OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 26

Panama Covid-19 update – it is reported that the number of people hospitalised due to Covid-19 has decreased by 71% when comparing the statistical data for the month of October 2021 with those of just one year ago, when 684 people were in hospital. In other news, in considering any relaxation of the face mask mandate, the minister of health has said that the ministry will wait to evaluate how the celebration of the national holidays takes place in November (quite a party month, with several days earmarked for celebrations), while expressing concern about the behavior of the virus that may occur in December.

Meanwhile, it is reported today that 77% of the target population, i.e. that over 12 years old, have been double-vaccinated, with 87.8% have had at least one dose. Despite all that, today saw another 215 new cases and 4 more fatalities. Active cases rose by 7 to 2,283, with 31 in ICU (1 less) and 168 in other wards (i.e. 2 more).

26 OCTOBER 2021

https://www.statista.com/chart/26038/democracy-index-arab-countries/

ECUADOR’S PRESIDENT DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 19 October, the Guardian reported that Ecuador has decreed a state of emergency to confront drug trafficking and other crimes in Ecuador, saying the military and police will take to the streets to provide security.  The President said drug trafficking has brought an increase in homicides, burglaries of homes, thefts of vehicles and goods, and robberies of people.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/19/ecuador-president-declares-emergency-drug-trafficking

THE NEW ICC DIGITAL TRANSACTION RULES

The Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT) Version 1.0 from the International Chamber of Commerce are designed as a high-level structure outlining rules, obligations, and standards for the digitalisation of trade transactions.  They are designed to serve as an overarching framework for Digital Trade Transactions thereby providing global standardisation, consistency and conformity, providing a collective understanding of terms and definitions, whilst promoting and supporting the usage of electronic records/documents/data.  They came into effect from 1 October and constitute the international laws of trade financing practice.

https://2go.iccwbo.org/uniform-rules-for-digital-trade-transactions-urdtt-version-1.html

THE AUSTRALIAN RANSOMWARE ACTION PLAN

On 23 October, an article from Gilchrist Connell advised that the Minister for Homes Affairs had issued the Australian Government’s Ransomware Action Plan, which outlines a range of proposals intended to combat the threat of ransomware. This includes new notification obligations and criminal offences for cybercrimes.  The article details the 3 overriding objectives of the Plan and its key initiatives.

https://www.mondaq.com/australia/new-technology/1124450/the-unveiling-of-the-australian-ransomware-action-plan

The Plan itself is at –

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/cyber-security-subsite/files/ransomware-action-plan.pdf

AUSTRALIA: CROWN MELBOURNE TO KEEP CASINO LICENCE FOR NOW DESPITE ‘DISGRACEFUL’ CONDUCT

On 26 October, ABC News reported that Crown Resorts will keep its Melbourne casino licence for now, despite a Victorian royal commission finding that its conduct was “disgraceful”.  A report said that it should be given a 2-year grace period under the control of a “special manager” to correct an “alarming catalogue of wrongdoing”.  At the end of the grace period, and under monitoring of a “special manager”, that manager will recommend to the regulator whether Crown should keep its Victorian casino licence.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-26/crown-casino-victoria-royal-commission-report/100568072

GUERNSEY’S NEW REGULATORY, SUPERVISORY AND ENFORCEMENT LEGISLATION COMES INTO FORCE ON 1 NOVEMBER

On 22 October, Mourant published an article saying that on 1 November, the new regulatory, supervisory and enforcement laws will come into effect, together with the underlying Rules, Codes and Guidance.  The article highlights some of the provisions in Guernsey’s new regulatory and supervisory legislation that are universal across the different industry sectors.

https://www.mourant.com/news-and-views/updates/updates-2021/revision-of-law-hub.aspx

PANAMA DRUG BUST SEIZES NEW ZEALAND-BOUND CARGO

On 26 October, Sun Media in New Zealand reported that a narcotics police taskforce in Panama has stopped a significant shipment of a “presumed illicit substance” bound for the Port of Tauranga.  A ship was transiting through Panama on its way from Manaus, Brazil, to the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand.

https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/279670-panama-drug-bust-seizes-taurangabound-cargo.html

ANCIENT GOLD EWER RETURNED TO TURKEY AFTER V&A EXPERT LINKS IT TO ILLICIT ANTIQUITIES TRADE

On 26 October, the Art Newspaper reported that a 4,250-year-old gold ewer looted in Anatolia has just been returned to Turkey by the Gilbert Collection, which is housed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum   It had been acquired in 1989 from a Los Angeles dealer who is now known to have handled illicit antiquities.  It is reported that, in 2018, the Gilbert Trust appointed a provenance curator, mainly to check the collection for Nazi-era forced sales or looting, and it was he who linked the ewer to illegal trading.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/10/26/victoria-and-albert-museum-returns-ancient-gold-ewer-to-turkey-after-it-was-linked-to-la-dealer-who-handled-illicit-antiquities

