OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 17

Panama Covid-19 update – the number of active cases continues to creep up – now being at 2,019, up nearly 400 on the figure of a week ago. However, the number of those hospitalised has fallen, with 20 in ICU and 111 in other wards. There were 238 new cases reported today, and 1 new fatality.

17 NOVEMBER 2021

PROMINENT ART COLLECTOR JAIME BOTÍN WILL NOT GO TO JAIL FOR SMUGGLING PICASSO DUE TO ‘INCURABLE ILLNESS’

On 12 November, Constantine Cannon LLP reported that, in Spain, the president of Spanish bank Grupo Santander, will not go to jail for attempting to smuggle a Pablo Picasso painting out of Spain whereas he had been expected to spend 3 years behind bars.

https://www.artatlaw.com/12-november-2021/

US COMMERCE DEPARTMENT’S BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY (BIS) FAQ ON ‘CYBERSECURITY ITEMS’ IN EXPORT CONTROL

On 17 November, the EU Sanctions blog reported that BIS had released the 29 FAQ relating to ‘cybersecurity items’ for the purposes of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/11/bis-publishes-cyber-rule-faqs/

https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/documents/pdfs/2872-cyber-tools-le-ace-faqs-final-version-nov-2021/file

NORTH KOREA: UN GRANTS HUMANITARIAN EXEMPTIONS TO SANCTIONS

On 17 November, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the UN Sanctions Committee had granted 2 exemptions from UN sanctions involving specified items to the Pyongyang Cardiac Hospital and specified items related to the prevention of the spread of African Swine Fever.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/11/un-dprk-sanctions-committee-grants-humanitarian-exemptions/

US: COMPANY AND OWNER SENTENCED FOR THEIR ROLES IN AN INTERNATIONAL SCHEME TO EXPORT A PUMP FOR RUSSIAN DEEP-WATER DRILLING

On 16 November, All on Georgia reported that Dali Bagrou, 60, of, was sentenced to 51 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy, and his company  World Mining and Oil Supply (WMO) also pleaded guilty.  As part of Bagrou’s plea, he agreed to forfeit his home purchased with illicit proceeds; an Atlanta-area residence is valued at approximately $800,000.  The case involved a Russian company which intended to use a turbine on a Russian Arctic deep-water drilling platform.

https://allongeorgia.com/georgia-public-safety/georgia-company-and-owner-sentenced-for-role-in-scheme-to-evade-u-s-national-security-trade-sanctions/

US IMPOSES ENTRY BAN ON NICARAGUAN PRESIDENT AND OFFICIALS

On 17 November, the Hindustan Times reported that the US State Department had imposed an entry ban on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, his vice-president wife and his government, after elections that were internationally dismissed as illegitimate.  This was in addition to financial sanctions against Nicaraguan officials.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/us-imposes-entry-ban-on-nicaraguan-president-officials-101637094924600.html

IRELAND: CONCERNS THAT CRIME GANGS ARE SMUGGLING DRUGS INTO THE COUNTRY INSIDE FEMALE HORSES AND DONKEYS

On 17 November, Dublin Live reported that a police committee had heard that gangs are smuggling drugs into the country inside low-value female horses and donkeys.  A councillor said that she had been told the animals were being brought into Dublin Port and – if the packages were not found during routine veterinary checks – they were later removed and sold on the streets.

https://www.dublinlive.ie/news/dublin-news/concerns-crime-gangs-smuggling-illegal-22187385

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/drugs-being-smuggled-into-ireland-inside-horses-and-donkeys-policing-meeting-hears-1.4730383

INDIA: ANOTHER BID TO SMUGGLE INDIAN STAR TORTOISES FOILED

On 17 November, The Hindu reported that, 3 days after 170 Indian star tortoises were found abandoned in 2 bags at a bus station, police recovered another 401 of the threatened species from a man who was hoping to smuggle them to Chennai.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/another-bid-to-smuggle-indian-star-tortoises-foiled/article37531469.ece

