OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 13

Panama Covid-19 update – active case numbers continue to rise, although fatalities and hospitalisations have not leapt by the same degree. Today, 715 new cases and 5 new fatalities were reported, with there now being 6,444 active cases. There are 63 in ICU and 416 in other wards (i.e. 7.4% of active cases).

Just to add to things, another tropical depression in the Caribbean is bringing dull skies and heavy rain – even to us on the Pacific coast…at least for a couple of days.

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

13 JUNE 2021

ITALIAN MAN EXTRADITED TO MALTA OVER SMUGGLING CHARGES

On 13 June, Malta Today reported that a 55-year-old Italian man wanted by authorities on smuggling and possession charges has been extradited back to Malta following issue of a European arrest warrant by Maltese authorities.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/110217/italian_man_extradited_to_malta_over_smuggling_charges__#.YMX1S_KSmM8

INDIA: CHINESE MAN CONFESSES TO SMUGGLING 1,300 INDIAN SIM CARDS TO CHINA – FOR HACKING AND FINANCIAL FRAUD

On 12 June, Op India reported that the man who was wanted India, has reportedly confessed smuggling as many as 1,300 Indian SIM cards, procured using forging documents, to China in the last 2 years.  They were to hide the SIM cards in their undergarments to smuggle them out of India.  They were subsequently used by a gang to hack accounts and commit financial frauds.

https://www.opindia.com/2021/06/chinese-spy-arrested-malda-confess-smuggling-1300-indian-sim-cards-to-china/

SOUTH AFRICA WORKING GROUP RELEASES NEW POSITION PAPER CALLING FOR REGULATION OF CRYPTO ASSET PROVIDERS

On 13 June, Bitcoin.com reported that the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) has a released new position paper that calls for the regulation of the country’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.  IFWG, which is a creation of the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB), recommends “a staged approach to bring crypto-assets within the regulatory remit through the regulation of crypto asset service providers (CASP)”. 

https://www.ifwg.co.za/wp-content/uploads/IFWG_CAR_WG_Position_Paper_on_crypto_assets.pdf

https://news.bitcoin.com/south-africa-working-group-releases-new-position-paper-regulation-crypto-assets-providers/

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: HIGH PROFILE LAWYER FACES FRESH FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES 

On 13 June, Asia Pacific Report reported that a prominent Australian lawyer, Greg Sheppard, 65, a principal of Young & Williams Lawyers, has been arrested by Papua New Guinean police and is facing a range of fraud charges.  Police say the charges relate to Sheppard’s alleged involvement in the transfer of funds amounting to $14.5 million in 2018.  To date he has been charged with a total of 8 offences.

https://asiapacificreport.nz/2021/06/13/high-profile-lawyer-faces-fresh-fraud-money-laundering-charges-in-png/

IS THE G7 TAX AGREEMENT A THREAT TO CYPRUS’S FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT?

On 13 June, the Cyprus Mail produced an article posing this question.  It asks, and attempts to answer, what does the tax reform agreement mean for Cyprus and should Cyprus feel threated by this change if and when implemented?

https://cyprus-mail.com/2021/06/13/is-the-g7-tax-agreement-a-threat-to-cypruss-foreign-direct-investment/

8 MALAWI LAWYERS FACE BAN

On 13 June, the Nyasa Times reported that at least 8 legal practitioners face being disbarred over fraud and embezzlement allegations. 

https://www.nyasatimes.com/8-malawian-crooked-lawyers-face-ban-over-fraud

UK: SUPERVISORY NOTICE FROM FCA FOR UAB FINOLITA UNIO, AN ELECTRONIC MONEY INSTITUTION THAT WAS AUTHORISED BY THE BANK OF LITHUANIA

On 10 June, the FCA in the UK issued a Supervisory Notice imposing restrictions on UAB Finolita Unio, and following the decision of the Bank of Lithuania to suspend the licence of UAB Finolita Unio on 8 June for severe AML/CFT failings.  It also failed to inform the FCA of the investigation by the Bank of Lithuania into its AML/CFT systems and controls and to inform the FCA of the departure of its Chief Compliance and Risk Officer.  The Notice imposed restrictions including a ban on the issue any electronic money or accept any funds in consideration for the issue of electronic money, nor can it carry out any payment services.  UAB Finolita Unio had an e-money institution licence, which was issued by the Bank of Lithuania, the Lithuanian central bank and financial services regulator. It is a subsidiary of Senjo Group Pte Ltd, a Singaporean company.  It provided e-money and payment services to customers in the UK pursuant to passporting arrangements and currently provides services to customers in the UK under the Temporary Permissions Regime, which applied from 11pm on 31 December 2020, i.e. at the end of the Brexit transitional period.

