OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – FEBRUARY 28

Panama Covid-19 update – tomorrow would have been Carnival Day, if carnivals had not been cancelled this year. Nevertheless, the holiday has been marked by people leaving the city for the interior (to visit family) and beaches – with 1,800 speeding tickets issued in 72 hours.

Numbers continue to fall, with 236 new cases and 4 new fatalities, active cases down by over 800 to 5,559; with 26 patients in ICU and 153 in other wards.

28 FEBRUARY 2022

ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS ADDITION OF PUTIN AND FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV TO SANCTIONS LIST

On 28 February, the Isle of Man issued a news release confirming that President Putin and Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov had been added to sanctions lists.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/feb/28/financial-sanctions-russia/

MEDICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY STERICYCLE TO PAY $81 MILLION AND HIRE MONITOR TO RESOLVE BRIBERY PROBES

On 28 February, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had reached the settlement over alleged FCPA violations.  It is reported that the investigations into Stericycle date to at least June 2017, when the company disclosed to investors it had received a subpoena from the SEC related to its compliance with the FCPA at its operations in Latin America.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/stericycle-to-pay-81-million-hire-monitor-to-resolve-bribery-probes-11645810893

STATUS OF DOJ “CHINA INITIATIVE” 

On 25 February, an article from Dechert LLP considered the status of the China Initiative, launched in 2018 following a series of federal government reports and investigations regarding China’s trade practices, including its alleged efforts to steal American intellectual property.  The DoJ has announced that it would no longer be grouping cases under the “China Initiative” rubric, citing the “harmful perception” of racial or ethnic bias the use of that nomenclature had potentially created.  The article argues that the initiative is not dropped, but that the DoJ will continue to advance the more serious work of the Initiative (such as economic espionage, trade secret theft, and national security threats), while abandoning technical, regulatory violations as well the Initiative’s name.

https://www.dechert.com/knowledge/onpoint/2022/2/department-of-justice–china-initiative–dead-in-name–alive-in-.html?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onpoint

US: ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE AND THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS

On 24 February, a post from Squire Patton Boggs considers economic espionage under US law, the type of actions involved and how to avoid being affected by means or risk mitigation and regular risk assessments.

https://www.anticorruptionblog.com/corruption/series-economic-espionage-and-theft-of-trade-secrets/#page=1

FATF: DIGITAL ASSETS – UPDATED GUIDANCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS

On 24 February, an article from Bennett Jones LLP in Canada takes a look at the updated FATF guidance.

https://www.bennettjones.com/Blogs-Section/FATFs-Take-on-Digital-Assets-Updated-Guidance-and-Recommendations

EXTENSION OF FATF ‘TRAVEL RULE’ AND IMPLICATIONS FOR VASP IN THE UK

On 24 February, an article from McDermott Will and Emery considered the extension of the FATF ‘Travel Rule’ to Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP).  It is said that the aim of the article is to bring clarity to the Travel Rule’s purpose and requirements, explain how it is proposed to be addressed in the UK and contrast that with the adoption approaches in the EU and US.

https://www.mwe.com/insights/the-extension-of-fatfs-travel-rule-and-implications-for-virtual-asset-service-providers-in-the-uk/

UPDATE ON THE EU MANDATORY HUMAN RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DUE DILIGENCE LAW

On 24 February, an article from Bracewell LLP considered the implications of a proposal for a binding EU law that ensures businesses are held accountable and liable when they harm – or contribute to harming – human rights and the environment.  It also advises prudent businesses need to begin working together with their advisers to implement effective measures to identify and manage ESG risks in their business activities and relationships now.

https://bracewell.com/insights/update-eu-mandatory-human-rights-and-environmental-due-diligence-law-%E2%80%93-what-you-need-know

PROPERTY BILLIONAIRE HOPES TO SET UP HUGE CANNABIS FARM ON ISLE OF MAN

On 28 February, CNBC reported that the Peel Group property company wants to build a £100 million cannabis-growing facility on the Isle of Man.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/28/billionaire-john-whitaker-hopes-to-set-up-cannabis-farm-on-isle-of-man.html

SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA END AIRCRAFT LEASES AND AFFECT ABOUT HALF OF RUSSIAN AIRLINES AIRCRAFT

