PANAMA IN WORLD WAR 2 – CHAPTER 3 – THE NEUTRALITY PATROL


I have continued to add to my “scrapbook” project – now revised, with many additions and corrections (which continue!).

Attached is Chapter 3 of the revised version.

Also attached is (a very large) pdf file of the complete (to date) scrapbook!

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 21

Panama Covid-19 update – nearly 2% of the population are now currently active cases of Covid-19 (and it seemed noticeably quieter at the hughe Albrook Mall – the largest in Latin America – today), with 11,933 new cases and 9 new fatalities reported today. The number of active cases has risen by over 6,600 to 84,113, with 68 in ICU (a fall of 3) and 662 in other wards (up 33). The 32,909 tests returned a 36.3% positive rate.

21 JANUARY 2022

TURKEY IS DRAWING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION, AND AT TIMES ATTRACTING CRITICISM, OVER ITS DRONE EXPORT POLICIES

On 18 January, an article from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was concerned with Turkish drone exports, saying that it has been capitalising on the noteworthy performance of its domestically-produced drones in operational theatres ranging from Syria and Libya to the South Caucasus as it seeks to steadily increase the number of drones it sells to other countries.  It argues that Turkey needs to take concrete steps to consolidate its image as a responsible drone exporter in a manner that strengthens its prospects in a competitive market. It can do so first and foremost by being more transparent about its drone transactions.

https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/01/18/strengthening-turkish-policy-on-drone-exports-pub-86183

DIRECTORS: PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR INDUCING A BREACH OF A CONTRACT BETWEEN THE COMPANY AND ANOTHER ENTITY

On 18 January, Addleshaw Goddard published an article says that a director can find themselves liable for losses caused by a company’s breach – for inducing a breach of a contract between the company of which he or she is a director and another entity.  It says that directors should also be alive to this cause of action and ensure that they are safeguarding themselves from any such claims.

https://www.addleshawgoddard.com/en/insights/insights-briefings/2022/litigation/blame-the-directors/

A NEW AND BETTER REGIME FOR ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES IN JERSEY

On 19 January, an article from Carey Olsen said that the Jersey legislation that governs electronic communications and related matters will be updated shortly by a new Law.  It says that the changes are to be made in light of new technologies, changes in business practices and lessons learned from the accelerated move to remote working as a result of COVID-19.  The further amendments to the existing law are likely to be made in the next few months: with the new Law having been approved by the Jersey States Assembly and is awaiting the final usual steps to come into force.

https://www.careyolsen.com/briefings/new-and-better-regime-electronic-signatures-jersey

SHIPPERS CHALLENGE CONTAINER LINE DEMURRAGE FEES IN US COURTS

On 21 January, Seatrade Maritime News also reported that the US authorities in December issued new guidelines with the intention of making it easier for shipper associations to challenge lines and to deter “unfair and unreasonable conduct by carriers, marine terminal operators, and intermediaries”. 

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/containers/shippers-challenge-container-line-demurrage-fees-us-courts

IS TORNADO CASH COMPLICIT IN LAUNDERING CRYPTO? MIXERS AND TUMBLERS

On 21 January, an article in Coindesk is concerned with a mixing protocol that obscures details of the transactions on the blockchain in order to throw off investigators.  It says that mixers, also known as tumblers, aren’t new; they’ve been around almost as long as blockchain technology itself. 

https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/01/21/is-tornado-cash-complicit-in-laundering-stolen-crypto-its-complicated-says-former-law-enforcement-agent/

UK SEEKS ADVICE ON CONTROLLING DANGEROUS OPIOID

On 21 January, the Home Office issued a news release saying that the Home Office will seek expert advice on tightening controls on a substance linked to multiple fatalities resulting from heroin overdoses.  The Home Secretary has written to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to commission advice on 3 substances, including Isotonitazene, an opioid that has been used instead of or in addition to heroin.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-seeks-advice-on-controlling-dangerous-opioid

EU CHALLENGES RUSSIAN EXPORT RESTRICTIONS ON WOOD AT WTO

A news release from the EU on 21 January advised that the EU is requesting consultations with Russia at the WTO concerning export restrictions placed by Russia on wood products. The export restrictions consist of significantly increased export duties on certain wood products and a drastic reduction in the number of border crossing points through which exports of wood products can take place.  The dispute settlement consultations that the EU has requested are the first step in WTO dispute settlement proceedings.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_410

