OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MARCH 3

Panama Covid-19 update – On 2 March, the Ministry of Health reported the detection of the first cases of the BA2 variant of Omicron in Panama.

Today, 454 new cases reported and just 2 new fatalities. There are 4,536 active cases (down 67 on yesterday), with 24 in ICU and 146 in other wards.

3 MARCH 2022

CROWN PROSECUTION DECISIONS – WHEN IS THE CROWN PREVENTED FROM PROSECUTING?

On 1 March, Brodies LLP published an article concerning a Scottish case about the circumstances in which the Crown will be permitted to prosecute a person for an alleged offence when it has previously communicated a decision not to do so.  Since at least 1976, the courts have limited this very broad discretion by holding that, where the Crown makes a “clear and unequivocal” statement that it will not prosecute a person or organisation in respect of particular alleged offences, that constitutes a final and binding renunciation of the Crown’s ability to prosecute that person or organisation in respect of those alleged offences.  The new case upheld that position, saying that this was so, even if the original decision was flawed or new evidence had come to light – if the statement given had been clear and unequivocal.

https://brodies.com/insights/corporate-crime-and-investigations/crown-prosecution-decisions-when-is-the-crown-prevented-from-prosecuting/

AUSTRALIAN SANCTIONS ANNOUNCED IN RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE

On 1 March, Clyde & Co LLP summarised the Australian sanctions announced in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

https://www.clydeco.com/en/insights/2022/2/consolidation-of-targeted-financial-sanctions-and

On 2 March, Herbert Smith Freehills provided an update.

https://www.mondaq.com/australia/export-controls-trade-investment-sanctions/1167262/sanctions-tracker-australia-update-on-sanctions-responses-to-the-situation-in-ukraine

JAPAN’S SANCTIONS RELATED TO THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE

On 28 February, White & Case published an article summarising the initial sanctions and measures related to the Donetsk Republic and Luhansk Republic.

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/alert/japans-sanctions-related-situation-ukraine

JAPAN: EX-NISSAN EXECUTIVE FOUND GUILTY OF AIDING BOSS CARLOS GHOSN

On 3 March, the Daily Telegraph and others reported that former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, 64, an American, has been found guilty of helping the former CEO Carlos Ghosn underreport his pay.  Arrested in 2018, he has been sentenced to 6 months in prison, suspended for 3 years.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/ex-nissan-executive-greg-kelly-found-guilty-of-aiding-boss-carlos-ghosn

US TREASURY STUDY ON ILLICIT FINANCE IN THE HIGH-VALUE ART MARKET

On 3 March, the Compliance & Enforcement blog from the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law published a post about the study identifying art market participants and sectors of the US high-value art market that may present money laundering and terrorist finance risks to the US financial system.  The study cautions that cautions that the emerging digital art market embodies all of the risks.  The Study demonstrates that the high-value art market is susceptible to abuse by illicit financial actors.  To address this problem, the Study suggests that the US Treasury consider the costs and benefits of applying AML/CFT requirements to art market participants, including customer identification and SAR obligations. 

https://wp.nyu.edu/compliance_enforcement/2022/03/02/treasury-study-on-illicit-finance-in-the-high-value-art-market/

RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS HAVE MEGAYACHTS SEIZED BY FRANCE AND GERMANY

On 3 March, Sky News reported that France has seized the vessel of Igor Sechin, a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin and the boss of Rosneft.  Alisher Usmanov also had his yacht, the largest in the world by gross tonnage, seized in a Hamburg shipyard by German authorities.  Meanwhile, it says that at least 5 other superyachts owned by Russian billionaires have arrived in the Maldives, according to ship tracking data.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/oligarchs-have-megayachts-seized-by-france-and-germany-after-being-sanctioned/ar-AAUy0lH?ocid=msedgntp

UK TO BRING IN FURTHER SANCTIONS TARGETING PROVISION OF INSURANCE

On 3 March, a news release from HM Treasury announced that Russian companies in the aviation or space industry will be prevented from making use of UK-based insurance or reinsurance services directly or indirectly.  It says that the Government is to bring in legislation to prohibit UK based insurance and reinsurance providers from undertaking financial transactions connected with a Russian entity or for use in Russia. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-bring-in-further-sanctions-targeting-provision-of-insurance

BAHAMAS: GAMING BOARD SAYS GAMING POSES NO MONEY LAUNDERING THREAT

On 3 March, Eye Witness News reported that the Bahamian Gaming Board Chairman has said that local operators are compliant with and follow all of the AML international best practices.  This comes after the US International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) identified online gaming/casinos and money transmission service providers as “vulnerabilities” with regards to countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

https://ewnews.com/no-red-flags-for-us-gaming-board-says-gaming-poses-no-money-laundering-threat-despite-us-report

SOUTH AFRICA: DoD FRAUD, CORRUPTION AND IRREGULAR EXPENDITURE UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

On 3 March, Defence Web reported that a meeting of one of 2 Parliamentary oversight committees tasked with defence and military veterans’ issues was told that 8 instances of irregular expenditure amount to just over R2 billion.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/r2-billion-plus-of-dod-fraud-corruption-and-irregular-expenditure-under-the-spotlight/

THE ALLIED DEMOCRATIC FORCES (ADF) TERROR GROUP IS BROADENING ITS RECRUITMENT BASE FROM ITS TRADITIONAL POOL OF CONGOLESE AND UGANDAN FIGHTERS TO KENYA AND TANZANIA

On 3 March, Defence Web reported that the ADF is a classic example of a ‘nexus’ criminal outfit that is both a terrorist and a transnational organised crime group.  It was formed in 1995 as a disgruntled coalition of rebel forces determined to topple Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni’s government.  The group retreated to the eastern DRC, where it has destabilised the region for years.  It has since 2016 transformed itself into an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group. 

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/joint/diplomacy-a-peace/iss-expansion-of-the-allied-democratic-forces-should-worry-east-africa/

UK: LAWYER CALLS FOR ANTI-SLAPP LEGISLATION AFTER ‘DIRTY MONEY’ LIBEL CLAIM COLLAPSES

On 3 March, the Law Society Gazette reported that a leading media lawyer has said the UK must pass so-called anti-SLAPP legislation after a libel claim against a Financial Times journalist over his book about ‘dirty money’ collapsed.  She said that the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation’s (ENRC) case against Tom Burgis was an ‘egregious form of lawfare’, describing it as ‘one of the most blatant’ examples of a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) she had ever seen.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/lawyer-calls-for-anti-slapp-legislation-after-dirty-money-libel-claim-collapses/5111709.article

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/mar/02/bid-by-kazakh-mining-company-to-sue-journalist-is-dismissed-by-judge

UK SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA: ARMS EXPORTS

On 3 March, a briefing from the House of Commons Library discusses UK restrictions on arms and dual-use exports imposed on Russia since 2014.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9483/CBP-9483.pdf

UK GUIDE: EXPORTING TO IRAQ (INCLUDING THE IRAQI KURDISTAN REGION)

On 3 March, the Department for International Trade published a guide for British businesses who are interested in developing their overseas trade and doing business in Iraq, including the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exporting-to-iraq/doing-business-in-iraq-including-the-iraqi-kurdistan-region-iraq-trade-and-export-guide

UK: ECONOMIC CRIME (TRANSPARENCY AND ENFORCEMENT) BILL 2022 DOCUMENTS

On 2 March, the Home Office published updated documents – factsheets on unexplained wealth orders (UWO) and a Register of Overseas Entities.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/economic-crime-transparency-and-enforcement-bill-2022-overarching-documents

UK: GOVERNMENT ACTION ON FRAUD IN COVID SUPPORT SCHEMES

On 3 March, HM Treasury published a document which outlines action taken in respect of the fraud.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-action-on-fraud-in-covid-support-schemes/government-action-on-fraud-in-covid-support-schemes

PHARMACEUTICAL CRIME: OPERATION SEES ARRESTS AND SEIZURES ACROSS AFRICA

A news release from INTERPOL on 2 March was concerned with a pan-African police operation jointly coordinated by INTERPOL and AFRIPOL which has identified hundreds of suspects and resulted in seizures of more than 12 million illicit health products.  The 2-month operation, which ended in December, brought together law enforcement and drug regulatory agencies from 20 African countries to dismantle the organized crime networks behind regional pharmaceutical crime.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2022/Pharmaceutical-crime-first-INTERPOL-AFRIPOL-front-line-operation-sees-arrests-and-seizures-across-Africa

GIBRALTAR HAS DELIVERED THOUSANDS OF BOOKLETS WHICH PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO CITIZENS IN THE EVENT OF NO AGREEMENT ON THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP OF GIBRALTAR WITH THE EU

On 3 March, a news release advised that the booklet, and much other information, is available on a government website.

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/press-releases/no-deal-booklet-delivered-to-thousands-of-homes-1502022-7731

https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/brexit

PHILIPPINES: MILITARY IDENTIFIES IS EXTREMIST GROUP’S NEW REGIONAL LEADER

On 3 March, Eurasia Review reported that the Filipino military said that it had identified the Islamic State extremist group’s new emir for SE Asia as the leader of a local militant faction being targeted in an offensive underway in the southern Philippines – Abu Zacharia (aka Jer Mimbantas and Faharudin Hadji Satar).

https://www.eurasiareview.com/03032022-philippines-military-identifies-is-extremist-groups-new-regional-leader/

RUSSIAN SHIPPING BLACKLIST REVEALED AS EU READIES PORT BAN

On 2 March, Lloyds List said that moves by the UK and EU to ban Russian vessels from entering port will need to take account of thousands of Russian affiliated and beneficially owned entities in order to block an average monthly volume of 829 Russian-affiliated vessels currently calling in UK and EU ports. 

