Panama Covid-19 update – the health ministry has announced that vaccination of 5 to 11 year olds won’t be mandatory.
Meanwhile, today sees 141 new cases and just 1 new fatality. Active cases are down to 2,017, with 31 in ICU and 139 in other wards.
2 NOVEMBER 2021
US: COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION RECEIVED 961 WHISTLEBLOWER TIPS AND COMPLAINTS IN THE YEAR TO 30 SEPTEMBER
On 2 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that this followed a record year in which 1,050 tip-offs were received. The CFTC whistleblower program issued six awards totalling more than $3 million in the last fiscal year (i.e. to September 2021).
NEW YORK PROSECUTOR MOVES TO SEIZE MONEY OF THE SONS OF FORMER PRESIDENT OF PANAMA
On 1 November, Newsroom Panama reported that a federal judge has been asked order the seizure of the assets of Ricardo Alberto and Luis Enrique Martinelli Linares, sons of former Panama President Ricardo Martinelli. Facing money laundering charges in the US, the 2 men were arrested in Guatemala in July 2020, and remain in a military prison there, waiting for the extradition process to be completed.
PRIVY COUNCIL: GROUND-BREAKING DECISION THAT WILL SERVE AS A CRITICAL TOOL FOR LITIGANTS AND JUDGMENT CREDITORS WHO LOCATE AND NEED TO FREEZE ASSETS IN OFFSHORE CENTRES
An article from WeirFoulds LLP on 27 October reported on a case from the BVI before the Privy Council in London. It says that the decision that will serve as a critical tool for foreign litigants and judgment creditors who locate and need to freeze assets owned or controlled by defendants or judgment debtors in jurisdictions that appeal to that Court. It says that the decision will be helpful to any foreign litigant – including judgment creditors – seeking to freeze assets owned or controlled by people or companies domiciled in the BVI (and other countries over which the Privy Council has final appellate jurisdiction).
NEW ZEALAND: THE AML/CFT ACT REVIEW
On 1 November, an article from Buddle Findlay was concerned with the statutory review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 which was launched in July. A public consultation was subsequently launched in October. Saying that it will continue to monitor and report on developments, the firm sets out more information on the consultation, summarises the consultation document and highlights the key areas of focus relevant to reporting entities.
PANAMA RECOVERS 4 OF 7 PRE-COLUMBIAN PIECES AUCTIONED IN GERMANY
On 1 November, diaadia reported that Panama has recovered 4 pre-Columbian pieces that had been auctioned in Germany, and will repatriate them in November, when it celebrates the bicentennial of Panama’s independence from Spain in 1821.
US: DoJ ANNOUNCES REVISIONS TO CORPORATE PROSECUTION POLICIES
On 2 November, an article from Greenberg Traurig reported that the Deputy Attorney General had announced that the DoJ was instituting certain changes to its policy on prosecuting corporate entities. They are said to signal that the DoJ is focused on corporate criminal liability and individual accountability.
THE LOOMING CHINESE THREAT TO INDIA
On 2 November, a Commentary from RUSI says that China is steering the situation perilously towards a flashpoint as it bears down on India along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Himalayan frontier that divides the nuclear-armed Asian powers. It says that tensions escalated again after talks collapsed, failing to resolve the pending issues.
UK: NEW CALL FOR LAWYERS TO BE PROBED IN POST OFFICE INQUIRY
On 2 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that legal academics have called for the role of lawyers in wrongful prosecutions by the Post Office to be scrutinised in the inquiry into the Horizon scandal. There are concerns that legal work on civil and criminal cases brought against sub-postmasters and mistresses will not be part of the inquiry which will begin preliminary hearings later this month.
ACCUSED HEAD OF SERBIA’S CRIMINAL GROUP SUES MEDIA
On 2 November, N1 reported that Predrag Koluvija, who is on trial as the head of a criminal group that produced several tonnes of marijuana on a farm in northern Serbia, has filed a lawsuit against the Crime and Corruption Investigation Network (KRIK) and its editor for describing him as “a narco boss”.
