Panama CoVid-19 update – from midnight tonight (Friday) all non-essential businesses close for 30 days. Essential businesses include the Canal and all cargo/freight businesses. This is in addition to nightly curfew from 9 pm, closure of bars, restaurants, cafes etc – though takeaway and delivery services allowed. Restrictions on numbers of people in shops and large gatherings (even wedding receptions!) prohibited. Oh, and all international flights stopping for at least 30 days. But the sun still shines…
20 March 2020
UK: NOTICE TO EXPORTERS ON LICENCE HANDLING DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
On 20 March, the Export Control Joint Unit published Notice to Exporters 2020/08, advising on its operations during the crisis.
AUSTRALIA: COMPLIANCE WHISTLEBLOWER SAYS HE WAS BLACKLISTED
On 20 March, KYC 360 reported that Troy Stolz, awhistleblower and former employee of ClubsNSW for 9 years, is suing the organisation for around $2 million. He told ABC in February that money laundering through poker machines in pubs and clubs was rife. In May 2019, he had authorised a report for ClubsNSW which had estimated that only 5% to 10% of the 1,000+ clubs it represents were complying with AML/CFT laws.
UK: DIRECTORS’ DUTIES IN RELATION TO CONFLICTS
On 10 March, Stevens & Bolton published an article about statutory duties which relate to conflicts of interest that directors may face in their duties owed to the company of which they are an officer and their personal interests. A director’s conflict of interest refers to a situation in which a director’s personal interests or the interests of other persons to whom the director owes duties are, or may be, at odds with the duties owed by the director to his or her company. The article lists the statutory conflicts duties and the duty to avoid situational conflicts of interest.
ONLY 5 EU MEMBER STATES MET KEY MONEY LAUNDERING DEADLINE
On 20 March, EurActiv reported that the majority of Member States failed to implement the public beneficial ownership register required by the 5th AML Directive by the 10 January deadline. It points out that some states have a register, but that does not meet the free access requirements.
EU COMMISSION PUBLISHES GUIDANCE ON EXPORT AUTHORISATIONS FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
On 20 March, the EU reported that the European Commission had approved guidance in relation to the export authorisation requirement for exports of personal protective equipment (PPE) outside of the EU, which has been in place since 15 March. From 21 March, the Commission has now exempted certain countries and territories, in particular the EFTA countries: Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, as well as Andorra, the Faroe Islands, San Marino and the Vatican, and the associated countries and territories that have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the UK.
EU WATCHDOG LAUNCHES PROBE INTO FAKE CORONAVIRUS GOODS
On 20 March, Politico reported that OLAF is looking into the market for fake masks, medical devices, disinfectants, sanitisers and test kits, and the imports of fake coronavirus-related products, many of which are ineffective or even detrimental to health.
THOUGHTS ON FINANCIAL REGULATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
On 19 March, law chambers 11 KBW published a short article which sets out some thoughts and information on the current crisis. It identifies the key messages for firms in FCA guidance.
US HOLDING ECUADORIAN FISHERMEN IN OFFSHORE “PRION SHIPS”
On 20 March, Insight Crime carried an article about a new report about US authorities’ practice of detaining Ecuadorian fishermen acting as drug mules in international waters and holding them captive on off-shore “prison ships” (US Coast Guard vessels), often without the option to be tried at home. The report estimates that 700 Ecuadorian fishermen are being held in the US. It says that eventually, the men are charged as drug traffickers, usually in courts in Florida, with 96% pleading guilty to reduce a potential 20-year prison sentence.
US: NEW CYBER GUIDELINES FOR MARITIME TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ACT-REGULATED FACILITIES
On 20 March, Homeland Security Today reported that, a few months after a ransomware attack at a Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facility shut down operations for 30 hours, the US Coast Guard has announced the issuance of new guidelines for confronting cyber risks at MTSA-regulated facilities.
OFAC ISSUES AMENDED UKRAINE GENERAL LICENSES
On 20 March, OFAC amended 2 General Licenses, extending the expiry dates. One was that authorising certain transactions necessary to divest or transfer debt, equity, or other holdings in GAZ Group; and authorising certain activities necessary to maintenance or wind down of operations or existing contracts with GAZ Group, and certain automotive safety and environmental activities.
RUSI HANDBOOKS FOR THE FINANCIAL INVESTIGATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE TRADE
The Royal United Services Institute in the UK has, since 2017, delivered financial investigations training to over 308 participants from 52 government agencies and 74 financial institutions across Africa. It has developed new resources covering basic skills and best practices in the financial investigation of the trade. The handbooks tailored to Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya. They contain the basic principles of using financial intelligence in cases involving international wildlife trade. Each handbook includes chapters on actions at the scene of a seizure or arrest, property searches, initial financial analysis, financial interview strategies and financial investigation strategies.
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