OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – 26 JANUARY

Panama Covid-19 update – the big weekly news conference at last contained some hopeful news, with statistics continue to level off and the Rt rate well below the magic figure of 1, at 0.78. Can’t be complacent though. The data emphasises the efefct on the older members of the community –

The latest figures are 1,676 new cases and 35 new fatalities, but 84% of all those affected to date (some 263,495) are said to be “recovered” (notwithstanding the risks from “long-Covid” after-effects). There are currently 45,2020 active cases, with 246 in ICU and 2,452 in other wards. the best news is perhaps that about the Rt rate being down to 0.78, at least in least-affected regions.

26 JANUARY 2021

HIGHER EARNERS COULD BE AT GREATER RISK OF FRAUD BECAUSE BANKS ARE LESS LIKELY TO NOTICE IF THEY ARE BEING SCAMMED

On 26 January, KYC 360 reported a Telegraph article said that a fraud expert issued this warning after Telegraph Money won back £50,000 for 2 readers after their bank, Halifax, failed to detect they had been victims of fraud.  It says that when customers who regularly transfer large sums of money fall victim to a scam, this can be missed by their bank’s fraud systems.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/we-handed-over-285k-to-scammers-why-didnt-halifax-try-to-stop-us/

OVERALL BITCOIN-RELATED CRIME FELL LAST YEAR, BUT RANSOMWARE IS BOOMING

On 24 January, CNBC reported that ransomware incidents increased by 311% year over year, which blockchain data firm Chainalysis says was due to Covid-prompted work-from-home measures opening up vulnerabilities for companies.  The category made up just 7% of all crypto funds received by criminals, but increased by 311% year over year. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/24/overall-bitcoin-related-crime-fell-last-year-but-one-type-of-crypto-hack-is-booming.html

INSURERS ‘FUNDING ORGANISED CRIME’ BY PAYING RANSOMWARE CLAIMS

On 24 January, the Observer reported that insurers are inadvertently funding organised crime by paying out claims from companies who have paid ransoms to regain access to data and systems after a hacking attack, Ciaran Martin, who ran the National Cyber Security Centre until last August, has warned.  He said he feared that so-called ransomware was “close to getting out of control” and that there was a risk that NHS systems could be hit during the pandemic.  The problem, he said, is being fuelled because there is no legal barrier to companies paying ransoms to cyber gangs – typically from Russia and some other former Soviet states – and claiming back on insurance. “People are paying bitcoin to criminals and claiming back cash”, Martin said.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jan/24/insurers-funding-organised-by-paying-ransomware-claims

SHIPPING: OVER 300 OWNERS AND CHARTERERS JOIN FORCES IN BID TO END CREW CHANGE CRISIS

On 26 January, Seatrade Maritime News reported that leading names in shipowning such as AP Moller-Maersk, BW, Cosco, MISC, NYK, Euronav, CMA CGM, as well as charterers like BP, Shell, Cargill, Trafigura, Vale have come together to sign the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change, with a humanitarian crisis at sea.  More than 300 companies and organisations have recognised they have a shared responsibility based on their roles across the entire maritime value chain and beyond.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ship-operations/over-300-owners-and-charterers-join-forces-bid-end-crew-change-crisis 

UK: EUROPEAN EXTRADITION AFTER BREXIT – WHAT NOW?

On 24 January, 5 St Andrew’s Hill Chambers released a 44-minute webinar on You Tube looking at the very latest developments to the new extradition landscape, key considerations, and challenges following Brexit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7BqqX37Tm0

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/25-largest-private-equity-firms-chart/

FLAG INJUNCTIONS – A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO SHIPPING CLAIMS

On 22 January, Parris Whittaker in the Bahamas published an article saying that, faced with a maritime-related claim (an ownership dispute, damage to cargo or a crew payment dispute for example), ship arrest is often the remedy of choice for creditors. But flag injunctions are a useful alternative, particularly where a creditor is concerned about a debtor’s financial status or the possibility that a debtor may attempt to reduce assets to avoid discharging a debt.  It explains that, under Bahamian law, the Supreme Court has the power to issue an injunction to prohibit any dealing with a ship or any share of the ship for a specified time, and this is the legal basis for flag injunctions in the Bahamas.  It notes that a flag injunction does not freeze assets of the ship owner, will normally prevent a ship owner from disposing of any assets above a certain value without first notifying the person with the benefit of the injunction.

https://parriswhittaker.com/flag-injunctions-a-different-approach-to-shipping-claims

SEMICONDUCTOR COMPANIES WANT REVIEW OF TRUMP’S CHIP EXPORT POLICY

On 26 January, Telecomlead reported that semiconductor industry group SEMI has called for a review of the Trump Administration’s export control policy.  It urged the incoming US Commerce Secretary to work with allies when curbing sales of US technology to China for national security.  It says that policies had unnecessarily hurt American industry, and had left US exporters vulnerable to retaliation.  It also asked the Biden administration to promptly reduce the backlog of licence applications, saying delays are de facto denials.

https://www.telecomlead.com/telecom-chips/semiconductor-cos-want-review-of-trumps-chip-export-policy-98573

MAN ARRESTED IN AUSTRIA FOR SMUGGLING OF 74 PROTECTED CHAMELEONS.

On 26 January, KFM in Kildare and others reported that a man has been arrested in Austria, after he was caught trying to smuggle 74 protected chameleons into the country from Tanzania.

https://kfmradio.com/news/26012021-1147/man-56-arrested-austria-smuggling-74-protected-chameleons

HOW GANGS TRADE VIETNAMESE CHILDREN, AND PEOPLE, AS GOODS ACROSS EUROPE

On 26 January, InfoMigrants reported on a new documentary from Germany’s public broadcaster ARD/RBB which investigates the story behind the trafficking of minors and young adults who are being regularly traded like goods from Vietnam to Europe.  The documentary alleges a trade in people, sometimes children, as well as counterfeit goods, drugs and animals.  Children, young people and adults who sometimes get lured by clever scouts working for mafia organisations into responding to adverts promising jobs; hard work but sums of money unimaginable for the average wage earner in Vietnam.

https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/29803/disappeared-run-away-dead-how-gangs-trade-vietnamese-children-and-people-as-goods-across-europe

MONEY SMUGGLERS USE VIP ROUTES TO EVADE INSPECTION AT KABUL AIRPORT

On 25 January, The Khaama Press refers to a January 2021 report from the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction saying that after the collapse of the Taliban regime, cash smuggling out of Afghanistan has become a serious concern.  VIP passengers go through 6 checkpoints and inspection sited, while and that VVIP are not screened at all.  According to the report, between 2018 and 2019 custom officials have stopped 9 individuals suspected of smuggling cash out of Afghanistan – but VIP terminals allow travellers to skip security stages that a non-VIP traveller must go through before boarding; and VVIP passengers mostly bypass all security procedures, as they are given the privilege to be dropped on the tarmac near the planes.

https://www.khaama.com/money-smugglers-use-vip-routes-to-evade-inspection-at-kabul-airport-223322/

EXPLAINER: WHY ARE PIRATES ATTACKING SHIPS IN THE GULF OF GUINEA?

On 26 January, Defence Web published an article saying that pirates are stepping up attacks on ships in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, defying regional navies.  They kidnapped 130 seafarers in 22 separate incidents last year, accounting for all but 5 of those seized at sea worldwide. The article addresses the questions: who are the pirates and why are they attacking?

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/maritime-security/explainer-why-are-pirates-attacking-ships-in-the-gulf-of-guinea/

Meanwhile –

PIRATES KILL 1, CAPTURE 15 CREW MEMBERS OFF WEST AFRICA

On 26 January, OCCRP reported that pirates killed one and kidnapped 15 crew members of a Turkish cargo ship in the latest attack on vessels sailing off the coast of West Africa — the most dangerous region in the world for piracy.  The kidnapped crew members are Turkish citizens while the murdered man was from Azerbaijan.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13721-pirates-kill-1-capture-15-crew-members-off-west-africa

And –

GULF OF GUINEA: EU COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS LAUNCHING THE PILOT CASE FOR THE COORDINATED MARITIME PRESENCES CONCEPT

On 26 January, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the CMP mechanism aims to increase the EU’s capacity as a reliable partner and maritime security provider, offering greater European operational engagement, ensuring a permanent maritime presence and outreach in Maritime Areas of Interest as established by the Council, and promoting international cooperation and partnership at sea.  Its conclusions establish the Gulf of Guinea as a Maritime Area of Interest and welcome the creation of the Maritime Area of Interest Coordination Cell. The pilot in the Gulf of Guinea will further enhance the EU’s coordination capacities in strategic maritime environments.

