UN CORRUPTION AND ECONOMIC CRIME 2021 ANNUAL REPORT

The UN Office on Drugs & Crime has published this report, saying that the the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) was adopted in 2003 and has reached near universal adherence, with 189 parties committing to the Convention’s anti-corruption obligations. 

https://www.unodc.org/documents/corruption/CEB-Annual-Report/2021/CEB_Annual_Report_-_2021.pdf

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WORLD BANK HAS DEBARRED 2 HYDROPOWER EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS FOR COLLUSIVE AND CORRUPT PRACTICES

On 14 April, the FCPA Blog reported that the World Bank had barred Voith Hydro GmbH & Co KG (VHH) of Germany and China-based Voith Hydro Shanghai Ltd from contracts it was involved over alleged collusive and corrupt practices connected to projects in Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The debarments also apply to contracts involving the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

https://fcpablog.com/2022/04/14/world-bank-debars-hydropower-units-of-german-family-owned-conglomerate-orders-1-9-million-restitution/

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MARITIME RADIOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR TRAFFICKING BY SMALL, TRADITIONAL, AND UNREGULATED VESSELS

On 30 March, a report from Stable Seas, with the assistance of UNODC, examines the potential maritime radiological and nuclear trafficking risks posed by the multitude of small, traditional, and unregistered vessels plying the world’s oceans. The report specifically examines 4 geographic areas (Brazil, West Africa, the Red Sea, and Indonesia) to assess the risk these types of vessels pose for radiological and nuclear trafficking.  It also proposes areas of potential policy prioritization that would increase maritime domain awareness around these kinds of vessels and mitigate the risk of their trafficking activity.  One of its points is that, siince the vessels bypass screening and security measures at large formal ports, increased security measures at the sites utilised by such vessels would be beneficial.  Screening at every ferry landing, local commercial port, fish landing site is logistically and financially unfeasible, but even more general security presence at the multitude of such sites could help deter their utilisation for trafficking.

https://www.stableseas.org/post/maritime-radiological-and-nuclear-trafficking-by-small-traditional-and-unregulated-vessels

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – APRIL 14

Panama Covid-19 update – the gradual BA.2-fuelled uptick appears to continue. The number of active cases is up again, by 181 to 2,648. However, no new fatalities were reported. There were 364 new cases. There are 10 patients in ICU, 75 in other wards and 11 in the hospital-hotels.

14 April 2022 

IT’S TIME FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES TO PROTECT AGAINST RANSOMWARE

On 8 April, Security Magazine said that small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) accounted for 82% of attacks in 2021.  It argues that ransomware groups now have their sights set on SMBs for reasons that include the out of date, or lack of, security they employ.  It also notes that US authorities recently issued a warning urging all businesses to take action to mitigate the risks as the Russia-Ukraine war unfolds.  It highlights 5 common security mistakes can leave smaller organisations vulnerable to cyber threats and risks; as well as 4 defensive steps security leaders can take to affordably mitigate risk and return their focus to what matters most: their businesses. 

https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/97388-its-time-for-smbs-to-protect-against-ransomware

AUSTRAC JOINS THE RUSSIA-RELATED ILLICIT FINANCE AND SANCTIONS FIU WORKING GROUP

On 8 April, Nyman Gibson Miralis reported that the Australian FIU had joined the Working Group brings together the FIU of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.  To mark the launch of the Working Group, the participating members issued a Statement of Intent.

https://ngm.com.au/austrac-joins-russia-related-illicit-finance-and-sanctions-fiu-working-group/

UK: CRYPTOCURRENCY AND JURISDICTION

On 13 April, an article from Rahman Ravelli reported on a High Court case where the judgement dealt with important points in relation to jurisdiction and cryptocurrency and assessed the lex situs (location) of crypto assets when a corporate entity is concerned, with the judge saying that “a company is resident where its central management and control is located, that being where its real business is carried on”.

https://www.rahmanravelli.co.uk/articles/cryptocurrency-and-jurisdiction/

A COURT OF APPEAL JUDGMENT WIDENS THE SCOPE OF THE DUTY OF CARE BANKS OWE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS

On 12 April, an article from HFW reported on an unexpected judgment from the Court of Appeal in London involving the Quincecare duty of care.  The article says that the judgment t brings back into question whether the Quincecare duty applies to consumer banking transactions and APP – an increasing area of concern, with over £350 million reportedly being stolen using APP mechanisms in the first 6 months of 2021.