On 28 February, VOA reported that Asian aircraft lessor BOC Aviation has said that EU sanctions requiring the termination of leases to Russian airlines by 28 March would affect most of its aircraft in Russia.  Russian companies have 980 passenger jets in service, of which 777 are leased, according to analytics firm Cirium.  For example, BOC has 18 aircraft representing 4.5% of its owned fleet based in Russia.

https://www.voanews.com/a/sanctions-on-russia-end-aircraft-leases-affect-about-half-of-russian-airlines-planes/6462760.html

PHENSEDYL COUGH SYRUP SMUGGLING REMAINS HIGH ON BANGLADESH BORDER

The Ahmedabad Mirror on 28 February reported that 855 bottles of cough syrup Phensedyl had been seized from a Bangladeshi national on the India- Bangladesh border.  The article says that the smuggling of the banned cough syrup and Yaba Tablets from Myanmar to other SE Asia countries remain a challenge for the Border Security Force.

https://ahmedabadmirror.com/phensedyl-smuggling-remains-high-on-bangladesh-border/81822878.html

UK LEGAL SECTOR: PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR ACTION AGAINST ‘ENABLERS’ OF RUSSIAN REGIME

On 28 February, the Law Society Gazette reported that the role of English law firms acting for powerful Russian clients has come under growing political scrutiny as the government prepares to announce long-delayed legislation against the flow of ‘dirty money’ to the UK. 

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/pressure-mounts-for-action-against-enablers-of-russian-regime/5111668.article

LAFARGE’S MINING AND CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS IN NIGERIA

On 28 February, a report from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting said that Lafarge Africa PLC boasts of a humane environmental policy in her mining operations.  However, it is said that an investigation has revealed the nexus between illegal and unhealthy practices by the company, the government’s gross regulatory failure and untold hardship in Mfamosing, a solid mineral-rich community. 

https://www.icirnigeria.org/how-lafarges-mining-corruption-cause-untold-hardship-to-mfamosing-community-part-1/

SOUTH AFRICA: INTERPOL ISSUES RED NOTICES FOR ATUL AND RAJESH GUPTA

On 28 February, News 24 reported that Interpol has issued red notices for Atul and Rajesh Gupta in connection with fraud and money laundering charges, but refused to issue such notices against their wives.  They are sought in connection with the Nulane Investment fraud and money laundering case. A red notice is a formal request to members of Interpol to apprehend and hold a suspect pending an extradition process.

https://www.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/News/just-in-interpol-issues-red-notices-for-atul-and-rajesh-gupta-on-cronjes-last-day-as-id-head-20220228

IRISH SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR FRAUDSTER’S APPEAL AGAINST EXTRADITION TO UK

On 28 February, the Irish Examiner reported that Farah Damji’s challenge relates to the adequacy of mental health services provided in the UK prison system.  She fled to Ireland having absconded during her trial in London in February 2020, and was convicted of twice breaching a restraining order in April and June 2018. She has a criminal record for fraud and theft reaching back to the 1990s. She was arrested in Dublin in August 2020.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/courtandcrime/arid-40818351.html

US LOOKS TO LOWER DEPENDENCE ON IMPORTS OF CRITICAL MINERALS

On 28 February, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the Biden Administration has announced “major investments” to expand the domestic supply chain for critical minerals to decrease the US reliance on foreign sources.  It refers to a White House fact sheet which was concerned with critical minerals, including rare earth elements, lithium, and cobalt – found in a wide range of products, from computers to household appliances, and are also key inputs in clean energy technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/february/u-s-looks-to-lower-dependence-on-imports-of-critical-minerals

SUISSE SECRETS: LIBYANS WHO LOOTED GADDAFI’S GRAFT-RIDDEN DEVELOPMENT FUND BANKED AT CREDIT SUISSE

A further report from OCCRP on 28 February concerned a Libyan official and 3 businessmen connected to Libya’s state-funded development system and were clients of Credit Suisse – and which OCCRP states were implicated in corruption investigations after the 2011 revolt.  It says that some of the accounts appear to have remained open for years after the uprising, despite numerous red flags.

https://www.occrp.org/en/suisse-secrets/libyans-who-looted-gaddafis-graft-ridden-development-fund-banked-at-credit-suisse

UK: DWP FACES LEGAL ACTION OVER USE OF ALGORITHM IN DECISIONS OVER FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS

On 23 February, Local Government Lawyer reported that the  Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) and non-profit legal group Foxglove have sent the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) a letter before action over its use of a computer algorithm when deciding on who should be investigated for fraud.

