OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 10

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.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/regulation/uk-brexit-import-controls-much-work-remains-be-done

The report is at –

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/8781/documents/88926/default/

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.

https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2022/02/05/suspected-jihadists-arrested-in-spain-for-allegedly-financing-terrorism-in-libya/

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.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/ecowas-urges-cooperation-to-end-illegal-fishing

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. 

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/international-trade-investment/1159642/new-importer-old-baggage–successor-liability-for-antidumping-countervailing-duties

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.

https://www.braumillerlaw.com/imported-goods-subject-antidumping/

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.

https://www.mondaq.com/india/corporate-crime/1159014/business-crime-2021

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.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/inside-the-supreme-court

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.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/3ba47b01-ca2d-46b9-a927-5c63bc95f366.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1644493367&Signature=adn%2BEH4SvtgEcs2JtPlGHzdC6so%3D

https://lawtimesjournal.in/benami-transactions/

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.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/75860-national-terrorist-threats-remain-high-thanks-to-proliferation-of-conspiracy-theories-misinformation/

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.

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/economia/220209/panama-reitera-compromiso-cooperar-pesca-ilegal

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.

https://www.businessinsider.com/putin-yacht-graceful-left-germany-amid-sanction-threats-report-2022-2

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.

https://balkaninsight.com/2022/02/10/montenegro-investigates-massive-tobacco-theft-from-troubled-port/

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.

https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/2022/02/09/luxembourg-fund-industry-new-mandatory-aml-cft-external-audit-and-new-reporting-requirements-26012022/

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.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202202/1251901.shtml

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.

https://rm.coe.int/fourth-evaluation-round-corruption-prevention-in-respect-of-members-of/1680a5722f

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.

https://euobserver.com/world/154337

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.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-sanctions-on-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.

https://www.applebyglobal.com/publications/corporate-criminal-liability-for-failure-to-prevent-money-laundering/

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.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Competition_EU_and_Regulatory/Xinjiang-US-Import-Sanctions-Looming-Over-Global-Supply-Chains

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.

https://insightcrime.org/news/liquid-cocaine-rising-trend-colombia-traffickers/

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.

https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-spy-ring-19-detained/31696287.html

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.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/eel-smuggler-hit-with-world-record-7-2m-fine-dg5jlcmlj

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. 

https://www.mas.gov.sg/regulation/circulars/circular-on-non-face-to-face-customer-due-diligence-measures

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.

https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/ecuador-seizes-nearly-14-tons-of-cocaine-from-international-narcotrafficking/#.YgUTf5bMKUk

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.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-sanctions-consolidated-list-of-targets

US: REMOVAL OF THE BURUNDI SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

On 10 February, OFAC announced that it is issuing a Final Rule to remove the Regulations.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USTREAS/bulletins/30a05b3

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/20220210_burundi_regulations.pdf

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.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ipr-center-seizes-978m-counterfeit-sports-merchandise-during-annual-operation-team

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. 

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220210

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.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/external_publications/EP68838.html

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/08/1079112824/synthetic-opioids-contribute-to-the-rising-rate-of-drug-overdoses

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

UK: AMENDMENTS TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS REGULATIONS TO ENABLE IT TO LIST ON ITS TARGETED SANCTIONS REGIME NEW CATEGORIES OF PEOPLE AND ENTITIES

On 10 February, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the amendments will allow the UK to list people –

  • Involved in destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening its territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence;
  • Obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia; or
  • Those associated with those 2 categories in certain specified ways.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/02/new-uk-russia-sanctions-powers-in-force-today/

The amended regulation is at –

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/123/regulation/3/made

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/123/contents/made

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

YEMEN SANCTIONS: UN PANEL OF EXPERTS ON YEMEN PUBLISHED

On 10 February, the EU Sanctions blog said that the final report of the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen was published on 26 January.  It recommends that the UN Security Council calls on parties to/associated with the Yemen conflict to undertake various measures, and recommends that the Security Council express its intention to impose sanctions if the parties do not do so.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/02/un-panel-of-experts-on-yemen-publishes-final-report/

The Report is at –

https://undocs.org/en/S/2022/50

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.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-sanctions-consolidated-list-of-targets

ECONOMIC CRIME IN THE UK: A MULTI-BILLION POUND PROBLEM

On 10 February, the House of Commons Library published a briefing which discusses UK Government efforts to tackle economic crime, including its 20190=22 Economic Crime Plan.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9013/CBP-9013.pdf

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

FATF UPDATED CONSOLIDATED AML/CFT ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE

On 10 February, following the publication of the latest follow-up report on Ireland, FATF has issued an updated schedule of all assessments to date.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/4th-Round-Ratings.pdf

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

IRELAND: AML/CFT ASSESSMENT UPDATE REPORT

On 10 February, FATF issued a follow-up report on Ireland following its original assessment in 2017.  It says that FATF has now re-rated the country on Recommendations 22 (DNFBP: Customer due diligence), from partially compliant, to largely compliant. The report also looks at whether Ireland’s measures meet the requirements of FATF Recommendations that have changed since the 2017 mutual evaluation and 2019 follow-up report.  The FATF agreed to maintain the rating of largely compliant for Recommendation 15 (New Technologies).  Hence, Ireland is compliant on 17 Recommendations of the 40 Recommendations and largely compliant on 17 of them. It remains partially compliant on 6 of the 40 Recommendations.  Ireland will continue to report back to the FATF on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.  

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/fur/Follow-up-report-Ireland-2022.pdf

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

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 9

Panama Covid-19 update – 3,028 new cases reported today, as the Omicron-fuelled wave appears to continue to slowly declaine. However, there were 10 new fatalities also reported, and there remains 32,521 active cases – 80 in ICU and 517 in other wards.

9 FEBRUARY 2022

NUCLEAR FUEL SUFFERS FROM A GEOGRAPHICAL SUPPLY IMBALANCE. HERE’S WHY THAT’S A CONCERN

On 2 February, the World Economic Forum published this article saying that more options for extracting uranium are available, and efforts are underway to develop ways to use less of it.  Kazakhstan had been providing about 40% of the global supply; in 2020, it delivered more than 3 times the output of the next-largest producer, Australia.  However, when Kazakhstan was hit by social unrest last month, uranium prices surged and raised speculation about a shortage.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/02/nuclear-energy-fuel-supply-crunch

HOW TO REPORT ACCOUNTING FRAUD AND EARN AN SEC WHISTLEBLOWER AWARD

On 8 February, Zuckerman Law published an article explaining that, under the SEC Whistleblower Program, the SEC will issue awards to whistleblowers who provide original information, such as information about accounting fraud, that leads to enforcement actions with total monetary sanctions in excess of $1 million. A whistleblower may receive an award of between 10% and 30% of the sanction imposed.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.lexology.com/5854198b-d607-4ad7-ae73-7c8412d96161.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVYILUYJ754JTDY6T&Expires=1644406965&Signature=3nRXmfY98LinkvEY8dQ3IurrTpA%3D

PANAMA IMPLEMENTS BIOMETRIC CONTROLS AND DETAINS 78 PEOPLE ENTERING THE COUNTRY

On 9 February, Radio Panama reported on implementation and use of advanced biometric reading devices and database platforms which had resulted in 72 alerts in 2021, of which 38 involved people with terrorist ties from Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Siri Lanka; 22 persons were also identified for identity theft from Africa, specifically Somalia, Mali, Egypt, Togo and Sierra Leone; and 12 for drug trafficking.  The controls are applied at airports, land boundaries and to migrants.

https://www.radiopanama.com.pa/noticias/actualidad/panama-captura-terroristas-y-narcotraficantes-con-nuevo-dispositivo-tecnologico/20220208/nota/4184890.aspx

EU LIFTS FINANCIAL SANCTIONS ON BURUNDI

On 9 February, The Star in Kenya cited a BBC report that the EU had said that the lifting was due to a peaceful political environment and progress by the Burundian government in several areas, including human rights and the voluntary return of refugees into the country, but that those persistent challenges remained “in the areas of human rights, good governance, reconciliation and the rule of law”.

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/africa/2022-02-09-eu-lifts-financial-sanctions-on-burundi/

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/02/08/burundi-eu-lifts-existing-restrictions-under-article-96-of-the-acp-eu-partnership-agreement/

BLOCKBUSTER YEAR FOR AML PENALTIES AS FINES TOP $2.73 BILLION

On 8 February, Crowdfund Insider noted a report by Kyckr on AML occurrences around the globe indicating that while the total amount of fines dipped in 2021 the number of institutions that were hit with penalties more than doubled.  It says that $2.73 billion in fines as 80 institutions equates to an average fine per institution of $34.1 million.

https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2022/02/186720-blockbuster-year-for-aml-fines-report/

BERMUDA: DIGITAL ASSETS TO BE COVERED BY AML RULES

On 9 February, the Royal Gazette reported that changes to the island’s AML regulations to better police digital assets have been approved by the House of Assembly.

https://www.royalgazette.com/international-business/business/article/20220209/digital-assets-to-be-covered-by-anti-money-laundering-rules/

