OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 7

Panama Covid-19 – another big jump in numbers today, as active cases exceed 30,000 at 30,285, an increase of 4,128 from yesterday. 5,043 new cases and 4 new fatalities reported, with 36 in ICU (up 4), 285 in other wards (up 65) and another 381 in the hospital-hotels (up 97). the 24,475 tests showed a positivity of 21%.

7 JANUARY 2022

UK: IMPORT MITIGATION TOOLS

On 6 January, the Institute of Export and International Trade released a 48-minute video which focuses on how traders can mitigate the imposition of import duties by governments, particularly those issued during trade wars.  It covers Customs special procedures; Returned goods relief; duty recovery mechanisms; and other considerations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC4ZLmDWmD8

TIME TO GET ISO 37001 ABMS CERTIFIED FOR ANTI-BRIBERY MANAGEMENT

On 3 and 4 December, the CRI Group published a 2-part article saying that ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification is critical for organisations in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  It adds a distinct level of credibility to the organisation’s management systems and ensures that the organisation implements a viable anti-bribery management program utilising widely accepted controls and systems.  It assures management, investors, business associates, personnel and other stakeholders that the organisation is actively pursuing internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption.  The article goes through the 8 stages, including the recertification audit stage.

https://abacgroup.com/iso-37001-abms-certification-process-part-1/

https://abacgroup.com/iso-37001-abms-certification-process-part-2/

US SANCTIONS MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO REIGN IN DODIK

On 7 January, EurActiv reported on the reaction of Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the tripartite BiH Presidency after the US imposed new sanctions on him. 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/us-sanctions-may-not-be-enough-to-reign-in-dodik/

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/01/the-major-threats-and-challenges-for-america-in-space-infographics

FRAUD CAN OCCUR IN ANY COMPANY. WHAT ACTION SHOULD YOU TAKE IF YOU SPOT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY?

On 6 January, an article from Bird & Bird by the firm’s Warsaw-based Forensic Services team outlines how to spot issues at the outset and what actions you should take.

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2022/poland/fraud-can-occur-in-any-company

ESTONIA: FORMER INTERIOR MINISTER BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS CONCERN REAL ESTATE COMPANY

On 7 January, ERR reported that an alleged bribe was intended to speed up the bankruptcy proceedings of a real estate company, which had already been dragging on for over 3 years, allegedly so the former minister, Ain Seppik, and his associates, could take control of the company.

https://news.err.ee/1608458735/former-interior-minister-bribery-allegations-concern-real-estate-firm

DISRUPTING FIREARMS TRAFFICKING FLOWS IN THE SAHEL WITH UNODC SUPPORT 

A news release from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on 5 January was concerned with a 2-week long operation against firearms trafficking in the Sahel, which saw 850 officers from across relevant law enforcement agencies seized a total of 594 firearms and several thousand rounds of ammunition, including among suspected terrorists, in early December.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/frontpage/2022/January/operation-kafo-iii—disrupting-firearms-trafficking-flows-in-the-sahel-with-unodc-support.html

NEW COCAINE AND MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COLOMBIA AND BRAZIL

On 6 January, an article from Insight Crime says that the dismantling of a gang trafficking marijuana and cocaine from Colombia to Brazil has revealed greater connections between organised crime in both countries.  With record amounts of cocaine being produced in Colombia, drug gangs in the country have had plenty of product to offer their Brazilian counterparts. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/new-cocaine-marijuana-trafficking-connections-between-colombia-brazil/

CONTRABAND MEAT WIPING OUT PARAGUAY’S FARMERS

On 6 January, Insight Crime reported that a string of contraband meat seizures in Paraguay is indicative of the way smuggling has undercut the country’s flagging domestic agriculture industry in the wake of COVID-19, and which crosses the border illegally, mostly from Argentina.

https://insightcrime.org/news/pound-flesh-contraband-meat-wiping-out-paraguays-farmers/

TRACING ILLICIT GOLD FROM COLOMBIA THROUGH GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

A report from Sayari on 5 January examines a recent case involving a family clan in Colombia that was targeted by Colombian law enforcement for dealing in upwards of $20 million in illicit gold.  To prepare the report it used a combination of corporate records and trade data to trace how suspect gold connected to the network likely ended up in global precious metal supply chains.  Sayari says that the case demonstrates how a combination of public data – namely corporate and trade data — can be leveraged to identify upstream risk in increasingly complex global gold supply chains.

https://sayari.com/resources/tracing-illicit-gold-from-colombia-through-global-supply-chains/

COCAINE TRAFFICKING FROM NON-TRADITIONAL PORTS: EXAMINING THE CASES OF ARGENTINA, CHILE AND URUGUAY

A paper published by Springer in Trends in Organized crime on 26 November is said to show that criminal organisations prioritise the Ports of Buenos Aires, San Antonio and Montevideo, and the counter-intuitive routes that lead to them, because they are spaces that generate incentives linked to porous borders, the lack of control at the ports, and the possibility of exploiting the country’s lack of reputation for drug exportation to re-export cocaine undetected.  The study identifies at least 4 emerging lines of research: 1. Cocaine trafficking from landlocked countries; 2. The role of the waterway Paraná-Paraguay; 3. The link between non-traditional ports of cocaine departure and new markets; and 4. Other non-traditional ports of cocaine departure, which are not containerised.

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s12117-021-09441-y.pdf

LUXEMBOURG: ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY IMPOSED ON BANQUE DE LUXEMBOURG SA

On 23 December, a news release from CSSF advised that a penalty of €1.32 million had been imposed on the bank for non-compliance with certain professional AML/CFT obligations and non-compliance with the sound and prudent management principle.  This followed an investigation begun in 2018.

https://www.cssf.lu/wp-content/uploads/S_33_Banque_de_Luxembourg_S.A._151121_en.pdf

CRYPTOCURRENCY-BASED CRIME HIT A RECORD $14 BILLION IN 2021

On 6 January, the Wall Street Journal reported that he dollar amount collected through cryptocurrency-based crime hit a record high in 2021, as the volume of cryptocurrency transactions overall grew into tens of trillions of dollars, according to blockchain data platform Chainalysis Inc – but that the volume of illicit activities remains a small share of the total cryptocurrency transactions volume.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cryptocurrency-based-crime-hit-a-record-14-billion-in-2021-11641500073

https://www.statista.com/chart/25969/bitcoin-mining-hashrate-share-of-computer-energy-by-country

NORTH KOREA’S FUEL TRADE ON PACE TO RECOVER IN 2022

On 7 January, NK Pro reported that illicit fuel has continued to flow in and out of North Korea’s ports in recent months, with evidence suggesting that fuel imports are on pace to recover from a lull in early 2021.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/north-koreas-fuel-trade-on-pace-to-recover-in-2022-imagery/

NORTH KOREA: US SEIZES $2.4 MILLION FROM 4 PYONGYANG-LINKED FRONT COMPANIES

On 7 January, NK News reported that a US district court has ruled that $2.4 million in funds linked to a North Korean money laundering scheme must be forfeited to the US Government, in the latest blow to the Kim Jong Un regime’s network of overseas front companies.  It is said to involve 4 unnamed companies acting on behalf of North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank (FTB).

https://www.nknews.org/2022/01/us-seizes-2-4-million-from-four-pyongyang-linked-front-companies/

“SHARED RESPONSIBILITY” CRUCIAL TO CONFRONT ESCALATING MARITIME CYBER THREATS

On 5 January, an article from Homeland security Today reported the remark of the Assistant Commandant of the US Coast Guard.  “Collaboration with the industry is paramount, and focused on information sharing and good governance”, he tells Congress.  It points out that the US marine transportation system, or MTS, is an integrated network of 361 ports and 25,000 miles of waterways and supports one quarter of U.S. GDP and 1 in 7 American jobs.

https://www.hstoday.us/federal-pages/dhs/uscg-assistant-commandant-shared-responsibility-crucial-to-confront-escalating-maritime-cyber-threats/

SOCIALITE AND FORMER HUSBAND OF HEIRESS PETRA ECCLESTONE HAS DENIED MONEY LAUNDERING AND FORGERY CHARGES

On 7 January, the Daily Mail reported that James Stunt, 39, appeared for a hearing at Leeds Crown Court, where he entered his not guilty pleas via a remote link.  He appeared with 12 other defendants, who all deny money laundering charges.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10379817/Petra-Ecclestones-ex-husband-James-Stunt-39-pleads-not-guilty-money-laundering-forgery.html

UK: FCA BEGINS CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST COLLATREL UK LIMITED UNDER FRAUD AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACTS

On 7 January, Essex TV and others reported that the FCA had begun proceedings against the firm and 2 brothers, Peter and Andrew Currie, who are alleged to have purported to be operating a regulated P2P lender.

https://essex-tv.co.uk/fca-commences-criminal-proceeding-in-relation-to-collateral-uk-ltd/

US: INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT COMPANY MERRILL TO PAY $4.5 MILLION TO SETTLE ALLEGATIONS OVER ITS HANDLING OF ACCOUNTS USED RELATED TO FRAUD IN NORTHERN VERMONT SKI DEVELOPMENTS

On 7 January, the Daily Mail reported that, in 2016, the SEC and the state of Vermont accused Ariel Quiros, then owner of Jay Peak, and president William Stenger of taking part in a “massive eight-year fraudulent scheme,” misusing more than $200 million of about $400 million raised from foreign investors through the EB-5 visa program.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-10380051/Merrill-agrees-pay-4-5M-settlement-related-ski-fraud.html

KAZAKHSTAN’S TYCOONS–INCLUDING MEMBERS OF NAZARBAYEV FAMILY–SHED BILLIONS AS STOCKS PLUNGE

On 7 January, Forbes reported that the fortunes of the billionaires behind some of Kazakhstan’s best-known businesses have tumbled in recent days as the country reels from national protests against the ruling regime.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddawkins/2022/01/07/kazakhstans-tycoonsincluding-members-of-nazarbayev-familyshed-billions-as-stocks-plunge

MAURITANIA GRANTS BAIL TO AILING EX-PRESIDENT AMID GRAFT PROBE

On 7 January, FX Empire reported that  Mauritanian authorities have released former President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on bail for medical reasons, amid an investigation into allegations of high-level corruption during his time in office.

https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/mauritania-grants-bail-to-ailing-ex-president-amid-graft-probe-859703

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

Author: raytodd2017

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: