OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 29

Another Public Holiday today – in lieu of 28 November (independence from Spain) being a Sunday. Not a good day for Miss Panama, who reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Israel for the Miss World contest.

Panama Covid-19 update – “only” 94 new cases reported today and no new fatalities, with the number of active cases falling by 225 to 2,468; with 22 in ICU and 90 in other wards,

29 NOVEMBER 2021

COMPANIES WHICH ENGAGE IN CROSS-BORDER CORRUPTION FROM SWITZERLAND CAN BE PROSECUTED DESPITE DIFFERENT SETTLEMENTS REACHED ABROAD ON VIRTUALLY THE SAME FACTS   

On 25 November, LALIVE reported on a recent public statement from the Office of the Swiss Federal Attorney General re a case where a Swiss company failed to take all adequate and necessary internal organisational measures to prevent the bribery of public officials in Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/2f365438-ae4b-4ac9-bee6-d2d529d069e8.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1638187139&Signature=0boH0OTmbN2jM2Vb8fIJjrUa%2FYk%3D

PROPOSALS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST TRANSPORT OPERATORS THAT FACILITATE OR ENGAGE IN TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS OR SMUGGLING OF MIGRANTS IN RELATION TO ILLEGAL ENTRY INTO EU

On 23 November, the EU published a proposed EU Regulation that would allow the imposition of measures such as airport and port bans, bans on refuelling, withdrawal of licence etc.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/legislative_proposal_blacklist_transport_smuggling.pdf

INDUSTRY MISMANAGEMENT SWEETENING THE ILLICIT DEALS FOR SUGAR SMUGGLERS IN KENYA

On 29 November, Daily Maverick reported that the collapse of the country’s once-booming sector has created a thriving illegal cross-border trade. It says that high production costs and the mismanagement of factories have led to a drop in sugar production in Kenya over the past 2 decades, opening the door for smuggling from Uganda. In 2020, sugar made up 48% of the goods smuggled into the country, according to the National Crime Research Centre.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-29-industry-mismanagement-sweetening-the-illicit-deals-for-sugar-smugglers-in-kenya/

AUSTRALIA: LIVE EXPORT COMPANY EMANUEL EXPORTS’ LICENCE RENEWED AFTER 3-YEAR BAN

On 29 November, MSN and others reported that Australia’s largest live sheep exporter has had its licence reinstated after a 3-year suspension, when the company’s licence was cancelled after an investigation into the death of 2,400 sheep on a sailing to the Middle East.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/live-export-company-emanuel-exports-licence-renewed-after-three-year-ban/ar-AARf5DO

RUSSIAN MERCENARIES USING EU-TRAINED SOLDIERS IN AFRICA

On 29 November, EU Observer reported that Russian mercenaries have taken command of at least one EU-trained battalion in the Central African Republic (CAR).  This comes after MEP having urged the EU to blacklist members of Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group, while listing its crimes in multiple conflict zones.

https://euobserver.com/world/153653

https://euobserver.com/world/153643

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20211118IPR17630/human-rights-breaches-by-russian-paramilitary-groups-in-somalia-and-in-cameroon

THE DARK WORLD OF SELLING FUNERAL POLICIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 28 December, Daily Maverick reported that a financial services provider offering funeral insurance cover and legal assistance to low-income earners, has accused its underwriter of attempted bribery, delaying payments to claimants and of flouting the sectors codes of practice.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-11-28-when-funeral-insurance-is-shady

LIQUIDATORS OF WIRECARD’S IRISH ARM FOCUS FRAUD INVESTIGATION ON 4 KEY AREAS

On 29 November, the Irish Times reported that liquidators are focusing their investigation into an almost €400 million fraud on 4 key areas.  It is also said that they continue to pursue a possible €43 million corporation tax refund from the Revenue Commissioners, as its reported income in the past had been allegedly overstated, and €70 million owed by debtors.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/liquidators-of-wirecard-s-irish-arm-focus-fraud-investigation-on-four-key-areas-1.4741091

