Panama Covid-19 update – a new report says that hospitalisations for Covid-19 increased over the last 15 days, but there was a decrease in ICU admissions. On the other hand, in May, over 1.3 million people passed through Tocumen International Airport, over 703,000 more than May 2021.
Today saw 1,958 new cases but no new fatalities, with 21,230 actives cases (up 100 over yesterday), with 36 patients in ICU and 220 in other wards. Test result positivity remains just below 20%.
16 JUNE 2022
ISLE OF MAN SANCTIONS UPDATES – RUSSIA, IRAN, ISIL/AL-QAIDA
On 16 June, the Isle of Man issued 3 news releases advising of changes to sanctions lists. This were the amendment of 1 entry on the Iran sanctions lists, 39 entries amended and 3 corrected on the Russia lists, and 6 entries amended on the ISIL/Al-Qaida sanctions list.
2 STOLEN CULTURAL OBJECTS ARE RETURNED BY SPAIN TO ITALY
On 16 June, a post on the Art Law & More blog from Boodle Hatfield reported on a ceremony at the Italian Embassy in Madrid at which a 16th Century gilded wooden reliquary depicting Pope Clement I, and a 16th Century painting in oil by an anonymous Lombard artist titled Luncheon. One came to the attention of investigators that it may be being sold by an antique dealer in Madrid, and the other came to light when Interpol located it at a Spanish auction house.
US: BitMEX CO-FOUNDER SENTENCED TO PROBATION ON AML CHARGE
On 16 June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Benjamin Delo, a co-founder of cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX, had been sentenced to 30 months’ probation. He also paid a $10 million penalty as part of a deal with prosecutors and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
AIRCRAFT FROZEN: WHEN WORLDWIDE FREEZING ORDERS BITE
On 14 June, an article from CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP said that an English court has granted a ‘without notice’ application for a worldwide freezing order preventing the owner of an aircraft from dealing with its aircraft, save in the normal course of its charter business, following the owner’s failure to pay a judgment debt and comply with other court orders. It also said that issues raised are a useful reminder of the steps that a judgment creditor can take to preserve and, importantly, identify assets to enforce against when confronted with a recalcitrant judgment debtor.
REMOVING RUSSIAN SEA MINES NEAR KEY UKRAINE PORTS COULD TAKE MONTHS
On 15 June, Dryad Global reported that a UN agency said that removing sea mines near Ukraine’s key ports could take months, and hundreds of seafarers are still stranded in the region following Russia’s invasion of the country. It says that some 450 foreign seafarers remain stranded on over 80 ships in Ukrainian ports, down from about 2,000.
THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAS PUBLISHED A NEW REPORT ON PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS IN SE ASIA
On 16 June, Dryad Global reported that an ICC report revealed that, of 37 incidents recorded worldwide in the first 3 months of 2022, 41% of them occurred in SE Asian waters, which remain one of the most perilous waters – in particular, the Singapore Strait, the Strait of Malacca and the Indonesian waters. It highlights the problems with the definition of “piracy” in international law and how it could or should be amended. It says that as long as the number of pirate attacks in SE Asian waters remains high, governments in the region must put a higher priority on the issue and act with greater urgency; and revising piracy law and strengthening implementation practices would be a good start.
US TO ASSESS IF EGYPT-LEBANON GAS DEAL VIOLATES SANCTIONS AFTER TERMS AGREED
On 16 June, Devdiscourse reported that a deal to sell gas from Egypt to Lebanon via Syria was being examined. Using Egyptian gas is part of a US-backed effort to address Lebanon’s crippling power shortages.
NIGERIA REVAMPS AML/CFT FRAMEWORK
On 16 June, The Banker reported that the framework has been transformed in recent weeks, as a raft of new legislation, along with fresh guidance from the country’s central bank, has shaken up the decade-old system of existing rules. For Nigerian financial institutions, it says, these changes will have profound implications, as the costs and complexity of operating in Africa’s largest economy both increase. It notes, for example, that the Money Laundering Act introduces prohibitions against the “splitting” of transactions, whereby individuals and corporate entities split payments to keep the value of a transaction below regulatory reporting requirements.
UK: CONSULTATION ON POLICE REQUESTS FOR THIRD PARTY MATERIAL
On 16 June, the Home Office advised that a consultation had been launched which explores issues around police requests for personal records such as health, education and social service records (known as third party material) during criminal investigations.
REPORT LINKS ALLEGED ENVIRONMENTAL AND LABOUR ABUSES IN THE XINJIANG UYGHUR AUTONOMOUS REGION TO PVC
On 16 June, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that a scholarly report has been released linking alleged environmental and labour abuses in the XUAR to PVC.