Gulf of Guinea: Council conclusions launching the pilot case for the Coordinated Maritime Presences concept

HOW A MINING CORRUPTION TRIAL COULD BE A TURNING POINT FOR DODGY OFFSHORE COMPANIES

On 26 January, Swissinfo published an article saying that Franco-Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz has been sentenced to a 5-year prison term on charges of corruption and document forgery in a landmark case that will resonate far beyond Geneva’s Palais de Justice.  The trial focused on the roles Steinmetz and 2 associates played in bribes to a wife of the late president of Guinea, Lansana Conté and meetings with other government officials, to facilitate the acquisition of vast untapped iron ore reserves in the country’s Simandou region.   The Swiss investigation, which began in 2013, charted how Steinmetz had conceived a “corruption pact” with Conté and his fourth wife Mamadie Touré, to obtain rights over the mines and oust a competitor.  This is the first time an international corruption trial has been held in Geneva. The trial may also mark a turning point for beneficiaries of offshore companies linked to illegal acts, according to experts.  Steinmetz always denied involvement in the bribes and his main argument is that he was just an advisor to the company bearing his name. 

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/steinmetz-trial–how-a-mining-corruption-trial-could-be-a-turning-point-for-illegal-offshore-companies/46316106

PHILIPPINES: CENTRAL BANK MANDATES CRYPTO COMPANY LICENSING

On 26 January, Finance Magnates reported that the BSP, the central bank, has released new guidelines for the virtual asset service providers (VASP) operating in the country, imposing many new restrictions and mandating licences for operations – aimed at curbing money laundering and terror financing using digital currencies and with regulations in line with the recommendations of FATF.

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/regulation/filipino-central-bank-mandates-crypto-company-licensing

https://www.coindesk.com/philippines-issues-crypto-industry-guidelines-to-guard-against-money-laundering

HOW TRANSNATIONAL CRIME IS MUTATING IN THE AGE OF COVID-19 IN LATIN AMERICA

On 26 January, Americas Quarterly published an article providing an overview of the region’s challenges, and what governments can do about them. It says that, after a year of the pandemic, the operational capacity, adaptability, expansive networks, and deep pockets of transnational criminal organisations have provided them with opportunities to exploit the voids left by overwhelmed institutions and stressed market chains across the region.  It says that although it is still too early to assess any enduring changes, they are showing signs of adapting and even growing stronger in numerous ways, some of them surprising.  Because of the pandemic, they are said to be expanding into other sectors, including those that the state is simply too overwhelmed to handle.

https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/the-other-mutating-virus-the-pandemic-and-organized-crime

BRAZIL’S PIONEERING FIGHT AGAINST GANG MONEY LAUNDERING

On 26 January, Americas Quarterly published a Q&A  with Elvis Secco who, before being appointed to lead the organised crime division at the Federal Police in 2019, gained national recognition for dismantling a money laundering unit of Brazil’s largest criminal organisation, the Primeiro Comando da Capital, or PCC.  It is said that Secco is attacking money laundering by criminal organisations at a national level, a strategy that isn’t frequently seen in Latin America; and that other organisations, including the UN, are eager to draw lessons from his unit’s work.

https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/to-fight-organized-crime-in-latin-america-defund-it

US EXPORT CONTROLS EXPANDED TO PREVENT SUPPORT OF FOREIGN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

On 26 January, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the Bureau of Industry and Security has issued an interim Final Rule imposing new export controls on any US technologies and specific activities of US persons who may be supporting foreign military intelligence end-uses and end-users in China, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, and terrorist-supporting countries.  It also enhances existing export controls to prevent US persons from supporting unauthorised WMD programmes, including weapons delivery systems and production facilities.  The Final Rule will be effective from 16 March.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/january/export-controls-expanded-to-prevent-support-of-foreign-military-intelligence

THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC HAS SURRENDERED WAR CRIMES MAHAMAT SAID ABDEL KANI TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

