OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 16

Panama Covid-19 update – recorded cases in Panama have now exceeded 470,000, or between 10% and 11% of the total population. However, most of the other figures released today are more reassuring – despite 164 new cases and 3 new fatalities, the total number of currently active cases continues its gradual fall, now down to 2,368 (or around o.o5% of the population, or roughly 1 in 1,800), with 41 in ICU and 175 in other wards.

16 OCTOBER 2021

PANAMA: 18 ON TRIAL IN $10 MILLION HELICOPTER RENTAL FRAUD CASE

On 15 October, Panatimes reported that the Comptroller’s Office has revealed the possible loss of $10 million on the rental of aircraft between 2010 and 2014.  18 people have been called to trial for crimes of embezzlement, in the case of helicopter rental through the defunct National Aid Program (PAN).

https://panatimes.com/18-people-called-to-trial-for-embezzlement-in-a-helicopter-rental-case

LAW THAT REGULATES THE MEDICINAL AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF CANNABIS IN PANAMA

On 15 October, Panatimes reported that the President had signed the Law that creates a regulatory framework for the use of, and controlled access to, medicinal cannabisfor therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes.

https://panatimes.com/president-cortizo-sanctions-law-that-regulates-the-medicinal-and-therapeutic-use-of-cannabis-in-panama

COLOMBIA: BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP – CHALLENGES AND CHALLENGES FOR A MORE TRANSPARENT SOCIETY

On 23 September, Global Financial Integrity released a video which explores the concept of ultimate beneficial ownership in Colombia with top experts in the field.  This is the first in a series of 3 video reports on beneficial ownership in Colombia (in Spanish).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkmbxWpCEDs

AFRICAN COUPS ARE MAKING A COMEBACK

On 15 October, Defence Web reported that the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has said that the African Union should do more to pre-empt coups by sanctioning bad governance and attempts by presidents to extend their terms.  It says that coups used to be the method of choice in Africa for changing governments, with over 90 occurring between 1951 and mid-2020 – and during those years, only 30 incumbent leaders were peacefully removed from power by their political opponents in elections.  Now, in fewer than 13 months from 18 August 2020, 4 coups have occurred. 2 happened in Mali (August 2020 and May 2021), 1 in Chad (May 2021) and 1 in Guinea last month.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/national-security/iss-african-coups-are-making-a-comeback/

US CHARGES A NIGERIAN SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER AND 10 OTHERS OVER $9 MILLION FRAUD

On 16 October, People’s Gazette reported that an Indictment charging 11 defendants with conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, in connection with their involvement in laundering millions of dollars in proceeds derived from business email compromise (BEC) and romance fraud schemes.  

https://gazettengr.com/u-s-charges-nigerian-social-media-influencer-10-others-for-9-million-fraud

FORMER IRANIAN CENTRAL BANK CHIEF SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

On 16 October, Reuters reported that Valiollah Seif had been sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges involving the mismanagement of millions of dollars.  He led the central bank from 2013 to 2018 under former President Hassan Rouahni’s administration.  In 2018, OFAC placed Seif under sanctions for helping transfer millions of dollars to the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah.

https://www.reuters.com/world/india/former-iranian-central-bank-chief-sentenced-10-years-corruption-charges-2021-10-16

UK: EXPORTING OR IMPORTING OBJECTS OF CULTURAL INTEREST

On 15 October, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published updated guidance on what you need to know and do to export or import objects of cultural interest.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exporting-or-importing-objects-of-cultural-interest

SHIPPING: PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY INCIDENTS AT LOWEST LEVEL IN DECADES, BUT IMB CAUTIONS AGAINST COMPLACENCY

On 14 October, the International Chamber of Commerce reported that the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported the lowest number of reported piracy and armed robbery incidents for the first 9 months of any year since 1994. It recorded 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first 9 months of 2021.  However, violence against seafarers has continued with 51 crew kidnapped, 8 taken hostage, 5 threatened, 3 injured, 2 assaulted and 1 killed. 

https://icc-ccs.org/index.php/1312-piracy-and-armed-robbery-incidents-at-lowest-level-in-decades-but-imb-cautions-against-complacency

Report summary –

https://icc-ccs.org/images/images/IMB_piracy_and_armed_robbery_report_January_-_September_2021_-_Summary_sheet.jpg

