Panama Covid-19 update – bad day for deaths, with 8 new fatalities reported today. This was alongside 1,106 new cases (although testing numbers were down quite a bit, with a 18.5% positive hit rate) and 21,611 active cases – 35 in ICU and 255 in other wards.
13 JUNE 2022
CAYMAN COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS €153 MILLION WORLDWIDE FREEZING INJUNCTIONS
On 9 June, Wilberforce Chambers published an article about a decision in December of the Cayman Islands’ Court of Appeal, when it handed down judgment following a 2-day appeal heard in September 2021 concerning 2 worldwide freezing and notification injunctions granted in May 2020. As well as linking to the judgment itself, the article briefly explains what is said to be 3 notable findings of the decision, and contains a helpful summary of the principles (following a number of recent English decisions) as to the threshold to establish a good arguable case on the merits and a real risk of dissipation and how each of those is to be approached on an appeal.
HOW WESTERN SANCTIONS COULD BENEFIT OUT-OF-FAVOUR RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
On 12 June, the Wall Street Journal looked at a lesser-known group of potential beneficiaries from the situation arising from the war in Ukraine. It is said that this subset of the Russian upper crust, around a dozen bank owners living abroad, could see sanctions freeing their homes and cars, and repairing their reputations. Russia for years pursued out-of-favour oligarchs and business owners through courts in the West to reel back riches the Kremlin alleged were obtained illegally. It seems that lawyers who had represented Russia in cases against the men in the US, UK and Europe are resigning; sympathetic lawmakers have taken up their causes, pushing for more sanctions that could benefit their cases; and courts are being asked to consider that Russia might have won earlier cases based on fraud.
US CONGRESS TO TOUGHEN SHIPPING REGULATION
On 10 June, the Wall Street Journal reported that lawmakers are preparing to toughen oversight of international shipping companies as historically high freight transportation costs are seen as hampering business and contributing to inflation. There could be new regulatory constraints applied to shipping operations and to limit the ability of ocean carriers to levy the special fees that shipping customers say are driving up costs. The proposals would make it tougher for the shipping lines to refuse export cargoes, a practice that has grown over the past 2 years as carriers have sought to turn around empty containers quickly to return them to Asia and take advantage of high prices for Asian exports.
RISK ASSESSMENT TASK FORCE FORMED TO AID INDONESIA’S GOAL OF FATF MEMBERSHIP
On 12 June, Antara reported that a Sectoral Risk Assessment (SRA) Task Force had been set up to prevent misuse of corporations for economic crimes, as part of the country’s efforts to assist its application to become a member of FATF. Indonesia is the only G20 country that is not a member of FATF, but only an observer.
THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN FAUNA & FLORA
On 3 June, a paper in Nature says that we have more data about wildlife trafficking than ever before, but it remains underutilised for decision-making. The authors of the paper set out to create geospatial data standards to help advance efforts to combat wildlife trafficking. It says that such data standards help enable broader utilisation of wildlife trafficking data across disciplines and sectors, accelerate aggregation and analysis of data across space and time, advance evidence-based decision making, and reduce wildlife trafficking.
INDIAN OPPOSITION LEADER RAHUL GANDHI QUESTIONED IN MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE
On 13 June, the Malay Mail and others reported that investigators questioned opposition leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with a 9-year old complaint by MP of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Gandhi and his mother, Congress party President Sonia Gandhi.
INDIA: COURT SENDS MINISTER TO JUDICIAL CUSTODY FOR 14 DAYS IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 13 June, Bar & Bench reported that a court in Delhi had sent Aam Aadmi Party minister Satyendar Jain to judicial custody for 14 days in relation to a money laundering case against him. He has been facing a probe in a corruption case registered by the CBI when arrested. He is a senior AAP politician and currently holds the health, home, power, public works department, industries, urban development and flood, irrigation and water portfolios.
EU: PROPOSED NEW RULES ON FREEZING AND CONFISCATING ASSETS OF OLIGARCHS VIOLATING RUSSIAN SANCTIONS
On 25 May, the EU published proposals to add the violation of EU restrictive measures to the list of EU crimes, and new reinforced rules on asset recovery and confiscation, which will also contribute to the implementation of EU restrictive measures.
