OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 21

Panama Covid-19 update – 205 new cases and 3 new fatalities; 2,316 active cases, with 38 in ICU and 163 in other wards.

21 OCTOBER 2021

16 ARMED ROBBERIES AGAINST VESSELS IN SINGAPORE STRAIT DURING OCTOBER

On 21 October, Seatrade Maritime News reported that the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has issued another alert on boarding of vessels in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait with 6 incidents this month.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ship-operations/six-armed-robberies-against-vessels-singapore-strait-during-october

HMRC FORFEITURE ORDERS OVER 5 BUILDING SOCIETY ACCOUNTS UNDER THE CONTROL OF A MAN IS SUSPECTED OF FRAUDULENTLY CLAIMING OVER £20 MILLION IN FURLOUGH FUNDS FOR MADE-UP EMPLOYEES ACROSS 4 COMPANIES 

On 19 October, Stevens & Bolton reported that the 4 companies under the control of Rajanish Garibe. Garibe show very little evidence of trading activity and are all registered to a virtual mailbox service in London.  

https://viewpoints.stevens-bolton.com/post/102h8tf/quick-raj-change-your-name-to-maria-back-date-some-filings-at-companies-house

WHY IT MATTERS WHETHER SOFTWARE IS “GOODS” OR “SERVICES”

On 19 October, an article from Travers Smith LLP says that a recent judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has significant consequences for software providers which conduct sales of software to their customers through agents, both in the EU and the UK.  It also highlights a wider debate around whether software should be treated as goods or services and why this matters.  While it says that, sStrictly speaking, the CJEU’s judgment only settles the question of whether software is goods in relation to the narrow issue of the EU Commercial Agents Directive, it highlights a wider debate as to the treatment of software, for example, in relation to consumer law.

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/why-it-matters-whether-software-is-goods-or-services/

TIEA: MUTUAL EXCHANGE AGREEMENTS IN THE OFFSHORE WORLD

On 20 October, an article from Collas Crill explained that, according to the OECD, there are currently 518 Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA), which were entered into between 2000 and 2012. The article considers how courts have approached TIEA requests in 3 offshore jurisdictions – Jersey, Guernsey and the BVI.  While highlighting common principles, the article notes that an authority will not be expected to investigate and make determinations on issues of foreign law, particularly where they are not raised.  Neither will it be obliged to provide the TIEA request itself. Whilst some information must be provided, confidentiality is regarded as important.

https://www.mondaq.com/guernsey/tax-authorities/1123194/fears-for-tieas-mutual-exchange-agreements-want-to-rule-the-offshore-world

SWEDEN: DANSKE BANK HAS DEFICIENCIES IN ITS AML WORK

On 20 October, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority released a news release saying that Danske Bank has not sufficiently assessed the risk of how the bank’s products and services in Sweden may be used for money laundering and terrorist financing.  It must therefore rectify these deficiencies no later than 30 June 2022.

https://www.fi.se/en/published/press-releases/2021/danske-bank-has-deficiencies-in-its-anti-money-laundering-work/

UK: GOVERNMENT TASKFORCE TO TACKLE SHARP RISE IN SCAMS DURING PANDEMIC

On 21 October, the Guardian reported that a government taskforce representing banks, telecoms companies and consumers is to meet the Minister for Security to discuss ways to tackle the sharp rise in scams that has hit the UK since the start of the pandemic.  The relaunch of the government’s Joint Fraud Taskforce is accompanied by new charters committing the sectors used by criminals to actions to protect people’s money.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/oct/20/45-million-people-in-uk-received-scam-texts-or-calls-in-last-three-months

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/joint-fraud-taskforce

AUSTRALIA: REGULATOR ORDERS BLOCKING OF ANOTHER 5 OFFSHORE GAMBLING SITES

On 21 October, iGB reported that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has requested ISP in the country block access to another 5 offshore online gambling websites.  It says that ACMA has successfully blocked a total of 324 websites it said were operating in Australia illegally.

https://igamingbusiness.com/acma-orders-blocking-of-another-five-offshore-gambling-sites

NEW US EXPORT RULE WOULD LIMIT SALES OF HACKING TOOLS TO RUSSIA AND CHINA

On 20 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Commerce Department had unveiled export controls intended to curb the sale of hacking tools to countries including China and Russia.  It will require companies to obtain a licence to sell hacking technology to certain countries and takes effect in 3 months’ time.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-u-s-rule-would-limit-sales-of-hacking-tools-to-russia-and-china-11634759525

