OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 12

Panama Covid-9 update – La Prensa said today that a health vice-minister , in confirming a cumulative total of 17,889  infections, said that the latest number of new cases is the highest daily count so far, but that it is due to factors such as the delay faced with some test results, in addition to the effort being made to attract more people who are asymptomatic positive.  it was also said that the number of tests has risen to more than 2,000 per day and local teams will be strengthened to search for people who could be positive – with door-to-door testing being carried out in some districts.  The vice-minister also highlighted the asymptomatic as being the cause of the rise in infections, saying that it was the goal  of the Ministry of Health to focus directly on communities to look for these.

Meanwhile, the high numbers persist, with 625 new cases (19,211 to date) of which the largest proportion in the young, 20-39 age range, 8,517; 2,070 are in the more at-risk 60-79 age range; and 391 in the very much at-risk 80+ age bracket.  One presumes that many, or most, of the now 96 patients in ICU are from the latter group.  There were also 3 more fatalities announced today, taking the total to date to 421.

12 June 2020

SUPER-RICH SCAM VICTIMS HIRE PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS TO GET THEIR MONEY BACK

KYC 360 reported a Telegraph story from 10 June about Edmonds Marshall McMahon, a law firm staffed by former employees of the SFO and CPS.  It says that ultra-wealthy scam victims are hiring such private investigators and prosecutors in order to get their cases solved, as the police force fails in 96% of cases.  It says that the law firm uses its team of private investigators to gather evidence and this leads to prosecution in more than half of cases. An average fraud victim, by contrast, has only a 1 in 500 chance of their case resulting in prosecution, official statistics show.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/super-rich-scam-victims-hire-private-investigators-to-get-their-money-back/

CAN COMPANY MONEY BE USED TO FUND A DISPUTE BETWEEN A COMPANY’S SHAREHOLDERS? NO

On 8 June, Stevens & Bolton LLP reported that the UK Court of Appeal has re-affirmed the well-established principle that company funds should not be used to pay legal and professional costs in disputes between the company’s shareholders.

https://www.stevens-bolton.com/site/insights/articles/can-company-money-used-to-dispute-between-companys-shareholders

GREECE TO RECLAIM 8th CENTURY BC BRONZE HORSE STATUE FROM US AFTER COURT RULING

On 11 June, Greek City Times reported that the Greek Culture Ministry has announced that it would seek the repatriation of a 2,700-year-old bronze horse statue from New York which it says was illegally exported from Greece, after a US court rejected an auction house’s bid to proceed with the sale of the artifact.

https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/06/11/greece-to-reclaim-8th-century-b-c-bronze-horse-statue-from-u-s-after-court-ruling/

INDONESIAN AUTHORITIES THWART SMUGGLING OF ENDANGERED PANGOLIN PARTS

On 12 June, Yahoo News reported that Indonesian authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle nearly 14 kg of pangolin scales.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/indonesian-authorities-thwart-smuggling-endangered-080000842.html

INSIDE THE TAKEDOWN OF EUROPE’S MULTI-BILLION POUND EEL MAFIA

On 12 June, Wired published a feature about the big money in eel smuggling – the illegal global trade in European eels being said to be worth up to £2.5 billion a year.  This is against the background of a case where eels were caught off the coast of Spain, then shipped into the UK and stashed them in a warehouse in Gloucestershire, before being flown to Hong Kong where they were destined for clandestine Chinese farms where they would be reared for dining tables across SE Asia and beyond.  It has been illegal to move the critically endangered European eel, Anguilla anguilla, outside of the EU since 2010 – even inside Europe, where the transport of European eels and sale of their meat is legal, the trade is tightly regulated.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/illegal-eel-trade-smuggling

QuadrigaCX, A CANADIAN CRYPTO EXCHANGE THAT COLLAPSED IN 2019, WAS FRAUDULENT SAY CANADIAN AUTHORITIES

On 11 June, Crpto Briefing reported that the Ontario Securities Commission has investigated QuadrigaCX and determined that its owner Gerald Cotten was committing fraud, covering up its losses by fraudulently paying-out old customers with new customer deposits in a classic Ponzi-type arrangement.  Quadriga collapsed in 2019 following the death of its founder, Gerald Cotton, and this led to 76,000 investors losing nearly $170 million worth of cryptocurrency.

https://cryptobriefing.com/quadrigacx-ponzi-scheme-according-to-canadian-authorities/

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/exchange/quadrigacx-collapsed-as-late-ceo-gambled-clients-money-says-osc

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/ontario-securities-commission-publishes-investigative-report-of-quadrigacx-rep/

