OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 21

Panama Covid-19 update – fatalities since the start of the pandemic have now passed 7,000, with the total reaching 7.003 today with 4 new fatalities reported. Another 691 new cases are also reported, with a total of 9,378 active cases, this number continuing its slow decline. 108 patients are in the various ICU and 312 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

21 AUGUST 2021

ISLE OF MAN UPDATE ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS SANCTIONS

On 29 August, the Isle of Man advised that it was following the UK in adding 7 Russian individuals connected to the FSB to the Chemical Weapons financial sanctions regime.

https://www.gov.im/news/2021/aug/20/financial-sanctions-chemical-weapons/

FINAL REPORT FROM THE UN PANEL OF EXPERTS ON MALI SANCTIONS

The final report on Mali sanctions says inter alia that the Government of Mali has continued to provide “financial support” to Mohamed Ousmane, who was designated by the UN in December 2018; and that hashish trafficking operations have been disrupted by seizures and arrests and the designation of Mohamed Ben Ahmed Mahri.  Among its recommendations are that business entities that are entirely or partly controlled by designated individuals under the Mali sanctions regime should also be designated.

https://undocs.org/S/2021/714

US COMPANY WITH RECORD OF CORRUPTION GETS $9.8 MILLION PANAMA CONTRACT

On 20 August, Newsroom Panama reported that Louis Berger, the US company that has been awarded a $9.8 million contract to design the tunnel that will carry Metro Line 3 under the Panama Canal, has been convicted of corruption, paying bribes and violations of labour rights in the US, India, Spain, Colombia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and dating back from 2010 onwards.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/us-firm-with-corruption-record-gets-98-million-panama-contract

RUSSIAN SANCTIONS AGAINST UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AND NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE COUNCIL (NSDC) SECRETARY

On 21 August, Devdiscourse reported that Russia had introduced sanctions against Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as well as National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksiy Danilov.  There are now 922 people on Russia’s sanctions list. 

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/international/1701205-taliban-official-says-no-foreigners-kidnapped-but-some-being-queried

REACTION TO UK DECISION TO LIFT SANCTIONS ON ASSAD-LINKED BUSINESSMAN

On 21 August, Middle East Eye reported that the UK decision to lift sanctions on, Tarif al-Akhras, a prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to President Bashar al-Assad has led to calls that he be relisted.  Akhras is a relative of Syrian President Assad’s wife, Asma, and is the founder of a commodities and trading company, the Akhras Group.  It notes that, in 2016, the EU rejected an appeal by Akhras to have its sanctions lifted.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-uk-decision-lift-sanctions-assad-linked-businessman-outcry

MEXICO REMINDS DOMESTIC AND OVERSEAS CRYPTO COMPANIES TO REPORT OPERATIONS

On 21 August, Finance Magnates reported that crypto firms and exchanges need to report transactions worth over $87,000 before 17 September. 

https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/regulation/mexico-reminds-domestic-and-overseas-crypto-companies-to-report-operations/

THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS IN RESPECT OF LEBANON AND IRAN

On 20 August, 2 news releases from the EU advised that –

  • North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, and Georgia have agreed to align with Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/1277 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Lebanon and creating a framework for financial sanctions; and
  • North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Ukraine and Moldova have agreed to align with both of 2 recent EU Council Decisions which amend the EU sanctions lists involving Iran.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/08/20/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-third-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-regarding-iran/

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/08/20/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-third-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-in-view-of-the-situation-in-lebanon/

THE COMPLEX TRUST IS SIMPLY THE CRIMINAL TAX EVASION DEVICE KNOWN AS THE PURE TRUST REPACKAGED

On 18 August, Forbes published an article saying that the so-called “pure trust” scheme was a criminal tax evasion ploy in the US that widely circulated from roughly 1995 to 2005.   Promoters of the pure trust sold them to taxpayers who used them for a while until the IRS caught up with them.  The author of the article says that he recently came across a promoter of pure trusts, but with them now referred to as “complex trusts”.  The article says that the complex trust is simply another name for the pure trust, which have also gone by such names as constitutional trusts, contract trusts, patriot trusts, and the like.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jayadkisson/2021/08/18/the-complex-trust-is-simply-the-criminal-tax-evasion-device-known-as-the-pure-trust-repackaged/?sh=d219ce31f450

UK: THE MAIN DEVELOPER BEHIND THE CAMBO OIL FIELD ULTIMATELY OWNED IN AN OFFSHORE TAX HAVEN, WHICH AN EXPERT CLAIM COULD DEPRIVE THE UK OF TENS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS

On 15 August, The Ferret website reported claims that Siccar Point Energy, which has a controlling 70% stake in the proposed Cambo development north-west of Shetland, is owned by an “ultimate parent” company registered in Luxembourg, and environmentalists argued that Siccar’s Luxembourg ownership “destroys any claims that Cambo is important for the economy”.

https://theferret.scot/cambo-oil-firm-under-fire-tax-haven/

ENGLISH COURT OF APPEAL GIVES GUIDANCE ON WHEN DIRECTORS OF INSOLVENT COMPANIES MIGHT BE LIABLE FOR COSTS OF LITIGATION.

On 16 August, a briefing from law firm HFW said that in a recent case the Court had provided guidance on when a non-party costs order will be made against directors or shareholders of an insolvent company engaged in litigation.  It argues that the judgment will be of interest to all involved in insolvency-based litigation.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003211-HFW-English-Court-of-Appeal-gives-guidance-on-when-directors-of-insolvent-companies-might-be-liable-for-costs-of-litigation-Aug-2021.pdf

FORMER HEAD OF TUNISIA’S ANTI-GRAFT BODY PLACED UNDER HOUSE ARREST

On 21 August, Yeni Safak in Turkey reported that the former chief of Tunisia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission, Chawki Tabib, confirmed that he has been placed under house arrest.  This followed the firing of Anouar Ben Hassan, the Secretary General of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, without any reason.  The National Anti-Corruption Commission was established in 2011 following the removal of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.  In July, current President Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority.

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/former-head-of-tunisias-anti-graft-body-placed-under-house-arrest-3578872

CAMBODIA: 21 TONNES OF COUNTERFEIT SANITISER DESTROYED

On 21 August, the Phnom Post reported that counter-counterfeit officials have destroyed over 21 tonnes of counterfeit sanitiser at a dumpsite in Phnom Penh.  Previously, authorities had also burned than 9 tonnes of food and snack products that have been sold without a permit and also seized more than 6 tons of contaminated products for destruction.

https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/21-tonnes-counterfeit-sanitiser-destroyed

30 YEARS AFTER INDEPENDENCE FROM MOSCOW, UKRAINE STRUGGLES TO THROW OFF OLIGARCH YOKE

On 21 August, Rferl carried a feature saying that, 30 years on, civil society activists, representatives of foreign business, Western officials, and even President Volodymyr Zelenskiy say Ukraine is still in the debilitating grip of homegrown tycoons who are undermining the country’s development.  It says that, since the late 1990s, critics say, tycoons known as “oligarchs” have dominated Ukraine’s political and economic landscape, using the money earned from former Soviet assets to back candidates, influence corruptible judges, and support media outlets that advance their agendas.

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-independence-moscow/31421449.html

CAMBRIDGE ACADEMIC ORDERED TO PAY £1.3 MILLION OR FACE ANOTHER 8½ YEARS IN PRISON

A news release from NCA on 21 August advised that Cambridge academic, Dr Ehsan Abdi-Jalebi, 40, who fraudulently claimed almost £2.8 million in government grants has been ordered to pay £1.3 million back from his crimes or face another 8½ years in prison.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/cambridge-academic-ordered-to-pay-1-3-million-or-face-another-8-5-years-in-prison

SINGAPORE SHIP BELIEVED ABDUCTED OFF UAE HAS DOCKED SAFELY IN IRAN

On 21 August, Eurasia Review reported that Golden Brilliant had docked at the Persian Gulf port of Shahid Rajaee and Iranian sources refuted claims that the ship had been hijacked by forces close to Iran.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/21082021-singapore-tanker-safely-docks-in-southern-iran/

THE COMPLICATED QUESTION OF CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY

On 17 August, an article from RPC says that in the UK the Law Commission has been asked to consult on how the law of corporate criminal liability functions and how, if at all, it should change.  This consultation closes on 31 August.  In a podcast, how the law currently operates is discussed, as well as some of the suggested changes to corporate criminal liability that have been put forward. 

https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/tax-take/taxing-matters-the-complicated-question-of-corporate-criminal-liability/

CHILE LOGGERS TRY NEW RULES TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL TIMBER

On 20 August, an article from Insight Crime reported that, faced with endemic timber theft and uneven government enforcement, logging companies in Chile have agreed to new guidelines meant to cut down on the sale of illegal wood.  The new framework is named Buena Madera, confiable desde su origen (“Good wood, with a trustworthy origin”). 

