OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 24

Panama Covid-19 update – the gradual fall in active cases continues, with there now being 8,866. Today has also seen 480 new cases and 3 new fatalities, with 103 in ICU and 279 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

24 AUGUST 2021

WHEN FRAUD WIPES OUT LEGAL PRIVILEGE AND THE INIQUITY EXCEPTION IN PRACTICE: BARROWFEN PROPERTIES

On 20 August, an article from ParrrisWhittaker explained that discussions between an attorney and client are privileged. They can’t be disclosed in court or anywhere else without the client’s consent. However, as the article explains there are exceptions to the rule, including the ‘iniquity’ or fraud exception.  A 2020 case before the High Court illustrates the fraud exception in practice.

https://parriswhittaker.com/when-fraud-wipes-out-legal-privilege-2

US VISA RESTRICTIONS ON 19 NICARAGUAN ELECTION AND POLITICAL PARTY OFFICIALS WHO HAVE “ENABLED THE ORTEGA-MURILLO GOVERNMENT’S ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY”

On 20 August, the State Department announced that the Department of State has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on 19 Nicaraguan election officials and political party officials who have enabled the Ortega-Murillo government’s attack on democracy.  This action follows the Secretary’s announcements on July 12 and August 5  that imposed visa restrictions on 150 Nicaraguan judges, prosecutors, and family members of those officials under a visa restriction policy that applies to Nicaraguans and their immediate family members.

https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-takes-action-to-restrict-visas-of-election-officials-and-party-members-complicit-in-ortega-murillo-governments-assault-on-democracy/

WARNING OF ARMED ATTACKS ON SHIPS AT ANCHOR IN MANILA BAY

On 24 August, Seatrade Maritime News reported that a recent incident brings to 8 the number of attacks on vessels at anchorage in Manila Bay since the beginning of the year.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ship-operations/warning-armed-attacks-ships-anchor-manila-bay

CHINA: INVESTIGATION RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT CLOSE TIES BETWEEN LOCAL TOP-LEVEL COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERS AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR

On 23 August, the Wall Street Journal reported that China’s anti-corruption watchdog is investigating top government officials in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Ant Group are based, raising questions about close ties between local top-level Communist Party officials and the private sector.  This comes after the announcement of a probe into Zhou Jiangyong, Hangzhou’s top Communist Party official, citing suspected serious violations of discipline and law – seen as meaning corruption.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-antigraft-watchdog-probes-party-leaders-in-alibaba-ants-backyard-11629724066

https://chinaeconomicreview.com/china-warns-thousands-of-officials-over-links-with-businesses

UKRAINE: SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON 13 PEOPLE AND 22 ENTITIES

On 24 August, EU Sanctions blog reported that 4 decrees listed individuals and entities, including Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian MP (listed by the US in September 2020), and Denis Pushilin, the so-called ‘Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic’ (and who is also subject to US, UK and EU sanctions), as well as members of the judiciary in the “temporarily occupied” Crimea, and media outlets in Crimea and the “temporarily occupied territories” of Donetsk and Luhansk.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/08/ukrainian-president-authorises-sanctions-against-13-people-and-22-entities/

DRONE MANUFACTURERS RANKING REPORT 2020

Woodland Reports has released a report providing an overview and analysis of commercial drone platform manufacturers.  It comprises 2 rankings: The Top 40 global commercial drone manufacturer ranking and the Top 20 dual-use manufacturers (commercial and governmental use) in the world.

https://woodlandreport.com/2021/08/drone-manufacturers-ranking-report-2020-top-40-global-commercial-drone-manufacturers-and-top-20-dual-use-manufacturers-commercial-and-governmental/

FACT SHEET: US IMPOSES ADDITIONAL COSTS ON RUSSIA FOR THE POISONING OF ALEKSEY NAVALNY

On 20 August, the US Embassy and Consulates in Russia released this Factsheet, which includes references to new sanctions measures imposed that day, and provides background information, including how one can be removed from the sanctions list.

https://ru.usembassy.gov/fact-sheet-united-states-imposes-additional-costs-on-russia-for-the-poisoning-of-aleksey-navalny/

AHEAD OF G7 MEETING, CHINA SAYS SANCTIONS AGAINST TALIBAN NOT PRODUCTIVE

On 24 August, the Business Standard in India, and others, reported that China had expressed reservations over imposing penalties, saying the US and its allies should learn lessons from the past and act prudently.  A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told a media briefing that imposing sanctions and applying pressure will not solve problems.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/ahead-of-g7-meet-china-says-sanctions-against-taliban-not-productive-121082400916_1.html

UK: CIGARETTE SMUGGLING BUSINESS WAS RUN FROM SELF-STORAGE UNIT

On 23 August, Wales Online reported that the smuggling operation was uncovered when a lorry carrying 95,000 cigarettes in lead-lined wooden crates was intercepted en route to Wales in 2019.  A self-storage facility at the Big Yellow storage centre in Cardiff was being used as a warehouse for huge quantities of cigarettes which were being smuggled to Wales from Europe.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/shiting-wang-illegal-cigarette-smuggling-21363822

