Panama Covid-19 update – too early to update the daily statistics, as news conference has not been held yet. However, one interesting tale to tell. 96 Nicaraguans, allowed to leave the country by road via Costa Rica have not reached their homes, and are apparently being held in an enclave on the Nicaraguan side of the border. No reason is given.
Also, as an example of how the authorities provide a full picture of developments (rather than a spun version one sees in bigger countries) below is a screenshot of information showing the corregimento (roughly equivalent to parishes in the UK, or counties in the US) with more than 10 new cases yesterday. Fortunately, my area is not listed… One can only hope that such detail, on teatime TV each night, helps convince people to take the risks seriously.
27 June 2020
A NEW POLLUTION RISK AWARENESS GUIDE HAS BEEN LAUNCHED BY MARINE INSURER UK P&I CLUB
On 26 June, Insurance Business reported that the guide focuses on pollution claims and highlights the methods and procedures needed to minimise them. Among its focuses are the threats leading to pollution claims such as cargo loading and discharge, bilge and slop, hull/equipment failures, hose or pipeline failure, garbage/sewage disposal, ballast water, funnel emissions and bunkering.
SPAIN’S GUARDIA CIVIL ARRESTED 65 PEOPLE AND SEIZED 20 FAST BOATS IN A CRACKDOWN ON GANGS INVOLVED IN DRUG AND TOBACCO SMUGGLING IN THE CAMPO DE GIBRALTAR
On 27 June, the Gibraltar Chronicle reported that Officers seized 20 small rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) that were being used to supply fuel to larger vessels used to run drugs from Morocco to Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar.
LEBANON: SMUGGLING OF MEDICINE SUBSIDISED BY THE CENTRAL BANK INTO SYRIA A NEW DRAIN ON THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMY
On 27 June, Naharnet reported that a Lebanese MP has said that Lebanon’s subsidised medicine is being smuggled at the official exchange rate, adding a new source to drain our economy and our crumbling reserves of hard currency. Lebanon spends billions of dollars on subsidies on essentials such as fuel, flour and medicine, but smugglers often sell them in war-torn Syria at a hefty mark-up.
UN CALLS FOR ‘SUSTAINED EFFORTS’ AGAINST DRC NATURAL RESOURCE TRAFFICKING
On 27 June, News 24 reported that the UN Security Council has called for “sustained efforts” in preventing the illegal trade of natural resources from the DRC. The volume of gold smuggled from the country was said to be significantly higher than the amount legally traded.
AFRICAN NATIONS MAKING HEADWAY ON TAX EVASION AND MONEY LAUNDERING
IPP Media on 27 June said that a new report provides comparable tax transparency statistics to help decision-makers address illicit funds flow and covers 35 states. Such flows are estimated at between $50 billion and $80 billion a year, with 44% of the continent’s wealth held offshore – estimated as a tax loss of some €17 billion.
ROMANIA DETAINS ‘LARGEST FORGER OF PLASTIC BANKNOTES IN THE WORLD’
On 27 June, Euronews reported that the man was allegedly leading a gang that began its activity in 2014 and produced 17,000 fake 100 RON (€22) banknotes, according to Romania’s organised-crime unit, in a fraud worth around €350,000.
US: DoJ APPEALS COURT’S DECISION TO RELEASE HEZBOLLAH MONEY MAN EARLY
On 27 June, NBC News reported that the DoJ is appealing a federal judge’s decision to grant an early release to Kassim Tajideen, 65, a Lebanese man said by US authorities as a Hezbollah financier, arguing he does not qualify to be freed on “compassionate grounds” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tajideen is due to fly back to Lebanon next month.
