OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 4

Panama Covid-19 update – with the WHO warning of the danger of a resurgence of the virus in Europe, and authorities here warning of the dangers of complacency, only 84 new cases and 1 new fatality were reported today. The number of active cases have fallen again, to 1,776, with 31 in ICU and 129 in other wards.

4 NOVEMBER 2021

TURKEY ARRESTS 43 PEOPLE ALLEGEDLY CONNECTED TO SELF-EXILED CLERIC GULEN

On 3 November, Panatimes reported that at least 43 people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of being connected to Fethullah Gulen, the self-exiled Muslim cleric, who it believes was behind the botched 2016 coup.  Turkey has called the group the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

https://panatimes.com/turkey-arrests-43-people-allegedly-connected-to-self-exiled-cleric-gulen-who-ankara-says-masterminded-botched-2016

CAYMAN ISLANDS: ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE REPORTING DEADLINES

On 3 November, an article from the Maples Group was concerned with pending reporting deadlines under the Cayman Islands economic substance regime.  It also briefly touches on the process, penalties for non-compliance and offences.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/corporate-and-company-law/1127568/cayman-islands-update-economic-substance-reporting-deadlines

THE CRYPTOQUEEN’S £13.5 MILLION LONDON PENTHOUSE

On 3 November, the BBC reported on a money laundering trial in Germany which it says is shining a light on the purchase of a luxury London penthouse by cryptocurrency scammer Dr Ruja Ignatova.  It explains how she used British-based lawyers and wealth managers (and a Guernsey shell company – one of 12,000 such companies that own properties in England and Wales) – who continued to offer their services after she disappeared.

https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-59062959 

SUSPECTED RINGLEADER OF THE $21-BILLION ‘SAM GOR’ CRIME SYNDICATE MAY BE THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE DRUG LORD

An article from Toronto Life on 1 November was concerned with Tse Chi Lop, who runs a drug syndicate known to law enforcement as “Sam Gor” (Cantonese for “Third Brother” and to its members simply as the Company). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that Sam Gor’s annual revenue could be as high as $21 billion, the same as Citibank’s.  It is said that the group’s success comes down to technological innovation, relentless focus on customer experience, and mastery of globalised logistics.  Born in 1963, Tse Chi Lop grew up in Guangzhou in Guangdong province, the mainland neighbour to Hong Kong.  When he was 25, he moved to Canada, part of the wave of emigration before Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty.

https://torontolife.com/city/this-man-is-the-jeff-bezos-of-the-international-drug-trade/

IRAN SEIZED VIETNAMESE OIL TANKER

On 3 November, Dryad Global reported claims by US officials that Iran seized a Vietnamese-flagged oil tanker, the MV Sothys, in the Gulf of Oman last month and still hold the vessel off Bandar Abbas.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/iran-seized-vietnamese-oil-tanker-us-official-0

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ORDERS FEDERAL AGENCIES TO FIX HUNDREDS OF CYBER FLAWS

On 3 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the administration had issued a sweeping new order mandating that nearly all federal agencies patch hundreds of cybersecurity vulnerabilities that are considered major risks for damaging intrusions into government computer systems.  The new requirement is described as one of the most wide-reaching cybersecurity mandates ever imposed on the federal government. It covers about 200 known security flaws identified by cybersecurity professionals between 2017 and 2020 and an additional 90 discovered in 2021 alone that have generally been observed being used by malicious hackers.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-administration-to-order-federal-agencies-to-fix-hundreds-of-cyber-flaws-11635937200

SOUTH AFRICA A CRITICAL NODE IN GLOBAL HEROIN SMUGGLING RING

On 3 November, an article from the Daily Maverick said that a recent sting operation provided a look into the world of undercover agents, secret recordings, sting operations and shipments via South Africa, which appears to be a ‘preferred destination’ for global drug smuggling.  It says that an intricate sting operation orchestrated via the US has resulted in the arrest of a suspected international drug smuggler from Iran whose alleged operations stretch to several countries, including South Africa, which he seemed to prefer as a destination through which to pump heroin.  Malek Mohammad Balouchzehi (aka Malek Khan) was detained in Nairobi on 6 October and 3 days later sent to the US.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-03-south-africa-a-critical-node-in-global-heroin-smuggling-ring-sting-operation-reveals/

PARAGUAY ASSEMBLES TEAM TO RESPOND TO AML/CFT ASSESSMENT REPORT

On 3 November, Judiciales.net reported that Paraguay had received the first mutual evaluation report and the executive summary sent by the evaluation team of FATF-style regional body,  GAFILAT.  It is said that the report was less positive than expected. And that GAFILAT remains concerned about the response of the justice system to events linked to economic crimes.

https://www.judiciales.net/poder-judicial-ratifica-a-equipo-tecnico-para-responder-a-gafilat/