DRUGS SEIZED AT IRELAND’S PORTS ‘COULD BE AS LOW’ AS 5-10% OF TOTAL TRAFFICKED INTO THE COUNTRY

On 16 November, the Irish Examiner reported that a customs chief has said the amount of drugs intercepted at ports “could be as low” as 5-10% of all drugs trafficked into Ireland – similar, he said, to other countries.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40745988.html

FinCEN LISTS CYBERCRIME INVOLVING VIRTUAL CURRENCIES AS AN AML PRIORITY

On 16 November, PYMNTS.com reported that FinCEN had rolled out its first priorities to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  It is said that the Treasury is particularly concerned about cyber-enabled financial crime, ransomware attacks and the misuse of virtual assets that exploits and undermines their innovative potential, including through laundering of illicit proceeds. 

https://www.pymnts.com/aml/2021/fincen-lists-cybercrime-involving-virtual-currencies-aml-priority/

https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/fincen-issues-first-national-amlcft-priorities-and-accompanying-statements

AUSTRALIA: ClubsNSW WINS FEDERAL COURT ORDER RESTRAINING WHISTLEBLOWER FROM ‘INTIMIDATING’ STATEMENTS

On 17 November, the Guardian reported that ClubsNSW has successfully restrained former employee and whistleblower Troy Stolz from making public statements that are calculated to “intimidate, harass, or otherwise bring improper pressure” on the club’s lobby as it sues him for disclosing confidential information about lax compliance with money laundering in the state’s poker machine industry.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/nov/17/clubsnsw-wins-federal-court-order-restraining-whistleblower-from-intimidating-statements

US: TEQUILA ENTREPRENEUR PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD

On 17 November, The Spirits Business reported that Joseph Cimino, 57, founder of 6 Degree Tequila, has pleaded guilty to security and wire fraud after he misused investor money and falsely inflated his company’s sales.

https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2021/11/tequila-entrepreneur-pleads-guilty-to-fraud/

JAN MARSALEK AND WIRECARD: ON THE TRAIL OF THE WORLD’S MOST WANTED WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL

On 17 November, the Gentleman’s Journal carried an article about Jan Marsalek, an alleged fraudster and Russian spy, currently wanted by Interpol and on the run since June 2020.  The former Wirecard COO is accused of fraud, and the article also refers to links with Russian Intelligence and to chemical weapons sales. 

https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/where-on-earth-is-jan-marsalek-on-the-trail-of-the-worlds-most-wanted-white-collar-criminal/

DEPUTY HEAD OF MOLDOVAN POST OFFICE DETAINED

On 17 November, Moldpres reported that the deputy head of the Moldovan Post Office was detained by CNA anti-corruption officers and anti-corruption prosecutors in a case in which he is suspected of abuse of office.

https://www.moldpres.md/en/news/2021/11/17/21008748

INDIA: ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE RAIDS SUPERTECH REAL ESTATE COMPANY IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

On 17 November, NDTV reported that the Enforcement Directorate had conducted raids on multiple premises of real estate group Supertech in connection with a money laundering investigation.  The case pertains to the company constructing 2 40-storey towers illegally on its Emerald Court housing project premises with over 900 flats and 21 shops in the towers.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/enforcement-directorate-raids-supertech-premises-in-money-laundering-case-2614388

CENTRAL BANK OF UAE ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE ON AML MEASURES

On 17 November, Gulf News reported that the guidelines aimed at licenced exchange houses have come into effect.  The guidance requires all licenced exchange houses in the UAE to demonstrate compliance with its requirements within 1 month.

https://gulfnews.com/business/banking/central-bank-of-uae-issues-new-guidance-on-anti-money-laundering-measures-1.83757498

SWEDEN: COURT TOLD BOMBARDIER FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT OF RAIL CONTROL SOLUTIONS WAS NOT AND COULD NOT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN PAYING OR APPROVING BRIBES TO SECURE A CONTRACT IN AZERBAIJAN

On 17 November, the Globe & Mail in Canada reported on an ongoing trial in Sweden where Bombardier and its local partner in Azerbaijan, Trans-Signal-Rabita LLC, and the government-owned Azerbaijan Railways, are accused of having colluded to rig the specifications so the Bombardier-led consortium won the contract, worth US$340 million.  The charges against Swedish national Thomas Bimer are the result of a 5-year investigation by Sweden’s National Anti-Corruption Unit in one of the biggest corruption cases the country has seen.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-defense-in-bombardier-bribery-trial-says-former-vp-could-not-have-been

https://www.occrp.org/en/27-ccwatch/cc-watch-briefs/15504-swedish-bombardier-executive-denies-bribing-azeri-official

UK FINANCIAL SANCTIONS ON NICARAGUA: CURRENT LIST OF DESIGNATED PERSONS

On 15 November, HM Treasury and OFSI published an updated list of those designated under the Nicaragua (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-sanctions-nicaragua

DRUG SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN 2021: LATEST FINDINGS AND EMERGING THREATS

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has released this report which found that the 2021 opium harvest, completed in July, marked the fifth year in a row with production at historic highs of more than 6,000 tons, potentially yielding up to 320 tons of pure heroin to be trafficked to markets around the world.  It also says that high regional and global demand for methamphetamine, coupled with a saturated market for opiates, could push further expansion of manufacture of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs

https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Afghanistan/Afghanistan_brief_Nov_2021.pdf

US WARNS BOSNIA OF SANCTIONS OVER SERB SECESSIONIST AMBITIONS

On 17 November, Rferl reported warnings that the US, which brokered Bosnia’s 1995 peace accord, may impose sanctions against entities that try to unilaterally withdraw from state institutions or destabilise the deal.  Bosnia-Herzegovina has been in a protracted political crisis over secessionist moves by the country’s Serb-dominated entity.

https://www.rferl.org/a/bosnia-serb-blinken-/31565317.html

REvil IS DOWN—FOR NOW

A post from Lawfare on 16 November says that the US Government and an undisclosed foreign partner have taken a major step forward in the fight against ransomware.  It says that the Government’s campaign against REvil, however, has been months in the making, involving several coordinated campaigns by US and foreign intelligence agencies.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/revil-down-now

LOSSES TO OECD TAX HAVENS COULD VACCINATE GLOBAL POPULATION 3 TIMES OVER

On 16 November, the Tax Justice Network reported that research shows that countries are losing a total of $483 billion in tax a year to global tax abuse committed by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals.  The State of Tax Justice 2021 – published by the Tax Justice Network, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and the global union federation Public Services International – reports that of the $483 billion in tax that countries lose a year, $312 billion is lost to cross-border corporate tax abuse by multinational corporations and $171 billion is lost to offshore tax evasion by wealthy individuals.  It says that the worst culprit among OECD members is the UK, which is responsible for over a third (39%) of the world’s tax loss. The UK is by far the world’s greatest enabler of global tax abuse, which it facilitates through a network made up of British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and the City of London.

https://taxjustice.net/2021/11/16/losses-to-oecd-tax-havens-could-vaccinate-global-population-three-times-over-study-reveals/

CANADA: OFFSHORE ‘MASTERMIND’ RAN $300 MILLION ‘SHADOW BANK’ FOR CLIENTS’ TAX-HAVEN MONEY

On 16 November, CBC reported that scores of wealthy Canadians had access to a Vancouver-based “shadow bank” that they used to buy homes, vacation properties, cars and airplane tickets with funds stashed in tax havens, according to a confidential draft report by the Canada Revenue Agency.  The Corporate House group, opened dozens of shell companies and accounts in tax havens around the world.  It says that, facing US criminal charges, Fred Sharp also trying to fend off Canadian tax auditors.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fred-sharp-corporate-house-cra-draft-report-1.6250306

INCOTERMS 2020 EXPLAINED FOR IMPORT EXPORT GLOBAL TRADE

A reminder that the excellent and informative (and short) 6-minute video from the International Chamber of Commerce, released in February 2020, is still available.  They are Internationally recognised terms that are published by the ICC.  Buyer and sellers use Incoterms® to agree on the international sale and supply of goods in global trade transactions.  Buyers and sellers must accurately understand how Incoterms® work and agree to sell goods based on 11 Incoterms®:

EXW – EX Works or EX Warehouse

FCA – Free to CArrier

FAS – Free Alongside Ship

FOB – Free On Board

CFR – Cost and Freight

CIF – Cost, Insurance and Freight

CPT – Carriage Paid To

CIP – Carriage and Insurance Paid to

DAP – Delivered At Place

DPU – Delivered at Place Unloaded (note DPU replaces the old Incoterm® 2010 DAT)

DDP – Delivered Duty Paid

The buyer and seller must agree to Incoterms® and display them correctly on sales contracts and documentation. Exporters and importers use IncoDocs.com to connect to create and share sales and shipping documentation required for global trade.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g7IC4IzjDM

PODCAST: WHEN REPORTING IS A CRIME: KHADIJA ISMAYILOVA

In this week’s TRACE podcast, acclaimed investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova describes her efforts to uncover corruption in Azerbaijan and the state-sponsored blackmail, and then imprisonment, she suffered.  Khadija has been represented by an international coalition of lawyers: Amal Clooney (Doughty Street Chambers), Alinda Vermeer (Media Legal Defence Initiative), Yalchin Imanov and Fariz Namazov. (This episode was originally published in March 2018.)  “The caviar Connection”, a documentary featuring Khadija, is screening online at the DOC NYC Film Festival.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

EU: 3rd RAW MATERIALS SCOREBOARD

 On 17 November, the EU published this report, saying that raw materials have moved into the political spotlight because of their importance for the twin green and digital transition and geopolitical developments. This provides an overview of the raw materials supply chain. It takes a closer look at markets and trade, and presents the flow of materials through the EU economy. It also clarifies the scope of materials, the changes to this edition and criteria for data used.  The Scoreboard presents an in-depth analysis of Europe’s raw material supply chains, their competitiveness and trade flows.

https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/eb052a18-c1f3-11eb-a925-01aa75ed71a1

THE NEXUS BETWEEN THE ILLICIT NARCOTICS TRADE AND CORRUPTION

On 17 November, an article from the Brookings Institution consists of the testimony of Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at Brookings, before the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control on 17 November during its hearing on “The Nexus between the Illicit Drug Trade and Corruption”.

https://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/the-nexus-between-the-illicit-narcotics-trade-and-corruption

TEXAS WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SCHEMES TO PROCURE ADOPTIONS FROM UGANDA AND POLAND THROUGH BRIBERY AND FRAUD

A DoJ news release on 17 November advised that Debra Parris, 69, a programme manager at an Ohio-based international adoption agency had pleaded guilty to schemes to procure adoptions of Ugandan and Polish children by bribing Ugandan officials and defrauding US authorities.  engaged in a scheme with others to bribe Ugandan officials to procure adoptions of Ugandan children by families in the US.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/texas-woman-pleads-guilty-schemes-procure-adoptions-uganda-and-poland-through-bribery-and

COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION PERMANENT INJUNCTIONS AGAINST RESIDENTS OF MIAMI AND ISRAEL AND REQUIRES THEM TO PAY A COMBINED $7 MILLION IN DISGORGEMENT AND CIVIL MONETARY PENALTIES RE FRAUDULENT BINARY OPTIONS AND DIGITAL ASSETS SCHEME

On 17 November, a release on Mondo Visione reported that the CFTC had obtained orders granting permanent injunctions against Daniel Fingerhut, Itay Barak, Tal Valariola and Digital Platinum Limited (DPL), of Israel, and requiring them to pay a combined $7 million in disgorgement and civil monetary penalties for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations.  The orders also impose permanent trading and registration bans on Fingerhut, Barak and Valariola, among other injunctive relief.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/cftc-federal-court-orders-florida-man-and-foreign-defendants-to-pay-7-million/

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

62% OF COUNTRIES AT HIGH RISK OF DEFENCE AND SECURITY CORRUPTION

On 16 November, Transparency International said that the 2020 Government Defense Integrity Index (GDI) has been released by Transparency International Defence & Security and reveals nearly two-thirds of countries face a high to critical risk of corruption in their defence and security sectors.  Countries that score poorly in the GDI have weak or non-existent safeguards against defence sector corruption and are more likely to experience conflict, instability, and human rights abuses.

https://ti-defence.org/government-defence-integrity-index-2020-corrption-index/

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