https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/supervisory-notices/first-supervisory-notice-uab-finolita-unio-2021.pdf

THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE UK’S CYBER CRIME UNIT AT THE NCA WARNS ABOUT RISKS OF EXPLOITATION BY CRIME GANGS WHEN ALLOWING BITCOIN TO PURCHASE LUXURY PROPERTY AND PRIVATE JETS

On 12 June, AML Intelligence reported that the Deputy Director had said that he has significant concerns about bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies being used for large purchases such as homes and private jets and there were not usually enough safeguards for such purchases.  This was after a UK developer said he would take offers in bitcoin and ethereum for an 18,000 sq ft 5-bedroom penthouse on sale for £175 million in a development in upmarket Knightsbridge in London.  Some private jet operators have also been reporting that a growing number of their flights are paid for in bitcoin – one operator reported that 1 in 10 of its flights were paid for in bitcoin in January, representing 20% of its sales.

https://www.amlintelligence.com/2021/06/insight-top-cyber-police-chief-warns-about-risks-of-exploitation-by-crime-gangs-when-allowing-bitcoin-to-purchase-luxury-property-and-private-jets/

STANDARDS FOR RENEWABLE HYDROGEN RISK TURNING THIS SUPPOSEDLY GREEN FUEL INTO A POLLUTING ONE

On 11 June, a report from Global Witness criticised the lobbying in the EU of Hydrogen Europe, which is said to be pushing for loopholes in an EU law that would allow energy companies to use large amounts of fossil electricity to produce hydrogen, and still have it labelled as renewable.  It says that hydrogen made from fossil electricity has a huge carbon footprint – up to 130 times bigger than hydrogen made from renewable electricity.  The European Commission is currently finalising its implementing rules for the Renewable Energy Directive, which include requirements for sourcing renewable electricity and building new renewable energy installations for hydrogen production.

https://www.globalwitness.org/documents/20152/Greenwashed_Hydrogen_-_June_2021.pdf

ISRAEL: HOW WILL NEW GOVERNMENT IMPACT THE NETANYAHU TRIAL?

On 13 June, the Jerusalem Post published an analysis saying that, aslong as he was prime minister, he had a variety of potential extra-legal exits from the trial to avoid prison even if the verdict went against him. All of those exits are now gone.  It says that, if he loses the trial, he will go to jail as surely as Ehud Olmert did when he was a former prime minister.  As long as he was prime minister, he could negotiate with the president for a pardon.

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/politics-and-diplomacy/how-will-new-govt-impact-bibi-trial-analysis-670908

KENYA: STATE INTENSIFIES WAR ON RECOVERY OF PROCEEDS OF CRIME

On 13 June, The Star reported on use of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009 (PROCAMLA) used together with the Anti-Corruption and Economics Crimes Act (ACECA).  It says that the most visible use of this Act has been in the war on graft especially stolen public funds where it has successfully been used to recover proceeds of corruption.  Now, the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has successfully used it to recover money in a case involving smuggling of goods from Uganda without paying taxes.  The newspaper says that this smuggling case could have significant impact on the illicit import of goods that is costing the Kenya Revenue Authority billions in un-taxed illicit goods. 

https://www.the-star.co.ke/opinion/2021-06-13-state-intensifies-war-on-recovery-of-proceeds-of-crime/

NICARAGUA: PROSECUTOR THREATENS JOURNALISTS WITH CYBERCRIME LAW

On 13 June, Confidencial in Nicaragua reported that the Nicaraguan Prosecutor’s Office has used its “interviews” with independent journalists, cited as witnesses in the case of alleged money laundering against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, to question the work of the journalists, indicating they infringed the Special Cybercrime Law 2020, which it describes as known as the “Gag Law”.  An editor of La Presna is quoted as saying that he believes the type of questioning used by prosecutors during the interviews is done to “intimidate and frighten” the journalist, because “it has absolutely nothing to do with what they are investigating”.

https://www.confidencial.com.ni/english/prosecutor-threatens-journalists-with-cybercrime-law/

 

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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