On 26 January, Jurist reported that an ICC investigation carried out by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in 2014 resulted in an arrest warrant accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Said is suspected of being involved in the mass violence caused by armed conflict between the Seleka, a group that opposes President François Bozizé, and Anti-Balaka, a group that supports the President. The violence led to the death of numerous members of the civilian population between 2013 and 2014.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/central-african-republic-surrenders-war-crimes-suspect-mahamat-said-abdel-kani-to-icc/

CIGARETTE SMUGGLERS’ ACTIVITIES UP IN SMOKE AFTER ILLEGAL FACTORIES DISMANTLED ACROSS EUROPE

On 26 January, a news release from Europol advised that on 21 January, close to 14 million of cigarettes and 186 tonnes of cut tobacco were seized during an action day carried out in Belgium and the Netherlands.  All 7 workers present in the illegal factory in the Netherlands were also arrested.  The illegal factory dismantled in Jemeppe-sur-Sambre in Belgium was one of the largest ever uncovered to date.  All the counterfeit cigarettes were presumably destined for the UK market. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/cigarette-smugglers’-activities-in-smoke-after-illegal-factories-dismantled-across-europe

US TARGETS CHINA’S NATIONAL OFFSHORE OIL CORPORATION WITH EXPORT SANCTIONS

On 26 January, an article from Eversheds Sutherland said that, in the latest of a series of measures targeting China before the transition of administrations, on 14 January, the Trump Administration added China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. (CNOOC) to the US Commerce Department Entity List, imposing comprehensive export control licensing requirement on exports of US goods, technology, and software to CNOOC.  In spite of the broad exemptions, the US ban promises to be a major compliance headache for global upstream (exploration and production) companies and suppliers. It applies to both US and non-US companies.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/global/china/US_Targets_China_s_National_Offshore_Oil_Corporation_with_Export_Sanctions

GREENWASHING UNDER REGULATORY SCRUTINY

On 26 January, an article from Out-Law reported that sales of “environmentally friendly” goods and services exceeded £41 billion in the UK in 2019, and the incentive to promote eco credentials has never been greater.  It says that consumers are increasingly seeking out eco-friendly goods for which they are willing to pay a premium. With that premium comes the temptation by the manufacturer or retailer to ‘greenwash’ the product with overstated and exaggerated claims that the product is environmentally friendly. Greenwashing, involving the provision of misleading, vague or false claims disseminated to promote an environmentally responsible public image.  The article says that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) does not just have misleading claims in its sights. It is also examining the omission of information. Failure to provide information, such as the inability to recycle, might also be considered misleading.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/greenwashing-under-regulatory-scrutiny

BROTHER OF IRANIAN VICE-PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO 2 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ‘CURRENCY SMUGGLING’

On 26 January, Rferl reported that Iran has sentenced Mehdi Jahangiri, the brother of First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, to 2 years in prison on finance-related charges which included “currency smuggling” in the amount of $847,200.  He was ordered to return the funds and fined 4 times the amount in question.

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-vice-president-brother-jahangiri-prison-currency-smuggling/31069995.html

GULF OF GUINEA: EU COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS LAUNCHING THE PILOT CASE FOR THE COORDINATED MARITIME PRESENCES CONCEPT

On 26 January, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the CMP mechanism aims to increase the EU’s capacity as a reliable partner and maritime security provider, offering greater European operational engagement, ensuring a permanent maritime presence and outreach in Maritime Areas of Interest as established by the Council, and promoting international cooperation and partnership at sea.  Its conclusions establish the Gulf of Guinea as a Maritime Area of Interest and welcome the creation of the Maritime Area of Interest Coordination Cell. The pilot in the Gulf of Guinea will further enhance the EU’s coordination capacities in strategic maritime environments.

Gulf of Guinea: Council conclusions launching the pilot case for the Coordinated Maritime Presences concept

UN OFFICIALS WARN STAFF AGAINST FLYING PAKISTANI AIRLINES

On 24 January, Simply Flying reported that the UN, and subsidiary agencies, has cautioned its staff against flying with any Pakistani airlines. The UN warning comes after the ongoing pilot licence scandal, wherein pilots were flying with fake licences.  The statement names 14 Pakistani carriers, including flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

https://simpleflying.com/un-pakistani-airlines-warn-against/

FORMER POLICE OFFICER ACQUITTED OF LIBELLING SPAIN’S SPY CHIEF

On 25 January, the Guardian reported that a former police officer has been acquitted of libelling the head of Spain’s intelligence services by telling a TV programme he had threatened the life of King Juan Carlos’s ex-lover.  José Manuel Villarejo was also cleared of making a false complaint after claiming that Félix Sanz Roldán – the head of Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI) from 2009 to 2019 – had deliberately leaked a picture to the press taken while Villarejo was taking part in an undercover counter-terrorist operation.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/25/former-police-officer-aquitted-of-libelling-spains-spy-chief

