Panama Covid-19 update – after enjoying the first Saturday without lockdown (at least for men) for weeks, a monsoon arrived in the afternoon…but new cases continue to seem to reduce, at 713, but 17 new fatalities (so edging closer to 2,000 at 1,983 to date). Of the 24,235 active cases, 155 are in ICU, 1,314 in other wards and 414 confined to requisitioned hotel rooms.
29 August 2020
ALBANIA: 1.6 BILLION ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS
On 28 August, the Tirana times reported that a significant portion of Illicit Financial Flows in Albania run on the illicit proceeds of corruption and drug trafficking, according to Global Initiative’s latest report. The report claims that up to 30% of the bid value of procurement contracts is paid in bribes. A second source of IFF in Albania is drug trafficking. According to the report, the cannabis industry in the country has generated illicit profits for a large part of society, ranging from villagers who cultivate the crops to organized criminal groups who smuggle it abroad and sell it across the EU.
ALLEGATIONS THAT CARTEL BOSS USED DALLAS WESTERN WEAR STORE TO LAUNDER $10 MILLION
On 29 August, Borderland Beats reported that Jose Valdovinos Jimenez (aka “La Roca”), along with 27 other co-defendants, are charged with smuggling meth and heroin in from Mexico and laundering the money through the strip mall western wear store, and sending the money back to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
THE BRAZILIAN GENERAL DATA PROTECTION LAW
An article from Dentons on 28 August says that the Law (aka LGPD) will come into operation shortly, but administrative sanctions for non-compliance will only come into force in August 2021 which, will allow for a timely adaptation to those who are bound by the LGPD and the effective creation of the Brazilian Data Protection Authority (ANPD), whom will be responsible for overseeing, enforcing the LGPD and applying its sanctions.
US CUSTOMS OPENS MASS SEARCHES OF DATA ON CONFISCATED TRAVELLER SMARTPHONES AND COMPUTERS
An article from Womble Bond Dickinson on 28 August expressed concerns about reports that the US CBP is now building a searchable database of all of the data taken off of device seized from travellers over the years.
EU PLANS FOR A DAC7 DIRECTIVE ON ADMINISTRATIVE COOPERATION, THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ON ONLINE PLATFORMS’ SALES, AND NEW COMMUNICATION ON TAX GOOD GOVERNANCE
On 24 July, Lowtax reported that the Commission has announced plans for a new Directive on Administrative Cooperation, on the exchange of information on online platforms’ sales, and a new Communication on Tax Good Governance. DAC7 will set out a framework for Member States to automatically exchange the information they receive on the taxable activities of business users of online platforms.
Meanwhile, a reminder from Deloitte on the DAC6: EU Mandatory Disclosure Regime
BRINGING CLAIMS AGAINST CAYMAN ISLANDS ENTITIES SUBJECT TO INSOLVENCY PROCESSES
On 27 August, Ogier published an article on this topic and the provision in Cayman islands law which imposes a moratorium on commencing or proceeding with any suit, action or other proceedings against the company once Liquidators are appointed by the Court (including on a provisional basis).
US CUSTOMS SEIZE 3,000 COUNTERFEIT DRILLS
On 27 August, US Customs & Border Protection reported that officers had seized 3,000 single-speed electric drills from a rail container in Minnesota.
FRANCE: COMPLETION OF REINFORCED “ANTI- GIFT” RESTRICTIONS
An article from Clifford Chance reported that a new Decree reinforced the French “anti-gift” restrictions which should be implemented from 1 October onwards, with several significant subjects have been clarified. It concentrates on the healthcare & life sciences sector and operators must soon be ready to comply with them.
THE TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF GOODS – UPDATING THE UK RULES
On 27 August, the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford published a post saying that the Law Commission recently launched a consultation on a draft Bill to reform the rules that apply to the transfer of ownership of goods. In the post it explains the proposed reforms and the issues raised in the consultation. The current transfer of ownership rules are contained in the Sale of Goods Act 1979, and have remained largely unamended since 1893 and distinguish between “specific goods” and “unascertained goods”. Specific goods are goods which are identified and agreed upon at the time the contract of sale is made. Unascertained goods are goods which are not identified and agreed upon when the contract is made.
US SUPPORT TO SECURITY SECTOR REFORM IN FRAGILE STATES
On 26 August, a brief from CSIS says that the Global Fragility Act calls upon the US government to develop a strategy for addressing fragility and stabilising violent countries. A state of fragility, or a cycle of violence, often points to deficits of legitimacy or capacity among formal security and justice institutions. It says that policymakers should understand the correspondence between security actors and the nature of fragility and should be thoughtful and deliberate in deciding how best to support reform. Moreover, they should closely examine the compatibility of their reform agenda with other security objectives, such as counterterrorism and military interoperability. It says that the report card on US policy toward security sector reform in other states is mixed, in large part because US policy and practice have been uneven. Examples of successful interventions led or supported by the US that led to meaningful reforms do exist, such as the oft-cited case of defence sector reform in Liberia.