JACK MA’S ANT GROUP IMPLICATED IN CORRUPTION SCANDAL BY CHINESE STATE MEDIA

On 21 January, the Irish Times reported that China’s state broadcaster has implicated Jack Ma’s Ant Group in a corruption scandal, ratcheting up pressure on the billionaire following a crackdown that has wiped billions of dollars from his internet empire.  China Central Television alleged that private companies made “unreasonably high payments” to the brother of the former Chinese Communist party head of Hangzhou, home to Ant Group’s headquarters, in return for government policy incentives and support with buying real estate.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/jack-ma-s-ant-group-implicated-in-corruption-scandal-by-chinese-state-media-1.4782337

ESTONIA: FORMER TRANSPORT ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL SUSPECTED OF CORRUPTION

On 21 January, ERR reported that the Internal Security Service suspects former Transport Administration public transportation department manager Kirke Williamson of violating an operating restriction stated in the Anti-corruption Act when knowingly making a decision based on personal interest worth some €200,000.

https://news.err.ee/1608474017/former-transport-administration-suspected-of-corruption

FORMER ZAMBIA ARMY CHIEF OF OPERATIONS ARRESTED OVER ILLEGAL EXPORT OF MUKULA LOGS

On 21 January, the Lusaka Times reported that the Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested former Zambia Army Chief of Operations and an Officer in the Office of the President Special Division, Brigadier General Gilbert Wails Mulenga (retired), 55, for corruption involving exportation of Mukula (rosewood) logs.

https://www.lusakatimes.com/2022/01/21/former-zambia-army-chief-of-operations-arrested-over-illegal-export-of-mukula-logs

OLAF DISCOVERED A GROUP WITH RAMIFICATIONS IN ROMANIA AND ITALY WHICH EMBEZZLED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF EUROS FROM EU FUNDS

On 21 January, ACT Media in Romania reported that the EU agency had uncovered a group which allegedly embezzled €850,000 from EU funds for agriculture. 

https://actmedia.eu/daily/olaf-discovered-a-group-with-ramifications-in-romania-and-italy-which-embezzled-hundreds-of-thousands-of-euros-from-eu-funds/95905

NEW OECD HUB TO BOOST TRANSPARENCY ON THE TAX TREATMENT OF FOREIGN AID

A news release from OECD on 20 January announced that it had launched a new digital hub to improve transparency around the taxation of development aid by presenting approaches taken by participating donor countries to claiming tax exemptions on goods and services funded by official development assistance (ODA).  It compares policies for how ODA is taxed from 12 members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), who voluntarily provided details on their tax approaches of foreign aid.   It aims to help both donors and recipient countries clarify the tax status of ODA, which totalled $161 billion in 2020.

https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/new-oecd-hub-to-boost-transparency-on-the-tax-treatment-of-foreign-aid.htm

CENTRAL BANK OF RUSSIA PROPOSES A STRICTER BAN ON THE USE AND MINING OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES

On 21 January, Jurist reported that a paper from the bank states that cryptocurrencies threaten national financial stability since they are based on speculation and characterised by high risk and volatility.  It suggests widening the existing restriction on cryptocurrencies — which bans their use in payments — to impose legal liability on users and prohibit dedicated crypto exchanges, P2P platforms and other financial organisations from issuing or circulating them.  It also proposes a ban on crypto mining, and suggests the monitoring of transactions by Russian citizens on foreign crypto exchanges and the use of alternatives like the a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/01/russia-central-bank-proposes-wider-ban-on-cryptocurrency-usage-and-mining/

US RETURNS STEINHARDT’S LOOTED ARTIFACTS TO IRAQ AND LIBYA

An article from OCCRP on 20 January reported that last year, the Manhattan DA concluded an investigation and, in a deal to avoid further prosecution billionaire Michael Steinhardt agreed to turn over the artifacts in his possession that they had proven were looted and was banned from possessing anything older than the 16th Century.  Now some of his ill-gotten goods are finally returning home.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15806-the-u-s-returns-steinhardt-s-looted-artifacts-to-iraq-and-libya

FLAVOURED E-CIGARETTES TO BE BANNED IN LITHUANIA

On 21 January. TJI reported that the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids that contain flavours are to be banned from July.  Lithuania already has a sales ban on e-cigarettes and e-liquids that contain vitamins or other substances that allude to being healthy. The country also has an import ban in place that forbids e-cigarettes and e-liquids that contain caffeine, taurine or other stimulating compounds linked to energy and vitality.

http://www.tobaccojournal.com/Flavoured_e-cigs_banned.56844.0.html

INDONESIA LIFTS COAL EXPORT BAN ON 139 COMPANIES

On 21 January, an article from Out-Law said that Indonesia has lifted its coal export ban on 139 companies as they met domestic market sales requirements (domestic market obligation or DMO).  This is part of Indonesia’s plan to gradually lift the coal export ban it introduced at the start of the year, after securing enough supplies for domestic needs. 

