Panama Covid-19 update – for the second day in a row our district of the city has the highest number of new cases…today there being 1,826 new cases, with 5 new fatalities. There are 16,095 active cases, of which 37 are in ICU and183 in other wards.
24 JUNE 2022
GIBRALTAR: SEIZED RUSSIAN SUPERYACHT TO BE AUCTIONED
On 23 June, Superyacht News from eSysman reported that the superyacht Axioma, arrested in Gibraltar over the default on a €20.5 million loan from JP Morgan is to be auctioned, following a court order. The yacht, valued at over $70 million, is owned (via the usual chain of front companies) by Dimitry Pumpyanskiy. There appear to be 2 grounds for the default on the loan agreement – firstly that Pumpyanskiy has been added to sanctions lists, and secondly that the yacht apparently changed ownership (on paper at least) just prior to the sanctions being imposed.
ISLE OF MAN: RUSSIA SANCTIONS UPDATE
A news release from the Isle of Man on 24 June advised of the implementation in the Island of the Russia Sanctions (Application) (No.8) Regulations 2022, which apply the provisions of the various recent UK financial and trade sanctions.
RARE DIRECT SHIPMENT BETWEEN THE 2 KOREAS, A LIKELY VIOLATION OF UN AND SOUTH KOREAN SANCTIONS
On 17 June, NK Pro reported that a freight ship visited the North Korean port of Nampho, a month after picking up cargo in Busan, ship-tracking data shows. The ship’s movements point to what was likely a rare and illegal shipment directly from South to North Korea. She was supposed to sail from Busan to the Chinese port of Dalian, according to Marine Traffic data.
DUBAI BECOMES THE NEW SWITZERLAND FOR TRADERS OF RUSSIAN COMMODITIES
On 21 June, Bloomberg reported that traders of Russian commodities are rushing to set up businesses in Dubai as Switzerland makes it increasingly challenging for them to deal with Moscow. Switzerland has for decades been home to middlemen helping to match Russian producers with buyers all over the world.
SWEDISH COURT UPHOLDS BAN ON HUAWEI SALE OF 5G EQUIPMENT
On 22 June, Reuters reported that a Swedish appeals court has upheld a ruling by a lower court that banned Huawei from selling 5G equipment in the country, in the latest setback to the Chinese telecoms company’s hopes of staging a comeback.
HONG KONG COURT HELPS VICTIM RECOVER CRYPTO-ASSETS AGAINST PILFERING AGENT
On 23 June, an article from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP reported that the Hong Kong High Court has recently granted proprietary remedies over bitcoins that were misappropriated by a fraudulent agent. The victim was granted relief to recover the misappropriated bitcoins, sale proceeds and the fruits thereof. This decision suggests that bitcoins, and by extension other cryptocurrencies, may be protected as property under Hong Kong law.
TRADE-BASED MONEY LAUNDERING
On 22 June, Hopgood Ganim published an article looking at TBML from an Australian perspective, saying that those routing money or other assets via or to an ultimate destination in Australia will confront tough AML/CFT legislation and some of the most effective enforcement agencies in the world.
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT IN CIVILIAN LABORATORIES
On 8 June, 20 Minuten News in Switzerland published an article in which the head of the think tank at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, warns of weaknesses in the Biological Weapons Convention, saying that, “There is a lack of efficient verification tools to prevent biological research from being misused for military purposes”. In Switzerland, inspections are carried out regularly, but there is a need for action at the international level.
SCRAPPED CARS A GOLD MINE FOR INDIA-JAPAN RECYCLING VENTURE
On 23 June, an article in Nikkei Asia reported that a joint venture between an Indian and a Japanese company has uncovered a treasure trove in India in the form of auto parts salvaged from some of the roughly 10 million cars scrapped in the country as the government puts tighter emissions standards in place. It is recycling parts, such as headlights, taillights and hoods, for resale.
PARAGUAY LAUNCHES NATIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF MONEY LAUNDERING AND ILLICIT FINANCING
On 23 June, the IP news agency reported that the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money Laundering (Seprelad) and financial organisations in Paraguay have presented a National Risk Assessment regarding money laundering and financing of terrorism and the proliferation of WMD. The NRA will involve public and private institutions, plus consultants from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to identify in working groups the strengths and risks at the country level in the fight against the financing of terrorism and money laundering. It is expected to know the results of the evaluation in July.
TUNISIAN FORMER PRIME MINISTER JEBALI ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF MONEY LAUNDERING
On 24 June, Al Jazeera reported that Tunisian police have arrested former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, a former senior member of the Ennahdha party, on suspicion of money laundering. It is said that Jebali’s arrest raises opposition concerns over the human rights situation in Tunisia since President Kais Saied dissolved parliament in July 2021, in a move his opponents called a coup.
