Panama Covid-19 update – this was meant to the the last total lockdown Sunday, but we now know they are to continue for the time being.
Number of new infections remain on the high side (but with very proactive testing) at 647, but fatalities down at 9 (hopefully a good sign). There are 21,658 active cases, with 124 in ICU, 655 in other wards.
11 October 2020
DOCUMENTARY CLAIMS TO EXPOSE NORTH KOREA TRYING TO DODGE SANCTIONS
My Joy Online in Ghana on 11 October reported that a new documentary with a bizarre cast of characters claims to shed light on North Korea’s efforts to evade international sanctions, by tricking members of Kim Jong-un’s secretive regime into signing fake arms deals and one former UN official is said to have told the BBC he found it “highly credible”. The film, titled The Mole, is the work of maverick Danish film maker Mads Brügger, who says he orchestrated a complex 3-year sting operation to reveal how North Korea flouts international law.
BRITISH MUSEUM TO REPATRIATE ANCIENT TILES SMUGGLED INTO UK IN A SUITCASE
On 11 October, the Guardian reported that the British Museum is to help repatriate 6 glazed tiles from a medieval memorial complex on the edge of Samarkand, which were brought into Heathrow in a suitcase. The man who smuggled them in after a flight from Dubai in January even forged paperwork declaring them as replicas that were “made to look old”. He produced a receipt that claimed they had been bought in Sharjah the previous day for about £70.
WESTPAC SETTLES WITH AUSTRAC, AGREES TO PAY $1.3 BILLION FOR MILLIONS OF AML FAILINGS, TIES TO CHILD EXPLOITATION NETWORK
On 6 October, ACFCS reported that, after months of haggling, behind the scenes negotiations and brinkmanship on both sides, Australia’s top financial regulator has issued a record, statement making penalty of more than $1 billion against one of the country’s largest banks for financial crime and compliance failings – the most serious of which tied to exploiting children.
UK: POLICE ARREST VIETNAMESE PEOPLE TRAFFICKING ‘KING PIN’
On 11 October, Viet Nam News reported that the NCA had arrested a Vietnamese man thought to be a major people trafficker. The man, 30, was arrested in Croydon along with a 50-year-old British national.
ROMANIAN POLICE DETAIN FORMER MONEY LAUNDERING CHIEF OVER FRAUD ACCUSATIONS
On 10 October, Reuters reported that Romanian police have said they had detained the former head of the government’s AML agency pending a criminal investigation for fraud, accusing him of forging his high school graduation certificate. Laurentiu Baranga, 53, was appointed to head the agency for the prevention and control of money laundering in early September but he resigned his post on 8 October. He is said to be under investigation for deceiving several public institutions by filing forged degrees with his job applications.
UK: LAW SOCIETY URGES REVIEW TO PROTECT 6 FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
On 7 October, Local Government Lawyer reported that the Law Society has set out six fundamental principles of judicial review that it says the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) “must protect”, arguing that judicial review is “a pillar of democracy and a vital check on power”.
US: FINAL RULE FOR “AMENDMENT TO LICENSING POLICY FOR ITEMS CONTROLLED FOR CRIME CONTROL REASONS”
A briefing from Clifford Chance reported that the Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule – “Amendment to Licensing Policy for Items Controlled for Crime Control Reasons” – amending the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that impacts how BIS could consider human rights concerns when making licensing decisions. A new licensing condition is whether items may be used to engage in, or enable violations or abuses of, human rights.
NEW GUIDANCE FROM ICO: FINALLY SOME CLARITY ON GDPR FINES?
On 9 October, Simmons & Simmons published an article saying that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft statutory guidance, which details how it will regulate and enforce data protection legislation in the UK. The guidance, which together with the ICO’s existing Regulatory Action Police (which is itself under review), sets out how the ICO will operate. It is subject to an ongoing consultation and written responses can be submitted by any interested parties, including data controllers and members of the public until 12 November. The ICO says it will follow a “9-step mechanism” (listed in the article) when calculating proposed monetary penalties.
THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS & IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. ARMS SALES TO THE GULF
On 5 October, the Security Assistance Monitor published an article saying that a flurry of diplomatic agreements between Israel and its Arab Gulf neighbours have raised the prospect of an expansion in US arms sales to the region, despite ongoing concerns regarding how those arms contribute to armed conflict and international humanitarian law abuses. The detente between America’s closest regional ally, Israel, and several GCC countries has raised the prospect of even more sales to the Arab Gulf, despite persistent human rights, international humanitarian law, and security concerns.
MALAYSIA: IN-DEPTH PROBE INTO ILLEGAL ONLINE GAMBLING AND MONEY LAUNDERING CASE INVOLVING COPS
On 10 October, the Malay Mail reported that the Inspector-General of Police has ordered an in-depth investigation into the case of illegal online gambling and money laundering syndicate that led to the arrest of several policemen, including senior officers. So far, 17 police officers and personnel have been arrested in connection with the case.
IRANIAN TANKER DEPARTS FOR PERSIAN GULF CARRYING VENEZUELAN HEAVY OIL
On 11 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that an Iranian-flagged oil tanker has left Venezuela for Iran’s Kharg Island, loading 1.9 million barrels of heavy crude.
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