OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 4

Panama Covid-19 update – another 8 fatalities notified today, and 442 new cases. Active cases continue to fall, now being at 6,537; with 95 in ICU and 253 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

UK ‘ASSISTED’ COLOMBIA POLICE FORCE THAT CLAIMED 63 LIVES IN 2021 PROTESTS

On 3 September, The Wire reported that the UK military had up to 9 soldiers “assisting” the Colombian police force a month before it launched a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters that left 63 people dead. But the MoD refused to reveal the nature of the assistance.  The NCA had also trained the Colombian police in a multimillion-pound 5-year programme that is shrouded in secrecy. Furthermore, in the 6 years to 2020, 309 Colombian students studied at the UK’s Defence Academy and its constituent colleges.  In 2020, the British government made Colombia one of its key arms sales markets 

https://thewire.in/world/uk-assisted-colombia-police-force-that-claimed-63-lives-in-2021-protests

24 FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES SURRENDERED LICENCES SINCE MALTA GREY-LISTED

On 4 September, The Shift reported that 24 firms had voluntarily handed back their licences to operate in the 10 weeks that have passed since Malta was grey-listed by FATF on 23 June.

https://theshiftnews.com/2021/09/04/24-financial-services-companies-surrender-licenses-since-grey-listing/

US AND NORWAY AGREEMENT TO ELIMINATE ALL OF NORWAY’S HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM (HEU) BY DOWNBLENDING IT TO LOW-ENRICHED URANIUM

On 3 September, World Nuclear News reported that the US Department of Energy and Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries have signed a MoU to advance a cooperative project to eliminate all of Norway’s HEU by downblending it to low-enriched uranium.  The MoU calls for downblending activities to begin in 2022 using Norway’s existing infrastructure, followed by the eventual deployment of the DOE Mobile Melt-Consolidate system.

https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/US-Norway-work-together-to-eliminate-HEU

SOUTH AFRICA: INVESTIGATIONS INTO DENEL CORRUPTION AND WRONGDOING SLOWLY PROGRESSING

On 31 August, Defence Web reported that the defence industry company is moving forward with nearly a dozen investigations into criminal matters at the company concerning dubious contracts, intellectual property theft and suspect loan extensions.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/investigations-into-denel-corruption-and-wrongdoing-slowly-progressing/

DO E-BILLS SIGNAL THE END OF LETTERS OF INDEMNITY (LOI) FOR SHIPOWNERS?

On 31 August, a briefing from law firm HFW says that, following an earlier briefing regarding the acceleration of adoption of e-bills of lading and the enabling legislative framework, this further briefing looks at what these developments mean for shipowners and their insurers. It explains that delay in the original bill of lading arriving at the discharge port, has led to pressure on shipowners to discharge the cargo without presentation of the original bill and against a letter of indemnity (LOI).  It argues that the use of e-bills of lading is the tip of the iceberg in the drive to digitalise the shipping industry; and the benefits of making the switch from paper have been demonstrated in multiple test cases and the widespread adoption of e-bills appears inevitable.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003229-HFW-Do-E-bills-signal-the-end-of-LOIs-for-Shipowners.pdf

US: A RETIRED MARINE COLONEL IS SECOND TO PLEAD GUILTY IN A WEEK IN ‘FAT LEONARD’ NAVY BRIBERY CASE

On 4 September, Stars & Stripes reported that the criminal trials into the US Navy’s sprawling “Fat Leonard” scandal continues to narrow, with a second military officer pleading guilty to bribery in a week.  Retired US Marine Colonel Enrico “Rick” DeGuzman, 63, admitted in a plea agreement to accepting $67,000 in fine dining, gifts and luxury hotel stays in exchange for steering business to Leonard Francis, a military contractor operating in the Eastern Pacific.  At least 27 people have pleaded guilty in the linked cases since they began in 2013.

https://www.stripes.com/theaters/us/2021-09-04/navy-fat-leonard-scandal-guilty-plea-marine-col-enrico-rick-deguzman-2769569.html

INDIA: CO-FOUNDER OF E-COMMERCE GIANT FLIPKART IN COURT CHALLENGE AGAINST ACCUSATIONS OF VIOLATION OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT LAWS

On 4 September, Investing.com reported that the Enforcement Directorate had issued a so-called show cause notice to Flipkart, its founders and some investors asking them to explain why they should not face a penalty of $1.35 billion for alleged violation of foreign investment laws between 2009 and 2015. 

https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/flipkart-cofounder-challenges-indian-enforcement-agency-probe-2608018

UK: TAX TRIBUNALS IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on 31 August is concerned with the report of the Tax Law Review Committee (TLRC) which identifies present strengths of the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) and addresses areas for improvement. It says that delay is the overriding concern among tribunal users surveyed.  The report also identifies existing areas of strength of the FTT, including how litigants in person are often assisted by judges taking an inquisitorial approach, although it also identifies potential for further improvements to access to justice for litigants in person. 

