Panama Covid-19 update – a bad set of statistics today – with 3,324 new cases leading to a 2,540 increase in active cases to 18,644 and 5 new fatalities. This was the highest number of fatalities since 1 March. There are 21 in ICU and 149 in other wards, with 41 in hospital-hotels.
11 MAY 2022
PARAGUAYAN ANTI-DRUG PROSECUTOR MURDERED IN COLOMBIA
On 10 May, La Prensa Panama reported that Marcelo Pecci, a prosecutor who specialised in the fight against drugs, was killed on the Caribbean island of Barú, near the city of Cartagena. He had been married on 30 April in Cartagena.
OUTSOURCING CAYMAN ISLANDS AML/CFT COMPLIANCE OBLIGATIONS
On 10 May, an article from Mourant provided a guide as a practical overview of the relevant steps and considerations which should be borne in mind when an financial service provider (FSP) plans to outsource, or is reviewing existing outsourcing arrangements relating to the performance of an AML/CFT compliance function to a service provider.
PAYMENT SERVICES AND CROWDFUNDING SERVICES ARE NOW REGULATED UNDER CANADA’S AML FRAMEWORK
On 9 May, an article from Gowling WLG was concerned with changes affecting the Canada’s AML legislation from 5 April. The changes, which were initially an emergency response to the protest convoys occupying major Canadian urban areas, are now permanently in force.
SWITZERLAND ADDS 2 NAMES TO ITS RUSSIAN SANCTIONS LISTS
On 3 May, Swiss authorities added Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Vitaliyovich Kurchenko and Russian businessman Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin to its Russian sanctions. Both are already designated under various US, EU and UK sanctions regimes.
MACAO BETS ON A NEW FUTURE AS CHINA CRACKS DOWN ON GAMBLING
On 11 May, Nikkei Asia reported that pressure from Beijing and pandemic travel rules are forcing the gamer’s paradise to diversify. It says that the coronavirus restrictions for the past 2 years have all but stopped visitors from coming into the city, leaving the strip – and the rest of Macao – eerily quiet.
FLIGHT OF SHOPS FROM LUXURY MALL IN MOSCOW SHOWS RUSSIAN ISOLATION AFTER UKRAINE INVASION
On 10 May, an article in the Wall Street Journal reported that the GUM shopping mall in Moscow, one of the most conspicuous symbols of Russian wealth is feeling the cost of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For years, Russia’s most famous mall showed how Moscow could rival Western capitals in luxury services, but the shift in its fortunes embodies Russia’s growing isolation from the global economy.
GUATEMALAN ARRESTED IN PANAMA FOR WAR CRIMES
On 11 May, Infobae reported that former Guatemalan military officer Toribio Acevedo Ramirez has been detained at Panama’s Tocumen airport after a judge ordered prosecutors to search for and prosecute him for his ties to one of Guatemala’s most emblematic war crimes cases.
DRUG SMUGGLERS STRAPPING CONTRABAND TO SHIPS’ HULLS IN BID TO OUTSMART AUSTRALIAN PORT OFFICIALS
On 11 May, Radio New Zealand reported that crime syndicates are attempting to smuggle drugs into Australia strapped to the hulls of cargo ships to evade detection.
NEW ZEALAND: POSSIBLE AML BREACHES AT ANZ NZ BANK REFERRED TO THE RESERVE BANK’S ENFORCEMENT
On 11 May, Interest in New Zealand reported that ANZ New Zealand, the country’s biggest bank, may have materially breached the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act. ANZ says it “self-identified” 3 prescribed transaction reporting (PTR) matters to the Reserve Bank (RBNZ), its AML/CFT Act supervisor.
JUST UNDER £2 MILLION IN RUSSIAN ASSETS IN THE ISLE OF MAN HAVE BEEN FROZEN
On 11 May, Manx Radio reported the announcement that assets of just under £2 million had been frozen in the Island.
UK: NEW FINANCIAL SERVICES AND MARKETS BILL TO HELP VICTIMS OF FINANCIAL SCAMS
On 11 May, NS Banking reported that a new Bill will enable the Payment Systems Regulator to require the banks to reimburse the people who are victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams.
