OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 26

26th October 2019

EU AMENDED VARIOUS SANCTIONS REGIMES TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF DATA PROTECTION LAW

EU Regulations 2019/1777/EU and 2019/1778/EU AND EU Council Decision 2019/1789/CFSP  and 2019/1790/CFSP amended existing sanctions Regulations and Decisions to insert a new Article providing the legal cover for the processing and use of personal data.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.272.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:272:TOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.272.01.0003.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:272:TOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.272.01.0150.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:272:TOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.272.01.0152.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:272:TOC

RUSSIA SAID TO BE KEEN TO MANUFACTURE MILITARY HARDWARE WITH SOUTH AFRICA

On 25th October, Defence Web reported that Russia has expressed interest in jointly producing military equipment with South Africa, as South Africa is the leading defence hardware manufacturer on the African continent.  The article was based on comments by according to Dmitry Shugaev, the head of the Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation.  The head of Rosoboronexport, the Russian state arms exporter, recently said that African countries account for a third of the holding company’s order book.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/russia-keen-to-manufacture-military-hardware-with-south-africa/

KENYA: BIRTHS REGISTER OFFICE RAIDED IN CRACKDOWN

On 25th October, the Daily Nation reported that 2 senior officers at the Department of Civil Registration have been dismissed in an impromptu raid meant to crack down on corruption in the issuance of birth certificates.

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Matiangi-raids-births-register-office/1056-5325308-a9l41ez/index.html

ZIMBABABWE: US STATE DEPARTMENT DESIGNATES OWEN NCUBE FOR ALLEGED GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS

On 25th October, a news release from the US State Department announced that it has credible information that Owen Ncube was involved in gross violations of human rights in his capacity as Zimbabwe’s Minister of State for National Security.  He is now ineligible for entry into the US.

https://www.state.gov/public-designation-of-owen-ncube-due-to-involvement-in-gross-violations-of-human-rights-under-section-7031c-of-the-fy-2019-department-of-state-foreign-operations-and-related-programs-appropriati

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/sanctions-zimbabwe-owen-ncube-protest-crackdown-191026052601633.html

UK: DELIVERY DRIVER WHO SMUGGLED MORE THAN 8 MILLION UNTAXED CIGARETTES IN PALLETS OF GRAPES HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF DUTY EVASION

A CPS news release on 25th October advised that Milkos Sokorai, 48, claimed he was delivering grapes but when Border Force stopped his vehicle at the Port of Dover, they found more than 8 million packets of cigarettes in the refrigerated trailer that he was attempting to smuggle into the UK, and worth almost £4 million, with £2.5 million tax due as a result.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/delivery-driver-who-smuggled-counterfeit-cigarettes-pallets-grapes-found-guilty-tax

IRELAND: GARDAI SEIZE €500,000 AND QUIZ KINAHAN CARTEL SUSPECT OVER ALLEGED MONEY LAUNDERING

On 26th October, the Irish Independent reported that, following a series of raids in Dublin, the Gardai had seized €500,000 in cash and was questioning a 60-year-old man suspected of links to the Kinahan crime gang.  The money was seized by officers under an intelligence-led operation targeting what was described as ‘an International Organised Crime Group’.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/gardai-seize-500k-and-quiz-kinahan-cartel-suspect-over-alleged-money-laundering-38632000.html

CLAIM THAT CHELTENHAM HORSE RACE WINNER BOUGHT WITH PROCEEDS OF CRIME

On 26th October, the Irish Independent reported that the High Court in Dublin has ruled that 90% of Labaik, which won the Supreme Novices Hurdles at Cheltenhem had been bought by a convicted drug dealer, John Boylan (aka John Power), together with Dublin property.  The court heard that Boylan had 67 previous convictions and was involved in the sale and supply of drugs in Dublin.  The horse had been seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/cheltenham-winner-bought-with-proceeds-of-crime-high-court-38632390.html

https://www.thesun.ie/news/4702256/horse-seized-criminal-assets-bureau-race-cheltenham/

3 US LAW FIRMS FILE CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST INDIAN COMPANY INFOSYS

Business Today in India reported on 26th October that 3 US investor rights law firms have filed a class-action lawsuit against Infosys after a group of whistleblower group of employees alleged the company and its CEO Salil Parekh of indulging in unethical practices.  The allegations were that the company’s management inappropriately boosted short-term revenue and profit.  Both the SEC and the Indian regulator SEBI are said to be seeking more details from Infosys, an Indian multinational corporation that provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services.

