OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 13

Panama Covid-19 update – another day without fatalities, the fourth this month, with another 222 new cases. 1,756 active cases include 25 in ICU and 103 in other wards. There are also 81 people quarantined in so-called “hospitality hotels”.

13 NOVEMBER 2021

STANFORD INTERNATIONAL BANK AND HSBC

On 10 November, Morton Fraser provides an update on the court case in which HSBC was fighting application of the Quincecare duty of care by the liquidators of Stanford International Bank Ltd, the investment bank owned and run by Robert Allen Stanford which was essentially an enormous Ponzi scheme and a fraud on the many holders of Certificates of Deposit.  In essence, it is alleged that HSBC should have known the SIB was a scam.  The case, involving rulings on 2 points, is now set to reach the UK Supreme Court.

https://www.morton-fraser.com/knowledge-hub/stanford-international-bank-saga-rumbles

UKRAINE SANCTIONS SHIPPING COMPANY CITED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN VENEZUELAN OIL EXPORTS

On 3 November, Forwarder Law reported that the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on 30 October imposed sanctions on FIDES SHIP MANAGEMENT of Odesa. The sanctions have been imposed for 3 years and come after the US imposed sanctions on 4 tankers, FIDES SHIP MANAGEMENT held the position of commercial manager of the vessels.

http://forwarderlaw.com/2021/11/03/ukraine-sanctions-shipping-company/

ECUADORIAN COURT FREEZES EX-PRESIDENT’S BANK ACCOUNT IN PROBE

On 13 November, Al Jazeera reported that Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office has said that court it had frozen the bank accounts of many business leaders and former government officials, including former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) and members of his -administration, who were sentenced last year for breaking campaign finance laws.  They were accused of accepting $7.5 million in bribes. 

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/13/ecuadorian-court-freezes-ex-presidents-bank-account-in-probe

https://www.aljazeera.com/program/talk-to-al-jazeera/2021/11/13/ecuadors-rafael-correa-exiled-and-convicted

IRELAND: 2 JAILED FOR THEIR PART IN A PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENT (PUP) FRAUD MASTERMINDED BY THE HEAD OF THE NIGERIAN CRIME GANG, KNOWN AS BLACK AXE

On 13 November, the Irish Examiner reported that the gang had planned to secure up to €1 million from their elaborate fraud, but in the end, only managed to get €183,000.  Health workers were sent bogus jury summonses requesting further information and that was then used to set up bank accounts from which the PUP claims were made. The men were caught after a routine traffic stop.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40743138.html

TAIWAN AND INDONESIA COOPERATE TO ARREST 48-MEMBER FRAUD RING

On 13 November, Taiwan News reported that police in Indonesia received assistance from Taiwan in detaining 48 suspects in a fraud ring which included 4 Taiwanese nationals as its victims.  The group consisted of 46 Chinese and 2 Vietnamese.  It is reported that the suspects used social media to target potential victims in Taiwan and China, later switching to messaging apps like WeChat and Line. They would set the victims up for a honey trap, record footage and then blackmail them.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4344284

PODCAST: THE CHALLENGES OF THE CULTURE OF TRANSPARENCY IN VENEZUELA AND LATIN AMERICA

Baker McKenzie has released the first episode of the second season of its Compliance Podcast from the firm’s Caracas office, featuring Diego Castagnino, a Venezuelan lawyer and professor with extensive experience in corporate and arbitration issues. In this conversation, Diego presents his perspective from the private sector and from the academy to help us understand the challenges of the culture of transparency in Venezuela and Latin America. In Spanish.

https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/insight/publications/2020/06/venezuela-compliance-podcast

HOW THE LEGITIMATE ART MARKET CAN BE EXPLOITED FOR PURPOSES SUCH AS SANCTIONS EVASION AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 27 October, the EU Institute for Security Studies published a briefing which examines 4 ways in which the art market serves illicit groups: money laundering; financial accumulation in safe havens like freeports; commercialisation through galleries and auction houses of cultural objects tainted by illegality; and use of cultural objects as collateral and/or payment for drugs or weapons. It assesses the structural factors that facilitate these processes, particularly the market’s commercial, valuation, authentication, transport and legitimation dynamics.

https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/compliant-or-complicit-security-implications-art-market

GERMANY SEEKS ARREST OF SWISS SENIOR PANAMA PAPERS LAWYER

On 11 November, ICIJ reported that Swiss attorney Christopher Zollinger, 52, is wanted for his role in controversial decisions by the offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca.  He is alleged to have aided tax evasion and for his involvement in founding an alleged criminal organisation.  While Zollinger left Mossack Fonseca years before the 2016 Panama Papers investigation, leaked records apparently reveal that he was involved in many of the law firm’s controversial decisions, including its work for a sanctioned Syrian businessman.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/panama-papers/germany-seeks-arrest-of-senior-panama-papers-lawyer/ 

ONTARIO APPLIED TO SEIZE LUXURY $3.6 MILLION TORONTO CONDO TIED TO ALLEGED CRYPTOCURRENCY FRAUD

On 11 November, CTV News reported that the Ontario government has applied to seize a luxury $3.6 million condo in downtown Toronto, alleging in a court application it was part of a lavish lifestyle made possible through a multi-million-dollar cryptocurrency fraud scheme.  Authorities say that Kevin Hobbs and a partner raised $33.7 million at their Vancouver-based company, Vanbex, promoting a cryptocurrency called “Fuel” and what they called innovative “smart contracts”.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-applied-to-seize-luxury-3-6-million-toronto-condo-tied-to-alleged-cryptocurrency-fraud-1.5661965

PODCAST: A CONVERSATION ABOUT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATE TAXATION

In October, ECIPE released this podcast.  Tax havens, transfer pricing, digitalisation, what do these terms all mean and how are they related to one another? With the rise of multinational companies and their activities spreading all across the world, it has become unclear who should tax these companies and how.  In this podcast, a professor of Economics for the Solvay Business School at the Université Libre de Bruxelles is interviewed about international cooperate taxation.

https://ecipe.org/podcast/episode-63/

BORIS JOHNSON’S £25,000-A-WEEK MARBELLA HOLIDAY VILLA ‘IS LINKED TO ZAC GOLDSMITH TAX EVASION CASE IN SPAIN THAT HAS LANDED HIS PROPERTY FIRM WITH £20 MILLION BILL’

On 13 November, the Daily Mail reported that according to Spanish court papers, the Torre Tramores estate near Marbella is linked to 2 of the Goldsmith family’s property businesses, which were ordered to pay €24 million in unpaid taxes and fines.  It says that Johnson is likely to now face questions over whether he knew the home was linked to an investigation by the Spanish tax authorities.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10197851/Boriss-Marbella-holiday-villa-linked-Zac-Goldsmith-firms-ordered-pay-20m-unpaid-taxes.html

JERSEY: BIGGEST BENEFIT FRAUD COUPLE ARE JAILED

On 13 November, the Jersey Evening Post reported that a couple who falsely claimed more than £144,000 in income support in Jersey’s biggest ever benefit fraud have been jailed for 3 years.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2021/11/13/islands-biggest-benefit-fraud-couple-are-jailed/

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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