DANISH COMPANY IN COURT FOR VIOLATING EU SYRIA SANCTIONS

On 26 October, The Local reported that a Danish fuel supplier is on trial,accused of violating EU sanctions against Syria by delivering fuel used by Russian warplanes in Syria.  It is claimed that Dan-Bunkering, through its subsidiary in Russia’s Kaliningrad, sold about 172,000 tonnes of fuel to 2 Russian companies between 2015 and 2017.

https://www.thelocal.dk/20211026/danish-company-in-court-for-violating-eu-syria-sanctions/

PROVISIONAL LIQUIDATOR OF ZAMBIA’S KONKOLA COPPER MINES DENIES CHARGES OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND THEFT 

On 26 October, Mining Weekly reported that Zambia’s Drug Enforcement Commission, which also handles money laundering cases, in September arrested the state-appointed liquidator Milingo Lungu and charged him with money laundering and the theft of more than $2 million (a sum subsequently reduced).

https://www.miningweekly.com/article/provisional-liquidator-of-zambias-kcm-denies-theft-money-laundering-2021-10-26

ETHIOPIA: WHAT NEXT?

On 26 October, a Commentary from RUSI said that, mired in a conflict that began in late 2020 between the federal government and insurgent forces in Tigray, Ethiopia faces a number of possible scenarios.  How did it come to this? But, more importantly, where might Ethiopia head next?

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/ethiopia-what-next

UK HOUSE BUYERS AND BUSINESSES WARNED OF PAYMENT DIVERSION FRAUD

A news release from the NCA on 25 October said that the National Economic Crime Centre has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness of payment diversion fraud (PDF) – aka Business Email Compromise (BEC) or Mandate Fraud.  Working with partners in the NCA, City of London Police, UK Finance and Cifas, the multi-agency campaign aims to help small and medium sized businesses and home-buyers protect themselves.  In the year to September 2021 there have been 4,600 cases reported to Action Fraud, with individual losses averaging around £30,000.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/house-buyers-and-businesses-warned-of-payment-diversion-fraud

UK FRAUD SECTOR CHARTERS: ACCOUNTANCY SECTOR; RETAIL BANKING AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS 

On 26 October, the Home Office published –

  • a voluntary public-private commitment to better understand, target and reduce fraud in the accountancy sector.  It is between law enforcement, professional supervisory bodies and government to better understand and tackle fraud;
  • a voluntary commitment from the UK retail banking sector to combat fraud through a comprehensive action plan; and
  • a voluntary commitment from telecommunications providers to reduce fraud.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-fraud-taskforce-accountancy-charter

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-fraud-taskforce-retail-banking-charter

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-fraud-taskforce-telecommunications-charter

CHINESE ARMS COMPANY NORINCO’S EX-CHIEF ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION

On 26 October, Khabarhub reported that the former chief of Chinese state-owned defence corporation, North Industries Group Co (NORINCO) has been arrested on corruption charges.  He was reportedly arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes and illegally making profits for relatives and friends.

https://english.khabarhub.com/2021/26/216818

INTERPOL: CHECKS AGAINST INTERPOL AND NATIONAL DATABASES WERE CARRIED OUT ACROSS MEDITERRANEAN SEAPORTS AND AIRPORTS 

A news release from INTERPOL on 26 October said that an international operation aimed at strengthening passenger controls at a number of seaports and airports linking North Africa to Southern Europe has yielded 29 arrests for a variety of offences, including one on terrorism charges. Led by INTERPOL with the support of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and EU’s Frontex, Neptune III involved law enforcement in 5 countries – Algeria, France, Italy, Spain and Tunisia – and was carried out during the Summer 2021 tourist season.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2021/Cash-guns-cocaine-and-a-suspected-terrorist-captured-in-international-border-operation

INTERPOL REPORT IDENTIFIES TOP CYBERTHREATS IN AFRICA

A news release from INTERPOL on 25 October advised that a report gives key insights into cybercrime in Africa. The result of cross-sector collaboration, the African Cyberthreat Assessment Report 2021 will help countries in Africa to understand the most prevalent threats and formulate a coordinated regional response to cybercrime. The top 5 threats are:

  • Online scams: fake emails or text messages claiming to be from a legitimate source are used to trick individuals into revealing personal or financial information;
  • Digital extortion: victims are tricked into sharing sexually compromising images which are used for blackmail;
  • Business email compromise (BEC): criminals hack into email systems to gain information about corporate payment systems, then deceive company employees into transferring money into their bank account;
  • Ransomware: cybercriminals block the computer systems of hospitals and public institutions, then demand money to restore functionality;
  • Botnets: networks of compromised machines are used as a tool to automate large-scale cyberattacks.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2021/INTERPOL-report-identifies-top-cyberthreats-in-Africa

