Panama coronavirus update – confirmed cases nearing 2,000 now, with 1,801 confirmed, after adding 128 in the last 24 hours, with 46 fatalities to date. There are 1,513 in isolation, 298 of them in the requisitioned hotel rooms – and there have been 10 transfers from hotel rooms to hospitals. 229 patients are in hospital, of which 164 are in wards and 75 are in ICU. To date, 9,256 tests have been carried out, of these 80.!% or 7,416 have been negative.
Meanwhile, tomorrow is the first total lockdown Sunday, with no-one allowed out at all. This will be fine, I guess, as long as the neighbour does not decide to get out his karaoke machine again tomorrow…or at least gives the microphone to someone who can actually sing in key!
4 April 2020
EU NEW SANCTIONS REGIME TO COMBAT THE PROLIFERATION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
The Union Journal in the US on 4 April reported that sanctions original agreed in principle last year have now been approved by the European ministers of foreign affairs and are directed against 9 people, who are banned from entering European territory and have their assets in the EU frozen. Those sanctioned include the 2 top leaders of GRU and the 2 suspects in the chemical attack carried out in Salisbury last year. The list of sanctions is completed with 4 people of Syrian nationality and a fifth without specified nationality involved in the development of toxic agents in Syria.
THE REAL REASON NORTH KOREA BOUGHT SMUGGLED US HELICOPTERS
On 4 April, National Interest in the US carried an article saying that it seems that North Korea likely acquired the MD 500 helicopters so it could use them to infiltrate across the DMZ with South Korean markings, conducting surprise raids and inserting spies and saboteurs. It has maintained the fleet of 87 US-built helicopters it smuggled into the country. The MD 500 is a civilian version of the distinctive US Army H-6 light helicopter, still used by US special forces. It is reported that in the 1980s, the then manufacturer McDonnell Douglas received an order for 102 helicopters from the Delta-Avia Fluggerate, an export firm registered in West Germany; and between 1983 and 1985, the US company Associated Industries transferred 86 MD 500D and MD 500E helicopters and a smaller Hughes 300 2-seater) in 6 shipments for export by Delta Avia to Japan, Nigeria, Portugal and Spain – these ended up in North Korea.
US: RADIO HOST ‘THE MONEY DOCTOR’ GETS 25 YEARS FOR PONZI SCHEME TARGETING SHOW LISTENERS
The New York Post on 3 April reported that William Neil “Doc” Gallagher, 79, a Texas radio host and financial consultant who admitted to conning elderly listeners out of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Gallagher targeted older, Christian listeners of his show, called “The Money Doctor,” and met with them to discuss what he said was risk-free income, prosecutors said. He guaranteed annual returns of 5% to nearly 9% if they invested in securities with him.
SINGAPORE: MAN ARRESTED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES LINKED TO COVID-19 SCAM FOR SURGICAL MASKS, HAND SANITISERS
On 4 April, CAN reported that a 39-year-old man has been arrested for his suspected involvement in money laundering offences linked to a business email impersonation scam related to COVID-19, and involving an overseas pharmaceutical company being defrauded of €6.64 million for the purchase of (non-existent) surgical masks and hand sanitisers.
CYBERCRIMINALS ADAPT OLD SCAMS TO CAPITALISE ON COVID-19
An article from Greenberg Traurig on 2 April says that companies have seen an uptick in 3 types of COVID-19 cyber scams in particular: phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, and fake websites and applications. It says that companies should be aware of these common attack types and trends, consider educating their employees about them, and take steps to be prepared to quickly address any instance where one of their employees have fallen victim to a cyber-attack. With more employees working remotely, Privacy, Security, or IT teams may wish to remind employees about the below cyber scams and the steps employees should take to keep data secure when working remotely.
UK GOVERNMENT MODERN SLAVERY GUIDANCE ON SUPPLY CHAINS: HOW CAN YOU ENSURE YOUR COMPANY IS COMPLIANT?
Bird & Bird has published an article saying that, 0n 26 March, the UK Government published its modern slavery statement. The Statement makes it clear that the Government is taking a tougher stance with its suppliers with strong reference to the Supplier Code of Conduct, the Code of Conduct for Grant Recipients, the Cabinet Office Guidance of September 2019 and the new Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT). For suppliers to the public sector is is clear that the Government will scrutinise Modern Slavery Act compliance measures. The Government has declared its intention to take a tough line and so lax compliance risks loss of public sector contract tenders and potential loss of existing contracts.
OPAQUE CORONAVIRUS PROCUREMENT DEAL HANDS MILLIONS TO SLOVENIAN GAMBLING MOGUL
On 4 April, OCCRP reported that Slovenia has approved tens of millions of euros worth of bids under emergency measures that bypass open tender measures. In just the last week of March, the government signed deals worth around €80 million in opaque one-day bids. Little information has been made publicly available on these agreements. However, it is claimed that the largest of these deals benefits a powerful businessman with investments in gambling, electronics, and real estate, but no known experience in healthcare and involving Public Digital Infrastructure d.o.o. – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elektronček Group BV, a Dutch company controlled by one of Slovenia’s richest men, Joc Pečečnik.