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/indonesia-lifts-coal-export-ban-on-139-companies

AUTHORITIES IN CHILE HAVE REPORTED A STRING OF MASSIVE MARITIME SEIZURES OF “CREEPY” MARIJUANA

An article from Insight Crime on 20 January says that Chile’s maritime authorities seized almost 7 tons of creepy marijuana in 2021, culminating with the largest haul in November when 3.5 tons of creepy were found.  Primarily grown in Colombia, creepy marijuana, like skunk, contains far higher levels of the psychoactive drug THC than standard marijuana.

https://insightcrime.org/news/land-sea-chile-dealing-surge-creepy-marijuana/

29 ARRESTED IN ALBANIA, GREECE AND ITALY FOR SMUGGLING MORE THAN 1,100 MIGRANTS IN YACHTS

A news release from Europol on 20 January advised that an operation supported by Europol and Eurojust, led to the dismantling of a large organised crime group involved in migrant smuggling.  Authorities believe that the suspects, mainly of Iraqi and Syrian origin, are part of a criminal network of about 80 members that is allegedly responsible for at least 30 sea smuggling operations. 

https://www.europol.europa.eu/media-press/newsroom/news/29-arrested-in-albania-greece-and-italy-for-smuggling-more-1-100-migrants-in-yachts

RANSOMWARE ACTORS INCREASINGLY DEMAND PAYMENT IN MONERO

On 18 January, TechTarget reported that more and more threat actors are demanding to be paid in Monero following ransomware attacks, according to experts who work in the ransomware response process.  While Bitcoin is a more public and traceable coin, Monero is known as an anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrency (AEC) or “privacy coin” that utilises various technologies to obscure transactions and prevent users from being identified.

https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/news/252512142/Ransomware-actors-increasingly-demand-payment-in-Monero

DANISH GAMBLING REGULATOR WARNS MR GREEN OVER MONEY LAUNDERING RULES BREACH

On 21 January, iGB reported that Spillemyndigheden has reprimanded Mr Green after the operator was found to have breached regulations regarding assessing the source of funds for a player.

https://igamingbusiness.com/danish-regulator-warns-mr-green-over-money-laundering-rules-breach/

CFATF PLENARY OUTCOMES

On 20 January, the FATF-style regional body for the Caribbean reported on the outcomes of the December Plenary.  The Plenary discussed and approved the MER of St Kitts and Nevis and approved.  It discussed the follow-up reports on the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, Turks & Caicos and St Lucia.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/home/cfatf-news/739-cfatf-liii-plenary-outcomes-december-2021-virtual-plenary-working-groups-meeting 

HOW TO PROTECT EUROPE FROM RISKY FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

On 21 January, an article from War on the Rocks reflected on the case of Alpi Aviation in Italy.  Alpi is accused of violating the “Golden Power”, an Italian law intended to prevent the unregulated foreign acquisition of defence companies; sending a military drone to China marked as a “model aircraft”; and that it allegedly failed to notify the government of its opaque 2018 sale to a Chinese enterprise.  It is said that the case has prompted renewed debate over the EU foreign direct investment (FDI) screening mechanism, which was implemented in 2020 and will be up for evaluation by 2023. There are several challenges to current European efforts to screen foreign investments: not all member states have national screening mechanisms; Member States that do have screening mechanisms have uncoordinated approaches to information collection and regulation; and member states can ignore EU advice on how to manage potentially problematic investments.

https://warontherocks.com/2022/01/how-to-protect-europe-from-risky-foreign-direct-investment

FRENCH-SYRIAN MAN INDICTED OVER ALLEGATIONS OF SUPPLYING EQUIPMENT TO THE SYRIAN ARMY, INCLUDING GOODS THAT COULD BE USED TO MANUFACTURE CHEMICAL WEAPONS

