Panama Covid-19 update – in the last 24 hours, 11 more people died (575 total to date), with 8 more entering ICU (with a record 148 now in ICU). New cases were again high, at 868 – giving a total of 29,905 to date, although 15,270 are recorded as “recovered”, and 13,198 are in isolation at home (indicating these being less serious cases, one presumes).
Meanwhile, confirmation from the authorities that all temporary ID due to expire by 31 July are automatically extended to 31 October. Once again, I am inclined to say that this appears to indicate that we are still in for a long haul…
26 June 2020
NORTH KOREAN RESTAURANT IN BEIJING REMAINS OPEN, DESPITE UN SANCTIONS
On 26 June, NK Pro reported that Pyongyang Unbangwan is one of at least 2 DPRK-linked eateries operating in the Chinese capital city despite UN Security Council sanctions ordering all overseas DPRK workers home in December 2019.
MALTA: AMENDMENT OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGULATIONS
On 23 June, an article from Ganado Advocates about amendments which came into force on 16 June and serve to further amend the Companies Act (Register of Beneficial Owners) Regulations which had come into force on 1 January 2018. The new amendments introduce changes to the Regulations which, inter alia, seek to provide further investigative powers to the Registrar of Companies, introduce an annual filing requirement with immediate effect and implement certain suggestions made by the industry.
SPANISH AND GERMAN CUSTOMS HAVE BEEN CHALLENGING THE CUSTOMS VALUE OF IMPORTATIONS BY ADDING THE ROYALTIES PAID TO A THIRD PARTY TO THE CUSTOMS VALUE OF IMPORTED GOODS
On 23 June, an article from Baker McKenzie published an article saying that under the Union Customs Code in the EU, which came into force in 2016, royalties and licence fees relating to goods imported into the EU would be treated as dutiable in more circumstances than under the former legislation. It points out that there is no definition of what royalties and licence fees are under the current legislation. However, a general definition of “royalties and licence fees” can be found in the 2017 OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital. The article reports that Recently, Spanish and German Customs have been challenging the customs value of importations by adding the royalties paid to a third party to the customs value of imported goods, especially in the retail and pharmaceutical sectors where we have seen companies carry out importations into Spain and pay royalties to another company.
WEBINAR: LAW ENFORCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO COMBAT ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE IN ASIA
On 26 June, the UN Office for Drugs & Crime released a video of a webinar on combating illegal wildlife trade in Asia which had been held on 24 June. The webinar features international law enforcement experts working in SE Asia. Based on their previous experience within national law enforcement agencies and their recent roles with UNODC, INTERPOL and other international organizations, the panellists address various issues, including why there is limited success in tackling wildlife trafficking in East and Southeast Asia, and how can this situation be reversed?
SANCTIONS: FINAL REPORT OF THE GROUP OF EXPERTS ON THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO – ILLICIT ARMS SUPPLIES IN AND GOLD OUT
On 2 June, the Panel of Experts sent this Report to the UN Security Council and this, amongst other things, says that says that several countries offered military training and delivered significant quantities of arms, ammunition, equipment and military vehicles to armed forces without notifying (or being licensed by) the Sanctions Committee. It also expressed concern about the volume of gold being illicitly exported from the DRC, and said such activities are benefitting armed groups.
WEBINAR: LESSONS FROM RECENT COMPLIANCE FAILURES
On 26 June, the Wall Street Journal released a recording of a webinar in which a panel of US lawyers discussed updates to recent compliance programme guidance from the DoJ, lessons from recent FCPA cases, and compliance challenges arising from the pandemic.
SOUTH AFRICA TOBACCO BAN GREETED WITH CIGARETTE SMUGGLING BOOM
The Guardian on 26 June reported that South Africa and Zimbabwe have stepped up border patrols in a bid to stop cigarette smuggling, which has boomed since Pretoria banned the sale of tobacco in March, claiming smokers were more prone to Covid-19. The illegal trade has increased, despite South Africa erecting a 25-mile fence on the border in April. However, from Zimbabwe, there are more than 200 illegal entry points into South Africa.
FOUNDATIONS AND THEIR PRACTICAL APPLICATION IN THE ISLE OF MAN
On 24 June, an article from Simcocks in the Isle of Man looks at the advantages of using a foundation, the similarities to a trust, examples of where they might be of use and how to set one up.
