Panama Covid-19 update – from Monday the construction sector reopens, and it has been confirmed that the main, and secondary, airports have reopened, albeit in a limited way – anyone arriving has to have pre-clearance for their flight and face 14-day quarantine, as well as having a test 48 hours before setting out…todays sees 18 flights; 12 in and 6 out, with an approximate of 1,000 passengers in transit and 730 leaving the country to other destinations – a mere trickle compared to normal times.
In an aside, it seems the city’s mayor has been fined $5,000 for his trip to his beach house, violating curfew controls, last week.
More good news, in that the number of fatalities was “only” 12 today (the last 7 days have seen an a daily average of 20), taking the total of 1,735 – with a fatality rate of 2.2% of reported cases. However, another 956 new infections were also reported.
14 August 2020
US SEIZES IRANIAN FUEL CARGO FOR FIRST TIME
On 13 August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration has for the first time confiscated cargo in vessels allegedly loaded with Iran fuel in violation of sanctions, US officials have said, as it steps up its campaign of maximum pressure. The US had filed suit last month to seize the 4 tankers of gasoline that Iran was sending to Venezuela. 4 medium-range tankers allegedly carrying Iranian gasoline for Venezuela are headed for Houston after US authorities seized the cargoes, according to reports. A federal court authorised the seizures based on alleged links between the cargoes and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which Washington has designated a foreign terrorist organisation.
KENYA: NAIROBI GOVERNOR FAILED TO PERSUADE A COURT THAT HE IS BROKE AND CANNOT EVEN BUY GROCERIES FOR HIS FAMILY AFTER HIS ACCOUNTS WERE FROZEN
On 12 August, The Standard reported that the governor, Mike Sonko, had petitioned the Anti-Corruption Court as he sought access money in accounts now held by the State. The Asset Recovery Agency had obtained orders to freeze the accounts following suspicion that some cash transactions were proceeds of crime.
UK -US BILATERAL DATA ACCESS AGREEMENT COMES INTO EFFECT
On 11 August, an article from Wilmer Hale says that this Agreement is the first agreement to be put in place under legislation introduced to address contemporary challenges to data-gathering by domestic authorities where data is located overseas. It notes that there are significant differences between the UK and US domestic legislation. The Agreement allows law enforcement in the UK to access data from communications providers in the US without review by US authorities, and vice versa. It comments that, in practice, the UK gains more than the US as the legislation currently stands — quicker access to data held by major US communications providers for use in UK investigations. The article says that the arrangements should have the effect of streamlining the process for the UK to make data requests of US communications providers, albeit with some limitations. The Agreement certainly gives the US scope to introduce a similar process, although it has not sought to do so to date.
UK: THE COURTS’ CONTINUING TOUGH APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO SUSPECTED INVESTMENT FRAUD INVOLVING CRYPTOASSET SCHEMES
A briefing from Rahman Ravelli on 10 August was concerned with a recent High Court case a case involving a number of different claimants and defendants. It concerned assets lost via a cryptoasset project and the pursuit of a claim for investment fraud.
GUERNSEY: DIRECTORS’ DUTIES AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
On 13 August, Ogier published an article which says that directors’ duties in Guernsey arise from customary law, statute and contractual obligations – but are not codified under the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, as amended. Instead, they are drawn from the English common law duties which were in place prior to the introduction of the UK Companies Act 2006. It also says that corporate governance for Guernsey companies can be found in a number of sources.
OCEAN-GOING YACHTS UNDER THE SWISS FLAG
On 7 August, MME Legal Tax Compliance published an article about the Yachting Ordinance and the register of yachts maintained by the Swiss Maritime Navigation Authority in Basel. The owner of a Swiss yacht must be a Swiss citizen. It is said that there are currently around 1,500 ocean-going yachts sailing under the Swiss flag. If the owner is a dual citizen, he cannot register his yacht if he resides in the country of his other nationality. Alternatively, only an association constituted under Swiss law with the purpose of promoting sports and pleasure boating may register as the owner of a yacht. The Swiss flag for yachts is reserved for Swiss citizens and cannot be used commercially.
LUXURY HOMES TIE CHINESE COMMUNIST ELITE TO HONG KONG’S FATE
On 14 August, KYC 360 related a New York Times report containing claims that members of the Communist Party aristocracy in China have made huge investments in Hong Kong and if Hong Kong suddenly loses its financial status they cannot park their money there, and that one of the leadership’s biggest exposures to Hong Kong is in real estate.
THOUSANDS OF ARTIFACTS SEIZED IN TURKEY’S BIGGEST OPERATION AGAINST SMUGGLERS
On 14 August, Daily Sabah reported that authorities have seized thousands of artifacts in an operation against artifact smugglers in western Turkey, and the 65,000 artifacts including 52,000 coins. Operations were held in the western cities of Izmir and Manisa.
SRI LANKA NAVY SEIZES OVER 7000 KG OF TURMERIC
On 14 August, News First in Sri Lanka reported that the Turmeric was seized while being transported by vehicles, after being smuggled into the country via sea. 261 kg of Cardamom smuggled into the country was also seized.
CONVICTIONS UPHELD IN CUBAN BASEBALL PLAYER SMUGGLING
CBS 12 News reported on 13 August that a federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of 2 South Florida men in a smuggling operation that brought Cuban baseball players to the US to play in the major leagues. The men were convicted on conspiracy and smuggling charges in 2017.
CUSTOMS DISCOVERS €76,000 IN UNDECLARED CASH AT MALTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Malta Today on 14 August reported that officials discovered €75,600 of undeclared cash at the Airport Arrival Lounge when a passenger was selected for a currency check. The passenger had just arrived from Bucharest.
US SENTENCES CANADIAN CITIZEN FOR FINANCIAL FRAUD RING
On 14 August, OCCRP reported that a Canadian citizen, Morrie Tobin, a resident of Los Angeles, has been jailed in Boston for artificially inflating stocks owned by him and his co-conspirators with the intention to generate $15 million in fraudulent proceeds. Tobin and 3 other co-conspirators disguised their ownership and control of securities in small publicly traded companies and then artificially inflated the value of the stocks through paid promotional campaigns and manipulative trading techniques to make the substantial profit when selling them. From 2013 to 2018, the team built up the scheme by setting a network of shell and offshore companies between which they transferred shares.
CHINA LAUNCHES ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING TIP OFF PLATFORM
On 14 August, Calvin Ayre reported that China-facing online gambling operators are facing a new threat from within as the government launches its illegal online gambling snitch platform. Users can both report on illegal gambling or check the progress of a previously filed complaint.
SUDAN: US VISA RESTRICTIONS ON INDIVIDUALS SAID TO BE UNDERMINING SUDAN’S CIVILIAN-LED TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
A news release from the US State Department on 13 August advised that it was imposing restrictions on individuals residing both inside and outside Sudan who are believed to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged, directly or indirectly, in undermining Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government’s efforts to implement the 2019 Political Agreement and Constitutional Declaration. The list of these individuals is not publicly available.
US: TOP 2 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIALS ARE SERVING ILLEGALLY
On 14 August, Government Executive reported that a legal decision reached by the Government Accountability Office has concluded that both acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and second-in-command Ken Cuccinelli were unlawfully appointed to their posts. It is said that the fate of Wolf and Cuccinelli will likely be decided in federal court. Both are facing several lawsuits seeking to deem their appointments as illegal, most of which aim to strike down policies they have put in place.