Panama Covid-19 update – if the data in the press today is correct, the total number of active cases has fallen today – after a couple of weeks of slowly rising numbers – down 71 to 3,018. The numbers of those in hospital have risen by 3 – 2 of whom are in ICU. All this makes it hard to get a firm picture of what is, or might be, going on. Anyway, there were 189 new cases and 1 new fatality being reported today; with 15 in ICU and 96 in other wards.
9 DECEMBER 2021
POST-SHIPMENT ON-SITE INSPECTIONS OF MILITARY MATERIEL: CHALLENGES AND RESPONSES
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has published a Policy Brief which is intended to inform the various national processes currently underway that are connected to the adoption and implementation of on-site inspections as well as ongoing discussions within the UN Arms Trade Treaty about their role in helping to prevent diversion of military materiel. The brief examines the concerns raised and challenges encountered by states in connection with adopting, requiring, and conducting on-site inspections and provides examples of practices that have been used in response. The brief also outlines how on-site inspections can be adopted and deployed in ways that help to promote cooperation between exporters and importers in preventing diversion of military materiel.
GIBRALTAR: THE COMING INTO FORCE OF THE LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS ACT 2021 AND THE PROTECTED CELL LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS ACT 2021
An article from Hassans on 7 December says that the new statutory framework is intended to guarantee the modernisation of the funds industry in Gibraltar ensuring that the jurisdiction remains robust and innovative in the provision of financial services.
UN INTERNATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY – SHIPPING LEADS THE WAY
On 9 December, Seatrade Maritime News said that over the last 10 years, the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) has grown from a handful of shipping companies opposed to corruption, into one of the world’s most successful private sector anti-corruption initiatives.
DENMARK – GLOBAL BRIBERY OFFENCES GUIDE
On 6 December, an article from DLA Piper explains that, in Denmark, bribery, as with other types of misconduct such as embezzlement and fraud, are considered acts of corruption. The Danish Criminal Code does not use the term corruption or bribery, but criminalises corrupt acts, including bribery.
TANKER SUSPECTED OF SMUGGLING FUEL FLEES FROM RHODES
On 9 December, Ekathimerini reported that a tanker suspected of carrying smuggled fuel which had been stopped by port officers in Rhodes had fled. The Eirini 1, sailing under the flag of Guyana with a crew of Indian nationals, had made a stop in Rhodes to buy spare parts when authorities discovered the fuel.
US PLACES CAMBODIA UNDER ARMS EMBARGO
On 9 December, The Standard in Hong Kong reported that the US has ordered an arms embargo on Cambodia, citing deepening Chinese military influence, corruption and human rights abuses by the government and armed forces.
MINING BILLIONAIRE BENY STEINMETZ ARRESTED AT ATHENS AIRPORT
On 9 December, BNN Bloomberg reported that the Israeli mining billionaire convicted of bribery in January by a Swiss court, was arrested by Greek police last month when the private jet he was on landed at Athens airport. He was sentenced in absentia to 5 years in prison by the Romanian Supreme Court for his role in an illegal property scheme with a local businessman in Bucharest.
5 ARRESTS IN FINNISH INVESTIGATION TARGETING RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM
A news release from Interpol on 9 December advised that Finnish police have dismantled a right-wing extremist cell suspected of preparing a crime with terrorist intent.
US HAS SEIZED 2 LARGE CACHES OF IRANIAN ARMS, INCLUDING SURFACE-TO-AIR AND ANTI-TANK MISSILES INTENDED FOR THE HOUTHI MILITIA IN YEMEN
On 9 December, Eurasia Review reported that the US seized 2 large caches of Iranian arms, including 171 surface-to-air missiles and 8 anti-tank missiles, intended for the Houthi militia in Yemen, after 2 vessels were intercepted in the Arabian Sea during routine maritime security operations.
FORMER MALAYSIAN PM FACES 12 YEARS IN JAIL AND $50 MILLION FINE FOR CORRUPTION
On 8 December, the Khaleej Times reported that a Malaysian court has upheld former premier Najib Razak’s conviction on corruption charges over a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), dealing a blow to his hopes of a political comeback. Najib was appealing a 12-year prison sentence and $50 million fine imposed by Kuala Lumpur High Court last year for criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering, one of 5 trials he is facing over corruption allegations.
5 SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN KUWAIT OVER HEZBOLLAH FINANCING CHARGES
On 2 December, Al Arabiya News reported that 5 suspects had been arrested in Kuwait for financing Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group, bringing the total number accused to date to 23.
On 26 November, Reuters reported that Indonesia’s counterterrorism squad has arrested 24 people on suspicion of fundraising for Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the Al-Qaeda linked extremist group accused of carrying out some of the country’s biggest militant attacks. The suspects had been collecting funds for JI via 2 Islamic charitable foundations. JI is accused of orchestrating the 2002 Bali bombing of 2 nightclubs, which killed more than 200 people, including many Australians, and several other deadly attacks in the capital Jakarta.
HOW RESERVE CURRENCIES HAVE EVOLVED OVER 120 YEARS
On 9 December, Visual Capitalist published an animated graphic, saying that over the last 120 years, the popularity of different reserve currencies have ebbed and flowed, reflecting the shifting fortunes of leading global economies. For example, in the year 1900, the US dollar and pound sterling made up 0% and 62% of global reserves respectively. But fast forward to 2020, and the pound now represents just 4.7% of global currency reserves, while the US dollar stands at nearly 60%.