NEW RUSSIA-BASED RANSOMWARE GROUP TARGETING LARGE COMPANIES AND HOSPITALS

On 15 October, an article from Robinson & Cole said that threat intelligence firm Mandiant had released findings about a new Russian-based hacking group dubbed FIN12, which is targeting the health care industry and companies with revenue over $300 million.  Mandiant said that FIN12 is “very aggressive and brazen in who they target”. 

https://www.dataprivacyandsecurityinsider.com/2021/10/new-russian-based-ransomware-group-targeting-large-companies-and-hospitals/

WHISTLEBLOWING CHARITY CALLS FOR CHANGES TO UK WHISTLEBLOWING LEGISLATION

On 8 October, Field Fisher reported that Protect has published a report as part of its ongoing campaign calling on the UK Government to reform current whistleblowing laws contained in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA).  Some 23 years on, Protect argues that it has not kept pace with the modern workplace and needs reform.  Protect’s campaign follows the introduction of the EU Whistleblowing Directive, which EU Member States are required to transpose into national law by 17 December, and which goes further than PIDA.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/whistleblowing-charity-calls-for-changes-to-uk-whi

THE COAST OF SUCRE – VENEZUELA’S MOST DANGEROUS PLACE FOR PIRACY

On 15 October, Insight Crime reported that merchants traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, fishing vessels, even the occasional tourist: all are tempting targets for pirates off Venezuela’s northern state of Sucre.  The most dangerous area in the country, carrying the highest level of warning, was in the northern state of Sucre, especially the stretch of water between the city of Carúpano and the Paria national park – according to Venezuela’s agency for maritime safety and rescue.  It also said that the authorities, including the army, should have control of the area, and that the level of criminality and piracy is far from normal.

https://insightcrime.org/news/coast-sucre-venezuela-most-dangerous-place-piracy/

THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR) AT A CROSSROADS

On 1 October, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a Commentary following the news that Australia is to acquire the ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missile.  It explained that the MTCR is a multilateral export control regime that brings together 35 supplier states to coordinate their controls on exports of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and related dual-use goods and technologies.  The MTCR is a cornerstone of states’ efforts to control the development, proliferation and use of missiles and other WMD delivery systems.  SIPRI says that, in the current situation, maintaining and strengthening the MTCR and the fragile norm against missile proliferation that it supports is an ever more important task.

https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2021/missile-technology-control-regime-crossroads

SUGAR SMUGGLING IN KENYA

On 13 October, ENACT Africa reported that a multi-agency approach that includes better border surveillance is needed in order to stem sugar smuggling into the country.  High production costs and the mismanagement of factories have led to a drop in sugar production in Kenya over the past 2 decades, opening the door for smugglers.  In 2020, sugar made up 48% of the goods smuggled into the country, according to the National Crime Research Centre.  Once in Kenya, the sugar is repackaged into different sacks and smaller packages from local sugar factories to evade the payment of taxes and to facilitate easy marketing in supermarkets.  The article also says that lower taxation could also be an incentive to enhance the capacity of sugar factories to produce cheaply while lowering the retail price of sugar for the local consumer.

https://enactafrica.org/enact-observer/sweet-deals-for-smugglers-lead-to-bitter-losses-for-kenya

DISTANT WATERS – THE CHINESE SQUID FISHING VESSELS OFF THE GALÁPAGOS MARINE RESERVE

On 14 October, the NGO Sea Shepherd released a 10-minute video showing how the Sea Shepherd crew on the Ocean Warrior sailed into the dark heart of the notorious Chinese squid fleet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jikGuwKf_Yc

INDIA: BOLLYWOOD ACTORS SUMMONED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

On 14 October, the Hindustan Times reported that Bollywood actors Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi have been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a money laundering case.  The case is connected with allegations against an alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar who is accused of cheating and extorting the wife of a businessman. 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bollywood-actors-jacqueline-fernandez-nora-fatehi-summoned-by-ed-in-money-laundering-case-report-101634191401434.html

OVER 80,000 COMPANIES IN BELGIUM NON-COMPLIANT WITH BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP AML MEASURE

On 16 October, the Brussels Times reported that more than 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register.  Authorities are set to fine an initial batch of 8,000 businesses €500 per administrator because their beneficiaries are not listed on the UBO register.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/189508/over-80000-companies-in-belgium-non-compliant-with-anti-money-laundering-meassures/

PODCAST: THE EVOLVING RISK OF SUBTERFUGE SHIPPING

On 15 October, Lloyds List released a 23-minute podcast about the subterfuge shipping fleet skirting sanctions to deliver blocked cargoes, and the tactics being deployed by the murkier end of the maritime sector.  It considers the increasingly complicated network of opaque tactic and institutions being set up to obfuscate sanctions evasion at sea.

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1138511/The-Lloyds-List-Podcast-The-evolving-risk-of-subterfuge-shipping

FORMOSA PLASTICS GROUP: A SERIAL OFFENDER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS (A CASE STUDY)

The Center for International Environmental Law has published a report on the Formosa Plastics Group, a Taiwanese conglomerate that has grown over six decades to become the world’s fourth-largest producer of petrochemicals and plastics.  The report is said to show that Formosa Plastics’ long history exemplifies the profound risks that the entire petrochemicals and plastics industry poses to human health, human rights, local ecosystems, and the global climate.  It argues that the rights and safety of local communities and workers, as well as the environment and public health, have become casualties of corporate profit.

https://www.ciel.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Formosa-Plastics-Group_A-Serial-Offender-of-Environmental-and-Human-Rights.pdf

ITALY: DORMICE SEIZED IN DRUGS RAID

On 16 October, the BBC reported that police carrying out a drugs raid on a cannabis farm in southern Italy have seized a stash of 235 frozen dormice – said to be a mafia delicacy.  Wildlife groups say baked dormice are served to honour high-ranking gangsters at banquets organised by the powerful Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58938494

AUSTRALIAN POLICE MAKE RECORD HEROIN SEIZURE

On 16 October, the BBC reported that Australian police have announced the seizure of the largest heroin shipment ever recorded in the country, worth around A$140 million.  The shipment, which weighed 450 kg, included 1,290 packages of heroin in a container of ceramic tiles from Malaysia.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-58940463

IDENTITY REVEALED OF SAUDIS WHO AMASSED FLORIDA REAL ESTATE EMPIRE THROUGH SHELL COMPANIES

On 16 October, the Real Deal reported that Saudi nationals with close ties to the royal family bought swaths of land around Orlando, Florida in the late 1990s.  They are the Ibrahim family, one of the most influential families in Saudi Arabia, according to the Miami Herald, using information from the Pandora Papers.

https://therealdeal.com/national/2021/10/16/identity-revealed-of-saudis-who-amassed-florida-real-estate-empire-through-shell-companies

ALEX SAAB: MADURO DEALMAKER EXTRADITED TO US TO FACE CORRUPTION CHARGES

On 16 October, BNN Bloomberg and others reported that the Colombian businessman close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been extradited from Cape Verde to the US.  Alex Saab, 49, had been detained since June 2020.  A US federal court in Florida has indicted him on money laundering charges related to bribing Venezuelan officials.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/maduro-dealmaker-extradited-to-u-s-to-face-corruption-charges-1.1667178

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 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/  

ALBANIAN BANANA IMPORTER SEIZED AFTER SIXTH COCAINE BUST

On 16 October, Exit News reported that the Special Prosecution against Corruption (SPAK) has seized the banana transportation company AlbaExotic after cocaine was found in its containers on 6 separate occasions.  SPAK has already arrested the company’s administrator, Bajron Gumeni, and the company’s owner, Eduart Dauti, has been on the run since July.

https://exit.al/en/2021/10/16/special-prosecution-seizes-albanian-banana-importer-after-sixth-cocaine-bust

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

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 15

Panama Covid-19 update – the World Health Organisation has said that Panama is at Level 1 of community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Level 1 classification corresponds to a country that has implemented basic measures to contain transmission or, if there are already cases, the epidemic is being controlled with effective measures to manage cases.

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/panama-en-nivel-uno-de-la-transmision-comunitaria-del-virus-sars-cov-2-oms/

Nevertheless, as the La Prensa article reports, the UK stillr efuses to recognise the position in Panama and keeps it on the travel Red List. This is despite a Guardian article today which compares the poor performance of the UK (and asks why it is allowed to continue) compared to other countries, particularly its former EU partners. The graphs in the article allow you to add other countries to the comparisons provided, as shown below with panama added.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/15/why-britons-are-tolerating-sky-high-covid-rates-and-why-this-may-not-last

Meanwhile, today saw another 202 new cases and 4 new fatalities; with 2,430 active cases, 42 in ICU and 178 in other wards.

