OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 24

Panama Covid-19 update – the number of active cases has risen by a further 73 to 2,541; there were 2 new fatalities and 268 new cases; with 21 in ICU and 96 in other wards.

24 NOVEMBER 2021

AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS – WHAT THE LAWS SAYS, AND DOES NOT SAY, ABOUT THE HUMAN ROLE IN THE USE OF FORCE

On 11 November, an article from the International Committee of the Red Cross says that intergovernmental discussions on the regulation of emerging technologies in the area of (lethal) autonomous weapon systems (AWS) are back on track in Geneva after more than a year of COVID-19 related disruptions.The article reflects on whether international humanitarian law provides sufficiently clear guidance as to how humans and machines may interact in use of force decisions.  Building on the findings of a recent SIPRI study, it argues that clarification may be warranted and provides concrete suggestions on how states may further identify what IHL compliance requires in the development and use of AWS.  The article argues that it is time for the international community to consider, not only what the law already says, or does not say, about the human role in the use of force, but what it should say—regardless of the technology being used.

https://blogs.icrc.org/law-and-policy/2021/11/11/autonomous-weapon-systems-law-human-role

A SIGNIFICANT SHIFT IN THE EU’S FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY – THE TRANSFER OF WEAPONS TO FRAGILE STATES

On 10 November, an article from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute about a new approach — part of the EU’s increasing reliance on military-oriented tools to fulfil its goals to contribute to peace, security and development around the world — is in some measure embodied by the new European Peace Facility (EPF).  The EPF is part of an ambitious plan, launched by the 2016 EU Global Strategy to strengthen EU security and defence and to develop an integrated approach to conflict and crises. It warns that the use of the EPF will probably involve transfers of arms to countries or regions that are by definition fragile and affected by political instability and armed conflicts, often involving transnational terrorist groups or armed rebel groups contending the control of national territories.  It identifies the key risks, including diversion of the equipment and the risk of misuse of weapons.

https://www.sipri.org/commentary/blog/2021/transfer-weapons-fragile-states-through-european-peace-facility-export-control-challenges

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ISO 37001- AN INTERNATIONAL STANDARD RE ANTI-BRIBERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL WORKFORCES

On 22 November, an article from the CRI Group says that ISO 37001 was launched in 2016 and postulates a sequence of measures that an organisation can implement to aid in preventing, detecting and tackling bribery and is calculated to be unified with your organisation’s prevailing management processes and controls; and the ISO 37001 also shadows the shared ISO structure for management system standards, such as the ISO 9001.

https://abacgroup.com/an-introduction-to-the-iso-37001/

PANAMA PAPERS COURT CASE OPENS IN PANAMA

On 23 November, Newsroom Panama reported that the preliminary hearing of the investigation into the Panama Papers by the Third Court of Criminal Proceedings of Panama to determine if the merits exist for a money laundering trial have begun at the Balboa Theatre (converted into a courtroom) and will run from 22 November to 17 December with a cast of hundreds including 50 high-profile defendants and their legal teams.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama-papers-reality-show-at-balboa-theatre

HONG KONG CUSTOMS AGENTS SEIZE 200 TONNES OF CONTRABAND MEAT

On 24 November, OCCRP reported the seizure of a smuggling vessel carrying approximately 200 tonnes of frozen meat and arrest of 3 men between the ages of 38 and 47.  The meat was destined for Mainland China.  It also notes that Indian beef is banned due to a Chinese import prohibition in response to a skin disease that was spreading amongst India’s cows.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15557-hong-kong-customs-agents-seize-200-tonnes-of-contraband-meat

BELGIAN GHOST COMPANY RECEIVED MORE THAN €6 MILLION FROM CONGO

On 24 November, the Brussels Times reported that a seemingly non-existent company based in Brussels received more than €6 million from a Belgian-Congolese entrepreneurial duo linked to Congo’s former president, raising questions about possible money laundering.  It is reported that no such business exists on the Belgian companies register.  It is said that between 2012 and 2018, at least €6.35 million was transferred to Belgium from an account via the Congolese branch of Banque Gabonaise et Française Internationale (BGFIBank). 

