OFAC SETTLEMENT WITH ITALIAN COMPANY OVER ALLEGED IRAN SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 26 March, OFAC announced that Nordgas Srl, a company located in Italy that produces and sells components for gas boiler systems and applications has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Iranian transactions and sanctions regulations.  Over an approximately 4-year period, Nordgas knowingly reexported 27 shipments of air pressure switches procured from a US company intended for as many as 10 customers in Iran and caused a US company to indirectly export its goods to Iran. 

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USTREAS/bulletins/2c9b799

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/20210326_nordgas.pdf

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/03/tnf-italian-company-settle-violations-iranian-sanctions.html

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EU SANCTIONS: KHALIFA GHWELL, FORMER PRIME MINISTER AND DEFENCE MINISTER OF LIBYA DELISTED

On 26 March, the EU announced the decision to remove sanctions designation from the former Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the General National Congress of Libya.  He had been subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze since 2016.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/03/26/libya-eu-lifts-sanctions-on-one-person

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AS ARTISTS ETC TURN TO NFT, SO DO MONEY LAUNDERERS

On 25 March, Techcrunch reported that the rise in interest in non-fungible tokens, or NFT, now almost matches the level of interest in 2017 in initial coin offerings, or ICO.  It is said that experts in blockchain transactions see the potential for abuse again with NFT, despite the traceable nature of the tokens. 

https://techcrunch.com/2021/03/24/nft_users/

What is an NFT?

https://techcrunch.com/2021/02/26/what-the-nft-vc-david-pakman-dumbs-down-the-digital-collectibles-frenzy-and-why-its-taking-off-now/

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GIBRALTAR FIU PUBLISHES ITS FIRST ANNUAL REPORT

On 26 March, a news release from the Gibraltar Government advised that the FIU has recently published its first Annual Report.  The report also includes Strategic Analysis which covers the period 2018-2020.

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/press-releases/gibraltar-financial-intelligence-unit-publishes-its-first-annual-report-2562021-6809

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MALTA: FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR LEFT REELING IN WAKE OF HIGH-PROFILE ARRESTS ON MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

On 25 March, Malta Today reported that Malta’s business community is in turmoil over revelations in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and other high-profile money laundering cases.  The outgoing president of the chamber of commerce is quoted as saying that, “We are seeing this onslaught of scandals, revelations and legal proceedings because for many years, hardly any action was taken to follow up on reports and accusations”, and that Malta’s reputation was nowadays in tatters.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/108571/finservices_sector_left_reeling_in_wake_of_highprofile_arrests_on_money_laundering_charges

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FOREST CRIMES IN CAMBODIA: RINGS OF ILLEGALITY IN PREY LANG WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime has produced this report which starts by pointing out that Cambodia has suffered some of the highest rates of deforestation (measured as a percentage of forest cover) of any country since the 1970s – and rates have been increasing significantly in the past decade.  Even the country’s so-called protected areas have been severely impacted, despite supposedly being safeguarded under Cambodian law.  This report explores the ways in which laws, regulations and policies designed to afford protection for Cambodian forests and the local and indigenous people who depend on them are being abused. It also investigates deforestation in 2 wildlife sanctuaries in northern Cambodia, both of which are designated protected areas, where thousands of trees have been illegally harvested and subsequently processed into plywood or luxury timber for export.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Forest-crimes-in-Cambodia-Rings-of-illegality-in-Prey-Lang-Wildlife-Sanctuary-GITOC-2021.pdf

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H&M IS ERASED FROM CHINESE E-COMMERCE OVER XINJIANG

On 25 March, the Wall Street Journal reported that fashion retailer H&M’s swift erasure from Chinese e-commerce platforms marked an escalation in the kind of retaliation Western companies can face. 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/h-m-is-erased-from-chinese-e-commerce-over-xinjiang-stance-11616695377

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