to meet the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing global anticorruption landscape.  In fiscal year 2021, the World Bank Group sanctioned 57 companies and individuals, of which 54 were debarred with conditional release, making them ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group.  In addition, 3 companies were sanctioned with conditional non-debarment, leaving them eligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed operations after meeting certain agreed-upon conditions.  It also recognised 92 cross-debarments from other multilateral development banks (MDB), while 45 World Bank Group debarments were eligible for recognition by other MDB.

A full list of the businesses and individuals currently debarred by the World Bank Group can be found at –

www.worldbank.org/debarr

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/10/18/world-bank-group-sanctions-system-promotes-accountability-and-transparency-in-combatting-corruption-in-fiscal-year-2021

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

CREDIT SUISSE RESOLVES FRAUDULENT MOZAMBIQUE LOAN CASE IN $547 MILLION COORDINATED GLOBAL RESOLUTION

On 19 October, a US DoJ news release advised that the Swiss-based bank and its UK subsidiary have admitted to defrauding US and international investors in the financing of an $850 million loan for a tuna fishing project in Mozambique, and have been assessed more than $547 million in penalties, fines, and disgorgement as part of coordinated resolutions with criminal and civil authorities in the US and the UK.  Credit Suisse will pay approximately $475 million to authorities in the US and the UK, as well as restitution to victims in an amount to be determined by the court.  Separately, re a parallel civil cases the SEC said that transactions “that raised over $1 billion were used to perpetrate a hidden debt scheme, pay kickbacks to now-indicted former Credit Suisse investment bankers along with their intermediaries, and bribe corrupt Mozambique government officials”.   

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/credit-suisse-resolves-fraudulent-mozambique-loan-case-547-million-coordinated-global

https://www.ibtimes.com/credit-suisse-pay-475-mn-settle-us-uk-charges-mozambique-bond-offer-3319888

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58974089

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/credit-suisse-fined-147190276-us200664504-and-undertakes-to-the-uk-finan/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 18

Panama Covid-19 update – the booster vaccination campaign is underway and nearing our area, expecting it in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the daily statistics continue to look encouraging – 131 new cases and 2 new fatalities; with active cases down to 2,315, with 43 in ICU and 161 in other wards.

18 OCTOBER 2021

UK: FACILITATING TAX EVASION

On 15 October, law firm Rahman Ravelli provided a summary of the position re the investigation and prosecution of this offence in the UK, including where non-UK tax evasion might be involved and reasonable precautionary measures that might be taken.

https://www.rahmanravelli.co.uk/articles/facilitating-tax-evasion/

US: ANTICORRUPTION TASK FORCE LAUNCHES NEW MEASURES TO COMBAT CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA

A news release from DoJ on 15 October advised that the DoJ had announced a tip-off line to help assist its Anticorruption Task Force (the Northern Triangle Anticorruption Task Force) fight corruption in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.  Tips regarding possible corruption or movements of ill-gotten funds that are received through the email address will be reviewed by the Anticorruption Task Force.  The Task Force will determine whether the tip indicates a possible jurisdictional link to the US – including use of the US financial system – that would allow the Task Force to investigate, to prosecute, and, where appropriate, to forfeit and return stolen assets to the people of El the countries.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-anticorruption-task-force-launches-new-measures-combat-corruption-central

AUSTRALIA CORRUPTION IN FOCUS AS INQUIRY INTO FORMER PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES OPENS

On 18 October, the Guardian and others reported on the opening of the Independent Commission against Corruption inquiry into Gladys Berejiklian   Involved are are 2 grants for projects in the seat of Wagga Wagga made when Berejiklian was either treasurer or premier, and where the local MP was a man with whom she had a close personal relationship.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/18/the-opening-of-icacs-inquiry-into-gladys-berejiklian-was-a-contrast-to-her-shock-resignation

DUBAI HALTS AIR CARGO IMPORTS AMID SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEMS

On 15 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Dubai’s main cargo handler said it would stop accepting most imports of airfreight arriving at the emirate’s main airport as it rushes to reduce a backlog that has snarled processing and delivery of goods across the UAE.  It affects cargo destined for UAE destinations only.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/dubai-halts-air-cargo-imports-amid-supply-chain-snags-11634301083

STABLECOIN GIANT TETHER HIT WITH $41 MILLION FINE

On 15 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tether had agreed to pay federal regulator CFTC a $41 million penalty in the latest result of the Biden administration’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency markets.  Labelling the stablecoin a “commodity”, the CFTC issued the fine having accused Tether of falsely claiming that it backed each of its crypto tokens with an equivalent amount in US dollars.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/stablecoin-giant-tether-hit-with-41-million-fine-in-latest-crypto-crackdown-11634321524

KYRGYZSTAN: 280 SETS OF SMUGGLED KIMONO FROM TAJIKISTAN DETAINED

On 18 October, the AKI Press reported that a smuggled shipment of 280 sets of kimono from Tajikistan has been detained.  The 280 sets of kimono were found in the car with no documents at a border post.

https://akipress.com/news:663659:Smuggled_280_sets_of_kimono_from_Tajikistan_detained_in_Batken/

DUBAI: POTENTIALLY GROUND-BREAKING JUDGMENT IN RESPECT OF DIRECTORS’ LIABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF CORPORATE INSOLVENCY

On 18 October, Bird & Bird published an article saying that the Court of First Instance had held a company’s board of directors and managers personally and jointly liable for the company’s outstanding debts.  It is said that the potential impact of this decision is considerable, emphasising the extent of liability for directors and managers of UAE-based companies and the potential for significant personal consequences. 

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2021/uae/dubai-courts-a-stark-warning-for-directors-of-companies-in-liquidation

UK: CONSULTATION DOCUMENT ABOUT THE FUTURE OF DATA PROTECTION LAW

On 18 October, Bird & Bird published a briefing about the consultation paper issued in September, saying that it proposes a raft of changes to the UK’s data protection law. Some are small changes and clarifications intended to resolve uncertainties in the GDPR drafting, while others are fundamental reforms.  The consultation is open to all respondents until 19 November.  It says that the proposed changes would significantly change the UK’s data protection landscape and, some of this would be welcome while other proposals are problematic or unclear.

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2021/uk/changing-direction-uk-consults-reforms-to-its-data-protection-law

UK: REGULATOR WARNS CHARITIES, AS NEW FIGURES SHOW OVER £8 MILLION REPORTED LOST TO FRAUD

On 18 October, a news release from the Charity Commission advised that the Commission warned charity leaders to protect their organisations against fraud and cybercrime, after new figures show charities reported almost £8.6 million of lost funds in the last financial year.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/take-action-on-fraud-regulator-warns-charities-as-new-figures-show-over-8-million-reported-lost-to-crime-last-year

UK: LAW SOCIETIES CONDEMN ‘HARMFUL’ ECONOMIC CRIME LEVY

On 18 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Law Society (of England and Wales) and the City of London Law Society (CLLS) have stated that they ‘strongly opposed’ the levy, which aims to raise £100 million per year by taxing businesses that are subject to UK money laundering regulations and have annual revenue of over £10.2 million.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/law-societies-condemn-harmful-economic-crime-levy/5110194.article

LIBYA’S FEUDS SPILLS OVER TO US IN COURT CASE

On 18 October, the Arab Weekly reported that the relationship between the Tripoli-based government and the Libyan National Army (LNA) leadership has arisen in a case brought by prosecutors in Virginia against the Commander-in-Chief of the LNA, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, which alleges Haftar committed “atrocities” in his country’s civil war.

https://thearabweekly.com/libyas-feuds-spills-over-us-dbeibah-backs-prosecution-haftar-virginia-case

US: FORCED AND CHILD LABOUR LISTS AND REPORTS UNDERGOING ANNUAL REVIEW

On 18 October, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that enforcing the prohibition on imports of goods made with forced and child labour continues to be a high priority for US Government agencies.  The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs is requesting comments and information no later than Jan. 15 to be used in the preparation of certain lists and reports regarding forced and child labour in foreign countries.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/october/forced-and-child-labor-lists-and-reports-undergoing-annual-review

FORMER EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT OF US OPERATIONS AT A CANADIAN OIL-SERVICES COMPANY DEFRAUDED SHAREHOLDERS OF ALMOST $1 BILLION

On 18 October, an article from OCCRP said that Joseph A Kostelecky, 60, of North Dakota, has admitted that he conspired to commit fraud during his tenure as the highest-ranking US executive of the now-defunct Poseidon Concepts Corporation in 2011-12.  He falsely reported roughly $100 million in revenue, which he claimed originated from long-term contracts with Poseidon’s customers.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15336-american-executive-defrauded-shareholders-of-almost-1-billion

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/senior-executive-oil-services-company-pleads-guilty-securities-fraud-scheme-caused-over-886

CRYPTOASSET INVESTMENT FRAUD: INSIDE THE INVESTIGATION

On 18 October, Out-Law published an article in which an expert in the field shares his insights into how criminals are using deceit and digital wallets, bitcoin and the blockchain, to defraud investors out of hundreds of thousands of pounds and the techniques used to trace cryptoassets. He also discusses how engaging highly qualified civil law experts can support the recovery of assets suspected to have been stolen. 