INSIDE ITALY’S FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING AND THE INNOVATIVE NEW METHODS USED TO STAY AHEAD OF THE MAFIA’S USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO HIDE ITS DIRTY MONEY

On 25 January, AML Intelligence carried an article labelled exclusive with an interview with Colonel Tommaso Solazzo of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, who explains the background to the country’s advanced fight against money laundering and the new trends police are encountering in the battle against international organised crime and its financial enablers.

https://amlintelligence.com/2021/01/exclusive-inside-italys-fight-against-money-laundering/

US SHELL COMPANY DISCLOSURE EXEMPTIONS PROMPT CALLS FOR CHANGES

On 22 January, Bloomberg Law reported that a new law to force anonymous shell companies to reveal their true owners has rankled small business advocates, who plan to push for amendments.  Large companies are mostly exempted and only those with 20 or fewer employees and $5 million or less in annual sales would need to report ownership information to FinCEN.

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/banking-law/shell-company-disclosure-exemptions-prompt-calls-for-changes

MALAYSIA: COLLEGE CAUGHT IN MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE

On 25 January, Free Malaysia Today reported that a private college here has had its 6 bank accounts frozen by the authorities, following a money laundering probe involving one of its directors.

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2021/01/25/college-caught-in-macau-scam-probe/

HOW IMPORTANT ARE ‘REPRESENT, COVENANT, AND WARRANT’ IN ANTI-CORRUPTION CLAUSES?

On 26 January, a post on the FCPA Blog says that these words appear in anti-corruption compliance clauses with great regularity, but what do they mean, and are they really necessary?  The author referred to a case where a client queried a clause which required him to “represent, covenant, and warrant” that it has not bribed, and would refrain from bribing, government officials. He wanted to remove the words “covenant” and “warrant”.  To understand the advice given the author says that one has to go back to contract law basics. 

https://fcpablog.com/2021/01/26/how-important-are-represent-covenant-and-warrant-in-anti-corruption-clauses/

THE IMPACT OF FRAUD ON UK NATIONAL SECURITY

On 26 January, an Occasional paper from RUSI explores the impact of fraud on the UK’s national security landscape, and sets out the case for adopting a fundamentally different pathway for responding to the problem.  It says that fraud against UK citizens, businesses and the UK public purse has reached epidemic levels – it is the ‘ volume crime of our time’. 

https://rusi.org/publication/occasional-papers/silent-threat-impact-fraud-uk-national-security

US: THE NEW RULE REQUIRING GREATER SCRUTINY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES TRANSACTIONS

On 26 January, Torres Law published an article saying that on 19 January the Department of Commerce published its interim Final Rule on “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain” to implement the provisions of a 2019 Executive Order on the same topic.  Taking effect on 22 March, the Final Rule is intended to address the growing security risk to the nation’s information and communications systems from using technology developed by “foreign adversaries”.  It sets forth the processes and procedures that the Department will use both to identify and block the types of transactions, technologies, and “foreign adversaries” that pose unacceptable risks to US national security as well as the broad jurisdiction granted to Commerce to eliminate those risks.  The article says that individuals and businesses that source information and communications technology and services (ICTS) outside the US should consider revising internal policies and procedures for foreign transactions, as relates to the key elements of the Final Rule 9which are identified in the article).

https://www.torrestradelaw.com/posts/What-You-Need-to-Know-Regarding-the-New-Rule-Requiring-Greater-Scrutiny-of-Information-and-Communications-Technology-and-Services-Transactions/233

WHAT THE US DoJ WANTS FROM YOUR COMPLIANCE TRAINING PROGRAMME

True Office Learning has produced this article saying that the DoJ has updated its guidance document: “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs”, superseding previous guidance from April 2019 and February 2017.  The Guidance, which was intended as a reference of information and questions for prosecutors to ask companies when evaluating their compliance programmes amidst investigations and subsequent charging decisions, provides us a lens into how we should be structuring our programmes.  This article concentrates on aligning compliance training and communications with the DoJ guidance.

