Panama Covid-19 update – apparently there are 127 vaccination points across the country. Mind you, I passed a drive-in testing centre downtown today, which was busy the last time I passed it several months ago, but just one car in the testing tent today.
Today saw 382 new cases reported (the highest daily figure since 11 September) and 2 new fatalities (the health ministry reports that the lethality of the virus continues to be 1.54%). The number of active cases has shown another rise, by 216 to 3,486 (also the highest its been since September). However, to date, the numbers in ICU continue to only be low (and a fraction of what they were even as late as September), with 16 currently in ICU nationwide, and with 105 in other wards (the sort of level that has been maintained for about the last month or so).
14 DECEMBER 2021
PORTUGAL – BRIBERY OFFENCES GUIDE
On 13 December, an article from DLA Piper outlined what is bribery and the legal framework.
UK: NATWEST FINED $351 MILLION FOR OVERLOOKING MONEY LAUNDERING RISKS POSED BY CLIENT
On 14 December, the Wall Street Journal and others reported that some of the cash deposits made by gold dealer Fowler Oldfield arrived in black garbage bags bursting from the weight. The case is the first FCA criminal prosecution of a bank for money laundering breaches.
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO THE LAW ON CIVIL RECOVERY UNDER THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002
On 8 December, an article from BCL Solicitors LLP explains the way civil recovery works under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).
4 BANKS HAVE HAD FINES IMPOSED IN HONG KONG FOR MONEY LAUNDERING FAILINGS
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced it has issued fines totalling HK$44.2 million to 4 banks for historic AML breaches – Swiss bank UBS, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank and the Taiwanese bank CTBC.
CANADA DESIGNATES 4 MYANMAR MILITARY ENTITIES
On 14 December, EU Sanctions reported that, in coordination with the US and UK, Canada has designated 4 entities from Myanmar for human rights abuses.
STRUCTURE AND THE FORMAT OF THE UK SANCTIONS LIST IS CHANGING IN FEBRUARY 2022
On 13 December, HM Treasury released guidance is to help one understand and prepare for the change – but saying that there will be no material updates to listings when it occurs.
AUSTRALIA: ACMA ORDERS BLOCKING OF MORE OFFSHORE AND AFFILIATE SITES
On 14 December, iGB reported that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ordered the blocking of a number of offshore gambling and affiliate websites it said were operating in the country illegally. Since November 2019, ACMA has blocked 375 websites it said were operating in Australia illegally.
NIRAV MODI FILES APPEAL AGAINST EXTRADITION FROM UK
On 14 December, Times Now News reported that the fugitive diamond merchant has filed an appeal against the decision to extradite him to India over the $2 billion PNB Bank scam.
UK: SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY HAS PAID £228,000 TO COVER THE LEGAL COSTS OF A SOLICITOR FOLLOWING A PROSECUTION ABANDONED A MONTH BEFORE TRIAL
On 14 December, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to have made a series of errors in bringing allegations against Jamil Ahmud.
FORMER ALBANIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ARRESTED
On 14 December, Exit News reported that the former Minister of the Environment Lefter Koka has been arrested by the Special Court For Organised Crime and Corruption (SPAK). He held the environmental portfolio for Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) between 2013 and 2017 before becoming a deputy for the Socialist Party between 2017-2021.
UK: PLAN TO REFORM HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
On 14 December, the MoJ issued a consultation explaining how proposed new legislation aims to strike a proper balance between individuals’ rights, personal responsibility and the wider public interest. This would be achieved while retaining the UK commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The consultation closes on 3 March.
EU: 544 ARRESTS AND €63 MILLION OF FAKE PHARMACEUTICALS AND ILLEGAL DOPING SUBSTANCES SEIZED
A news release from Europol on 14 December announced that it had coordinated Operation Shield II, a global effort to target trafficking of counterfeit and misused medicines and doping substances.
HOW MEXICAN CARTELS SETTLED IN CANADA
On 13 December, an article from Insight Crime says that the story of the Mexican cartels and their influence abroad has mostly focused on the US. But a number of Mexican groups have headed farther north, embedding themselves in the Canadian underworld, where they are displacing traditional mafias.
UBS FAILS TO OVERTURN GUILTY VERDICT IN FRENCH TAX EVASION CASE
On 13 December, Swissinfo reported that an appeal court has confirmed that Swiss bank UBS is guilty of having assisted French tax evaders – but reduced the penalty to €1.8 billion.
ILLEGAL ORGAN TRANSPLANT NETWORK BUSTED IN ISTANBUL
On 12 December, Arab News reported that organ trade network was being led by Jordanian and Palestinian nationals in Istanbul has been busted. 10 people, 4 ringleaders and 6 individuals who were about to sell their organs or get transplants, were caught.
HOW “INTELLIGENT” NFT RAISE SOME RED FLAGS
On 10 December, Coindesk published an article which provides 5 Red Flags to watch.
