HAPPY 2020 FROM PANAMA!
Still operating away from “home” and a proper/decent PC and Internet connection…
1st January 2020
PODCAST: HOW CRIMINALS JUSTIFY THEIR CONDUCT
In the first TRACE podcast of the new year, it is re-posting an interview with Shaul Shalvi on his research into what motivates criminals. This, it says is because compliance professionals showing increased interest in behavioural ethics and asking not just how employees and others engage in misconduct, but also why.
DETERMINING THE “ORIGIN” OF PROCESSED DIAMONDS FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES
An alert from Crowell & Moring on 31 December was concerned with how US Customs and Border Protection categorised rough diamonds mined in Botswana and shipped to the US where they are evaluated for size, shape, and brilliance, then shipped to China where they are sawn and blocked, and then sent on to India where they are cut, faceted, and polished, suitable for the use in manufacture of jewellery, but remained unmounted at the time of importation into the US. In this case, it was held that the cutting and polishing of the rough diamonds in India was a significant manufacturing operation which has the effect of changing the character of the outer surface of the rough diamond, resulting in a substantial transformation of the product. Therefore, the country of origin of the cut and polished diamonds is India. This highlights the importance, and potential difficulty, of determining the proper customs status of goods processed or reprocessed before final importation into the destination country – and which could affect what import duties and/or preferential rates are available.
PAKISTAN: CLAIMED 10,000% INCREASE IN THE TERRORISTS’ FROZEN AND CONFISCATED FUNDS IN 1½ YEARS
In its 2 January edition, the Pakistan Observer reported claims by the Pakistan government in the National Assembly that due, to the strict interrogation policy of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), a substantial increase has been made in the terrorists’ frozen and confiscated funds.
CORRUPTION WHISTLEBLOWER LAW ENTERS INTO FORCE IN UKRAINE
On 1 January, UNIAN reported that Ukraine’s new law amending anti-graft legislation and introducing “corruption whistleblowers” has entered into force. The law is set to protect and provide financial incentives to whistleblowers who report corruption-related offences. The Ukrainian government will provide a monetary reward to whistleblowers for important tips that will help investigate high-profile corruption-related crimes where damage incurred to the state budget.
INDIA: FISH-FARMING FRAUD
The ANI news agency in India reported on 1 January that the Enforcement Directorate had attached (restrained) assets relating to the alleged IDBI fish farming loan fraud case.
ALGERIA’S RICHEST MAN WALKS FREE ON TIME SERVED AFTER RECEIVING 6-MONTH SENTENCE
News 24 on 1 January reported that Algeria’s richest man Issad Rebrab, 74, head of Algeria’s biggest privately-owned conglomerate Cevital – who was one of several tycoons arrested in April as part of a sweeping corruption investigation – walked free on time served after a court sentenced him to 6 months for tax, banking and customs offences. In the same case, Jordan-based Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, which was also prosecuted and was fined, along with Cevital subsidiary Evcon. Forbes magazine lists Rebrab as Algeria’s richest man and the sixth-wealthiest in Africa.
SUDAN’S MINISTER OF RELIGION ORDERS GRAFT PROBE IN HIS MINISTRY
On 1 January, OCCRP reported that, after having detected contract irregularities and theft in the Sudan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments, the Minister announced that a special team of investigators will comb the department dealing with endowments and pilgrimages to Mecca.