On 27 December, Le Monde reported that a Franco-Syrian man at the head of a shipping company, has been indicted in France, suspected of having supplied equipment to the Syrian army, including components that can be used to manufacture chemical weapons, despite an international embargo.  He is accused of having, through a company based in different places, in France and the UAE, participated in the provision of means to different state structures of the Syrian regime responsible for the production of unconventional weapons.

https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2021/12/27/un-franco-syrien-incarcere-en-france-pour-du-materiel-fourni-a-l-armee-syrienne_6107370_3224.html

CANADA: DELAY FOR BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR TRUSTS

On 18 January, KPMG reported that the Canada Revenue Authority (CRA) has announced that trusts preparing to meet enhanced beneficial ownership reporting requirements need to continue filing their returns as usual for now.  New requirements were due to have been introduced on 30 December.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/01/tnf-canada-delay-for-beneficial-ownership-reporting-requirements-for-trusts.html

SEYCHELLES FORMER FIRST LADY IN COURT OVER CORRUPTION SCANDAL

On 21 January, the Mail Online reported that the former first lady of the Seychelles and several other high-profile figures have appeared in court over a $50 million embezzlement scandal that has gripped the paradise island nation.  6 people have been charged over the disappearance of the funds which were given to the Seychelles government by the UAE 2 decades ago.  Sarah Zarqhani Rene is the widow of late president France Albert Rene who ruled from 1977 to 2004.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-10427791/Seychelles-former-lady-court-corruption-scandal.html

NICOLAS SARKOZY’S FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF JAILED OVER POLLING FRAUD

On 21 January, the Guardian reported that Claude Guéant, the former chief of staff of the ex-French President Sarkozy was handed a new jail sentence, adding to a long list of convictions stemming from the rightwinger’s 2007-2012 term in office.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/21/nicolas-sarkozys-former-chief-of-staff-jailed-over-polling

MAN IN SCOTTISH COURT DENIES BEING INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE WITH 16 ALIASES

On 21 January, the Guardian reported that the man, who was traced to an ICU in Glasgow while being treated for Covid-19 in December, denied being 34-year-old Nicholas Rossi, who is wanted by Interpol and faces extradition to the US over an allegation of sexual assault in Utah.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jan/21/man-in-scottish-court-denies-being-international-fugitive-with-16-aliases

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

SEMICONDUCTOR INDUSTRY ENCOURAGES THE US AND EUROPE TO COLLABORATE ON EXPORT CONTROL POLICY

On 20 January, the Semiconductor Industry Association issued a news release saying that it supports the US and EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) efforts to coordinate approaches to export controls under the Export Control Working Group (ECWG), and has submitted a response to the US Commerce Department Request for Information on Areas and Priorities for U.S. and EU Export Control Cooperation under the TTC Export Control Working Group (ECWG).  The SIA submission provides specific proposals, recommendations and analysis on how to adopt tailored, consensus-based export controls based on legitimate and sound national security goals.  The release also includes a chart which provides an overview of the similarities and differences between the US and partner country export control systems. 

https://www.semiconductors.org/sia-encourages-the-united-states-and-europe-to-collaborate-on-export-control-policy/

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

OFAC DESIGNATES INTERNATIONAL HIZBOLLAH NETWORK

On 21 January, OFAC advised that it had designated Hizballah-affiliated financial facilitator Adnan Ayad, as well as members of an international network of facilitators and companies connected to him and to Adel Diab, Adnan Ayad’s business partner and fellow Hizballah financier who was designated by OFAC on 18 January.  Adnan Ayad, Jihad Adnan Ayad, Ali Adel Diab, and 10 companies are being designated under Executive Order (EO) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, leaders, and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0564

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220121

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

CUBA:  AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 21 January, the FATF-style regional body GAFILAT published the Fifth Report of Regular Monitoring and Requalification of Technical Compliance of Cuba.  The original evaluation was in 2015.  It is said that Cuba continues making significant progress towards addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER and has been re-rated for FATF Recommendation 7 (from Largely Compliant to Compliant). Cuba will continue under the regular follow-up process and shall continue to report to GAFILAT on the progress made towards strengthening implementation of AML/CFT measures

https://gafilat.org/index.php/es/biblioteca-virtual/gafilat/documentos-de-interes-17/traducciones/4229-fifth-regular-follow-up-report-and-re-rating-of-cuba/file

