OFAC MAKES AMENDMENT TO 490 ENTRIES FOR DESIGNATED PERSONS ETC UNDER NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS

On 13 May, OFAC announced that the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act (NKSPEA) has been amended to prohibit foreign subsidiaries of US financial institutions from knowingly engaging in transactions with SDN that have been designated under North Korea-related sanctions.  In order to clarify to the private sector which SDN have this prohibition imposed, OFAC is introducing a descriptive text: “Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled by U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214”  which has been added to 490 SDN records as an administrative update to the SDN List.

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20200513.aspx

 

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WORLD BANK DEBARS LEADING NEW ZEALAND-BASED TRAFFIC EXPERT FOR CORRUPTION INVOLVING MASS TRANSPORT PROJECTS IN VIETNAM

A post on the always stimulating FCPA Blog reported that British-born James Tinnion-Morgan has been debarred for 6 years from involvement in World Bank-financed projects.

https://fcpablog.com/2020/05/13/world-bank-debars-well-known-british-transportation-expert-for-corruption/

The list of all World Bank debarments is available at –

http://www.worldbank.org/en/projects-operations/procurement/debarred-firms

 

 

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US: GAO RECOMMENDS IMPROVED GUIDANCE ON EXPORT CONTROLS FOR UNIVERSITIES

On 13 May, Inside Higher Education reported that a new report from the Government Accountability Office recommends that the US Departments of Commerce and State improve their guidance and outreach to universities in relation to export control regulations. The rules restrict the export of certain technologies and the sharing of those technologies with foreign nationals in the US, including international students and scholars.  The GAO found shortcomings relating to risk assessment, training, internal audits and export compliance manuals.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/05/13/gao-recommends-stepped-guidance-export-controls

The GAO report is at –

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-20-394

 

 

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FRENCH GDPR BLOCKCHAIN GUIDANCE USEFUL FOR UK BUSINESSES

An article from Out-Law on 13 May said that the UK’s data protection authority, ICO, has told the law firm behind the website that blockchain users in the UK can refer to “well written and useful” guidance developed in France to help them comply with data protection laws.  While the ICO does not formally endorse the guidance and has no plans to publish guidance of its own specific to the use of blockchain and data protection law “in the near future”, and described the guidance developed by CNIL, the French data protection authority, as “useful to people working in this field”.  The guidance is available in English.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/french-gdpr-blockchain-guidance-uk

 

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US INDICTMENTS HIGHLIGHT VENEZUELA-CENTRAL AMERICA DRUG CONNECTIONS

An article in Insight Crime on 13 May says that recent US indictments have shown in detail how Venezuela was at one point a key stepping stone for cocaine heading to the US via Central America, and how political, as well as criminal, connections facilitated that flow of drugs.  It says that accusations levied against Maduro and several other members of his administration have provided yet more evidence of the criminal ties between Venezuela and shady allies in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. In particular, it focuses on Honduras and a so-called “criminal enclave”, the “powerbroker” in El Salvador and an ideological ally in Nicaragua.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/venezuela-central-america-drug-connections/

venezuela

 

 

 

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ASSESSING PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO RANSOM PAYMENT

A Commentary from RUSI on 13 May examines apparent contradicitions in public attitude to the payment of ransom payments.  It says that while paying ransoms to terrorist groups for the release of hostages certainly contradicts the letter of international law, many governments clearly chose that route in response to the detention of their citizens, a decision that, whilst arguably detrimental in the medium term as it fuelled the coffers of these terrorist groups, was the immediate difference between life and death for those citizens held hostage. The Commentary says that new polling public opinion reflects a similar contradiction between principle and practice when it comes to paying ransoms, with the larger portion of people tended to oppose ransom payment, with each sample showing the strongest opposition towards paying an Islamist terrorist organisation.  A clear majority is said to have responded that ransom payment should be ‘illegal’, again with terrorists stirring the strongest response. However, predictably perhaps, the attitudes changed if a relative were to be involved.  The article asks how should governments interpret this contradiction?

https://rusi.org/commentary/policy-works-until-it-gets-personal-assessing-public-attitudes-ransom-payment

For information, the official policy of the Isle of Man Government (which I was involved in developing, and would generally mirror that of the UK and elsewhere) is set out as follows –

The anti-terrorism and sanctions legislation of the Island makes it illegal to make payments to terrorists and terrorist organisations or for the purposes of terrorism, either directly or indirectly. In particular, payments made to those individuals, undertakings and entities included on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List for the purpose of ransoms would be illegal, regardless of how or by whom the ransom is paid. The prohibitions have extra-territorial effect, meaning that an offence can be committed by Island persons or legal entities, even if the activity takes place outside the Island. However, a clear distinction may be made between payments of ransom to terrorists, or for the purpose of terrorism, and those which may be made for reasons of other forms of criminality, such as piracy at sea. Businesses and individuals are advised to exercise extreme caution in respect of any transactions that involve the payment of ransoms.  Any relevant information should be reported to the FIU. You should also be aware that a request to become involved in a transaction involving the payment of a ransom could give rise to knowledge or suspicion, or reasonable grounds for knowledge or suspicion that someone is involved in criminal activity or terrorist financing, in which case a disclosure should be made to the FIU.

https://www.gov.im/media/1362739/terrorism-and-the-financing-of-terrorism-final-sept-2018-v2.pdf

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NEW UK GUIDANCE ON RESPONSIBLE CONTRACTUAL BEHAVIOUR AND COVID-19

On 13 May, an article from Dentons said that the UK Cabinet Office has issued guidance calling for “responsible and fair” behaviour in the enforcement of contract terms as part of the national response to COVID-19.  It is said to apply to both the public and private sector and asks parties to contracts to “act responsibly and fairly, support the response to COVID-19 and protect jobs and the economy” where the performance of contracts is materially impacted by COVID-19. The guidance does not have the force of law (and does not apply in the devolved administrations – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – anyway); rather parties are being encouraged to follow it “for their collective benefit and for the long-term benefit of the UK economy”.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-uk-guidance-on-responsible-44173/

The Cabinet Office guidance dated 7 May is available at –

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/883737/_Covid-19_and_Responsible_Contractual_Behaviour__web_final___7_May_.pdf

 

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