6th February 2019
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL ACCUSES UAE OF DIVERTING ARMS TO “MILITIAS” IN YEMEN
Thomson Reuters on 6th February reported that Amnesty International accused the UAE of diverting arms supplied by Western and other states. “Emirati forces receive billions of dollars’ worth of arms from Western states and others, only to syphon them off to militias in Yemen that answer to no-one and are known to be committing war crimes,” Amnesty said in a statement. Amnesty called on states to suspend arms sales to the warring parties.
WORLD’S LARGEST FISH FACTORY VESSEL STAYS ON IUU LIST
Maritime Executive on 5th February reported that the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) has decided to keep the fish factory vessel Damanzaihao (now named Vladivostok 2000) on its list of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels. The organisation has also issued warnings to China, Panama and Cook Islands for providing assistance to the vessel. It says that Vladivostok 2000, currently flagged to Moldova, is one of the world’s largest vessels with a history of changing names and reflagging to different countries.
US CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION PROGRAMME COUNTERS ILLICIT ARMS TRAFFICKING IN CHAD
Dipnote, the blog of the US State Department reported on 30th January that the strategic Lake Chad Basin region is a nexus for illicit arms trafficking by local Al-Qaeda and ISIS affiliates, Boko Haram, and other violent extremist organisations. It reports on projects which destroy stockpiles of excess weapons and ammunition, and have become an important tool for stopping illicit diversions of weapons to violent extremist organisations, preventing accidental weapons depot explosions, and mitigating internal armed conflict. It said that the US has invested over $13.6 million in Chad since 1995 for the destruction of small arms, light weapons, and ammunition, physical security and stockpile management, landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance, and technical surveys and assessments, which are used to gain a better understanding of the problem and where best to apply limited US government assistance.
BANK IN PORTUGAL BLOCKS VENEZUELA’S ATTEMPT TO TRANSFER $1.2 BILLION TO URUGUAY
Reuters on 5th February reported that Portuguese bank, Novo Banco (which is 75% owned by US private equity firm Lone Star Funds), halted the $1.2 billion transfer of Venezuelan government financial assets to Uruguayan banks.
PODCAST: NORWAY’S SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND: PRIORITISING CORPORATE ETHICS
In the latest TRACE podcast, Johan H. Andresen chairs the Council on Ethics for the largest sovereign wealth fund on earth. With over US$1 trillion in assets, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global holds 1.3% of the world’s stocks, including investments in over 9000 companies across 70 countries. Andresen explains how the Council works to ensure that this vast array of investments reflects the values of the people of Norway.
PANAMA CRIMINALISES TAX EVASION BEHAVIOUR
Law firm Arias has published a short article on a new law which grants the Panama Tax Authority the faculties to investigate the tax crimes where the amount defrauded is less than $300,000.00) and grants the it the capacity to prosecute frauds equal or superior than $300,000.00 excluding fines, surcharges and monetary interests in the calculation of the total amount within the fiscal period. The Law establishes that the legal entities used to carry out tax evasion will be fined for up to 3 times the amount of the tax fraud.
ISLE OF MAN REMOVES 8 ENTITIES FROM IRAQ SANCTIONS LIST
On 6th February, the Isle of Man confirmed the removal of 8 names from the list of those remaining subject to sanctions in respect of Iraq, and following the decisions of the UN and EU.