PANAMA COVID-19 UPDATE -245 new cases and 2 new fatalities reported, and active cases numbers rises again (by 41) to 2,797. Numbers in ICU have fallen by 2 to 18, but with a rise in others hospitalised, to 98. With 7,088 tests undertaken in the last 24 hours, it has been noted that, for the second day in a row, positive results are at 4%.
4 DECEMBER 2021
ISRAELI COMPANIES HOPE TO CASH IN ON INTERNATIONAL UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES MARKET
On 3 December, Breaking Defense said that, across the world, there is a growing sense that land-based forces need to begin relying heavily on unmanned combat vehicles. It says that Israeli companies, bolstered by serious interest from the Israeli Defense Force, are hoping to cash in on the growing interest. They are moving quickly to plug R&D money into this new sector, while the IDF is working on acquiring a variety of new systems. They are said to be looking to partner or procure American companies and produce their unmanned ground vehicles in the US.
BRAZIL: OPERATION AGAINST ILLEGAL MINING IN INDIGENOUS LAND SEES 75 AIRCRAFT AND 30 TONNES OF ORE SEIZED
On 3 December, Folha BV reported that action coordinated by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security have seen the aircraft and ore confiscated, together with more than 85,000 litres of fuel, 17 vehicles and 10 ferries.
US WILL WORK WITH ALLIES TO LIMIT THE EXPORT OF SURVEILLANCE TOOLS TO AUTHORITARIAN GOVERNMENTS
On 3 December, Yahoo Finance reported that the Biden administration announced the US would work with other countries to limit the export of surveillance software and other technologies to authoritarian governments. It says that officials said the administration wants to coordinate with allies on a code of conduct related to export-licensing policies. Those involved in the effort would share information on tools used against political dissidents, journalists and foreign government officials.
US TO EXTEND REPRIEVE ON SANCTIONS FOR BELARUS POTASH FERTILISER
On 3 December, Agri Pulse reported that the US is still planning to apply sanctions on exports of potash fertiliser from Belarus, but it won’t do so until the end of April. That will give farmers time to stock up on the input, according to the National Corn Growers Association.
IRANIAN EXILES IN ALBANIA ARRESTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING AND HUMAN SMUGGLING
On 4 December, Exit News reported that members of MEK, the exiled Iranian opposition group that has been granted refuge in Albania since 2013, have been arrested for drug trafficking, people smuggling, and money laundering. 2 members of MEK, along with Albanian and Greek accomplices, were apprehended in July. Between 2019 and 2021, the smuggling gang is said to have attempted to transfer some 400 members of MEK from Albania to France.
US: GOLD DEALERS SENTENCED FOR FINANCIAL CRIMES AND GUN CRIMES
On 3 December, the US DoJ advised that Global Gold Exchange, LLC and its managers, Richard M Owen, James Warren, and Jeffrey Morrow, have been sentenced for committing multiple financial and firearms crimes, including laundering money through their unlicensed money transmitting business by falsely reporting transactions as “gold” and other precious metals. They also agreed to forfeit approximately $2 million in assets involved in the money laundering and unlicensed money transmitting business, and further to provide restitution in the amount of no less than $3,682,063.44 for the crimes of money laundering, mail fraud, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. They employed various money laundering, fraud, and unlicensed money transmitting techniques to conduct unlawful transactions, including falsifying invoices for sales of gold to a Mexican cartel representative, when in reality it was the receipt of a large cash deposit, for a 10% fee; agreeing with “clients” to tell law enforcement or tax authorities that the transactions were sales/purchases of precious metals; and advising clients to mail parcels filled with heavy substances to mimic the weight of gold, all to falsely document the nature of the firm’s transactions.
ILLEGAL GOLD MINES OPERATE UNCHECKED IN MYANMAR’S KACHIN STATE SINCE COUP
On 4 December, RFA reported that local sources along the Irrawaddy River in Kachin said that illegal gold mining operations began in earnest only weeks after the military’s February coup. They said they fear the unregulated activities could damage the waterway and the surrounding environment.
