OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 10

Panama Covid-19 update – the health ministry has reported that on 9 January   21 passengers who arrived at Tocumen International Airport in the preceding 24 hours had tested positive for Covid-19; bringing the total detected since the airport resumed its activities in October 2020 to 2,829.

Meanwhile, closer to home, of the 4 in my household – 2 have just finished their 10 days’ isolation after testing positive (but having no apparent symptoms), one (me) has (relatively mild) symptoms and am isolating, whilst my wife – who has been taking care of all of us – was tested today and remains clear of Covid…as the Americans say, go figure!

Today’s data shows 3,139 new cases reported and 4 new fatalities, with there now being (at least) 39,824 active cases – so nearing approximately 1% of the entire population. The number of active cases rose by 2,246 today. There are 40 patients in ICU, with 319 in other wards and 460 in the hospital-hotels.

10 JANUARY 2022

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

On 6 January, Bird & Bird published this briefing on what to do and how to investigate,

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

EUROPEAN DIAMOND TRADE HIT BY MONEY LAUNDERING RULES

On 9 January, IDEX reported that diamond traders are among the worst-hit by rules designed to outlaw money laundering, say the European Banking Authority (EBA) in a report on de-risking.

http://www.idexonline.com/FullArticle?Id=47302

HOW THE GLOBAL ART TRADE FACILITATES MONEY LAUNDERING – AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT

A half-hour documentary from ABC in Australia says that one of the art market’s signature features — its opacity – is being used for money laundering by criminals involved in drugs, prostitution and one of the most lucrative of all global crimes — human trafficking.

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/global-art-money-laundering/13700160

SPANISH POLICE DISMANTLE HELICOPTER DRUG RING

On 9 January, Morocco World News reported that the Spanish Police have apprehended a drug trafficking ring that uses helicopters to smuggle hashish and marijuana to Europe through Spain.  Police allegedly seized 2.4 tonnes of hashish and 112 kg of marijuana, in addition to 3 helicopters, firearms, and ammunition.

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2022/01/346440/spanish-police-dismantle-helicopter-drug-ring

LIBYA:  ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE DETAINS THE ACTING HEAD OF THE LIBYAN FOREIGN INVESTMENT COMPANY (LAFICO) ON CHARGES OF CORRUPTION

On 10 January, the Libya Herald reported that the charges included abusing the powers of his position for the purpose of achieving benefit for others, and providing a helping hand to others when they collected sums of money in violation of the laws and regulations, and causing serious harm to public funds and interest, causing damage to public funds as a result of his breach of the duty to collect the value of loans. 

https://www.libyaherald.com/2022/01/10/lafico-acting-head-arrested-by-attorney-general-for-corruption

RISKS IF PLANS TO INTRODUCE MANDATORY REIMBURSEMENT FOR VICTIMS OF AUTHORISED PUSH PAYMENT (APP) SCAMS IN UK ARE INTRODUCED WITHOUT PROPER SAFEGUARDS

An article from Out-Law on 10 January quoted a legal expert who said that a system that guarantees refunds without appropriate checks and balances in place could also cause financial harm to any businesses that operate customer money accounts.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/app-scam-cottage-industry-fraud

INDIA DEMANDS THE LOCAL ARM OF CHINA’S SMARTPHONE MAKER TO PAY $87.8 MILLION IN IMPORT TAXES IN TAX EVASION CASE

On 6 January, CNBC reported that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence carried out a probe which led to the recovery of documents during searches of Xiaomi India premises, a Finance Ministry statement said. 

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2022/01/06/india-asks-xiaomi-to-pay-nearly-88-million-in-import-taxes.html

PAKISTAN: FEDERAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY (FIA) HAS REPORTEDLY DETECTED MONEY LAUNDERING DISGUISED AS SOLAR PANEL IMPORTS

On 8 January, the Business Recorder reported claims that the accused person also indulged in import of solar panels and other materials from abroad by way of hawala and hundi.  All the transactions were made by the accused person under the garb of fake trading companies established for the purpose of money laundering.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40145580

UKRAINIAN COURT FREEZES ASSETS OF FORMER PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO

On 7 January, Deutsche Welle reported that a court froze the assets of former President Petro Poroshenko as part of an investigation into whether his purchase of coal in Donbas in 2014 and 2015 financed pro-Russian separatists.