US: FATHER AND SONS ARE CHARGED IN $21 MILLION LOTTERY FRAUD

On 23 August, the New York Times reported that a Massachusetts man and his 2 sons cashed in more than 13,000 winning lottery tickets worth nearly $21 million over 8 years.  Now Ali Jaafar and his sons Mohamed Jaafar and Yousef Jaafar have been charged with more than a dozen counts of fraud, money laundering and tax evasion for taking part in what the authorities say was a ticket-cashing scheme. A vast majority of the tickets were the scratch-off type that are typically sold at convenience stores.  It is alleged that they claimed the prizes on behalf of the actual winners, who potentially avoided having their winnings garnished for unpaid taxes or child support, a requirement for any prize over $600 in Massachusetts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/23/us/lottery-ticket-fraud.html

NORTH KOREAN ILLICIT TRADE DECLINED DURING PANDEMIC

On 24 August, NK Pro reported that the UN Panel of Experts on UN sanctions has found that COVID-19 ‘significantly affected’ North Korea’s ability to clandestinely export coal and to import fuel products, resulting in historically low coal and fuel exports.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/north-korean-illicit-trade-nosedives-during-pandemic-poe-report-finds/

CYPRUS SAYS IT WILL STRIP PASSPORTS FROM TURK CYPRIOT OFFICIALS

On 23 August, EurActiv reported that Cyprus has said that it would revoke the passports from Turkish Cypriot officials in the breakaway state in the northern part of the island.  A number of Turkish Cypriot officials, including incumbent leader Ersin Tatar, are known to hold or held passports of the Republic of Cyprus, even though they administer the Turkish Cypriot state.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/cyprus-says-to-strip-passports-from-turk-cypriot-officials/

COOK ISLANDS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION BANNED FOR 6 YEARS

On 24 August, Radio New Zealand reported that Lee Harmon was found in breach of the Oceania Football Confederation’s Code of Ethics, involving conflicts of interest, offering and accepting gifts and other benefits and bribery and corruption.  He has been banned from all football activities for 6 years, fined $US75,306 and must pay the costs and expenses of the investigation and legal proceedings.  He was previously suspended by FIFA’s Ethics Committee for 3 months in 2019 and fined $US20,000 for breaching rules on the resale of World Cup tickets.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/449911/cooks-football-considering-next-steps-after-president-banned

HOW AMERICAN WEAPONS FIND THEIR WAY TO INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANISATIONS

An article from The Dispatch on 24 August followed the lawsuit lodged in the US by the Mexican Government claiming that manufacturers are negligent in their sales and bear responsibility for the flow of weapons across the US-Mexico border.  It says that, despite a Supreme Court ruling on “straw men” being used, organised crime elements have found ways to purchase large quantities of weapons on the US market legally through illicit actors who take advantage of insufficient custom controls, corrupt border officials, and freight companies that dispatch entire armouries to Central and South America for the benefit of criminal syndicates and violent gangs.

https://thedispatch.com/p/how-american-weapons-find-their-way

UK: BUSINESSMAN JAILED FOR RUNNING CLOTHING FACTORY PRODUCING THOUSANDS OF FAKE ITEMS

On 24 August, Express & Star reported that Inderjit Sangu, 67, owned a clothing manufacturing business in Birmingham that was producing tens of thousands of counterfeit goods – causing an estimated loss to the clothing industry of £5 million – and distributing them to market stall and online sellers across the UK.  In 2019, officers from the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team (RIT), Birmingham Trading Standards and West Midlands Police executed search warrants at his factory and home address.  He has pleaded guilty to 26 trade mark offences.

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2021/08/24/birmingham-man-jailed-for-running-counterfeit-clothing-factory/

CORPORATE DIRECTORS DON’T SEE STOPPING WAYWARD CEO AS THEIR JOB

An article in The Conversation on 24 August was concerned with a new study which included interviews with 48 corporate directors – some of whom were also executives at other companies. An overarching finding was that directors generally said they viewed their jobs as primarily supporting managers, not monitoring them. 

https://theconversation.com/corporate-directors-dont-see-stopping-wayward-ceos-as-their-job-contrary-to-popular-belief-165788

BREXIT: BUSINESSES GIVEN MORE TIME TO APPLY NEW UKCA PRODUCT SAFETY MARKING (WHICH REPLACES CE MARK)

On 24 August, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy advised that businesses in the UK will have an extra year to start using the new product safety marking – the UKCA marking, whereas businesses were due to begin using the UKCA marking by the end of this year. The UKCA marking replaces the product safety labelling the UK previously used while a member of the EU, such as the CE mark [and probably a further example of unnecessary duplication and costs resulting from Brexit!].  Businesses must now take action to ensure they are ready to apply UKCA marking by 1 January 2023.  However, Northern Ireland will continue to recognise the CE marking for goods placed on the market in Northern Ireland. (as it remains in the EU customs territory and Single Market), and goods sold into the EU will still require CE marking.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/businesses-given-more-time-to-apply-new-product-safety-marking

