OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 17

Panama Covid-19 update – extended my exemption from monthly fees for the gym for at least another month…though can’t see me wanting to go back anytime soon. especially as the news today is that the reinfection rate Rt has officially increased to 1.11 (and this is an average, so likely much higher in some districts). The Health Minister warns that the situation appears to be on an “uptick”, he stressed that the Government can have control over the pandemic – “It’s as soon as expected,” he is quoted as saying, presumably meaning that controls can be re-imposed quickly and as needed. He explained that there has been an increase in cases in recent weeks, but the number of patients recovered is also high. He said that Panama maintains 86.2% of cases recovered, compared to 64.3% of cases recovered globally.

1,054 new cases were reported today, with 12 new fatalities (being 3 from former days and not yet reported). Of currently 17,586 active cases, 154 are in ICU and 731 in other wards.

17 NOVEMBER 2020

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower issued about $175 million to 39 individuals in the fiscal year ended 30 September, according to the office’s annual report to Congress.

MORE THAN 25 RANSOMWARE-AS-A-SERVICE (RAAS) PORTALS ARE CURRENTLY RENTING RANSOMWARE TO OTHER CRIMINAL GROUPS

On 16 November, ZD Net reported that Ransomware-as-a-Service is a cyber-security term referring to criminal gangs that rent ransomware to other groups, either via a dedicated portal or via threads on hacking forums.  Gangs rent the ransomware code, customise it using options provided by the RaaS, and then deploy in real-world attacks via a method of their choosing.  Payments from these incidents, regardless of how the affiliates managed to infect a victim, go to the RaaS gang, who keeps a small percentage and then forwards the rest to the affiliate.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-ransomware-landscape-is-more-crowded-than-you-think/

THE FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS: NEW SCCS AND EDPB GUIDANCE

On 13 November, Linklaters LLP published an article which considers the effects of two recent developments.  The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published 2 sets of recommendations on how companies should respond to the landmark Schrems II decision of the CJEU on international data transfers.  Meanwhile, the European Commission released a draft of the long-awaited revised set of standard data protection clauses (or standard contractual clauses, SCC), a template contract to put in place appropriate safeguards to enable data transfers.  The EDPB lays out a 6-stage process for guidance on how to assess data transfers after the Schrems II decision, including re-evaluating the use of SCC etc at regular intervals.  It notes that the EDPB guidance is open for consultation to 30 November.

https://www.linklaters.com/en/insights/blogs/digilinks/2020/november/the-future-of-international-data-transfers

AIRBnB HAS CONTACTED OFAC AND OFSI RE POTENTIAL SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 16 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that AirBnB had told the SEC about discussions with the US and UK agencies about activities on its platform by certain users and in certain territories that are subject to US sanctions, namely the Crimea and Cuba.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/airbnb-reveals-potential-noncompliance-of-u-s-sanctions-11605577720

AUSTRALIA: CROWN CUTS ALL JUNKET PARTNERSHIPS

On 17 November, the Financial Review in Australia reported that Crown Casinos has said that it will stop dealing with any junket operators unless they are licensed.  This follows the company’s decision in September to suspend all junket activity for the remainder of the financial year pending a review.  Crown said it would only restart relationships with junket operators if they received a tick of approval from state gaming regulators.

https://www.afr.com/companies/games-and-wagering/crown-cuts-all-junket-partnerships-20201117-p56f8b#:~:text=Crown%20says%20it%20will%20stop,licences%20and%20its%20share%20price.

SFO INTERNAL GUIDANCE ON DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS

On 13 November, Ropes & Gray reported that the SFO had recently published a new chapter in its internal Operational Handbook, which provides guidance on the SFO approach to Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA).  The article says that the new guidance largely restates the principles already set out in the DPA Code of Practice and DPA precedents and does not signal a change in policy. Nevertheless, the Guidance serves to reinforce the SFO’s focus on proactive co-operation by companies and implementation of effective corporate compliance.

https://www.ropesgray.com/-/media/Files/alerts/2020/11/20201113_London_Alert.pdf

ONLINE KYC IS SO RAMPANT THAT CRIMINALS ARE SETTING UP FAKE KYC PAGES TO BEAT THEM

On 26 October, SEON produced an article explaining how criminals obtaining real information to produce identity documents for use in other scams.  For example, using “make money from home” adverts they can obtain the necessary information, for a small sum, to use (or sell on for use) in bigger and better scams.  It looks at the other ways used to obtain personal information, and at what it says are better ways to combat the risks.