https://ifs.org.uk/publications/15554

UN TOUGHENS DRAFT HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY

Another legal briefing from Herbert Smith Freehills says that a group drafting a new UN treaty adds to global pressure for mandatory human rights due diligence and expanded duties for corporates. A Working Group was established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 with a mandate to develop a treaty on business and human rights and will meet from 25 to 29 October to discuss the revisions.

https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/latest-thinking/un-toughens-draft-human-rights-treaty-%E2%80%93-the-creep-of-progress

UK: DURHAM-BASED PROPERTY DEVELOPER HAS AGREED TO HAND OVER ASSETS WORTH £850,000 TO SETTLE A CIVIL RECOVERY AND TAX CLAIM

On 4 September, the Northern Echo reported that Ronald Morton has been ordered to hand over property and land after his alleged involvement in drug trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion.  The NCA alleged that Mr Morton was involved in the long-term supply of controlled drugs in the North-East of England.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/19559137.durham-man-hands-850-000-alleged-criminal-profits/

$5.2 MILLION WORTH OF FAKE CARTIER JEWELLERY SEIZED BY US CUSTOMS

A news release on 1 September advised that officers in Cincinnati recently seized 2 shipments containing a total of 500 pieces of counterfeit Cartier jewellery.  It came from China and Hong Kong, and it been genuine, it would have been worth $5.24 million.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/52-million-worth-fake-cartier-jewelry-seized-cincinnati-cbp

UK: CRYPTOEXCHANGE ORDERED TO REVEAL ACCOUNT HOLDER INFORMATION LINKED TO MULTI-MILLION CRYPTOCURRENCY FRAUD

On 31 August, Osborne Clarke reported on a case before the High Court in which the presiding judge ordered worldwide freezing orders, proprietary injunctive relief and ancillary information disclosure against the unknown perpetrators of an alleged fraud, and a Bankers Trust Order against Binance Holdings Limited (despite it being based in the Cayman Islands) and Norwich Phamacal relief against Binance Markets Limited (which is UK-domiciled).  The firm says that the decision confirms English courts’ willingness to assist victims of crypto-asset fraud in recovering their property.

https://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/cryptoexchange-ordered-reveal-account-holder-information-linked-multi-million-cryptocurrency-fraud/

GERMAN STATE-OWNED BANK FINED FOR ANGOLAN LOAN EXPOSED IN “LUANDA LEAKS”

On 3 September, ICIJ reported that KfW-Ipex-Bank, an import-export bank, loaned more than $55 million through an Angolan bank to a brewery controlled by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of a former president and claimed as the richest woman in Africa.  German authorities have imposed a $178,000 fine for facilitating loans to the Angolan brewery.  Frankfurt prosecutors said that the subsidiary of Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) violated German AML laws.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/luanda-leaks/german-state-owned-bank-fined-for-angolan-loan-exposed-in-luanda-leaks/

FASHION BRANDS FAIL TO ADDRESS PANDEMIC-ERA WAGE THEFT IN CAMBODIA

The Public Eye website has claimed that Cambodian garment workers producing goods for international fashion and sportswear brands were deprived of an estimated $109 million in wages during the April and May 2021 national lockdown.  Unions and activists have called on international brands to pay workers’ full wages throughout the duration of the pandemic and sign an enforceable agreement to prevent future pay theft.

https://www.publiceye.ch/en/topics/fashion/fashion-brands-fail-to-address-pandemic-era-wage-theft-in-cambodia-garment-workers-deprived-of-109-million

BRAZILIAN FORMER FIFA OFFICIAL BRIBERY LIFE BAN REDUCED TO 20 YEARS

On 2 September, First Post reported that Brazilian football official Marco Polo del Nero has had his his life ban cut to 20 years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Del Nero was on the FIFA executive committee when he fled Switzerland in May 2015.  He was formally indicted 6 months later, resigned his FIFA position, and has since stayed in Brazil where he has avoided being extradited to the US.

https://www.firstpost.com/sports/former-fifa-official-marco-polo-del-neros-bribery-life-ban-reduced-to-20-years-9932311.html

DRUG TRAFFICKING AND ILLEGAL LOGGING THREATEN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN PERU

On 26 August, Mongabay reported that Kichwa communities in northern Peru say outsiders are illegally invading their land and cutting down rainforest to plant coca and sell timber; and regional authorities say they cannot intervene in the area because they do not have the necessary security force to contend with armed criminal groups in the area.

