OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 19

Panama Covid-19 update – an advisory advisor to the Covid-19 Panama Vaccine Research Consortium has predicted that 80% of the population could be fully vaccinated by November – currently those with both jabs equate to 23%.

Meanwhile, as the death total continues to edge closer to 7,000, the number of currently active cases also continues its gradual, if too slow, fall. Today, another 862 new cases reported and 8 more fatalities. There are 9,803 active cases, with 110 in ICU and 320 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 one-off contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

19 AUGUST 2021

US: DYNATEX INTERNATIONAL, SUPPLIER TO THE SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY, SETTLEMENT OVER EXPORTS TO CHINA

On 19 August, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has reached an administrative settlement of $469,060 with the California company over the export semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China without the requisite licence.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/08/bis-reaches-400k-settlement-with-semiconductor-supplier-over-china-export-violations/

NAVIGATING FINANCIAL CRIME RISKS IN UGANDA

On 18 August, ENSafrica in South Africa published an article saying that Uganda is on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies; and was deemed a ‘Monitored’ Jurisdiction by the US Department of State 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).  The article highlights some of the detail from these findings.

https://www.mondaq.com/white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-fraud/1102584/navigating-financial-crime-risks-in-uganda

MALTA: TIMEFRAMES FOR PROSECUTION OF TAX CRIMES SET TO BE EXTENDED

On 18 August, the Times of Malta reported that the timeframes within which the police may investigate and prosecute tax crimes will be widened as part of the government’s plans to get Malta off the FATF grey list.    Currently there is a 24-month window for court action against alleged offenders before the crime becomes unactionable.  The government proposes to extend this window to at least 5 years, with the possibility of 8 years also being discussed.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/timeframes-for-prosecution-of-tax-crimes-set-to-be-extended.894085

UAE CENTRAL BANK ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE TO HAWALA PROVIDERS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

On 1* August, The National in UAE reported that the Central Bank of the UAE had issued fresh guidance on AML/CFT to Registered Hawala Providers in the UAE and Licensed Financial Institutions that provide services to RHP. It takes FATF standards into account.  Hawala is regulated by the Registered Hawala Providers Regulation issued in 2019 and all providers undertaking hawala activity in the UAE must hold a hawala provider certificate issued by the central bank.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/economy/2021/08/18/uae-central-bank-issues-new-guidance-to-hawala-providers-and-financial-institutions/

IRELAND: NEW WHITE-COLLAR CRIME AGENCY

On 17 August, the Irish Times reported that the Irish Government says it is pressing ahead with plans to set up a new beefed-up white-collar crime agency – the Corporate Enforcement Authority (CEA) – and it intends to publish proposed new laws to establish the body in coming weeks.  It would replace the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), which is currently a part of the Department of Enterprise.  The Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2021 will be put before the Dáil (parliament) in September.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/irish-fbi-for-white-collar-crime-to-be-established-in-coming-weeks-1.4649452

IRAN FUEL TANKER “SET TO SAIL TO LEBANON” DEFYING US SANCTIONS

On 19 August, Middle East Eye reported that the shipment of oil would constitute a breach of US sanctions on Tehran, and has the potential to drag Lebanon into a confrontation between Iran and Israel.  There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese government, the announcement of the ship’s movement being made by Hezbollah. 

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-lebanon-hezbollah-fuel-tanker-sail-defiance-sanctions

WHY ITALIAN MAFIAS ARE SETTING UP HOME IN SPAIN

On 19 August, an article from El Pais reported that Spain is a second home to many criminal groups, in particular the Italian mafia, and reported on some recent arrests which underline this.  It points out that a number of mafia bosses have been arrested in Spain in recent years.

https://english.elpais.com/spain/2021-08-19/why-italian-mafias-are-setting-up-home-in-spain.html

AML SPECIALIST IS LEAVING THE BOARD OF BANK FOLLOWING INDICTMENT BY THE HOLY SEE OVER A $150 MILLION LONDON PROPERTY DEAL

On 19 August, Finews reported that René Bruelhart, 49, is leaving the board of the Swiss regional lender Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, effective immediately, for personal reasons. 

https://www.finews.com/news/english-news/47525-rene-bruelhart-vatican-hypothekarbank-lenzburg-resignation

SOUTH KOREA: TAX AGENCY PROBES INTO SUSPECTED TAX EVASION BY 97 YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ACQUIRED HOUSES THROUGH UNDUE WEALTH TRANSFERS FROM THEIR PARENTS

On 19 August, the Korea herald reported that the National Tax Service (NTS) said it has conducted a crackdown on underaged people who own expensive apartments and houses even though they have no ability to earn money.

https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?src=ilaw&ud=20210819000754

THAILAND’S LARGEST ASPHALT MANUFACTURER SHARE VALUE DROPS FOLLOWING MONEY LAUNDERING ACCUSATIONS IN US

On 19 August, the Thai Enquirer reported that the share price of Tipco Asphalt Plc fell following allegations of money laundering in a criminal case against a US businessman in order to help Venezuela avoid US sanctions.  It is alleged to have transferred hundreds of millions of dollars from Venezuela’s state-owned oil company to Miami-based Achabal Technologies.

https://www.thaienquirer.com/31492/tipco-asphalt-shares-drop-on-money-laundering-accusation

SUDAN: FORMER PRESIDENT BASHIR’S WIFE FACES CHARGES OF ILLICIT ENRICHMENT

On 19 August, Asharq al Aswat reported on lawsuits involve Bashir’s second wife, Widad Babiker, and other leaders who served the regime.  Other cases involve the former governor of Khartoum, the former minister of urban planning, and the ex-official charged with the commission for distributing state revenues.

https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3140341/bashir’s-wife-faces-charges-illicit-enrichment

DUBLIN MAN WANTED ON SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES HANDED OVER IN NORTHERN IRELAND

On 19 August, the Belfast Telegraph reported that Mark Adams, 41, was transported by the Irish authorities to the border just south of Newry where he was picked up by NCA officers.  He was wanted in connection with his arrest at Belfast international Airport in May 2018, when more than €180,000 was found in his luggage.  He was released on bail but failed to return.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/dublin-man-wanted-on-suspected-money-laundering-offences-handed-over-to-ni-authorities-40767801.html

CHINA: POLICE BUST INTERNET LOAN SHARK GANG THAT SCAMMED $97 MILLION FROM VICTIMS

On 19 August, Shine in China reported that Shanghai police had said that a total of 86 suspects have been arrested for allegedly running an Internet loan fraud that entrapped over 10,000 people around the country.  It is said that the scam relied on 23 mobile apps, developed by a tech company in Jiangsu Province and then sold to the suspects who advertised low-interest loan services to the victims.

https://www.shine.cn/news/metro/2108193799

IRELAND: DANIEL KINAHAN’S SUPER-CARTEL MAFIOSI ASSOCIATE IS ARRESTED IN DUBAI AFTER YEARS ON THE RUN

On 19 August, the Irish Independent reported that an Italian Mafioso, who attended cartel boss Daniel Kinahan’s wedding in Dubai, has been arrested.  Raffaele Imperiale, 46, of the Naples-based Camorra organisation, had been wanted by Italian authorities to serve an 8-year sentence for drug trafficking, and is thought to have been hiding in Dubai.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/daniel-kinahans-super-cartel-mafiosi-associate-is-arrested-in-dubai-after-years-on-the-run-40767873.html

SCIENTIST IN £20 MILLION FAKE GREEN CARBON FRAUD SPENT MONEY ON LUXURY DUBAI VILLAS

On 19 August, The National in UAE reported that Michael Richards, who was behind one of the UK’s largest tax frauds, has now had his 11-year sentence lengthened by a further 10 years after failing to pay a £11.1 million confiscation order.  Richards and 4 others told investors their money would be spent on R+D into carbon credits, attracting more than £65 million in investment in the ‘green’ scheme. However, only £16 million of this was spent on planting trees, and the group stole £20 million of the investors’ money and laundered it via bank accounts and secret trusts.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2021/08/19/scientist-in-20m-fake-green-carbon-fraud-spent-money-on-luxury-dubai-villas

GIBRALTAR: OPERATION SEIZES 65 BALES OF CANNABIS RESIN WORTH £13 MILLION

A news release from Gibraltar on 18 August advised that a joint HM Customs and police operation intercepted a suspect RHIB, which included a a high-speed pursuit with bales were constantly being thrown from the RHIB.  In total, 65 bales were seized amounting to a total of approximately 2.6 tonnes with a street value of £13 million.

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/press-releases/a-joint-rgphm-customs-operation-seizes-65-bales-of-cannabis-resin-worth-13-million-6002021-7178

https://www.gbc.gi/news/cannabis-street-value-13-million-seized-joint-rgp-customs-operation-sea-4-arrested

FORMER AZERBAIJANI AMBASSADOR ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING MILLIONS

On 18 August, OCCRP reported that a prosecutor in Azerbaijan is said to have completed an investigation of one of the country’s former ambassadors that is accused of embezzling more than €28.3 million in state funds.  Investigators believe that a small group of people including the long-term ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, misappropriated or misused the millions between 2010-2020.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15010-ex-azerbaijani-ambassador-accused-of-embezzling-millions

BRAZILIAN FEDERAL POLICE LAUNCH NATIONWIDE OPERATION AGAINST CRYPTO-RELATED MONEY LAUNDERING

On 17 August, Bitcoin.com reported that Brazilian Federal Police had launched Operation Compliance against cryptocurrency-related money laundering crimes with the execution of several seizure warrants across the country, involving 150 federal policemen active in 5 different cities.  This followed an investigation that identified cryptocurrency-related money laundering crimes on the internet starting in 2018.

https://news.bitcoin.com/brazilian-federal-police-launch-nationwide-operation-against-crypto-related-money-laundering/

PIRACY IN ASIA CONTINUES TO DECLINE – BUT PETTY ROBBERIES IN THE STRAIT OF SINGAPORE A MATTER OF ONGOING CONCERN

On 18 August, Insurance Marine News detailed the ReCAAP ISC report on incidents in Asian waters during July.  There were 5 incidents of armed robbery against ships reported in Asia, while no piracy incident was reported.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/no-piracy-five-armed-robberies-in-asia-last-month/

DUTCH BANKS COMBINE FORCES TO COMBAT MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING

On 19 August, a post from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer considered an initiative by a group of major Dutch banks to combat money laundering and outline some key legal considerations when rolling out similar initiatives in other jurisdictions commenting that one of the key challenges when trying to identify money laundering is that any one bank can only monitor the transactions in accounts administered by itself.  However, Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL) involves 5 major Dutch banks which have developed a first-of-its-kind mechanism to collectively monitor transactions and identify patterns that indicate money laundering or terrorist financing.

https://riskandcompliance.freshfields.com/post/102h551/dutch-banks-combine-forces-to-combat-money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing

LITHUANIA-CHINA RAIL LINK HIT BY TAIWAN TENSIONS

On 19 August, Loadstar reported that concerns are growing over alleged plans by China’s state rail operator to suspend services terminating in Lithuania in response to growing political acrimony between the countries.  Relations between the countries began deteriorating in June, when Lithuania ‘bypassed China’s jurisdiction’ by pledging to donate 20,000 Covid-19 vaccines to Taiwan before establishing a representative office there.

https://theloadstar.com/lithuanian-rail-link-with-china-hits-the-buffers-as-tension-rises-over-taiwan-links/

US CUSTOMS IN MEMPHIS SEIZES HUNDREDS OF COUNTERFEIT COVID-19 VACCINATION CARDS EVERY NIGHT

On 17 August, Homeland Security Today reported that officers at the port of Memphis have been detecting low-quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards, which have blanks for the recipient’s name and birthdate, the vaccine maker, lot number, and date and place the shot was given, as well as the CDC logo in the upper right corner. 

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/border-security/memphis-seizes-hundreds-of-counterfeit-covid-19-vaccination-cards-every-night/

COUNTERFEIT DEA AND FBI BADGES STOPPED BY US CUSTOMS IN CHICAGO

On 18 August, Homeland Security Today reported recently seized mail packages all arriving from China that contained counterfeit DEA and FBI badges.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/customs-immigration/counterfeit-dea-and-fbi-badges-stopped-by-chicago-cbp/

INDIA: COURT ALLOWS PNB BANK TO SELL NIRAV MODI’S PROPERTIES WORTH $57.2 MILLION

On 19 August, the Hindustan Times reported that the Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court has ordered the release of part of the properties belonging to the fugitive Diamond trader, which were mortgaged by Modi’s firms with the nationalised bank.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/court-allows-pnb-to-sell-nirav-modi-s-properties-worth-440-crore-101629398040111.html

FORMER LORD ADVOCATE ‘CONTESTS’ £25 MILLION CLAIM OVER MALICIOUS RANGERS FRAUD CASE

On 19 August, the Glasgow Evening Times reported that a former Lord Advocate (the most senior law officer in Scotland) has questioned the right of a global finance company responsible for running Rangers FC when it financially imploded to claim misconduct in public office while pursuing a £25 million claim over damage to its business over the malicious club fraud case scandal.

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/19525089.ex-lord-advocate-contests-25m-claim-duff-phelps-malicious-rangers-fraud-case/

ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION TAKES ACTION AGAINST ANOTHERCRYPTO ASSET TRADING PLATFORM

A release on Mondo Visione on 19 August advised that the OSC had alleged that Aux Cayes Fintech Co Ltd (which is incorporated in the Seychelles) for failing to comply with Ontario securities law.  It operates the OKEx Platform, an unregistered crypto asset trading platform that has permitted Ontario residents to use the platform and trade crypto asset products that are securities and derivatives. Such platforms were given until 19 April to discuss how to bring their operations into compliance and, additionally, the OSC stated that platforms that allow access to Ontarians are regarded by the OSC as operating in Ontario for the purposes of securities regulation.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/ontario-securities-commission-takes-action-against-fourth-non-compliant-internat/

MORE THAN 40 AFGHAN AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT FLOWN TO UZBEKISTAN TO RPEVENT THEM FALLING INTO HANDS OF TALIBAN

On 18 August, Janes reported that nearly 600 Afghans were reported as being aboard the aircraft and to be seeking asylum in Uzbekistan.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/dozens-of-afghan-air-force-aircraft-flown-out-of-afghanistan

 

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where one-off 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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