INSIDE IRELAND’S PUBLIC HEALTHCARE RANSOMWARE SCARE
On 13 December, the Krebs on Security blog posted this article, saying that PWC recently published lessons learned from the disruptive and costly ransomware attack in May 2021 on Ireland’s public health system. That “unusually candid post-mortem” found that nearly 2 months elapsed between the initial intrusion and the launching of the ransomware. Another point highlighted was that the attack also affected hospitals had tens of thousands of outdated Windows 7 systems, and that the health system’s IT administrators failed to respond to multiple warning signs that a massive attack was imminent. The article concludes that in all likelihood, the Irish HSE will get the money it needs to implement the programs recommended by PWC, however long that takes – but ends by wondering how many US-based healthcare organisations could say the same.
ITALIAN POLICE SWOOP ON AGENTS OVER ALLEGED LAUNDERING OF TRANSFER FEES
On 14 December, Inside World Football reported that Italian prosecutors are reported to be investigating football agents over alleged tax evasion and money laundering, and have asked 11 clubs, including Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan, to provide documents.
BREXIT: REGISTERED TRADE MARKS AND REGISTERED DESIGNS ETC – ANOTHER DEADLINE
On 14 December, an article from Field Fisher reminded those affected of a further, and less well known deadline for any licences and/or security interests that were registered against EU trade marks and registered designs which were not automatically recorded on the UK Register in respect of the comparable rights that were created post-Brexit. The UKIPO has issued guidance and has provided until 31 December for parties to record an existing licence and/or security interest against comparable UK registrations or comparable trade mark applications filed. It says that although it is not mandatory for such transactions to be recorded, there are benefits in recording licences and security interests, particularly as against potential infringers or third parties acquiring competing rights in a mark.
See also –
VISUALISING THE GLOBAL SEMICONDUCTOR SUPPLY CHAIN
UP TO 9 CREW ON A CONTAINERSHIP IN THE GULF OF GUINEA ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED AND 1 SHOT
On 14 December, Loadstar reported that the CMA CGM-chartered Tonsberg was attacked by pirates some 48 nautical miles south-west of Luba, while it headed for Cotonou, Benin, after departing from Cameroon’s Port Autonome de Kribi. While up to 9 crew m are thought to have been kidnapped, another is being treated for a bullet wound in the leg.
REPORT OUTLINING A NEW VISION FOR THE GLOBAL TRADE FINANCE ECOSYSTEM
On 18 November, the International Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Fung Business Intelligence and supported by McKinsey & Company, had launched a report outlining a new vision for the global trade finance ecosystem. It is said thattoday’s trade finance system is characterised by a complex web of decades-old manual processes, and more recent, isolated “digital islands” — closed systems of trading partners formed to address specific pain points. The report therefore sets out a road map for digitally connecting and facilitating interoperation among existing networks through sets of shared standards, processes, protocols and guiding principles. It is also said that key is a drive access for SME to emerging digital processes by scaling innovations such as digital identity, paperless trade, and transaction-based credit assessment in addition to traditional balance sheet credit scoring.
Incoterms® 2020 – FCA AND DAP
On 1 December, an article from the International Chamber of Commerce concentrated on the 2 most popular Incoterms® 2020 Rules – FCA and DAP. These rules can throw up some tricky questions regarding how they interface between the contract of carriage and issues surrounding transport documents, customs clearance and logistics.
CANADA: 13 BRITISH COLUMBIANS NOW FACING CHARGES IN ALLEGED $1 BILLION STOCK FRAUD SCHEME
On 14 December, Pique Newsmagazine reported that the US SEC has added 3 more Vancouver-area stock promoters to a growing list of defendants involved in an alleged $1 billion pump-and-dump scheme. Allegedly using a web of overseas shell companies created by Fred Sharp, a former Vancouver lawyer-turned-businessman for Panama investment firm, Mossack Fonseca.
MAN ARRESTED FOR SMUGGLING MILLIONS FROM LONDON TO DUBAI
On 14 December, BNN Bloomberg reported that police in the UK have arrested a key figure in a £100 million money laundering scheme, a 46-year-old Emirati, at a flat in London’s upmarket Mayfair district, alleging that he organised a “mule network” of couriers carrying suitcases packed with cash from the UK to Dubai.
HOW COLLECTIVE ACTION INITIATIVES CAN BENEFIT FROM STUDYING INFORMAL CORRUPT NETWORKS
On 14 December, the Basel Institute on Governance published a Policy Brief into how informal networks link private and public sector actors to pursue common illicit goals, such as gaining an unfair business advantage or decreasing taxes owed. Held together by corruption, such networks are highly resilient and effective. The Policy Brief distils lessons for anti-corruption practitioners seeking to engage with the private sector through collective action. It also explains why anti-corruption initiatives that focus purely on adding formal controls to high-risk processes, like audits and sanctions, can backfire.
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