US COUPLE ACCUSED OF LAUNDERING $4.5 BILLION IN BITCOIN

On 8 February, The Indian Express and others reported that US authorities have identified the masterminds of the money laundering operation as married couple, Ilya Dutch Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan.  The cryptocurrency was first stolen during a massive 2016 exchange hack.

https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/crypto/us-couple-accused-of-laundering-4-5-billion-in-bitcoin-heres-how-this-happened-7763865/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/08/us-married-couple-arrested-allegedly-conspiring-launder-45bn-bitcoin

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/us-department-of-justice-two-arrested-for-alleged-conspiracy-to-launder-45-bi/

ISLE OF MAN: SHIP REGISTRY TO OFFER DISCOUNT TO VESSELS USING GREEN TECHNOLOGY

On 9 February, Manx Radio and others reported that the Isle of Man Ship Registry’s set to become the first flag state in the world to offer reduced registration fees for boats deploying green technology with a 15% discount to cargo vessels, commercial yachts or passenger ferries which invest in bio or alternative fuel, wind and shore-side energy technology  

https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-business/ship-registry-to-offer-discount-to-vessels-using-green-technology/

SFO DISCLOSURE FAILINGS TO BE PROBED BY FORMER HIGH COURT JUDGE

On 9 February, the Law Society Gazette reported that the disclosure failings at the trial of a former Unaoil oil executive, whose conviction for bribery was overturned by the Court of Appeal, will be probed by a former High Court judge.  The review will look at what went wrong in the Unaoil case and what changes are needed at the SFO to ensure that the failings identified by the Court of Appeal cannot happen again, ‘especially in relation to contact with third-parties and disclosure’.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sfos-disclosure-failings-to-be-probed-by-former-high-court-judge/5111444.article

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-into-the-serious-fraud-offices-handling-of-the-unaoil-case-terms-of-reference

SPAIN: HIGH COURT REOPENS FORMAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO CHAIRMAN ANTONIO BRUFAU AND FORMER CHAIRMAN ISIDRO FAINE OF SPAIN-BASED CORPORATIONS REPSOL AND CAIXABANK OVER INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE

On 8 February, Jurist reported that the Court had accepted an appeal to reopen the case.  A judge had previously closed the investigation into links to bribery in connection with Repsol and Caixabanks’ alleged activities with the security firm run by former Spain National Police Chief Jose Manuel Villarejo.  The alleged goal of this espionage was to block a takeover bid for Repsol by Sacyr and the Mexican state-owned oil firm, Pemex.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/02/spain-business-executives-implicated-in-decade-long-spying-scandal/

BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP: HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN OWN OR HOLD SIGNIFICANT STAKES IN COMPANIES BASED IN LUXEMBOURG

An article from OCCRP on 8 February says that when Luxembourg opened up its register of beneficial owners in 2019, the new data revealed a surprising fact.  OCCRP and its partners identified 291 minors who own or control significant stakes in Luxembourg companies, and in many cases, the companies’ owners were younger than the companies themselves.  They included minors whose parents are oligarchs, criminals, or people with ties to politically influential figures.

https://www.occrp.org/en/openlux/boss-babies-the-children-who-own-hundreds-of-luxembourg-corporations

CUM-EX: DANISH TAX AUTHORITY IN COURT IN UK IN SECOND ATTEMPT TO REGAIN MONEY IT SAYS IT IS OWED

On 4 February, an article from Rahman Ravelli reported that Denmark is seeking to revive its £1.5 billion case against British hedge fund trader Sanjay Shah, and has asked the Court of Appeal to overturn a High Court ruling that blocked its claim, which alleged tax fraud.

https://www.mondaq.com/uk/white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-fraud/1158404/the-danish-tax-authority-has-gone-back-to-court-in-the-uk-in-a-second-attempt-to-regain-money-it-says-it-is-owed-from-the-share-selling-practice-known-as-cum-ex

US: THE DISCLOSURE PROCESS DEFENCE TO SECURITIES FRAUD CLAIMS – PART I

On 4 February, an article from Sidley Austin LLP says that one of the most effective — but underutilised — defences against claim a of securities fraud is a disclosure process defence: that the defendants reasonably relied on a robust process for drafting, reviewing, and approving the public disclosures at issue.  A 2-part article describes how public companies can ensure that their disclosure process provides a strong defence against claims of securities fraud, if and when they arise.  Part 1 outlines the nature of the defence and identifies key prophylactic steps that corporate counsel can take to strengthen a potential defence.  Part 2 will address privilege issues that arise from the involvement of in-house counsel in the disclosure process.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/securities/1157842/the-disclosure-process-defense-to-securities-fraud-claims-part-i-key-steps-for-litigation-preparedness

