Panama Covid-19 update – on 24 November, it was announced that Panama had (so far) spent $92 million on Covid vaccines, mostly (over $84 million) to Pfizer/BioNTech. This news comes as the Government boasts, with street signs etc, of reaching the 80% double-vaccinated level, and as the booster programme continues. In view of the news of the new variant coming out of southern Africa (so that the UK has had to resurrect its Red List, to put South Africa and others to it), perhaps this is just as well!
The number of active cases show a rise of 122 today to 2,663. There were 262 new cases and 2 new fatalities; with 22 in ICU and 94 in other wards.
25 NOVEMBER 2021
OFAC ISSUES FIRST ROUND OF SANCTIONS UNDER ETHIOPIA SANCTIONS PROGRAM AND NEW GENERAL LICENSE
On 23 November, a blog post from Baker McKenzie reported that on 12 November, OFAC sanctioned 4 entities and 2 individuals. This is the first round of sanctions imposed under Executive Order 14046.
BREXIT: FROM 1 JANUARY NEW TRADING RULES AND FULL CUSTOMS CONTROLS WILL APPLY TO ALL GOODS BEING IMPORTED AND EXPORTED BETWEEN THE EU AND UK
On 24 November, Hiller Hopkins issued this warning.
UK: DELIBERATE & POTENTIALLY FRAUDULENT FIRES
On 24 November, BLM released this 10-minute video which discusses deliberate and potentially fraudulent fires, addressing the key issues and things to look out for.
FOREIGN BRIBERY LAW IN THE UAE
On 23 November, Hassan Elhais published a short note saying that the UAE does not have a particular anti-bribery law, and instead, the applicable provisions are part of Federal Law which provides for the main provisions governing the anti-corruption and anti-bribery practices in the region.
ISIS IS STEALING THOUSANDS OF SHEEP IN SYRIA TO FINANCE TERROR CELLS
On 21 November, Metro reported that cells in Hama and areas bordering Raqqa and Aleppo are said to be carrying out widespread black market operations with sheep stolen from locals are being sold at live cattle markets by fighters posing as shepherds. Hundreds of animals were reportedly stolen every week at the beginning of 2021, with farmers being murdered in raids or killed by mines laid on roads and in grazing areas. Some of the cattle is being used to sustain the fighters.
MALTA STILL SLOWEST IN EUROPE TO CONCLUDE MONEY LAUNDERING CASES
On 25 November, The Shift reported that the latest data published in July by the European Commission shows that Malta continues to have overall some of the longest estimated times needed in order to resolve litigious, civil, and commercial cases at all court instances, with only Italy having a worse performance.
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF UBO IN CZECH REPUBLIC APPROACHING
On 24 November, an article from Bird & Bird says that all registrations must comply with a new Act on Beneficial Owners Register and explains what do you need for the registration.
EU COMMISSION PROPOSALS FOR RATIFICATION OF NEW INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENT TO IMPROVE COOPERATION ON ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE
On 25 November, the EU said that the Commission had adopted 2 proposals to authorise EU Member States to sign and ratify the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. It is said that the Budapest Convention lies at the heart of a global alliance against cybercrime and has been signed by all EU Member States. It is the foundation for of anti-cybercrime legislation in 80% of countries worldwide.
UK: PROSCRIBED TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS AND GROUPS
On 23 November, the Home Office produced an updated version of the list of groups and organisations affected. It contains updated details for 2 such groups and notes the increased maximum jail sentence available from 10 to 14 years.
BRIEFING: TAX AVOIDANCE AND TAX EVASION
On 24 November, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which discusses the incidence of tax avoidance and evasion, before looking in detail at the development of follower notices and accelerated payment notices, and further initiatives to reduce the tax gap. Other available briefings look at the introduction of the 2019 Loan Charge, legislation to tackle mass marketed ‘loan schemes’ announced in the 2016 Budget (which has proved highly controversial); the Labour Government consideration of a general anti‑avoidance rule (GAAR) and the establishment of DOTAS; and at the Coalition Government’s decision to introduce a GAAR.
UK: DORMANT ASSETS BILL FACTSHEETS
On 24 November, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published 2 factsheets which give an overview of the Dormant Assets Bill, which will allow the inclusion of additional assets across from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors in the Dormant Assets Scheme. It is said that the scheme expansion has the potential to unlock an estimated £880 million for social and environmental purposes.
