OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 19

Panama Covid-19 update – numbers continue to rise, with 8 more people in ICU today (84, with another489 in other hospital wards). 978 new cases were reported, taking the total of active cases to 10,461, with 2 more fatalities.

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

19 JUNE 2021

CAMEROON ANGLOPHONE SEPARATIST ‘SUPPORTERS’ IN US CHARGED WITH GUN SMUGGLING

On 16 June, Modern Ghana reported that 3 US-based Anglophone Cameroonians – involve a navy reservist, a healthcare attendant and a healthcare business owner – have been charged with gun running and conspiracy following the seizure of a weapons cache by US authorities.  The suspects, some who appear to support the Anglophone separatist movement in their country of origin, could be implicated in an effort to supply high-grade weapons and ammunition to fighters battling Cameroonian government forces.  Each case involves alleged shipping or attempting to ship weapons and military goods from the US to Nigeria, including ammunition, without an export licence.

https://www.modernghana.com/news/1088928/cameroon-anglophone-separatist-supporters-in.html

PAKISTAN CUSTOMS UNCOVERS TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING

On 19 June, BOL News reported that a post-clearance audit has unearthed an under-invoicing and trade-based money laundering case of an importer engaged in consignment clearance on fake invoices.  It is said that the Lahore-based businessman imported goods by declaring values massively less than the actual amount.

https://www.bolnews.com/latest/2021/06/pakistan-customs-uncovers-trade-based-money-laundering/

UK FREEPORTS – WILL THEY HELP COMMODITIES BUSINESSES?

In the latest in its series of articles on new UK free zones, HFW says that the new Freeports will present some opportunities for commodities businesses, for example in the Tees Valley chemical industry. However, there are important limitations to this.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003102-HFW-Freeports-Series-Freeports-Will-they-help-commodities-businesses-June-2021.pdf

GDPR TURNS 3 YEARS OLD

A briefing from HFW says that the GDPR entered into force 3 years ago.  Looking back we consider how the GDPR has shaped data protection regimes worldwide and shown its teeth by imposing large and often high-profile fines.  Looking forward, the briefing sets out top tips to maintain compliance and report on the European Commission’s adoption of new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC), respectively for use between controllers and processors in the EEA and for the transfer of personal data to third countries outside the EEA.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003095-HFW-GDPR-turns-three-years-old-Our-top-tips-moving-forward-June-2021.pdf

UNJUST ENRICHMENT BY PREPAYMENT

A briefing from HFW says that the English case of BP Oil International Ltd v Vega Petroleum Ltd and another involved successful restitutionary claims for millions of US dollars that BP Oil International Ltd (BPOI) had paid to the Defendants for crude oil that was never delivered.  The Commercial Court’s judgment contains helpful analysis of the law on restitution for total failure of consideration (now more commonly referred to as “failure of basis”).

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003100-HFW-Unjust-enrichment-by-prepayment-a-recent-English-decision.pdf

INTRODUCTION TO THE MALTA NOMAD RESIDENCE PERMIT

Dixcart has produced a short briefing about the new Malta Nomad Residence Permit, which enables individuals to maintain their current job in another country, whilst they legally reside in Malta.  To be eligible for this Permit, an individual must be able to work remotely and independently of his/her location, and needs to use telecommunication technologies.  [Panama recently introduced a similar short-term “virtual residency” programme].

https://www.dixcart.com/the-malta-nomad-residence-permit-legally-reside-in-malta-whilst-maintaining-a-job-in-another-country/

US: LEGAL PRIVILEGE ISSUES IN CROSS-BORDER DISPUTES

On 18 June, an article from Dunlap, Bennett & Ludwig PLLC says that applying the US law on legal privilege to communications or documents by clients in the US, on its surface, seems to provide clear-cut answers as to what is shielded from disclosure and what is not.  However, it warns of contradictions and complications if cross-border cases or issues are involved.  It warns that many foreign legal systems often do not recognise the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine to the extent the US does, and the client can be forced to disclose something that would otherwise be protected from disclosure under US laws.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/privilege-issues-in-cross-border-8283188/

REPORT: CORRUPTION IN CROATIA MAKES PEOPLE LEAVE

On 19 June, OCCRP reported that corruption is rising in Croatia, as is the number of people leaving the country and the 2 trends are connected, says a new report shared with OCCRP.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14672-report-corruption-in-croatia-makes-people-leave

https://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/i-masovni-odlazak-iz-hrvatske-doveo-do-porasta-korupcije-1500530

TOBACCO GIANT OFFERS GRANTS TO STOP ILLEGAL TRADE

On 18 June, OCCRP reported that Philip Morris International has opened its third round of funding to NGO that work to combat illegal trade around the world, but experts remain sceptical.  Indeed. Earlier this year OCCRP reported on Phillip Morris’ international dealings in West Africa through its representative in Burkina Faso, Apollinaire Compaoré, a known cigarette smuggler.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14670-tobacco-giant-offers-grants-to-stop-illegal-trade-experts-are-skeptical