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/08/drug-trafficking-and-illegal-logging-threaten-indigenous-communities-in-peru/

CREDIT SUISSE GROUP LEGAL BATTLE WITH SANJEEV GUPTA DELAYED BY ANOTHER 6 MONTHS, AS THE METALS TYCOON CONTINUES TO SEEK FUNDING

On 3 September, Swissinfo reported that a hearing in London over the bank’s attempt to push some of Gupta’s companies into insolvency has been rescheduled to March by consent between the parties.  The case involves “winding-up petitions” applied for against a number of companies in Gupta’s GFG Alliance Group, including Liberty Commodities Ltd.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/credit-suisse–gupta-legal-fight-delayed-as-tycoon-seeks-funding/46917182

DoJ IS INVESTIGATING 2 SENIOR KUWAITI OLYMPIC OFFICIALS FOR BRIBERY AND RACKETEERING RELATED TO FIFA PROBE

On 2 September, the Business Insider website reported that 2 Kuwaiti Olympic officials are being investigated by the DoJ for alleged racketeering and bribery related to FIFA. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/doj-is-investigating-two-senior-kuwaiti-olympic-officials-for-bribery-2021-9

FBI WARNS OF RANSOMWARE GANGS TARGETING FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANISATIONS

On 2 September, the Bleeping Computer website reported that the FBI says ransomware gangs are actively targeting and disrupting the operations of organizations in the food and agriculture sector, causing financial loss and directly affecting the food supply chain.  The article also mentions a number of past attacks.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-warns-of-ransomware-gangs-targeting-food-agriculture-orgs/

“DÉJÀ VU” IN EU SANCTIONS POLICY: A COMMENT ON 2 EU GENERAL COURT JUDGMENTS IN THE YANUKOVYCH CASE

On 2 September, an article from Steptoe & Johnson says that when the parties targeted by financial sanctions seek legal redress, they are often frustrated by the outcome.  This is illustrated by 2 recent judgments of the EU General Court in a matter involving Viktor Yanukovych, the former President of Ukraine, and his son, Oleksandr Yanukovych.  It points out that the Court had already reviewed the sanctions against Viktor Yanukovych and his son on various occasions in the past and annulled some of the acts adopted by the EU Council against them.  However, such blocks were sidestepped by the EU, saying that it is doubtful that the General Court’s rulings will have actual practical consequences for these individuals. The annulled acts were adopted in 2019 and, since then, the EU Council has again designated the applicants under other acts.

https://www.steptoeinternationalcomplianceblog.com/2021/09/deja-vu-in-eu-sanctions-policy-a-comment-on-two-eu-general-court-judgments-in-the-yanukovych-case/

UK: POST OFFICE LAUNCHES DIGITAL ID VERIFICATION SERVICE

On 1 September, Parcel & Postal Technology International reported that customers in the UK can now collect parcels and letters from Post Office branches using an app displaying their ID. The Post Office EasyID app is free to download and can already be used for completing online transactions that require proof of identity.

https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news/technology/post-office-launches-digital-id-verification-service.html

AFGHANISTAN HAS VAST MINERAL WEALTH BUT FACES STEEP CHALLENGES TO TAP IT

An article in The Conversation on 31 August said that Afghanistan possesses non-fuel minerals worth an estimated at more than $1 trillion plus, and has always been renowned for its gemstones – rubies, emeralds, tourmalines and lapis lazuli.  Minerals continue to be locally extracted, both legally and illegally, in mostly small artisan mines.  More value, it says, lies with the country’s endowments of iron, copper, lithium, rare earth elements, cobalt, bauxite, mercury, uranium and chromium.

https://theconversation.com/afghanistan-has-vast-mineral-wealth-but-faces-steep-challenges-to-tap-it-166484

HOW THE PURDUE OPIOID SETTLEMENT COULD HELP THE PUBLIC UNDERSTAND THE ROOTS OF THE DRUG CRISIS

On 1 September, an article in The Conversation is concerned with the settlement of thousands of the lawsuits filed by states, cities, counties and native tribes against Purdue Pharma.  If the deal holds up, it says, it will cap 20 years of litigation against Purdue Pharma, a privately held drugmaker in connection with its marketing of OxyContin, an opioid.  Under the draft settlement the Sackler family behind the company will hand over a total of $4.5 billion over 9 years provided they can be released of any liability for their role in the opioid crisis – and this immunity would extend to members of the family as well as to foundations, trusts, business associates, attorneys, lobbyists, Purdue subsidiaries etc.  Aside from the question of the settlement, the article argues that the lawsuits against the industry have produced millions of internal company documents that shed light on the origins of the opioid catastrophe.  This, it is said, will help researchers, journalists and the public better understand the causes of the opioid epidemic.

https://theconversation.com/how-the-purdue-opioid-settlement-could-help-the-public-understand-the-roots-of-the-drug-crisis-166701

GHANA: AIRBUS SCANDAL SUSPECT VOWS TO SUE AS UK SFO DROPS CHARGES FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE

On 4 September, Pulse reported that charges had been dropped against Phil Middlemiss, 58, and the actor is now said to be preparing to sue the UK authorities for ruining his life with the 2-year-long investigation and the bad publicity it has caused him.  He says that his role was to help the Airbus staff in the country to facilitate meetings, transport and arrange visas on arrival as they usually needed to travel at short notice, and that he would be paid on a commission basis following the successful sale of its planes.

https://www.pulse.com.gh/news/local/airbus-scandal-suspect-vows-to-sue-as-uk-serious-fraud-office-drops-charges-for-lack/k0e3p8p

US: TIPS ON AVOIDING FRAUDULENT CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION SCHEMES

A news release from US DoJ on 4 September advised that the National Center for Disaster Fraud reminded the public to be aware of and report any instances of alleged fraudulent activity related to relief operations and funding for victims.  It warns that criminals can exploit disasters, such as Hurricane Ida, for their own gain by sending fraudulent communications through email or social media and by creating phony websites designed to solicit contributions.  Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, which are laid out in the release.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdla/pr/tips-avoiding-fraudulent-charitable-contribution-schemes

UN ARMS TRADE TREATY ISSUE BRIEF 3: DIVERSION ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK

The UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) has published this guide on 31 August, which says that the diversion of conventional arms occurs in settings considered at peace, in armed conflict, or affected by armed violence.  This Issue Brief presents the Diversion Analysis Framework (DAF) – a Framework has been designed as an analytical tool for interested States and relevant stakeholders to enhance their ongoing efforts to prevent, detect, eradicate, and address diversion. 

https://unidir.org/publication/arms-trade-treaty-issue-brief-3-diversion-analysis-framework

PRINCE CHARLES’ CHARITY WENT INTO BUSINESS WITH CONVICTED LATVIAN TYCOON AND FORMER BLACKPOOL FC OWNER VALERI BELOKON

On 4 September, the Daily Mail reported that the Prince’s charitable foundation went into business with a Latvian tycoon later convicted of money laundering. The Latvian’s company established PF Urban in a ‘joint venture’ with the Prince’s Foundation and a Kuwaiti property conglomerate.  According to Companies House records, Belokon, 61, was a director of PF Urban from September 2010 until June 2013 – 2 years after criminal proceedings began against him in Latvia over money-laundering allegations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9958623/Prince-Charles-charitys-partnership-Latvian-tycoon-ex-Blackpool-FC-owner-questioned.html

INDIA COAL SCAM: KOLKATA TOURISM FIRM OFFICE SEARCHED IN MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE

On 4 September, First Post reported that the Enforcement Directorate had conducted search operations at a private tours and travels company’s office in Kolkata in connection with its probe into an alleged multi-crore coal pilferage scam.  The ED is probing the money laundering aspect of the scam.

https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/coal-scam-ed-searches-kolkata-tourism-firms-office-in-money-laundering-probe-9938461.html

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

US CORPORATION SENTENCED FOR IMPORTING ILLEGALLY-SOURCED WOOD FROM THE AMAZON

A news release from US DoJ on 3 September advised that Global Plywood and Lumber Trading LLC had pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, admitting that it had failed to exercise due care when it imported illegally-sourced timber from the Peruvian Amazon into the US.  The court sentenced Global Plywood to pay $200,000 in restitution to the Ministry of Environment of Peru and a $5,000 fine.  The investigation revealed that approximately 92% of the wood that Global Plywood imported had been unlawfully harvested or transported.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-corporation-sentenced-importing-illegally-sourced-wood-amazon

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

A GUIDE TO IDENTIFYING WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION PRODUCED BY NORTH KOREA

Conflict Armament Research produced this new guide in August.  This field guide provides diagrams showing distinguishing features of AK-pattern (“Kalashnikov”) small arms, small-calibre ammunition (7.62 mm to 14.5 mm), and medium to large calibre ammunition (40 mm rockets and 130 mm artillery ammunition). Diagrams also show distinguishing features of packaging, including false descriptions of package contents.

https://www.conflictarm.com/guide/identifying-materiel-manufactured-in-the-democratic-peoples-republic-of-korea-dprk/

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

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 1: INTRODUCTION

Part 9 – the Canal and the expansion of US activity prior to Pearl Harbor and just after

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/01/panama-in-world-war-2-part-9-the-canal-and-the-expansion-of-us-activity-prior-to-pearl-harbor-and-just-after/

Part 8 – Snapshot summaries of air units, including the Brazilians

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-8-snapshot-summaries-of-aircraft-units-including-the-brazilians/

Part 7 – Air bases

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-7-airfields-and-air-bases/

Part 6 – Introduction of radar and the role(s) of Pan American

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-6-the-introduction-of-radar-and-the-roles-of-pan-american/

