OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 29

Another Public Holiday today – in lieu of 28 November (independence from Spain) being a Sunday. Not a good day for Miss Panama, who reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel for the Miss World contest.

Panama Covid-19 update – “only” 94 new cases reported today and no new fatalities, with the number of active cases falling by 225 to 2,468; with 22 in ICU and 90 in other wards,

29 NOVEMBER 2021

COMPANIES WHICH ENGAGE IN CROSS-BORDER CORRUPTION FROM SWITZERLAND CAN BE PROSECUTED DESPITE DIFFERENT SETTLEMENTS REACHED ABROAD ON VIRTUALLY THE SAME FACTS   

On 25 November, LALIVE reported on a recent public statement from the Office of the Swiss Federal Attorney General re a case where a Swiss company failed to take all adequate and necessary internal organisational measures to prevent the bribery of public officials in Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/2f365438-ae4b-4ac9-bee6-d2d529d069e8.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1638187139&Signature=0boH0OTmbN2jM2Vb8fIJjrUa%2FYk%3D

PROPOSALS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST TRANSPORT OPERATORS THAT FACILITATE OR ENGAGE IN TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS OR SMUGGLING OF MIGRANTS IN RELATION TO ILLEGAL ENTRY INTO EU

On 23 November, the EU published a proposed EU Regulation that would allow the imposition of measures such as airport and port bans, bans on refuelling, withdrawal of licence etc.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/legislative_proposal_blacklist_transport_smuggling.pdf

INDUSTRY MISMANAGEMENT SWEETENING THE ILLICIT DEALS FOR SUGAR SMUGGLERS IN KENYA

On 29 November, Daily Maverick reported that the collapse of the country’s once-booming sector has created a thriving illegal cross-border trade. It says that 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 smuggling from Uganda. In 2020, sugar made up 48% of the goods smuggled into the country, according to the National Crime Research Centre.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-29-industry-mismanagement-sweetening-the-illicit-deals-for-sugar-smugglers-in-kenya/

AUSTRALIA: LIVE EXPORT COMPANY EMANUEL EXPORTS’ LICENCE RENEWED AFTER 3-YEAR BAN

On 29 November, MSN and others reported that Australia’s largest live sheep exporter has had its licence reinstated after a 3-year suspension, when the company’s licence was cancelled after an investigation into the death of 2,400 sheep on a sailing to the Middle East.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/live-export-company-emanuel-exports-licence-renewed-after-three-year-ban/ar-AARf5DO

RUSSIAN MERCENARIES USING EU-TRAINED SOLDIERS IN AFRICA

On 29 November, EU Observer reported that Russian mercenaries have taken command of at least one EU-trained battalion in the Central African Republic (CAR).  This comes after MEP having urged the EU to blacklist members of Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group, while listing its crimes in multiple conflict zones.

https://euobserver.com/world/153653

https://euobserver.com/world/153643

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20211118IPR17630/human-rights-breaches-by-russian-paramilitary-groups-in-somalia-and-in-cameroon

THE DARK WORLD OF SELLING FUNERAL POLICIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 28 December, Daily Maverick reported that a financial services provider offering funeral insurance cover and legal assistance to low-income earners, has accused its underwriter of attempted bribery, delaying payments to claimants and of flouting the sectors codes of practice.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-28-when-funeral-insurance-is-shady

LIQUIDATORS OF WIRECARD’S IRISH ARM FOCUS FRAUD INVESTIGATION ON 4 KEY AREAS

On 29 November, the Irish Times reported that liquidators are focusing their investigation into an almost €400 million fraud on 4 key areas.  It is also said that they continue to pursue a possible €43 million corporation tax refund from the Revenue Commissioners, as its reported income in the past had been allegedly overstated, and €70 million owed by debtors.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/liquidators-of-wirecard-s-irish-arm-focus-fraud-investigation-on-four-key-areas-1.4741091

KYRGYZSTAN: STATE COMMITTEE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY OF KYRGYZSTAN (SCNS) ALLEGES BANK ILLEGALLY ISSUED LOANS TO COMPANIES

