Panama Covid-19 update – into the last lockdown weekend (for now, at least)
Meanwhile, another 664 cases reported and 11 more fatalities, with 9,123 active cases – 168 in ICU, 968 in other wards and 328 in hotels.
27 February 2021
2021 AML TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS (PART III)
On 26 February, the Compliance & Enforcement blog at the Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement at the New York University School of Law published the final part of its 3-part report, and discussing SAR return in the US.
GUATEMALA SEIZES OF FORMER PANAMA PRESIDENT’S PRIVATE JET AT US REQUEST
On 27 February, Newsroom Panama reported that the authorities have seized the private jet of former President Ricardo Martinelli at the request of the US. This is the aircraft that had been waiting to carry the former President’s sons, Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, back to panama when they were arrested in July 2020. They are awaiting extradition to the US facing charges of alleged conspiracy to commit money laundering.
US: CHINESE BUSINESSMAN CHARGED WITH CONSPIRING TO STEAL TRADE SECRETS
A news release from the US DoJ on 26 February announced that Chi Lung Winsman Ng, aka Winsman Ng, 64, a Chinese businessman residing in Hong Kong, was indicted for conspiring to steal General Electric’s trade secrets involving the company’s silicon carbide MOSFET technology worth millions of dollars. The indictment alleges that between about March 2017 and January 2018, Ng and at least one co-conspirator plotted to develop a business that would manufacture and sell silicon carbide MOSFETs using trade secrets stolen from GE. MOSFETs, or silicon carbide metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors, are small electronic semiconductors/switches that regulate the flow of electricity through devices and are used in a variety of products.
2 CHINESE MILITARY SUPPLIERS TO MERGE TO COUNTER US SANCTIONS
On 26 February, SupChina reported that 2 military technology suppliers, China Electronics Technology Group (CETC) and SOE Potevio, will merge amid US sanction pressures and Beijing’s push for state-owned enterprises reforms. CETC, a state-owned enterprise that supplies China’s military, will absorb Potevio, a fellow information technology state-owned company, to create China’s third-largest information technology company.
US: GHANAIAN NATIONAL ARRESTED FOR WIRE FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING ARISING FROM $1.7 MILLION “ROMANCE SCAM”
A news release from the US DoJ on 26 February advised that Kofi Osei (aka Paul Proia, Kenneth Buck, Jeffrey Anashe), 28, who most recently resided in Randolph, has been indicted on 7 counts of making a false statement to a bank, six counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. According to the indictment, from approximately 2016 to at least 2020, Osei opened bank accounts in the greater Boston area using fake identity documents. Those bank accounts were used to receive fraudulently obtained funds from a number of victims of romance scams.
RYA AND BRITISH MARINE CHALLENGE HMRC’S POST-BREXIT PLANS FOR PRIVATE PLEASURE CRAFT
On 25 February, the Royal Yachting Association reported that it and trade body British Marine have written to the Chief Executive of HMRC calling for a holistic approach and reconsideration of fundamental issues that are increasingly presenting adverse impact for private pleasure boaters, the second-hand boat market, and the UK marine industry as a whole. The letter outlines the key principal issues and offers workable solutions. The matters mentioned includes the 1-year period of grace granted in October 2020 by HM Treasury in respect of the 3-year condition for returned goods relief (RGR), which fails to understand the many factors that affect the repatriation of vessels, including, global pandemic travel restrictions.
US: 11 ADDITIONAL DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY IN $300 MILLION NATIONWIDE TELEMARKETING FRAUD SCHEME
A news release from the US DoJ on 26 February announced the guilty pleas of 11 additional defendants for their roles in a $300 million telemarketing fraud scheme that targeted elderly and other vulnerable victims. It is said that the defendants participated in the fraud scheme in various roles, including telemarketers, call centre managers, or magazine company owners. The defendants used, or directed their co-defendants to use, fraudulent sales scripts to defraud victim-consumers, many of whom were elderly or otherwise vulnerable, out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The fraudulent sales scripts were designed to induce consumers, through a series of lies and misrepresentations, into making large or repeat payments to the companies.
US CHARGES SERBIAN MAN BEHIND STEVEN SEAGAL-PROMOTED Bitcoiin2Gen SCAM
On 26 February, Coingeek reported that authorities in the US had unveiled charges against a Serbian man who allegedly operated a $7 million cryptocurrency scam. Krstijan Krstic founded Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen, or B2G, in 2017. It is claimed that Krstic funnelled all the money he raised to a bank account and digital wallet in the Philippines. He raised roughly $7 million before he disappeared and stopped communicating with the investors. He would later publish a press release that falsely claimed he had sold Start Options to Russian investors.
FIELD FISHER “DATA PROTECTION TIMES” NEWSLETTER
Law firm Field Fisher produced the first edition of its new newsletter on 26 February – a round-up of the latest data protection developments that have caught the attention of the firm’s Privacy, Security and Information law team.
EUROPE COCAINE HAULS REACH NEW RECORD HEIGHTS
On 26 February, Insight Crime reported that, while the seizure of 23 tons of cocaine by German, Belgian and Dutch police — the largest-ever haul of the drug in the EU — was noteworthy, it serves as merely the latest proof of how Europe has become the epicentre of the global cocaine trade.
UN AGENCY: STANDARDS HELP TO TIGHTEN THE NET ON ILLEGAL FISHING
On 25 February, the UN Economic Commission for Europe Information Unit announced developments in the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), which dates from 2016 and is intended to combat IUU fishing by preventing illegal fishers from using ports and landing the illegal catches. The Agreement counts 68 parties, including the UK, US and EU, and on 8 February, the Russian Federation announced that it was becoming a Party to the PSMA.
LITHUANIA SHOWCASES REGTECH PROTOTYPE AMID FOCUS ON AML EFFORTS
On 25 February, the Global Government Forum reported that Lithuania’s central bank, Lietuvos Bankas, has showcased a new regulatory technology (regtech) prototype that automates reporting procedures, cutting the administrative burden for financial market participants. It is said that testing focused on AML uses, but could automate reporting procedures for other financial market participants, according to Lietuvos Bankas. It also gives the regulator “an entirely new level of monitoring and analysis”, according to a press release. The importance of AML was highlighted in a report, published by Invest Lithuania, an agency of the Ministry of Economy, that focused on the country’s fintech sector. This year Lithuania will also officially open a Centre of Excellence in AML. It is being established by the Ministry of Finance, Lietuvos Bankas and the country’s commercial banks. Other public and private organisations are expected to take part in its activities. The centre’s aims include to: share information on money laundering and terrorist financing; undertake analyses and prepare guidelines and legislative initiatives to improve Lithuania’s AML/CFT framework; and to help businesses with AML/CFT risk assessments.
I would be grateful for any modest contribution for my time and ongoing costs of computer, relocation, and (still ongoing) removal costs, I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y