Part 5 – Naval defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-5/

Part 4 – The Third Locks project, barrage balloons and sea mines 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/19/panama-in-world-war-2-part-4/

Part 3 – The defences 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-3/

Part 2 – Panama in 1939 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/11/panama-in-world-war-2-part-2/

Part 1 – Introduction 

https://raytodd.blog/2021/09/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-1-introduction/  

PROPOSED REFORMS TO AUSTRALIA’S SANCTIONS REGIME TO TARGET CORRUPTION, CYBER-CRIME, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Herbert Smith Freehills has published a legal briefing saying that the Australian Government has announced plans to implement a targeted, Magnitsky-style sanctions regime by the end of 2021.  As with other countries, such as the US and UK, reforms would expand Australia’s current country-based autonomous sanctions framework to include targeted sanctions focused on themes of conduct – such as proliferation of malicious cyber activity, gross human rights violations, grand corruption and WMD.  It provides an overview of the key recommendations and the Government’s response.

https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/latest-thinking/proposed-reforms-to-australia%E2%80%99s-sanctions-regime-to-target-corruption-cyber-crime

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

PRIMER: THE UK AML/CFT CONSULTATION

On 2 September, the IFLR provided a primer on the consultation launched in July, with a report on the findings due next year.  The review is to consider 3 main elements – the overall effectiveness of the regime; whether the regime and the various supervisory bodies operate as intended; and the effectiveness of the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS).

https://www.iflr.com/article/b1tf180vf5r207/primer-uks-amlctf-consultation

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 – SEPTEMBER 3

Panama Covid-19 update – the total number of cases since the start of 2020 edges towards half a million, now standing at 459,077 (or around 10% or more of the total population), with a further 439 cases added today. There were another 4 fatalities reported. Meanwhile, 102 patients remain in ICU and 263 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

3 SEPTEMBER 2021

2021 GLOBAL SHIPPING MARKET UPDATE

On 19 August, Global Trade Magazine published an article reviewing the year to date, saying that demand continues to exceed global capacity, with no sign of slowing down and that schedule reliability in ocean shipping is at the lowest it has ever seen.  It refers to the problems shipping has faced – supply chain disruptions that consist of port and terminal congestion, shipping delays due to high cargo volumes, lack of labour due to Covid-19 and limited space.  These all contributed to rocketing freight costs, and it says that disruptions and delays likely won’t be ending soon.  It points out it is not just sea trade that has been affected, lower levels of passenger air travel over the past year have created congestion at air cargo terminals worldwide.

https://www.globaltrademag.com/2021-has-felt-like-one-big-peak-season-a-global-shipping-market-update/

INDONESIA: INVESTIGATORS TO GO AFTER ILLEGAL FISHING KINGPINS

On 1 September, Mongabay reported that the fisheries ministry has pledged to target the ultimate beneficiaries of fisheries-related crimes in the country, in the wake of a court ruling that empowers ministry officials to act as investigators, including the authority to look into cases of money laundering.  It says that a 2020 paper had said that the perpetrators behind organised crime in the fisheries industry are companies with complex operational activities in many countries, and it is estimated that estimates that IUU fishing costs Indonesia at least $4 billion a year in lost revenue.

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/09/indonesias-newly-minted-investigators-to-go-after-illegal-fishing-kingpins/

UK ANNOUNCES NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST MYANMAR

On 3 September, Al Jazeera reported that the UK has announced new Myanmar sanctions, saying it was targeting a key business associate of the military government for providing arms and financial support following a coup earlier this year.  Htoo Group of Companies and its founder Tay Za were targeted with the UK adding that the tycoon was involved in arms deals on behalf of the military.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/3/britain-announces-new-myanmar

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/09/uk-imposes-sanctions-on-myanmar-businessman-u-tay-za-and-htoo-group-for-alleged-links-to-human-rights-violations/

JPMORGAN SETTLES FRENCH TAX FRAUD CASE FOR $30 MILLION

On 2 September, Bloomberg Quint reported that JPMorgan Chase & Co had settled a longstanding French criminal investigation over allegations it helped clients commit tax fraud for €25 million.  The case relates to allegations of tax fraud seen to benefit former managers at investment firm Wendel.  However, the case continues however for other suspects such as former Wendel Chairman Ernest-Antoine Seilliere and ex-CEO Jean-Bernard Lafonta – both deny the allegations and Wendel was not itself accused of any wrongdoing in the case.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/jpmorgan-settles-tax-fraud-case-linked-to-wendel-for-30-million

UK: DATA PROTECTION – ICO CONSULTATION ON INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFER AGREEMENT TO REPLACE SCC

