OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – MAY 15

Panama Covid-19 update – as the fifth wave continues, the health ministry has reiterated that schools will not be closed if there only a handful of cases reported, and  currently there are none that are closed and classes were only suspended in one school in the province of Herrera and the other in San Miguelito. The Minister of Health also declared that it seems that the curve of the fifth wave of covid-19 had begun to flatten, indicating a stabilisation of cases.

Despite the Minister’s statement, positivity in testing remains just above 20% (remembering that the WHO guidelines for control of the virus is 5%), although there are slight drops in active cases and numbers in hospital. 2 new fatalities were reported, and 2,166 new cases, with there now being 24,617 active cases, with 25 in ICU and 133 in other wards.

15 MAY 2022

WHY E-SPORTS AND GAMING ARE NOTEWORTHY, EVEN IF YOU AREN’T A GAMER

On 12 May, an article from Simmons & Simmons looks at the situation regarding the sector post-Covid, saying that the sector has been through rebirths and surges since the 1970s but, with it being worth an estimated €23 billion in Europe alone in 2021, it won’t be going away.  The article has a particular focus on the opportunities and use cases resulting from data and AI within gaming and esports.  One interesting trend it notes from 2021 seems to be that crypto companies are flocking to involve themselves with esports.  It also touches upon sponsorship of esports.

https://www.simmons-simmons.com/en/publications/cl32sbqx814xw0b39y3k52nhk/gaming-and-esports-why-you-should-care

https://csis-website-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/180705_Williams_HezbollahMissiles_v3.pdf

EU SANCTIONS WHISTLEBLOWER TOOL

Online portal for EU citizens to share first-hand information which can be a powerful tool to help uncover cases of sanctions violations, including evasion and circumvention.

https://eusanctions.integrityline.com/frontpage

RUSSIAN MINISTER IMPRISONED FOR OIL-RELATED BRIBERY HAS BEEN RELEASED

On 12 May, AP reported that the highest-ranking Russian official to go to prison in nearly 2 decades – former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev – has been released after serving more than half of an 8-year sentence for a bribery conviction.  Ulyukaev was arrested in 2016 as he was leaving the Rosneft building with a bag full of cash that its CEO had given him as part of a purported sting operation by Russia’s main intelligence agency.

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-igor-sechin-5145d946b6ff9f29ac3ccc9acf05b46b

PHILIPPINES: REGULATED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ARE NOW REQUIRED TO HAVE AN AUTOMATED AND REAL-TIME FRAUD MONITORING AND DETECTION SYSTEM TO ADDRESS THE GROWING INCIDENTS OF CYBER FRAUDS

On 12 May, the Philippines News Agency reported that financial institutions regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are now required to have an automated and real-time fraud monitoring and detection system to address the growing incidents of cyber frauds.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1174309

IRELAND: ILLEGAL CIGARETTES COST THE STATE €264 MILLION IN A YEAR

On 15 May, the Irish Examiner reported that more than 1 in 8 of all packets of cigarettes used by smokers in Ireland last year were illegal, with a sharp increase in the number of counterfeit products being sold.  13% of all packs consumed by Irish smokers last year were classified as illegal.  4% of all illegal cigarettes consumed last year were “illegal whites” – cigarettes manufactured for the sole purpose of being smuggled into and sold illegally in the country.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40873064.html

MORE ARRESTS OF ISRAELIS CONNECTED TO FOREX AND CRYPTO FRAUD AS ISRAELI AUTHORITIES CLAMP DOWN ON INVESTMENT SCAMS

On 15 May, Finance Magnates reported on arrests in Israel of 3 men on suspicion of money laundering, tax avoidance, and fraud resulting from forex and crypto investment activities.  These are said to be emblematic of the effort the Israeli authorities are putting into clamping down on investment scams emanating from Israel or by Israeli citizens.

https://www.financemagnates.com/forex/michael-zetser-dmitry-dima-leichtman-and-ran-peled-named-in-israeli-arrests/

NEW MONEY LAUNDERING LAW: NIGERIA PROHIBITS SHELL BANKING OPERATIONS, ANONYMOUS ACCOUNTS

On 15 May, the Nigerian Tribune reported on the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act.  Among other things, the Act requires risk assessment processes for such things as the risk posed by domestic and foreign politically exposed persons (PEP).

https://tribuneonlineng.com/new-money-laundering-law-nigeria-prohibits-shell-banking-operations-anonymous-accounts

AFGHAN MONEY EXCHANGERS ON STRIKE AFTER LICENCE FEE HIKE

On 15 May, the International Business Times reported that thousands of money exchangers shut shop across Afghanistan after Taliban authorities imposed a steep hike in licence fees.  Afghanistan’s formal banking system collapsed when the Taliban swept back to power in August 2021.  Since then, money exchangers have played a key role in meeting the financial needs of 38 million citizens mired in humanitarian crisis.

https://www.ibtimes.com/afghan-money-exchangers-strike-after-licence-fee-hike-3507693

IRELAND: SURGE IN MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES AS CRIME MIGRATES ONLINE

On 15 May, the Irish Times reported that the level of money laundering in Ireland has increased significantly over the last 2 years and senior Garda officers believe the problem is much worse than the latest trends suggest.  The Irish Times has learned that some 701 money-laundering crimes were recorded in Ireland last year, up from just 86 crimes in 2018.  The spike in money laundering coincides with an unprecedented increase in the number of suspicious transactions reported to the Revenue Commissioners, mostly by Irish banks.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/surge-in-money-laundering-offences-as-crime-migrates-online-1.4878946

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.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

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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