MOZAMBIQUE BECOMING SOUTHERN AFRICA’S COCAINE PLATFORM

On 18 June, an article in Insight Crime says that ongoing seizures of cocaine trafficked from Brazil to Mozambique continue to highlight the robust drug route between the two former Portuguese colonies, as well as a lesser-known transit region for Europe-bound cocaine.  It outlines 3 main reasons why Mozambique is so attractive to Brazilian organised crime.

https://insightcrime.org/news/mozambique-becoming-southern-africas-cocaine-platform/

7 PEOPLE CHARGED WITH ELECTORAL OFFENCES AS PART OF POLICE INVESTIGATION INTO MISSING £10.25 MILLION COUNCIL LOAN TO FOOTBALL CLUB

On 18 June, Local Government Lawyer reported that 7 individuals will appear in court next month in connection with a long-running Northamptonshire Police investigation into the disappearance of a £10.25 million football club loan made by Northampton Borough Council.  The cash was loaned by the council to Northampton Town FC to pay for the redevelopment of their East Stand.

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/litigation-and-enforcement/400-litigation-news/47431-seven-people-charged-with-electoral-offences-as-part-of-police-investigation-into-missing-10-25m-council-loan-to-football-club

TURNING WASTE INTO TREASURE: NORTH KOREA’S RECYCLING PUSH

On 15 June, an article from 38 North says that North Korea is undergoing something of a recycling revolution. Workplaces and homes across the country are being urged to recycle waste material and, according to state media, are responding.  A new 2020 law gave recycling a much higher profile and required organisations to recycle unused and waste material.  It points out that there are strong economic drivers, for instance, in 2019, imports of plastics, plastic goods and rubber totalled $338 million — more than the country’s total exports that year of $308 million.  However, the focus on metal is likely more about domestic resources conservation.

https://www.38north.org/2021/06/turning-waste-into-treasure-north-koreas-recycling-push

15 BANKS FORM NEW COMPANY TO PROCESS LETTERS OF CREDIT IN INDIA USING BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

On 15 June, Coindesk reported that 10 private-sector banks, 4 public-sector banks and a foreign bank have forged the Indian Banks’ Blockchain Infrastructure Company (IBBIC).  It is said that the system will verify the data for invoices on goods and services tax and “e-way bills,” eliminating paperwork and significantly reducing transaction times. The new venture is expected to commence within a year.

https://www.coindesk.com/india-banks-blockchain-letters-of-credit-new-company

AUSTRALIA: NEW GUIDANCE ON IMPLEMENTING AML/CFT REFORMS

On 17 June, AUSTRAC said that reforms to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 came into effect on 17 June that are intended to streamline compliance and help protect a business from the harms of money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes.  The reforms clarify obligations regarding CDD before providing a designated service, involve changes to strengthen the protections for correspondent banking relationships, expand the circumstances in which reporting entities can rely on a third party for customer identification and verification, and expand the exceptions to the prohibition of tipping off.

https://www.austrac.gov.au/new-guidance-amlctf-reforms

REVEALED: THE UK’S BUSINESS LINKS TO NAGORNO-KARABAKH

On 17 June, Open Democracy reported that, during last year’s war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the UK government supported opening up the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh for mining, and supported a London-listed mining company – Anglo Asian Mining PLC – that stands to profit from the recent war.  It refers to a “friendly relationship” between Anglo Asian and the embassy in Baku.  It is said that Anglo Asian has held contracts with the Azerbaijani government to exploit goldfields in the country for 20 years, but the company was until recently unable to access its concessions in Nagorno-Karabakh, as the region involved has been under Armenian control since the war in the 1990s.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/revealed-the-uks-business-links-to-nagorno-karabakh/

AML AND TREASURY FUNCTIONS

A Norton Rose Fulbright Updater aims to support Treasury functions in understanding and combating money laundering risks to which they are exposed through their customers, products and services, geographical footprint and delivery channels.  It is said to discuss key recent legislative changes in the money laundering arena as well as articulating the money laundering risks associated with Treasury activities, with a focus on practical considerations targeted towards Treasury functions. It also highlights further developments which are anticipated in the pipeline to support horizon-scanning activity.  It says that Treasury functions therefore play an integral part in the fight against money laundering, regardless of the regulated status of the institution in which they sit; and that therefore, it’s important for Treasury functions to understand how their geographical footprint and products and services, as well as the attributes of the customer bases they serve, could expose them to money laundering risks.

https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-gb/knowledge/publications/7a626e99/aml-and-treasury-functions

US: LICENCES FOR EXPORTS TO RUSSIA RELATED TO COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCHES MUST BE GRANTED BY 1 SEPTEMBER