KYRGYZSTAN: STATE COMMITTEE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY OF KYRGYZSTAN (SCNS) ALLEGES BANK ILLEGALLY ISSUED LOANS TO COMPANIES

On 29 November, 24KG reported that SCNS is said to have checked corruption manifestations in various spheres of activity of Aiyl Bank OJSC.  The loans were intended for socially vulnerable groups of the population, as well as for the development of agriculture and animal husbandry.

https://24.kg/english/215345_Aiyl_Bank_illegally_issues_loans_to_companies

NETHERLANDS: UP TO 250,000 NAMES WERE ON TAX OFFICE’S FRAUD ‘BLACK LIST’

On 29 November, Dutch News reported that up to 250,000 people may have had their names added to the Dutch tax office’s secret ‘black list’ of suspected fraudsters that left thousands in financial difficulty.  Many people had their benefits suspended even though there was no evidence they were committing fraud, and the fraud detection system quickly became so large and unwieldy that suspected cases were treated as proven cases, often with drastic consequences.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/11/up-to-250000-names-were-on-tax-offices-fraud-black-list

COUNTERFEIT MEDICAL DEVICES: ON THE RISE DURING COVID-19?

On 29 November, the Medical Device Network reported that, while counterfeiting has long been an issue in the pharma supply chain, the impact of fake medical devices is less well known. It refers to seizes of counterfeit medical devices, saying such counterfeits covers everything from tweezers to ventilators. 

https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/features/counterfeit-medical-devices-covid-19/

CONVICTED HUMAN TRAFFICKER TO BE REMOVED FROM UK FOR THIRD TIME

A news release from the NCA on 28 November advised that NCA officers located Albanian Hazir Lala, 39, in North London.  In April 2016, he was convicted in the UK of drunk driving, driving without insurance and possession and control of false ID documents.  In September 2019, he was again arrested for organised immigration crime offences which had been committed in Belgium later in 2016, and he was convicted in his absence in February 2018.  He was arrested again under the Immigration Act 1971 in 2020for overstaying and he was deported to Albania on 19 August 2020.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/convicted-human-trafficker-removed-from-uk-for-third-time

CHINA AMENDS TOBACCO MONOPOLY TO INCLUDE E-CIGARETTES AND VAPING

On 29 November, Jurist reported that e-cigarette sales have been functioning in the grey area of the law since they became popular in China. 

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/11/china-amends-tobacco-monopoly-law-to-include-e-cigarettes-and-vaping/

NEW REPORT ESTIMATES THERE ARE 35 MILLION “MISSING ENTREPRENEURS” ACROSS THE OECD AREA

A news release from the OECD on 29 November says a new report demonstrates that young people, women and seniors have fewer opportunities to transform their business ideas into reality.  The OECD/EU report shows there could be an additional 9 million people starting and managing new business in the EU – and 35 million across OECD countries – if everyone was as active in business creation as 30-49 year-old men.

https://www.oecd.org/industry/the-missing-entrepreneurs-43c2f41c-en.htm

12 ONLINE FRAUDSTERS ARRESTED IN GLOBAL OPERATION AGAINST COUNTERFEITERS

A news release from Europol on 29 November advised that, from 1 May until 14 November, Operation In Our Sites took place involving 30 countries and leading to the arrest of 12 suspects, the seizure of €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods and cash to the value of €460,468. It also reported that another operation, Carding Action 2021, an operation led by law enforcement agencies from Italy and supported by the UK and Europol, targeted fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised card details on websites selling stolen credit card data, known as card shops, and dark web marketplaces.  12 vendors selling compromised credit card details were identified.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/12-online-fraudsters-arrested-in-global-operation-against-counterfeiters

INDIA: THE LARGEST SEIZURE OF SMUGGLED I-PHONES

On 29 November, Times Now News reported that with the import of phones attracts custom duty of 44%, smuggling for high-end phones is on rise.  The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said that in the largest seizure of iPhones in recent times, it had uncovered 2,245 iPhone 13 Pro and 1,401 iPhone 13 Pro Max.   