AUCKLAND FINANCE FIRM, SON AND MOTHER APPEAL FINES FOR HIDING CHINESE-CANADIAN BUSINESSMAN’S MILLIONS

On 3 November, the New Zealand Herald reported that they are attempting to overturn millions of dollars in court-ordered fines after failing to report $53.4 million of suspicious transactions from an international mogul accused of running a huge pyramid scheme.  Their 2009 trial was the first criminal case of its kind in New Zealand’s courts since specific AML laws were introduced in 2009.  The funds all belonged to international businessman Xiao Hua Gong, also known as Edward Gong.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/auckland-finance-firm-son-and-mum-operators-appeal-fines-for-hiding-chinese-canadian-businessmans-millions/6723DQYOQBSU4TT3NXROFMC4CA/

IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS TO RESUME IN NOVEMBER AFTER 5 MONTHS

On 4 November, EurActiv reported that Iran has agreed to resume talks on 29 November with world powers on reviving a nuclear deal after a five-month gap, with the US urging a quick resolution.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/iran-nuclear-talks-to-resume-november-29-after-five-months/

SPAIN BUSTS MIGRANT SMUGGLERS ACTIVE ALONG THE BALKAN ROUTE

On 4 November, a news release from Europol advised that Spanish National, together with law enforcement authorities from Bosnia and Hertzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Romania and Slovenia and supported by Europol and Eurojust, dismantled a criminal network facilitating illegal immigration along the Balkan route. The suspects used vans and trucks to hide the irregular migrants while transporting them in life-threatening conditions.  The amounts charged by the smugglers were also very high; in this case the suspects asked would-be migrants for between €5,000 to €8,000 for transporting one person from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Italy or Spain. They asked €3,000 for just the “trip” from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Slovenia. In total, Pakistani migrants would have paid the suspects up to €20,000 to reach their final European destination. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/spain-busts-migrant-smugglers-active-along-balkan-route

LATVIAN AUTHORITIES CONFISCATE PROPERTY WORTH €250,000 IN MAGNITSKY CASE

On 4 November, OCCRP reported that Latvian state police had seized from a Russian businessman €250,000 euro worth of real estate as part of an ongoing investigation into a cross-border money laundering scheme first uncovered by late Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15434-latvian-authorities-confiscate-property-worth-250k-in-magnitsky-case

UK: CPS LOSES SUPREME COURT APPEAL IN ITS BID TO RECOVER NEARLY £1.5 MILLION FROM MEN CONVICTED FOR CHEATING THE PUBLIC REVENUE

On 4 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that in the case the Court was asked to decide whether a proprietary claim brought by a company against its directors to recover proceeds of crime received in breach of fiduciary duty can be asserted in priority to a confiscation order.  It also considered whether the illegality of directors could be attributed to the company in circumstances where the company suffered no loss and stood to profit from the crime.  Robert Faichney and David Perrin had exploited their position as directors of Vantis Tax Ltd to make a secret profit of £4.55 million in breach of fiduciary duty.  Aquila Advisory Ltd, which had acquired Vantis’ proprietary rights, asserted that it has a proprietary claim to the secret profit which has priority over the confiscation orders, leaving nothing to satisfy the orders obtained under POCA.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/cps-fails-in-supreme-court-bid-to-recover-confiscated-15m/5110400.article

ITALY: EX-CALABRIAN COUNCILLOR JAILED FOR ‘NDRANGHETA VOTE BUYING SCHEME

On 4 November, OCCRP reported that a former regional councillor in the southern Italian region of Calabria, Francesco Talarico, who ran for office in 2018, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for having dealt with an entrepreneur affiliated with the local ‘Ndranghetta Mafia.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15428-italy-ex-calabrian-councillor-jailed-for-ndrangheta-vote-buying-scheme

INDIA: CUSTOMS OFFICIALS SEIZE 400-YEAR-OLD IDOL

On 3 November, The Hindu reported that Chennai Air Cargo Customs has seized a 130 kg brass Nrithya Ganapathi idol, which is said to be over 400 years old.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/customs-officials-seize-400-year-old-idol-in-chennai/article37330609.ece

SCOTTISH PUPPY BREEDER CHARGED WITH ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN ‘ORGANISED CRIME’ AND VET BOSS CHARGED WITH DRUG OFFENCES

On 3 November, the Daily Record reported that a puppy breeder who runs a vet practice has been charged with involvement in “serious and organised crime”.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scots-puppy-breeder-charged-alleged-25367115

WILFUL BLINDNESS AND THE FAILURE TO PREVENT MODEL OF CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY

The Autumn issue of The Knowledge newsletter from law firm Corker Bining included an article about a case which is an opportunity to consider the meaning of the legal concept of deliberate ignorance (aka wilful or Nelsonian blindness) and its application to criminal law.

https://corkerbinning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/The-Knowledge_Autumn-2021.pdf

POCA: HOW THE CONFISCATION REGIME CAN SPREAD ITS TENTACLES INTO THE LIVES OF INNOCENT VICTIMS

Another article in the Autumn issue of The Knowledge newsletter from law firm Corker Bining deals with a case demonstrating how the workings of the confiscation regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 can affect otherwise innocent parties.  The case involved saw an elderly widow who was also vulnerable because of chronic illness enter into a relationship with a man who encouraged her to invest in a land banking scheme and then in wine – in each case she lost his investment.  After a fraud conviction, the FCA argued that the fraudster’s assets included a share in the property in which the widow had invested.  The FCA’s case was that she was simply owed a debt and that she did not own any part of the property.  The matter leads the article to warn that a careful analysis of the legal and equitable interests is required in each case, an analysis which does not necessarily form part of the day to day experience of criminal lawyers.

https://corkerbinning.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/The-Knowledge_Autumn-2021.pdf

WEAPONS OF THE WAR IN UKRAINE

Conflict Armament Research has published a report which is the result of a 3-year study into the supply sources of weapons, ammunition, vehicles, armour, and artillery used in the conflict, and used by armed formations of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk ‘People’s Republics’ (DPR and LPR) in eastern Ukraine.

https://www.conflictarm.com/download-file/?report_id=3558&file_id=3575

SFO RECLAIMS £100,000 FROM UNAOIL EXECUTIVE

On 3 November, a news release from SFO advised that Stephen Whiteley, a former senior executive from Unaoil, has been ordered to repay criminal gains of almost £100,000.  He is said to have paid over $500,000 in bribes to win a $55 million contract for his employer, Unaoil, to supply oil infrastructure in Iraq.

https://www.sfo.gov.uk/2021/11/03/sfo-reclaims-100000-from-unaoil-executive/

WHAT IS AMLD6? THE SIXTH EU AML DIRECTIVE

An article from The Cube looks at this Directive which came into force on 3 December 2020, and which directs, but more importantly, instructs all EU Member States to enhance and enact current ‘Economic Crime’ legislation — requiring all obligated entities to have implemented a distilled, minimal subset of checks and balances within their Anti-Financial Crime framework by 3 June 2021.  Currently, the EU Commission has a programme that evaluates AMLD6 effectiveness via continued monitoring and revision.  Firms can (and should) be active participants by conveying success or conflicting fault lines that need to be iron out, thus provide the EU Commission with a viable channel to execute their comprehensive impact report by Q4 2023.

https://www.cube.global/resource/what-is-amld6-deterring-and-detecting-illicit-finance/

FBI SAYS RANSOMWARE GANGS ARE USING FUTURE MERGER AND ACQUISITION INFO TO PRESSURE VICTIMS

On 2 November, The Record reported that the FBI says that several ransomware gangs have used financial information, such as stock valuations and upcoming mergers and acquisitions, to put pressure on victims and force them into paying large ransom demands.

https://therecord.media/fbi-says-ransomware-gangs-are-using-future-merger-and-acquisition-info-to-pressure-victims/

COLOMBIAN DRUG KINGPIN AND PARAMILITARY LEADER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANISATION

A news release from US DoJ on 2 November advised that Daniel Rendon Herrera (aka “Don Mario”), a citizen of Colombia, pleaded guilty to engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation – Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC).

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/colombian-drug-kingpin-and-paramilitary-leader-pleads-guilty-operating-continuing

PEOPLE SMUGGLING NETWORK IN NETHERLANDS AND HUNGARY DISMANTLED

On 3 November, a news release from Eurojust advised that Eurojust has supported the Dutch and Hungarian authorities in dismantling a people smuggling network.  During an action day, the Dutch authorities arrested 2 suspects, who organised the transfer of irregular Syrian migrants from the Hungarian-Serbian border into the EU. The suspects allegedly hired 2 drivers of illegal transports, who were arrested earlier this year in Hungary. Those arrests led to the setting up of a joint investigation team (JIT), with support and funding from Eurojust.

https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/people-smuggling-network-netherlands-and-hungary-dismantled

MEXICO TRIES TO HALT AUCTIONS OF PRE-COLUMBIAN ARTEFACTS IN PARIS

On 4 November, a post from Boodle Hatfield said that the Mexican Embassy had expressed its deep concern about the legality of the sales.  However, the auction house had already sold a group of more than 40 Islamic and pre-Christian objects on 2 November, alongside 192 other antiquities.  The next sale is scheduled for 10 December.  The Mexican authorities have also informed UNESCO.

https://artlawandmore.com/2021/11/04/mexico-tries-to-halt-auctions-of-pre-columbian-artefacts-in-paris/

NORTH KOREA CAN MAKE MORE URANIUM FOR NUCLEAR BOMBS THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT

On 4 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that North Korea has the capacity to make more base ingredients for nuclear bombs than previously believed, according to new research, suggesting the Kim Jong Un regime possesses the potential to accelerate the earliest stages of production.  The nation’s output of uranium—a fissile material for nuclear weapons when enriched — is just a fraction of what could be produced.  Meanwhile, Defense One says that satellite photos show accelerated mining efforts but the meaning of the activity is still unclear.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-can-make-more-uranium-for-nuclear-bombs-than-previously-thought-11636006162

