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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.