On 12 August, an article from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP explained that the Information Commissioner’s Office had launched a consultation on its draft international data transfer agreement (IDTA) and guidance for organisations on international transfers. Once finalised, the IDTA will replace the existing EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) in the UK.  It says that the ICO has also produced a draft tool to assist organisations when making routine transfers, though organisations are also free to use their own methods to assess risk.  A crucial element of the new process if that the organisation must assess whether the IDTA would be enforceable in the destination country.  The draft template IDTA does not follow the same structure as the SCC, instead providing separate sections for details of the parties, the transfer (including whether the importer is permitted to make further transfers and the frequency with which the IDTA will be reviewed), the data transferred and the purpose of the transfer, as well as the security measures that will be implemented at each stage of the transfer. 

https://www.huntonprivacyblog.com/2021/08/12/ico-consultation-on-international-data-transfer-agreement-to-replace-sccs/#page=1

THE GROWTH OF NORWICH PHARMACAL ORDERS (PART I)

On 11 August, William Fry published an article about Norwich Pharmacal orders (NPO), which are generally used to discover the identity of a wrongdoer from a third party, in the context of Irish law.  It explains that NPO arose out of a UK decision in Norwich Pharmacal v Customs and Excise Commissioners in 1974, but has developed in recent times to suit an increasingly digital world.  A second article will look at a High Court decision which illustrates the flexibility of the NPO and the pragmatic approach of the Irish Courts to their use is evident in recent cases. 

https://www.williamfry.com/newsandinsights/publications-article/2021/08/11/the-growth-of-norwich-pharmacal-orders-part-i—an-evolving-litigation-tool

PROPOSAL FOR A BELGIAN LAW ON THE CONTROL OF FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS IN STRATEGIC SECTORS

On 2 September, an article from CMS Law Belgium is concerned with a law proposed in February which would include in the Belgian Code of Economic Law a mechanism for screening foreign direct investments in a Belgian company active in a strategic sector.  It notes that currently only the Flemish Region has a similar, though less extensive, type of law, and that no similar legislation on the control of foreign direct investments exists in the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital Region.

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2021/09/proposal-for-a-belgian-law-on-the-control-of-foreign-direct-investments-in-strategic-sectors?cc_lang=en

UK: HOME SECRETARY SEEKS EXPERT ADVICE ON ‘LAUGHING GAS’

On 3 September, the Home Office advised that the Home Secretary has asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to review the harms caused by nitrous oxide after a concerning rise in use among young people.  Over half a million young people are reported taking the drug in 2019-20.  It is said that nitrous oxide, which is usually sold in small silver canisters and inhaled, can cause serious long-term effects such as vitamin B12 deficiency and anaemia; commonly used at anti-social gatherings this leads to widespread littering in public places.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-seeks-expert-advice-on-laughing-gas

LIMITED LIABILITY FOR COMPANIES – NOT ALL IT IS CRACKED UP TO BE (PART 2)

On 31 August, Morton Fraser in Scotland published the second article which highlights for directors some of the main ways in which the general protection of limited liability does not apply or can be lost.  The first article had discussed those exceptions to the principle of limited liability that arise in insolvency or distress situations, and Part 2 deals with the provisions that have more general applicability.  

https://www.morton-fraser.com/knowledge-hub/limited-liability-part-2

SEC: CRYPTO-COIN SCAM START-UP SAID ITS BOT COULD GENERATE HUGE PROFITS FROM YOUR BITCOIN

On 3 September, The Register reported that Cryptocurrency start-up BitConnect and 2 men have been sued by the SEC, which claims the now-defunct firm swindled investors out of billions by lying to them about an automated trading bot that could reap huge profits.

https://www.theregister.com/2021/09/03/bitconnect_sec_ponzi/

BIG 4 UK ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS MUSCLE IN ON NEW TYPE OF CITY LAW WORK

On 3 September, the Law Society Gazette reported that the firms are focusing on work that traditional City firms turn down in a drive to disrupt the legal market.  A report has suggested that accountancy firms are not interested in large, one-off matters such as major acquisitions. Instead, they are focusing on ‘run-the-company’ work such as the integration of contracts and policies in the wake of an acquisition.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/big-four-muscle-in-on-new-type-of-city-work/5109672.article

MALTA: PILATUS BANK MLRO ARRESTED

On 2 September, Kenneth Rijock in his blog reported that Claude-Anne Sant Fournier, MLRO at the now closed Pilatus Bank, has been arrested on money laundering charges; with the bank itself also charged.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2021/09/pilatus-bank-mlro-arrested-today-was.html

https://international-adviser.com/pilatus-bank-and-official-charged-with-money-laundering

TUNISIA: DETENTION WARRANT AGAINST MAGISTRATE INTERCEPTED IN POSSESSION OF FOREIGN CURRENCIES

On 2 September, All Africa reported that a detention warrant had been issued against a magistrate intercepted recently in possession of a sum of money in dinars and foreign currency, without authorisation from the Central Bank, facing charges of possession of money from unknown sources and money laundering.