https://www.trueofficelearning.com/hubfs/What%20the%20DOJ%20Wants%20From%20Your%20Training%20Program.pdf

2021 IS THE YEAR THE SMALL DRONE ARMS RACE HEATS UP

On 26 January, Defense One published an article saying that this year trends in autonomy will reshape drone capabilities and concepts, making them more offensively useful and even harder to defend against. It quotes a US Army general as saying that “drones and most likely drone swarms are something you’re going to see on a future battlefield…I think we’re already seeing some of it”. 

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/01/2021-year-small-drone-arms-race-heats/171650/

‘COIN SIGNALS’ TRADER ARRESTED ON $5 MILLION CRYPTO FUND FRAUD CHARGES

On 26 January, Coindesk reported that the FBI has arrested Rhode Island cryptocurrency trader Jeremy Spence, 24, on allegations that his “Coin Signals” crypto funds bilked investors of $5 million between November 2017 and April 2019.

https://www.coindesk.com/coin-signals-arrested-crypto-fraud

UKRAINIANS DETAINED AFTER ILLEGALLY BRINGING OVER 300 WORKERS TO LITHUANIA

On 26 January, LRT in Lithuania reported that Lithuania’s law enforcement have brought formal suspicions against 5 Ukrainian citizens who are accused of illegally bringing over 300 Ukrainians and Belarusians for work in the country.

https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1329768/ukrainians-detained-after-illegally-bringing-over-300-workers-to-lithuania

A PRIMER ON CANADIAN SANCTIONS LEGISLATION

On 26 January, law firm Blake, Cassel & Graydon LLP published an article saying that Canada, like other major jurisdictions, has a broad range of economic and financial sanctions targeting foreign states and their nationals, as well as various terrorist organisations.  Canadian sanctions laws apply to all individuals and businesses in Canada and to all Canadian citizens and Canadian-incorporated businesses operating outside Canada. Canadian sanctions laws encompass resolutions passed by the UN, as well as other restrictive measures that Canada, alone or in cooperation with its international partners, has imposed on foreign jurisdictions or groups.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/a-primer-on-canadian-sanctions-8927124

STRENGTHENING TAX TRANSPARENCY IN 2021

On 26 January, Forbes Magazine published an article saying that now that the US is about to ban anonymous shell companies, Canadians are taking a good look at their own beneficial ownership rules.  Some Canadian transparency watchers are taking note of US developments and asking how their country can improve its own beneficial ownership standards.  Individual provinces like Quebec and British Columbia are beginning to draft beneficial ownership proposals for property and corporate entities, but there is no federal law in the works.  It has been said that Canada is actually falling behind on global beneficial ownership standards and needs to step up.  It goes on to look at other jurisdictions’ efforts.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxnotes/2021/01/26/strengthening-tax-transparency-in-2021

BENY STEINMETZ GROUP (BSRG) IN GUINEA

On 26 January, Thomas Fox published Part 1 of a report in FCPA Compliance & Ethics about allegations and evidence of bribery and corruption in Guinea.

https://fcpacompliancereport.com/2021/01/bsrg-guinea-part-1-background/

US: EXTRADITION OF 2 DEFENDANTS IN MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR TEXT MESSAGING CONSUMER FRAUD SCHEME

On 26 January, a news release from the US DoJ advised that an Australian national, and a Chinese national, were extradited from Australia and had arrived in the US.  They were extradited on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, stemming from the defendants’ participation in a scheme to charge mobile phone customers millions of dollars in monthly fees for unsolicited, recurring text messages about topics such as horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and trivia facts, without the customers’ knowledge or consent – a practice that the defendants and their co-conspirators referred to as “auto-subscribing”.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/us-attorney-announces-extradition-two-defendants-multimillion-dollar-text-messaging

