Panama Covid-19 update – active cases down 93 to 2,302, with 184 new cases and no new fatalities. There are now 10 patients in ICU and 72 in other wards.
18 APRIL 2022
MEXICO: ULTIMATE BENEFICIARIES LAW
On 14 April, Fredriksen & Byron PA published an article saying that, since 1 January, Mexico requires companies (including those owed by foreigners), trusts, other legal vehicles, financial institutions and others to gather, maintain, update and, if requested, to provide information about controlling beneficiaries (beneficial owners or ultimate beneficiaries).
US INVESTIGATION LEADS TO RETURN OF MADAGASCAR FOSSILS
A news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement on 15 April announced that US Customs had repatriated 2 ammonite fossils to Madagascar. These had been seized in 2015 after it was determined that they were illegally imported from China.
CHINA: NEW FUND POISED TO BOOST DUAL-USE TECH SALES AND CIRCUMVENT US SANCTIONS
On 18 April, the Young Gazzate reported on a new venture capital fund said to be established by a group of Chinese military and business institutions aims to circumvent US sanctions to secure high-end military technology.
LUXEMBOURG CANCELS REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE OF SUPERYACHT OWNED BY A RUSSIAN OLIGARCH ARKADI ROTENBERG
On 18 April, Malta Today reported that the Luxembourg shipping authority had withdrawn its registration certificate from the yacht M/Y Rahil, owned by a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin. On paper, the vessel is owned by Medexlite Limited, which is based in the BVI.
THE POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF INDIA’S CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (IDENTIFICATION) BILL 2022
On 18 April, Jurist published an article, saying that the Indian government enacted the Bill to make criminal investigation ‘easier’ and ‘to increase conviction rates’. It replaces a 1920 Act, dating from British rule. It massively expands data collection to photographs, palm-print impressions, retina scan, iris scan, and biological samples and their analysis along with behavioural attributes such as handwriting and signatures. The National Crime Records Bureau of India (NCRB) will be in charge of storing and preserving the data, as well as sharing, disseminating, destroying, and disposing of records; and such information can be stored for at least 75 years in the NCRB database. The article argues that the Bill, by authorising the data collection of ‘any person’, has blurred the distinction between a detainee, suspect, under trial and a convict. The 1920 Act provided that data may be collected from any person convicted or arrested for offenses punishable with minimum of 1 year of imprisonment. It authorises collection of data regardless of the consent of the accused, and the refusal by any person to comply would be an offence.
ITALIAN FINANCIAL POLICE SEIZE 82 TONNES OF COUNTERFEIT CIGARETTES
On 15 April, OCCRP reported the seizure of 82 tonnes of counterfeit cigarettes and the arrest of 1 person during a raid of an abandoned factory in the industrial area of Pomezia, close to Rome, where officers found machinery and materials for the production of cigarettes and several foreign workers, including a number of Ukrainian refugees. Pomezia is known for high volumes of mafia activity.
ALLEGED HYDRA DARKNET ADMINISTRATOR DMITRY PAVLOV REPORTEDLY ARRESTED IN RUSSIA
On 16 April, Bitcoin.com reported that a district court in Moscow has arrested a man whom local media reports identify as Dmitry Pavlov, alleged administrator of the recently shut down darknet market Hydra. Russian authorities believe he has been involved in drug-related crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
THE CASE OF SWAGG MAN
On 17 April, Middle East Eye carried an article about Iteb Zaibet, aka Swagg Man, a French-Tunisian rapper. He became an internet and TV celebrity in both France and Tunisia, but was arrested in Tunisia in 2019 in connection with suspect money transfers on a Swiss bank account as well as on charges of defrauding social media fans. He was sentenced to 5 years in jail for fraud and money laundering. However, on appeal in January 2022, the Tunisian judge dismissed the case, and an arrest warrant in France was also withdrawn due to insufficient evidence to indict him for fraud. The article raises questions about the appeal, and refers to his former fans who were allegedly victims of a scam.
UK: SUMMARY OF THE CHANGES THAT WILL BE MADE TO THE TRUST REGISTRATION SERVICE UNDER THE FIFTH MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE
Available from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales is this brief summary.
US: 5 CHARGED IN AVIATION EQUIPMENT FRAUD CASE
On 15 April, Flying reported that the New Jersey Attorney General’s office has charged 5 people in connection with an alleged internet fraud scheme involving the sale of aircraft ground-support equipment and spare parts. The defendants allegedly received more than $1 million from businesses operating in the US and internationally. The companies never received the equipment and parts.
WHY TURKEY HAS HANDED OVER THE JAMAL KHASHOGGI CASE TO SAUDI ARABIA
On 11 April, Homeland Security Today reported that the decision to hand over the Khashoggi case to Saudi Arabia was a matter of political expediency rather than accountability for a brutal murder. Khashoggi, a U.S.-based journalist and frequent critic of the Saudi Arabian government, was murdered amid suspicious circumstances at the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul. Saudi officials claimed that Khashoggi was killed in a rogue operation by a team of government agents who were tasked with convincing Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, while Turkish officials alleged that the agents were directed by the highest levels of the Saudi government. The article argues that the last hope for justice has been wiped away under the guise of repairing the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia and boosting the Turkish economy in the run up to a presidential election that Erdogan will not allow himself to lose.
HMRC HAS CONFISCATED ASSETS WORTH £39 MILLION IN AROUND A YEAR –MORE THAN 700% INCREASE ON 2020
On 18 April, City AM reported information from law firm RPC. However, the article also notes that HMRC admitted last year that as much as £5.8 billion had been lost to fraud through the UK Government’s Covid-19 economic support schemes.
SEC CHARGES AGAINST 16 DEFENDANTS, LOCATED IN THE BAHAMAS, BVI, BULGARIA, CANADA, THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, MONACO, SPAIN, TURKEY, AND UK, OVER FRAUDULENT PENNY STOCK “PUMP AND DUMP” SCHEME
On 18 April, a release from Mondo Visione advised that the SEC had announced announced charges against 16 defendants for participating in multi-year fraudulent penny stock schemes that generated more than $194 million in illicit proceeds.
US DoJ CHARGES FORMER CFO OF BRAZILIAN PUBLIC COMPANY IN FRAUD CASE
On 18 April, a release on Mondo Visione reported that a superseding indictment has been unsealed charging the former CFO of publicly traded reinsurance company, IRB Brasil Resseguros SA (aka IRB Brasil RE or IRB), for fraudulently propping up its stock price by spreading false information that US investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc had invested in IRB.
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