COUNTER-IED CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL AND SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL
On 24 June, this paper from UNIDIR examined the development of self-assessment tools to assist States in identifying gaps and challenges in their national regulation and preparedness regarding improvised explosive device (IED). It includes a brief introduction and sets the context of the problem, describes IED and their components.
it includes these Tables listing the explosive precursor chemicals subject to control in the EU (and UK) –
DAC 6 DEFERRAL OF REPORTING DEADLINES – MESSAGE FROM HMRC
On 25 June, the Chartered Institute of Taxation reported that HMRC had issued a message saying that the UK is deferring the first reporting deadlines under the International Tax Enforcement (Disclosable Arrangements) Regulations 2020 by 6 months. This will provide taxpayers and intermediaries dealing with the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic with additional time to ensure that they can comply with their obligations. Reporting is due 28 February 2021. This follows an initiative of the EU Commission to defer dates to take account of challenges faced as a result of COVID-19. DAC 6 is a new EU regime under which intermediaries and/or taxpayers must report to an EU tax authority (or HMRC in the UK) information about cross-border arrangements with a view to the information being exchanged with other EU tax authorities.
for more information on DAC 6, see –
UK GAMBLING COMMISSION PUBLISHES REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF ITS INDUSTRY CHALLENGE
On 26 June, CMS Law reported that, in October 2019, the Gambling Commission set out 3 challenges for operators to tackle in order to make gambling safer for consumers –
- incentives for high value customers;
- game and product design; and
- the use of ad-tech to protect vulnerable individuals online.
On 19 June, the Commission published a report on phase 1 of the Industry Challenge initiative and provided an overview of the Commission’s plans for phase 2, where the Commission will look to incorporate the positive steps made by industry into the regulatory framework.
UK GAMBLING COMMISSION CONSULTS ON THE TREATMENT OF VIP CUSTOMERS
On 23 June, CMS Law reported that the Gambling Commission has announced that it will be launching a consultation in relation to high value customers (HVC, aka VIPs). It will focus on the challenges that operators’ incentivisation of HVC presents from a regulatory perspective. The Commission is concerned that certain factors may lead to a conflict between operators’ short-term commercial objectives and their regulatory compliance.
CMS EXPERT GUIDE TO PASSPORTING – THE RULES ON MARKETING ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT FUNDS (AIF) IN EUROPE
CMS Law has produced a guide to “passporting” rights, promoted by the EU Commission as one of the key benefits for hedge, private equity, real estate and other alternative investment fund managers authorised under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).
US: FIRST EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IDENTIFIED AND CONTROLLED FOR EXPORT UNDER THE EAR REGULATIONS
On 26 June, DLA Piper reported that the Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has published a Final Rule that identifies the first “emerging technologies” described in the Export Control Reform Act 2018. This Act directed BIS to lead a regular interagency process to identify and add to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) controls on “emerging” and “foundational” technologies that are “essential to the national security of the United States”. Having been designated as “emerging technologies” by the interagency process, the Final Rule imposes export controls on certain precursor chemicals, the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-related coronavirus), and single-use cultivation chambers with rigid walls. The article also notes that, earlier this year, export controls were imposed on a specific geospatial imagery software and, although the result may be substantially the same, this software was not designated as an “emerging technology”.
ENGLISH COMMERCIAL COURT DECLINES TO CONTINUE FREEZING INJUNCTIONS IN SUPPORT OF FOREIGN AND ENGLISH SEATED ARBITRATIONS
On 26 June, DLA Piper reported that the High Court in London had declined to continue 2 freezing injunctions against the defendants in support of both an arbitration case in London (as there was an insufficient risk of dissipation) and a Swiss arbitration case (due to an insufficient connection to the English jurisdiction). The judgment, the article says, provides a useful analysis of the factors the English courts will take into account when exercising their jurisdiction to grant interim or emergency relief in support of English and foreign seated arbitral proceedings. It is said that this decision sets out some key limits on the English courts’ discretionary power to grant freezing injunctions in support of both English and foreign-seated arbitrations.
WORLDWIDE MULTILATERAL PEACE OPERATIONS 2020
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has produced a downloadable pdf map showing all multilateral peace operations active as of May 2020. The data is taken from SIPRI’s Multilateral Peace Operations Database which contains historical information on UN and non-UN peace operations conducted since 1990, including location, mandate, participating countries, approved and actual personnel numbers disaggregated by personnel types, dates of deployment, budgets and mission fatalities.