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/cryptoasset-investment-fraud-inside-the-investigation

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/crypto-investment-frauds-daily-scourge

UK: REALITY STAR ACQUITTED AS £3 MILLION “COLOURED DIAMONDS” FRAUD TRIAL COLLAPSES

On 15 October, the BBC reported that a fraud trial involving “The Only Way is Essex” star Lewis Bloor has collapsed after the CPS admitted it failed to disclose some evidence.  About 200 people were conned into buying coloured diamonds at a 600% mark-up, prosecutors had claimed.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-58927034

WHO SUFFERS FRAUD? UNDERSTANDING THE FRAUD VICTIM LANDSCAPE IN THE UK

On 13 October, a report by the Victims’ Commissioner drew on data from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Crime Survey for England & Wales (CSEW) and researchers used an analytical technique to segment the population of fraud victims into a set of 9 mutually exclusive groups or clusters.

https://victimscommissioner.org.uk/published-reviews/who-suffers-fraud/

HACKERS FAKE DOCUSIGN AND OFFER FRAUDULENT SIGNING METHODS

On 14 October, IT Pro reported that researchers have revealed criminals’ new tactics to impersonate major brands to steal and harvest victims’ credentials.  It is said that hackers impersonate major brands to perform phishing attempts, and one frequently seen attempt mimics legit communications from DocuSign.

https://www.itpro.co.uk/software/document-management-systems-dms/361240/hackers-fake-docusign-and-offer-fraudulent-signing

US: MAN CHARGED WITH SELLING MULTIPLE FORGED PAINTINGS BY CONTEMPORARY ARTIST RAYMOND PETTIBON

A news release from US DoJ on 13 October advised the indictment of CHRISTIAN ROSA WEINBERGER, aka Christian Rosa, for his role in a scheme to defraud art buyers through the sale of forged paintings by the artist Raymond Pettibon accompanied by fake certificates of authenticity in 2017-20.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/man-charged-selling-multiple-forged-paintings-contemporary-artist-raymond-pettibon

IATA LAUNCHES CEIV LITHIUM BATTERY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

On 16 October, Homeland Security Today reported that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a new industry certification programme — the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Lithium Battery – to improve the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries across the supply chain.  Shipments of lithium batteries (alone or with finished products) must comply with well-established global safety standards for how they are manufactured, tested, packed, marked, labelled, and documented.

https://www.iata.org/en/programs/cargo/dgr/ceiv-lithium-battery/

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airport-aviation-security/iata-launches-ceiv-lithium-battery-certification-program/

US: TSA SETS 20-YEAR RECORD FOR FIREARM AIRPORT DETECTIONS BEFORE THE YEAR IS THROUGH

On 15 October, Homeland Security Today reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said that its officers have detected a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints this year, establishing a 20-year record with 3 months remaining in the calendar year, despite fewer passengers traveling due to the pandemic.  By 3 October, TSA officers had stopped 4,495 airline passengers from carrying firearms onto their flights, compared to the record of 4,432 firearms in the full calendar year 2019.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airport-aviation-security/tsa-sets-20-year-record-for-firearm-catches-before-the-year-is-through/

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/airport-aviation-security/tsa-sees-gun-epidemic-at-checkpoints/

FATF PLENARY 18-21 OCTOBER

On 18 October, FATF said that a 3-day Plenary is being held which will finalise key reports, including the revised guidance on virtual assets and their service providers (VASP) and discuss next steps to strengthen its standards on transparency of beneficial ownership.  Delegates will also discuss the outcomes of the FATF’s survey to identify areas where AML/CFT rules or their implementation cause friction for cross-border payments. FATF is leading work on this aspect of the G20 priority to improve cross-border payments.  FATF will also update its statements identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in their measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/plenary-october-2021.html

SCOTTISH WASTE COMPANY FACING BILL OF £99 MILLION IN UNPAID TAXES AND FINES

On 18 October, MRW reported that Barr Environmental has been presented with a £99 million bill of backdated waste taxes and fines by Revenue Scotland, for not paying landfill taxes on materials it reused, and for paying the incorrect and lower tax band for filter cake.

https://www.mrw.co.uk/news/scottish-waste-firm-facing-bill-of-99m-in-unpaid-taxes-and-fines-18-10-2021/