https://www.mondaq.com/uk/financial-services/1182102/philipp-a-quincecare-lifeline-to-retail-banking-customers

ANTI-BOYCOTT COMPLIANCE FOR US COMPANIES

An article from Braumiller Law Group on 12 April explains US anti-boycott laws, which are intended to discourage US companies from supporting any “unsanctioned foreign boycott”, meaning any boycott that is contrary to US foreign policy objectives.  These have generally been seen as applying to the Arab League boycott of Israel but the laws are applicable to any unsanctioned boycott activity, without regard to the countries and entities at issue.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/corporate-and-company-law/1182300/antiboycott-compliance-for-us-companies

SAUDI ARABIA: STATE-REGULATED CHARITY PLATFORMS AND PUBLIC-AWARENESS DRIVES TO PREVENT EXPLOITATION AND ENSURE THAT DONATIONS DO NOT END UP FINANCING TERRORISM

On 8 April, Arab News published an article about these developments, including  a powerful social-media campaign featuring a video in which a woman coerces 3 children to beg in the streets.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2058296/saudi-arabia

IMF WARNS MACAU OF ‘OVERRELIANCE’ ON GAMING

On 13 April, iGB reported that the IMF had noted that the collapse of economic activity during the height of the Covid pandemic had highlighted the Macao overreliance on the gaming industry. 

https://igamingbusiness.com/imf-warns-macau-of-overreliance-on-gaming

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2022/04/12/pr22116-imf-executive-board-concludes-article-iv-consultation-macao-special-administrative-region

https://www.imf.org/-/media/Files/Publications/CR/2022/English/1MACEA2022002.ashx

WAR SIDELINES CRUCIAL UKRAINE-MADE FLEET OF CARGO MEGAPLANES

On 13 April, the Wall Street Journal reported on the problems facing the Volga-Dnepr fleet of cargo aircraft, including Ukraine-built Antonov freighters. It says that taking out of use some of the world’s biggest cargo aircraft has stranded super-heavy equipment and caused more problems for the strained global supply chain.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/war-sidelines-crucial-ukraine-made-fleet-of-cargo-megaplanes-11649846506

US: 6 COMPANIES LINKED TO CHINESE METALS TYCOON FINED $1.83 BILLION IN RELATION TO A CONSPIRACY TO EVADE CUSTOMS DUTIES

On 12 April, Nikkei Asia reported that the companies linked to Chinese metals tycoon Liu Zhongtian were used in an evasion attempt by Hong Kong-listed China Zhongwang Holdings. 

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Materials/U.S.-fines-6-companies-linked-to-Chinese-metals-tycoon-1.8bn

https://www.caixinglobal.com/2022-04-14/chinese-metal-tycoons-companies-fined-183-billion-by-us-101869816.html

https://noticiasporelmundo.com/ee-uu-mundo/se-ordena-a-las-empresas-del-sur-de-california-que-paguen-una-restitucion-de-1830-millones-por-fraude-con-aluminio/

MINING COMPANY PETROPAVLOVSK PLC LOOKS TO SELL ALL ITS ASSETS DUE TO SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

On 14 April, Bloomberg Quint reported that the company, once one of the biggest London-listed gold miners, cannot sell the bullion it produces in the country or pay its debts.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/petropavlovsk-explores-sale-of-operating-units-as-sanctions-bite

RUSSIA (SANCTIONS) (OVERSEAS TERRITORIES) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2022

This UK Order extends with modifications the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, as amended from time to time, to all British Overseas Territories except Bermuda and Gibraltar (which implement sanctions under their own legislative arrangements). Those Regulations established a sanctions regime in relation to Russia for the purpose of encouraging Russia to cease actions destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine.  The Order applies to Anguilla, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the BVI.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/453/contents/made

RUSSIA (SANCTIONS) (EU EXIT) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 8) REGULATIONS 2022

These UK Regulations amend the 2019 Regulations, on trade, and insert related Schedules.  New restrictions are imposed in relation to trade in oil refining goods and technology, quantum computing and advanced materials goods and technology, luxury goods, and iron and steel goods. 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/452/contents/made

UK AND RWANDA MIGRATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP TO ALLOW FOR SENDING MIGRANTS FOR DETENTION IN RWANDA

