ISLE OF MAN AND UK CONFIRM EU TURKISH SANCTIONS LISTINGS

On 28 February, a news release from the Isle of Man advised that the recently adopted EU sanctions listing of 2 officials of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has effect in the Island.

A Notice from HM Treasury was also published on 28 February.

https://www.gov.im/news/2020/feb/28/financial-sanctions-turkey/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/869298/Notice_Turkey_2020_274.pdf

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MILITARY-GRADE SOFTWARE AND MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY FOR WEAPONS-CAPABLE CHIP PARTS TO BE ADDED TO AN INTERNATIONAL LIST OF ITEMS SUBJECT TO EXPORT CONTROLS

iHLS on 27 February reported on a decision of the 42 member states of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, the international non-binding regime that restricts the exporting of commodities and technologies that can be diverted for use by military forces and in weapons; and governs 9 dual-use technologies and 22 categories of weaponry.  The states have agreed to add military-grade software and manufacturing technology for weapons-capable chip parts to an international list of items subject to export controls in an effort to counter cyberattacks and other threats.  Members of the group include the UK, Russia, India and South Korea, but China, Iran and North Korea do not participate. The agreement was reached unanimously at a meeting in December.

https://i-hls.com/archives/99301

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 27

27 February 2020

GULNARA KARIMOVA, IMPRISONED DAUGHTER OF LATE UZBEK PRESIDENT, HAS OFFERED TO RETURN $686 MILLION END CASE

On 26 February, Rferl reported that Gulnara Karimova, the imprisoned eldest daughter of the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, has offered to return $686 million to the country’s treasury in exchange for closure in the latest court case against her.

https://www.rferl.org/a/jailed-gulnara-karimova-offers-686-million-frozen-in-swiss-bank-for-freedom/30455680.html

 

OVER A DOZEN ROMANIAN BANKS PROBED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

On 27 February, Romania Insider reported that the central bank had said it is investigating 16-17 local banks for an “awkward transaction” related to money laundering.  In at least one case, money from the Danske Bank scandal passed through a local bank.

https://www.romania-insider.com/bnr-banks-money-laundering-probe-feb-2020

 

RISE OF THE EAST AFRICA CATTLE SMUGGLING CARTELS

A news release from ENACT Africa on 27 February says that cattle rustling has been commercialised by international criminal networks in East Africa, aided by a proliferation of small weapons.  This, it says, undermines development and has caused multiple deaths among rural communities and security forces.  In the region, small-scale farmers are the backbone of the regional beef industry but find their livelihoods threatened by criminals who supply stolen beef to growing urban meat markets.  A new report shows how cattle rustling characterised by high-intensity conflicts has left dozens killed or maimed in 2017 and 2018.  The report outlines the impact of these crimes on human security and development in the region, and how the problem can be mitigated.  Cattle rustling has become a form of organised crime embedded in the wider business of cattle trade. It is enabled by government corruption, with state officials turning a blind eye or collaborating with criminals; and cattle rustlers also exploit weak cross-border coordination between governments in the region.

https://enactafrica.org/research/research-papers/vanishing-herds-cattle-rustling-in-east-africa-and-the-horn

 

INDIA AMONG TOP SUPPLIERS OF PHARMA DRUGS USED IN TRAFFICKING

On the 27 February, The Hindu reported that globally most of the tramadol — a controlled substance — seized between 2013 and 2017 was reported to have originated in India.  According to the 2019 report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), released by United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), India features prominently among top manufacturers of illicit and licit drugs that are smuggled to other countries and into the hands of addicts.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-among-top-suppliers-of-pharma-drugs-used-in-trafficking-un-report/article30932029.ece#

 

US TREASURY DEPARTMENT LIFTS SANCTIONS AGAINST FORMER ISRAELI GENERAL ZIV

The Jerusalem Post on 27 February said that Israel Ziv was sanctioned in December 2018 over accusations of selling arms to South Sudanese during its civil war.  Ziv and his company Global CST were designated following allegations that he sold millions of dollars of arms to South Sudan during its civil war.