On 29 November, 24KG reported that SCNS is said to have checked corruption manifestations in various spheres of activity of Aiyl Bank OJSC.  The loans were intended for socially vulnerable groups of the population, as well as for the development of agriculture and animal husbandry.

https://24.kg/english/215345_Aiyl_Bank_illegally_issues_loans_to_companies

NETHERLANDS: UP TO 250,000 NAMES WERE ON TAX OFFICE’S FRAUD ‘BLACK LIST’

On 29 November, Dutch News reported that up to 250,000 people may have had their names added to the Dutch tax office’s secret ‘black list’ of suspected fraudsters that left thousands in financial difficulty.  Many people had their benefits suspended even though there was no evidence they were committing fraud, and the fraud detection system quickly became so large and unwieldy that suspected cases were treated as proven cases, often with drastic consequences.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/11/up-to-250000-names-were-on-tax-offices-fraud-black-list

COUNTERFEIT MEDICAL DEVICES: ON THE RISE DURING COVID-19?

On 29 November, the Medical Device Network reported that, while counterfeiting has long been an issue in the pharma supply chain, the impact of fake medical devices is less well known. It refers to seizes of counterfeit medical devices, saying such counterfeits covers everything from tweezers to ventilators. 

https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/features/counterfeit-medical-devices-covid-19/

CONVICTED HUMAN TRAFFICKER TO BE REMOVED FROM UK FOR THIRD TIME

A news release from the NCA on 28 November advised that NCA officers located Albanian Hazir Lala, 39, in North London.  In April 2016, he was convicted in the UK of drunk driving, driving without insurance and possession and control of false ID documents.  In September 2019, he was again arrested for organised immigration crime offences which had been committed in Belgium later in 2016, and he was convicted in his absence in February 2018.  He was arrested again under the Immigration Act 1971 in 2020for overstaying and he was deported to Albania on 19 August 2020.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/convicted-human-trafficker-removed-from-uk-for-third-time

CHINA AMENDS TOBACCO MONOPOLY TO INCLUDE E-CIGARETTES AND VAPING

On 29 November, Jurist reported that e-cigarette sales have been functioning in the grey area of the law since they became popular in China. 

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/11/china-amends-tobacco-monopoly-law-to-include-e-cigarettes-and-vaping/

NEW REPORT ESTIMATES THERE ARE 35 MILLION “MISSING ENTREPRENEURS” ACROSS THE OECD AREA

A news release from the OECD on 29 November says a new report demonstrates that young people, women and seniors have fewer opportunities to transform their business ideas into reality.  The OECD/EU report shows there could be an additional 9 million people starting and managing new business in the EU – and 35 million across OECD countries – if everyone was as active in business creation as 30-49 year-old men.

https://www.oecd.org/industry/the-missing-entrepreneurs-43c2f41c-en.htm

12 ONLINE FRAUDSTERS ARRESTED IN GLOBAL OPERATION AGAINST COUNTERFEITERS

A news release from Europol on 29 November advised that, from 1 May until 14 November, Operation In Our Sites took place involving 30 countries and leading to the arrest of 12 suspects, the seizure of €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods and cash to the value of €460,468. It also reported that another operation, Carding Action 2021, an operation led by law enforcement agencies from Italy and supported by the UK and Europol, targeted fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised card details on websites selling stolen credit card data, known as card shops, and dark web marketplaces.  12 vendors selling compromised credit card details were identified.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/12-online-fraudsters-arrested-in-global-operation-against-counterfeiters

INDIA: THE LARGEST SEIZURE OF SMUGGLED I-PHONES

On 29 November, Times Now News reported that with the import of phones attracts custom duty of 44%, smuggling for high-end phones is on rise.  The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said that in the largest seizure of iPhones in recent times, it had uncovered 2,245 iPhone 13 Pro and 1,401 iPhone 13 Pro Max.   

