OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 10

Panama Covid-19 update – included in the new was a report that Acodeco, the consumer protection agency, has closed its offices for disinfection after 54 employees diagnosed with Coid-19. Meanwhile, a new 40-bed temporary hospital in Panama Oeste, which has been badly hit by rising infection numbers, is sad to be 90% complete.

One bit of good news is that the ban on the sale of alcohol only applies during the hours of curfew, i.e. 9 pm to 5 am…

However, the figures each day don’t get any better – 2,477 new cases today, with over 13,000 tests carried out. The number of new infections recorded is actually the highest daily figure for the year, the result (one assumes) of trying to have a partial reopening (albeit with strict biosecurity) and an aggressive testing regime (and so, hopefully, picking up many asymptomatic and early cases). This does not help the 23 new fatalities – the total now being 3,287 to date, or 0.07% of the total population. There are 24,249 active cases, of which 173 are in ICU, 1, 127 in other wards and 675 in requisitioned hotel rooms.

10 DECEMBER 2020

PHILIPPINE SEC PROPOSES STRONGER RULES ON BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP

On 10 December, KYC 360 reported that the Philippine SEC has drafted new rules that aim to increase the transparency of beneficial ownership of corporations, in a bid to prevent them from being used as vehicles for money laundering and terrorist financing.  Another measure proposed by the SEC is to ban the issuance, sale or public offering of bearer shares and bearer share warrants in the country.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/philippine-sec-proposes-stronger-rules-on-beneficial-ownership/

IRAN TANKERS SEEK TO BREAK US BLOCKADE OF VENEZUELA

On 9 December, Newsroom Panama reported that Iran is sending its biggest fleet yet of tankers to Venezuela, of about 10 ships, in defiance of US sanctions to help the isolated nation weather a crippling fuel shortage, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/iran-tankers-seek-to-break-us-blockade-of-venezuela

SWITZERLAND: US TAX AUTHORITIES ARE LOOKING TO RECOVER $140 MILLION FROM THE FORMER SLUSH FUNDS OF ITALIAN COMPANY MEDIASET

On 8 December, Swissinfo reported that IRS is looking for the money from the former slush funds of Italian company Mediaset.  Frozen by Switzerland in 2005, the cash was claimed in 2016 by Hollywood producer Frank Agrama, implicated in a case which resulted in the conviction of the former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Since then, the cash has disappeared.  Agrama is a central figure in the Mediaset case which, among the dozens of Italian investigations that targeted Silvio Berlusconi.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/mediaset–the-missing-millions-released-by-switzerland/46208184

SWITZERLAND: SETBACK FOR RUSSIAN OLIGARCH VIKTOR VEKSELBERG WHOSE ASSETS FROZEN DUE TO US SANCTIONS

On 3 December, Tages Anzeiger reported that, in the case where the oligarch is suing Bank Bär for access to his funds, frozen by the bank due to US sanctions listing in 2018.  The article says that the The Commercial Court of Zurich has ruled in favour of the bank and dismissed the action brought by Vekselberg’s Lamesa Holding. The court equated his holding company with Vekselberg, even though it is not on the sanctions list itself.  The court also found that the securities denominated in US dollars were subject to sanctions by the holding company. 

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/rueckschlag-fuer-vekselberg-vermoegen-bleibt-eingefroren-904953607498

CHINA PUBLISHES LISTS AND RULES RELATED TO IMPORT AND EXPORT OF COMMERCIAL ENCRYPTION

On 8 December, Covington & Burling LLP published an article saying that China’s Ministry of Commerce, State Cryptography Agency, and the General Administration of Customs have jointly issued 3 documents related to import and export of commercial encryption items.  These mark a key step forward implementing both the commercial encryption import and export framework established under the Encryption Law, which took effect on 1 January, and the export control regime under the new Export Control Law, which took effect on 1 December.  The article explains the items included in the Import and Export Lists and the procedural steps to obtain a licence.  Violation of the import and export restrictions may be subject to administrative penalties or criminal liability, if such violation constitutes a crime.