MEXICO FIGHTS LEGAL BATTLE IN US COURT TO REDUCE GUN SMUGGLING ACROSS BORDER
On 4 December, KTEP in Texas says that small scale smuggling of weapons across the border happens on a regular basis, according to Mexican officials who refer to it as “trafico hormiga,” where weapons are trafficked into Mexico as if by an army of ants. In an effort to reduce gun smuggling, the Mexican government is suing a group of gun manufacturers – including Glock, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, and Colt’s Manufacturing – in the US. Mexico argues in the lawsuit the gunmakers are “not accidental or unintentional players but rather deliberate and willing participants reaping profits from the criminal market they knowingly supply”. Mexico has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the world and only one authorised official firearms store in Mexico City, which is run by the military – but it has a thriving black market and officials estimate at least 70% of guns at crime scenes are traced to the US.
SHIPOWNER’S RIGHT TO A GENERAL AVERAGE RANSOM RECOVERY CONFIRMED BY THE COURT OF APPEAL
On 3 December, HFW published an article reporting that the Court of Appeal in London has reviewed the principles to apply when considering whether charterparty terms are incorporated into bills of lading, and confirms that General Average recovery from cargo interests for piracy losses is not blocked by bill of lading terms.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION INTRODUCES A DRAFT LAW SEEKING TO BAN IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF COMMODITIES FROM REGIONS AT RISK OF DEFORESTATION
On 30 November, HFW published a briefing on the draft EU Regulation which would ban the import and export of 6 core agricultural commodities to and from the EU – beef, soya, palm oil, coffee, cocoa and timber- where these products have been linked to deforestation. The draft law would require companies to prove that the products they are importing into or exporting from the EU Single Market have not contributed to the processes of deforestation and forest degradation.
CHINESE NATIONAL WHO FLED ZIMBABWE OVER RHINO HORN TRAFFICKING CHARGES ARRESTED IN UAE
On 4 December, the Sunday Mail in Zimbabwe reported that a Chinese fugitive facing charges of possession of 20 kg rhino horn and money laundering has been arrested in UAE and is facing extradition back to Zimbabwe. He was one of 7 Chinese nationals who left the country while on bail.
Irish law firm Matheson has produced a short briefing outlining both the findings and the expectations of the Bank arising from supervisory engagements with funds and fund management companies in the following areas of compliance – Corporate Governance; AML/CFT/FS Business Risk Assessment; Outsourced AML/CFT/FS Activities; and Customer Due Diligence (CDD).
UK: UPDATED ADVERTISING GUIDANCE ON RESPONSIBLE AND PROBLEM GAMBLING
On 3 December, CMS Law reported that in the UK, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have published a newly updated version of their guidance on responsible and problem gambling.
UAE PLANS TO LOOSEN LAWS ON POSSESSION OF CANNABIS PRODUCTS
On 1 December, TJI repeats a Daily Telegraph report that the UAE is to revise its laws on brining certain cannabis-based products into the country and is said to be planning to relax some of its strict anti-drug laws. Under the new law, travellers caught importing food, drinks and other items containing cannabis will no longer be detained on the first offence. Instead, authorities will seize and destroy the products. Recently, there were reports of a Briton jailed for brining CBD oil into the UAE.
IRELAND: SIGNIFICANT SUPREME COURT DECISION ON THE SCOPE OF WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
On 3 December, an article from law firm McCann Fitzgerald said that the Irish Supreme Court recently had its first opportunity to comment on the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and the judgments in the case should be carefully considered by those dealing with protected disclosures and which reflects the difficulty that organisations experience in understanding when a protected disclosure has been raised.
On 2 December, the Small Arms Survey published this post explaining what an IED is and its use in the region, and how the Survey has been trying to track components and use of the devices. It explains that IED traditionally consist of 5 components – container, power source, switch, initiator, and main charge. In the framework of its research, it has focused on the switch, the initiator, and the main charge. These controlled so-called dual-use materials are diverted, trafficked, and then used to build IED.
INDIA: EX-MEDIA BARON PETER MUKERJEA GRANTED BAIL IN INX MEDIA MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 4 December, First Post reported that a Delhi court has granted bail to former media baron Peter Mukerjea in the INX Media money laundering case linked to former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.
On 4 December, the Daily Star reported that 2 Germans were found at an airport in Bogota with 210 plastic containers filled with tarantulas, spider eggs, roaches and scorpions – claiming they were smuggling them for research purposes. Colombia is a target for wildlife traffickers drawn by its biodiversity and officials confirmed that more than 11,000 specimens have been seized so far this year.
Panama Covid-19 update – another day with no new fatalities reported (although 1 from an earlier period added to the total, which is now 7,371 since the pandemic began). However, there were 268 new cases, and the number of active cases has risen again, by 52 to 2,756. There remains 20 patients in ICU, but 5 more in other wards (now being 91).