WHY NOT A SINGLE BANKER WAS JAILED OVER HSBC’S BILLION-DOLLAR MONEY LAUNDERING SCANDAL
On 24 June, The i in the UK published a “long read”, saying that no senior banker went to jail; and no HSBC banker was charged, let alone went to jail, when the bank admitted in 2012 to enabling the laundering of billions of dollars of drugs money for El Chapo and his Mexican Sinaloa cartel.
FROM CASINOS TO HOUSES: WHY AUSTRALIA REMAINS A MONEY LAUNDERING HAVEN
An article in The Age on 24 June asks that, as the inquiry into the Star casino draws to a close, where did all the laundered money go? It asks if the millions, possibly billions, of cash ‘washed’ through Star casino end up being spent on property, helping push up already record houses prices, or was it invested into cash intensive businesses, such as bars and nightclubs, or into goods such as luxury cars or jewellery? It contends that the inquiry has confirmed is that Australia has a poor reputation internationally for fighting the estimated “tens of billions” in criminal money laundered nationally every year.
UK: WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE MODERN SLAVERY ACT 2015?
An article from Bird & Bird on 24 June posed this question, saying that the 2022 Queen’s Speech announced a Modern Slavery Bill that promises to strengthen the protection and support for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery and increase the accountability of companies and other organisations to drive out modern slavery from their supply chains. It is argued that there is nothing to show to date, except a reminder in the recent Queen’s Speech that there may be jam, not tomorrow, but perhaps sometime in the next parliamentary term.
EU: RUSSIA SANCTIONS – FURTHER RESTRICTIVE MEASURES TO SUSPEND THE BROADCASTING ACTIVITIES IN THE EU, OR DIRECTED AT THE EU, OF CERTAIN MEDIA OUTLETS
EU Regulation 2022/994/EU of 24 June provides that the restrictive measures should apply as of 25 June in respect of all entities referred to in Annex VI to EU Regulation (EU) 2022/879 – Rossiya RTR / RTR Planeta; Rossiya 24 / Russia 24; and TV Centre International.
UK: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS HIGHLIGHTS HOW MORE MONEY COULD BE RETURNED TO VICTIMS OF CRIME
On 23 June, a news release from the CPS said that the DPP has supported the review into legislation to ensure more money can be returned to victims of crime, when giving evidence at the House of Lords Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Select Committee. He highlighted the limitations of the current compensation legislation, and recommended the government consider court powers to reimburse victims with any additional funds that are recovered.
AUSTRALIA: NSW CABINET BACKS NEW MONEY LAUNDERING LAWS TO TARGET ORGANISED CRIME
On 23 June, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the New South Wales government will introduce laws to confiscate unexplained wealth from criminal gangs and ban the use of encrypted devices as part of long-waited reforms to combat money laundering and organised crime. The new powers allow for the confiscation of unlawfully acquired assets of major convicted drug traffickers and expand powers to stop and search for unexplained wealth. Legislation will be introduced when parliament returns for the spring session.
100 YEARS OF THE ‘NDRANGHETA CALABRIAN MAFIA IN AUSTRALIA
On 22 June, Policing Insight published an article saying that recent operations by the Australian Federal Police against organised crime have brought the activities of the ‘ndrangheta under the spotlight; but it is argued that the organisation has been well-established across Australia for many decades, and any attempt to take the ‘ndrangheta seriously will require sustained political will and resources, rather than a sporadic focus on drug importation.
INDIA IS PROVIDING SAFETY CERTIFICATION FOR DOZENS OF SHIPS MANAGED BY A DUBAI SUBSIDIARY OF TOP RUSSIAN SHIPPING GROUP SOVCOMFLOT
On 24 June, Hellenic Shipping News reported that certification by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), one of the world’s top classification companies, provides a final link in the paperwork chain – after insurance coverage – needed to keep state-owned Sovcomflot’s tanker fleet afloat and delivering Russian crude oil to overseas markets. It is reported to have certified more than 80 ships managed by SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd, a Dubai-based entity listed as a subsidiary of Sovcomflot.
THE TRUE COST OF AML IN ESTATE AGENCIES
On 24 June, The Negotiator published an article saying that UK estate agents are said to have spent £6 million on AML fees last year, but says that this seems like a huge sum of money, and the true cost is many times this amount.
BREXIT WILL EXACERBATE LONG-TERM CHALLENGES FACING THE UK ECONOMY
A post from the LSE Bulletin on 24 June warns that the impact of Brexit won’t be a one-off event. Structural changes will take place over the long term, as capital and labour adjust to the new trading arrangements. Household incomes will decrease as a result of a weaker pound and there will be lower investment and trade.
THE ECONOMICS OF BREXIT: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? A NEW eBOOK
On 24 June, VOX from the Centre for European Policy Research says that, 6 years on from the EU referendum, and over a year since the implementation of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a new eBook brings together leading academic researchers on trade, immigration, and the political economy of Brexit to present new research and evidence on different aspects of this question.