GERMANY TO TRY 2 FORMER STEINHOFF EXECS ON FRAUD CHARGES

On 18 October, London Southeast reported that a German court has announced that it would put on trial 2 former managers of scandal-hit retail giant Steinhoff International Holdings NV, accused of using fake transactions to artificially inflate the group’s profits.  Steinhoff was hit by a huge scandal in 2017 and the South Africa-based company, listed in both Frankfurt and Johannesburg, saw nearly 98% of its value wiped out as it faced a barrage of litigation from aggrieved shareholders and business partners, including former chairman Christo Wiese.

https://www.lse.co.uk/news/germany-to-try-two-former-steinhoff-execs-on-fraud-charges-469lrx53wx7xxw8.html

UK FREE ZONE REGULATIONS

On 18 October, the Free Zones (Customs, Excise and Value Added Tax) Regulations 2021 were published.  They set out the customs duty, excise duty and VAT rules that will apply for UK free zones. Free zones are secure customs zones located within a freeport, where business can be carried out inside the UK land border, but where different customs, VAT and excise rules apply.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1156/pdfs/uksiem_20211156_en.pdf

THE SHADOWY BUSINESS EMPIRE BEHIND THE METEORIC RISE OF SHERIFF TIRASPOL FOOTBALL CLUB

On 18 October, Rferl carried a feature saying that Sheriff Tiraspol’s improbable run in the Europe Champions League has been splashed in headlines around the globe, especially after their win in late September over Real Madrid.  Sheriff Tiraspol is part of a larger business empire founded by 2 men with shadowy pasts – Viktor Gusan and Ilya Kazmaly of Sheriff Ltd – that not only dominates business but politics in Transdniester, a breakaway region of Moldova that borders Ukraine and is dependent on Russia for support.

https://www.rferl.org/a/moldova-sheriff-tiraspol-murky-business/31516518.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FinCEN: RANSOMWARE SAR SURGE PAST 2020 TOTALS

On 18 October, Compliance Week reported that FinCEN published its report on financial trends in BSA data between January and June 2021, which analysed all the known ransomware payment information reported by US financial institutions in suspicious activity reports (SAR).  FinCEN found ransomware payments — most commonly paid in bitcoin — are laundered by cybercriminals in a variety of ways.  There were 635 SAR and 458 transactions related to ransomware filed with FinCEN between 1 January and 30 June, whereas in all of 2020, FinCEN received 487 SAR on transactions worth $416 million.  The median average ransomware payment for the first 6 months of 2021 was $102,273. 

https://www.complianceweek.com/cybersecurity/fincen-report-ransomware-sars-surge-past-2020-totals/30942.article

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

THE US TREASURY 2021 SANCTIONS REVIEW

On 18 October, the US Treasury released this Report, saying that it  results from a broad review of the economic and financial sanctions that it administers and enforces, and issued recommendations to preserve and enhance their effectiveness in supporting national security and US interests now and in the future.  Among other things, the Report calls for multilateral coordination wherever possible; ensuring sanctions are easily understood, enforceable, and, where possible, reversible; and calibration of sanctions to mitigate unintended economic, political, and humanitarian impact.

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Treasury-2021-sanctions-review.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

SANCTIONS AND SHIP-TO-SHIP (STS) TRANSFERS – LEGAL RISKS

On 18 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that vessels involved in STS transfers thus risk unwittingly facilitating unlawful exports and legal repercussions such as seizure of assets and exclusion from the US financial system. This article highlights the primary legal risks of such practices and suggests key steps for members to avoid unwanted repercussions.  It starts by saying that STS transfers are the transfers of crude oil, petroleum products, liquid bulk chemicals and liquefied gas between tankers while at sea, without the vessel having to call at a port or other facility.  Many STS transfers are legitimate; however, suspicious circumstances such as operations at night and in high-risk areas, anchoring or drifting near sanctioned countries, and missing AIS data should raise immediate concern.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/sanctions-and-sts-transfers-legal-risks/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

Featured

FINANCIAL CRIME IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: UNDERSTANDING COUNTRY CHALLENGES AND DESIGNING EFFECTIVE TECHNICAL RESPONSES

On 15 October, Global Financial Integrity produced a report saying that the countries face a complex, dynamic and challenging financial crime landscape. The report provides a country-by-country overview of the scope of financial crimes and main threats facing individual countries. It includes a regional analysis of illegal activities that generate illicit proceeds, including drug trafficking, mineral trafficking, corruption, and trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants; and additionally, it assesses current financial crime threats from money laundering, trade-based money laundering, terrorism financing and corruption.

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.198.97/34n.8bd.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/GFI-LAC-Financial-Crime-Report.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y