OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 24

Panama Covid-19 update – another 1,201 new cases reported today, and 8 new fatalities (including an earlier one included in the total), as the third wave continues. There are now 11,369 active cases, with an increase in ICU patients of 8 to 91, and 530 (an increase of 4) in other hospital 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

24 JUNE 2021

DUTCH POLICE BELIEVE THEY’VE DISMANTLED A CRIMINAL NETWORK THAT USED THE FLOWER AUCTION IN AALSMEER FOR COCAINE TRAFFICKING

On 23 June, the NL Times reported that packets of cocaine were found hidden underneath flowers in a transport from a warehouse near the flower auction in Aalsmeer.

https://nltimes.nl/2021/06/23/cocaine-trafficking-dutch-flower-auction-criminal-gang-busted

SOUTH FLORIDA CEO CHARGED IN MASSIVE MONEY LAUNDERING CASE TARGETING ILLICIT GOLD TRADE

On 24 June, KYC 360 reported that the owner of a transportation company that hauls gold around the US has been charged in a massive money-laundering case extending from Latin America to South Florida.  Jesus Gabriel Rodriguez Jr, 45, CEO of the armoured truck company Transvalue Inc, is the latest defendant to be charged in the multibillion-dollar conspiracy in which authorities say gold shipments were “likely” smuggled out of Venezuela through Curacao and the Cayman Islands with falsified paperwork to dupe US Customs officials at Miami International Airport into thinking they were legitimate.  He is accused of participating in a piece of the international smuggling scheme by helping coordinate more than $140 million worth of gold shipments designed to launder cash with alleged ties to criminal activity.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/south-florida-ceo-charged-in-massive-money-laundering-case-targeting-illicit-gold-trade

UNSOLVED MURDER OF BANKER STIRS FEARS THAT COMPLIANCE IS ‘RISKY BUSINESS’ IN LEBANON

On 24 June, KYC 360 reported on the apparently motiveless murder of the head of Byblos Bank’s ethics and anti-fraud department.  It is said that Lebanese bankers have drawn the conclusion that Antoine Dagher’s murder relates to his job.  He had previously served as served as the head of Byblos Bank’s compliance division for a decade, where he oversaw efforts to identify and report suspected instances of money laundering and terrorist financing. 

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/unsolved-murder-of-banker-stirs-fears-that-compliance-is-a-risky-business-in-lebanon

AUSTRIAN AUTHORITIES RAID 17 ILLEGAL GAMBLING VENUES

On 23 June, iGB reported that Austria’s financial police carried out a coordinated series of raids on 17 suspected illegal gambling venues.  The venues were described as bars and restaurants, and a total of 91 devices were confiscated and transported away by the financial police.

https://igamingbusiness.com/austrian-authorities-raid-17-illegal-gambling-venues

A PAIR OF SOUTH AFRICAN BROTHERS HAVE VANISHED, ALONG WITH BITCOIN WORTH $3.6 BILLION FROM THEIR CRYPTOCURRENCY INVESTMENT PLATFORM

On 24 June, KYC 360 reported that Africrypt Chief Operating Officer Ameer Cajee, the elder brother, informed clients in April that the company was the victim of a hack. He asked them not to report the incident to lawyers and authorities, as it would slow down the recovery process of the missing funds.  However, some sceptical investors retained a law firm and a separate group started liquidation proceedings against Africrypt.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/south-african-brothers-vanish-and-so-does-3-6-billion-in-bitcoin

THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA 

On 23 June, Dryad Global carried a short article explaining some of the problems facing Nigeria and warning of the risk of state collapse, and saying that at least 42,000 people have been killed in insurgency since 2015. 