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/business/194973/belgian-ghost-company-received-more-than-e6-million-from-congo/

INDIA IS PLANNING TO INTRODUCE A BAN ON ALMOST ALL PRIVATE CRYPTOCURRENCIES IN A NEW CLAMPDOWN

On 24 November, Euronews reported that India is on track to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies after the government announced that it was introducing a new financial regulation Bill.

https://www.euronews.com/next/2021/11/23/india-is-planning-to-tighten-crypto-regulation-to-deter-trading-in-a-new-clampdown-sources

SMALL-SCALE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTION: CURRENT THREATS AND FUTURE TRAJECTORIES

On 23 November, an Occasional paper from RUSI explores scientific and technical trends in small-scale chemical and biological weapons production, and provides key recommendations for policymakers and diplomats to address the problem.  It analyses 2 central questions and makes policy recommendations to address the overall problem. First, it assesses what resources are required for small-scale chemical and biological weapons (CBW) production. The necessary inputs in terms of budget, facilities, labour, materials and other factors are small, meaning efforts can be easy to conceal.  Then, second, the paper considers scientific and technical trends, and their impact on potential small-scale CBW production efforts. 

https://static.rusi.org/276-OP-Chem-Bio-Production-Final-Web_0.pdf

EU LAW GRANTS NATIONAL JUDGES A RIGHT TO SEEK GUIDANCE FROM THE EUROPEAN COURT, AFTER A HUNGARIAN JUDGE WAS DISCIPLINED FOR SEEKING GUIDANCE ON EU LAW

On 23 November, Jurist reported that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled in a Hungarian case.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/11/eu-court-rules-national-judges-cannot-be-disciplined-for-seeking-court-guidance/

ACTIVISTS SAY ILLEGAL FISHING IN WEST AFRICA IS HURTING OCEANS AND SOCIETIES

On 24 November, OCCRP reported that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a scourge to maritime ecosystems and economies around the planet, accounting for 20% of the world’s catch and is particularly pervasive in West Africa.  It also says that while illegal fishing takes different forms, but large-scale industrial operators do the most damage to ecosystems and the environment.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15558-activists-say-illegal-fishing-in-west-africa-is-hurting-oceans-and-societies

ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDS FRAUDSTERS DEACTIVATED IN ITALY

A news release from Europol on 24 November advised that Italian and German police, supported by Europol and Eurojust, dismantled a criminal network involved in fraud with public funds. The fraud was perpetrated through the use of so-called ‘white’ energy efficiency certificates, with criminals then laundering the illicit proceeds. Between 2016 and 2020, the criminal network illegally obtained certifications for energy efficiency (“white” certificates), while receiving subsidies through fictitious projects.  In total, the criminal network illegally obtained about €27 million in subsidies from nationally distributed funds. Then, they transferred the illicit proceeds to bank accounts in Germany, Switzerland and other European countries. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/energy-efficiency-funds-fraudsters-deactivated-in-italy

CHINESE AND UAE OFFICIALS RUN FOR TOP INTERPOL POSITIONS

On 23 November, Rferl reported on concerns as Interpol’s general assembly meets in Istanbul where it is expected to elect its new leadership.  Representatives from China and the UAE are bidding for top posts in the policing body. 

https://www.rferl.org/a/standish-interpol-china-uae-dissidents/31576831.html

US SANCTIONS ON ANOTHER NORD STREAM 2 COMPANY

On 22 November, France 24 reported that the US was imposing sanctions on Transadria Ltd, a shipping company linked to Russia.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211122-us-slaps-sanctions-on-another-nord-stream-firm

CANADA INTERCEPTS ALLEGED FORCED LABOUR CLOTHING SHIPMENT FROM CHINA

On 22 November, Just Style reported that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has intercepted a shipment of women’s and children’s clothing from China that it has classified as being ‘goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour’.  The shipment of clothing was intercepted in the Quebec region due to forced labour concerns.

https://www.just-style.com/news/canada-intercepts-alleged-forced-labour-clothing-shipment-from-china/

GAFILAT PRE-EVALUATION VISIT TO ECUADOR 

On 24 November, the FATF-style regional body announced that on 15-19 November, GAFILAT, through its president and the Executive Secretariat of the organisation, made a High-Level visit in preparation for the mutual evaluation process for Ecuador.  Experts made various presentations on core issues for the preparation of Ecuador in its evaluation process.

https://www.gafilat.org/index.php/es/noticias/153-el-gafilat-realizo-la-visita-de-pre-evaluacion-y-las-autoridades-ecuatorianas-participaron-en-el-curso-40-recomendaciones-y-cuarta-ronda-de-evaluaciones-mutuas-para-paises-a-ser-evaluados

