OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 19

Panama Covid-19 update – numbers of new cases and active cases continue to fall, the number of new infections being 18.5% down this week compared to the previous one. Today has seen 250 more new cases and 2 new fatalities reported, with there now being 4,033 active cases – 64 in ICU and 244 in other wards.

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19 SEPTEMBER 2021

GERMANY: PANAMA DENOUNCES AUCTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL ARTEFACTS CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN ILLEGALLY TRAFFICKED

On 18 September, Critica and others reported that the Panmanian government had protested the planned sale of 7 items said to be of the Panamanian Pre-Colombian period.  Mexico and Guatemala have also lodged protests against the sale of items by the auction house in Munich.

https://www.midiario.com/curiosidades/panama-denuncia-subasta-de-piezas-arqueologicas-por-parte-empresa-alemana/

PANAMA PAPERS – SCHEDULED TRIAL IN PANAMA DELAYED

On 18 September, TVN reported that a trial due to begin on Monday, 20 September in Panama City could be being delayed until November or December.  Among the defendants are the founders of the Mossack Fonseca law firm at the heart of the scandal – Ramón Fonseca Mora and Jürgen Mossack.

https://www.tvn-2.com/contenido_exclusivo/Papeles-Panama-audiencia-suspenso_0_5947655183.html

PAKISTAN: BANKER ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF ATTEMPTING TO INFLUENCE WITNESSES IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

On 19 September, ARY News reported that Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) vice-president Asim Suri had been detained on charges of influencing witnesses in a money laundering case against PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and others.  He and MCB Group Head, Azhar Mahmood, were allegedly coercing prosecution witnesses, including bank officials, into changing their statements.  Shehbaz Sharif is a Pakistani politician and the Leader of the Opposition in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.

https://arynews.tv/fia-arrests-banker-money-laundering-case-shehbaz-sharif/

SRI LANKA: TURMERIC SMUGGLING CONTINUES – 3 TONNES MORE SEIZED

On 19 September, the Daily News reported that over 3,704 kg of smuggled dried turmeric was seized by the Sri Lanka Navy during special operations on 16 September. 

https://www.dailynews.lk/2021/09/19/local/259700/navy-seizes-over-3704kg-smuggled-dried-turmeric

SUDAN SEIZES SMUGGLED WEAPONS FROM LIBYA

On 18 September, the Libya Observer reported that the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had announced that it had foiled an attempt to smuggle a shipment of weapons and explosives and arrested 4 individuals, amongst them foreigners, from a gang involved in illegal arms trade with Libya.  It is said to have seized 2 GMC cars carrying 36 Kalashnikov rifles and 2 boxes of grenades in addition to the DShK cannon, an RPG-7 launcher, and a large number of ammunitions of various kinds.

https://www.libyaobserver.ly/inbrief/sudanese-authorities-confiscate-shipment-weapons-smuggled-libya

PHILADELPHIA CUSTOMS OFFICERS SEIZE NEARLY $100,000 IN COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY FROM RUSSIA

A news release from US Customs & Border Protection on 15 September advised that the counterfeit euros and dollars were shipped in international air cargo from Russia and destined to an address near Chicago.  It  was manifested as ‘Play Money for Monopoly”. 

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/philadelphia-cbp-officers-seize-nearly-100k-counterfeit-currency-russia

500 ILLEGAL CRYPTO MINING FARMS INTERCEPTED IN KYRGYZSTAN

On 18 September, Cryptopolitan reported that Kyrgyzstan authorities have busted 500 crypto mining farms that were illegally operating in the country.  It is said that they draw an excessive amount of energy from the power grids that often results in a shortage of power supply. 

https://www.cryptopolitan.com/500-illegal-crypto-mining-farms-kyrgyzstan/

FORMER CHIEF OF RUSSIA’S WEX (BTC-e) CRYPTO EXCHANGE ARRESTED IN POLAND

On 17 September, the Coin Telegraph reported that Dmitry Vasiliev, the former chief of Russian cryptocurrency exchange Wex, has been arrested in Warsaw.  Wex, which was previously known as BTC-e, was a well-known “dark” exchange in the early days of the cryptocurrency industry.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/former-chief-of-russia-s-wex-crypto-exchange-arrested-in-poland

