THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 5

Panama Covide-19 update – The big country fair at La Chorrera faced closure by the health ministry, due to failure to comply with the Covid restrictions, but was saved (after all, it closes tomorrow, Sunday) after agreeing to ban the sale of alcohol – which tells one something, I guess.

Meanwhile, data provided by the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), shows that 81.7% of the deaths registered as a result of Covid-19 between 28 February 2021 and 28 January consist of people who did not have the complete vaccination schedule (which in Panama means the 3 jabs). In other words,  of the 1,835 deaths registered about 1,500 were not fully vaccinated.

Today saw 3,589 new cases reported and 10 new fatalities, with the number of active cases falling by over 4,000 to 46,023. However, there are still 83 people in ICU and 601 in other wards.

5 FEBRUARY 2022

US WAIVES SANCTIONS FOR IRAN CIVIL NUCLEAR PROGRAMME

On 5 February, The National and others reported the resumption of a waiver, ended by the Trump Administration in 2020.  The waiver allows other countries and companies to participate in Iran’s civilian nuclear programme without triggering US sanctions on them, in the name of promoting safety and non-proliferation.  Restoring the waiver “is designed to facilitate discussions that would help to close a deal on a mutual return to full implementation” of the nuclear deal.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/us-news/2022/02/04/us-waives-sanctions-for-iran-civil-nuclear-programme/

KAZAKHSTAN BILLIONAIRES ‘NAMED AND SHAMED’ IN UK PARLIAMENT 

An article from Forbes on 4 February  said that, in a damning speech drawing on historic allegations of wrongdoing, and protected from defamation claims from the billionaires by parliamentary privilege, the senior MP called out a number of the country’s billionaires and best-known business figures.  Hodge is waiting to see if the government’s newly expanded Russian sanctions will target UK-based billionaires in the coming weeks.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddawkins/2022/02/04/kazakhstan-billionaires-named-and-shamed-in-uk-parliament-by-senior-politician-as-corruption-sanctions-near/?sh=2416924516c4

CONFLICTING EU, US ECONOMIC SANCTIONS REGIMES: IMPLICATIONS FOR MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES

On 4 February, the National Law Review in the US carried an article in the light of a recent CJEU decision involving the EU Blocking Regulation and the implications of US sanctions.  It argues that the Blocking Regulation puts multinational companies in a difficult position, particularly given the permeation of the US extended financial networks.

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/conflicting-eu-us-economic-sanctions-regimes-implications-multinational-companies

MALTA-BASED GAMING OPERATOR FINED £3.8 MILLION OVER MONEY LAUNDERING BREACHES IN THE UK

On 5 February, The Shift reported that Malta-based Genesis Global Ltd has been fined £3.8 million following a 2-year investigation that identified several breaches in AML and social responsibility regulations.  It notes that, in June 2020, the UK regulator had already suspended Genesis Global’s licence to operate in the UK for a period of 3 months.

https://theshiftnews.com/2022/02/05/malta-based-gaming-operator-fined-3-8-million-over-money-laundering-breaches-in-the-uk/

IN THE LAST 4 MONTHS CANARY ISLANDS OFFICIALS HAVE HAD TO CONFISCATE MORE THAN 4,500 KG OF SAND, STONES AND SHELLS FROM TOURISTS

On 5 February, MSN reported that it is illegal to remove natural materials from the island beaches including shells, stones and sand.  Every year, airport authorities are forced to return thousands of kilograms of stolen sand to the beach.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/news/canary-islands-tourist-warning-as-airport-forced-to-confiscate-commonly-stolen-item

US STATE DEPARTMENT HAS IMPOSED VISA RESTRICTIONS ON MULTIPLE UNNAMED BELARUSIAN NATIONALS

On 5 February, the EU Sanctions blog reported that they were involved in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activity.  They are subject to a visa ban and visa restrictions may also be imposed on the family members of such designated individuals. 

https://www.state.gov/promoting-accountability-for-transnational-repression-of-belarusian-athletes-abroad/

CONFLICTING EU AND US ECONOMIC SANCTIONS REGIMES: IMPLICATIONS FOR MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES

On 4 February, an Alert from Greenberg Traurig is another which focuses on the recent CJEU decision involving Bank Melli and the EU Blocking Regulation.

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2022/2/conflicting-eu-us-economic-sanctions-regimes-implications-for-multinational-companies

US: UPDATE ON FORCED LABOUR AND IMPORTED PRODUCTS

On 26 January, Greenberg Traurig issued its 4th update about developments involving controls on imports of goods known or suspected of having involved forced labour in their production.