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/the-trouble-with-buharis-nigeria-is-simply-identity

AN OVERVIEW OF CAYMAN ISLANDS FOUNDATION COMPANIES

On 23 June, an article from Carey Olsen says that a foundation company is a vehicle unique to the Cayman Islands and has features and flexibility that allow a company to retain separate legal personality and limited liability while functioning in a way similar to a civil law foundation or common law trust. 

https://www.careyolsen.com/briefings/overview-cayman-islands-foundation-companies

US: EXPORT CONTROL COMPLIANCE

On 24 June, an article in Australian Defence was the second of a 5-part series on US Export Control Compliance, this one concentrating on export licences.  It concludes by saying that, while licensing can be complex, real world cases of heavy fines and imprisonment for failure to understand licensing fundamentals provide convincing arguments for getting it right.

https://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/export-control-compliance-begins-with-understanding-export-licenses

SRI LANKA CUSTOMS SEIZE 33,680 CONCH SHELLS READY FOR ILLEGAL EXPORTATION 

On 23 June, the Sri Lanka Mirror reported that Sri Lanka Customs has seized 33,680 conch shells that were prepared to be illegally exported to India by a company in Pakistan.  The export of conch shells is banned except under the authority of an export licence.  The law also prohibits the possession, purchase, display, sale, transport or export of conch shells less than 70mm in diameter.

https://srilankamirror.com/news/23479-customs-seize-33-680-conch-shells-ready-for-illegal-exportation

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: GAMBLING SECTOR VULNERABLE TO CRIMINALS AND INTERNET GAMBLING TO BE BANNED

On 23 June, Trinidad & Tobago Newsday reported that the Finance Minister has said the lack of proper safeguards in the local gambling sector, make it vulnerable to criminals; and that as part of new legislative measures to properly regulate the sector, internet gambling will not be allowed.

https://newsday.co.tt/2021/06/23/imbert-gambling-sector-vulnerable-to-criminals/

https://igamingbusiness.com/trinidad-and-tobago-implements-tax-hike-on-gambling-sector-with-new-law/

BRAZIL ENVIRONMENT MINISTER RESIGNS AMID TIMBER SMUGGLING INQUIRY

On 24 June, The Australian reported that Brazil’s controversial environment minister, Ricardo Salles, has quit after the Supreme Court ordered an investigation into allegations that he was involved in an illegal timber trafficking scheme.  He is said to have presided over a surge in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and major cuts to environmental protection programs since taking office in January 2019.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/brazil-environment-minister-ricardo-salles-resigns-amid-timber-smuggling-inquiry/news-story/4dc9dea5b149ba1490d7c7e6a7016f33

HMRC: CO-OPERATION WITH THE WEALTHY AND THEIR AGENTS

On 24 June, HMRC reported on research which explored HMRC’s relationships with the wealthy and their agents with the aim of fostering greater trust and transparency.  HMRC commissioned this research to explore relationships with the wealthy and their agents in order to foster greater trust and transparency, reduce the tax gap and increase voluntary compliance.  It was carried out by IFF Research between February and March 2020, and consisted of 37 interviews.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/996129/HMRC_Research_Report_617_-_wealthy_individuals_and_their_agents.pdf 

UK: TREASURY COMMITTEE CALLS FOR CHANGES IN FCA APPROACH TO FRAUD

On 24 June, Pension Age reported that the House of Commons Treasury Committee has called for a change in the FCA culture and approach to fraud in its report into the watchdog’s regulation of London Capital and Finance (LCF).  The Committee complained of “a culture that saw fraud as principally a matter for the police” and the organisation’s “lack of enthusiasm to look beyond the perimeter”.

https://www.pensionsage.com/pa/Treasury-Committee-calls-FCA-changes-after-litany-failings.php

SEC AWARDS $28 MILLION+ TO WHISTLEBLOWER FOR TIP RELATING TO 2018 FCPA SETTLEMENTS

On 24 June, an article from Jones Day reported that the recent award of more than $28 million to a whistleblower who provided information that led to settled FCPA enforcement actions, including a financial settlement of more than $281 million, was the 10th largest in whistleblower programme history.  The article says that reports to the SEC have surged year over year, and the article reflects on the situation.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/sec-awards-28-million-to-whistleblower-7949109/

3 ARRESTS IN LONDON IN CONNECTION WITH HALF-TONNE AUSTRALIAN COCAINE HAUL SHIPPED FROM HEATHROW

A news release from NCA on 24 June advised that gold bullion thought to be worth in excess of £250,000 was also seized, along with keys to a safety deposit box containing £60,000 in cash.  Australian Border Force officers found the drugs concealed in a consignment in May, described as ‘lift and tailgate parts’ and which had been shipped from Heathrow using a UK freight agent.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/three-arrests-in-london-in-connection-with-half-tonne-australian-cocaine-haul-shipped-from-heathrow

EUROPOL HELPS BELGIAN AND SWISS AUTHORITIES UNRAVEL VITAE PONZI SCHEME

On 24 June, a news release from Europol reported that, with the support of Europol, the Belgian Federal Judicial Police under the jurisdiction of the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office has taken action against the alleged members of an organised crime group running a worldwide Ponzi scheme.  The criminal syndicate was using the social media platform ‘Vitae.co’ and website ‘Vitaetoken.io’ to trick people into investing into a Ponzi scheme. It is believed that some 223 000 individuals from 177 countries have fallen victim to this investment scam. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/europol-helps-belgian-and-swiss-authorities-unravel-vitae-ponzi-scheme

THE FIRST MS13 MEMBER DESIGNATED AS A TERRORIST BEING EXTRADITED FROM EL SALVADOR TO US

On 23 June, an article in Insight Crime recounts the story of the first MS13 member designated as a terrorist and the process that led the US to make that historic decision.  In 2013, the US discovered that El Salvador already had a law classifying the gang as “terrorists”, and  terrorism designation offered the US another tool to crack down on the gangs, allowing them to be prosecuted on an international level, to seek more robust convictions and to obtain a broader statute of limitations.

https://insightcrime.org/news/blue-story-ms13-first-terrorist/

IRISH WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION TO BE STRENGTHENED

On 24 June, an article from Out-Law reported that the Irish government has published proposed changes to its whistleblowing legislation, aimed at extending its scope and increasing protection to those disclosing corporate wrongdoing.  It provides protections for certain individuals who make a protected disclosure in relation to a relevant wrongdoing. The Bill proposes to extend these protections in a number of ways and widens the definition of “worker”, i.e. those who can make a disclosure. 

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/irish-whistleblower-protection-to-be-strengthened

ANALYSIS OF TRADE DATA PAYS OFF, SO WHY IS CUSTOMS NOT EMBRACING IT MORE WIDELY?

On 23 June, the WCO has published the latest edition of the WCO News magazine.  It included this article on how software and data can be used to target trade crime.  It refers back to a 2015 article about the Trade Transparency Unit (TTU) programme, which was first established in 2004.  It explains that the guiding premise of the TTU is that governments on both sides of trade transactions must be able to compare and analyse trade data to identify anomalies in a trade transaction.  It says that it helped the US and TTU partner countries to target crime and recover billions of dollars.

https://mag.wcoomd.org/magazine/wco-news-95-june-2021/analysis-of-trade-data-pays-off-so-why-is-customs-not-embracing-it-more-widely/

https://mag.wcoomd.org/magazine/wco-news-95-june-2021/

NORTH KOREA TO REPLACE 10,000 WORKERS DISPATCHED TO CHINA

On 23 June, Radio Free Asia reported that many of the workers became stranded at the end of their China stint due to coronavirus and have not seen their families in years.  It says that North Korea is planning to repatriate 10,000 workers dispatched to earn foreign currency in China but were stranded by the coronavirus pandemic, replacing them with younger recruits.  It says that, though the workers are only getting 20% of what they earned, with the rest going to the government, they are still receiving about 70 times the North Korean monthly government salary.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/china-06232021175823.html

THE CONTROVERSIAL LUCRATIVE BUSINESS OF SWISS ARMS DEALS

On 23 June, Swissinfo reported that the Swiss arms industry has posted record exports figures; but says that it often deals with disreputable business partners.  The Swiss parliament, facing the threat of a people’s initiative, is seeking to tighten the screws on weapon exporters.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/the-controversial-lucrative-business-of-swiss-arms-deals/46725694

THE INVESTIGATIONS SERIES PART ONE: ‘THE SUSPICIOUS MIND’

On 23 June, ACFCS said a series of articles will tackle issues that directly affect everyday work life, with the goal of offering practical, tactical takeaways that can immediately help one think differently, analyse more fully and act and react more quickly looking at historical and emerging challenges through the lens of an experienced investigator.It starts by considering what Elvis called “a suspicious mind.” Such a stratagem is crucial in allowing you to objectively perform a full fraud or AML investigation within an organisation – and choose when, and when not, to file SAR.

https://www.acfcs.org/special-acfcs-report-the-front-lines-the-investigations-series-part-one-the-suspicious-mind/

HOW CYBER SLEUTHS CRACKED AN ATM SHIMMER GANG

On 23 June, a post from Krebs on Security reported on advanced new “shimming” devices made to steal data from chip card transactions that began to be discovered in 2015, and how a former Secret Service agent helped crack a code that revealed the contours of a global organised crime ring.  The shimmers were an innovation that caused concern on multiple levels, and took advantage of weaknesses in the way many banks at the time implemented the new chip card standard.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/06/how-cyber-sleuths-cracked-an-atm-shimmer-gang/

WHY FCPA COVER-UPS ARE WORSE THAN THE CRIME

On 24 June, a post on the FCPA Blog warns that individuals convicted of a criminal FCPA violation face up to 5 years in prison – but anyone guilty of violating the federal obstruction statute can be jailed for up to 20 years.  It says that Congress passed the obstruction statute mainly as a reaction to the Enron scandal.

https://fcpablog.com/2021/06/24/why-fcpa-cover-ups-are-worse-than-the-crime/

CHINA CONSTRICTS SHARING OF IN-COUNTRY CORPORATE AND PERSONAL DATA THROUGH NEW LEGISLATION

On 23 June, the Compliance and Enforcement blog from the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law says that China is clamping down on the extraction of litigation- and investigation-related corporate and personal data from China — and this may squeeze litigants and investigation subjects in the future.  The post details how the laws could have far-reaching implications for companies and individuals seeking to provide data to foreign courts or enforcement agencies in the context of government investigations or litigation, and appear to expand the data transfer restrictions set forth in other recent Chinese laws.

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2021/06/23/china-constricts-sharing-of-in-country-corporate-and-personal-data-through-new-legislation/

WEBINAR – THE FATF STANDARDS AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (PART 1: ASSESSING THE PAST)

On 8 July, RUSI is hosting a webinar saying that as FATF considers ways to mitigate the unintended consequences of its financial crime standards, the 3-part webinar series will assess the FATF’s work on this issue to-date, identify current challenges and take a look ahead to future ways in which its standards might be manipulated.  The first webinar in this series will consider FATF’s past efforts related to not-for-profit organisations, money service businesses and correspondent banking.

https://www.rusi.org/events/open-to-all/fatf-standards-and-unintended-consequences-part-1-assessing-past

TAXATION OF THE DIGITALISED ECONOMY

On 22 June, KPMG published the updated edition of this digest and developments involving direct and indirect taxes. 

https://tax.kpmg.us/content/dam/tax/en/pdfs/2021/digitalized-economy-taxation-developments-summary.pdf

HOW PALM OIL BECAME THE WORLD’S MOST HATED, MOST USED FAT SOURCE

On 24 June, an article in The Conversation looks at the history of the uses of palm oil, and how palm oil consumption grew as competitors dropped away: first whale oil in the 1960s, then fats like tallow and lard, then trans-fats.

https://theconversation.com/how-palm-oil-became-the-worlds-most-hated-most-used-fat-source-161165

RANSOMWARE, DATA BREACH, CYBERATTACK: WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION, AND HOW WORRIED SHOULD YOU BE?

