Panama Covid-19 update – Day 89, apparently, and the highest number of new cases yet recorded, at 541 (now 16,004 total to date). Also the highest number of daily fatalities to date, at 16 (meaning 386 total to date. All of this underlines why the partial release from lockdown is a concern… Tonight at 1700 began the weekend lockdown curfew, which ends at 0500 on Monday, followed by the “normal” nightly curfew from then. In hospitals are 82 in ICU (again a highest figure), with 323 others in wards (also probably a highest to date). To date, of all tests undertaken, 24% only were positive. Most cases were (perhaps not unsurprisingly) those in the 20-39 age bracket, with most fatalities in the 60-79 age bracket.
6 June 2020
MARRIOTT CEASES CUBAN OPERATIONS AFTER NEW TRUMP SANCTIONS
On 6 June, WION reported that 4 years ago Starwood Hotels, now owned by Marriott, became the first US hotel company to sign a deal with Cuba since the 1959 revolution amid the normalisation of relations pursued by former president Barack Obama. But now it is said that the Trump administration has ordered Marriott International to wind down hotel operations in Communist-run Cuba.
US IRAN SANCTIONS CASE AGAINST PILATUS BANKER ALI SADR HASHEMINEJAD BEING DROPPED
Malta Today reported on 6 June that the US is seeking to withdraw a criminal case against Pilatus banker Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, who was convicted of violating US sanctions against Iran earlier this year, citing the likelihood of continued litigation over suppression of evidence.
OVER 9 TONNES OF SMUGGLED TOBACCO SEIZED IN SW CHINA
On 6 June, Xinhua reported that the seizure occurred after police received a tip-off that someone was planning to smuggle a batch of illegally purchased flue-cured tobacco to Myanmar.
HONG KONG: 4 ACCUSED OF BRIBERY FACILITATED LETTERS OF CREDIT FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING
On 5 June, The Standard reported that the Independent Commission Against Corruption said that 4 people, including a senior executive of a listed company subsidiary and 2 directors of 2 construction companies, have been charged for their alleged roles in a letters of credit fraud scam involving bribes, and money laundering.
EU LISTING: WHAT IS THE POSSIBLE RECOURSE FOR MAURITIUS?
On 5 June, an article from Dentons asked what Mauritius could do to seek removal from the EU blacklisting of jurisdictions having strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes which are regarded as posing significant threats to the financial system of the EU.
NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR GUERNSEY BUSINESSES
On 4 June, an article from Ogier recounts the Moneyval and national risk assessment work undertaken, saying that specified businesses were initially given until the end of May 2020 to update their own business risk assessments – tough, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FSC has extended some of the timeframes contained in the Handbook. Businesses must review and approve their risk assessments, revise policies and procedures in light of the risks identified by the national risk assessment by 30 September. They must also re-evaluate existing business relationships in the light of this by 31 December 2021, albeit that the FSC is recommending that specified businesses target to complete this process by 30 June 2021. The article recommends practical steps that businesses can take to meet the requirements of the law, Handbook and any licence that they may hold.
INSOLVENCY AND RESTRUCTURING: CAYMAN ISLANDS SEGREGATED PORTFOLIO COMPANIES (SPC)
On 5 June, Ogier published an article which takes a look back at the first 2 decades of SPC and particularly the principles established by the courts concerning insolvent SPC. It says that the decisions have put flesh on the bones of the statutory provisions as regards the status, duties and powers of office holders appointed in connection with SPC. On ehting it notes is that there has yet to be any substantial onshore test or confirmation of the SPC segregation principle – as at heart, an SPC is a vehicle which is permitted to create segregated portfolios in order to legally segregate the assets and liabilities of the portfolios from each other and from the general assets and liabilities of the SPC itself.
ILLICIT FIREARMS TRAFFICKING IN EUROPE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19
On 4 June, the Flemish Peace Institute published an article saying that a current health crisis and its societal consequences will increase the opportunities for illicit firearms trafficking into and within Europe. It says that a proactive approach focused on international cooperation is needed in the EU to tackle this threat.