REGULATORY APPROACHES TO THE TOKENISATION OF ASSETS

The OECD has issued this report about the tokenisation of assets, which involves the digital representation of real (physical) assets on distributed ledgers, or the issuance of traditional asset classes in tokenised form.  Asset tokenisation has become one of the most prominent use-cases of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in financial markets, for assets including securities (e.g. stocks and bonds), commodities (e.g. gold) and other non-financial assets (e.g. real estate), and with potential cross-cutting implications for financial market practices and participants, market infrastructure and regulators across a large range of financial instruments and asset classes.  The report identifies some key regulatory issues in tokenised assets and markets that policymakers should be aware of and/or which may warrant attention by policymakers.  An annex features a substantial list of policymaking approaches taken by different countries concerning asset tokenisation markets and their participants.

http://www.oecd.org/daf/fin/financial-markets/Regulatory-Approaches-to-the-Tokenisation-of-Assets.pdf

1 SEAFARER DEAD IN GULF OF GUINEA KIDNAP AS SHIP’S CITADEL IS BREACHED

On 26 January, Insurance Marine News reported that pirates off the coast of Nigeria kidnapped 15 sailors from container ship Mozart (IMO 9337274) in the Gulf of Guinea on 23 January in an attack that was more violent and further from shore than the norm.  An Azerbaijani seafarer was killed in the raid, while those kidnapped were from Turkey.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/one-seafarer-dead-in-gulf-of-guinea-kidnap-as-ships-citadel-is-breached/

SHIPS’ CREWS: PIRACY, KIDNAPPINGS, STRANDED BY COVID

On 26 January, American Shipper reported that seafaring ranks as one of the toughest, most emotionally taxing jobs in global transportation, and a deadly pirate attack off Africa’s west coast is just the latest reminder — one that further compounds the toll from COVID and geopolitics.  It says that COVID travel restrictions and Nigerian kidnappers are not the only things holding crew effectively or literally hostage.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/crew-in-crosshairs-piracy-kidnappings-stranded-by-covid

A LOOK AT THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCE OF A CYBER ATTACK

On 25 January, an article on Tripwire looks at the legal implications and what to do after a cyber attack.

https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/legal-consequence-cyber-attack/

If you would like to make a (polite) gesture and make a (very) modest contribution to my ongoing with my relocation, removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

GAPS IN THE EXCHANGE OF TAX DATA IN THE EU MAY ENCOURAGE TAX AVOIDANCE AND EVASION

A news release from the EU Court of Auditors on 26 January says that a new report says that there is still insufficient sharing of tax information between EU Member States to ensure fair and effective taxation throughout the Single Market.  It says that the problems are not only with the EU’s legislative framework, but also with its implementation and monitoring. In particular, the auditors found that, often, the information exchanged is of limited quality or underused.

https://www.eca.europa.eu/Lists/ECADocuments/INSR21_03/INSR_Exchange_tax_inform_EN.pdf

Special Report 03/2021 is at –

https://www.eca.europa.eu/en/Pages/DocItem.aspx?did=57680

It examines how the European Commission is monitoring the implementation and performance of the system for exchange of tax information, and how Member States are using the exchanged information. 

If you would like to make a (polite) gesture and make a (very) modest contribution to my ongoing with my relocation, removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

THE SEON ONLINE FRAUD DICTIONARY

SEON technologies Ltd has produced the 2021 edition of its e-book dictionary.  It says that the vocabulary of online security and cybercrime evolves fast, and it’s important to keep up with the latest terms, but it’s also important to know the basics if this is your first entry into the world of cybercrime.  The company has compiled a list of both in this dictionary.

https://seon.io/resources/ebook/fraud-dictionary-by-seon

If you would like to make a (polite) gesture and make a (very) modest contribution to my ongoing with my relocation, removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NETHERLANDS: REGULATOR FORCES WEB SHOP TO STOP USING FAKE FOLLOWERS AND FAKE LIKES

On 25 January, an article from Field Fisher reported that Bicep Papa, a Dutch web shop that offers food supplements to people who exercise or want to lose weight, used fake likes and fake followers in order to sell fitness supplements via social media, according to the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM).  It bought 98,000 followers and 27,000 likes on Instagram so that its products projected the perception of being popular and of a high quality.  In 2020, the ACM issued new guidelines regarding the protection of online consumers and this is the first example of the ACM actively enforcing the guidelines.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/the-netherlands-authority-for-consumers-markets-fo

If you would like to make a (polite) gesture and make a (very) modest contribution to my ongoing with my relocation, removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y