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/litigation-and-enforcement/400-litigation-news/49739-dwp-faces-legal-action-over-use-of-algorithm-in-decisions-over-fraud-investigations

SUISSE SECRETS: MACEDONIA WILL PROBE THREE OWNERS OF CREDIT SUISSE ACCOUNTS

On 25 February, OCCRP reported that 3 Macedonians, among them a former deputy prime minister, may have had millions stashed in Switzerland, prosecutors in Skopje said, saying that they will look into the revelations about the accounts at Credit Suisse.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16021-macedonia-will-probe-three-owners-of-credit-suisse-accounts

BRAZILIAN POLICE: HUMAN ORGANS TRAFFICKED TO SINGAPORE FOR FASHION ACCESSORIES

On 24 February, a post from IFL Science reported that a human hand and 3 placentas have been sent from a university in Brazil, destined for an unorthodox fashion designer in Singapore, in a case of suspected human organ trafficking.  A  professor from the anatomy lab faces up to 8 years in prison. 

https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/human-organs-trafficked-to-singapore-for-fashion-accessories-say-brazilian-police/

JAPAN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA AND DESIGNATION OF BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT

On 28 February, a post from Baker McKenzie advised that, in 3 separate statements, the Prime Minister of Japan announced that Japan will impose additional sanctions on Russia.

https://sanctionsnews.bakermckenzie.com/japan-announces-additional-sanctions-on-russia-and-designation-of-belarusian-president/

SINGAPORE WILL IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA, INCLUDING EXPORT CONTROLS AND CERTAIN BANK TRANSACTIONS

On 28 February, a blog post from Baker McKenzie reported that the Singapore Foreign Minister has announced in Parliament that Singapore intends to impose “appropriate sanctions and restrictions” on Russia, acting in concert with like-minded countries.  In the first move in SE Asia, Singapore intends to impose export controls on items that can be used directly as weapons in Ukraine to inflict harm, and it will also block certain Russian banks and financial transactions connected to Russia.  The specific measures are being worked out and will be announced shortly.

https://sanctionsnews.bakermckenzie.com/singapore-will-impose-sanctions-on-russia-including-export-controls-and-certain-bank-transactions/

PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS IN ETHIOPIA

On 31 January, ENACT Africa published a brief that, based on extensive interviews and field research in Ethiopia, puts forward actionable recommendations.

https://enactafrica.org/research/policy-briefs/finding-the-gap-prosecution-of-trafficking-in-persons-in-ethiopia

US: THE LAWS THAT CAN COUNTER DOMESTIC TERRORISM

A Commentary from War on the Rocks on 28 February was concerned with a threat from private armies, who call themselves “militia groups”, and routinely stockpile firearms, conduct training in combat tactics, and engage in military drills. 

https://warontherocks.com/2022/02/a-well-regulated-militia-the-laws-that-can-counter-domestic-terrorism/

DISRUPTING THE ILLEGAL TRAFFICKING OF ABALONE

A report from the Global initiative Against Transactional Organised Crime on 2 February said that, for more than 30 years, a species of abalone found only in South African waters – Haliotis midae, known locally as perlemoen – has been subjected to massive levels of poaching, driving the evolution of a lucrative and violent criminal economy.  This report maps out the profound harms associated with this trade, ranging from resource collapse to corruption, turf wars and the erosion of state institutions.  Despite decades of anti-poaching efforts, illegal harvesting is currently at its highest-ever levels, with record prices for abalone, myriad groups competing for profits and few realistic prospects for bringing the trade under control.  Faced with these facts, a radical shift to the current state response is needed.