ITALIAN AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY 12 MAFIA ASSOCIATES IN MALTA-ITALY CRACKDOWN

On 24 November, the Times of Malta reported that the Malta Gaming Authority has asked the Italian authorities for information on an anti-mafia money laundering probe with ties to Malta.  The so-called Game Over II law enforcement operation ended in Italy earlier this month and included Maltese companies and online gambling sites that were once licensed in Malta.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/italian-authorities-identify-12-mafia-associates-in-malta-italy.916660

TAXATION OF THE DIGITALISED ECONOMY

On 22 November, KPMG published the latest edition of this regular newsletter dealing with direct and indirect tax developments.

https://tax.kpmg.us/content/dam/tax/en/pdfs/2021/digitalized-economy-taxation-developments-summary.pdf

US TO DROP COLOMBIAN REBEL GROUP FARC FROM TERRORIST LIST 

On 23 November, the Wall Street Journal reported US plans which follows the 2016 peace deal between FARC and the Colombian government which ended 52-year conflict.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-to-remove-colombian-rebel-group-farc-from-terrorist-list-in-support-of-five-year-old-peace-pact-11637688001

PODCAST: “PROMOTING INTEGRITY IN THE WORK OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS”

The latest TRACE podcast features Duncan Smith of the European Investment Bank who discusses his book, Promoting Integrity in the Work of International Organisations: Minimising Fraud and Corruption in Projects.  He talks about the unique role of multinational development banks, the progress that remains and the cost of getting it wrong.

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

POTENTIAL ALLIANCE BETWEEN FINCEN AND THE DoJ ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES UNIT PRESENTS A POTENT LAW ENFORCEMENT COMBINATION FOR COMPANIES TO MONITOR

On 24 November, an article from Eversheds Sutherland says that, as companies continue to focus on improving their ESG credentials, they are constantly assessing their environmental management systems and compliance programs for potential areas of ESG-related risk. It says that a FinCEN/DoJ alliance on environmental crimes would be a remarkably potent law enforcement combination.  It says that prudence dictates that organisations assess their environmental compliance systems in light of these developments. 

https://us.eversheds-sutherland.com/NewsCommentary/Legal-Alerts/246515/Potential-alliance-between-FinCEN-and-Justice-Department-Environmental-Crimes-Unit-presents-a-potent-law-enforcement-combination-for-companies-to-monitor

 

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OFAC VENEZUELA SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENSE 8I

n 24 November, OFAC issued new General License 8I “Authorizing Transactions Involving Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) Necessary for the Limited Maintenance of Essential Operations in Venezuela or the Wind Down of Operations in Venezuela for Certain Entities”. 

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/venezuela_gl8i.pdf

 

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

US TREASURY EXPANDS SYRIA NGO GENERAL LICENSE

On 24 November, OFAC announced that it had amended the Syrian Sanctions Regulations to expand the authorisations for NGO to engage in certain transactions and activities.  This action builds upon the US Government’s longstanding humanitarian exemptions, exceptions, and authorisations in the Syria sanctions programme — and helps ensure the continued provision of humanitarian assistance, including certain early-recovery activities, that benefit the Syrian people.  The US Treasury’s recent sanctions review highlighted the need for continued review of existing authorities to facilitate legitimate humanitarian activity while continuing to deny support to malicious actors.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0505

ISLE OF MAN TCSP: PENALTY FOR AML/CFT FAILINGS

On 24 November, a statement from the Financial Services Authority advised that a TCSP had received a civil penalty of £321,550 (discounted by 30% to £225,085) for contraventions of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Code 2019.  It was also established that a number of entities administered by the TCSP were not complying with their own respective obligations under the Code.   