https://www.timesnownews.com/mumbai/article/mumbai-largest-seizure-of-iphone-13-by-dri-worth-rs-42-crore/836045

NURDLES: THE WORST TOXIC WASTE YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF

On 29 November, the Guardian reported on the problem of the tiny plastic pellets floating in the ocean, causing as much damage as oil spills, they are still not classified as hazardous.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/29/nurdles-plastic-pellets-environmental-ocean-spills-toxic-waste-not-classified-hazardous

UK: 2 DIRECTORS BANNED FOR A TOTAL OF 22 YEARS OVER ‘ETHICAL WATER’ INVESTMENT SCAM

A news release from the Insolvency Service on 26 November advised that the 2 men were directors of Global Water Group Ltd which claimed to sell ethically-based investment bonds to support water projects around the world.  It secured at least £800,000 from investors between 2017 and 2020, but when it was put into liquidation in May 2020, the liquidator was unable to identify a single genuine investment.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/two-essex-directors-banned-for-a-total-of-22-years

KUWAIT ISSUES FINAL VERDICT IN CASE OF FORMER BANGLADESHI MP

On 29 November, Asharq Al-Aswat reported that the Kuwaiti Court of Cassation has sentenced a former Bangladeshi lawmaker, arrested in June 2020, to 7 years in prison for human trafficking and money laundering.  It also handed down similar jail terms to 2 Kuwaiti Interior Ministry officials and ordered their sacking from their government posts on charges of bribery in the same case.  It sentenced ex-Kuwaiti parliamentarian Salah Khurshed to 7 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine, but also upheld the acquittal of Kuwaiti MP, Saadoun Hammad.

https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3330956/kuwait-issues-final-verdict-case-former-bangladeshi-mp

DPRK HACKERS USE SOUTH KOREAN SERVERS AND GOOGLE DRIVE TO HIDE MALWARE ATTACK

On 29 November, NK pro reported that the Lazarus Group embeds malicious code in corrupted pdf disguised as Samsung job post.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/dprk-hackers-use-south-korean-servers-and-google-drive-to-hide-malware-attack/

SWITZERLAND: IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON SENIOR MEMBER OF ISIL

On 25 November, Switzerland followed the UN in imposing sanctions in respect of Emraan Ali.

https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/en/home/seco/nsb-news.msg-id-86114.html

INTRA-EU REQUESTS FOR BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP INFORMATION MUST SHOW ‘CLEAR AND SUFFICIENT EXPLANATION’

On 29 November, STEP reported that a preliminary judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has set out some conditions that must be satisfied when a EU Member State requests cross-border tax cooperation from another when the targeted persons are not identified individually by name.  The case concerned a request for information sent by the French tax authority to Luxembourg in April 2017.  The conditions included that the requesting authority must provide a clear and sufficient explanation that it is conducting a targeted investigation into a limited group of persons, justified by reasonable suspicions of non-compliance with a specific legal obligation.

https://www.step.org/industry-news/intra-eu-requests-beneficial-ownership-information-must-show-clear-and-sufficient

THE FAR-RIGHT FRENCH NGO ALLEGEDLY SUPPORTING WAR CRIMES IN SYRIA

On 29 November, the Newslines Institute published a report claiming that SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOSCO, or SOS) allegedly provided moral and material support to pro-Assad militias accused of committing war crimes. 

https://newlinesinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/NOV-2021-SOSCO-NLISAPx.pdf

WCO PUBLISHES 2022 EDITION OF HARMONIZED SYSTEM NOMENCLATURE

On 29 November, KPMG reported that the World Customs Organisation (WCO) had published the new Harmonized System Nomenclature for 2022, to be followed by the approximately 200 customs authorities worldwide with effect from 1 February. KPMG observes that the changes affect over 1,500 HS codes, most of them in Chapters 84 and 85, relating to different types of machinery and their parts.  Moreover, new technologies such as smartphones, vapes, and drones received specific subheadings in the updated list.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2021/11/tnf-wco-publishes-2022-edition-of-harmonized-system-nomenclature.html

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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