On 18th March, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that Alexander Vladimirovich ZAKHARCHENKO had been from the consolidated list and are no longer subject to an asset freeze. This followed Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/408 of 15th March.
On 18th March, a Notice from HM Treasury said that on 21st July 2017, Wael Abdulkarim was removed from the UK Consolidated List, following the Adbulkarim vs Council ECJ court judgement. However, the annulment of EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/383 insofar as it related to Mr Abdulkarim, did not result in Mr Abdulkarim being delisted. He was therefore removed from the Consolidated List in error in July 2017. Mr Abdulkarim has therefore remained subject to financial sanctions since July 2017 and continues to be.
Nikkei Asian Review on 18th March reported that Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security is investigating a loss-making oil and gas project in Venezuela, as Vietnam probes corruption involving state enterprises. Vietnamese authorities have asked state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) to “provide all documents relating to the implementation of the project” to tap and upgrade the Junin-2 oil field in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt, an area thought to contain the world’s largest oil reserves. PVN terminated the contract in December 2013, determining that little progress had been made, but the ministry is looking into suspected legal violations before the termination.
The BBC reported on 18th March reported that a former owner of Portsmouth Football Club has been jailed for 2½ years in Russia for bank fraud. Vladimir Antonov was involved in a £1.75 million loan from Sovetsky bank to a front company, knowing that it would not be repaid.
On 18th March, 112 UA reported that Australia had followed the UK, US and EU on those connected with the Kerch Strat incident in November. Targeted financial sanctions and a travel ban were also applied to the 3 ‘leaders’ from separatist-controlled parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
On 18th March, OCCRP reported that 10 European companies trading in timber have sourced $2.26 million of wood from a company engaged in illegal logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a report from Global Witness. The findings are especially worrying because most of the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest is in the DRC, said the report. The report tracks the logging of a concession owned by Industrie Forestière du Congo (IFCO), a timber trader which operates 2 concessions in the Congo Basin forest. It claims that IFCO bought those concessions from Cotrefor, a logging company long accused of illegal logging, alleged to be controlled by financiers of Hezbollah.
On 18th March, the Government of Gibraltar published a detailed Brexit Statement for the Financial Services Sector. The Statement sets out the framework for the post-Brexit environment and addresses a range of topics including the status of Gibraltar under EU law, arrangements between the UK and Gibraltar and Gibraltar’s Temporary Permissions Regime.
On 18th March, a news release from the OECD said that the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has risen steadily in the last few years – even as overall trade volumes stagnated – and now stands at 3.3% of global trade, according to a new report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office. The report puts the value of imported fake goods worldwide based on 2016 customs seizure data at $509 billion, up from $461 billion in 2013 (2.5% of world trade). For the EU, counterfeit trade represented 6.8% of imports from non-EU countries, up from 5% in 2013. These figures do not include domestically produced and consumed fake goods, or pirated products being distributed via the Internet.
On 18th March, Customs Today reported that Ecuadorean authorities say they have arrested a Japanese man for attempting to illegally traffic wildlife out of the country as he tried to board his flight out of Quito with over 250 specimens of spiders and insects, both living and preserved. The biologist has been arrested. An expert at the initial hearing said that he identified a variety of spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, leaf insects, beetles, wasps, bees, and butterflies amongst the animals found in the luggage, saying that the species “aren’t threatened or protected by international agreements”.
Trade Arabia on 18th March reported that a ban on the insiders’ trading at public shareholding companies listed in the UAE capital markets took effect on March 17th.