Panama Covid-19 update – while operations continue in the post-flooding work nearer the Costa Rican border, aided I noted by large Chinook helicopters from US Southern Command (which until the US left, used to be based in the Canal Zone), and the nightly news reports now contains panels explaining the recovery programme, in the city it has been another beautiful day.
Meanwhile, another 804 new cases and 10 new fatalities. There are now 18,812 active cases, with 140 in ICU, 590 in wards and 554 in requisitioned hotel rooms. Fatalities have now exceeded 2,800, with 2,808 deaths to date.
9 NOVEMBER 2020
CHINA ANGER AFTER US REMOVES “TERRORIST” LABEL FROM XINJIANG SEPARATIST GROUP
On 9 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that China blames East Turkestan Islamic Movement for violence in remote Xinjiang region – although scholars say that the group is defunct. However, China partly blames the group for ethnic tensions in its remote north-west.
UK: GUIDANCE – PEOPLE WITH SIGNIFICANT CONTROL (PSC)
On 9 November, Companies House published guidance on how to identify and record the people who own or control a company. However, it says that this guidance only covers the most common case examples. For more complex cases, it says that one should read the full PSC guidance and seek independent professional advice if necessary.
JULIUS BAER BANK TO PAY NEARLY $80 MILLION IN FIFA CORRUPTION CASE
On 9 November, Reuters reported that Julius Baer in Switzerland has made an agreement with the US DoJ to settle allegations over its role in corruption surrounding FIFA. The bank has taken a provision of $79.7 million to cover expected fines after agreeing in principal to a 3-year deferred prosecution agreement. The bank has been cooperating with the DoJ since 2015 in the agency’s investigation of alleged money laundering and corruption involving officials and affiliates of FIFA and associated sports media and marketing companies.
NEW KING JUAN CARLOS INVESTIGATION WIDENS TO JERSEY BANK ACCOUNT
On 9 November, KYC 360 reported that Juan Carlos, Spain’s exiled king, has been linked to an investigation into the transfer of millions of euros from an offshore account, part of a third corruption inquiry into his finances. It says that attempts to transfer funds from an active account registered in Jersey were recently detected by Spain’s AML authority.
UK: EXTRADITION, INCLUDING THE EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC AND BREXIT
On 4 November, 5 St Andrews Hill chambers published a short guide, saying that uncertainty is already having an impact on high profile cases involving serious crime. 3 countries in the EU, including Germany, have already stopped extraditing their nationals to the UK since the withdrawal agreement in January.
CUM-EX TRADING AND EXTRADITION FROM THE UK: WHAT NEXT?
On 24 August, 5 St Andrews Hill chambers published an article following the conviction of 2 former London-based investment bankers in respect of the “cum-ex” trades – the first of their kind in Germany in respect of this type of controversial financial fraud for tax evasion. It considers the position of extradition from the UK in such cases in the light of the end of the Brexit transitional period on 31 December.
WEST AFRICA – INCREASED PIRACY ACTIVITY
On 6 November, The Swedish Club, a P+I Club, published a notice saying that shipowners are facing a heightened piracy threat off West Africa following 3 failed attacks on tankers in the previous 3 weeks. Security consultancy Ambrey said the risk of kidnappings for ransom is growing in the Gulf of Guinea.
ANTI-BRIBERY GROUP PRESSES NETHERLANDS TO STRENGTHEN WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS
On 9 November, KYC 360 reported a Wall Street Journal article says that the Netherlands has ramped up its enforcement of foreign bribery since 2012, but it still faces challenges in prosecuting individuals and fully using its whistleblower protection programme, the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions has said – part of the fourth phase of a continuing peer review by the OECD Working Group. Dutch enforcement agencies have opened 26 new foreign-bribery investigations in the past 8 years, a jump from 44 in 2012, according to the report.
NETHERLANDS UPDATES ITS AML GUIDELINES
On 6 November, Loyens & Loeff published an article saying that on 19 October, the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten) has updated its guidelines on the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act and the Sanctions Act 1977. This follows the entry into force to the UBO register on 27 September.