https://insightcrime.org/news/chile-loggers-try-educate-population-on-illegal-timber/

CHINA EXPANDS AML OBLIGATIONS

On 20 August, Baker McKenzie reported on the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing of Financial Institutions, which came into effect on 1 August.  It explains that, among other things, the Measures expand the scope of applicable entities, provide specific details of internal control and risk management requirements and increase supervision and administration powers of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).  The new Measures are a significant development, demonstrating China’s efforts to improve and enhance its AML/CFT regime.

https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/2021/08/20/china-expands-anti-money-laundering-obligations-with-measures-for-the-supervision-and-administration-of-anti-money-laundering-and-counter-terrorist-financing-of-financial-institutions090821/

UGANDA SUSPENDS 54 NGO IN CLAMPDOWN ON CIVIL SOCIETY

On 20 August, Deutsche Welle reported that Ugandan authorities have halted the operations of 54 NGO for alleged non-compliance. The National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO Bureau) which falls under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that the organisations had not complied with the NGO Act.  It is noted that some of the groups who have been ordered to shut down were closely monitoring election results in an operation which resulted in a raid by security forces and a number of arrests.

https://www.dw.com/en/uganda-suspends-54-ngos-in-clampdown/a-58924792

REPORT: MARITIME SECURITY AND SANCTIONS CONCERNS ARE MOUNTING – WITH THE CONTINUED THREAT OF INCREASINGLY VIOLENT PIRACY, CYBER RISKS AND INTERRUPTIONS

On 21 August, Hellenic Shipping News reported that Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s (AGCS) latest Safety and Shipping Review warns of a number of risks to shipping that threaten the future stability of the industry.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/safety-and-security-risks-mount/

GIBRALTAR: GDPR & DATA PROTECTION ACT DATA SHARING CODE OF PRACTICE

On 18 August, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA), as the Information Commissioner for the territory, has published a Data Sharing Code of Practice which contains detailed guidance and good practice for the sharing of personal data between organisations and provides a general framework which organisations can use to develop their own data sharing arrangements and ensure compliance with the Gibraltar General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2004. The Code comes in to force on 9 September.

https://www.gra.gi/download/1416/21+08+18+Press+Release+-+Data+Sharing+COP.pdf

FORCED LABOUR: 5 KEY FINANCIAL RISK INDICATORS

On 6 August, ACAMS Today considered the role of the financial sector in respect of forced labour.  It says that the starting point for effective financial investigations is the awareness and use of accurate financial indicators and transactional red flags indicative of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation.  It provides key risk indicators that may increase the likelihood of effective reporting and provide law enforcement with actionable intelligence. It says that it is important to note that no one indicator alone is likely to confirm money laundering from human trafficking.

https://www.acamstoday.org/forced-labour-five-key-financial-risk-indicators/

FATF/EGMONT GROUP FACTSHEET: TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING

fatf and the Egmont Group of fiu completed a joint study to increase understanding of trade-based money laundering, building on earlier reports.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4D1FAQG88ImTDyxyTQ/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1629482743200?e=1629673200&v=beta&t=HK5HFIMFQAYOZh2VGfbG53VCJBXGGYoY1Zy1X5ECtko

UKRAINE: GAMBLING OFFICIAL ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF TAKING A $90,000 BRIBE

On 21 August, the Kyiv Post reported that a member and acting head of Ukraine’s Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission was arrested on suspicion of receiving a $90,000 bribe to grant gambling licences.

https://www.kyivpost.com/business/gambling-commission-official-arrested-for-taking-a-90000-bribe.htm

lhttps://www.blockchain-council.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Token-vs-Coin-Whats-the-Difference-768×768.jpg

https://www.blockchain-council.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Main-Types-of-Blockchain-768×768.png

 

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

WORLD BANK GLOBAL SUSPENSION AND DEBARMENT DIRECTORY

On 20 August, Baker McKenzie reported that the World Bank’s Office of Suspension and Debarment had announced this Directory as a comprehensive resource on exclusion systems in 23 different jurisdictions and institutions, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Korea, Republic of Netherlands, Nicaragua, Poland, Rajasthan, India, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, United States, World Bank Corporate Procurement, World Bank Group Sanctions System, and WTO Agreement on Government Procurement 2012.  The Directory outlines how these jurisdictions employ exclusion mechanisms to prevent certain suppliers from accessing public funds. 

