On 19 August, the UN reported that the relevant Security Council sanctions committee had announced the amendment of the entries for 2 individuals and 3 entities on the Democratic Republic of Congo sanctions lists. The individuals were NTABO NTABERI SHEKA and BOSCO TAGANDA, and the entities are ADF (the ALLIED DEMOCRATIC FORCES), MACHANGA LTD and UGANDA COMMERCIAL IMPEX (UCI) LTD.
Day: August 19, 2020
CHINESE SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY SPREADS AROUND THE WORLD
An illustrated article from Statista on 18 August said that a large proportion of countries around the world are now using Chinese AI surveillance technology, including facial recognition technology, in full or in part, according to a recent report. It is not only a prominent user of AI-powered surveillance and facial recognition but also a big producer and exporter of the technology. It mentions concerns that the potential of Chinese businesses not being independent enough from their government to ensure that there are no backdoors in any products through which unauthorised parties might gain access to applications. The article says that, despite the criticism about surveillance infringing on public freedoms, liberal democracies are most likely to use the technology. 51% were deploying some sort of AI surveillance, as opposed to 37% of closed autocratic states, 41% of electoral autocratic states and 41% of illiberal democracies.
MAJORITY SHAREHOLDERS OF COLOMBIA-BASED AVIANCA HOLDINGS ARRESTED AS PART OF BRAZIL’S LAVA JATO CORRUPTION PROBE
On 19 August, the Havana Times reported that the majority shareholders of the Colombia-based Avianca Holdings, the brothers German and Jose Efromovich, have been arrested in Brazil and as part of Brazil’s massive Lava Jato corruption probe, according to Brazilian and Colombian media. The airline is currently undergoing bankruptcy restructuring after the pandemic caused a plunge in passenger demand.
OFAC ADDS 1 INDIVIDUAL AND 2 ENTITIES TO TERRORISM SANCTIONS LISTS
On 19 August, OFAC added an Iranian national, AMIN MAHDAVI, DELTA PARTS SUPPLY FZC (aka DELTA PARTS SUPPLY) of Sharjah in the UAE and PARTHIA CARGO LLC of Dubai to its terrorism sanctions lists. The companies are listed for their material support of Iranian airline Mahan Air, and OFAC is also designating UAE-based Iranian national Amin Mahdavi for owning or controlling Parthia Cargo. Together, these companies have provided key parts and logistics services for Mahan Air, which is itself already designated.
PODCAST: THE WORLD’S LARGEST ILLEGAL FISHING FLEET
In the latest TRACE podcast, Ian Urbina talks about his latest project on the lawless seas. He has uncovered and documented a stunning story of criminality: illegal shipping, sanctions violations, devastated squid stocks and the 500 “ghost boats” that have washed up on Japanese shores with the crew dead or missing.
Visit Outlaw Ocean for more details and to follow his ongoing reporting.
WORLD BANK: 2 DEBARMENTS FOR ‘FRAUDULENT PRACTICES’
A post on the always-useful FCPA Blog on 19 August advised that the World Bank had debarred from contracts CASS Constructores SAS, a Colombian civil construction company and, separately, Josephine Namaganda, a consultant and Ugandan national. The Colombian company is debarred for 18 months following irregularities connected to the Río Bogotá Environmental Recuperation and Flood Control Project. The Ugandan consultant is debarred for 3 years for fraudulent practices connected to the Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services Project in Uganda. These actions also has the effect of debarment for contracts with the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.
UK: TOP SOLICITOR ADMITS £2 MILLION FRAUD AFTER BEING DUPED BY LOTTERY SCAMMERS
On 19 August, the Eastern Daily Press reported that a top solicitor, Hugh Lansdell, 71, admitted taking almost £2 million 2015-17 – after being duped by lottery scammers. He began taking money from clients’ accounts after becoming convinced he had won a lottery – and needed to pay fees to secure his “winnings”. He took around £1.5 million from his clients and £350,000 from 2 north Norfolk charities where he was a trustee.
ECOWAS SUSPENDS MALI OVER COUP, IMPOSES SANCTIONS
On 19 August, Channels TV reported that the West African countries grouping has condemned a military putsch in Mali and pledged a range of retaliatory actions, including financial sanctions. The Economic Community for West African States said that its members would close land and air borders to Mali and pledged to demand sanctions against “all the putschists and their partners and collaborators”.
On 19 August, the Center for Strategic and International Studies published an artcile saying that the Malian military has ejected the civilian government following 2 months of street protests, setting the stage for more turmoil in the restive Sahel region. Soldiers mutinied at the Kati military base outside the capital of Bamako and detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK), Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, and a number of senior military officers and civilian cabinet officials.
RUSSIAN DUMA RECEIVES BILL ON WIDENING THE SCOPE OF SANCTIONS
On 17 August, CMS Law reported that a Bill that expands the application of sanctions by the Russian Federation and specifies the procedure for their application has been submitted to the Russian State Duma. Among other things, the Bill broadens the Bill to persons controlled by such individuals and legal entities, and aims at freezing the assets of sanctioned persons and preventing the conclusion of financial transactions with such persons. The Bill provides a list of organisations that must implement measures to freeze assets if necessary, and says that, when financial organisations implement sanctions, this cannot qualify as a breach of contract on their part.
BITCOIN IS “MONEY” FOR PURPOSES OF A MONEY TRANSMISSION LAW, SAYS FEDERAL COURT
On 14 August, an article from Morrison & Foerster about a case in the District of Columbia said that a recent federal district court ruling in a criminal AML case suggests that the transmission of virtual currency on behalf of another person requires a state money transmission licence — even if the state’s money transmission law does not expressly address the regulation of virtual currency.