Panama Covid-19 update – the first day of the 2-day Easter Weekend total lockdown here. The only excitement the flock of swallows down low in the street outside…No news of updated infection statistics yet, once more too early for the daily news conference. However, the authorities have announced more restrictions against lockdown violators – including the taking away of drivers’ licence for those found driving without justification.
11 April 2020
TORONTO POLICE SEIZE GLOCK PISTOL WITH 3D-PRINTED FRAME
On 11 April, ARES, the Armament Research Services, reported that police in Toronto seized a what appeared to be a Glock-type self-loading pistol. To the non-specialist, this may appear to be a modified factory-made Glock handgun, but it is in fact a craft-produced firearm constructed using a 3D-printed frame.
LEBANON FOILS LARGEST SMUGGLING OPERATION
On 11 April, Middle East Monitor reported that authorities said that they had intercepted the largest drug smuggling operation in the history of Lebanon, after thwarting the smuggling of 25 tonnes of hashish through the port of Beirut to an African country – in a convoy of 8 trucks.
MALTA: IMF SAYS THAT FAILURE TO FIGHT MONEY LAUNDERING ‘COULD THREATEN FINANCIAL STABILITY’
On 11 April, the Times of Malta and others reported on the annual assessment of Malta’s economic wellbeing by the IMF. IMF flagged the problem as Malta’s main medium-term challenge, saying the focus should be on improving and demonstrating the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime. It noted progress but also commented on other things that should be done. In response, the MFSA said in a statement that it remained on track in addressing the strategic recommendations of the IMF and other international institutions.
NEW INDICTMENT FILED IN FIFA SCANDAL CHARGES VP JACK WARNER WITH ACCEPTING $5 MILLION IN BRIBES
On 11 April, Kenneth Rijock in his blog reported that, 5 years after indictments exposed the sordid side of international soccer, a superseding Indictment has now been filed, with additional charges, against many of the corrupt players. The most noteworthy, he says, are the allegations that FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner accepted $5 million in bribes, in exchange for World Cup voting, and the sale of media and broadcast rights.
HOW FENTANYL AND OTHER SYNTHETICS ARE DRIVING THE OPIOIDS SURGE
The RAND Corporation in the US published links to a set of articles about synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, which are now the driving force behind US opioid-involved overdose deaths. Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids have increased tenfold since 2003 and were involved in more than 30,000 deaths in 2018. There is a video explaining how fentanyl is impacting lives.
CUM-EX SCANDAL – BONN REGIONAL COURT DELIVERS PRECEDENCE JUDGEMENT WITH WIDE-REACHING CONSEQUENCES
On 9 April, Clyde & Co published an article saying that the Bonn Regional Court did not see any tax loophole, but on the contrary a deliberate tax offence. It says that the decision is wide-reaching, way beyond criminal law. The article provides a briefing on the background to the scandal, and looks at criminal and tax law and potential liabilities.
UNDERGROUND ARMS WATCH – THE GLOBAL COTTAGE INDUSTRY
On 5 April, The Firearms Blog published the second part of its March update on seizures and finds of home-made and cottage industry-made weaponry found worldwide.
NEW REPORT: EU COUNTRIES LOSE OVER £10 BILLION TO NETHERLANDS CORPORATE TAX HAVEN
On 10 April, a release from the Tax Justice Network on Ekklesia announced that EU countries have been revealed to be losing over $10 billion in corporate tax a year to the Netherlands. The report analyses data published this year by the US, detailing where US firms declared their costs and profits in the EU in 2016 and 2017. The report highlights 3 main measures that the EU can, and should, take to end the abuses of its own tax havens.
COVID-19 – 4 KEY INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMPLIANCE CONSIDERATIONS IN THE US
On 10 April, Kelley Drye posted an article saying that, even as companies make rapid changes to respond to business challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, executives and compliance team leaders must protect their company and employees by continuing to comply with critical US international trade laws and regulations. It highlighted and provided advice on 4 important things to bear in mind, saying that there are 4 substantive areas of US trade regulation that should continue to be part of international transaction diligence: US anti-corruption, export controls, and sanctions laws (that permit most exports of medicines, medical devices, and food to sanctioned locations), and US Customs rules on personal protective equipment and medical devices (among other imported items) –
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA);
- Importation, exportation or re-exportation of controlled pathogens and medical equipment;
- OFAC sanctions concerns, including humanitarian exports of food, medicine and medical devices; and
- Remote work arrangements.
ITALIAN FLAG VESSEL HAS BEEN ATTACKED IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
On 10 April, the Cyprus Shipping News reported that this is the first reported incident in the Gulf of Mexico since the attack on another Italian-flagged vessel on 11 November. It says details of the latest incident are unclear, but goes on to say that piracy in the Gulf is concentrated in the southern Mexican state of Campeche, and that pirates have historically targeted oil rigs and tankers with the intent of robbing personal valuables and items which can be sold on black markets in and around Mexico. It stresses that, despite the recent reporting it is assessed that the Gulf of Mexico continues to present a low risk trading option for commercial vessels.
US: CASE BROUGHT BY ONECOIN VICTIMS MAY BE DISMISSED, JUDGE WARNS
On 11 April, Finance Feeds reported that plaintiffs in a lawsuit in New York targeting fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin must show cause no later than 16 April why their case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.
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