OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 5

Panama Covid-19 update – Panama played and won its latest World Cup qualifier, beating Jamaica 3-0 – unlike Brazil and Argentina, whose match was abandoned after a few minutes after 4 UK-based players were found to have broke Brazil’s tight Covid entry rules.

Meanwhile, in Panama the number of active cases continues to fall, though there were still 563 new cases and 4 new fatalities. There are now 6,371 active cases, with 91 in ICU and 255 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

5 SEPTEMBER 2021

SMUGGLING AND MALPRACTICES HIT BANGLADESH TEXTILE SECTOR GROWTH

On 4 September, New Age Bangladesh published an article saying that the primary textile sector of Bangladesh is losing business worth about $6 billion annually on the local market due to smuggling of fabrics, misdeclaration in imports and misuse of bonded warehouse facilities.  It says that product from India, China and Pakistan have been flooding the local market for a long time though official data show very negligible quantities of commercial imports of the items involved -with almost  50% of the local demand, worth nearly $6 billion, is being met by foreign items, including foreign fabrics that come through smuggling and “leakage” of bonded warehouse facilities.

https://www.newagebd.net/article/148223/smuggling-malpractices-hit-bangladesh-textile-sector-growth

GREATER MANCHESTER’S RICHEST CRIMINALS STRIPPED OF HUGE SUMS OF DIRTY MONEY

On 5 September, Manchester Evening News carried an article which looks at some of the most notorious cases in the region, where hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions, have been at stake, saying that Greater Manchester has seen some of the biggest asset seizures in the country, following major investigations into organised crime.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/greater-manchesters-richest-criminals-crime-21468036

INDIA: MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION OF ANOTHER LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY

On 5 September, the Times of India reported that the Enforcement Directorate had opened a money laundering investigation into real estate company Supertech and its chairman R K Arora in a case related to the construction of a building in Noida and possible corruption of local officials.  Supertech is said to be the third large real estate company under investigation, following Unitech and the Amrapali group.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/money-laundering-probe-against-supertech/articleshow/85937796.cms

NEW ZEALAND SUPERMARKET ATTACKER HAD BEEN FIGHTING DEPORTATION FOR IMMIGRATION FRAUD

On 5 September, the Irish Examiner and others reported that the IS-inspired extremist who was shot dead by police after stabbing 7 people in a New Zealand supermarket had been fighting deportation for immigration fraud.  Ahamed Samsudeen, 32, had arrived in New Zealand 10 years previously on a student visa, but had applied for refugee status on the basis of being persecuted in Sri Lanka.  His application was rejected but he won an appeal, gaining permanent residency in 2014.  However, in 2018, he was jailed after he was found with IS videos and knives, and the following year, his refugee status was cancelled after authorities found evidence of fraud.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40373690.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/05/new-zealand-stabbings-officials-tried-for-years-to-deport-terrorist-prior-to-auckland-attack-jacinda-adern-says

CHINA: LATEST PHASE OF A CORRUPTION CRACKDOWN TARGETING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

On 5 September, the South China Morning Post reported that the latest crackdown, carried out between February and June this year, specifically targeted lawyers who had been prosecutors and judges at the city and county level and who had continued to practise after leaving those roles.  It found that almost a third of former Chinese lawyers and judges who continued to practise law were allegedly found to have violated the rules on conflicts of interest.  It is explained that, under Chinese law, judges and prosecutors can practise law after leaving their state positions, but they are not allowed to represent clients in court for 2 years and there is a lifetime ban on handling cases related to their former offices or courts.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3147592/corruption-china-ex-judges-and-prosecutors-caught-breaking

PROJECT DUNBAR: INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS USING MULTI-CBDC

The Bank for International Settlements says that Project Dunbar brings together the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank Negara Malaysia, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and South African Reserve Bank with the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub to test the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) for international settlements.  The Project aims to develop prototype shared platforms for cross-border transactions using multiple CBDC, allowing financial institutions to transact directly with each other in the digital currencies, eliminating the need for intermediaries and cutting the time and cost of transactions. 

https://www.bis.org/about/bisih/topics/cbdc/wcbdc.htm

NEW PORT CYBERSECURITY GUIDELINES 

On 3 September, Port security reported that the International Association of Ports and Harbors’ (IAPH) cybersecurity guidelines are intended to help senior executive decision makers make an objective assessment on the readiness of ports and port facilities to prevent, stop and recover from a cyber-attack.  They also address the question of what port organisations need in terms of resources to effectively manage cybersecurity risks.

https://www.portstrategy.com/news101/port-operations/safety-and-security/cyber-security-ready

WHAT THE US CAN LEARN FROM ESTONIA ON E-GOVERNANCE

On 31 August, a paper from the Center for European Policy Analysis says that a whole-of-government approach is needed to successfully implement e-governance, and that the Estonian experience also shows the importance of building a strong foundation of interoperability and digital identity.  Noting US citizens’ concerns over data privacy, and that while there are significant differences in political and historical contexts, democratic countries share largely universal principles regarding public administration and information security.  Hence, approaches that are designed with these principles in mind can be learned from, replicated, and adapted to local contexts.

PODCAST: RANSOMWARE

In this interesting podcast from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the hosts talk with Ciaran Martin, Professor of Practice in the Management of Public Organisations at Oxford University, and former Chief Executive of the UK National Cyber Security Centre. They discuss the difficulties in tackling ransomware (including Martin’s proposal to ban ransomware payments), ways to counter Russian aggression, UK/EU relations after Brexit, and the importance of technology innovation and cooperation with allies.

https://www.csis.org/podcasts/inside-cyber-diplomacy/ransomware-episode-ciaran-martin

WHERE ARE THE PetroSaudi BOYS?

On 5 September, an article in Sarawak Reporter posed this question, meaning the whereabouts of those connected with PetroSaudi, a shell company owned by the now imprisoned Prince Turki, a son of the former King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, together with his pal Tarek Obaid.  It was the launch deal for what became the 1MDB fund scam.  It says that Prince Turki languishes in jail incommunicado thanks to the internecine rivalries of the Saudi ruling family. However, Tarek Obaid remains at large in Switzerland, despite an Interpol Red Notice, as does his collaborator, British businessman Patrick Mahony, also on the same Interpol notice.  The Interpol notice was issued by Malaysia in February 2020.  Both Obaid and Mahony are also facing a criminal prosecution in Switzerland over the laundering of the tens of millions PetroSaudi received in kickbacks for fronting bogus investments by 1MDB.  The article also refers to their alleged role in the cruel plot to destroy the key whistleblower on their activities, former colleague Xavier Justo, a Swiss National.

https://www.sarawakreport.org/2021/09/whats-up-with-the-petrosaudi-boys/

GUINEAN SOLDIERS CLAIM TO HAVE SEIZED POWER IN COUP ATTEMPT

On 5 September, the Guardian and others reported on a reported coup in the Republic of Guinea.  It is reported than an elite national army unit has announced it has seized power and deposed the country’s President, Alpha Condé, in an attempted coup.  However, this claim has been disputed by the President.  This is the latest political upheaval to beset the mineral-rich and impoverished West African country, amid conflicting claims of who was in power.  The EU and UK already have in place measures which impose financial and immigration sanctions to encourage the Government of Guinea to investigate properly the violent repression in the country on September 2009 and the aftermath of that violent repression, and hold to account and bring criminal proceedings against the persons responsible.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/05/guinean-soldiers-claim-to-have-seized-power-in-coup-attempt

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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