GREEN LIGHT FOR CANNABIS LEGALISATION IN GERMANY IS NOT A CLEAR-CUT DECISION
On 6 December, the RAND Corporation published an article saying that the new coalition government in Germany has said that it is to regulate the sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops. In taking this step, Germany would join a wave of cannabis reform initiatives that has swept the globe. However, it is said international experience has shown that great care is needed in how cannabis policy is shaped.
On 9 December, Bass Berry & Sims made available an article from World ECR examining the history and current trajectory of the Entity List, part of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to help protect US national security. The article outlines the history of the Entity List and discuss the need for a just and transparent removal mechanism.
HOW TO ENSURE THAT YOUR EU GOODS WILL MOVE SMOOTHLY THROUGH GB PORTS IN 2022
On 8 December, the Institute of Export and International Trade released a 1-hour webinar, saying that, from 1 January, import declarations are required for all goods entering Britain from the EU and customs checks will begin on these goods. At the same time, the UK Government begins to implement its ‘pre-lodgement’ model at some ports so you’ll need to use the online Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to ‘pre-lodge’ required declarations with HMRC before they board a ship heading to Britain. It is said that that it is imperative one understands the new obligations in advance of transporting EU goods into Britain, and customers understand their obligations too.
5 TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2022 US FEDERAL CORRUPTION PROSECUTION
On 8 December, an article from Greenberg Traurig lists its 5 predictions for 2022 – a major crackdown on foreign corruption; more frequent and effective cryptocurrency-related cases; emphasis on “Yates memo” corporate cooperation; increased FCPA prosecutions in Latin America; and significant increase in prosecutions in mid-2022.
TURKEY INTERCEPTS 1.5-TON SKUNK CANNABIS SHIPMENT FROM ALBANIA
On 7 December, Daily Sabah reported that the drug was being smuggled into the country from Albania, and 3 suspects were detained in connection with the shipment discovered in the Dalaman district.
GANGS ‘NOW USING IRELAND AS MAIN ROUTE TO SMUGGLE MILLIONS OF EURO WORTH OF COCAINE INTO UNITED KINGDOM’
On 6 December, the Irish Mirror reported that Ireland is now the main supplier of Britain’s cocaine – because of Brexit, a leading expert has warned, saying that cartels are increasingly using Ireland as a transit route for massive UK cocaine consignments.
WCO: RESULTS OF INTERNATIONAL CRACKDOWN ON THE ILLICIT TRADE IN MEDICINES, VACCINES AND MEDICAL DEVICES RELATED TO COVID-19
A news release from the WCO on 7 December said that, from 30 April to 30 September, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) ran the largest-ever Customs-led global operation involving 146 Member Customs administrations, with the support of a number of international organisations, to crack down on the illicit trade in medicines, vaccines and medical devices related to COVID-19. The results of Operation STOP II were announced on 7 December during a global webinar. A total of 2,360 cases of trafficking were reported by 83 Members and some 3,434 cases of seizures recorded. Of the 365.7 million units seized, 195.5 million were medicines related to COVID-19 (ivermectin, doxycycline, pregabalin, etc.), 156.7 million were medical devices (COVID-19 test kits, face masks, used gloves, sanitiser gel, oxygen cylinders, etc.) and around 13.5 million were doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
US SANCTIONS ON LONG-TIME TRAFIGURA PARTNER – ANGOLA’S GENERAL DINO
On 9 December, BNN Bloomberg reported that OFAC has imposed sanctions on a former Angolan military general who has been a longstanding partner of Trafigura Group, accusing him of corruption and embezzlement. Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, commonly known as “General Dino”, was a close associate of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who ruled for about four decades until 2017. Among the entities designated by the US as being owned or controlled by General Dino was Cochan Holdings LLC, which has a 3.26% stake in Trafigura’s fuel station business, Puma Energy. He has also been the trading house’s partner in DT Group, an Africa-focused infrastructure and logistics unit.
CENTRAL BANK OF CYPRUS €790,000 FINE FOR BANK OF CYPRUS FOR VIOLATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE LAW RELATING TO MONEY LAUNDERING
On 9 December, the Cyprus Mail reported that the decision related to findings made in 2018 and 2019, in that the Bank of Cyprus had failed to comply with certain provisions of the ‘Prevention and suppression of money laundering activities and financing of terrorism’ law. No further details were given.
MAYOR OF PUERTO RICAN CITY IS CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES
On 9 December, the Miami Herald reported that federal authorities had arrested and charged the mayor of the Puerto Rican city of Guaynabo with accepting payoffs, amid a public corruption crackdown that has resulted in the arrest of multiple public officials and contractors in recent weeks. Ángel Pérez Otero was first elected Guaynabo’s mayor in 2017.
$104,000 IN GOLD AND SILVER BARS SEIZED IN NORTHERN ONTARIO DRUG INVESTIGATION
On 9 December, CTV News reported that a man is facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges after a raid uncovered suspected cocaine and oxycodone along with cash and gold and silver bars. Poiice also seized more than 16 grams of suspected cocaine, suspected oxycodone pills, several digital scales, a money counting machine and a pick-up truck.
BIMCO LAUNCHES NEW CONTRACT FOR EMPLOYMENT OF SECURITY ESCORT VESSELS
On 9 December, Insurance Marine News reported that the Documentary Committee of independent shipowner association BIMCO has approved a new standard contract, SEV-GUARDCON, for security escort vessels (SEV).
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