https://seon.io/resources/identity-proofing-more-important-than-ever-for-online-businesses/

NEW EDPB GUIDELINES ON DATA PROTECTION BY DESIGN AND DEFAULT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On 16 November, Bergren published an article with this title, concerned with new guidance issued by the European Data Protection Board  on 20 October and which provide guidance on the obligation of Data Protection by Design and by Default (DPbDD) under Article 25 GDPR that should be used by every organisation that processes personal data.  DPbDD obliges all data controllers to follow its principles regardless of the size of the organisation or the complexity of personal data-processing. It lists the key elements involved –  the key elements are (i) transparency, (ii) lawfulness, (iii) fairness, (iv) purpose limitation, (v) data minimization, (vi) accuracy, (vii) storage limitation, (viii) integrity and confidentiality and (ix) accountability.  It then goes on to address practical recommendations.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/823b027c-83ca-4f59-851c-7c1c712938d3.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1605624061&Signature=ik2pm3rmkO4BClv53t2f3%2BG2%2BRk%3D

NORTH KOREAN BUSINESS DEALS AND SANCTIONS EVASION IN AFRICA

On 17 November, NK News released a podcast about a recent report in The Sentry which focuses on North Korea’s illicit financing, shady business deals and UN, US and EU sanctions evasions.

https://www.nknews.org/category/north-korea-news-podcast/latest/statues-and-sanctions-north-korea-in-congo-nknews-podcast-ep-157/895280/

THE CHALLENGES POSED BY THE PROLIFERATION OF PRECISION-GUIDED MUNITIONS

On 17 November, War on the Rocks published an article saying the growth in precision weapons means that they are available not just to the military but also to terrorists and other non-state actors, as well as rogue states.  This, it argues, is as much a problem, if not more, than proliferation of WMD, on which more attention is focused. It cites examples such as surface-to-air missiles launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory in the Donbass shot down a Malaysian airliner, and there have been reports of Boko Haram using drones in Nigeria, as well as Mexican drug cartels.  The article argues that an arms control initiative could help tackle some of these challenges and move the international community to adopt a new paradigm to deal with these emerging, but very concrete, threats.

https://warontherocks.com/2020/11/the-paradox-of-precision-nonstate-actors-and-precision-guided-weapons/

CFTC ENFORCEMENT DIVISION ISSUES COMPLIANCE PROGRAM GUIDANCE

On 17 November, a blog post from Compliance & Enforcement at the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law saying that in September the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Division of Enforcement director issued a memorandum to Division staff setting forth a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of a company’s compliance program in the context of an enforcement matter.  The post says that while the memorandum largely consolidates and formalises existing CFTC guidance, and is consistent with the more detailed DoJ Guidance, it provides some additional insight into the emphasis the Division places on the scope and speed of remediation in the enforcement process. 

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2020/11/16/cftc-enforcement-division-issues-compliance-program-guidance/

ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS REMOVAL OF 1 ENTITY FROM IRAN SANCTIONS LISTS

On 17 November, a news release from the Isle of Man confirmed that the NEDA INDUSTRIAL GROUP had been removed from sanctions lists.

https://www.gov.im/news/2020/nov/17/financial-sanctions-iran-nuclear-proliferation/

UK: CONSULTATION ON REVISIONS TO THE EXTRADITION POLICE CODES OF PRACTICE

On 17 November, the Home Office launched a consultation, closing on 14 December, which seeks views from practitioners and other interested parties as to whether the draft codes are correct and applicable for operational demands, while protecting the rights of individuals sought for extradition.  The draft is a revision of existing codes of practice that govern the exercise of police powers in extradition cases. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revisions-to-the-extradition-police-codes-of-practice

CYPRUS: PARLIAMENT NEEDS CODE OF CONDUCT TO BETTER FIGHT CORRUPTION

On 17 November, the Council of Europe published a news release about a new GRECO report.  Fully implementing all the recommendations of the report has become “all the more pressing” given recent “serious allegations of undue influence of third parties over some MPs”, the reports says.  The report assesses measures taken by Cyprus to implement 16 GRECO recommendations concerning corruption prevention with respect to MPs, judges and prosecutors and follows an initial compliance report in 2018.  Of 16 recommendations from 2016, 7 have been fully implemented, 6 remain partly implemented and 3 have not been implemented.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/cyprus-judicial-code-of-ethics-praiseworthy-but-parliament-needs-code-of-conduct-to-better-fight-corruption