SMUGGLING NETWORK UP IN SMOKE AS 7 ARRESTED IN SPAIN

A news release from Europol on 26 October advised that Moroccan and Malian nationals apprehended after using former tobacco smuggling routes to facilitate illegal immigration between Spain and France. It says that there are new criminal uses for historic tobacco smuggling routes.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/smuggling-network-in-smoke-seven-arrested-in-spain

EMPLOYMENT FRAUD IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR: 12 ARRESTED IN BELGIUM AND ITALY

A Europol news release on 26 October advised that the Belgian Federal Police, the Italian Guardia di Finanza and Luxembourgish Judicial Police, supported by Europol, dismantled a large organised crime group involved in fraud and money laundering.   The criminal organisation, managed by a single Italian family, had several companies in Italy, Romania and Slovakia, which recruited workers locally. The workers were then send to in the construction sectors in Western European countries, mainly in Belgium and Luxembourg. The investigation uncovered that the hiring companies had no activity in the countries they were based in and the employees they hired had never actually worked for the original companies. The fraud is estimated at €20 million without the possible VAT losses.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/employment-fraud-in-construction-sector-twelve-arrested-in-belgium-and-italy

CRIMINAL GROUP BEHIND €45 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME DISMANTLED IN SPAIN

On 26 October, a news release from Europol advised that 5 suspects were arrested in the Spanish province of Valencia for allegedly belonging to a criminal organisation that had laundered more than €45 million in Spain.  The investigation began in 2017 and focused on an organised crime group which controlled companies based in Spain and in tax havens which appeared to be the recipients of large international transactions. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/criminal-group-behind-%E2%82%AC45-million-money-laundering-scheme-dismantled-in-spain

TAXING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY: NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND THE WAY FORWARD

A briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service on 26 October is an update of a March 2019 version.  It looks at the main challenges of taxing the digital economy, EU proposals for taxing the digital economy, digital taxes at the Member State level, the OECD agreement and the way forward.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2021/698761/EPRS_BRI(2021)698761_EN.pdf

DUTCH COURT HAS RULED THAT UKRAINE HAS LEGAL CONTROL OVER A TROVE OF ANCIENT ARTIFACTS FROM CRIMEA THAT WAS ON LOAN TO A DUTCH MUSEUM WHEN RUSSIA SEIZED THE PENINSULA IN 2014

On 26 October, Rferl reported that the items, known as the Scythian Gold, are in the Netherlands because they were borrowed from 4 museums in Crimea and one in Kyiv for an exhibition in early 2014 at Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum – before the seizure of Crimea by Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-crimean-gold-returned-netherlands/31530121.html

IRELAND: REVENUE SEIZE 9.2 MILLION CIGARETTES AT DUBLIN PORT

A news release from the Revenue Commissioners on 22 October advised that officers seized 9.2 million cigarettes at Dublin Port, having originated in Bulgaria and had an estimated retail value of €6.9 million.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2021/pr-102521-cigarettes-dublin-port.aspx

NEW BOOK: ‘THE TRANSNATIONALIZATION OF ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW’

On 26 October, a post on the FCPA Blog advised the publication of a new book, which is recommended.

https://www.routledge.com/The-Transnationalization-of-Anti-Corruption-Law/Bismuth-Dunin-Wasowicz-Nichols/p/book/9780367853013

https://fcpablog.com/2021/10/26/new-book-for-practitioners-and-academics-the-transnationalization-of-anti-corruption-law/

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REQUESTS COMMENTS ON FORCED AND CHILD LABOUR REPORTS

On 11 October, Baker McKenzie reported that on 8 October, the Department of Labor published a notice requesting information and comments on 3 reports on child labour and forced labour practices in foreign countries that are published by the US Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).  The comments will be used in preparing the 2022 edition of the TDA Report and TVPRA List, as well as any updates to the Executive Order List.  The 3 reports are the US government’s key public statements on the issue of forced labour and child labour around the world.  The notice also includes a request for information and/or comment on Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains.  It is said that the 3 ILAB reports are an important source of information for companies seeking to assess and mitigate risk in their global supply chains. 

https://supplychaincompliance.bakermckenzie.com/2021/10/11/department-of-labor-requests-comments-on-forced-and-child-labor-reports/

US: NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS ON RISKS IN THE SEMICONDUCTOR SUPPLY CHAIN

On 24 September, it was announced that the Department of Commerce, given the ongoing shortages in the semiconductor product supply chain are having an adverse impact on a wide range of industry sectors, the Department is seeking responses from interested parties (including domestic and foreign semiconductor design firms, semiconductor manufacturers, materials and equipment suppliers, as well as semiconductor intermediate and end-users) to a number of questions, with responses due by 8 November.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-09-24/pdf/2021-20348.pdf

