OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 17

Panama Covid-19 update – for the second day running, no new fatalities reported, but 268 new cases. 5,367 active cases include 61 in ICU and 302 in other wards.

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page, where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

17 MAY 2021

SINGAPORE BUSINESSMAN LINKED TO ALLEGED FRAUD OF $1 BILLION FACES MORE CHARGES

On 17 May, the Straits Times reported that Ng Yu Zhi, 34, was handed 7 counts of cheating involving more than $23 million.  These are in addition to the 11 of cheating, fraudulent trading and forgery he has faced since his arrest in February.  The director of Envy Asset Management and Envy Global Trading is said to have swindled investors into putting at least $1 billion into Nickel trades that never took place.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/spore-businessman-linked-to-alleged-fraud-of-1-billion-handed-more-cheating-charges

3 BULGARIANS SENTENCED FOR SMUGGLING COCAINE INTO SOUTH AFRICA BY SEA

On 16 May, Maritime Executive reported that South African authorities have sentenced 3 Bulgarian nationals to lengthy terms in prison for their role in a large-scale cocaine-smuggling enterprise involving at least 3 vessels.  They were arrested during a drug raid on the freighter Windward on 1 March, after South African police had been tracking suspected cocaine smuggling activity at several harbours, before they narrowed in on the Windward this January and February. 

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/three-bulgarians-sentenced-for-smuggling-cocaine-into-s-africa-by-sea

DUBAI FOILS ATTEMPTS TO SMUGGLE WITCHCRAFT ITEMS

On 16 May, Gulf News reported that items like animal blood, bones, hair, talismans and other liquids were seized.  Dubai Customs has foiled several attempts to smuggle objects used in black magic like animal skins and blood, talismans, bones, hair and amulets.

https://gulfnews.com/uae/dubai-foils-attempts-to-smuggle-witchcraft-items-1.79233525

LITHUANIA: THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN AML STARTS ITS ACTIVITIES

On 17 May, The Paypers reported that the Centre brings together representatives of both the public and private sectors.  It aims to lift anti-money laundering practices implemented in the country to a new level.  It will share information on the money laundering and terrorist financingtypologies and set up a dedicated information exchange platform to help financial market participants properly identify and manage their risks.

https://thepaypers.com/digital-identity-security-online-fraud/the-centre-of-excellence-in-anti-money-laundering-starts-its-activities-in-lithuania–1249052

OVER 50 ARRESTS IN MALLORCA FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 16 May, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reported that 55 people in Mallorca and 5 more in Madrid have been arrested by the National Police in connection with the laundering of money derived from drug trafficking. The money was being diverted to Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the US.  The   money was supposedly for construction work.

https://www.majorcadailybulletin.com/news/local/2021/05/16/84115/mallorca-crime-arrests-for-money-laundering-and-drug-trafficking.html

UK: PROPOSALS FOR TACKLING PENSION SCHEME FRAUD RECEIVES MIXED INDUSTRY RESPONSE

On 17 May, Pensions Age reported that the proposals would give trustees and managers a power to halt pension transfers or seek information from transferring members, and outlined the circumstances in which transfers would be permitted to proceed without incident.

https://www.pensionsage.com/pa/DWP-scam-proposals-split-industry-branded-ill-conceived-AJ-Bell.php

UK FINANCIAL WATCHDOG TAKES AIM AT ‘PHOENIX’ CLAIMS SCAM

On 17 May, Yahoo Finance reported that the FCA has proposed changes to stop individuals from failed companies profiting from their own poor conduct by setting up a claims management company (CMC), a practice known as “phoenixing”.  CMC help consumers file complaints with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and take a slice of any cash awarded.

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/uk-financial-watchdog-takes-aim-115704707.html

See also –

JAIL FOR CONMAN WHO CLONED CMC AND SOLD FAKE PI CLAIMS TO LAW FIRM

On 17 May, Legal Futures reported that a man has been jailed for orchestrating fraudulent motor insurance claims and cloning a claims management company (CMC) to pass them to a firm of solicitors in return for referral fees.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/jail-for-conman-who-cloned-cmc-and-sold-fake-pi-claims-to-law-firm

UK GOVERNMENT IS SEEKING VIEWS ON HOW TO IMPROVE CYBER SECURITY IN SUPPLY CHAINS AND IN MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDERS

On 17 May, a news release from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a call for views on supply chain cyber security to seek industry input on how organisations manage supply chain cyber risk.  The call for views is seeking feedback on existing guidance for supply chain cyber risk management, and will also test the suitability of a proposed framework for managed service provider security.  It is said that DCMS research shows that many businesses of all sizes are not adequately protecting themselves against cyber attacks, particularly attacks originating in their supply chains.  With organisations increasingly moving their operations online, business continuity and resilience is becoming reliant on what are often called “Managed Service Providers” – organisations that specialise in providing important digital business services. The critical role that these play in supply chains across our economy is said to have been especially evident during the current Covid-19 events.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/call-for-views-on-supply-chain-cyber-security

EU IS GATHERING VIEWS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNION CUSTOMS CODE (UCC), WHICH DEFINES THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR CUSTOMS RULES AND PROCEDURES

On 17 May, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the EU Commission is seeking views from importers, exporters, customs brokers, supply chain professionals, customs authorities, consumers, and other stakeholders by 19 July.  The Commissions asks if the customs rules and electronic systems deployed by the end of 2020 have achieved predictable, streamlined, and simplified customs processes and a paperless environment.  It also wants to know whether the UCC is sufficiently flexible to face crises such as COVID-19 and/or new business models such as e-commerce.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/may/eu-customs-code-implementation-is-focus-of-new-inquiry

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/news/commission-public-consultation-union-customs-code_en

THE PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR REQUESTING ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE ACROSS BORDERS

An updated version of this guide will be published by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in 2 weeks.  The original 2018 edition is also still available.

https://sherloc.unodc.org/cld/secured/18-05840_Practical_Guide_Electronic_Evidence_ebook.pdf

UN ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE HUB

The SHERLOC Electronic Evidence Hub contains a growing collection of legal resources and practical tools on electronic evidence.

https://sherloc.unodc.org/cld/en/st/evidence/electronic-evidence-hub.html

36,000 FAUX AIRPODS SEIZED BY US CUSTOMS

On 16 May, NBC News in Cincinnati reported that US Customs and Border Protection officers have seized 36,000 headphones that resembled Apple AirPods in 3 shipments from China, said to be in violation of “trademark and copyright codes.

https://nbc-2.com/news/crime/2021/05/16/36000-faux-airpods-seized-by-us-customs/

TURKEY SEIZES OVER TON OF CAPTAGON DRUGS AT CUSTOMS

On 17 May, Daily Sabah in Turkey reported that 1,072 kg of Captagon pills were seized at Iskenderun port in the southern province of Hatay, in the biggest seizure of its kind.  More than 6.2 million pills were confiscated during a search by Hatay customs officials and hidden in 11 containers brought to the port for transit to the UAE. 

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/investigations/turkey-seizes-over-ton-of-captagon-drugs-at-customs

UK: JUDICIAL GUIDANCE ON DAMAGES-BASED AGREEMENTS (DBA)

On 17 May, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Court of Appeal has provided important guidance on the nature of DBA, a funding arrangement between a lawyer and a client whereby the lawyer’s fees are dependent upon the success of the case and are determined as a percentage of the damages received by the client.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/legal-updates/judicial-guidance-on-dbas/5108481.article

TANKERS: CYBER SECURITY SHOULD BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY AFTER COLONIAL PIPELINE ATTACK

On 17 May, Hellenic Shipping News carried an article saying that the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline in the US has shown how serious is such a threat not only for the energy sector, but also for tanker owners, whose vessels are often carrying dangerous cargo.  It is said that, for the tanker sector, a cyberattack on a vessel carrying hazardous cargo could be far more serious should strong cyber defences and emergency procedures not be in place. Previously the industry had been mostly fearful of physical attacks, but action must now be taken to address the cyber risks faced.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/tankers-cyber-security-should-be-taken-seriously-after-colonial-pipeline-attack/

BREXIT DETERRED INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FROM APPLYING TO UK UNIVERSITIES

On 15 May, an article from VOX from the Centre for Economic Policy Research says that attracting international students is critical for public universities in the UK increasingly facing funding cuts and a diminishing domestic youth population.  The article discusses how Brexit may have affected students’ willingness to study in the UK and the factors likely driving the students’ choices. Brexit significantly lowered applications from EU students, especially for science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and for more selective institutions. International student enrolments also dropped, substantiating concerns regarding the ability to attract international talent.

https://voxeu.org/article/brexit-deterred-international-students-applying-uk-universities

MANCHESTER ARENA TERROR ATTACK: SUSPECTED LINKS TO LIBYAN DRUGS GANG

On 16 May, The National reported that an inquiry was told of links between the person convicted for the attack in 2017 and his brother, drug-dealing gangs in Manchester and Libyan exiles who were dedicated to the overthrow of Col Muammar Qaddafi.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/europe/manchester-arena-terror-attack-uk-detectives-seek-five-suspected-of-links-to-libyan-drugs-gang-1.1223734

US: 2 MEN FACING CHARGES RELATED TO THE ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF IRANIAN CURRENCY AND FRAUDULENT WIRE TRANSFERS TO PURCHASE FOREIGN CURRENCY

A news release from US DoJ on 13 May advised that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging 2 men from Maryland for conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to import foreign currencies, including the Iranian rial and Iraqi dinar, from suppliers outside the US.  One is also charged with making false statements under oath in a bankruptcy proceeding.  It is alleged that they and others conspired to defraud financial institutions to effect transfers of funds in payment for foreign currency banknotes, while misrepresenting and concealing the true purpose of the payments. 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/two-maryland-men-facing-federal-indictment-charges-related-illegal-importation-iranian

FLOOD OF FAKE ANCIENT JEWELLERY MADE USING 3D-PRINTERS DUPES BUYERS

On 16 May the Guardian reported a “pandemic” of fake gold jewellery, primarily ancient and medieval, according to a leading British historian, who warns that forgeries extend to more recent pieces that anyone might pick up in a market.  It is said that new technology has always been adopted by counterfeiters and, while “electroforming” copied gold pieces from the mid-19th Century, computer-based technology has been used more recently.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/may/16/all-that-glisters-flood-of-fake-ancient-jewellery-dupes-buyers

THE BIZARRE STORY OF THE INVENTOR OF RANSOMWARE

On 16 May, CNN carried a report tracing the origin of ransomware in 1989, where it used floppy disks, and sent by a Harvard-taught evolutionary biologist named Joseph Popp.  He allegedly told authorities he had planned to donate the ransom money to AIDS research. 

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/16/tech/ransomware-joseph-popp/index.html

OFAC AMENDS NARCOTICS-RELATED SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

On 14 May, Cadwalader Cabinet advised that OFAC had amended the regulations concerned with 2 sanctions programmes concerning narcotics trafficking.  The amendments are concerned with to certain general licenses, certain definitions and prohibitions and interpretive sections, and make other conforming and technical amendments.

https://www.findknowdo.com/news/05/14/2021/ofac-amends-narcotics-related-sanctions-regulations

LESSONS FROM THE SAP SE SETTLEMENT ON THE BENEFITS OF SELF-REPORTING CORPORATE EXPORT CONTROL AND SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 17 May, a post on the Compliance & Enforcement blog from the Program on Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law said that SAP SE, a multinational software company headquartered in Germany, entered into the first non-prosecution agreement under the DoJ revised Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy.  SAP agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $8 million to the Departments of Justice, Commerce, and the Treasury.  It also agreed to disgorge $5.14 million in profits and admitted to illegally exporting thousands of software products to companies in Iran and Iranian-controlled front companies based in Turkey, UAE, Germany, and Malaysia. 

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2021/05/17/lessons-from-the-sap-se-settlement-on-the-benefits-of-self-reporting-corporate-export-control-and-sanctions-violations/

UK: EXPORT CONTROL (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2021

This new Order updates the list of military items that require a licence to be exported from the UK.  The so-called “military list” is being updated to reflect changes to the Wassenaar Arrangement list (the Arrangement is concerned with transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies), as well as to address minor drafting errors. Other aim to provide further clarity relating to the interpretation of national controls.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/586/pdfs/uksi_20210586_en.pdf

SHIPPING INDUSTRY LAUNCH THE GULF OF GUINEA DECLARATION ON SUPPRESSION OF PIRACY

In an article dated 18 May, Hellenic Shipping News reported that 99 maritime companies, organisations and flag states, including BIMCO, have signed the Gulf of Guinea Declaration on Suppression of Piracy.  In 2020, 135 crew were kidnapped from their ships globally, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% of the crew numbers kidnapped. This has happened in international waters in an area less than 20% of the size of the sea area dominated by Somali pirates a few years ago. The pirates launch their attacks from the Niger Delta, where they also subsequently hold their hostages.  The launch of the Declaration is said to be a timely expression of the maritime industry’s call for further action, through a wide range of collective efforts, to end piracy urgently in the Gulf of Guinea.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/shipping-industry-launch-the-gulf-of-guinea-declaration-on-suppression-of-piracy/

SOUTH AFRICA: ZUMA GRAFT CASE FINALLY STARTS, THEN GETS POSTPONED

On 17 May, an article in Nation reported that, after more than 15 years of delays, the trial of former South African president Jacob Zuma on hundreds of counts of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering began in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, only to be immediately adjourned.

https://nation.africa/kenya/news/africa/zuma-graft-case-finally-starts-then-gets-postponed–3403906

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  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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