On 3 November, the Guardian reported that the US Commerce Department said it included NSO – as well as 3 other companies – on the so-called “entity list” because it had “reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulated facts, that the entity has been involved, or is involved, or poses a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”. In effect, it means that NSO will be barred from buying parts and components from US companies without a special licence. It also puts a cloud over the sale of the company’s software globally, including in the US.
On 3 November, the Irish Times reported that the involvement of Irish entities in the massive European tax fraud scheme raised a range of “issues of concern” for the Central Bank, the Irish parliament has been told. While Irish tax authorities were not defrauded, Irish investment funds were used as vehicles to carry out trades targeting larger EU countries, such as Germany.
On 2 November, Insight Crime said that a UNODC report has reported that organised crime groups in Latin America continue to expand into illicit synthetic drug production, including mass manufacturing of methamphetamine and fentanyl in Mexico, and experiments with synthesising party drugs in Brazil. Groups are said to be ramping up the smuggling of synthetic drugs alongside cocaine, and a plethora of new compounds are being ordered online and delivered by mail. It also notes that, since 2019, at least 19 alleged Mexican methamphetamine “cooks” have been arrested in Belgium and the Netherlands, spreading their expertise.
On 3 November, LSM reported that Latvia has fully implemented 16 recommendations of the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, partially implemented 19 recommendations, and did not implement 9 recommendations, according to the latest review of progress. The summary and conclusions of the report were adopted by the OECD on 15 October. Latvia has successfully concluded its first foreign bribery case and brought a second one to trial. The Working Group invited Latvia to report back in writing within 2 on the outstanding recommendations.