15 OCTOBER 2021

NOTORIOUS WILDLIFE MARKET, LARGEST IN PERUVIAN AMAZON, BACK IN BUSINESS AFTER PANDEMIC HIATUS

On 13 October, National Geographic said that, after an overhaul aimed at modernizing Belén Market and preventing the spread of COVID-19, illegal selling of wildlife persists.  It is a sprawling outdoor bazaar in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.  The 16-acre market is in Iquitos, on a tributary of the Amazon — the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon and the largest in the world that can’t be reached by land.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/notorious-wildlife-market-largest-in-peruvian-amazon-back-in-business-after-pandemic-hiatus

CHINESE TELECOM GIANT ZTE IN DISPUTE WITH US COURT-APPOINTED MONITOR

On 15 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2017 ZTE agreed to the oversight of an independent monitor after pleading guilty to illegally exporting sensitive US technologies to Iran and repeatedly lying to investigators. The court-appointed monitor, James Stanton, has applied for an extension, saying he had evidence that the company violated the terms of its probation but without providing further details.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-telecom-giant-zte-in-dispute-with-u-s-court-appointed-monitor-11634290201

HONG KONG CUSTOMS SEIZE 3 TONNES OF AUSTRALIAN LOBSTER IN SMUGGLING BUST

On 15 October, RTHK reported that Customs had seized more than 3,000 kg of Australian lobster that they believed was to be smuggled to the mainland by sea. 13 people were arrested, some on suspicion of making inadequate import declarations.

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1615380-20211015.htm

30 COUNTRIES, INCLUDING THE US, AGREE ON PRINCIPLES TO FIGHT RANSOMWARE

On 14 October, SC Media reported that a virtual summit with 30 countries which represent some of the most important stakeholders in combatting ransomware.  The agreed statement is not an agreement to specific terms, but covers a wide variety of different ransomware choke points, including a cooperative move toward AML laws and penalties within cryptocurrency exchanges.

https://www.scmagazine.com/analysis/policy/thirty-nations-including-us-agree-on-principles-to-fight-ransomware

And –

PUBLIC US EFFORTS TO COUNTER RANSOMWARE

On 13 October, the White House published this Factsheet which said, inter alia, that the US National Security Council was facilitating an international counter-ransomware event with over 30 partners to accelerate cooperation on improving network resilience, addressing the financial systems that make ransomware profitable, disrupting the ransomware ecosystem via law enforcement collaboration, and leveraging the tools of diplomacy to address safe harbours and improve partner capacity. It listed the 4 main lines of attack of the Biden Administration, and the actions taken.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/10/13/fact-sheet-ongoing-public-u-s-efforts-to-counter-ransomware/

EBA PUBLISHES ITS WORK PROGRAMME FOR 2022

On 5 October, Market Screener reported that the European Banking Authority had published its annual work programme for 2022, describing the activities and tasks of the Authority as well as its key strategic areas of work for the coming year. This includes fighting money laundering and terrorism financing and contributing to a new EU infrastructure. Thera er also 2 “horizontal principles” – providing tools to measure and manage environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risks; and monitoring and mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

https://www.marketscreener.com/news/latest/EBA-publishes-its-work-programme-for-2022–36689314/

https://www.eba.europa.eu/sites/default/documents/files/document_library/About%20Us/Work%20Programme/2022/1021339/EBA%202022%20Annual%20Work%20Programme.pdf

SINGAPORE: PROPOSED CHANGES TO ACCOUNTANTS ACT TO ENHANCE REGULATOR’S OVERSIGHT AND AUDIT QUALITY

On 15 October, the Straits Times reported that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) have announced long-awaited proposed amendments to Singapore’s Accountants Act aimed at enhancing the reach and oversight of the industry’s regulator.  Consultation on the proposals continues to 13 November.  The Bill contains key amendments to enhance the audit regulatory regime and introduce measures for better compliance with professional requirements and standards by both public accountants and accounting entities.

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/banking/proposed-changes-to-accountants-act-to-enhance-regulators-oversight-and-audit

LITHIUM: CHINESE INVESTMENT IN LATIN AMERICA’S ‘WHITE GOLD’

On 14 October, the Wilson Center published a video “Explainer” saying that lithium is an indispensable ingredient for the global energy transformation, with 71% of global supply used for batteries, including in electric vehicles.  China dominates global battery production, so not surprisingly, it is on the hunt for a steady supply of lithium. Already, Chinese lithium giants Ganfeng Lithium, Tianqi Lithium and Zijin Mining Group are major players in Latin America’s famed “lithium triangle”.  As Bolivia tries to catch up to its neighbours, its lithium resources are also attracting interest from China. The same is true in Mexico, where China could help Mexico take advantage of the lithium boom 

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/video/chinese-investment-latin-americas-white-gold

SFO v PETROFAC: LESSONS FROM A COMPLIANCE PERSPECTIVE

On 15 October, HR Magazine reported that Petrofac Limited has been sentenced following guilty pleas to 7 counts of failing to prevent bribery. Petrofac must pay a fine of £47 million by February 2022 and a further £29.5 million by way of costs and confiscation within the next 3 months.  It says that Petrofac’s culpability ultimately sprang from the total failure of their internal compliance policies.

https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/comment/sfo-vs-petrofac-lessons-from-a-compliance-perspective

ILLICIT FINANCE UNDERMINES ‘GLOBAL BRITAIN’

On 15 October, a video commentary from RUSI says why it is important that the UK steps up on the world stage in countering illicit finance.

https://rusi.org/news-and-comment/video-commentary/illicit-finance-undermines-global-britain

AQ KHAN IS DEAD – LONG LIVE THE PROLIFERATION NETWORK

On 15 October, a Commentary from RUSI says that AQ Khan’s legacy may not be in the nuclear kit he sold, but rather in how he sold it.  His departure is a reminder of the limited progress made in countering proliferation networks.  He was often described as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb and probably the world’s best-known proliferator – the head of an international proliferation black market that helped supply nuclear and missile technology to countries like North Korea, Iran and Libya. It concludes that, until the international community gets serious about addressing the complex criminal infrastructure that underpins WMD proliferation today, Khan’s legacy will live on in the networks he helped to pioneer.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/aq-khan-dead-long-live-proliferation-network

UK: SUSPECT €560,000 FORFEITED AFTER NCA SECURED A FORFEITURE ORDER FOLLOWING A SMUGGLING ATTEMPT BY A DUTCH MAN

A news release from NCA on 15 October advised that the money – believed to be the profits of organised crime in Ireland – was found inside a suitcase belonging to 45-year-old Harm Stachouwer.  was stopped by Border Force officers at the Channel Tunnel on 25 February 2019 as he was about to drive onto a Eurotunnel train.  The cash was found in 2 large heat-sealed bags, which NCA officers believe was to avoid the attention of cash detector dogs. The bags were marked as ‘Swedish Twisted Fire Lighters’. 

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/cash-forfeiture-order-success-for-national-crime-agency

CALIFORNIA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FILED CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SEIU CALIFORNIA, THE LARGEST LABOUR UNION IN THE STATE

On 15 October, Jurist reported that Alma Hernandez and her husband Jose Moscoso had been charged with embezzlement and fraud.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/10/california-justice-department-files-embezzlement-charges-against-labor-union-executive/

UZBEKISTAN INTRODUCES LAW ON PRECIOUS METALS AND STONES

On 14 October, an article from Dentons says that all phases of the exploitation of precious metals and precious stones — from exploration and extraction to processing (refining), sales and export — are to be regulated by a new Law, which also aims to improve the system of testing and sealing jewellery, as well as procedures for quality control.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2021/october/14/uzbekistan-introduces-law-on-precious-metals-and-stones

UK: CRYPTOCURRENCY TRADER STOLE ELECTRICITY WORTH £32,000 TO POWER ‘BITCOIN MINING’ MACHINES

On 14 October, the Leicester Mercury reported that a ‘greedy’ cryptocurrency trader has been jailed after he was caught bypassing the electrical mains to power the machines he used, after he admitted ‘abstracting’ electricity worth up to £32,000 at 2 Leicestershire sites where he operated bitcoin mining machines.

