Panama Covid-19 update – deaths in Panama have now exceeded 7,900 since the Pandemic began. 11 new fatalities today took the total to 7,909, with 2,424 new cases reported, as numbers continue to slowly fall. The number of active cases fell by nearly 800 to 31,723; with 74 in ICU and 487 in other wards.
10 FEBRUARY 2022
UK BREXIT IMPORT CONTROLS: ‘MUCH WORK REMAINS TO BE DONE’
On 9 February, the Seatrade Maritime News reported that The EU Exit: UK Border post transition report by the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts raised a number of concerns over the UK Government’s handling of changes at the UK border in the wake of Brexit, and its future plans. The article includes the Government’s revised timetable for implementation.
The report is at –
SUSPECTED JIHADISTS ARRESTED IN SPAIN FOR ALLEGEDLY FINANCING TERRORISM IN LIBYA
On 5 February, Euro Weekly reported that 3 individuals were arrested by the National Police, for their alleged participation in a crime of financing terrorism. They reportedly used a complex business network, with international ramifications, to divert and provide funds to a terrorist militia in Libya, related to Daesh.
ECOWAS URGES COOPERATION TO END ILLEGAL FISHING
On 10 February, Dryad Global reported that the leader of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) programme to enhance fisheries governance in West Africa, made a plea for greater cooperation in December at the end of an annual conference of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC). It is said that cooperation in combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing would reduce maritime security costs if all countries put their resources together. In the last 50 years Africa has lost more than $200 billion to illegal fishing by vessels linked to foreign nations, according to Nigerian daily newspaper Blueprint. Illegal fishing is so rampant in West Africa that a UN report estimates that it is equivalent to 40% to 65% of the legally reported catch.
US: NEW IMPORTER, OLD BAGGAGE – SUCCESSOR LIABILITY FOR ANTIDUMPING & COUNTERVAILING DUTIES
On 9 February, an article from Braumiller Law Group LLC poses the following situation: imagine your company imports from a vendor in Vietnam and sells them at a competitive margin in the US. Business is so-so until the Department of Commerce conducts an Antidumping or Countervailing Duty review that encompasses your company or its foreign vendor and determines the origin of your goods to be China, which causes you to owe backlogged AD/CVD at rates over 100% ad valorem for the past year. Your company simply cannot afford this even after switching vendors. It says that many companies overlook successor liability for importers. It considers 2 scenarios where successor liability is most prevalent. It warns that companies seeking to merge with or acquire other companies with importing operations should perform due diligence reviews of the company’s unpaid duties and relationship with US Customs.
I JUST FOUND OUT MY IMPORTED GOODS ARE SUBJECT TO ANTIDUMPING DUTY – WHAT SHOULD I DO?
On 6 February, an article from Braumiller Law Group LLC says that, under US Customs’ “reasonable care” standard, importers are expected to exercise due diligence and understand the full range of regulatory requirements that may apply to their goods upon importation. However, in many cases importers may not be aware that their products are subject to AD/CVD for a variety of reasons.
INDIA: BUSINESS CRIME – LAW AND ENFORCEMENT
An article from Kachwaha & Partners on 8 February detailed the enforcement authorities at central and the level of the 29 individual states, the organisation of the courts and the relevant laws etc.
ONLINE COURSE: INSIDE THE UK SUPREME COURT: ITS ROLE, ITS WORK, AND CASES
Future Learn offers this short 2-week online course, a Royal Holloway course, produced in collaboration with the Supreme Court itself. It starts with an introduction to the functions and history of the Supreme Court, before moving onto the role of its Justices as members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Then how the UK Supreme Court works in relation to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and how it compares to the Supreme Court of the US.
INDIA: LAW OF BENAMI TRANSACTIONS – HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
On 9 February, Bharucha & Partners published an article about Benami transactions: Benami transactions are informal and prohibited financial transactions. It is a transaction which a property is transferred by one person under the name of another person who holds the property he is called as the benamidar and the person who transfers the property and pays the consideration for the transfer is called as the beneficial owner. The property is transferred for the beneficial owner’s benefit or interest. The article looks at the roots of the tool and legal recognition in British India, and a 1998 banned its use. Notwithstanding the enactment of the Benami Act, the late 21st Century witnessed the rampant rise of economic offences, with growing concern about money laundering and funnelling of black money through benami properties. This was exacerbated by the fact that the Benami Act did not prescribe adequate penalties, or provide a strong enforcement mechanism, and these gaps were not addressed by other legislation.
US: NATIONAL TERRORIST THREATS REMAIN HIGH DUE TO PROLIFERATION OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES, MISINFORMATION
On 9 February, Homeland Preparedness News reported that, according to the latest National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), threat levels throughout the country remain heightened due to mis-, dis-, and mal-information, stoked by foreign and domestic sources. In the fifth DHS bulletin since January 2021, the department noted that the conditions underlying the heightened threat landscape of the country have little changed, but their effects are growing.
PANAMA REITERATES ITS COMMITMENT TO COOPERATE AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING
On 9 February, La Estrella reported on the meeting of the Inter-Institutional Commission to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU). One of the issues addressed at the meeting was the “yellow card” given by the EU to Panama, as a non-cooperating country.
PUTIN’S SUPERYACHT ABRUPTLY LEFT GERMANY AMID SANCTION WARNINGS
On 9 February, Business Insider reported that the superyacht Graceful, said to belong to Putin left port in Hamburg abruptly and before finishing repairs. It relocated from German waters to Kaliningrad, part of Russian territory.
MONTENEGRO INVESTIGATES MASSIVE TOBACCO THEFT FROM PORT
On 10 February, Balkan Insight reported that the Port of Bar is again in the news after it was confirmed that more than €10 million worth of tobacco has been stolen from hangars since 28 December. It was stolen from the hangars of the Montenegro Duvan Commerce and Tobacco Trade MNE companies. Since the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Bar has become known as a hub for cigarette smuggling, where tobacco from abroad is re-exported and cigarettes made in Montenegro are shipped.
