Panama Covid-19 update – another 960 cases (41,251 to date), with another 20 fatalities (819 to date), with 743 more people “recovered”, and 158 in ICU and 860 in other wards. In Panama, the daily news reports detail the ages of those affected, where they are located, and what complications etc those who have died suffered from. For example, in the last 24 hours, the 960 new cases came mostly from the lower-risk age groups (424 for ages 20-39, 328 40 to 59 and 89 under 20 years old), with 98 in the over-60s. Of the 20 fatalities, 2 were in the 20-39 age group, 3 in the 40-59 group, 10 in 60-79 age group and 5 were 80+. So, it would seem, from this figures, the majority of new cases were from the lower-risk groups, but the majority of deaths were in the higher-risk age groups…
8 July 2020
ARGENTINA AIDE WHO TESTIFIED IN KIRCHNER CORRUPTION CASE IS FOUND MURDERED
On 8 July, KYC 360 reported a Times story that Fabián Gutiérrez, 48, a former private secretary to Argentina’s vice-president has been murdered, fuelling speculation that he was targeted for being a whistleblower in a corruption case.
OECD NEW REPORTING FRAMEWORK FOR THE GIG ECONOMY
On 7 July, Financial Management reported that the OECD has released model rules that would require digital platforms to report information to tax authorities about platform users’ income from offering accommodation, transport, and personal services. They are designed to help those in the gig and sharing economy “in being compliant with their tax obligations” and ensure a level playing field with traditional businesses, according to OECD.
The model rules are at –
US INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCE CORPORATION (DFC) TO SUPPORT NUCLEAR POWER PROJECTS
On 8 July, Real Clear Energy reported that, in June, the DFC has given notice of a proposed change to the agency’s Environmental and Social Policy and Procedures that would remove the prohibition on support of nuclear power projects. The article says that removal of the ban on nuclear project finance provides an opportunity for the US to push back on Russian and Chinese dominance in third-party countries while simultaneously supporting development objectives.
COMPLIANCE WITH CANADIAN SANCTIONS LAWS
On 8 July, an article from Miller Thomson LLP says that under Canadian and international law, there are a variety of sanctions laws that apply to all individuals and businesses in Canada and to all Canadian citizens and Canadian-incorporated businesses operating outside of Canada. Understanding the restrictions and your obligations on lenders are essential. It provides an overview of Canadian economic sanctions law, lender due diligence reference materials and other restrictions on Canadian business.
US: 81 CARS WORTH $3.2 MILLION SEIZED IN VENEZUELA SMUGGLING OPERATION
On 8 July, NBC Miami reported that some of the vehicles were equipped with police equipment such as lights and sirens and are said to be intended for the Venezuelan National Police. The vehicles seized were purchased by straw buyers and were destined to be illegally shipped to Venezuela as part of an international car smuggling operation but were seized in South Florida
INDIA: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT KERALA GOLD SMUGGLING ROW
On 8 July, News 18 India published an article providing background to the seizure of 30 kg of gold that landed in “diplomatic baggage” by air cargo.
NEW REPORT SAYS DUBAI IS A ‘HAVEN FOR MONEY LAUNDERING’
On 8 July, TRT World reported that UAE’s unwillingness to tackle corruption and money laundering, is a global challenge that must be addressed, according to a US think tank. Dubai is one of the 7 emirates that make up UAE, and has built its reputation on becoming a regional business hub in the Middle East. It notes that previously the NGO Transparency International Dubai has described Dubai as having become an active global hub for money laundering … where the corrupt and other criminals can go to buy a luxurious property with no restrictions.
GIBRALTAR: YACHT SEIZED IN ONGOING OPERATION INTO MONEY LAUNDERING & DRUG TRAFFICKING
On 8 July, GBC in Gibraltar reported that a Gibraltar-registered yacht has been seized by police following ongoing operation into money laundering and cross border drug trafficking.
PODCAST: IMPRISONED IN CHINA: PETER HUMPHREY’S STORY
In the latest TRACE podcast, an interview with Peter Humphrey and his wife, who were well-respected compliance professionals active in China when they were arrested, tried and imprisoned for 2 years.
US VISA RESTRICTIONS ON PRC GOVERNMENT AND CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY OFFICIALS OVER TIBET
A news release from the US State Department on 7 July announced visa restrictions on government and Chinese Communist Party officials determined to be “substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas,” pursuant to the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018.
EU TO DISCUSS PEOPLE-SMUGGLING WITH AFRICAN STATES
On 8 July, EU Observer reported that ministers from Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia will be attending a conference to tackle human smuggling and hosted by Italy. The hope is that the outcome of this conference will be that we can build partnerships to fight human smuggling.