JERSEY’S ROLE IN THE WORLDWIDE AML EFFORT RE ABACHA

On 12 June, Jersey Evening Press carried an article focused on the return of the stolen Abacha money to Nigeria.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/business/2020/06/12/jerseys-role-in-the-worldwide-anti-money-laundering-effort/

ESTONIA: FIU RECEIVED ALMOST 6,200 REPORTS IN 2019

ERR on 12 June reported that the FIU of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) received a total of 6,164 reports of alleged irregularities in 2019, over 1,000 reports more than in 2018.  ¾ were suspicion-based, 15% were cash transaction reports and 10% were enquiries.  There were 370 terrorist financing reports, and 88 reports on the suspicion of being subject to the International Sanctions Act.  Property was confiscated from 7 persons convicted of money laundering. A total of approximately €470,000, as well as other assets, such as real estate, vehicles and computers, were seized.  9 court decisions saw the conviction of 13 persons, including 12 individuals and 1 legal person.

https://news.err.ee/1101440/financial-intelligence-unit-receives-almost-6-200-reports-in-2019

UK: APPROVED ECONOMIC OPERATOR (APEO) STATUS FOR FISH IMPORTS/EXPORTS

A news release from HMRC on 12 June about Approved Economic Operator (APEO) is a status that allows you to import and export fish and fish-based goods without being required to submit every catch certificate. You have to be AEO-approved to begin with.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-approved-economic-operator-apeo-status

SEYCHELLES ACCOUNTS FOR $36 BILLION OF CROSS-BORDER BTC TRANSACTIONS

On 11 June, the Coin Telegraph reported that Seychelles-based exchanges have led the world in cross-border Bitcoin transactions in 2019.  According to a report by Crystal Blockchain examined flows of Bitcoin between exchanges around the world. Seychelles exchanges led in terms of both funds sent and received.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/tiny-tax-haven-accounts-for-36b-of-cross-border-btc-transactions

500 ESTONIAN CRYPTO COMPANIES LOSE PERMITS AFTER SCANDAL

On 11 June, the Coin Telegraph reported that Estonia is withdrawing permits from hundreds of crypto companies following Europe’s biggest money laundering scandal.  It says that Estonia was among the first EU countries to licence crypto companies but has been forced to clamp down after hundreds of billions of dollars of dirty money was detected in the Estonian unit of Denmark’s largest lender Danske Bank.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/500-estonian-crypto-companies-lose-permits-after-220b-scandal

UK: CROWN DEPENDENCIES AND OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AUTOMATIC TAX INFORMATION EXCHANGE AGREEMENTS UPDATED

On 11 June, HMRC advised of updates of guidance on agreements, which lists Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories that have entered into automatic tax information exchange agreements with the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/automatic-exchange-of-information-agreements-other-uk-agreements#history

UK-US AUTOMATIC EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AGREEMENT (FATCA) UPDATED

On 11 June, HMRC advised of an updated version of the model intergovernmental agreement (IGA) was developed and published in July 2012, entered into to improve international tax compliance and to implement FATCA in September 2012.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-us-automatic-exchange-of-information-agreement#history

IN-GAME ACTIVITIES: GAME DEVELOPERS SHOULD TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR KEEPING THE VIRTUAL WORLDS THEY CREATE FREE FROM REAL CRIME

A Commentary from RUSI on 29 May says that as the popularity of online gaming has skyrocketed, and as in-game economies flourish, it has not taken criminals long to discover the appeal of virtual worlds.  It says that some in-game items are in demand among buyers and have a quantifiable real-world value.  With increasing frequency, it says, news reports of criminal exploitation of online games have a financial flair to them.  It says that in the previous month alone, headlines around the world featured an eclectic collection of game-related financial wrongdoing, some details of which it detailed.  The Commentary argues that it is essential for governments to clarify what is expected of game developers as best practice, and then work in partnership to mitigate criminal risks – a game that is only now beginning.

https://rusi.org/commentary/are-criminals-playing-games-us

CERTAIN CHINESE STUDENTS AND RESEARCHERS RESTRICTED FROM ENTRY INTO THE US

An article from Perkins Coie on 10 June says that on 29 May, President Trump issued a proclamation restricting the entry of certain Chinese national students and researchers into the US pursuant to study or conduct research.  Those who receive funding, are employed by, study at, or conduct research on behalf of an entity in China that implements or supports China’s “military-civil fusion strategy” are suspended from entry.

https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/news-insights/certain-chinese-students-and-researchers-restricted-from-entry-into-the-united-states.html

BREXIT – WHERE ARE WE NOW ON THE PROTECTION OF EU IP RIGHTS IN THE UK AFTER BREXIT?