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/US-Treasury-Department-lifts-sanctions-against-former-IDF-general-619050

 

SOUTH AFRICANS AND LOOMING EXPAT TAX

On 27 February, International Adviser reported that the recent South African budget statement mentioned, in just 2 paragraphs, a so-called “expat tax”.  From 1 March, South African tax residents working in another country will be liable to pay the Revenue Service (Sars) for money earned abroad – although the budget did lift the annual limit to ZAR 1.25 million, from the initially proposed ZAR 1 million (US$65,600).  It is said that the Government proposes to remove the exchange control treatment for individuals, while strengthening the tax treatment, and that “the intention is to allow individuals who work abroad more flexibility, provided funds are legitimately sourced and the individual is in good standing with Sars”.  The current rules allow people to transfer ZAR 10 million offshore, while this remains unchanged anyone breaching this limit “will be subjected to a more stringent verification process”, with this phased in by 1 March 2021.

https://international-adviser.com/small-consolation-for-south-africans-hit-by-looming-expat-tax/

 

REGULATORY FORECAST 2020 – HOW THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE SUPPLY CHAINS ARE CAUGHT IN THE REGULATORY CROSSFIRE

On 26 February, Crowell Moring published a report that explores the impact of regulatory changes on the technology industry and other sectors, and provides insight into what an in-house counsel can expect to face in the coming year.  It highlights the driving forces behind the increased regulatory focus, including access to the data, online platforms, and cutting-edge technologies that define competitive advantage. It explores regulatory trends in antitrust, environment and natural resources, and public affairs.  One chapter focuses on international trade and how the current trade conflict has created a new set of challenges for companies with supply chains reliant on China.  The article is said to offer in-house counsel considerations for moving forward.

https://www.crowell.com/NewsEvents/Regulatory-Forecast/2020

 

US STATE DEPARTMENT TERRORISM DESIGNATION OF AHMAD AL-HAMIDAWI

A news release from the US State Department on 26 February explained the reasons for the Department designating Ahmad al-Hamidawi a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).  Ahmad al-Hamidawi is the Secretary General of Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), an Iran-backed terrorist group active in Iraq and Syria, which the Department  designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT in July 2009.  KH has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Iraq, including IED attacks, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and sniper operations.

https://www.state.gov/state-department-terrorist-designation-of-ahmad-al-hamidawi/

 

UK: REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEWED OF TERRORISM LEGISLATION FOR 2018 NOT PUBLISHED

The EU Sanctions Blog on 27 February reported that the 2018 report had not been published, despite being submitted and vetted.  It notes that the Home Secretary must lay a copy of the report before Parliament as soon as the Secretary of State is satisfied that doing so will not prejudice any criminal proceedings.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2020/02/uk-independent-reviewer-of-terrorism-legislation-2018-report-not-released-for-publication/

 

FORECASTING NEW TRENDS IN IRAN THREAT NETWORK FOREIGN OPERATIONS TRADECRAFT

An article in the always interesting CTC Journal from the Combating terrorism Center at West Point looks at the aftermath of the killing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force chief.  It warns that Iran and the foreign legion of Shi`a proxies at its disposal are likely to employ new types of operational tradecraft, including deploying cells comprised of operatives from various proxy groups and potentially even doing something authorities worry about but have never seen to date, namely encouraging Shi`a homegrown violent extremist terrorist attacks.  One of the conclusions of the article is that the most likely scenarios for near-term operations targeting the US or its allies involve attacks on US and other forces in the region and a wide range of cyberattacks.

https://ctc.usma.edu/fighters-without-borders-forecasting-new-trends-iran-threat-network-foreign-operations-tradecraft/

 

INTERVIEW WITH AN OFFICIAL AT EUROPOL’S EU INTERNET REFERRAL UNIT

Another article in the latest edition of the CTC Journal consists of an interview about a campaign involving Europol and the social media messaging service Telegram, which engaged in a serious disruption campaign against the Islamic State’s channels and groups on the platform, about the ongoing relationship with social media companies, and the continued challenge of combating terrorist content online.  The official requested anonymity but Europol has reviewed this interview and approved its publication.  He starts by explaining that the IRU was set up in 2015, to build on existing capacity within Europol (the EU police agency) to monitor and analyse terrorist propaganda, meaning jihadist propaganda, and to engage with online service providers to flag terrorist content to them and find solutions on how to disrupt the dissemination of terrorist content online.

https://ctc.usma.edu/view-ct-foxhole-interview-official-europols-eu-internet-referral-unit/

 

UK: REVIEW OF DRUGS: PHASE ONE REPORT

On 27 February, the Home Office released phase one of a report which provides a detailed analysis of the challenges posed by drug supply and demand, including the ways in which drugs fuel serious violence.  Professor Dame Carol Black was commissioned in February 2019 to undertake an independent review of drugs. This was to inform the UK government’s thinking on what more can be done to tackle the harm that drugs cause.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-drugs-phase-one-report

