OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – APRIL 21

Panama Covid-19 – with 487 new cases reported today, the statistics look slightly better than yesterday, but the number of active cases is up nearly 300 to 3,133. However, there were no new fatalities reported, and just 10 patients are in ICU, with another 57 with (or having) Covid in other wards. to date, since March 2020, 770,463 people are recorded as having contracted Covid-19, and 8,180 have died.

21 APRIL 2022

SUPPLY-CHAIN BOTTLENECKS CREATE A RISK FACTOR FOR CORRUPTION

On 21 April, the Wall Street Journal warned that, as the Ukraine conflict continues, sanctions and supply-chain disruptions have intensified shortages of key commodities, which could become a major risk factor for corruption, experts said.  One lawyers is quoted as saying that scarcity causes corrupt actors to act upon their instincts.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/supply-chain-bottlenecks-a-risk-factor-for-corruption-11650533400

Meanwhile, CMS Law has produced:

AN EXPERT GUIDE ON RISING RAW MATERIAL PRICES 

https://news.cms.law/cv/eefd1da44a4e5f376a4626794c799ac40229e98f

RUSSIA: PUTIN SIGNS DECREE TO REMOVE RUSSIAN STOCKS FROM OVERSEAS EXCHANGES

On 19 April, Yahoo Finance reported that Putin signed a new decree on April 16 that requires Russian companies to remove their listings from overseas exchanges.  This is said to mean that Russians will now have to adjust the ownership structure of their businesses.  Trading of depositary receipts on foreign exchanges also must cease, although main international bourses had already frozen Russian stocks.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/putin-signs-decree-remove-russian-135326392.html?guccounter=1

HOW TO SHIP A LI-ION BATTERY

On 20 April, Vendigital published an article which provides guidance on how to ship lithium batteries.  Lithium batteries (LIB) fall under the scope of Dangerous Goods Transport Regulations and are subject to restrictions on labelling, packing and transportation.  The guide is said to have been created to provide initial practical guidance of the current regulations.  The regulations included must be fulfilled by the shipper for any commercial shipment.

https://www.mondaq.com/uk/rail-road-cycling/1184024/how-to-ship-a-li-ion-battery

UK: BELARUS SANCTIONS – ENTRY FOR LIDZIA MIHAILAUNA YARMOSHINA AMENDED

On 21 April, a Notice from HM Treasury announced that the entry for Lidzia Mihailauna YARMOSHINA had been amended.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1070068/Notice_Belarus_210422.pdf

PANAMA: WORLD BANK ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNER VERIFICATION WORKSHOP

On 20 April, La Estrella reported that, with the technical support of the World Bank, the country’s FIU (UAF), the Technical Secretariat of the National Commission against Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CNBC) and the Superintendence of Non-Financial Subjects (SSNF) developed the workshop.  Training was provided for employees of the Ministries of Economy and Finance and Public, the UAF, the SSNF, the General Directorate of Revenue, the National Police and the National Security Council.

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/economia/220420/panama-banco-mundial-realizan-taller-verificacion-beneficiario-final

87% OF THE CIGARETTES CONSUMED IN PANAMA ARE SMUGGLED

On 20 April, Radio Panama reported that an Illegal Cigarettes Market Study in 2021, based on a random and representative sample of 1,150 packs collected in the main cities of the country, yielded the worrying results that 87.9 out of every 100 cigarettes consumed in Panama are smuggled. Most of these cigarettes come from India and South Korea.  The Jaisalmer, Timeless Time and Pine brands account for 92% of the smuggled packs.

https://www.radiopanama.com.pa/noticias/actualidad/87-de-cada-100-cigarrillos-consumidos-en-panama-son-de-contrabando/20220420/nota/4189086.aspx

US REFINERS RECEIVING LAST RUSSIAN OIL CARGOES BEFORE SANCTIONS WIND-DOWN

On 20 April, gCaptain reported that 9 tankers carrying Russian-origin crude and fuel oil have discharged in the US in April, likely the last ones to deliver before a sanctions wind-down.

https://gcaptain.com/united-states-refiners-final-russian-oil-cargoes/

SPAIN TO EXTRADITE TO US A TURKISH CITIZEN SUSPECTED OF SMUGGLING MISSILE EQUIPMENT TO IRAN

On 20 April, Asharq-al-Aswat reported that a court has agreed to extradite to the US a Turkish citizen suspected of smuggling to Iran equipment that can be used in making missiles.  Murat Bukey was arrested at Barcelona airport in September.

