Panama Covid-19 – first day of an open call in 8 districts (including ours) where anyone can turn up to be vaccinated, with long queues seen – particularly of younger people, it is reported. The vaccination sites operate from 0700 to 1800.
Today, another 1,144 new cases reported and 7 new fatalities. However, while the numbers in hospital show a small rise, the overall numbers of active cases has fallen again, to 13,065. There are 134 in ICU and 643 in other wards.
21 JULY 2021
US-GERMAN DEAL ON RUSSIA’S NORD STREAM 2 PIPELINE EXPECTED
On 20 July, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration will effectively waive US longstanding opposition to the pipeline, Nord Stream 2. Germany under the agreement will agree to assist Ukraine in energy-related projects and diplomacy. This would resolve a long-standing dispute over the $11 billion pipeline, now 98% complete, being built under the Baltic Sea to carry gas from Russia’s Arctic region to Germany.
SECOND-HAND LEASE CAR TRADE NEXT TARGET IN DUTCH FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING
On 20 July, the NL Times reported that Dutch government and banks are turning their attention to the second-hand lease car market in the fight against money laundering, to make it more difficult for car dealers to deposit large amounts of cash.
UK: CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY – CHANGE IS COMING
On 12 July, Shoosmiths LLP published an article about prospective changes to corporate law in the UK, saying that in November 2020 the Law Commission announced that it was due to investigate the wider position on corporate criminal liability (i.e. not limited to economic crime) and at the beginning of June it launched a consultation. The consultation closes on 31 August. An options paper will follows analysing the effectiveness of the current law and recommending improvements. It is anticipated that the outcome and options paper will be delivered to government in late 2021. 2 partners at the firm comment on what might transpire.
On 19 July, Mayer Brown also published an article about the Law Commission consultation which focused on the so-called “identification principle”. The Law Commission previously reviewed the law in this area in 2010 and found that there was “no pressing need for reform of the identification doctrine”. However, it is said, given the development of case law since that previous review, the Commission now considers that the assumptions on which that conclusion was made are no longer true. The principle means that the requisite “directing mind and will” is typically limited to directors and executive officers – individuals who are rarely involved in the day-to-day decisions in which financial crime-related offences have their origin – making if difficult to achieve prosecutions.
HOW ISRAEL USED NSO SPYWARE AS DIPLOMATIC CALLING CARD
On 20 July, the Financial Times reported, in the light of the exposé carried by the Guardian and others, that Israel has used bilateral security arrangements, including the likes of the NSO software, as a entre into agreements with other Middle East states. While NSO refutes the suggestion, the article points to the legal and licensing support provided by the government.
Other Pegasus-related articles include –
AMAZON SAYS IT WILL SHUT DOWN INFRASTRUCTURE LINKED TO NSO SPYWARE FIRM
WORLD LEADERS ON PEGASUS LIST
OCCRP reports that 3 current presidents, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, as well as 3 sitting prime ministers, had their numbers selected for Pegasus. 7 former prime ministers and the King of Morocco were also selected.
See also –
UK: A DOZEN ‘NATIONAL TREASURES’ SAVED FOR THE NATION AFTER EXPORT LICENCE BLOCKS
On 21 July, the Antiques Trade Gazette reported on the latest annual report on the operation of the export controls on objects of cultural interest. Due to the pandemic, the latest report covers 2 years. Although 12 treasures were bought by institutions after export licences were not approved, 20 were not saved across the 2 years. Art, antiques and collectables that are deemed ‘cultural goods’, that are more than 50 years old and exceed a certain value, require an individual licence for export out of the UK. If the item meets any of certain criteria the export of the object can be temporarily stopped and a licence denied to give UK museums and institutions the opportunity to acquire the important item via fundraising.
EU: 15,000 TONNES OF ILLEGAL FOOD AND BEVERAGES OFF THE MARKET IN 18 MONTHS
On 21 July, a news release from Europol advised about a coordinated operation with Interpol which targeted trafficking of counterfeit and substandard food and beverage between December 2019 and June 2021. The 72 countries involved included 26 EU Member States. Examples cited include fake honey and alcohol abd illegal horsemeat.
SOUTH AFRICA: DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE LAYS OUT MARITIME SECURITY THREATS IN AFRICA
On 21 July, Defence Web carried an article saying that the Defence Intelligence division of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has detailed some of the main threats and challenges facing South African navies and maritime security issues in Africa. It noted that the maritime environment around Africa is beset with various forms of maritime crime.
2-YACHT GLASGOW TYCOON WHO LIVED LUXURY LIFE JAILED FOR £300,000 TAX FRAUD
On 21 July, Glasgow Live reported that Joseph Quinn, 64, was a businessman living the highlife with 2 yachts and 3 houses but has now been jailed over a near £300,000 fraud. He portrayed himself as a charity hero who enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, but in reality he was a conman scamming cash using bogus claims for VAT repayments.
GIBRALTAR’S CORPORATION TAX INCREASE – WILL AFFECT ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATORS
e-Gaming Review on 21 July commented on the increase in corporation tax in Gibraltar to 12.5%.
WRONGFUL AND FRAUDULENT TRADING – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
On 21 July, Lawyer Monthly carried a short article on the difference between wrongful and fraudulent trading under English law. It warns that both type of offence can lead to potential disqualification from company directorship for up to 15 years. In general, any form of trading offence will be detrimental to a company and the reputation of the directors.