US CONCERN OVER CHINESE BID FOR UKRAINE AEROENGINE MANUFACTURER WHICH A MAJOR PROVIDER OF ENGINES FOR CRUISE MISSILES
On 26 June, a post from the International Institute for Strategic Studies was concerned with Ukrainian aeroengine manufacturer Motor Sich, which is responsible for an array of turboshaft, turboprop and turbofan engine designs. It says that, a bid by Chinese company Skyrizon for a controlling stake in Motor Sich is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute in Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities are investigating whether the sale will provide a foreign state with access to sensitive technology. The sale has also become caught up in a wider struggle for influence in Ukraine between China and the US.
DUTCH ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNER (UBO) REGISTER SOON OPERATIONAL
On 24 June, Clifford Chance reported that while the relevant EU Directive had to be implemented on 10 January, the legislative proceedings in the Upper House of the Dutch Parliament have now just finished, and it is expected that the necessary law will enter into effect on 1 July.
OUTWARD BOUND INVESTMENTS FROM JAPANESE MULTINATIONALS CONTINUE TO GROW, BUT SO DO BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION COMPLIANCE AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT RISKS
An article from Paul Hastings on 24 June reflects on the continuing risk for Japanese companies participating in global markets. It also offers a number of practical considerations for how Japanese multinationals can conduct effective risk assessments.
US: NEW PROJECT SEEKS TO PROVIDE DARPA WITH WAYS TO DETER CBRN ATTACKS BY NON-STATE ACTORS
On 28 May, START (the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism at the University of Maryland) reported a new START project for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which is creating a process to quickly identify potential chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) threats from non-state actors.
INFOGRAPHIC SERIES EXPLORES CARTEL OPERATIONS IN MEXICO
On 2 June, START (the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism at the University of Maryland) announced a series of infographics exploring findings from its Tracking Cartels project, a Joint Centers of Excellence project supported by the DHS Office of University Programs in the US.
PROTECTING GUYANA FROM THE NATURAL RESOURCE CURSE
On 26 June, a blog post from the Global Anticorruption Blog says that Guyana’s economy is expected to grow by 53% this year, thanks to a significant offshore oil discovery. It says that Guyana sold its first barrel of oil in January, and national oil output is expected to reach 750,000 barrels per day by 2025 and 1.2 million by 2030 — more than a barrel of oil per day for each of Guyana’s 782,000 citizens. However, many observers worry that Guyana may fall victim to the “natural resource curse” — a paradoxical phenomenon in which resource wealth not only fails to generate sustainable economic growth but actually worsens the standard of living for most of a country’s citizens.
UN REPORT ON COUNTERING TERRORISM FINANCE RE ISIL/AL-QAIDA
On 2 June, the UN Security Council received a report on the application of UN SCR 1267 and 1373 sanctions, as amended. It contains answers to a questionnaire sent to member states on actions taken to disrupt terrorism financing and the challenges encountered in implementing Security Council measures concerning terrorism financing. The report’s objective is to provide greater insight into measures taken by member states to disrupt terrorism financing, including through effective implementation of measures required by the relevant UN SCR. It also seeks to highlight the challenges encountered in disrupting the financing of terrorism. The report provides an overview of measures, good practices and challenges encountered by member states in their implementation of international counter-financing of terrorism standards. In respect of applying new designations, around two-thirds of reporting States define “without delay” as within 24 hours or less. A number of member states noted that the relevant UN SCR do not define “without delay” in terms of a specific time period. Most member states have conducted a terrorism-financing risk assessment as part of their national risk assessment or broader money laundering risk assessments and adopted a CFT strategy implemented through multi-stakeholder formal or informal coordination. Most States also reported recently revising their CFT laws. It notes that there are few examples of formalised public-private partnerships and consultation mechanisms with civil society, as defined by FATF. In addition to challenges relating to the detection of transactions through both the formal and informal financial systems, the most frequently cited challenges include the integration of financial intelligence into counter-terrorism efforts, a lack of enhanced and specialised investigative and enforcement capabilities, and a lack of legal frameworks to keep pace with the rapid evolution in financial tools and terrorism financing methods.
FREEZING ORDER ON MURDER SUSPECT YORGEN FENECH’S ASSETS IS RELAXED
On 27 June, Malta Today reported that a court has granted Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech access to shares and immovable property which he had inherited, on the grounds that they are not the proceeds of crime.
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