Panama Covid-10 update – another bad day, with a staggering 370 new cases confirmed, taking the total of confirmed cases to date to over 7,000 (7,090); and 5 more people have died, taking that total to 197. At the daily new conference the minister for health warns that, as numbers were not going down as required, then the planned reopening of several sectors would have to be postponed. one cannot help thinking that the continued worrying number of new cases is not unconnected to the hundreds of people arrested for breaking the lockdown rules…
2 May 2020
PIRATES KIDNAP 9 GEORGIAN SAILORS FROM PANAMA-FLAGGED TANKER
On 2 May, the Agenda in Georgia reported that pirates have kidnapped 9 Georgian sailors from a Panama-flagged tanker in the waters of Nigeria. The Georgian Maritime Transport Agency said the pirates have kidnapped a total of 10 sailors including Georgian citizens on 30 April.
CAYMAN ISLANDS PROPOSES LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR DIGITAL CURRENCIES
On 1 May, Coingeek reported that the Cayman Islands government has proposed a raft of regulatory measures for the digital currency industry. The measures are meant to align the growing industry with FATF requirements, enabling service providers in the country to compete at the global level, in the Virtual Asset Services Provider Bill. It is one of 5 Bills the government proposed as it seeks to reform its financial services sector. It sets out the registration process for digital currency businesses, a regulatory sandbox, the powers and responsibilities of the regulator and more.
UK: PLAYBOY TYCOON JAMES STUNT IS TO BE CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING AND FORGERY
On 2 May, the Daily Mail reported that the bankrupt former gold bullion dealer, once married to Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone, is already protesting his innocence, telling his followers on Instagram: ‘This is the biggest fit-up’. Last June, it is reported that he was declared bankrupt and, in March this year, his £11 million luxury cottage in Belgravia, central London, was repossessed along with his 2 apartments overlooking Chelsea Harbour, each worth £5 million.
PROMINENT LAS VEGAS PROFESSIONAL GAMBLER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED IN INSIDER TRADING CASE LINKED TO PRO GOLFER PHIL MICKELSON RELEASED DUE TO COVID-19
On 1 May, the Las Vegas Sun reported that William “Billy” Walters was released from a federal prison camp in Florida, under a prison coronavirus release programme and arrived in California to serve the remainder of his 5-year sentence for fraud and conspiracy in a federal insider trading case linked to pro golfer Phil Mickelson and Dallas-based Dean Foods.
PERUVIAN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO OVERSEEING CALL CENTRES THAT THREATENED AND DEFRAUDED SPANISH-SPEAKING US CONSUMERS
A news release from the US DoJ on 1 May advised that a federal indictment against Guerra and his co-defendants Rodolfo Hermoza Vega and Johnny Hidalgo Marchan was unsealed upon their extradition to the US. It is said that Francesco Guerra Perez oversaw a call centre in Lima, Peru, that used government impersonation, lies, and threats to take money from thousands of US Spanish-speaking victims, many of whom were elderly.
UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ORDERS – HOW THE NCA GOT IT WRONG
On 1 May, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner published an article saying that on 8 April, the High Court discharged 3 Unexplained Wealth Orders relating to multi-million pound London homes allegedly purchased with the proceeds of crime. In its judgment, the High Court criticised the NCA for its inadequate and unfair conduct of the case. The article examines the NCA’s approach, and the lessons that can be learnt when considering future UWO.
RUSSIAN POLICE SEIZE COUNTERFEIT VENTILATORS
On 1 May, OCCRP reported that, after a shootout with a gang suspected of having tried to sell “unregistered lung ventilator devices” to a hospital near Moscow, Russian authorities said they detained 7 people and seized nearly 2,000 counterfeit ventilators.
FUEL CYCLE MODELLING AS A DISARMAMENT VERIFICATION TOOL
On 29 April, VERTIC provided an update on an ongoing joint project between the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), funded by Global Affairs Canada. It released a poster, ‘Fuel cycle modelling as a disarmament verification tool’, presents conceptual work on using fuel cycle modelling to plan verification activities. It outlines the role of using fuel cycle modelling software to explore a range of fuel cycle scenarios, to assess inconsistencies in assumptions about open source information, and to identify key facilities, specifically for countries where knowledge of the fuel cycle is limited and uncertain.
The poster is at –
UK APPLICATION TO JOIN LUGANO CONVENTION MAY NOT BE SMOOTH SAILING
On 29 April, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald reported that the UK has applied to join the Lugano Convention but may face EU opposition. As an EU Member State, the UK was also a party to the Lugano Convention which, like the EU Brussels I Regulation, seeks to ensure legal certainty and predictability in litigation. The article says that it was recognised early on that these changes would cause significant disruption to cross-border litigation and the UK signalled that it would seek to re-join the Lugano Convention in its own right – but it continued participation in the Lugano Convention is also subject to negotiation with the EU and Denmark.
UN/CEFACT STANDARDS WILL SUPPORT DIGITALISATION OF MARITIME TRANSPORT
On 2 May, the UN Economic Commission for Europe said that when ships enter and leave ports, vital information about cargoes, dangerous goods, crews, vessel details and many other things have to be exchanged with the authorities ashore. Under the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) FAL Convention, public authorities are now required to set up systems so that all this happens digitally – and a new partnership between IMO, the World Customs Organisation, UNECE and the International Standards Organisation has been signed to support this increased maritime digitalisation.
SOUTH SUDAN: EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS AND ILLICIT CONCEALMENT OF ARMS MUST SPUR UN TO RENEW ARMS EMBARGO
On 30 April, Amnesty International issued a statement saying that the UN Security Council must renew and strengthen enforcement of the arms embargo on South Sudan, exposing new evidence that multiple security forces are breaching it and concealing weapons amid a volatile security situation. Next month the Security Council is set to vote on a resolution that would renew the embargo, which currently expires on 31 May. It notes that several bodyguards for prominent generals from government and opposition forces alike, who would have first access to newly acquired weapons, carried models of Eastern European weapons never before documented in the country, and Amnesty International therefore believes that these weapons were brought into South Sudan in violation of the arms embargo. It says that it has also acquired verified photographs of ammunition used by the National Security Service (NSS) which show Chinese cartridges manufactured in 2016, after China’s last acknowledged sale to South Sudan. There are also claims that parts had been sourced to restore the fleet of Mi.24 attack helicopters to service.
SHOULD ALL HEADS OF COMPLIANCE/LEGAL STEP DOWN AS DPO, FOLLOWING THE BELGIAN DPA RULING?
On 29 April, Field Fisher reported that the Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) has fined a company for having appointed its head of compliance, audit and risk as Data Protection Officer (DPO). According to the DPA, this combination of roles creates a conflict of interest and therefore constitutes an infringement of Article 38.6 of GDPR.
US: JUDGE LIFTS STAY ON CASE BROUGHT BY ONECOIN VICTIMS
On 2 May, Finance Feeds reported that the lawsuit brought by victims of the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme is set to proceed at the New York Southern District Court after a judge signed an order lifting the stay on a lawsuit.
If you’d like to help to contribute to the cost of the new laptop and desktop I have had to acquire, now that I am 5,000 miles away from my originals – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y