https://www.insideprivacy.com/international/china/china-publishes-lists-and-rules-related-to-import-and-export-of-commercial-encryption/#page=1

CONTROLS AND TRADE BANS ON PLASTIC WASTE SHIPMENTS FROM 1 JANUARY

An article from Beveridge & Diamond PC on 8 December advised that on 1 January, new Basel Convention controls on international shipments of non-hazardous plastic waste will go into effect in countries around the world.  As Parties to the Convention implement their obligations, companies can expect new prior informed consent, contract and documentation requirements on most transboundary shipments of plastic waste.  It explains that the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (Basel Convention) is an international agreement among 188 Parties governing transboundary shipments of hazardous and other waste. It also refers to the OECD Decision on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations.  In considering these measures in relation to the US, it refers to the US-Canada agreement on cross-border trade in plastic wastes (said to be valued at over $20 billion annually).

https://www.bdlaw.com/publications/controls-and-trade-bans-on-plastic-waste-shipments-effective-january-1-2021/

UK: COURT OF APPEAL SHEDS LIGHT ON ECONOMIC TORTS OF BREACH OF CONFIDENCE AND UNLAWFUL MEANS CONSPIRACY

On 1 December, Littleton Chambers published an article about a recent court case which provided clarity on the economic tort of unlawful means conspiracy and provided much food for thought on claims for breach of confidence.  While detailing the key facts of the decision, it warns that this is an area of law which is still in development in the twenty-first century context.  Further challenges on points of principle (and their application to specific sets of facts) can be expected.

https://littletonchambers.com/articles-webinars/racing-partnerships-ltd-v-sports-information-services-ltd-court-of-appeal-sheds-light-on-economic-torts-of-breach-of-confidence-and-unlawful-means-conspiracy/

NIGERIAN INTELLIGENCE BOUGHT TOOL TO SPY ON CITIZENS

On 8 December, Al Jazeera reported that Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency has acquired equipment that it can use to spy on its citizens’ calls and text messages, according to a report by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which researches digital surveillance, security, privacy and accountability.  The company involved is said to be  affiliated with Tel Aviv-based NSO Group, an Israeli hacker-for-hire company, whose software, Pegasus, has allegedly been used by several governments to spy on dissidents by taking control of their smartphone, its cameras and microphones, and mining the user’s personal data.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/8/nigerias-defence-agency-acquires-spy-equipment-says-report

CHINA HITS BACK AT US DIPLOMATS AND CONGRESS MEMBERS OVER SANCTIONS

On 10 December, the South China Morning Post reported that China is revoking visa exemptions for US diplomatic passport holders visiting Hong Kong and Macau, and imposing sanctions on some US Congress members, in retaliation for US sanctions on members of the Chinese legislature.  Those sanctioned have not been named.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3113384/china-targets-us-diplomats-congress-members-fresh-sanctions

SOUTH ARMAGH BUSINESS LINKED TO FUEL SMUGGLING TOPS IRISH REVENUE DEFAULTERS LIST

On 10 December, the Irish News reported that the former owner of a petrol station company in south Armagh is among a number of directors named by the tax authorities in the Republic for non-declaration of excise duty and under-payment of VAT.  The company, which has been in liquidation since 2013, has been under investigation for more than a decade by the authorities in Northern Ireland in relation to tax evasion linked with fuel laundering and cross-border smuggling; and in 2007, police on both sides of the border froze assets worth more than €12 million.  Its  liability was by far the largest of the 17 defaulters named on latest list covering the third quarter of the year and totalling nearly €20 million.

https://www.irishnews.com/business/2020/12/10/news/south-armagh-business-linked-to-fuel-smuggling-tops-revenue-defaulters-list-2155768/

FRANCE LAUNCHES CRACKDOWN ON CRYPTOCURRENCIES

On 10 December, Finance Magnates reported that the Finance Minister has ordered all cryptocurrency providers to check and reveal the identity of owners of cryptocurrency in an effort to stop the potential involvement of digital assets in terrorism financing.  Registration is compulsory for international companies planning to enter the cryptocurrency market of France. 