OFAC AMENDS 1 ENTRY ON SANCTIONS LISTS

On 26 October, in addition to adding Osama Al Kuni IBRAHIM to its SDN List (following the UN having designated him under its Libyan sanctions regime), OFAC advised that the existing entry for Talib Husayn Ali Jarak ISMAIL, a Kuwaiti national said to be linked to Hizbollah, has been amended.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20211026

US VAPING INDUSTRY LOOKS FOR ANSWERS AS POSTAL SERVICE ENDS DELIVERIES

On 25 October, Freight Waves reported that the US e-vapor industry faces a major challenge that has nothing to do with selling to minors, concerns over health risks and black-market fakes.  The US Postal Service’s ban on the shipping of all vaping products, which was mandated by Congress late last year, has taken effect.  This adds to existing delivery bans by FedEx, UPS, and DHL eCommerce Solutions.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/us-vaping-industry-looks-for-answers-as-postal-service-ends-deliveries

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-biggest-business-risks-around-the-world

150 ARRESTED IN INTERNATIONAL DARK WEB DRUG BUST AS POLICE SEIZE €26 MILLION

On 26 October, a news release from Europol advised that police forces across the world have arrested 150 alleged suspects involved in buying or selling illicit goods on the dark web as part of a coordinated international operation involving 9 countries.  The operation involved a series of separate but complementary actions in Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and US, with coordination efforts led by Europol and Eurojust. 150 vendors and buyers who engaged in tens of thousands of sales of illicit goods were arrested across Europe and US, and a number of these suspects were considered as High-Value Targets by Europol.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/150-arrested-in-dark-web-drug-bust-police-seize-%E2%82%AC26-million

PHILIPPINES ARRESTS ALLEGED MASTERMIND OF FOREX FRAUD BASED IN EASTERN EUROPE

On 26 October, Finance Magnates reported that Kfir Levy, an Israeli who was the alleged mastermind of a Forex scam scheme, has been arrested in the Philippines a year after fleeing Bulgaria.  Levy is accused of having scammed hundreds of German citizens, stealing around €6.3 million through his bogus company.  The Philippines expects to extradite Levy to Germany.

https://www.financemagnates.com/forex/philippines-arrests-alleged-mastermind-of-forex-fraud-based-eastern-europe

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK FINANCE GUIDANCE AIMED AT HELPING FIRMS DEFINE ‘PUBLIC OFFICIALS’ WHEN CARRYING OUT ANTI-BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION RISK ASSESSMENTS

On 26 October, an article from Out-Law published an article saying that the financial industry group guidance sets out a practical, risk-based definition of public officials for the purpose of ABC compliance, saying it is likely to become a sector benchmark and reference point that firms will need to consider as part of ABC risk assessments on cases involving public officials.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/public-officials-defined-uk-anti-bribery-corruption

The guidance, published on 30 September, is at –

https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/system/files/Anti-Bribery-and-Corruption-Compliance-paper-FINAL.pdf

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR MISSILES, UAV ETC: CHALLENGES FOR THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR)

On 26 October, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a report saying that additive manufacturing (AM) – aka 3D printing etc – has become an attractive production technology for the aerospace sector, particularly in the area of missiles, space launch vehicles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV).  AM is being used to produce a growing range of components for missiles and UAV.  MTCR has been discussing AM since at least 2013 and seeks to update and harmonise the export controls of the participating states to mitigate the risks posed by AM and ensure the effectiveness of export controls.  This report provides a short introduction to modern AM techniques and describes a range of specific applications of AM in missiles and other delivery systems. It discusses the proliferation risks posed by AM and the engineering and organisational considerations that have to be weighed against the technical capabilities of AM.  It analyses the application of export controls to AM, primarily under the MTCR, by discussing controls on AM production equipment; feedstock materials; transfers of technology and technical assistance; and catch-all controls.  The report concludes by outlining key measures through which the MTCR could strengthen its efforts to address AM and the proliferation risks and challenges to export controls it poses.

