OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 6

Panama Covid-19 update – 1,692 new cases reported today but no new fatalities. 26,026 active cases include 37 in ICU and 293 in other wards. Test results still show a 20.6% positive hit rate.

6 JUNE 2022

ISLE OF MAN: RUSSIA SANCTIONS – GENERAL LICENCE AND ADDITIONAL CUSTOMS DUTIES ON RUSSIAN AND BELARUS IMPORTS

2 news releases on 6 June advised that, firstly, a General Licence had been granted which allows certain activities related to the provision of civilian telecommunications services and news media services. The licence will expire on 30 May 2024.  The second news release was concerned with guidance on imports from Russia and Belarus requiring additional customs duties and terms of exemption from the requirement.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/jun/06/financial-sanctions-russia-general-licence/

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/jun/06/additional-customs-duties-russia-belarus/

FCPA: GLENCORE CASES PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND COOPERATION CREDIT FOR INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS

On 2 June, an article from Ice Miller LLP was concerned with 2 separate cases in US courts in which Glencore International AG pled guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), while Glencore Ltd pled guilty to a commodity price manipulation scheme conspiracy as part of a separate resolution.  It considers the result of an investigation and plea agreement which, it says, made 3 things clear, including that any internal investigation and remediation action must be undertaken swiftly to obtain full cooperation credit.  Another article, from Shearman & Sterling on 2 June deals with the details of the penalties imposed, including the largest penalty and disgorgement ever ordered by the CFTC, for conduct that spanned over 10 years.

https://www.icemiller.com/ice-on-fire-insights/publications/glencore-certification-and-guilty-plea-puts-indi/

https://www.lit-wc.shearman.com/Glencore-Pleads-Guilty-And-Agrees-To-1-Billion-Penalty-To-Resolve-Manipulation#page=1

MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY (MGA) HAS DISTANCED ITSELF FROM A FORMER COMPLIANCE OFFICER WHO HAS BEEN ARRESTED

On 1 June, iGB reported that Iosif Galea was detained on a European Arrest Warrant while on holiday in Italy with a group that included Malta’s former Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat.  He been an i-gaming regulatory compliance consultant in Malta for more than 6 years, having previously been employed by what was then the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) for 6 years until 2013.  An MGA statement stressed that he not been employed with the Authority since March 2013, but that he had held the role of compliance officer between December 2007 and March 2013.  It is also reported that the Times of Malta reports that police are investigating why Galea was not arrested in Malta and was allowed to leave the island multiple times despite being subject to an arrest warrant.

https://igamingbusiness.com/mga-distances-itself-from-arrested-former-compliance-officer

GIBRALTAR REQUIRES LOCAL PRESENCE FOR LICENSEES IN NEW GAMBLING ACT

On 6 June, iGB reported that a draft of a new Gambling Act for consultation includes a requirement for operators to have a “sufficient substantive presence” in the territory.

https://igamingbusiness.com/gibraltar-gambling-act

MEXICO: THE STRATEGIES, CHOICES, AND APPROACHES TO RULE OF THE CJNG CARTEL

On 29 May, the Brookings Institution published one of a series of articles in which the author outlines the way Mexico’s 2 largest cartels — the Sinaloa Cartel and Cartel Jalisco Nueva -Generación (CJNG) — as well as smaller criminal groups, take over and rule local people, economies, and territories.  In this one she focuses on the strategies, choices, and approaches to rule of the CJNG. She says that large segments of Mexico’s people, territory, and economy are falling under the rule of Mexican criminal groups; and in the article she looks at some of the dimensions and changes to the rule by CJNG and the way it differs from the Sinaloa Cartel’s rule.

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/how-mexicos-cartel-jalisco-nueva-generacion-rules

See also the article on the Sinaloa Cartel –

https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/how-the-sinaloa-cartel-rules/

US TO LET ENI AND REPSOL SHIP VENEZUELA OIL TO EUROPE 

On 6 June, Reuters reported that Italian oil company Eni SpA and Spain’s Repsol SA could begin shipping Venezuelan oil to Europe as soon as next month to make up for Russian crude, resuming oil-for-debt swaps halted 2 years ago when the US stepped up sanctions on Venezuela.

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/exclusive-us-let-eni-repsol-ship-venezuela-oil-europe-debt-sources-2022-06-05/

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/u-s-to-let-eni-repsol-ship-venezuela-oil-to-europe-for-debt-sources/

BRITISH TOURIST JAILED FOR 15 YEARS IN IRAQ OVER CHARGES OF SMUGGLING ARTEFACTS

On 6 June, the Guardian and others reported that a retired geologist has been jailed for 15 years.  He had collected 12 stones and shards of broken pottery during a recent geology and archaeology tour of the country.  A German man who was also arrested has been acquitted of the same charges.

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bath-man-jim-fitton-jailed-7169500

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/06/british-geologist-jailed-iraq-smuggling-artefacts-jim-fitton

HUNGARIAN POLICE BUST A GANG THAT LAUNDERED MONEY VIA ‘STRAWMEN’

On 6 June, OCCRP reported that police conducted searches of 24 homes, questioned 16 suspects and arrested 5 during an operation in which funds were seized in 32 countries across Europe, Australia and South America.  The criminal organisation has been operational since September 2020 and that its members formed a number of companies with no meaningful economic activities and acquired other firms using strawmen.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16403-hungarian-police-bust-a-gang-that-laundered-money-via-strawmen

US EXTRADITES FORMER GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CHIHUAHUA TO MEXICO FOR PROSECUTION RELATED TO THE CRIMES OF EMBEZZLEMENT AND CRIMINAL ASSOCIATION

On 5 June, Jurist reported that the US had extradited César Duarte to Mexico.  Chihuahua issued an arrest warrant for Duarte in October 2019 on embezzlement and criminal association charges. 

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/06/us-extradites-former-mexico-state-governor-for-embezzlement-and-criminal-association-prosecution/

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CANCELS SERBIA VISIT AFTER NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES CLOSE AIRSPACE TO HIS AIRCRAFT

On 6 June, the Guardian reported that foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, had to cancel a visit to Serbia when the countries around it closed their airspace to his aircraft.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/06/russian-foreign-minister-cancels-serbia-visit-after-neighbours-close-airspace

FRANCE PUTS 18 ON TRIAL OVER ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN HORSEMEAT SCANDAL

On 6 June, the Guardian reported that they are accused of participation in supply of horsemeat unfit for human consumption across Europe.  9 years after the events, 18 people, including 2 veterinarians, are appearing in court in Marseille accused of involvement in a vast illegal trafficking network that allegedly supplied horsemeat unfit for human consumption to wholesalers and butchers.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/06/horsemeat-traffickers-france-duped-owners

“BIKIE” CRACKDOWN AS POLICE TARGET THE ‘WHO’S WHO’ OF SYDNEY GANGS

On 6 June, the Daily Mail reported that police have raided a ‘who’s who’ of bikies and organised crime gangs leading to 15 arrests as gang-related violence plagues Sydney.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10887507/Inside-latest-bikie-crackdown-cops-target-whos-Sydney-gangs.html

VOICE RECOGNITION AND DATA COLLECTION: RESEARCHERS ARE FIGURING OUT HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY

On 1 June, an article from Wired says that, as machines become better at understanding you through your voice, companies are cashing in. Voice recognition systems have proliferated in recent years as artificial intelligence and machine learning have unlocked the ability to understand not just what you are saying but who you are.  However, it also says that privacy-focused researchers are increasingly searching for ways to protect people from having their voice data used against them.

https://www.wired.com/story/voice-recognition-privacy-speech-changer/amp

DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

On 27 May, the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law published an article which reviews corporate DPA procedures in the countries that have adopted them as well as legislative schemes now being considered, and focuses on the approaches to judicial review adopted by each.  The differences explored may have a real impact on transnational criminal investigations, and this comparative study is intended to provide a useful gauge of the respective countries’ traditions and principles of separation of the powers.

https://raytoddblog.files.wordpress.com/2022/06/ff3d0-judicialreviewofdeferredprosecutionagreementsacomparativestudy28print29.pdf

LEGAL THREATS TO BYLINE TIMES’ REPORTING ON THE PPE PROCUREMENT SCANDAL

On 31 May, Byline Times in the UK reported on the legal threats from PPE Medpro, a company awarded £200 million in Government PPE deals.  It raises concerns that PPE Medpro is using the UK’s often-described draconian libel laws as a way of dissuading journalists from posing valid questions about a company that has won substantial contracts funded by the taxpayer.  It says that the reaction came when it asked questions regarding Baroness Mone and her husband’s links to PPE Medpro.

https://bylinetimes.com/2022/05/31/challenges-in-byline-times-reporting-of-the-ppe-procurement-scandal/

LEBANON: THE IMPENDING VOID

On 30 May, an article from the Carnegie Middle East Center says that a presidential election is scheduled for later this year and there is no consensual candidate over which all sides can agree, and an extended period of manoeuvring will very likely lead nowhere.  It also observes that is that Lebanon’s social and economic catastrophe is reaching untenable levels.  It warns that Lebanon’s second republic may be facing an existential crisis, and the political forces will have to recognise that their country’s social contract is dead.

