OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JUNE 28

Panama Covid-19 update – and so it continues…1 new fatality and 1,989 new cases reported today, with testing percentage still high, 14,520 active cases, 33 in ICU and 187 in other wards.

28 JUNE 2022

UK: THE GROWING COST OF WASTE CRIME

On 23 June, an article from Shoosmiths LLP said that the NAO had recently published its report ‘Investigation into the Government’s actions to combat waste crime in England’. The article takes one through the key findings of the report and highlights the statistics which have come to light in relation to confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA).  It is explained that waste crime is the illegal transport, disposal or management of waste.  It includes fly-tipping and crimes such as the illegal export of waste, illegal operation of waste sites, misdescribing waste and falsifying records. Waste management has also allegedly been the target of quite sophisticated frauds.  The government has begun to respond to certain elements of the report and revealed various initiatives and schemes to assist in tackling the issues raised by NAO – but there remains the strong prospect that criminals who deliberately breach the legislation in the pursuit of financial gain will continue to take the view that the risk-reward balance remains in their favour and is there to be exploited.

https://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/insights/legal-updates/the-growing-cost-of-waste-crime

EU SANCTIONS – THE RUSSIAN CRUDE OIL AND TRANSPORT INSURANCE RESTRICTIONS EXPLAINED

On 23 June, an article from Reed Smith focuses on the sanctions which prohibit the purchase, import or transfer of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia into the EU; and insuring and financing the transport, in particular through maritime routes, of Russian oil to third countries.

https://www.mondaq.com/russianfederation/export-controls-trade-investment-sanctions/1204964/eu-sanctions-the-russian-crude-oil-and-transport-insurance-restrictions-explained

THE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF COLOMBIA HAS PROPOSED ENDING THE EXTRADITION TO THE US OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE “PEACEFUL DISMANTLING OF DRUG TRAFFICKING”

On 27 June, Newsroom Panama reported that the newly-elected President has proposed “subjecting extradition to non-compliance” those involved in “processes for the peaceful dismantling of drug trafficking”; but says that the measure will depend on “a negotiation with the United States”. 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/world/petro-proposes-plan-to-cancel-extradition-to-us

LAOS TO MIMIC POGO MODEL WITH NEW OFFSHORE GAMBLING LICENCES

On 28 June, iGB reported that Laos is set to regulate online gambling, setting up a regime where operators licensed in the country targeting markets elsewhere in SE Asia such as Thailand.  It would use a model similar to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) and may not accept customers who are based in Laos.

https://igamingbusiness.com/laos-to-mimic-pogo-model-with-new-offshore-licences

EU: ANNUAL REPORT ON TAXATION AND TAXATION TRENDS

On 28 June, the EU published 2 reports.  One report examines indicator-based analysis which assesses the recent trends in EU tax systems, and identifies how tax policy, implementation or compliance could be improved.  It identifies how tax policy, implementation or compliance could be improved.  The other report says that in 2020 tax revenue as percentage of GDP increased slightly in the EU up to 40.1 % of the GDP – while tax revenues decreased in nominal terms in 2020, GDP decreased more, which raised the tax-to-GDP-ratio.

https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/89f981a8-f1d9-11ec-a534-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/f85da28f-f5be-11ec-b976-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

UK NOTICE TO EXPORTERS 2022/19: NEW OPEN GENERAL EXPORT LICENCES RE TRADE WITH INDIA PUBLISHED

On 28 June, the Department for International Trade published Notice to Exporters 2022/19 on the publication of 2 new Open General Export Licences (OGEL) for India.  One permits the export of certain dual-use items to India; and the other permits the export of certain military goods and technology to India.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202219-new-open-general-export-licences-published/nte-202219-new-open-general-export-licences-published

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-general-export-licence-dual-use-items-india

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-general-export-licence-military-goods-and-technology-india

A collection of OGEL is available at –

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/open-general-export-licences-ogels

UK PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE REPORTS ON THE UK-EU RELATIONSHIP IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

On 27 June, an article from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP said that 6 years following the UK voting in a referendum to leave the EU, the House of Lords European Affairs Committee published a report on the relationship between the UK-EU in financial services sector.  The article summarises the key points from the report.  Broadly speaking, the Committee was fairly optimistic about the future of the UK financial services.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-european-affairs-committee-reports-8627491/

FIRST REPORT ON THE UK’S FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS (FDI) REGIME

On 27 June, an article from Morgan Lewis said that the UK national security and investment regime came into effect on 4 January.  A report now shows that during the initial 3-month period, the UK government received 222 notifications, out of which it only called in for investigation 17 transactions, clearing 3 (with the remaining 14 pending at the end of the reporting period).

https://www.morganlewis.com/pubs/2022/06/uk-government-publishes-its-first-report-on-the-uks-foreign-direct-investments-regime

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/report-three-months-uk-new-national-security-investment-regime