SECOND OF FORMER PANAMA PRESIDENT MARTINELLI’S SONS TO BE EXTRADITED TO US
On 24 November, Kenneth Rijock in his blog said that Guatemalan media has reported that Luis’ brother, Ricardo Martinelli Linares, has now followed Luis and waived his right to further contest extradition from Guatemala to the US and he was expected to be flown to New York in the next couple of days.
GERMANY’S NEXT GOVERNMENT AIMS TO LEGALISE RECREATIONAL CANNABIS
On 25 November, TJI reported that the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party have agreed to introduce legislation during their 4-year term to allow the controlled distribution of weed in licensed shops.
DUTIES OF CARE ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AROUND THE WORLD
On 24 November, an article from Eversheds Sutherland takes a high-level look at some of the key trends in the development of duties of care imposed on financial institutions outside express contractual terms in some key jurisdictions around the world and whether the scope of such duties are expanding.
CRIME GANGS MAKE VIETNAM THE TOP DESTINATION FOR SMUGGLED AFRICAN WILDLIFE
On 24 November, RFA reported that wildlife being trafficked from Africa by Vietnamese organised crime networks include pangolin meat, elephant ivory, and rhino horns, says the report by the London-based NGO Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). It says that networks are accelerating the decline of Africa’s biodiversity and are exacerbating corruption and weak rule of law in many source and transit countries in the continent.
PrivatBank LATVIA HIT WITH YET ANOTHER FINE FOR AML FAILURES
On 23 November, LSM reported that Latvia’s banking regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK), has said that it was hitting AS PrivatBank with a fine of more than €750,000 “for breaches of regulatory requirements in the field of anti-money laundering and combating terrorism and proliferation financing (AML/CTPF)”, plus various other measures.
FRAUD SUIT VERDICT UNDERMINES SEC CONTROL OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES
On 23 November, PYMNTS.com reported that a lawsuit over an alleged crypto Ponzi scheme dating back to 2014 may have thrown a big wrench into the SEC argument that nearly all cryptocurrencies are securities over which it has authority.
US RESTRICTS EXPORTS TO CHINESE QUANTUM FIRM
On 24 November, Kharon reported that QuantumCTek, which has provided services to Chinese military entities, received items from US and Western companies through intermediaries in recent years. It has now been added to the Commerce Department Entity List, which imposes export controls.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND OFFSHORE BANKING FLAGGED IN CANADIAN REAL ESTATE MONEY LAUNDERING
On 25 November, Global News reported on files from the Canada Border Services Agency provide a rare glimpse into an opaque business model increasingly cited in examinations of Canadian real estate, in which relatives use foreign students as fronts to funnel wealth into condos and mansions. It also says that Transparency International Canada, the anti-corruption watchdog, has studied luxury real estate trends in Vancouver, and finds that “student” buyers were a significant concern.
CANADA SPOTS 24 SUSPECTED SHIP-TO-SHIP TRANSFERS IN DPRK SANCTIONS OPERATIONS IN OCTOBER
On 25 November, NK News reported that Canada has spotted at least 24 ship-to-ship transfers and over a hundred “vessels of interest” potentially violating sanctions against North Korea since mid-October. Canadian naval and air assets are currently in the Indo-Pacific as part of the UN Enforcement Coordination Cell. In September, HMS Richmond also spotted “multiple ships of various nationalities” conducting similar activities in the East China Sea, potentially in contravention of UN sanctions.
PERU OPENS CRIMINAL PROBE INTO JOURNALIST WHO EXPOSED ILLEGAL COLLUSION WITH WITNESS in car wash case
On 24 November, The Intercept reported that the federal public prosecutor’s office in Peru had opened an investigation into Ernesto Cabral, a journalist for the award-winning investigative outlet OjoPúblico. It stems from 2019, when Cabral, working in partnership with Intercept Brasil journalists, wrote a story shedding light on illegal malpractice on the part of 2 Peruvian anti-corruption prosecutors, who were alleged to have coached a cooperating witness to ensure that his testimony lined up with their case.
2 TUNISIAN REGIONAL GOVERNORS HAVE BEEN DETAINED ON SUSPICION OF CORRUPTION
On 25 November, FX Empire reported a Reuters story that the public prosecutor’s office had ordered the arrest of the governors of Sidi Bouzid and Kebili regions on suspicion of “financial corruption and abuse of official authority by public officials”.
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