OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – APRIL 30

Panama Covid-19 update – another day with over 900 new cases, and the positive test results over 12% (when the recommended WHO maximum is 5%). 932 new cases but no new fatalities. Active cases up by 431 to 6,066, but only 1 more person in ICU (now 11), with 84 others in other wards

30 APRIL 2022

HOW MILITARY TECHNOLOGY REACHES RUSSIA IN BREACH OF US EXPORT CONTROLS

On 29 April, a Thomson Reuters report from KFGO in the US concerns a criminal case involving a Russian and 2 Bulgarian businessmen and the supply of hardened computer chips.  It is said to illustrate the challenges of imposing a rigorous export-control regime, especially on so-called dual-use components that can serve both civilian and military purposes.  It reveals a chain of willing suppliers, front and shell companies and false claims on export forms that specialized Western components were intended for civilian rather than military use. Sought-after parts have included microelectronics and precision tooling for the Russian military.  It is also said that a review by Reuters of US court and other federal records shows that this case isn’t unique.

https://kfgo.com/2022/04/29/special-report-how-military-technology-reaches-russia-in-breach-of-u-s-export-controls/

IN JULY PARAGUAY AND ARGENTINA WILL KNOW RESULTS OF GAFILAT AML/CFT EXAMINATION

On 29 April, Ultima Hora and others reported that in the third week of July, the plenary session of the FATF-style regional body Gafilat is expected to be held in Ecuador, where the result of the AML evaluation that Paraguay has been facing will be revealed.  Similarly, ABC in Argentina reported that its evaluation report will be presented at the same plenary session, with Argentina expecting a poor rating.

https://www.ultimahora.com/en-julio-paraguay-sabra-si-pasa-el-examen-gafilat-n2999027.html

https://www.abc.com.py/tv/abc-noticias/2022/04/28/avanza-proceso-de-evaluacion-del-gafilat/

https://www.abc.com.py/730am/a-la-gran-730/2022/04/28/en-junio-se-daria-a-conocer-informe-de-gafilat-pero-arregui-adelanta-mala-calificacion-en-un-30/

FIFTH OF UK BANKERS EARNING MORE THAN £125,000 A YEAR BENEFITED FROM NON-DOMICILED TAX STATUS

On 18 April, in the wake of the news that the Chancellor’s wife enjoyed non-dom status, the Mail Online reported that non-dom status – which exempts more than 75,000 mostly foreign nationals in Britain from tax on overseas income – is claimed by 20% of UK bankers earning more than £125,000 a year.  The UK Health Secretary has also confessed he was a ‘non-dom’ while working as a banker earning up to £3 million a year, giving him the tax status between 2000 and 2006 before beginning his political career.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10728451/FIFTH-UK-bankers-earning-125-000-year-benefited-non-domiciled-tax-status.html

https://www.private-eye.co.uk/hp-sauce

FRAUD: CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS CALL FOR INVESTING IN GOVERNMENT COUNTER-FRAUD CAPABILITY AND ADDRESSING THE ASSURANCE GAP IN GRANTS DISTRIBUTED THROUGH LOCAL AUTHORITIES

On 29 April, ICAEW reported on evidence that it provided to the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee and which has now been published.  It calls for the government to learn from COVID-19 business support grants by investing in BEIS’s counter-fraud capability and addressing the assurance gap in grants distributed through local authorities.  The evidence focuses on the COVID-19 business support grant schemes and the important lessons for the government to learn for future use of local authorities as a partner to deliver priorities.  In addition, ICAEW warned the estimate of £1.038 billion of fraud and error could be a significant under-estimate. 

https://www.icaew.com/insights/viewpoints-on-the-news/2022/Apr-2022/ICAEW-insufficient-fraud-prevention-for-COVID19-grants

UK: NEW LAW ON RECOGNISING PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS GAINED OVERSEAS HAS NOW RECEIVED ROYAL ASSENT

A news release from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 29 April advised that the Professional Qualifications Act 2022 revokes the previous EU system for how certain professional qualifications gained overseas are recognised in the UK, and which often gave preferential treatment to holders of qualifications from the EEA and Switzerland.  It is said that UK regulators will now have the autonomy to decide on the right approach to recognising overseas professional qualifications.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-law-in-place-to-strengthen-uk-professions

UK: FRAUDSTER WHO PRINTED £12 MILLION IN LARGEST SEIZURE OF FAKE BANK NOTES IS JAILED

On 30 April, Yahoo News reported that Andrew Ainsworth, 61, was part of a gang that used specialist printing equipment to produce fraudulent £20 notes on an industrial scale.  He has been sentenced to sentenced to 5½ years in prison.  3 other members of the criminal network were jailed for a combined total of 22½ years in January 2021.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/bank-note-fraud-andrew-ainsworth-jailed-111814710.html

TRADE SECRETS IN THE UK

CMS Law has published a Q&A guide to trade secrets law in the UK, together with the ability to compare it to the corresponding laws of a number of other countries.

https://cms.law/en/int/expert-guides/cms-expert-guide-to-trade-secrets/united-kingdom

IRELAND: WHEN INVESTIGATING SERIOUS CRIME, IS LAW ENFORCEMENT ENTITLED TO ACCESS MATERIAL WHICH WILL OR MAY IDENTIFY JOURNALISTIC SOURCES?

