OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 22

Panama Covid-19 update – the number of active cases falls again, by 730 to 9,152, with 932 new cases and 4 new fatalities reported today. ICU numbers fall to 51, with another 221 patients being in other wards. The percentage of positive test results, with 10,122 tests undertaken, has fallen to now be 9.2% ( at one stage it reached over 37%).

22 FEBRUARY 2022

UK-RUSSIA EXTRADITION RELATIONS IN 2022

On 21 February, 6 KBW College Hill Chambers published an post saying that now is a convenient moment to consider the state of UK-Russia extradition relations and the likely impact of any further breaches of international norms by the Russian Federation.  It says that for many years during the 1990s and 2000s, there were no successful requests for extradition to Russia.  But then a thawing of extradition relations in the 2010s, coincided with a dramatic rise in political tensions between the UK and Russia.  In 2021, extraditions stopped again after a High Court decision and there have been no decisions ordering extradition to the Russia since then.  The article says that there remains much work ahead if Russia hopes to re-establish a functioning extradition relationship with the UK – and war in Europe will make that task all the more challenging.

https://blog.6kbw.com/posts/uk-russo-extradition-relations-in-2022

FINCEN OFFERS GUIDANCE TO VICTIMS OF CYBER-ENABLED FINANCIAL CRIME

On 17 February, Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP reported that FinCEN had published a factsheet explained how its Rapid Response Program (RRP) “helps victims and their financial institutions recover funds stolen as the result of certain cyber-enabled financial crime schemes, including business e-mail compromise”. 

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-fraud/1162812/fincen-offers-guidance-to-victims-of-cyber-enabled-financial-crime

APP FRAUD ON THE RISE

On 11 February, an article from Herrington Carmichael LLP published an article saying that authorised push payment (APP) fraud has dramatically risen over the course of the pandemic.  The article discusses why APP fraud has increased and what to do if you are a victim of an APP scam.

https://www.herrington-carmichael.com/app-fraud-on-the-rise/

HOW THE ENGLISH COURTS ARE ASSISTING VICTIMS OF CRYPTO FRAUD

On 11 February, an article from Littleton Chambers says that the theft of crypto assets, such as Bitcoin, Tether and Ethereum, by fraudsters is becoming increasingly common.  The article looks at the ability of the English courts to use freezing injunctions, bankers trust orders (disclosure orders against third parties), and contempt proceedings to help solve the identity of the fraudsters and assist victims to recover their stolen assets.

https://littletonchambers.com/articles-webinars/recovering-stolen-cryptocurrency-how-the-english-courts-are-assisting-victims-of-crypto-fraud/

GERMAN BUSINESSMAN ‘SOLD RUSSIA MATERIALS FOR USE IN NUCLEAR MISSILES’

On 22 February, The Times reported that a German businessman, a man from Saxony, identified only as Alexander S, has been charged with selling dual-use material for chemical weapons and electronic equipment for use in nuclear missile components to the Russian state.  He was arrested in May 2021 but details of the indictment have just been released by prosecutors.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/german-businessman-sold-russia-materials-for-use-in-nuclear-missiles-2s766bbbj

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS SPANNING EGYPT, SAUDI ARABIA, UAE BEHIND ILLICIT ANTIQUITIES SMUGGLING TRIAL

On 21 February, Mada Masr in Egypt reported on court documents that claims that senior officials and businesspeople from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and the UAE were involved in financial deals that funded the illicit excavation and smuggling of over 200 archaeological artifacts.  It says that the illicit smuggling operations were brought to light by a financial dispute over a sum of $3 million between the 2 central protagonists, one of them an Egyptian businessman and media mogul and the other a self-professed exorcist and sorcerer who once held a seat in Egypt’s legislature.

https://www.madamasr.com/en/2022/02/21/feature/politics/financial-arrangements-spanning-egypt-saudi-arabia-uae-behind-illicit-antiquities-smuggling-trial/

NIGERIA: FORMER MINISTER OF WATER RESOURCES JAILED FOR CONSPIRACY AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 22 February, Naija News reported that the Federal High Court had sentenced the former minister and 2 others to 3-month imprisonment each.  Sarah Ochekpe, Raymond Dabo and Evangelist Leo Sunday are said to have been on trial for 4 years over alleged conspiracy and money laundering.

https://www.naijanews.com/2022/02/22/money-laundering-court-jails-former-minister-sarah-ochekpe/

CHINA DELAYS NEW AML RULES AMID PRIVACY WORRIES AND PUSHBACK FROM SMALL FINANCIAL FIRMS

On 22 February, the South China Morning Post reported that authorities have postponed introduction of new rules requiring financial institutions tighten due diligence on clients and transactions.  A new regulation due to have effect from 1 March, requires people who make a single cash deposit or withdrawal that exceeds 50,000 yuan (US$7,8884), or US$10,000 in a foreign currency, to report the source and intended use of the money.

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3167951/china-delays-new-anti-money-laundering-rules-amid-privacy

THE FACE OF THE MODERN MERCENARY

On 22 February, Defence Web carried an article saying that a modern mercenary is likely to operate under a corporate banner, sometimes with government ties, striking deals with legitimate administrations to crush insurgencies and end civil wars.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/land/land-land/the-face-of-the-modern-mercenary/

REFUSAL TO EXECUTE A EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT

A news release on 22 February advised that the Court of Justice of the EU specified the criteria permitting an executing judicial authority to assess whether there is any risk of breach of the requested person’s fundamental right to a fair trial when considering a European Arrest Warrant from another Member State.

https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-02/cp220032en.pdf

UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ORDERS 

On 22 February, the House of Commons Library issued a briefing paper on the origins and use of UWO.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9098/CBP-9098.pdf

FORCED LABOUR NEXUS WITH COUNTERFEIT TRADE EXAMINED IN USTR REPORT

On 22 February, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the Office of the US Trade Representative has released its 2021 report on “notorious markets”, which identifies 42 online markets and 35 physical markets around the world that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/february/forced-labor-nexus-with-counterfeit-trade-examined-in-ustr-report

US: FEDERAL COURT REJECTS APPEAL AGAINST ORDER IN MARYLAND BANNING GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS FROM ENGAGING IN BOYCOTTS AGAINST ISRAEL

On 20 February, Jurist reported that several other US states have banned boycotts of Israel, which pushes back on a movement known as “boycott, divestment, sanctions,” or BDS, that seeks accountability for Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians.  The appellant had based his arguments on cases challenging similar bans in Arkansas and Texas.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/02/federal-appeals-court-dismisses-challenge-to-maryland-order-banning-contracts-with-agents-that-boycott-israel/

SUISSE SECRETS: HOW SWISS BANKING SECRECY ENABLED AN UNEQUAL GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM

On 22 February, another article from the Guardian examines the status of Switzerland, saying that its financial system is the third-most secretive in the world after the Cayman Islands and the US, according to the Tax Justice Network, and accounts for $21 billion in lost tax revenue for foreign countries every year.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/feb/22/how-swiss-banking-secrecy-global-financial-system-switzerland-tax-elite

ABANDONED BURNING SHIP ‘HAD $400 MILLION CARGO OF LUXURY CARS’

On 21 February, the Guardian reported on the fire aboard the car transporter Felicity Ace was carrying cars, including Porsche, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini models, an insurance estimate has revealed.  The specialist cargo ship carrying more than 4,000 cars, caught fire near the Azores last week.  The vessel’s 22 crew members were evacuated but the fire continued to burn for several days, fuelled by lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles on board.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/21/abandoned-burning-ship-had-400m-cargo-of-luxury-cars

THE VOYAGE OF A DRUG SUB ACROSS THE ATLANTIC

On 21 February, Insight Crime published an article about the first known drug submarine to cross the Atlantic, reporting on a new book which recounts the voyage of the 66-foot vessel, which was assembled deep in the Amazon rainforest and set sail from the coast of Brazil with 3 tons of cocaine on board.

https://insightcrime.org/news/operation-oil-slick-the-voyage-of-a-drug-sub-across-the-atlantic/

3 RETIRED COLOMBIAN ARMY COMMANDERS ACCUSED OF BELONGING TO A CRIMINAL NETWORK THAT SERVED THE URABEÑOS DRUG CLAN

On 21 February, Insight Crime reported that as 3 retired Colombian army commanders have been accused of belonging to a criminal network that served the Urabeños drug clan, the case illustrates how the highest ranks of Colombia’s armed forces continue to be accused of colluding in trafficking activities.

https://insightcrime.org/noticias/top-ex-colombian-officers-trafficking-case-recalls-past-abuses/

EU: SENT TRANSPORT MONITORING SYSTEM EXTENDED TO COVER THE MOVEMENT OF GREEN LIST WASTE EXCEEDING 20 KG AND HAZARDOUS WASTE