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/three-us-law-firms-file-class-action-lawsuit-against-infosys/story/386911.html

UK TRADE AGREEMENTS WITH NON-EU COUNTRIES IN A NO-DEAL BREXIT

On 26th October, the Department for International Trade provided updated information on which new trade agreements will be in place if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries-in-a-no-deal-brexit

MARIO ESTRADA, FORMER GUATEMALAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO IMPORT COCAINE INTO THE US

An article in Insight Crime on 26th October reported the guilty plea and said that it had triggered a backlash against President Jimmy Morales, who is said to have ties to Estrada.  Estrada made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2006.  He and an associate, Juan Pablo González Mayorga, had been caught in a DEA sting.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/mario-estrada-guilty-plea-guatemala/

A PRIMER ON CHINA’S NEW WHITE PAPER 

On 17th October, Diplomatic Courier carried a short article about the White Paper, China and the World in the New Era, published in September.  Its focus was on development and economic success, and its contents, along with the subsequent military parade, exemplify how the PRC aims to project its power globally.  It says that one message is clear: the the Party will most definitely continue state-controlled development and will not accept any criticism of this approach.  A second message from the White Paper is said to be that China will continue to be a development donor, and argues that all countries, especially developing countries, should follow China’s development agenda.  Despite the White Paper’s claim of respecting sovereignty, it is said, China’s development policy is a tool to draw recipients closer to China’s sphere of influence.  A third takeaways from this White Paper is that China plans to be an active global player, albeit not one upholding the established international order, with an aggressive foreign policy that circumvents the long-standing free international ruled-based order.

https://www.diplomaticourier.com/posts/a-primer-on-chinas-new-white-paper

IRISH REVENUE SEIZES OVER HALF-TONNE OF TOBACCO IN DUBLIN PORT

On 24th October, the Revenue Commissioners reported that officers in Dublin Port seized approximately 600 kg of unstamped tobacco.  The tobacco was discovered when officers stopped and searched 2 separate shipments originating from Belgium.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2019/pr-251019-tobacco-seizure.aspx

CLEANING UP CORRUPTION IS A KEY TO MIDDLE EAST STABILITY

An article in National Review on 24th October says that headlines in the Middle East revolve around the risks from terrorism, drone attacks and attacks on oil facilities and tankers, but the real long-term threat to the stability of the region is the lack of respect for the Rule of Law.  It says that across much of the developing world, the corruption of courts and other government institutions threatens the free flow of goods and capital that promotes economic growth.  A report by Refinitiv found that 73% of Middle Eastern companies, rising to 85% in Saudi Arabia, are aware of financial crime in their global operations.  The article cites the role that Ahmed al-Rajhi, Saudi minister of labour, has played in the Tameer Holding scandal, the greatest real estate fraud in the history of the Middle East, a debacle valued at $1.8 billion by courts in Dubai and which has dragged on for 11 years.  The article argues that if regions like the Middle East are ever going to build a stable middle class through economic growth and if the world’s trading system is going to thrive, countries must make sure that corrupt players cannot subvert the rule of law, whether it’s by the purloining of intellectual property, the fleecing of investors or denying justice through endless delays.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/cleaning-up-corruption-is-a-key-to-middle-east-stability/

