Panama Covid-19 update – worryingly, the number of active cases shows another small rise, now to 1,918; with numbers in ICU unchanged at 22 and 1 more oatient in other wards (at 112). There were 193 new cases and 2 new fatalities reported.
16 NOVEMBER 2021
GUIDANCE ON THE APPLICABLE LEGAL PRINCIPLES FOR SETTING ASIDE AN ARBITRAL AWARD FOR FRAUD
On 11 November, Sotteris Pittas & Co LLC published an article on a recent High Court case in England in which the Court summarised the applicable legal principles for setting aside an arbitral award for fraud.
AM I SUBJECT TO THE FCPA, UK BRIBERY ACT, OR FRENCH, GERMAN OR GREEK CRIMINAL CODE?
On 9 November, an article from Reed Smith posed this question, saying that cracking down on corrupt practices is no longer a purely domestic concern, and many businesses now find themselves subject to multiple, and sometimes competing, anticorruption laws. In the first of a series of articles about global anti-corruption laws, the firm considers the reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act, and French, German and Greek criminal codes.
FRENCH ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW PROPOSALS
On 15 November, an article from Rahman Ravelli reported on the results of a review that set out to assess the Sapin II Law and its efficiency in the fight against corruption. 50 recommendations have been put forward, aimed at breathing new life into France’s anti-corruption policy. If passed into law, the subsequent new Bill will significantly change the current Sapin II framework. One key change is to extend the scope of compliance obligations to any company exceeding the cumulative thresholds of 500 employees and €100 million in turnover, regardless of its seat of incorporation. Another is to provide for a UK-style “failure to prevent” offence.
5 COSTA RICA MAYORS ARRESTED IN CORRUPTION PROBE
On 15 November, Newsroom Panama reported that 5 mayors in Costa Rica were arrested on 15 November by the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) for allegedly being linked to corruption cases, with some 40 raids being carried out in municipal offices and the homes of some mayors, “for cases related to corruption and influence peddling”.
EU FOREIGN MINISTERS HAVE AGREED TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIAN MERCENARY COMPANY WAGNER GROUP
On 15 November, the Wall Street Journal reported on the preliminary agreement as European diplomats warned that the company poses a growing threat to EU interests. Recently it was announced that Mali had invited the group into the country.
ISLE OF MAN NICARAGUA SANCTIONS
On 16 November, the Isle of Man announced additions to the list of those subject to sanctions in connection with Nicaragua, mirroring the changes made the day previously by the UK.
FINLAND DENIES EXPORT LICENCES FOR SHIP ENGINES TO RUSSIA OVER CRIMEA SANCTIONS
ON 17 October, the Euromaidan Press reported that the foreign ministry had rejected the plans of company Danfoss to export engines to St Petersburg’s JSC Electric propulsion of ships Research and Production Centre. It is said that the ministry refused to issue a license for the export of 4 Danfoss engines for 2 passenger ferries, explaining that the equipment can be installed on ships likely to be used in occupied Crimea.
EXPORT CODES: ECCN v HS v HTS & SCHEDULE B
On 11 October, Shipping Solutions published a post about the proper classification of exported goods and products. It says that many exporters are confused about the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) classification for their product and the Harmonized System (HS), Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) and Schedule B numbers for their products.
HONG KONG CUSTOMS SEIZE SMUGGLED LOBSTERS AMID AUSTRALIA BAN
On 16 November, WV News and others reported that Hong Kong authorities said that they had seized about 2000 lb each of live lobsters and sea cucumbers valued around US$1.28 million, believed to be bound for mainland China, months after Beijing restricted imports of lobsters from Australia amid escalating tensions between the 2 countries. Customs seized live lobsters on a speedboat, as authorities step up a crackdown on the smuggling of Australian rock lobsters into mainland China. Between July to September, Hong Kong and mainland authorities seized 5,300 kg of smuggled Australian lobsters, arresting 13 people.
14 TONNES OF GOLD, RUBIES AND OTHER PRECIOUS MINERALS HAVE BEEN SMUGGLED OUT OF MOZAMBIQUE SO FAR THIS YEAR
On 15 November, The Southern African reported that gold, rubies, garnets and tantalite – used to create surgical steel – have been smuggled out of northern and central Mozambique, according to a senior official in mineral resources ministry. The illegal trade in precious minerals is largely centred in northern Mozambique, where an Islamist insurgency has displaced an estimated 800,000 people.
INDIA: REAL ESTATE TYCOON LALIT GOYAL ARRESTED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EU: EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANTS EU THE NEW SURRENDER MECHANISM ARE BINDING ON IRELAND (AND OTHER EU MEMBER STATES) AND THE UK
A news release from the CJEU on 16 November advised the results of a case in which it was confirmed the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement concerning the European arrest warrant regime with respect to the UK and the provision in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK.
THE UK-EU TRADE AND COOPERATION AGREEMENT (TCA) – TEMPORARY BUSINESS TRAVEL
A briefing from the House of Commons Library explains what has changed for UK and EU businesses and individuals who travel to sell services in one another’s markets. The briefing has been updated for a Westminster Hall debate on 18 November.
On 15 November, Kenneth Rijock published the announcement from the US DoJ about the extradition of the son of former Panamanian President Martinelli from Guatemala to the US on 15 November. On 16 November, News 18 reported that his lawyer had said he plans to plead guilty.
