OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 23

Panama Covid-19 update – a record number of tests announced today – 7,579 in one day – with 18.7% positive, with hopefully the large number of tests accounting for the 1,420 new cases announced.  At the same time, 14 fatalities take us to 1,892 to date, with 23,588 active cases, 154 in ICU and 1,503 in other wards.  The fatality rate continues at the relatively low level of 2.2%.

By the way, it seems that the (few) transatlantic flights arriving in Panama are mostly coming over empty (as the rules on entering the country are very tight).

 

23 August 2020

HONG KONG: CUSTOM AGENTS FOUND DOGS IN THIS YEAR’S LARGEST SEA SMUGGLING CASE

On 23 August, The Standard reported that Custom officials suspect dog owner who returned to mainland of asking smugglers to send their dogs back for reunions (and avoid quarantine) as, in Hong Kong’s largest sea smuggling case this year, seized HK$37 million worth of goods and 12 dogs with chips embedded in their bodies.

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/153679/Custom-agents-found-dogs-in-this-year%27s-largest-sea-smuggling-case

TURKEY: ARTWORK SEIZED IN SUSPECTED ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE A PAINTING BY WORLD-FAMOUS ITALIAN ARTIST FILIPPO PALIZZI
On 23 August, Yeni Safak reported that Turkish security forces caught alleged artwork traffickers on Saturday suspected of attempting to smuggle a painting signed by world-famous Italian artist Filippo Palizzi.

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-catches-alleged-palizzi-painting-smugglers-3537424

PAKISTAN ISSUES CONSOLIDATED LIST OF SANCTIONED INDIVIDUALS

As Pakistan attempts to get itself off the FATF grey list and imposes sanctions on large numbers of suspected terrorists, Regulation Asia on 23 August reported that it has released a list of sanctioned individuals and entities, including leaders and members of banned terrorist groups.  The sanctioned individuals on the consolidated list include key leaders of the 1993 and 2008 Mumbai bombings, and other designated organisations including the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network, Daesh, Al Qaeda, and others.

https://www.regulationasia.com/pakistan-issues-consolidated-list-of-sanctioned-individuals/

CHINA SUSPENDS MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT IN CRIMINAL MATTERS BETWEEN THE US AND HONG KONG

On 22 August, Jurist reported the move as a reaction to the US government suspending 3 bilateral agreements with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/08/china-suspends-agreement-on-mutual-legal-assistance-in-criminal-matters-between-us-and-hong-kong/

US LAWSUIT SAID TO DETAIL HOW HALKBANK ASSISTED IRAN IN EVADING GLOBAL OIL SANCTIONS

A post on Kenneth Rijock’s blog on 22 August said that details have emerged regarding the methods that Turkish government-owned Halkbank used to assist Iran in the illegal sale of billions of dollars of oil, as a US District Court entered an order last month unsealing the court file in the suit against the bank, and making it available for review by the public – the order is reproduced in the post.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2020/08/lawsuit-details-how-halkbank-assisted.html

3M AND AMAZON COLLABORATE TO TAKE DOWN FRAUDULENT RESPIRATOR SELLERS

On 23 August, Tamebay reported that 3M and Amazon have announced that they had reached a resolution regarding the selling of overpriced, fake, defective, and damaged N95 Respirators on Amazon being falsely advertised under the 3M Brand.

https://tamebay.com/2020/08/3m-amazon-collaborate-take-fraudulent-respirator-sellers.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CYPRUS PAPERS: CYPRUS “SOLD PASSPORTS TO CRIMINALS AND FUGITIVES”

On 23 August, Al Jazeera claimed an exclusive saying that a leak of government documents reveals Cyprus sold citizenship to dozens of foreigners linked to crime and corruption.  The “Cyprus Papers” is a leak of more than 1,400 passport applications approved by the government of the island nation between 2017 and 2019, and it raises serious questions about the Cyprus Investment Programme.  , Al Jazeera says that, in the coming days, it will reveal the identities of dozens of people who acquired Cypriot citizenship who, according to the country’s own rules, in many cases should not have received a passport. To start with it says that, between 2017 and 2019, the countries with the highest number of people applying were Russia, China and Ukraine including –

  • Mykola Zlochevsky, a Ukraine tycoon, who bought his Cypriot passport in 2017 when he was already under investigation for corruption in his home country;
  • Chinese businessman Zhang Keqiang, who received a Cypriot passport, despite having spent time in prison for a fraudulent share deal; and
  • Vietnamese businessman Pham Nhat Vu’s passport was approved a month after he was charged with giving millions of dollars in bribes in a telecoms deal.

In May 2019, Cyprus introduced tougher rules on who was eligible for citizenship, which banned anyone under investigation, wanted, convicted or under international sanctions from buying a passport and is reviewing all past applications and announced about 30 unnamed people face losing citizenship, but The Cyprus Papers are said to reveal many more may fall foul of the new law.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/exclusive-cyprus-sold-passports-criminals-fugitives-200818112722072.html