LEAKED AUDITS SHOW DNB AND NORDEA BANKS IGNORED MONEY LAUNDERING RED FLAGS FOR YEARS
On 13 June, OCCRP reported that confidential banking documents obtained by OCCRP show how Finnish bank Nordea and Norwegian bank DNB, ignoring risks and red flags, banked shady clients at their Baltic branches as they shifted billions in suspicious transactions. In May 2019, auditors concluded investigations into high-risk clients of Luminor, which had been formed by a merger of the Baltic branches of DNB and Nordea. The auditors’ findings detailed dozens of shady clients that had banked with Nordea and DNB, including suspected money launderers and Russian oligarchs.
RUSSIA’S STATE-OWNED RNRC TO REINSURE RUSSIAN OIL SHIPMENTS
On 13 June, Hellenic Shipping News reported on news that state-controlled Russian National Reinsurance Company (RNRC) is now the main reinsurer of Russian ships, including Sovcomflot’s fleet, after Western insurance firms withdrew cover for Russian shipowners.
BEHAVIOURAL DRIVERS OF CORRUPTION FACILITATING ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
On 1 June, a report from the NGO TRAFFIC is a review of the efficacy and opportunities for using social norm and behaviour change (SNBC) approaches to combat illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and other natural resource-related corruption. It is said that SNBC initiatives can help combat diverse corruption problems, although, for those related to natural resource management, the evidence for doing so is sparse.
BREXIT HELPING CAUSE HARMFUL INCREASE IN FAKE ECSTASY
On 8 June, the Guardian reported that an “unprecedented shift” in the drug market in the UK caused by a combination of Brexit, Covid lockdowns and police operations against supply chains has led to a sharp and potentially harmful increase in fake MDMA. Almost half of substances sold as MDMA (ecstasy) at festivals in England last year did not contain any of the drug.
UK: FCA PUTS CREDIT SUISSE ON WATCHLIST IN NEED OF STRICTER SUPERVISION
On 12 June, Yahoo News reported that the regulator has told the Swiss bank that the step had been taken because of concern the bank had not made enough improvements to its culture, governance and risk controls. Credit Suisse was fined about $475 million last year by SEC and FCA, to resolve bribery and fraud charges relating to a $2 billion Mozambican corruption scandal.
4 BRITISH MEN ARRESTED IN GREECE AFTER MORE THAN £42.5 MILLION OF COCAINE FOUND IN BANANA SHIPMENT
On 10 June, Sky News reported that 300 kg consignment was uncovered in a shipping container by Italian authorities last month. The unnamed suspects from London and Liverpool were arrested at a house near the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.
BOOM TIMES NOT OVER YET: US CONTAINER PORTS STILL NEAR HIGHS
On 10 June, American Shipper reported that while there may be doom and gloom about the future, but America’s ports are still posting historically high numbers for the recent past. The ports of Long Beach, California, and Charleston, South Carolina, just reported exceptionally strong throughputs for May – and there were still 92 container ships waiting off US coastlines on 10 June, according to data from MarineTraffic and the Marine Exchange.
NEW TRADE FINANCE BANK NEOTRADE LAUNCHES IN THE UK
On 13 June, Fintech Futures reported that Neotrade has launched operations in the UK, with its stated mission is to become the “leading” digital trade financing bank operating on a global scale. It is said to provide financing for SME using an AI-based scoring system to provide a “personalised financing experience within minutes”.
SEC CHARGES FORMER EMPLOYEE OF ONLINE GAMBLING COMPANY WITH INSIDER TRADING
On 13 June, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the SEC has announced insider trading charges against a former software engineer at Penn National Gaming’s subsidiary Penn Interactive Ventures, in connection with the parent company’s $2 billion acquisition of Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc.
IRAN SAYS THAT IT EXPECTS CONFISCATED OIL CARGO TO BE RETURNED IN FULL
On 13 June, Insurance Marine News reported that Iran’s ambassador to Greece has said that Iran expected an oil cargo that was confiscated by the US off the coast of Greece to be returned in full. His statement followed a Greek appeal court ruling that struck out a lower court decision to permit US confiscation of the Iranian-flagged Lana (formerly Pegas and formerly Russian-flagged).
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