AFGHAN OPIATES SUPPLY 8 OUT OF 10 OPIATE USERS WORLDWIDE
A news release from the UN Office on Drugs & Crime on 16 November said that research showed that the opium harvest in Afghanistan increased by 8% in 2021 compared to last year, to 6,800 tons, which could lead to markets around the globe being flooded with around 320 tons of pure heroin. It also said that Afghan opiates supply 8 out of 10 users worldwide, while Afghanistan accounted for 85% of global opium production in 2020. It also warns that alongside rising opium and heroin production, methamphetamine manufacture in Afghanistan, using the wild ephedra plant as a precursor, has sharply increased in recent years.
COCAINE SEIZURES SOAR AS HONG KONG BECOMES REGIONAL DRUG HUB
On 15 November, Insight Crime reported that a string of large seizures of cocaine have underscored Hong Kong’s growing role as a regional import point and consumer market as the cocaine trade expands across East Asia. The amount of cocaine seized from January to May 2021 was 60 times higher than in the same period last year, according to Hong Kong police.
MoneyGram BLOCKS GUAYANESE POLITICIAN AUBREY NORTON
On 13 November, Newsroom Guyana reported that MoneyGram has blacklisted Guyanese politician Aubrey Norton who is currently seeking election to become the next leader of the main opposition party – the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R). He alleged political discrimination and called for persons to boycott the money transfer company. MoneyGram said it was only following guidelines linked to its global and domestic AML obligation.
INDIA: ITALIAN COMPANY LEONARDO OFFICIALLY REMOVED FROM LIST OF SUSPENDED DEFENCE FIRMS
On 14 November, the Hindustan Times reported that 6 defence companies continue to be banned since 2012-13, business is on hold with 13 companies and restricted procurement is allowed from 2 others. Those banned include Singapore Technologies Kinetics, Israel Military Industries and Rheinmetall Air Defence, Zurich. Leonardo SpA (the new name of Finmeccanica) and its subsidiary AgustaWestland International UK had been suspended following allegations of irregularities including bribery. The Indian government suspended all business dealings with the companies in 2014 after terminating a controversial contract for 12 helicopters with AgustaWestland.
GREECE: GOLDEN VISA APPLICATIONS GROW EVEN DURING PANDEMIC
On 14 November, the Greek Herald reported that the Migration Policy Ministry said there were 193 requests in October while there were only 554 in the first 9 months of 2021, the acceleration coming as cases hit record numbers but the New Democracy government rejecting lockdowns. During 2020, Greece issued 938 residence permits through the so-called Golden Visa scheme which requires investors to buy property worth at least €250,000 to be eligible.
ECUADORIAN COURT FREEZES EX-PRESIDENT’S BANK ACCOUNT IN PROBE
On 13 November, Al Jazeera reported that a court order has frozen bank accounts of former President Rafael Correa and 19 others as part of a corruption investigation. President Rafael Correa and members of his administration were sentenced last year for breaking campaign finance laws.
OFAC SANCTIONS LATVIA-REGISTERED “MAILBOX” COMPANY OVER MONEY LAUNDERING ALLEGATIONS
On 16 November, LSM reported that a Latvian-based company that may have been used to launder tens of millions of dollars has had its operations suspended following its sanctioning by the US. Chatextech and operates a currency exchange platform called Chatex. It was founded in Latvia by 3 Russian and a Belarusian citizen at the beginning of this year.
ONTARIO ANNOUNCES NEW BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REGIME
On 16 November, an article from Bennett Jones LLP was concerned with a declared intention to address tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit financial activities by amending the Business Corporations Act to require privately-held Ontario corporations to record the identities and various details of all individuals who exercise significant control over those corporations. This would bring Ontario in line with most other Canadian provinces and would seek to further address concerns that Canada is vulnerable as a haven for financial crime.
LIBYA: SAIF GADDAFI’S POLITICAL AMBITIONS, UNIQUE ASPECTS OF LIBYA’S SOCIETY AND REVOLUTION, AND THE MEMORY OF THE GADDAFI REGIME
On 16 November, the Babel podcast from the Center for Strategic and International Studies involved an interview with Robert Worth, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine who interviewed Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s dictator, in May. It discusses his political ambitions in the upcoming elections, unique aspects of Libya’s society and revolution, and the memory of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. Then, contributors go on to discuss nostalgia for authoritarianism across the Middle East. A transcript is also available.
PRIVACY AND DATA BREACHES IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
On 16 November, an article from Conyers explains the framework and says that it is important for Cayman Islands entities that process personal data are aware of their obligations under the DPA and are in a position to recognise and adequately respond to a privacy breach or notifications that occur.
MEXICO SAYS IT ARRESTED ‘NARCO QUEEN’ IN SIGNIFICANT HIT TO MAJOR CARTEL’S FINANCES
On 16 November, Newsweek reported that authorities in Mexico said they have arrested the wife of the leader of a major drug cartel, Rosalinda González Valencia. She is the wife of cartel leader Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera, and the government considered it a significant hit in their operation against the cartel.
US COURT ORDERS TO LIQUIDATE $56 MILLION WORTH IN CRYPTOS TIED TO A BitConnect FRAUD
On 16 November, Finance Magnates reported that a federal judge had granted a request to liquidate approximately $56 million worth in cryptocurrencies seized in a fraud operation. It is said that the government will maintain custody of the seized proceeds in cryptocurrency wallets and intends to use these funds to provide restitution to the victims pursuant to a future restitution order by the court at sentencing.
MIAMI PROFESSOR SENTENCED TO 6 MONTHS FOR VENEZUELA MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
In its 17 November edition, Devdiscourse reported that a former University of Miami professor, Bruce Bagley, has been sentenced to 6 months in prison after pleading guilty to charges he helped launder funds embezzled from Venezuela on behalf of businessman Alex Saab (who is currently on trial himself).
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