https://www.timesnownews.com/mumbai/article/mumbai-largest-seizure-of-iphone-13-by-dri-worth-rs-42-crore/836045

NURDLES: THE WORST TOXIC WASTE YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF

On 29 November, the Guardian reported on the problem of the tiny plastic pellets floating in the ocean, causing as much damage as oil spills, they are still not classified as hazardous.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/29/nurdles-plastic-pellets-environmental-ocean-spills-toxic-waste-not-classified-hazardous

UK: 2 DIRECTORS BANNED FOR A TOTAL OF 22 YEARS OVER ‘ETHICAL WATER’ INVESTMENT SCAM

A news release from the Insolvency Service on 26 November advised that the 2 men were directors of Global Water Group Ltd which claimed to sell ethically-based investment bonds to support water projects around the world.  It secured at least £800,000 from investors between 2017 and 2020, but when it was put into liquidation in May 2020, the liquidator was unable to identify a single genuine investment.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/two-essex-directors-banned-for-a-total-of-22-years

KUWAIT ISSUES FINAL VERDICT IN CASE OF FORMER BANGLADESHI MP

On 29 November, Asharq Al-Aswat reported that the Kuwaiti Court of Cassation has sentenced a former Bangladeshi lawmaker, arrested in June 2020, to 7 years in prison for human trafficking and money laundering.  It also handed down similar jail terms to 2 Kuwaiti Interior Ministry officials and ordered their sacking from their government posts on charges of bribery in the same case.  It sentenced ex-Kuwaiti parliamentarian Salah Khurshed to 7 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine, but also upheld the acquittal of Kuwaiti MP, Saadoun Hammad.

https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3330956/kuwait-issues-final-verdict-case-former-bangladeshi-mp

DPRK HACKERS USE SOUTH KOREAN SERVERS AND GOOGLE DRIVE TO HIDE MALWARE ATTACK

On 29 November, NK pro reported that the Lazarus Group embeds malicious code in corrupted pdf disguised as Samsung job post.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/dprk-hackers-use-south-korean-servers-and-google-drive-to-hide-malware-attack/

SWITZERLAND: IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON SENIOR MEMBER OF ISIL

On 25 November, Switzerland followed the UN in imposing sanctions in respect of Emraan Ali.

https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home/seco/nsb-news.msg-id-86114.html

INTRA-EU REQUESTS FOR BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP INFORMATION MUST SHOW ‘CLEAR AND SUFFICIENT EXPLANATION’

On 29 November, STEP reported that a preliminary judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has set out some conditions that must be satisfied when a EU Member State requests cross-border tax cooperation from another when the targeted persons are not identified individually by name.  The case concerned a request for information sent by the French tax authority to Luxembourg in April 2017.  The conditions included that the requesting authority must provide a clear and sufficient explanation that it is conducting a targeted investigation into a limited group of persons, justified by reasonable suspicions of non-compliance with a specific legal obligation.

https://www.step.org/industry-news/intra-eu-requests-beneficial-ownership-information-must-show-clear-and-sufficient

THE FAR-RIGHT FRENCH NGO ALLEGEDLY SUPPORTING WAR CRIMES IN SYRIA

On 29 November, the Newslines Institute published a report claiming that SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOSCO, or SOS) allegedly provided moral and material support to pro-Assad militias accused of committing war crimes. 

https://newlinesinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/NOV-2021-SOSCO-NLISAPx.pdf

WCO PUBLISHES 2022 EDITION OF HARMONIZED SYSTEM NOMENCLATURE

On 29 November, KPMG reported that the World Customs Organisation (WCO) had published the new Harmonized System Nomenclature for 2022, to be followed by the approximately 200 customs authorities worldwide with effect from 1 February. KPMG observes that the changes affect over 1,500 HS codes, most of them in Chapters 84 and 85, relating to different types of machinery and their parts.  Moreover, new technologies such as smartphones, vapes, and drones received specific subheadings in the updated list.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/11/tnf-wco-publishes-2022-edition-of-harmonized-system-nomenclature.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

EUROPEAN GAMING AND BETTING ASSOCIATION (EGBA) BELIEVES THE EU NEW AML FRAMEWORK WILL ENSURE A MORE ROBUST AND UNIFORM FRAMEWORK ACROSS THE EU

On 29 November, iGB reported that the trade body was backing a new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) established as a centralised body coordinating AML and FIU across all Member States. 

https://igamingbusiness.com/egba-ec-rules-will-ensure-a-consistent-application-of-aml-standards/

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

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 28

Panama Covid-19 update – Independence Day (from Spain in 1821), with tomorrow also a Public Holiday…

Menawhile, as one waits with bated breath to see what effects the new Omnicron variant will have and when (or if) it is discovered here, the number of active cases has risen again, by 33 to 2,693 (possible the after-effects of the holiday week at the start of the month?), with 208 new cases and 1 new fatality reported today. There are 21 patients in ICU and 97 in other wards.

28 NOVEMBER 2021

MACAU ARRESTS 11 PEOPLE FOR ALLEGED ILLEGAL GAMBLING AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 28 November, Saltwire in Canada reported that Macau police have arrested 11 people in an investigation into an illegal gambling and money laundering syndicate.  Other sources allege that one of the arrested is Macau’s best-known junket mogul, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa – the founder and CEO of Suncity, one of Macao’s major casino junket operators. 

https://www.saltwire.com/nova-scotia/news/macau-arrests-11-people-for-alleged-illegal-gambling-and-money-laundering-100663764/

https://macaonews.org/gaming/suncity-ceo-alvin-chau-and-10-others-arrested-for-alleged-involvement-in-organised-crime-illegal-gambling-and-money-laundering/

CROATIA’S SOCCER SUPERSTAR, THE FORMER BOSS … AND A SPORT DOGGED BY SCANDAL

On 28 November, The Observer carried an article featuring corruption allegations and Zdravko Mamić, once the most powerful figure in Croatian football, who fled to Bosnia-Herzogovina on the eve of his conviction for fraud 3 years ago. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/28/croatias-soccer-superstar-the-former-boss-and-a-sport-dogged-by-scandal

BVI LEADER PUSHES BACK ON UK CORRUPTION PROBE

On 27 November, Politico reported that the premier of the BVI is pushing back against allegations of deep-seated corruption in the Caribbean territory even before an official inquiry has finished its work – with a report expected in January.  It began after ex-BVI Governor Augustus Jaspert went public with accusations ranging from mismanagement and graft to organized crime and cocaine trafficking with the participation of senior officials.

https://www.politico.eu/article/british-virgin-islands-leader-pushes-back-on-uk-corruption-probe

INTERPOL HAS ELECTED A TOP CHINESE PUBLIC SECURITY OFFICIAL TO ITS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE IN THE FACE OF WIDESPREAD CRITICISM

On 26 November, RFA reported that Interpol had elected ministry of public security official Hu Binchen serve for a 4-year term on the committee, although the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been known to abuse the Interpol “red notice” arrest warrant system to track down peaceful critics of the regime.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/interpol-election-11262021104543.html

8 PEOPLE CHARGED AFTER PROBE INTO CORRUPTION AROUND SCOTTISH NHS CONTRACTS WORTH MILLIONS

On 27 November, the Daily Record reported that a major investigation into corruption around multimillion-pound NHS contracts in Scotland has resulted in 8 people – including senior health board figures – being charged.  Former IT and communications chiefs and Irvine-based telecoms company Oricom are said to be involved.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/eight-people-charged-after-probe-25553697

AUSTRALIA: COMPANY WORTH JUST $8 WHEN AWARDED $385 MILLION NAURU OFFSHORE PROCESSING CONTRACT

On 25 November, the Guardian reported that a Brisbane construction company had only $8 in assets and had not started trading when it was awarded a government contract – ultimately worth $1.6 billion – to run Australia’s offshore migrant processing on Nauru.  It has been revealed that while KPMG undertook a pre-contract assessment of Canstruct International Pty Ltd, the government has since confirmed the assessment was actually undertaken on another company, Canstruct Pty Ltd.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/nov/26/brisbane-company-worth-just-8-when-awarded-385m-nauru-offshore-processing-contract