3 DECEMBER 2021
FORMER UZBEKISTAN TENNIS PLAYER BANNED FOR LIFE OVER CORRUPTION CHARGES
On 3 December, iGB reported that the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has issued a lifetime ban from the sport to former Uzbekistan player Albina Khabibulina over multiple corruption charges.
UK – COVID BOUNCE BACK LOAN FRAUD CHECKS CALLED INADEQUATE BY WATCHDOG
On 2 December, the BBC reported that the NAO has said that counter-fraud activity was “implemented too slowly”, which resulted in “high levels of estimated fraud”. The Department for Business has estimated the value of fraudulent loans to March were worth £4.9 billion, or 11% of the total. The NAO said the government estimated more than a third of loans, worth £17 billion, may never be repaid due to both fraudulent activity and legitimate borrowers defaulting. Under the scheme, banks, building societies and peer-to-peer lenders were accredited by the British Business Bank to provide firms with 100% government-backed finance worth up to £50,000, or a maximum of 25% of annual turnover. However. the NAO said the scheme had “limited verification, and no credit checks on borrowers, which made it vulnerable to fraud and losses”.
EUROPEAN COURT UPHOLDS LTTE (TAMIL TIGERS) SANCTIONS LISTING
On 3 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU General Court had dismissed an application brought by the European Political Subdivision of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to annul the 2019 and 2020 acts maintaining the inclusion of the LTTE on the EU terrorist sanctions list.
ISLE OF MAN: AMENDMENT OF SYRIAN, BELARUS SANCTIONS LISTS
On 3 December, the Isle of Man advised that 2 entries on the Syrian sanctions list had been amended; that 8 new individuals and the Belaruskali potash company had been added to the Belarus sanctions lists; and that 2 existing entries on the Russian sanctions list had been amended.
ISRAEL ADDS BIOTECH SOFTWARE TO ITS CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR DUAL USE EXPORT CONTROL LIST
On 2 December, an article from Herzog Fox and Neeman reported that control lists promulgated by the Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group, Nuclear Suppliers Group and under the Chemical Weapons Convention. In this context, as a result of a change made by the Australia Group, the new control item was adopted under the Import and Export Order (Control of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear-Sector Exports)-2004. The list is amended to include software designed for certain kinds of nucleic acid assemblers and synthesizers** that is capable of designing and building functional genetic elements from digital sequence data.
$9.9 MILLION IN CASH LINKED TO THE GULF CLAN DRUG GANG SEIZED IN PANAMA
On 3 December, Deutsche Welle and others reported that authorities in Panama reported that they seized some $9.9 million, the largest economic seizure in the country, of a criminal organisation linked to the Clan del Golfo, Colombia’s largest criminal gang. It was found in the home of one of the alleged leaders of the gang located in Colón. Panama’s security forces also arrested 57 alleged members, Panamanians and a Colombian, of the organisation linked to the Colombian cartel, through Operation Fisher. Among those detained were 9 public officials: 2 from the Panama Canal Authority, 4 agents of the National Police (PN) and 1 from the National Aeronaval Service (Senan), 1 from a Communal Board and another from the Ministry of Education.
On 3 December, Business Recorder published an article saying that, in October 2021, FATF amended Recommendation 23 and the FATF glossary to clarify the requirements of Recommendation 18 regarding implementation of the group-wide programme against money laundering and terrorist financing on DNFBP.
UK: DARTFORD MONEY LAUNDERER ORDERED TO PAY MORE THAN £680,000
On 3 December, Newshopper reported that a man jailed for money laundering has been ordered to forfeit the cash found hidden in supermarket and sports bags at his Dartford home. Karl Lockey, 33, was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment in October 2020 for money laundering. At his address, officers found cash totalling £632,000 hidden within 12 bags, along with an Encrochat phone and a cash counting machine. It was established that Lockey had laundered more than £2 million and that the cash was directly linked to his illicit activities, which also funded his lifestyle.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU OVER GUINEA SANCTIONS
An EU news release on 2 December advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, Ukraine and Moldova align themselves have aligned with Council Decision 2021/1867/CFSP extending the existing restrictive measures for a further 12 months, until 27 October 2022.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU OVER SANCTIONS RE TURKEY’S UNAUTHORISED DRILLING ACTIVITIES IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
A news release on 2 December advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Iceland, and Armenia have aligned with EU Council Decision 2021/1966/CFSP re restrictive measures in view of Turkey’s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. It updates and extends the existing restrictive measures for a further 12 months, until 12 November 2022.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU OVER SANCTIONS RE RESTRICTIVE MEASURES AGAINST CYBER-ATTACKS THREATENING THE EU OR ITS MEMBER STATES
A news release on 2 December from the EU said that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Norway, Ukraine and Georgia have aligned with EU Council Decision 2021/796/CFSP which extends the existing restrictive measures for a further 12 months, until 18 May 2022.