ISLE OF MAN SANCTIONS NOTICES
On 9 November, the Isle of Man issued 3 news releases advising of –
GHANA: EU MONEY LAUNDERING LIST – GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION TOWARDS COUNTRY’S EXIT IN 2021
On 9 November, Graphic Online reported that the Ghanaian government has triggered an action plan to ensure that the country is delisted from the EU grey list of countries with AML deficiencies by the first quarter of 2021.
AUSTRALIA: AUSTRAC TO RAMP UP INDUSTRY GUIDANCE ON AML OBLIGATIONS
On 9 November, Regulation Asia reported that AUSTRAC has set up a new Education Capability and Communication Branch, in a bid to increase the amount of guidance and information it provides to reporting entities in relation to their AML/CFT obligations. The new Branch is said to be a key priority for AUSTRAC’s CEO.
IRELAND: 2 ARRESTED AS PART OF MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION INVOLVING WEST AFRICAN ORGANISED CRIME GANG
On 9 November, the Irish Independent reported that a man and a woman in their late 20s have been arrested by gardaí attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) in relation to a West African organised crime gang suspected of money laundering.
CHINA’S NEW EXPORT CONTROL LAW: 5 ISSUES REMAINS TO BE CLARIFIED
An article from King & Wood Mallesons on 5 November is about the new export control law in China, saying it has many material changes and breakthroughs to the existing rules and concepts of export control in China. Therefore, how the export control enforcement will unfold in China under the Export Control Law to be effective on 1 December has aroused wide public attention. The article discusses several issues that may be further clarified while implementing the Export Control Law by looking into the provisions, the practices in China and other jurisdictions in export control management, and sharing experience in advising on matters involving the import and export of technologies.
GREECE – THE DEMISE OF GOLDEN DAWN: A VICTORY FOR DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
On 9 November, an article on EurActiv says that, since the high point of the 2014 European Parliament, the far-right Golden Dawn has collapsed. Its demise is a victory for democracy and rule of law.
UK: PROPOSALS TO IMPLEMENT LEGISLATION TO DEFINE ANTIQUE FIREARMS
On 9 November, a news release from the Home Office says that, following consultation and a Law Commission recommendation the UK Government has confirmed that it will be laying regulations in Parliament that will define ‘antique firearm’ in law. In addition, a reference group will be established to monitor the latest developments in the criminal use of antique firearms and ensure that emerging threats are quickly identified so that appropriate action can be undertaken.
INDIA RAIDS GAMBLING DEN OF DEAD CONGRESSMAN
On 9 November, Calvin Ayre reported on a raid on the premises of a former Indian Congressional Leader has resulted in more than 60 arrests. Police raided the home of the late Dharmendra Sonkar, arresting his brother and confiscating guns and money, as part of an investigation into Gajendra Sonkar (aka “Gajju”) on suspicion of running a gambling den. The article says that so long as gambling is illegal and unregulated in India, it remains an unsafe activity for so many.
WILDLIFE AND FORESTRY CRIME: WORLDWIDE SEIZURES IN GLOBAL INTERPOL-WCO OPERATION
On 9 November, a news release from Interpol announced that a month-long police and customs cross border operation resulted in large seizures of protected wildlife and forestry specimens and products, triggering arrests and investigations worldwide. Focusing on pre-identified routes and hotspots, Operation Thunder 2020 resulted in more than 2,000 seizures of wildlife and forestry products. In total, 699 offenders were apprehended and at least 1 INTERPOL Red Notice has already been requested based on information gained during the operation. Further arrests and prosecutions are anticipated as ongoing global investigations progress. Wildlife and forestry crime is described as the world’s fourth largest illegal trade – a lucrative illegal business with far-reaching and devastating consequences not just for the environment but also for society, public health and global economics. The seizures included more than 45,500 live animal and plant specimens, including: 1,400 turtles and tortoises and 6,000 turtle or tortoise eggs; 1,160 birds and 1,800 reptiles.
PROPOSALS SUBMITTED TO ENSURE FREE-FLOW OF PERSONAL DATA CONTINUES BETWEEN GUERNSEY AND UK
On 9 November, a news release advised that the Committee for Home Affairs is asking the States (parliament) to support plans that will ensure the continued free-flow of personal data between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK after the end of this year.