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2021/nov/public-statement-concerning-the-regulatory-investigation-of-the-isle-of-man-financial-services-authority-in-respect-of-bridgewater-iom-limited-and-the-associated-outcomes/

 

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UK: THEMATIC REVIEW OF LAW FIRMS’ AML GUIDANCE

On 24 November, Legal Futures reported that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) identified authority, independence and resources as the key pillars of the roles of money laundering compliance officer (MLCO) and reporting officer (MLRO) – while most it talked to were generally fulfilling the first 2, the third was the biggest challenge.  It is proposed that MLRO and MLCO workloads be reduced and that firms should consider appointing deputies.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/reduce-aml-officers-billable-targets-regulator-tells-firms

The SRA report is at –

https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/reports/money-laundering-governance-three-pillars-of-success/

 

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SIRIUS EU DIGITAL EVIDENCE SITUATION REPORT

On 24 November, a news release from Europol advised that Europol, Eurojust and the European Judicial Network have published the third annual edition of the SIRIUS European Union Digital Evidence Situation Report.  This year, the report goes beyond a comprehensive status update by including an assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the access of EU authorities to electronic evidence held by foreign-based online service providers (OSPs) in 2020. It says that the volume of cross-border requests submitted by EU authorities to 8 large online service providers (OSP) increased 27% in 2020 in comparison with the previous year, with a large majority of them issued by Germany and France, and mainly to Facebook and Google. There was a very significant increase of 112% in emergency disclosure request in 2020 compared to 2019, with Facebook receiving most of them, among the OSP analysed. The report says that cross-border access to digital evidence is crucial to most investigations, and it became even more relevant during the pandemic.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/cross-border-access-to-electronic-evidence-update-and-impact-of-pandemic-data-requests

The Report is at –

https://www.europol.europa.eu/publications-documents/sirius-eu-digital-evidence-situation-report-3rd-annual-report-2021

 

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

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 23

Panama Covid-19 update – no new fatalities today, although there were 214 new cases, with the total of active cases rising by only 13 to 2,468. 23 patients are in ICU and 91 in other wards.

23 NOVEMBER 2021

2-YEAR INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS ILLEGAL GAMBLING AT WASHINGTON HORSE RACING SITE

On 22 November, iGB reported that a ranch was being used for a horse racing operation that was accepting illegal wagers, along with other suspected illegal gambling on site, with monthly horse racing meets held and advertised on social media.

https://igamingbusiness.com/two-year-investigation-uncovers-illegal-gambling-at-washington-horse-racing-site

CALL FOR GAO TO EXAMINE FBI WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS

On 22 November, Government Executive in the US reported that 5 years after Congress passed a law reforming the FBI whistleblower programme, the DoJ still has not issued regulations to implement those changes.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers has asked the Government Accountability Office to conduct a new review of the programme after years of inaction despite calls for reform.  It was in 2015 that the GAO highlighted a number of weaknesses in the rules, including a lack of clarity in terms of where whistleblowers can make protected disclosures and an inability of employees who believe they were retaliated against to challenge adverse personnel actions.

https://www.govexec.com/oversight/2021/11/lawmakers-call-gao-examine-fbi-whistleblower-protections/187019/

AN OFFSHORE PERSPECTIVE: THE ENGLISH COMMERCIAL COURT’S DECISION IN THE SKAT “CUM-EX” CASE AND DICEY RULE 3

On 22 November, Harneys published an article about the case in which the English High Court dismissed proceedings brought by the Danish national tax authority against over 100 defendants in connection with tax refunds that it alleged it had been induced to repay by misrepresentations.  The judge had invoked “Dicey Rule 3”, a rule which disallows claims for the enforcement, directly or indirectly, of the penal, revenue and public laws of foreign states.  The article considers the position from a Cayman and BVI perspective.  It points out that the rule may apply even where fraudulent or dishonest or wrongful conduct may be shown (obviously, between EU Member States, EU law has evolved to counter such rules).  The article does say that the rule is in effect in Cayman and the BVI just as it is in England and Wales.

https://www.harneys.com/media/3276/article-an-offshore-perspective-the-english-commercial-court-s-decision-in-the-skat-cum-ex-case-and-dicey-rule-3.pdf

MUST A FACTUAL WITNESS KEEP THEIR OPINIONS TO THEMSELVES?

On 18 November, Watson, Farley & Williams published an article about a recent High Court case in which the defendant sought to strike out parts of the claimant’s witness statements on the basis that they contained impermissible opinion evidence.  The application was dismissed, but it provides useful clarification on the application of new rules, and their interaction with the law on admissibility of evidence – under new rules applied to the business and property courts.  It is said that the new rules do not affect the precedent law on admissibility of opinion evidence from witnesses of fact in relevant cases. It also serves as a useful reminder that, in appropriate cases, witnesses can give evidence by reference to their own personal knowledge and involvement as to what would or could have happened in counterfactual or hypothetical circumstances.

