THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MARCH 10

Greetings from Santiago!

As you may guess, away for a little time, so reliant on lower-spec laptop and even lower-spec wifi (or hotspot link)…so things may be a little sparse and/or neat and organised etc as usual for the next few days. This includes the daily summary not being sorted, and so containing entries that may have already been reported singly…

Panama Covid-19 update – 3 new fatalities and 310 new cases; 3,066 active cases – 19 in ICU, 116 in other wards.

10 MARCH 2022

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich among several additional Russian sanctions targets in UK, and Three suspends sponsorship of the football club

On 10 March, Sky News and others rEported that Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as part of attempts to crackdown on wealthy Russians with assets in the country.  Meanwhile, the UK sanctions agency has issued blog posts on Russia sanctions and the position of Chelsea.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/roman-abramovich-sanctioned-by-uk-government-amid-crackdown-on-russian-oligarchs/ar-AAUS8t5

https://ofsi.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/10/chelsea-football-club-what-you-need-to-know/

https://ofsi.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/10/russia-what-has-changed-and-what-do-i-need-to-do/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1059928/Notice_Russia_100322.pdf

Russian government approves list of unfriendly countries and territories

On 8 March, Dryad Global reported that Russia has said all corporate deals with companies and individuals from “unfriendly countries” will now have to be approved by a government commission.  The the list includes Albania, Andorra, Australia, Great Britain, including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, all European Union member states, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, United States, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland and Japan, and Taiwan.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/russian-government-approves-list-of-unfriendly-countries-and-territories

Maritime shipping companies that have taken action against Russia

On 10 March, Seatrade Maritime News reported that it had compiled a list of actions publicly taken by shipping and maritime-related businesses.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/regulation/maritime-companies-have-taken-action-against-russia

Ukraine, maritime contracts, and when war is not a war

On 9 March, Seatrade Maritime News reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its ongoing military actions in Ukraine are acts of war as a matter of English law, according to a prominent maritime lawyer, but that does not mean that war termination clauses will necessarily trigger.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/regulation/ukraine-maritime-contracts-and-when-war-not-war

War And OFAC Exclusions: Insurance Policy Language Matters

On 9 March, an Advisory from Cooley LLP reported that numerous companies are focused on how the war might impact their business, including their insurance coverage. This advisory provides a high-level overview of two types of insurance exclusions that may be implicated: war exclusions and OFAC exclusions.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/insurance-laws-and-products/1169976/war-and-office-of-foreign-assets-control-exclusions-insurance-policy-language-matters

See also: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/invasion-of-ukraine-the-impact-on-6366168/

Singapore: MAS issues new AML/CFT Notice for financial institutions dealing in precious stones, metals and products

Rajah & Tann Asia has issued an Alert saying that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has also issued various other revised Notices relating to financial institutions and variable capital companies (VCC).

https://eoasis.rajahtann.com/eoasis/gn/at.asp?pdf=../lu/pdf/2022-03_MAS_Issues_New_MAS_AMLCFT_Notice.pdf&module=LU&topic=LU0013253&sec=b

METALS FRAUD: RESCISSION AND BRINGING CLAIMS IN TORT

HFW has issued an article saying that the English Commercial Court has handed down judgment in another metals fraud, this time involving forged warehouse receipts used in contracts for the sale and repurchase of nickel.  The case is unusual because having rescinded the contracts in question, the claimant broker sought to recover its losses from a large number of defendants by means of claims in tort, rather than in contract.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003841-HFW-Widening-the-net-metals-repo-fraud-rescission-and-bringing-claims-in-tort.pdf

President Biden Announces Chief Prosecutor for Covid-19 Pandemic Fraud

On 9 March, an Alert from Wilmer Hale reported that President Biden has announced that the DoJ would appoint a Chief Prosecutor for pandemic fraud.  It says that one should view the Chief Prosecutor as a key enforcement player, both as potential third-party witnesses to investigations into perpetrators of fraud and also as potential targets of broader investigations into their own conduct.