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/11/north-korean-uranium-mining-picked-2017-2020/186620/

KOSOVO SANCTIONS FOR 7 INDIVIDUALS AND 1 ENTITY LINKED TO HIZBOLLAH

On 27 October, the Republic of Kosovo imposed sanctions corresponding to those previously imposed by the US and Qatar on 29 September.  Those designated are Ali Reda Hassan al-Banai; Ali Reda al-Qassabi Lari; Abd al-Muayyid al-Banai; Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Nabi Shams; Yahya Muhammad al-Abd-al-Muhsin; Majdi Fa’iz al-Ustadz; Sulaiman al-Banai and AlDar Properties.

https://kryeministri.rks-gov.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Vendimet-e-Mbledhjes-se-42-te-te-Qeverise-se-Republikes-se-Kosoves.pdf

THE 15 COMMON DATA FALLACIES TO AVOID

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/here-are-15-common-data-fallacies-to-avoid

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE OFSI ANNUAL REVIEW: 2020 – 2021

On 4 November, an article from K&L Gates LLP said that the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) of HM Treasury published its annual review for 2020 to 2021 on 14 October, and covering a period it which it moved from implementing an EU sanctions framework into the new UK autonomous regulations at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. The article identifies what it says are 6 key takeaways from the report.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/lessons-learned-from-the-ofsi-annual-4985355/

ETHIOPIA-TURKEY PACT FUELS SPECULATION ABOUT DRONE USE IN TIGRAY WAR

On 4 November, the Guardian reported on a military cooperation agreement between Ethiopia and Turkey, and reports that Ethiopia wants to deploy armed Turkish drones in its war against forces from the Tigray region. It is said to be evidence that Ethiopia is still shopping for drones and other arms.  Turkey has emerged as a leader in drone technology, with the TB2, made by Baykar Makina, a company whose chief technology officer, Selçuk Bayraktar, is married to President Erdoğan’s younger daughter.  The newspaper also says that the rapid spread of Turkey’s drone technology, and the authoritarian nature of some of the buyers, alarms some commentators.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/04/ethiopia-turkey-pact-fuels-speculation-about-drone-use-in-tigray-war

US OFFERS $10 MILLION REWARD FOR INFORMATION ON CYBERCRIME GROUP DARKSIDE

On 4 November, the Jerusalem Post and others reported that the US Department of State has announced a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any individual holding a key leadership position in cybercrime group DarkSide – plus a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of an individual attempting to participate in a DarkSide ransomware incident. DarkSide is said by the FBI to be based in Russia, and is said to have been responsible for the recent attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/us-offers-10-million-reward-for-info-on-cybercrime-group-darkside-684079

US: OWNER OF CROWDFUNDING REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT COMPANY SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR MAIL FRAUD

A news release from US DoJ on 4 November advised that Daniel Summers, 69, from Florida, had been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for mail fraud.  As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Summers to pay $486,874.11 in restitution and, separately, entered a forfeiture money judgment against him in the amount of $739,910, the proceeds of the fraud scheme.  He had company called Realty E Vest (aka IHT Realty Group) which operated an internet crowdfunding investment platform for real estate development projects. 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/owner-crowdfunding-real-estate-investment-company-sentenced-federal-prison-mail-fraud

“PLUGWALKJOE” INDICTED FOR $784,000 CRYPTOCURRENCY THEFT SCHEME

On 4 November, the Cointelegraph reported that Joseph O’Connor (aka PlugWalkJoe) had been indicted on an array of charges relating to a May 2019 cryptocurrency exchange hack.  US authorities believe O’Connor utilised SIM swap attacks (a fraud where 2FA phone calls and text messages are rerouted to a device controlled by the scammer).

https://cointelegraph.com/news/plugwalkjoe-indicted-for-784k-cryptocurrency-theft-scheme

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

HONDURAS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ARRESTED ON MURDER AND DRUG-TRAFFICKING CHARGES

On 4 November, France 24 reported that Honduran authorities had arrested presidential candidate Santos Rodriguez over accusations of money laundering related to drug-trafficking and homicide, including the murder of a DEA informantless than a month ahead of presidential elections in which the main candidates all face accusations of either corruption or drug trafficking.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211104-honduras-presidential-candidate-arrested-on-murder-drug-trafficking-charges

