Panama Covid-19 update – the headquarters of the CSS (the social security department responsible for health and support of those affected by Covid) closes temporarily after 14 cases reported. The health ministry reports s small decrease in new cases, but then yesterday (Day 279 of the crisis) was a record for the year. The Association of Physicians, Dentists and Related Members of the Social Security Fund (Amoacss) has called for a new 10-day lockdown.
The health ministry has also announced new rules, limiting meetings to maximum of 10 persons. At the moment it is unclear how (or if) this affects shops etc.
The (slightly reduced) number of new infections reported today is 2,422, with 25 additional fatalities. There are currently 27,546 active cases, of whom 188 are in ICU, 1,244 in other wards and 722 in requisitioned hotel rooms (by the way, in the city today I noted several of the large international chain-type hotels boarded up).
13 DECEMBER 2020
AUSTRALIA: 2 BIKIES ALLEGEDLY CAUGHT SMUGGLING $ 3 MILLION OF ‘DIRTY MONEY’ BEHIND A FAKE WALL IN THE BACK OF A TRUCK
On 12 December, the Daily Mail reported that nearly $3 million in suspect cash was allegedly discovered behind a fake wall in a truck as it was being smuggled across the Western Australian border. Police investigating the links between the Lone Wolf bikie gang and large-scale meth dealing intercepted the truck, containing audio equipment, being driven to Perth.
AVIATION SECTOR: 5 REASONS WHY YOUR TRADE COMPLIANCE PROGRAMME SHOULDN’T BE ON AUTOPILOT
On 9 December, Freshfields posted on its blog an article sets out which 5 key trade compliance themes to help companies navigate these risks and avoid being the target of a future sanctions or export controls enforcement action. These include that OFAC and other regulators expect companies to take the industry risks seriously, which means that basic compliance programmes might not satisfy the compliance expectations that regulators have for aviation companies. It also says that sanctions and export controls rules regulating this industry are frequently changing to account for shifting US national security priorities and newly identified vulnerabilities. Another point is that exporters of civil aviation products and technologies to China face increased compliance burdens.
SCHREMS II – SPOTLIGHT ON SUPPLEMENTARY MEASURES FOR INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS
On 8 December, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald published an article about the recommendations from the European Data Protection Board on measures that supplement transfer tools to ensure compliance with the EU level of protection of personal data. These include technical, contractual and organisational measures which are likely to have varying degrees of relevance to organisations from a practical perspective.
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (KEMSA), EMBROILED IN COVID-19 CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS ALSO ACCUSED OF IRREGULARLY ESTABLISHING AND OPERATING WAREHOUSES AND DISPENSING UNREGISTERED PRODUCTS
The Nation on 12 December reported that a recent audit by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has revealed that not all the Kemsa depots are registered by the board. The regulator has, therefore, given the agency 6 months to register 10 of its warehouses that were illegally established or risk closure.
BREXIT: COMMENT FROM LOGISTICS UK ON EU TRANSPORT CONTINGENCY MEASURES ANNOUNCED
On 10 December, Logistics UK (the former Road haulage Association) commented that the announcement of contingency measures for road and air access for logistics operators for 6 months after the end of the Brexit transition period, if adopted in time, will come as a welcome safety net for logistics businesses which have been unable to plan for the future, due to a lack of certainty on whether and how they will be able to operate from 1 January. But it says that 6 months is not a very long time in business, and for Logistics UK members, it is vital that negotiators return to the table to work out a free trade agreement between the UK and EU to ensure the security of their businesses and livelihoods in the years to come.
SAUDI PUBLIC PROSECUTION SEIZES $7.46 MILLION ON MONEY LAUNDERING
On 12 December, Arab News reported that the Saudi Public Prosecution seized more than $7.46 million after an institution’s founder and an employee were convicted of commercial cover-up and money laundering. They were also jailed for 9 years.
AUSTRALIA: CROWN RESORTS HIT WITH NEW CLASS ACTION OVER MONEY LAUNDERING
In its 14 December edition, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Crown Resorts faces a new shareholder class action alleging investors were misled and harmed by the casino giant’s dysfunctional governance which led to possible breaches of AML laws.
MELBOURNE INVESTMENT ADVISER DIES IN AZERBAIJAN OWING $16 MILLION IN TAX
On 13 December, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Simon David Allen, a former Melbourne businessman who was the subject of a money-laundering investigation in Singapore and owed more than $16 million to the Australian Tax Office, has died in Azerbaijan. His death is said to leave many unanswered questions amid allegations of fraud and a string of angry creditors, including former friends and employees of his funds management business, APT Capital Management.
On 13 December, the Asean Post published an article about the 52-year struggle with Communist/Marxist guerrillas in the Philippines. The above illustration provides a guide to the general situation on the ground.
UN SECRETARY GENERAL TAKES NOTE OF SENTENCING IN CASE INVOLVING FORMER LEBANON PRIME MINISTER’S KILLING
A news release from the UN on 11 December advised that the Secretary General has taken note of the delivery by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon of the sentencing decision of Mr. Salim Jamil Ayyash to 5 concurrent sentences of life imprisonment. On 18 August, Mr. Ayyash was convicted in relation to the 14 February 2005 attack in Beirut that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others, and injured 226 more. Mr. Ayyash remains at large.
CRISIS IN PERU: THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN COVID AND CORRUPTION
On 13 December, Global Risk Insights carried an article saying that Peru is in the throes of a political crisis following the outbreak of protests after the impeachment of now former President Martín Vizcarra, ostensibly due to corruption during his time as a provincial Governor between 2011 and 2014. The protestors see Vizcarra’s impeachment as politically motivated, carried out to halt the anti-graft initiatives he sought to implement; the protests have also been inflamed by alleged police brutality that led to the deaths of 2 demonstrators. It is said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic almost certainly played a role in bringing about the recent unrest in Peru.
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