On 24 June, the World Politics Review reported on a dispute between Algeria and Spain. Algeria has suspended its Friendship and Neighbourliness Treaty with Spain, in response to Madrid’s recent alignment with Morocco on the Western Sahara conflict. The suspension of the treaty so far excludes contracts for gas, of which Algeria is Spain’s biggest supplier.
ALLEGED RETALIATION AGAINST THOSE REPORTING CORRUPTION, MISMANAGEMENT AND SEXUAL ABUSE INTERNALLY WITHIN UN AGENCIES
On 24 June, World Whistleblowers Day, Transparency International reported on a a powerful new documentary from the BBC about alleged retaliation spanning many years against those reporting corruption, mismanagement and sexual abuse internally within UN agencies.
WORLD WHISTLEBLOWERS DAY
IMPERIAL YACHTS – US SANCTIONS ON YACHT COMPANY THAT CATERS TO RUSSIAN ELITES
On 2 June, the New York Times carried a feature about Imperial Yachts, the Monaco-based, Russian-controlled company that managed Russian oligarch’s yachts.
EU: RUSSIAN SANCTIONS CONSOLIDATED FAQ
On 24 June, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU had published a consolidated update of its Russian sanctions FAQ.
EU COMMISSION TO LAUNCH A STUDY OF THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EU SANCTIONS
On 24 June, EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU Commission had issued a tender inviting bids by 1 July for a study to develop a methodology for assessing the economic impact of EU sanctions and apply it to case studies of autonomous EU sanctions regimes.
REGULATION OF FORCED LABOR IN SUPPLY CHAINS: WHY IT MATTERS AND HOW COMPANIES CAN COMPLY
On 24 June, an Alert from Wilmer Hale provides a detailed overview of applicable or pending legislation related to forced labour in supply chains–including in the US, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the EU, and Australia – followed by practical suggestions to move companies to timely compliance with these requirements.
US: FORMER ARMED FORCES OF LIBERIA COMMANDING GENERAL CHARGED WITH IMMIGRATION FRAUD AND PERJURY
On 24 June, a news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement advised that Moses Slanger Wright, 69, of Philadelphia, with fraudulently attempting to obtain citizenship, fraud in immigration documents, false statements in relation to naturalisation, and perjury. The indictment alleges that the defendant, when applying for US citizenship in 2013, was not truthful about his activities during Liberia’s First Civil War while he was a member, and ultimately the commanding general of, the Armed Forces of Liberia, which was involved in the persecution, murder, and assault of civilian non-combatant tribesmen, as well as the false arrest and false imprisonment of civilian non-combatants.
NIGERIA BOOSTS MARITIME SECURITY WITH ARMOURED VEHICLES, UAS AND PATROL BOATS
On 23 June, Homeland Security Today reported that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has taken delivery of additional mobile assets for enhanced maritime security under its “Deep Blue” project. 2 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), 9 interceptor patrol boats and 10 armoured vehicles have been added to the existing assets earlier procured by the Nigerian Federal Government. NIMASA’s assets also include the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Center (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection, 600 specially-trained troops for interdiction, special mission vessels, fast interceptor boats, and surveillance and rescue aircraft.
DEFENDANT IN RUSSIAN OLIGARCH ‘RAIDER ATTACK’ CASE ALLOWED TO CHALLENGE IRISH JURISDICITION
On 24 June, the Irish Examiner reported that 4 companies have sued EU-sanctioned Russian billionaire, Dmitry Mazepin, alleging conspiracy to defraud them of their shares in a Russian ammonia-producing company. One of the defendants in the alleged €2 billion conspiracy-to-defraud action can challenge the jurisdiction of the Irish courts to hear the case.
US: SERIAL FRAUDSTER PREVIOUSLY EXTRADITED FROM MEXICO PLEADS GUILTY TO MULTIPLE INVESTMENT FRAUD SCHEMES
A news release from US DoJ on 24 June advised that Daniel Thomas Broyles Sr (aka Dan Thomas, and Daniel Cruz Torrez), 64, of Malibu, participated in a high-yield investment fraud scheme involving a sham company named Niyato Industries Inc. He allegedly falsely portrayed Niyato as a business engaged in electric vehicle manufacturing and converting vehicles to run on compressed natural gas. In reality, Broyles knew, or intentionally avoided learning, that Niyato was merely a sham company that lacked any operational facilities or proprietary technology, and virtually all investor funds were being disbursed among the co-conspirators and not used to promote Niyato’s business.
US: AN AML BILL THAT COULD HAVE PROFOUND EFFECTS ON THE ART MARKET JUST TOOK A BIG STEP FORWARD
On 24 June, Artnet reported that lawmakers in Washington have moved one step closer to passing a general AML law that could have profound effects on the art market. The Enablers Act would amend the Bank Secrecy Act to require art and antique dealers, as well as lawyers, trust companies, public relations firms, and others, to investigate potential clients and report financial wrongdoing.
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