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

SRI LANKA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 4 November, FATF-style regional body APG published the 6th follow-up report following the original mutual evaluation report of 2015.  As is usual with such reports, technical compliance only is dealt with, and the report does not analyse any progress Sri Lanka has made to improve its effectiveness.  In keeping with the APG procedures, any reported developments with effectiveness are only presented in summary form and are not subject to analysis.  Following the 2015 MER, Sri Lanka was placed in expedited enhanced follow-up.  The report notes that t Sri Lanka has taken steps to improve its technical compliance and as a result of this progress, Sri Lanka has been re-rated on Recommendation 32.  However, insufficient progress has been made to justify a re-rating of 40.  Sri Lanka now has 32 Recommendations rated C/LC.  It will remain in enhanced follow[1]up, and will continue to report back to the APG on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures, with the 7th progress report due on 1 June 2022.

http://www.apgml.org/news/details.aspx?pcPage=1&n=3177

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

NEW NSO SANCTIONS COULD SPARK A GLOBAL TURN AGAINST SPYWARE

On 4 November, the Washington Post asked if, in light of the US addition of the NSO Group to its Entity List, will other nations make similar moves against makers of hacking tools?  After all, it says, they’ve enabled an explosion in sophisticated digital spying by government and law enforcement agencies across the globe. The 4 companies are Israel’s NSO Group and Candiru, Russian security firm Positive Technologies, and Singapore-based Computer Security Initiative Consultancy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/11/04/new-nso-sanctions-could-spark-global-turn-against-spyware/

https://therecord.media/us-sanctions-four-companies-selling-hacking-tools-including-nso-group-candiru/

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/04/2021-24123/addition-of-certain-entities-to-the-entity-list

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2021/11/commerce-adds-nso-group-and-other-foreign-companies-entity-list

ASSESSING WILDLIFE TRADE ON E-COMMERCE SITES IN CHINA, WITH A FOCUS ON MAMMOTH IVORY

On 3 November, the Wildlife Justice Commission published a report which says that analysis of research reveals that the majority of advertised wildlife products in China are legally permitted for sale.  However, the prevalence of mammoth ivory found legally for sale raises concerns about perpetuating demand for elephant ivory products which is now illegal in China.  The research looked at e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and 1688, concluding that measures taken by these platforms and by the Chinese government have helped curb online sales of illegal wildlife products.  It explains that, as climate change drives the thawing of the Arctic permafrost, more woolly mammoth remains are being unearthed in Siberia; and that “mammoth hunting” has become the main source of income in more remote areas.  It is said that the scale of the mammoth ivory trade documented in the research raises concerns as to whether mammoth ivory demand levels can be legally met while such measures are in place.

https://wildlifejustice.org/assessing-wildlife-trade-on-e-commerce-sites-in-china-with-a-focus-on-mammoth-ivory

BREXIT: WORKING, PERFORMING AND TOURING IN EUROPE – GUIDANCE FOR VARIOUS SECTORS

On 4 November, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a set of updated guidance on the sectors intending to work, perform or tour in an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.  There are rules, which may vary from one country to another, involving passports, equipment and tools of trade taken, driving and transportation, social security and tax issues.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-performing-and-touring-in-europe-guidance-for-musicians-and-accompanying-staff

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-and-touring-in-europe-guidance-for-visual-arts-the-art-market-and-museums

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-and-touring-in-europe-guidance-for-the-fashion-sector

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-performing-and-touring-in-europe-guidance-for-the-performing-arts-theatre-opera-dance-circus-and-other-live-performance-genre

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

FATF CONSOLIDATED AML/CFT ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE

On 4 November, FATF published an updated consolidated schedule of AML/CFT assessment ratings, following the publication of the mutual evaluation report on Nigeria.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/4th-Round-Ratings.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

PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 27 – PANAMA CANAL ZONE AND US ARMY COMMANDS AND INSIGNIA

Part 26 – The Canal and its vulnerabilities

https://raytodd.blog/2021/11/03/panama-in-world-war-2-part-26-the-canal-and-its-vulnerabilities/

Part 25 – More on the 1939 treaty

https://raytodd.blog/2021/11/02/panama-in-world-war-2-part-25-more-on-the-1939-treaty/

Part 24 – More about advance bases on the Galapagos Islands and in Nicaragua and Colombia

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/29/panama-in-world-war-2-part-24-more-about-advance-bases-on-the-galapagos-islands-and-in-nicaragua-and-colombia/

Part 23 – Some notes on forts and other installations

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/27/panama-in-world-war-2-part-23-some-notes-on-forts-and-other-installations/

Part 22 – The wartime Presidents

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/26/panama-in-world-war-2-part-22-the-wartime-presidents/

Part 21 – The end of the war and its aftermath

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/25/panama-in-world-war-2-part-21-the-end-of-the-war-and-the-aftermath/

Part 20 – Interned

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panama-in-world-war-2-part-20-interned/

Part 19 – Mustard gas trials and chemical defences of the Canal

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/23/panaman-in-world-war-2-part-19-mustard-gas-trials-and-chemical-defences-of-the-canal%ef%bf%bc/

Part 18 – Disease, illness and discrimination

https://raytodd.blog/2021/10/21/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/  

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 3

Panama Covid-19 update – just 1 new fatality reported today, as active cases fall below 2,000 for the first time in many many months – at 1,913. 128 new cases take the total recorded since the start of the pandemic to 473,005 (of a population of perhaps 4.3 million). There are 30 patients in ICU and 145 in other wards.