On 2 December, a Commentary from RUSI says that non-fungible tokens (NFT) are the latest craze in the digital and traditional art markets – but the Commentary asks can we mitigate the money laundering risks?
On 3 December, the House of Commons Library published a briefing about a Bill to amend an existing 2008 Act. It explains that a dormant asset as a financial product (such as a bank account) that hasn’t been used for many years and which the provider hasn’t been able to reunite with its owner despite efforts aligned with industry best practice. The Bill would significantly expand the scope of the existing scheme to cover a range of financial products, being long-term insurance products, certain pension assets, collective investment scheme assets, client money, and proceeds or distributions from shares in traded public companies.
TURBULENT HISTORY OF ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSIONS IN INDONESIA
On 3 December, an article from Antara News about the situation since the establishment of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in 2002. It is said to be the latest incarnation of anti-corruption commissions in Indonesia, as history had recorded past leaderships’ efforts in establishing anti-corruption bodies that achieved varied successes in their mission before its disbandment and replacement with new bodies. It says that past Indonesian governments had attempted to establish an anti-corruption commission in their efforts to eradicate corruption in Indonesia.
CONSULTATION: TACKLING ILLEGAL DEFORESTATION IN UK SUPPLY CHAINS
On 3 December, DEFRA issued a public consultation on implementing Environment Act provisions to tackle the use of illegally-produced ‘forest risk’ commodities in UK supply chains. The Act will make it illegal for large businesses in the UK to use forest risk commodities produced on land illegally occupied or used. Secondary legislation is needed to implement these Environment Act provisions, and DEFRA are seeking views to inform the design of this legislation and accompanying guidance. Consultation closes on 11 March.
CORRUPTION AND COVID-19: CHALLENGES IN CRISIS RESPONSE AND RECOVERY
The UN Office of Drugs and Crime has released this UN System-Wide Policy Paper developed by the UN Global Task Force on Corruption which elaborates a range of potential policy responses and concrete actions Member States may take immediately and over the medium and long term to better recover and respond to COVID-19 and future emergencies, including various considerations in the prevention of corruption during the pandemic. While this Policy Paper reflects and complements the common framework and UN blueprint to respond to corruption challenges at the global, regional and national levels as outlined in the UN Common Position paper, the objective of this Paper is to provide concrete legal, policy and institutional recommendations to support Member States in prioritising anti-corruption measures as they respond to, and recover from, COVID-19 and to build resilience in preparation for likely challenges in future health and other crises.
POST-BREXIT CUSTOMS ON PACKAGES HELPS IRISH REVENUE POST 85% RISE IN DUTY HAUL
On 2 December, the Irish Times reported that the Revenue has seen a customs intake of €458 million so far this year and up to 700,000 customs entries a day. It says that Brexit and an increase in online shopping in the Covid-19 pandemic have seen an “explosion” in Revenue’s activity, and that the Revenue expects an a overall 30-fold increase on the 1.8 million entries it used to handle annually prior to Brexit. The article notes a change in EU rules from July that means that items worth less than €22 are now subject to VAT, though not customs duty.
13,500 FAKE GUCCI, CHANEL BAGS FOUND ON CARGO SHIP DOCKING IN CALIFORNIA
On 2 December, The Herald-Sun reported that the haul was found on a cargo ship that arrived at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport from China and included fake handbags, shoulder bags, tote bags, backpacks, crossbody bags, shirts and pants with branding from Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton. If real, the goods would have been worth over $30 million.