ILLICIT CHROME MINING ECONOMY THRIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 27 June, OCCRP reported that South Africa, the world’s largest chrome producer, is said to lose around 10% of its annual production to illegal mining which has served to empower mining mafias.  It is trucked to Mozambique or domestic ports and, along the way, it vanishes into the legal supply chain and eventually ends up in China.  Illegal chrome mines, which first came to the attention of South African investigators in 2016, have mushroomed in recent years.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16489-illicit-chrome-mining-economy-thriving-in-south-africa

US SUPREME COURT RULES THAT GOVERNMENT MUST PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT A DOCTOR KNOWINGLY PRESCRIBED OPIOIDS “IN AN UNAUTHORIZED MANNER” IN ORDER TO SECURE A CONVICTION FOR THE ILLEGAL DISTRIBUTION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

On 27 June, Jurist reported on a ruling on a case in which 2 doctors   were convicted of illegally distributing pain medication and charged with unlawful distribution of controlled substances, racketeering conspiracy, health care fraud conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy, among other charges.  One was separately charged with money laundering.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/06/us-supreme-court-rules-prosecutors-must-prove-doctors-knowingly-prescribed-drugs-illegally-to-secure-unlawful-distribution-conviction/

X-RAY FINDS 109 LIVE ANIMALS IN WOMEN’S LUGGAGE AT BANGKOK AIRPORT

On 28 June, CNN reported that 2 women were arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and accused of smuggling after 109 live animals were found in their luggage.  Wildlife officials called to the scene discovered 2 white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 lizards and 20 snakes. 

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/women-arrested-100-live-animals-luggage-bangkok-airport-intl-hnk/index.html

TOYS AND GAMES MAKE UP 50% OF ALL COUNTERFEIT GOODS SEIZED BY BELGIAN CUSTOMS IN 2021

On 28 June, the Brussels Times reported that, in 2021, the Belgian Customs and Excise Administration intercepted 838,934 counterfeit goods.  While this included knock-off smartphones, clothes and perfumes, toys and games made up the largest share of goods that were seized.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/245733/toys-and-games-make-up-half-of-all-counterfeit-goods-seized-by-belgian-customs

HUNDREDS OF STOLEN CARS RECOVERED IN GLOBAL POLICE OPERATION AGAINST VEHICLE TRAFFICKING

A news release from INTERPOL on 28 June announced that Operation Carback on 16 to 31 May was a police operation targeting stolen vehicle trafficking has led to the recovery of hundreds of cars, trucks and motorbikes in just 2 weeks.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2022/Hundreds-of-stolen-cars-recovered-in-global-police-operation-against-vehicle-trafficking

HOW RUSSIAN CYBERCRIME GROUP, CONTI, TERRORISED LATIN AMERICA AND VANISHED

On 27 June, Insight Crime published an article saying that Conti, one of the most feared cybercrime operations in the world, unleashed a blitz of raids against government websites in Costa Rica and Peru.  Why, it asks, has it now disappeared off the radar?

https://insightcrime.org/news/how-russian-cybercrime-group-conti-terrorized-latin-america-and-vanished/

SMART CONTAINER FLEET TO EXPAND 8-FOLD OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS

On 28 June, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the global telematics-enabled container equipment fleet is forecast to grow 8-fold over the next 5 years and account for 25% of global box inventories by 2026, driven by wider adoption across the dry container fleet.  It explains that a container becomes “smart” when fitted with a telematics device that provides real-time tracking and monitoring, and allows beneficial cargo owners to understand the location and status of their cargo so that they can better control their supply chains.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/smart-container-fleet-to-expand-8-fold-over-the-next-5-years/

SWISS APPEALS COURT CONVICTS EX-FIFA OFFICIAL VALCKE OF BRIBERY

On 24 June, Channel News Asia reported that an appeals court found former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke guilty of forging documents and accepting bribes in a case involving World Cup media rights.  He was secretary general of the body from 2007 to 2015.  He received an 11-month suspended jail sentence. 

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/sport/former-fifa-secretary-general-jerome-valcke-guilty-bribery-2768726

TRADERS WITH SWISS LINKS CONTINUE TO BUY AND SELL RUSSIAN OIL

On 26 June, Swissinfo reported that around 20 traders have reportedly increased their shipments of Russian oil since the war in Ukraine broke out, and that a third of these players have strong connections to Switzerland.  These include the Russian oil giant Lukoil, which sells most of its oil in Geneva via its subsidiary Litasco, and 2 unknown companies in Hong Kong, Bellatrix and Livna, while part of the Russia-China trade is reportedly channelled through a Swiss company.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/traders-with-swiss-links-continue-to-buy-and-sell-russian-oil/47704254

DOZENS OF FIRMS REGISTERED AT AN EDINBURGH ADDRESS INVOLVE A MAN SANCTIONED BY THE UN AND THE UK

On 24 June, The Ferret reported on 38 Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLP), all of which were incorporated between 2008 and 2016, using an Edinburgh address, and were provided with a new “virtual” Scottish address between February and April this year.

