Panama Covid-19 update – active case numbers continue to fall, down over 300 today to 3,912, although 2 more patients in ICU at 26, with 144 in other wards. 426 new cases and 4 new fatalities were also reported.
5 MARCH 2022
PANAMA: ODEBRECHT RENEGES ON BRIBERY DEBT PAYMENT
On 4 March, Newsroom Panama reported that Odebrecht has again breached the terms of the agreement to return $220 million to Panama, stemming from a bribery case from during the Ricardo Martinelli administration (2009-2014). Since 2017, it has paid $52 million.
EU TIGHTENS BELARUS SANCTIONS
On 4 March, White & Case published an article about a wide-ranging package of new sanctions against Belarus in response to its involvement in Ukraine. It notes that previous “grandfathering” clauses allowing the execution of prior contracts involving restricted trade, disbursements under existing loans to listed banks, and the provision of (re-)insurance services to certain parties no longer apply.
FATF URGES PANAMA TO COMPLETE ACTION PLAN AS IT REMAINS ON THE GREY LIST
On 5 March, La Prensa reported that FATF has kept Panama on its grey list, which identifies jurisdictions with deficiencies in the money laundering prevention regime, and again expressed a “significant concern” because the country has not managed to complete the action plan agreed in 2019. FATF urged Panama “strongly” to quickly demonstrate significant progress by June 2022, warning of further measures.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA OVER UKRAINE
On 4 March, an EU news release advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Ukraine have pledged to align their sanctions regime with that of the EU in EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/346.
Also on 4 March, a further news release advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have agreed to align their sanctions measures in line with EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/354, which added 22 individuals to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures set out in the Annex to Council Decision 2014/145/CFSP.
IMPACT OF RUSSIAN SANCTIONS ON THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
On 4 March, an article from CMS Law considers measures undertaken by the EU and UK.
REAL ESTATE IMPLICATIONS FOR OVERSEAS ENTITIES OF ECONOMIC CRIME (TRANSPARENCY AND ENFORCEMENT) BILL
On 4 March, an article from CMS Law is concerned with the Bill to set up a Companies House register for beneficial owners of overseas entities that own UK property. The Bill will also strengthen the regime for Unexplained Wealth Orders.
MALTA: FATF TO CONDUCT ONSITE VISIT BY JUNE
On 5 March, Malta Today reported that FATF will be conducting an on-site visit in Malta by the end of June, following its declaration that Malta had substantially completed its action plan to get off the FATF grey list.
WHY RUSSIAN OIL AND GAS IS STILL BEING SHIPPED TO THE US, AND WHO’S BUYING THESE PRODUCTS
On 3 March, a video report from CNBC was tracking where supertankers carrying Russian oil and gas are headed, and who’s buying.
WHAT IS SYNTHETIC IDENTITY FRAUD?
The Makeuseof.com website on 5 March provided a guide to this type of scam and how to avoid it. It explains that synthetic identity fraud is where criminals use real information to create a fake identity. Instead of posing as someone else, they piece together stolen credentials to pose as someone who doesn’t actually exist. As strange as it sounds, it is said, it’s remarkably common.
UK: LEGISLATING ABOUT SANCTIONS
On 5 March, an article from a law professor published by Policy Exchange suggests a way to avoid the seeming delays in the UK imposing financial sanctions on Russian oligarchs as quickly as the US and EU.
UK: FORCES ACROSS THE NATION CRACK DOWN ON METAL CRIME
On 4 March, the National Police Chiefs’ Council reported that police forces across the nation visited over 600 premises and made 30 arrests as part of a 7-day crackdown on metal crime and money laundering in the waste industry. British Transport Police (BTP) coordinated the operation, codenamed Goldjuno. It noted that catalytic converters, which clean harmful gases before they exit a vehicle’s exhaust pipe, are often targeted by thieves because of the precious metal they contain – with over 38,000 catalytic converter thefts were recorded in the UK last year.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A YACHT TO BE SEIZED?
An article in Superyacht News on 3 March posed this question, saying that several high-profile yachts do now appear to be held within EU ports in line with the latest EU sanctions against Russia.
THE TURKISH WAY OF DRONE WARFARE
On 4 March, the Atlantic Council published a paper saying that, in the eyes of Turkish defence planners, drones are not merely targeted killing or “war on terror” assets, but crucial components within a network-centric architecture. This paradigm extends to a wide range of tasks, from anti-armour salvos to the suppression of enemy air defences. The paper says that Turkey has introduced various innovative concepts of operations, which have visibly paid off in a broad frontier including Libya, Syria, and Karabakh. Of particular importance to NATO, and resembling the Arab-Israeli wars of the Cold War era, Turkey’s robotic-warfare solutions have proven to be effective against Soviet-Russian weaponry – and that the unfolding Russo – Ukrainian War, at the time of writing, comes as the latest case.
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