AUSTRALIA: $1 BILLION AND COUNTING – POKER MACHINE CRIME

On 28 November, an article from The Age said that state and federal authorities have evidence New South Wales’ 95,000 poker machines are being used as laundering machines for illicit cash that is “easily in the hundreds of millions” of dollars, with allegations that, nationwide, more than $1 billion from the proceeds of crime is likely being cleansed through pubs and clubs with gaming machines.  It reports on a syndicate effectively commandeering the pokies venue to launder tens of thousands of dollars, with a large number of people apparently involved in the co-ordinated scheme.  It also says that, since January 2018, only 5.5% of NSW venues with electronic gaming machines have submitted a STR to money laundering agency Austrac, despite evidence and intelligence suggesting the problem involves many more venues.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/1-billion-and-counting-investigator-reveals-size-of-poker-machine-crime-20211125-p59c0e.html

1 IN 6 VLCC HAS CARRIED IRANIAN OR VENEZUELAN OIL OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS

On 26 November, Insurance Marine News reported that, of the 853 very large crude carriers (VLCC) currently afloat, 141 have been involved in Iranian and/or Venezuelan oil trades during the past 2 years.  It also said that many ageing tankers had moved into sanctioned Iranian and/or Venezuelan trade during the pandemic.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/one-in-six-vlccs-has-carried-iranian-or-venezuelan-oil-over-the-past-two-years/

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/rare-earth-elements-where-in-the-world-are-they

HONDURANS VOTES FOR NEW PRESIDENT, AS CURRENT ONE FACES EXTRADITION

On 28 November, The Week reported that the election could remove the governing National Party from office for the first time since it took power in a 2009 military coup.  The leader in the polls is the wife of the man ousted in 2009, the National party candidate has been hit by allegations of embezzlement whilst a major, and the third candidate only returned to the country in 2020 after serving a jail sentence in the US for money laundering.  Current President Juan Orlando Hernández has been accused by US prosecutors of funding his campaigns with drug money and could be extradited to the US if his party loses power.

https://theweek.com/world/1007506/threat-of-violence-looms-as-hondurans-vote-for-new-president-and-incumbent-faces

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 27

Panama Covid-19 update – as Europe (and the US) worries over the new Covid variant; the number of active cases here has fallen by 4 to 2,660, with 210 new cases and 1 new fatality reported today. 23 patients are in ICU and 93 in other wards.

27 NOVEMBER 2021

ROTTERDAM AND THE COCAINE CONNECTION

A BBC Radio documentary about drugs smuggling through the port of Rotterdam, saying that European North Sea coast has overtaken Spain as the primary entry point for South American cocaine, bringing with it violence and corruption.  With gangs of “collectors” (some of whom “living” in empty containers, sent to break into containers and recover the drugs.  One such gang got stuck in their container and had to phone the police to be rescued!

CCTV image of “collectors”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0011s0k

6 PERSONS ARRESTED INCLUDING A DOCTOR FOR CODEINE SMUGGLING TO BANGLADESH

On 27 November, Devdiscourse reported raids in Barrackpore and arrest of 6 people, who are allegedly part of a syndicate involved in smuggling Codeine syrup, much preferred by drug addicts looking for a quick high, across the Indo-Bangladesh border.  It involved Codeine-Based Cough Syrup (CBCS), aka `Lean’ and `Sizzurp’. 

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/law-order/1824563-6-persons-arrested-including-a-doctor-for-codeine-smuggling-to-bangladesh

BREXIT: CERTAIN PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN CAN CONTINUE TO BE IMPORTED FROM THE EU FROM 1 JANUARY TO 30 JUNE

BIFA reported that the UK Border Operating Model has confirmed that the grace period for Prohibitions and Restrictions (P&Rs) on certain Products of Animal Origin (POAO) imports will continue.  Therefore, imports of chilled minced meat (beef, pork, lamb, mutton and goat); chilled and frozen minced poultry meat; mechanical separated meat from porcine, poultry and ratite or game birds; ungraded eggs; and chilled meat preparations can be imported, despite the implementation of much of the deferred customs controls from 1 January.

https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2021/nov/imports-of-prohibited-and-restricted-products-from-the-european-union?l=y

TURKEY DETAINS 27 TAIWANESE IN RAID ON ALLEGED FRAUD RING

On 27 November, the Taiwan News reported that Turkish police had detained 27 suspects from Taiwan in an operation to crack down on alleged fraud in the resort town of Bodrum.  This is said to be in connection with a network involved in people smuggling and online fraud.  The Taiwanese had rented a villa in Bodrum.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4358130

eATA CARNET: NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED ATA CARNET ISSUING AND GUARANTEEING ASSOCIATIONS GO DIGITAL

The International Chamber of Commerce has announced that the ICC ATA Gateway project aims to develop an ATA Carnet light issuing module for ATA Chain members who do not have their own issuing tools.   It is part of a plan to digitise the ATA Carnet (a sort of passport for temporary import of goods) and its procedures. With the support of the World Customs Organisation, ICC has already developed an ATA Carnet System, a centralised digital resource laying the cornerstone for the digitisation of the international customs document. 

https://iccwbo.org/media-wall/news-speeches/introducing-icc-ata-gateway-your-easy-solution-to-eata/

https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/ata-carnet/e-ata-carnet-project/

RUSSIA APPROVES RADICAL NEW ANTI-COUNTERFEITING PLANS

On 25 November, an article from Gowling WLG said that the Russian Federation’s Prime Minister has approved new measures to prevent the illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods, which will be effective until 2025, and which is expected to have a wide-ranging effect beyond Russia’s borders.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2021/russia-approves-new-anti-counterfeiting-plan/

IRISH CHAPTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE LEGAL GUIDE TO GAMBLING 2022

On 25 November, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald published the chapter on the Irish gambling framework, including relevant authorities and legislation, application for a licence and licence restrictions.

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/uploads/International_Comparative_Legal_Guide_-_Gambling_2022.pdf

US COAST GUARD’S COUNTER-MARITIME DRUG TRAFFICKING MISSION AND THE EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION

On 8 November, an article from the Center for International Maritime Security provided an overview of the US Coast Guard’s counter-maritime drug trafficking mission and analysed the extraterritorial jurisdiction created by the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.  A second part on 22 November discussed the prolonged detention of suspected smugglers aboard Coast Guard cutters and the interaction between intelligence gathering and the trial penalty during prosecution.

https://cimsec.org/pushing-or-overstepping-legal-boundaries-in-the-fight-against-maritime-drug-smuggling-pt-1/

https://cimsec.org/pushing-or-overstepping-legal-boundaries-in-the-fight-against-maritime-drug-smuggling-pt-2/

YORKSHIRE FRAUDSTER KNOWN AS ‘BRADFORD TONY’ ORDERED TO REPAY MORE THAN £1 MILLION FROM MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME

On 26 November, the Yorkshire Post reported that Anthony Davey, 50, a resident in Filey, was ordered to repay the money under POCA 2002, which he obtained through various mortgage frauds and money laundering offences committed in West Yorkshire.