https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3602881/spain-extradite-turkish-citizen-suspected-smuggling-banned-gear-iran

US: ‘LIZARD KING’ GETS 7 MONTHS FOR TRAFFICKING FLORIDA TURTLES

On 20 April, Yahoo News reported that a Florida man has been sentenced for his part in a scheme to smuggle illegally harvested Florida turtles to China, Japan and other places.  He and others established a network of “collectors” who searched the Florida wilds for certain freshwater turtle specimens. 

https://news.yahoo.com/lizard-king-gets-7-months-222214650.html

INDIA: ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE CHARGESHEET AGAINST MINISTER NAWAB MALIK

On 21 April, the Times of India reported that the ED had filed a chargesheet against the Nationalist Congress Party minister.  His case is linked to that of the fugitive alleged “gangster” Dawood Ibrahim.  Malik is the chief of NCP’s Mumbai unit and Guardian minister for Parbhani and Gondia districts. He was arrested on February 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/money-laundering-case-ed-submits-charge-sheet-against-ncp-minister-nawab-malik/articleshow/90980230.cms

UK: BOURNEMOUTH MAN LAUNDERED MONEY FROM ILLEGAL MEDICINE SALES

On 19 April, the Bournemouth Echo reported that a man has been described as the “mastermind behind the laundering of the proceeds” from the international conspiracies, which sold and distributed various drugs, including erectile dysfunction medicine, fertility treatments and human growth hormone.  He is said to have received at least £563,000 through the illicit sale of medicines between December 2014 and January 2019.

https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/20078515.bourenmouth-man-laundered-money-illegal-medicine-sales/ 

IS THE UK MAKING ITSELF A TARGET FOR RUSSIAN RETALIATION?

A Commentary from RUSI on 20 April posed this question.  It also asks how prepared are Whitehall and the public for retaliation, and how would allies react?

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/uk-making-itself-target-russian-retaliation

DUTCH BOATBUILDER HEESEN PUTS SOME DISTANCE BETWEEN ITS BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND ULTIMATE BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP

On 20 April, Superyacht News reported that, after one of its ultimate beneficial owners, Russian-Azerbaijani businessman Vagit Alekperov, has been added to the UK sanctions list, the superyacht builder has issued a statement clarifying its position.  It notes that that Alkeperov has not (yet?) been sanctioned in the EU and, therefore, his sanctioning in the UK has no impact on the operations of the business at any level.

https://www.superyachtnews.com/business/heesen-responds-to-sanctioning-of-ubo

ILLEGAL LOGGING IN LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN INFLICTING IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE

On 21 April, a news release from INTERPOL reported that a coordinated operation codenamed Arcadia LAC has recovered more than 80 truckloads (more than 1,200 cubic meters) of illegal timber from forests across Latin America and the Caribbean.  In total, 287 incidents were reported over the operation’s month-long tactical phase in which participating law enforcement agencies carried out intelligence-led activities in priority areas, with a focus on identifying and countering organized crime groups involved in timber trafficking.  Environmental crime is the third largest form of transnational organized crime in the world. Globally, the illegal timber trade is estimated to be worth up to $152 billion per year, representing nearly half the illicit proceeds of all environmental crime.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2022/Illegal-logging-in-Latin-America-and-Caribbean-inflicting-irreversible-damage-INTERPOL

COCAINE LORDS TARGETED IN BELGIUM, GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS

A news release from Europol on 22 April advised that joint actions of the Belgian Federal Police Antwerp, the Dutch National Police and the German Regional Police and Federal Police, coordinated by Europol, led to the identification and indictment of major European High Value Targets importing large amounts of cocaine from South America to the EU.  The operation also involved the Paraguayan National Antidrug Secretariat.  There were 17 arrests (5 in Belgium, 11 in Germany and 3 in The Netherlands).

https://www.europol.europa.eu/media-press/newsroom/news/cocaine-lords-targeted-in-belgium-germany-and-netherlands

$100,00 PENALTY FOR FALSELY LABELLING GOODS AS MADE IN USA

On 21 April, Sandler Travis & Rosenberg reported that the Federal Trade Commission is asking a court to require a US company and its owner to pay civil penalties of over $100,000 to settle a complaint that they violated a “Made in USA” rule that took effect in August.

