OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 11

Panama Covid-19 update – a big drop in active cases today (unless the data for the last 2 days has been seriously out), back down to just below the level for the 8 January at 34,013. On the other hand there were 4,105 new cases and 8 new fatalities reported today. ICU figures are unchanges at 40, though with 20 more patients shown as being in other wards at 339. The 16,502 tests carried out in the previousl 24 hours showed another high positivity at 25%.

11 JANUARY 2022

UK EXPORTERS FINED FOR UNLICENSED STRATEGIC EXPORTS

On 11 January, the Department of International Trade released Notice to Exporters 2022/01 which sets out compound penalties related to unlicensed exports of dual use goods, military goods and related activity controlled by the Export Control Order 2008.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202201-uk-exporters-fined-for-unlicensed-strategic-exports

GUINEA KEEPS BORDERS OPEN WITH MALI HIT BY ECOWAS SANCTIONS

On 11 January, Africa News reported that the military junta in Guinea said it would keep its borders open with Mali going against ECOWAS sanctions.

https://www.africanews.com/2022/01/11/guinea-keeps-borders-open-with-mali-hit-by-ecowas-sanctions/

MYANMAR TEAK EXPORTS TO US STILL FUNDING MILITARY RULE

On 11 January, Al Jazeera and others reported that US companies continue to import teak, a valuable hardwood, from Myanmar despite sanctions imposed following the military takeover of the country last year, according to Justice for Myanmar, a watchdog group.

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/1/11/myanmar-teak-exports-to-us-still-funding-military-rule-watchdog

BOOM IN BETEL NUT SMUGGLING FROM MYANMAR TO INDIA

On 11 January, The Irrawaddy reported that India is struggling to stop the smuggling of areca nut – better known as betel nut – from Myanmar following a directive from the central government.

https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/guest-column/boom-in-betel-nut-smuggling-from-myanmar-to-india.html

COUNCIL OF EUROPE CORRUPTION REPORT ON FRANCE

On 7 January, the Council of Europe released the latest GRECO report saying that, of the 18 Recommendations made following the 2019 Fifth Round Evaluation report just 1 has been satisfactorily implemented. Of the 17 others, 9 have been partly implemented and 8 have not been implemented.

https://rm.coe.int/grecorc5-2021-12-final-fr-rapport-de-conformite-france-public/1680a50f5a

UK: SON OF HATE CLERIC ABU HAMZA JAILED FOR MONEY-LAUNDERING PLOT

On 11 January, the BBC reported that Ti-to Ibn-Sheikh created false identities for HSBC bank account holders using information passed to him by an insider at the bank.  Southwark Crown Court heard those accounts were used to launder nearly £350,00 from thefts and frauds.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-59945405

LEAK SUGGESTS UKRAINIAN PRO-KREMLIN POLITICIAN SECRETLY BENEFITED FROM RUSSIAN OILFIELD SALE

On 11 January, OCCRP reported that, in August, the Belarusian state oil company, Belarusneft, announced the acquisition of a small Russian company called Purneft, which operates 69 oil wells just south of the Arctic Circle.  The deal could have earned its owner around $50 million, but behind Purneft was a BVI shell company called Brimipana Trading.  OCCRP claims that the Pandora Papers have revealed names behind the shell company, with links suggesting that the Hungarian is merely a front for a leading pro-Russian politician and media mogul in Ukraine, Taras Kozak.  Kozak, his wife, and his 3 pro-Russian TV channels have been sanctioned by Ukraine for disseminating Russian-funded anti-Ukraine information.

https://www.occrp.org/en/the-pandora-papers/leak-suggests-ukrainian-pro-kremlin-politician-secretly-benefited-from-russian-oil-field-sale

NEW REPORT SHOWS THE STATE OF CORRUPTION IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 11 January, OCCRP reported that South Africa’s Judicial Commission has dropped the first of its 3-part report into state capture.  Approximately 1,438 persons and entities were implicated by evidence led before the Commission.  One of the focal points it assessed were the connections between former South African President Jacob Zuma and the powerful Gupta Family. 