AIRLINE BOSS WANTED FOR £2.3 MILLION FRAUD IN RUSSIA SAID TO BE A VICTIM OF POLITICAL WITCH HUNT LED BY VLADIMIR PUTIN

On 17 November, Mail Online reported that a lawsuit in London claims that Alevtina Kalashnikova is said to have swindled money by selling bogus tickets while working at VIM Airlines 2014 to 2017.  As the deputy general director allegedly worked alongside CEO Alexander Kochnev to use the now defunct air carrier as a pyramid scheme moving foreign currency into their own accounts.  But lawyers claim that she is the victim of a witch hunt and did nothing wrong, and her legal team claim Putin wanted scapegoats following the collapse of the airline ahead of his election campaign in March 2018.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8957437/Airline-boss-wanted-2-3m-fraud-Russia-victim-political-witch-hunt-led-Putin.html

UK: FREEPORTS

On 17 November, the House of Commons issued an updated research paper on freeports (and will be updated in due course as matters develop).  The UK is currently asking for bids to run new free zones, post-Brexit.

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8823/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/freeports-bidding-process-opens-for-applications

UK FREEPORTS PLAN PRESENTS ‘REAL CHALLENGE’ TO SHIPPING

On 17 November, Lloyds Loading List reported that the big 2 sector trade associations welcome publication of bidder prospect, but warn on complexity and lack of buy-in from devolved administrations.  It is said that the bidding process is too bureaucratic with ports needing more time to prepare and the prospectus is only currently for interested parties in England.  It says that not all economists are convinced that the policy will generate jobs on the scale proponents hope, arguing that it will simply displace employment that would have been created elsewhere anyway.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/UK-freeports-plan-presents-%E2%80%98real-challenge%E2%80%99-to-shipping/77865.htm#.X7P4NOWSmM8

BORDER FORCE IN NORTHERN IRELAND SEIZE MORE THAN 2 TONNES OF BLACK MARKET TOBACCO

On 17 November, a news release from Border Force announced that the tobacco was detected within a shipping container which had arrived at Belfast Docks from the Netherlands and was labelled as air filters.  It was found on 9 pallets which weighed a total of 2.34 tonnes.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/border-force-in-northern-ireland-seize-more-than-2-tonnes-of-black-market-tobacco

UK INTERNAL MARKET BILL 2020: POLICY STATEMENTS

On 17 November, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a news release announcing the publication of policy statements which explain the intention behind the provisions of the UK Internal Market Bill, as it progresses through Parliament.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-internal-market-bill-2020-policy-statements 

REVISING EU EXPORT CONTROLS: A PATH TO GREATER COHERENCE?

On 17 November, a Commentary from RUSI said that the EU is close to agreement on expanding the list of dual-use cyber-surveillance technology to be banned from sale to autocratic regimes. The move would strengthen the EU’s human rights advocacy and bolster the European Commission’s geopolitical ambitions.  It said that the urgent need to revise the EU export control regime became clear almost a decade ago during the Arab uprising, the wave of popular movements which gripped the Middle East and North Africa, during which some regimes used digital surveillance to crack down on protests.  If the current proposal is accepted, the revised EU framework will result in a fundamental deviation from international regimes. Currently, the EU control list represents a compilation of the export controls from the multilateral export control regimes, including the Wassenaar Agreement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Australia Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.  With the update, the dual-use goods list would go beyond that internationally agreed scope and include such items as facial recognition and spyware.  The revised Regulation proposes to include an EU-level coordination mechanism for greater exchange of information between member states and improved cooperation between licensing and customs authorities.  The commentary says that the adoption of stricter export controls will provide the EU with a geostrategic instrument to defend its security interests and could serve as a way back to a coordinated transatlantic relationship.

https://rusi.org/commentary/revising-eu-export-controls-path-greater-coherence

UK: £1 BILLION FRAUD PROBE DELAYED AGAIN

On 17 November, OCCRP reported that results from an internal investigation launched in 2017 into an alleged cover-up of a £1 billion fraud scandal dating back over a decade have been delayed again, and likely won’t be revealed until next year.  The probe examines whether executives of the Lloyds Banking Group were aware of the fraud – one of the worst in Britain’s history – when the bank made an acquisition in 2009 of HBOS, the company responsible for the scandal, and the UK’s largest mortgage lender at the time.  Dating back to at least 2003, HBOS left hundreds of small business owners in financial ruin.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13406-uk-1-billion-fraud-probe-delayed-again-victims-left-uncompensated