US CUSTOMS INTERCEPT COUNTERFEIT CAR SENSORS
A news release from US Customs and Border Protection on 15 June advised that officers in Minneapolis recently stopped 2 shipments that contained 300 counterfeit General Motors (GM) Brand Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) from Hong Kong.
AUSTRALIA: WHAT IMPACT WILL THE FEDERAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION HAVE ON BUSINESS?
On 15 June, a legal briefing from Herbert Smith Freehills considers the commission promised by the new Labour government to be “powerful, transparent and independent” with extraordinarily wide powers granted to royal commissions.
IRS ASKS SWITZERLAND FOR CLIENT DATA FROM 26 INSTITUTIONS
On 14 June, Swissinfo reported that the IRS wants further information from the Swiss authorities on account data at 26 financial institutions. The IRS has made numerous requests for information in the past. The requests for administrative assistance concern bank accounts of US clients who had not previously given their consent to the handing over of their account data by the Swiss institutions.
JP MORGAN CHASE HAS WON A HIGH COURT BATTLE AGAINST NIGERIA OVER $1.7 BILLION IN DAMAGES OVER A DISPUTED 2011 OILFIELD DEAL
On 14 June, Yahoo Finance reported that the civil case, which was heard earlier this year, relates to the purchase by Shell and Eni of Nigeria’s OPL 245 offshore oilfield. Nigeria had alleged JPMorgan was “grossly negligent” in its transfer of funds paid by the energy majors to a company linked to the country’s disgraced former oil minister, as per instructions received from Nigerian government officials.
3D-PRINTED GUNS ARE APPEARING ON BRITISH STREETS
On 15 June, Sky News reported that those who create and share the designs for these firearms have thousands of followers on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. The Metropolitan Police have told Sky News that they have recovered 4 3D-printed guns since 2018.
HOW CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS OBSTRUCT COMPLIANCE
A post from the FCPA Blog on 16 June argues that attempts to impede feedback and complaints are always bad for compliance; and yet, confidentiality agreements (in their many different forms) are everywhere. It says that the SEC has exposed how companies misuse confidentiality agreements. It also argues that most companies now include “non-disparagement” clauses in employment contracts and separation agreements, and these increase the chances employees will be confused about their rights and the consequences if they complain outside the company.
THE TALIBAN’S DRUG BAN IS OFF TO A SLOW START
On 16 June, an article from World Politics Review reported that, in April, the Taliban announced a blanket ban on drug production and use in Afghanistan. However, the article says that the timing of the announcement suggests that the ban will not go into effect immediately, and even if the Taliban are serious about implementing it, they will face obstacles in doing so. The trade is estimated by the UN to be worth $2.7 billion a year. It concludes that, for now, it is too early to tell how serious the Taliban is about implementing the ban, and they themselves probably do not know yet what their next step will be. But for all the uncertainty, it is already having an indirect impact on the drug trade, for example, with prices rising.
CANADA: INCREASED ACTION ON IMPORTS PRODUCED BY FORCED LABOUR
On 16 June, KPMG reported that Canadian importers need to closely examine their supply chains so that goods produced by forced or compulsory labour are not inadvertently imported. Canada has stated that it intends to propose legislation to guarantee Canadian companies exercise due diligence so that they are not using forced labour for any of their products or components.
RUSSIA USING INTERNATIONAL NORTH SOUTH TRANSPORT CORRIDOR (INSTC) TO INDIA TO OVERCOME SANCTIONS-RELATED CHALLENGES
On 16 June, Loadstar explains that the INSTC is a 7,200 km multimodal, cross-border freight network that links Russia to Central Asia, Iran and India, involving sea, rail and road links. It was initiated by India, Russia and Iran in 2000, with an agreement signed in 2002, but was never used to its full potential.
5 AREAS OF PRODUCTION SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED BY SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION
On 16 June, an article in Global Trade Magazine identified 5 production areas that significantly impact supply chain disruption – raw material availability; material costs; freight rates; labour shortages; and disrupted production and demand forecasts.
HONG KONG: FIRM FINED $3.8 MILLION FOR BREACHES OF AML REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
On 16 June, a release from Mondo Visione advised that the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded and fined China Everbright Securities (HK) Limited (CESL) $3.8 million for failures in complying with AML/CFT regulatory requirements. CESL failed to implement adequate and effective systems and controls to guard against and mitigate the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing associated with third party deposits between January 2015 and February 2017.
NORTH KOREA: LEGISLATIVE BASIS FOR US ECONOMIC SANCTIONS
A briefing paper from the US Congressional Research Service on 16 June says that US economic sanctions imposed on North Korea were a response to its activities related to weapons proliferation, especially its tests since 2006 of nuclear weapons and missile technology; regional disruptions; international terrorism; narcotics trafficking; undemocratic governance; and illicit activities in international markets, including money laundering, counterfeiting of goods and currency, and bulk cash smuggling.
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