WHAT DOES THE US DECISION TO END NUCLEAR-RELATED WAIVERS MEAN FOR IRAN?
An article on 5 June from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) argues that the decision may have significant implications for the future of nuclear negotiations with Iran.
INFOGRAPHIC SERIES EXPLORES CARTEL OPERATIONS IN MEXICO
On 4 June, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) published an article exploring findings from its Tracking Cartels project, a Joint Centers of Excellence project supported by the US DHS Office of University Programs. Each week, for 4 weeks in June 2020, START will release a new infographic that depicts cartel operations in Mexico, specifically detailing: Major cartel operational zones; the violent rise of Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG); violence in Michoacán over control of the avocado trade; and violence in Guanajuato over control of illicit petroleum.
KOSOVO LIFTS ALL TRADE BARRIERS AGAINST SERBIA
On 6 June, Rferl reported that the new government of Kosovo has announced that it is lifting all trade barriers imposed on Serbia, introduced in November 2018, in a bid to reopen EU-brokered talks on normalising ties with Belgrade.
US CONSIDERS BLACKLISTING MORE OIL TANKERS FOR TRADING WITH VENEZUELA
On 6 June, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the US is considering imposing sanctions on at least 40 additional foreign oil tankers for trading with Venezuela, 4 shipping sources told Reuters. The vessels that could be targeted included 25 supertankers and 17 smaller vessels, the sources said.
UK: A THIRD OF BUSINESSES CLAIMING MORE THAN £5 BILLION OF EMERGENCY CORONAVIRUS LOANS HAVE LINKS TO OFFSHORE TAX
On 6 June, the Daily Mail reported that Investigative think tank TaxWatch has claimed 14 out of 53 UK business benefiting from help are either based in a low tax zone or substantially owned by a tax haven resident. British Airways, which has accessed £300million in support, has financial links to Jersey. JCB parent company is located in the Netherlands and fashion brand Chanel, has a parent company based in the Cayman Islands.
INDIA: MAN ARRESTED IN BANK FRAUD CASE NEARLY 30 YEARS AFTER FAMILY CLAIMED HE WAS DEAD
On 6 June, India Today reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a 70-year-old man, who was declared dead nearly 30 years ago by his family. Nirmal Singh Bath was charged in 1990, for defrauding a bank branch while he was the manager of the bank between 1980 and 1985.
UK: 166 MPs CALL FOR EXPORT BAN ON TEAR GAS AND RUBBER BULLETS TO US
On 5 June, The Independent reported that pressure is growing on ministers to suspend the export of UK riot gear, teargas, and rubber bullets to the US in light of a violent police crackdown against peaceful civil rights protesters. In addition, a public petition has also called for such a ban.
GERMAN NEO-NAZIS TRAINING AT RUSSIAN TERRORIST CAMP
On 6 June, Rferl carried a report saying that German neo-Nazis are conducting paramilitary training with a Russian ultranationalist group at a camp near St. Petersburg. Members of the far-right National Democratic Party’s (NDP) youth wing and neo-Nazi The Third Path completed training at the camp run by the Russian Imperial Movement (which has been designated by OFAC in April).
UNDERWATER DRONES JOIN HUNT FOR TRILLIONS IN MINERAL RICHES TRAPPED ON OCEAN’S FLOOR
On 6 June, CNBC carried a report saying that drones are being used in a new seabed mining industry may help to uncover rare earth metals, such as cobalt, and the value of gold alone on the seafloor has been estimated to be worth $150 trillion.
NETHERLANDS: 5 BUSTED FOR €4 MILLION ONLINE SCAMS TARGETING ELDERLY
On 6 June, NL Times reported that 4 men and a woman were placed behind bars for orchestrating a slew of online scams which targeted elderly people in recent months. The suspects were accused of scamming there victims out of anywhere between €10,000 and €100,000 per incident. They are believed to have worked together to deliberately seek out elderly people whom they would encourage in high-pressure voice and video calls to transfer funds into a safe account to protect against an imminent cyberattack.
If you would like to say thanks by making a small contribution, in case I need to upgrade or replace my computers and other paraphernalia, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y