On 15 June, Akin Gump reported that, in a change of policy, from 1 September, the US State Department will impose a policy of denial for all ITAR licences and other approvals in support of commercial space launches to Russia.  Similarly, from 1 September, the State Department will impose a policy of denial for all EAR licences and other approvals in support of commercial space launches.  The firm advises that, given Russia’s significant role in the space industry, and given that the licence review process can take months to complete, companies in the commercial space industry should review their ITAR and EAR licensing needs immediately and submit necessary licence applications as soon as possible.

https://www.akingump.com/a/web/unceo9DPhQTQpMAwaW9xkW/2MMDu5/licenses-for-exports-to-russia-related-to-commercial-space.pdf

UK DATA PROTECTION UPDATE: STANDARD CONTRACTUAL CLAUSES (SCC) AND ADEQUACY DECISION

On 17 June, an article from law firm Ince considers the current position on personal data transfers between the UK and the EU, and how things stand with the UK’s adequacy decision from the EU.  It goes on to consider the new EU SCC and if these are valid in the UK.

https://www.incegd.com/en/news-insights/corporate-uk-data-protection-update-standard-contractual-clauses-and-adequacy-decision

‘DARK’ SHIPS OFF ARGENTINA RAISE ALARMS OVER POSSIBLE ILLEGAL FISHING

On 15 June, Dryad Global published an article saying that, off the coast of Argentina: each year, hundreds of foreign-owned vessels fish for species like Argentine shortfin squid (Illex argentinus) and Argentine red shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri).   A new report shows that many of these ships are turning off their satellite tracking systems for extended periods of time.  The most likely reason, the authors say, is to avoid detection while fishing illegally within Argentina’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), a span of ocean stretching 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the nation’s shoreline.  The report notes that Argentina’s own fishing fleet consists of 145 vessels, which conducted 9,269 visible fishing hours in the same area and during the same time period – only about 1% of the total fishing time.  It is said that the Chinese fleet was responsible for 66% of all “gap events”, while Spanish vessels were responsible for 20% and South Korean ones for 8%.  While the Chinese fleet had the highest number of AIS gaps, the Spanish fleet actually had the worst AIS compliance.  While the absence of AIS doesn’t necessarily prove that a vessel is fishing illegally, it does tend to go “hand in hand with illegal fishing in Argentina’s EEZ,” the report says. The Oceana report notes that 31% of the ships that went dark also visited the Port of Montevideo in neighbouring Uruguay, a place known to be favoured by ships partaking in illegal activities.  Additionally, more than half of the vessels that had large gaps in their AIS data also engaged with other vessels at sea, possibly to transfer their catch.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/dark-ships-off-argentina-ring-alarms-over-possible-illegal-fishing

The report from the NGO Oceana is at –

https://usa.oceana.org/publications/reports/oceana-finds-hundreds-vessels-vanishing-along-argentinas-waters

Meanwhile, in the Pacific –

WORLD’S MOST FERTILE FISHING GROUND IS FACING A ‘UNIQUE AND DIRE’ THREAT

On 18 June, Dryad Global reproduced an article from the Guardian.  It says that China’s Pacific fishing fleet has grown by 500% since 2012 and is taking huge quantities of tuna.  It also says that the loss of so much fish to IUU fishing has long been a drain on the economies of small states without any other exports, as well as damaging to the global environment.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/14/why-the-worlds-most-fertile-fishing-ground-is-facing-a-unique-and-dire-threat

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/worlds-most-fertile-fishing-ground-is-facing-a-unique-and-dire-threat

BOLIVIAN COUP LEADER MURILLO STILL DETAINED IN US

Despite rumours to the contrary, TeleSUR reported on 18 June that  former Interior Minister Arturo Murillo is still detained in the US as Bolivian authorities prepare for his extradition.  The former official was arrested in May and charged over corruption and money laundering related to the 2019 coup.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bolivian-Coup-Leader-Murillo-Still-Detained-in-US—Official-20210618-0020.html

FRENCH COURT UPHOLDS FINE AGAINST ALCATEL FOR CORRUPTION IN COSTA RICA

On 18 June, Global Investigation review reported that US authorities launched an investigation into Alcatel in 2004 after corruption by Alcatel had been exposed in Costa Rica, where 2 executives were later convicted and jailed.  Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said in 2020 it was to pay $10 million to settle the corruption case in Costa Rica.  It was accused of paying kickbacks to former Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodriguez and other government officials in return for a 2001 contract worth $149 million to supply cellular telephone equipment.  It was said to be the first time in Costa Rica’s history that a foreign corporation has agreed to pay the government damages for corruption.  The Court of Cassation in France has now agreed with an appellate court’s findings and upheld a fine against the company.

https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/anti-corruption/french-court-upholds-fine-against-alcatel-corruption-in-costa-rica

IRAN’S MERCHANTS FIND COSTLY WORKAROUNDS TO US ECONOMIC SANCTIONS

On 19 June, France 24 published a video report on how merchants in Iran get around US sanctions, including sacks of California-grown walnuts said to have arrived at a Tehran bazaar via China and Dubai.

https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20210619-iran-s-merchants-find-costly-workarounds-to-us-economic-sanctions

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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