OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 6

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTxT7qfd0X0

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.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/30096/with-the-wagner-group-russia-and-the-uae-team-up-in-libya

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.

https://www.iup.edu/research/resources/policies/what-is-export-control.html

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.

https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/thai/thai-deep-south-man-arrested-insurgency-11052021163546.html

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.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1029703/UK-national-report-non-proliferation-of-nuclear-weapons-10th-review-conference.pdf

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/11/uk-publishes-case-study-on-n-korea-sanctions-enforcement/

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.

https://blogs.imf.org/2021/11/05/countering-tax-avoidance-in-sub-saharan-africas-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.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003437-HFW-Governing-law-Supreme-Court-judgment.pdf

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. 

http://www.maritimebulletin.net/2021/11/06/russian-cargo-ship-arrested-in-italy-suspect-in-1-3-mil-eu-freight-fraud

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.

https://coingeek.com/uk-man-behind-infamous-twitter-hack-charged-with-784000-btc-theft

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. 

https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/news-insights/the-anti-money-laundering-act-of-2020-the-remarkable-expansion-of-the-us-governments-subpoena-power-over-foreign-financial-institutions.html

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. 

https://www.delta-optimist.com/real-estate-news/groundbreaking-bc-land-registry-to-help-deter-money-laundering-delayed-by-a-year-4721066

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.

https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/crime/latvia-makes-some-progress-on-oecd-anti-bribery-recommendations.a428214/

https://www.oecd.org/corruption/Latvia-phase-3-follow-up-report-en.pdf

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. 

https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/brand-management/disgusting-fraud-uspto-targets-abtach-operator-of-trademark-terminal-scathing-show-cause-order

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.

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/11/06/20-years-after-palermo-convention-towards-the-universal-criminal-justice

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.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-offers-rewards-up-5-mln-each-hunt-4-suspected-mexican-drug-traffickers-2021-11-06/

 

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SECRET REAL ESTATE PURCHASES ARE A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE OFFSHORE ECONOMY

On 3 November, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism says that the Pandora papers has shown that, no longer content with Miami condos and London townhouses, investors are pouring money into properties in all corners of the world, fuelling inequality and driving up prices.  It provides case studies showing that the Pandora Papers expose billions of dollars of property purchases by celebrities, politicians, oligarchs and other rich people through offshore shell companies, an avenue that supplies secrecy and tax savings.  As these case studies show, investors are not only putting money into luxury real estate, a traditional store of wealth, but also properties less associated with offshore purchases, from dairy farms in Tasmania to rental homes in American suburbs.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/secret-real-estate-purchases-are-a-driving-force-behind-the-offshore-economy/

https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/the-land-lords/

 

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WHAT NEW RESEARCH TELLS US ABOUT HOW INFORMAL NETWORKS ENABLE CORRUPTION AND VICE VERSA

On 2 November, the Basel Institute on Governance reported on a 2-year research project, part of the UK Aid-funded Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme (GI-ACE), builds on our previous extensive research project on informal governance across 7 countries.  It says that evidence from this project highlighted that corruption is usually not the result of individual “rotten apples” acting in isolation to abuse their entrusted power for private gain. Rather, corrupt behaviour takes place according to unwritten rules and through informal social networks that connect the public and private sectors.  It is becoming increasingly clear that anti-corruption practitioners need to pay more attention to networks, not only individuals.

https://baselgovernance.org/blog/bribery-isnt-only-exchange-money-what-new-research-tells-us-about-how-informal-networks-enable

 

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PERU ORDERS CONFISCATION OF $1.5 MILLION STASHED IN MEXICO BY A CORRUPT ARMY GENERAL

On 3 November, the Basel Institute on Governance reported that, in the first such case in the Americas, Peru has issued a judgement ordering the non-conviction based confiscation of over $1.5 million in assets frozen in Mexico.  The Extinción de dominio non-conviction based forfeiture (NCBF) law allows assets of illicit origin to be confiscated in a judicial procedure, even if a criminal conviction is not possible.  It involves money stolen by former Army General Victor Manuel Malca Villanueva during the corrupt government of Alberto Fujimori from 1990–2000.

https://baselgovernance.org/news/peru-orders-confiscation-usd-15-million-stashed-mexico-corrupt-army-general

INTERVIEW OF PERUVIAN PUBLIC PROSECUTOR: APPLYING PERU’S NON-CONVICTION BASED FORFEITURE LAW IN INTERNATIONAL CASES

On 3 November, the Basel Institute on Governance published an interview with Dr Hamilton Castro Trigoso, Provincial Prosecutor of the First Provisional Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for Extinción de dominio in Lima, on his experiences in investigating and enforcing asset confiscation judgements abroad.

https://baselgovernance.org/blog/interview-applying-perus-non-conviction-based-forfeiture-law-international-cases

 

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GERMAN ENGINES IN RUSSIAN DRONES

On 5 November, Tageschau reported that for 3 years, experts have been investigating weapons used in eastern Ukraine. They found engines from German production in Russian drones.  Research found components such as cameras and engines that often come from other countries, including Germany.  Discovery of drones in Poland and Lithuania could mean that Russian drones with German-made engines were used for spy flights in the EU.  It is also said that German companies were involved in the delivery of a GPS module from a Swiss company to Russia. It comments on the lack of export regulation and verification of end-users.  It also notes that, in the war in eastern Ukraine, the problem does not arise only for the Russian military drones. Turkish-made drones are using foreign components.

https://www.tagesschau.de/investigativ/russland-dronen-bauteile-deutschland-101.html

 

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INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DIMENSION OF ILLEGAL LOGGING: LEGAL ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS

On 5 November, a study published by the EU Parliament Research Service aims at gaining deeper insights into the legal aspects of illegal logging and related trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products.  It analyses the legal requirements and their implications for various actors in the EU and in third countries, examines the disparities in enforcement and penalties regimes in Member States and analyses their role in trade diversion, explores the possibility for strengthening the timber regime by broadening its scope and tackling underlying issues such as corruption and human rights violations, and assesses the external dimension, specifically focusing on the Voluntary Partnership Agreements with major producers’ countries.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2021/700009/IPOL_STU(2021)700009_EN.pdf

 

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CONTROVERSIAL LEGISLATIVE REFORMS BECAME LAW IN HONDURAS, SINKING ANY LINGERING EFFORTS TO COMBAT CORRUPTION IN THE COUNTRY

On 5 November, Insight Crime reported that amendments to the penal code, criminal procedure code and money laundering law officially took effect on 1 November.  This package of reforms has been met with strong international concerns, including from the UN, and warnings that it would severely weaken Honduras’ fight against corruption. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/controversial-legal-reforms-in-honduras-continue-countrys-anti-corruption-legacy/

 

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PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – PART 28 – 1941 SAW PAPER MONEY AND A TREATY WITH COSTA RICA – PLUS AN UPDATE ON THE GOLD AND SILVER ROLLS

Part 27 – Panama Canal Zone and US Army commands and insignia

https://raytodd.blog/2021/11/04/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/