On 23 August, the US Treasury announced that OFAC had designated General Filipos Woldeyohannes, the Chief of Staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), for being a leader or official of an entity that is engaged in serious human rights abuse committed during the ongoing conflict in Tigray.
The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime has produced a report to help understand the legal requirements that may apply to online wildlife trade. It is meant to be used in response to a post, advertisement or thread of interactions (e.g. over a messaging app) that is suspected of pointing to an illegal transaction of live wildlife or products containing parts of endangered species. It provides a checklist that contains a series of targeted questions to help monitors identify countries’ legal requirements concerning online wildlife trade and guide decisions on the legality of an advertisement. The intention is to help people assess the legality (or illegality) of posts and to triage the information to identify entries that present the most compelling case for action by law enforcement.
On 23 August, FATF-style regional body APG published the Second Follow-up Report on the Philippines following its mutual evaluation review report of October 2018. As usual with such update reports, the report does not analyse any progress the Philippines has made to improve its effectiveness, looking only at technical compliance. The new report says that the Philippines has made notable progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in the MER of 2018 and, based on the Philippines requests for re-ratings, FATF Recommendations 4, 6, 7, 22, 23 and 24 have been re-rated to Largely Compliant. Overall, in light of the progress made since its MER was adopted, the Philippines’ technical compliance with the FATF Recommendations is as follows as of the reporting date 1 February is as in the following schedule –
The follow-up report was adopted by the APG membership in July 2021. In keeping with the APG third round procedures, the Philippines will move from enhanced (expedited) to enhanced follow-up status, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.
On 23 August, FATF-style regional body APG advised that it had developed a typologies report – ‘Money Laundering Risks and Vulnerabilities Associated with Trans-Pacific Drug Trafficking’. This was adopted by the APG membership on 28 July and the project was co-led by Tonga and Vanuatu and is the result of an extensive amount of research over the last number of years.
Meanwhile, also on 23 August, APG published the 2021 APG Yearly Typologies Report includes approximately 145 cases received from 15 APG member jurisdictions.
On 20 August, Lloyds Loading List reported that Parcel2Go has launched International Shipping Hub – a guide to the latest EU VAT, customs and import tax changes. It includes the major EU VAT changes that came into effect on 1 July, and is split into specific sections for business shippers and casual consumer senders.
On 23 August, a feature from OCCRP says that the Gupta family is the subject of a sprawling commission that’s probing years of theft of state resources. An OCCRP investigation has uncovered new details about how the family’s close allies systemically undervalued and sold off tens of millions of dollars-worth of diamonds. It is claimed that a Gupta-linked company undervalued diamonds it sold on behalf of Alexkor, a firm owned by the South African government, and that diamonds valued at US$61 million sold for just $32 million.