UK: LAW SOCIETY CRITICISES AML REGULATION FOR BEING ‘TICK BOX EXERCISE’

On 21 October, The Negotiator said that the Law Society for England and Wales has criticised the UK AML rules as a ‘tick box’ exercise that does not take a risk-based or proportionate approach to regulation.  It says that many estate agents in more far-flung areas of the UK away from prime central areas feel the AML regulations they must follow by law are overly heavy-handed given the low risk of money laundering involved.

https://thenegotiator.co.uk/law-society-criticises-aml-regulation-for-being-tick-box-exercise/

EU LEGISLATORS APPEAR TO BE APPROACHING COMMON GROUND ON SEVERAL KEY POINTS OF THE E-EVIDENCE CROSS-BORDER PROPOSAL 

On 21 October, EurActiv reported that a legislative proposal is intended to facilitate law enforcement access to electronic evidence in another Member State.  The proposal dates back to 2018 and has been the object of several discussions between the EU Parliament, Council, and Commission.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/data-protection/news/council-document-hints-at-progress-on-cross-border-electronic-evidence/

CUM-EX TAX FRAUD REVELATIONS FURTHER ‘BLOTCH’ ON IRELAND’S REPUTATION

On 21 October, the Irish Times reported that revelations that Ireland facilitated a financial fraud scheme that siphoned billions of euros from other European countries’ tax authorities have been described as a further “blotch” on the country’s record.  Irish-based funds and banks were used by a group of hedge funds to carry out the scheme, which was based around claiming multiple refunds of dividend withholding tax.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/cum-ex-tax-fraud-revelations-further-blotch-on-ireland-s-reputation-1.4706798

CUM-EX LEAVES LUXEMBOURG TAXPAYERS €2.2 BILLION SHORT

On 21 October, the Luxembourg Times reported claims that the tax fraud scheme cost Luxembourg taxpayers €2.2 billion over the past 2 decades.  The total loss of tax revenue in 12 countries – including Germany, France and Belgium – is now estimated to be €150 billion, almost 3 times the original amount.

https://www.luxtimes.lu/en/business-finance/cumex-leaves-luxembourg-taxpayers-2-2-bn-short-61713c0dde135b9236f31849

UK: INFORMATION-SHARING TO TACKLE ECONOMIC CRIME

A video from RUSI on 21 October consists of the Head of Intelligence at UK Finance Karen Baxter setting out a future vision of information-sharing to tackle economic crime in the UK.

https://rusi.org/news-and-comment/video-commentary/karen-baxter-information-sharing-tackle-economic-crime

SAUDI ARABIA ARRESTS 21, MAINLY PUBLIC OFFICIALS, FOR CORRUPTION

On 20 October, OCCRP reported that Saudi authorities said they have arrested 21 people accused of corruption and fraud.  In the latest round of arrests, authorities have detained public officials who allegedly received bribes to issue permits that should not have been issued or fix other administrative problems.  Among the accused are also managers of companies, bank employees, doctors and citizens who paid the bribes.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15359-saudi-arabia-arrests-21-mainly-public-officials-for-corruption

US CUSTOMS WITHHOLD RELEASE ORDER ON SUPERMAX CORPORATION AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES OVER RUBBER GLOVES

On 20 October, a news release from US Customs & Border Protection reported that officers at all US ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd.’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd., Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd., and Supermax Glove Manufacturing.  This is based on information that reasonably indicates their use of forced labour in manufacturing operations.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-issues-withhold-release-order-supermax-corporation-bhd-and-its

THE FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME

On 20 October, a report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that success in addressing transnational organised crime hinges on multilateral cooperation. However, existing cooperation regimes are ineffective at countering the rapid changes in the organised crime landscape and countries increasingly tend to turn to national solutions.  The report identifies 5 scenarios for the future of international criminal justice cooperation based on observed trends and raises thought-provoking questions about possible outcomes and impacts on transnational organised crime.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/GITOC-The-future-of-international-cooperation-against-transnational-organized-crime.pdf

VTB CAPITAL ALSO AGREES TO SETTLEMENT WITH SEC FOR ROLE IN MISLEADING INVESTORS OVER MOZAMBIQUE BOND OFFERINGS

A news release from the SEC advised that VTB Capital had joined Credit Suisse in a settlement for fraudulently misleading investors and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in a scheme involving 2 bond offerings and a syndicated loan that raised funds on behalf of state-owned entities in Mozambique.

