THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 12

Panama Covid-19 update – a notable victim reported today, as the Director General of the Penitentiary System has died due to Covid-19, the Government Ministry said. He was 54 years old. Also, to underline that other things continue to be present although overshadowed by Covid, a programme for school-age children in a part of the city saw vaccines given against the human papillomavirus, influenza, TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).

No TV news report in its usual teatime slot today, as the TV showing the Panama-Curacao football match live…so much for priorities.

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

12 JUNE 2021

RECAST EU DUAL USE REGULATION – A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

On 11 June, Akin Gump published an article saying that on 11 June the EU published EU Regulation 2021/821, which will enter into force on 9 September.  It notes that it omits the more substantive provisions relating to cyber surveillance and human rights, which proved controversial both with EU decision-makers and industry.  Notable changes including 2 new EU General Export Authorisations (UGEA), amended controls on cyber surveillance and technical assistance, and certain broader definitions.  However, the article says that the new Regulation can at best be viewed as a modest update that has arguably skirted around some of the biggest issues and challenges facing the control of sensitive dual use items both now and in the future. 

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-recast-dual-use-regulation-a-missed-6356768/

US SANCTIONS FOR CAMEROON ANGLOPHONE CRISIS DESCRIBED AS ‘COSMETIC’

In its 13 June edition, the Crux reported that a Catholic bishop in Cameroon has said that the US State Department’s sanctions on those responsible for undermining the country’s peace process as merely “cosmetic”.  Anglophone protests were violently suppressed by the majority French-speaking central government, leading to a separatist insurgency intent on establishing an independent country called “Ambazonia”.  Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo has questioned the relevance of the visa restrictions.

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-africa/2021/06/u-s-sanctions-for-cameroon-anglophone-crisis-are-cosmetic-bishop-says/

FRANCE BREAKS UP EEL SMUGGLING RING SERVING ASIA AND HEADING FOR CHINA AND THAILAND

On 12 June, The Star in Malaysia reported that French officials said they had broken up a smuggling operation that shipped millions of baby eels to Asia where they are a prized delicacy that can command up to $5,000 per kg.  The inquiry began in 2017 when customs officers seized nearly 800 kg of the silvery eels near Bordeaux destined for China, as well as 200 kg near Charles de Gaulle airport, headed for Thailand.  Investigators uncovered a network in France and Spain that exported 46 million tons of the eels — considered a threatened species since the early 2000s.

https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2021/06/12/france-breaks-up-eel-smuggling-ring-serving-asia-and-heading-for-china-and-thailand

US: 27 SMUGGLED ART OBJECTS VALUED AT $3.8 MILLION HANDED OVER TO CAMBODIA

On 11 June, the Art Newspaper reported that New York and US federal authorities have returned 27 relics to Cambodia valued at $3.8 million that were stolen by antiquities traffickers, among them important Buddhist and Hindu statues.  Most of the items were seized as a result of an investigation of Subhash Kapoor, a New York-based antiquities dealer – currently in prison in India and indicted in New York in 2019 on smuggling charges – described as one of the world’s most prolific art smugglers, and the New York antiquities dealer Nancy Wiener. Kapoor, who is currently in prison in India, was indicted in New York in 2019 on smuggling charges, and the DA office filed paperwork for his extradition to the US last July.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/new-york-investigators-hand-over-27-smuggled-art-objects-valued-at-usd3-8m-to-cambodia

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/3-8m-looted-antiquities-to-cambodia-1979478

CENTRAL BANK OF THE UAE HAS ISSUED NEW GUIDANCE ON AML/CFT FOR ITS LICENSED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (LFI)

On 12 June, the Emirates News Agency reported that 2 new sets of guidance covered suspicious transaction reporting and legal persons/arrangements. 

https://wam.ae/en/details/1395302942885

https://www.centralbank.ae/en/cbuae-amlcft

https://gulfnews.com/business/banking/central-bank-of-uae-issues-guidances-for-financial-institutions-on-anti-money-laundering-and-combatting-financing-of-terrorism-1.1623484253428

COMPROMISE EU DIRECTIVE ON PUBLIC COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY REPORTING

On 11 June, an article from Irish law firm Matheson said that, on 4 June, the Council of the EU published the terms of a draft EU Directive on a new public country-by-country reporting regime.   The Directive amends the Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU, represents the compromise position agreed between negotiating teams of the European Parliament and Council on 1 June.  It will require certain multinational enterprises (whether headquartered in the EU or outside) and standalone undertakings with a total consolidated revenue of more than €750 million in each of the last 2 consecutive financial years to publicly disclose certain information in respect of its activities in each EU Member State, as well as in certain third countries.

