REPORT TO US CONGRESS ON IRAN SANCTIONS

On 12th July, the Congressional Research Service produced a report which examined the current situation in respect of US sanctions imposed on Iran and their implementation (as well as other international sanctions).  Appendix A lists and compares US, EU, UN and other sanctions.

https://news.usni.org/2019/07/16/report-to-congress-on-iran-sanctions-2

 

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COMPLIANCE IN FRANCE IN 2019

On 9th July, White & Case published the chapter it had prepared for Europe, Middle East and Africa Investigations Review 2019.  It discusses the continued effects of Sapin II (the law on transparency, corruption and modernisation of the economy) on anti-corruption, the new enforcement climate after Sapin II and the upcoming ‘blocking statute’ reform, as well as the duty of vigilance law (an an obligation on companies to prevent social, environmental and governance risks related to their operations that may also extend to the activities of their subsidiaries and business partners, subcontractors and suppliers). and other developments – including creation and use of a deferred prosecution agreement (CJIP) equivalent, whistleblowing, extending “name and shame” provisions to tax fraud.

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/article/compliance-france-2019

 

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ST MAARTEN MUST GIVE PRIORITY TO AML LAWS TO AVOID REPERCUSSIONS

On 16th July, the Daily Herald reported that St Maarten will have to give high priority in the coming months to securing the recommendations of FATF in legislation if it is to avoid a public warning which will have serious repercussions for international banking traffic, according to the Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.  In 2012, CFATF determined in 2012 that St. Maarten did not comply with 14 of the 16 main FATF recommendations.  In 2017, the non-compliance still existed because St. Maarten did not comply with 11 recommendations. Therefore, St Maarten was placed in the first stage of more stringent follow-up in November 2017.  This means that St Maarten is subject to more frequent follow-up reports and the possibility of implementing phased countermeasures.  CFATF sent the St. Maarten government a warning letter in 2018 and a high-level mission to St. Maarten took place.  Also in 2018, CFATF made an agreement with St Maarten about the implementation and change of 6 crucial AML/CFT laws.  However, CFATF decided to maintain St. Maarten’s status quo late May 2019.  If real improvement is not made, the next stage would be a public declaration on St Maarten’s shortcomings, which could take place in November.

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89201-st-maarten-must-give-priority-to-anti-money-laundering-laws

 

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US SANCTIONS TOP MYANMAR MILITARY LEADERS OVER ‘GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS’

UPI and others on 17th July reported that the US State Department had announced that it sanctioned 4 senior Myanmar military officials for “gross human rights violations” committed against the Rohingya people.  Sanctions were applied to Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Brigadier General Than Oo and Brigadier General Aung Aung and prohibits them and their family members from entering the United States.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/07/17/US-sanctions-top-Myanmar-military-leaders-over-gross-human-rights-violations/2231563337344/

https://www.state.gov/public-designation-due-to-gross-violations-of-human-rights-of-burmese-military-officials/

 

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PANAMA: CORRUPTION REMAINS BIGGEST CHALLENGE

MENA FN on 16th July reported that corruption remains Panama’s biggest challenge, according to a US State Department report on the investment climate released on July 11th.  The report notes that US investors claim that there is “rampant corruption” in both the private and public sectors and recalls that Panama ranked 93 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in 2018.  The State Department points out in particular problems with land title, and the lack of transparency in public procurement.

https://menafn.com/1098764979/Panama-corruption-remains-biggest-challenge-US-State-Department

 

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HOW NORTH KOREA GOT KIM HIS ARMOURED MERCEDES MAYBACH LIMOUSINE

A feature in The Drive on 16th July is concerned with the late body armoured Mercedes-Maybach S600 said to have been smuggled into the country via a circuitous route that included stops in China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.  The article says the case underlines the sanctions-busting arrangements of North Korea that has enabled the regime in Pyongyang to import more than 800 foreign cars and trucks, including luxury models, in total from several countries since 2016.  It cites a C4DS report, also published on 16th July, and in which analysts used advanced software and systems, and focussed on the particular case of 2 Mercedes-Maybach S600.  A potential complication is that the cars may not actually be from-factory S600 Pullman Guards, but rather S600s that subsequently received an armour package from a third party company.  The cars were tracked from Rotterdam to China, to Osaka, Japan. And thence to Busan, South Korea.  From Busan, reportedly, dockworkers loaded the cars onto DN5505, a Togo-flagged cargo ship belonging to Do Young Shipping Company, which has its headquarters registered in the Marshall Islands.  The ship set sail with its stated destination being Nakhodka, Russia but appeared to turn off its transponder and the signal did not reappear until after an 18-day gap.  After arriving back in South Korea the ship’s crew informed customs officials that it had picked up a cargo of coal in Nakhodka.  Around the same time, North Korea sent cargo planes capable of carrying the cars to Vladivostok in Russia, which is around 3 hours driving distance to the east of Nakhodka.  The DN5505 owner appears to be Russian businessman, Danil Kazachuk.  In February, South Korea seized the ship as part of an investigation into exports of North Korean coal in violation of international sanctions, and the same month detained the Panama-flagged tanker Katrin, the only other ship Do Young owns, on suspicion of delivery petroleum products to North Korea, again in violation of international sanctions.  The article says that the journey of the S600 to North Korea between June and October 2018, a trip that involved at least 5 different companies across 5 separate countries, highlights just how difficult it is to truly isolate the regime in Pyongyang from an only increasingly interconnected global economy.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/28999/heres-how-north-korea-got-kim-jong-un-his-new-armored-s600-mercedes-maybach-limos

The C4DS report is at –

https://www.c4reports.org/lux-and-loaded

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QATARI MISSILE FOUND WITH ITALIAN NEO-NAZI GROUP SLIPPED THROUGH THE ARMS CONTROL NET

An article from The National in the UAE on 16th July was concerned with the discovery of a functioning air-to-air guided missile in Italy.  An expert is quoted as saying that it probably ended on the black market where the group managed to get hold of it and it might have been that Qatar got rid of them when doing an upgrade.  Another expert speculated that the Qatari weapons could somehow have ended up in conflict zones in the former Yugoslavia or to Libya and then subsequently trafficked to Italy.  Almost as worrying is that there was no proof of its movements.  The French-built Matra Super 530F was a modernisation of the R530 missile that went into service in 1980 and was found to have previously been used by the Qatari army.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/qatari-missile-found-with-italian-neo-nazi-slipped-through-the-net-1.887004

 

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