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2021/other-publications/additive-manufacturing-missiles-and-other-uncrewed-delivery-systems-challenges-missile-technology

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK AND ISLE OF MAN ADD 1 NAME TO LIBYA SANCTIONS LIST AS UN AND OFAC ALSO DESIGNATES THE INDIVIDUAL

On 26 October, HM Treasury advised in a Notice that Osama Al-Kuni IBRAHIM had been added to its sanctions lists.  He is described as the de facto manager of the Al Nasr detention centre in Libya and has acted on behalf of designated persons and engaged in human rights abuses. On 25 October, the UN advised that he had been added to its Libyan sanctions list.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1028434/Notice_Libya_261021.pdf

https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sc14674.doc.htm

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20211026

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0437

https://www.gov.im/news/2021/oct/26/financial-sanctions-libya/

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 22 – THE WARTIME PRESIDENTS

Part 21 – The end of the war and its aftermath

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/25/panama-in-world-war-2-part-21-the-end-of-the-war-and-the-aftermath/

Part 20 – Interned

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panama-in-world-war-2-part-20-interned/

Part 19 – Mustard gas trials and chemical defences of the Canal

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panaman-in-world-war-2-part-19-mustard-gas-trials-and-chemical-defences-of-the-canal%ef%bf%bc/

Part 18 – Disease, illness and discrimination

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/21/panama-in-world-war-2-part-18-disease-illness-and-discrimination/

Part 17 – Forces’ radio stations, the striking force, espionage and wartime post and censorship

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/16/panama-in-world-war-2-part-17-forces-radio-stations-the-striking-force-espionage-and-wartime-post-and-censorship/

Part 16 – Coco Solo naval base, flying boats, submarines and PT Boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/15/panama-in-world-war-2-part-16-coco-solo-naval-base-flying-boats-submarines-and-pt-boats/

Part 15 – 1941-45: a miscellany

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/14/panama-in-world-war-2-part-15-1941-45-a-miscellany/

Part 14 – The Yamamoto plan

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/13/panama-in-world-war-2-part-14-the-yamamoto-plan-of-attack/

Part 13 – Transportation, railway and shipping

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/09/panama-in-world-war-2-part-13-transportation-railway-and-shipping/

Part 12 – The Japanese

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/07/panama-in-world-war-2-part-12-the-japanese/

Part 11 – U-boats

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/04/panama-in-world-war-2-part-11-u-boats/

Part 10 – Germans in South America and Panama

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-10-germans-in-south-america-and-panama/

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/  

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 25

Panama Covid-10 update – 132 new cases and 3 new fatalities reported today, with the number of active cases continuing to fall – now at 2,299. as are ICU cases at 29, with another 172 patients in other wards.

25 OCTOBER 2021

FinCEN GRANTS LIMITED RELIEF TO CASINOS

On 21 October, an article from Buckley LLPsaid that FinCEN had announced limited exceptive relief to casinos from some customer identity verification requirements regarding online gaming.  It allows that a casino can use suitable non-documentary methods to verify online customers’ identification and assess the suitability or non-suitability of any particular method of verification should be evaluated based on risk.

https://buckleyfirm.com/blog/2021-10-21/fincen-grants-limited-relief-casinos#page=1

HONEYWELL EXPECTS TO PAY AT LEAST $160 MILLION TO RESOLVE BRIBERY PROBES IN US AND BRAZIL

On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the aerospace and industrial group, Honeywell International Inc, had said that it has recorded a charge of $160 million to allow for an expected loss related to bribery investigations by US and Brazilian authorities.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/honeywell-expects-to-pay-at-least-160-million-to-resolve-bribery-probes-in-u-s-brazil-11634947538

ERICSSON ACCUSED OF BREACHING BRIBERY SETTLEMENT

On 25 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Swedish-based company had been informed by US prosecutors that it failed to provide certain documents and factual information in relation to the 2019 deferred prosecution agreement.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ericsson-accused-of-breaching-bribery-settlement-with-justice-department-11634911285

IRELAND TO BAN FREE BETS IN NEW GAMBLING BILL

On 22 October, iGB reported that Ireland intends to ban free bets and credit card gambling in a Bill that will also establish a specific gambling regulator for the first time.

https://igamingbusiness.com/ireland-to-ban-free-bets-in-bill-to-establish-gambling-regulator

FAKE AND SUBSTANDARD VACCINES AND MEDICINES SPELL TROUBLE FOR CONTROLLING COVID-19

On 25 October, Stat News reported on the emergence of substandard and falsified Covid-19 vaccines and medical products, which are becoming increasingly pervasive.  Counterfeit vaccines and medicines, which include substandard and falsified products, can undermine the efforts to control the pandemic. WHO estimates that in low- to middle-income countries 1 in 10 medical products is falsified or substandard.  It reports that “discovery incidents” — discrete events triggered by the discovery of counterfeit, illegally diverted, or stolen materials — more than doubled between 2014 and 2020.

https://www.statnews.com/2021/10/25/counterfeit-vaccines-medicines-spell-trouble-controlling-covid-19

