OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MARCH 6

Panama Covid-19 update – “only” 3 new fatalities today, but 734 new cases giving us 7,334 active cases, of whom 130 in ICU and 717 in other wards.

6 March 2021

NORTH KOREA’S PETROLEUM IMPORTS BREACHED SANCTIONS CAP

On 5 March, CAN reported that North Korea illicitly imported far more refined petroleum products last year than allowed under an annual threshold set by UN sanctions.  In January to September 2020 it received petroleum products that exceeded the 500,000 barrel cap “by several times”. 

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/north-korea-petroleum-import-sanctions-united-nations-14348816

HOW US RENEWAL OF JCPOA COULD AFFECT SANCTIONS ON IRAN

On 4 March, an article from Herbert Smith Freehills explained how the history of the Iran sanctions programme under the JCPOA, and the mechanisms by which sanctions were re-imposed when the US left the agreement, may offer some insight into how the Iran sanctions programme will change if the US rejoins JCPOA.  It lists the sanctions that could be rescinded, and the many categories of sanctions against Iran were outside the scope of the agreement

https://hsfnotes.com/sanctions/2021/03/04/history-of-us-sanctions-under-the-jcpoa-may-offer-insight-to-terms-of-renewed-jcpoa-participation/#page=1

ARE ILLEGAL CHARTERS HARMING APAC BUSINESS AVIATION IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC?

An article from law firm HFW reports on a survey about illegal charter of business jets across the Asia Pacific region.  Anecdotally, it says, illegal charter activity – which essentially involves the use of private aircraft for commercial purposes – occurs in many Asia Pacific countries, although the position is opaque, and the full extent of the problem has been difficult to establish. This survey represents the first attempt to capture industry perception of this issue in the APAC region.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/002600-HFW-AsBAA-Survey-Illegal-Charter-Jan-2021.pdf

BANGLADESH’S MARITIME ADMINISTRATOR TO STRICTLY ENFORCE VERIFIED GROSS MASS (VGM) REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTAINERS

On 4 March, Loadstar reported that the ship registrar of Bangladesh ordered all concerned to comply with VGM requirements as per the SOLAS convention, and port state control officers have been asked to verify loading conditions in 3 stages during a container’s transfer to vessel.  This follows recent incidents where failure to comply with the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) requirements for containers has led to misloading, listing vessels etc.  Under VGM regulations, the ship master and terminal manager must be given container weight details before handling the boxes. 

https://theloadstar.com/bangladesh-to-crack-down-on-wide-non-compliance-with-vgm-regulations/

US ARRESTS MILETA MILJANIĆ – THE ALLEGED LEADER OF ‘GROUP AMERICA’

On 5 March, OCCRP reported that US authorities have arrested the alleged leader of a criminal clan known as Group America in New York.  It is believed to have smuggled tons of cocaine across the world and is known for dismembering enemies with chainsaws, assassinating senior government officials and cooperating with intelligence agencies.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13994-the-us-arrests-mileta-miljanic-the-alleged-leader-of-group-america

US INCREASES REWARD FOR INFORMATION ABOUT KYRGYZ CRIME BOSS

On 5 March, OCCRP reported that the US is offering $5 million for information that could  help disrupt the criminal organisation of Kyrgyzstan’s most powerful gangster, Kamchibek Kolbayev, who was arrested in October but recently released from pre-trial detention.  At the height of his power Kolbaev was considered a Vor-y-Zkone, or a “thief-in-law,” a title used by organised criminal groups in Russia and other post-Soviet countries as a type of aristocrat of the underworld.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/13993-us-ups-award-for-information-about-kyrgyz-crime-boss

ECJ RULINGS ATTEMPT TO STRIKE BALANCE IN EU GAMBLING SECTOR

On 5 March, an article from CMS Law says that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been called upon more than 30 times to review whether national gambling regulations are compliant with EU principles.  The article explores the impact of ECJ rulings on the ability of each Member State to chart its own course vis-à-vis gambling.  It says that regulatory developments across Europe shows a trend towards more restrictive gambling regulations.  It provides the key takeaways from the most relevant ECJ preliminary rulings in the gambling sector, which may serve as guidelines for Member States when moving forward with gambling requirements.  It says that the rulings show a clear commitment to protect the freedom of services within the EU including the freedom to provide gambling services, all while attempting to strike a balance between operators’ rights to enter new EU markets and the sovereign authority of Member States to implement control mechanisms in the gambling sector.

