OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 2

Panama Covid-19 update – another with over 1,000 new cases, and with numbers hospitalised slowly rising…1,030 new cases and 6 new fatalities announced today (including 2 fatalities from earlier periods). There are now 12,832 active cases, with 108 in ICU and 583 in other wards.

2 JULY 2021

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CYBER INSURANCE AND THE CYBER SECURITY CHALLENGE

On 28 June, an Occasional Paper from RUSI says that cyber risk poses a complicated and growing challenge for governments, businesses and consumers.  This paper explores cyber insurance’s potential contribution to solving this problem.  It says that as moves to prevent, mitigate and recover from malicious cyber activity has progressed, one tool that has gained traction is cyber insurance and, if it can follow the path of other insurance classes, it could play a significant role in managing digital risk.  This paper explores whether cyber insurance can incentivise better cyber security practices among policyholders.  However, cyber insurance as a whole is still struggling to move from theory into practice when it comes to incentivising cyber security.

https://www.rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/occasional-papers/cyber-insurance-and-cyber-security-challenge

1 JULY MARKS THE LAUNCH OF THE LEGAL ONLINE CASINO MARKET IN GERMANY

On 1 July, iGB reported that operators in Germany will now be able to offer poker and slot games online.  Previously, sports betting was the only form of online gambling permitted in the country.  The State Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv) entered into operation on 1 July.

https://igamingbusiness.com/new-era-for-german-igaming-begins-with-state-treatys-implementation

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT FIRES A HEALTH OFFICIAL AFTER HE REPORTEDLY ASKED FOR A BRIBE IN A CORONAVIRUS VACCINE DEAL

On 1 July, KYC 360 reported that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired a health official on after he reportedly asked for a bribe in a coronavirus vaccine deal, the latest graft accusation to rock the government.  The scandal has triggered fresh calls for impeachment against Bolsonaro.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/bolsonaro-fires-official-after-graft-claims-as-impeachment-calls-grow

UK ‘GOLDEN VISA’ FIRM FILES FOR INSOLVENCY FOLLOWING FCA BAN

On 2 July, KYC 360 reported that London-based wealth manager Dolfin Financial (UK) Limited, which helped its overseas investors with visas, has filed for administration.  As well as providing financial services, the firm also helped manage investments that allow wealthy clients to gain Tier 1 Investor Visas.  The FCA began a review of Dolfin in December 2019 and stopped the firm carrying out regulated activities in March.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/u-k-golden-visa-firm-files-for-insolvency-following-fca-ban/

https://www.fca.org.uk/news/news-stories/restrictions-placed-dolfin-financial-uk-ltd

RECENT CASES ON CIVIL FORFEITURE OF PROPERTY UNDER MALAYSIA’S AML LAW

On 1 July, an article from Skrine examines several recent cases which shed light on the courts’ approach to an application for forfeiture of property under Section 56 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.  The article says that it is clear from the cases discussed that the courts adopt a strict approach in evaluating the evidence presented even if the standard is on a balance of probabilities and particular importance is placed on the sufficiency and admissibility of evidence.

https://www.skrine.com/insights/alerts/july-2021/recent-cases-on-civil-forfeiture-of-property-under

LEGALITY OF ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES IN HONG KONG

On 28 May, an article from Haldanes Solicitors considers the position of electronic signatures under Hong Kong law.

https://www.haldanes.com/legality-of-electronic-signatures-in-hong-kong/

AUDIO: THE INTRODUCTION OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES (LLC) IN GUERNSEY

A short audio addresses questions in regard to the introduction of limited liability companies (LLC) to Guernsey.

https://www.mourant.com/news-and-views/updates/updates-2021/mourant-vlog-series-the-introduction-of-limited-liability-companies-in-guernsey.aspx#page=1

TALIBAN DONATIONS SOAR IN PAKISTAN AHEAD OF US PULLOUT FROM AFGHANISTAN

On 19 June, VoA reported that donations to the Afghan Taliban are on the upswing in Pakistan border regions as the militant group intensifies attacks against Afghan forces ahead of the US troop withdrawal, locals told VOA.

https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/taliban-donations-soar-pakistan-ahead-us-pullout-afghanistan

CAMBODIAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS CHARGED WITH TERRORISM