JAPAN TOBACCO INTERNATIONAL MAKING A MINT BY CIRCUMVENTING MENTHOL CIGARETTE BAN
On 2 November, OCCRP reported that Japan Tobacco International, has been systematically skirting Europe’s effort to ban menthol-flavoured cigarettes by introducing new products that secretly contain menthol.
US: DEFENCE EXPORT RESTRICTIONS ON ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA
On 2 November, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the US Department of State has issued a final rule that, from 1 November, amends the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to add and update entries from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Restrictions were originally introduced in May, and US policy to deny licences and other approvals for exports of defence articles and services to or for the armed forces, police, intelligence, or other internal security forces of either Ethiopia or Eritrea.
ISRAEL DESIGNATES 6 PALESTINIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS AS TERRORIST FINANCIERS
On 2 November, the Kenneth Rijock blog reported that they are accused of providing material support to the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine).
DUTCH CUSTOMS OFFICERS DISCOVER 4 TONS OF COCAINE IN ROTTERDAM
On 31 October, Deutsche Welle reported on what is described as “the largest haul discovered so far this year”. Europol says that the Netherlands and Belgium are becoming hubs for cocaine trafficking. The drugs were found hidden in soy bags destined for Portugal from Paraguay via Uruguay.
SUDANESE BANKERS STAGE ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ STRIKE AFTER MILITARY COUP
On 2 November, the Guardian reported that Sudan has been hit by a severe cash shortage as most banks and cash machines remain closed after a military coup prompted a nationwide strike by bankers. About 90% of bankers are said to be taking part in a civil disobedience campaign, and the Sudanese Bankers Association has said it will stage protests in front of banks across the country in a “revolutionary escalation” of its campaign.
ANTI-BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION RISK ASSESSMENTS UNDER FCA SCRUTINY
On 2 November, an article from Out-Law says that the FCA has pledged to “pursue serious financial crime control failings by regulated firms” after it fined Credit Suisse more than £147 million.
TWITCH URGED TO ACT AS MONEY LAUNDERING SCANDAL IN TURKEY EXPOSED
On 1 November, an article in Daily Sabah is concerned with what is said to be a huge, well-organised money laundering scheme being run on Turkish Twitch – a community-driven platform where people can support their favourite streamers with actual money. Hackers allegedly used the platform to launder $10 million.
COP26: IS CORRUPTION ON THE AGENDA?
On 1 November, an article from the Basel Institute on Governance asks if the world leaders attending the meeting will include a credible commitment to fight corruption. It says that corruption is strangely missing from the conversation, and suggests some things that deserve to be talked about. It points out that renewable energy and climate mitigation or adaptation projects are as vulnerable to embezzlement and fraud as any other major public investment. It also says that bribery, kickbacks, conflicts of interest and other forms of corruption can weaken environmental regulations and affect choices.
MYSTERY OF THE PRIVATE JET FLYING 1.3 TONNES COCAINE TO BRUSSELS
On 1 November, an article in the Brussels Times is about a private aircraft which flew to Brussels in August from an airport in the north-east of Brazil; said to be linked to one of the country’s leading drugs barons, a former military policeman now thought to be living in Dubai.
THE TALIBAN WILL HAVE TROUBLE REINING IN AFGHANISTAN’S OPIUM ECONOMY
On 2 November, an article in World Politics Review made this statement. It argues that the country’s dependence on opium revenues, given its economic problems.
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY RETURNS LOOTED BENIN BRONZE COCKEREL TO NIGERIA
On 2 November, Boodle Hatfield posted that Jesus College, Cambridge has returned a looted Benin bronze to Nigeria, becoming the first UK institution to do so. The decisions had been announced in November 2019 after a student-led campaign. It explains that the Kingdom of Benin, now southern Nigeria, was one of the oldest states on the coast of West Africa, and that in 1905 the sculpture was donated to the college by a former British Army officer and father of a student.
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