Panama Covid-19 update – re the recent increase in active cases, the authorities have indicated that this occurs as a result of the movementof people to different parts of the country on the occasion of the national holidays at the beginning of the month. Let’s hope they are right, and it is a temporary blip.
Meanwhile, active case numbers are up again, by 159 to 2,403. there were 258 new cases reported today (the highest daily number since the end of September) and 2 new fatalities. There are 22 patients in the ICU and 94 in other wards.
20 NOVEMBER 2021
PANAMA: FORMER PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR JAILED FOR 10 YEARS FOR FRAUD
On 19 November, Newsroom Panama reported that businessman and former governor of Coclé, Richard Fifer, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by a further 10 years ban from public office. The fraud involved false representations over mining exploration.
SOMALIA SEIZES 6 TURKISH DRONES
On 19 November, the Washington Examiner reported that authorities in Mogadishu had seized 6 disassembled drones. Subsequent Turkish pressure forced Somali authorities to release the Turkish engineers who accompanied the shipment, who claimed that the drones were for agricultural purposes. The article also claims that Turkey has helped build a drone base manned by both Turkish and Somali intelligence operatives adjacent to Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency.
IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS SEIZE FOREIGN DIESEL-SMUGGLING SHIP IN GULF
On 20 November, the Times of Israel and others reported that the Revolutionary Guards said that they had seized a vessel smuggling diesel in the Gulf and arrested its 11 foreign crew members. They did not specify either the date of the seizure, the nationality of the boat or its crew, or further details about the vessel and its origin.
IMF ON TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: PROGRESS IN STRENGTHENING THE AML/CFT FRAMEWORK IS WELCOME BUT FURTHER ACTIONS ARE NEEDED
On 19 November, the IMF reported on the outcomes of its Article IV mission, an inspection of Trinidad & Tobago. Amongst its conclusions were that its removal from the FATF monitoring list in February 2020 is commendable. The authorities were encouraged to make further efforts to strengthen the AML/CFT framework, including registering beneficial ownership, finalising amendments to the public procurement Act, and adopting risk-based AML/CFT supervision. It is also said to be essential to make similar progress on resolving issues related to the EU blacklist and the OECD’s Global Forum requirements on tax transparency and exchange of information.
RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS IN ENGLAND AND WALES
CMS Law has published this briefing (one of a number covering various countries.
ETHIOPIA NOW CONFIRMED TO FLY CHINESE ARMED DRONES
On 19 November, Pax for Peace in the Netherlands reported that high resolution satellite imagery from November 2021 now confirms the presence of Chinese Wing Loong drones in Ethiopia. Despite claims made last year of Chinese drones flown by the UAE from a base in Eritrea, no proof had been found of these drones were actually deployed over Ethiopia.
PANDORA PAPERS: UAE A GO-TO OFFSHORE HAVEN FOR AFRICA’S POLITICAL AND BUSINESS ELITE
On 16 November, ICIJ reported that the Pandora Papers discovered secretive Emirati financial interests of politicians and powerful business leaders from 17 African countries.
PANDORA PAPERS REVEAL EMIRATI ROYAL FAMILIES’ ROLE IN SECRET MONEY FLOWS
The ICIJ on 16 November reported that that the real owners of the offshore companies sold to clients who prefer to keep their identities under cover include a raft of shady players in the offshore world.
DRONES IN UKRAINE: TRACING KEY COMPONENTS FOR RUSSIAN-MADE MILITARY UAV
This Case Study from Conflict Armament Research looks at 6 different Russian-manufactured military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV – commonly called ‘drones’) that CAR documented in Ukraine. Its investigations found that the Russian military industry has been obtaining key components for these UAV – such as GPS modules, electronic parts, cameras, and engines – from the US, Asia, the Middle East, and the EU, both before and after the start of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014, and despite an EU arms embargo on Russia.
DR CONGO PRESIDENT DEMANDS AUDIT OF MINING REGISTRY TO FIGHT FRAUD
On 20 November, Reuters and others reported that the Democratic Republic of Congo President has demanded a ban on issuing and trading mining permits until the country’s mining registry has been audited, a measure aimed at combating fraud within the sector. The DRC is the world’s top producer of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper producer, but more than 70% of its roughly 100 million people live on less than $1.90 per day, according to the World Bank.
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