Panama Covid-19 update – this weekend’s total lockdown (for the Panama and Panama West provinces) is set to carry on for the whole of June. And from Monday, we revert to the gender-based daily controls – 2 hours per day, based on ID number, with 3 hours allowed for pensioners, again gender-based. This comes in the light of 1,000 arrests in 5 days for curfew violations, and hospital capacity (in ICU bed terms anyway) is at 90% capacity, requiring more to be created. Today, 421 new cases were reported, taking the total to 16,425, with 7 more fatalities (393 total to date).
Incidentally, the taxis are still under restrictions, only allowed every other day, based on registration plate number.
In passing, just to mention that the murder rate, which is up this year, still means more people have died in violent crime than with Covid-19 so far this year. Some no doubt a result of domestic violence, but most drugs- or gang-related. It usually seems to be often Colon on the Caribbean side which is involved (Panama City is on the Pacific).
7 June 2020
US TO END SOME TRADE SANCTIONS ON SUDAN
On 7 June, the Daily Nation in Kenya reported that the US will end some of its toughest economic and trade sanctions imposed on the government of Sudan, senior administration officials have reportedly said. Sudan will remain blacklisted as a state sponsor of terror, and some targeted sanctions will remain.
THOUSANDS OF GUNS SEIZED FROM UK SMUGGLERS IN 3 YEARS
On 6 June, the Mirror reported that Border Force is uncovering around 80 guns a week smuggled into the country for criminal gangs.
LAMINE DIACK, DISGRACED FORMER HEAD OF ATHLETICS’ WORLD GOVERNING BODY GOES ON TRIAL IN PARIS
On 7 June, the Global Times reported that Lamine Diack, 87, the Senegalese who was in charge of the International Association of Athletics Federations (now World Athletics) 1999-2015, goes on trial in Paris facing a potential 10-year prison sentence on charges of accepting millions of dollars to cover up Russian doping tests. The prosecution alleges that he obtained $1.5 million of Russian funds to help back Macky Sall’s campaign for the 2012 Senegal presidential election – which he won – in exchange for the IAAF’s anti-doping arm covering up or delaying offences involving 23 Russian athletes.
INDIA: MANESAR LAND SCAM – CHARGES NAME 13 INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES
The Hindustan Times on 7 June reported that former Haryana state chief minister Bhupinder Hooda has already been named in this scam by the CBI in 2018. It is alleged that the Haryana government issued a notification in 2005 for acquisition of 912 acres for setting up an industrial model township and many owners sold their lands at giveaway prices.
COLOMBIA: POLICE WHO DISCOVERED 2018 ELECTION FRAUD PLOT ARRESTED
On 7 June, Colombia Reports carried an article saying that the police officers who inadvertently uncovered an election fraud plot between a political party and drug traffickers whilst investing drugs offences have been arrested. The state prosecutor had also ordered the arrest of a state governor on “vague” corruption charges. Ironically, it says, the investigators who discovered the election fraud scandal are now in jail while those suspected of plotting to rig the 2018 elections are free, with the exception of one, who committed suicide in 2019. The mayor of Bogota has accused the prosecution of purposely trying to divert the attention away from the election fraud scandal.
SINGAPORE CONSIDERS TIGHTENING CASINO RULES FOR CUSTOMERS TO CURB MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERROR FINANCING
On 7 June, the Straits Times reported that Singapore is considering tightening the due diligence process for customers at its casinos. The casinos regulatory Authority has already halved the legislative threshold for the amount of cash transactions at casinos that are subject regulatory review to $5,000 – though this is still higher than the $3,000 limit recommended by FATF. In November, FATF reported that Singapore had inadequate CDD requirements for entities such as casinos and real estate agents.
US BARS STUDENTS WITH TIES TO MAINLAND CHINA MILITARY
On 7 June, HKTDC in Hong Kong reported on a 29 May US Presidential statement that the US would prevent the entry of any graduate or post‑graduate student with mainland Chinese citizenship who can be linked to mainland military.
WHISTLE-BLOWER REVEALS HURRICANE KATRINA RELIEF FRAUD
An article OCCRP on 5 June says that the US DoJ has joined a whistleblower’s lawsuit against California-based engineering firm AECOM, alleging that the company had overcharged the government for its reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Katrina and helped several institutions overestimating damages on their buildings, and that it allegedly defrauded the government of more than $100 million.
WHY SAMSUNG’S BILLIONAIRE SCION IS FACING JAIL AGAIN
On 7 June,m BNN Bloomberg carried a brief article explaining why Samsung Group’s billionaire scion, Jay Y. Lee, is embroiled in an increasingly contentious legal dispute with South Korean prosecutors over allegations of bribery and corruption. It says that prosecutors will argue that Lee should be sent back to jail, where he already spent about a year before going free in February 2018, while Lee and his lawyers will argue he should not be arrested during the proceedings.
FORMER SENIOR JUDICIARY OFFICIAL IN IRAN ON TRIAL FOR LARGE-SCALE CORRUPTION
On 7 June, Radio Farda reported that Akbar Tabari, the former executive deputy of the Islamic Republic’s powerful Judiciary has gone on trial for large-scale corruption. He was replaced in March 2019.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS LIFTED EXPORT RESTRICTIONS ON PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
On 4 June, World ECR reported that the EU Commission has announced it has lifted export restrictions that were introduced in March, and that the temporary restrictions ‘ceased to apply’ after they expired on 26 May.
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