https://wilmerhalecommunications.com/e/spemoisv7vcdq9w/e7f6e39b-9c77-407d-827d-db1619062ebf

Isle of Man confirms 7 new names added to Russia sanctions lists

On 9 March, yet another news release advised that 7 new names had been added to Russian sanctions lists, a change already announced by HM Treasury in the UK.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/mar/10/financial-sanctions-russia/

Isle of Man FSA and Russia sanctions in the Isle of Man

On 9 March, a news release from the Financial Service Authority said that a multi-agency approach is being coordinated in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to ensure the Isle of Man is not exposed as a weak link in international pressure on the Putin regime.  It points out that, in line with the Island’s constitutional position, sanctions imposed by the UK Government are automatically implemented and enforced in the Isle of Man by the Customs & Excise Division of the Treasury.  It says that it is important to note that sanctions obligations apply to all persons and businesses in the Isle of Man.  All relevant persons in the Isle of Man must ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of the risks presented by their customer base and have in place appropriate procedures and controls to mitigate those risks.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/mar/10/letter-from-the-financial-services-authority-regarding-sanctions/

https://www.statista.com/chart/27025/billionaires-wealth-gdp-ratio

US former producer of a Russian Orthodox TV network charged with violating US sanctions through his employment 

On 3 March, Kharon reported that John Hanick helped Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeev set up and launch a cable news network in Russia, according to the DoJ.  Tsargrad TV, which promoted the views of Katehon, a  right-wing orthodox Christian think tank led and founded by Malofeev – who was made subject to US sanctions in 2014.

https://brief.kharon.com/updates/russian-monarchist-tv-tycoon-s-former-producer-charged-in-us-with-sanctions-violations

FinCEN publishes list of jurisdictions with AML/CFT/CFP Deficiencies

On 10 March, a news release from FinCEN publicised the updated list of jurisdictions with deficiencies, following the recent FATF Plenary.

https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/financial-action-task-force-identifies-jurisdictions-anti-money-laundering-and-1

Guyana’s Oil Wealth Comes With Some Strings Attached

On 10 March, an article in World Politics Review says that Guyana made a major oil discovery in the country’s coastal waters. Since then, similar finds have kept coming. Guyana is now believed to possess some 10 billion barrels of oil in its deposits.  This in a country that is one of the poorest in its hemisphere.  Clearly, the potential for growth is extraordinary, but so is the potential for disaster. In 2020, just as oil was beginning to flow, Guyana held presidential elections, and the process showed just how dangerous the new riches could become.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/30387/with-oil-guyana-s-challenges-could-just-be-starting

https://www.statista.com/chart/27023/employees-of-companies-withdrawing-from-the-russian-market

UK AMENDS 5 ENTRIES ON GUINEA-BISSAU SANCTIONS LIST

A Notice from HM Treasury on 10 March advised that the entries for 5 individuals have been amended.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1059986/Notice_Guinea-Bissau_100322.pdf

UK: FCA reveals 50 cryptoasset investigations

On 4 March, the FCA revealed that it opened over 300 cases relating to potentially unregistered cryptoasset businesses over a 6-month period last year, many of which it suspected of being scams. It confirmed that it currently has 50 live investigations, including criminal probes, into unauthorised businesses.  The top types of scams being reported to the FCA included cryptoasset, boiler room and recovery room scams.

https://www.fstech.co.uk/fst/FCA_Reveals_50_Cryptoasset_Investigations.php

SEC Charges Ormeus Coin Founders With Fraud in $124 Million Case

On 9 March, Beincrypto reported that John and JonAtina (Tina) Barksdale have been charged with defrauding investors.  They allegedly ran a multi-level marketing business that defrauded investors through misleading statements and false claims.