https://www.dw.com/en/ukrainian-court-freezes-assets-of-former-president-petro-poroshenko/a-60363996

US: CHINESE NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE CONSPIRACY

On 6 January, a news release from US DoJ advised that Xiang Haitao, 44, a Chinese national formerly residing in Missouri, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit economic espionage.  It is said that Xiang conspired to steal a trade secret from Monsanto.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-national-pleads-guilty-economic-espionage-conspiracy

PFIZER, ROCHE, ASTRAZENECA AND J&J FACE NEWLY REVIVED LAWSUIT CLAIMING THEY FUNDED TERRORISM IN IRAQ

On 6 January, Fierce Pharma reported that the pharmaceutical giants will have to answer to charges that they paid bribes to win healthcare contracts in Iraq and in the process funded terrorists who killed Americans during the war.  The complaint was filed in 2017 and dismissed 3 years later by a US District Court. 

https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/appeals-court-revives-lawsuit-against-pfizer-roche-astrazeneca-and-johnson-johnson-claims

MALTA: FIAU FINES INVESTMENT FUND €300,000 FOR IGNORING AML RULES

On 10 January, the Times of Malta reported claims that “millions” flowed through a Maltese investment fund without “robust” controls to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing being in place.  The FIAU said Southern Cross Sicav had a “disregard” for its AML obligations.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/fiau-fines-fund-300000-for-disregard-of-anti-money-laundering-rules.926671

ISRAEL’S COUNTERTERRORISM DESIGNATION REGIME: A PROCESS IN NEED OF REFORM

On 10 January, an article on Lawfare follows an October decision to designate 6 Palestinian civil society organisations as “terrorist groups”, which continues to be the focus of much debate and criticism in and outside Israel.  It says that the debate raises once again the serious problems posed by counterterrorism designation regimes that grant the executive broad authority to target entities and individuals on the basis of secret evidence.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/israels-counterterrorism-designation-regime-process-need-reform

LOSS OF FREIGHTER AIRCRAFT PUTS FOCUS BACK ON LITHIUM BATTERIES RISK

On 10 January, Loadstar reported on the fire that destroyed a freighter at Hangzhou-Xiaoshan Airport in the early hours of 8 January – with all 8 crew members surviving, but the aircraft a total loss.  The aircraft was operated on behalf of Alibaba’s logistics arm, with which the airline Aviastar first signed a deal in 2018 for flights out of Hangzhou.  So far there has been no official declaration as to the cause, which is still under investigation.  Speculation is that lithium batteries may have been the cause.  Rules on carrying lithium batteries were updated by IATA on 2 January, and badly packaged batteries have been the cause of some fires but, more worryingly for airlines, many shipments of batteries are misdeclared or counterfeit, reducing carriers’ ability to check for dangerous goods.

https://theloadstar.com/fire-destroys-cainiao-aircraft-pushing-the-focus-back-on-lithium-batteries/

WHAT IS CLIPBOARD HIJACKING? HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM

On 10 January, MUO.com carried an article explaining that clipboard hijacking can let cybercriminals gain control of a victim’s computer and replace data with malicious information.  A clipboard is a temporary storage buffer that gets created when we copy information. While clipboard hijacking is a malicious practice of confiscating a victim’s clipboard, a clipboard hijacker is a type of malware that replaces whatever is in the buffer with malicious data; and clipboard hijacker malware is used frequently for carrying out fraudulent cryptocurrency transactions. 

https://www.makeuseof.com/what-is-clipboard-hijacking/

UNPRECEDENTED ECONOMIC COLLAPSE HITS LEBANON

On 10 January, Al Manara reported that the exchange rate of the national currency against the US dollar is the main part of the crisis. On 10 January, it was trading at nearly 32,100 pounds to the dollar on the black market, according to media reports.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/1510687

TORONTO BUSINESSMAN ACCUSED OF BEING ONE OF 2 MASTERMINDS IN A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR COVID-19-RELATED PONZI SCHEME CAN’T BE LOCATED

On 10 January, CBC in Canada reported that Mark E Cohen, who previously worked in the rental car industry at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, hasn’t been seen at his home since August.  While some of those investors have turned to the courts to challenge Cohen, others have taken matters into their own hands.  Ties to illegal gambling are alleged.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/businessman-accused-ponzi-scheme-1.6306466

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 )

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: