Panama Covid-19 update – drops in the number of active cases and even the percentage of positive test results – but then it is Sunday, with less testing etc.
1 new fatality and 1,389 new cases reported, with 23,615 active cases – 33 in ICU and 259 in other wards. The hit rate, for 7,609 tests, was 18.3%. until the last few days, the percentage had been consistently over 20% since 6 May.
12 JUNE 2022
ILLEGAL ACCESS AT GUATEMALAN AIRPORT
The Latin American Aviation Historical Society published a video on its Facebook site in which it was said that Guatemalan congressman Cristian Alvarez uncovered, through a Tik Tok video, the existence of an illegal access from the street to the international ramp of the La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. Said door is adjacent to the LAATS FBO (fixed-base operator). In addition, it was said, the congressman exposed the existence of an “unauthorised” Immigration Office inside said FBO, which was promptly dismantled. Both are severe airport security violations, presumably used for drug-trafficking operations.
ROMAN ABRAMOVICH SAID TO HAVE HANDED MILLIONS IN ASSETS TO HIS KIDS BEFORE SANCTIONS HIT
On 11 June, the New York Post claimed that Roman Abramovich secretly transferred hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of assets — including superyachts and one of the world’s biggest private jets — to his children just days before he was placed under international sanctions. He is said to have made some or all of his 7 children the beneficiaries of the Cyprus-based Europa Settlement Trust. It controls the shell companies that, on paper, own Abramovich’s jets, several yachts, a helicopter, and other assets.
ATTACK AGAINST COSTA RICA SPARKS A NEW RANSOMWARE ERA
On 12 June, an article in Wired said that, for the last 2 months, Costa Rica has been under siege. 2 major ransomware attacks have crippled many of the country’s essential services, plunging the government into chaos as it scrambles to respond. The government declared a “national emergency” in response to the ransomware — the first time a country has done so in response to a cyberattack. Russia-linked group Conti claimed responsibility for the first attack and is believed to have some links to the ransomware-as-a-service operation HIVE, which was responsible for the second attack impacting the health care system.
AUSTRALIA: ORGANISED CRIME FRAUDSTERS STEALING $1.45 BILLION A YEAR FROM THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME
On 12 June, the Daily Mail reported that organised crime is now moving across into NDIS, obtaining people’s personal information and defrauding the system with false invoices, overpaying of bills and ghost payments.
EU AGRICULTURE FUND COMMON TARGET FOR FRAUDSTERS
On 12 June, Agriland carried an article reporting that OLAF has said that EU agriculture funding is a “common target for fraudsters”. Agriculture and cohesion policy traditionally account for the largest shares of the EU budget. An OLAF annual report detailed several agricultural-themed investigations in which OLAF was involved in during 2021, and the article cites brief examples.
3 NEW EXPERT-LED UNODC LEGISLATIVE GUIDES TO COMBAT CRIMES THAT AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT
On 10 June, the UN Office on Drugs & Crime issued a news release was concerned with wildlife and forest crime; crimes in the fisheries sector; illegal mining; and trafficking in precious metals, as well as in plastics and other waste – crimes that affect the environment. UNODC is developing a series of legislative guides, intended to support states in enacting or strengthening domestic legislation on various forms of crimes that affect the environment. The guides focus on implementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) to prevent and combat these crimes, providing national lawmakers with concrete model provisions, national examples and legislative guidance. It links to one released on 10 June – Combating Waste Trafficking: A Guide to Good Legislative Practices.
SPECIALIST GANG ‘TARGETING’ UKRAINIAN TREASURES FOR REMOVAL TO RUSSIA
On 12 June, an article in The Observer reported that a specialist gang is smuggling valuable historic artefacts out of Ukraine and into Russia, according to an international team of academics and digital technology experts who are tracking thefts.
GREEK COURT OVERTURNS EARLIER RULING THAT PERMITTED US CONFISCATION OF IRANIAN OIL
On 10 June, Insurance Marine News reported on the latest development in the convoluted case of a Russian-associated ship with Iranian oil on board that was detained while in Greek waters. The seizure of the vessel led to Iranian retaliation, with Iran seizing 2 Greek tankers.
KAZAKHSTAN RENAMES ITS EXPORT OIL TO AVOID ASSOCIATION WITH RUSSIA
On 10 June, Insurance Marine News reported that Kazakhstan is changing the name of the oil it exports via Russian sea ports to Kazakhstan Export Blend Crude Oil (KEBCO). The new name is in place of “Russian export blend crude oil” (REBCO) or Urals. Kazakhstan uses Russian sea ports as a transit route for 20% of its export oil flow.
CHINESE TRADERS AND WAREHOUSES “PROBED FOR ALUMINIUM FRAUD”
On 10 June, Channel News Asia reported that an investigation into the fraudulent use of aluminium stocks to raise finance in China has expanded to 3 Shanghai-based companies suspected of having pledged aluminium stocks several times over. Using commodities as collateral in financing in China is common and not illegal but issuing receipts to repeatedly mortgage an asset is fraud.
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