FinCEN FILES: PREVEZON HOLDINGS LTD – “THE BLACK MONEY COLLECTOR”

On 17 November, OCCRP published an article which says that Prevezon Holdings Ltd is a small international real estate investment company that leaves an unusually large footprint in stories about global crime and politics.  The Cypriot company, owned by Russian citizens, was a beneficiary in Russia’s biggest public fraud ever, involving the whistleblower Sergey Magnitsky.  OCCRP says that bank documents obtained by OCCRP and ICIJ as part of the FinCEN Files investigation indicate that Prevezon lies at the intersection of far more fraudulent activity than previously known.

https://www.occrp.org/en/the-fincen-files/prevezon-holdings-the-black-money-collector

THE UNODC-WCO CONTAINER CONTROL PROGRAMME TAKES STOCK OF ACHIEVEMENTS

On 17 November, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime issued a news release which reflects on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the work of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) and its 59 participating countries.  It says that the CCP was among the first to rise to the challenge and shift gears towards online training seminars as early as May 2020.  It reports that the Port Control Units (PCU) and Air Cargo Control Units (ACCU) in participating countries, as of 28 October, in 2020 made seizures of cocaine amounted to approximately 78.3 tonnes (the total amount for 2019 was 77 tonnes).  There were also numerous detections of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, as well as large consignments of chemicals for drug production, among others.  Also, the seizures of 750 kg of Captagon from Syria in Ukraine, and the biggest cocaine seizure in Paraguay’s history of 2.9 tonnes of cocaine, mark the latest achievements by the officers cooperating with the CCP.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/frontpage/2020/November/the-unodc-wco-container-control-programme-takes-stock-of-achievements.html

COVID-19 CRIME: INTERPOL ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

On 17 November, Interpol announced that it had released updated INTERPOL guidelines draw on the lessons learned and best practices developed around the world to help police identify and address crimes impacted by COVID-19, including domestic violence, child abuse and cybercrime.  The guidelines also include recommendations in relation to deliberate contamination spread, public order, fraud and money laundering and should be considered in accordance with applicable human rights standards, national legislation, policing best practices and in coordination with national public health authorities.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2020/COVID-19-crime-INTERPOL-issues-new-guidelines-for-law-enforcement

INTERPOL AND UN LAUNCH INITIATIVE ON CBRNE TERROR THREATS

On 17 November, Interpol announced that it and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) have launched a joint initiative to produce a Global Threat Study on Non-State Actors and Their CBRNE Materials.  The 5-year initiative will help the international community counter the threat posed by non-state actors’ access to CBRNE materials.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2020/INTERPOL-and-UN-launch-initiative-on-CBRNE-terror-threats

THE EU-US DISPUTE OVER CIVIL AIRCRAFT SUBSIDIES (AIRBUS v BOEING)

On 17 November, the EU Parliament Research Service published a research paper about the continuing dispute which says that, since the 1980s onset of intensified sales competition between US and European civil aircraft manufacturers, aircraft trade has been a point of contention in transatlantic trade.  The WTO authorised US imposition of countermeasures worth nearly $7.5 billion in 2019 and on 9 November, the EU imposed tariffs on $4billion worth of US aircraft, food and drink production.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2020/659347/EPRS_ATA(2020)659347_EN.pdf

LATVIA BLACKLISTS THE HEAD OF BELARUS’S ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION AND SEEKS TO PREVENT ITS NEIGHBOUR FROM CO-HOSTING THE 2021 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

On 17 November, Rferl reported that the Latvian Foreign Minister has issued an order banning Dzmitry Baskau from entering Latvia.  Baskau, the president of the Belarusian hockey federation and head of the Dynamo Minsk hockey team, is a close ally of embattled Alyaksandr Lukashenka.  Belarus is set to co-host with Latvia the 2021 world ice hockey championships, but the latter is trying to remove Belarus from any involvement.

https://www.rferl.org/a/latvia-blacklists-belarus-hockey-chief-ramps-up-pressure-on-world-championship-co-host/30953605.html

KAZAKH TYCOON JAILED FOR 11 YEARS ON EMBEZZLEMENT CHARGES

On 16 November, Rferl reported that Zhomart Ertaev, a former banker from Kazakhstan, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on embezzlement charges.  He was found guilty of stealing $334 million from RBK Bank and a court also ruled that all his property must be confiscated.  He had previously served in senior positions at Kazakh banks throughout the 2000s.  In March 2019, Russia extradited Ertaev to Kazakhstan.

https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakh-tycoon-jailed-for-11-years-on-embezzlement-charges/30953317.html

SCHREMS II: THE IMPACT ON SOUTH AFRICA

On 17 November, an article from Eversheds Sutherland examined the position on data transfers between the EU and South Africa.  It says that in order to determine whether South Africa has adequate protection for EU personal data, a thorough evaluation of South Africa’s surveillance laws is required to establish what access the government has to data, the limits on this access, and the judicial oversight and remedies that are in place to ensure the protection of this data.  It concludes that, in light of the Schrems II decision and South Africa’s surveillance laws, it is clear that the SCC and binding corporate rules, as stand-alone mechanisms, are not sufficient to comply with the GDPR’s “adequate safeguard” requirements, and that risk assessment on a case-by-case basis is essential.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/global/South-africa/Schrems_II

CONVENTIONAL ARMS: WHAT MORE COULD THE UN DO TO PREVENT CONFLICT AND BUILD PEACE?

The UN Institute for Disarmament Research has produced a report which says that the impact of armed conflict extends far beyond casualties in battle, often leading to forced migration, long-term refugee problems, the destruction of essential infrastructure and services, damage to social, political and economic institutions, and more broadly, negatively affecting development. Following a series of online meetings, this report captures the themes raised which it says will serve to inform and guide further research and dialogue on integrating conventional arms control into conflict prevention and management.

https://unidir.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Community%20of%20Practitioners%20-%20Workshop%20report.pdf

MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME FUNNELLED $11 MILLION THROUGH ARIZONA BANK – MADE POSSIBLE BY A CORRUPT BANK MANAGER

On 17 November, KJZZ reported that federal prosecutors say a money laundering scheme managed to funnel $11 million through an Arizona bank. The money originated from drug sales and ended up in bank accounts in Mexico. Prosecutors say the scheme was made possible by a corrupt Rio Rico bank manager.

https://kjzz.org/content/1636228/money-laundering-scheme-funneled-11-million-through-arizona-bank

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST 4 SUSPECTED OF SMUGGLING €3.4 MILLION INTO ALBANIA 

On 17 November, Exit News reported that a court of Tirana has dropped the charges against 4 of the 6 accused of the transport of €3.4 million in 2 cars ‘Toyota Yaris’ in the port of Durrës, in June 2018.  Charges remain against Ervis Vladi, who is accused of ‘non-declaration of money at the border’, and Agim Çeka, who is accused of ‘illegal possession of weapons’.  It was alleged that there was no evidence of an organised crime or money laundering.

https://exit.al/en/2020/11/16/charges-dropped-against-four-suspected-of-smuggling-eur-3-4-million-into-albania-in-toyota-yaris/

AUSTRALIA: 2 MEN IN COURT AFTER POLICE FIND OVER $1,000,000 IN CASH INSIDE A CAR

Mirage News reported that a car entering South Australia was searched an inside the car police allegedly found over $1,000,000 in cash, an amount of the illicit substance fantasy and an amount of methamphetamine.  Follow-up house searches uncovered hydroponic cannabis premises and equipment.

https://www.miragenews.com/over-a-million-in-cash-seized-at-border-point/

TO OFFSET US SANCTIONS RISK, BANKS BAKE IN CHINA LOAN CLAUSES

On 16 November, Risk.net reported that global banks in Hong Kong are introducing loan contract clauses to mitigate the risk of sanctions. They allow a lender to terminate its contract early if a counterparty falls subject to sanctions during the deal’s lifetime. Lenders are also re-examining their onboarding processes – to make sure they are appropriately modelling potential linkages between firms.

https://www.risk.net/risk-management/7710216/to-offset-us-sanctions-risk-banks-bake-in-china-loan-clauses

THE FOUNDER OF THE MEDELLIN CARTEL LIVING IN GERMANY

La Vanguardia reported that Carlos Lehder, 71, one of the last 2 founders of the Medellin cartel still alive – the other is Jorge Luis Ochoa – now lives freely in Germany.  He is said to be the man who introduced the use of aircraft planes into cocaine trafficking.  He served 33 years in US prisons and was the first and almost the only major Colombian smuggler extradited to the US.  He was a lead witness in the trial of Panama’s former strong man, Manuel Antonio Noriega in 1992, and claims that he was promised a rebate on his sentence as a result.

https://www.lavanguardia.com/sucesos/20201116/49416503643/carlos-lehder-alemania-arroyave-abogado-retirado.html

PENNSYLVANIA MAN CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING IN ENDANGERED AND INVASIVE FISH

A news release from US DoJ on 16 November advised that Anthony Nguyen, aka JoJo Nguyen and Jackie Lee, 48, of Pittsburgh, has been charged with trafficking in endangered Asian arowana and invasive snakehead fish.  Nguyen owned and operated a Pittsburgh business specialising in the sale of rare and exotic freshwater tropical fish species.  The snakehead fish are prohibited because they are voracious predators, can live out of water for days, can move across land, and can wipe out the native species that inhabit freshwaters of the US.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/pennsylvania-man-charged-trafficking-endangered-and-invasive-fish

COVID-19 IS PUSHING UP COSTS FOR CREW CHANGE BY AN AVERAGE OF $2,000

Insurance Marine News on 16 November reported that a crewing business has warned ship operators that the Covid-19 pandemic has increased dramatically the average cost of a crew change, with each crew change was costing an extra $2,000 – $4,000 instead of $2,000 – since last year. 

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/covid-19-is-pushing-up-costs-for-crew-change-by-an-average-of-2000/

OFAC NEW VENEZUELAN GENERAL LICENSE 8G RE TRANSNSACTIONS INVOLVING PdVSA

On 17 November, OFAC advised that it had published General License 8G “Authorizing Transactions Involving Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PdVSA) Necessary for the Limited Maintenance of Essential Operations in Venezuela or the Wind Down of Operations in Venezuela for Certain Entities”. 

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20201117

SECURITY ALERT ISSUED FOR US CITIZENS IN TANZANIA

On 13 November, Homeland Security Today reported that the US State Department has issued a security alert for US citizens in Tanzania due to the risk of extremist violence in the Mtwara Region in the southern part of the country.  Increased activity by extremists along the southern border has led to attacks against both government and civilian targets.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/counterterrorism/security-alert-issued-for-u-s-citizens-in-tanzania/

https://tz.usembassy.gov/security-alert-u-s-embassy-dar-es-salaam-tanzania-2/

HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING TERROR TACTICS EVOLVE

On 17 November, Homeland Security Today published an article saying that, while most terrorist incidents are characterised by the use of the ‘gun and the bomb’, threat groups are expanding into both low- (e.g. knives and vehicular overruns) and high-end (e.g. weaponised drone and teleoperated static weapons platform) technology use and the tactics, techniques, and procedures supporting it.  Further, novel variations on mid-range technology use – such as the armouring of VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices) – are also taking place as is the use of homemade or 3D-printed firearms.  The article provides a few examples.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/counterterrorism/how-technology-is-helping-terror-tactics-evolve/

US: A FINAL RULE AMENDING AND CLARIFYING CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE EXPORT ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS (EAR)

On 17 November, KPMG reported on the effect of a Final Rule published in the US, which amends the EAR to reflect enforcement authorities and to update certain EAR provisions to make them consistent with Export Control Reform Act 2018 (ECRA).

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2020/11/tnf-us-final-rule-amending-ear-export-enforcement-provisions.html

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT REVIEWS – AUSTRALIA

On 17 November, White & Case produced an article saying that Australia requires a wide variety of investments by foreign businesses to be reviewed and approved before completion and the decision t is ultimately made by the Treasurer of Australia, based on an assessment of whether the investment would be contrary to the national interest.

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/insight/foreign-direct-investment-reviews-2020-australia

BELGIUM’S BIGGEST BANKS PROPOSE SYSTEM TO SHARE SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING INFORMATION

On 17 November, the ICIJ reported that a group of Belgium’s biggest banks have proposed the creation of a platform to exchange information about suspect transactions with Belgian authorities and one another.  ING Belgium, KBC Bank, Belfius Bank and Insurance and BNP Paribas Fortis have jointly asked for laws allowing them to set up a secure system to share information about suspected money laundering and the shadowy entities behind the transactions.  

https://www.icij.org/investigations/fincen-files/belgiums-biggest-banks-propose-system-to-share-suspected-money-laundering-information

PERU JUST HAD 3 PRESIDENTS IN A SINGLE WEEK. WHAT’S GOING ON?