https://www.wfw.com/articles/must-a-factual-witness-keep-their-opinions-to-themselves/

THE RISING STANDARDS OF AML/CFT COMPLIANCE IN HONG KONG

On 22 November, Regulation Asia reported that discusses key developments in 2021 and which are said to demonstrate a trend in increased standards expected of Hong Kong financial institutions. 

https://www.regulationasia.com/the-rising-standards-of-aml-cft-compliance-in-hong-kong/

HOW DIGITAL ESPIONAGE TOOLS EXACERBATE AUTHORITARIANISM ACROSS AFRICA

On 19 November, an article from the Brookings Institute on use of the Pegasus spyware system says that, of the 14 phone numbers said to be on the system, belonging to world leaders on the list of numbers and suspected of being targeted, half were African. They included 2 sitting heads of state — South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI — along with the current or former prime ministers of Egypt, Burundi, Uganda, Morocco, and Algeria.  However, it also says that African leaders are both victims and users of malware systems such as Pegasus.  It says that it is clear that governments across Africa are also using spyware for purposes of international espionage – and these tools are being used in ways that risk worsening authoritarian tendencies and raise questions about whether security services are being properly held to account for their use.  It warns that Pegasus is far from the only cyber espionage software ostensibly meant to aid law enforcement fight criminals that is being used for more nefarious purposes; and that digital surveillance is a booming industry in Africa.

https://www.brookings.edu/techstream/how-digital-espionage-tools-exacerbate-authoritarianism-across-africa

EU COURT OF JUSTICE UPHOLDS THE ACTS OF THE COUNCIL MAINTAINING HAMAS ON THE EUROPEAN LIST OF TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS

A news release from the Court of Justice of the European Union on 23 November advised that the General Court should not have cancelled in 2019 Hamas’ listing on the ground that the EU Council had failed to authenticate by means of a signature the statements of individual reasons for those acts.

https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2021-11/cp210208en.pdf

A NATIONAL COURT MUST DISREGARD ANY NATIONAL JUDICIAL PRACTICE WHICH IS PREJUDICIAL TO ITS RIGHT TO MAKE A REFERENCE TO THE EU COURT OF JUSTICE

A news release from the Court of Justice of the European Union on 23 November advised about a case from Hungary and involving a Swedish national and interpretation.  It said that a supreme court of a Member State may not declare a request for a preliminary ruling submitted by a lower court unlawful on the ground that the questions referred are not relevant and necessary for the resolution of the dispute in the main proceeding.

https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2021-11/cp210207en.pdf

https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-judge-eu-court/31575073.html

EXTRADITION AND PROSECUTION OF ISRAELIS BY FOREIGN COURTS

On 22 November, an article from Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co starts by saying that numerous news articles have reported on the arrests of Israeli citizens resulting from foreign investigations conducted abroad.  For example, more than 20 employees of a Tel Aviv based company engaging in forex investment marketing were arrested following an FBI investigation and reports indicate that European countries have arrested many other suspects as part of the same investigation, led apparently, by the US.  It refers to Israel’s lax law enforcement policy regarding international white-collar crimes.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/extradition-and-prosecution-of-israelis-7986281/

CHINESE CUSTOMS SEIZES METEORITES PASSED OFF AS PYRITE

On 23 November, The Indian Express reported that almost half a tonne of meteorites declared as pyrite ore on import have been seized by authorities.  Pyrite, also known as “fool’s gold”, is an iron sulphide mineral used in the paper and jewellery industries.  It was not immediately clear how the owner had come into possession of the meteorites.

https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/chinese-customs-seizes-meteorites-pyrite-7636791/

THE DOWNFALL OF BRAZIL’S PHARAOH OF BITCOINS

On 22 November, an article from Insight Crime is about a vast cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, have emerged, including links to drug money, charitable donations to a church, and a murder-for-hire plot.  The article examines the case in which, in 2015, Glaidson Acácio dos Santos, a former waiter and pastor, founded a company, GAS Consultoria Bitcoin, that traded in cryptocurrency; and he soon had a vast portfolio that moved hundreds of millions in dollars.  However, he was arrested in August 2021 and accused of building a complicated pyramid scheme.  Since his arrest, the case has taken a number of turns, including Acácio dos Santos being named a defendant in 288 separate civil cases.

https://insightcrime.org/news/murder-drugs-god-and-crypto-downfall-brazil-pharaoh-bitcoins/

ISLE OF MAN FSA STRATEGIC PLAN 2021-2024

On 23 November, the Financial Services Authority published this Plan which, it says, set out its blueprint to maintain the Island’s reputation as a well-regulated international finance centre.  It highlights the goals and priorities that will lead initiatives to protect consumers, reduce financial crime and uphold confidence in the financial services sector.  On AML/CFT, with an updated approach to AML/CFT, the Plan says its strategic priorities are – defining (and implementing) the role and responsibilities of its new AML/CFT Division; maintenance and review of guidance; and continued engagement with Government AML/CFT Policy.

https://www.iomfsa.im/media/2916/iomfsa-strategic-report-2021-2024.pdf

AUSTRALIA: MAN CHARGED AFTER 1,000 LITRES OF PSEUDOEPHEDRINE SEIZED 

A news release from Australian Federal Police on 22 November advised that a joint-agency police investigation has resulted in the seizure of more than 1,100 litres of pseudoephedrine.

https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/man-charged-after-1000-litres-pseudoephedrine-seized-%E2%80%93-operation-phobetor

OLAF TO PLAY AN EVEN BIGGER ROLE IN STOPPING WASTE TRAFFICKING AND FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE

On 17 November, a news release from the EU anti-fraud office advised that up to 30% of all waste shipments may be illicit, estimates suggest, making up to €9.5 billion for criminals. 70 million tonnes of waste are shipped per year within the EU, in addition to nearly 33 million tonnes of waste that the EU exports to non-EU countries. Now the European Commission has adopted a proposal to revise the EU’s rules on waste shipments. The proposed changes include enhancing the role of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) to counter cross-border waste trafficking involving suspicious movements inside the EU.

https://ec.europa.eu/anti-fraud/media-corner/news/17-11-2021/olaf-play-even-bigger-role-stopping-waste-trafficking-and-fighting_en

PAKISTAN: NAB CHAIRMAN CLAIMS SOLID EVIDENCE OF MONEY LAUNDERING AGAINST “BIG FISH”

On 22 November, The Nation reported that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman has claimed that the bureau had solid evidence of money laundering of billions of rupees by the big fish, with money laundered through fake accounts.

https://nation.com.pk/22-Nov-2021/nab-chairman-claims-solid-money-laundering-evidence-against-big-fish

EX-CREDIT SUISSE BANKERS SAY IT STILL AIDS HIDDEN ACCOUNTS

On 22 November, Swissinfo reported that former Credit Suisse Group AG bankers have told criminal investigators that the bank is still helping US clients hide accounts from the IRS, even after the firm paid $2.6 billion in penalties in 2014 and promised to stop the practice.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/ex-credit-suisse-bankers-say-it-still-aids-hidden-accounts/47128808

AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AFCFTA) COULD BOOST MARITIME TRADE IN AFRICA

On 23 November, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the AfCFTA free trade agreement, under which trading started in January 2021, aims to increase intra-African trade by eliminating import duties – and to double this trade if non-tariff barriers are reduced. UNCTAD estimates that the agreement could boost intra-African trade by about 33% and cut Africa’s trade deficit by 51%.  It is said that a study by the UN Economic Commission for Africa with a time horizon of 2030 indicates that cargo transported by vessels would increase from 58 million to 132 million tons with the implementation of AfCFTA.  The study says Comoros, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Somalia will experience a surge in traffic through their ports by 2030 as a result of AfCFTA.  Africa’s contribution to global containerized trade remained relatively low in 2020, with container ports on the continent holding a 3.9% share of global container port traffic, compared to Asia with nearly two-thirds and Europe with 14.9%.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/afcfta-could-boost-maritime-trade-in-africa/

MALTA: OLAF REPORT PRESENTED WITH MISSING DOCUMENTS IN DALLI SISTERS’ MONEY LAUNDERING CASE

On 23 November, Malta Today reported that daughters of former EU Commissioner the John Dalli are accused of running a $600,000 Ponzi scheme which defrauded several American pensioners of their life savings.  The case has been ongoing since 2018, originally against the Dalli siblings along with 4 others, who were all charged with fraud, misappropriation, forgery and making false declarations to a public authority.  The case continues in February.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/113426/olaf_report_presented_with_missing_documents_in_dalli_sisters_money_laundering_case#.YZzsfMXMKM8