https://carnegie-mec.org/diwan/87210

5 LESSONS FROM THE MOST RECENT CONSENT AGREEMENT OVER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF ARMS EXPORT CONTROLS

On 2 June, an article from Torres Trade Law examined the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) a consent agreement with Torrey Pines Logic Inc and its founder and president for alleged violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The electro-optics and communications equipment company allegedly committed violations that involved the attempted unauthorised export and unauthorised export of defence articles, including to proscribed destinations; involvement in ITAR-regulated activities while ineligible; and failure to maintain export transaction records.  It says that the consent agreement provides (at least) 5 valuable takeaways for all defence manufacturers and exporters –

  1. Do not skip the commodity jurisdiction (CJ) process for potentially ITAR-controlled items;
  2. Do not export potential defence articles without authorization while a CJ determination is pending
  3. Take recordkeeping requirements seriously;
  4. Manufacturing defence articles without registering with ddtc is an itar violation; and
  5. The value of completely disclosing ITAR violations in a voluntary disclosure

https://www.torrestradelaw.com/posts/Five-Lessons-from-DDTC%E2%80%99s-Most-Recent-Consent-Agreement/278

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/annastylianoucy_moneylaundering-aml-amlawareness-activity-6939471099189448704-12Hz?utm_source=linkedin_share&utm_medium=member_desktop_web

IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER SETS OUT RATIONALE BEHIND GREEK TANKER SEIZURES

On 6 June, Seatrade Maritime News reported that the supreme leader has confirmed that Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) forces seized 2 Greek oil tankers in retaliation for the US confiscation of the Iranian crude aboard a tanker detained off Greece over a month earlier.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/tankers/irans-supreme-leader-sets-out-rationale-behind-greek-tanker-seizures

TAXATION OF THE DIGITALIZED ECONOMY

On 3 June, KPMG published the latest edition of this regular update

https://tax.kpmg.us/content/dam/tax/en/pdfs/2022/digitalized-economy-taxation-developments-summary.pdf

UK: NATIONAL SECURITY BILL – FOREIGN INTERFERENCE OFFENCE

On 6 June, the Home Office published information, including a number of factsheets about this Bill.  One of the elements is a “foreign interference offence”, the principal aim of which is to create a more challenging operating environment for, and to deter and disrupt the activities of, foreign states who seek to undermine UK interests, its institutions, political system, or rights, and ultimately prejudice national security. For example, provisions targeting foreign interference in elections substantially increase the current maximum penalties for existing electoral offences to reflect the seriousness of foreign interference in the UK’s domestic politics.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-security-bill-factsheets/foreign-interference-national-security-bill-factsheet

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/the-national-security-bill

SFO FACES THIRD APPEAL OVER UNAOIL INVESTIGATION

On 6 June, the Law Society Gazette reported that the SFO faces yet another appeal in relation to its Unaoil investigation with a third former oil executive challenging his conviction for bribery.  Unaoil’s former territory manager for Iraq, was jailed for 3 years in July 2020 for allegedly paying over $500,000 in bribes to secure a multi-million-pound oil infrastructure contract after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  However, the Court of Appeal has since quashed 2 of the 4 convictions the SFO obtained in relation to its Unaoil investigation over ‘serious’ disclosure failures and ‘wholly inappropriate’ contacts with David Tinsley, a former DEA agent acting on behalf of the family which owned and controlled Unaoil.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sfo-faces-third-appeal-over-unaoil-investigation/5112699.article

FEDERAL JUDGE AUTHORISES US TO SEIZE 2 OF ROMAN ABRAMOVICH’S PRIVATE JETS

On 6 June, the Guardian reported that the case involves a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and a Gulfstream G650ER that both belong to Abramovich, with the DoJ saying that both jets flew to Russia in March, violating export restrictions the US imposed on Putin’s regime over its attack on Ukraine.  It is unclear when American officials might be able to take away Abramovich’s jets as long as they avoid the US or one of the territories that the country controls.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/06/roman-abramovich-private-jets-us-government-seize

US: DoJ SAYS TIGER KING’ STAR USED HIS BUSINESS TO LAUNDER HUMAN SMUGGLING MONEY

On 6 June, Newsweek and others reported that Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been charged with federal money laundering crimes involving cash that allegedly came from an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants from Mexico to the US.

https://www.newsweek.com/tiger-king-star-used-business-launder-human-smuggling-money-doj-south-carolina-1713268?piano_t=1

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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