CROSS BORDER INSOLVENCY – WHAT ASSISTANCE CAN JERSEY GIVE? A RECENT EXAMPLE
On 3 April, an article from Ogier highlighted how foreign insolvency proceedings involving a Jersey company can be assisted by the courts and authorities in Jersey.
SIGNING AND EXECUTING DOCUMENTS ELECTRONICALLY IN GUERNSEY
On 2 April, an article from Ogier which sets out some general guidance for directors and companies facing similar issues during these unprecedented times.
FRAUD, ASSET TRACING & RECOVERY IN IRELAND
On 1 April, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald published this briefing.
NEW MAP – THE THREAT TO COMMERCIAL AVIATION POSED BY THE ILLICIT PROLIFERATION AND USE OF MAN-PORTABLE AIR DEFENCE SYSTEMS (MANPADS)
The Small Arms Survey has published a new map created by the US MANPADS Task Force and the Small Arms Survey illustrates the threat to commercial aviation posed by the illicit proliferation and use of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). It shows documented incidents of illicit possession and transfers of MANPADS and their components from 2008 through mid-2019, as well as MANPADS attacks on commercial aircraft from 1973 to 2019.
GLOBAL NUCLEAR POWER DATABASE
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists publishes this database and interactive map. It reveals that there are 754 reactors worldwide, of which 90 are abandoned.
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HEROIN MARKETS IN EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
On 5 March, an article on ENACT Africa claims that the heroin economy has shaped the growth of coastal villages, border towns and megacities across East and Southern Africa. It describes a network moving Afghan drugs south across the Indian Ocean and onward through Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique to South Africa. Rapid and dysfunctional urbanisation, the migration of low-skilled youth throughout the region, unemployment and the inability of local governments to cope with service delivery needs have contributed to the spread of the drug, building fortunes for a few ‘big fish’ and promoting corruption among police and politicians.
RULING FAMILIES’ INVOLVEMENT IN NATIONAL POLITICS IS HURTING THE FIGHT AGAINST FINANCIAL CRIMES ACROSS CENTRAL AFRICA
On 5 March, ENACT Africa published an article saying that Presidential family members being involved in public affairs is not uncommon in Central Africa, with key government positions given to sons, daughters and other relatives of the ruling family. Some countries are even perceived as family businesses or dynasties. It says that the appointment of family members to high-level or political posts is not illegal. But with ruling families, often this appears to translate into a source of corruption and money laundering of public funds for self-enrichment.
TRAFFICKING PHARMACEUTICALS FROM TUNISIA TO LIBYA
On 30 March, ENACT Africa reported that, while medicines have always been smuggled between the two countries, the humanitarian situation in Libya has amplified the problem. It says that significant quantities of authentic medicines are being smuggled into Libya from neighbouring Tunisia by organised crime networks starting in Tunisia’s main medicine hubs: the Central Pharmacy, hospitals and private pharmacies – a situation exacerbated since the 2011 revolution in Tunisia and aided by the current conflict in Libya.
UNDERGROUND ARMS WATCH
On 30 March, the Firearms Blog published its latest update on the global cottage industry for the illicit manufacture of firearms. It contains reports and photos of improvised and homemade firearms, including a homemade shotgun in the UK, and a professional-looking but homemade sub-machine gun from Brazil.
RESEARCH PROJECT INVITES SCIENTISTS AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS TO EXPLORE THE FUTURE IN WMD THREATS
On 31 March, START, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to terrorism, published a call for US citizens with a background in the countering weapons of mass destruction (CWMD) sphere, such as biology or chemistry, to participate in a study exploring the future of WMD. The project, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), focuses on identifying future technologies that state and non-state actors might adopt, which may disrupt or drastically change the CWMD threat space.
WHY THE SUDDEN DROP IN ARMED ROBBERIES FROM SHIPS ANCHORED OFF VENEZUELA?
On 1 April, the Center for International Maritime Security published an article saying that the concentration of oil industry-related infrastructure in Venezuela’s Anzoátegui state combined with the declining economic situation and lack of security make it a hot spot for armed robbery at sea in the Caribbean region, and several anchorages lie off the coast of Anzoátegui. Due to the collapse of the fishing industry, the economic hardship that coastal communities are facing and insufficient security measures at these anchorages, men in small boats approach mostly tankers waiting to load oil and board vessels in order to rob them. For unknown reasons, reports of armed robbery at the anchorages stopped in the middle of 2019. It asks what happened in late April or early May 2019 to account for this change? Understanding the cause of this change is important for predicting whether this sharp fall in armed robbery is sustainable or likely to be reversed in the future. It concludes that added armed security on tankers is in all likelihood the determining factor why armed robberies off Anzoátegui stopped at the end of April 2019, but this lull in attacks was short-lived. In February 2020, 6 armed men wearing balaclavas boarded a notwithstanding the presence of a coast guard armed guard onboard and violence escalated. The captain was shot and killed and another crewmember is still missing after he jumped overboard, and a coast guard sergeant was injured during the attack.
EUROPEAN BANKING FEDERATION RESPONSE TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CONSULTATION ON CRYPTO-ASSETS
On 3 April, the EBF published its respose to the EU consultation, saying that European banks welcome the chance to engage with the Commission on the issue of crypto-assets, reflecting an innovative aspect of the digital transformation in the financial sector.
If you’d like to help me buy that (badly needed) new laptop or, even better, a new desktop to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y