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/april/$10000-penalty-for-falsely-labeling-goods-as-made-in-usa

COCA GROWING AND COCAINE PRODUCTION REACH NEW HEIGHTS IN HONDURAS

On 19 April, Insight Crime reported that coca farms and cocaine production camps are proliferating in Honduras, showing that the illicit crop has taken root in the country after years of low-level experimentation.  Between January and March this year, authorities have destroyed some 543,000 coca plants.

https://insightcrime.org/news/coca-growing-cocaine-production-reach-new-heights-in-honduras/

UK: FCA OBTAINS £2 MILLION POCA ACCOUNT FORFEITURE ORDER AGAINST FINTECH START-UP

On 21 April, a release on Mondo Visione said that QPay Europe Limited, which claimed to be a fintech start up offering due diligence and underwriting services, has consented to a court order to give up £2,000,000 held in its name following proceedings brought by the FCA under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  The FCA claimed the money was the proceeds of illegal activity connected to criminal proceedings in the US of America concerning an alleged conspiracy to commit wire fraud against banks, credit card companies and other financial service providers.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/uk-financial-conduct-authority-secures-2000000-account-forfeiture-order/

ROMANIAN BUSINESSMAN CRISTIAN BURCI INDICTED FOR €33 MILLION FRAUDS

On 21 April, Romania Insider reported that Burci has been indicted by the prosecutors of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism for setting up an organised criminal group, fraudulent management, tax evasion, embezzlement with very serious consequences and money laundering.  He and others are accused of looting the wagon manufacturer Romvag Caracal.  Burci has left the country and recently married in Abu Dhabi.

https://www.romania-insider.com/burci-indicted-romvag-apr-2022

UK: A THIRD OF PROPERTY PROFESSIONALS SAY THEY’RE NOT AML COMPLIANT

On 21 April, Estate Agent Today reported on research that almost a third of estate agents believe their AML compliance procedures wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny.

https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2022/4/a-third-of-property-professionals-say-theyre-not-aml-compliant-research-reveals

CROATIAN AND SERBIAN POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED DRUG LORDS

On 20 April, OCCRP reported that Croatian police arrested 10 people suspected of being part of a criminal network that brought cocaine from South America to Europe.  Simultaneously, police in neighbouring Serbia again arrested Serbian “cocaine king” Darko Saric, who appears to have been cooperating with the group in Croatia.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16219-croatian-serbian-police-arrest-suspected-drug-lords

MEXICO SHUTS ELITE INVESTIGATIONS UNIT IN BLOW TO US DRUGS COOPERATION

On 19 April, Yahoo News reported that Mexico has reportedly disbanded a select anti-narcotics unit that for a quarter of a century worked hand-in-hand with the DEA to tackle organised crime. 

https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-mexico-shuts-elite-investigations-111035819.html

WHAT FCPA-RELATED INVESTIGATIONS ARE BEING TRACKED IN UKRAINE?

A post on the FCPA Blog on 20 April says that companies with open Ukraine-related investigations represent various industries, including pharmaceuticals, climate control, and food production.

https://fcpablog.com/2022/04/20/what-fcpa-related-investigations-are-we-tracking-in-ukraine/

SHANGHAI’S SUPPLY CHAIN STANDSTILL

Shanghai’s port system, which handles about one-fifth of China’s export containers, is currently experiencing significant delays as a result of the recent government lockdown.  On 21 April, Visual Capitalist provided some visuals on the situation.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/satellite-maps-shanghais-supply-chain-standstill/

ICJ: COLOMBIA VIOLATED NICARAGUAN FISHING ZONES

On 21 April, TeleSUR reported that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague had ruled in favour of Nicaragua in the case entitled “Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea”.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Colombia-Violated-Nicaraguan-Fishing-Zones-the-Hague-Court-20220421-0009.html

OFAC NOTIFIES SETTLEMENT WITH MINING INDUSTRIES COMPANIES OVER BREACHES OF CUBAN SANCTIONS

On 21 April, OFAC advised of settlements reached with mining company Newmont Corporation, a multinational mining firm headquartered in Denver and involving Newmont Suriname, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newmont; and Chisu International Corporation, a company located in Florida that is affiliated with a distributor of explosives and accessories for mining operations.  It notes that whereas Newmont voluntarily disclosed the apparent violations, Chisu did not.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USTREAS/bulletins/31478d6

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/04/tnf-us-companies-agree-settle-violations-cuban-sanctions-regulations.html

COMMERCIAL SPACE CAPABILITIES AND MARKET OVERVIEW: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COMMERCIAL SPACE DEVELOPMENTS AND THE US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