On 18 June, UCA News reported that Cambodian police allege the Mother Nature activists received terrorism financing from abroad to topple the government.  It said that authorities have arrested 3 people from the environmental group, charged them with terrorism and alleged their activities were “planned by foreign bosses abroad”.  The US has cut aid to the Cambodian government wildlife and environmental conservation programmes, saying the government had failed to defend protected areas from illegal logging.

https://www.ucanews.com/news/cambodian-environmentalists-charged-with-terrorism/92937#

INDONESIAN EXTREMISTS FINANCE JIHAD WITH CHARITY

On 24 June, France 24 reported that generous Indonesians donating their spare change to the poor and needy are unwittingly helping finance deadly terror attacks and jihadist training camps, in a scam that has netted big money for extremist groups.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210624-alms-for-terror-indonesian-extremists-finance-jihad-with-charity

CANADA: FINTRAC SEES RISING THREAT FROM FAR-RIGHT TERRORISTS

On 15 June, the Investment Executive reported that FINTRAC had said in a bulletin that banks and investment dealers should be aware of these groups’ financing behaviour.  FINTRAC is said to be keeping tabs on transactions involving ideologically motivated violent extremist (IMVE) groups.  The bulletin also detailed FINTRAC’s observations regarding so-called “lone actors” who attempt to carry out attacks by themselves.

https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/industry-news/fintrac-sees-rising-threat-from-far-right-terrorists/

MONTENEGRO CONSIDERS BANNING TOBACCO STORAGE TO COUNTER SMUGGLING

On 2 July, Balkan Insight reported that, concerned by the country’s reputation as a hub for smuggling counterfeit cigarettes into Europe, the authorities have announced plans to outlaw tobacco storage in the main port of Bar.  They announced the start of a legal process to prohibit storage of tobacco products.

https://balkaninsight.com/2021/07/02/montenegro-mulls-banning-tobacco-storage-in-bar-to-counter-smuggling/

IRAQ AND SYRIA: THE LOCAL AND REGIONAL IMPACT OF ILLICIT ECONOMIES

On 2 July, Global Risk Insight published a second article which examines illicit economic activities in greater detail showing the impact on a local to regional scale and the wider reverberating consequences.  Among other things, it says that along the Syria and Iraq border cross-border oil and gas trading, weapons, human and goods smuggling are rampant.  In Syria, the drug Captagon is widely used amongst armed actors to improve concentration, energy, and drug-infused courage; and the use of crystal-meth has increased in Iraq in recent years, making up to 60% of Iraq’s drug trade.

https://globalriskinsights.com/2021/07/iraq-and-syria-the-local-and-regional-impact-of-illicit-economies/

INDIA: BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS YAMI GAUTAM SUMMONED IN ALLEGED MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

In India on 2 July, the media was full of stores about this Bollywood actress, saying that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Bollywood actress Yami Gautam for questioning in an alleged money laundering case.

https://www.cnbctv18.com

BERMUDA: CRYPTOCURRENCY EXECUTIVE FACES EXTRADITION TO FACE US MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

On 2 July, the Royal Gazette reported that Gregory Dwyer, a Australian senior employee for the cryptocurrency derivative exchange platform BitMEX, and  living in Bermuda is facing extradition to the US to face money laundering charges.  A criminal indictment alleges the Bitmex exchange was being used by hackers to launder stolen money, and by people in countries under US sanctions, including Iran.  It also claims the company solicited and accepted customers in the US, despite not being registered with the CFTC and even after it sought to exempt itself from US law by incorporating in the Seychelles.

https://www.royalgazette.com/court/news/article/20210702/cryptocurrency-executive-faces-extradition-to-face-us-money-laundering-charges/

TRINIDAD PASTOR CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING

On 2 July, Storbroek News reported that Pastor Vinworth Dayal, a pastor from south Trinidad, who allegedly attempted to change almost $28 million in old $100 notes into new polymer replacements on the deadline for doing so almost 2 years ago, has been granted $10 million bail after appearing in court charged with money laundering. 

https://www.stabroeknews.com/2021/07/02/news/regional/trinidad/trinidads-pastor-dayal-charged-with-money-laundering/

https://trinidadexpress.com/newsextra/10-million-bail-for-pastor-charged-with-money-laundering/article_a149ba3c-dabf-11eb-af77-efbf690343f1.html

BACKGROUND CHECKS – WHEN HOW AND WHY?