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/yorkshire-fraudster-known-as-bradford-tony-ordered-to-repay-more-than-ps1m-from-money-laundering-scheme-3472300

INSIDE THE MANHATTAN DA’S ANTIQUITIES TRAFFICKING UNIT

On 23 November, an article in The Atlantic looks at the work of the Unit and Matthew Bogdanos, the 64-year-old prosecutor and chief of the Antiquities Trafficking Unit. The only one of its kind in the world, his squad of prosecutors, criminal investigators, and art specialists polices the loftiest reaches of New York’s art market — a genteel club of museums, collectors, and auction houses that buy and sell the relics of ancient civilizations.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/12/bogdanos-antiquities-new-york/620525/

UK: TICKET TOUTS LOSE FRAUD CONVICTION APPEAL

On 26 November, the Guardian reported that 2 ticket touts who made at least £11 million using websites such as StubHub and Viagogo to sell seats at gigs by artists including Ed Sheeran have had their appeals against a conviction for multiple counts of fraud dismissed.  It is said to be a landmark verdict that could have significant ramifications for the practice of ticket touting.  They had used “dishonest and fraudulent tactics” to purchase multiple tickets from primary ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster, Eventim and AXS, elbowing out genuine fans trying to buy tickets, then listing those tickets for sale to consumers at inflated prices.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/nov/26/ticket-touts-bzz-lose-conviction

MALTA: POLICE BUST LIBYAN TAX EVASION RACKET AT AIRPORT

On 27 November, the Times of Malta reported that a group of Libyan nationals suspected of illegally moving millions of euro through the airport are to be charged with money laundering and tax evasion.  It is said to involve around a cluster of some 5 Malta-registered companies which the group controls.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/police-bust-libyan-tax-evasion-racket.917662

FRAUD PROBE INTO BIRMINGHAM BUSINESSMAN WHO FLED TO PAKISTAN HALTED AFTER 15 YEARS

On 27 November, Birmingham Live reported that Nisar Afzal – accused of being a fraudster implicated in a £49 million mortgage scam – is no longer being pursued over the claims, marking a dramatic end to a 15-year pursuit.  Arrest warrants and restraint orders against him have been cancelled at the request of the SFO.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/fraud-probe-brummie-businessman-who-22253240

UK UPDATES CHARITY SECTOR SANCTIONS GUIDANCE

On 25 November, KPMG reported that on 1 November, OFSI published an updated Charity Sector Guidance and a blog post in response to Afghanistan’s Taliban takeover in August. 

https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/2021/11/25/uk-ofsi-updates-charity-sector-guidance051121/

UKRAINE: NEW SANCTIONS

On 24 November, KPMG reported that Ukraine had advised a new set of sanctions imposing restrictions including, among other things, asset freezes, restriction on the exit of capital from Ukraine, a ban on trade operations and the transit of resources, flights and transportation within the territory of Ukraine, and the suspension of the performance of economic and financial obligations, etc.  Those targeted include entities in the shipbuilding sector in Crimea; airlines Camus Air, UM Air and Khors Air; a Russian supermarket chain now operating on (former) Ukraine territory; those involve in cyber attacks and elections to the Russian Duma from the occupied territories; and domain registry re.ru.

On 28 October, Ukraine had also imposed sanctions on a number of persons linked to the Houthi in Yemen.

https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/2021/11/24/ukraine-imposes-a-new-set-of-sanctions111121/

A ONE-WAY RACHET: FATF REGULATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCY AND DECENTRALISED FINANCE

On 23 November, an article from King & Spalding explains that FATF has updated its 2019 “Guidance for a Risk-based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers”The article identifies the key updates.

https://www.kslaw.com/news-and-insights/a-one-way-rachet-fatf-regulation-of-cryptocurrency-and-decentralized-finance

GLOBAL COMMODITY TRADERS ARE FUELLING LAND CONFLICTS IN BRAZIL’S CERRADO

On 23 November, Global Witness reported that traditional pastoralist communities have been sustainably managing land in Brazil’s Cerrado for centuries, but now powerful agricultural producers seek to forcibly evict them in order to continue growing environmentally damaging cash crops monocultures like soy and cotton.  It says that its investigation reveals that global commodity traders ADM, Bunge and Cargill are dealing in conflict-tainted soy sourced from these producers, and in doing so are contributing to this land conflict and alleged human rights abuses, in violation of their responsibilities under UN and OECD human rights standards. 