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

COLOMBIA: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT FOLLOW-UP REPORT

On 21 January, FATF-style regional body GAFILAT published the Sixth Intensified Follow-up Report and First Report of Requalification of Technical Compliance of Colombia.  The report was approved at the December Plenary of GAFILAT.  The original assessment was in July 2018.  As a result of progress, Colombia was re-rated in relation to FATF Recommendations 13, 16, 19, 33 and 34.  Colombia will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures

https://gafilat.org/index.php/es/biblioteca-virtual/gafilat/documentos-de-interes-17/traducciones/4228-6th-enhanced-follow-up-report-and-1st-re-rating-report-of-colombia/file

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

NEW ZEALAND: DIY COVID TESTS SEIZED AT THE BORDER – PERSONAL-USE IMPORTS ‘PROHIBITED’

On 21 January, Stuff reported that Covid testing kits are being stopped at the border as New Zealanders try to import them for home use, and the seizures have been criticised as unfair and illogical.  In New Zealand, people must go to a trained tester, such as a GP or pharmacy.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300498855/doityourself-covid-tests-seized-at-the-border-personaluse-imports-prohibited

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

EX-CIA OPERATIVE FACING MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FRAUD CHARGES PLEADS FOR IRISH GOVERNMENT TO GRANT HIM ASYLUM

On 21 January, the Irish Mirror reported that Don Victor Cisternino — who is in jail in Croatia pending his extradition to the US for charges over an alleged €6.4 million loan scam — also has an Irish passport and has pleaded with authorities in Ireland to give him political asylum.  Florida prosecutors allege he swindled $7.2 million in Covid loans by falsely claiming he employed more than 400 people when the pandemic broke out in 2020.

https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/crime/ex-cia-operative-facing-multi-26007748

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

EU DELETES 3 ENTITIES FROM ISIL/AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS LIST

EU Regulation 2022/84/EU deletes Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation; Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation (Somalia); and Al-Haramain Foundation (Indonesia) following the decision of the relevant UN Sanctions Committee.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.014.01.0004.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A014%3ATOC

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 20

Panama Covid-19 update – the TV news tonight opened with a debate over whether the carnival should go ahead next month…a sign of local priorities perhaps.

Meanwhile, a new daily record established, with 12,351 new cases reported. 10 new fatalities were also reported, with the number of active cases soaring by over 8,000 to 77,438; with 71 (up 14) in ICU and 629 (up 23) in other hospital wards. Very roughly, maybe nearly 1 person in every 50 in the country is currently infected and in hospital, hospital-hotels or other isolation or quarantine (including me, with today being the last of my 10 days’ mandatory quarantine).

20 JANUARY 2022

SHADOW TRADING UNDER INSIDER TRADING LAW

On 20 January, a post from the Compliance and Enforcement blog at the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law says that the SEC has long wanted to find the right case to pursue so-called “shadow trading,” where insiders armed with material non-public information about their own company use that information to trade in the securities of another company whose stock is closely correlated.  It says that in SEC v Panuwat, filed last year, the SEC may have found the perfect vehicle for extending the insider trading laws to shadow trading. 

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2022/01/19/sec-v-panuwat-shadow-trading-under-insider-trading-law/

CONSPIRACY TO EXPORT “GHOST GUNS” SENDS WARNING TO FREIGHT FORWARDERS AND THIRD-PARTY LOGISTICS OPERATORS

On 19 January, an article from a criminal complaint alleges that the defendant and others conspired to purchase parts of rifles and pistols, which they assembled to produce firearms that do not require serial numbers or registration with the federal government if intended for personal use.  The most common kits in these types of activities are “80% receivers,” which are unfinished firearms with the most complicated machining completed but which lack the final 20% of components that would place them under the authority of the US Federal Firearms Regulations.  Firearms enthusiasts claim the “ghost guns,” referred to as such due to their lack of serial numbers, allow hobbyists to customise the firearms to suit their needs and desires. However, others allege that these kits allow the assembly and sale of weapons by persons not authorised under federal law who skirt gun restrictions to produce guns that are untraceable if used in a crime.  The article says that the typical modus operandi in firearms smuggling cases include comingling the guns in household goods or personal automobile exports and for third-party logistics operators, it can mean transporting illegal merchandise.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/export-controls-trade-investment-sanctions/1151754/conspiracy-to-export-ghost-guns-sends-warning-to-freight-forwarders-and-third-party-logistics-operators

