Panama Covid-19 update – another 722 new cases, meaning that there are currently 23,164 active cases – 144 in ICU, 730 in other wards and 404 in hotels. Fatalities continue, with another 18 reported today – 2,247 being the total since March.
19 September 2020
PANAMA: 2 NEW DEFENDANTS JOIN EX-PRESIDENTS IN ODEBRECHT MONEY PROBE
On 18 September, Newsroom Panama reported that 2 additional, but unnamed, defendants were facing charges alongside ex-Presidents Martinelli and Varela, as the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office ordered the investigation of the 2 new people linked to the Odebrecht bribery investigation. It is said that the case involves at least $90 million in bribes began in Panama in 2015 but
the process had encountered several delays including those due to the legal stalling moves by the accused.
BOKO HARAM ARMS STOCKPILING INDICATES LONG-TERM THREAT
On 18 September, the Council on Foreign Relations examined the activities and risks of Boko Haram’s Nigeria as well as in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.
WHAT US REIMPOSITION OF UN SANCTIONS ON IRAN MEANS
On 19 September, Gulf News reported that the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Iran in 2007. This embargo is due to expire on 18 October, as agreed under the JCPOA nuclear deal among Iran, Russia, China, Germany, UK, France and the US that seeks to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief. The UK, France and Germany told the UN Security Council that UN sanctions relief for Iran would continue beyond 20 September. A return of the sanctions, a so-called snapback, would require Iran to suspend all nuclear enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and ban imports of anything that could contribute to those activities or to development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. It would reimpose the arms embargo, ban Iran from developing ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and bring back targeted sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities. Countries also would be urged to inspect shipments to and from Iran and authorised to seize any banned cargo.
MARSHALL ISLANDS AUDITOR REPORTS ONGOING ABUSE OF OFFICE
On 19 September, Radio New Zealand reported that the past 6 months have seen over a dozen reports to the Marshall Islands Auditor General’s office of theft from and abuse of government offices. A total of 13 new allegations related to embezzlement, misappropriation of public assets, forgery of government checks, abuse of public office and tax evasion have been identified since January.
UK: FASHION INDUSTRY ALERTED TO NEW GUIDANCE FOR TRADE OF ANIMAL PRODUCTS
On 18 September, a news release from DEFRA advised the sector to make sure businesses check guidance before importing and exporting products which are covered by CITES. This is as this year’s London Fashion Week gets underway, and with new guidance coming into force from January.
The new, post-Brexit guidance is at –
CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST FORMER RUDY GIULIANI ASSOCIATE AND A CO-CONSPIRATOR FOR WIRE FRAUD, SOLICITING, AIDING AND ABETTING FOREIGN NATIONALS IN DONATING MONEY TO US FEDERAL AND STATE ELECTIONS
On 18 September, Jurist reported new charges to be brought against former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and co-conspirator David Correia. They are being charged with wire fraud, soliciting money from foreign nationals for state and federal elections, and aiding and abetting foreign nationals in donating money to federal and state elections. In addition, Correia is being charged with making false statements and falsifying records.
AFRICA: THE BIG RIP-OFF IN ARMS DEALS
On 18 September, Deutsche Welle carried an article saying that the US and Europe, in particular, spend big to support countries on the continent in the war on terror, and that has drawn corrupt arms dealers to the scene. In most cases, arms deals in Africa are a huge part of corruption and fraud, it is claimed. The article concentrates on an investigation that uncovered a particularly blatant arms scandal in Niger, which is currently battling insurgents from across the Sahel region.
SOMALIA: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO UN ARMS EMBARGOES
A report from the UN Institute for Disarmament Research on 15 September represents an innovative approach to monitoring and verifying the implementation of UN Security Council arms embargoes. The observation paper sets out the establishment, methodology, role and activities of the Joint Verification Team, while cataloguing the challenges faced. It provides a series of key reflections on weapons and ammunition management in Somalia and considers how the Joint Verification Team might be replicated in other contexts.
INDIA: 3 HOTELS RESTRAINED IN PMC BANK FRAUD CASE
On 18 September, Bloomberg Quint reported that the Enforcement Directorate has “attached” 3 hotels in Delhi – the Fab Hotels group – in connection with its money laundering probe in the PMC Bank fraud case.
HOW STOLEN HINDU IDOLS WERE DISCOVERED IN UK
An article from the BBC on 18 September said that 3 bronze sculptures stolen from a southern Indian temple more than 40 years ago were found in the UK, and returned to Indian government officials. It has taken years of work by a group of art enthusiasts, investigations by police teams in 2 countries, and efforts from Indian diplomats in the UK, to help bring them back. 4 years ago, a photograph of one of the sculptures was spotted on the website of the British Antique Dealers’ Association by a member of India Pride Project, which works to bring stolen idols back to India.
ISIS TAKE OVER LUXURY ISLANDS POPULAR AMONG A-LIST CELEBRITIES
News.com in Australia has reported that Islamic State militants have taken over paradise islands off the coast of Mozambique in the Indian Ocean, burning down 5-star resorts and imposing sharia Law. The insurgents have been targeting luxury islands, where A-list celebrities spend their holidays. Mozambique and its islands have been closed to tourists since COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions were imposed. The Cabo Delgado province has also been ransacked and raided by the jihadists. Western energy companies, who have invested in gas projects off the coast of Mozambique, have been forced to build new facilities to avoid the jihadis’ path.
BAY OF CAMPECHE PIRACY WARNING
On 18 September, Insurance Marine News reported that the Joint War Committee (JWC) has issued an advisory that notes the increased criminal activity in the Bay of Campeche. Off the Atlantic coast of Mexico. It said that offshore assets were being targeted. The Joint War Committee comprises underwriting representatives from both the Lloyd’s and IUA company markets, representing the interests of those who write marine hull war business in the London market
ETHIOPIA FILES TERRORISM CHARGES AGAINST LEADING OPPOSITION ACTIVIST
On 19 September, News 24 reported that Ethiopia has filed charges against prominent media mogul, Jawar Mohammed, founder of the Oromiya Media Network and a member of the Oromo Federalist Party. He was arrested in June in the aftermath of widespread unrest.