OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 7

Panama Covid-19 update – there are to be added restrictions in a number of districts, extended curfew and all-day lockdown on Sundays for one or two. Meanwhile, vaccinations continue, with over 21,000 in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, today saw 1,222 new cases reported and 8 new fatalities (making the total to date 1 short of 6,600). There are 13,540 active cases, including 114 in ICU and 610 in other wards (both the latter figures showing falls).

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

7 JULY 2021

US: TSA PROGRAMME WILL FACILITATE COMPLIANCE WITH NEW CARGO SCREENING REQUIREMENTS

On 7 July, an article from Cozen O’Connor is concerned with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introducing the new secured packing facility (SPF) programme.  Those registered under the SPF programme are required to implement a “system of government-approved security controls sufficient to prevent the introduction of concealed explosives into the air cargo supply chain”.  Cargo aircraft operators would be permitted to accept cargo from SPF without conducting additional screening, providing significant supply chain benefits in the form of reduced delays and costs.  SPF is one of the measures required as a consequence of the change from 30 June whereby the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requires that all ICAO member states to apply the same security screening measures to cargo travelling on passenger as on all-cargo aircraft. 

https://www.lexology.com/commentary/aviation/bcba8ecc-00a4-4eb0-af7b-190b4672c9ed

CAYMAN ISLANDS UPDATE ON ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE AND AEOI

On 5 July, a briefing from Walkers provides a round-up of recent updates to the economic substance and AEOI regimes arising from economic substance regulations published by the Cayman Islands Government, updated economic substance guidance issued by the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority and a bulletin published by the Department for International Tax Cooperation. 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/3fa23a67-d703-450e-983c-a52e15255052.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1625658263&Signature=GB9vte61pbUusrPOHb%2BTghd3%2BKM%3D

GUIDE TO CORPORATE SELF-REPORTING IN THE UK

On 1 July, a briefing from Brodies LLP contrasts the self-reporting initiative operating in Scotland with the deferred prosecution agreement regime operating in the rest of the UK.  It takes the form of a set of FAQ.

https://brodies.com/insights/corporate-crime-and-investigations/guide-to-corporate-self-reporting-in-the-uk/

LIMITATION PERIODS: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES UNDER ENGLISH LAW

On 2 July, an article from Brodies LLP explains that under English law, a potential Claimant has a set period of time to commence a claim, after which it will be time barred and the Claimant will be unable to bring the claim (this is known as the limitation period).  It is possible for the limitation period to be extended (by way of a “standstill” agreement between the parties), but the general position is that a claim cannot be brought after the expiration of 6 years from the date on which the cause of action accrued (in respect of claims brought under tort or contracts).  A recent Supreme Court case was concerned with the question of limitation periods, which are strictly interpreted by the courts.  It is made clear that while it may be possible to agree with the Defendant the date from which the parties will treat the limitation period has having commenced, including extending the limitation period, it is not guaranteed that a prospective defendant would agree to this.

https://brodies.com/insights/litigation/limitation-periods-what-a-difference-a-day-makes/

HOW GERMAN SUPPLY CHAIN LAW WILL AFFECT ECUADORIAN BANANA PRODUCERS

On 7 July, Fresh Plaza reported that the new law brings developments in human rights, commercial and contractual relations, and seeks to ensure proper compliance with human rights in the supply chain of products traded in Germany.  German retailers may introduce new clauses in contracts, new certifications or control measures.  It is said that it will also be necessary to examine whether possible cost increases are distributed and shared among all actors in the chain.

https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9337179/how-german-supply-chain-law-will-affect-ecuadorian-banana-producers/

SECRET FARMHOUSES AND TALCUM POWDER: THIS IS HOW DEALERS ARE SMUGGLING HEROIN INTO INDIA

On 7 July, a report from Vice said that heroin is the most trafficked substance in India, and is also the most commonly used opioid.  Heroin is usually smuggled into India from Afghanistan or Africa through sea routes in Mumbai and Gujarat, or across borders in Rajasthan and Punjab.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvzy3z/heroin-drug-smuggling-india-busts-pakistan-afghanistan-golden-triangle

UPDATED CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND AML/CFT GUIDELINES FOR 2021

On 6 July, an article from Grant Thornton said that in June the Central Bank of Ireland (‘CBI’) issued an updated revision of their guidelines on AML/CFT for the financial sector. The revised guidelines take into account the recently enacted 5th EU Money Laundering Directive, the CBI’s regulatory expectations as set out in previous AML/CFT bulletins as well as the updated European Banking Authority AML/CFT Risk Factor guidelines which were issued in Q1 2021. Some of the key changes which have come out of the revised guidelines are explained in the article.

https://www.grantthornton.ie/insights/factsheets/aml-bulletin–updated-central-bank-of-ireland-amlcft-guidelines-for-2021

AUSTRALIA: LOAN FRAUD IS GREATEST AML/CTF RISK TO NON-BANKS

On 7 July, The Adviser reported that loan application and identity fraud are the main threats to non-banks, the government agency AUSTRAC has concluded, noting the sector’s reliance on third-party players.  The conclusion is made in a new report which assesses the non-bank lending and financing sector’s risk.

https://www.theadviser.com.au/breaking-news/41760-loan-fraud-is-greatest-aml-ctf-risk-to-non-banks-austrac

NICARAGUA OPPOSITION ARRESTS CLIMB TO 26

On 7 July, EurActiv reported that Nicaragua has arrested a sixth presidential contender and 4 other opposition figures, bringing to 26 the number of people rounded up by long-term leader Daniel Ortega’s forces ahead of November elections.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/nicaragua-opposition-arrests-climb-to-26/