‘TORTURE CHAMBER’ FOUND IN DUTCH SEA CONTAINERS
On 8 July, EU Observer reported that Dutch police have arrested 6 men after discovering sea containers converted into a makeshift prison and sound-proofed “torture chamber”. It is said to give an insight into the increasingly violent Dutch criminal underworld, which is involved in the large-scale production and trafficking of drugs.
EU: PROJECT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED SYSTEM FOR THE VALIDATION OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION MANAGEMENT ON THE BASIS OF OPEN INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
EU Council Decision 2020/979/CFSP said that the EU will support a project for establishing the feasibility of the development of a voluntary internationally recognised system for the validation of arms and ammunition management on the basis of open international standards. The first phase is for a feasibility study into the development of an Arms and Ammunition Management Validation System (AAMVS) to investigate options for appropriate methodologies and tools for the assessment of risk and quality. An expert working group (EWG) is to be created to support and review the feasibility study and to raise awareness of the project. The project is intended to take 2 years.
EU COURT DISMISSES APPEAL BY BRAZILIAN MEAT PRODUCERS OVER IMPORT BAN ON PUBLIC HEALTH GROUNDS
A news release from the EU on 8 July advised that the EU General Court had dismissed action brought by 2 Brazilian meat producers seeking the annulment of the EU Regulation prohibiting, for public health reasons, the export to the EU of certain products of animal origin from establishments belonging to those producers. The producers had been delisted on the ground that the Brazilian authorities had not provided, in respect of those establishments, the requisite guarantees concerning compliance with public health rules on importing the products at issue. There had also been cases of fraud detected in March 2018, in Brazil, during the laboratory certification of the meat and meat products exported to the EU.
WORKER EXPLOITATION IN UK CLOTHING SUPPLY CHAINS
On 8 July, an Insight from the House of Commons Library said that campaign groups argued that poor working conditions in garment factories in Leicester contributed to the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the subsequent renewed lockdown in that city. It has been reported that the NCA has been asked to investigate for modern slavery in certain Leicester garment factories. The Insight discusses exploitation in UK garment factories, how workers’ rights are enforced, and the calls to make companies responsible for rights violations in their supply chains.
INDIA: GANDHI FAMILY TRUSTS FACING GOVERNMENT PROBES
On 8 July, Business Today in India reported that the probe will primarily focus on money laundering, manipulation in declaration and filing of income tax and foreign money angles. It says that the trusts under scrutiny are the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. The family says the investigation is politically motivated.
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY POLICE ARREST TOP ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVIST
The Jerusalem Post on 8 July reported that security forces had arrested prominent anti-corruption activist Fayez Sweiti after he complained about unequal distribution of financial aid to Palestinians. The financial aid was being distributed by the Wakfet Izz Fund, a national fund established by the PA government to face the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
THE VENEZUELA OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
On 8 July, a feature in Forbes took a detailed insight into the state of the Venezuelan oil and gas industry in the light of the collapse of the oil industry and the economy (and US sanctions) in Venezuela which has left the country in a humanitarian, institutional, and political crisis like no other in recent history. It is said that data suggests that, in June, not a single oil rig was in operation – with limited oil storage, PDVSA has been forced to shut down several wells. Venezuela’s oil woes also affect the domestic energy market, which suffers from a chronic shortage of gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, and problems in the energy sector are just a glimpse of the overall state of the country, where high inflation levels and a dramatic fall in economic activity have persisted for several years. The article refers to a new report – “Venezuela and its Calamities: Add Covid-19 to the List” – from the Baker Institute at Rice University. That report says that, despite its massive geological endowment and receiving what could be considered the largest windfall in its economic history, Venezuela entered 2020 in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic and turbulence in oil markets represent the latest in a string of problems that expose the country’s vulnerability.
The report is at –
MONACO COURT UPHOLDS CASE DISMISSAL AGAINST ART DEALER ACCUSED OF DEFRAUDING RUSSIAN OLIGARCH
On 8 July, Reuters reported that a Monaco court has upheld an earlier ruling dismissing a case against a prominent art dealer, Yves Bouvier, accused by a Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev – owner of Monaco’s soccer team, of fraud and money laundering. Bouvier still faces criminal proceedings brought by Rybolovlev in Geneva, where he is also charged with fraud, abuse of trust and money laundering.
UK: WEALTHY HULL BUSINESSMAN COMMITTED £300,000 FRAUD TO ‘FAN HIS OWN EGO’
On 8 July, the Hull Daily Mail reported that Marc Hackney, 52, had set up his successful wealth management company, Vobis, in 2009 and built up an A-list client base of celebrities and sports stars. However, being a director at the Hull KR rugby club put a financial strain on him but he did not want to give up his dream position on the board and began to hatch a plot to gain the liquidity he needed. After taking on the management of a client’s charitable foundation set up to help fund Great Ormond Street Hospital and Cancer Research in 2018 he set up a bank account which allowed him to make withdrawals from the foundation and, not only failed to consult with the other trustee, but even forged her signature.