FINLAND EXPORTS MILITARY MATERIAL WORTH €140 MILLION TO UAE

On 25 October, YLE reported that the government in 2018 suspended the granting of arms export licenses to the UAE and Saudi Arabia due to the countries’ involvement in Yemen hostilities.  However, it granted permits totalling €139.3 million in March 2020 for the export of military vehicle parts to the UAE – in deals accounts for almost all of Finland’s total arms exports last year.  It is said that the parts are used by a UAE company in the manufacturing of military vehicles.

https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finland_exports_military_material_worth_140m_to_uae/12158316

NIGERIA MAKES HISTORY AS IT BECOMES THE FIRST AFRICAN COUNTRY TO DIGITISE ITS CURRENCY

On 25 October, The Guardian in Nigeria reported that Nigeria joins Bahamas, Sweden, Cambodia, South Korea as pioneers of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).  However, it is said that the launch of the “eNaira” is causing unease in the banking sector.

https://guardian.ng/news/banks-in-defining-moment-as-enaira-kicks-off-today/

FATF AGAIN URGES THE PHILIPPINES TO BOOST CASINO JUNKET CONTROLS

On 24 October, GGR Asia reported that FATF has again said the Philippines must demonstrate the country is making use of anti-AML/CFT controls “to mitigate risks associated with casino junkets”.  This comes in an update on the ‘grey list’ of jurisdictions that it regards need increased monitoring in relation to risk of financial crimes.  The Philippines had been added to the list in June.

https://www.ggrasia.com/fatf-again-urges-the-philippines-to-boost-junket-controls/

EU AMENDMENT OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2021/1863/EU has amended the EU sanctions regime in respect of DRC by adding to the criteria for designation under the sanctions planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers or UN personnel, including members of the UN Group of Experts, or against medical personnel or humanitarian personnel.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.377.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A377%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.377.01.0033.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A377%3ATOC

EU EXTENDS SANCTIONS REGIME FOR GUINEA TO OCTOBER 2022

EU Council Decision 2021/1867/CFSP has extended the sanctions regime in respect of the Republic of Guinea to 27 October 2022.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2021.377.01.0034.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2021%3A377%3ATOC

HOMEBUYER SCAMMED INTO HANDING OVER £640,000 TO CRIMINALS AFTER EMAILS TO THEIR SOLICITOR WERE INTERCEPTED

On 25 October, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Law Society has revealed details of the case in a new campaign against payment diversion fraud. The criminals created an email account made to look like that of the solicitor to request payment. Payment details were provided on headed paper via the spoofed email, and the amount requested was exactly what the buyer had expected to pay.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/emails-intercepted-in-640000-conveyancing-fraud/5110269.article

HUAWEI HAD SECRET OFFSHORE CONTRACTS WITH MEN LINKED TO SERBIAN STATE TELECOM COMPANY

On 25 October, OCCRP reported that Huawei appears to have paid large sums to a former Serbian state telecom executive through an offshore shell company.  It says that a former executive at state telecom company Telekom Srbija likely received over $1 million through an offshore firm in the BVI that had contracts with Chinese technology giant Huawei.  Payments were for consulting services that included introducing Huawei to government officials and arranging meetings for the Chinese company.  In 2016, Huawei inked a major agreement with Telekom Srbija to overhaul Serbia’s telecommunications infrastructure.

https://www.occrp.org/en/the-pandora-papers/chinese-tech-giant-huawei-had-secret-offshore-contracts-with-men-linked-to-serbian-state-telecom-company

US SENTENCES MAN WHO TRAFFICKED DANGEROUS AFRICAN CATS

On 22 October, OCCRP reported that a New York man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trafficking exotic African cats, selling the dangerous animals as pets.  Christopher Casacci, 39, was indicted in January 2020 for charges linked to his “ExoticCubs.com” site, and he imported and sold dozens of caracals and servals for up to $10,000 per a cat in 2018.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15372-us-sentences-man-who-trafficked-dangerous-african-cats

DUTCH CUSTOMS IMPOUND 55,000 DOSES OF IVERMECTIN SENT TO PRIVATE BUYERS

On 22 October, NL News reported that, over the past 3 months, Dutch customs officials have seized 665 packages containing the drug Ivermectin, which is wrongly said to help combat coronavirus, and as part of an international campaign by the World Customs Organisation to stop illegal medicines relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.  It came mainly from India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/10/dutch-customs-impound-55000-doses-of-ivermectin-sent-to-private-buyers/

6 JAILED IN SPAIN FOR SELLING FAKES OF GOYA AND OTHER ARTISTS ONLINE

On 25 October, the Guardian reported that 6 people have been jailed in Valencia after police broke up a criminal gang that was using the internet to sell crudely forged paintings. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/25/six-jailed-spain-selling-fakes-goya-other-artists-online

ARGENTINA’S RISING DRUG TRAFFICKING TRANSIT HUB

An article from Insight Crime on 25 October said that an Argentine province, the Entre Ríos province, bordering Uruguay has become a transit hub for drug trafficking out of Paraguay, revealing a new route for the movement of cocaine.

https://insightcrime.org/news/entre-rios-new-transit-hub-drug-planes-argentina/

TURKEY’S HALKBANK CAN BE PROSECUTED OVER IRAN SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS

On 23 October, Middle East Eye reported that an appeals court has ruled that state-owned Turkish lender Halkbank can be prosecuted over accusations it helped Iran to evade US sanctions.  There was no immediate comment from the Turkish foreign ministry.  It is alleged that Halkbank helped Iran to secretly transfer $20 billion of restricted funds, with at least $1 billion laundered through the US financial system.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkey-halkbank-can-be-prosecuted-over-iran-sanctions-violations-us-court-says

US CUSTOMS SEIZES PIZZA OVENS VALUED AT MORE THAN $300,000

On 19 October, a news release from US Customs and Border Protection advised that officers inspected the rail container and discovered pizza ovens which were in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-officers-seize-pizza-ovens-valued-more-300000-international-falls

MAFIA LUXURY CAR GANG SMASHED IN STRING OF RAIDS ACROSS EUROPE

On 21 October, Vice reported that police had descended on 46 properties in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria during an investigation into an £11 million luxury car tax racket run by the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxdezb/mafia-luxury-car-gang-smashed-in-string-of-raids-across-europe

NO-ONE LIVES ON BOUVET ISLAND BUT THERE ARE A DOZEN AUSTRALIAN BANK ACCOUNTS LINKED TO IT

On 21 October, ABC News reported that the island, a Norwegian dependency, is located towards the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean, and it’s generally windswept, frequently fog-shrouded, and mostly covered by a glacier.  However, it is reported that data released by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) shows that almost $2.5 million in Australian bank accounts belonged to foreign tax residents apparently from Bouvet Island.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-22/common-reporting-standard-tax-office-bouvet-island-bank-accounts/100556452

HONG KONG CUSTOMS DETECTS CASE OF ATTEMPTING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT SUSPECTED CONTROLLED MEDICINES AND INVOLVING MONEY LAUNDERING

A news release from the Hong Kong Government on 25 October advised that Customs seized a total of about 1.6 million tablets of suspected controlled medicines with an estimated market value of about $55 million, among which over 70% were controlled virility products, at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).  They were in a batch of outbound air parcels destined for Spain. 

https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202110/25/P2021102500511.htm

MSC CONTAINERSHIP UNDER ARMED ATTACK IN THE GULF OF GUINEA

On 25 October, Loadstar reported that the 1985-built 1,893 TEU MSC Lucia had been boarded by an unknown number of armed men.

https://theloadstar.com/msc-box-ship-under-attack-by-armed-gang-in-the-gulf-of-guinea/

https://www.statista.com/chart/26044/sudan-coup-timeline

THE IMPLICATIONS OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR EXPORT CONTROL

The Fall edition of the Texas National Security Review carried this article which asks how will emerging technology affect prospects for arms control?  It asserts that technologies such as small satellites and artificial intelligence (AI) have applications in arms control monitoring and can affect the amount of information collected or the ease of information processing.  It goes on to says that while intuition suggests that technologies that improve monitoring should make arms control easier to achieve, this is not always the case.  It says that 3 key factors are important in assessing the potential impact of any technology – how it affects unilateral monitoring capabilities; the degree to which it allows demonstrable control over information; and the effect that it has on concealment.  The article considers the likely effects of 4 types of emerging technologies – small satellites, drones, AI, and digital additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing).

https://tnsr.org/2021/09/better-monitoring-and-better-spying-the-implications-of-emerging-technology-for-arms-control/

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/daily-infographic-22b-worth-of-cargo-now-stuck-on-container-ships-off-california

WHISTLEBLOWING, INVESTIGATIONS AND PRIVILEGE: ENRC AND BEYOND

On 25 October, an Insight article from Field Fisher says that the most important case of recent years regarding whistleblowing, investigations and privilege is that brought by the SFO against the mining company ENRC. The case concerned an internal investigation carried out by ENRC into a whistleblower’s allegations of “corruption and financial wrongdoing”.  As the case developed, SFO sought disclosure of documents generated during ENRC’s internal investigation, including interview notes and forensic accountancy documents. ENRC resisted disclosure on the basis that these documents were privileged.  SFO argued that the documents were not created for the dominant purpose of litigation and thus could be disclosed.  The article says that a court ruling threw into question how businesses could investigate possible wrongdoing without creating material, including potentially incriminating documents, that would have to be handed over to investigators.  However, the ENRC decision was overturned on appeal.  It warns that, notwithstanding the appeal decision, it may be a very fine line regarding what the dominant purpose of creating a document is, particularly where it serves multiple purposes, and ultimately each case will turn on its facts.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/whistleblowing-investigations-and-privilege-enrc