On 14 April, the Home Office announced that the Partnership will see migrants who arrive in the UK, such as by small boat or hidden in lorries, have their asylum claim processed 4,000 miles away in Rwanda. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/world-first-partnership-to-tackle-global-migration-crisis

There are also 2 associated factsheets –

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/14/factsheet-migration-and-economic-development-partnership/

https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/14/factsheet-maritime-primacy/

EU’S OPERATION IRINI ENFORCING LIBYAN ARMS EMBARGO

An article from Defence Web on 14 April says that during 2 years of operation to date the EU Naval Force (NavFor) Mediterranean Operation Irini investigated over 6,200 ships, conducted 250+ “friendly approaches” and inspected 22 suspect vessels.  One illegal cargo – jet fuel – was confiscated.  To date, the command has sent 35 reports to the UN panel of experts set up to oversee violations or possible violations of the arms embargo. 

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sea/sea-sea/op-irini-enforcing-libyan-arms-embargo/

SOUTH AFRICAN AIR FORCE IN MULTI-ORGANISATION, ANTI-CRIME TASK FORCE THAT ENDED A MULTI-MILLION RAND ILLEGAL CHROME MINING AND SMUGGLING SYNDICATE

On 11 April, Defence Web reported that the task force team used airborne assets to pounce on a chrome mine outside Rustenburg in an operation that saw chrome worth an estimated R2.5 million seized.  In addition to the large quantity of chrome recovered, police confiscated fou4r Interlink trucks, a tipper truck, 3 excavators, 2 diesel tanks, 2 vehicles and a 9mm pistol with an obliterated serial number.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/saaf-part-of-north-west-illegal-chrome-mining-bust/

SIGNS OF INCREASED OPIUM PRODUCTION IN MYANMAR

On 8 April, the UN reported that its Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) opium survey for Myanmar has found that cultivation in Myanmar between September 2020 and January 2021 increased for the first time since a downwards trend started in 2014.  In spite of the continuing regional shift towards the production, trafficking and use of synthetic drugs, Myanmar’s opium economy generates substantial profits both within and outside the country.

https://www.unodc.org/roseap/myanmar/2022/04/myanmar-opium-survey-report/story.html

UK: SERIAL LITIGANT GIVEN 2-YEAR COURT BAN

On 13 April, the Law Society Gazette reported that a serial litigant who has ‘repeatedly advanced baseless allegations of dishonesty and bad faith’ in a litany of claims has been banned from bringing claims in the High Court for 2 years.  These claims followed the 2015 collapse of an arbitration concerning a contract to exchange plots of land for gold.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/33-quadrillion-serial-litigant-given-two-year-court-ban/5112206.article

INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL FRAUD: NEW ZEALAND IS FAR FROM SQUEAKY CLEAN

On 14 April, an Opinion piece in the Guardian contends that weak regulations mean authorities have no idea how much money is channelled through the country by global fraudsters.  It says that fraudsters and tax dodgers channel funds through the Pacific island nation at a rate quite at odds with its squeaky-clean, highly ethical global image.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2022/apr/14/when-it-comes-to-international-financial-new-zealand-is-far-from-squeaky-clean

HAS CALI BECOME AN OPERATIONAL HUB FOR MEXICAN CARTELS IN COLOMBIA?

An article from Insight Crime on 13 April posed this question after the arrest of an alleged top Sinaloa Cartel broker. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/arrest-mexico-sinaloa-cartel-presence-colombia/

NEW ZEALAND: MODERN SLAVERY AND WORKER EXPLOITATION, FORCED LABOUR, PEOPLE TRAFFICKING AND SLAVERY 

An article from Dentons on 14 April said that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is seeking feedback on legislative proposals to counter these threats.  The article says that it is expected that it is inevitable that legislation responding to modern slavery will come into force one way or another in New Zealand: with the key question for New Zealand businesses being what the final form of the legislation will look like.

https://www.dentons.co.nz/en/insights/articles/2022/april/14/legislating-modern-slavery-and-worker-exploitation

ISLE OF MAN GAMBLING SUPERVISION COMMISSION ANNUAL REPORT 2020/2021

The 26 April Tynwald Order Paper includes this Report being laid before the parliament.  The GSC is also now currently responsible for the regulation of the medical cannabis sector in the Isle of Man.