Meanwhile, Polity on 11 January said that the report has slammed South African Airways’ former auditors PWC for failing in its duty as a watchdog when it audited the books of the flag carrier between 2012 and 2016. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/15751-new-report-shows-the-state-of-corruption-in-south-africa

https://www.polity.org.za/article/state-capture-report-slams-pwc-for-failing-to-identify-corruption-during-saa-looting-spree-2022-01-07

EU PUBLISHES MINIMUM CORPORATE TAX RATE DIRECTIVE

On 11 January, an article from Out-Law said that the European Commission has published a proposed directive to introduce a global minimum effective corporate tax rate of 15% for large corporate groups operating in the EU, and that this follows the publication of relevant model rules by the OECD.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/eu-publishes-minimum-corporate-tax-rate-directive

LAOS SOCCER AUTHORITIES REVEALED 45 OF THE COUNTRY’S PLAYERS HAVE BEEN BANNED FOR LIFE BY FIFA FOR MATCH-FIXING IN RECENT YEARS

On 10 January, RFA reported that the country’s football federation had criticised the players for putting themselves before their country.  RFA notes that the current FIFA rankings place Laos at 187th in the world.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/soccer-01102022194640.html

ANOTHER RECORD-BREAKING YEAR FOR COCAINE SEIZURES AT ANTWERP DOCKS

On 7 January, VRT reported that 2021 was another record-breaking year for seizures of cocaine by customs officers working at the Port of Antwerp, with a total of 89.5 tonnes of the drug being seized at the port.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2022/01/07/another-record-breaking-year-for-cocaine-seizures-at-antwerp-doc/

EU UPDATES LIST OF ITEMS SUBJECT TO DUAL-USE EXPORT CONTROLS

On 11 January, a post from Baker McKenzie advised that, on 6 January,  the European Commission published EU Regulation 2022/1/EU, updating the list of dual-use items contained in Annex I to EU Regulation 2021/821/EU (the “EU Dual Use List”).

https://sanctionsnews.bakermckenzie.com/eu-updates-list-of-items-subject-to-dual-use-export-controls/

US HALTS HEU EXPORTS FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES

On 11 January, the Arms Control Association reported that the US will no longer export highly enriched uranium (HEU) to countries producing medical isotopes (countries that produce molybdenum-99, an isotope used in numerous medical procedures) – saying that this marks a significant milestone in non-proliferation and nuclear security efforts.

https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2022-01/news-briefs/us-halts-heu-exports-medical-purposes

GDPR: GERMAN LAPTOP RETAILER FINED $12.7 MILLION FOR EMPLOYEE SURVEILLANCE

On 11 January, Compliance Week reported that the fine on the online laptop and electronic goods retailer was for video-monitoring employees for at least 2 years without legal basis.

https://www.complianceweek.com/regulatory-enforcement/german-laptop-retailer-fined-127m-under-gdpr-for-employee-surveillance/29911.article

CHINA’S NEW NEGATIVE LIST FOR FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

A Client Alert from Wilmer Hale on 11 January reported that on 27 December 27, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce jointly issued the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access.  It explains that there are 3 so-called “negative lists”, and that a Negative List consists of sectors prohibited or restricted for investment from both Chinese and foreign companies without special regulatory approval.

https://www.wilmerhale.com/en/insights/client-alerts/20220111-chinas-new-negative-list-for-foreign-direct-investment

TETHER FREEZES 1 MILLION DOLLARS OVER AML CONCERNS

On 11 January, a post from Mitchell Williams says that Tether, and other stablecoins, routinely assist law enforcement in investigations and have assisted in the recovery of tens of millions of stolen dollars. It is said that Tether began banning blockchain addresses in 2017 and has blocked over 500 addresses to date on Ethereum.  It is also said to have also has a “recovery” mechanism in place, meaning it can freeze and reissue in certain cases.

https://www.mitchellwilliamslaw.com/getpdf.aspx?blog=13069

3D PRINTING HALF-YEAR REPORT

On 11 January, Benesch published this report, highlighting, for example, that in July 2021 the World’s first 3D-printed steel bridge opened in Amsterdam.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/3d-printing-half-year-report-q4-2021-5356553/

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

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