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/news/france-launches-crackdown-on-cryptocurrencies/

https://cointelegraph.com/news/france-moves-to-ban-anonymous-crypto-accounts-to-prevent-money-laundering

MALTA: BILL TO REGULATE THE LEGAL PROFESSION IS ‘NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE’ 

On 10 December, the Times of Malta reported that the Chamber of Advocates has criticised a Bill to regulate the legal profession published by the government earlier this month, saying it is a massive departure from a draft it had been presented, and it is aimed at only achieving the minimum requirements of the Moneyval report – saying that it is only window dressing aimed only at the Moneyval report. 

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/bill-to-regulate-the-legal-profession-is-not-fit-for-purpose-chamber.838010

BREXIT: UK CUSTOMS IP RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT FROM 1 JANUARY

On 10 December, Bird & Bird published an article saying that HMRC has provided a long-awaited update on the UK customs enforcement process which rights-holders and representatives will need to follow once the transition period ends.

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2020/global/brexit-update-uk-customs-enforcement-from-1-january-2021

THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA

A news release on 9 December advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have agreed to align with an EU Council Decision of 12 November which amended the statement of reasons for 14 persons.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/12/09/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-in-view-of-the-situation-in-venezuela/

US SEEKS TO CONTRIBUTE TO COUNTERING TERRORISM IN MOZAMBIQUE

On 10 December, Defence Web reported that the US wants to be Mozambique’s security partner of choice in strengthening border security and in strengthening its capacity to counter terrorist activity, according to Ambassador-at-Large Nathan Sales, US Coordinator for Counterterrorism.  He was in Mozambique to discuss civilian counterterrorism capabilities, representing the US State Department. 

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/joint/diplomacy-a-peace/us-seeks-to-contribute-to-countering-terrorism-in-mozambique/

LITHUANIA’S BALLOONING DEFENCE SPENDING LEAVES HOLES FOR CORRUPTION

On 10 December, LRT reported that, with Lithuania’s defence budget going up 232% over a decade, the lack of open procurement has left opportunities for corruption to thrive. Lithuania and Latvia increased military spending by 232% and 176% respectively between 2010 and 2019, and Poland by 51% over the same period.

https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1295737/lithuania-s-ballooning-defence-spending-leaves-holes-for-corruption-transparency-international

This story is derived from the Transparency International report –

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SECURITY AND DEFENCE AT CORRUPTION RISKS

On 10 December, OCCRP reported that Transparency International’s Government Defence Integrity Index found that half of all countries in the Central and Eastern European region (CEE) face high risks of corruption in their defence and security sectors, the non-profit group revealed in an updated index.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13506-ti-central-and-eastern-europe-security-and-defense-at-corruption-risks

The report is at –

https://ti-defence.org/gdi/

MEDICINES AND DOPING SUBSTANCES WORTH €73 MILLION SEIZED IN EUROPE-WIDE OPERATION

On 10 December, a news release from Europol advised that Europol coordinated Operation Shield between March and September 2020, a global effort to target trafficking of counterfeit and misused medicines and doping substances. The operation was led by Finland, France, Greece and Italy and involved law enforcement authorities from 19 EU Member States and 8 other countries, OLAF, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute and the private sector.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/medicines-and-doping-substances-worth-€73-million-seized-in-europe-wide-operation

SOCIAL MEDIA USED TO SELL EXOTIC ANIMALS IN BRAZIL

On 10 December, Insight Crime reported that a spate of recent operations targeting wildlife trafficking rings in Brazil have highlighted the extent to which such groups have been increasingly relying on social media and messaging services to make sales during the coronavirus pandemic.  It is said that, in recent years, wildlife traffickers have more heavily relied upon social networking applications to make sales in Brazil, taking advantage of the relative anonymity and global reach such platforms offer.  Last year, it was estimated that 3.5 million promotions linked to the illegal trade were on social networking websites.