On 21 April, the RAND Corporation released this report which contains a broad review of 7 commercial space sectors — satellite communications, space launch, remote sensing, environmental monitoring, space domain awareness, data transmit/receive networks, and space logistics — and characterises the capabilities and trends in each of them.  The information gathered and included in this report is current as of 15 June 2020.  Amongst its findings are that the commercial space industry is quickly growing and changing, and that growth and evolution of new market entrants have been driven by small satellite technologies.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RRA500/RRA578-2/RAND_RRA578-2.pdf

IRAN AND HEZBOLLAH’S SUPPORT TO PROXIES OPERATING IN SYRIA

On 21 April, the CTC Center published this report which provides a historical look at the support Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah (LH) provided to proxies during the Syrian civil war – in the hope that informs current analysis.  The report investigates the nature of Iranian and LH support to proxies operating in Syria from 2011 to 2019.  It investigates support from Iranian actors — inclusive of the IRGC and its various components, notably the Quds Force (IRGC-QF), as well as the Iranian government more generally — and LH through the lens of kinetic and non-kinetic assistance (e.g. funding, logistical support, recruitment and social service assistance, and meetings between Iranian actors and/or LH and militias).

https://ctc.westpoint.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Iran-Entangled.pdf

EGYPT: EU LIFTING OF MUBARAK SANCTIONS SIGNALS IMPUNITY FOR CORRUPT ACTORS

On 8 April, Transparency International published an article in the aftermath of the ECJ lifting the freeze on Mubarak assets in the EU.  It says that the legal battle lasted over a decade, and the court ordered the Council of the EU to pay back any costs the family incurred in the proceedings.

https://www.transparency.org/en/press/egypt-european-unions-lift-of-mubarak-sanctions-signals-impunity-for-corrupt-actors

9 YEARS AFTER THE RANA PLAZA TRAGEDY: HAS FAST FASHION IRONED OUT THEIR DEADLY CORRUPTION PROBLEMS?

On 21 April, Transparency International reflects on the 2013 collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh in which over 1,100 people died.  It asks if the ready-made garment industry been cleaned up since then, or can we expect more deadly consequences?  It notes that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened the problem, and that corruption contributing to poor enforcement of safety regulations has caused deadly disasters in the sector.  It says that reports show that Rana Plaza was built on unsuitable land, construction rules were flouted, corners were cut in procuring building materials, and officials took bribes to look the other way.  Corruption created the perfect storm for the tragedy to take place.

https://www.transparency.org/en/blog/rana-plaza-tragedy-fast-fashion-deadly-corruption-problems

RUSSIA HAS ANNOUNCED THE EXPANSION OF ITS US & CANADA SANCTIONS LISTS

On 21 April, the EU Sanctions blog reported that Russia had added 29 people to its US sanctions list, including Vice-President Kamala Harris and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; the Canadian list 61 names and includes politicians, businessmen, publicists, and NGO activists.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/04/russia-expands-its-us-canada-sanctions-lists/

CANADA EXPANDS RUSSIA SANCTIONS LISTS

On 19 April, the Canadian Government added 14 close associates of the Russian regime, including Russian oligarchs and their family members, and President Putin’s 2 adult daughters.

https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2022/04/canada-imposes-additional-sanctions-on-close-associates-of-russian-regime.html

https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/response_conflict-reponse_conflits/crisis-crises/ukraine-sanctions.aspx?lang=eng

FATF MINISTERS COMMIT TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING, TERRORIST AND PROLIFERATION FINANCING

On 20 April, FATF issued a Declaration in which member state ministers committed to take swift and decisive action to improve the effectiveness of measures to fight money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing.  This includes promptly implementing the FATF global beneficial ownership rules, which were strengthened earlier this year, to stop criminals from hiding their illicit activities and dirty money behind anonymous shell companies and other corporate structures.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/FATF-Ministerial-Declaration-April-2022.pdf

DEFINING DIGITAL ASSETS IN INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS

On 21 April, an article from Appleby, first published in the Royal Gazette in Bermuda, briefly explores some issues relating to digital assets in the context of insolvency law.

https://www.applebyglobal.com/publications/defining-digital-assets-in-insolvency-proceedings/

US REGULATOR SAYS CRYPTO BANK VIOLATED AML AND COMPLIANCE RULES

On 21 April, Investing.com reported that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has said flagship crypto bank Anchorage Digital Bank National Association of South Dakota violated rules for monitoring for suspicious activity and preventing money laundering.  It is said that the bank failed to adopt a compliance programme that meets Bank Secrecy Act and AML requirements. 

https://www.investing.com/news/stock-market-news/us-bank-regulator-accuses-crypto-bank-of-compliance-issues-2808198

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

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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