US NATIONAL CARGO BUREAU (NCB) REPORTS ‘ALARMING’ LEVEL OF MISDECLARED DANGEROUS CARGO
On 8 July, Lloyds Loading List reported that recent inspection initiative by NCB found more than half of containers non-compliant, 43% failing to secure dangerous goods correctly, and more than 6% of containers carrying dangerous cargo misdeclared, and more than 6% of containers carrying dangerous cargo misdeclared. It is said that a NCB white paper called for industry “to adopt a comprehensive, holistic and coordinated approach to address this worrying trend” and called for “urgent reform to stem the increasing number of container-related incidents caused by poorly stowed, undeclared or misdeclared dangerous cargoes”.
The White Paper is available at –
TRANSPORTED ASSET PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (TAPA) AND STANDARDS BODY BSI JOIN UP TO BOOST CARGO SECURITY STANDARDS
On 8 July, Lloyds Loading List reported that the idea behind the link-up is to support the digital transformation of its supply chain Security Standards audit processes and to increase its members’ access to new levels of risk management intelligence and incident data. It is also said that, in addition to auditing services, BSI and TAPA will exchange supply chain security intelligence and BSI will also provide subject matter experts for TAPA webinars and other member events and communications. TAPA and BSI will also look to develop joint research opportunities, following the publication of their ‘Last Mile Cargo Theft Report’ earlier this year.
OECD: NEW CORPORATE TAX STATISTICS PROVIDE FRESH INSIGHTS INTO THE ACTIVITIES OF MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES
A news release from OECD on 8 July advised that new data provides aggregated information on the global tax and economic activities of nearly 4,000 multinational enterprise (MNE) groups headquartered in 26 jurisdictions and operating across more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide. It explains that under the BEPS programme large MNE are required to disclose important information about their profits, tangible assets, employees as well as where they pay their taxes, in every country in which they operate. Country-by-Country reports (CbCR) provide tax authorities with the information needed to analyse MNE behaviour for risk assessment purposes.
A list of FAQ about CbCr is also available at –
BELGIUM IMPORTS: LOCKDOWN DID NOTHING TO STIFLE DRUGS TRADE
On 8 July, the Brussels Times reported that Customs authorities seized a total of 28.865 tonnes of illegal drugs in the first 6 months of 2020 – 5 tonnes more than in the same period in 2019. Customs has seized record quantities of cocaine in the port of Antwerp for 7 years in a row – an increase of 660% since 2013. South America remains the predominant source of drugs headed for Antwerp, led by Ecuador (10,700 kg), Brazil (5,214 kg) and Paraguay (4,478 kg), followed by the US (1,485 kg) and Costa Rica (1,287 kg).
THE ABANDONMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL FINES FOR ILLEGAL DEFORESTATION IN BRAZIL HAS SPARKED A POLITICAL SCANDAL
On 8 July, an article in Insight Crime says that the scandal involves a cabinet minister potentially being removed from office and state governments breaking with the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro. The country’s Attorney General’s Office has called for the Environment Minister to be dismissed. It is alleged that he had deliberately reduced the number of environmental fines issued to their lowest in 20 years while seeing forest fires grow to record levels, and he fired environmental inspectors after they carried out successful raids against criminal group. In April 2019, President Bolsonaro had issued a decree, allowing those given fines to avoid paying them by engaging in unspecified “environmental recovery and protection actions”. However, it is said that there are signs the Bolsonaro government is beginning to feel increased pressure on the environmental front and, in May, thousands of army troops were deployed across the Amazon to fight deforestation.
IRELAND INTRODUCES CENTRAL BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGISTER FOR SOME INVESTMENT FUNDS
An article from out-Law on 8 July was concerned with the Central Bank of Ireland being made the registrar of beneficial ownership for certain collective investment funds.
UK: STUN GUN IMPORTS, WHAT OFFENCE HAS BEEN COMMITTED?
On 8 July, the Police National Legal Database published legal advice for a situation where a stun gun disguised as a torch has been intercepted prior to arriving at its desired destination. Though clearly a “section 5” prohibited firearm, , due to the item never reaching the desired location, is there a power to arrest for importing the item?
TOYS CONTINUE TO TOP EU LIST OF DANGEROUS PRODUCTS
EU Business reported that latest the latest EU report on its alert system to prevent the selling of dangerous products flagged up a record number of dangerous products in 2019, with toys and cars heading the list. under the EU’s ‘Rapid Alert System’ the number of actions taken by authorities following an alert is growing year on year, reaching 4,477 in 2019 compared to 4,050 in 2018. Toys were the most notified product category (29% of total notifications), followed by motor vehicles (23%), and electrical appliances and equipment (8%). Cosmetics, clothing, textiles and fashion items, as well as childcare articles and children’s equipment also had a high number of alerts.
