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

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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