OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MARCH 6

Panama Covid-19 update – only 81 new cases reported today, the lowest daily total for many days, but only 1,731 tests were recorded, so it might be a blip. 3 new fatalities were reported, with active cases falling to 3,308, with 25 in ICU and 124 in other wards.

6 MARCH 2022 

ISLE OF MAN SANCTIONS BUSINESS JET DEREGISTERED

The US sanctions announced by OFAC on 3 March included those on Alisher Burhanovich Usmanov, whose assets at risk as a result included (although not, of course, registered in his name directly), one of the largest and most expensive business jets in the world.  Registered on the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry, this was mysteriously deregistered on the same day.  It is reported to have left Germany bound for Tashkent.

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

OLIGARCHS SEEK SAFE PORTS FOR SUPERYACHTS

On 6 March, US News carried an article saying that, working with the U.K.-based yacht valuation firm VesselsValue, the AP compiled a list of 56 superyachts — generally defined as luxury vessels exceeding 24 meters (79 feet) in length — believed to be owned by a few dozen Kremlin-aligned oligarchs, seaborne assets with a combined market value estimated at more than $5.4 billion.  It then plotted plot the last known locations of the yachts as relayed by their onboard tracking beacons.

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2022-03-06/fleeing-sanctions-oligarchs-seek-safe-ports-for-superyachts

UK NCSC: ORGANISATIONS SHOULD ACT ON IMPROVING THEIR RESILIENCE WITH THE CYBER THREAT HEIGHTENED

On 3 March, a news release said that, following Russia’s unprovoked, premeditated attack on Ukraine, the National Cyber Security Centre continues to call upon organisations in the UK to bolster their online defences.

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/organisations-urged-to-bolster-defences

UK: THE TIGHT WEB OF LAWYERS AND PR FIRMS WHO OIL THE WHEELS FOR BILLIONAIRES

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/06/oligarchs-russia-london-web-lawyers-pr-firms-oil-wheels-for-billionaires

HOW LONDON BECAME THE PLACE TO BE FOR PUTIN’S OLIGARCHS

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/mar/06/how-london-became-the-place-to-be-for-putins-oligarchs

On 6 March, The Observer published these 2 articles about London’s links with Russian oligarchs.  The latter says that, from its biggest private house to a disused tube station, London has long been an attractive place for the Russian president’s cronies to buy property.

SANCTIONS: DON’T FORGET GUIDANCE TO IMPLEMENT 5 CORE COMPONENTS OF A SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE PROGRAMME

On 3 March, ACFCS published an article about having a defined, empowered and effective sanctions compliance program (SCP) – the core and foundation of any operation’s combined efforts to monitor for blacklisted entities and jurisdictions, prevent them from becoming customers, or seize assets and report on them when found as sanctions expand and contract.  It says that such a SCP is important because OFAC has a strict liability standard for sanctions failings – just one has the risk of costing potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.

https://www.acfcs.org/in-mad-scramble-to-comply-with-flurry-of-new-updated-u-s-global-russian-designations-dont-forget-guidance-to-implement-five-core-components-of-sanctions-compliance-program/

SBERBANK SAID SWISS OPERATIONS UNAFFECTED BY SANCTIONS – BUT…

On 3 March, Swissinfo reported that Russian bank Sberbank said it would function as normal in Switzerland despite other parts of the group pulling out of the rest of Europe.  However, on 5 March, FX Empire reported that the Swiss financial market supervisor FINMA had banned the Swiss arm of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank from making payments and transactions and imposed other measures it said were designed to protect creditors. FINMA said that, due to the effects of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and heightened international sanctions, Sberbank (Switzerland) AG is at risk of facing liquidity problems.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/sberbank-s-swiss-operations-remain-open-despite-european-pullout/47398490

https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/swiss-regulator-imposes-transaction-ban-at-sberbank-arm-924145

https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2022/03/20220304-mm-sberbank/

WHY INSTANT LOANS ARE CATCHING FIRE WITH FRAUDSTERS

On 2 March, Fintech Futures reported that many are drawn in by the flexibility of buy now, pay later (BNPL) services, which exploded in popularity during the pandemic.  BNPL is an irresistible lure for consumers and fraudsters alike.  Fraudsters are now increasingly finding clever ways to exploit this innovative form of financing – paving new ways for cybercrime to go unnoticed.  According to the FCA, more than £2.7 billion was spent using BNPL in the UK in 2020 alone.

https://www.fintechfutures.com/2022/03/why-instant-loans-are-catching-fire-with-fraudsters/

TURKMENISTAN’S PRESIDENT-IN-WAITING: WHO IS SERDAR BERDYMUKHAMMEDOV?

On 6 March, Rferl reported that, when Turkmenistan holds a snap presidential election on 12 March, it’s all but certain that Serdar Berdymukhammedov – the son of authoritarian leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov – will become the country’s next president.  It says that little is known about the personal life and character of the president-in-waiting, whom former colleagues once described as someone who is paranoid about his own security and looks down on subordinates.

https://www.rferl.org/a/turkmenistan-serdar-berdymukhammedov-presidency/31726284.html

FAKE SPY GETS 6 YEARS FOR SWINDLING BILLIONAIRE WITH ELABORATE CIA RUSE

On 6 March, the Register-Guard in Oregon reported that, in order to convince the wealthy Whitefish philanthropist Michael Goguen to fund bogus covert military operations across the globe, Matthew A Marshall spun one elaborate deception after another while portraying himself as a high-ranking intelligence official on a hero’s crusade to quash terrorism, even going so far as to get a tattoo of the US Marine Corps “Force Recon” insignia and send his unsuspecting victim a string of prayer beads he claimed to have removed from the body of a dead terrorist.

https://www.registerguard.com/story/news/crime/2022/03/06/matthew-a-marshall-prison-for-fraud-scheme-ex-cia-real-life-montana-sicario-catch-me-if-you-can/65063451007

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

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