3 NOVEMBER 2021

UK: SFO DROPS PROBE OF INDIVIDUALS IN AMEC BRIBERY CASE

On 1 November, BNN Bloomberg reported that the SFO had closed its investigation into individuals over bribery at Amec Foster Wheeler Plc, after the company’s parent company settled the 4-year probe earlier this year. John Wood Group Plc, which acquired Amec in 2017, agreed to pay $177 million as part of a agreement with authorities in the US and UK to settle the investigation in June.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/u-k-fraud-cops-drop-probe-of-individuals-in-amec-bribery-case-1.1675103

FACEBOOK SAYS IT JUST UNCOVERED ONE OF THE LARGEST TROLL FARMS EVER — RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF NICARAGUA

On 1 November, Business Insider reported that researchers had uncovered hundreds of accounts linked to the Nicaraguan government that were focused on slandering its political opposition.  At least 1,300 accounts on Facebook and Instagram had been removed for being part of an operation targeting critics of President Daniel Ortega and the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front. The “media brands” were also found on Tiktok, YouTube, Blogspot, and Telegram.

https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-said-uncovered-troll-farm-run-by-nicaraguan-government-2021-11

NIGERIA’S AML/CFT FRAMEWORK DEFICIENT

On 2 November, The Sun in Nigeria reported that FATF-style regional body the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has said that Nigeria’s recent second round mutual evaluation has found that the AML/CFT framework is deficient.

https://www.sunnewsonline.com/nigerias-anti-money-laundering-counter-terrorism-financing-framework-deficient-giaba/

2 COMPANIES WITH SINGAPORE OPERATIONS NAMED IN PANDORA PAPERS WERE UNDER MAS WATCH

On 3 November, Yahoo News reported that 2 licensed trust companies with operations in Singapore were already under “intense scrutiny” by the local authorities before they were named in the Pandora Papers.  One of the companies, Asia City Trust Singapore, had paid a composition penalty of $1.1 million imposed by MAS in July 2020 for its failure to implement adequate AML/CFT policies and procedures. The other, Trident Trust Companies Singapore, was directed by MAS in September 2020 to fix weaknesses detected in its risk assessment controls.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/2-companies-singapore-operations-pandora-papers-mas-watch-110837470.html

US: MARYLAND MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD SCHEME PURPORTING TO SELL COVID-19 VACCINES

On 2 November, a news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement advised that Odunayo “Baba” Oluwalade, 25, has pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a scheme purporting to sell COVID-19 vaccines by fraudulently replicating the website of a biotech company that has an authorised COVID-19 vaccine.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/maryland-man-pleads-guilty-fraud-scheme-purporting-sell-covid-19-vaccines

UK BRIEFING: MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS

On 2 November, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper providing an overview of a change in the law and the debate on medicinal cannabis products.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8355/CBP-8355.pdf

On 3 November, Global Trade Review reported that the Bank of Communications has accused Chinese oil trader Sinopec, the world’s second-biggest company by revenue, of fraud in a legal row over 4 letters of credit extended in 2019.  Police in Shanghai are also investigating the alleged fraud and 3 further letters of credit extended by other banks in similar circumstances.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/chinas-bank-of-communications-accuses-sinopec-of-fraud-in-legal-row

UK: NOTORIOUS DARK WEB ADMINISTRATOR ORDERED TO HAND OVER MORE THAN £490,000 AMASSED FROM CRIMINAL ACTIVITY

A news release from the NCA on 2 November advised that an unemployed university drop-out, jailed for running a dark web business selling illegal drugs, has been ordered to hand over more than £490,000 in bitcoin.  Thomas White, now 26, took over the running of the notorious dark web site Silk Road after it was first closed in 2013. 

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/notorious-dark-web-administrator-ordered-to-hand-over-more-than-490k-amassed-from-criminal-activity

US RETURNS TO INDIA 248 STOLEN ANTIQUITIES WORTH $15 MILLION

On 2 November, OCCRP reported that US authorities have returned 248 pieces of looted art worth around $15 million to India after most of the artifacts were seized from suspected art smuggler Subash Kapoor, who ran a gallery in New York.  Kapoor was arrested in 2011 in Germany for smuggling and was extradited to India in 2012 where he is currently on trial.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15422-u-s-returns-to-india-248-stolen-antiquities-worth-15-million

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST ONLINE SCAMMERS

On 3 November, a news release from Europol advised that online shoppers need to be more vigilant than ever as organised crime groups continuously adapt their online fraud methods to exploit both citizens and e-commerce companies. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/love-online-shopping-here%E2%80%99s-how-to-protect-yourself-against-online-scammers