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-products-and-fuels-made-from-crude-oil

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/the-largest-oil-and-gas-companies-in-the-world

PETROFAC IN £180 MILLION CASH CALL TO FUND SFO BRIBERY SETTLEMENT

On 25 October, Sky News and others reported that London-listed Petrofac will announce a $250 million equity-raising and wider refinancing weeks after it was fined £77 million by the SFO for bribery offences.

https://news.sky.com/story/petrofac-in-180m-cash-call-to-fund-sfo-bribery-settlement-12444559

US LAUNCHES NEW BUREAU TO COMBAT CYBERCRIME AFTER RISE IN CYBERATTACKS DURING PANDEMIC

On 25 October, Newsweek reported that the Department of State has announced that it intends to create a bureau of cyberspace and digital policy dedicated to tackling the issues of ransomware attacks and a global decline in digital freedom.

https://www.newsweek.com/us-launches-new-bureau-combat-cybercrime-after-rise-cyberattacks-during-pandemic-1642424

ACCOUNTANTS NEEDED TO FIGHT FRAUD ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

On 25 October, AAT reported that a new report from forensic financial expert Crowe and the University of Portsmouth has highlighted the vulnerability of construction projects to fraud and called for a new role involving accountants to prevent abuse of public funds.  The report advocates a kind of ethics watchdog for projects, based on the US model of Integrity Monitors who examine the whole project, from inception and contract letting to completion. They also promote a culture of integrity and honesty to counter the culture of construction, which the report says can be a building site for fraud and bribery.

https://www.aatcomment.org.uk/audience/members/accountants-needed-to-fight-fraud-on-construction-projects/

FROM JAPAN TO THE US THIEVES GRAB CAR PARTS WORTH MORE THAN GOLD

On 26 October, Nikkei Asia reported that thieves worldwide have targeted a key emissions-reducing device in cars.  It cites the example of a Toyota Prius recently stolen in Tokyo that was later recovered with its catalytic converter cut out.  It explains that catalytic converters use ultrarare rhodium, which surged fivefold in a year to nearly $30,000 per troy ounce this March, and palladium, which topped $3,000 in May. By comparison, gold trades around $1,800 per troy ounce.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Commodities/From-Japan-to-U.S.-thieves-grab-car-parts-worth-more-than-gold

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

US EXPORT CONTROLS ON “BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE” EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

On 25 October, KPMG reported on the proposed new rule from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce re the imposition of export controls on certain “brain-computer interface” (BCI) emerging technology.  Comments are due within 45 days.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/10/tnf-us-export-controls-brain-computer-interface-emerging-technology.html

US: IN EXPORT CONTROL CASE AUTHORITIES IMPOSE CIVIL FINE AND COMPELS THE HIRING OF A COMPLIANCE OFFICIAL OR CEASE OPERATIONS

On 25 October, an article from Bass, Berry & Sims said that the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had announced that it imposed a civil penalty fine against VTA Telecom Corporation for the unauthorised export of controlled commodities to Vietnam.  Additionally, BIS is requiring VTA to improve its export control compliance efforts and retain a Director of Trade Compliance.  Alternatively, VTA can dissolve or cease operations.  VTA was found to have exported without the necessary licence computer processing chips, provided false statements to its US supplier and US Customs, and did so knowingly.  The article says that what is notable about this matter is BIS’s requirement that VTA spend a specified amount of money developing an internal compliance programme (ICP) and designating a company official to oversee compliance with the EAR –  or go out of business.

https://www.bassberrygovcontrade.com/bis-civil-fine-compliance-official

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

CAYMAN ISLANDS: AML/CFT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 205 October, CFATF, the FATF-style regional body for the Caribbean, published a third enhanced follow-up report and technical compliance update.  As is usual with such follow-up, the report only addresses technical compliance, and not effectiveness.  It is said that the Cayman Islands has been under enhanced monitoring since the adoption of its Mutual Evaluation Report of November 2018. It says that it has re-rated the country in relation to Recommendation 15 – New Technologies from Partially Compliantto Largely Compliant; and that the Cayman Islands is Compliant with 22 of the 40 FATF Recommendations and Largely Compliant on 18 of them.  The Cayman Islands will remain in enhanced follow-up on the basis that it had a low or moderate level of effectiveness for 7 or more of the 11 effectiveness outcomes, and will continue to report back to the CFATF on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/documents/4th-round-follow-up-reports/cayman-islands-2/17016-cayman-islands-3rd-enhanced-follow-up-report-and-technical-compliance-re-rating/file

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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y