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/social-media-wildlife-brazil/

MALTA: €70 MILLION IN COLOMBIAN COCAINE DISCOVERED BY CUSTOMS

On 9 December, the Times of Malta reported that a huge shipment of cocaine originating from Colombia and Ecuador was seized by Customs officials.  It was not destined for Malta.  The 612 kg haul with a street value of some €69 million.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/record-drug-haul-made-by-customs.837809

CRYPTOCURRENCY FOUNDER “BRUNO BLOCK” CHARGED WITH MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR TAX EVASION SCHEME

A news release from the US DoJ on 9 December advised about the charging of AMIR BRUNO ELMAANI (aka “Bruno Block”), the founder of the cryptocurrency “Oyster Pearl,” with tax evasion.  He allegedly made millions of dollars from the sale of a new cryptocurrency but evaded reporting that income to the IRS.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/cryptocurrency-founder-bruno-block-charged-multimillion-dollar-tax-evasion-scheme

FORMER VANUATU PRIME MINISTER AND MPs ACQUITTED ON CORRUPTION/BRIBERY CHARGES

On 9 December, Radio New Zealand reported that Vanuatu’s former prime minister Charlot Salwai has been acquitted of bribery and corruption charges, and the former minister of agriculture Matai Seremaiah, the former minister of health Jerome Ludvaune, and former MP for Tafea Outer Islands Tom Kerr were also acquitted.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/432421/former-vanuatu-pm-and-mps-acquitted-on-corruption-bribery

CRIMINALS GETTING SMARTER IN USE OF DIGITAL CURRENCIES TO LAUNDER MONEY

On 9 December, Reuters reported that new research says that criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their use of cryptocurrencies to launder money, with hundreds of millions of dollars of dirty funds last year flowing through digital wallets that allow users to hide their trail.  It is estimated that at least 13% of all criminal proceeds in bitcoin passed through privacy wallets in 2020, up from 2% in 2019. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/crypto-currencies-criminals/criminals-getting-smarter-in-use-of-digital-currencies-to-launder-money-idUSKBN28J1IX

CANADA: NEW EFFORT AIMS TO ZERO IN ON ILLICIT DEALINGS TIED TO ONLINE CHILD EXPLOITATION

On 10 December, City News reported that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac), says in an operational alert that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in the consumption and production of digital material related to sexual abuse of children.  The new alert and a list of indicators of illicit transactions tied to exploitation were developed from an analysis of Fintrac’s financial intelligence in consultation with Scotiabank, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the RCMP.  The effort, known as Project Shadow to underscore the activity’s hidden nature, is modelled after earlier public-private sector partnerships aimed at human trafficking in the sex trade, sale of fentanyl, romance fraud and casino-related transactions through underground banking.

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/12/10/new-effort-aims-to-zero-in-on-illicit-dealings-tied-to-online-child-exploitation/

NUMBER OF PIRACY INCIDENTS IN GULF OF GUINEA GROWING QUICKLY

On 9 December, Insurance Marine News reported that at least 3 vessels were approached in 4 incidents in the Gulf of Guinea over the weekend of 5/6 December. 

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/number-of-piracy-incidents-in-gulf-of-guinea-growing-quickly/

CANADA: BUSINESSMAN ACQUITTED OF BREACHING SYRIA SANCTIONS

On 10 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Canada has acquitted Nader Mohamed Kalai, a Lebanese businessman after the prosecution offered no evidence, He was the first person in Canada to be charged with violating Syria sanctions and was alleged to have invested in property and telecommunications company Syrialink.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2020/12/businessman-acquitted-of-breaching-syria-sanctions-in-canada/

OFAC DESIGNATES ENTITIES DETERMINED TO BE INVOLVED IN EXPORTING WORKERS FROM NORTH KOREA

On 9 December, a post from Crowell Moring said that OFAC had designated 2 entities operating in Russia determined to be involved in the exportation of forced labour from North Korea – Mokran LLC, a Russian construction company, and Korea Cholsan General Trading Corporation, a North Korean company operating in Russia. This and an earlier action are said to be in support of relevant UN sanctions.  The post examines the practical implications of the designations.  It also says that the move should not be viewed in a vacuum and instead be seen as part of a broader policy goal of this Administration – to raise awareness of forced labour in global supply chains, not just in Russia. 

