Panama Covid-19 update – as Europe (and the US) worries over the new Covid variant; the number of active cases here has fallen by 4 to 2,660, with 210 new cases and 1 new fatality reported today. 23 patients are in ICU and 93 in other wards.
27 NOVEMBER 2021
ROTTERDAM AND THE COCAINE CONNECTION
A BBC Radio documentary about drugs smuggling through the port of Rotterdam, saying that European North Sea coast has overtaken Spain as the primary entry point for South American cocaine, bringing with it violence and corruption. With gangs of “collectors” (some of whom “living” in empty containers, sent to break into containers and recover the drugs. One such gang got stuck in their container and had to phone the police to be rescued!
CCTV image of “collectors”
6 PERSONS ARRESTED INCLUDING A DOCTOR FOR CODEINE SMUGGLING TO BANGLADESH
On 27 November, Devdiscourse reported raids in Barrackpore and arrest of 6 people, who are allegedly part of a syndicate involved in smuggling Codeine syrup, much preferred by drug addicts looking for a quick high, across the Indo-Bangladesh border. It involved Codeine-Based Cough Syrup (CBCS), aka `Lean’ and `Sizzurp’.
BREXIT: CERTAIN PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN CAN CONTINUE TO BE IMPORTED FROM THE EU FROM 1 JANUARY TO 30 JUNE
BIFA reported that the UK Border Operating Model has confirmed that the grace period for Prohibitions and Restrictions (P&Rs) on certain Products of Animal Origin (POAO) imports will continue. Therefore, imports of chilled minced meat (beef, pork, lamb, mutton and goat); chilled and frozen minced poultry meat; mechanical separated meat from porcine, poultry and ratite or game birds; ungraded eggs; and chilled meat preparations can be imported, despite the implementation of much of the deferred customs controls from 1 January.
TURKEY DETAINS 27 TAIWANESE IN RAID ON ALLEGED FRAUD RING
On 27 November, the Taiwan News reported that Turkish police had detained 27 suspects from Taiwan in an operation to crack down on alleged fraud in the resort town of Bodrum. This is said to be in connection with a network involved in people smuggling and online fraud. The Taiwanese had rented a villa in Bodrum.
eATA CARNET: NEW INITIATIVE TO HELP SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED ATA CARNET ISSUING AND GUARANTEEING ASSOCIATIONS GO DIGITAL
The International Chamber of Commerce has announced that the ICC ATA Gateway project aims to develop an ATA Carnet light issuing module for ATA Chain members who do not have their own issuing tools. It is part of a plan to digitise the ATA Carnet (a sort of passport for temporary import of goods) and its procedures. With the support of the World Customs Organisation, ICC has already developed an ATA Carnet System, a centralised digital resource laying the cornerstone for the digitisation of the international customs document.
RUSSIA APPROVES RADICAL NEW ANTI-COUNTERFEITING PLANS
On 25 November, an article from Gowling WLG said that the Russian Federation’s Prime Minister has approved new measures to prevent the illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods, which will be effective until 2025, and which is expected to have a wide-ranging effect beyond Russia’s borders.
IRISH CHAPTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE LEGAL GUIDE TO GAMBLING 2022
On 25 November, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald published the chapter on the Irish gambling framework, including relevant authorities and legislation, application for a licence and licence restrictions.
US COAST GUARD’S COUNTER-MARITIME DRUG TRAFFICKING MISSION AND THE EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION
On 8 November, an article from the Center for International Maritime Security provided an overview of the US Coast Guard’s counter-maritime drug trafficking mission and analysed the extraterritorial jurisdiction created by the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act. A second part on 22 November discussed the prolonged detention of suspected smugglers aboard Coast Guard cutters and the interaction between intelligence gathering and the trial penalty during prosecution.