On 21 February, an article from Dentons reported that, from 22 February, says that the measure is essentially yet another item on a long list of waste management requirements, keeping up with the ESG trend, implemented through the EU’s extended producer responsibility concept under the Green Deal.  The inclusion of waste shipments in the SENT system will have many businesses thoroughly verifying whether their activity does not incidentally involve waste shipments.  It says that businesses are surprised to find the following considered as waste: damaged vehicles, car parts intended for reconditioning, racks and protective elements returned by customers, faulty electronics, batches of goods withdrawn from the market of another country, as well as any unsold goods.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2022/february/21/sent-system-to-tighten-up-the-rules-on-waste-shipments

ISLE OF MAN FOLLOWS UK LEAD ON NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS

A news release on 22 February confirmed the addition of the same 3 individuals and 5 banks to the Russia sanctions regime.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/feb/22/financial-sanctions-russia/

INSIDE CALIFORNIA’S CANNABIS CRISIS

On 21 February, Rolling Stone reported that small weed farms are facing extinction under oppressive regulations, high taxes, and a statewide collapse in cannabis pricing.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/california-weed-cannabis-crisis-emerald-triangle-1302545/#recipient_hashed=82e23c0ddec19ca605e3283bd1d80e20e4eb4d9f6b63eab020c871577d690da9

https://www.statista.com/chart/26878/african-countries-with-the-highest-oil-production-volume

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/breaking-down-the-cost-of-an-ev-battery-cell/

NEW HONG KONG COMPANY “FLOUTS DPRK SANCTIONS”

On 22 February, NK Pro reported that an opaque company in Hong Kong recently joined Kim Jong Un’s shadowy overseas procurement network – HongKong Great Fortune Development Co Ltd.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/coal-ships-and-steel-new-hong-kong-company-flouts-dprk-sanctions-report-says/

WHY HAS THE US SANCTIONED RUSSIA IN THE PAST?

On 22 February, in the light of the current tensions and new sanctions being imposed, the Statista website looked at US sanctions on Russia, finding that (as of September) the 2014 invasion of Ukraine and seizure of the Crimean Peninsula is the top reason why the US had sanctioned Russian individuals, organizations or transportation vessels.

https://www.statista.com/chart/26891/us-sanctions-against-russia

THE UK ECONOMIC CRIME BILL: WHAT IS IT AND HOW MUCH MIGHT CHANGE?

An article from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner on 22 February says that a recent Treasury Committee report makes a number of recommendations and includes an assessment of the measures that might be required to be brought in through an Economic Crime Bill.  The article provides an overview of what the Economic Crime Bill (due to be tabled by Parliament in their third session later this year) might look like and what you can be doing now to prepare.  It also sets out why the firm has reservations as to the effectiveness of what may be proposed.

https://www.bclplaw.com/en-US/insights/the-economic-crime-bill-what-is-it-and-how-much-might-change.html

JERSEY IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON 3 RUSSIANS AND 5 BANKS

On 22 February, the Jersey Evening Press reported that Jersey had followed the UK (and Isle of Man) in imposing new sanctions mirroring those introduced in the UK.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2022/02/22/jersey-imposes-sanctions-on-three-russians-and-five-banks-amid-ukraine-invasion-fears/

BRAZIL SENTENCES BOSS OF A NARCO FAMILY TO 61 YEARS

On 22 February, OCCRP reported that a Brazilian court sentenced 15 members of an organized crime group – among them a former police officer – for having trafficked tonnes of marijuana from Paraguay.  The head of the gang, Silvio Cesar Molina Azevedo, a former police officer in a municipality, close to Paraguay, was sentenced to nearly 62 years for running the family-based drug gang.  He was arrested in 2018.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16012-brazil-sentences-boss-of-a-narco-family-to-61-years

SUISSE SECRETS: LEADING TAIWAN POLITICIAN HAD SECRET CREDIT SUISSE ACCOUNT AT TIME OF MAJOR DEFENCE CORRUPTION SCANDAL

On 22 February, OCCRP published a report saying that Swiss, French and Taiwanese authorities investigating a corrupt $2.5 billion deal were not aware Credit Suisse had opened an account for the Secretary General of Taiwan’s ruling party at the time kickbacks from the deal were being distributed.  The middleman in the deal had Credit Suisse accounts at the same time.

https://www.occrp.org/en/suisse-secrets/leading-taiwan-politician-had-secret-credit-suisse-account-at-time-of-major-defense-corruption-scandal

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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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