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/environmental-activists/global-commodity-traders-are-fuelling-land-conflicts-in-brazils-cerrado/

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US ADDS 27 TO ENTITY LIST IMPOSING EXPORT RESTRICTIONS

On 24 November, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has added 27 entities to the Entity List for illegally selling technology to China, North Korea and other sanctioned countries, for supporting China’s military modernisation efforts or for contributing to Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programmes.  Included are 12 Chinese concerns. 

https://www.indiablooms.com/world-details/SA/32312/us-blacklists-27-entities-including-12-in-china-over-national-security-concerns.html

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2021/11/commerce-lists-entities-involved-support-prc-military-quantum-computing

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TRAFFICKING OF HUMAN BEINGS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ORGAN REMOVAL IN NORTH AND WEST AFRICA

On 25 November, ENACT Africa produced a report which provides insight and analysis to enable law enforcement agencies in North and West Africa to devise appropriate responses to the threat.  Trafficking in human beings for organ removal (THBOR) is driven largely by the global shortage in organs for ethical transplant.

https://enact-africa.s3.amazonaws.com/site/uploads/2021-10-04-interpol-organ-removal.pdf

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OECD: COMBATING BRIBERY OF FOREIGN PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS – AMENDED RECOMMENDATION

On 25 November, a proposal of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions had been accepted and a Recommendation dating from 2009 had been amended.  The Recommendation on combating bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions is replaced.  The new version seeks to update and expand upon the 2009 Anti-Bribery Recommendation with a view to further supporting the full implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention by reflecting recent trends and challenges in the foreign bribery field, to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.  New sections have been included on key topics that have emerged or significantly evolved in the anti-corruption area since 2009, in particular: 

  • Addressing the Demand Side of Foreign Bribery Cases;
  • Sanctions and Confiscation;
  • Non-Trial Resolutions;
  • International Co-operation;
  • Protection of Reporting Persons;
  • Incentives for Compliance; and
  • Data Protection.

The draft revised Recommendation also updates or broadens the scope of provisions on pre-existing topics, including enforcement as well as awareness raising, training and guidance.

https://legalinstruments.oecd.org/en/instruments/OECD-LEGAL-0378

 

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COMPONENTS FROM US, ASIA, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND EU IN RUSSIAN DRONES

A report from Conflict Armament Research contains a case study which looks at 6 different Russian-manufactured military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV – commonly called ‘drones’) that CAR documented in Ukraine.  CAR’s investigations found that the Russian military industry has been obtaining key components for these UAV – such as GPS modules, electronic parts, cameras, and engines – from the US, Asia, the Middle East, and EU, both before and after the start of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014, and despite an EU arms embargo on Russia.

https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/b9b6bca72ee54b0a9c5f683708248b32

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ARGENTINA: FORMER PRESIDENT CRISTINA FERNANDES DE KIRSNER AND HER CHILDREN ACQUITTED OF MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES

Athina 984 reported on 27 November that former Argentine President and current Vice-President Cristina Fernandes de Kirsner, as well as her 2 children, Florence and Maximo, have been acquitted of charges of corruption and money laundering involving the family real estate business. 

https://www.athina984.gr/en/2021/11/27/argentini-apallachthikan-apo-katigories-gia-xeplyma-chrimatos-poy-antimetopizan-i-proin-proedros-kristina-fernantes-de-kirsner-kai-ta-paidia-tis/

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IRANIAN BANKS WIN IN DISPUTE OVER SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT

On 26 November, the Washington Post reported that an arbitration panel has ruled in favour of 2 Iranian banks in a financial dispute over the 2015 closing of a Bahraini financial institution accused of helping Iran skirt US and UN economic sanctions.  A Hague-based tribunal ordered the government of Bahrain to pay more than $270 million in compensation for losses and legal fees stemming from its decision to close Future Bank.  Future Bank was established in Bahrain in 2004 with the backing of Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, 2 of Iran’s largest financial institutions. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/bahrain-iran-future-bank/2021/11/26/0a1d1b3a-4cad-11ec-b0b0-766bbbe79347_story.html

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