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CRIMES: AUSTRALIA AND CHINA’S LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION EXAMINED
Nyman Gibson & Miralis in Australia has published an article saying that a recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) examines the key considerations and challenges in successful law enforcement cooperation between Australia and China. In this article, the firm explores the findings relating to the area of economic crimes. Among other things, the article says that large sums of money are suspected to be laundered out of China into the Australian real estate market and that this type of activity is often facilitated through a corrupt official’s spouse and children who may be sent to live in Australia, to legitimise the activity as genuine business or investments. Cooperation between Australia and China in tackling money laundering is still developing and AUSTRAC has signed an MoU with its Chinese counterpart in 2016, which will help to formalise the relationship and provide greater transparency and accountability.
The report itself from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute is available at –
as well as financial crimes, the report also considers cooperation on narcotics trafficking, cybercrime and terrorism, considers the barriers to cooperation and makes recommendations.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERS ENDING CONGRESS’ REVIEW OF ARMS SALES
On 26 June, Defence Web reported that there are reports that President Trump’s administration is considering ending a long-standing system for Congressional review of foreign weapons sales. The foreign affairs committees of Congress have the right to review, and block, weapons sales under an informal review process. It is said that the White House, frustrated over delays in sales to Saudi Arabia in particular, is considering whether to end that process, although it has not made a final decision.
UK: LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS (AMENDMENT ETC.) REGULATIONS 2020
These Regulations make the necessary amendments and provision to apply to LLP the new insolvency and restructuring measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020. That Act was fast-tracked through Parliament and provides for several measures, inserted into the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Companies Act 2006 which will give businesses greater flexibility and breathing space within the insolvency regime to continue trading despite the economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
FORMER PERUVIAN GOVERNOR ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION
On 26 June, Prensa Latina reported that the former governor of the north Andean Peruvian region of Cajamarca, Gregorio Santos, sentenced to prison for corruption, has been captured in a jungle town where he was hiding. He had been a fugitive since January, when the court sentenced him to 19 years and 4 months in prison, finding him guilty of receiving bribes worth $343,000 from 2 business people in exchange for public works contracts.
MEXICO: CHIHUAHUA STATE POLICE COMMANDER LINKED TO THE SINALOA CARTEL IS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON
On 26 June, Borderland Beat reported that Sergio Alberto Huerta Verzosa (aka Comandante Huerta), former commander of the Chihuahua State Police, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in Mexico for organised crime involvement and drug trafficking.
FORMER BANK CHAIRMAN PURSUED TO LONDON OVER PLUNDERED $850 MILLION KUWAITI STATE FUNDS
The National on 26 June reported that Fahad Al Rajaan, 71, a Kuwaiti businessman sentenced to life in prison for plundering the state pension fund has been living in exile in a luxury London apartment as accountants scramble to unravel his complex finances. The article quotes lawyers who told The National that he could not be extradited until his asylum case has been resolved.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): GUIDANCE ON SUPPORT FOR UK BUSINESSES THAT TRADE INTERNATIONALLY
On 26 June, the Department for International Trade published this updated guidance on the Department’s support for UK business trading internationally and financial support for business trading internationally.
US CUSTOMS SEIZES LARGEST SYNTHETIC DRUG SHIPMENT IN PORT OF CINCINNATI HISTORY
On 26 June, a news release from the US Customs & Border Protection announced that on 11 May CBP officers in Cincinnati seized an air shipment at a local cargo examination station, which has recently yielded 530 lb of synthetic drugs and controlled substances. This shipment came from China and was headed to a single importer in Aurora, Colorado. When officers examined the shipment, they found more than 160 smaller packages addressed to individuals and businesses across the US. These smaller shipments contained various items including regulated medications, agriculture and food products, intellectual property rights violations such as counterfeit handbags and shoes, and 530 lb of synthetic drugs and controlled substances.
WORLD CONTROL RISKS: RISKMAP 2020 SPECIAL EDITION – THE COVID-19 EFFECT(S)
On 26 June, Control Risks published an update of its political and security risks report to reflect the impact of Covid-19. The update identifies what Control Risks considers to be the top 5 risks including, in many countries, a volatile mix of political instability and economic vulnerability. It also identifies the impact or fallout from the twists and turns of the US Presidential campaign as another risk. A further top 5 risk concerns cybersecurity, saying that it has never been more important. One feature offers possible scenarios for a post-Covid world. A set of podcasts involve experts from the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa discussing the impacts of COVID-19 around the world, now and over the coming months.
SOLICITOR “DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO” WITH MONEY FROM THIRD PARTY
On 26 June, Legal Futures reported that a solicitor whose firm received over £530,000 into its client account from an unknown third party, “sat on it” because “we just didn’t know” what to do. The sole director of a Leeds firm has been fined £20,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) for allowing his client account to be used as a banking facility, and thus raising an obvious and significant risk that the account might be used unscrupulously by the client for money laundering.