UK: LAW COMMISSION ANNUAL REPORT
On 21 July, the Law Commission, which advises on amendments to, and new, legislation, published its annual report. Reporting on its activities in the last 12 months, it says that it released 8 reports since the last annual report covering leasehold reform, consumer sales contracts and modernisation of the communications offences among other projects. It has also published a wide range of consultations including on coal tips in Wales, electronic trade documents, intimate image abuse, hate crime laws and weddings during the year.
UK LAW COMMISSION: REFORMS TO PROTECT VICTIMS OF ONLINE ABUSE AND SAFEGUARD FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ANNOUNCED
On 21 July, the Law Commission, which advises on amendments to, and new, legislation, published a report which recommends reforms to the communications offences to target serious harms arising from online abuse, while more effectively protecting the right to freedom of expression. It also recommends new harm-based offence and a number of new offences, including offences to tackle cyberflashing, the encouragement or assistance of serious self-harm and sending knowingly false communications.
INCREASE IN UK REGULATION OF CRYPTOASSETS ANTICIPATED
On 21 July, an article from Out-law argues that businesses active in the UK’s cryptoassets market can expect to see an increase in regulation in the months and years ahead.
LUXEMBOURG ADOPTS A NEW LAW ON CASH ENTERING OR LEAVING THE COUNTRY
On 21 July, CMS Law reported that any bearer of cash in any form and by any means (including cash, bearer negotiable instruments, certain highly liquid goods as well as prepaid cards) with a value of €10,000 or more, to, via or from the country, or entering or leaving the EU through the country, is subject to the filing of an accompanied cash declaration. In the same way, the sender or the recipient of the cash or their representative must file a declaration for the disclosure of unaccompanied cash with a value of €10,000 or more, entering, transiting via or leaving the country or entering or leaving the EU through the country. This implements the requirements of amended EU law in Luxembourg.
PODCAST: “MADOFF TALKS”
In the latest TRACE podcast, author and business radio host Jim Campbell discusses his recent book about Bernie Madoff, his Ponzi scheme and his lack of remorse, based on extraordinary access to Madoff and members of his family and team.
BITCOIN MINERS HAVE A NEW HOME IN KAZAKHSTAN
On 21 July, the Protos website reported that cryto miners have moved to Kazakhstan as the local industry in China endures sweeping crackdowns. It became the third-largest contributor to global Bitcoin mining hashrate in April, behind China and the US.
PERU: NEW MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION AGAINST FUJIMORI’S HUSBAND
On 21 July, TeleSUR reported that the Peruvian Attorney General’s Office has opened a second investigation into alleged money laundering against Mark Villanella, the husband of former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori. It is said that the Car Wash case team will investigate the brokerage service contracts provided by Villanella MVV Real Estate. It is said that the new investigation arises from the criminal process that Villanella and Fujimori face for irregular financing of the Fuerza Popular party in previous electoral campaigns.
EXTRADITED ISRAELI FUGITIVE SENT TO PRISON FOR CONDUCTING ILLEGAL GAMBLING BUSINESS, MONEY LAUNDERING, AND FAILURE TO APPEAR
A news release from US DoJ on 21 July advised that Orel Gohar, 30, formerly of San Francisco, has been sentenced to 2½ years in prison. It is reported that Gohar participated in operating an organization that installed and maintained illegal video slot machines at businesses open to the public across Northern California. On pretrial release, he fled from by charter jet through Mexico, France, and Israel. He was arrested in Israel in December 2019.
CALL-CENTRE SCAM: INDIAN POLICE PUSH FOR EXTRADITION OF GANG’S UK-BASED HANDLER
In its 22 July edition, the Hindustan Times reported that, after busting a fake call-centre scam targeting foreign nationals with the arrest of 39 people, police are now looking to extradite the gang’s handler from the UK. It is said that a UK-based handler provided them with the phone numbers of targets in exchange for a 40% cut per fraud. The fraudsters posed as officials from HMRC.
US: TURKISH NATIONAL INDICTED FOR WIRE FRAUD AND ILLEGALLY EXPORTING DEFENCE ARTICLES TO TURKEY
A news release from US DoJ on 21 July advised that Arif Ugur, 52, a Turkish national, has been indicted in Boston in connection with his scheme to illegally export defence technical data to foreign nationals in Turkey for the fraudulent manufacturing of various US military parts. He was the sole managing partner of the Anatolia Group Limited Partnership, a domestic limited partnership registered in Massachusetts and bid on and acquired numerous contracts to supply the DOD with a variety of machine parts and hardware items intended for use by the US military. Having manufacturing facilities in the US or elsewhere. Instead, Ugur contracted with a Turkish manufacturer to make the parts and then passed them off to DoD as if they had been manufactured by Anatolia in the US; and shared technical specifications and drawings of various parts and components with employees of the Turkish manufacturer so that they could produce the parts.
THE UK STILL LACKS A COHERENT INTERNATIONAL ILLICIT FINANCE STRATEGY
On 21 July, a Commentary from RUSI calls for a clearer, more achievable vision to the international dimensions of the UK Economic Crime Plan, saying that the current strategy displays a lack of focus and is not focusing on what is most appropriate for tackling the UK’s role in facilitating illicit finance. It is proposed that the UK should leverage its leading intelligence capability to genuinely contribute to efforts to identify & seize illicit finance.
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