Panama Covid-19 – The side-effects of another hurricane, Iota, affect some provinces already not yet recovered from effects of Hurricane Eta (it must be much worse in Nicaragua, where both hurricanes actually made landfall) and even here there is steady, constant rain.
Meanwhile, another 1,014 new cases reported and 8 more fatalities, with the authorities still saying the infection rate Rt is 1.07. One can’t imagine the poor people suffering from the hurricane are being able to exercise much social distancing etc. Overall, there are 161 in ICU for Covid-related reasons, and 710 in other wards.
16 NOVEMBER 2020
ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGNER IN CALL FOR 3 YEAR BAN ON EY BIDDING ON PUBLIC CONTRACTS
On 15 November, the Guardian reported that Spotlight on Corruption, a prominent anti-corruption campaign group is calling on the government to ban EY from bidding on public contracts for 3 years, accusing the big four accounting and consultancy group of “recurring professional misconduct”. It says that the accounting group is currently being investigated by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council for its audits of a private hospital operator and an investment firm which both collapsed amid claims of fraud, and that it has also played a notable role in a series of scandals regarding overseas contracts. EY said it strongly disputed “the characterisation of EY” by the campaign group.
‘COLOMBIA’S LARGEST BANKING CORPORATION EVADED MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS’
On 15 November, Colombia Reports reported that authorities had fined one of the banks of Colombia’s richest man for the 12th time since 2001 for evading money laundering prevention regulations, with a $137,000 fine on the Banco de Occidente, one of the banks of Luis Carlos Sar,iento’s banking conglomerate, Grupo Aval. The bank and another Grupo Aval subsidiary, Banco de Bogota, are reportedly being investigated by the US DoJ and SEC over an alleged $10 million money laundering operation said to be linked to BAC Credomatic, and related to the Odebrecht bribery scandal. In Colombia, Grupo Aval owns 5 banks, the country’s largest pension fund and multiple stock broking companies.
BREXIT: UK DATA PROTECTION AND DATA FLOWS WITH THE EU/EEA AFTER THE END OF THE TRANSITION PERIOD
On 16 November, a news release from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport provides guidance on how to receive and transfer personal data to/from organisations abroad, including the EEA, which includes the EU, and to operate in the EEA.
UK: FREEPORTS BIDDING PROCESS OPENS FOR APPLICATIONS
On 16 November, HM Treasury advised that the bidding process in England has opened to establish at least 7 new Freeports. The first are expected in 2021, as part of at least 10 across the whole of the UK.
1,776 FIREARMS SEIZED IN INTERNATIONAL SWEEP AGAINST ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING OF TURKISH MANUFACTURED WEAPONS
On 16 November, a news release from Europol said that 24 European countries supported by EU institutions and agencies including Europol, have come together to target alarm and signal weapons of Turkish origin illegally trafficked into the EU via Bulgaria and other countries. Between 2 and 11 November the year-long Operation Bosphorus was concluded by joint action days with 81 house searches.
EAST AND SOUTH-EAST ASIA CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES ANNOUNCE RESULTS AGAINST DRUG AND WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING DURING THE PANDEMIC
On 5 November, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime reported that a recently concluded joint operation among countries in Asia, the UNODC and the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office Asia Pacific (RILO-AP) of the WCO has resulted in the disruption of criminal networks, as well as insights into the methods used to overcome COVID-related border restrictions and transportation limitations. Between May and September this year, customs authorities of 15 countries and territories conducted an operation to disrupt the trafficking of drugs and wildlife products. The largest number of seizures took place in China and Hong Kong, mirroring legal trade volumes and the movement of shipping containers and parcels.
MONEYVAL CONFIRMS PROGRESS OF THE ISLE OF MAN’S AML/CFT REGIME
On 16 November, a news release from the Isle of Man FSA drew one’s attention to the 3rd Enhanced Follow-up report & Technical Compliance Re-rating which has been published by MONEYVAL. The report concluded that “Overall, the Isle of Man has made progress in addressing the Technical Compliance deficiencies identified in its 5th round Mutual Evaluation Review”. The news release says that the Follow-up Report confirms the Island’s regime achieves strong technical compliance with the FATF Recommendations; 38 out of the 40 recommendations are rated as compliant or largely compliant.
A “RECKLESS” SOLICITOR WHO ADMITTED REGISTERING PROPERTIES WITH THE WRONG PURCHASE PRICE AND FAILING TO CARRY OUT AML CHECKS HAS AGREED TO LEAVE THE PROFESSION
On 16 November, Legal Futures reported that Bruce Leonard Crabb had been sole principal of Austin Ryder & Co in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. The SRA said a fine of between £25,000 and £50,000 was appropriate but, given his undertaking to remove himself from the roll and his ill health, could be reduced to £2,000, the maximum that the regulator can impose without involving the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,350.
HONG KONG POLICE ARREST A MAN FOR ALLEGED MONEY LAUNDERING RE AN ONLINE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN HE LAUNCHED AFTER HE WAS FOUND GUILTY OF ASSAULTING AN OFFICER DURING A PROTEST LAST NOVEMBER
On 16 November, the Hong Kong Free Press reported that Yeung Pok-man, 30, a former volleyball player was detained after the force investigated a public appeal, he made on social media in September in the hope of raising HK$500,000 for his family. Police said they had found the man received a sum of around HK$5.87 million between 8 September to 24 October this year.
LITHUANIA’S ONLINE PAYMENT COMPANY PAYSERA FINED FOR VIOLATING MONEY LAUNDERING RULES
On 16 November, LRT reported that the central bank says that during an inspection in April–May, it identified that Paysera LT failed to properly assess risks of money laundering and terrorist funding and that it did not adhere to the rules on remote identification of clients. However, Paysera LT says it disagrees with the decision and plans to appeal.
UK: HIGH COURT – PDVSA CANNOT AVOID LOAN REPAYMENTS BECAUSE OF US SANCTIONS
On 16 November, the EU Sanctions Blog reported that the High Court in London has granted summary judgment to a Puerto Rican against PDVSA to recover large sums pursuant to 2 credit agreements made in 2016 and 2017. Amongst other things the Court ruled that the covenant in the credit agreement saying that PDVSA will not repay loans with the proceeds of business activities that are subject to OFAC sanctions did not suspend PDVSA’s payment obligations even if it applied in the UK.
RUSSIAN RETALIATORY SANCTIONS ON SENIOR FRENCH AND GERMAN OFFICIALS IN RESPONSE TO EU SANCTIONS
On 16 November, the EU Sanctions Blog reported that the Russian foreign minister had said that it was to impose sanctions in response to EU measures which, in October 2020, designated 6 senior members of the Russian government and a research institution over the poisoning of Alexey Navalny.
PABLO ESCOBAR’S BROTHER IS SUING SWEDISH FINTECH OVER ESCOBAR INC’S FOLDABLE MOBILE PHONE FUNDS
On 16 November, Accounting Web reported that Pablo Escobar’s brother is suing fintech Klarna for withholding Escobar Inc’s foldable phone funds sold on Klarna’s platform. The same Escobar-branded mobiles have been accused of being a scam. Escobar Inc. is suing Swedish fintech Klarna for reportedly withholding €400,000 owed for their Escobar-branded foldable phones.
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