LUXEMBOURG: NEW MANDATORY AML/CFT EXTERNAL AUDIT REQUIREMENTS
A post from Baker McKenzie on 9 February advised of 3 circulars from the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) designed to improve the risk-based supervision, both for AML/CFT and prudential purposes.
CHINA’S CENTRAL BANK TIGHTENS REGULATION ON CASH WITHDRAWAL AND DEPOSIT TARGETING MONEY LAUNDRY
On 10 February, the Global Times reported that China’s central bank has said that normal cash deposits and withdrawals will not be affected. However, recent regulations requires individuals to validate their identity when making a cash withdrawal or deposit on a single transaction of 50,000 yuan ($7,860) or more.
MOLDOVA – GRECO INTERIM COMPLIANCE REPORT ON CORRUPTION PREVENTION IN RESPECT OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS
On 9 February, the Council of Europe published this report which focuses on 4 recommendations which the country had not been implemented previously. Its anti-corruption body GRECO concluded that Moldova has now implemented satisfactorily or dealt with in a satisfactory manner only 6 of the 18 recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report. Of the remaining recommendations, 9 have been partly implemented and 3 have not been implemented.
EU EXPECTED TO ADD BERMUDA, BVI, ISRAEL AND RUSSIA TO A SO-CALLED GREY-LIST OF TAX-HAVENS
On 9 February, EU Observer reported that the grey-list, which is to grow from 15 to 25 jurisdictions, is to be adopted by EU ministers on 24 February.
UK SANCTIONS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
On 9 February, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office released updated guidance on the UK’s sanctions regime relating to Afghanistan.
JERSEY: CORPORATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR FAILURE TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING
On 10 February, an article from Appleby said that Jersey had launched a consultation, which closes on 21 February, regarding proposals to introduce a new corporate criminal offence for any financial services business (FSB) which fails to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
XINJIANG SANCTIONS LOOMING OVER GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS
An article from Eversheds Sutherland on 10 February about measures that will affect a wide range of industries and supply chains around the world. Companies are obliged to apply heightened diligence and transparency requirements in Chinese-based supply chains, and anticipate extended shipment delays for US imports and possible shifts in global apparel, food, solar, electronics, and automotive sectors, among others.
LIQUID COCAINE – A RISING TREND AMONG COLOMBIA’S TRAFFICKERS
On 9 February, Insight Crime published an article saying that liquid cocaine has returned to the fore as an increasingly popular drug smuggling method. This comes after around 3.5 tons of liquid cocaine was seized at the northern port of Cartagena. This was the fifth seizure of liquid cocaine since November 2021 and came just a week after nearly 20,000 coconuts filled with liquid cocaine were found in the port of Cartagena and bound for Italy.
ARMENIA DETAINS 19 PEOPLE SUSPECTED OF BEING IN SPY RING THAT USED A DATING SERVICE
On 10 February, Rferl reported that dozens of servicemen in different units of the armed forces may have been involved in the activities of the spy network, which worked for an unspecified nation, and that recruitment took place via an online dating service through which Armenian servicemen who possessed classified data and documents would eventually join the spy ring.
SPAIN: EEL SMUGGLER HIT WITH WORLD RECORD €7.2 MILLION FINE
On 2 February, The Times reported that a judge has handed down the world’s largest fine for eel smuggling, striking a blow against Europe’s least known but most profitable wildlife crime.
SINGAPORE: CIRCULAR ON NON-FACE-TO-FACE CUSTOMER DUE DILIGENCE MEASURES
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has released a Circular that sets out industry good practices observed by MAS and supervisory guidance on the measures to mitigate risks associated with the use of non-face-to-face technologies for CDD.
ECUADOR SEIZES NEARLY 14 TONS OF COCAINE
On 7 February, Diálogo reported on a series of operations in January, with nearly 14 tons of cocaine seized in a total of 9 operations.
UK: 31 AMENDMENTS TO THE NEW SANCTIONS CONSOLIDATED LIST
On 10 February, HM Treasury announced that 30 entries have been amended in the new version of the UK Consolidated List and 1 entry has been amended in the new and previous versions of the Consolidated List. The relevant notices and details can be found on the respective regime pages.
US: REMOVAL OF THE BURUNDI SANCTIONS REGULATIONS
On 10 February, OFAC announced that it is issuing a Final Rule to remove the Regulations.
US: SEIZURE OF $97.8 MILLION IN COUNTERFEIT SPORTS MERCHANDISE DURING ANNUAL OPERATION TEAM PLAYER
A news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement on 10 February advised that Operation Team Player is a year-round effort developed by the IPR Center to crackdown on the illegal importation of counterfeit sports apparel and entertainment merchandise. The Center advised that that more than 267, 511 counterfeit sports-related items, worth an estimated $97.8 million, were seized.
US TREASURY SANCTIONS MAJOR ECUADORIAN AND MEXICAN NARCOTICS TRAFFICKERS WITH TIES TO THE SINALOA CARTEL AND CJNG
A news release from the US Treasury on 10 February advised that OFAC had designated Wilder Emilio Sanchez Farfan and Miguel Angel Valdez Ruiz for materially contributing to the illicit activities of major Mexican cartels to traffic cocaine into the US.
FINAL REPORT: US COMMISSION ON COMBATING SYNTHETIC OPIOID TRAFFICKING
The RAND Corporation has published the final report of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. It describes items involving the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of synthetic opioids, as well as the deficiencies in countering their production and distribution, and includes action items directed to appropriate executive branch agencies and congressional committees and leadership.
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