GERMAN POLICE RAID MONEY LAUNDERING GANGS AND BIKERS

On 23 November, Deutsche Welle reported that police in the western German state of North Rhine-Wesphalia have carried out 2 large anti-crime operations. One targeted money laundering gangs, the other, local biker gangs in a case of attempted murder.  The raids took place as part of an international operation. The EU police agency, Europol, was also involved; several arrest warrants had been executed in NRW.  Raids were also carried out in Italy, Switzerland and the southern German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, with Italian financial police saying they had arrested 22 people and confiscated some €41 million in real estate, cryptocurrencies and in bank accounts.

https://www.dw.com/en/german-police-raid-money-laundering-gangs-bikers/a-59906849

SPACE LAW HASN’T BEEN CHANGED SINCE 1967 – BUT THE UN AIMS TO UPDATE LAWS AND KEEP SPACE PEACEFUL

On 23 November, an article in The Conversation said that the UN General Assembly First Committee which deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community.  1 November, it approved a resolution that creates an open-ended working group.  It explains that activities in space are governed by the 1967 Space Treaty which is currently ratified by 111 countries.  The treaty was negotiated in the shadow of the Cold War when the Soviet Union and the US had spacefaring capabilities.  It offers broad principles to guide the activities of nations, and it does not offer detailed “rules of the road”.  The article says that, essentially, the Treaty assures freedom of exploration and use of space to all humankind.  There are just 2 caveats to this, and multiple gaps immediately present themselves.  The Treaty does specifically prohibit placing nuclear weapons or WMD anywhere in space, it does not prohibit the use of conventional weapons in space or the use of ground-based weapons against assets in space. Finally, it is also unclear if some weapons – like China’s new nuclear-capable partial-orbit hypersonic missile would be caught by the Treaty.

https://theconversation.com/space-law-hasnt-been-changed-since-1967-but-the-un-aims-to-update-laws-and-keep-space-peaceful-171351

WHAT’S A DATA TRANSFER UNDER THE GDPR?

On 23 November, an article from Field Fisher follows new guidance from the EU authorities, saying that, in a post-Schrems era, understanding what constitutes a transfer of personal data is not a trivial question. Data flows which do not amount to a data transfer under the meaning of Chapter V of the GDPR will not be subject to restrictions, including those deriving from Schrems.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/services/privacy-security-and-information/privacy-security-and-information-law-blog/what-s-a-data-transfer-under-the-gdpr

US TERMINATES ACTIONS ON DIGITAL SERVICES TAXES (DST) INVOLVING AUSTRIA, FRANCE, ITALY, SPAIN AND UK AND ANNOUNCES DST AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY

A Client Alert from Wilmer Hale on 23 November explained that, in essence, the US has lifted the threat of retaliatory tariffs — citing a political agreement reached between the US Treasury and the 5 countries that is expected to lead to the withdrawal of each country’s DST.  It also announced that it will monitor implementation of the political agreement in coordination with Treasury. It further explains that the agreement with Turkey that provides that the same terms that apply under the political agreement with the other countries will also apply with respect to Turkey’s DST.

https://wilmerhalecommunications.com/26/4916/november-2021/ustr-terminates-section-301-actions-on-digital-services-taxes-in-austria–france–italy–spain-and-the-united-kingdom–treasury-announces-dst-agreement-with-tu.asp?sid=e75db6e8-3983-42f7-b103-4401848452b9

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/rare-earth-elements-where-in-the-world-are-they

FAMED RUSSIAN CHILDREN’S CAMP COMPLEX PLAGUED BY CORRUPTION

On 23 November, Rferl reported on an investigation into a famed Russian camp complex near the Black Sea shore were suffering from bad food, squalid bathrooms, shoddy accommodations, bedbug-infested mattresses, among other things.  The state-subsidised Orlyonok complex is where as many as 20,000 school-age children and teenagers attend programmes annually.  The investigation claims that there was a scheme of inflated contracts with contractors and suppliers, exorbitant compensation for its general director, and posh, free-of-charge accommodations for VIP guests.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-investigation-camp-corruption/31575582.html

SPAIN ENACTS FIRST LEGISLATION TO REGULATE CRYPTOCURRENCIES

On 23 November, an article from White & Case said that the Bank of Spain created the registry where service providers for both the exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency and the custody of electronic wallets must register under a law enacted in April. 

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/alert/spain-enacts-first-legislation-regulate-cryptocurrencies

 

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