US CUSTOMS PROPOSES RELAXING JONES ACT RESTRICTIONS ON MARITIME TRADE

American Shipper on 25th October reported that the Trump administration is considering revoking past guidance on how US maritime law is interpreted, a move that could expose offshore oil, gas and wind operations to more foreign-flag vessels.  Possible changes would revise the definition of offshore “lifting operations” to clarify that certain “lateral movements” of service vessels are not considered transportation, and relax rules for vessels supporting the offshore oil, gas and wind operations.  The Jones Act does not allow for the lateral movement of merchandise, i.e. within the US, by foreign-flagged ships.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/us-customs-proposes-relaxing-jones-act-restrictions

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NEW ZEALANDER ACCUSED OF GERMAN TAX FRAUD ESTABLISHES LARGE PROPERTY EMPIRE

In its 27th October edition, Stuff reported that Paul Mora, 51, and Martin Shields, 41, an Irish maths whizz who studied at Oxford University, worked at the German bank HypoVereinsbank (HVB) from 2002 and together founded investment banking firm Ballance Capital in about 2008.  Now Shields, who worked with Mora mainly in London between 2000 and 2012, is currently before the Bonn regional court in Germany, answering questions about a complex tax scheme that allegedly deprived German taxpayers of countless millions.  At HVB and Ballance, the pair made millions for clients and themselves through complex share transactions to get more than one tax refund on the same deal.  Mora has not been charged but is “under investigation” and has denied any wrongdoing. A German court will have to determine whether the share transactions known as “cum-ex” deals (transactions designed to strip dividends) were legal and whether people participating can be convicted of crimes.  The article details the holdings established by Mora.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/116935260/kiwi-accused-of-german-tax-fraud-establishes-large-property-empire

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

CHAIR OF UN SOMALIA SANCTIONS COMMITTEE STRESSES NEED TO UPDATE SANCTIONS AND LONG-STANDING RESTRICTIONS ON ARMS IMPORTS

Relief Web reproduced a UN news release on 25th October which reported that the head of the Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee had said that, whereas long-standing restrictions on the importation of weapons have largely prevented their flow into the hands of Al-Shabaab — a group responsible for ongoing terror attacks across the Horn of Africa — those measures require updating to better reflect reality on the ground.  This was during a UN Security Council briefing.  The briefing also spotlighted the continuing threat that Al-Shabaab poses to Somalia and the broader region.  Indeed, it was said, there is now confirmation that Al-Shabaab is manufacturing home-made explosives, expanding its revenue base, and was once again responsible for the highest number of attacks against civilians in the region.  There was a need to apply targeted sanctions to deter destructive behaviour in Somalia — including by arms traffickers and charcoal dealers, terrorism financiers and political spoilers.  Concerning the ban on Somalia’s import and export of charcoal, he said it is clear that Al-Shabaab no longer derives significant revenue from that trade, but there were strong links between Al-Shabaab and crime syndicates engaged in the smuggling of people, weapons, sugar, tobacco, bomb components and narcotics as well as precursor substances.

https://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/chair-somalia-sanctions-committee-stresses-need-update-long-standing-restrictions

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

GERMANY SHIPPING DEPLETED URANIUM TO RUSSIA

Deutsche Welle on 25th October reported that depleted uranium from a German enrichment plant is being shipped to Russia for reprocessing from the uranium enrichment plant in Gronau, operated by URENCO.  It is said that around 600 tonnes of UF6 depleted uranium [had been] sent to Russia for re-enrichment in a special transport, which had left the site at the end of July.  Depleted uranium — uranium hexafluoride — is a colourless radioactive powder that is a by-product of manufacturing fuel for nuclear power plants.  It is estimated that between the mid-90s and 2010 around 30,000 tonnes had been sent to Russia, destined for processing plants in the Urals and Siberia.  It is said that the nuclear industry refers to the uranium not as “nuclear waste” in this context, but as “recyclable material”.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-shipping-depleted-uranium-to-russia/a-50995522

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU REPLACES 1 ENTRY ON BURUNDI SANCTIONS LIST

EU Regulation 2019/1779/EU replaced the entry for Godefroid BIZIMANA, former Deputy Director General of the National Police, following a review.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2019.272.01.0005.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2019:272:TOC

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y