US: FIRST CFTC ENFORCEMENT ACTION TARGETING ACTIVITY DIRECTLY TIED TO COVID-19
A release on Mondo Visione on 8 July advised that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a complaint in Texas against James Frederick Walsh of Florida, charging him with fraudulent solicitation and failure to register with the CFTC. Walsh’s fraudulent solicitations include falsely claiming to generate increased profits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The complaint alleges that from at least September 2019, Walsh fraudulently solicited members of the public for the purported purpose of trading foreign currency (forex) for them. It is also claimed that Walsh falsely represented that he was earning even greater trading profits now that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the financial markets.
BREXIT: UK HAS SUBMITTED APPLICATIONS TO THE EU TO CREATE BORDER CONTROL POSTS (BCP) AT NORTHERN IRELAND PORTS
On 8 July, Hellenic Shipping News reported that BCP are facilities used to check animals and food arriving in the EU Single Market. At the end of the Brexit transition on 1 January, Northern Ireland will stay in the Single Market for goods. As the rest of the UK will not remain in the Single Market, some products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will need to be checked at the posts.
DUTCH COURT TO QUESTION ING AND EX-CEO IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 8 July, Reuters reported that a Dutch court has said it wanted to question the ING bank and its former CEO Ralph Hamers, now heading for UBS, to determine whether to reopen a case that led to ING being fined for lax prevention of money laundering in 2018. The largest bank in the Netherlands paid €775 million in a settlement with Dutch prosecutors after failing for years to spot money laundering and other criminal activities happening through its accounts.
STEPSON OF MEXICAN DRUG KINGPIN HELPED FAMILY SELL HOUSE TO EVADE US SANCTIONS
On 7 July, Kharon reported that the stepson of a Mexican drug trafficker acted as a straw man for his parents, helping them sell a house in Mexico so it would not be blocked due to US sanctions, according to court documents. Bryant Espinoza Aguilar is the stepson of sanctioned Sinaloa Cartel leader Rafael Caro Quintero and is a US citizen.
SOUTH AFRICAN TRADING POOL ACCUSED OF CRYPTO FRAUD IN TEXAS
On 8 July, Coindesk reported that the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) has ordered Mirror Trading International (MTI) to cease operations immediately, alleging the South African bitcoin and forex trading network is a multilevel marketing scam. MTI is described as an “investor club” that claims to yield 0.5% daily returns for 76,000 members through artificial intelligence-boosted bitcoin trades on foreign exchanges. The TSSB alleged Mirror CEO Johannes Steynberg was perpetrating an international multilevel marketing fraud and that Texans are among the victims.
JUDGE DISMISSES GM BRIBERY LAWSUIT AGAINST FIAT CHRYSLER
The Midland reporter Telegram in the US on 8 July reported that a federal judge in Detroit has tossed out General Motors’ lawsuit alleging that Fiat Chrysler paid off union leaders to get better contract terms than GM.
CALIFORNIA AND COLORADO RESIDENTS, COMPANIES AND LAW FIRM NAMED IN MULTI-MILLION PONZI CHARGES
On 8 July, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced it has filed a civil enforcement action charging a number of individuals and entities with operating a $14.5 million binary options and retail foreign currency (forex) Ponzi scheme. Named were John D Black from California and his affiliated entities Financial Tree (Financial Tree Trust), Financial Solution Group (Financial Solution Group Trust), and New Money Advisors, LLC, and associates Christopher Mancuso and Joseph Tufo; Colorado-based defendants John P Glenn and his law firm, The Law Firm of John Glenn, PC. The complaint names 7 relief defendants who received funds from the scheme to which they have no lawful entitlement.
FATF: BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP BEST PRACTICES GUIDE (IN SPANISH)
Made available through the GAFILAT website, this best practice document aims to provide suggested solutions, supported by cases and examples of best practices in response to the challenges countries face in the implementation of FATF Recommendation 24 on transparency and final beneficiary of legal persons.
US: 11 PROPERTIES IN PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA SEIZED FOR ALLEGED TIES TO MONEY LAUNDERING
On 6 July, the Real Deal website reported that the properties are tied to a false and fraudulent asylum and work permit applications scheme between 2012 and 2020, according to prosecutors, naming Laura Luz Maria Torres.
AUSTRALIA: QUEENSLAND POLICE FIND $4.35 MILLION STASHED INSIDE CAR DURING ROUTINE TRAFFIC STOP
On 7 July, ABC News reported that a Brisbane man has been granted bail on a tainted property charge after a routine traffic stop unearthed $4.35 million of cash in his car. $1.75 million was in cash stacked inside a suitcase and $2.61 million in a cardboard box.
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