US POLICY ON REMITTANCES TO CUBA

An article from the Center for Strategic and International Studies published an article on 15 September about options for changes to the US policy on remittances, which are relied upon by many people in Cuba.  More than 90% of the Cuban diaspora is in the US, and hence most remittances come from there.  By 2019, there were over 1.3 million Cuban-born persons living in the US, making Cubans and Cuban Americans the third-largest diaspora from the Americas — surpassed only by Mexico and El Salvador.  There are formal and informal ways to send money to Cuba.  However, it points out that, instead of hard cash, citizens are given “electronic” dollars, which can only be used at government-owned (GAESA) stores with higher prices.  As a result, research is said to show that for every $1 of remittances sent via Western Union and later spent in GAESA shops, the military gains 74 cents, 61 cents of which comes directly from store sales.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/us-policy-remittances-cuba-what-are-some-viable-options

JAMAICA:  CONTROVERSIAL NEW DIGITAL ID BILL THAT WOULD STORE CITIZENS’ BIOMETRIC INFORMATION COULD BE REPLICATED ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN

A post from Coda on 15 September reported on efforts to roll out a digital ID system that would provide Jamaicans with a national identity card while collecting their personal information and biometric data.  It highlights objections to the Bill are part of a wider range of concerns — from privacy to human rights — surrounding the island nation’s biometric National Identification System (NIDS) as it heads into a likely vote in the Parliament this month.  It is also said that that conversations about new digital ID systems are already underway in neighbouring Barbados, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic.  Concerns are also expressed about data protection and security, with a recent instance in which a government contractor allowed immigration documents and coronavirus test results of hundreds of thousands of travellers to Jamaica exposed on the Web.

https://www.codastory.com/authoritarian-tech/jamaica-digital-id/

WEBINAR:’ UNPICKING THE PROPOSED UK REGIME ON INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS. DIVERGENCE FROM THE EU?’

On 23 September, Field Fisher is to hold a webinar after the ICO in the UK launched a consultation on many aspects of international data transfer compliance under UK law.  It will discuss the 3 main items of the consultation, the practical implications for those transferring data out of the UK and explore differences from the EU regime. 

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/events/webinar-unpicking-the-proposed-uk-regime-on-international-data-transfers-divergence-from-the-eu

US: INDIAN NATIONAL JAILED FOR 22 YEARS FOR $10 MILLION ROBOCALL SCAM

On 17 September, Eastern Eye reported that an Indian national has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for defrauding over 4,000 people in the US of more than $10 million.  Shehzadkhan Pathan, 40, operated a call centre in Ahmedabad from which automated robocalls were made to victims.  A variety of schemes were used to convince victims to send money, including impersonating law enforcement officers from the FBI, DEA and representatives of other government agencies, and threatened victims with severe legal and financial consequences.

https://www.easterneye.biz/indian-national-jailed-for-22-years-for-10m-robocall-scam/

MALI: JUNTA DISMISSES WARNINGS NOT TO HIRE RUSSIA’S VAGNER ‘MERCENARIES’

On 19 September, an article from Rferl said that Mali’s ruling junta had dismissed warnings by Western governments not to hire “mercenaries” from private Russian security firm Vagner, saying it will do as it sees fit.  Both France and Germany have said that a deal with Vagner would call into question their military commitments to the country.

https://www.rferl.org/a/mali-junta-russia-vagner/31467971.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

TYPOLOGIES IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR INCLUDING OBSERVED COVID-19 TYPOLOGIES

The UAE Central Bank has published this guide containing an investigations and pro-active risk analysis of emerging risks likely to be prevalent across the financial sector in UAE.  It takes into account inherent financial crime risk, current COVID-19 pandemic impact, and the business environment.  One section is concerned with typologies observed from March 2019 – March 2021 and the heightened external fraud threat on account of COVID-19.

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C4E1FAQFhqhW-12m0Cg/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1632073263563?e=1632178800&v=beta&t=ot_1Bawz6ExrFCmF4M24s72geGM_LF4sITyFHm7Dwok

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 4

PART 4 – THE THIRD LOCKS PROJECT, BARRAGE BALLOONS AND SEA MINES

Previous Parts –

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 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/