Panama Covid-19 update – 301 new cases and 3 new fatalities reported today – 3,065 active cases include 17 in ICU and 114 in other wards,
11 MARCH 2022
Greetings from Volcán! Still “on tour”, so the caution from yesterday still applies…
G7 leaders release statement outlining further Russia-related measures to which they have committed
On 11 March, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the G7 had issued a statement which, among other things, say that they will seek to deny Russia Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) status on key products; maintain the effectiveness of sanctions, particularly with regards to digital assets; improve methods of detecting and intercepting illicit activity; and impose costs on actors using digital assets to enhance/transfer their wealth; and tackle pro-Kremlin disinformation.
Modi’s Hindu Nationalist Agenda Is Corroding India’s Democracy
On 11 March, World Politics Review published an article saying that the Modi administration has doubled down on Hindu nationalism and illiberalism. Meanwhile, the country faces foreign policy challenges, including its relationship with Pakistan and competition for regional influence with China. What will the rest of Modi’s second term bring?
OFAC: Russia sanctions – new Executive Order and General Licenses; plus new and amended FAQ and Designations
On 11 March, OFAC announced that a further Executive Order “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment with Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression”. It also issued new General Licenses 17, 18 and 19, as well as Ukraine-related General License 23. There are also 8 new FAQ and 1 FAQ (1007) which has been amended. A number of individuals are added to sanctions lists, together with 3 entities, 1 yacht (the Tango, which flies a Cook Island flag) and an aircraft linked to Viktor VEKSELBERG. A number of existing entries (including Vekselberg) were also amended.
UK AMENDS RUSSIAN SANCTION GENERAL LICENCE RELATING TO SBERBANK
On 11 March, HM Treasury advised that one of its General Licences has been amended.
OFAC NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS: A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES ADDED TO SANCTIONS LIST
On 11 March, OFAC advised (on the same news release that advised of Russian sanctions changes) that 2 individuals and 3 entities (also subject to Russian sanctions) have been added to the North Korean sanctions lists.
Dutch court rules loot boxes are not gambling
On 10 March, iGB reported that a penalty issued by Dutch gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) to Electronic Arts (EA) has been revoked after a Dutch court ruled that loot boxes are not considered gambling products.
UK ADDS 386 NEW NAMES TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS LIST
On 11 March, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that it had added many members of the Russian State Duma to its sanctions lists.
US: African Methodist Episcopal Church investigation into missing funds
On 10 March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the church, among the largest US Protestant denominations, has suspended retirement payments and discussed steep cuts to the savings of its ministers amid an investigation into missing funds, according to church documents and officials. The church said federal law enforcement and an outside law firm are investigating “a possible financial crime” involving funds managed by its retirement-services department covering about 5,000 participants, including ministers and bishops.
Canada has adopted numerous Russia and Belarus sanctions measures
On 11 March, the EU Sanctions blog reported on the latest Canadian sanctions against Russia.
UK TERRORISM SANCTIONS: 15 ENTRIES AMENDED
On 11 March, HM Treasury issued a Notice advising that 15 existing entries on the UK list of those subject to counter-terrorism sanctions had been amended.
WHERE IS POWER COMPETITION TAKING PLACE IN THE AFRICAN CONTINENT?
On 11 March, a Chaillot Paper from the EU Institute for Strategic Studies argues that a space today is not just conceptualised as a territory, but can encompass a broader range of non-territorial dimensions, such as cyberspace or the ‘infosphere’, which have recently gained prominence due to the emergence of new innovations and technologies. While the first section of the Paper focuses on geographical spaces, the second section focuses on key ‘functional spaces’ – including the trade and digital sectors, the job market and the information space – and examines how new power relations and dynamics are unfolding in these domains.
ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS ADDITION OF 386 NEW NAMES TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS LISTS
A news release on 11 March advised that the 386 new names added to the Russia sanctions lists by the UK also had effect for the Island.
UK: Bitcoin ATM “Illegal” says FCA
On 11 March, Gizmodo reported that a letter from the FCA said that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATM that allow people to buy and sell crypto are illegal in the UK. That would mean anyone currently operating a Bitcoin ATM is doing so illegally and would have to stop.
Isle of Man: Abramovich’s ‘Manx’ helicopter deregistered
On 11 March, IOM Today reported that the Isle of Man government has confirmed that Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has had his Manx-registered aircraft deregistered; and a spokesperson also confirmed that the total number of Russian aircraft deregistered in the Island has now reached 14.
UKRAINE SANCTIONS: EU AMENDS ENTRIES FOR 37 INDIVIDUALS AND 6 ENTITIES
EU Regulation 2022/408/EU made these amendments on 10March following a review by the EU Council.
EU: ISIL/AL-QAIDA SANCTIONS – 2 INDIVIDUALS DELETED AND A TOTAL OF 4 ENTRIES REMOVED
EU Regulation 2022/409/EU advised on 10 March of the changes made following a deletion of 2 names by the UN and a necessary “technical change”.
THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS ON BELARUS
A news release from the EU on 11 March advised that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have agreed to align with the EU re a Council Decision of 24 February which prolongs the restrictive measures against Belarus for 1 year, until 28 February 2023, and amends the statement of reasons or the information for 27 natural and 7 legal persons subject to restrictive measures.
The FATF Recommendations: updated
On 11 March, FATF published a new version of its guide to its AML/CFT Recommendations, which comprise the Recommendations themselves and their Interpretive Notes, together with the applicable definitions in the Glossary.
UK: Economic Crime (Anti-Money Laundering) Levy Regulations 2022
These Regulations make provision about the assessment, payment, collection and recovery of the economic crime (AML), which is charged for the financial year beginning with April 2022 and subsequent financial years. The appropriate collection authority is either the Financial Conduct Authority, the Gambling Commission or the HMRC Commissioners. They come into force on 1 April.
CORRECTIONS TO RUSSIA-UKRAINE SANCTIONS FROM EU
On 10 March, the EU issued 2 Corrigenda advising of corrections to the texts of EU Regulation 2022/398/EU and Council Decision 2022/267/CFSP.
EU: Restriction of the use of hazardous substances in electronics
On 10 March, the EU launched a public consultation, lasting until 2 June. The aim of the consultation is to enable all interested stakeholders, including members of the public, to provide evidence and give views on the best options to improve the RoHS Directive. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment was adopted in February 2003 took effect on 1 July 2006.
EU removes 7 names from Iraq sanctions lists
EU Regulation 2022/401/EU of 8 March, published on 11 March, deleted 7 individuals from the EU Iraq sanctions list, following the decision of the relevant UN Sanctions Committee on 3 March.
Independent review of UK Border Force: terms of reference
On 10March, the Border Force and Home Office issued these terms, setting out the aim, scope and timescale for the Independent Review of Border Force. An Independent Reviewer was announced on 17 February.
UK amends its criteria for arms exports
On 11 March, the House of Commons Library published a briefing saying that the UK’s exit from the EU was cited by the International Trade Secretary as one reason for the need to revise the criteria. References to the European Union and the EU 2008 common position have been removed from what is now called the Strategic Export Licencing Criteria. The paper briefly explains how the criteria fits into the UK’s strategic export controls system and how the criteria has evolved, before comparing each criterion in turn with the 2014 version.
Brazil to Extradite ‘Cocaine King of Milan’ to Italy
On 11 March, OCCRP reported that the Brazil’s Supreme Court has approved the extradition of the drug lord Rocco Morabito. Italian authorities say he is a leader of south-west Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta mafia. In the early 1990s, he moved to Brazil, passing himself off as a Brazilian national involved in agribusiness, and later established himself in Uruguay.
US Border Agents Seize $2.5 Million in Palm Oil Shipments in Baltimore
On 10March, OCCRP reported that agents have seized 4 palm oil shipments in Baltimore, Maryland. The shipments, which originated in Malaysia, and were reportedly produced by forced labour.
Solway Investment Group – allegations that Solway-Linked Companies Moved Nearly $2 Billion in Suspicious Funds
On 9 March, a report from OCCRP says that Solway was labelled a “high-risk” client over suspect transactions by Swedbank Estonia, while companies tied to the mining group and its executives were reported to US regulators.
Guernsey provides overview of steps taken to date in response to war in Ukraine
On 11 March, a news release set out the steps that Guernsey says it has undertaken. On sanctions it says that Guernsey follows UK foreign policy, such as in the response to the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.
UK: Leading criminal law firm fined £98,000 after a ransomware attack that encrypted nearly a million files exploited
On 11 March, Legal Futures reported that criminal law firm Tuckers has been fined £98,000 by the Information Commissioner after a ransomware attack that encrypted nearly a million files exploited.
Endless Chemical Innovations Are Killing Thousands of Americans
On 11 March, Insight Crime reported that the US annual drug report has warned about the continued growth of synthetic drugs, warning of a glut of chemical precursors, and even pre-precursors, for fentanyl coming from China and India. The report’s warning of a diversified synthetic drug market comes as over 100,000 overdose deaths in the US from April 2020 to April 2021, mostly from fentanyl. InSight Crime looks at 3 critical takeaways from the report – analogues, designer drugs and new psychoactives; diversity of precursor chemicals; and innovations in methamphetamine.
Recent 10x Increase in Cyberattacks on Ukraine
On 11 March, the Krebs on Security blog reported that Ukrainian Internet users came under renewed cyberattacks, with one Internet company providing service there saying they blocked 10 times the normal number of phishing and malware attacks targeting Ukrainians.
Impact on shipowners of war in Ukraine
On 10 March, Insurance Marine News summarised the contents of the first of 2 recent article from Norway-based marine insurer and Group Club Gard. The first article was War in Ukraine – Impact on contractual obligations, and the second was War in Ukraine – impact on crew contracts, claims and repatriation.
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