https://insightplus.bakermckenzie.com/bm/compliance-investigations_1/united-states-baker-mckenzie-suspension-and-debarment-update

https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/2021/08/20/international-world-banks-office-of-suspension-and-debarment-launches-the-global-suspension-and-debarment-directory110821/

https://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/documents/sanctions/office-of-suspension-and-debarment/other-documents/Global%20Suspension%20and%20Debarment%20Directory.pdf

 

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

DOMAIN NAME SOLICITATION FRAUD

An article from Smart & Biggar on 20 August warns of a rise in email scams targeting brand owners by falsely claiming that domain name rights are in jeopardy.  As these scams become more common, it says, all trademark owners should be aware of how to recognize and avoid them.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/domain-name-solicitation-fraud-brand-8729877/

 

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

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 20

Panama Covid-19 update – overall, numbers continue their slow reduction, but with 669 new cases reported today. There were also 6 new fatalities (plus an update with 2 more from earlier periods). There are 9,539 active cases, with 109 in ICU and 309 in other wards.

Incidentally, the UK media is reporting today that approximately 1 in every 80 people in the UK have Covid. Panama remains on the UK “Red List”, despite the equivalent statistics being that only around 1 person in every 500 currently has Covid in Panama…and with the UK (or England at least) continuing to open up and relax restrictions, despite there being a large proportion of the population being unvaccinated, whereas Panama has stricter controls in place, one can’t help thinking that the differences in proportion will continue to increase…

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

20 AUGUST 2021

COSTA RICA: SUPREME COURT REJECTS HABEAS CORPUS APPLICATION FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BOSS IN CORRUPTION CASE

On 19 August, Newsroom Panama reported that the Court had repealed the application on behalf of Carlos Cerdas, owner of the construction company MECO, who has been in prison since 19 July, after a court annulled a $5 million bail bond arrangement.  The businessman, who reached a penalty agreement with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Panama for the (still continuing) Blue Apple corruption case, was arrested in San José in June, along with 28 others, in an separate case involving alleged acts of corruption that link businessmen and officials of the government.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/costa-rica-supreme-court-rejects-habeas-corpus-for-meco-boss

CHINESE AUTHORITIES SHUT DOWN A US LABOUR AUDITOR’S LOCAL CHINA PARTNER

On 19 August, the Wall Street Journal reported that authorities had closed down the China-based arm of Verite, which had advised US companies including Walt Disney and Apple over labour issues at Chinese factories. It is said to be part of a campaign to counter forced-labour allegations in China’s Xinjiang region.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-closes-u-s-auditor-as-tensions-mount-over-forced-labor-allegations-11629390253

FINES FOR MONEY LAUNDERING BREACHES DROP 40% DURING FIRST HALF OF 2021

On 19 August, Financial News reported that penalties imposed on global finance companies for breaching AML and KYC rules almost halved in the first 6 months of 2021 as compared to the same period in 2020, with penalties falling by 40% in to total around $930 million.

https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/fines-for-anti-money-laundering-breaches-drop-40-during-second-pandemic-year-20210819

SOUTH KOREA DETAINING NORTH KOREA-LINKED SHIP SUSPECTED OF SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 20 August, NK News reported that the UN-sanctioned, disguised as a Mongolia-flagged ship Wa held in waters off South Korea’s coast, after it entered the waters off Busan.

https://www.nknews.org/2021/08/south-korea-detaining-north-korea-linked-ship-suspected-of-sanctions-violations/

3 HONG KONG MEN ARRESTED OVER FISH SMUGGLING WITH ENDANGERED AQUARIUM SPECIES AMONG THE HAUL

On 20 August, the South China Morning Post reported that Customs had intercepted a fishing boat about 1.5 km from maritime border with mainland China and the cargo included nearly 400 juvenile Asiatic arowana, worth HK$3,000 each, 4 boxes of endangered stony coral worth a total of HK$100,000, and 67 boxes of chilled groupers valued at HK$500,000.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/3145812/3-hong-kong-men-arrested-over-hk18-million-fish

EL SALVADOR PREPARES TO COMPLY WITH INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS OVER BITCOIN

On 19 August, CVBJ.biz reported that the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador (BCR) had issued “Technical standards to facilitate the application of the Bitcoin Law” which describes how the country will comply with AML/CFT requirements.  A law comes into force on 7 September which makes Bitcoin legal tender.  The document establishes several measures that must be complied with by such as wallet providers that provide custody services, exchanges and ATM companies.

https://www.cvbj.biz/2021/08/19/this-is-how-el-salvador-prepares-to-comply-with-international-regulations/