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/jailed-cryptocurrency-trader-stole-electricity-6054392

GANG MEMBER FLOWN BACK TO THE UK AND JAILED OVER £2.8 MILLION CIGARETTE FRAUD

On 11 October, Lincolnshire Live reported that a fifth member of a criminal gang has been flown back to the UK from Lithuania and jailed for his part in smuggling 8.5 million illegal cigarettes into the UK in 2017. 

https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/gang-member-flown-back-uk-6040182

SPORTRADAR INTEGRITY SERVICES HIGHLIGHT THE SCALE OF MATCH-FIXING IN SPORT OVER THE LAST 18 MONTHS

On 13 October, Sportrader reported that it had detected more than 1,100 suspicious sports matches since the start of the global Covid pandemic in April 2020, with 655 of those matches detected in the first 9 months of 2021.

https://www.sportradar.com/news-archive/sportradar-integrity-services-highlight-the-scale-of-match-fixing-in-sport-over-the-last-18-months/

BRITISH SUPERMARKET CHEESE LINKED TO DEFORESTATION IN BRAZIL

On 13 October, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism says that UK farms supplying milk and dairy products for Cathedral City Cheddar, Anchor butter and Cadbury chocolate are feeding their cattle soya from a controversial agribusiness accused of contributing to widespread deforestation in Brazil.  They source some of their animal feed from companies buying Brazilian soya exported by the US grain giant Cargill.  Grupo Scheffer, one of Cargill’s Brazilian suppliers, has been linked to multiple incidents of environmental damage, including clearing swathes of tropical forest.

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2021-10-13/british-cheese-dairy-deforestation-brazil

POSSESSION AND TANGIBILITY: CLOSELY RELATED CONCEPTS LONG ESTABLISHED UNDER ENGLISH LAW FACE A CHANGE JUST AROUND THE CORNER

On 14 October, an article from Reed Smith explains that the existing position under English law is that one cannot legally ‘possess’, or have physical control of, something intangible (not including intellectual property rights, which are governed by separate rules). This means that a purely electronic or digital trade document cannot be possessed, and so cannot fulfil the legal functions of its possessable paper equivalent. However, the Law Commission has issued proposals that could change the position.  These refer to the possession of electronic trade documents and the accompanying draft legislation which suggest that more universal digitisation of electronic bills of lading and other trade documents will soon be a reality.  The article says that the Law Commission’s proposals herald a far-sighted and welcome modernisation of English law to reflect the new digital world.  What will be important going forward is that the global marketplace perceives that enough of the technological challenges around electronic trade documents have been overcome to facilitate widespread uptake. If that can be achieved, then English law will be ready to help realise the full potential of digital trade documents.

https://www.shiplawlog.com/2021/10/14/possession-as-we-dont-know-it

AS CHINA BURNS THROUGH COAL, NORTH KOREA STEPS IN TO FILL THE GAP

On 15 October, NK Pro reported that imports of illicit North Korean coal fuels concerns that shipments will continue even after Chinese energy crisis ends.  It says that North Korean trading companies have recently upped shipments of anthracite coal to China in response to surging demand.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/as-china-burns-through-coal-north-korea-steps-in-to-fill-the-gap/

UK: TRANSPARENCY IN SUPPLY CHAINS REQUIREMENTS OF THE MODERN SLAVERY ACT

On 15 October, the Home Office published the Government response to a consultation that ran until 17 September 2019.  It is said to be gathering views on proposed measures intended to increase transparency and compliance, improve reporting quality and extend the scope of the legislation.  The consultation sought views on proposed changes to transparency in supply chains reporting, including the areas statements must cover; potential features for the new Government-run reporting service for modern slavery statements; a single reporting deadline; civil penalties; and the extension of reporting to the public sector.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/919937/Government_response_to_transparency_in_supply_chains_consultation_21_09_20.pdf

UK: MONEY LAUNDERING TRIAL ENDS AS COURT REFUSES MORE TIME FOR PROSECUTION

On 15 October, Eastern Eye reported that the trial of a high-profile money laundering case ended without making any significant headway as a judge refused to grant more time to the CPS to produce evidence.  A couple and 2 others were accused of conspiring to launder £34 million between 2012 and 2018 with false identities by setting sham companies and accounts. They were also believed to have stashed away cash in 43 bank accounts before transferring the money from the UK to Pakistan and other countries.

https://www.easterneye.biz/money-laundering-trial-ends-as-court-refuses-for-time-for-prosecution/

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