Panama Covid-19 update – 120 new cases reported today and 1 new fatality (plus 2 from earlier periods added to the total). Active cases continue their fall to now 1,651, with 28 in ICU and 116 in other wards.
6 NOVEMBER 2021
HOW TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN AN INTERNAL COMPLIANCE PROGRAMME (ICP)
On 4 November, the Institute of Export & International Trade released an hour-long video webinar. It says that by putting an ICP in place, an export control professional can ensure best practice and compliance across all departments of their business and across their supply chain. Having a proper ICP in place is therefore a key requirement for firms to avoid potentially falling foul of control regulation, avoiding potential fines, penalties and even debarment from exporting.
LIBYA IS TESTING GROUND FOR RUSSIA-UAE COOPERATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
On 5 November, World Politics Review reports on the upcoming Libyan elections in which 2 of the candidates (including the son of former dictator Gadhafi) are backed by both Russia and the UAE, and connections to the Russian Wagner Group, which is also said to be backed by the UAE. It looks at apparent cooperation, including military strikes, involving the Wagner Group and UAE personnel.
WHAT IS (US) EXPORT CONTROL?
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania has produced a useful factsheet focussed on the University’s own controls, but explaining what an export is, how you might breach the controls by disclosure of information (i.e. intangible export of information by means of email, training or other forms of communication), who is a foreign national, which government department controls what and licensing.
THAI BUSINESSMAN SUSPECTED OF FUNDING INSURGENTS DETAINED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
On 5 November, Benar News reported that Thai police had arrested a fugitive businessman – Sahachai Jiensermsin, 53 – charged with laundering money which, according to military officials, may be funding separatist insurgents in the mostly Muslim southern border provinces.
UK REPORT ON NON-PROLIFERATION SANCTIONS INCLUDES CASE STUDY ON NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT
The UK Government has produced a report for the 10th NPT Review Conference. According to the EU Sanctions blog on 6 November, this report contains a case study of its enforcement of relevant sanctions on the DPRK. It also references the UK first national risk assessment of proliferation financing in September.
COUNTERING TAX AVOIDANCE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA’S MINING SECTOR
On 5 November, the IMF Blog said that Sub-Saharan African countries will need to implement targeted policy actions to reduce profit shifting in the mining sector and avoid losses in tax revenue. It is estimated to possess 30% of global mineral reserves, representing a major opportunity for the region. Despite the high level of private investment in this critical sector, new analysis finds that many multinational companies are avoiding paying their taxes. To give an illustration of the value of the sector, it cites the case of Guinea where one multinational company has invested 5 times more in a single bauxite mine (as a percent of GDP) than the government has spent in total public investment since 2018. It says that governments in sub-Saharan Africa are losing between $450 and $730 million per year in corporate income tax revenues as the result of profit shifting by multinational companies in the mining sector.
UK: SUPREME COURT – GOVERNING LAW WHERE THE AGREEMENT HAS A GOVERNING LAW CLAUSE BUT THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT DOES NOT
Law firm HFW has produced a briefing saying that the Supreme Court has recently ruled that English law should govern an arbitration agreement, despite the choice of the seat being Paris. The judgment also examines the application of a No Oral Modification (NOM) clause, and the approach the English courts will take on summary judgment.
RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP ARRESTED IN ITALY AS SUSPECT IN FREIGHT FRAUD
On 6 November, the Maritime Bulletin reported that a Russian ship had been detained in Sardinia upon arrival from Rostov. The ship is said to have been on a “Wanted” list, after her owner or manager was said to have been freight in advance, but failed to pick up cargo and deliver it.
UK MAN BEHIND INFAMOUS TWITTER HACK CHARGED WITH $784,000 BTC THEFT
On 6 November, Coingeek reported that Joseph James O’Connor, a suspect behind a Twitter hack that targeted celebrity accounts, is facing new charges in the US in connection with a digital currency-related crime. He is charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for allegedly stealing $784,000 in digital currencies through a series of SIM-swap attacks.
EXPANSION OF THE US GOVERNMENT’S SUBPOENA POWER OVER FOREIGN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
On 5 November, an article from Perkins Coie was concerned with implications of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AMLA 2020). It examines what is described as a “remarkable expansion” of the DoJ and US Treasury subpoena authority over foreign financial institutions, which has significant implications for foreign financial institutions maintaining US correspondent accounts. Previous law allowed the DoJ and Treasury to issue subpoenas to foreign banks that maintain foreign correspondent accounts in the US for records related to those correspondent accounts, including records maintained outside of the US, but AMLA 2020 significantly expands the departments’ subpoena power.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: GROUND-BREAKING LAND REGISTRY TO HELP DETER MONEY LAUNDERING DELAYED BY A YEAR
On 4 November, the Delta Optimist reported that the Land Owner Transparency Register has been delayed for a year.
LATVIA MAKES SOME PROGRESS ON OECD ANTI-BRIBERY RECOMMENDATIONS
On 3 November, LSM reported that 2 years after receiving a list of 44 recommendations from the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, Latvia has fully implemented 16 recommendations, partially implemented 19 recommendations, and has not implemented 9 recommendations, according to the latest review of progress. However, it is noted that the fact that no financial institution has been held criminally liable in Latvia for money laundering to date is highly concerning, and the Working Group regrets the persisting lack of money laundering convictions predicated on foreign bribery.
TRADEMARKS: PAKISTAN-BASED COMPANY ACCUSED OF OPERATING DOZENS OF FRAUDULENT LOW-COST TRADEMARK FILING AGENCIES
On 4 November, World Trademark Review reported that the US Patent and Trademark Office had obtained a court order in what is described as one of the biggest anti-fraud crackdowns in its history. The order targets Pakistan-based company Abtach Ltd, the operator of numerous controversial low-cost filing agencies. Despite claiming to be based in the US, the news source says that it has repeatedly highlighted that such platforms appear to be based in Pakistan.
20 YEARS AFTER THE PALERMO CONVENTION; TOWARDS THE UNIVERSAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE
An article from Modern Diplomacy on 6 November said that 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the Palermo Convention and its Protocols, the main instruments in the fight against transnational crime. It involves an article from 2 men – one as an active participant in the Palermo system treaty-making and the other as a prosecutor passionate about human rights. They revisit, rethink and sum up the first 20-year period after the creation of these important international instruments on organised crime and corruption.
US OFFERS REWARDS UP TO $5 MILLION EACH IN HUNT FOR 4 SUSPECTED MEXICAN DRUG TRAFFICKERS
On 5 November, Reuters reported that the US has announced rewards of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrest or conviction of 4 suspected Mexican drug traffickers, including the brother of jailed drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman – Aureliano Guzman Loera. Also accused of operating under the umbrella of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, along with Ruperto Salgueiro Nevarez, Jose Salgueiro Nevarez and Heriberto Salgueiro Nevarez.
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