US AND CHINESE INVESTORS FEUD OVER START-UP ICON AIRCRAFT DURING NATIONAL SECURITY REVIEW OF DEAL

On 8 February, the Wall Street Journal reported that investors in a California plane start-up are firing off allegations against each other while the company is in the midst of a national security review.  Icon Aircraft Inc makes a small, amphibious plane with foldable wings that is marketed for recreational use. A group of American shareholders fell out with Chinese investors who hold a dominant stake in Icon, alleging they are improperly transferring the company’s technology to China.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-chinese-investors-feud-over-startup-icon-aircraft-during-national-security-review-of-deal-11644340248

NORTH KOREA TRIED TO BUY LUXURY CARS AHEAD OF FOOD CRISIS LAST YEAR

On 9 February, NK News reported that a new UN draft report documents effort to procure 4 top-of-the-line SUV worth $600,000 last year despite strict COVID border controls.  The DPRK General Administration of Civil Aviation attempted to purchase the 4 luxury-class Toyota SUV in April 2021 from a Chinese company.  UN sanctions monitors say they also discovered that North Korea’s aviation authority tried to buy 10 industrial vehicles and trucks valued at $400,000 from another Chinese vendor.

https://www.nknews.org/2022/02/north-korea-tried-to-buy-luxury-cars-ahead-of-food-crisis-last-year-report/

US MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION, ALLIANCE FOR CREATIVITY AND ENTERTAINMENT AND IPR CENTER STRENGTHEN PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO PROTECT FILM AND TV CONTENT

A news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement on 7 February advised of an announcement from the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (aka IPR Center).  The announcement comes at a pivotal moment in the global anti-piracy fight as sentencing was also announced for George Bridi, a leader of the illegal piracy operation, the SPARKS Group.  For over 10 years, the SPARKS Group illegally distributed movies and TV shows prior to their retail release dates.

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/motion-picture-association-alliance-creativity-and-entertainment-and-ipr-center

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/american-companies-that-failed-in-china/

ANALYSING CROSS-BORDER DATA TRANSFERS: CONTROLLER (EEA) → CONTROLLER (US) → PROCESSOR (US)

Greenberg Traurig in the US has published the latest part of its ongoing series analysing cross-border data transfers in light of the new Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) approved by the European Commission in June 2021.

https://www.gtlaw-dataprivacydish.com/2022/02/controller-eea-%e2%86%92-controller-u-s-%e2%86%92-processor-u-s/

ATAD 3 (SHELL COMPANIES) – POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR FUND STRUCTURES

On 9 February, an article from Dechert LLP about a draft EU Council Directive, known as ATAD 3, aimed at countering the misuse of ‘shell’ entities and could impose adverse tax and reporting provisions on EU legal entities which do not meet minimal substance and economic activity requirements.  It says that, although the intention is for Member States to pass domestic legislation to implement the directive by the middle of 2023 with a view to legislation becoming effective in January 2024, it may be necessary to start taking steps now to ensure relevant fund companies are not caught by the Directive.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/atad-3-shell-companies-potential-4210015

HOW RUSSIAN ENERGY GIANT LUKoil MAKES MILLIONS IN BULGARIA BUT PAYS ALMOST NO TAX

On 9 February, Rferl reported that the oil refinery at Burgas is no longer owned exclusively by the Bulgarian state, instead Russian energy giant LUKoil is the master now.  LUKoil Neftochim Burgas is a huge success, generating some of the highest revenues in Bulgaria, totalling more than the equivalent of €40 billion over the past 15 years, and the company dominates the Bulgarian market.  However, it is said that the Russian-owned refinery regularly declares losses in Bulgaria.

https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgaria-lukoil-taxes-millions-russsia/31695145.html

On 9 February, a post on Lawfare sets out to provide a non-exhaustive survey of recent developments in cases conducted under the principle of universal jurisdiction, where crimes abroad, such as crimes against humanity

https://www.lawfareblog.com/survey-recent-developments-and-trends-universal-jurisdiction

See also the podcast –

https://www.lawfareblog.com/lawfare-podcast-universal-jurisdiction-cases

FORMER WARBURG BANKER GETS JAIL TERM IN GERMAN CUM-EX FRAUD TRIAL

On 9 February, Reuters reported that a former banker was handed a 3½-year jail sentence for his part in Germany’s biggest post-war fraud.  He is a former employee of MM Warburg group, part-owned by one of Germany’s oldest banking dynasties.  He is the second person to receive a jail sentence for trading activity that cost Germany more than €5 billion.

https://www.reuters.com/world/former-warburg-banker-gets-jail-term-german-fraud-trial-2022-02-09/

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