THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 11

Panama Covid-19 update – signs of recovery to the normal…the main international airport reports 98% of commercial concessions have reactivated. on the other hand, new restrictions in a handful of districts see extended nightly curfew – in two districts from 8 pm, with a Sunday lockdown for the same districts.

In the past week, the number of new cases fell, but the number of fatalities rose…but today we see 833 new cases reported, with 5 more fatalities. There are now 13,539 active cases (which represents a fall of 17), with ICU numbers falling by 5 at 112, with 20 more patients in other wards (589).

11 JULY 2021

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

UK: PHARMACISTS SOLD OVER HALF A MILLION SLEEPING TABLETS ON THE BLACK MARKET TO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

On 11 July, Birmingham Live reported that the business partners who worked at pharmacies in Solihull supplied Zolpidem to a contact in Trinidad and Tobago.  They illegally wholesaled over 20,000 packets of Zolpidem to Trinidad and Tobago, avoiding strict regulatory requirements to obtain a licence.  They ‘misdescribed’ the tablets, destroyed invoices and falsified new ones.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/solihull-pharmacists-sold-over-half-21011161

SRI LANKA: LAWS TO REGULATE REAL ESTATE FRAUD

On 11 July, The Sunday Times reported that money laundering through real estate in both residential and commercial sectors can be easy, calling for little planning or expertise; and large sums of illegal funds can be hidden and integrated into the legitimate economy through real estate. It also says that the government is also finalising 2 separate pieces of legislation – the Proceeds of Crime Bill and new amendments to the Money Laundering Act – and all 3 pieces of legislation will strengthen the FIU, operating under the Central Bank.

https://www.sundaytimes.lk/210711/business-times/laws-to-regulate-real-estate-fraud-448825.html

US ADDS 34 NAMES TO ENTITY LIST AND SUBJECT TO EXPORT RESTRICTIONS

On 9 July, the US Department of Commerce published a new list of companies added to its Entity List, and therefore subject to licensing and other export control restrictions.  The companies are from Canada, China, Iran, Lebanon, Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE and one from the UK.  In addition, 1 company from Germany is removed from the List.

https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-14656.pdf

DIGITAL ART AND NFT: THE WAY OF THE FUTURE OR JUST ANOTHER SCAM?

On 11 July, the Fintech Times reported that Non-Fungible Tokens have opened up ever more creative avenues for criminality: digital wallets in which NFT are held can be hacked and the NFT themselves can fraudulently attribute digital designs to multiple owners.

https://thefintechtimes.com/digital-art-and-nfts-the-way-of-the-future-or-just-another-scam/

CENTRAL BANK DIGITAL CURRENCIES (CBDC) FOR CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS: REPORT TO THE G20

The Bank for International Settlements has published a report to the G20 which takes stock of the international dimension of CBDC projects and the extent to which they could be used for cross-border payments.  The report also investigates possible macro-financial implications associated with the cross-border use of CBDC.  The analysis does not imply that central banks mentioned in this report have reached a decision about issuance of a CBDC.

https://www.bis.org/publ/othp38.pdf

FORMER CEO AND COO OF JHL BIOTECH CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO STEAL TRADE SECRETS AND COMMIT WIRE FRAUD EXCEEDING $101 MILLION

On 7 July, a news release from US DoJ reported an indictment in San Francisco charging Racho Jordanov, the co-founder and former CEO of JHL Biotech, and Rose Lin, another of the company’s co-founders and former Chief Operating Officer, with conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and wire fraud, international money laundering, and related charges including obstruction of justice.  They are alleged to have co-founded JHL Biotech Inc., a biopharmaceutical start-up headquartered in Taiwan, with offices in Wuhan, China, and Santa Fe.  JHL Biotech is now known as Eden Biologics Inc and Chime Biologics (Wuhan) Ltd.  The indictment of these alleges the misuse of their positions of trust, within their corporations, to commit financial fraud.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr/former-ceo-and-coo-jhl-biotech-charged-conspiracy-steal-trade-secrets-and-commit-wire

US: HEAD OF TELEMARKETING OPERATION CHARGED IN $19 MILLION CREDIT CARD LAUNDERING SCHEME

On 8 July, a news release from the US DoJ advised that Steven Short, the former head of EM Systems & Services LLC, and affiliated companies, on charges of fraudulently obtaining credit card processing services for his deceptive Florida-based telemarketing operation.  The indictment also contains charges previously announced against Brandon Becker, the former CEO of CardReady LLC, Short and Becker fraudulently carried out a credit card laundering scheme that provided access to the credit card system for Short’s underlying telemarketing scheme.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/head-telemarketing-operation-charged-19-million-credit-card-laundering-scheme

THE ROLE OF THE G20 ANTI-CORRUPTION WORKING GROUP IN INFLUENCING THE GLOBAL AGENDA

The University of Essex and the Centre for the Study of Corruption published a working paper which brings together a set of key stakeholders in the process.  It asks what the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group has achieved since it was established in 2010, which ways of working have proved most successful in effecting change, and what it should do in future to maximise its impact.  The pieces it contains represent the personal views of the authors and were originally published as a series on the CSC blog.  It contains a set of recommendations for how the G20 ACWG could amplify its impact.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQHSdI_Lf2dfSA/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1625923576603?e=1626094800&v=beta&t=3njm9O8EoHWLA01w_HI0FtMLLSk4ABe17oKU1_kXy7g

US: WHITE-COLLAR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ENFORCEMENT

On 11 July, Freeman Law published an article which explores criminal intellectual property violations, including the theft of trade secrets, both for the benefit of a foreign government, instrumentality, or agent and those merely sold for profit; the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking measures necessary to prevent internet piracy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998; and the use of counterfeit and illicit labels, as well as counterfeit documentation and packaging.

https://freemanlaw.com/battling-the-counterfeiters-white-collar-intellectual-property-enforcement/

CHINA COAST GUARD HARASSES MALAYSIAN OIL AND GAS OPERATION OFF SARAWAK

On 8 July, Radio Free Asia reported claims that Chinese coast guard ships since early June have been putting pressure on and harassing new Malaysian oil and gas projects in the South China Sea off Sarawak state on Borneo Island.  Malaysian state-run oil company Petronas has signed a 10-year, $7 billion deal to provide LNG to a subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.  China and Malaysia are among 6 Asian countries that have contending territorial claims in the South China Sea.  China claims nearly all of the waterway as its own.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/harasses-07082021182547.html

OECD: STATEMENT ON A TWO-PILLAR SOLUTION TO ADDRESS THE TAX CHALLENGES ARISING FROM THE DIGITALISATION OF THE ECONOMY

On 1 July, a publication from the OECD said that the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (IF) has agreed a 2-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.  The agreed key components of each Pillar are described in the publication, but a detailed implementation plan together with remaining issues will be finalised by October. 

Pillar 1 affects companies which are the multinational enterprises (MNE) with global turnover above €20 billion and profitability above 10% (i.e. profit before tax/revenue) – with a plan for the turnover threshold to be reduced to €10 billion in due course.  20-30% of profits of the largest and most profitable MNE above a set profit margin (residual profits) would be reallocated to the market jurisdictions where the MNE’s users and customers are located.

Pillar 2 provides for a minimum tax on corporate profit, putting a floor on tax competition. Governments worldwide agree to allow additional taxes on the foreign profits of MNE headquartered in their jurisdiction at least to the agreed minimum rate.  This would mean that tax competition would now be backstopped by a minimum level of taxation wherever an MNE operates.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQE4mg9fnSWLEA/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1625900206333?e=1626130800&v=beta&t=AQf4KsRU7Sx_M6ooPdMFKaSVphJBJNEsrmPBcnEw-xQ

CYBER RISK MANAGEMENT

US-based Bugcrowd has produced this guide which says that the key is to have a comprehensive assessment of risk and to understand the vulnerabilities.  It explains briefly the need to establish a risk assessment process, use threat analysis to better prioritise risks, use penetration testing and develop a cybersecurity management plan.

https://media-exp3.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQGzi9DPBKZ24w/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1626008110617?e=1626127200&v=beta&t=FJ8HATcjdXC-gUIQ2thHV2Cn2-RMYyNxzcyFZwhJC58

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

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