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2021-213

https://fcpablog.com/2021/10/19/credit-suisse-pays-sec-99-million-to-resolve-mozambique-kickback-fcpa-offenses/

US: AUSTRIA, FRANCE, ITALY, SPAIN, AND UK HAVE AGREED A JOINT STATEMENT THAT THEY WILL WITHDRAW ALL UNILATERAL MEASURES REGARDING THE IMPOSITION OF DIGITAL SERVICES TAXES

On 21 October, KPMG reported that the US Treasury had made this announcement about a political compromise reached on a transitional approach to existing “unilateral measures”.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/10/tnf-us-treasury-statement-digital-services-taxes-austria-france-italy-spain-uk.html

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0419

VENEZUELA’S CRUMBLING OIL INDUSTRY IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL TIME BOMB

On 21 October, Oil Price.com reported that the collapse of Venezuela’s oil industry could lead to significant environmental consequences, and that oil spills are likely to increase due to a lack of infrastructure investment and maintenance.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Venezuelas-Crumbling-Oil-Industry-Is-An-Environmental-Time-Bomb.html

US CUSTOMS “WITHHOLD RELEASE ORDER” ON TOMATOES PRODUCED BY FARM IN MEXICO

On 21 October, KPMG reported another WRO from US Customs and Border Protection.  This one relates to fresh tomatoes produced by a tomato farm in Mexico and its subsidiaries.  It is said that information exists that “reasonably indicates” the use of forced labour involving the farm’s workers.  From 21 October, officers at all US ports of entry will detain fresh tomatoes produced by the tomato farm and its subsidiaries.  The WRO affects Agropecuarios Tom SA de CV, and Horticola SA de CV, and their subsidiaries. 

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/10/tnf-cbp-wro-tomatoes-farm-mexico.html

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-issues-withhold-release-order-tomatoes-produced-farm-mexico

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 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/  

FATF PLENARY 19-21 OCTOBER – JORDAN, MALI AND TURKEY ADDED TO GREY LIST; BOTSWANA AND MAURITIUS REMOVED

On 21 October, FATF reported on the Plenary, a hybrid (i.e. part-virtual) event.  It is reported that delegates finalised work in a number of important areas, including –

  • updated guidance for a risk-based approach to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASP);
  • a final report on survey results on implementation of the FATF Standards on cross-border payments; and
  • a report for government officials that focuses on the digital transformation of AML/CFT for operational agencies.

The Plenary also –

  • issued a statement on the evolving situation in Afghanistan; and
  • issued another on the risks associated with the financing of ISIL, Al-Qaeda and Affiliates. 

It also agreed (in the wake of the Pandora Papers, about which a statement was released) to release for consultation, the proposed revisions to FATF Recommendation 24 on beneficial ownership of legal persons to ensure greater transparency about the beneficial ownership of legal persons, and take action to mitigate the risks.  A draft of a proposed amended Recommendation 24 and its Interpretative Note are available.

The Plenary agreed to add several indicative examples of environmental crimes to the FATF Glossary to clarify for countries the types of offences that could fall within this category, depending on their risk and context. This, it is said, will help authorities follow the money and stop the criminal networks behind illegal waste trafficking, logging, and other crimes.

Jordan, Mali and Turkey were added to the FATF Grey List (Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring, while Botswana and Mauritius have been removed.