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2020/12/ofac-designates-entities-determined-to-be-involved-in-exporting-workers-from-north-korea

THE INTERWOVEN GLOBAL TANKER TRADE: THE VENEZUELA CASE STUDY

https://www.vortexa.com/insight/the-interwoven-global-tanker-trade-the-venezuela-case-study

SHIPPING NETWORKS IN THE WAKE OF U.S. SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA

https://raytoddblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/18d8c-stayingafloat.pdf

ITALY: COURT OVERTURNS FINE FOR EXPORT OF EYEWEAR TO IRAN

On 10 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that an Italian court has overturned a €35,000 fine imposed on an Italian company for attempting to export eyewear to Iran in 2014 via an intermediary that was subject to EU sanctions.  The Court held that the regulations do not provide for a general prohibition on exports, but expressly restrict exports of dual-use goods and technology, and equipment that could be used in the petrochemical industry.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2020/12/italian-court-of-cassation-judgment-on-economic-resources-in-iran-sanctions-regulations/

THE DEFINITIVE OVERVIEW OF PAYMENT INDUSTRY FRAUD

In June, UK Finance, s the collective voice for the banking and finance industry, has produced this report, “Fraud – the Facts 2020”, saying that fraud continues to pose a major threat to the UK and as criminals become ever more imaginative in their attempts to steal customers’ money, this shows no sign of changing.  The report is said to highlight that last year investment by the finance industry in advanced security systems to protect customers prevented more than £1.8 billion of unauthorised fraud – but that criminals still successfully stole over £1.2 billion through fraud and scams in 2019.  It examines trends and statistics, and looks at card fraud, cheque fraud, unauthorised remote banking fraud and authorised push payment (or APP) fraud types.

https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/system/files/Fraud-The-Facts-2020-FINAL-ONLINE-11-June.pdf



https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-countries-most-oil-reserves/

CNS GLOBAL INCIDENTS AND TRAFFICKING DATABASE

On 8 December, the Nuclear Threat Initiative published the updated annual index of incidents involving nuclear and other radioactive materials outside of regulatory control.  Researchers have been compiling the data since 2003.  It points out that much of the information comes from just 6 countries (the US reported 83% of all incidents in 2019), as these are the only countries which mandate public reporting of incidents.  For all other countries, only those incidents reported by the media are known publicly, and such incident reporting is spotty and inconsistent even in countries with relatively unrestricted media.  Data also make clear that nuclear and other radioactive material is particularly vulnerable while it is in transit – 52% of 2019 incidents occurred while material was being moved from one location to another.  Over half of all incidents reported in the database involve what is classified as “human failure,” in which those responsible for the material either acted carelessly or disregarded appropriate procedures.

https://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/cns-global-incidents-and-trafficking-database/

UK STATEMENT ON US-EU LARGE CIVIL AIRCRAFT DISPUTE

On 10 December, KPMG reported an announcement from the UK Government reveals that the UK would not continue the large civil aircraft-related tariffs imposed by the EU on imports from the US beginning 1 January.  It is said that, as the UK did not bring a case in its individual capacity, after Brexit, the UK would have no authority from the WTO to participate in an action after it no longer is part of the EU.  However, the US filed actions against France, Germany, Spain, and the UK (as well as the EU) separately over subsidies and the WTO authorised the US to impose countermeasures on each of those countries and the EU.  On the other hand, a US statement indicated that it would welcome a negotiated settlement with the UK.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2020/12/tnf-uk-statement-large-civil-aircraft-dispute-ustr-response.html

EU TAX HAVEN BLACKLIST “NOT CATCHING WORST OFFENDERS”

A news release from the EU Parliament on 10 December advised that MEPs had adopted a resolution setting out changes to be made to the system used to draw up the EU list of tax havens, which they deem is currently “confusing and ineffective”. The list of tax havens, set up in 2017, has had a “positive impact” so far but has failed to “live up to its full potential, [with] jurisdictions currently on the list covering less than 2% of worldwide tax revenue losses”.  The resolution proposes changes that would make the process of listing or delisting a country more transparent, consistent and impartial.  It also proposes adding criteria to ensure that more countries are considered a tax haven and prevent countries from being removed from the blacklist too hastily. Finally, the resolution says that EU Member States should also be screened to see if they display any characteristics of a tax haven, and those falling foul should be regarded as tax havens too.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20201208IPR93318/eu-tax-haven-blacklist-not-catching-worst-offenders

