8th November 2018
216 POISONOUS FROGS FOUND ABANDONED INSIDE AIRPORT TOILET IN COLOMBIA
The Eagle Online on 8th November reported that Colombian Police found 216 live poisonous frogs hidden in a bathroom at Bogota Airport, packed inside film canisters. hey were meant to be smuggled to Germany to be sold to collectors and could have been sold for about $400,000 on the black market.
LIBYA-BOUND CONTAINERS STOPPED AT MALTA FREEPORT OVER CIGARETTE SMUGGLING
Malta Today on 7th November reported that 4 containers seized by customs at the Freeport contained 37 million counterfeit cigarettes. The cigarettes were confirmed to be fake by legal representatives of the companies holding the trademarks, and the Customs Department said the containers originated from Cambodia.
MARSHALL ISLANDS PRESIDENT FACES VOTE-OF-NO-CONFIDENCE AFTER PUSHING AHEAD WITH PLANS TO ISSUE A NATIONAL CRYPTOCURRENCY
The Blokt website reported on 7th November that Hilda Heine, the president of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), is fighting for her political career after she allegedly defied IMF advice and went ahead with the introduction of a new digital currency that the IMF considers to be a threat to the country’s financial stability.
BAHAMAS: GOVERNMENT AND OFFICIAL OPPOSITION AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER TO LIMIT REPUTATIONAL DAMAGE TO THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
The Bahamas Journal on 7th November reported that It was agreed that there would be enhanced co-operation and consultation on all steps necessary to address the challenges being faced by the industry, caused by the increasing demand of international organisation. Both sides also agreed to ensure the preservation of a vital sector of a diversified Bahamian economy.
AUSTRALIA: BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION PUBLISHES A DECADE OF BANKING’S DIRTY LAUNDRY
Financial Review on 7th November published an article saying that the Hayne Royal Commission had published summaries of misconduct stretching back 10 years, revealing disturbing new incidents of fraud, overcharging, theft, privacy breaches, assault and sexual harassment. Among the examples of bad behaviour by the banks and their employees: incorrect charging of fees, market manipulation, procurement scams, money laundering breaches, privacy breaches, sexual harassment, fraud, forgery, public intoxication, theft, assault and more.
MANAFORT’S EX SON-IN-LAW ARRESTED ON NEW CRIMINAL CHARGES
Swissinfo on 8th November reported that the former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign, has been arrested in California on charges that he engaged in financial fraud while out on bail on a prior case. Jeffrey Yohai, a former business partner of Manafort’s, was already facing potential jail time after pleading guilty in February in the prior case, which involved misuse of real estate loan funds.
UK: GB NON-NATIVE SPECIES INFORMATION PORTAL
The NNSIP Portal provides access to distribution data for over 3,000 non-native species in GB as well as additional information such as place or origin, date of introduction and methods of introduction. For 300 species much more detailed information is provided, including information on identification, impacts and control methods. Use the Portal to find distribution data and other useful information for all non-native species in GB. The website shows the most popular searches – the top being the Chinese mitten crab. The website also has a page of “Species Alerts” – which include the Asian hornet (which is currently worrying the Channel Islands) and the “killer shrimp”(!).
36 REPATRIATED TO CHINA FROM THE PHILIPPINES OVER TELECOM FRAUD
China.org on 8th November reported that a total of 36 telecom fraudsters have been returned from the Philippines to southern China’s Shenzhen. The suspects are behind more than 700 fraud cases across China involving over $2.6 million, according to the police.
EVEN LOBSTERS CAN’T ESCAPE TRUMP’S TRADE WAR
An article from Bloomberg on 7th November reported that crustacean economics was a textbook study in supply and demand until Chinese buyers lost their appetite. China began imposing a 25% retaliatory tariff on a long list of imports from the US, including live lobsters, on July 6th. Whilst Canadian crustaceans in Europe are duty-free. US lobsters are subject to an 8% tariff with no sign of imminent relief.
LAW COMMISSIONS OPEN CONSULTATION INTO NEW RULES FOR UK’S SELF-DRIVING FUTURE
On 8th November, the Law Commission reported that a consultation has been launched into future rules for automated vehicles, and that findings will feed into the transport regulations of the next generation. The consultation marks a major early milestone in the 3-year review by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission.
ENGLISH HIGH COURT REFUSES TO BLOCK ENFORCEMENT OF US DISCOVERY ORDER
The Lawyer on 8th November published a briefing from Collyer Bristow which says that the English High Court refused to grant an injunction to restrain the enforcement of a US discovery order against a former company director. The court has the power to block the enforcement of such orders if their enforcement would be “unconscionable”. On the specific facts of this case, however, the High Court concluded that it would not be unconscionable for the claimant to enforce the order, in particular because the order principally related to non-English proceedings, and the High Court had no “legitimate interest” in policing evidence-gathering in foreign proceedings.
MYANMAR HOSTS TALKS ON ASIA PACIFIC STRATEGY TO CONTROL DRUG-MAKING PRECURSOR CHEMICALS
The UNODC on 7th November reported that high-level delegations from East, South and South-east Asia are in the capital of Myanmar to consider the deteriorating synthetic drug situation in the region and negotiate a new strategy to address the diversion and trafficking of precursor chemicals used in production. For example, methamphetamine production and trafficking in the region has reached alarming levels in recent years, with seizures to-date in 2018 already exceeding records set in 2017. Powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl are being produced, diverted and trafficked in and from the region to North America and recently Australia, where they are being mixed into the opiate and heroin markets to maximise profits. Significant illicit production of ketamine has also been found in the Golden Triangle, primarily for export to China and Thailand, and it is increasingly being trafficked across the region in mixed shipments with methamphetamine.