On 17 November, a blog post from the American Enterprise Institute posed this question.

https://www.aei.org/foreign-and-defense-policy/peru-just-had-3-presidents-in-a-single-week-whats-going-on

Meanwhile –

IN CORRUPTION, PERU’S NEW PRESIDENT FACES UPHILL BATTLE

Deutsche Welle published an article on 17 November saying that the new caretaker President faces the mammoth task of fighting systematic corruption that has paralysed the South American country for years.  He is described as an experienced political strategist, consultant to the UN, the author of 25 books and an industrial engineer who once worked at the World Bank; and he’s a man who isn’t easily ruffled, perhaps because he was one of the hostages taken by Peru’s MRTA guerrillas at the Japanese embassy in Lima in 1996.  He may just be the right person in the right place at the right time to moderate the transition until the next general election in April 2021, but it is said that the main reason he was selected was probably the fact that the 76-year-old politician with Austrian roots isn’t suspected of corruption. That means a great deal in the Andean state. When asked what the new President can expect in his fight against corruption, a member of parliament was quick to come up with a new nickname: Don Quixote — the aging knight and hero of lost causes.

https://www.dw.com/en/in-corruption-perus-new-president-faces-uphill-battle/a-55640916

CONTROVERSIAL SELF-PROCLAIMED PROPHET SHEPHERD BUSHIRI AND HIS WIFE MARY HAD 5 PASSPORTS EACH THAT WERE ISSUED BY MALAWI

On 17 November, The Herald in Zimbabwe reported that “prophet”, who fled Malawi to South Africa, where the specialist police unit, the Hawks are also said to be investigating fraud, corruption and money laundering.

https://www.herald.co.zw/bushiri-had-five-passports-sa-home-affairs-minister

FORMER CEO CHARGED IN SCHEMES TO DEFRAUD US GOVERNMENT RELATED TO THE CONFLICT IN AFGHANISTAN

A news release from US DoJ on 17 November advised that former CEO of a US government contractor was charged in connection with schemes to defraud the US DoD regarding contracts related to US military efforts in Afghanistan.  Paul Daigle, 40, was charged with conspiracy, 4 counts of wire fraud, and 4 counts of false claims.  Between 2013 and 2017, Daigle allegedly engaged in 2 fraudulent schemes that resulted in the submission of false claims to the US Government. The first scheme involved the use of unqualified employees for government contracts, and the second scheme involved alleged false billing.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-ceo-charged-schemes-defraud-us-government-related-conflict-afghanistan

MALTA: A BUSY YEAR FOR THE CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT

On 16 November, the Times of Malta reported that the Custom’s Intellectual Property Rights Unit this year intercepted 31 containers seizing 666,159 counterfeit items, those in transit valued at a total of €52.8 million, those intended for the local market at €450,000.  The items seized in transit were 49,558 pieces of clothing, 6,808 bags, 395,909 pairs of footwear, 16,500 apparel accessories, 46,032 deodorants, 3,595 pieces of electronics and 142,200 mobile accessories.  The article also details the other contraband, including cigarettes and tobacco and illegal drugs.  The Anti Money-Laundering Team also intercepted €568,172 of cash in 35 instances.  The department said that with postal and courier services being in high demand throughout the year, the medium was a target for illicit trade. 

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/a-busy-year-for-the-customs-department.832351

ZIMBABWE: FAMILY FACES $5 BILLION MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGE

On 17 November, Newsday reported that a family has been arraigned before a Harare magistrate on money laundering charges involving $5 billion, which was orchestrated through their supermarket business.  They allegedly conducted foreign currency dealings thorough Family First Choice and Bailey Charamba Investments, which are both supermarkets in Mutare.

https://www.newsday.co.zw/2020/11/mutare-family-faces-5bn-money-laundering-charge/

US TO DROP DRUG CHARGES AGAINST MEXICAN EX-DEFENCE CHIEF

In its 18 November edition, the Daily Mail and others reported that the US DoJ has announced plans to drop drug trafficking and money laundering charges against Salvador Cienfuegos, 72,a Mexican ex-defence minister, who was arrested in San Francisco in October, so that Mexico can do its own probe and potentially prosecute him.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-8960081/US-drop-drug-charges-against-Mexican-ex-defence-chief.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

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