OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 12

Panama Covid-19 update – the latest news from Minsa , the health ministry, is that some 97.3% of patients who have died due to Covid-19 in the year to 4 February did not have the fvaccination schedule. in other words, only 53 of the 1,943 deaths (2.7%) were patients who had completed the vaccination cycle. Furthermore, in the ICU on 10 February, 94% of those admitted were not fully vaccinated; and 88.8% of those in other wards were not full vaccinated.

It was also reported by Minsa that people who require or carry the white and green health cards that allows them to handle food, must have the complete vaccination scheme against Covid-19. Food handlers, street vendors, barbers, stylists, among others must apply for both white and green cards. Those who do not (yet) have the complete vaccination cycle must take a Covid-19 test (antigen or PCR) every 7 days with a negative result.

Todday, sees numbers of new reported cases and the positive hit rate of the 11,758 tests undertaken (at 15.9%). 1,881 new cases and 10 new fatalities, with (oddly) 28,256 active cases reported (odd, because exactly the same number as yesterday). 64 patients are in ICU and 424 in other wards.

12 FEBRUARY 2022

UK: SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY £232,500 FINANCIAL PENALTY ON LAW FIRM FOR MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS VIOLATIONS

On 12 February, a post from the Compliance and Enforcement blog at the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law was concerned with a recent enforcement action by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), which regulates all solicitors and most law firms in England and Wales, which it says shows the potential risks for firms that do not maintain robust AML compliance programmes.  Leading UK law firm, Mishcon de Reya LLP, was penalised for multiple violations of the Money Laundering Regulations, and the post discusses the principal identified AML violations and the calculation of the financial penalty, and concludes with some observations about the enforcement action.

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2022/02/11/united-kingdom-solicitors-regulation-authority-imposes-232500-financial-penalty-on-law-firm-for-money-laundering-regulations-violations/

INDIA: PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER’S NEPHEW SENT TO 14-DAY JUDICIAL CUSTODY IN ILLEGAL SAND MINING CASE

On 11 February, the Hindustan Times reported that the nephew of the chief minister of the state of Punjab was arrested on 3 February as part of money laundering investigation into the alleged sand mining operations in the state. 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/punjab-cm-channi-s-nephew-sent-to-14-day-judicial-custody-in-illegal-mining-case-101644570565467.html

US: DOES THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE PROTECT TIA CREATED PURSUANT TO THE SCC FROM DISCLOSURE?

On 7 February, an article from Greenberg Traurig posed this question about Transfer Impact Assessments (TIA), a risk assessment of the factors related to the transferred of data into third countries.  It concludes that itdepends on the purpose for which a TIA is created; and that it is unlikely that the attorney-client privilege would apply to a TIA that is created, and used, to satisfy the requirements of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC).

https://www.gtlaw-dataprivacydish.com/2022/02/does-the-attorney-client-privilege-protect-tias-created-pursuant-to-the-sccs-from-disclosure/

MOLDOVA HAS MADE LITTLE PROGRESS ON CORRUPTION REFORMS

On 9 February, Anticorruptie in Moldova reported that the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption has evaluated the implementation of the recommendations and concluded that Moldova implemented just 6 of the 18 recommendations in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report in July 2016. Of the remaining recommendations, 9 have been partly implemented, and 3 have not been implemented at all. GRECO concluded that Moldova’s current level of compliance with its recommendations remains “unsatisfactory”.  It also criticises Moldova for not strengthening the National Integrity Authority.

https://anticoruptie.md/en/news/greco-report-moldova-made-little-progress-on-reforms-to-the-judiciary

INDIA: BANK FRAUD CASE FOR ALLEGEDLY CHEATING A CONSORTIUM OF BANKS LED BY STATE BANK OF INDIA 

On 12 February, Livemint and others reported that the CBI has booked ABG Shipyard Ltd and its then Chairman and Managing Director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal along with others for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India in what is alleged to be a major bank fraud.

https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/biggest-bank-fraud-cbi-books-abg-shipyard-ex-md-others-for-cheating-banks-of-rs-22-842-cr-11644665318375.html

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI): GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD ARE TIGHTENING SCRUTINY

An article from White & Case on 9 February says that recent years have seen an upswing in FDI reviews — a trend that has only accelerated sharply since the onset of the pandemic. Countries with no previous history of general foreign investment screening — the UK, Denmark and Switzerland among them — are introducing wide-ranging reviews for the first time.  With regulation ramping up in so many countries, deal processes will inevitably grow in complexity.

https://mergers.whitecase.com/highlights/fdi-on-the-radar-screen#!

