OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 3

Panama Covid-19 update – another 691 new cases and 8 fatalities reported today, meaning we have 21,044 active cases, 112 of which are in ICU and 696 in other wards. To date, 2,414 have died and 91,195 “recovered”.

3 October 2020

SEC TWEAKS ITS BOOMING WHISTLEBLOWER PROGRAMME

A post from the Compliance & Enforcement blog at the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law says that the SEC  has amended its whistleblower rules, hailing the changes as adding “clarity, efficiency and transparency to its successful whistleblower programme, saying that the amendments should not have a significant overall effect on SEC whistleblower activity, which it expects to continue at a high level.

ETHIOPIA GOLD EXPORTS SURGE AFTER CRACKDOWN ON SMUGGLING

IOL on 2 October reported that Ethiopian gold exports surged after the central bank offered higher prices for the metal in a bid to curb smuggling and as part of wider efforts to spur investment in mining.  The industry is currently dominated by small-scale artisanal miners, but foreign companies are exploring for the precious metal in the nation. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government hopes that cleaning up informal mining by channeling gold sales through the central bank is a first step to making the country more attractive to investors.

https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/international/ethiopia-gold-exports-surge-after-crackdown-on-smuggling-5f2a037a-b303-4cc0-b1e8-fe372865e8c7

MALTA: COURT TOLD POULTRY SELLERS ON MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGE HAD €2 MILLION TURNOVER

On 3 October, the Times of Malta reported that a couple selling poultry products at a village store registered a €2 million turnover since 2013, on a declared annual income of €20,000.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/poultry-sellers-on-money-laundering-charge-had-2-million-turnover.821998

PODCAST: RISK ASSESSMENTS – WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO LEARN?

In the latest GR ABC podcast from law firm Greenberg Traurig host, Cuneyt Akay, and special guest, Tyler Coombe, discuss the importance of risk assessments, where they fit within a company’s broader compliance programme, and what the US government expects from companies in terms of risk assessments.  In addition, they offer suggestions for how to conduct risk assessments and effectively utilise the information gathered.

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2020/9/gt-abc-podcast-episode-6

UK: SAFEGUARDS NEEDED TO BOLSTER JUSTICE IN PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS

On 2 October, the House of Commons Justice Committee has made a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring that private prosecutions are fairer and subject to the same standards as public prosecutions in its report on “Private prosecutions: safeguards”.  Recommendations centred on enhancing existing legal safeguards in the practice of private prosecutions without unduly restricting the right to pursue them.  Private prosecutions – that is, prosecutions by an entity or individual not acting on behalf of the police or other prosecuting authority – play an important role in the justice system.

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/102/justice-committee/news/119746/safeguards-needed-to-bolster-justice-in-private-prosecutions/

The report is at –

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/2823/documents/27637/default/

CHINESE CEO PLEA DEAL IN CASE INVOLVING EXPORT OF INFLATABLE RUBBER “RAIDING CRAFT” AND MILITARY-GRADE MULTI-FUEL ENGINES TO CHINA

On 2 October, Jacksonville.com reported that Ge Songtao had agreed a plea agreement over charges involving plans to ship inflatable rubber “raiding craft” and military-grade multi-fuel engines to Ge’s China-based company, Shanghai Breeze Technology Co.  It is claimed that Ge’s company was making plans for a South Korean manufacturer with a factory in China to make copies of the US-produced raiding craft, which are used by police or military forces operating close to shore.  3 others have been charged, including a US Navy officer, a Chinese-born US citizen who had a top-secret security clearance.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/deal-cut-in-chinese-smuggling-case-as-jacksonville-navy-officer-claims-ethnic-profiling/ar-BB19DT1O?ocid=msedgdhp

CRIMINAL COMPANIES COMMITTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE SERVICE FRAUD RAIDED IN INDIA AFTER CITY OF LONDON POLICE CONFIRM UK VICTIMS

On 2 October, a news release from the City of London Police advised that 10 offices suspected of being involved in computer software service fraud offences, have been raided by authorities in 6 cities in India.  The companies are alleged to have displayed pop-up messages on victim’s computers warning them about serious technical problems with their device including the presence of malware infection. Victims were then advised to call a helpline to gain assistance and were charged a premium fee for the ‘fix’ and ‘on-going support’. Victims were made to pay this fee online or over the phone, meaning their financial details were shared with criminals.

https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/news/city-of-london/news/2020/template5/press-releases/criminal-companies-committing-computer-software-service-fraud-raided-in-india-after-city-of-london-police-confirm-uk-victims/

H&M GERMANY FINED $41.3 MILLION IN ONE OF LARGEST GDPR PENALTIES

On 1 October, Compliance Week reported that,  in one of the largest GDPR fines imposed to date, a regional data protection authority in Germany fined H&M Germany €35.2 million for excessive monitoring of several hundred employees by one of the retailer’s subsidiaries.

https://www.complianceweek.com/data-privacy/handm-germany-fined-413m-in-one-of-largest-gdpr-penalties/29556.article

https://www.thelocal.de/20201001/germany-fines-hm-35-mn-euros-for-worker-surveillance

https://www.clydeco.com/en/insights/2020/10/the-fashion-retailer-h-m-was-fined-over-eur-35-mil

MINERAL TRACKING TOOL HELPS ZAMBIA COMBAT ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS

On 1 October, the UN Conference on Trade & Development reported that a mineral tracking system designed by UNCTAD and the Zambian Revenue Authority (ZRA) makes it easier to detect illicit trade practices that drain billions of dollars each year from the copper-rich nation and its people.  It says that the government recovered about $1 million in unpaid export dues from mining companies just 1 year after piloting the Mineral Output Statistical Evaluation System (MOSES) in 2016 – trade misinvoicing, the under-declaration of exports, and other fraudulent trade practices cost the southern African nation about $12.5 billion between 2013 and 2015.

https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2484

US GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER ON SCHREMS II DATA PROTECTION DECISION

On 30 September, Akin Gump reported that the US Department of Commerce, DoJ, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence have prepared a White Paper providing a detailed discussion and analysis of the July decision of the CJEU.  It focuses on providing information to companies involved in the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US.

https://www.akingump.com/en/experience/practices/cybersecurity-privacy-and-data-protection/ag-data-dive/us-government-releases-white-paper-on-schrems-ii-decision.html

The White Paper is at –

AFRICA COULD GAIN $89 BILLION ANNUALLY BY CURBING ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS

On 28 September, the UN Conference on Trade & Development published 2 news releases linked to the UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report 2020.  It says that stopping illicit capital flight could almost cut in half the annual financing gap of $200 billion that the continent faces to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  From 2000 to 2015, the total illicit capital flight from Africa amounted to $836 billion. Compared to Africa’s total external debt stock of $770 billion in 2018, this makes Africa a “net creditor to the world”, the report says.  It is said that the proceeds from trade underinvoicing and other illicit financial flows (IFF) contribute to an average of $88.6 billion per year of capital flight from Africa.  A classic example in the literature on trade misinvoicing is the large gap in copper trade figures between Zambia and Switzerland. Since the early 2000s, Zambia has reported Switzerland as the destination for more than half of its copper exports, while Switzerland reports no imports of copper from Zambia.  The report, and short video, is at –

https://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=2857

https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2479

https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2481

JOINT POLICE AND TRADING STANDARDS OPERATION TARGETS UK-WIDE ILLEGAL STREAMING SERVICE

On 2 October, Police Professional reported that a joint police and Trading Standards operation has disrupted a major illegal streaming service in the West of Scotland believed to be supplying tens of thousands of subscribers across the UK. The distributor is believed to have provided illegal access to premium television, sports and movie content to dozens of separate illegal streaming services, which in turn provided access to “tens thousands of subscribers right across the UK”.

HOW TRUMP’S EXPORT CURBS ON SEMICONDUCTORS AND EQUIPMENT HURT THE US TECHNOLOGY SECTOR

On 28 September, an article from the Petersen Institute for International Economics says that the administration’s newest restrictions do more than shut off technology exports to China. The policy limits some American sales to third countries, even when they are US military allies. American semiconductor toolmakers cannot sell their equipment to major semiconductor manufacturers in South Korea or Taiwan, for example, if companies there want to use American tools to make anything to sell to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company targeted by the administration as a national security threat.  The article accuses the Trump administration of setting a dangerous precedent of unilateralism, and that the policy also creates new risks for American workers — both semiconductor equipment makers and those in the semiconductor manufacturing and software design industries.

https://www.piie.com/blogs/trade-and-investment-policy-watch/how-trumps-export-curbs-semiconductors-and-equipment-hurt-us

RUSSIAN EXPORT CONTROL OF DUAL-USE ITEMS 2020 FAQ

On 3 October, an article from Baker McKenzie summarises the statutory requirements on the exportation of dual-use items from Russia and does not contain information on the exportation of military items.

PORTUGUESE REGULATOR CALLS FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF AUDITORS FOLLOWING LUANDA LEAKS

On 1 October, ICIJ reported that Portuguese auditing companies that broke AML laws while helping Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos grow her business empire should face criminal prosecution, the country’s regulator has said.  The CVVM investigated 9 auditing companies that worked with dos Santos following the publication of the Luanda Leaks investigation in January.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/luanda-leaks/portuguese-regulator-calls-for-criminal-prosecution-of-auditors-following-luanda-leaks/

UK INFORMATION COMMISSIONER CONSULTS ON DRAFT STATUTORY GUIDANCE FOR PUBLICATION AFTER BREXIT

On1 October, Local Government Lawyer reported that the ICO has launched a public consultation on its draft statutory guidance, which details how it will regulate and enforce data protection legislation in the UK.  The draft statutory guidance explains how the ICO will exercise its regulatory functions when issuing: information notices; assessment notices; enforcement notices and penalty notices. The ICO said it would publish this updated guidance after the UK has left the EU and it had therefore drafted it accordingly.

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/information-law/398-information-law-news/44989-information-commissioner-consults-on-draft-statutory-guidance-for-publication-after-brexit

PERU ORDERS ARREST OF OFFICIALS LINKED TO CORRUPTION CASE

Telesur has reported that Peruvian Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has requested preventive detention for some of the people linked to the singer Richard Swing’s case, where the Culture Ministry gave money to the almost-known singer Richard Cisneros (aka Richard Swing) between 2018 and 2020.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Peru-Orders-Arrest-of-Officials-Linked-to-Corruption-Case-20201003-0003.html

I had omitted the following 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s