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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TAXATION OF THE DIGITALISED ECONOMY
On 22 November, KPMG published the latest edition of this regular newsletter dealing with direct and indirect tax developments.
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.
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.
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.
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