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1140032/Russian-shipping-blacklist-revealed-as-EU-readies-port-ban

UK PORTS FACE RUSSIA SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE CHALLENGE

On 3 March, an article from Out-Law says that UK port operators will face practical challenges in identifying which ships to refuse entry to after new sanctions affecting them were imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  The new legislation applies to ships owned, controlled, chartered or operated by persons connected with Russia; ships registered in Russia; ships flying the flag of Russia; ships specified as to be banned from UK port entry by the UK authorities; and ships owned, controlled, chartered or operated by individuals designated as UK sanctions targets.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/legal-updates/uk-ports-face-russia-sanctions-compliance-challenge

CITIZENSHIP AND RESIDENCE BY INVESTMENT (CBI) SCHEMES

On 2 March, a briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service says that, during its first March plenary session, the EU Parliament is expected to vote on a report on citizenship and residence by investment schemes.  The report calls on the Commission to submit legislative proposals to phase out citizenship schemes and regulate residence schemes, and makes multiple specific proposals to that end.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2022/729268/EPRS_ATA(2022)729268_EN.pdf

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN GERMAN CASE LAW ON THE PROTECTION OF TRADE SECRETS

On 3 March, Dentons published an update saying that there are more and more German court decisions on trade secret law which clarify the rules and show what requirements must actually be met in order to properly protect information.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/articles/2022/march/3/recent-developments-in-german-case-law-on-the-protection-of-trade-secrets

IRISH REVENUE SEIZE 3 MILLION CIGARETTES AT DUBLIN PORT

On 2 March, a news release advised that the Revenue Commissioners, as a result of an intelligence led operation, had seized 3 million cigarettes at Dublin Port with an estimated retail value of more than €2.2 million, following the search of a consignment that originated in Rotterdam.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2022/pr-030222-cigarettes-dublin-port.aspx

GOLD MINING IN SOUTH-EASTERN SENEGAL COULD FUEL THE SPREAD OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM 

On 23 February, a report from the Institute for Strategic Studies said that there is growing concern that the threat from violent extremist groups may be expanding to gold-rich south-eastern Senegal, which borders Mali.  This report analyses the risks associated with gold mining in the Kédougou and Tambacounda regions of Senegal and how they could contribute to the expansion of violent extremist groups into West African littoral states.

https://issafrica.org/research/west-africa-report/preventing-violent-extremism-in-senegal-threats-linked-to-gold-mining

PRESIDENT SAIED LEVELS YET ANOTHER BLOW AT TUNISIA’S DEMOCRACY

On 3 March, an article in World Politics Review said that the Covid crisis created an opening for a new, would-be autocrat to seize power in a move that may mark the end of the country’s democratic experiment.  Saied’s actions have sent mixed messages about Tunisia’s future, leading to scepticism about his promise to surrender power.  In early February, Saied, who had consolidated executive and legislative powers into his office, took the reins of the last remaining branch of government: the judiciary, accusing the courts of corruption.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/30369/eight-years-after-the-revolution-tunisia-is-losing-its-democracy

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-ukraines-top-trading-partners-and-products/

ISLE OF MAN ADVISES OF REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING RUSSIAN SANCTIONS

On 3 March, the Isle of Man advised of 3 sets of regulations which give effect to various UK sanctions regulations, in order to ensure that the Island’s sanctions list  match the equivalent UK lists.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/mar/03/sanctions-russia/

ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS DELETION AND AMENDMENTS TO DRC SANCTIONS LIST

On 3 March, the Isle of Man confirmed that Jean-Claude Kazembe MUSONDA had been removed from sanctions lists pertaining to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and that 10 other entries on the same sanctions list had been amended.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/mar/03/financial-sanctions-democratic-republic-of-the-congo/

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT ENFORCEMENT UPDATE: Q1 2022

On 3 March, the latest update from Bass Berry & Sims says that there have been a relatively limited number of FCPA enforcement actions in recent years. Nonetheless, 2 recent announcements (one resolution, one declination) by US regulators underscore the importance of implementing and maintaining effective internal controls.  It looks in more depth at the case involving the KT Corporation of South Korea.

https://www.bassberrygovcontrade.com/fcpa-foreign-corrupt-practices-act-enforcement-update-q1-2022 

US: NEW PROHIBITION UNDER THE EXPORT ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS (EAR) TARGETS THE OIL REFINERY SECTOR IN RUSSIA

On 3 March, KPMG reported that the US Commerce Department had published a final rule expanding the existing sanctions against the Russian industry sector by adding a new prohibition under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that targets the oil refinery sector in Russia.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/03/tnf-united-states-expands-sanctions-russia-ear-targets-oil-refinery-sector.html