EU DELETES STATE CONTRACTING WATER AND SEWAGE PROJECTS COMPANY FROM IRAQ SANCTIONS LISTS

An EU Regulation has finally removed the STATE CONTRACTING WATER AND SEWAGE PROJECTS COMPANY from the EU sanctions lists.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.239.01.0022.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A239%3ATOC

€14.2 MILLION SEIZED FROM CROSS-BORDER VAT FRAUDSTERS IN HUNGARY

A news release from Europol on 7 July advised that the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA), supported by Europol, had dismantled an organised crime group involved in cross-border VAT MTIC (missing trader intra-community) fraud and carousel fraud.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/€142-million-seized-cross-border-vat-fraudsters-in-hungary

MODERN SLAVERY TRAINING: UK RESOURCE PAGE

On 7 July, the Home Office published updated information on training and awareness-raising resources available to public sector organisations to help their staff understand modern slavery and learn to spot the signs.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-slavery-training-resource-page/modern-slavery-training-resource-page

UK: ROYAL COMMISSION ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE GOING AHEAD

On 7 July, the Law Society Gazette reported that the UK Government has confirmed that it still intends to hold the Royal Commission announced in the Queen’s Speech of December 2019 to review and improve efficiency in the criminal justice system.  The commission may not report until 2023.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/royal-commission-on-criminal-justice-going-ahead-says-moj/5109111.article

MAKING THE UK ECONOMIC CRIME PLAN MATTER IN THE REAL WORLD

On 7 July, an article from RUSI says that, despite welcome steps forward in policy implementation, progress on the operational aspects of the UK’s flagship Economic Crime Plan is lagging.  In 2019, the UK government launched its first ever Economic Crime Plan, covering the 2019–2022 period.  It says that,2 years into the 3-year plan, and with the government itself having issued its progress report, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on whether the high-minded promises of 2019 are having real-world impact in 2021.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/deeds-not-words-making-economic-crime-plan-matter-real-world

WORLD DRUG REPORT 2021

On 24 June, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime which provides an in-depth analysis of the global drug markets and paints a comprehensive picture of the measurable effects and potential impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the world drug problem.  It says that around 275 million people used drugs worldwide in the last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders. 

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/press/releases/2021/June/unodc-world-drug-report-2021_-pandemic-effects-ramp-up-drug-risks–as-youth-underestimate-cannabis-dangers.html

CPS SIGNALS TOUGHER APPROACH TO UK REGULATED SECTOR ENFORCEMENT

On 6 July, an article from Out-Law says that revised guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service suggest that it has toughened its stance against regulated firms in England and Wales that fail to disclose suspicions of money laundering.  A change of stance follows on from the announcement of the first criminal investigation for breach of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 in March 2021.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/cps-signals-tougher-approach-uk-regulated-sector-enforcement

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/money-laundering-offences

FINANCIAL FIRMS: REVISE WHISTLEBLOWING POLICIES FOR ‘NEW WORLD’ OF WORK

On 7 July, an article from Out-Law says that, with 5 months to go before new whistleblowing laws come into force across the EU, UK and European financial services employers should review their policies to ensure that they reflect new ways of working and international best practice.  The EU Directive which must be transposed by Member States by 17 December (with some exceptions). However, UK-headquartered multinational firms will either have to reflect the changes in their global whistleblowing policy, or choose to adopt a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction approach, particularly if some EU countries go further than required by the Directive.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/financial-firms-whistleblowing-new-world-work

10 WAYS TO GET A DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENT (DPA)

On 7 July, an article from Eversheds Sutherland says that of the 10 DPA which have to-date been successfully agreed and approved by the Court, 7 relate to bribery (the others being used to resolve charges of fraud and false accounting).  DPA have therefore become a part of the UK’s bribery enforcement toolkit, and a key means for UK prosecutors to resolve corporate breaches of the UKBA.  However, it is said that formal guidance on how companies can secure a DPA has been relatively limited.  It is said that companies wanting to secure a DPA are best advised to look closely at the documents published in relation to the other concluded DPA, as well as the extensive legal commentary which is in the public domain, and apply this to their own facts and circumstances.  The article argues that one keyword has emerged from the available case law to date: “cooperation”.  The article goes on to list the 10 suggestions.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Fraud_and_financial_crime/10_ways_to_get_a_Deferred_Prosecution_Agreement

THE IMPACT OF ORGANISED CRIME ON THE EU’S FINANCIAL INTERESTS

A briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service on 7 July says that the available evidence suggests that the scale of fraud against the EU finances is vast.  On the revenue side in particular, estimates from the Commission suggest that the VAT gap amounted to €150 billion in 2016, €50 billion of which were defrauded by criminal groups.  Other estimates indicate potentially higher levels of fraud.  It says that research has found that there are shortcomings in measures to combat fraud at both the EU and Member State levels.  It also says that research suggests that more needs to be done by national authorities to increase the confiscation rate of funds associated with fraud with more emphasis on preventative measures to deter organised crime from defrauding the EU’s finances in the first place.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2021/696058/IPOL_ATA(2021)696058_EN.pdf

https://www.compoundchem.com/2021/07/06/covid-transmission/

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO LIFTS FORMER PRIME MINISTER’S IMMUNITY OVER CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

On 6 July, VON reported that the DRC former Prime Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon has seen his parliamentary immunity lifted, as the Senate leadership announced it had authorised a criminal investigation into allegations that he misappropriated $140 million.

https://von.gov.ng/2021/07/06/congo-lifts-former-prime-ministers-immunity-over-corruption-allegations/

UK: SRA FINES FRESH BATCH OF LAW FIRMS FOR BREACHING AML RULES

On 7 July, the Law Society Gazette reported that a fresh batch of fines has been issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to firms failing to meet AML requirements, with 7 practices fined.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sra-fines-fresh-batch-of-firms-for-breaching-aml-rules/5109108.article