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2021-GD-0097.pdf

NIGERIA RISKS BLACKLISTING OVER MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM BILLS NOT BEING PASSED

On 14 April, the People’s Gazette and others reported that the President has sought quick passage of the Money Laundering Bill and Terrorism Prevention Bill for Nigeria to avoid blacklisting on the global financial sector.

https://gazettengr.com/nigeria-risks-blacklisting-over-non-passage-of-money-laundering-terrorism-bills-buhari/

FRAUD SCHEME INVOLVING AT LEAST €440 MILLION IN ITALY HALTED

On 13 April, a news release from Eurojust advised that Italian and Austrian authorities have dismantled a massive fraud scheme set up by a criminal network that used Italian companies to simulate business leases and false tax credits.  More than 90% of the proceeds are said to have been recovered, mainly in Italy.  The seized assets include cryptocurrencies, currently held in a wallet to prevent their movement, as well as gold, platinum and watches of significant value, which were held in a safe deposit box in Austria.

https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/news/fraud-scheme-least-eur-440-million-italy-halted

US PRESSES UN TO CUT NORTH KOREA OIL IMPORTS, BAN TOBACCO AND BLACKLIST LAZARUS HACKERS

On 14 April, the Asahi Shimbun reported that the US is pushing the UN Security Council to further sanction North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches by banning tobacco and halving oil exports to the country and blacklisting the Lazarus hacking group, according to a draft UN resolution reviewed by Reuters.  However, Russia and China have already signalled opposition to strengthening sanctions in response to the launch last month of an ICBM – the first since 2017.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14598115

SOUTH KOREAN GROUP RECEIVES EXEMPTION TO SHIP BRIQUETTE MACHINES TO NORTH KOREA

On 14 April, NK News reported that the UN has given the NGO 1 year to deliver coal briquette equipment to prevent water and food-borne disease in the border area.  It will have until 5 April 2023 to deliver the machine parts.  The article notes that the UN Security Council has granted 3 DPRK sanctions exemptions in 2022, with the last exemption granted in March gave permission for UNICEF to ship equipment for storing childrens’ vaccines to North Korea. 

https://www.nknews.org/2022/04/south-korean-group-receives-exemption-to-ship-briquette-machines-to-north-korea/

SRI LANKA ON THE BRINK

An article from Foreign Affairs on 14 April says that the country is facing an economic meltdown, after the COVID-19 pandemic and is experiencing the worst economic downturn of its history, grappling with staggering levels of government debt, spiralling inflation, and a foreign exchange crisis that has led to the scarcity of many essential goods.  In April, the government defaulted on its external debt, paving the way for a loan program from the IMF.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/sri-lanka/2022-04-14/sri-lanka-brink

SMITHS DETECTION HAS LAUNCHED ITS LATEST AUTOMATED DETECTION ALGORITHM; CURRENCY RECOGNITION SOFTWARE, ICMORE CURRENCY

On 10 April, the Regional Gateway website reported that, to tackle the global issue of money laundering, Smiths Detection, which specialises in threat detection and security screening technologies, has launched its latest automated detection algorithm; currency recognition software, iCMORE Currency. It can detect upward of 100 banknotes in US dollars, Euros and Saudi Riyal, rolled or stacked in hand luggage and daypacks.

https://www.regionalgateway.net/smiths-detection-launches-icmore-currency-to-tackle-money-laundering-at-airports

RUSSIA SANCTIONS ON MORE US AND CANADIAN OFFICIALS

On 14 April, the always-useful EU Sanctions blog reported that Russia had imposed sanctions on 87 Canadian senators, banning them from entry to Russia, and also added to its ‘stop-list’ 398 members of the US House of Representatives.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/04/russia-sanctions-us-canada-officials/

CHINA’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK INTRODUCES NEW IMPLICATIONS FOR THE SHIPPING MARKETS

In its 15 April edition, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the lockdowns in Shanghai is expected to have a significant impact in the global supply chains and the tanker markets, especially when seen in tandem with everything else that’s been going on in the world’s economy.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/chinas-covid-19-outbreak-introduces-new-implications-for-the-shipping-markets/

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

FIJI: RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE’S YACHT IN POLICE CUSTODY

In its 15 April edition, the Fiji Times reported that Russian superyacht Amadea is in police custody and will remain that way until investigations into allegations of money-laundering and undeclared materials are completed.  Its owner, Russian national Suleiman Kerimov was charged with money laundering in 2018 but was cleared by a French court after the charges were dropped.

https://www.fijitimes.com/russian-billionaires-yacht-in-police-custody/

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