Panama Covid-19 update – the health ministry reported that, to date, 96.2% of those who have died from Covid-19 were not fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, today, while numbers continue to fall, the numbers of those in hospital have shown a slight increase. 232 new cases and 4 new fatalities reported today, with active cases falling by over 300 to 4,603. 28 are in ICU and 154 in other wards.
2 MARCH 2022
ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS ADDITIONAL RUSSIAN SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS
On 2 March, the Isle of Man confirmed that the RUSSIAN DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND and its CEO had been added to the Russian sanctions lists.
LEGAL LANDSCAPES GOVERNING DIGITAL TOKENS IN THE EU
EY Switzerland has produced this report in May 2021.
CANADIAN SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS RELEASE ESG-RELATED GUIDANCE FOR INVESTMENT FUNDS
On 11 February, Dentons published this article which highlights certain key developments in the ESG-related space and summarises the guidance provided by the Canadian Securities Administrators for investment funds.
US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE IMPLEMENTS SIGNIFICANT EXPANSION OF EXPORT CONTROLS AGAINST RUSSIA
On 1 March, Baker McKenzie explained controls which are a result of multi-laterally coordinated efforts among the United States, EU, Japan, Australia, UK, Canada, and New Zealand. The stated targets of the new controls are Russia’s defence, aerospace, and maritime sectors, as well as its access to technological inputs and key sectors of its industrial base. It says that all companies engaged in exports or reexports to, or transfers within, Russia will need to carefully consider the new controls.
RUSSIA IMPOSES A BAN ON FOREIGN AIRCRAFT FLIGHTS FROM 36 STATES
On 1 March, a post from Baker McKenzie reported that on 28 February, the Russian civil aviation authority, in response to European states’ ban on flights of civil aircraft operated by Russian air carriers and/or registered in Russia, had imposed restrictions on flights of air carriers of 36 countries. (Note: while the list includes Gibraltar, the BVI and Jersey, it does not include the Isle of Man, which has a sizeable aircraft register containing many business jets).
ITALY TO ENHANCE AML/CFT RULES ON CRYPTO-ASSETS SERVICE PROVIDERS
On 1 March, Deberti Jacchia published an article about a new Decree introducing obligations for crypto-assets providers of services supplied in Italy.
AIRCRAFT LEASING COMPANIES RACE TO PULL PLANES FROM SANCTION-HIT RUSSIA
On 2 March, Nikkei Asia reported that Asia-based aircraft leasing companies are scrambling to cut ties with Russian airlines under new sanctions triggered by the invasion of Ukraine, in another blow for a sector reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. A handful of Asian aircraft leasing companies rent aircraft to Aeroflot and other Russian carriers. EU sanctions require leasing operators to terminate their rental contracts in Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
FELICITY ACE SINKS WITH ITS CARGO OF LUXURY CARS
On 2 March, Seatrade Maritime News reported that the car carrier had sank around 220 nautical miles from the Azores. The vessel was reported to be carrying 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini brands, with some 1,100 were from Porsche.
DOMESTIC EXTREMISTS A ‘CHALLENGE’ TO US FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
On 2 March, the Wall Street Journal reported that a new report that analysed domestic extremists’ funding sources alongside those of foreign terrorists. It says that, because so-called domestic violent extremists typically have normal transactional activity and often use legal fundraising methods, they can be hard for authorities to detect.
RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS’ YACHTS HEAD FOR MALDIVES AS SANCTIONS LEVIED
On 2 March, Bloomberg Wealth reported that a growing number of superyachts belonging to Russian tycoons have made their way to the Indian Ocean, cruising around the Maldives and Seychelles as sanctions are imposed.
SOUTH AFRICA: WOMAN SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS IN JAIL FOR MONEY LAUNDERING LINKED TO ILLEGAL RHINO HORN TRADE
On 2 March, IOL reported that Ping Wu facilitated various money laundering transactions and these included carrying large sums of banknotes into the casino after a rhino horn deal was done. She was arrested and detained in custody since August 2019 after her bail bid was successfully opposed.
SOUTH AFRICA: ZONDO COMMISSION LISTS MORE NAMES FOR ‘FURTHER INVESTIGATION’
On 1 March, the Times Live reported that the 900-page Zondo commission report on Bosasa contains a long list of those who should be investigated for organised crime, corruption and fraud. The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State was established in January 2018 by former President Zuma. It is said that there is evidence of wrongdoing is substantial against those who ran Bosasa, including paying bribes to government officials, undertaking building operations for some and doing favours for others. Bosasa is a South African company specialising in providing services to government, most notably prison services. Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has released a list of those who face prima facie evidence of criminal involvement and detailed what the police and National Prosecuting Authority should investigate further.