US DoJ MONITORSHIPS: THEY’RE COSTLY, THEY’RE DISRUPTIVE, AND THEY’RE MAKING A COMEBACK

An article from Torres Law on 19 January says that knowing about the monitorship process – what may lead to it and what it can mean for your organisation – is crucial for general counsels and employees alike.  This article intends to demystify these court appointments, providing an overview of DoJ Monitorships, when they are imposed, what they can entail and cost, and what they mean for both industry and counsel.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/export-controls-trade-investment-sanctions/1151748/department-of-justice-monitorships-they39re-costly-they39re-disruptive-and-they39re-making-a-comeback

PAPUPA NEW GUINEA TIMBER EXPORT LICENCES ONLY FOR LOCALS

On 20 January, One Papua New Guinea reported that Prime Minister James Marape said in Parliament that the licences for round log exports will only be given to locals and landowner companies including provincial government business arms. This will be done with the aim of migrating to downstream processing post 2025; and that the Government’s aim to end round log exports still stood.  He said that no new licences had been issued to foreign companies since 2020.

https://www.onepng.com/2022/01/export-licence-only-for-locals-says-png.html

https://www.looppng.com/png-news/no-log-export-license-pm-108805

US POTASH SANCTIONS MAY PUSH BELARUS DEEPER INTO PUTIN’S ARMS

On 20 January, BNN Bloomberg reported that US sanctions against Belarus’s potash industry that have helped push fertiliser prices to record highs may also draw President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime more tightly into Russia’s embrace to survive the shock to its finances. 

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/u-s-potash-sanctions-may-push-belarus-deeper-into-putin-s-arms-1.1710317

BUSINESSMAN’S WIFE JAILED FOR HER PART IN NEW ZEALAND’S LARGEST CIGARETTE SMUGGLING CASE

On 20 January, Stuff reported that an Auckland woman will spend 3 years behind bars for her role in New Zealand’s biggest illegal cigarette smuggling operation after bringing in more than 19 million cigarettes into the country with her husband.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300500009/businessmans-wife-jailed-for-her-part-in-nzs-largest-cigarette-smuggling-case

MAS FINES VISTRA TRUST (SINGAPORE) $1.1 MILLION FOR FAILURES IN ITS AML/CFT CONTROLS

On 20 January, Singapore Business reported that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has penalised the trust company, Vistra Trust (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, for failures to comply with AML/CFT requirements in 2019.  It has paid the penalty of $1.1 million, and taken remedial actions to address the risk management deficiencies that led to the breaches.  The breach was found during an inspection carried out between April to June 2019. 

https://sbr.com.sg/financial-services/news/mas-fines-vistra-trust-singapore-11m-failures-in-its-amlcft-controls

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/banking-finance/licensed-trust-company-fined-s11m-for-lack-of-anti-money-laundering-scrutiny

https://www.statista.com/chart/26641/us-military-aid-obligations-by-country

‘HUNDREDS’ OF RUSSIAN MERCENARIES IN MALI

On 20 January, the EU Observer reported that Russia already has “hundreds” of mercenaries in Mali, but there was no sign they were using EU-trained Malian soldiers, the EU foreign service has said.

https://euobserver.com/world/154112

CHEMICALS: EU COMMISSION SEEKS VIEWS ON REVISION OF REACH, THE LEGISLATION ON CHEMICALS

On 20 January, the EU announced a public consultation on the revision of the Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regime.  The revision will aim to align the EU’s chemical rules with the Commission’s ambition for safe and sustainable chemicals and a high level of protection of health and the environment, while preserving the internal market.  The consultation runs to mid-April.

https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/TargetedREACHRevision2022

THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS ON SYRIA

On 19 January, the EU advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Georgia have agreed to align their laws with amendments to EU sanctions on Syria as of 13 December.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/01/19/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-alignment-of-certain-countries-concerning-restrictive-measures-against-syria/

MARITIME SECURITY CONTRACT: NIGERIA HIRES COMPANY SACKED OVER CORRUPTION IN CONGO AND MALI

On 20 January, the Premium Times in Nigeria reported that the Nigerian government has approved the award of a major maritime project to a company allegedly immersed in high-level corruption in 2 other African countries.  It says that Frabemar UK Ltd is linked to an indictment in the DRC and Mali for corruption and embezzlement of public funds in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/business-news/506668-maritime-security-contract-nigerian-govt-hires-firm-sacked-over-corruption-in-congo-mali.html

ISRAEL SIGNS SCANDAL-RIDDEN €3 BILLION DEAL WITH GERMANY TO BUY NEW SUBMARINES

On 20 January, the Times of Israel reported that Israel is to purchase 3 submarines from Germany, even as cabinet ministers are set to vote on establishing a commission of inquiry into the agreement, which is entangled in an investigation into alleged corruption and bribes that has already resulted in multiple indictments.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-signs-scandal-ridden-e3-billion-deal-with-germany-to-buy-new-submarines

BULGARIA TO ABOLISH ITS GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM

On 20 January, Schengen Visa Info reported that the move has been announced by the government, which plans to submit a Bill to the parliament, as the Justice Ministry has announced that the golden visa scheme has not led to real investment in the country. It is said that 96 internationals have Bulgarian golden passports, many of them Russians, followed by citizens from Middle Eastern countries.

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/bulgaria-to-abolish-its-golden-visa-program

VIETNAM: 390 CORRUPTION CASES INVESTIGATED, PROSECUTED IN 2021

On 20 January, Vietnam Plus reported that a total of 390 corruption cases involving 1,011 people were investigated and prosecuted last year.

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/390-corruption-cases-investigated-prosecuted-in-2021anticorruption-central-steering-committee/221014.vnp

GREECE: 3 ARRESTED AS POLICE SMASHES LARGE STEROID SUPPLY RING

On 20 January, Ekathimerini reported that the suspects are accused of membership in a criminal organisation, money laundering, forgery, as well as violations of the laws on weapons and laws on amateur and professional sports.  It is reported that the gang’s activity extended to Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Cyprus, Belgium, UK, Malta, US, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, where a large number of parcels were located.  The raw materials were mainly procured from China, Bulgaria and Poland.

https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1175884/three-arrested-as-police-smashes-large-steroid-supply-ring

BUSINESS BOOMING IN SENEGAL’S ILLICIT MONEY FLOW AND DRUG TRAFFICKING CHANNELS

On 20 January, the Daily Maverick reported that Senegal is currently ranked 8th in the world for money laundering and terrorist financing risks.  According to the National Risk Assessment, one of the major drivers in the country is drug trafficking, an illegal economy that generates nearly $360-million annually, and drug traffickers use various operations to launder their money, with real estate and construction being the preferred industries.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-01-20-business-booming-in-senegals-illicit-money-flow-and-drug-trafficking-channels

UK: NCA LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO DIVERT STUDENTS FROM CYBERCRIME

On 20 January, OCCRP reported that, after the number of cyber attacks on schools’ networks doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced the launching of a new initiative to divert young people away from cybercrime.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15803-nca-launches-initiative-to-divert-students-from-cybercrime

UAE: INTEGRITY RISKS TO PERSIST DESPITE NEW, STRONGER AML MEASURES

On 20 January, Control Risks reported that last year the UAE announced that it will set up a specialised AML court within the court of first instance and the court of appeal.  The article says that recent measures will improve the UAE’s AML framework.  However, integrity risks for businesses operating in high-risk sectors will persist over the coming year.  It says that businesses operating in sectors such as commodity trading, international banking and real estate should continue to carefully monitor and identify transacting parties to mitigate integrity risks.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/integrity-risks-to-persist-despite-new-stronger-anti-money-laundering-measures

LIBYA: CONTINUED POLITICAL STALEMATE WILL POSE SERIOUS CHALLENGES FOR FOREIGN COMPANIES

On 20 January, an article from Control Risks says that, with the date for Libya’s long-planned presidential elections having come and gone in December 2021, the political deadlock between Libya’s eastern and western authorities will continue to pose serious challenges for foreign companies doing business in or with Libya.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/continued-political-stalemate-will-pose-serious-challenges-for-foreign-companies

INDIAN FUGITIVE VIJAY MALLYA TO BE EVICTED FROM LUXURY LONDON HOME

On 19 January, The Drinks Business reported that Vijay Mallya, the fugitive former head of India’s United Breweries and United Spirits, is to be evicted from his luxury London home after repeatedly failing to repay a £20.4 million mortgage which fell due in 2017.