On 24 June, an article in The Conversation says that having your data stolen from a company can be scary, but it is also an opportunity to take stock and apply some common-sense measures to protect your data elsewhere.  Even if your data has not been exposed yet, why not take the time now to protect yourself?  It says that this starts with a risk assessment.

https://theconversation.com/ransomware-data-breach-cyberattack-what-do-they-have-to-do-with-your-personal-information-and-how-worried-should-you-be-162404

US SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES US CORPORATE LIABILITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OVERSEAS

On 24 June, Wilmer Hale issued a Client Alert concerned with the recent decision which further limited the ability of plaintiffs to seek redress in US courts for human rights abuses that occur overseas, but did not go as far in restricting those suits as some had hoped.  Flowing from the use of forced or child labour in Ivory Coast, the decision says that the relevant law does not confer jurisdiction over claims against US corporations stemming from injury that occurred overseas if the only domestic conduct consists of “general corporate activity.”

https://wilmerhalecommunications.com/e/ouuqt50klyzrw/d8783032-6210-43de-b419-377208d9cfcf

YEMEN’S HOUTHIS AND THE TERRORIST DESIGNATION SYSTEM

On 10 June, the International Centre for Counter terrorism in The Hague published a policy brief reminding one that in January the US designated Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO), prompting fears that the resulting sanctions would worsen Yemen’s dire humanitarian situation.  The Biden Administration swiftly reversed the move amid fears of imminent famine.  The article examines what an FTO listing (and other categories in the current US designation system) means in both practical and symbolic terms.  It discusses the challenges that arise when listed groups control territory, both in terms of the impact on civilian populations and the way in which designations can reduce rather than increase the prospects for workable peace negotiations.  The article goes on to discuss the particular dynamics of the Houthi case, which provides a compelling illustration of the intensely political and symbolic nature of the terrorist designation system.

https://icct.nl/app/uploads/2021/06/Houthi-Terrorist-Designation-Policy-Brief.pdf

SOUTH AFRICA: REGULATOR SAYS CRYPTOCURRENCY PONZI SCHEME OUT OF ITS REACH

On 24 June, BNN Bloomberg reported that South Africa’s financial regulator says its hands are tied in the alleged $3.6 billion Bitcoin fraud at Africrypt because cryptocurrency is not yet a regulated product in the country.  The Financial Sector Conduct Authority said all it can do is review complaints because “crypto assets are not regulated in terms of any financial sector law in South Africa and consequently the FSCA is not in a position to take any regulatory action”.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/south-africa-bitcoin-ponzi-scheme-out-of-regulator-s-reach-1.1621411

IN THE 1930s THE BAHAMAS BECAME A TAX PROBLEM FOR TREASURY

An article in Forbes magazine, in the light of recent discussions on tax haven blacklists and minimum tax rates, says that efforts to blame the island nation for problems with US tax enforcement are hardly new.  They date to the 1930s, when wealthy Americans discovered that the Bahamas could be used for more than just liquor smuggling (as they were during the Prohibition era).  In the 1930s, wealthy taxpayers developed Bahamas-based strategies to blunt the rising tax rates of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  Again in the light of recent developments, the article concludes that what is most striking was the willingness of US officials to take responsibility for the problems plaguing their own tax system, and their unwillingness to stigmatise “tax haven” jurisdictions as somehow lawless or ethically compromised.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxnotes/2021/06/24/in-the-1930s-the-bahamas-became-a-tax-problem-for-treasury

THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE US INTO A TAX AND PRIVACY HAVEN

On 24 June, Mintz commented on the recent ProPublica leak of private billionaire tax records in the US.  It says that not only being a haven for American super-rich, the US is rapidly becoming the go-to repository for foreign depositors looking to hide assets from creditors or fraud victims.