INDONESIA REVERSES COAL EXPORT BAN FOR 3 COMPANIES

On 24 August, Hellenic Shipping News reported that Indonesia has reversed coal export bans for 3 companies after they complied with domestic market obligations.  It had suspended coal exports from 34 coal mining companies earlier this month after it said the companies failed to sell an obligatory 25% of their production to the domestic market.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/indonesia-reverses-coal-export-ban-for-three-companies/

MALTA: OVER €165,000 IN UNDECLARED CASH DISCOVERED BY CUSTOMS ON PASSENGER

On 24 August, the Times of Malta reported that Customs officials had discovered a total of €165,548 in undeclared cash on a Somali passenger headed to Turkey.  The passenger told customs he was carrying $1,600, but officials found more than €10,000 threshold that requires declaration.  Separately, a Moroccan passenger was carrying €11,055 in undeclared cash while an Egyptian passenger had a further €15,000.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/over-165000-in-undeclared-cash-discovered-by-customs-on-one-passenger.895234

DELOITTE 2021 GLOBAL BLOCKCHAIN SURVEY

Deloitte has published the results of a survey conducted in Spring 2021.  It considers how the switch to digital assets and control has disrupted the banking and financial services sectors.

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/articles/US144337_Blockchain-survey/DI_Blockchain-survey.pdf

ECONOMIC DURESS – DOES “LAWFUL ACT DURESS” EXIST?

On 24 August, an article from Gowling WLG is concerned with a recent High Court case in London, explaining that where one party induces another to enter into a contract by applying unlawful threats or pressure, that contract is liable to be set aside for economic duress.  The case addressed the question, in what circumstances might threatening to commit a lawful act (e.g. threatening to exercise a contractual termination right) amount to economic duress?  The Court found that threatening to do something lawful can, in certain circumstances, amount to economic duress; such that any agreement procured by the threat can be set aside – but nonetheless illegitimate pressure must be applied and hence the scope of lawful act duress is narrow.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2021/economic-duress-and-lawful-act-duress

FORMER CHADIAN DICTATOR HISSENE HABRE DIES FROM COVID-19

On 24 August, TeleSUR reported that Hissene Habre, 79, the former president of Chad, died in a Dakar prison, where he was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and acts of torture committed between 1982 and 1990.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Former-Chadian-Dictator-Hissene-Habre-Died-From-COVID-19-20210824-0002.html

OFAC: NEW IRAN SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENSE M-1: EXPORTS OF CERTAIN EDUCATION-RELATED SERVICES, SOFTWARE TO STUDENTS IN IRAN

On 24 August, OFAC advised that a new General License M-1 “Authorizing the Exportation of Certain Graduate Level Educational Services and Software” had been issued.  At the same time, FAQ 853 has been updated to take account of the existence of the new General License, which authorises, on a time-limited basis, accredited graduate and undergraduate degree-granting US academic institutions, including their contractors, to export additional services to certain Iranian students (defined in the License).

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210824_33

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/iran_glm1.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/853

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/08/tnf-us-allows-exports-of-certain-education-related-services-software-to-students-in-iran.html

UK: FUGITIVE VAT FRAUDSTER JAILED AFTER YEARS ON RUN

On 24 August, the BBC reported that Muhammad Tanwir Khan, 66,  fled to Pakistan from Stockport after conviction for a £800,000 VAT repayment fraud in 2013.  He was arrested after returning to the UK on 13 August.  His original 3½ year jail sentence was confirmed, and 6 months were also added on for absconding.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-58321050

US DoJ TO BEGIN REMITTING FORFEITED FUNDS TO FIFA, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, AND VARIOUS CONSTITUENT NATIONAL SOCCER FEDERATIONS 

A release on Mondo Visione on 24 August advised that the DoJ was to begin returning losses and of up to a total of more than $201 million, of which $32.3 million in forfeited funds has been approved for an initial distribution. The “victims” are various football organisations and the funds were seized as part of the government’s long-running investigation and prosecution of corruption in international soccer. 

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/us-justice-department-approves-remission-of-over-32-million-in-forfeited-funds/

IMF LOANS AND OFFSHORE FINANCIAL FLOWS

On 24 August, an article from VOX at the Centre for Economic Policy Research says that recent research suggests that World Bank aid disbursements are associated with outflows from recipient countries to offshore financial centres, indicating elite capture of such aid.  The article uses 25 years of data to examine whether the same is true for IMF lending.  It says that it finds no evidence that IMF loans are diverted to offshore bank accounts.  It suggests that this could be because IMF lending differs in structural respects – such as conditionality, concessionality, and continuity – from World Bank aid.

https://voxeu.org/article/imf-loans-and-offshore-financial-flows

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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