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/abalone-south-africa-east-asia/

ORGANISED CRIME AND STABILISATION EFFORTS IN MALI

On 3 February, a report from the Global initiative Against Transactional Organised Crime says that a coup in 2020, and a subsequent consolidation of power by the ruling junta in 2021, combined with ongoing insecurity throughout the country’s centre and north, have prompted various international actors to reconsider their stabilisation efforts in Mali. This paper explains the risks of this approach for undermining stabilization efforts across the region and provides recommendations for: focusing analysis and policy on informal and criminal economies, rather than violent extremism; and adopting more development-focused interventions that better support Malian communities.

https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/organized-crime-stabilization-mali/

US: RUSSIAN HARMFUL FOREIGN ACTIVITIES SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

On 28 February, OFAC advised that regulations made under an April 2021 Executive Order take effect from 1 March.  It also said that it intends to supplement these regulations with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive guidance and definitions, general licenses, and other regulatory provisions.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220228_33

ESG: EU PROPOSAL ON CORPORATE AND SUPPLY CHAIN DUE DILIGENCE

On 28 February, Wilmer Hale published a Client Alert saying that the EU had put forward a draft Directive laying down new obligations for large companies to ensure that their own activities and those of their supply chains comply with human rights and environmental sustainability criteria.  Once the legislative process is completed and the new rules are implemented, these companies would have a “corporate duty to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for external harm resulting from adverse human rights and environmental impacts” in their operations, as well as those of their business partners and their supply chains.  Obligations will also apply to companies based outside the EU provided they meet applicable turnover thresholds within the EU.  It examines the proposal, noting that some Member States have already implemented similar national rules on sustainability due diligence or are planning to implement them. The Proposed Directive will harmonise national initiatives by establishing a floor, but it will not reduce the level of protection already enshrined in national law.

https://www.wilmerhale.com/en/insights/client-alerts/20220225-esg-eus-proposal-on-corporate-and-supply-chain-due-diligence

FATF PLENARY FROM 1 MARCH

On 28 February, FATF announced that its Plenary will take place 1 to 4 March and delegates will discuss key issues, including revisions to the FATF Recommendations to strengthen transparency of beneficial ownership information, a priority for the FATF and the international community.  Delegates will finalise a report that focuses on the money laundering and terrorist financing risks arising from migrant smuggling.  They will discuss the assessment of France’s measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and hear the progress made by some jurisdictions identified as presenting a risk to the financial system.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/plenary-march-2022.html

UK INTRODUCES NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

On 28 February, the UK has made 2 sets of new regulations under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 to amend the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and provide for new trade sanctions measures in relation to Russia. 

One set contain prohibitions on the export, supply and delivery and making available of military goods are extended to include dual-use goods and critical-industry goods. Prohibitions on the making available and transfer of military technology are extended to include dual-use technology and critical-industry technology. Related prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financial services, funds and brokering services are also extended in relation to dual-use goods and technology and critical-industry goods and technology. These new prohibitions replace prohibitions relating to dual-use goods and dual-use technology for named persons, and for military use. Transitional provision is made in relation to licences issued to authorise trade within the scope of the replaced prohibitions.

A further set add new financial sanctions to Part 3 (Finance) of the 2019 Regulations. Existing restrictions on dealing with certain financial instruments and providing loans and credit are amended to extend the sanctions prohibitions to a broader range of transferable securities and money market instruments; and loans and credit.  Further restrictions on correspondent banking relationships and processing of sterling payments are also introduced. The amendments also introduce a power for the Secretary of State to designate persons for the purposes of that provision.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/195/pdfs/uksi_20220195_en.pdf

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/194/pdfs/uksi_20220194_en.pdf

US: NEW PUBLIC CORRUPTION AND CIVIL RIGHTS UNIT, WITH RENEWED FOCUS ON PROSECUTING CRIMINAL CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND POLICE EXCESSIVE FORCE CASES

A news release from US DoJ on 28 February advised that the US Attorney has announced that she has formed the office’s Public Corruption and Civil Rights Unit.  While the office has long investigated and prosecuted criminal civil rights cases and corruption matters, the US Attorney has formed this unit to emphasise her priority of prosecuting criminal civil rights and police excessive force cases through the unit and the dedication of additional resources.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edmi/pr/us-attorney-announces-formation-new-public-corruption-and-civil-rights-unit-renewed