MEXICO’S PEMEX SUSPENDS BUSINESS WITH VITOL BECAUSE OF US BRIBERY PROBE

On 10 December, Reuters reported that the commercial arm of Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has temporarily suspended business with Vitol, amid a US bribery investigation into the oil trading firm.  It is claimed that the US subsidiary of Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, paid bribes to Pemex employees in exchange for lucrative contracts.

https://www.reuters.com/article/mexico-pemex/update-2-pemex-suspends-business-with-vitol-amid-u-s-bribery-probe-idUSL1N2IQ1L7

11 PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS IN ASIA DURING NOVEMBER

On 10 December, Hellenic Shipping News reported that, in November 2020, 11 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia.  No piracy ² incident was reported.  With these incidents, the total number of incidents from January to November 2020 was 95 incidents, which represents an increase of 36% compared to the same period of 2019.

ReCAAP: 11 Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships In Asia During November

US SANCTIONS ON FORMER KYRGYZ CUSTOMS SERVICE DEPUTY RAIMBEK MATRAIMOV FOR HIS ROLE IN A $700 MILLION MONEY-LAUNDERING SCHEME

On 10 December, Jurist reported that, according to the DoJ, Matraimov was involved in a company’s evasion of custom fees through bribery of customs officials.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/12/us-sanctions-former-kyrgyz-customs-official-for-role-in-700m-money-laundering-scheme/

US: CHINESE MAN EXTRADITED FOR FINANCING TURTLE-TRAFFICKING RING

On 10 December, a news release from the US DoJ advised that a Chinese citizen was extradited from Malaysia to the US to face charges for money laundering.  Kang Juntao, 24, was charged in February 2019 with financing a nationwide ring of individuals who smuggled at least 1,500 protected turtles out of the US valued at $2,250,000.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-man-extradited-financing-turtle-trafficking-ring

PIRACY RANSOMS SUBJECT TO GENERAL AVERAGE, HIGH COURT RULES

On 10 December, Lloyds List reported that a recent court judgment in Herculito Maritime v Gunvor International held that ransoms paid to pirates are subject to general average contributions even where an owner has war risk, and kidnap and ransom cover in place.  General average is a legal principle of Maritime Law under which, all parties who are involved in that voyage, shall be asked to proportionally share the losses resulting from a loss under certain circumstances.

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1135084/Piracy-ransoms-subject-to-general-average-High-Court-rules

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

FinCEN DIRECTOR EMPHASISES IMPORTANCE OF INFORMATION-SHARING AMONG FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

A news release from FinCEN on 10 December reported a speech given by the director-general to the annual American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, in which he discussed how information-sharing is critical to identifying, reporting, and preventing financial crime.  He provided important clarification on FinCEN’s information-sharing program under s.314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act, and announced that FinCEN is issuing a new factsheet and rescinding previously issued guidance as well as a former administrative ruling (parts of which are incorporated into the guidance in the new Fact Sheet). 

https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/fincen-director-emphasizes-importance-information-sharing-among-financial

https://www.fincen.gov/news/speeches/prepared-remarks-fincen-director-kenneth-blanco-delivered-virtually-american-bankers

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

FORMER KARACHI POLICE SPECIALIST AMONG 11 PEOPLE SANCTIONED BY UK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

In its 11 December edition, the Express Tribune in Pakistan reported that sanctions have been imposed on 11 individuals, including a former Karachi police “encounter specialist” Anwar Ahmed Khan.  In Pakistan, Anwar Ahmed Khan is suspected of being behind more than 190 “hits” that led to more than 400 deaths, the UK claims.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2275468/ex-karachi-cop-among-11-sanctioned-by-uk

 

 

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

BOSNIA’S TOP JUDGE TO RESIGN AMID CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