UK: BAR ON TERMINATING CONTRACTS ON INSOLVENCY GROUNDS
On 26 June, Eversheds Sutherland published a briefing about the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 and its ban on supplying parties invoking contractual termination rights where their counter-party has become subject to a relevant insolvency procedure.
UK FCA RESTRICTIONS ON WIRECARD
On 26 June, a release on Mondo Visione advised that Wirecard Card Solutions Limited – a German-based payments processor facing fraud allegations in Germany – is authorised and supervised by the FCA in the UK to issue e-money and provide payment services including, issuing e-money onto prepaid cards. Wirecard AG is not supervised by the FCA. On 26 June, the FCA imposed a number of requirements and restrictions on Wirecard, which are detailed in the release. The release also contains a number of Q&A on the situation as it affects the UK and people in the UK.
A CANADIAN AND A NORTHERN IRELAND MAN ALLEGEDLY CONSPIRED IN SATORI INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT) CASE
A blog post from Krebs on Security on 25 June said that the US DoJ had charged a Canadian and a Northern Ireland man for allegedly conspiring to build botnets that enslaved hundreds of thousands of routers and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices for use in large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. In addition, a defendant in the US was sentenced to drug treatment and 18 months community confinement for his admitted role in the botnet conspiracy.
BRAZIL: FORMER INDYCAR DRIVER ANA BEATRIZ (AKA BIA FIGUEIREDO) LINKED TO AN INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED EMBEZZLEMENT AND MONEY LAUNDERING
On 26 June, Racer reported that former IndyCar and recent IMSA driver Ana Beatriz, who has raced more recently as Bia Figueiredo, has been linked to an investigation into alleged embezzlement and money laundering. The pregnant racer has been connected to an investigation that has already led to the arrest of her husband and father-in-law.
SUMMARY OF THE ALLEGATIONS INVOLVING NOVARTIS
TRACE has produced a detailed summary of the bribery and corruption allegations against the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company in the US. The corruption is said to involve cash, illegitimate studies, gifts, travel, financing arrangements relating to the placement of surgical equipment.
LEVERAGING ANTI-BRIBERY COMPLIANCE PROGRAMMES TO ADDRESS HUMAN RIGHTS IN A POST-COVID-19 WORLD
On 26 June, TRACE published a White Paper saying that COVID-19 will create new human rights challenges for businesses, from shifts in supply chains to workforce and labour issues. This White Paper outlines a framework for addressing human rights challenges by leveraging existing anti-bribery compliance programmes. One of the risks facing businesses is that there will be radical shifts in global supply chains. Companies seeking to maintain or restore production levels will quickly identify alternative suppliers without robust diligence. Other companies may pressure existing suppliers to increase their capacity. Given high levels of unemployment, risks of worker exploitation and modern slavery will rise. The White Paper says that few businesses will be able to escape the challenges, or others like them, creating the substantial legal, reputational and business risks that frequently arise when allegations of human rights abuse are levied. It discusses the 6 primary areas where anti-corruption programmes can most readily incorporate human rights elements, as well as some relevant distinctions.
THE US LAW ON CLASSIFIED INFORMATION: A PRIMER
On 26 June, Lawfare published an article saying that the John Bolton debacle provides an opportunity to explain how the classification system really functions: what law governs classification, what kinds of information may be classified, who decides what’s classified and how classification is enforced.
MILLIONS OF EUROS DISCOVERED IN SAFE DEPOSIT BOX BELONGING TO ISABEL DOS SANTOS
On 25 June, Portugal Resident reported that millions ‘in cash’ were discovered in a safe deposit box that she holds at a branch of Novo Banco in Porto. It also says that over 60 separate searches are understood to have taken place over the previous week, gathering information on the case and on all the various associates allegedly involved. At least one search went ahead in the Algarve – in Quinta da Lago – where Ms dos Santos has a holiday home, owned by a company based in Malta.
DEVELOPMENTS IN PUBLIC/PRIVATE FINANCIAL INFORMATION-SHARING TO DETECT CRIME IN CANADA
On 26 June, in the first in a new series of interviews with leaders from public/private financial information-sharing partnerships around the world, the Global Head of Financial Crimes Risk Management at Scotiabank, speaks about developments in public/private financial information-sharing to detect crime in Canada; how he’d like to see the regime develop in the years to come; and Scotiabank’s investment in exploring the role of Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) to support information-sharing AML outcomes in a way that better protects the privacy of customer data.
US DoD PUBLISHES LIST OF “COMMUNIST CHINESE MILITARY COMPANIES” OPERATING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY IN US
On 26 June, Steptoe & Johnson published an article saying that the US Department of Defense had published List of “Communist Chinese Military Companies” operating directly or indirectly in the US, as required by section 1237 of the National Defense Authorization Act.
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