HONG KONG BRINGS WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING UNDER ORGANIZED CRIME BILL

On 20 August, OCCRP reported that the development means that the government will have more authority to investigate and fight it, using the Organized and Serious Crime Ordinance introduced in 1992 to tackle the growth of organised crime, particularly within Hong Kong triads.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15037-hong-kong-brings-wildlife-trafficking-under-organized-crime-bill

THE SWISS RESPONSE TO THE CONCERNING ISSUE OF COUNTERFEITING

On 19 August, an article from World Trademark Review reminded one that Switzerland is among the countries most affected by counterfeiting, ranking fourth based on the value of global customs seizures of counterfeit and pirated products from 2014 to 2016 – highlighting threats to Swiss watchmaking, electronics, mechanical engineering and metal, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/the-swiss-response-the-concerning-issue-of-counterfeiting

NEW DRAFT GUIDELINE IN GERMANY TO PREVENT GREENWASHING

On 20 August, an article from Out-Law says that Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) wants to prevent German fund products from being advertised as ‘sustainable’ or ‘ecological’ when they are not. It has therefore published a draft guideline for sustainable investment funds and launched a consultation document, with the consultation closing on 6 September.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/bafin-neue-richtlinie-greenwashing

https://www.bafin.de/SharedDocs/Veroeffentlichungen/DE/Konsultation/2021/kon_13_21_WA4_Leitlinien_nachhaltige_Investmentvermoegen.html

NOT JUST UAV: CHINA’S GROWING FLEET OF AUTONOMOUS UNDERSEA VEHICLES

On 17 August, the Center for International Maritime Security published an article saying that, over the past decade, details have sporadically emerged about China’s unmanned (UUV) and autonomous undersea vehicle (AUV) projects.  The article draws on a wide array of primary sources — including advertisements from defence companies, PLA writings and research papers, and information released by state-run research institutes — to illuminate China’s growing fleet of autonomous undersea vehicles.  3 government-sponsored research institutions form the backbone of AUV development in China.

https://cimsec.org/leviathan-wakes-chinas-growing-fleet-of-autonomous-undersea-vehicles/

IRELAND: REVENUE SEIZE OVER A TONNE OF ‘ROLL YOUR OWN’ TOBACCO WORTH OVER €690,000 AT ROSSLARE EUROPORT

On 19 August, a news release from the Revenue Commissioners reported that the tobacco was discovered when officers, with the assistance of detector dog Gus and Revenue’s mobile x-ray scanner, searched a polish registered articulated lorry and its accompanying trailer that had disembarked a ferry from Cherbourg.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2021/pr-082021-revenue-seize-tobacco-at-rosslare-europort.aspx

NEW UNIT DEDICATED TO MONITORING ILLEGAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED WILDLIFE SPECIES ON THE INTERNET AND WORKING TOWARDS DISRUPTING IT

On 19 August, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime advised that the Market Monitoring and Friction Unit (MMFU) is a new team within GI-TOC dedicated to monitoring illegal trade in endangered wildlife species on the internet and working towards catalysing innovative, effective strategies to disrupt it.  The aim of the MMFU is to make the open web a space where wildlife criminals cannot operate. Stopping the illegal wildlife trade, and the various actors along the supply chain who profit from it, is an essential part of the broader fight to protect the environment and human lives, while reducing the risk of crime-related corruption.

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/taking-the-green-crime-fight-online/

MORE THAN $90 MILLION IN CRYPTOCURRENCY STOLEN AFTER A TOP JAPANESE EXCHANGE IS HACKED

On 19 August CNBC reported that cryptocurrency exchange Liquid said some of its digital currency wallets have been “compromised”, and it is claimed that about $97 million in cryptocurrencies have been received by the hackers.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/19/liquid-cryptocurrency-exchange-hack.html

OVERSEAS GALLERIES AND ART ADVISORS ARE NOT IMMUNE TO UK MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS AT FAIRS

On 20 August, the Art Newspaper reported warnings that those exhibiting and doing business at events in the UK now have to abide by the same, stricter rules as British businesses.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/comment/international-galleries-watch-out-you-need-to-comply-with-new-anti-money-laundering-laws-at-uk-fairs-this-autumn