SNC-LAVALIN AGREES TO PAY $30 MILLION OVER CANADIAN BRIDGE FRAUD CHARGES
On 11 May, Global Construction Review reported that Canadian construction company SNC-Lavalin has reached an agreement with Quebec provincial prosecutors to pay just under C$30 million to settle fraud charges made in September 2021 concerning the refurbishment of the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal between 1997 and 2004.
GERMANY: COURT DECLARES WIRECARD’S ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS NULL AND VOID
On 11 May, Hogan Lovells reported that Wirecard’s insolvency administrator has won a first victory before the Munich I Regional Court. It is said that dividends of around €47 million were distributed to Wirecard’s shareholders from these profits, which probably never existed. The firm says that the decision has paved the way not only for a reimbursement claim but also for a clawback action, the insolvency administrator now actually has an effective tool in hand to take legal proceedings against the shareholders. It remains to be seen to what extent he will take such action in each individual case, if only for economic reasons.
US: CONGRESS AND THE EXECUTIVE CONSIDERING THE NOTION OF A NEW REGULATORY REGIME TO LIMIT CERTAIN TYPES OF US OUTBOUND INVESTMENT IN OTHER COUNTRIES
On 11 May, an article from Morgan Lewis said that, while such a regime would certainly constitute a sea change in US national security and economic policy, most commenters have largely overlooked the potential for US regulation of outbound investment to trigger similar regimes abroad, and thereby exponentially increase the effect on industry.
BANKERS SUPPORT SWITZERLAND’S DECISION TO NOT CHANGE BANKING SECRECY LAW
On 11 May, OCCRP reported that Swiss bankers have defended the decision of a parliamentary commission not to strike down the controversial Article 47 from the country’s banking secrecy law that has been criticized by the UN, journalists and human rights advocates as violating press freedom. The article prescribes a prison sentence of up to 3 years and a fine for whoever discloses confidential banking information about a Swiss bank’s client.
IRISH REVENUE COMMISSIONERS PUBLISHES 2021 ANNUAL REPORT
On 11 May, the Revenue Commissioners published their 2021 Annual Report. It comes against the backdrop of a fundamentally changed trading environment between Ireland and Great Britain post-Brexit, and the continued significant economic and social disruptions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. There are also a set of associated reports including research reports on Corporation Tax, Income Tax, VAT and VRT; summaries of the 2021 National Random Sampling Programme for marked mineral oil products and the results of the Tobacco Products Research Survey 2021. It notes that, 1 May 2022, a new Compliance Intervention Framework, supported by a revised Code of Practice for Revenue Compliance Interventions, came into effect. It reports that drug seizures totalled almost €115 in value and tobacco seizures over €67 million.
THE LARGEST FCPA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS INVOLVING HEALTHCARE RELATED COMPANIES
On 10 May, the FCPA Professor website says that healthcare-related companies have resolved numerous FCPA enforcement actions. The post highlights the 20 largest FCPA enforcement actions (as measured by settlement amount) involving healthcare related companies (broadly speaking pharmaceutical, medical device, life sciences, and diagnostic companies as well as those selling health related products).
BERMUDA: BERMUDA MONETARY CIVIL PENALTIES TOTALLING $1,118,500 ON CONYERS TRUST COMPANY (BERMUDA) LIMITED (COMPANY)
A news release from the BMA advised that the penalties have been levied on the company for historic failures to adequately comply with the Trusts Act and the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering & Anti-Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2008.
NIGERIAN BILLIONAIRE BUILDING US CONSULATE IN NIGERIA IS AN EX-CONVICT
On 10 May, The Cable in Nigeria reported that Gilbert Chagoury co-founded the Chagoury Group in Lagos in 1971. The conglomerate owns construction, real estate, hotel, glass and flour milling businesses. It reports that, in 2000, he was reportedly convicted by a Swiss court for laundering some of the funds Abacha looted from the Nigeria. He reportedly agreed to pay a fine of about $600,000 and handed back $66 million to the Nigerian government. He denied knowing the funds were stolen.
