On 25 November, ENACT Africa announced the release of this Index. It says that organised crime increased across Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic and shows no signs of slowing. It says that organised crime is one of Africa’s biggest security challenges, with more than two-thirds of Africans living in countries with high criminality, and nearly 80% in states with acute vulnerability and low resilience. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the highest criminality, followed by Nigeria, with Kenya, South Africa, Libya and Mozambique also in the top 10. State-embedded actors are said to have grown more powerful during the pandemic as they monetised their control over government resources and institutions. Human trafficking remained the most pervasive criminal market in Africa, while the cocaine trade saw the biggest increase. The Index is based on analysis and inputs from 120 experts across the continent and an extensive literature review. It reports on mafia-style groups, criminal networks, state-embedded actors and foreign criminals. It assesses resilience to organised crime, including political leadership and governance, criminal justice, economic and financial environments, and civil society. Its aim is to stimulate informed dialogue on the impact of criminality and response measures, and promote policies to build resilience to organised crime.
On 24 November, the Basel Institute on Governance published an article which is a quick guide which looks at how criminals obtain a veneer of respectability and exploit secrecy by manipulating and misusing corporate vehicles in offshore structures and beneficial ownership. It focuses on the meaning of “corporate vehicle” and “offshore” and other related concepts such as beneficial ownership. It also gives an example of how a trust, which is one common type of corporate vehicle in the vast “offshore ecosystem”, can be used for illicit purposes.
On 24 November, a news release from the UN advised that the relevant Sanctions Committee has added Emraan Ali to its sanctions list. He is said to be a senior member of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), listed as Al-Qaida in Iraq.
A Notice from HM Treasury added Emraan Ali to the UK Consolidated List.
On 25 November, Legal Futures reported that the Law Commission, which advises on changes to law in England and Wales, says that there is no need for new legislation on smart contracts because the existing laws can accommodate them. A new paper gives advice to government on smart contracts.
On 21 November, The National reported that Lebanon’s Amal party is set to run a US-designated terrorism financier, Kassem Hejeij, as a candidate in the country’s coming parliamentary elections. This is said to be in exchange for him significantly funding the party’s election campaign.