NEW ZEALAND: IVERMECTIN IMPORT ATTEMPTS GROW 5 TIMES DESPITE WARNINGS AGAINST USE

On 3 November, Stuff reported that Invermectin has been touted as a Covid-19 treatment or cure, but there is little evidence to support those claims.  However, there has been a sharp increase in attempted importations of the drug into New Zealand – from 51 in the month of August to 245 in September.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300444030/covid19-ivermectin-import-attempts-grow-five-times-despite-warnings-against-use

US: FENTANYL SEIZURES AT BORDER DOUBLE OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS

On 2 November, the New York Post reported that seizures of​ fentanyl at the southern border have spiked over the past 12 months, doubling the amount of the drug confiscated a year earlier.  1 kg of fentanyl ​is equivalent to 500,000 lethal doses and the seizures represent 2.5 billion doses prevented from entering the country. 

https://nypost.com/2021/11/02/fentanyl-seizures-at-border-double-over-past-year-report/

NEW ZEALAND GANG LEADERS UNITE TO URGE COMMUNITY TO GET COVID SHOTS

On 3 November, the Guardian reported that 7 New Zealand gang leaders, representing 4 of the country’s most well-known street gangs, have joined forces in a video urging their communities to get vaccinated, in a concept that was conjured up by a government minister.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/03/new-zealand-vaccines-gang-leaders-unite-covid-shots

ILLEGAL CIGARETTES PRODUCED WITH SLAVE LABOUR IN BRAZIL

On 2 November, an article from Insight Crime says that authorities have rescued 17 Paraguayan nationals and a Brazilian that had been kept at an illegal underground cigarette factory in the town of Triunfo, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, according to a police news release. The victims were held in a bunker and sent food every 2 days.  The factory – made to appear as a cereal plant – produced about 10 million packs of cigarettes per month to be sold on the black market in Uruguay and Brazil.

https://insightcrime.org/news/illegal-cigarettes-produced-with-slave-labor-in-brazil/

NORTH KOREA AND CHINA RESTART RAIL FREIGHT ENDING PANDEMIC TRADE BAN

On 2 November, Radio Free Asia reported that North Korea and China have resumed cross-border rail freight shipments.  Trains are once again moving from Dandong, China, across the Yalu River border to Sinuiju, North Korea, and business is booming. 

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/freight-11022021193033.html

ITALY ARRESTS 103 IN ANTI-MAFIA OPERATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

On 1 November, OCCRP reported that Italian authorities arrested 103 suspects in a sweeping anti-Mafia operation – with suspects accused of crimes including mafia association, criminal association for the sale of drugs, drug dealing, extortion, kidnapping and robbery.  Included was exploitation of workers on farms, with some 30,000 Sikh workers largely from India found to be labouring under exploitative conditions on farms.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15400-italy-arrests-103-in-anti-mafia-operations-across-the-country

NESTLE, MARS AND HERSEY ACCUSED OF ‘USING CHILD LABOUR TO GET CHEAP COCOA’

On 2 November, The Independent reported that court filings in the US claim that 7 major cocoa companies ‘should have known’ about alleged child labour in their supply chains.  The lawsuit has been brought by 8 Malian citizens who claim they were trafficked as children to the Cote D’Ivoire to work on cocoa plantations.

https://www.independent.co.uk/world/nestle-mars-hersey-cocoa-child-slaves-b1948199.html

https://eminetra.co.uk/nestle-mars-and-hershey-accused-use-child-labor-and-get-cheap-cocoa-in-a-new-court-document/788128/

SCOTTISH ADVOCATES’ SUPERVISORY BODY REPORTS ON AML ACTIVITIES

On 2 November, Scottish Legal News reported that the Faculty of Advocates has presented its first annual report on AML supervisory activities.  It says that as advocates are not permitted to hold client monies and as the majority of their instructions come from solicitors rather than clients, they are generally classified by Faculty as being low risk in terms of the AML regulations.

https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/faculty-reports-on-aml-activities

PODCAST: “STRONGMEN: MUSSOLINI TO THE PRESENT”

In the latest TRACE podcast, Ruth Ben-Ghiat joins the podcast to discuss her book “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present”, which examines 100 years of authoritarian rule. She describes the characteristics of a strongman and the strange virility cult surrounding these leaders before turning to the central role of corruption in the autocrat’s playbook.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

FERRARI: INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF A WHOLE PRODUCT MAY BE PROTECTED AS UNREGISTERED COMMUNITY DESIGNS

On 3 November, a post from Field Fisher advised that the EU’s CJEU had given its ruling in Ferrari v Mansory Design and for the first time ruled on the conditions in which the individual parts of a whole product may be protected as unregistered Community designs.  The ruling clarifies that it is not necessary for them to make available each part of a product separately to take advantage of unregistered Community designs protection..

