OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 17

Panama Covid-19 update – more all-day Sunday lockdowns for a handful of districts from tomorrow…no doubt, they will as affect us in the capital as the 6.3 magnitude earthquake yesterday, which I seem to have missed…

Today, another 1,041 new cases reported and 9 new fatalities – with now 13,502 active cases; 105 in ICU and 628 in other wards.

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

17 JULY 2021

FRANCE MOVES TO BOOST ITS WHITE COLLAR ENFORCEMENT

On 16 July, the Compliance and Enforcement blog from the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law published a post about a report into France’s anti-corruption law.  The report from National assembly members suggests the further strengthening of the existing legal framework.  50 recommendations cover various topics, including the French-style deferred prosecution agreement (DPA); the self-reporting of corporate crimes; corporate criminal liability criteria; the introduction of a new pre-trial guilty plea; French extra-territorial enforcement of corruption crimes; and the role of the French anti-corruption agency.  The post provides the main highlights of the report.  The report recommends –

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2021/07/16/france-moves-to-boost-its-white-collar-enforcement/

AUSTRALIA WINE DATABASE TO COMBAT FAKES

On 17 July, the Wine Searcher website reported that Australia has come up with an Internet-based system you can use to check the authenticity of wines exported from the country and for wines exported from 1 July.  The system called ELISS (Export Label Image Search System) is designed to combat the growth in counterfeit wine. 

https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2021/07/australia-goes-to-war-on-wine-fakes

INDIA: MAN HELD ACCUSED OF EXPORTING OVER 5,000 STOLEN MOBILE PHONES

On 17 July, Gadgets Now and others reported that a man had been arrested in Mumbai for allegedly exporting 5,000 phones stolen by gangs. 

https://www.gadgetsnow.com/tech-news/man-held-for-smuggling-out-of-india-over-5000-stolen-mobile-phones/articleshow/84500619.cms

https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/article/delhi-international-racket-smuggling-stolen-phones-to-foreign-countries-busted/786277

HONG KONG TRIADS SUSPECTED OF USING SPEEDBOATS TO SMUGGLE UP TO 1,000 TONNES OF FROZEN MEAT TO MAINLAND CHINA EACH DAY

On 17 July, the South China Morning Post reported that dozens of high-powered speedboats, they cross into Hong Kong waters, pick up the contraband and race to delivery points just minutes away on the mainland. Many make several trips a night.  In the first 6 months of this year, Hong Kong authorities seized 138 tonnes of smuggled meat and confiscated 3,344 tonnes in 2020.  The smuggled frozen meat includes beef, offal, pork knuckles, chicken wings and chicken feet from countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Poland, the US, UK and Ukraine.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3141446/hong-kong-triads-suspected-using-speedboats-smuggle

NEW ZEALAND: HEALTH COMPANY USED TO LAUNDER DRUG MONEY

On 17 July, Stuff reported that 2 men had invested close to $1 million in the company which made a health tonic made from compounds found in soil, at a time when the start-up was about to expand production and move into overseas markets.  A court accepted ​that founder Rhys Brooking didn’t know where the money came from, but under the relevant legislation that is no defence – you can be convicted of money laundering for “being reckless” about the origin of funds.  In other words, the onus was on Brooking to make sure the money came from a legitimate source.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300353571/health-company-owner-rhys-brooking-unwittingly-laundered-drug-money

CROATIA: ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING OFFICE HANDLED 403 CASES IN 2020

On 17 July, Total Croatia News said that a report on the activities of the Anti-Money Laundering Office in 2020 said that 403 cases relating to money laundering and terrorism financing were opened and 254 of them were referred to the relevant authorities.  249 cases related to money laundering and 5 to terrorism financing.

https://www.total-croatia-news.com/news/54638-anti-money-laundering-office-handled-403-cases-in-2020

THE SHIPPING LAW REVIEW 2021

Law firm HFW has produced the 8th edition of this publication, broken down into various chapters, including those on –

INTERNATIONAL TRADE SANCTIONS

MARINE INSURANCE

PIRACY

https://www.hfw.com/The-Shipping-Law-Review-Edition-8

UK: CONSULTATION ON EXTENDING THE IVORY ACT TO OTHER IVORY BEARING SPECIES

On 17 July, DEFRA in the UK launched a public consultation on extending the Ivory Act 2018 to other ivory-bearing species (i.e. not just elephants).  This follows a call for evidence in 2019.  The consultation closes on 11 September.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/extending-the-ivory-act-to-other-ivory-bearing-species

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/17/uk-government-seeks-to-extend-protection-of-ivory-bearing-animals