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF JAPANESE SANCTIONS AND EXPORT CONTROL RESTRICTIONS ON RUSSIA

On 3 March, Hogan Lovells published an article explaining that Japan has a dual sanctions regime consisting of sanctions measures imposed by the UN, together with Japanese autonomous sanctions imposed by the Japanese Government as a matter of its foreign policy.  Although Japan does not have a law dedicated solely to sanctions, as is the case in other countries, it has implemented trade control initiatives from a security perspective under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act 1949; and economic sanctions based on export controls and other measures are mainly implemented within the framework of this Act.

https://www.engage.hoganlovells.com/knowledgeservices/news/executive-summary-of-japanese-sanctions-and-export-control-restrictions-on-russia-announced

PALAU’S BID TO BECOME GLOBAL CRYPTO HUB COULD TURN IT INTO SCAMMERS PARADISE

On 3 March, the Guardian reported that experts say Palau should be wary of entering into a programme that could leave it open to exploitation and harm its image.  Its new digital residency programme could leave it open to cryptoscammers and corruption, critics have warned, arguing that not enough due diligence has been done on the scheme.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/04/trojan-horse-palaus-bid-to-become-global-crypto-hub-could-turn-it-into-scammers-paradise-critics-warn

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 ADDS IGOR IVANOVICH SHUVALOV, ALISHER BURKHANOVICH USMANOV AND THE IS BANK TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS LISTS

On 3 March, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that these 2 oligarchs and the IS Bank had been added to the Russia sanctions lists.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1058701/Notice_Russia_030222.pdf

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US TREASURY SANCTIONS MORE RUSSIANS BANKROLLING PUTIN AND RUSSIA-BACKED INFLUENCE ACTORS

On 3 March, OFAC and the State Department announced that intensified pressure on Russia by sanctioning numerous Russian elites and their family members, identifying certain property of these persons as blocked, and sanctioning Russian intelligence-directed disinformation outlets.  The elites sanctioned continue to provide direct and indirect support to the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR) through their business empires, wealth, and other resources.  It says that the aid of these individuals, their family members, and other key elites allows President Vladimir Putin to continue to wage the ongoing, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. They list 3 Russian elites, 2 of their spouses, 3 of their adult children, 6 of their companies, one of Russia’s largest privately-owned aircraft, and one of the world’s largest superyachts.  OFAC also issued General License 15: Authorizing Transactions Involving Certain Blocked Entities Owned by Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0628

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220303

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl15.pdf

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UK: ECONOMIC CRIME (TRANSPARENCY AND ENFORCEMENT) BILL

On 1 March, this Bill received its First reading in the House of Commons.  The text of the Bill, as introduced, is available, alongside a statement made by the Home Secretary concerning the Bill.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-03-01/hcws653

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-02/0262/210262v2.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

UK REMOVES 1 NAME FROM DRC SANCTIONS LIST AND AMENDS 10 OTHER ENTRIES

On 3 March, a Notice from HM Treasury reported that Jean-Claude Kazembe MUSONDA had been removed from its Democratic Republic of the Congo sanctions list.  10 other existing entries have been amended.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1058649/Notice_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo_030322.pdf

US SANCTIONS AGAINST BELARUS UNDER THE EXPORT ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS

On 3 March, KPMG reported that the Commerce Department had published a final rule adding new licence requirements and review policies for Belarus to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to render Belarus subject to the same sanctions that were imposed on Russia under the EAR.  The changes took effect from 24 February.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/03/tnf-us-sanctions-against-belarus-under-ear.html

CREDIT SUISSE ASKS INVESTORS TO DESTROY DOCUMENTS LINKED TO OLIGARCH YACHT LOANS

On 2 March, Swissinfo carried an FT report claiming that Credit Suisse has asked hedge funds and other investors to destroy documents relating to its richest clients’ yachts and private jets, in an attempt to stop information leaking about a unit of the bank that has made loans to oligarchs who were later sanctioned.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/credit-suisse-asks-investors-to-destroy-documents-linked-to-oligarch-yacht-loans/47393822

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MEXICAN CARTELS ARE INCREASINGLY MOVING INTO WILDLIFE CRIME

On 25 February, an article from National Geographic says that Mexican drug cartels are expanding their reach into wildlife crime.  They are strengthening their hold on the country’s legal fisheries and using them to launder illegally caught marine animals.  The cartels previously had been linked to trafficking of marine species such as totoaba, as well as rosewood, a timber that is coveted for high-end furniture and musical instruments.  Much wildlife poaching in Mexico — often for the bird and reptile pet trade or for feathers — is driven by demand locally as well as in the US and elsewhere in Central America, but the China connection is growing.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/mexican-cartels-are-expanding-into-wildlife-crime

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