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2021/03/ecj-rulings-attempt-to-strike-balance-in-eu-gambling-sector

PLOTS OF AMAZON RAINFOREST ILLEGALLY SOLD ON FACEBOOK

On 5 March, an article from Insight Crime reported that a new investigation has revealed how large swathes of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook, with some listings advertising plots as large as 1,000 football fields.  Emboldened by Bolsonaro’s lax environmental oversight and permissive rhetoric, illegal land grabbers in Brazil continue to encroach onto indigenous and protected reserves in the Amazon rainforest.

https://insightcrime.org/news/plots-brazil-amazon-rainforest-illegally-facebook/

INDIA: HOW A KERALA MAN SMUGGLED AROUND 200 CAPTIVE ELEPHANTS USING FORGED DOCUMENTS AND MICRO CHIPS

On 2 March, the India Times reported that Puthenkulam Shaji, a native of Kollam District of Kerala was arrested by police.  Shaji who owns the first private ‘elephant park’ in Kerala is wanted in 5 cases of illegal trafficking of elephants and was on the run for nearly 6 months.  It is alleged that Shaji who owns around 20 elephants has been smuggling elephants from Assam and Bihar and selling them in Kerala.

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/kerala-man-smuggled-captive-elephants-using-forged-documents-micro-chips-535440.html

OPINION OF THE EUROPEAN BANKING AUTHORITY ON THE RISKS OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING AFFECTING THE EU FINANCIAL SECTOR

On 3 March, the EBA released the opinion required under EU law every 2 years.  The EBA has carried out an assessment of how the risks have evolved since the last Opinion was published in 2019.  It sets out proposed actions addressed to competent authorities (CA), which are based on the detailed analysis and findings set out in the report annexed to the Opinion.  The Opinion together with the report also serves to provide information for the European Commission’s Supranational Risk Assessment (SNRA) and risk assessments carried out by CA.  The overall risk profile of this sector remains broadly the same since the last Opinion.  The increase in the volume of CA considering inherent risks as moderate as opposed to less significant since the last Opinion may be linked to the increase in non-face-to-face activities in this sector.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQHdId9Zyl0UIA/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1614788073088?e=1615129200&v=beta&t=jodthZ7oXAsKSb1f9a_8XsPgnCuRCi50BHPlEqfkg94

SHIPPING WARNED OVER PIRACY ATTACKS IN SULU SEA

On 5 March, Lloyds List reported that masters and crew members are advised to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off Eastern Sabah and in the Sulu-Celebes Seas, in particular waters off Sibutu Island, following an attempted boarding involving a 56,045 dwt bulk carrier, the Akij Pearl.

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1136027/Shipping-warned-over-piracy-attacks-in-Sulu-Sea

US: INTERNATIONAL TRADE VIOLATIONS AT RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS

On 5 March, a post from Bass, Berry & Sims follows a settlement under which Princeton University agreed to pay a fine for alleged export violations related to research sent to foreign facilities in 15 countries, including China and UK.  It is said that the lesson for universities and research institutions is that lots of stuff that they are involved with, even those things that aim to assist humanity and cure disease, can still be subject to export licence violations – even when doing business with our allies, with collaborators in countries with which we have very close trading relationships.

https://www.bassberrygovcontrade.com/international-trade-violations-research-institutions

The full article was contained in Chemistry World –

https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/princeton-fined-for-export-violations-involving-controlled-pathogens/4013318.article#/

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

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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