THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MARCH 12

Panama Covid-19 update – no news as yet, so will have to update as and when receive it…

UPDATE – 237 new cases and only 1 new fatality, 3,036 active cases – 19 in ICU, 100 in other wards and 36 in “hospital-hotel” quarantine. 5,540 tests gave a positive test result of 4.3%.

12 MARCH 2022

Greetings from Volcán (again)!  Still “on tour”, so the caution from 10 March still applies… 

Bermudan sanctions against Russia 

On 12 March, the Royal Gazette reported that the value of Russian assets held in Bermuda is unknown, but a Global Witness report claimed Bermuda-based companies had received $7.1 billion in direct investment by Russian nationals between 2007 and 2016.

https://www.royalgazette.com/politics/news/article/20220312/bermudian-sanctions-against-russia-begin-to-bite/

UnionPay: China’s alternative to Visa and Mastercard is a controversial new lifeline for Russians

An article in Fortune on 11 March says that China’s UnionPay is emerging as a payments work-around for Russian citizens as sanctions bite, helping cement Russia’s shift away from Western-led systems and towards Chinese providers looking to expand their global footprint.

https://fortune.com/2022/03/11/unionpay-card-china-russia-ukraine-sanctions-payments-visa-mastercard-amex/

As Israel avoids sanctioning oligarchs, 14 private jets arrive from Russia

On 11 March, the Times of Israel reported that 14 private jets that had taken off from Russia landed at Ben Gurion Airport in the previous 10 days.  It said that Channel 12 reported that an unusual number of rented private jets have been flying from Russia to Israel since the invasion of Ukraine.  Israel has not joined the sanctions, but it reportedly has banned the oligarchs from parking their planes in the country.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-israel-avoids-sanctions-on-oligarchs-14-private-jets-arrive-from-russia-report/

EU Sanctions Hit Russian Steel

On 11 March, the Journal of Petroleum Technology carried an article saying that fresh restrictions will likely impact raw material markets globally as the EU and others attempt to squeeze the Russian economy.

https://jpt.spe.org/eu-sanctions-hit-russian-steel

US DoJ STEPS UP PANDEMIC FRAUD ENFORCEMENT

An Alert from Greenberg Traurig on 9 March reported that the US Attorney General recently announced a beefed-up effort to ferret out fraud in the various programs providing relief to those adversely affect by COVID-19. It says that DoJ will appoint a chief prosecutor to lead a new task force to specifically identify and prosecute fraud in the various COVID-19 programmes. 

https://www.gtlaw.com/en/insights/2022/3/doj-steps-up-pandemic-related-fraud-enforcement

WHAT THE EVOLVING LANDSCAPE OF ESG MEANS FOR FRAUD AND INSOLVENCY PRACTITIONERS

A Briefing from HFW on 7 March says that a failure to consider ESG issues may lead to the restructuring or demise of a company. And the rise of ESG on the corporate agenda and the pressure that entails will mean that instances of ESG-related fraud will inevitably increase.

https://www.hfw.com/downloads/003828-HFW-What-the-evolving-landscape-of-ESG-means-for-fraud-and-insolvency-practitioners.pdf

Joint Statement from UK Financial Regulatory Authorities: Sanctions and Cryptoassets

On 11 March, OFSI, the FCA and the Bank of England issued a joint statement on sanctions and the cryptoasset sector, with information on the requirements on firms.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-statement-from-uk-financial-regulatory-authorities-sanctions-and-cryptoassets

UK RUSSIA SANCTIONS: GENERAL LICENCE – FOOTBALL MATCHES

On 12 March, HM Treasury issued this General Licence following the imposition of sanctions on Roman Abramovich and the consequent effects on Chelsea FC.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060462/2022_03_12_INT.2022.1327076_OFSI_General_Licence_Football_Matches_.pdf

NEW INSOLVENCY REMEDY FOR CREDITORS OF JERSEY COMPANIES WITH EFFECT FROM 1 MARCH 

On 9 March, Ogier reported on an amendment to existing law which it says is an important development for the insolvency legislation of Jersey, bolstering the jurisdiction’s position as a leading international finance centre.

https://www.ogier.com/publications/jersey-insolvency-a-new-beginning-for-creditors

Former Canadian Government Employee Extradited to the US to Face Charges over Dozens of Ransomware Attacks

A news release from US DoJ on 10 March advised that Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, 34, of Gatineau, Quebec, had been extradited to the US.  He is charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer arising from his alleged participation in a sophisticated form of ransomware known as NetWalker.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-canadian-government-employee-extradited-united-states-face-charges-dozens-ransomware

UAE Central Bank adviser appointed as AML expert at GCC secretariat

On 10 March, The National reported that Waleed Alhosani, the current adviser to the governor of the UAE Central Bank, has been appointed as an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding expert at the secretariat general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). 

https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/banking/2022/03/10/uae-central-bank-adviser-appointed-as-anti-money-laundering-expert-at-gcc-secretariat/

ICIJ announces the Russia Archive, an inside look at the hidden wealth of oligarchs and elites close to Putin

On 8 March, ICIJ announced that its team was mining millions of leaked files for new revelations.  The Russian Archives are described as a library of previous Russia-related exposés, now the focus of renewed interest, as well as ongoing investigations into the hidden wealth of the Putin regime’s ruling elites.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/russia-archive/icij-releases-the-russia-archive-an-inside-look-at-how-elites-close-to-putin-hide-wealth-offshore/

US Imposes Export Ban on Luxury Goods to Russia and Belarus as well as Russian and Belarussian Oligarchs and Malign Actors

On 12 March, Baker McKenzie reported that the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security imposed restrictions on the exports, reexports, and transfer of luxury goods to all end users in Russia and Belarus and to certain Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and malign actors located worldwide.  The Export Administration Regulations are amended with 2 new licence requirements. 

https://sanctionsnews.bakermckenzie.com/bis-imposes-export-ban-on-luxury-goods-to-russia-and-belarus-as-well-as-russian-and-belarussian-oligarchs-and-malign-actors/

Ukraine to expropriate Russian property

On 11 March, Baker McKenzie reported that on 3 March, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a new Law, which came into force on 7 March.  It is aimed at enabling Ukrainian authorities to expropriate the property owned by the Russian Federation and its residents for the reasons of public necessity without any compensation paid for such expropriated property.

https://sanctionsnews.bakermckenzie.com/ukraine-to-expropriate-russian-property/

 

 

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.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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