OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 26

Panama Covid-19 update – another day with over 1,000 new cases (1,057 today), and with ICU and other hospitalisation numbers rising. There were 6 new fatalities, with 102 people in ICU and 548 in other 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

26 JUNE 2021

THIRD-PARTY AUDITING WON’T SOLVE US SOLAR INDUSTRY’S XINJIANG PROBLEM

On 25 June, an article from the Peterson Institute for International Economics says that the US solar industry is justifiably concerned about the US Government’s hardening stance on China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, a key supplier of polysilicon used for making the photovoltaic cells used in solar panels.  China accounts for 68% of global polysilicon production, and virtually all silicon-based solar panels are likely to contain some Xinjiang silicon.  Due to growing concerns over forced labour, the Solar Energy Industries Association, a major trade group, released guidance on traceability and good practice guidance, which included a call for independent auditing of supply chains.  However, the article remarks that this can be quite difficult to implement for a variety of reasons.

https://www.piie.com/blogs/realtime-economic-issues-watch/third-party-auditing-wont-solve-us-solar-industrys-xinjiang

INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE MOUNTS AGAINST NICARAGUA’S CRACKDOWN ON GOVERNMENT CRITICS

On 25 June, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Ortega government is taking advantage of a law that became effective late last year that criminalises acts that undermine Nicaragua’s “independence, sovereignty, and self-determination”, and allows the government to classify people as “traitors to the nation”. 

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-06-25/nicaragua-ortega-crackdown-opponents

MOST BELARUS POTASH EXPORTS NOT AFFECTED BY EU SANCTIONS

On 25 June, WTVB in Michigan reported that the EU ban on imports and transit of potash from Belarus will not affect most exports of the crop nutrient from the world’s top producer, provided the restriction stays in its current form, potash transporters and analysts have said.  Its main export product, namely potash with 60% potassium content, is not on the EU’s list of sanctioned items and sanctions have put limits on only about 20% of exports of the product transported via Lithuania.  It is said that about 11 million tonnes of Belarus potash crossed the Lithuanian border last year, with about 2.5 million tonnes falling under EU sanctions.

https://wtvbam.com/2021/06/25/most-belarus-potash-exports-not-affected-by-eu-sanctions-analysts/

FATF HIGHLIGHTS THE 3 ACTION POINTS MALTA NEEDS TO FULFIL TO MOVE OFF GREY LIST

On 25 June, the Malta Independent reported that FATF has highlighted 3 points which Malta must fulfil in order to move off the grey list of financial jurisdictions.  The issues concern placing an increased focus on criminal tax related issues and money laundering issues, more support from the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit to authorities in such cases, and having accurate and up-to-date Beneficial Owner databases, especially on previously anonymous shell companies.

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2021-06-25/local-news/FATF-highlights-the-three-action-points-Malta-needs-to-fulfill-to-move-off-grey-list-6736234688

AVIATION INDUSTRY FIGHTING ILLEGAL CHARTERS

An article on the Blue Sky website says that the the private aviation industry is working to stem the growth of illegal charters that threaten the lives of the passengers who book them, and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) now has a hotline for reporting illegal charters.

https://www.blueskynews.aero/issue-611-CARIBAVIA/Industry-Fighting-Illegal-Charters-By-Kathryn-B-Creedy.html

https://www.nata.aero/illegal-charter-task-force/resources

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WRONGFUL TRADING?

On 25 June, an article from Morton Fraser says that, as a result of temporary provisions that have been in place since March 2020, during the Covid period directors have been broadly protected from the risk of personal liability for wrongful trading.  Those temporary provisions are due to end on 30 June, and as a result, the law on wrongful trading again becomes highly relevant.  The law potentially expose directors (and shadow directors) of companies that go into liquidation or administration to a risk of personal liability in respect of the debts of the insolvent company.  

https://www.morton-fraser.com/knowledge-hub/wrongful-trading

UK: CAN THE AVIATION SECTOR TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREEPORT SCHEME?

An article from HFW said considers how the aviation sector has sought to take advantage of the new Freeport scheme and whether Freeport status might help an industry still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.  10 airports in England were involved in bids for Freeport status out of 18 bids received. 

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003126-HFW-Freeports-can-the-aviation-sector-take-advantage-of-the-freeport-scheme-June-2021.pdf

GAMBLING ADDICT STOLE MORE THAN £100,000 SELLING FAKE INSURANCE POLICIES FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

On 26 June, My London reported that a conman worked for an insurance company and was caught moving money into his own bank account – and even implicated his own mother.  Steve Balcombe, 42, from Tonbridge, made more than £106,000 selling fake insurance policies for the musical industry.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/gambling-addict-stole-more-100k-20907925

GUILLERMO LEÓN ACEVEDO GIRALDO (AKA “MEMO FANTASMA”) – FORMER PARAMILITARY LEADER AND LONG-TIME DRUG TRAFFICKER – ESCAPED PROSECUTION FOR DECADES BY LIVING BEHIND A FAÇADE OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESS DEALINGS – CAPTURED IN COLOMBIA

On 25 June, an article in Insight Crime reported that Memo Fantasma (“Will the Ghost”), was well known in the underworld because he had worked with various drug trafficking organisations in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  He was able to build an aviation, cattle ranching and real estate business with holdings in Europe and South America.

https://insightcrime.org/news/accused-drug-trafficker-guillermo-acevedo-memo-fantasma-captured-in-bogota/

NORTH KOREA’S ENDURING ECONOMIC AND SECURITY PRESENCE IN AFRICA

On 24 June, an article from 38 North says that 3 decades after the end of the Cold War, North Korea maintains an economic, diplomatic and security footprint in Africa.  It says that its enduring appeal as a partner with these countries can be explained by its low-cost arms transfers, African efforts to develop indigenous defence infrastructures, North Korean dispatch of guest workers to meet labour needs and the use of ideologically-based soft power.  While the array of partners in Africa has steadily declined since the early 2000s, its presence on the continent is larger than anywhere else in the Global South.

https://www.38north.org/2021/06/north-koreas-enduring-economic-and-security-presence-in-africa/

ASSESSING POTENTIAL ECONOMIC POLICY RESPONSES TO GENOCIDE IN XINJIANG

The Peterson Institute for International Economics has published a Policy Brief saying that the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is a pivotal source of products, including cotton and refined silica, that feed into global supply chains.  This presents the US and other countries with the difficult task of addressing abuses in a country and region that is central to the global economy.  The Policy Brief examines options which include a programme of presumptive restrictions on imports from Xinjiang; mandatory due diligence laws; individually targeted sanctions against perpetrators and sanctions against businesses aiding and abetting the abuses through the production of surveillance technology; and more symbolic acts, such as naming and shaming in the UN and boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

https://www.piie.com/sites/default/files/documents/pb21-14.pdf

THE ROLE OF RUSSIAN PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANIES IN ARMED CONFLICTS

The Inform Napalm website has produced a report saying that PMC have moved on from guarding production facilities, escorting valuable cargoes or protecting VIPs against violent attacks, to carrying out offensive missions and even serving as the backbone of an occupation army.  It looks at the evolution of Russian PMC.

https://informnapalm.rocks/pmc_rush

INQUIRY: THE ADEQUACY AND EFFICACY OF AUSTRALIA’S AML/CFT REGIME

The Parliament of Australia has reported the terms of reference of a Parliamentary inquiry, and the inquiry has called for the submission of evidence by 27 August.

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/AUSTRAC

ENGLISH HIGH COURT: MALAWI FARMERS’ CLAIMS AGAINST TOBACCO COMPANIES ALLOWED TO PROCEED

On 26 June, an article in Ekklesia reported that the High Court had dismissed an application to strike out a claim brought by more than 7,000 Malawian tobacco farmers and their families, including over 3,000 children, against British American Tobacco and Imperial.  The claims were brought by tobacco farmers and their wives and children, alleging that the companies are responsible for the farmers being exploited on the Malawian tobacco farms. They also argue that BAT and Imperial have been unjustly enriched because the tobacco is being produced in conditions that amount to child and forced labour.

https://www.ekklesia.co.uk/2021/06/26/child-farmer-claims-against-tobacco-companies-allowed-to-proceed/

CARIBBEAN: FINANCIAL FLOWS FROM HUMAN TRAFFICKING

On 25 June, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) issued a communique saying that at a Plenary in May members approved a Project Report of the CFATF Risk, Trends and Methodologies Group (CRTMG) on “The Financial Flows From Human Trafficking and the Smuggling Of Migrants”.  It says that, according to the ILO, human trafficking alone generates more than $150 billion in criminal proceeds per year, of which commercial sexual exploitation and forced economic exploitation are two main contributing crimes.  It was with this in mind that the project was initiated.  The Plenary approved a project which aims to complement previous studies, by the FATF and in a 2014 CFATF Report on human trafficking, by providing a regional perspective on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants whilst identifying indicators and trends, with a focus on the financial flows relevant to activities within the Caribbean region.  The findings of the analyses of the responses to the project questionnaire will assist stakeholders in creating awareness and related money laundering/terrorism financing activities.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/home-test/english-documents/cfatf-resources/16373-communique-financial-flows-from-human-trafficking/file

NEW STANDARD CONTRACTUAL CLAUSES: MORE CERTAINTY FOR DATA EXPORTS AT THE COST OF INCREASED CHECKS AND COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS

On 21 June, an article from Osborne Clarke says that, from 27 June, organisations will be able to use the European Commission’s long-awaited new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC), aka model clauses, for data transfers from the EEA to recipients in third countries. The article addresses questions – when can one use the new SCC; why are they required; when to use them; what are the important changes and the consequences.

https://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/new-standard-contractual-clauses-more-certainty-for-data-exports-at-the-cost-of-increased-checks-and-compliance-obligations/

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s