FINANCIAL CRIME – THE FINE LINE BETWEEN HELPING AND ENABLING

On 28 June, an article from Ince says that the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and FinCEN Files are document leaks that exposed the vast network of industrial-scale potential financial crime around the world.  It says that the Paradise Papers also threw light on the legal firms, financial institutions and accountants working with clients to reduce their tax burden; obscure their ownership of assets like companies and real estate; and set up offshore trusts that in some cases held billions of dollars.  There are many ways in which the professional enabler can hold the key to creating the complex structures and processes that can provide the necessary anonymity to facilitate financial crime, and that ‘professional enablers’ and can pose a very significant threat to the financial system.

https://www.incegd.com/en/news-insights/financial-crime-fine-line-between-helping-and-enabling

CRIMINALS OR VIGILANTES? – THE KULUNA GANGS OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

On 17 June, a Paper from the Global Initiative Against transnational Organised Crime says that the current rise in insecurity in Kinshasa, the capital of DRC, is often attributed to urban youth gangs – the Kulunas.  Embedded in Kinshasa’s neighbourhood life and partnered with local political parties and law enforcement agencies, these gangs threaten urban security in the city.  The paper examines the rise of the Kulunas from a historical and sociological perspective, and analyses the state’s security responses to address it.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Criminals-or-vigilantes-The-Kuluna-gangs-of-the-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo-GITOC.pdf

ILLEGAL FISHING IN SOMALIA AND THE CAPTURE OF STATE INSTITUTIONS

On 2 July, a Paper from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that the waters off Somalia are some of the richest fishing grounds in the world and are still largely untapped.  It says that since the decline in attacks by Somali pirates since 2012, foreign fishing fleets have gradually returned to Somali waters. However, many of these vessels, particularly those originating in Iran, Yemen and SE Asia, routinely engage in IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing practices.  It says that state institutions are extremely weak and corruption is widespread.  Fishing licences and other permissions issued by one local Somali authority are often not recognized by another.  The paper presents 3 case studies of IUU fishing practices in Somalia, each illustrating a different facet of corruption within Somali state institutions.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/GITOC-ESAObs-Fishy-Business-Illegal-fishing-in-Somalia-and-the-capture-of-state-institutions.pdf 

PODCAST: “WILFUL BLINDNESS: HOW A NETWORK OF NARCOS, TYCOONS, AND CCP AGENTS INFILTRATED THE WEST”

In the latest TRACE podcast, investigative reporter Sam Cooper describes the waves of drugs and laundered money from China crashing on Canada’s shores.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

CFIUS HEIGHTENS SCRUTINY OF NON-NOTIFIED TRANSACTIONS

On 7 July, Torres Law published an article saying that, for many years, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has had the authority to review non-notified transactions – deals which have not been submitted to CFIUS for review and approval – but until recently, resources for such efforts were limited.  That changed in 2018, when the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) significantly bolstered resources for CFIUS oversight and enforcement activities.  It explains what non-notified and non-declared transactions are and CFIUS can determine that a non-notified transaction may be subject to its jurisdiction.  It then outlines the CFIUS process for reviewing non-notified/non-declared transactions, and considers recent CFIUS scrutiny of non-notified transactions.  It considers key takeaways about the heightened review of non-notified/non-declared transactions. 

https://www.torrestradelaw.com/posts/CFIUS-Heightens-Scrutiny-of-Non-045%3BNotified-Transactions/242

EU UKRAINE SANCTIONS ANNULLED – BUT 2 DESIGNATIONS REMAIN IN FORCE

On 7 July, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU General Court has annulled the 2020 designations of Sergej Arbuzov, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Viktor Pshonka, former Prosecutor General, and his son Artem Pshonka.  However, Viktor Pshonka and Artem Pshonka remain subject to EU sanctions as they were re-listed on 5 March. 

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/07/2020-listings-of-3-ukrainian-former-officials-annulled/

BENFICA FOOTBALL CLUB PRESIDENT DETAINED IN TAX FRAUD PROBE

On 7 July, Yahoo Sport reported that Portugal’s biggest football club Benfica has said that their president Luis Filipe Vieira was detained as part of an investigation into alleged tax fraud and money laundering.  The prosecutors’ office alleged that offences including fraud, money laundering and forgery had been committed since 2014.  RTP and other local media said Vieira’s business partner Jose Antonio dos Santos was also detained. Antonio dos Santos is the largest individual shareholder of Benfica SAD.  It is said the investigation was related to loans granted by Portuguese lender Novo Banco to Vieira’s business group as well as to the sale of shares in Benfica SAD.

https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/soccer-benfica-club-president-detained-173454834.html

FCA FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO SCOTTISH BOAT INSURER WHO THEY HAD ACCUSED OF FRAUD

On 7 July. The Daily Mail reported that Stuart Forsyth, who ran a boat insurance company, was accused by the FCA of funnelling around £200,000 of his salary to his wife to cut his tax bill.  The FCA and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority fined him £154,498, and banned him from working in the regulated sector.  But they have now had to apologise after a judgement from the Upper Tribunal found the accusations ‘wholly unsubstantiated’.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-9766217/FCA-apologises-Scottish-boat-insurer-Stuart-Forsyth-tax-row.html

INDIA: POLICE BUST CALL CENTRES DUPING US CITIZENS

In its 8 July edition, the Hindustan Times reported that 95 people, including 19 women, were arrested for allegedly running 2 fraud call centres in Delhi from where they contacted the US citizens impersonating as officials of the country’s social security administration and duped them of their money by threatening to revoke their social security number (SSN).  The alleged suspects were using illegal techniques, VOIP calling, bypassing the legal international long distance (ILD) gateways for cheating the US citizens. A total of 82 computers, 5 laptops, 84 mobile phones and 48 identity cards were also seized.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/police-bust-call-centres-duping-us-citizens-arrest-95-detain-2-101625693278311.html

“GREENWASHING” AND ITS POTENTIAL THREATS

On 7 July, a release on Mondo Visione consisted of the text of an article by a Commissioner of ASIC in Australia says that, in its recent consumer research report, the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) revealed that 86% of Australians expect their superannuation or other investments to be invested responsibly and ethically. It is said that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is currently conducting a review to establish whether the practices of funds that offer these products align with their promotion of these products; in other words, whether the financial product or investment strategy is as “green” or ESG-focused as claimed.  The potential for funds to overrepresent the extent to which their practices are environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical is referred to in the market as “greenwashing”.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/what-is-greenwashing-and-what-are-its-potential-threats-by-commissioner-cathi/

ASSESSING THE THREAT OF WEAPONISED CORRUPTION

On 7 July, an article on Lawfare says that to utilise its new anti-corruption strategy, the Biden Administration will be required to assess the nature and size of the threat of weaponised corruption.  This exercise will require new definitions, diagnostics and data: what precisely is weaponised corruption, as distinct from other forms of corruption?  What are the strategic purposes and sources of the threat?  How does weaponisation work tactically?  How much and what type of damage is being caused to US security interests?  The threat is new to national experts trained to analyse more traditional challenges, such as China’s military posture in the South China Sea or Russia’s violations of nuclear arms control treaties.  It says that the term “weaponisation” implies that corruption is being used purposefully as a tool of statecraft to interfere with, co-opt, weaken, and destabilise democratic institutions and processes.  The post uses Russia as a example for closer examination, and saying that it has a range of corruption techniques perfected at home that it can use to seek specific policy outcomes and the destabilisation of democracies in other nations.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/assessing-threat-weaponized-corruption

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

JERSEY: PROPOSED CHANGES TO DECISION-MAKING PROCESS FOR IMPOSING REGULATORY SANCTIONS

On 7 July, the Jersey FSC launched a public consultation after a recent review into the process the FSC follows for deciding whether a regulatory sanction should be imposed at the conclusion of an enforcement case.  It is proposing to make some changes to streamline how we reach these decisions for imposing regulatory sanctions, which can include a civil financial penalty (or fine). The changes, it says, are designed to make the process quicker and less complex, as well as reduce costs for the FSC, businesses and individuals.  The closing date is 1 September.

https://www.jerseyfsc.org/industry/consultations/dmp-consultation/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

ILLEGAL FISHING IN SOMALIA AND THE CAPTURE OF STATE INSTITUTIONS

On 2 July, a Paper from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that the waters off Somalia are some of the richest fishing grounds in the world and are still largely untapped.  It says that since the decline in attacks by Somali pirates since 2012, foreign fishing fleets have gradually returned to Somali waters. However, many of these vessels, particularly those originating in Iran, Yemen and SE Asia, routinely engage in IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing practices.  It says that state institutions are extremely weak and corruption is widespread.  Fishing licences and other permissions issued by one local Somali authority are often not recognized by another.  The paper presents 3 case studies of IUU fishing practices in Somalia, each illustrating a different facet of corruption within Somali state institutions.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/GITOC-ESAObs-Fishy-Business-Illegal-fishing-in-Somalia-and-the-capture-of-state-institutions.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

DEEPFAKE GUIDE

A guide from the UAE government in June explains that an imaginary video and audio files is called “deepfake”.  A deepfake signifies content that is fake and created using deep learning.  It has no basis in reality, even though it appears very realistic and convincing.  Deepfakes are a new form of an old problem related to the distribution of fake media content. The guide aims to define the problem of deepfakes. It also presents protection measures and how to report identified deepfakes to the appropriate authority.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQGrXsR4LqOKNg/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1625655310537?e=1625752800&v=beta&t=kvEoCFAp4sqm6aDhazlfUS6CKvWRXeY4Pe-Bp0oCwjg

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

HOW SMUGGLED AUSTRALIAN LOBSTERS TAKE ‘GREY CHANNELS’ TO CHINESE PLATES VIA HONG KONG

On 6 July, an article from Yahoo News reported on a month-long investigation by the South China Morning Post which has revealed the increasing pervasiveness of “grey channels” being used to smuggle Australian lobsters from Hong Kong to mainland China.  It was formerly a problem, but when the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAfta) was signed in 2015, tariffs were wiped out, making smuggling unprofitable – also turned China into Australia’s main market for fresh and live rock lobsters. However, the falling out between China and Australia led to the Chinese authorities warning traders that they faced the risk of delays to their imports of certain Australian goods including live lobsters.  An official ban never came about, but many of the banned goods – as well as unrestricted Australian exports such as fruit – were met with various levels of increased customs inspections or delays or were detained altogether.  Seemingly overnight, the lucrative rock lobster trade into China vanished.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/china-australia-relations-smuggled-lobsters-092219286.html

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3140019/china-australia-relations-how-smuggled-lobsters-take-grey

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

REPORT: SYRIA USED SWISS MEDICAL EXPORTS TO MAKE CHEMICAL WEAPONS

On 6 July, Middle East Monitor reported that a new report says that the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad has used German-made chemical materials imported by the Syrian Mediterranean Pharmaceutical Industries (MPI) from Switzerland to manufacture chemical weapons in 2014.  It is said that 5 tonnes of isopropanol and 280 kg of Diethylamine “without question went into the production of chemical weapons”.  Isopropanol and Diethylamine are dual-use, meaning they can be found in daily and military products.  For instance, isopropanol is found in disinfectants, cleaning agents, paints, and varnishes, but is also a major component of the type of gas used in suspected chemical attacks. 

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210706-assad-used-swiss-medical-exports-to-make-chemical-weapons-report-claims/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 6

Panama Covid-19 update – the Rt infection rate has risen, from 1.09 last week to 1.1, while 3 more people are in ICU, and 10 more in other wards, today. 1,276 new cases are reported (including 28 in our district…) and 7 new fatalities, 124 patients are in ICU and 620 in other wards, with a total of 13,501 active cases.

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

6 JULY 2021

AUSTRALIA: VICTORIA POLICE TO EXPLORE LINKS BETWEEN RACING AND ORGANISED CRIME

On 6 July, KYC 360 reported that Victoria Police have embedded an investigator and an analyst in the state’s racing industry to explore possible links with organised crime.  Seconded to the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, their scope includes horse and harness, as well as greyhound racing.   Their work will focus on assessing on whether organised crime gangs are currently involved in the racing industry.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/australia-victoria-police-to-explore-links-between-racing-and-organised-crime/

CAYMAN ISLANDS INTRODUCES ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTNERSHIPS

On 2 July, Carey Olsen published an article saying that the economic substance requirements in the Cayman Islands, introduced by the International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) Act have been extended to partnerships.  They will have to submit an annual economic substance notification indicating whether or not they are required to meet the economic substance test under the Act, but it is said that most partnerships that operate as investment funds will not be required to meet the test.  For existing partnerships, reporting begins from 1 January.

https://www.careyolsen.com/briefings/cayman-islands-introduces-economic-substance-requirements-partnerships

10 YEARS OF THE UK BRIBERY ACT – PART 2: SHIFTING THE FOCUS?

On 1 July, Paul Hastings LLP published the second of 3 articles marking 10 years of the Act.  This part looks at whether the Act has, so far, lived up to its expectations.  It also discusses what the Act has meant for enforcement activity and the impact of deferred prosecution agreements.

https://assets.ctfassets.net/t0ydv1wnf2mi/K1Fh1bXY7WnSCQugQksXu/a9b23f2617eeb1d4f907625e9449741a/Bribery-Act-Shifting_the_focus.pdf

RUSSIANS ACCUSED OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ABUSES IN UN REPORT

On 29 June, Reuters reported that Russian military instructors and Central African Republic (CAR) troops targeted civilians with excessive force, indiscriminate killings, occupation of schools and large-scale looting, according to a UN report.  It also accuses groups linked to the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) rebels of forced recruitment of children, attacks on peacekeepers, sexual violence and the looting of aid groups.

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/russians-accused-central-african-republic-abuses-un-report-2021-06-29/

GUIDE: US EXPORT CONTROLS – SOME COMMON TYPES OF COMPANY CHANGES THAT REQUIRE NOTIFICATION AND THE ACTIONS THAT MUST BE TAKEN TO KEEP ITAR REGISTRATION CURRENT

On 3 July, an article from Torres Law explained that any US company that manufactures, exports, or temporarily imports items or performs defence services that are controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is required to register with the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and keep that registration current. 

https://www.torrestradelaw.com/posts/ITAR-Material-Change-and-Registration-Renewal-Guide-And-Checklist/244

ZIMBABWE PLANS TO REGISTER GOLD MINERS TO CURB SMUGGLING

On 5 July, an article from Bloomberg Quint reported that Zimbabwe is drafting legislation which will compel small-scale gold miners to register their operations as it seeks to curb gold smuggling.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/zimbabwe-plans-to-register-gold-miners-to-curb-smuggling

SALFORD SMUGGLER WHO HELPED BRING MORE THAN 20 MILLION ILLEGAL CIGARETTES INTO THE UK

On 5 July, the Manchester Evening News reported that 3 men who smuggled more than 20 million illegal cigarettes into the UK have been jailed.  2 of them were arrested in May 2018 after HMRC investigators watched them load 2 million cigarettes onto a lorry at a Birmingham industrial estate.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/salford-smuggler-who-helped-bring-20976424

LANDMARK BORDERS BILL TO ENTER UK PARLIAMENT

On 6 July, the Home Office announced that those who enter the UK illegally will find it harder to stay under fundamental reforms in the Nationality and Borders Bill.  It describes the new immigration policy as a “fair but firm New Plan for Immigration”, which was first published in March 2021, and set out the most radical changes to the asylum system in decades.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/landmark-borders-bill-to-enter-parliament

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/borders-bill-risks-seriously-infringing-access-to-justice/5109100.article

DISMANTLING ZIMBABWE’S KLEPTOCRACY: OFFSHORE DEALINGS AND SANCTION-AVOIDING STRATEGIES

On 6 July, The Zimbabwean carried a item about a new report that zooms in on the burgeoning offshore business empire of Kudakwashe Tagwirei, Zimbabwe’s richest businessperson and a close adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.  It says that, in August 2020 he was added to the US sanctions list of prominent Zanu-PF-connected businessmen.  It is said that the report seems to be based primarily on a trove of documents (including numerous emails) leaked by a whistleblower, and is said to be backed up by South African court documents as well as extensive research and interviews.  It is said that it is becoming clear that elite corruption in Zimbabwe overlaps South Africa’s borders and that South African businessmen are alleged to be active participants.  The also report documents Russian involvement in business deals, as well as the role of the Zimbabwean military. 

https://www.thezimbabwean.co/2021/07/dismantling-zimbabwes-kleptocracy-report-lifts-lid-on-kuda-tagwireis-offshore-dealings-and-sanction-avoiding-strategies/

CHINA STEPS UP SUPERVISION OF OVERSEAS-LISTED COMPANIES

On 6 July, Investing.com reported that China will step up supervision of Chinese companies listed offshore, this coming days after it launched a cybersecurity investigation into ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc on the heels of its US stock market listing. China will also check sources of funding for securities investment and control leverage ratios. 

https://www.investing.com/news/economy/china-to-step-up-supervision-of-chinese-firms-listed-offshore–xinhua-2550487

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/listings-didi-07062021084718.html

JAPAN: PROSECUTORS DROP CASE AGAINST RECIPIENTS OF EX-MINISTER’S BRIBES

Pn 6 July, the Japan Times reported that prosecutors had dropped a bribery case against all 100 individuals including local assembly members who allegedly received cash from former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai in a high-profile vote-buying scandal.  The suspected recipients are local assembly members and supporters in the constituency of Kawai’s wife Anri, a former Upper House lawmaker. Kawai had said in a court hearing he sought their support to get his wife elected from Hiroshima Prefecture in the 2019 Upper House election.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/07/06/national/crime-legal/bribery-recipients-case-dropped

AZERBAIJANI COUPLE, INCLUDING PRESIDENT’S COUSIN, OWNS PROPERTIES WORTH MILLIONS IN LONDON AND IBIZA

On 5 July, a report from OCCRP was concerned with Mikaela Jav, a well-known DJ, saying that she and her husband, Suleyman Javadov, have been under investigation by the NCA for receiving £13.9 million from opaque sources.  The couple settled the case rather than facing trial, agreeing to forfeit about £4 million of that amount held in Suleyman’s accounts.  The report reveals that Javadova and her husband own at least 4 UK apartments, and the couple also purchased 2 additional properties in Ibiza, where Javadova — as DJ Mikaela Jav — hosted her Saturday night parties.  The couple has claimed that the money they received came from legitimate rental income in Azerbaijan, and their lawyer described their system for receiving money as part of the ancient “hawala” system of moving money among a network of trusted brokers.

https://www.occrp.org/en/azerbaijanilaundromat/azerbaijani-couple-including-presidents-cousin-owns-properties-worth-millions-in-london-and-ibiza

AN ALLEGED PROLIFIC CYBERCRIMINAL HAS BEEN APPREHENDED IN MOROCCO FOLLOWING A JOINT 2-YEAR INVESTIGATION

A news release from INTERPOL on 6 July advised that an alleged prolific cybercriminal (“Dr Hex”) has been apprehended in Morocco following a joint 2-year investigation by INTERPOL, the Moroccan police and Group-IB.  The suspect is believed to have targeted thousands of unsuspecting victims over several years through global phishing, fraud and carding activities involving credit card fraud.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2021/Moroccan-police-arrest-suspected-cybercriminal-after-INTERPOL-probe

IRAN: PRESIDENT RAISI AND THE NUCLEAR DEAL – IMPLICATIONS FOR SANCTIONS AND FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS

On 1 July, Control Risks published an article saying that the election is raising some concerns about the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA – the 2015 nuclear deal).  The article considers the possible implications of the election result.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/raisi-and-the-nuclear-deal-implications-for-sanctions-and-financial-transactions

UNCLEAR CRITERIA UNDERMINE US CORRUPTION LIST IN CENTRAL AMERICA

On 5 July, Insight Crime reported that while the US has released a highly-anticipated report on corrupt actors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the lack of clear criteria for those placed on the list may undermine efforts to create a coherent strategy for rooting out high-level graft in Central America.

https://insightcrime.org/news/criteria-undermines-us-corruption-list-central-america/

BREXIT: UK COMPLIANCE PROFESSIONALS PREDICT MORE AML REGULATION IS ON THE WAY AS A DIRECT RESULT OF LEAVING THE EU

On 6 July, a release on Mondo Visione advised that UK businesses overwhelmingly support opting out of the Sixth EU AML Directive, but are taking it as a sign the UK plans to diverge and create its own AML regulatory framework.  The findings are based on a survey of over 875 compliance professionals across banks, lenders, wealth management, accounting, gambling, legal and real estate.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/uk-compliance-professionals-are-bracing-for-an-increase-in-aml-legislation-as-a/ 

DAYS BEFORE EU SANCTIONS, BELARUSIAN OLIGARCH’S FAMILY SELLS ITS FIRM AND BANK

On 6 July, OCCRP reported that Belarusian oligarch Aliaksei Aleksin and his family sold its Cyprus-based company along with a bank to a Lebanese businessman, saving both entities from the sanctions-related asset freeze.  The Aleksin family sold MTB Investments Holdings, whichheld “more than 99%” of MTBank on 16 June and the EU announced its sanctions 5 days later.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14767-days-before-eu-sanctions-belarusian-oligarch-s-family-sells-its-firm-and-bank

SINGAPORE: 2 EX-SHELL EMPLOYEES JAILED OVER MARINE FUEL HEIST AT PULAU BUKOM REFINERY

On 5 July, Today Online reported that 2 former employees from Shell Eastern Petroleum were sentenced to jail over the largest heist of marine gas oil in Singapore to date, amounting to hundreds and millions of dollars.  More than 300,000 tons of gas oil worth at least S$200 million were removed and it led to the prosecution of about a dozen employees and foreign ship captains.  It was in 2015 that Shell first had suspicions about losses.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/2-ex-shell-employees-jailed-over-s200m-marine-fuel-heist-pulau-bukom-refinery

ITALIAN POLICE DISCOVER MONEY TRANSFERS TOTALLING €1 MILLION TO FUND TERROR

On 5 July, Arab News reported that Italian police have discovered that more than €1 million were sent over the course of 5 years from a money transfer office in Puglia, in southern Italy, to 42 foreign collectors based in different countries. Investigators believe that the sum was destined to finance terrorism.  The entire sum was divided into transfers worth less than €1,000 each in an attempt to avoid rousing the suspicion of financial authorities.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1888841/world

NETHERLANDS AND US ON THE TRAIL OF GOLD SMUGGLED FROM VENEZUELA

On 5 July, the Curacao Chronicle reported that 3 money laundering cases expose the route of corruption followed to remove the precious metal from the Arco Minero in Venezuela. The cases of provide clues about the mechanisms currently applied by criminal networks to extract gold from the Mining Arco, and subsequently place it on international markets.  2 cases were heard in Florida, while the third trial began in Curaçao, and in June it reached a final decision in the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  All the cases have as common factors that the precious metal is extracted from mines located in Bolívar state in Venezuela. From there it is carried by air or by sea to Curaçao, where the destination in which it will be sold is defined, often using documents that conceal the true origin of the shipments. It is noted that, since June 2019, Curaçao has had a ban on trading Venezuelan gold. 

https://www.curacaochronicle.com/post/main/the-netherlands-and-the-united-states-on-the-trail-of-gold-smuggled-from-venezuela/

AUSTRALIA: 5 CASINO INSPECTORS SAID TO HAVE KNOWN ABOUT PROBLEMS AT CROWN RESORTS CASINOS BUT SAY THEY WERE STONEWALLED AND SILENCED

On 6 July, ABC reported that the inspectors detected or suspected illicit activity but what they tried to report (or did report) was not acted upon. 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-06/crown-casino-gambling-regulator-inspectors-speak-out/100231722

LONG-TERM INVESTIGATION CULMINATES IN ARREST OF 38 ALBANIAN DRUG SMUGGLERS IN COOPERATION WITH ITALY

A news release from Eurojust on 5 July advised that 38 suspects belonging to a large-scale drugs smuggling network have been arrested by the authorities in Italy, Albania, Montenegro and Spain.  Amongst the arrested persons are representatives of the Albanian law enforcement and judiciary, suspected of corruption and money laundering. The operation involved an Italian-Albanian joint investigation team (JIT), which in 2018 had been set up and funded with the support of Eurojust. In June 2020, 37 arrests took place involving members of the same organised crime groups, and most of them have already received sentences in Italy of up to 20 years.

https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/long-term-investigation-eurojust-culminates-arrest-38-albanian-drug-smugglers-cooperation-italy

BITCOIN GANG HAS ITS LUXURY CARS SEIZED BY BRAZIL POLICE

On 5 July, U Today reported that Brazil’s Federal Police had seized luxury cars, jewellery, and bags of cash that belonged to a money-laundering gang.  It is said that the criminals managed to embezzle $295 million with the help of cryptocurrencies.

https://u.today/bitcoin-gang-has-its-luxury-cars-seized-by-brazil-police

PIRACY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA: ARE THE CURRENT EFFORTS WORKING? UPDATED THREAT ANALYSIS AND TRENDS

Risk Intelligence in Denmark has produced a report which says that piracy attacks continue to be a major threat in the Gulf of Guinea, even though the number of attacks has been relatively low in recent months.  The whitepaper looks at some aspects that ship operators must consider for operations in the Gulf of Guinea.  That includes the distance of potential kidnap-for-ransom attacks from the Nigerian coastline, as well as increasing concerns among seafarers, highlighted by reports about suspicious activities.  Current efforts to improve maritime security in the region, including the Deep Blue project in Nigeria, are unlikely to lead to short-term improvements.  Operators therefore have to consider additional security measures, taking into account several considerations.

https://f.hubspotusercontent40.net/hubfs/8059546/RiskIntelligence-Whitepaper-Gulf-of-Guinea-July-2021.pdf

https://www.riskintelligence.eu

THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU BELARUS SANCTIONS CHANGES

On 6 July, the EU Sanctions blog announced that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have all aligned themselves with a number of recent EU sanctions regime changes involving Belarus: banning Belarusian aircraft carriers from using EU airports and airspace; designating the Belaeronavigatsia State-owned Enterprise; and designating 78 people and 7 entities in relation to the diversion of flight 4978 and wider human rights violations in Belarus.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/06/21/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-in-view-of-the-situation-in-belarus/

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/07/06/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-european-union-on-the-alignment-of-certain-third-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-in-view-of-the-situation-in-belarus/

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/07/06/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-in-view-of-the-situation-in-belarus/

ISIS: ‘GRAVE CONCERN’ ABOUT TERROR GROUP IN AFRICA

On 29 June, Homeland Security Today reported that the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS has said that they have “grave concern” about the growth and threat posed by ISIS affiliates and networks in Africa’s Sahel region and in East Africa, particularly Mozambique. The Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania, and Yemen were also welcomed as new members of the coalition, bringing the total of partners to 78 nations and 5 institutions: the Arab League, CEN-SAD, EU, INTERPOL, and NATO.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/counterterrorism/global-coalition-to-defeat-isis-stresses-grave-concern-about-terror-group-in-africa/

US: OPERATION FLASHPOINT TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT HOW TO PREVENT BOMB MAKING

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have announced a new pilot programme to build awareness in communities across the US about how to prevent bomb attacks. CISA and FBI officials have highlighted the threat posed by domestic violent extremists and others who can build improvised explosive devices (IED) from common household items found at retail stores across the US.  Approximately 250,000 businesses sell, use or distribute materials that can be used to build bombs.   In 2020, there were 2,061 bomb threat, suspicious package and device-related incidents. 

https://www.cisa.gov/news/2021/06/30/cisa-and-fbi-launch-operation-flashpoint-raise-awareness-about-how-prevent-bomb

AL-QAEDA URGES ACQUISITION OF “GHOST GUNS” IN REVIEW OF BOULDER MASS SHOOTING

On 5 July, Homeland Security Today reported that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said the Boulder supermarket mass shooting in the US underscored the ease with which potential shooters can acquire guns and told would-be jihadists to not start with simpler knife or vehicle attacks “until you search for these weapons and use them in your operation”.  It advises fighters look for ways to obtain stealth weapons by purchasing ready-made weapon parts and then assembling and installing them manually.  It advises obtaining parts through the black market.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/counterterrorism/al-qaeda-urges-acquisition-of-ghost-guns-in-review-of-boulder-mass-shooting/

US: BILLIONAIRE DEEMED COMPETENT FOR TRIAL IN RECORD TAX-FRAUD CASE

On 6 July, BNN Bloomberg reported that 3 court-appointed experts determined that billionaire Robert Brockman is competent to stand trial in the largest tax-evasion case in US history, despite his claims of dementia, prosecutors said in a court filing.  The 80-year-old former CEO of software maker Reynolds & Reynolds would be tried on charges that he evaded taxes on $2 billion in income and laundered money.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/billionaire-deemed-competent-for-trial-in-record-tax-fraud-case-1.1625859

FinCEN RULINGS ON DIGITAL ASSETS

On 6 July, Cole Schotz produced a table of FinCEN rulings, described as a non-exhaustive overview of some of the FinCen rulings concerned with digital assets and the cryptocurrency space.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/digital-assets-and-financial-crimes-3083689

ALBANIA: MAYOR AND 10 OTHERS ARRESTED OVER CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE

On 6 July, DTT-net reported that the Mayor of Lushnja district, 8 employees and 2 businessmen are arrested by police on charges of abuse of office and corruption related to tenders.

https://www.dtt-net.com/en/news/3428/39/Mayor-in-Albania-and-10-others-arrested-over-corruption-abuse-of-office

MADURO FINANCIER ALEX SAAB SEEKS IMMUNITY FROM EXTRADITION TO US

On 6 July, BNN Bloomberg reported that a Colombian businessman close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is appealing a US court decision to disregard his diplomatic immunity in a last-ditch effort to block his extradition to the US over corruption charges.  A Venezuelan envoy to Iran, he was arrested in Cape Verde, where his private plane stopped to refuel.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/maduro-financier-saab-seeks-immunity-from-extradition-to-u-s-1.1625970

US: PHARMACEUTICAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE ADMITS HEALTH CARE FRAUD CONSPIRACY AND CONSPIRACY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

On 6 July, a news release from US DoJ advised that a pharmaceutical sales representative, Paul Camarda, 39, of New Jersey, has admitted he conspired to defraud New Jersey county health benefits programmes and conspired to engage in money laundering and obstruct justice.  He was a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company, but he created a side business called Dynasty Capital LLC to independently market medical products and services.  Camarda and his recruits caused more than $3.4 million in fraudulent claims.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/pharmaceutical-sales-representative-admits-health-care-fraud-conspiracy-and-conspiring

RULES ON CROSS-BORDER DATA TRANSFERS BECOME (A LITTLE) CLEARER

On 6 July, an article from White & Case LLP said that there had been a series of important developments affecting cross-border data transfers – on 21 June, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published its final, much-anticipated Recommendations on supplementary measures to ensure compliance with EU data protection laws; on 27 June, the European Commission’s new SCC came into effect; and finally, on 28 June, the European Commission adopted 2 adequacy decisions in respect of the UK.

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/alert/rules-cross-border-data-transfers-become-little-clearer

EXPANDING ISRAELI COURTS’ JURISDICTION OVER FOREIGN DEFENDANTS

An article from Barnea Jaffa Lando & Co on 6 July reported that the Tel Aviv-Yafo District Court had handed down an important precedential ruling which expands the identity of an authorised agent, i.e. the entity to whom a statement of claim may be served and that thus subjects a foreign defendant to the jurisdiction of the Israeli court.  The ruling was in a class action case relating to claims that updates to iPhone devices were causing the devices to slow down.

https://barlaw.co.il/client-updates/warning-border-ahead-expanding-israeli-courts-jurisdiction-over-foreign-defendants

BREXIT’S EFFECT ON JUDICIAL COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UK AND EU

On 6 July, an article from McDermott Will and Emery was concerned with questions as to the nature and extent of future judicial cooperation between the UK and the EU.  It notes that, on 23 June, 23 June 2021, the European Commission confirmed that the EU was “not in a position to consent” to the UK accession to the Lugano Convention.  It points out that the alternative for enforcement of cross-border court judgments, the Hague Convention, is not as comprehensive as the Lugano Convention, and where the Hague Convention does not apply, courts will apply local law to determine questions of jurisdiction and enforcement. 

https://www.mwe.com/insights/brexits-effect-on-judicial-cooperation-between-the-united-kingdom-and-european-union/

FINANCIAL CRIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA)

Refinitiv has produced this report, detailing the results of a survey undertaken and involving risk and compliance professionals and business leaders across several sectors and in more than 13 countries in MENA.  It reveals, for example, that more than half of organisations in MENA are dealing with new risk challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.  It is also noted that the shift to online has led to a surge in digital and contactless payments, and forced financial institutions to hasten the implementation of their digital transformation plans.  The notable trends identified include organisations in the region struggling with the pace of regulatory change; a lack of awareness of the expansion of third-party risk; and progress made in updating risk and compliance policies is under threat due to the accelerated pace of change.

https://media-exp3.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQG_IhYKYxCyNg/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1625588632603?e=1625706000&v=beta&t=t1Rag4C5x1-KSBv_3QtVUMPZVKmLm8Uw0nHkDjbCH8Y

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

FATF’S CRYPTO SEQUEL

On 6 July, TRM Labs published an article about, and analysing, the Second 12-Month Review of the Revised FATF Standards on Virtual Assets/VASP.  It concludes that while FATF does not necessarily cover new ground in is latest report, it makes one thing abundantly clear: it’s time to implement – and that VASP and their regulators around the globe “need to implement the revised FATF Standards, including travel rule requirements, as quickly as possible”, and public private partnerships should be formed in order to facilitate implementation.

https://www.trmlabs.com/post/fatfs-crypto-sequel-its-time-to-implement-standards

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/Second-12-Month-Review-Revised-FATF-Standards-Virtual-Assets-VASPS.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y