TEXAS COURT CONVICTS RINGLEADER OF SCAM MARRIAGE SCHEME
On 7 November, OCCRP reported that a Texas federal court has convicted a woman for running a criminal organisation that charged immigrants tens of thousands to help them marry US citizens and circumvent immigration procedures. Ashley Yen Nguyen worked with multiple accomplices in the US and in Vietnam to create elaborate fake marriages and deceive US immigration officials.
HOW TO OUTSMART CRIMINALS ABUSING THE ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
PODCAST: BREXIT AND THE FLAWS OF DELEGATED LEGISLATION
On 4 November, Law Pod UK released a podcast containing an interview with Lord Anderson of Ipswich QC, Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson about the new Public Law Project report: Plus ca change? Brexit and the flaws of the delegated legislation system, for a discussion about parliamentary goings-on in a time of Brexit.
ISLE OF MAN: CONSOLIDATED SECONDARY LEGISLATION TO BE PUBLISHED
The Attorney General’s Chambers in the Isle of Man has announced that it is to begin the publication of consolidated secondary legislation on its legislation website. Consolidated secondary legislation will be published as a “child” of the primary legislation under which it is made and will appear alphabetically under the enabling Act in the current area of the website. In the first instance more recently made secondary legislation will be published but in time this will be extended to include all substantive secondary legislation. When published secondary legislation is revoked it will be relocated to the “Revoked Secondary Legislation” area of the website.
UK: HIGH COURT CONFIRMS THAT NOTIFYING THIRD PARTIES OUTSIDE ENGLAND & WALES OF A WORLDWIDE FREEZING ORDER IS NOT IMPROPER
On 9 November, an article from Eversheds Sutherland concerned a case where a a worldwide freezing order was obtained in a dispute relating to the financing of a ship recycling business. The Order contained the standard wording that, except in specific circumstances, it did not affect parties outside of England and Wales. However, the claimants proceeded to notify third parties outside England and Wales of the Order referring to knowingly assisting breach of the Order being a contempt of court – subject to the exception re parties outside England & Wales. The claimants subsequently clarified that the threat did not apply to those outside the jurisdiction – but the defendants applied inter alia to discharge the Order on the basis that the manner in which notice was given was an abuse of process since it was an illegitimate and oppressive use of the Order. The Court dismissed the application and said it would be unjust to discharge the Order, not least because the claimants had established that there was a real risk of dissipation and had subsequently obtained summary judgment. However, the law firm’s article cautions that the standard form freezing order contains an undertaking that a claimant will not without the permission of the court seek to enforce the freezing order outside of England and Wales, or seek an order of a similar nature, and one would first need to seek such permission before applying for the relevant order from the local court.
COLOMBIA’S FORMER PRESIDENT INDICTED FOR FRAUD AND BRIBERY AGAIN
On 7 November, Colombia Reports carried an article saying that a court had indicted Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe on fraud and bribery charges. The Supreme Court had already filed criminal charges and placed Uribe under house arrest, but agreed to transfer his case to a lower court after the far-right politician resigned from the Senate, so giving up his privileges.
HONG KONG REGULATOR CLEARS FUNDS AND BANKS TO IMPLEMENT US SANCTIONS
On 8 November, the Financial Times reported that Hong Kong’s securities regulator has privately advised financial institutions they can implement US sanctions without automatically violating the tough national security law imposed on the city by China. The move is said to be aimed at reassuring foreign investors in the Asian financial hub.
REMITTANCES, A LIFELINE FOR MANY COUNTRIES, HAVE SHOWN RESILIENCE DURING COVID
On 9 November, a post on the LSE Business Review blog warns that the strain on remittance flows in some regions may get worse with the rising second wave of the pandemic. Highlighting Central America as an example, the post says that the financial reports of Western Union and MoneyGram have revealed a rebound in international payments in the third quarter of 2020 relative to 2019. It also warns that while some remittances were simply postponed in the Spring and later restarted after the initial COVID wave, some migrants have returned to their home countries, suggesting that remittances may fall further in the future.
