THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 18

Still away and struggling even more with the old laptop…so that’s my excuse for any omissions, errors etc.

Panama Covid-19 update – keeping an eye on another, lesser threat – dengue – with 773 cases  so far in 2022 and, of these, 676 had no warning signs; 93 did, and 4 were serious with 1 fatality. Although the worst affected area is the Caribbean coastal area of Bocas, there were many cases elsewhere, including in Panama City.

Today’s Covid statistics – still high – 18,298 active cases; no new fatalities; 2,053 new cases; 10,666 tests and 19.2% positive; 36 in ICU and 208 in other wards.

18 JUNE 2022

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE GDPR?

On 15 June, an article in Politico said that since its entry into force, the landmark regulation has come under mounting criticism from privacy activists and even some of Europe’s own data protection authorities for failing to deliver.  The Irish Data Protection Commission in particular has been the target of blame, with critics lamenting that its enforcement of the legions of Dublin-headquartered tech companies like Meta and Google under its jurisdiction has been slow and limp.  Now, it says, the European Data Protection Supervisor has made questioning whether the EU’s cherished data protection rulebook is up to scratch a cornerstone of his mandate.

https://www.politico.eu/article/wojciech-wiewiorowski-gdpr-brussels-eu-data-protection-regulation-privacy

USING AFGHANISTAN’S FROZEN FUNDS TO PAY 9/11 FAMILIES IN THE US COULD BACKFIRE

An article in World Politics Review on 17 June was concerned with a proposed a plan for the $7 billion of frozen Afghan reserves that have been locked up in US financial institutions since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August.  Half was to be placed in a trust that would benefit the Afghan people, with the rest remaining frozen until a US court rules as to whether it could be used to settle the Taliban’s legal debts with the families of 9/11 victims.  However, complaints included the potential use of the reserves for the 9/11 settlement being seen as particularly unethical given the near-famine conditions in Afghanistan.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/30618/for-the-u-s-afghanistan-funds-are-better-left-alone

IRELAND LOBBIED BY CONSULTANCY FIRMS ON SCOPE OF RUSSIAN SANCTIONS

On 18 June, the Irish Times reported that liquidators and lawyers were lured by lucrative fees for winding up companies linked to Russia but fear falling foul of sanctions in process.  It is said that firms have lobbied the Government for legal clearance from sanction rules so they can wind down Russian-linked companies.

https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2022/06/18/consultants-seek-legal-route-through-sanctions-to-liquidate-moscow-linked-entities/

PRESIDENT OF PANAMA VETOES CRYPTO BILL, CITING NEED FOR AML GUARANTEE

On 17 June, Investing.com reported that the President of Panama has decided to slam the brakes on the new crypto Bill, despite its approval by the National Assembly 2 months ago. The rationale for the veto was largely related to the FATF Recommendations, which underline the need for “fiscal transparency” and measures for the “prevention of money laundering”. 

https://www.investing.com/news/cryptocurrency-news/president-of-panama-vetoes-crypto-bill-citing-need-for-antimoney-laundering-guarantee-2838254

INDIA’S BIGGEST CRYPTO PONZI SCAM?

The India Times on 17 June published an article asking this question, saying that more than 60,000 user ID and email addresses have been traced by Pune police in the GainBitcoin case.  The scheme reportedly guaranteed a 10% monthly return in Bitcoin-on-Bitcoin deposits for 18 months via multi-level marketing programmes.

https://www.indiatimes.com/worth/news/what-is-gainbitcoin-scam-572474.html

https://www.statista.com/chart/27631/number-of-drug-seizures-on-the-rise

US DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS TAKEN STEPS TO IMPOSE VISA RESTRICTIONS ON 5 CUBAN OFFICIALS

On 16 June, a news release from the State Department advised that the officials involved are connected to unfair trials and unjust sentencing and imprisonment of peaceful July 2021 protesters.  

https://www.state.gov/state-department-takes-steps-to-impose-visa-restrictions-against-cuban-officials/

UK: NEW SIMPLIFIED RULES FOR CUSTOMS TRANSIT ARRANGEMENTS AND DECLARATIONS OF IMPORTED GOODS UNDER A FREE ZONE 

BIFA in the UK reported that HMRC released further information on 9 June, in the form of a new Tax Information and Impact Note and the Customs (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2022.

https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2022/june/simplified-customs-transit-arrangements?l=y

YACHTS AND RUSSIA SANCTIONS

In its latest Comprehensively Yachts briefing, HFW, focuses mainly on the implications for the yachting industry of the Russian sanctions, including for insurance, crew etc.  It also looks at Brexit and insurance, and the establishment of a new international shipping registry for the US.

https://www.hfw.com/Comprehensively-Yachts-Industry-Briefing-Jun-22

VIETNAM JAILS HIGH-PROFILE ENVIRONMENTALIST ON TAX EVASION CHARGE

On 18 June, the Daily Mail reported that a high-profile environmentalist and anti-coal campaigner in Vietnam has been jailed for 2 years on tax evasion charges – Nguy Thi Khanh is a globally recognised climate and energy campaigner.  She had been the first Vietnamese winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-10929271/Vietnam-jails-high-profile-environmentalist-tax-evasion.html

YACHT BROKER WITH CLOSE TIES TO JERSEY HAS BEEN ADDED BY US TO THE RUSSIAN SANCTIONS LIST

On 18 June, the Jersey Evening Post carried an article about sanctions imposed on Evgeniy Kochman and 2 Jersey-registered companies he runs – Imperial Yachts and BLD Management.  The businesses were registered in Jersey through the Fiduchi Group, and use a post box at the company’s Kensington Street office for filings with the JFSC.  Mr Kochman owns 5% of each company, with the remainder held by Fiduchi Trustees Ltd – beyond that the ownership is unclear.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2022/06/18/us-targets-jersey-linked-russian-yacht-broker/

LITHUANIA BANS TRANSIT OF SANCTIONED RUSSIAN GOODS TO KALININGRAD

On 18 June, Rferl reported that Lithuania has begun a ban on the rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, became part of the Soviet Union after World War 2, has a population of about 430,000 people and hosts the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic Sea fleet.

https://www.rferl.org/a/lithuania-bans-transit-sanctioned-russian-goods-kalingrad/31904337.html#0_8_10089_8766_2710_241573833

 

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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