https://www.matheson.com/insights/detail/compromise-directive-on-public-country-by-country-reporting

MEXICO AUTHORITIES ON ALERT AFTER MILLIONS OF ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION STOLEN

On 11 June, Insight Crime reported that gunmen had hijacked 2 trucks hauling more than 7 million rounds of ammunition in central Mexico, a massive heist that could escalate fighting in one of the country’s most violent areas.  While most of the ammunition was for small firearms, such as .22- and .40-calibre pistols, a significant proportion of the bullets were for high-powered weapons, including AR15 and M16 rifles.

https://insightcrime.org/news/mexico-authorities-on-alert-after-millions-of-rounds-of-ammunition-stolen/

PHILIP MORRIS HAS LAUNCHED A PUBLIC EDUCATION INITIATIVE ENTITLED UNITED TO SAFEGUARD AMERICA FROM ILLEGAL TRADE (USA-IT) TO COMBAT BLACK MARKET TRADE

On 10 June, TJI reported that the campaign will provide local officials, law enforcement, and thought leaders with information and training programs to help tackle illegal trade and raise public awareness of the depth of the problem as well as the severe consequences inflicted on states and municipalities by black market profiteers.

https://www.tobaccojournal.com/PMI_launches_campaign_to_combat_black_market_trade.56444.0.html

US EXPORT CONTROLS NEED TO BE PART OF YOUR PRE-FLIGHT CHECKLIST FOR COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT TRANSFERS

On 3 June, an article from Clifford Chance says that the US Government has significantly tightened US export control laws and related enforcement efforts.  These measures remain in place with the current Administration and have exacerbated the pre-existing export control risks for global aviation companies and strained compliance systems.

https://www.cliffordchance.com/content/dam/cliffordchance/briefings/2021/06/US-Export-Controls-Need-to-Be-Part-of-Your-Pre-Flight-Checklist-for-Commercial-Aircraft-Transfers.pdf

COUNTERFEIT FOOTBALL SHIRTS SEIZED AHEAD OF THE START OF EURO 2020

On 11 June, Police Professional reported that tens of thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit football shirts have been seized by officers from the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) just ahead of the start of the Euro 2020 football tournament.

https://www.policeprofessional.com/news/counterfeit-football-shirts-seized-ahead-of-the-start-of-euro-2020/

SWITZERLAND: RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN SUSPECTED OF INSIDER TRADING FACING POSSIBLE EXTRADITION TO THE US

On 9 June, Swissinfo reported that Vladislav Klyushin was arrested on 21 March.  The US embassy has requested his extradition, accusing him of “running insider trading in the tens of millions (of dollars) with several accomplices”.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/kremlin-linked-businessman-held-in-switzerland/46691252

AUSTRALIA: MAN ARRESTED TRYING TO BOARD FLIGHT TO DUBAI OVER $7 MILLION IN CASH FOUND UNDER FLOOR

On 11 June, ABC News reported that a man has been charged after allegedly trying to flee to Dubai, following the police seizure of $7 million found under flooring in Sydney. 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-11/man-arrested-over-millions-in-cash-found-under-floor/100208588

NEW YORK REGULATOR WARNS CRYPTOCURRENCY FIRMS: BUILD AML PROGRAMS

On 9 June, ACAMS reported that the New York State Department of Financial Services has warned start-up firms that provide cryptocurrency-related services, including swaps of US dollars for bitcoins, to show they have the full range of AML controls in place if they want to operate in the state.

https://www.moneylaundering.com/news/new-york-imposes-aml-program-requirements-on-cryptocurrency-industry/

GETAX AUSTRALIA FACING BRIBERY CHARGE OVER DECADE-OLD DEALINGS WITH NAURU OFFICIALS

On 10 June, ABC News reported that Australian Federal Police (AFP) have charged an Australian company with bribery over its conduct on the Pacific nation of Nauru a decade ago.  The charge comes after a long-running AFP investigation into allegations Getax bribed Nauruan politicians to further its phosphate export business.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-10/nauru-getax-australia-bribery-corruption-charges/100201344

MOLDOVA LAUNCHES NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION BODY

On 10 June, OCCRP reported that a new corruption monitoring body – the new “Anticorruption Independent Consultative Committee” – has been launched, the government arguing that the current anti-corruption institutions move “much slower than the corrupt groups which are stealing from this country”.    Moldova ranks 115th out of the 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14608-moldova-launches-new-anti-corruption-body-says-old-ones-are-slow

4 INCIDENTS OF PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS IN ASIA IN MAY 2021

On 12 June, Hellenic Shipping News reported that during May 2021, 4 incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia.  No piracy incident was reported. Of the 4 incidents, 3 were actual incidents³ and one was an attempted incident. 