The list of “High Risk Jurisdictions” remains unchanged – North Korea and Iran.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-fatf-plenary-october-2021.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.buymea3coffee.com/KoIvM842y

HOW GLOBAL BANKS PROFIT FROM RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

On 21 October, Global Witness published a report saying that, through their backing of agribusiness, financial institutions have bankrolled and profited from the destruction. Banks and asset managers based in the EU, UK, US and China have made deals worth $157 billion with companies accused of destroying tropical forest in Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa since the Paris Climate Agreement – and netted $1.74 billion in interest, dividends and fees from financing the parts of agribusinesses groups that carry the highest deforestation risk.  JPMorgan has made deals worth an estimated $9.38 billion with companies accused of deforestation, making it the biggest deforestation lender in the US, EU, UK and China. 

https://www.globalwitness.org/documents/20209/Deforestation_Dividends_-_October_2021.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

AUSTRALIA: POLICE SEIZE LARGE AMOUNT OF LEGO AS PART OF $27 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING BUST

On 21 October, the West Australian reported that police have seized tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of Lego as part of a probe into an alleged money laundering operation.  Detectives seized a large amount of property at the addresses, including more than $100,000 worth of Lego and electronics.

https://thewest.com.au/news/police-seize-large-amount-of-lego-as-part-of-27m-money-laundering-bust-c-4297625

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

ASSAD REGIME ‘SIPHONS MILLIONS IN AID’ BY MANIPULATING SYRIA’S CURRENCY

On 21 October, the Guardian reported that the Syrian government is siphoning off millions of dollars of foreign aid by forcing UN agencies to use a lower exchange rate, according to new research.  The Central Bank of Syria has, in effect, made $60 million in 2020 by pocketing $0.51 of every aid dollar sent to Syria.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/oct/21/assad-regime-siphons-millions-in-aid-by-manipulating-syrias-currency

https://www.csis.org/analysis/how-assad-regime-systematically-diverts-tens-millions-aid

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 20

Panama Covid-19 update – couldn’t help noticing that Morocco, of all places, is banning flights to and from the UK because of rising coronavirus case rates – in the UK. Latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show tMorocco’s weekly rate of reported coronavirus cases on 14 October stood at 10.4 per 100,000 people. The UK’s comparable rate is 445.5.

https://panatimes.com/the-uk-has-more-new-covid-19-cases-than-france-germany-italy-and-spain-combined

Meanwhile, in Panama, fatalities have reached 7,300 with 2 more reported today. There are also 257 new cases reported. There are said to be 2,319 active cases – 37 in ICU and 167 in other wards.

20 OCTOBER 2021

PERU: PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE SEEKS TO PREVENT NEW AMBASSADOR TO VENEZUELA FROM LEAVING COUNTRY

On 19 October, La Prensa reported that the prosecutor’s office in Peru had sought a court order to prevent the new Peruvian ambassador to Venezuela, Richard Rojas García, from leaving to take up the post.  He is said to be under investigation for money laundering.  The previous month Panama had rejected the appointment of the same man as ambassador to Panama.  It is reported that the case involves suspected illegal financing of the 2021 presidential campaign of the Perú Libre party, of which he is the national leader.

https://www.prensa.com/mundo/fiscalia-pide-impedir-viajar-a-nuevo-embajador-de-peru-en-venezuela-panama-ya-habia-rechazado-el-nombramiento-de-richard-rojas-como-embajador-peruano/

FBI RAIDS HOMES OWNED BY RELATIVES OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCH OLEG DERIPASKA

On 19 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI conducted raids of residences in Washington and New York owned by the family of Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska.  A spokesman for Deripaska confirmed that the searches were carried out pursuant to court orders stemming from US sanctions – Deripaska has been under US sanctions since 2016.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-raids-home-owned-by-relatives-of-russian-tycoon-oleg-deripaska-11634673162

https://today.rtl.lu/news/world/a/1804273.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58971032

BELGIUM TRYING TO DILUTE EU BELARUS POTASH SANCTIONS

On 20 October, KYC360 reported that diplomats in Brussels have written to other EU Member States, requesting a loosening of restrictions on Belarusian potash to allow for changes to the potassium content of fertiliser imports.

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/belgium-is-pushing-to-dilute-the-eus-belarus-potash-sanctions/

https://euobserver.com/tickers/153285

CANADA: CASINOS USED FOREIGN HIGH ROLLERS AS MONEY LAUNDERING ‘PAWNS,’ 

On 19 October, Global News reported that the inquiry into money laundering using casinos in British Columbia has heard that in 2012 the RCMP said that such casinos were a very significant source of laundering activity, “using wealthy People’s Republic of China gamblers as willing pawns in their activity”.  An RCMP report provides new details about undercover operations targeting high-end patrons and loan sharks operating in 2 casinos in the province.  Lawyers for the casinos have argued that it wasn’t the company’s responsibility to investigate or reject suspicious cash transactions – but that the company “appropriately relied upon the RCMP and FINTRAC to provide direction.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8277350/bc-casinos-money-laundering-cullen-commission-closing-arguments/