EU COMMISSION PROPOSES TEMPORARY PROTECTION FOR PEOPLE FLEEING WAR IN UKRAINE
On 2 March, a Notice issued by the EU says that, to offer quick and effective protection to people fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Commission is proposing to activate the Temporary Protection Directive. Temporary protection provides immediate protection to people in need in exceptional circumstances of mass arrivals to avoid overwhelming Member States’ asylum systems.
THE EU HAS AGREED TO EXCLUDE KEY RUSSIAN BANKS FROM THE SWIFT SYSTEM
On 2 March, the EU issued a news release said that the measure will stop the banks from conducting their financial transactions worldwide in a fast and efficient manner.
UK: DIGITAL IDENTITY CERTIFICATION FOR RIGHT TO WORK, RIGHT TO RENT AND CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS
On 2 March, the Department for Digital, Culture, media & Sport issued guidance on how digital identity providers can become certified to complete digital identity checks for the ‘Right to Work’, ‘Right to Rent’ and DBS schemes. The relevant legislation enabling persons to carry out identity checks on their behalf for many who are not in scope to use the Home Office online services, including British and Irish citizens, comes into effect on 6 April.
RUSSIAN VESSELS BANNED FROM GIBRALTAR PORT
On 1 March, a news release advised that the Captain of the Port had been instructed not to provide access to Gibraltar Port, or any services, supplies or facilities provided by or from Gibraltar Port, to any ship registered or owned etc by Russia or Russians, or carrying any load or cargo which is in the ownership of or destined to be delivered to any persons connected with Russia or Designated Persons.
SPAIN ARRESTS 5 FOR STEALING MILLIONS IN CRYPTOCURRENCY
On 2 March, OCCRP reported that the Civil Guard has arrested 5 people suspected of stealing about €6 million from a Spanish company dedicated to storing the crypto assets of its clients. The theft was made possible when the computer of one of the company’s employees got infected with a virus after he downloaded a movie from a pirate website.
“LARGEST-EVER” METH BUST IN NEW ZEALAND
On 2 March, Radio New Zealand reported that the largest-ever attempted smuggling of methamphetamine into New Zealand has been busted at the border in a joint sting by Customs and police. 613 kg of the drug – with what police say is a retail value of more than $245 million – was stopped at Auckland Airport.
DUBAI CUSTOMS WINS AWARD FOR ITS “CUSTOMS DOLPHINS” UNDERWATER DRONES THAT CAN BE SENT TO CONTROL AND MONITOR VESSELS BEFORE ENTERING WHARFAGE
A news release from the Dubai Government on 1 March advised that Dubai Customs had won an award at the UAE Innovates 2022 under the category “Best Disruptive Innovation”. The “Customs Dolphin” is a marine robot that resembles the dolphin in shape, which is equipped with advanced technologies including a waterproof 12 megapixel 4k camera, attached to a robotic arm.
EU AUTHORITIES SEIZED 430 MILLION ILLEGAL CIGARETTES IN 2021
On 1 March, OCCRP reported that OLAF had said that just in 2021 it took part in national and international operations that resulted in the seizure of 93 million cigarettes smuggled into the EU as well as 253 million confiscated outside of the EU. Additionally, 371 tonnes of raw tobacco which was to be used for illegal cigarette production were seized, while the police confiscated 91 million of illegally produced cigarettes within the EU. About 34.2 billion contraband or counterfeit cigarettes were consumed just in the EU in 2020, or 7.8% of the overall cigarette consumption.
NEW REPORT REVEALS EXTENT OF CHINESE SURVEYS IN SOUTH CHINA SEA
On 2 March, Eurasia Review reported that the paths of Chinese survey vessels across the South China Sea for the past 2 years show a tangle of activity straddling disputed waters off the coasts of all its maritime neighbours in SE Asia. They stretch across the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety. The surveys have regularly dipped into the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of neighbouring countries, like Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
SINGAPORE SAID IT WOULD IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA
On 28 February, RFA reported that Singapore had broken from ASEAN’s line by saying it would impose sanctions on Russia. Singapore said it would suspend exports of items that could be used as weapons in Ukraine, and that it would block some banking and financial transactions connected to Russia.