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/four-incidents-of-piracy-and-armed-robbery-against-ships-in-asia-in-may-2021/

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ISSUES 100-DAY SUPPLY CHAIN REPORT TARGETING 4 CRITICAL PRODUCTS

On 11 June, a Client Alert from King & Spalding was concerned with the Biden Administration having published 4 reports consolidated into a single 100-Day Report that also includes a summary of key takeaways for all 4 designated critical supply chains.  This will be followed by 6 additional sector-specific supply chain assessments that are due by 24 February 2022.  The Client Alert focuses on semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging.  It is said that the report highlights current shortcomings and potential opportunities in the domestic supply chain.  The report details a critical need for public and private investment in semiconductors and advanced packaging manufacturing.

https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/biden-administration-issues-100-day-supply-chain-report

5 PRACTICES TO PREVENT AND DISRUPT ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS (IFF)

On 2 June, the World Economic Forum published an article containing a framework of 5 practices to unite gatekeepers against illicit financial flows (IFF) –

  • Establish clear, concrete, and up-to-date policies;
  • Promote effective due diligence;
  • Centre a culture of integrity through training and incentives;
  • Foster a “speak-up” culture; and
  • Collaborate across industries and sectors.

The article also mentions a number of organisations that have implemented the practices.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/5-practices-to-prevent-and-disrupt-illicit-financial-flows

HOW ORGANISED CRIME INFILTRATES THE TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

On 9 June, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published a report called “Tow Truck Wars”, a policy brief which focuses on a small but especially vulnerable type of transportation business that has been prone to infiltration by organized crime groups through violence, intimidation and corruption: the vehicle-towing services industry.  It says that, in many parts of the world, the lucrative towing-services business has been targeted by organised crime and this has led to violent confrontations.  It calls for effective information exchange between administrative authorities and law enforcement agencies as a prerequisite for a coordinated response to the criminal infiltration of any segment of the transport industry; and says that a proactive and systematic approach to criminal investigation and intelligence gathering is required to mitigate the effects of the criminal exposure of various aspects of the transportation industry.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Tow-Truck-Wars-How-organized-crime-infiltrates-the-transport-industry-GITOC.pdf

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-earths-global-ice-loss-between-1994-2017/

GERMANY BUYS DUBAI DATA TO TRACK POSSIBLE TAX EVASION

On 12 June, the Cyprus Mail reported that Germany has bought a trove of data that could help treasury officials track down possible tax evasion by wealthy German citizens – with the purchase of a CD containing details of assets in Dubai such as tracts of land and real estate owned by German nationals.

https://cyprus-mail.com/2021/06/12/germany-buys-dubai-data-to-track-possible-tax-evasion/

THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON EU AND UK FOREIGN AFFAIRS

On 11 June, the EU Institute for Security Studies published a paper “Fog in the Channel” saying that the UK rejection of any institutionalised relationship with the EU in foreign, security and defence policy (FSDP) is arguably the most noteworthy feature of the post-Brexit arrangements.  The UK abandoned pledges to ‘establish structured consultation and regular thematic dialogues [that] could contribute to the attainment of common objectives’, including on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).  This gap was intensified by the absence of any reference to foreign affairs in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) or the UK’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.  The paper offers an innovative thematic analysis focused on 4 ‘Rs’ – reputation, responsibility, resources and relevance.

https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Brief_13_2021_web.pdf

DRONES AND HELICOPTERS DEPLOY TO COMBAT PIRACY IN GULF OFF NIGERIA

On 10 June, Bloomberg reported that Nigeria has unveiled $195 million worth of boats, vehicles and aircraft to spearhead the government’s fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and to enable security forces to patrol the waters off the country’s coast more effectively and restore confidence to vessels operating in the area. Nigeria borders on an expanse of the Atlantic Ocean that’s become the most perilous part of the world for sailors, accounting for almost all kidnappings at sea in recent years.  The Gulf of Guinea, which stretches from Senegal to Angola, accounted for 95% of the 135 seafarers kidnapped in 2020 and all 40 crew members that were abducted in the first 3 months of this year.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-10/nigeria-deploys-drones-choppers-to-combat-rampant-sea-piracy

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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