HONG KONG: THE “FRAUD EXCEPTION RULE” UNDER THE HONG KONG COURT RULES ABOLISHED ENABLING A PLAINTIFF TO OBTAIN SUMMARY JUDGMENT EVEN IF THE CLAIM IS BASED ON AN ALLEGATION OF FRAUD
An article from Eversheds Sutherland on 3 December says that the amendments from 1 December bring Hong Kong into line with English law. The amendments mainly addressed the hardship and injustice to victims of wire fraud, where, despite clear evidence of fraud, the previous court rules still required a full trial (when the defendants/fraudsters would most probably be absent) where an allegation of fraud was made before judgment may be given.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR SCREENING ISO 20022 PAYMENTS
On 10 November, the Wolfsberg Group endorsed the “Guiding principles for screening ISO 20022 payments” published by SWIFT and incorporating the input of major users of SWIFT. These are said to represent the most far reaching change to the payment messaging process in a generation.
LEGAL CHALLENGE TO UK GOVERNMENT OVER MOZAMBIQUE GAS PROJECT
On 3 December, Ekklesia reported that Friends of the Earth has a High Court hearing on 7 December challenging the UK Government’s decision to invest $1.15 billion in a gas project in Northern Mozambique. The campaign group says the decision to provide the finance package – one of the biggest ever offered to a foreign fossil fuel project by the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs – is unlawful.
IRANIAN CONDENSATE CARGO EXPECTED TO DISCHARGE IN VENEZUELA’S PORT
On 3 December, Hellenic Shipping News reported that a cargo of Iranian condensate intended for Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA, the fourth delivery this year, will discharge in coming days at the country’s main oil port. Iran last year began providing PDVSA with condensate that is used to make the South American nation’s extra heavy oil exportable.
BIMCO LAUNCHES NEW CONTRACT FOR EMPLOYMENT OF SECURITY ESCORT VESSELS
On 3 December, Hellenic Shipping News reported that BIMCO – one of the largest of the international shipping associations representing shipowners – has approved a new standard contract for security escort vessels (SEV). The standard is a balanced contractual framework for SEV that accompany merchant ships in high threat areas such as the Gulf of Guinea.
GERMAN OFFICIALS RAIDED THE OFFICES OF PWC IN FRANKFURT OVER ALLEGATIONS OF A SWISS TAX SCHEME
On 1 December, Finews reported that officials searched the offices of the consulting firm as well as the homes of 8 individuals on suspicions of irregularities between Germany and Switzerland over tax.
ESTONIA: SUSPECTED LARGE-SCALE MONEY LAUNDERERS SUBJECT OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
On 1 December, ERR reported that 3 people are under investigation over alleged money laundering activity which took place over a period of several years and with sums laundered suspected at nearly €28 million. A fourth individual is under investigation in relation to the laundered funds, whose origins were criminal proceeds from activities in Ukraine.
SENEGAL: SUSPICIOUS OIL DEALS COULD DEPRIVE THE SENEGALESE PUBLIC OF BILLIONS IN ROYALTIES
On 3 December, Transparency International call for an investigation into the 2012 sale of concession rights for 2 major oil blocks located off the coast of Senegal and said to involve controversial businessman named Frank Timis.
US: THE NATIONAL ACTION PLAN TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
The White House has published an updated version of a 2020 Action Plan. This is said to reflect extensive collaboration among federal anti-trafficking experts from across the US Government, which have decades of experience on the front lines of the nation’s fight against human trafficking. It was also informed by the expertise of survivors, who generously contributed their insights and wisdom to strengthen the US response to human trafficking. And its focus on the foundational pillars of the US and global anti-trafficking efforts — prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership — remains unchanged. It is said to reflect a priority effort to end human trafficking and forced labour in global supply chains. It says that COVID-19 made clear the need to secure our supply chains and make them more transparent and accountable, so that the Government can ensure uninterrupted access to essential goods in times of crisis without fuelling corruption, exploitation and forced labour.
ISOTOPIC TECHNIQUES HELP SAVE PANAMA’S COCOA EXPORTS
On 30 November, IAEA explained that, as import regulations of the EU changed in 2019, Panama’s cocoa exports came under threat: exporters had to prove that the amount of cadmium in their products was below the EU’s legal threshold of 0.8 milligram per kilogram. It explains how isotopic techniques can help identify the source and movement of the metal and thereby help farmers prevent contamination in the fruit – increasing food safety and restoring exports.
US: HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND FORCED LABOUR CHARGES ARE FIRST UNDER NEW LABOUR EXPLOITATION PROGRAMME FOCUSING ON ABUSIVE EMPLOYERS
A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 29 November advised that a newly unsealed indictment charging 24 people with labour trafficking of Mexican and Central American workers under brutal conditions on South Georgia farms is the first investigation ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) under the new labour exploitation model. The indictment documents dozens of victims of modern-day slavery who were brought into the US to be exploited under inhumane conditions as agricultural labourers.
US: NEW TOOLKIT HELPS CONSUMERS AVOID SCAMS WHILE HOLIDAY SHOPPING
On 23 November, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement published an article advising that the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center is launching a new holiday shopping toolkit to help consumers protect themselves from substandard or even hazardous counterfeit toys, electronics, cosmetics and other products. It includes online shopping do’s and don’ts, ways to protect financial and banking information, educational videos and infographics, and general information on how to spot fake merchandise.
US: 2 ARRESTED IN NEARLY $1 MILLION THEFT OF TRACTOR-TRAILERS AND PALLETS
On 2 December, Freightwaves reported that a wooden pallet supplier and his employee were recently arrested on suspicion of stealing truckloads of pallets from distribution centres in Florida. They face charges in connection with the theft of $704,487 worth of wooden pallets and 25 tractor-trailers valued at more than $231,000.
BIFA says that it has produced guidance in conjunction with information that has been provided to it by HMRC on the origin declarations required for the export of goods from Britain to the EU from 1 January.
MONTENEGRO PARLIAMENT VOTES TO OPEN INQUIRY INTO MOZURA WIND FARM PROJECT WITH MALTA LINKS
On 3 December, Malta Independent reported that Montenegro’s parliament has voted to form an Inquiry Committee to investigate the Mozura wind farm project, which has been implicated in corruption allegations from the outset. Malta’s former prime minister Joseph Muscat and former energy minister Konrad Mizzi had struck a deal with Montenegro in 2015. Muscat officially opened the Mozura wind farm in 2019 with Montenegro’s then prime minister, Dusko Markovic. Malta had struck a deal with Montenegro back in 2015 to take over the wind farm, which has since been revealed to have involved alleged kickbacks.
UN PANEL: MALTESE COMPANIES ARE INVOLVED IN LIBYAN SMUGGLING
On 3 December, Lovin Malta reported that Maltese companies are involved in the smuggling of Libyan resources, violating UN sanctions in the process, according to a UN panel of experts. The expert analysis was submitted in court amid proceedings concerning fuel smuggling in Malta.
DOZENS DETAINED IN KOSOVO OVER CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE
On 3 December, DTT-net reported that Kosovan police have said that they have detained a total of 31 people, including 12 officials suspected of corruption, bribe-taking and abuse of office related to governmental subventions in agriculture sector.
OWNER OF CANNABIS COMPANY CHARGED IN FEDERAL COURT WITH SWINDLING INVESTORS OUT OF MORE THAN $950,000
A news release from US DoJ on 3 December advised that Geoffrey Thompson, 53, from Florida, the owner of a cannabis company has been charged in federal court in Chicago with swindling investors out of more than $950,000.
LAUNCH OF THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA REPORT 2021
In a release dated 8 December, the UN Conference on Trade and Development announced the release of this Report on that date, and which analyses major aspects of Africa’s development and policy issues of interest to African countries. Available in English and French, this edition considers the potential benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area for inclusive growth.
REVIEW OF MARITIME TRANSPORT 2021- AND THE CHALLENGES FACED BY SEAFARERS IN VIEW OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS
This report fromthe UN Conference on Trade and Development, published annually since 1968, provides an analysis of structural and cyclical changes affecting seaborne trade, ports and shipping, as well as an extensive collection of statistics from maritime trade and transport. This year’s edition of the report has a special focus on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the industry and includes a special chapter on the challenges seafarers face in view of the crewing crisis.
NEW ZEALAND ASKS TURKEY TO SEND BACK COMANCHERO BOSS TO FACE DRUGS AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
On 3 December, the New Zealand Herald reported that senior New Zealand police officers are in talks with their Turkish counterparts about sending back an alleged $100 million gang kingpin, Duax Hohepa Ngakuru, to face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. He left Australia in 2010 to live in Turkey.
WOMAN LAUNDERED MORE THAN $2 MILLION FOR INTERNATIONAL “CHILD MODELING” WEBSITES AND SENTENCED TO OVER 5 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
A news release from US DoJ on 3 December advised that the woman from Florida, Patrice Eileen Wilowski-Mevorah, 53, had been sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in federal prison for her involvement in a money laundering conspiracy in connection with an international enterprise that was based in Florida and which operated subscription-based sexually exploitative “child modelling” websites. She was also ordered to forfeit $236,410.70.