UN REPORT: COVID-19-RELATED TRAFFICKING OF MEDICAL PRODUCTS AS A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH

A Research Brief from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says that the emergence of trafficking in PPE signals a significant shift in organised criminal group behaviour that is directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that criminal behaviour will shift from trafficking in PPE to the development and delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine.  It also says that weak regulatory and legal frameworks to the prevention of the manufacturing and trafficking of substandard and falsified products and cyber security shortcomings, were evident before COVID-19, but the pandemic has exacerbated them and it will be difficult to make significant improvements in the immediate short term.  It concludes that that crime targeting COVID-19 medical products will become more focused with significantly greater risks to public health as the containment phase of the pandemic passes to the treatment and prevention stages.

UNODC

https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/covid/COVID-19_research_brief_trafficking_medical_products.pdf

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UK EXPORT FINANCE PLAYS DOWN CORRUPTION WARNINGS OVER AFRICA TRANSACTIONS

On 8 July, Global Trade Review reported that the UK’s official export credit agency says that it carries out rigorous and ongoing due diligence on all transactions it supports, after anti-corruption investigators warned of “multiple red flags” in its activities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This followed a UK-focused campaign group saying that stress-testing of the agency’s latest anti-bribery and corruption procedures suggests it is “taking on extraordinarily high risk” across much of its current portfolio. The group said that, of 11 recent UKEF-backed deals, 3 posed “exceptionally high” risks in terms of corruption or bribery, involving trade with Angola, Ghana and Uganda and carried a total value of over £270 million. The article details the concerns expressed

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/uk-export-finance-plays-down-corruption-warnings-over-africa-transactions

 

 

 

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WHY URUGUAY FINISHED TOP IN AN ANTI-CORRUPTION RANKING

On 8 July, Americas Quarterly reported that Uruguay typically performs well compared to most Latin American countries in a variety of governance indicators — including rankings from multilateral banks, research institutions and the private sector. Now it has finished as top of the annual Capacity to Combat Corruption survey and its overall score was the highest by far. The survey assesses 14 different sectors of the anti-corruption environment and Uruguay ranked first in 13 of these 14 areas. Even in sectors historically seen as problematic for Uruguay, such as the fight against money laundering, the country surpassed the others.

https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/why-uruguay-finished-first-in-our-anti-corruption-ranking

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OFAC SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH AMAZON.COM INC

On 8 July, OFAC announced a $134,523 settlement with Amazon.co​m Inc. It is said that Amazon provided goods and services to persons sanctioned by OFAC; to persons located in the sanctioned region or countries of Crimea, Iran, and Syria; and to individuals located in or employed by the foreign missions of countries sanctioned by OFAC. Amazon also failed to timely report several hundred transactions conducted pursuant to a general license issued by OFAC that included a mandatory reporting requirement.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USTREAS/bulletins/2949e27

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/CivPen/Documents/20200708_amazon.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

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SPANISH POLICE ARREST 2 PEOPLE FOR SMUGGLING DUAL-USE EQUIPMENT TO PAKISTANI MILITARY COMPANIES

On 8 July, Latestly reported that, according to sources, the technology being smuggled could be used for missile guidance systems. The men were said to be operating a company said to be specialising in autonomous navigation technologies for UAV.

https://www.latestly.com/agency-news/world-news-spanish-police-apprehend-2-people-for-smuggling-dual-use-equipment-to-pakistani-military-companies-1873881.html

https://www.newkerala.com/news/2020/121289.htm

 

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INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS BOUGHT BONDS BACKED BY ITALIAN MAFIA CRIME PROCEEDS

The Financial Times has reported that international investors have bought an estimated €1 billion in bonds linked to assets created by front companies for the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta mafia group. It says that Banca Generali (in a transaction with Ernst & Young provided consulting services), pension funds, hedge funds and family offices invested in the bonds — which were created out of unpaid invoices to Italian public health authorities from companies providing them with medical services.

https://www.ft.com/content/bcebd77c-057b-4fd0-bd99-b97e0e559455

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/mafia-linked-bonds-sold-to-banca-generali-other-investors-ft/

 

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UK: REPORT ON MOBILE PHONE DATA WHEN CONDUCTING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

On 6 July, Addleshaw Goddard LLP reported that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released an investigation report on policy extraction of mobile phone data when conducting criminal investigations in England and Wales following concerns about excessive processing of personal data. The report says that a whole-of-system approach is needed to improve privacy protection whilst achieving legitimate criminal justice objectives.  Recommendations in the report include the introduction of a new code of practice to improve practices and better support for police and prosecutors in their work.

The report is at –

https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2020/06/ico-releases-findings-on-the-use-of-mobile-phone-extraction-by-police-forces/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UK: DISHONESTY IN COMPLEX FRAUD CLAIMS

On 7 July, Mayer Brown published an article saying that the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the new test for dishonesty that is now applied in civil cases in England and Wales applies equally in criminal cases. It says that there is now no subjective element and no longer will a defendant be able to argue their innocence because they did not realise their actions were dishonest. This clarification has implications for criminal cases of serious fraud, where successful prosecutions of individuals have been thin on the ground. The article says that the most immediate effect of the judgment is that it makes each case much more fact-specific than was the case with the previous Ghosh test. Only time will tell whether this will result in an increase in successful prosecutions of individuals in cases of complex fraud.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2020/07/dishonesty-in-complex-fraud-claims

 

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