Panama Covid-19 update – 1 new fatality and 162 new cases reported today, with the number of active cases up again, though only by 25, to 2,428. There are 21 patients in ICU and 93 in other wards.
21 NOVEMBER 2021
SAUDI ARABIA: ATTEMPTS TO SMUGGLE OVER 3,000 BOTTLES OF WINE INTO JEDDAH
On 20 November, Zawya reported that Saudi customs authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle 3,612 bottles of wine into Saudi Arabia via Jeddah Islamic Port.
SOUTH AFRICA: ALLEGED RINGLEADER IN GOLD SMUGGLING AND MONEY LAUNDERING RACKET WAS ARRESTED ON SIMILAR CHARGES BEFORE
On 16 November, IOL reported that Gregory Fourie, one of the men accused of running a multi-million-rand gold smuggling syndicate was out on bail when he was arrested by the Hawks. According to reports, Fourie was arrested in November 2019, on similar charges. He and 4 others are facing charges ranging from theft to illegal dealing and possession in unwrought gold.
On 17 November, an article from Storeys reported that billions of dollars in real estate transactions in the greater Toronto area alone can be tied to money laundering, according to a 2019 study. The study found multiple risk indicators in real estate, including that different corporations acquired nearly $30 billion in local housing between 2008 and 2018, the majority of which was privately owned with no information on beneficial owners provided.
US ANNOUNCES SEX-TRAFFICKING CHARGES AGAINST DUTERTE ALLY
On 19 November, CNN reported that US prosecutors have announced sex-trafficking charges alleging that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with the founder of a Philippines-based church who is a friend and adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. Charges have been filed against charges Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and other church officials, including 2 US-based church administrators.
AUSTRALIA: CROWN CASINO AND MONEY LAUNDERING MISDEEDS
On 9 November, Transparency International Australia published an article following the recommendation of the Victorian Royal Commission into Crown Casino in Melbourne that it be allowed to keep its licence – albeit under a 2-year grace period during which a special manager should ‘oversee the affairs of the casino operator including the casino operations’.
IRELAND: CENTRAL REGISTER OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP FOR ICAV AND UNIT TRUSTS
On 18 November, an article from LK Shields says that a central Register of beneficial ownership for certain financial vehicles, namely ICAV, unit trusts and credit unions, became a legal requirement under Irish Regulations published in 2020. The register was created for AML purposes and the article outlines the requirements for certain financial vehicles (CFV) under the 2020 Regulations and the penalties for non-compliance.
MIAMI MAN USED HIS DORMANT BUSINESS AND SOLD CONDO FOR A $920,000 COVID-19 RELIEF FRAUD
On 21 November, the Miami Herald reported that Carlos Vazquez’s Big League LLC was a dormant business when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. So, it asks, how did Big League have 64 employees, pay them $4.425 million during the 2019 tax year and become eligible for a Paycheck Protection Program loan of $921,875? Vazquez, 57, has been sentenced to 3½ years in federal prison and $921,875 in restitution.
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