PODCAST: MODERN SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS AND THE SHIFTING REGULATORY LANDSCAPE

On 14 October, Reed Smith released a 20-minute podcast which seeks to provide an overview of the latest developments in this field of law and to offer practical tips to achieve compliance.

https://www.reedsmith.com/en/perspectives/2021/10/modern-slavery-human-trafficking-laws-and-the-shifting-regulatory-landscape

ANTI-CORRUPTION IN GREECE

On 12 October, law firm Ovvadias S. Namias published an interview with its managing partner (also Ovvadias S. Namias) looking at key developments in Greece and key areas of compliance risk.

https://www.lexology.com/gtdt/intelligence/anti-corruption/greece#page=1

BUSINESS-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO THE UK-EU BREXIT TRADE DEAL: NOW FULLY UPDATED

On 15 October, Travers Smith LLP said that it had recently updated its cross-practice area guide to the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which breaks the TCA down into key topics of interest to business. 

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/a-business-friendly-guide-to-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal-now-fully-updated/

It also provided a 3-minute video guide to the TCA –

https://www.traverssmith.com/knowledge/knowledge-container/3-minute-video-guide-to-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal/

SINGAPORE TO COUNTER TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING WITH NEW PLATFORM

In its 21 October edition, Global Trade Review reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is readying the launch of a new digital platform to tackle financial crime in the city-state’s banking sector, with the initial phase of the project set to focus on the illicit use of trade finance.  Known as Cosmic, it is being launched together with 6 major commercial banks including Citi, DBS, HSBC, Standard Chartered, OCBC and UOB.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/singapore-to-counter-trade-based-money-laundering-with-new-platform/

PROSECUTING PROJECT RAVEN: A NEW FRONTIER FOR EXPORT CONTROL ENFORCEMENT

On 20 October, an article on Lawfare was concerned with the announcement of a case involving the the US DoJ “unprecedented” resolution of criminal charges against 3 former US military and intelligence members for conspiring to conduct computer network exploitation operations (hacking) on behalf of a foreign government, the UAE.  It is said that the defendants used the tradecraft they learned in the US military and intelligence community to assist a foreign government’s intelligence collection operations. The case marks the first time the DoJ has charged hacking as a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The DoJ resolved the charges with a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA).  It is said that it is clear that the DoJ is now focused on former US military and intelligence members and efforts to promote offensive cyber capabilities of foreign governments.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/prosecuting-project-raven-new-frontier-export-control-enforcement

6 MEN HELD IN SEYCHELLES ON SUSPICION OF SMUGGLING GOLD

On 20 October, the Seychelles News Agency reported that the Seychelles Supreme Court has remanded 6 men – a Seychellois and 5 Malagasy nationals – on suspicion of alleged gold smuggling.  They were arrested in Port Victoria after local law enforcement officers said they found around 23 kg of suspected gold onboard their vessel.

http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/15684/+men+held+in+Seychelles+on+suspicion+of+smuggling+gold

600 KG OF SEA CUCUMBER SEIZED IN INDIA’S SOUTHERN TAMIL NADU COAST

On 20 October, WION reported that an Indian Coast Guard team in southern Tamil Nadu state seized 600 kg of sea cucumber from a small boat that was involved in smuggling.  It notes that sea cucumbers are an important constituent of the marine ecosystem as they play a key role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.  In India, sea cucumber is treated as an endangered species.

https://www.wionews.com/india-news/600-kgs-of-smuggled-sea-cucumber-worth-4-million-seized-in-indias-southern-tamil-nadu-coast-422273

ZIMBABWE LOSES $30 MILLION TO SMUGGLED WASHING POWDER

On 20 October, Bulawayo 24 reported that the Detergents Manufacturers Association (DMA) claims that Zimbabwe is losing approximately $30 million a year through the smuggling of Maq washing powder. 

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-210692.html

TOBACCO IMPORTS TO NORTH KOREA LEAD TRADE WITH CHINA

On 20 October, NK Pro reported that imports of tobacco products far outstrip medicine, even as DPRK’s population remains unvaccinated.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/cigarettes-over-medicine-tobacco-imports-to-north-korea-lead-trade-with-china/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/640349/UK_slavery_infographic_v3.pdf

UK: TAX INFORMATION AND IMPACT NOTE (TIIN) RE UK FREE ZONES

On 19 October, HMRC published a Policy Paper, a tax information and impact note (TIIN), for businesses trading in or moving goods to or from the UK that wish to store or process goods in a free zone, and authorities responsible for operating free zones.  The relevant rules apply from 8 November.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-free-zones-customs-excise-and-vat-regulations-2021/the-free-zones-customs-excise-and-vat-regulations-2021

HOW ONE OF SCANDINAVIA’S BIGGEST BANKS DISMANTLED ITS CORRESPONDENT BANKING NETWORK

On 20 October, Global Trade Review published an article about Swedish lender Handelsbanken, saying that, after watching other Nordic banks become embroiled in financial crime scandals over the last few years, Handelsbanken wanted to do everything it could to minimise the risk of befalling the same fate. Its trade finance division, with its sprawling network of correspondent banking relationships in developing countries, was quickly identified as high risk by the compliance department.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/how-one-of-scandinavias-biggest-banks-dismantled-its-correspondent-banking-network

8 ARRESTED IN BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG FOR FRAUD AND ILLEGALLY USING CHEAP LABOUR BY EXPLOITING MIGRANT WORKERS

On 20 October, the Brussels Times reported that around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part of an investigation into widespread fraud and social dumping.  It explains that “social dumping” is the term given to illegally using cheap labour by exploiting migrant workers and thereby circumventing employment regulations.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/189995/8-arrested-in-belgium-and-luxembourg-for-fraud-and-social-dumping

MALAYSIAN GRAFT BUSTER HELD FOR STEALING $8 MILLION IN CASH UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 20 October, the Straits Times reported that a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officer is being detained for the alleged theft of $6 million cash held as evidence is now under investigation for drug trafficking.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysian-graftbuster-held-for-stealing-s81-mil-cash-now-a-suspected-drug-dealer

POLICE DETAIN 11 ACROSS EUROPE IN MAFIA PROBE AND THE TRADE IN LUXURY VEHICLES

On 20 October, Reuters reported that police in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria detained 11 people and raided 46 residential and commercial buildings in an investigation into tax fraud by the ‘Ndrangheta mafia.  They illegally claimed VAT by selling exclusive cars several times in different European countries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crime-europe/police-detain-11-across-europe-in-mafia-probe-idUSKBN2HA10D

SOUTH AFRICA’S ‘YOUNGEST’ MILLIONAIRE ARRESTED FOR ‘FRAUD’

On 20 October, Sowetan Live reported that forex trader Sandile Shezi became a millionaire at the age of 23.  He has been charged with fraud, and has surrendered himself in the presence of his lawyers. 

https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-10-20-sas-youngest-millionaire-arrested-for-fraud

US: $1.9 MILLION WORTH OF FAKE CHANEL EARRINGS SEIZED 

On 19 October, a news release from US Customs & Border Protection advised that officers at the port of Memphis selected for inspection a shipment from UAE en route to an apartment in Little Rock, Arkansas.  They found 500 pairs of earrings that had the recorded trademarks of Chanel. This was the same shipper and consignee of a previous, nearly identical shipment just days before.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/19-million-worth-fake-chanel-earrings-seized-destined-little-rock

MALTA: CUSTOMS SEIZE STOLEN CARS, LEADING TO ARREST OF CANADIAN CARJACKERS

On 20 October, the Times of Malta reported that the 12 cars were being shipped by container to Abu Dhabi, being shipped through Malta and this has led to the arrest in Canada of people suspected of being behind a series of violent carjackings. 