UK: INDUSTRY EXPERTS “GRAVE CONCERNS” AT THE UK GOVERNMENT’S “UNNECESSARY INSISTENCE” ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW CUSTOMS DECLARATION SYSTEM (CDS)
On 9 November, Loadstar reported that the Chair of the Association of Freight Software Suppliers and the director general of the UK Association for International Trade have told the Parliamentary EU goods Sub- Committee that CDS was “not ready” and efforts should turn to a fall-back option. It is claimed that CDS is causing grave concerns as it is unproven, has only been tested at a simplified level and lacks the functionality for the new customs processes. CDS is set to replace CHIEF next year, and the UK government had planned to roll out a test variant of CDS at the start of this year to allow industry to acquaint itself with the system. However, what was eventually released was a “dramatically descaled” version that lacked many of the functions government had promised.
3D SYSTEMS, A SOUTH CAROLINA-BASED PRINTING COMPANY, FACING SEC INVESTIGATION OVER EXPORTS TO IRAN
On 9 November, EU Sanctions Blog reported that the company has disclosed in a SEC filing that it has been served with 2 federal grand jury subpoenas by a federal court in the Texas requiring it to produce information about potentially unauthorised historic exports of technical data to Iran, and that an internal investigation which uncovered potential violations of the ITAR Regulations.
SEC’S DIVISION OF ENFORCEMENT’S 2020 ANNUAL REPORT PRESENTS HEALTHY ENFORCEMENT RESULTS
A post on the Compliance & Enforcement Blog from the Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement at the New York School of Law considered the contents of the report which details the Division’s activities and results for the year to 30 September 2020. While the Report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of cases the Commission filed, the remedies obtained by the Commission set a new record in 2020 at $4.68 billion ($1.09 billion in penalties and $3.589 billion in disgorgement). In addition, 2020 was a banner year for the SEC’s Whistleblower Program, with a record total of $175 million in awards issued to 39 individuals, accounting for roughly 37% of the total number of awards over the life of the program. 3 enforcement areas drove the majority of the SEC’s standalone cases – securities offerings (32% of the total); investment advisory and investment company issues (21%); and issuer reporting/accounting and auditing matters (15%).
CRITICAL MARITIME THREAT AS CYBERSECURITY MAY NOT KEEP UP WITH AFRICA’S PORTS TRANSFORMATION
On 5 November, Homeland Security Today reported that Rapid digital transformation of ports and the shipping industry in Africa opens up new attack vectors that could deliver a crippling blow to “quickly disrupt a supply-chain network with tremendous financial damages extending far beyond the point of the attack,” according to a new report from the Institute for Strategic Studies. It is said that cyber threats to maritime security include eavesdropping, interception and hijacking, nefarious activity and abuse, disaster, system outage, unintentional damage, physical attack, and failures and malfunctions. The cyber threats “are partly similar to piracy, as they are primarily opportunistic in nature”. The University of Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies estimated that an attack targeting cargo database logs at major ports in the Asia-Pacific region could inflict $110 billion in damages.
The ISS report is at –
UK: BLACKPOOL TRADER TRIED TO CLAIM 74,000 OF ILLICIT CIGARETTES WERE ‘FOR HIS OWN USE’
On 9 November, the Blackpool Gazette reported that a trader has admitted a £28,800 cigarette duty fraud after sniffer dogs traced a haul of 74,200 illegal cigarettes at an industrial unit.The trader, who ran a mini market shop,tried to suggest the cigarettes had been “bought from a Romanian man for £650” and were for his personal use.
AUTHORITIES RAID OFFICES OF BENFICA, SPORTING LISBON
On 9 November, the Mail Online reported that Portuguese authorities raided the offices of soccer clubs Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and Santa Clara as part of an investigation into fraud, corruption and money laundering. Some homes and 2 law firms also were raided by authorities. Part of the investigation is related to the transfer of players.
UPDATE TO ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE REGULATIONS IN THE UAE
An article from Morgan Lewis on 9 November said that the UAE Cabinet of Ministers has recently issued updated Economic Substance Regulations which repeal and replace those previously announced. The regulations apply to all entities carrying on a “Relevant Activity” in the UAE, including entities established in free zones and financial free zones such as the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Abu Dhabi Global Market. Such entities have to meet the Economic Substance Test (defined below) and make notifications and reports to the Ministry of Finance, or will risk fines and administrative penalties.
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