https://allafrica.com/stories/202109030173.html?src=ilaw&viewall=1

AMERICAN WHO LIVED IN UKRAINE CHARGED WITH BANK FRAUD

On 3 September, the Kyiv Post reported that Harold Sobel, 68, a US citizen who lived in Ukraine has been indicted by a grand jury in Nevada for conspiracy to make false statements to a bank and 2 counts of false statements to banks. 

https://www.kyivpost.com/world/american-who-lived-in-ukraine-charged-with-bank-fraud.html

UK: PET ABDUCTION TO BE MADE NEW CRIMINAL OFFENCE IN CRACKDOWN ON PET THEFT

On 3 September, a news release from the Home Office advised that the proposal comes after the Pet Theft Taskforce delivered a report with key findings and recommendations. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pet-abduction-to-be-made-new-criminal-offence-in-crackdown-on-pet-theft

HOW DUBAI CUSTOMS STOPS COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS FROM ENTERING THE SUPPLY CHAIN

On 2 September, Global Trade Magazine carried an article claiming that Dubai Customs continues to position itself as a leader in countering illicit product transport, with regular reports showcasing the efforts and successes throughout each year.  In 2020, the organization recycled 1,906 counterfeit items, ranging from computers to athletic shoes and mobile headphones.

https://www.globaltrademag.com/how-dubai-customs-stops-counterfeit-products-from-entering-the-supply-chain/

MALAYSIA: CUSTOMS DEPT DESTROYS 201.7 TONNES OF SEIZED FIREWORKS

On 3 September, Borneo Post Online reported that THE fireworks were destroyed by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department at a firing range. 

https://www.theborneopost.com/2021/09/03/customs-dept-destroys-201-7-tonnes-of-seized-fireworks-worth-rm1-38-mln/

ISLE OF MAN: FURTHER AML/CFT SECTOR SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

On 3 September, the FSA said that it had released further sector specific guidance, for advocates and registered legal practitioners; and payroll agents.

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2021/sep/amlcft-publication-of-the-amlcft-sector-specific-guidance-notes-4/

LITHIUM MINING IN ARGENTINA

On 2 September, an article from Dentons says that Argentina does not have a specific legal framework applying to lithium projects or a particular agency that controls its execution.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/articles/2021/september/2/lithium-mining-in-argentina

DELAYS DUE TO COVID HOLDING UP VERIFICATION OF SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS DISARMAMENT

A news release from UN on 2 September reported that nearly 8 years after the UN Security Council mandated the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons programme, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is still not able to consider the file closed, the senior UN disarmament official has told delegates. 

https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sc14621.doc.htm

ARE THE DoJ AND IRS BACKPEDALLING ON CONSIDERING CRYPTOCURRENCY AS PROPERTY?

On 2 September, Accounting Today reported that the US DoJ has made a “startling” claim in a legal filing that cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies are not in all instances property for US tax purposes.  It concludes by saying that, hopefully, any additional guidance will provide clarity rather than additional confusion and complications for holders of virtual currencies.

https://www.accountingtoday.com/opinion/are-the-doj-and-irs-backpedaling-on-considering-cryptocurrency-as-property

HOW SCAMMERS ARE EXPLOITING THE NFT MANIA

On 1 September, The Block website reported that the expanding NFT market has become a ripe target for scammers.  It says that there are tw2o main ways that they are seeking to gain access to one’s wallet and whatever tokens are held therein, e.g. pretending to provide support services on behalf of NFT marketplace OpenSea, and taking advantage of confusion.

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/post/116317/how-scammers-are-exploiting-the-nft-mania

EASTERN EUROPE’S CRYPTO CRIME LANDSCAPE: SCAMS DOMINATE, PLUS SIGNIFICANT RANSOMWARE ACTIVITY

On 1 September, Chainanalysis reported in a post a preview of its 2021 Geography of Cryptocurrency report.  It says that addresses based in Eastern Europe have the second-highest rate of exposure to illicit addresses behind only Africa.  It also says that Eastern Europe has sent the second most cryptocurrency of any region to illicit addresses, behind only Western Europe, and that that Eastern Europe sends more cryptocurrency to darknet markets than any other region.  Eastern Europe also sent the most web traffic to scam websites during the time period studied by a wide margin. 

https://blog.chainalysis.com/reports/eastern-europe-cryptocurrency-geography-report-2021-preview