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/customs-seize-stolen-cars-leading-to-arrest-of-canadian-carjackers.908917

US ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS ON ITS WORK TO COMBAT ELDER FRAUD AND ABUSE

A news release from US DoJ on 19 October advised that it has issued its Annual Report to Congress on its Activities to Combat Elder Fraud and Abuse, which summarises the department’s extensive elder justice efforts to 30  June 2021. 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-issues-annual-report-congress-its-work-combat-elder-fraud-and-abuse-0

https://www.justice.gov/file/1443096/

US: CEO OF MAJOR DEFENCE CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH BRIBERY

A news release from US DoJ on 18 October advised that Frank S Rafaraci, 68, the CEO of Multinational Logistics Services (MLS), a large ship husbanding company that has received over $1 billion in US Navy contracts since 2010, appeared in court to face a criminal charge for his alleged participation in a bribery scheme.  MLS is a defence contractor that provides ship husbanding services, such as refuelling and stocking provisions, to US Navy ships at ports worldwide.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ceo-major-defense-contractor-charged-bribery

GERMANY: NEW REPORT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING DATA COLLECTION FILLS LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION GAPS

On 19 October, a new report says that KOK (a government-funded NGO network that coordinates and oversees victim support efforts across Germany) has published the first evaluation of its trafficking data tool.  It contains the first evaluation of the KOK data tool, which was used to collect information on more than 700 cases of human trafficking and exploitation between January 2020 and the end of June 2021. 

https://www.kok-gegen-menschenhandel.de/fileadmin/user_upload/medien/Publikationen_KOK/KOK_Data_Report_2021_englisch_web.pdf

BREXIT: UK FREIGHT EXECUTIVES TELLING EUROPEAN EXPORTERS TO BE PREPARED FOR FULL CUSTOMS DECLARATIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF 2022

On 20 October, Loadstar reported that European suppliers should be prepared for 1 January, when UK customs authorities will need full customs declarations completed to allow shipments across the border.  It says that any shippers hoping the UK Government would again drop the proposed regulations are likely to be disappointed, said the head of border industry engagement at the UK Border and Protocol Delivery Group, part of the Cabinet Office.

https://theloadstar.com/get-ready-for-full-uk-border-controls-in-january-is-the-message-to-europe/

US TREASURY RELEASES LONG-AWAITED SANCTIONS POLICY REVIEW

On 20 October, a Client Alert from Wilmer Hale reports on the Review which describes the US sanctions framework and the US Treasury’s future sanctions priorities.  It reflects on the evolution over 2 decades of US sanctions, noting various policy successes while emphasising the importance of modernising sanctions so that they can remain an effective national security tool.  The Treasury outlines 5 steps that will “modernize and adapt its sanctions policy and operational framework” to address “new, emerging challenges,” including cybercriminal activity, the role of digital currencies, and an increasingly complex financial and technical infrastructure.

https://www.wilmerhale.com/en/insights/client-alerts/20211019-treasury-releases-long-awaited-sanctions-policy-review

ARIZONA’S NEW ALTERNATIVE BUSINESS STRUCTURE (ABS)

On 14 October, an article from Greenberg Traurig was published by Law 360 says that since 1 January Arizona has had a new alternative business structure, or ABS, the first of its kind in the US in which non-lawyers may own a law-practicing entity.  However, one condition of a licence is that the ABS appoint an Arizona lawyer as its compliance lawyer.

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2021/10/published-articles/can-ariz-nonlawyer-ownership-create-a-new-type-of-atty

US: AUSTRALIAN SENTENCED FOR MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR TEXT-MESSAGING CONSUMER FRAUD SCHEME

A news release from US DoJ on 20 October advised that Michael Pearse, an Australian national who was extradited to the US from in January, has been sentenced to 109 months in prison for his participation in a fraudulent scheme to charge hundreds of thousands of mobile phone customers millions of dollars in monthly fees for unsolicited, recurring text messages without the customers’ knowledge or consent – a practice the conspirators referred to as “auto-subscribing”.  The scheme ‘earned’ Pearse and his co-conspirators at least $50 million, of which Pearse pocketed more than $10 million.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/australian-national-sentenced-more-9-years-prison-multimillion-dollar-text-messaging

UNAOIL APPEAL: APPELLANT CLAIMS NEW DISCLOSURES REVEAL ALLEGEDLY IMPROPER AND UNLAWFUL ATTEMPT BY SFO TO UNDERMINE A FAIR TRIAL

On 20 October, Yahoo News reported on the Court of Appeal case brought by Ziad Akle, a former executive of energy consultancy Unaoil, who was convicted of bribery and jailed in 2020.  His lawyers has accused the SFO of a “deliberate and blanket decision” not to disclose relevant material, undermining Akle’s right to a fair trial.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/uk-serious-fraud-office-weaponised-183701023.html

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