THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 9

Panama Covid-19 update – with the increase in cases due to Omicron, the health ministry has today assured the public that 88% of the beds in the health system are still available.

After the announcement that only those with 3 jabs will be considered “fully vaccinated”, the ministry now says that the digital vaccine passport on your smartphone, which uses a QR code, someone who has a third dose will appear in green, in blue the second dose, in yellow the one who has a dose and in red the one who does not have any or is Covid-19 positive.

The net gain in active cases today was 3,400,with there now being 37,578 active cases . 4,066 new cases and 7 new fatalities (the latter the most in a single day since mid-October). However, while numbers in ICU have risen by 3 to 43, the numbers in other wards and the hospital-hotel quarantine system have actually slighly fallen to 292 in wards and 447 in the hotels.

9 JANUARY 2022

ECUADOR CONGRESS TO SEND PANAMA REPORT ON ALEX SAAB’S OPERATIONS

On 9 January, Critica reported that the Commission of Oversight and Political Control has produced a report on the case of the Colombian Alex Saab, considered a representative of the Venezuelan government.  It is said that the Commission will also provide information to Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and US. 

https://www.critica.com.pa/nacional/congreso-ecuatoriano-remitira-panama-informe-sobre-operaciones-de-alex-saab-620298

IRAN SANCTIONS MORE US OFFICIALS OVER SOLEIMANI ASSASSINATION

On 8 January, Al Jazeera reported that Iran has imposed sanctions on dozens of US officials, many of them from the military, adding to its blacklist of individuals whom it says played a role in the 2020 assassination of its top general, Qassem Soleimani.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/8/iran-sanctions-more-us-officials-over-soleimani-assassination

UN REPORT: IRAN ‘LIKELY’ SMUGGLING WEAPONS TO YEMEN

On 9 January, Al Jazeera reported that the Wall Street Journal had cited a confidential report by the UN Security Council panel of experts on Yemen, which says that boats and land transport were used to smuggle weapons made in Russia, China and Iran into Yemen; and identified the south-eastern Iranian port of Jask.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/9/iran-likely-smuggling-weapons-to-yemen-confidential-report

https://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/world/iran-navy-port-emerges-as-key-to-alleged-weapons-smuggling-to-yemen-u-n-report-says

INDIA: CHANCELLOR OF ALLIANCE UNIVERSITY ARRESTED FOR CHEATING 4,500 STUDENTS

On 8 January, Daiji World reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Madhukar G Angur, the former Chancellor of Alliance University in connection with a money laundering case, for allegedly misappropriating University funds by cheating around 4,500 students’ parents.  It says that the parents were persuaded to deposit the fees in illegally opened bank accounts, with the funds allegedly siphoned off by Madhukar Angur and others by collecting the tuition fees, hostel fees and other fees illegally from the student community.

https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=913127

UK LAW COMMISSION TO REVIEW OF THE ARBITRATION ACT 1996

An article from Forwarder Law on 6 January said that the Law Commission – the statutory independent body created to keep the law under review and, where necessary recommend reform – is to review the 1996 Act, with work due to start later this year.

http://forwarderlaw.com/2022/01/06/review-of-the-arbitration-act-1996/

US DISTRICT COURT ORDERS SEIZURE OF $2.4 MILLION IN FUNDS FROM COMPANIES INVOLVED IN MONEY LAUNDERING FOR NORTH KOREA

On 9 January, the Korea Joongang Daily reported that this action followed an investigation by the FBI into a series of wire transfers by 4 companies acting on behalf of North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank. The 4 companies were not named and have not yet been sanctioned by the US.

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2022/01/09/national/northKorea/North-Korea-sanctions-United-States/20220109173945786.html

MYANMAR, LAOS AND VIETNAM FIND GOODS SHUT OUT OF A VITAL MARKET AS CHINA PREPARES FOR THE OLYMPICS

On 8 January, RFA reported that the strict border controls imposed to prevent Covid-19 ahead of next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics and keep a lid on an outbreak in Xi’an are causing major economic headaches for its neighbours and the workers there who depend on trade for their livelihoods.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/border-01062022185820.html

ROMANIA WINS $2 BILLION LAWSUIT AGAINST LIQUOR TYCOONS

On 5 January, Universul reported that the Government had won the case involving 2 Swedish liquor tycoons who sought to revive their $2 billion claim accusing Romania sabotaging their spirits business by failing to adequately protect their investments.  The case involved Ioan and Viorel Micula, who own a number of food and soft drink companies including Scandic Distilleries.

https://universul.net/romania-wins-2-billion-dollar-lawsuit-against-liquor-tycoons/

FRANCE: BRIBERY ALLEGATION OVER INDIAN FIGHTER DEAL THREATEN NEW DEAL

On 9 January, MSN carried report from the Daily telegraph about a court case in Paris involving Indian defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari, who says he was hired by Thales to secure a €2.4 billion contract to upgrade Mirage 2000 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.  The contract was signed in 2011.  He claims that he was due a consultancy fee of €20 million but was only paid €9 million.  Bhandari is wanted in India for alleged tax evasion and money laundering and India is seeking his extradition from the UK, with a hearing is due in London in the next few weeks.  He claims that the charges against him are part of a plot by BJP supporters to discredit him because of his links with the previous Indian administration.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/corruption-claims-threaten-emmanuel-macron-s-fighter-jet-deal/ar-AASB39Q?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

BELGIUM ISSUES INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANT AGAINST LIBYAN INVESTMENT AUTHORITY’S CHAIRMAN 

On 9 January, the Libya Observer reported that Belgium has issued an international arrest warrant against the Chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Ali Mahmoud, on charges of corruption and embezzlement.  The case is said involve the investigation of lost interest on the LIA billions at Euroclear for several years.

https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/belgium-issues-international-arrest-warrant-against-libyan-investment-authoritys-chairman%C2%A0

MALI: WEST AFRICAN LEADERS AGREE ON SANCTIONS AFTER COUP

On 9 January, Deutsche Welle reported that leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met during an extraordinary summit of the 15-nation bloc in Ghana, and agreed to impose economic sanctions on Mali.  These include sealing all land and air borders with the country. Nonessential financial transactions will be suspended, with Malian assets also being frozen in the ECOWAS central bank. 

https://www.dw.com/en/mali-west-african-leaders-agree-on-sanctions-after-coup/a-60374148

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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

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