On 2 July, Bird & Bird published a webinar saying that its Commercial and Employment expert lawyers guides one through this very interesting and topical subject.  It includes –

  • General employment and GDPR aspects to consider in relation to background check/screenings; 
  • The ability to use a screening company and/or a third-party service provider;
  • A practical guide explaining (i) the purpose of background checks/screenings, (ii) how to perform an appropriate background check/screening, (iii) when should background checks/screenings take place to be in a position to act, and (iv) how should an employer act in case the background check/screening is not clean; and
  • How to deal with sensitive personal data.

https://watch.twobirds.com/background-checks-when-how-and-why

PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT: CODES OF PRACTICE JUNE 2021

On 2 July, the Home Office published updated versions of the various Codes of Practice for use of the Act.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proceeds-of-crime-act-codes-of-practice-june-2021

12 ARRESTED IN SAUDI OVER COVID VACCINE FORGERY

On 2 July, the Middle East Monitor reported that a number of employees from the Ministry of Health have been arrested on suspicion that they modified residents’ coronavirus vaccination records in exchange for fees.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210702-12-arrested-in-saudi-over-covid-vaccine-forgery/

38 ALBANIANS ARRESTED IN ITALIAN-LED DRUG TRAFFICKING PROBE

On 2 July, ABC News reported that Albanian authorities say 38 Albanian nationals including a prosecutor, a government department head and 3 senior police officers have been arrested for drug trafficking, corruption, abuse of post and money laundering.  28 of the suspects – including 2 bodyguards who worked for a former Albanian interior minister – were arrested in Albania.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/38-albanians-arrested-italian-led-drug-trafficking-probe-78628580

US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO BAN PASSENGER FLIGHTS TO BELARUS

On 1 July, an article from Holland & Knight reported that, on 29 June, DoT issued an order prohibiting the sale of passenger air transportation between the US and Belarus, subject only to possible exceptions granted for humanitarian or national security-related travel.  This followed the diversion of a Ryanair flight, which was forced to divert to Minsk on 23 May.  The prohibition is expected to become final shortly after the issuance of a final order.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/aviation-update-department-of-5065555/

GOVERNMENT OF BURKINA FASO SUED AFTER OCCRP INVESTIGATION

A 2 July, OCCRP reported that a grassroots organization in Burkina Faso has filed a complaint against the government, citing an OCCRP investigation that connected the state to a massive smuggling operation which financed regional terrorism.  The action calls for a criminal investigation into OCCRP’s findings re Apollinaire Compaore, a Burkinabe tycoon and the representative of Philip Morris in West Africa.  The investigation by OCCRP showed that Apollinaire had for 2 decades overseen a smuggling operation that saw billions of cigarettes fall into the hands of armed groups in Mali.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14743-government-of-burkina-faso-sued-after-occrp-investigation

ONLINE SEX TRAFFICKING MARKET HAS EVOLVED SINCE 2018

On 2 July, OCCRP said that a GAO report in the US has revealed that the online sex trafficking industry has become more fragmented since passage of a new federal sex trafficking law and the seizure of online sex trafficking marketplace backpage.com in 2018.  The GAO report reviews the online commercial sex market from 2014 through 2020.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14742-online-sex-trafficking-market-has-evolved-since-2018-gao-report-reveals

DIRECTOR’S FIDUCIARY DUTIES AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE DIRECTORSHIP

On 24 June, an article from Littleton Chambers was concerned with a case in which the High Court in England was asked to determine whether, and if so to what extent, a director’s fiduciary duties survive the termination of the directorship.  It explained that the question arises because of the way in which the Companies Act sets out director’s duties and the interplay between the codified duties in statute and the common law and equitable duties which are the genesis of the statutory obligations.  The article says that conduct entirely post-dating termination can form the basis of a claim – so that there need not be a ”clean break” effected by means of a director resigning.

https://littletonchambers.com/articles-webinars/fiduciary-duties-beyond-the-fiduciary-relationship-no-clean-break-for-directors/

FISHERMEN FIGHT OFF PIRATE ATTACKS IN ECUADOR

On 1 July, Insight Crime reported that fishermen in Ecuador have taken matters into their own hands to combat pirate attacks that have long plagued the nation’s coastal provinces.  It is said that Groups of heavily armed pirates working along Ecuador’s western coast have targeting small fishing vessels for years to steal their motors, and these engines are then often used onboard boats transporting drugs. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/fishermen-fight-pirate-attacks-ecuador/

UZBEK COVID RESPONSE SHOWN TO BENEFIT POLITICAL INSIDERS

A video from Rferl on 2 July says that by June 2021 the costs of fighting the pandemic had risen to $8 billion, and an investigation examined some of the possible causes for some of the excess spending, including no-bid contracts granted to companies controlled by close allies of the President.

https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbekistan-covid-response-funds-corruption/31336273.html

FRANCE PROBES FASHION RETAILERS XINJIANG LINKS

On 2 July, Reuters reported that French prosecutors have opened an investigation into 4 fashion retailers suspected of concealing “crimes against humanity” in China’s Xinjiang region.  France has a Central Office to Fight Crimes against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes, founded in 2013.

https://www.reuters.com/world/china/france-investigate-fashion-retailers-concealing-crimes-against-humanity-xinjiang-2021-07-01/

SOUTH AFRICA IS ACCELERATING ITS PUSH TO REGULATE CRYPTO ASSETS AFTER SCAMS

On 1 July, Coindesk reported that a regulatory structure should be in place in 3 to 6 months.

https://www.coindesk.com/south-africa-to-accelerate-crypto-regulation-in-wake-of-scams-report

ALBANIA: HOSTAGE TO THE COCAINE SUPPLY CHAIN

On 1 July, a report from Balkan Insight took an in-depth look at the drugs trade, Albania and involvement of Albanian gangs in that country and elsewhere in Europe.

https://balkaninsight.com/2021/07/01/albanian-crime-story-hostage-to-the-cocaine-supply-chain/

INTERNAL AUDIT’S ROLE IN ESG

On 30 June, a blog post from Internal Auditor (by a visiting professor at Birmingham City University, University of Lincoln, and London South Bank University; and the first president of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors in the UK) comments on recent material concerning the role of internal audit in ensuring ESG compliance and combating ESG risks. 

https://iaonline.theiia.org/blogs/Your-Voices/2021/Pages/On-the-Frontlines-Internal-Audits-Role-in-ESG.aspx

HAVANA CLUB PRODUCER ENDS CUBA TRAFFICKING LAWSUIT

On 23 June, Global Investigation review reported that French alcoholic beverage producer Pernod Ricard has defeated a US lawsuit brought against it for allegedly profiting from seized Cuban property by selling Havana Club rum under the Helms-Burton Act.

https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/just-sanctions/havana-club-producer-ends-cuba-trafficking-lawsuit

https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sunday-finance/cuba-s-havana-club-rum-faced-with-gauntlet_of_US_sanctions_186472

UKRAINE: NEW WAVE OF RUSSIA SANCTIONS AND EXTENSION OF PRE-EXISTING DESIGNATIONS

On 2 July, the EU Sanctions blog reported that, on 23 June, the Ukraine President signed off a new wave of Russia sanctions, as well as the extension of pre-existing designations.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/07/ukraine-imposes-and-extends-russia-sanctions/

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NORTHERN IRELAND: TOBACCO FACTORY CAPABLE OF EVADING £160 MILLION IN DUTY AND TAXES DISMANTLED

On 2 July, ITV News reported that an illicit tobacco factory capable of producing more than 390 million cigarettes a year and evading more than £160 million in lost duty and taxes has been dismantled in Co Armagh.  An estimated 11 tonnes of loose tobacco was seized, along with 1.6 million counterfeit cigarettes and the materials and equipment to produce many more.

https://www.itv.com/news/utv/2021-07-02/co-armagh-tobacco-factory-capable-of-evading-160m-in-duty-and-taxes-dismantled

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

OFAC: REMOVAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT-RELATED SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

On 2 July, a news release from OFAC advised that it has cancelled the Regulations because the national emergency on which the restrictions were based was terminated by the President on 1 April. 

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210702_33

https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-14337.pdf

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US SANCTIONS: ADDED BURMA/MYANMAR-RELATED DESIGNATIONS; IRAN-RELATED AND NON-PROLIFERATION DESIGNATIONS REMOVED

On 2 July, a news release from OFAC advised that 22 new individuals had been added to the Burmese/Myanmar sanctions lists.  The same news release advised that 4 Iran-linked names had been removed from sanctions lists.

At the same time, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has also added the following entities that have provided support to the Myanmar military to its Entity List, which imposes export licensing restrictions: King Royal Technologies Co., Ltd; Wanbao Mining; Myanmar Wanbao Mining Copper, Ltd.; Myanmar Yang Tse Copper, Ltd

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210702

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0260

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2021/07/commerce-increases-restrictions-burmese-military-adding-four-entities

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

FRAUDULENT COVID VACCINATION CERTIFICATES AND STOLEN VACCINES ON DARKNET MARKETS

On 1 July. Coinfirm provided selected materials and findings from an investigation undertaken by Coinfirm into the trading of Covid-19 vaccination certificates, vaccines and tests in darknet markets. The investigation found scammers offering vaccines on the darknet, probable health sector corruption and further proof that blockchain services with no KYC are used as criminal gateways.

https://www.coinfirm.com/blog/covid-vaccine-darknet-markets/

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

FRANCE PROBES FASHION RETAILERS XINJIANG LINKS

On 2 July, Reuters reported that French prosecutors have opened an investigation into 4 fashion retailers suspected of concealing “crimes against humanity” in China’s Xinjiang region.  France has a Central Office to Fight Crimes against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes, founded in 2013.

https://www.reuters.com/world/china/france-investigate-fashion-retailers-concealing-crimes-against-humanity-xinjiang-2021-07-01/

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

DIRECTOR’S FIDUCIARY DUTIES AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE DIRECTORSHIP

On 24 June, an article from Littleton Chambers was concerned with a case in which the High Court in England was asked to determine whether, and if so to what extent, a director’s fiduciary duties survive the termination of the directorship.  It explained that the question arises because of the way in which the Companies Act sets out director’s duties and the interplay between the codified duties in statute and the common law and equitable duties which are the genesis of the statutory obligations.  The article says that conduct entirely post-dating termination can form the basis of a claim – so that there need not be a ”clean break” effected by means of a director resigning.

https://littletonchambers.com/articles-webinars/fiduciary-duties-beyond-the-fiduciary-relationship-no-clean-break-for-directors/

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 WINS INTERNATIONAL BACKING FOR GLOBAL MINIMUM TAX

On 1 July, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US has won international backing for a global minim tax-rate as part of a wider overhaul of the rules for taxing international companies.  Among the countries were all of the G20 major economies, including China and India, which previously had reservations about the proposed overhaul.  The governments now will seek to pass laws ensuring that companies headquartered in their countries pay a minimum rate of at least 15%, reducing opportunities for tax avoidance.  However, EU low-tax countries Ireland and Hungary declined to sign up to the agreement reached in the OECD framework.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-wins-international-backing-for-global-minimum-tax-11625153698

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/global-tax-deal-backed-by-130-nations-ireland-and-hungary-stay-out/

https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/130-countries-and-jurisdictions-join-bold-new-framework-for-international-tax-reform.htm

https://www.gov.je/News/2021/Pages/OECDInclusiveFramework.aspx

https://www.gov.gg/oecdmeeting

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

EBA AND ESMA PUBLISH FINAL GUIDANCE ON FIT AND PROPER REQUIREMENTS

On 2 July, the European Banking Authority reported that itand the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have published their revised final joint Guidelines on the assessment of the suitability of members of the management body and key function holders.  These Guidelines take into account the amendments introduced by the revised EU Capital Requirements Directive (CRD V) and the EU Investment Firms Directive (IFD), and their effect on the assessment of the suitability of members of the management body, in particular with regard to money laundering and financing terrorism risks, and gender diversity.  The joint final Guidelines will apply from 31 December.

https://www.eba.europa.eu/eba-and-esma-publish-final-guidance-fit-and-proper-requirements

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

CHANGES TO THE BVI’S AML REGIME

On 1 July, an article from Mourant said that the BVI is introducing a new package of legislation to provide a robust framework for AML/CFT/CPF.  The legislative framework is being brought in as part of the extensive preparations for the jurisdiction’s onsite Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation assessment by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force – which, notably, will consider for the first time the effectiveness of the territory’s AML/CFT/CPF measures.

https://www.mourant.com/news-and-views/updates/updates-2021/changes-to-the-bvi-s-aml-regime.aspx

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