The NCA has issued a statement on the report –

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/nca-statement-on-professor-dame-carol-black-review-of-drugs

 

AUSTRALIA: FAKE TAHITIAN PRINCE IMPRISONED OVER THE THEFT OF $16 MILLION FROM QUEENSLAND HEALTH, RELEASED AND DEPORTED TO NEW ZEALAND

On 27 February, the Canberra Times reported that fake Tahitian prince Joel Morehu-Barlow, who was imprisoned over the theft of $16 million from Queensland Health, has been released from jail and deported to New Zealand.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6653421/fake-prince-deported-after-jail-release

 

BRANCH OF MAJOR DUTCH BANK ABN AMRO RAIDED IN GERMAN CUM-EX SCANDAL INVESTIGATION

Deutsche Welle on 27 February reported that a Frankfurt branch of Dutch bank ABN Amro was searched in the bank’s second raid relating to the investigation.  ABN Amro is also said to be under investigation for money laundering, being suspected by Dutch authorities of money laundering after failing to report suspicious transactions.

https://www.dw.com/en/major-dutch-bank-raided-in-cum-ex-scandal-investigation/a-52562464

 

ZAMBIA SEIZES $3 MILLION BUGATTI OVER ALLEGED POSSIBLE MONEY LAUNDERING

Face2Face Africa reported on 27 February money laundering that authorities have confiscated a Bugatti Veyron imported into the country, pending investigations into possible money laundering.  It has been reported that car is owned by South African- -based Zimbabwean businessman, Ian Chamunorwa Nyarungwe Haruperi.

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/zambia-seizes-3m-bugatti-over-possible-money-laundering

 

UK: TOMMY ADAMS ORDERED TO REPAY £1.24 MILLION FOR DIRTY CASH LAUNDERING OPERATION

A CPS news release on 27 February advised that Thomas ‘Tommy’ Adams has been ordered to repay £1,243,270.75 for his part in a dirty cash laundering network.  He ran a money laundering operation with his associates, which was closed down in 2014.  The network was convicted of money laundering offences in two separate trials in 2017 and jailed for more than 30 years collectively.  Adams, a member of a prominent south London family, has been ordered to repay the full amount of his benefit by 26 May or he will face a further 7 years in prison.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/tommy-adams-ordered-repay-ps124m-dirty-cash-laundering-operation

 

HMRC ARRESTS 5 OVER LOAN CHARGE TAX FRAUD

On 27 February, Accountancy Daily reported that 4 men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with promoting arrangements designed to avoid paying the loan charge. It is thought that the arrests involve disguised remuneration, where schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of an ordinary remuneration, usually through an offshore trust, with the purpose of avoiding income tax and NIC. The loans are provided on terms that mean they are not repaid in practice, HMRC said.

https://www.accountancydaily.co/hmrc-arrests-five-over-loan-charge-fraud

 

ISRAEL: 2 MORE EX-OFFICIALS TO BE INDICTED IN SUBMARINES CASE

The Times of Israel on 27 February reported that former deputy national security adviser Avriel Bar-Yosef and commander of elite naval commando unit Shay Brosh face bribery and corruption charges.  The “Case 3000” investigation involves alleged corruption in the purchase of naval vessels from German shipbuilder ‎Thyssenkrupp.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/2-more-ex-officials-to-be-indicted-in-submarines-case

 

TANZANIA: RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION MANAGER FOUND GUILTY OF MONEY LAUNDERING

The Citizen on 27 February reported that a Turkish national, Yetkin Gen Mehmen, facilitation manager of the Turkish company building the Standard Gauge Railway, had been sentenced to 3 years in prison or paying a fine of around $43,000 – with $84,000, found on him at the airport as he prepared to leave the country, to be forfeited.

https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/news/1840340-5471334-afmfs6/index.html

 

INDIA FINES JEWELLERY COMPANY FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION IN $2 BILLION PNB BANK FRAUD

On 27 February, Reuters reported that India’s securities regulator has fined jewellery retailer Gitanjali Gems Ltd and its executives $695,700 for failing to disclose key information related to a $2 billion fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB).  Gitanjali’s promoter and MD, Mehul Choksi; his nephew, billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi, and others were accused of being involved in fraudulent transactions that led to losses of roughly $2 billion for PNB.  Modi was arrested in London in March last year and is currently fighting extradition to India, while Choksi, is said to be in hiding in the Caribbean.