The article provides a link to a Rolling Stones magazine article of 22 June: “Inside the Shadowy Industry Where the Uber-Rich Pay Millions to Hide Trillions”

https://insights.mintz.com/post/102h166/leaked-billionaire-tax-records-highlight-the-need-for-asset-recovery-claimants-to

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/propublica-billionaires-taxes-wealth-defense-industry-1187564/

BULGARIAN AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE 14 SUSPECT KIDNEY TRANSPLANTS

On 24 June, Rferl reported that the Acting Bulgarian Interior Minister has said that the authorities are investigating 14 cases of foreign nationals receiving illegal kidney transplants in Bulgaria.  It is said that at least for some of the transplants carried out between 2019 and April 2021 at the state-run Lozenets Hospital in Sofia, the recipients of the kidneys were registered under false identities and documents to prove their relation to the donors.  In all 14 cases, young Moldovans and Ukrainians were identified with false documents as relatives of kidney recipients from Israel, Germany, and Oman, among other countries.

https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-suspect-kidney-transplants/31324735.html

https://www.ukpandi.com/news-and-resources/articles/2021/day-of-the-seafarer-2021/

DANSKE BANK: WHAT WENT WRONG?

Control Risks produced a short article which explores how Danske Bank of Denmarkcame to be embroiled in one of the world’s largest money laundering scandals as a result of activities at its Estonian branch.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQFHNkaoEZRCyQ/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1624555946905?e=1624662000&v=beta&t=F01gVKF88AzrlnREIYsW6eSKcyuF7HpT9UjOjFhhIr8

ACCOUNT FREEZING ORDERS AND ACCOUNT FORFEITURE ORDERS – A WARNING FOR COMPLIANCE OFFICERS

On 24 June, a briefing from Peters & Peters looks at the now commonly-deployed Account Freezing Orders (AFrO) and Account Forfeiture Orders (AFO) and says that an understanding of the issues that enforcement bodies face when relying on information obtained from abroad will be increasingly important for people who work in (or give advice about) financial crime compliance.  It notes that the NCA has been very clear about its objective (in the Home Office Asset Recovery Action Plan of 2019) of “working better with international partners” in order to develop “a fully effective response to asset recovery”. 

https://www.comp-matters.com/article.php?id=191656#.YNUOzRGSmM-

THE TOP 7 SUPPLY CHAIN TRENDS TO BE AWARE OF IN 2021

On 16 June, Global Trade Magazine published an article saying that staying up-to-date with the latest changes will ensure that one stays resilient with the ever-changing market and safeguards the supply chain.  The article highlights the different supply chain trends one must optimise in 2021 to improve a company’s productivity and performance –

  • Blockchain technology;
  • Internet of Things (IoT);
  • Elastic Logistics – supply chains that are responsive, effective, and stable;
  • Robotics automation;
  • E-commerce logistics is expected to expand;
  • Gamification; and
  • Green logistics.

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

JERSEY: ITALIAN PRINCESS IN £100 MILLION FAMILY-WEALTH DISPUTE HAS LOST HER BID TO OVERTURN A £2 MILLION FINE

On 24 June, the Jersey Evening Post reported that Princess Camilla de Bourbon des Deux Siciles faces 12 months in prison if she does not pay the fine – imposed for contempt of court – within 3 weeks.  An order for her imprisonment would take effect after 15 July after she lost her appeal against the fine in Jersey’s Court of Appeal.  The court rejected the claim that there is sufficient evidence before the court to make a determination that she is unable to raise £2 million, or to justify an application for payment in instalments.  The fine was imposed in December after it found that the Princess had refused to inform lawyers acting for BNP of the whereabouts of assets held by, or on behalf of, her mother.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2021/06/24/princesss-attempt-to-overturn-2m-fine-rejected-by-the-court-of-appeal/

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

HOW COSTLY IS WHISTLEBLOWING?

On 24 June, a post on the Compliance and Enforcement blog from the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law refers to an attached report and says that regulators increasingly rely on whistleblowers for tip-offs.  However, the post says that a concern is that whistleblowers themselves face severe costs to help uncover corporate fraud.  However, there is no large-sample evidence on the consequences for whistleblowers.  The attached report sets out to examine the costs for whistleblowers using information from lawsuits, a professional networking site, and background checks for up to 1,168 whistleblowers.  In particular, the report investigates the career, financial, and social consequences for whistleblowers that filed lawsuits under the US False Claims Act against businesses accused of defrauding the government.  It is said that the  research results indicate that whistleblowers — especially rank-and-file employees — are subject to substantial financial costs; and that these results emphasise the importance of financial compensation for whistleblowers — for example in the form of cash-for-information whistleblower programmes.

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2021/06/24/how-costly-is-whistleblowing/

The report is at –

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3837308

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

US: FORMER GOVERNOR OF MEXICO’S THIRD-LARGEST STATE SENT TO PRISON FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement advised that Jorge Juan Torres-Lopez, 67, a former interim governor of Coahuila, Mexico, who pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2020, has been sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for his role in a money laundering scheme that included offences against a foreign nation involving bribery of a public official.  He had worked for the Mexican government from 1994 to 2011. His roles included general director of promotion and development while secretary of finance for the state of Coahuila, municipal president of Saltillo and interim governor of Coahuila.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/former-governor-mexicos-3rd-largest-state-sent-prison-money-laundering-following-ice

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

EU: NEW SANCTIONS ON BELARUS

EU Regulation 2021/1030/EU of 24 June imposed new sanctions on Belarus in response to human rights violations in Belarus, including activities relating to the forced diversion of the Ryanair flight in May.  The new measures –

  • Prohibit the provision of insurance and re-insurance to the Belarus government and public bodies;
  • Prohibit the sale, supply, transfer or export to anyone in Belarus of equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of the internet and of telephone communications;
  • Prohibit the sale, supply, transfer or export to anyone in Belarus of dual-use goods and technologies for military use and to specified persons, entities or bodies in Belarus;
  • Restrict access to EU capital markets;
  • Imposes restrictions in the trade in petroleum products, potassium chloride, and goods used for the production or manufacturing of tobacco products;
  • Requires the European Investment Bank to stop disbursement or payment under existing agreements in relation to projects in the public sector, and any existing Technical Assistance Service Contracts; and
  • Requires EU Member States to limit the involvement in Belarus of multilateral development banks of which they are members.

A news release from the EU points out that a total of 166 persons and 15 entities are currently subject to restrictive measures, which comprise an asset freeze applicable to both individuals and entities, and a travel ban on individuals.  There are already in force a ban on the overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and on the access to EU airports of flights operated by such airlines.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32021R1030&from=EN

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32021D1031&from=EN

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/06/24/eu-imposes-sanctions-on-belarusian-economy/

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ILLEGAL CHINESE CIGARETTES FLOODING LATIN AMERICA FLOW THROUGH PANAMA

Having already looked at China Tobacco’s activities in Europe, on 22 June, Insight Crime published an article says that China Tobacco’s factory (China National Tobacco Corporation, aka CNTC) in Panama was shut down by authorities after its cigarettes kept making their way onto the black market there.  A network of companies sprang up in its place — and have been shipping huge numbers of cigarettes from Panama around the region.  It refers to the Colon Free Trade Zone as “the Disneyland of smuggling”.  It says that reporters have uncovered a Panama-based network of shell companies sending huge amounts of Chinese cigarettes from the free zone into Latin American countries where there is no legal market for them. The companies have ties to China’s massive state-owned tobacco company, and are selling to accused smugglers.

https://www.occrp.org/en/loosetobacco/china-tobacco-goes-global/illegal-chinese-cigarettes-flooding-latin-america-flow-through-panama

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