https://beincrypto.com/sec-charges-ormeus-coin-founders-fraud-124-million-case/

The former Ecuador President Abdala Bucaram has been barred from entry into the US

On 10March, the Jurist reported that former Ecuador President Abdala Bucaram has been designated under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, which effectively bars his entry into the US.  This is said to be because of alleged involvement in corruption.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/03/us-bars-entry-to-former-ecuador-president-on-allegations-of-corruption/

EU proposed anti-coercion instrument to combat others’ sanctions etc

On 10 March, the EU Parliament Research Service published a briefing paper about the increasing use of economic tools for the pursuit of strategic and geopolitical aims. This can take the form of coercion exerted by one country on another through trade or investment restrictions to interfere with their sovereign choices.  In December, the EU Commission published a proposal for the adoption of an anti-coercion instrument (ACI) that would allow the EU to better respond to such challenges on a global scale.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/729299/EPRS_BRI(2022)729299_EN.pdf 

8 aircraft deregistered by Isle of Man Air Registry in crack down on Russian interests

On 10 March, Isle of Man Today reported that 8 aircraft were deregistered.  This follows changes announced in the UK prohibiting the registration of Russian-owned aircraft.

https://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/politics/eight-aircraft-cancelled-from-isle-of-man-air-registry-as-we-crack-down-on-russian-interests-515224 

Dubai establishes virtual asset regulator and announces new crypto law

On 9 March, Coin Telegraph reported that it is said that the regulator will have authority in Dubai’s special development zones and free zones with the exception of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/dubai-establishes-virtual-asset-regulator-and-announces-new-crypto-law

US: Third Founder Of BitMex Cryptocurrency Exchange Pleads Guilty

On 9 March, a news release from the DoJ advised that SAMUEL REED, one of 3 co-founders and a high-ranking executive of purportedly “offshore” cryptocurrency derivatives exchange the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange or “BitMEX,” had pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an AML program at BitMEX.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/third-founder-cryptocurrency-exchange-pleads-guilty-bank-secrecy-act-violations

Dominican Republic Cybercrime Ring Shows Extent of Caribbean’s Financial Fraud Crisis

On 9 March, Insight Crime published an article saying that the Dominican Republic has dismantled a transnational cybercrime network believed to have defrauded hundreds of US citizens to the tune of more than $200 million, in just the latest example of the growing threat posed by financial crime operations in the Caribbean.  Authorities arrested around 70 people who allegedly worked for the cybercrime ring. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/dominican-republic-cybercrime-ring-extent-caribbean-financial-fraud/

New Brunswick – A New Gateway for Cocaine Routes into Canada?

On 9 March, an article in Insight Crime reported that one of Canada’s largest-ever cocaine seizures has raised concerns over the role the province of New Brunswick may play in the global drug trade.  More than 1.5 tons of cocaine was seized in a shipping container at the Port of Saint John in the eastern province of New Brunswick.  The container contained heavy machinery exported from Central America.

https://insightcrime.org/news/new-brunswick-new-gateway-cocaine-routes-into-canada/

Russia’s Rich Look to Stash Wealth in Dubai

On 10 March, VoA reported that rich Russians are trying to shift some of their wealth from Europe to Dubai to shield assets from a tightening wave of Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.  In many cases, wealthy Russians are seeking to shift funds to Dubai that are now in Switzerland or London.

https://www.voanews.com/amp/fearing-west-s-wrath-russia-s-rich-look-to-stash-wealth-in-dubai/6478179.html

FATF adopts amendments to Recommendation 24 and its Interpretive Note

On 9 March, the FATF-style regional body for the Caribbean, CFATF, said that changes will require countries to prevent the misuse of legal persons for money laundering or terrorist financing and to ensure that there is adequate, accurate and up-to-date information on the beneficial ownership and control of legal persons.  The article explains the changes.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/home/what-s-happening/743-fatf-adopts-amendments-to-recommendation-24-and-its-interpretive-note

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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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