BRITONS TRY TO WOO CRYPTOCURRENCY INVESTORS TO REGULATION-FREE ISLAND ON VANUATU ARCHIPELAGO

On 12 February, the Guardian carried an article saying that a retired British property investor, hopes that tranquility will soon be shattered by 21,000 cryptocurrency investors he is trying to convince to move to his island and form a regulation-free “crypto utopia”.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/12/bitcoin-paradise-briton-creates-crypto-utopia-in-south-pacific

WHAT GAMBLING OPERATORS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

On 12 February, the Guardian carried an article explaining how betting companies employ an arsenal of clever tricks to tempt punters into spending more money.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/feb/12/what-gambling-firms-dont-want-you-to-know-and-how-they-keep-you-hooked

HOW THE ICoCA COULD UNINTENTIONALLY HELP TO PRIVATISE WAR

A 2- part article on Defence in Depth says that in December, the International Code of Conduct Association for Private Security Providers (ICoCA) voted to change the definition of “security services”.  Part 1 describes how the Association came about and argues that the unintended consequences of the changes could be far reaching, but in the wrong direction.  Part 2 takes a more detailed look at what it called the legitimising of the privatising of war, the erosion of the government monopoly of force and how changes to the Code set up the Association for failure.

https://defenceindepth.co/2022/01/31/a-step-too-far-how-the-icoca-actions-could-unintentionally-help-to-privatise-war-part-one/

https://defenceindepth.co/2022/02/04/a-step-too-far-how-the-icoca-actions-could-unintentionally-help-to-privatise-war-part-two/

ASSESSING SYSTEMIC STRENGTHS AND VULNERABILITIES OF CHINA’S DEFENCE INDUSTRIAL BASE

A Research Brief from the RAND Corporation says that the organisation has methodology for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of any country’s defence industrial base (DIB), and has used these to assess China.  Among the points mentioned are that, in 2017, the last year for which official data are available, China reported that it exported $4 billion in arms goods and services, compared with $8.8 billion for Russia and $153.3 billion for the US; and China relies on imports for weapon systems, particularly for aircraft and naval engines, despite efforts to develop them domestically.  In 2019, researchers at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) found that the US — not Russia — was the largest supplier to China’s DIB.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RBA930-1.html

UK: EXPERT GROUP ISSUES INTERIM REPORT ON E-SIGNATURES

On 10 February, Local Government Lawyer reported that digital identities should be made available as a matter of priority to anyone who wants one to facilitate the uptake of electronic signing, the expert Industry Working Group on Electronic Execution of Documents has said.

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/property/404-property-news/49595-expert-group-issues-interim-report-on-e-signatures

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1051451/electronic-execution-documents-industry-working-group-interim-report.pdf

UK – CROYDON COUNCIL: FRAUD PROBE LAUNCHED INTO £67.5 MILLION BILL

On 10 February, the BBC reported that a report on Croydon Council failings has been passed to the police, and an internal fraud probe has also been launched to investigate the latest in a string of losses, contributing to the council’s £1.5 billion debt.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-60291877

UN AIMS TO LAUNCH NEW AFGHANISTAN CASH ROUTE IN FEBRUARY

On 10 February, Swissinfo reported that the UN aims to instigate a system to swap millions of aid dollars for Afghan currency in a plan to stem humanitarian and economic crises and bypass blacklisted Taliban leaders.  UN and humanitarian officials warn that the facility can be only a temporary measure until Afghanistan’s central bank begins operating independently and some $9 billion in foreign reserves frozen abroad are released.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/exclusive-u-n–aims-to-launch-new-afghanistan-cash-route-in-february–u-n–note/47338430

DANISH GAMBLING REGULATOR REPRIMANDS REEL DENMARK LTD FOR AML BREACH

On 11 February, Gambling Insider reported that Reel Denmark Limited, which oversees PokerStars’ Danish brands, has been reprimanded for breaching the Anti-Money Laundering Act, for violating the rules on KYC measures. 

https://www.gamblinginsider.com/news/15095/danish-regulator-reprimands-reel-denmark-limited-for-aml-breach

WHEN NFT GO TO MARKET: PREVENTING FRAUD AND THEFT OF DIGITAL CURRENCY

On 10 February, an article from Venable LLP contained some of the key takeaways from a recent webinar in which attorneys from Venable’s Intellectual Property Practice laid out the basic information your company needs to be aware of from an intellectual property standpoint before bringing NFT to market, and the key intellectual property tools at your disposal to prevent fraud and scams. 

https://www.venable.com/insights/publications/2022/02/when-nfts-go-to-market

PERU: GOVERNMENT PALACE RAIDED OVER PETROPERÚ CASE

On 12 February, Deutsche Welle and others reported that the Prosecutor’s Office raided the offices of the Government Palace in Lima within the framework of an investigation for alleged corruption in contracts involving the state oil company.  14 other properties linked to the investigation were also raided in connection, it was said, with the alleged acquisition of Biodiesel B100 in favour of the company HPO SA.

https://www.dw.com/es/per%C3%BA-allanan-palacio-de-gobierno-por-caso-petroper%C3%BA/a-60752878

CHINESE DESIGNER FAKES THAT ARE SO CONVINCING THAT YOU NEED A MICROSCOPE TO TELL THEY’RE COUNTERFEIT

On 12 February, an article in the Mail on Sunday says that counterfeit designer goods so close to the real thing that only a microscope could reveal they were fakes are being sold on a Chinese-run website for less than 1% of the genuine products’ retail prices.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10506207/Chinese-designer-fakes-convincing-need-microscope-tell-theyre-counterfeit.html

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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