WHY CAMEROON’S CONFLICT MATTERS FOR REGIONAL SECURITY
The International Institute for Strategic Studies on 6th November published an article saying that fighting between armed separatists and government forces in Cameroon’s economically important Anglophone south has been going on for nearly 2 years, and this article explains why the region can ill-afford any further escalation in the violence. The Ambazonia Defence Forces (ADF), the military wing of the separatist movement, waged a series of hit-and-run attacks against the Cameroonian Armed Forces.
UK: BORDER INSPECTION POINTS SHOULD BE A PRIORITY FOR FREE-FLOWING FRICTIONLESS TRADE
CILT on 7th November reported that its Freight and Logistics Policy Forum met in London to consider the arrangements needed to facilitate freight flows in the event of an adverse Brexit negotiation. The forum also reviewed the publicly available recommendations to business on planning for such an event. Amongst other things it said that the UK Government should be planning for Inland Border Inspection Points (BIP) which are bonded and customs certified and at which goods can be inspected as appropriate and cleared for customs and health purposes; and that BIP will need to be specific to categories of goods and for large shippers may be at their warehouses. At present nearly 4 million trucks (of which around half carry perishable and time critical cargoes) cross the Dover Straits each year’; any delays will be catastrophic for business both in the UK and the whole of the EU, especially Northern France and Belgium.
HOW CHINA WILL DEVELOP THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST
On 8th November, the Carnegie Moscow Center published an article saying that few noticed when Russia and China quietly signed a new program on developing trade and economic co-operation in the Russian Far East in 2018–2024, and a number of transborder projects have been revived — although, so far, their tangible results have been limited to exhibitions, conferences, and festivals.
EU COMMISSION REFERS LUXEMBOURG TO THE COURT OF JUSTICE FOR NOT COMPLETELY IMPLEMENTING EU AML RULES
A news release from the EU on 8th November reported that Luxembourg had been reported to the ECJ for only partially implementing the 4th Money Laundering Directive into national law. Member States had to transpose the Directive into national law by 26th June.
UK AND NUCLEAR POWER
On 8th November, a House of Commons Library Briefing Paper summarises current progress on nuclear power, including conventional reactors, advanced designs, waste disposal and nuclear research.
PRIVATE COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS WITH SNIFFER DOG TEAMS WILL SOON BE ABLE TO SCREEN AIR CARGO IN THE US
Loadstar on 8th November reported that the TSA has approved 12 organisations to assess third-party explosives detection canine teams. From November 1st, it will able to start the process to certify sniffer dog teams. Under the new programme, third-party canine teams trained in explosives detection can be certified by the non-governmental entities, acting under the approval of the TSA. Certified teams can be deployed to screen air cargo for aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, and other TSA-regulated parties operating under a TSA-approved or accepted security programme.
US REIMPOSES FINAL TRANCHE OF IRAN-RELATED SANCTIONS
Law firm Wilmer Hale on 8th November published a useful blog post detailing some of the most important details of the re-imposed US sanctions from 5th November – including on oil sales, the financial and shipping sectors; as well as mentioning the General License for “humanitarian trade”.
ODESA, KYIV AND DNIPROPETROVSK OBLAST CUSTOMS AMONG MOST CORRUPT IN UKRAINE
The Kyiv Post on 8th November reported on a study undertaken by the Institute of Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IERPC), in co-operation with the EU and the International Renaissance Foundation. It found that the country’s most corrupt customs services are in Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv and Odesa oblasts (provinces). Ukraine loses around $4.8 billion per year from corruption at customs, according to the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, a Ukrainian civil society organisation – or 20 times more than state financing for science in Ukraine, or almost 5 times higher than public spending on procuring medicines in 2018.
NIRAV MODI DECLARED PROCLAIMED ABSCONDER IN CUSTOMS CASE
India Today reported on 8th November that Modi, also the prime suspect in the PNB Bank affair, has been designated by a court as a “proclaimed absconder” in a customs duty evasion case filed in March and ordered to appear in person on November 15th.
ECUADOR SEIZES 589 KG OF COCAINE DESTINED FOR BELGIUM
Trend on 8th November reported that anti-narcotic police seized 589 kg of cocaine hidden in a container filled with bananas in the western port city of Guayaquil. It was hidden in 20 suitcases and was destined for Belgium. So far this year, 9.5 tonnes of drugs have been seized at the country’s ports.
FINANCIAL LOSSES FROM CYBER ATTACKS JUMP 680% IN HONG KONG
Baker McKenzie on 8th November reported that Hong Kong is increasingly becoming a prime target for cyber threats as financial losses related to cyber crime has risen 680% over the 5-year period from 2012-2016, according to statistics from the Hong Kong Police Force. In addition, PwC said its cyber investigations in the market have increased 5-fold between 2016 and 2017.
TOWARDS A BINDING INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
The EU Parliament Research Service has produced an update on its briefing paper from April, about the work of an intergovernmental working group was established within the UN framework in June 2014, with the task of drafting a binding treaty on human rights and business. After being reluctant at the outset, the EU has become involved in the negotiations, but has insisted that the future treaty’s scope should include all businesses, not only transnational ones.
EUROPEAN SUPERVISORY AUTHORITIES LAUNCH CONSULTATION ON AML/CFT CO-OPERATION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE
A news release from the Joint Committee of the 3 European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA) available on Mondo Visione on 8th November advises that the they have launched a consultation on draft Guidelines on the co-operation and information exchange between competent authorities supervising credit and financial institutions for the purposes of AML/CFT supervision. The draft Guidelines are part of their wider work on fostering a common approach to AML/CFT within the EU. The Guidelines propose the creation of AML/CFT colleges of supervisors and set out the rules governing their establishment and operation. The consultation runs to 8th February.