‘CRAZY RICH’ INDONESIANS’ ARRESTS SPOTLIGHT INVESTMENT PERILS
On 10 May, Al Jazeera carried an article saying that a case against designer watch-toting influencers highlights opaque world of online trading apps in Indonesia. A reality TV show had the influencers attributing their extravagant wealth to successful trading on Binomo and Quotex, respectively, binary option trading apps that allow users to bet on a stock’s rise or fall within a strict time limit to be in with a chance to win a fixed monetary amount. 2 of the influencers now face charges of fraud, online gambling, money laundering and violating Indonesia’s Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE) by spreading so-called fake news.
US-PROPOSED MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR) CHANGES
On 10 May, a briefing from the US Congressional Research Service says that the US has submitted a series of proposals to the MTCR partners that would relax the regime’s export guidelines for certain Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
GREEK-OWNED TANKERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RUSSIAN OIL SANCTIONS
A Lloyds List podcast claimed that a large number of tankers beneficially owned by Greek shipowners were involved in, legally, moving Russian oil product, after sanctions measures prevented (or deterred) others from doing do.
PODCAST: “THINGS ARE WORSE THAN WE KNOW”
The latest TRACE podcast is a recording of a talk given by Drew Sullivan of the OCCRP at the University of Maryland. Drew is the co-founder and editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (the OCCRP), a global network of journalists working collaboratively to evaluate and mine enormous amounts of data to expose corruption. The OCCRP is also a past winner of the TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting.
US: 4-YEAR REVIEW OF SECTION 301 TARIFFS ON PRODUCTS OF CHINA
On 10 May, a Trade Alert from Wilmer Hale reported that the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has announced a statutorily-mandated “four-year review” of the Section 301 tariffs that USTR has imposed on a wide range of China-origin products pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. It will consider acts, policies and practices are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden or restrict US commerce, and thus are actionable under Section 301.
UK COMPANIES HOUSE REFORM ON THE HORIZON
On 11 May, an Insight from Field Fisher followed the Queen’s Speech which included the welcomed announcement that there will be a further Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. The purpose of the Bill is described as being to crack down on criminals abusing the open economy, ensuring that it drives out dirty money from the UK and strengthening the UK’s reputation as a place where legitimate businesses can grow and create jobs. It considers the contents of the new Bill and the likely progress of the measures involved.
A GUIDE TO ANONYMISATION OF PERSONAL DATA
On 11 May, an Insight article from Field Fisher considers the anonymisation of personal data, asking if it is difficult to achieve and what practical steps do organisations need to take?
AUSTRALIA: ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS IN RESPONSE TO RUSSIA’S INVASION
On 4 May, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a news release advising that the Australian Government has imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on a further 110 individuals in response to Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine, made up of senior Ukrainian separatists and Russian MPs. The list includes 34 senior members of the Russian-led movements in Ukrainian regions Donetsk and Luhansk, the so-called “People’s Council of the People’s Republic of Donetsk” and “People’s Council of the People’s Republic of Luhansk”.
UK: FCA REMINDS CONSUMERS OF THE RISKS OF INVESTING IN CRYPTOASSETS
On 11 May, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the FCA has said it has seen some recent social media posts regarding cryptoassets and non-fungible tokens (NFT). The FCA has not been given regulatory oversight over direct investments in cryptoassets and NFT, and there are no consumer protections for those who buy them. As a result, if you buy cryptoassets you should be prepared to lose all the money you invest.
UK: CULTURAL OBJECTS (PROTECTION FROM SEIZURE) ACT 2022
The UK has published this new Act which amends section 134 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (protection of cultural objects on loan: protected objects) to allow for an extension in the maximum period of protection for cultural objects on loan. Under the 2007 Act, cultural objects on loan from abroad to UK museums and galleries were already protected from seizure or forfeiture for a period of 12 months from the date the object enters the UK.
FAQ ON UNDERTAKING SCREENING FOR NEGATIVE NEWS AND OTHER FORMS OF ADVERSE INFORMATION
On 11 May, the Wolfsberg Group published these FAQ showing how use of such screening can enhance a financial institution’s awareness of potential financial crime risk posed by both existing and prospective customers. It refers to negative news screening (NNS) as part of a risk-based approach to AML/CFT, using a risk-based approach.
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