OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 28

Panama Covid-19 update – the shopping malls and restaurants (and a lot more shops, as well as the old city) opened up today and traffic and people around on the streets seemed noticeably increased.

Meanwhile, we still had another 722 new cases added (on Day 204 of the crisis), and 21,234 currently active cases – of which, 110 are in ICU and 690 in other hospital wards, plus another 378 in requisitioned hotel rooms. There were another 8 fatalities reported, taking the total after 204 days to 2,348, which works out to an average of 11.5 per day.

28 September 2020

UK LAW COMMISSION PROPOSES CHANGES TO CONFISCATION REGIME

On 23 September, an article from Ropes & Gray reported that the Law Commission, which reviews and recommends changes to the law in the UK, has acknowledged that the system for recovering the proceeds of criminal activities from individuals and companies is ineffective and requires reform. It says that a 700-page consultation paper seeks responses to its recommendations by 18 December.

https://ropesgrayinsights.passle.net/post/102gfho/uk-law-reformers-propose-changes-to-confiscation-regime

TRADING ON WTO TERMS – WHAT DOES IT ACTUALLY MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

On 24 September, DLA Piper published an article which explains that trading on WTO terms is underpinned by 2 key principles of non-discrimination, and seeks to answer the question: what does the import and export of goods between the UK and EU (and vice versa) look like under WTO terms?

https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2020/09/trading-on-wto-terms-what-does-it-actually-mean-for-your-business/

WEALTHY BRITONS STEP UP CITIZENSHIP SHOPPING TO THWART BREXIT

On 24 September, Reuters reported that the number of British entrepreneurs looking to “buy” citizenship from countries offering visa-free access to the EU has risen sharply as prospects of a post-Brexit trade deal lessen.

https://in.reuters.com/article/britain-eu-investment-migration/wealthy-britons-step-up-citizenship-shopping-to-thwart-brexit-idINKCN26G2O2

‘BOWLER HAT ENGLISHMAN’: HUNT FOR ALLEGED MASTERMIND OF AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST TAX EVASION SCHEME

On 28 September, The Age reported on an Interpol Red Notice for Philip Egglishaw, 67.  It is said that Egglishaw, whose arrest for tax evasion and money laundering has been sought by Australia since 2008, has repeatedly slipped through the net and , despite pleading guilty to tax evasion offences in a Californian court last month, he negotiated a fine and once again is free to split his time between his Swiss home and his estate on the French Riviera.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/bowler-hat-englishman-hunt-for-alleged-mastermind-of-australia-s-largest-tax-evasion-scheme-20200926-p55zk6.html

https://www.statista.com/chart/13645/the-countries-with-the-highest-density-of-robot-workers

DRONES INCREASINGLY DEPLOYED IN CONFLICTS

On 23 September, PAX for Peace, a Dutch organisation, published a report called “Violent Skies” which says that the rapidly growing use of deadly drones is profoundly shaping state and armed groups’ capacities to wage war and it could have significant regional security implications.  At least 40 different drones from 12 different countries have been deployed in conflicts.  It is said that the report demonstrates how all actors involved have quickly learned how to make use of drones in all shapes and sizes in their military operations. Remote lethal force with armed drones is being used in conflicts all over the world, spurred by burgeoning drone industries and States seeking to expand their geo-political and military influence with drone sales and support operations.  On the export control front, the report says that, while military drone use is growing, robust action by States to develop clear standards and norms on the export and use of armed drones is lacking.  Instead, States seek to undermine existing arms export control agreements in order to sell more drones, fearing competition.  Drones and drone-related technology are imported from all over the world and assembled locally, blurring the distinction between military and civilian drone technology. 

https://www.paxforpeace.nl/publications/all-publications/violent-skies

EU CUSTOMS UNION: NEW ACTION PLAN

On 28 September, the European Commission launched a new Customs Union Action Plan setting out a series of measures to make EU customs smarter, more innovative and more efficient over the next 4 years.  It includes a number of initiatives in areas such as risk management, managing e-commerce, the promotion of compliance and customs authorities acting as one. 

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1710

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/general-information-customs/customs-action-plan_en

CONGOLESE SECURITY FORCES THWART REBEL ATTEMPT TO SEIZE MINING HUB

On 28 September, Defence Web reported that pro-independence rebels tried to seize strategic buildings in the Congolese mining hub of Lubumbashi, beheading 2 policemen and killing a soldier before security forces repelled the incursion.  The second-largest city in the DRC is the capital of the mineral-rich south-eastern province of Haut-Katanga, where mining companies such as Ivanhoe and MMG Ltd have concessions.

RUSSIAN-IRISH BUSINESS COUNCIL LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO RUSSIAN BUSINESMAN

EU Reporter on 28 September reported that the Council has launched a broad inquiry into alleged illegal activities of Russian businessman Mr Sergey Govyadin and his close associate Mr Ildar Samiyev.  It alleges that both were “obviously involved in money laundering and other illegal purposes” via the UK legal system and the UK offices of HSBC. 

SEC SETTLES FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST SOLUTECH ICO

On 28 September, Finance Magnates reported that the SEC has settled fraud and securities violations charges against SoluTech, a now-defunct blockchain project.  The project’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Nathan Pitruzzello, received a cease-and-desist order for selling unregistered securities and was also fined $25,000.

£60 MILLION REVAMP FOR UK FRAUD CENTRE

On 28 September, International Adviser reported that police chiefs are reportedly looking for an external company to run the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, Action Fraud, and are drawing up a contract worth £40m–£60m over 5 years. Currently, Action Fraud is run by the City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

LIBYA: FORMER GENERAL DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION PROJECTS AT STATE ELECTRICITY COMPANY (GECOL), ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF CORRUPTION IN THE COMPANY

On 28 September, the Libya Observer reported that the Law Enforcement Department of the Interior Ministry had arrested the former General Director of Production Projects at the state’s electricity company (GECOL), currently a member of the Board of Directors, on charges of corruption in the company.

https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/gecol-senior-figure-arrested-over-corruption-charges

UN TOOLKIT ON SYNTHETIC DRUGS 

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime developed this Toolkit to assist countries in addressing the challenges represented by synthetic illegal drugs.  Various videos and modules include information about the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and its work to educate its member countries on the optimal methods of ensuring a safe and secure supply chain; and information about drug precursors and the international precursors control system, as well as the 2 key elements critical to prevent chemicals from reaching clandestine laboratories for the illicit manufacture of drugs – monitoring of legitimate international trade, and investigations into suspicious shipments, attempted diversions and seizures of precursors.

https://syntheticdrugs.unodc.org/syntheticdrugs/en/frontpage.html

SPAIN: CUSTOMS SEIZE MORE THAN A MILLION CONTRABAND FACE MASKS AT ALMERIA PORT

On 27 September, Euro Weekly reported that officers discovered the boxes of KN95 masks stashed at the bottom of 4 articulated semi-trailers about to go onto a ferry bound for Oran in Algeria.  The authorities also found 1,600 mobile phones, phone accessories and items of clothing which were not reflected in the presented documentation.

UK: HIGH COURT DISTINGUISHES APPROACH TO COSTS FOR FREEZING ORDERS

On 28 September, Eversheds Sutherland published an article saying that the High Court in London has ordered interim payment on account in respect of costs of a freezing order application, distinguishing it from other interim orders, with the decision due to the different tests for merits as between freezing orders and interim injunctions.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Financial-services-and-dispute-investigation/High_Court_distinguishes_freezing_orders_from_other_interim_injunctions

ISLE OF MAN: ISLAND FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS LIMITED (IFSL) CIVIL PENALTY

On 28 September, the Isle of Man FSA issued a news release advising that IFSL has received a discretionary civil penalty of of £89,994, discounted by 30% to £62,996, due to cooperation received, for a number of regulatory failings in relation to its provision of financial advice to its customers.

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2020/sep/public-statement-concerning-island-financial-solutions-limited-ifsl/

ISLE OF MAN: INSURANCE ADMINISTRATOR AT A GENERAL INSURANCE PROVIDER BANNED AFTER ADMITTING THEFT OF £213,000

On 28 September, a Public Statement from the Isle of Man FSA was concerned with the admission that the man of systematic theft of monies from his employer by way of falsifying invoice payments, thereby directing funds to bank accounts under his personal control. In total some £213,000 was taken over an extended period of time.  As a result he has been banned from any regulated function until such time as the prohibition is revoked.

SOME 3,500 U.S. COMPANIES SUE OVER TRUMP-IMPOSED CHINESE TARIFFS

On 28 September, Hellenic Shipping News reported that about 3,500 U.S. companies, including Tesla Inc, Ford Motor Co, Target Corp , Walgreen Co and Home Depot have sued the Trump administration over the imposition of tariffs on more than $300 billion in Chinese-made goods.  The legal challenges argue the Trump administration failed to impose tariffs within a required 12-month period and did not comply with administrative procedures.

CONDEMNATION OF UK DIPLOMATS AND MILITARY FOR ACTING AS ‘CHEERLEADERS’ FOR ARMS SALES TO KAZAKHSTAN

On 28 September, a release on Ekklesia reported that campaigners have condemned UK diplomats and armed forces representatives for acting as ‘cheerleaders’ for arms sales to the regime in Kazakhstan.  This was as tweets highlighted the role of the UK Embassy in hosting meetings between the RAF, the Kazakstan MoD and Airbus to promote the sale of military aircraft. 

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/30001

5G DEPLOYMENT, TRADE SANCTIONS AND EXPORT CONTROLS

On 22 September, TRACE uploaded a webinar on You Tube in which experts discuss the impact of trade sanctions and export controls, CFIUS reporting, FCC restrictions, and more on 5G development and deployment.

A REVIEW OF THE RESOURCE GUIDE TO THE US FCPA, SECOND EDITION

On 22 September, TRACE uploaded a webinar on You Tube from 13 August which considers updates driven by recent changes to case law as well as DoJ and SEC policies including the definition of the term “foreign official,” the jurisdictional reach of the FCPA, the DoJ FCPA Corporate Enforcement and Anti-Piling On policies, the Criminal Division’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs and more.

CFTC AND 30 US STATES BRING PRECIOUS METALS FRAUD ACTION

On 25 September, Cadwalader Cabinet published an article saying that the CFTC and 30 US states had jointly filed a civil enforcement action for fraud against a precious metals firm and its principals. The CFTC noted that this action is the “largest joint filing in CFTC history with state regulators”.  The filing alleges that the defendants received over $185 million in customer funds, the majority in retirement savings, supposedly for the purpose of buying precious metals. The defendants allegedly deceived elderly persons with minimal experience in precious metals into purchasing the bullion at substantially inflated prices. The Complaint stated that nearly all of the defendants’ customers lost the majority of the money they had invested.

https://www.findknowdo.com/news/09/25/2020/cftc-and-thirty-states-bring-precious-metals-fraud-action

TRANSNATIONAL WHITE SUPREMACIST MILITANCY THRIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 20 September, Homeland Security Today carried an article about a report from the EU Council on Foreign Relations on 17 September that domestic South African white supremacist movements both inform white supremacist movements elsewhere, and at the same time are influenced by global trends on the extreme right.

https://www.cfr.org/blog/transnational-white-supremacist-militancy-thriving-south-africa

UKRAINE IS EMERGING AS CRITICAL NODE FOR WHITE-SUPREMACY EXTREMISTS

On 24 September, an article in Russia Matters from the Belfer Center sets out to rebut claims in a previous article that the phenomenon of foreigners traveling to join the conflict in eastern Ukraine has died down since late 2014, largely due to Ukraine’s process of disbanding paramilitary groups and integrating them into the country’s official security forces.  Instead, it argues, research finds that foreigners are still networking, training and fighting on both sides of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, cultivating skills and connections that strengthen the transnational white-supremacy extremist networks of today. 

https://russiamatters.org/analysis/rebuttal-ukraine-emerging-critical-node-white-supremacy-extremists

SEC MAKES THE HUNDREDTH WHISTLEBLOWER AWARD UNDER PROGRAMME

On 28 September, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the SEC has announced an award of over $1.8 million to a company outsider, who expeditiously reported significant information to the SEC about ongoing securities law violations. 

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/sec-issues-18-million-whistleblower-award-to-a-company-outsider-marks-100th/

CFTC CHARGES AGAINST MAN AND HIS EMPLOYER FOR SPOOFING

On 28 September, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued 2 orders filing and settling charges against Thomas Donino and his employerFNY Partners Fund LP, for spoofing—bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution. This case was brought in connection with the Division of Enforcement’s Spoofing Task Force.  Donino is to pay a $135,000 civil monetary penalty.  The order against FNY Partners Fund finds the firm vicariously liable for Donino’s spoofing, which Donino engaged in while a trader for FNY Partners Fund and requires it to pay a $450,000 civil monetary penalty.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/cftc-orders-new-york-firm-and-its-trader-to-pay-585000-for-spoofing/

OWNER OF BITCOIN EXCHANGE CONVICTED OF RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY FOR LAUNDERING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN INTERNATIONAL CYBER FRAUD SCHEME

A news release from the US DoJ on 28 September advised that Rossen Iossifov, 53, a Bulgarian national has been found guilty for his role in a transnational and multi-million dollar scheme to defraud American victims through online auction fraud.  Iossifov and his co-conspirators participated in a criminal conspiracy that engaged in a large-scale scheme of online auction fraud that victimised at least 900 Americans.  Specifically, Romania-based members of the conspiracy posted false advertisements to popular online auction and sales websites — such as Craigslist and eBay — for high-cost goods (typically vehicles) that did not actually exist. 17 total defendants have been convicted in this case, but 3 others are fugitives.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner-bitcoin-exchange-convicted-racketeering-conspiracy-laundering-millions-dollars

BUSINESSMAN KILLED IN MEXICO WAS A GULF CARTEL MONEY LAUNDERER – SEEMINGLY KILLED FOR MISMANAGING CARTEL MONEY

On 28 September, Courthouse News reported that police sources confirmed over the weekend that Adrián Elizondo Reyna, 27, a businessman killed in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, was a Gulf Cartel money launderer.  Nuevo Leon state authorities are investigating if the man was killed by members of his own cartel after mismanaging their money laundering fronts.

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2020/09/businessman-killed-in-nuevo-leon-was.html

FRANCE PROBES BANKING GIANT BNP PARIBAS FOR ALLEGED COMPLICITY IN SUDAN CRIMES

On 24 September, France 24 reported that French prosecutors have opened an inquiry into banking giant BNP Paribas over claims of complicity in crimes against humanity, genocide and torture in Sudan. 

https://www.france24.com/en/20200924-france-probes-banking-giant-bnp-paribas-for-alleged-complicity-in-sudan-crimes

I had left off this link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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