On 10 December, Al Jazeera reported that the head of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top judicial body says he is standing down following pressure from fellow judges and Western diplomats to resign over corruption allegations, which he has denied.  Milan Tegeltija, a Serb, as headed the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) since 2014.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/10/bosnias-top-judge-to-resign-amid-corruption-allegations

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

SOUTH AFRICA: ANOTHER CORPORATE SCANDAL: FRAUD AND ACCOUNTING FAILURES AT DELTA PROPERTY FUND

On 10 December, the Daily Maverick reported that the board of Delta Property Fund – which owns a range of office properties that are largely occupied by government departments and entities – has seemingly taken a page out of Steinhoff’s playbook in informing shareholders about a forensic investigation that points to accounting failures and fraud at the real estate company.  The board appointed Mazars Forensic Services to conduct a forensic investigation into alleged procurement irregularities and misappropriation of funds at the company by senior executives.  However, it told shareholders that the Mazar forensic report will not be released as it is “confidential and subject to legal privilege” – a line used by Steinhoff after PwC, in a 7,000-page report, revealed a web of fraud at the retailer.  The article says that the “legal privilege” excuse has been used by others: Sasol when it commissioned a review of delays and cost overruns at its US-based Lake Charles chemical project and EOH, which suffered years of corruption.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-12-10-another-sa-corporate-scandal-fraud-and-accounting-failures-at-delta-property-fund

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

TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING GUIDANCE

On 10 December, the Isle of Man Customs & Excise published an updated edition of its Notice 1000 MAN, first published in 2015 [and of which I wrote the original and updates to 2018…].  The Notice has been updated to refer to the just-published report from FATF, which is described as a valuable new resource which uses numerous case studies to explain how criminals exploit trade transactions to move money.

https://www.gov.im/media/1348726/notice-1000-man-trade-based-money-laundering-10-dec-20.pdf

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

UK ADDS 11 NAMES TO HUMAN RIGHTS SANCTIONS LIST

A Notice from HM Treasury on 10 December advised that 11 names had been added to the UK Consolidated List pursuant to the e Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020.  The 11 names comprise 10 individuals and the Terek Special Rapid Response Unit in Chechnya.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943108/Notice_Global_Human_Rights_101220.pdf

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

VIDEO PRESENTATION AND REPORTS: THE IMPACT OF TRADE SANCTIONS ON OIL AND SHIPPING MARKETS

A 38-minute video presentation on 9 December involved expert analysts from Vortexa, Windward and C4ADS on the impact of trade sanctions on oil and shipping markets.  It looked at the tanker trade and Venezuela.  The reports referred to in the presentation are also available through the links below.

https://www.vortexa.com/insight/event-news-maritime-trading-risk-analysis-in-a-volatile-market

THE INTERWOVEN GLOBAL TANKER TRADE: THE VENEZUELA CASE STUDY

https://www.vortexa.com/insight/the-interwoven-global-tanker-trade-the-venezuela-case-study

SHIPPING NETWORKS IN THE WAKE OF U.S. SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA

https://raytoddblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/18d8c-stayingafloat.pdf

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

OFAC DESIGNATES 13 INDIVIDUALS AND 6 ENTITIES UNDER GLOBAL MAGNITSKY SANCTIONS AND AMENDS ANOTHER

On 10 December, OFAC advised that a number of new names had been added to its Global Magnitsky sanctions lists.  OFAC describes those listed as being involved in serious human rights abuses in Haiti, Yemen and in Chechnya in Russia.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20201210

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1208

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

FATF ICRG LISTING FOR ENHANCED FOLLOW-UP MONITORING

Financial Transparency Advisers GmbH in Austria produced in November a 2-page factsheet on the potential consequences of inclusion in the FATF list of countries subject to enhanced monitoring (aka ICRG listing).  It explains the purpose and consequences of the process when FATF (or a FATF-style regional body) mutual evaluation has found significant shortcomings in a country’s AML/CFT systems, so that there might be a heightened risk of money laundering etc resulting.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4E1FAQFhxVveBsxIBg/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1606237125625?e=1607702400&v=beta&t=pSNqw0nfX1SfJP3KntMr-peeig4_uEV_oM_DFHQxyk8

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