NIKE FAILS TO STOP EU PROBE ON BILLIONS IN ALLEGED TAX DODGING

On 15 July, ICIJ reported that Nike had claims that it was being singled out after the Paradise Papers investigation revealed its Dutch tax arrangements.  However, the General Court of the EU has rejected Nike’s arguments, which sought to end a high-stakes inquiry by the European Commission into allegations that the company obtained an unfair advantage over competitors when it signed deals with Dutch authorities in 2006 and 2010.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/nike-fails-to-stop-eu-probe-on-billions-in-alleged-tax-dodging/

SOME OF THE WAYS MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES REDUCE THEIR TAX BILLS

On 7 July, the Petersen Institute for International Economics published an article in the light of a call for a global minimum corporate tax rate to crack down on international firms diverting profits to low-tax countries to minimize their tax bills.  It points out that the current system dates from a model developed at the League of Nations after WW1, which called for taxing companies in jurisdictions where they produce products and are headquartered.  It provides a series of diagrams showing how the system was supposed to work, and then how multinationals minimise their tax liability.

https://www.piie.com/research/piie-charts/some-ways-multinational-companies-reduce-their-tax-bills

GERMAN WEAPONS MANUFACTURER SIG SAUER TO REPAY €11 MILLION FROM ILLEGAL EXPORTS OF ALMOST 40,000 PISTOLS TO COLOMBIA

On 1 July, the German federal Court ordered Sig Sauer to pay over the profits from the unlawful sale of weapons by its US subsidiary to Colombia.  Suspended sentences were also made against 3 defendants involved.  It had supplied the pistols to the Colombian National Police.  The guns were produced at the plant of Sig Sauer Beteiligungs GmbH in Germany, then supplied to Sig Sauer Inc in the US.  The German company had declared that the pistols will not be re-exported to other countries without permission, and the export was approved exclusively for the distribution and retention of the goods in the US.  In fact, the onward delivery to Colombia was already planned before the permits were obtained.

https://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/DE/2021/2021121.html

TERRORISTS AND THE APPEAL OF 3D-PRINTED WEAPONS

On 13 July, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague published an article following the arrest of 2 separate individuals with links to the extreme right being arrested or convicted in the UK on charges including offences related to 3D-printed firearms.  It provides a brief history of improvised firearms and then goes on to 3D-printed firearms.  It considers their legality and terrorist use.

https://icct.nl/publication/ctrl-hate-print-terrorists-and-the-appeal-of-3d-printed-weapons/

ILLEGAL WASTE TRADE: WHAT’S DRIVING THIS MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR TRANSNATIONAL CRIME AND WHAT COULD STOP IT?

On 16 July, the Basel Institute on Governance published an article following a webinar series involving the OECD and the Basel Institute’s Green Corruption team, with speakers from FATF and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, plus international experts on environmental enforcement and corruption.  A focus was on a recent FATF report on environmental crime which covered waste trafficking alongside illegal mining and logging. 

https://baselgovernance.org/news/illegal-waste-trade-whats-driving-multi-billion-dollar-transnational-crime-and-what-could-stop

NEW POLICY BRIEF ON HOW TO REDUCE THE SOCIAL ACCEPTABILITY OF WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING

On 16 July, the Basel Institute on Governance issued a Policy Brief saying that behaviour change interventions aimed at reducing the social acceptability of wildlife trafficking are an important part of efforts to prevent wildlife crime.  But it asks how can practitioners craft messages that will be effective in changing attitudes and behaviours?  The policy brief aims to support policymakers and practitioners seeking to improve conservation outcomes through behaviour change interventions.

https://baselgovernance.org/publications/policy-brief-7-reducing-social-acceptability-wildlife-trafficking-through-behaviour

US: CHINESE NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTING TO EXPORT MARITIME RAIDING CRAFT AND ENGINES TO CHINA ILLEGALLY

A news release from US DoJ on 16 July advised that Ge Songtao, 51, from Nanjing, had been sentenced to 3½ years in federal prison for conspiring to submit false export information through the federal government’s Automated Export System and to export maritime raiding craft and engines to China.  He also agreed to the forfeiture of $114,834.27.  He had pleaded guilty in November 2020. 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/chinese-national-sentenced-more-three-years-federal-prison-attempting-export-maritime

NFT: 3 LETTERS THAT CAUSE A STIR

An article provided by (in Spanish) Banco General sets out to explain what NFT are – being an acronym for Non-Fungible Token.

https://www.enexclusiva.com/07/2021/tecnologia/nft-tres-letras-que-causan-revuelo/

