Apologies in advance for any mistakes, duplication, omissions etc today and for next few days, as WordPress has “improved” its editor tools (i.e. made less user-friendly and unwieldy)…
Panama Covid-19 update – well, what news today? Taxis to be allowed to carry more then 1 passenger, if from the same “family bubble”.
Meanwhile, 830 new cases and 16 new fatalities, with 24,670 actives cases, of which 167 are in ICU and 1,237 in other hospital wards. The Rt infection rate as of 1 September was apparently 0.96 (an average across the country as a whole).
3 September 2020
INDONESIA: ATTORNEY GENERAL NAMES A PROSECUTOR AS MONEY LAUNDERING SUSPECT
On 1 September, the Jakarta Post reported that the Attorney General’s Office has named prosecutor Pinangki Sirna Malasari as a suspect of money laundering and bribery after she allegedly received money from Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra to help him secure a Supreme Court acquittal.
VENEZUELAN BUSINESSMAN CHARGED IN MIAMI WITH LAUNDERING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM OIL CONTRACTS MURDERED BY A MOTORCYCLE ASSASSIN IN VENEZUELA
On 2 September, the Miami Herald reported that Leonard santilli, a Venezuelan businessman charged in Miami with laundering millions of dollars from oil contracts has been gunned down by a motorcycle assassin in Venezuela.
PAKISTANIS TO PROTEST ARRIVAL OF CHINESE FISHING VESSELS
On 1 September, Nikkeo Asian Review reported that fishermen in Pakistan will protest the arrival of 20 Chinese deep-sea trawlers that will fish in the exclusive economic zone off Sindh and Baluchistan provinces – as fish stocks in coastal areas have already declined by more than 72% since last year due to uncontrolled fishing. It says that China has built the world’s largest fishing fleet with heavy government subsidies, and faced with depleted fish stocks in the seas around China, its giant trawlers are increasingly targeting new waters, such as the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan, to satisfy the country’s insatiable appetite for seafood — one-third of total world consumption.
FBI INVESTIGATES 2015 DEATHS OF MINING EXECUTIVES IN UK CORRUPTION PROBE
The Financial Times reported that the FBI has taken over an investigation of the deaths of 2 former executives of the African division of mining group Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), who were found dead in a motel room in May 2015 when they were on a road trip across the US. The company’s mines in Africa had become the focus of bribery allegations, and the 2 South African citizens with long experience in the mining industry were among the most senior ENRC officials running its African operation and when they left the company in 2015, the UK SFO wanted to learn what they knew.
CHINESE DIPLOMATS MUST GET APPROVAL TO VISIT US UNIVERSITIES OR MEET LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
On 3 September, the South China Morning Post reported that, in the latest tightening of US restrictions, senior Chinese diplomats based in the US will now be required to seek permission before meeting with local government officials or visiting university campuses. The measures is said to be a direct response to the excessive restraints already placed on US diplomats by China.
US: CIVILIAN NAVY ENGINEER AND 3 OTHERS ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES OF THEFT AND SALE OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED TECHNICAL INFORMATION
A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 3 September announced allegations that a civilian employee of the US Navy downloaded technical drawings and manuals related to US military weapons systems and sold the items to a US-based company, which later resold the documents to domestic and foreign customers. The affidavit in support of the complaint alleges the thefts have been occurring since at least 2012, and possibly since 2008.
BELARUS HAS ANNOUNCED THAT RETALIATORY SANCTIONS AS A TRAVEL BAN ON A NUMBER OF SENIOR OFFICIALS OF LATVIA, LITHUANIA AND ESTONIA
The Belarus government news agency announcement comes in response to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia’s recent decision to ban 30 Belarusian officials, including President Lukashenko, from entering their territories. No names were published by Belarus.
PODCAST: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FCPRA RESOURCE GUIDE CHANGES
A podcast from Greenberg Traurig on 1 September provides background on the FCPA Resource Guide, and discusses important updates the DoJ and SEC made in the newly revised FCPA Resource Guide, and offers key takeaways from these changes for compliance professionals.
RECENT $31 MILLION CIVIL PENALTY AGAINST A SINGAPORE COMPANY REMINDS COMPANIES ABOUT GLOBAL REACH OF US EXPORT CONTROLS, INCLUDING IN THE MARITIME SECTOR
On 1 September, Crowell Moring linked the recent Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced a final order imposing a fine of over $31 million against Singapore based Nordic Maritime Pte. Ltd and its Chairman. It used US-origin subsea survey equipment, installed on a vessel chartered by Nordic, in Iranian territorial waters. A previous vessel operator had installed the equipment on the vessel pursuant to a BIS reexport licence. After Nordic chartered the vessel, the previous operator had sent Nordic a cease and desist letter informing them of the terms of the BIS reexport licence and warned against use of the equipment in Iranian waters, but this seems to have been ignored.
SANCTIONS AS A TOOL TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS AT SEA
An article on 29 August from HFW on the Human Rights at Sea was aboutthe Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 and says that, as the offences which trigger designation can be committed by an individual (not just by state officials) anywhere in the world, they have the potential to be used to target persons committing human rights abuses against seafarers at sea.
FACILITATING TAX EVASION — ENFORCEMENT OF THE UK CORPORATE CRIMINAL OFFENCE
On 1 September, an article from Paul Hastings said that figures published by the Government show that contraventions of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 are being actively investigated and that financial institutions are most at risk of prosecution. The article considers the enforcement risks for companies in the UK.
US: WORKING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS – THE CFIUS UPDATES YOU NEED TO KNOW
On 3 September, the Reach Further website carried an article about the effect of regulations implementing the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). The updates involved are said to greatly broaden the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) to review foreign investment transactions that could have national security concerns. However, the new regulations also allow for some exemptions for certain investors, so that it does not unduly impact all forms of investment. The article sets out to provide a breakdown of the new CFIUS updates.
CÔTE D’IVOIRE: PROCESSING CASHEW NUTS TO FIGHT THE SMUGGLERS
On 2 September, The Africa Report carried an article saying that Côte d’Ivoire is one of the world’s largest producers of cashews, and a more developed processing industry would allow it to keep a greater share of the value. Currently, less than a fifth of domestic production is processed inside the country, with the bulk being exported for processing in India, Vietnam and Brazil before reaching final consumers in Western Europe and Asia.
BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA HAS ISSUED FAQ AND ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON AML/CFT OBLIGATIONS OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
On 3 September, Regulations Asia reported that BNM had issued FAQ and additional guidance to provide further clarification on the obligations of financial institutions. Links to the guidance on beneficial ownership, CDD and targeted financial sanctions.
NEW UN PASSENGER DATA AGREEMENT AIMS TO CURB TERRORIST MOBILITY
On 1 September, Homeland Security Today reported that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) have formalised a new Memorandum of Agreement, aimed at building member state capacity to prevent, detect and investigate terrorist offenses and other serious crimes through the collection and analysing of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data. The new agreement and funding will be critical to ICAO’s efforts to collaborate with the relevant program partners and enhance countries’ awareness of how passenger data can help to detect the flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) and other serious criminals. The new agreement came into effect on 31 August, and will guide the related program efforts through August 2022.
EU COMMISSION ANNOUNCES ACTIONS TO MAKE EUROPE’S RAW MATERIALS SUPPLY MORE SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE
On 3 September, the EU published a news release and Action Plan which looks at the current and future challenges and proposes actions to reduce Europe’s dependency on third countries, diversifying supply from both primary and secondary sources and improving resource efficiency and circularity while promoting responsible sourcing worldwide.
TAX AVOIDANCE: A GENERAL ANTI-ABUSE RULE (GAAR)
On 2 September, a briefing paper from the House of Commons Library looks at the case that has been made recently for a general anti-avoidance rule, and the Coalition Government’s introduction of a ‘narrower’ General Anti-Abuse Rule in 2013.
INDIAN FUGITIVE ARMS DEALER SANJAY BHANDARI’S EXTRADITION HEARING TO BEGIN ON 11 SEPTEMBER IN LONDON
On 3 September, ANI News in India reported that India’s Enforcement Directorate has filed charges in connection with alleged money laundering and the purchase of a £1.9 million London property.
FUND FOUNDER DANIEL KAMENSKY IS CHARGED BY US PROSECUTORS
On 3 September, BNN Bloomberg and others reported that Marble Ridge Capital founder Dan Kamensky has been accused by federal prosecutors of securities fraud and extortion, claiming that he abused his position on a Neiman Marcus Group Inc bankruptcy committee to purchase securities at an artificially low price.
US REGULATOR CHARGES 5 ISRAELIS IN $165 MILLION BINARY OPTIONS FRAUD SCHEME
On 3 September, the Times of Israel reported that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has sued 5 Canadian-Israelis and an American over an alleged $165 million fraudulent binary options trading scheme largely carried out from Israel, and alleged that they operated call centres primarily located in Israel that “targeted and victimised U.S. residents” through an online trading scam.
US: GDPR AND THE UNIFORM FOREIGN COUNTRY MONEY JUDGMENTS RECOGNITION ACT
On 3 September, an article by Hinshaw & Cuthbertson LLP was concerned with a situation where a US company faces an administrative fine or a damages judgment entered by an EU tribunal against the US company with no assets based in the EU against which to enforce the judgment. The only way, then, to recover the amount of that judgment would be for the complainant whether the supervisory authority or the data subject, to seek recognition of the EU judgment in a US court, and then seek enforcement of that judgment against the US-based assets of the US company. Then it considers the impact of the Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act (UFCMJRA). The article explains that the US is not a party to any international treaty on the subject of recognition of foreign country judgments, with no federal law on this subject. The only body of US law is that applied by various states. Some states have updated their law, but in the others the law it will generally follow the principles set out in the UFCMJRA, which provides that the act does not apply at all to, among other things, “a fine or other penalty”, and therefore cannot be enforced—in the US. The article also briefly discusses the effect of standard contractual clauses, binding corporate rules, and other similar GDPR-contemplated documents.
UK: WOMAN ARRESTED IN PROPERTY RENTAL NETWORK MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE
On 3 September, the NCA issued a news release advising that a 43-year-old woman had been arrested on suspicion of laundering money for a man who ran a network of over 400 properties used by organised crime groups involved in prostitution, cannabis cultivation and illegal immigration. It was run by Chinese national Feng Xu, who operated a network of rental properties across the UK used by criminal groups as brothels, cannabis farms or to house people in the country illegally.
BREXIT: NEW SOFTWARE TO BE USED BY EVERY COMPANY INVOLVED IN EXPORTING GOODS TO THE EU WILL NOT BE READY IN TIME FOR ADEQUATE TESTING AND STAFF TRAINING
On 3 September, Lloyds Loading List reported that a lack of pace in some UK government preparations for the end of the Brexit transition period could put the UK’s interconnected supply chain at risk, according to trade body, Logistics UK. It says that Smart Freight is one of 8 IT systems which hauliers will need to use to move goods to and from Europe after 31 December: these include 4 UK systems, and up to 4 other EU country IT systems, depending on their route and goods to be transported. It is said that, despite the government’s assertion that the Smart Freight software will be ready before 1 January, this timeline fails to take into account the time it will take for transport companies, their customers, subcontractors and customs intermediaries to agree and co-ordinate the necessary business processes at the right time to gain access to the border.
CHIEF OF SAUDI FORCES IN YEMEN INVESTIGATED FOR GRAFT
On 3 September, OCCRP published an article saying that, at the behest of the Crown Prince, the King of Saudi Arabia has sacked the commander of the country’s armed forces in Yemen – Lt. General Fahad bin Turki bin Abdulaziz (a prince in his own right) , along with 5 other officers including the commander’s son, over allegations of corruption, referring them to the country’s anti-graft agency for investigation.
UK: JUDGES ISSUES GUIDANCE TO EXPERTS ON REMOTE EVIDENCE
On 3 September, Litigation Futures reported that the Academy of Experts’ judicial committee – led by former Supreme Court judge Lord Saville, who is also the academy’s president– has produced what he described as “clear, useful and wise help on what is a new method of giving expert evidence”.
CONTINUED SECURITY VIGILANCE RECOMMENDED FOR VESSELS TRANSITING ARABIAN GULF, STRAITS OF HORMUZ, GULF OF OMAN, RED SEA, GULF OF ADEN AND INDIAN OCEAN
On 3 September, Hellenic Shipping News reported that The American Club, a P+I Club, had advised that increasing threats to, and intimidation of, commercial vessels have been reported in recent weeks, and it warns its members with vessels, particularly tank vessels, transiting these regions are encouraged to remain thoroughly vigilant.
STRONG CEO WITH WEAK BOARDS ARE THE BIGGEST COMPLIANCE RISK
On 3 September, a post on the FCPA Blog put forward this assertion, citing the case of the current troubles at McDonald’s — involving allegations about former CEO Steve Easterbrook – Enron and others.
US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ROLLS OUT NATIONAL FREIGHT STRATEGIC PLAN
On 3 September, American Shipper reported that the long-awaited strategy highlights freight data and analytical tools as guideline for efficient cargo movement. The strategy aims to guide national freight policy and investment and provide a framework for better multimodal coordination.
SURE FINED £80,000 OVER GUERNSEY DATA PROTECTION PHONEBOOK FARCE
On 2 September, Bailiwick Express in Guernsey reported that the telecoms company Sure has been fined £80,000 after publishing a number of “mistakes and inaccuracies” in the most recent Guernsey phonebook – including numbers that should have been ex-directory.
HONG KONG POLICE REVEAL NEW SMUGGLING TACTIC – WOODEN FURNITURE SOAKED WITH DRUGS
On 3 September, the South China Morning Post reported that Hong Kong authorities are investigating a potential new trend of drug dealers soaking wood with liquefied methamphetamine to smuggle the banned substance into the city.
THE SHIFTING DYNAMICS OF ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA AND CHINA
On 3 September, the NGO Traffic published a report which highlights key developments in conservation legislation, outlines some of the innovative social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) research projects and campaigns, and explores illegal wildlife seizures made across SE Asia and China in 2019.
UKRAINE COURT ORDERS PRIVATBANK TO PAY BACK $350 MILLION TO FOREIGN COMPANIES
On 2 September, NASDAQ reported that a Ukrainian court has ruled that Ukraine’s biggest lender PrivatBank must pay back $350 million deposited in the accounts of 6 non-resident companies before its nationalisation in 2016, the amount including $100 million in interest.
US AUTHORITIES RECOVER 19TH CENTURY PAINTING STOLEN FROM ITALIAN MONASTERY
On 3 September, a news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement advised that officers had recovered a 19th Century painting that was stolen from the Abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis in Sesto al Reghena, Italy, in May 2002. The painting called “the Assumption of the Virgin Mary” was created by Italian artist Giuseppe Pappini in August 1851. Acting on a top, officers tracked the painting to a private art collector in the Dallas-area who had purchased the painting in 2015 from a dealer who was unaware that it was stolen. After learning of the painting’s origins, the private collector voluntarily agreed to hand it over to HSI so that it could be repatriated to Italy and returned to the monastery.
3 PERUVIAN MEN SENTENCED FOR OVERSEEING CALL CENTRE THAT THREATENED AND DEFRAUDED SPANISH-SPEAKING US CONSUMERS
A news release from the US DoJ on 3 September advised that 3 Peruvian men have been sentenced to significant terms of incarceration for operating a large fraud and extortion scheme. They managed and operated call centres based in Lima and Cajamarca, Peru, which used government impersonation, lies, and threats to steal money from thousands of Spanish-speaking victims in the US.
BANK OF ENGLAND HEAD CALLS FOR REGULATION OF STABLECOINS
On 3 September, Neowin reported that, in a speech, Andrew Bailey said that existing regulations need to be re-examined and updated to account for stablecoins, and that the G20 countries need to issue a clear mandate for standards bodies to refresh and clarify standards.
US DoJ PROSECUTES FASHION COMPANY FOR SKIRTING CUSTOMS TARIFFS – A HOT NEW TREND?
On 3 September, Cozen O’Connor published an article containing the warning after a Los Angeles fashion company pled guilty to customs fraud and money laundering charges. The plea follows a federal investigation that revealed evidence that the company avoided customs tariffs by creating fake invoices for clothes shipped from its Asian suppliers.