HONG KONG: MONETARY AUTHORITY RELEASES CONSULTATION PAPER ON ENHANCING THE REGULATION AND SUPERVISION OF TRUST BUSINESS
On 29 August, Baker McKenzie reported on 29 August that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has released a Consultation Paper on Enhancing the Regulation and Supervision of Trust Business. It plans to introduce a Code of Practice for Trust Business to be incorporated into a new Supervisory Policy Manual applicable to all authorized institutions and local subsidiaries of locally incorporated AIs conducting trust business in Hong Kong.
UK: THE LEGAL TEST FOR DISHONESTY
On 25 August, PNLD published a briefing saying that an important requirement to be proved in many criminal offences is whether a person has acted ‘dishonestly’ or not; this applies to fraud offences under the Fraud Act, offences under the Theft Act, and many other offences which involve ‘dishonesty’. It provides an overview of the case law in relation to dishonesty, in particular the recent case of R v Barton and another 2020, which confirmed the overruling of the dishonesty test in R v Ghosh of 1982.
IS SEOUL PREPARED TO JOIN A FIVE EYES PLUS INTELLIGENCE FRAMEWORK?
On 24 August, 38 North reported that recently, there have been increased talks about expanding the Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence-sharing alliance between the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, to include Japan, Germany, France and South Korea. However, that may require South Korea to end its bilateral intelligence-sharing arrangement with Japan, which is set to expire on 24 August.
HOW EUROPE CAN DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST US ECONOMIC SANCTIONS
On 25 August, an article from the European Council on Foreign Relations in the light oif threats relating to Nordstream 2 says that Germany and Europe must defend themselves against US sanctions – saying that they can strengthen their armoury in 2 ways.
2 SOUTH KOREANS KIDNAPPED FROM FISHING VESSEL OFF GHANA
On 29 August, Yonhap News reported that 2 South Korean nationals have been kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in waters off Ghana after a Ghanaian-flagged fishing vessel was attacked in waters 200 km south-east of the coastal city of Tema. A total of 50 crewmen, including 2 South Koreans, were aboard the vessel.
IRANIAN VESSEL LOADS WITH VENEZUELAN ALUMINA AMID CLOSER TIES
On 29 August, an article on Hellenic Shipping News reported that an Iranian-flagged vessel loaded a cargo of alumina in Venezuela this month after delivering supplies for an Iranian supermarket, sources familiar with the shipment said, in the latest sign of closer ties between the countries.
EUROPEAN BANKING FEDERATION RESPONSE TO EU AML/CFT CONSULTATION
On 26 August, EBF published its response to the European Commission consultation on an action plan for a comprehensive EU policy on preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. It says that the EBF has conducted a gap analysis to identify in the light of its Blueprint those topics where the EBF has further input to provide. The EBF’s detailed answers to the questions of the consultation paper on the 6-pillar Action Plan.
The EBF Blueprint is at –
ANGOLA TO JOIN OIL AND EXTRACTIVES TRANSPARENCY GROUP
On 29 August, Reuters reported that Angola plans to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international effort to fight corruption in revenues from oil, gas and mineral extraction. Formed in 2003, it has more than 50 implementing countries.
SENTENCING AND CONFISCATION IN PROSECUTIONS FOR BREACHES OF PLANNING ENFORCEMENT NOTICES
A BRIEF FROM 5 St Andrews hill on 24 August was concerned with a case involving an appeal against a fine and a confiscation order following criminal proceedings for breach of an enforcement notice served under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal against the conviction and confiscation order. It also rejected the argument that the benefit figure ought to have been calculated by reference to the net profit as opposed to the gross rental income.
WHISTLEBLOWER KIDNAPPED IN UKRAINE AFTER ACCUSING CRYPTO FIRM OF EXIT SCAM
On 27 August, Coindesk reported that ex-Bitsonar employee Yaroslav Shtadchenko. Shtadchenko’s had gone missing as he was coming home from work. It says that the harrowing incident highlights the proliferation of risky investment schemes and dubious operators in the crypto industry, but also blockchain technology’s potential to help track missing funds. It says that, before going missing, he called Bistonar’s CEO, Marius Ziubka, and told him he was going to file complaints about Bitsonar to law enforcement in different countries, including the FBI.