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2022/1/fourth-update-on-forced-labor-for-imported-products

FLORIDA INVESTIGATES GOFUNDME OVER CANADA TRUCKER DONATIONS

On 5 February, Al Jazeera reported that the Governor of Florida said on Saturday it was fraud for GoFundMe to “commandeer” $9 million in donations sent to support protesting truck drivers in Canada and he will investigate what he called “deceptive practices” by the website.  This was after the website took down the £Freedom Convoy” page #, saying it violated its terms of service. 

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/5/florida-investigates-gofundme-over-canada-trucker-donations

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/05/gofundme-removes-donation-page-for-canadian-truckers-protest

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/convoy-protest-mps-gofundme-1.6338433

VENEZUELA UPHOLDS JAIL SENTENCES AGAINST HOUSTON OIL EXECUTIVES

On 5 February, BNN Bloomberg reported that a Venezuelan court upheld the sentences of the 6 US oil executives known as the Citgo 6, who were jailed for lengthy terms on corruption charges.  The executives were arrested in 2017 after being summoned to a meeting at the Caracas headquarters of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and were convicted in 2020. 

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/venezuela-upholds-jail-sentences-against-houston-oil-executives-1.1718793

IRELAND: MAN EXTRADITED FROM ROMANIA APPEARS IN COURT ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND SETTING UP BOGUS COMPANIES

On 5 February, the Irish Independent reported that Romanian national Alexandru Robert Olteanu, 25, had been detained in Romania under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) before being sent to Ireland. 

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-extradited-from-romania-appears-in-court-accused-of-money-laundering-and-setting-up-bogus-companies-41316145.html

WEAPONS FACTORY DISCOVERED BY NCA IN RURAL EAST SUSSEX

On 5 February, the BBC and others reported that recovered handguns, modified ammunition and firearms conversion equipment from the house and various outbuildings.  Forward venting Zoraki handguns, modified ammunition and firearms conversion paraphernalia were recovered.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-60272108

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2022-02-05/man-arrested-after-discovery-of-suspected-lethal-weapon-conversion-factory 

MISSISSIPPI BECOMES 37th STATE TO LEGALISE MEDICAL CANNABIS

On 4 February, an article from Goodwin reported that Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed legislation authorising cannabis for medical use, and that Mississippi is now the 37th state to legalise medical cannabis. 

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/mississippi-becomes-37th-state-to-3270410/

NEW DATABASE ON MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE US DETAILS TRAITS OF MASS SHOOTERS

On 5 February, Jurist reported that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) had published details from the database which collected information on 172 mass public shooters from 1966 to 2019 and covered more than 150 psychosocial history variables regarding the shooters, including such things as mental health history, trauma and demographic details.  For example, nearly half of mass shooters leaked their plans in advance, either to family, friends or co-workers.  The overwhelming majority of mass shooters were male, with a mean age of 34.  Over half were white, and most had prior criminal records and histories of violence; over 25% of shooters had a history of domestic violence.  1 in 5 shooters studied past mass shootings, and many were radicalised online. 

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/02/new-database-compiles-common-traits-of-us-mass-shooters/

BOLIVIA ANTI-DRUG CHIEF TARGET OF BOTH BOLIVIA AND US

On 4 February, Insight Crime reported that the US indictment of Bolivia’s former anti-narcotics chief on drug and weapons charges means he could possibly be extradited to the US – a move that Bolivia will decide following his arrest there on charges of illicit enrichment.  Bolivian authorities arrested Maximiliano Dávila Pérez on 22 January, as he tried to flee to Argentina.  Bolivia’s Interior Ministry said that he was accused of “illicit enrichment and certain links with drug trafficking”.  He served led the anti-drug agency (Fuerza Especial de Lucha Contra el Narcotráfico – FELCN) in 2019 under former President Evo Morales, and faces charges of conspiring to import cocaine into the US and a related weapons offence.

https://insightcrime.org/news/former-anti-drug-chief-justice-bolivia-united-states/

ARGENTINA DEPLOYS NEW PATROL VESSELS TO COMBAT IUU FISHING

On 2 February, the Center for International Maritime Security reported that the Argentine Navy has deployed its 2 newest offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to monitor an international fishing fleet traveling close to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) en route to the South Atlantic. It is said that Argentina has a history of combating IUU fishing.  An international fishing fleet, comprising vessels from countries such as China, Spain, South Korea, and Taiwan, continuously operates throughout South America, moving with the season.

https://cimsec.org/argentina-deploys-new-patrol-vessels-to-combat-iuu-fishing/

On 3 February, Sahara Reporters reported that bank details allegedly expose connections between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s law firm, SimmonsCooper Partners, and a money laundering front, Ocean Trust Limited. 

http://saharareporters.com/2022/02/03/bank-documents-link-law-firm-owned-nigerias-vice-president-osinbajo-tinubu%E2%80%99s-money

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/daily-infographic-airbus-launches-cargo-airline-with-whale-shaped-super-transporter

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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