On 25 January, the Guardian carried an article saying that the British Lieutenant-Governor for the BVI has said that he accused the BVI government of overseeing a “plague” of corruption, interfering in the criminal justice system and attempting to silence anyone who raised concerns about the misuse of funds, including £30 million to help the islands’ fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He claimed that the BVI government had deliberately delayed legal reforms and hindered local inquiries into a string of corruption allegations. The allegations will now be examined in a commission of inquiry, a formal process overseen by a British High Court judge. The surprise move has plunged the BVI into a constitutional crisis.
In the UK, the NCA has produced this publication for those making Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR), produced in line with the NCA commitment to share perspectives on the SAR regime. It contains a sanitised summary of feedback from law enforcement agencies on their use of SAR and includes pertinent information and updates from the UKFIU.
On 25 January, OFAC issued General License 13 “Authorizing Transactions Involving Ansarallah” and lasting until 26 February. The associated FAQ explains the role of the various relevant General Licenses, including 13.
EU Regulation 2021/53/EU sees the removal of 2 names – Zuhair Talib Abd-al-Sattar Al-Naqib and Amir Rashid Muhammad Al-Ubaidi – from its Iraqi sanctions list following a decision of the relevant UN Sanctions Committee on 17 January.
EU Regulation 2021/49/EU amended the EU’s Tunisian sanctions regime, deleting 4 names – Bouthaina Bent Moncef Ben Mohamed TRABELSI; Nabil Ben Abderrazek Ben Mohamed TRABELSI; Akrem Ben Hamed Ben Taher BOUAOUINA; and Slim Ben Tijani Ben Haj Hamda BEN ALI and amending the entries for 2 others.
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EU Regulation 2021/48/EU amended the EU sanctions regime for Somalia following a UN SCR which amends the exemptions to the arms embargo regarding certain arms supplies and the related financing, financial assistance and technical assistance intended for Somali security forces and expands the list of controlled goods that can contribute to the manufacture of IED.
On 25 January, the Financial Times reported that OFAC had eased sanctions on the Israeli billionaire quietly and just 5 days before President Trump left office, following lobbying on his behalf. He was sanctions in December 2017, and a new temporary licence lifts restriction applying to activities in the DRC. The licence extends to the end of January 2022. The article notes that while Gertler had sold his stake in mining giant Glencore, it has continued to pay him royalties (but in euros to avoid US sanctions).
On 25 January, La Prensa Latina reported that authorities confirmed Monday the confiscation of an Iranian and a Panamanian tanker for allegedly smuggling oil in Indonesian waters. The Iranian-flagged ship MT Horse and the Panamanian MT Freya were seized off the coast of the Indonesian province of West Borneo. he director of Maritime Operations of the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency, Suwito, told CNN that the tankers were caught with a hose between them and tried to dispose of oil in the high seas.
On 25 January, Gowling WLG published a briefing saying that although the intention behind this new category of retained EU law is to smooth the UK’s departure from the EU by replicating the position that applied before the end of the transition period as closely as possible, there will be a number of important changes. The firm’s Brexit experts have been working closely with Lexis and Lexis PLC on its suite of guidance documents to help UK lawyers navigate the new legal environment. 5 of these are now republished, making them available to those who may not themselves be able to access them through Lexis and find out what you need to know about retained EU law.