OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 11

Panama Covid-19 update – the health ministry, Minsa, has reported that, since January, 80% of fatalities have been those who were unvaccinated.

Good news today is that the Rt rate has fallen, from 0.91 to 0.86. There were also no fatalities reported today, and “only” 99 new cases. Active cases have fallen to 1,582, with 28 in ICU, 103 in other wards and 77 in hospitality hotels.

11 NOVEMBER 2021

ANTIQUITIES THINK TANK PUSHES UK TO IMPOSE TOUGHER REGULATIONS TO FIGHT TRADE IN LOOTED ART

On 4 November, the Art Newspaper reported that the Antiquities Coalition has published a policy brief urging government to do so in wake of the post-Brexit repeal of the EU Cultural Goods Regulations in the UK. Recommendations include the creation of dedicated points of entry for antiquities and cultural goods, where staff can receive higher levels of training; greater requirements to provide information on import documents; the inclusion of antiquities in AML regulations; and a categorisation system for high-risk objects, to aid customs in their monitoring of imports.

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/04/antiquities-coalition-publishes-policy-brief-regarding-post-brexit-antiquities-trade

FATF: MASS USE OF STABLECOINS COULD BOOST ILLICIT FINANCE

On 28 October, Reuters reported a warning from FATF, which says countries and crypto-related companies should pinpoint such risks before stablecoins are launched and take measures to address the risk that they could be used to launder money or fund terrorism.  Stablecoins are digital tokens typically backed by dollars or other assets such as gold.

https://www.reuters.com/article/fintech-crypto/mass-use-of-stablecoins-could-boost-illicit-finance-money-laundering-watchdog-says-idUKL4N2RN2QI

On 27 October, Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia had classified the Lebanon-based Al-Qard Al-Hassan association as a terrorist entity, saying that it manages funds for Hezbollah and its financing.  Earlier this year, OFAC imposed sanctions on 7 Lebanese nationals it said were connected to the group and its financial firm.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-classifies-lebanese-association-terrorist-entity-links-hezbollah-2021-10-27/

VIRTUAL CURRENCY PLATFORMS AND RANSOMWARE ATTACKS: OFAC ADVISORIES HIGHLIGHT INCREASING OVERLAP OF SANCTIONS AND CYBERSECURITY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH VIRTUAL CURRENCY PLATFORMS AND RANSOMWARE ATTACKS (PART 2 OF 2)

On 11 November, the Compliance & Enforcement blog at the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law published Part 2 of a post.  Part 1 had outlined 2 OFAC advisory opinions on US sanction risks associated with cyber related activities, including virtual currency platforms.  Part 2 looks at the virtual currency guidance issued by OFAC in October.  This called upon the virtual currency industry to help ensure that their platforms are not used as a vehicle to violate or evade US sanctions laws.

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2021/11/10/virtual-currency-platforms-and-ransomware-attacks-ofac-advisories-highlight-increasing-overlap-of-sanctions-and-cybersecurity-risks-associated-with-virtual-currency-platforms-and-ransomware-attacks-2/

ICC OPENS CONSULTATION ON DRAFT GLOBAL STANDARDS FOR SUSTAINABLE TRADE AND TRADE FINANCE

On 10 November, the International Chamber of Commerce has published a major report setting out proposals to tackle the longstanding challenge of defining and setting common standards for sustainable trade and associated financing.The paperoutlines the first-ever standardised framework and assessment methodology to qualify the sustainability profile of trade transactions.  ICC will launch a structured review process open to all interested stakeholders, before commencing more detailed work next year to refine the methodology, map existing standards to the framework, and – crucially – determine how to most effectively implement them in practice.

https://iccwbo.org/publication/icc-standards-for-sustainable-trade-and-sustainable-trade-finance

US VIRTUAL CURRENCIES COMPARATIVE GUIDE

On 9 November, Bull Blockchain Law LLP published a guide, in Q&A format, to the legal and enforcement framework, definitions of terms used, the virtual currencies market, the technology involved and crossover with banking, etc.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/technology/1039512/virtual-currencies-comparative-guide

MALTA: USE OF CASH (RESTRICTION) REGULATIONS

On 10 November, an article from CSB Group was concerned with explaining the regulations introduced in March with the primary aim being to restrict the use of cash for certain payments and transactions in order to combat money laundering and other criminal activity within particular economic sectors.

https://www.mondaq.com/money-laundering/1129958/use-of-cash-restriction-regulations

BIMCO SEES BEST CHANCE IN YEARS TO COMBAT PIRACY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA

On 9 November, Dryad Global reported that Nigeria has launched a comprehensive set of anti-piracy capabilities and at least 2 international navies will have very capable warships equipped with helicopters on anti-piracy missions in the area for the “piracy season” October-April.  It highlights optimism on the part of BIMCO (Baltic and International Maritime Council), an international shipping association representing shipowners.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/bimco-sees-best-chance-in-years-to-combat-piracy-in-the-gulf-of-guinea

https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/pages/IMOWholeof-Government-Approachto-MaritimeSecurity.aspx

LIBYAN SANCTIONS: EU DELISTS PRIME MINISTER BAGHDADI AL-MAHMOUDI BUT HE REMAINS ON US AND UK LISTS

On 11 November, the EU Sanctions blog noted that while Al-Mahmoudi had been removed from EU sanctions lists, he remains on both the UK and US sanctions lists.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/11/15136/

IRAN RELEASES TANKER AFTER OFFLOADING OIL

On 10 November, USNI News reported that a tanker, the Vietnamese-flagged MV Southys, which had been carrying crude oil is back at sea more than 2 weeks after the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy took control of the ship in the Gulf of Oman.

https://news.usni.org/2021/11/10/iran-releases-tanker-sothys-after-offloading-oil-questions-remain-over-seizure

ISLE OF MAN FOLLOWS UN AND UK IN ADDING 3 NAMES TO YEMEN SANCTIONS LIST

On 11 November, the Isle of Man advised that 3 Houthi had been added to the Yemen-related sanctions which it imposes.

https://www.gov.im/news/2021/nov/11/financial-sanctions-yemen/

AUTHORITIES FOIL ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ARTEFACTS 

On 10 November, Ahram Online reported that the archaeological unit at Safaga maritime port has foiled an attempt to smuggle 16 ancient Egyptian artefacts.  The artefacts include bronze and wooden statues, a funerary cone inscribed with hieroglyphics, remains of cartonnage funerary masks, and amulets made of faience and gilded wood.

https://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/438458/Antiquities/Ancient-Egypt/Authorities-foil-attempt-to-smuggle-ancient-Egypti.aspx

IRANIAN-SUPPLIED ARMS SMUGGLED FROM YEMEN INTO SOMALIA

On 10 November, Asharq Al-Aswat reported that a new study from the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime says that guns supplied by Iran to its allied Houthi militias in Yemen are being smuggled across the Gulf of Aden to Somalia.

https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3296901/iranian-supplied-arms-smuggled-yemen-somalia-study-says

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/iran-firearms-somalia/

UK EXTENDS ITS BELARUS SANCTIONS 2019 REGULATIONS TO ISLE OF MAN AND OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

2 Orders from the UK have applied, with amendments, the Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to both the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories (except Bermuda and Gibraltar (which implement sanctions through their own domestic legislation).

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1256/contents/made

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1257/contents/made

CROATIA: FORMER MINISTER OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND 3 OTHERS ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF FRAUD AGAINST THE EU BUDGET

On 11 November, the Luxembourg Times reported that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office has arrested 4 people, including a former Croatian minister who oversees EU programmes in the country, on suspicion of fraud against the EU budget – the second high-profile case against individuals from the Balkan state in 4 months.

https://www.luxtimes.lu/en/european-union/eu-prosecutors-arrest-former-croatian-minister-for-fraud-618cf3a2de135b92366a0842

FRANCE FINALISES RETURN OF 26 CULTURAL ARTIFACTS THAT WERE REMOVED FROM BENIN DURING THE COLONIAL ERA

On 10 November, Jurist reported that the cultural pieces were pillaged by the French during the 1892 burning of the Royal Palaces of Abomey. 

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/11/benin-finalizes-return-of-26-stolen-cultural-artifacts-from-france/

PERU GOVERNOR ACCUSED IN CHINA WOOD TRAFFICKING NETWORK

On 10 November, Insight Crime reported that a Peruvian governor is accused of playing a lead role in a timber trafficking network that involved Chinese logging businesses – in a case that provides further evidence of the growing involvement of Chinese actors in Peru’s illicit timber market.  Luis Hidalgo Okimura, governor of the Madre de Dios department, is said to be under investigation for allegedly taking bribes.

https://insightcrime.org/news/peru-governor-accused-china-wood-trafficking-network/

INDIA NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT: SECTORS VULNERABLE TO TERRORIST FUNDING AND LAUNDERING

On 5 November, the Times of India reported that the country’s NRA is underway.  This is in advance of the planned FATF mutual evaluation, originally scheduled for 2019 but delayed due to Covid.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sectors-vulnerable-to-terrorist-funding-laundering-under-lens/articleshow/87530226.cms

FURLOUGH FRAUD IN THE UK

On 11 November, the BBC released this recording of Radio 4 File on 4 documentary about a fraud said to have cost the UK £3.5 billion. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0011cqy

WEBINAR: PREPARATIONS TRADERS NEED TO MAKE FOR NEW EU TO GB IMPORT RULES

On 28 October, the Institute of export and International Trade released a 1-hour video webinar reminding one that from the start of next year, all British importers will need to complete declarations for imports from the EU.  However, the government has delayed some import controls – including health certification and sanitary checks for food, animal-origin products and plant-based goods – until later in 2022.  Experts gave practical advice about what traders can do to prepare for these changes – including using Digital Trader Services to complete declarations. Find out more at www.digitaltraderservices.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke1LOcVT4yc

SWITZERLAND DESIGNATES 3 HOUTHI LEADERS ALREADY LISTED BY UN

On 10 November, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs advised that Muhammad Abd Al-Karim Al-Ghamari (Houthi Military Chief of General Staff), Yusuf Al-Madani (Commander of the Houthi’s Fifth Military Region) and Saleh Mesfer Saleh Al Shaer (Houthi Assistant Minister of Defence for Logistics and Judicial Custodian) have been added to its Yemen sanctions list.

https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home/seco/nsb-news.msg-id-85820.html

INDIA: CBI SEEKS TO PROSECUTE FORMER HIGH COURT JUDGE IN CORRUPTION CASE

In its 12 June edition, NDTV reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a corruption case in December 2019 against then sitting Allahabad High Court judge Shri Narayan Shukla along with IM Quddusi, retired Chhattisgarh High Court judge and 4 others for granting a favourable order to a Lucknow-based medical college.  Now the CBI seeks to prosecute Shukla for conspiracy and corruption.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/cbi-seeks-sanction-to-prosecute-former-high-court-judge-sn-shukla-in-corruption-case-2607652

OPTIONS FOR ENHANCING OPERATIONAL INSTRUMENTS IN THE AREA OF FIREARMS TRAFFICKING

On 5 November, a report was issued by Project ECOFIT, a research project co-funded by the EU Internal Security Fund – Police, and aims to enhance operational cooperation between law enforcement agencies in the fight against firearms trafficking across the 27 EU Member States and 7 non-EU states (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey).  It involves a study which analyses 5 operational instruments that have been selected as indicators of international cooperation.  It provides recommendations for the EU and guidance for law enforcement.  It says that the policy options suggested within the report would enhance the level of operational cooperation in firearms trafficking investigations.

https://www.transcrime.it/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/EcofitFinalReport.pdf

THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF SMUGGLING

This e-book is being formally published on 22 December and sets out to offer a comprehensive review of research relating to smuggling and current and future trends.  Divided into 6 parts and spanning over 30 chapters, the volume covers themes such as mobility, borders, violent conflict, and state politics, as well as looks at the smuggling of specific goods.  The individual chapters can be downloaded from the website

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-edit/10.4324/9781003043645/routledge-handbook-smuggling-max-gallien-florian-weigand

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

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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