On 10 June, Vedder Price published an article says that the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement came into effect on 31 January and provides for the implementation of registered EU intellectual property rights into UK law after Brexit.  What, it asks, does it say and what do EU and UK IP rights-holders need to do now?

https://www.vedderprice.com/where-are-we-now-on-the-protection-eu-ip-rights-in-the-uk-after-brexit

UK PUBLISHES EXPORT TRAINING BULLETIN SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 2020

On 12 June, the Department for International Trade published details of courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891834/Export_control_training_bulletin_September_to_December_2020.pdf

BREXIT: BORDER PLANNING FOR THE END OF THE TRANSITION PERIOD

On 12 June, the Cabinet Office published a news release advising (light touch) border controls for EU goods imported into Great Britain will be introduced at the end of the Transition Period in stages to give businesses affected by coronavirus more time to prepare.  However, it also says that the UK say that it will neither accept nor seek any extension to the Transition Period.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-accelerates-border-planning-for-the-end-of-the-transition-period

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/UK-‘u-turns’-on-full-post-Brexit-border-controls/76782.htm#.XuOWUEBFxes

TURKISH LORRY DRIVER CASH COURIER JAILED FOR SMUGGLING £12 MILLION OUT OF THE UK

On 12 June, a news release from the NCA advised that Nasuf Nasufoglu, 40, from Istanbul, had been jailed for smuggling over £12 million of criminal cash out of the country over a 5-month period.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/cash-courier-jailed-for-smuggling-12million-out-of-the-uk

INDIVIDUAL ARRESTED IN MADRID FOR TRANSFERRING MONEY TO SYRIA TO FUND RETURN OF FOREIGN TERRORIST FIGHTERS TO EUROPE

A news release from Europol on 11 June advised that Spanish Policía Nacional have arrested a man in Madrid suspected of transferring money between several European and Arabian countries via the Hawala informal money transfer system with the aim of reintroducing foreign terrorist fighters in Europe.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/individual-arrested-in-madrid-for-transferring-money-to-syria-to-fund-return-of-foreign-terrorist-fighters-to-europe

COVID-19 IMPACT ON MIGRANT SMUGGLING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

On 11 June, a news release from Interpol was concerned with an assessment which outlines short- and long-term affects around the world.  It says that measures being taken by countries to control its spread, are impacting crime around the world, including migrant smuggling and human trafficking.  While some of the preventive measures have effectively hindered certain criminal opportunities in the short-term, smugglers and traffickers, as well as their victims, have sought and found ways to overcome them.

20COM0380-CAS-VCO_Covid3rdassessmentreport_infographiev2

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2020/COVID-19-impact-on-migrant-smuggling-and-human-trafficking

GLOBAL USE OF TEAR GAS FUELS POLICE ABUSES

On 11 June, Amnesty International launched a new resource based on the evidence collected by Crisis Evidence Lab on the misuse of tear gas by police and security forces around the world.  The site includes explainers on how tear gas works, interviews with medical and human rights experts, how it is abused, and an incident map. It says that Amnesty International has documented the following forms of tear gas misuse: “firing into confined spaces; firing directly at individuals; using excessive quantities; firing at peaceful protests; and firing against groups who may be less able to flee or more susceptible to its effects”.

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/toxic-trade-in-tear-gas-fuels-police-abuses/

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR): CONVICTIONS OF 11 ACTIVISTS IN FRANCE FOR CAMPAIGN ACTIONS CALLING FOR A BOYCOTT OF ISRAELI PRODUCTS VIOLATED THEIR RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

On 12 June, an article from Amnesty International on Ekklesia advised that in 2009, 5 campaigners took part in an action inside a hypermarket in north-eastern France. They called for a boycott of Israeli products, handing out Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) leaflets to raise awareness about human rights violations by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 8 of the applicants were involved in a similar action in 2010.  However, on 11 June the ECHR ruled that the convictions of 11 activists in France for campaign actions calling for a boycott of Israeli products violated their right to freedom of expression.  It also notes that laws that criminalise or restrict BDS activism exist or are being discussed in several countries including Israel, the US and the UK.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/29683

INDIA MULLS BLANKET BAN ON CRYPTOCURRENCIES WITH NEW LAW

On 12 June, RTT News reported that the Indian government is mulling a blanket ban on dealing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin in the country, being concerned about the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and criminal activities.