YORKSHIRE FRAUDSTER KNOWN AS ‘BRADFORD TONY’ ORDERED TO REPAY MORE THAN £1 MILLION FROM MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
On 26 November, the Yorkshire Post reported that Anthony Davey, 50, a resident in Filey, was ordered to repay the money under POCA 2002, which he obtained through various mortgage frauds and money laundering offences committed in West Yorkshire.
INSIDE THE MANHATTAN DA’S ANTIQUITIES TRAFFICKING UNIT
On 23 November, an article in The Atlantic looks at the work of the Unit and Matthew Bogdanos, the 64-year-old prosecutor and chief of the Antiquities Trafficking Unit. The only one of its kind in the world, his squad of prosecutors, criminal investigators, and art specialists polices the loftiest reaches of New York’s art market — a genteel club of museums, collectors, and auction houses that buy and sell the relics of ancient civilizations.
UK: TICKET TOUTS LOSE FRAUD CONVICTION APPEAL
On 26 November, the Guardian reported that 2 ticket touts who made at least £11 million using websites such as StubHub and Viagogo to sell seats at gigs by artists including Ed Sheeran have had their appeals against a conviction for multiple counts of fraud dismissed. It is said to be a landmark verdict that could have significant ramifications for the practice of ticket touting. They had used “dishonest and fraudulent tactics” to purchase multiple tickets from primary ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster, Eventim and AXS, elbowing out genuine fans trying to buy tickets, then listing those tickets for sale to consumers at inflated prices.
MALTA: POLICE BUST LIBYAN TAX EVASION RACKET AT AIRPORT
On 27 November, the Times of Malta reported that a group of Libyan nationals suspected of illegally moving millions of euro through the airport are to be charged with money laundering and tax evasion. It is said to involve around a cluster of some 5 Malta-registered companies which the group controls.
FRAUD PROBE INTO BIRMINGHAM BUSINESSMAN WHO FLED TO PAKISTAN HALTED AFTER 15 YEARS
On 27 November, Birmingham Live reported that Nisar Afzal – accused of being a fraudster implicated in a £49 million mortgage scam – is no longer being pursued over the claims, marking a dramatic end to a 15-year pursuit. Arrest warrants and restraint orders against him have been cancelled at the request of the SFO.
UK UPDATES CHARITY SECTOR SANCTIONS GUIDANCE
On 25 November, KPMG reported that on 1 November, OFSI published an updated Charity Sector Guidance and a blog post in response to Afghanistan’s Taliban takeover in August.
UKRAINE: NEW SANCTIONS
On 24 November, KPMG reported that Ukraine had advised a new set of sanctions imposing restrictions including, among other things, asset freezes, restriction on the exit of capital from Ukraine, a ban on trade operations and the transit of resources, flights and transportation within the territory of Ukraine, and the suspension of the performance of economic and financial obligations, etc. Those targeted include entities in the shipbuilding sector in Crimea; airlines Camus Air, UM Air and Khors Air; a Russian supermarket chain now operating on (former) Ukraine territory; those involve in cyber attacks and elections to the Russian Duma from the occupied territories; and domain registry re.ru.
On 28 October, Ukraine had also imposed sanctions on a number of persons linked to the Houthi in Yemen.
A ONE-WAY RACHET: FATF REGULATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCY AND DECENTRALISED FINANCE
On 23 November, an article from King & Spalding explains that FATF has updated its 2019 “Guidance for a Risk-based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers”. The article identifies the key updates.
GLOBAL COMMODITY TRADERS ARE FUELLING LAND CONFLICTS IN BRAZIL’S CERRADO
On 23 November, Global Witness reported that traditional pastoralist communities have been sustainably managing land in Brazil’s Cerrado for centuries, but now powerful agricultural producers seek to forcibly evict them in order to continue growing environmentally damaging cash crops monocultures like soy and cotton. It says that its investigation reveals that global commodity traders ADM, Bunge and Cargill are dealing in conflict-tainted soy sourced from these producers, and in doing so are contributing to this land conflict and alleged human rights abuses, in violation of their responsibilities under UN and OECD human rights standards.
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