The Independent on 13th June reported that a 12-year-old boy who uses a cannabis-based medication to control his severe epilepsy suffered his first seizures in months, hours after his prescription was confiscated by Border Force officials in the UK. A spokesperson for the Home Office is quoted as saying that it is “sympathetic to the rare situation Billy and his family face” but it is unlawful to bring the controlled substance into the country. Since he was first prescribed the cannabis oil medication, Tilray, while in America in 2016, he had gone the best part of a year with no seizures. Last year Billy became the first person in the UK to receive a NHS prescription for medical cannabis. But last month the Home Office intervened to order his GP to halt the prescription or risk losing his licence. The cannabis oil’s main component is the substance cannabidiol (CBD), which can be licensed as a medicine in the UK, but it also contains small amounts of THC, the psychoactive component responsible for causing the high in recreational forms of the drug, which is enough to have it classed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the UK seen as having no medical value.
On 12th June, the Daily Beast in the US reported that 8 Russian and Syrian nationals had been charged in the US with laundering millions of US dollars for a Russian company that shipped jet fuel to Syria in violation of US sanctions between October 2011 and October 2017. Rferl reports that the 5 Russians are employees of Russia’s Sovfracht shipping company. The Russian nationals are identified as Ivan Okorokov, Ilya Loginov, Karen Stepanyan, Aleksei Konkov, and Liudmila Shmelkova. All are Sovfracht employees. The indictment alleges that the defendants used vessels owned by Transpetrochart Co. Ltd, a Russian-based company that owned the petroleum tankers Mukhalatka and Yaz, to transport jet fuel and other items surreptitiously to Syria.
On 12th June, a news release from the UN advised that it had renewed measures designed to implement the arms embargo on Libya for another year, in particular those authorising Member States to inspect vessels on the high seas off the country’s coast when reasonable grounds existed to believe they violated the ban.
On 12th June, HM Treasury published a Notice advising of the change in the details on file for the Al-Nusrah Front, following the publication of EU Regulation 2018/855/EU.
Politico reported on 12th June that Macedonia had reached a deal with Greece to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia. Greece had contended that the name Macedonia represented a territorial claim over Greece’s northern province, also named Macedonia. The dispute has kept Macedonia — whose UN-recognized name is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia — from joining NATO and the EU, where Greece has veto power over admissions. Macedonia will hold a referendum on the change, and both states will have to get their compromise through their respective parliaments.
Securing Industry on 12th June carried an article about a new report that claims that illicit alcohol across some countries in Central and Latin America and Africa is more common than legal alcohol, with counterfeit liquor accounting for more than half of the illicit trade in some states. For example, 66% of the alcohol consumed in Mozambique is illicit, 61% in Uganda and 56% in Cameroon. In Latin America, counterfeit alcohol is more common than in Africa. The report by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) brings together data on the illicit market in 26 countries compiled by the global market research firm Euromonitor International and calls for the unregulated alcohol market to be actively tackled and brought into the legal and regulated sphere. The report defines illicit alcohol as including contraband, smuggled, counterfeit & illegal, illegal artisanal & illegal informal (alcohol produced outside of a regulatory framework) and surrogate (alcohol-containing products not meant for human consumption), as well as that involving tax evasion. The report noted the role of large-scale organised crime in the production of counterfeit alcohol and the lack of sufficient enforcement and penalties to act as a deterrent.
The report itself is at –