https://www.rttnews.com/story.aspx?Id=3103264

REUBEN BROTHERS FUND OXFORD’S NEWEST COLLEGE DESPITE FORMER ALLEGATIONS OF ILLEGAL OPERATIONS AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 12 June, the Oxford Blue reported that, in 2019, Oxford University announced its 39th college, initially set to be named Parks College, it will now become ‘Reuben College’ following an £80 million donation from the Reuben Foundation.  David and Simon Reuben have a net worth of £18 billion.  These brothers amassed most of their fortune, however, through metal trading in the former Soviet Union. Their company, Trans-World Metals, at its peak, controlled 5-7% of global aluminium output.

https://www.theoxfordblue.co.uk/2020/06/12/reuben-brothers-fund-oxfords-newest-college-despite-former-allegations-of-illegal-operations-and-money-laundering/

INSIDE THE HIGH-STAKES WORLD OF CLANDESTINE CRUDE SHIPPING

On 12 June, American Shipper published a Q&A with TankerTrackers.com co-founder Samir Madani.  It details how his company shines a light on events that some governments and businesses want kept dark, and the reason, beyond profit, why he believes this is so important.  This includes Venezuelan and Iranian oil to China and AIS spoofing.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/qa-inside-the-high-stakes-world-of-clandestine-crude-shipping

VIDEO: A PRIMER ON THE FCPA

Available online is a video presentation from TRACE and TASA which sets out to guide one through an explanation of the elements of the Act, including specific discussion of the scope of jurisdiction under the FCPA, third parties, facilitating payments, affirmative defences, strategies for addressing gifts and hospitality, internal controls, fines and penalties under the Act as well as voluntary disclosure. The speaker also provides a brief review of recent multi-jurisdictional enforcement actions and address the hallmarks of an effective compliance programme.

https://youtu.be/UXV8WEAowpo

LAW SOCIETY OF ENGLAND AND WALES: Q&A ON AML

Available on the Law Society website, alongside Q&A on various other aspects, is a set of questions and answers concerned with solicitors, law firms and AML.

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/help-for-solicitors/practice-advice-service/q-and-as/

CHEAP OIL CHANGES THE COST OF ORGANISED CRIME

On 12 June, an article from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime says that the presence of oil, all too often, the result is poor governance and entrenched crime.  Many oil-exporting countries are already hotspots of organised, and for many to come to see it as a curse.  Using Nigeria as an example it says that the country is more emblematic of the resource curse than of resource-led development. However, it warns that recent oil price shock is likely to disrupt criminal economies the world over.  It compares the effects to the oil price drop that affected Daesh in Syria/Iraq.  It might also cause criminal groups to seek other sources of income, for example in Mexico, where the cartels see oil theft as a low-risk alternative might devote more time and resources to drugs. The oil price crash may also change dynamics and power balances in armed conflicts, where criminal and insurgent groups often attack or take control of oil production.  Finally, it observes that an oil price crash might also lead to more loss of income and poverty, which would in turn contribute to increased criminal activity.

https://globalinitiative.net/oil-organized-crime/

US COAST GUARD BREAKS ILLEGAL FISHING INTERDICTION RECORD FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR

On 11 June, Homeland Security Today reported that USCG law enforcement crews have already interdicted a record-breaking number of “lanchas” throughout the Gulf of Mexico for fiscal year 2020.  Since October 2019, it has detected a total of 176, interdicting 106. A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is about 20- to 30-feet long with a slender profile.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/maritime-security/coast-guard-breaks-illegal-fishing-interdiction-record-for-third-consecutive-year/

SOME CLOUD TERMINOLOGY

Thomson Reuters has published a short article as a primer on some of the most common and fundamental cloud terms relevant to the legal industry.  The terms explained, briefly, are – Cloud, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, “On-premises”, “Software as a service” (SaaS), Multi-tenancy SaaS, “Infrastructure as a service” (IaaS).

https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/blog/cloud-in-context-understanding-the-terms-that-matter-to-law-firms/

US: VETERANS’ ADMINISTRATION EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR ORCHESTRATING $19 MILLION CORRUPTION SCHEME

A news release from the DoJ on 12 June advised that Joseph Prince, 61, of Colorado was sentenced to serve 16 years in federal prison for health care fraud, conspiracy, payment of illegal kickbacks and gratuities, money laundering, and conflict of interest charges.  He was also ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release and pay $18,777,134.68 in restitution to the Veteran’s Health Administration.  Prince was one of 2 Case Management Liaisons for the VA’s Spina Bifida (SB) Health Care Benefits Program.  The programme covers the medial needs of children of certain veterans of the Korea and Vietnam wars with SB.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-co/pr/va-employee-sentenced-orchestrating-19-million-corruption-scheme

 

 

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

 

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s