https://in.reuters.com/article/india-fraud-punjab-natl-bank/india-fines-jewellery-firm-gitanjali-gems-for-withholding-information-in-2-billion-bank-fraud-idINKCN20L21Q

 

UK GAMBLING COMMISSION FINES MR GREEN £3 MILLION FOR AML FAILINGS

On 27 February, Calvin Ayre reported that the Gambling Commission has fined operator Mr Green over failings to verify customers’ source of funds.

https://calvinayre.com/2020/02/27/business/uk-gambling-regulator-fines-mr-green-aml-shortcomings/

 

SERIOUS ORGANISED CRIME AND BRITAIN’S FORTHCOMING INTEGRATED REVIEW

On 27 February, RUSI published a Commentary, arguing that the government should raise the national security threat from serious and organised crime to “Tier One” status.  It remarks that to date the threat has been a Tier Two threat.  However, it says that it is evident that the threat is increasing in scale and complexity.  It was estimated in 2015 to cost the economy £24 billion, and the latest figure, even at a conservative estimate, indicates that this figure has risen to £37 billion – a huge rise, even allowing for methodology differences.

https://rusi.org/commentary/serious-organised-crime-and-britain’s-forthcoming-integrated-review

 

SEVERAL MONTENEGRIN CITIZENS DETAINED AFTER ARUBA INTERCEPTED A SHIP CARRYING TONS OF COCAINE DESTINED FOR EUROPE

On 27 February, OCCRP reported that several Montenegrin citizens have been detained when authorities of the Caribbean island of Aruba intercepted a ship carrying tons of cocaine destined for Europe.  The ship, Arresa, sailing under the flag of Cameroon, was intercepted near Venezuela and carried about 5 tons of cocaine with a street value of €160 million.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/11704-aruba-detains-montenegrins-in-cocaine-bust

 

SHAM MARRIAGES IN EUROPE: RINGLEADER ARRESTED IN GERMANY

On 27 February, a news release from Europol reported that a cross-border criminal investigation into Indian nationals entering into bogus marriages for immigration purposes has led to the arrest in Germany of the ringleader of the network. This followed a parallel investigation for which an action day took place in Greece last year.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/sham-marriages-in-europe-ring-leader-arrested-in-germany

 

CAN PORT OF ANTWERP STEM THE FLOW OF COCAINE ENTERING EUROPE?

An article in Insight Crime on 27 February posed this question, saying that Antwerp has become the main entry point for cocaine into Europe, and authorities are actively trying to change that fact – but what can really be done besides continually increasing seizures of cocaine?  There is a plan which brings together local and federal police, customs, prosecutors, port authorities and city officials in Antwerp.  Its beefing up of port security structure is also being replicated in Latin America, in the source and transit countries.  The article reflects on the difficulties being encountered by the Antwerp plan.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/port-antwerp-belgium-cocaine-europe/

 

HONG KONG: DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERS OF COUNTERPARTIES IN CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS

On 27 February, Eversheds Sutherland published a briefing saying that, after identifying shortcomings, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited have published a series of materials to provide guidance and clarification on where rules impose certain disclosure obligations on listed issuers when they engage in different types of corporate transactions.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/global/Hong-Kong/Disclosure_of_Beneficial_Owners_of_Counterparties

 

4 WAYS THE DoJ SIDESTEPS THE FCPA STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

A post on the FCPA Blog on 27 February commented on how, in a recent case, the US DoJ has employed several notable legal strategies to reach the defendants’ conduct from over 18 years ago –

  • the 5-year statute of limitations is generally taken from the filing of an indictment;
  • the statute of limitations remains for a superseding indictment, as long as that new indictment does not substantially alter the original filing;
  • the statute of limitations remains even if the indictment, immediately upon filing, is sealed and kept secret for years; and
  • for conspiracy offences, the DoJ needs only prove that a single overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy occurred during the 5-year time limit, and then all parts of the conspiracy become punishable.

The post elaborates on these, arguing that the 5-year statute of limitations cannot be read literally to mean defendants should only fear legal repercussions for conduct that occurred in the last 5 years.

https://fcpablog.com/2020/02/27/four-ways-the-doj-sidesteps-the-fcpa-statute-of-limitations/

 

BERNARDO PAZ, TOP BRAZILIAN ART COLLECTOR, CLEARED OF MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

On 27 February, Art News reported that, after 2 years, an appeals court has cleared an eccentric art collector who built a massive sculpture park that reads as a who’s who of international contemporary art.  In 2017, he was sentenced to 9 years and 3 months for money laundering related to that sculpture park, after charges brought forth in a criminal complaint by Brazil’s federal prosecutors. Paz’s sister, Virgínia de Mello Paz, was also convicted and sentenced to 5 years. The new ruling also acquitted her.

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/collector-bernardo-paz-criminal-charges-cleared-1202679199/

 

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US SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS AND DE-LISTINGS 2009–2019

On 27 February, US thinktank, the Center for a New American Security published an article examining US sanctions listings and de-listing during the period, broken down by categories and sanctions regime.  If nothing else, the analysis shows the massive increase in the use of sanctions in the 10-year period, illustrated by the following chart –

https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/sanctions-by-the-numbers

Picture1

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EU UPDATES LIST OF VESSELS SAID TO BE INVOLVED IN ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING

EU Regulation 2020/269/EU of 26 February replaces the list of vessels involved in IUU fishing contained in Part B to the Annex to EU Regulation 468/2010/EU.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2020.056.01.0007.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2020:056:TOC

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HM TREASURY AND ISLE OF MAN CONFIRM REMOVAL OF 2 NAMES FROM ISIL/AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS LISTS

On 27 February, HM Treasury issued a Notice confirming the removal of Al-Mokhtar Ben Mohamed Ben Al-Mokhtar BOUCHOUCHA and Imad Ben Bechir Ben Hamda AL-JAMMALI from the Consolidated List, following the publication of EU Regulation 2020/259/EU.

A news release from the Isle of Man on 27 February followed suit.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/868938/Notice_ISIL_2020_259.pdf

https://www.gov.im/news/2020/feb/27/financial-sanctions-isil-daesh-and-al-qaida/

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2020.054.01.0029.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2020:054:TOC

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EU IMPOSES TRAVEL BAN AND ASSET FREEZING MEASURES ON 2 EXECUTIVES OF THE TURKISH PETROLEUM CORPORATION (TPAO) OVER CYPRUS OIL DRILLING

A news release from the EU on 27 February announced that the EU Council had imposed sanctions restrictions on 2 Turkish citizens under a framework for restrictive measures in response to Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean which was set up in November 2019.  The men have been named as Mehmet Ferruh Akalin, Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of TPAO, and Ali Coscun Namoglu, the Deputy Director of the Exploration Department.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/02/27/turkey-s-illegal-drilling-activities-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-eu-puts-two-persons-on-sanctions-list/

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.LI.2020.056.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2020:056I:TOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2020:056I:TOC

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UK TO WITHDRAW FROM EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT SYSTEM

On 27 February, the Guardian reported that, apparently acting against the warnings of senior law enforcement officials, the UK government said it would not be seeking to participate in the European arrest warrant (EAW) as part of the future relationship with the EU, instead wishing to opt for a “fast-track” extradition agreement similar to the so-called surrender agreements with Norway and Iceland (also non-EU states).  The Guardian comments that in 9 years to 2017/18, the UK sent back over 9,000 people using the EAW system, and brought back over 1,200.  It also points out that, with the EAW vastly shortening the average extradition timetables, before the arrest warrant existed it took 10 years to extradite Rachid Ramda from Britain to France over his role in the 1995 Paris metro bombing, while in 2005 it took just 56 days to bring the failed 21/7 London tube bomber Hussain Osman back from Italy to London using an arrest warrant.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/uk-to-withdraw-from-european-arrest-warrant/ar-BB10t1d8?ocid=spartanntp

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OFAC GENERAL LICENSE CONCERNED WITH HUMANITARIAN TRADE WITH IRAN

On 27 February, OFAC issued General License 8: Authorizing Certain Humanitarian Trade Transactions Involving the Central Bank of Iran, together with related FAQ, connected with the formalisation of the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), which became fully operational on 27 February.  A factsheet on SHTA is also made available in the form of a news release from US Treasury.  SHTA is intended to further facilitate the flow of humanitarian goods to the Iranian people while safeguarding against the Iranian regime’s diversion of humanitarian trade for malign purposes..

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/gtsr_gl8.pdf

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