ART WORLD RUSHES TO CONFORM TO UK AML LAWS

On 3 September, the Art Newspaper reported that some of the major auction houses and galleries are not yet on the list (including Sotheby’s), despite the deadline for registering with HMRC by 10 June, seemingly a result of having registered close to the deadline, or because of outstanding questions from HMRC.  Nevertheless, it says, the total number registered—around 475 as of 10 August—does suggest a sizeable chunk of the sector has now complied.   It also notes that art market participants represent less than 1% of the total number of companies supervised and requiring registration under the UK AML/CFT regime, with other sectors including estate agency businesses and trust companies.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/art-world-rushes-to-conform-to-anti-money-laundering-laws

GIFT CARD GANG EXTRACTS CASH FROM 100,000 INBOXES DAILY

A post from Krebs on Security on 2 September says that some of the most successful and lucrative online scams employ a “low-and-slow” approach — avoiding detection or interference from researchers and law enforcement agencies by stealing small bits of cash from many people over an extended period.  The post relates the story whereby 100,000 email inboxes per day are affected, and apparently does little else with this access except siphon gift card and customer loyalty programme data that can be resold online.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/09/gift-card-gang-extracts-cash-from-100k-inboxes-daily/

RED SEA DRONES: HOW TO COUNTER HOUTHI MARITIME TACTICS

On 2 September, a Commentary from War on the Rocks says that mariners in the Red Sea must deal with a much more modern threat – unmanned explosive boats.  Since 2017, Houthi forces in Yemen have been perfecting their use of maritime drones — sometimes referred as unmanned surface vehicles (USV), drone boats, or water-borne improvised explosive devices (IED) — to carry out attacks against maritime vessels and port facilities in the region. 

https://warontherocks.com/2021/09/red-sea-drones-how-to-counter-houthi-maritime-tactics

TRANSFERS OF MAJOR ARMS TO AFGHANISTAN BETWEEN 2001 AND 2020

On 3 September, a Backgrounder from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says that, since 2001, significant numbers of major arms had been delivered to bolster the Afghan military and security forces, in the expectation that they would eventually be able to maintain security and suppress the Taliban insurgency without international support.  This article gives an overview of known international flows of major arms to the Afghan armed forces between 2001 and 2020 and discusses the supplier states, volumes, types and numbers of major arms deliveries. It does not cover deliveries of small arms and light weapons, which were also supplied to Afghanistan in large numbers. The US was the largest major arms supplier to Afghanistan in every consecutive 5-year period after 2001–2005.  Deliveries from the US to Afghanistan from 2001 included an estimated 21,924 armoured vehicles, 66 MD-530F armed light helicopters, 34 Cessna-208B armed light transport aircraft, and 53 UH-60A transport helicopters.  The US also delivered 65 ScanEagle (unarmed) UAV and an estimated 250 Paveway guided bombs.  Russia was the second largest supplier of major arms to the Afghan armed forces in the period, accounting for 14% of imports, by volume, and all of these deliveries took place between 2002 and 2014.  Several other states, mainly NATO member states, delivered smaller volumes of major arms to Afghanistan directly or supplied major arms through US-run and US-funded programmes.

https://sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2021/transfers-major-arms-afghanistan-between-2001-and-2020

A VILLA IN TURKEY, AN EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE SCHOOL. ALL ON A RUSSIAN LAWMAKER’S SALARY

On 3 September, an article in Rferl focused on Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the No. 2 official of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party.  He is subject to US sanctions in connection with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

https://www.rferl.org/a/leonid-slutsky-wealth-russia/31442651.html

US ENDS ZURICH BANK ZKB CRIMINAL TAX EVASION CASE

On 3 September, Metro reported that the US government is ending its criminal case against Zuercher Kantonalbank for helping wealthy Americans evade taxes, after the Zurich lender paid $98.5 million and complied with a 3-year deferred prosecution agreement.

https://www.metro.us/u-s-ends-zurich-bank

PROBE BEGINS INTO ALLEGED BRIBE INVOLVING GUATEMALA’S PRESIDENT AND RUSSIAN BUSINESSMEN

On 3 September, Al Jazeera reported that anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating an alleged bribe from Russian businessmen to President Alejandro Giammattei o obtain a dock in one of the country’s main ports. 

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/3/probe-begins-into-alleged-bribe-involving-guatemalas-president

FRAUD, THEFT, AND EMBEZZLEMENT IN NON-PROFIT ORGANISATIONS: TOP PREVENTIVE MEASURES

On 2 September, Venables LLP published an article, Part 1 of a 2-part series on preventing, detecting, and addressing fraud, theft, and embezzlement in NPO.  It refers to recent research, saying that non-profit fraud is an evergreen concern that organisations grappled with before the pandemic.  It says that taking the time to set up robust internal controls is an indispensable step that NPO can take toward avoiding allegations of fraud and the costly enforcement actions that might follow, and they can seek insurance to help mitigate the damage resulting from fraud.

https://www.venable.com/insights/publications/2021/09/fraud-theft-and-embezzlement-in-nonprofit-org

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