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2022/01/vijay-mallya-to-be-evicted-from-luxury-london-home/

LEBANESE JUDGE FREEZES ASSETS OF CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR

On 18 January, ABC News reported that an investigating judge in Beirut has froze some assets belonging to the country’s central bank governor, Riad Salameh, who is accused of corruption and dereliction of duties during Lebanon’s unprecedented economic meltdown.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/lebanese-judge-freezes-assets-central-bank-governor-82328293

CRIMINAL GROUPS TURN TO ‘ELECTRONIC WARFARE’ TECH TO EVADE SANCTIONS IN SHIPPING

On 12 January, an article from Global Trade Review was concerned with research by maritime security company Windward.  It says that illicit actors are turning to new techniques to evade sanctions on maritime trade, with industry insiders warning of a spike in location signal manipulation and “deep” dark activity, as well as growing misuse of LPG exports.  Instances of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) manipulation, which allow vessels to report false information about their location, have increased dramatically over the past year. 

https://www.gtreview.com/news/global/criminal-groups-turn-to-electronic-warfare-tech-to-evade-sanctions-research-finds/

US SUPPORTS HUMANITARIAN AID FOR NORTH KOREA, BUT SANCTIONS MUST BE FULFILLED

On 20 January, the Korea Herald reported that the US State Department has said that the US strongly supports humanitarian assistance for the people of North Korea but UN Security Council sanctions must be fully implemented at the same time, noting that North Korea often diverts humanitarian aid.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220120000121

SIGNS EMERGE THAT NORTH KOREA MAY RESTART EXPORTS OF CERTAIN GOODS

On 20 January, Daily NK reported that, amid signs that North Korea has recently restarted freight train service to acquire goods from China, there is now speculation that the country is relaunching exports, too.  It claimed that sources have said that provincial trading companies have begun securing export items in response to the order; and, apparently, they plan to first ship items that have been held in storage. 

https://www.dailynk.com/english/signs-emerge-north-korea-may-restart-exports-certain-goods/

US: IRANIAN INTELLIGENCE MINISTRY BEHIND HACKING GROUP MUDDYWATER

On 19 January, Kharon reported that a hacking group known in the private sector as MuddyWater was recently identified by the US Cyber Command Cyber National Mission Force as a subordinate element of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).  It has primarily attacked Middle Eastern nations, but it also pursued European and North American countries.

https://brief.kharon.com/updates/iranian-intelligence-ministry-behind-hacking-group-muddywater-us-says

OFAC ISSUES AMENDED VENEZUELUAN SANCTIONS LICENCE

On 20 January, OFAC issued General License 5I which authorises certain transactions related to the Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) 2020 8.5% Bond.  It has also issued updated FAQ 595.

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/venezuela_gl5i.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/595

ISRAELI ATTACK DRONE MANUFACTURER AND 3 SENIOR EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH VIOLATING THE ISRAELI DEFENCE EXPORT CONTROL LAW

On 20 January, the EU Sanctions blog reported that Aeronautics Ltd and the 3 individuals had reportedly been charged, but that a gag order was in place to prevent publication of further details of the indictment.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/01/israel-charges-export-control-violations-updates-cyber-end-use-controls/

IED IN THE SAHEL AND WEST AFRICA REGION

On 2 December, the Small Arms Survey published a post saying that it had documented the trafficking of IED components in the Sahel and West Africa, having undertaken fieldwork in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, and Niger, to date.  By considering the regional dimensions of the trafficking in question, the aim is to be able to establish an evidence base for developing a regional response.  It uses the UN definition of an IED: ‘a device placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass or distract’.  It says that some of the components tracked are also important for economic sectors such as mining and agriculture, and this is where the complexity lies. There are multiple stakeholders, from very different sectors — many not associated at all with armed violence.

https://smallarmssurvey.medium.com/a-primer-ieds-in-the-sahel-and-west-africa-7092007d68ab

US: LEADER OF COMPLEX INTERNATIONAL FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING RING SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON

A US DoJ news release on 20 January advised that a federal court had sentenced Mary Kathryn Marr, 42, from Miami, to 14 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Marr was the leader of a large, international fraud and money laundering ring that operated out of the US and abroad. Marr contracted with various international “boiler rooms” to launder fraud proceeds that she and other conspirators had obtained from foreign victims, primarily by selling worthless investments.  The majority of the victims that Marr and her conspirators targeted were located in Australia, New Zealand, UK, and countries in Asia.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/leader-complex-international-fraud-and-money-laundering-ring-sentenced-14-years-prison

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