MALAYSIA WILL NOT ALLOW US-SANCTIONED RUSSIAN TANKER TO DOCK
On 1 March, RFA reported that Malaysia will bar a Russian oil tanker Linda (aka Lady M) on a US blacklist from docking at any of its ports.
REGISTER OF OFFSHORE OWNERS OF UK PROPERTIES FULL OF LOOPHOLES, SAY EXPERTS
On 1 March, an article from the Guardian reported that the UK government’s long-delayed register of offshore owners of UK property will fail to tackle corruption unless multiple loopholes in the draft legislation are closed, experts have warned.
UK GOVERNMENT ‘HELPS RUSSIANS HIDE MONEY’ BY REFUSING TO REVEAL WHO OWNS COMPANIES USING FREEPORTS
On 28 February, the I newspaper reported that the House of Commons is expected to vote down a Lords amendment establishing a public register of ownership for companies that operate in freeports.
THE EU DATA ACT AND DATA GOVERNANCE ACT (DGA) – AMBITIOUS, COMPLEX AND CONTROVERSIAL
On 2 March, the Centre for European Policy Studies reported that, on 23 February, the European Commission unveiled one of the most ambitious, complex and controversial regulatory proposals of the Von der Leyen era. It is said that the Data Act pursues at least 6 challenging goals, and the article asks if the EU is moving towards a regulatory straitjacket.
PODCAST: FCPA YEAR IN REVIEW: 2021
In the latest TRACE podcast, Cheryl Scarboro presents TRACE’s annual FCPA Year in Review webinar. Cheryl was Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement for almost 20 years and served as its first-ever Chief of the FCPA Unit. She is now a partner in Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Washington DC office.
CHINA JOINS HAGUE SYSTEM FOR INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS
On 2 March, Field Fisher reported that China has officially deposited its instrument of accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement – a multilateral agreement made between governments and international government organisations, concerning the international registration of industrial designs. The article explains that, unlike some jurisdictions, industrial designs are prosecuted as design patents in China under the patent regime. The 2 other types of patents, namely invention patents and utility model patents are covered by the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to which China is already a member. It lists the IP treaties to which China is now a party.
BEPS 2.0 ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR LATIN AMERICA
On 2 March, KPMG announced a report that outlines the most pressing issues under BEPS 2.0 Pillars One and Two for the following Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. It explains that the goal of Pillar 1 is to allocate a portion of revenue earned by large multinational companies, to market jurisdictions that are significant for the companies. Pillar 2 would establish a global, 15% minimum taxation threshold, applicable to MNE with consolidated group revenue above €750 million. It is said that it is possible to walk through the impressions of KPMG Latin American member firm colleagues and discuss some of the most pressing issues they have identified under Pillars 1 and 2.
EX-SOVIET COLONEL CAN KEEP FLYING HIS CARGO JETS TO BRITAIN
On 2 March, the Daily Telegraph reported that cargo airline CargoLogicAir, which claims to be the only “British all-cargo airline”, is unaffected by sanctions on Russia because its owner, Alexey Isaikin, is a Cypriot citizen. He is described as a former Soviet military colonel and one-time ally of Vladimir Putin. He is also said to be President President of another cargo company, the Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Group.
SPAIN: PROSECUTORS SHELVE FRAUD PROBES HAUNTING FORMER KING
On 2 March, the Mail Online reported that Spanish prosecutors are shelving two investigations into alleged financial wrongdoing in Juan Carlos I’s business dealings that prompted the former monarch to move from Spain to Abu Dhabi.
US DoJ ANNOUNCED DETAILS OF A NEW INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE DESIGNED TO ENFORCE SANCTIONS AND EXPORT RESTRICTIONS AND TO SEIZE LUXURY ASSETS – THE KleptoCapture TASK FORCE
In its 3 March edition, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that it will gather experts in sanctions and export control enforcement, anti-corruption, asset forfeiture, AML, tax enforcement, national security investigations, and foreign evidence collection.
US INVESTIGATION LEADS TO RETURN OF GOLD INGOTS AND OTHER HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS TO FRANCE
A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 2 March advised that the US had repatriated 7 stolen artifacts, to include 5 gold ingots, to France. Among the repatriated artifacts were a gold coin (3rd Century) and 5 gold ingots (18th Century), recovered from the ocean floor where they had remained for centuries, and a human skull (18th Century) that was stolen from Paris’ catacombs.
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