INDIAN-BORN DUTCH NATIONAL WANTED IN NETHERLANDS ARRESTED IN INDIA

On 17 July, India Today reported that a Dutch national, Shivlal Pabbi, originally from Punjab, had been arrested at Delhi’s International Airport while he was trying to flee the country.  He had migrated to the Netherlands in 1981 and became a Dutch national in 1984. The Enforcement Directorate is said to have initiated the money laundering investigation against him and others at the request of the Netherlands.  He allegedly ran an underground banking and hawala business in the Netherlands, held out to be trading in readymade clothes, and criminal proceeds were allegedly laundered through Pakistani individuals based in Dubai.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/india-born-dutch-national-who-cheated-netherlands-govt-arrested-by-ed-1829411-2021-07-17

PODCAST: A LOOK AT SPACE INSURANCE

On 12 May, law firm RPC released a podcast which discusses space insurance, these policies cover and why companies take these out.  It looks at the insurance of space projects, satellites and the future of space exploration.

https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/insurance-and-reinsurance/a-look-at-space-insurance-a-podcast-with-david-wade/

HIGH COURT ISSUES STARK REMINDER THAT BREACHES OF RULES ON EXPERT EVIDENCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED

On 15 July, an article from RPC was concerned with the recent case of Dana UK AXLE Ltd v Freudenberg FST GmbH, in which the High Court excluded expert evidence during trial as a result of serious and unexplained breaches of the terms of a court order and the basic principles of Civil Procedure Rules.  It reminds one that the rules on expert evidence are there to ensure a level playing field and to uphold the fair administration of justice.

https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/commercial-disputes/expert-evidence-is-not-an-absolute-right-high-court-issues-stark/

DIRECTORS DUTIES’ IN A CHALLENGING AND UNCERTAIN TRADING ENVIRONMENT

On 25 June, Irish law firm LK Shields published a good article in the light, as it says, of many Irish companies still being under financial and operational stress as a result of the challenging and uncertain trading environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  It provides an overview of the duties that Irish company directors are expected to comply with and how these apply in the context of the pandemic.  It also outlines some of the sanctions that can be imposed on directors for a breach of these duties.  For example, it emphasises that, under Irish company law, the general rule is that directors owe duties to the company and to the company alone, but they should also have regard to the interests of shareholders, employees, and to creditors when a company is insolvent or close to insolvent.

https://www.lkshields.ie/news-insights/publication/directors-duties-in-a-challenging-and-uncertain-trading-environment

DARK MONEY POLITICS: WHY EUROPE SHOULD JOIN BIDEN’S FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

On 16 July, an article from the European Council on Foreign Relations says that many Europeans and Americans believe that their political systems are corrupt, and that President Biden has responded to these challenges by declaring that the fight against corruption is a core national security priority and part of his “foreign policy for the middle class”.  It says that European policymakers should draw on his approach to anti-corruption to and address the abuse of entrusted power in their own societies.  It argues that they should set up high-profile national institutions that are charged with tackling corruption and capable of working within an international network.

https://ecfr.eu/wp-content/uploads/Dark-money-politics-Why-Europe-should-join-Bidens-fight-against-corruption.pdf

THE RISE AND RISE OF TURKISH DRONE TECHNOLOGY

On 11 April, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University published an article about Turkey’s thriving drone industry, but warning that a cash-strapped economy and technological challenges may slow further progress.  It says that, as recently as the early 2000s, Turkey was dependent on Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles, but that in slightly over a decade Turkey became the operator and exporter of fine drone systems.   They recently came to prominence in the Azerbaijan-Armenia border war.

https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/1992-Turkish-Drone-Technology-Bekdil-final.pdf

ENGLAND AND WALES LEGAL REGULATOR BEGINS AML CRACKDOWN

On 1 July, STEP reported that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has commenced its promised compliance enforcement action against firms in England and Wales, issuing its first fines to firms that have not yet complied with AML regulations.

https://www.step.org/industry-news/england-and-wales-legal-regulator-begins-aml-crackdown

CPS PUBLISHES NEW GUIDANCE ON HANDLING ILLEGAL ENTRY TO UK VIA SMALL BOATS AND LORRIES

On 12 July, law firm Ince reported that the CPS has published guidance for the handling of illegal entry to the UK via small boats and lorries: “Organised Facilitation – Vehicles and Boats- 08 July 2021 Legal Guidance, International and organised crime”.  The article identifies key changes in the guidance.

https://www.incegd.com/en/news-insights/crown-prosecution-service-publishes-new-guidance-handling-illegal-entry-uk-small

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

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