On 26 April, Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald published an article saying that the Court of Appeal has outlined the parameters of journalistic privilege and set down a firm marker for An Garda Síochána (police) when applying for search warrants for the search and seizure of material that might reveal journalistic sources. The article also notes that, outside the criminal sphere, the judgment may have relevance to discovery in civil proceedings in that the court’s discussion on the scope of journalistic privilege could well inform decisions on when the production of a document can be refused on grounds of journalistic privilege.

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/knowledge/disputes/When-investigating-serious-crime-is-law-enforcement-entitled-to-access-material-which-will-or-may-identify-journalistic-sources

US AND EU AGREE ON FRAMEWORK FOR PRIVACY SHIELD REPLACEMENT

Clifford Chance has produced this briefing, saying that, while the agreement is still “in principle” and specific details have yet to be determined, if approved, this agreement will reimplement an important legal mechanism necessary to facilitate data transfers between the EU and the US.  It concludes that, while the prospect of a new Framework is great news for companies that routinely transfer data from the EEA to the US, for now companies must continue to rely on SCC (and upgrade to the European Commission’s new SCC by 27 December at the latest) and other transfer mechanisms to ensure they comply with the GDPR.

https://www.cliffordchance.com/content/dam/cliffordchance/briefings/2022/04/US%20And%20EU%20Agree%20On%20Framework%20For%20Privacy%20Shield%20Replacement.pdf

CORPORATE RE-DOMICILIATION: GLOBAL BRITAIN? WHY THE PROPOSED NEW UK REGIME MATTERS

An article from Clifford Chance says that the UK Government confirmed in April that it intends to introduce a UK corporate re-domiciliation regime, which would allow a foreign-incorporated company to change its place of incorporation to the UK whilst maintaining its legal identity as a corporate body.  This has the potential to reduce significantly the complexity involved in the process of relocating to the UK.  Companies looking to align the domicile of group companies with, for example, the location of key operations, corporate headquarters or tax residency will benefit from this proposed new regime.

https://www.cliffordchance.com/content/dam/cliffordchance/briefings/2022/04/landscape-cb.pdf

CURATORS AT MAJOR MUSEUMS ARE INCREASINGLY GRAPPLING WITH A THORNY TOPIC: RESTITUTION

On 27 April, the New York Times carried an article saying that so-called looted works of art and how to return them to their rightful owners has become a major challenge for museums.  This is tied to the appointment of a new curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which has seen since 1997, 14 claims involving 43 objects have been resolved either by returns or through financial settlements.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/27/arts/design/victoria-reed-museum-of-fine-arts-stolen-artwork.html

US DoJ LAUNCHES NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT KNOWLEDGE LAB

On 29 April, Homeland Preparedness News reported that a resource hub for law enforcement personnel has been launched that will promote constitutional policing, improve public safety, and build trust in communities.  Law enforcement personnel would be able to access the Knowledge Lab to deploy voluntary resources that include research summaries, profiles of best practices, training curricula and a roster of constitutional policing experts.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/76841-doj-launches-national-law-enforcement-knowledge-lab/

TRAFIGURA SEEKS CONTROL OF ZIMBABWE’S METALS FOR UNPAID DEBTS

On 29 April, Yahoo Finance reported that Trafigura Group and Zimbabwe’s government have discussed a deal that would give the commodities trader control over output from some of the biggest mines as repayment for debts.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trafigura-seeks-control-zimbabwe-metals-050001528.html

FINLAND TO SELL CONFISCATED BITCOIN WORTH €75 MILLION TO SUPPORT UKRAINE’S WAR EFFORT

On 28 April, Euronews reported that Finland currently holds 1,981 Bitcoin worth nearly €75 million at current rates, which were seized by Customs officials during criminal investigations.

https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/04/28/finland-to-sell-confiscated-bitcoin-worth-75-million-to-support-ukraine-s-war-effort

UKRAINE: CANADA HAS DESIGNATED 203 PEOPLE BASED IN THE PEOPLE’S COUNCILS OF THE SO-CALLED LUHANSK AND DONETSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLICS

On 30 April, EU Sanctions blog reported that the list included 11 officials who are said to be complicit in ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/04/canada-lists-203-people-in-dpr-lpr/

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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