US-MADE WEAPONS SEIZED BY TALIBAN COULD LEAD TO REGIONAL ARMS BAZAAR

On 19 August, Politico warned that the Taliban had taken control of billions worth of US-made weapons and equipment, including small arms, Humvees, pick-up trucks, aircraft and drones.  Uncertainty over the status of a massive arsenal is sparking fears of a regional arms bazaar that could be a boon to terrorist groups and insurgents.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/19/us-weapons-seized-taliban-506313

ENGLISH FOOTBALL REVIEWS OWNERSHIP RULES AFTER AL JAZEERA INVESTIGATION

On 20 August, Al Jazeera reported that the English Football League (EFL) – the governing body for the 3 divisions below the Premier League – has launched a review of its Owners’ and Directors’ Test following an Al Jazeera investigation which revealed how middlemen can help convicted criminals buy English football clubs and use them to launder dirty money from abroad.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/20/english-football-league-reviews-rules-after-al-jazeera-investigation

SEC CHARGES TEXAS INVESTMENT ADVISER WITH LONG-TERM $58 MILLION FRAUD

On 20 August, Investment News reported that the SEC has charged a San Antonio-based registered investment adviser Robert J Mueller with operating a years-long fraudulent scheme that raised approximately $58 million from nearly 300 investors in 2 investment funds.

https://www.investmentnews.com/sec-charges-texas-ria-with-58-million-fraud-210575

CRYPTO ASSET REGULATION IN THE US

On 20 August, an article from Dentons explains that there are 3 basic questions to be addressed in the US.  The “what” questions involves when the SEC has jurisdiction over a particular token or cryptocurrency and when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jurisdiction.  The “where” hinges on the outcome of the joint regulatory framework currently under discussion not only in Congress but also among government agencies such as the IRS, FinCEN, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and state regulatory agencies.  The “when” is, of course, when any agreed control functions will take effect.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/crypto-asset-regulation-in-the-united-3470522/

GIBRALTAR: SPIKE IN DRUG LOGISTICS CRIMES FOLLOWS PRESSURE ON GANGS IN SPAIN

On 19 August, the Gibraltar Chronicle carried a report saying that police had said that an increase in drugs movement detected in Gibraltar was the result of Spanish police pressure on gangs in Spain.

https://www.chronicle.gi/spike-in-drug-logistics-crimes-follows-pressure-on-gangs-in-spain-police-say/

US AND EU ISSUE GUIDANCE ON EXPECTATIONS FOR DUE DILIGENCE TO ADDRESS FORCED LABOUR RISKS

On 13 August, an article from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner referred to an updated joint advisory in July from US Department of State, US Treasury, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the US Trade Representative, and Department of Labor; and that published by the European Commission and the European External Action Service. 

https://www.bclplaw.com/en-US/insights/us-eu-issue-guidance-on-expectations-for-due-diligence-to-address-forced-labor-risks.html

A COMING CLASH OVER HONG KONG SANCTIONS?

On 17 August, an article from the Peterson Institute for International Economics warns that US S sanctions and Chinese countermeasures related to the situation in Hong Kong threaten to ignite the tinderbox of US-China economic relations.  It argues that the prospect for success in changing the other’s policies via sanctions is remote.  It remarks on recent troubling developments regarding Hong Kong already have arisen in the wake of the tit-for-tat US and Chinese sanctions, and tit-for-tat sanctions are likely to be the new normal in US-China relations.  It suggests that, before the 2 powers embark on another costly clash, they should consider other strategic responses as a complement or substitute for sanctions. 

https://www.piie.com/blogs/trade-and-investment-policy-watch/coming-clash-over-hong-kong-sanctions

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED PLAYER ANDERSON UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ALLEGED ROLE IN CRYPTOCURRENCIES MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME

On 20 August, the Daily Mail reported that Anderson is said to have been accused of laundering £4.7 million through cryptocurrencies in Brazil, as one of 8 people under investigation by a state prosecutor into a scheme designed to divert the money from the state stock exchange and launder money using cryptocurrencies.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9912961/Former-Man-United-midfielder-Anderson-investigated-alleged-role-money-laundering-scheme.html

HOW WILL CHINA SEEK TO PROFIT FROM THE TALIBAN’S TAKEOVER IN AFGHANISTAN?

An article in Lawfare on 19 August posed this question, saying that some commentators argue that the withdrawal opens a vacuum for China to exploit, and others assert that Taiwan is now more vulnerable because Beijing has taken the measure of America’s resolve and competence and found it lacking.  However, the author of the article puts forward some observations, which he says are based on over a decade of discussions with Chinese officials and experts focused on such questions.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/how-will-china-seek-profit-talibans-takeover-afghanistan

 

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