US AND FOREIGN COMPANIES NOW SUBJECT TO EXPANSIVE US LICENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR BUSINESS WITH RUSSIA

On 28 February, an article from Baker Hostetler said that, while the Russia Sanctions do not amount to a full embargo, they do prohibit US persons from doing business with over 70% of Russian financial institutions and impose expansive US licence requirements on exports, re-exports, and in-country transfers for Items destined for Russia.  This Alert provides an executive summary of some key provisions of the Russia Sanctions, some practical suggestions on how to comply with them, and a more detailed summary of key provisions.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/us-and-foreign-companies-now-subject-to-2389655

US: NEW INITIATIVES TO BEEF UP INVESTIGATIONS INTO ANTI-COMPETITIVE CONDUCT FROM THE OCEAN SHIPPING INDUSTRY

On 28 February, The American Prospect reported that President Biden will target the ocean shipping cartel in his State of the Union address, outlining new steps to crack down on suspected anti-competitive behaviour priced into the cost of every transported good, which has led to astronomical profits for the industry.  This follows an agreement between the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the main regulator of ocean carriers, and the Antitrust Division of the DoJ.

https://prospect.org/economy/biden-wants-to-take-down-the-ocean-shipping-cartel

THE INTERACTION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL PROCESS IN FRAUD CASES

In the ICC FraudNet Global Annual Report, this article considers the interaction between criminal and civil process in cases involving fraud.  It explores the operation of both criminal and civil regimes in this area, the interaction between professionals therein, and promotes a pressing need for greater collaboration between the 2 frameworks if the goal is to maximise asset recovery, particularly in cases with cross-border elements.

https://www.iccfraudnet.org/reports/ICC_FraudNet_Global_Annual_Report_2022.pdf

EVALUATING DIFFERENT UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ORDERS (UWO) AND EXPLAINING THEIR EFFECTIVENESS

Another article in the ICC FraudNet Global Annual Report considers the differences between Unexplained Wealth Orders found in Ireland and the UK.  It examines factors that have led to UWO effectiveness in some jurisdictions, in comparison to others and cite legal challenges and difficulties that have arisen through case law.  Finally, it discusses the ongoing legal developments in the Maltese jurisdiction with regards to the recently enacted Proceeds of Crime Act that has omitted the inclusion of UWO.

https://www.iccfraudnet.org/reports/ICC_FraudNet_Global_Annual_Report_2022.pdf

TOOLS OF THE TRADE AVAILABLE TO THE ASSET RECOVERY LAWYER IN GUERNSEY

Another article in the ICC FraudNet Global Annual Report sets out the weapons at the disposal of the asset recovery lawyer – many of which will have a familiar ring about them. Some however, perhaps less so. This article analyses the methods available to extract the information that any claimant needs from other parties (reluctant or otherwise); obtaining of pre-emptive Court Orders to preserve assets that have been uncovered; assisting actions in other jurisdictions and finally bringing into play the full might of an insolvency practitioner with all the powers at their disposal.

https://www.iccfraudnet.org/reports/ICC_FraudNet_Global_Annual_Report_2022.pdf

ICC FRAUDNET ANNUAL REPORT – Other articles that caught my eye included the following –

Recent Developments in Pursuing Claims Against Organized Crime Group Representatives in Japan

Beneficial Ownership: An Overview of the Senegalese Institutional Framework

The Extraterritorial Application of Asset Forfeiture Proceedings in South Africa

Ransomware Relief: A Review of the Development and Use of Norwich Pharmacal Orders in Ireland

What to expect from the “Overall Reform” of Austrian Enforcement law?

Applying Traditional Asset Recovery Techniques in the New World of Virtual Assets and Cryptocurrency

Law Enforcement, Criminal Cartels and the Legitimisation of Cryptocurrency

Using US Receiverships to Investigate and Combat Fraud

Recognition of Foreign Insolvencies in Panama

Wine Fraud in Spain

Insights on Forgery in English Law

The Financial Conduct Authority and NatWest Bank

https://www.iccfraudnet.org/reports/ICC_FraudNet_Global_Annual_Report_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

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: