On 30 May, an article from Clyde & Co is concerned with the use of AIS spoofing to conceal a ship’s true location. The article also pointed out that there are increasing examples of AIS being tampered with to help avoid detection of sanction violations. It points out that the risk was highlighted in a UN sanctions report in 2018.
IRAN’S NEW DARK-SHIPPING TACTICS TO EXPORT GAS TO ASIA
On 27 May, Engineering & Technology published an article about the investigation which examines new export tactics by Iran and how it may have managed to smuggle LPG out of the country for sale to Asia.
On 2 June, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published a report saying that the islands of the western Indian Ocean have been drastically impacted by illicit drug markets. Mauritius and the Seychelles report some of the highest rates of heroin consumption in the world. Growing volumes of heroin are being trafficked via Madagascar, which also operates as a significant cannabis exporter in the inter-island drugs economy. This research report documents how drug markets are expanding and diversifying in the island states, fuelling corruption and driving growing domestic consumption.
On 2 June, the US Treasury advised that OFAC had added 3 individuals and 64 entities to its Global Magnitsky sanctions lists. The action targets Vassil Kroumov Bojkov, a prominent Bulgarian businessman and oligarch; Delyan Slavchev Peevski, a former MP; and Ilko Dimitrov Zhelyazkov, the former Deputy Chief of the Bulgarian State Agency for Technical Operations who was appointed to the National Bureau for Control on Special Intelligence-Gathering Devices; and the companies owned or controlled by the respective individuals.
On 2 June, the FATF-style regional body APG has released 2 follow-up reports –
the original mutual evaluation report (MER) of Pakistan was published in October 2019;
overall Pakistan has made notable progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated on 22 Recommendations;
Recommendations 14, 19, 20, 21 and 27 have been re-rated to compliant;
Recommendations R.1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 35 and 40 to largely compliant;
Recommendation 28 has been re-rated to partially compliant. Insufficient progress has been made to re-rate Recommendation 38;
However, compliance with Recommendation 37 has been downgraded to non-compliant;
Pakistan will move from “enhanced (expedited) follow-up” to “enhanced follow-up”, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures. Pakistan submitted its third progress report in February 2021.
The original mutual evaluation report (MER) of Bhutan was adopted in September 2016;
Overall Bhutan has made good progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated on 6 Recommendations;
On the basis of progress made by Bhutan, Recommendations 3, 6, 20, 26, 30 and 33 have been re-rated to Largely Compliant;
However, insufficient progress has been made on Recommendations 4 and 28 to justify re-ratings at this time;
With respect to the Recommendations which have been amended since Bhutan’s last FUR, Bhutan has retained its ratings for Recommendations 8, 18 and 21 and was re-rated to Non-Compliant for Recommendation 15;
Bhutan has 29 Recommendations rated Compliant/Largely Compliant;
Bhutan will remain in enhanced follow-up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.
On2 June, an article from Out-Law explained that new guidance on how businesses might use codes of conduct and certification schemes to demonstrate their compliance with rules governing international data transfers could be issued by the UK’s data protection authority in a matter of weeks.
On 2 June, the EU announced changes to the rules governing the need to declare cash entering or leaving the territory of the EU, with effect from 3 June. Imports and exports of €10,000 or more of “cash” must be decalred to customs authorities. Under the amended rules –
the definition of ‘cash’ under the new rules will be extended and will now cover gold coins and certain other gold items;
customs authorities will be able to act on amounts lower than €10,000 when there are indications that cash is linked to criminal activity; and
customs authorities may also now request that a cash disclosure declaration be lodged when they detect €10,000 or more in cash being sent unaccompanied via post, freight or courier.
The new rules will also ensure that the competent authorities and national FIU in each Member State.
[Note – not before time. During my time with the customs service I was responsible for drafting the equivalent controls in the Isle of Man, and we recognised how limited the original rules were. Consequently, we amended the rules some years ago to extend the definition of “cash” (after discussions with front line security staff at the ports and airport over what they had actually come across), as well as widening the scope of the rules to encompass mail, freight and courier movements. In addition, the rules applied to movements to and from anywhere outside the Island, and not just – as in the EU rules – to and from a place outside the EU (but movements between the UK and other EU Member States and the Isle of Man were subject to control by the UK and the member States, as the Island was not considered as part of EU territory for the purposes of the controls). Incidentally, we also ensured that cash declarations were routed to the FIU, as the new EU rules require, as this was the obvious, logical place for such information to be collated]
On 2 June, the EU reported that the EU Commission has issued a warning (a so-called yellow card) to the Republic of Ghana that it risks being identified as a non-cooperating country in the fight against IUU fishing. This decision is based on various shortcomings in Ghana’s ability to comply with its duties under international law as flag, port, coastal or market State.
On 2 June, EurActiv reported that the US State Department has warned Bulgaria that if the country wants its citizens to benefit from visa-free travel to the US, it should clean up the “mess” which has gained notoriety as the “passports for cash” scheme. It is said that in 2018, a corruption scheme was revealed which allowed anyone ready to pay the bribe of €5,000 to obtain a genuine Bulgarian passport and with the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad being involved.