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/services/intellectual-property/intellectual-property-blog/a-win-for-ferrari-and-owners-of-community-unregist

NORTHERN IRELAND: DIRECTOR DISQUALIFIED AFTER COMPANY EVADES VAT IN EXCESS OF £15 MILLION

On 3 November, Armagh i reported that a company director has been banned for 12 years after his company was involved in evading £15million in VAT.  Caolan McArdle, 33, was a director of a food and drink company that went into liquidation in 2017 with an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £2,583,784.  From July 2014 the Company participated in transactions connected with the fraudulent evasion of VAT. 

https://www.armaghi.com/news/markethill-news/markethill-director-disqualified-after-company-evades-vat-in-excess-of-15m/147932

SWISS BANKS TAKE ON FRAUD WITH TOUGH COMMODITY FINANCE STANDARDS

On 3 November, Global Trade Review reported that 10 major banks from Switzerland’s commodity and trade finance sector have finalised a best practice guide aimed at avoiding a repeat of the fraud and insolvency scandals that shook the sector last year.  The Swiss Trading & Shipping Association (STSA) published the guide in October.  The STSA guide recommends banks “abstain… from financing circular transactions which aim at creating liquidity”, and suggests they “raise as a red flag” attempts to do so by traders. 

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/swiss-banks-take-on-fraud-with-tough-commodity-finance-standards/

UKRAINE: STATE TAX SERVICE OFFICES SEARCHED AND CORRUPTION SUSPECTED

On 3 November, the Kyiv Post reported thatauthorities have accused the State Tax Service of engaging in corrupt schemes — protecting tax evaders and helping fake companies. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) searched divisional tax offices throughout the country, as well as suspects’ homes.

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/state-tax-service-offices-searched-corruption-suspected.html

NORTHERN IRELAND: EMPLOYEE WHO STOLE £1.9 MILLION FOR ‘LUXURY LIFESTYLE’ JAILED

On 3 November, the BBC reported that Julie McBrien, 47, committed 26 counts of fraud and money laundering over an 8-year period. She was in charge of finances but despite enjoying a good salary, she filtered cash from the company, bringing it to the verge of collapse.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-59150064

THAILAND: MAN SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR EXPORTING USED MEDICAL GLOVES AND EQUIPMENT TO THE US

On 3 November, Newsweek reported that a Thai man was sentenced to 4 years in prison after being found guilty of producing and shipping used or low-grade medical gloves and equipment to the US.  The sentencing is said to be part of a larger crackdown in Thailand on a surge in fraud connected to rubber gloves.

https://www.newsweek.com/man-gets-4-years-prison-exporting-used-medical-gloves-equipment-us-1645579

MAN CHARGED IN $100 MILLION COVID-19 HEALTH CARE FRAUD SCHEME

A DoJ news release on 3 November advised that a Grand Jury in Arkansas has returned an indictment charging a man who owned or managed numerous diagnostic testing laboratories with health care fraud in connection with over $100 million dollars in false billings for urine drug testing, COVID-19 testing, and other clinical laboratory services between February 2017 and May 2021.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdar/pr/lavaca-man-charged-100-million-covid-19-health-care-fraud-scheme

IS LUKASHENKA MIMICKING PUTIN’S WEAPONISING OF ORGANISED CRIME?

On 3 November, an article from the Atlantic Council posed this question, saying that a former Belarus establishment insider turned dissident has said the Lukashenka regime has sent organised crime figures to Europe to target exiled Belarusian dissidents. 

https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/belarusalert/is-lukashenka-mimicking-putins-weaponization-of-organized-crime

MEXICAN JUDGE ORDERS EX-PEMEX BOSS LOZOYA TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

On 3 November, News 18 and others reported that a judge has ordered that Emilio Lozoya be taken into custody pending his trial for alleged corruption.  He was extradited from Spain in July 2020.

https://www.news18.com/news/world/mexican-judge-orders-ex-pemex-boss-lozoya-taken-into-custody-4401521.html

DIGITAL YUAN: CHINA RECORDS FIRST CASE OF MONEY LAUNDERING

On 3 November, Cryptopolitan reported that news had emerged that Chinese officials have cracked down on a criminal group connected to a money laundering charge. The group reportedly scammed a person for 200,000 yuan (about $32,000) and used a digital yuan wallet to launder the funds.

https://www.cryptopolitan.com/digital-yuan-china-records-criminal-use-case/

US: PIONEER BANK STRENGTHENING MONEY LAUNDERING CONTROLS AFTER FRAUD

On 3 November, the Times-Union reported that after one of Pioneer Bank’s biggest business customers admitted to a $101 million bank fraud scheme, federal regulators are said to have found the bank’s AML controls to be “fundamentally and materially deficient”.  Pioneer Bank lost $36 million due to the scheme, making it the biggest victim in the case.  It has also been sued in civil court, forcing the bank to defend itself against accusations that it failed to adequately monitor relevant transactions.

https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Pioneer-Bank-told-to-strengthen-money-laundering-16588684.php

 

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