https://theferret.scot/firms-scottish-gas-tycoon-sanctioned-russia/

US SEIZES 6 WEBSITES PROVIDING ILLEGAL ACCESS TO COPYRIGHTED MUSIC

A news release from US DoJ on 27 June advised that the DoJ had announced the seizure of six websites as part of ongoing efforts by the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to combat copyright infringement, and prevent third parties from streaming and downloading copyright-protected content from these sites.  Individuals visiting those sites now will see a message indicating that the site has been seized by the federal government, and visitors will be redirected to another site for additional information.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-seizes-six-websites-providing-illegal-access-copyrighted-music

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/explained-the-economic-crisis-in-sri-lanka/

SOUTH AFRICA: ZONDO COMMISSION LET THE STATE CAPTURE BANKERS OFF THE HOOK

On 28 June, the Daily Maverick asks how did the State Capture network move billions of rand stolen from the South African people across the globe?  The Zondo Commission report provides some of the details of the network of banks who profited from this — but fails to provide any remedy of how to prevent a repetition of these crimes.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-06-28-zondo-let-the-state-capture-bankers-off-the-hook/

3 DEFENDANTS INDICTED IN $88 MILLION SOFTWARE LICENCE PIRACY SCHEME TARGETING POPULAR TELEPHONE SYSTEM USED BY THOUSANDS OF COMPANIES

A news release from US DoJ on 28 June advised that a court in Oklahoma had unsealed an indictment charging 3 individuals with violating federal wire fraud and money laundering statutes in connection with an operation to sell over $88 million of stolen Avaya Direct International (ADI) software licences, which were used to unlock features of a popular telephone system used by thousands of companies around the globe.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-defendants-indicted-software-license-piracy-scheme

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THE USE OF 3D-PRINTED GUNS BY EXTREMISTS AND TERRORISTS

On 26 June, an article from Homeland Security Today says that D-printed guns have gained traction among the far-right — accounting for all but one case — with examples appearing in 5 countries.  Since 2019, there have been at least 9 examples of extremists, terrorists, or paramilitaries making, or attempting to make, 3D-printed guns in Europe and Australia.  It refers to a report from the Global Network on Technology and Extremism published on 23 June.  The report says that analysis of recent cases reveals 4 insights – 3D-printed guns have gained traction among the far-right; many of the cases also involve attempts to make explosives, meaning that 3D-printed guns have supplemented—and not replaced—existing threats; 3D printing is not a shortcut to acquiring a gun, as the process still involves considerable time and effort. It remains to be seen whether their arrival has shortened the attack planning process; and at least one extremist had joined the leading 3D printing gun forum, using it to obtain guidance on his firearms and explosives, seemingly unbeknown to its moderators.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/counterterrorism/the-future-is-now-the-use-of-3d-printed-guns-by-extremists-and-terrorists/

https://gnet-research.org/2022/06/23/the-future-is-now-the-use-of-3d-printed-guns-by-extremists-and-terrorists/

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FINCEN AND THE BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY URGE INCREASED VIGILANCE FOR POTENTIAL RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN EXPORT CONTROL EVASION ATTEMPTS

An Alert from FinCEN and BIS on 28 June urges financial institutions to be vigilant against efforts by individuals or entities to evade BIS export controls implemented in connection with the Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine.  It further reminds financial institutions of their Bank Secrecy Act reporting obligations and details how suspected export control evasion activity may also be reported to BIS enforcement authorities.  It provides financial institutions with an overview of BIS’s current export restrictions; a list of commodities of concern for possible export control evasion; and select transactional and behavioural red flags to assist financial institutions in identifying related suspicious transactions. 

https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/2022-06/FinCEN%20and%20Bis%20Joint%20Alert%20FINAL.pdf

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US SANCTIONS NEARLY 100 TARGETS IN PUTIN’S WAR MACHINE AND PROHIBITS RUSSIAN GOLD IMPORTS

On 28 June, OFAC designated 70 entities, many of which are critical to the Russian Federation’s defence industrial base, including State Corporation Rostec, the cornerstone of Russia’s defence, industrial, technology, and manufacturing sectors, as well as 29 Russian individuals.

In addition, sanctions shall also apply to gold of Russian Federation origin, with immediate effect.  This is part of joint action against Russian gold, the country’s biggest non-energy export, by the US, UK, Canada, and Japan. 

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220628

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0838

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FOOTBALL HOOLIGANISM, POLITICS AND ORGANISED CRIME IN THE WESTERN BALKANS

A report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime on 27 June begins by mapping the major football supporters’ clubs in each of the Western Balkan countries.  It then identifies which of these groups can be considered ‘ultras’.  Further analysis singles out which of these ultras groups demonstrate attributes of football hooliganism, and how this hooliganism is linked to organised crime and politics.  It recommends paying greater attention to the social conditions that motivate vulnerable youth to become involved in football hooliganism, which can serve as an entry point for organised crime.  It also suggests ways to identify and sever the links between hooligan groups and organised crime.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Football-hooliganism-politics-and-organized-crime-in-the-Western-Balkans-GITOC-SEEObs.pdf

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US: ERNST & YOUNG $100 MILLION PENALTY FOR EMPLOYEES CHEATING ON CPA ETHICS EXAMS AND MISLEADING INVESTIGATION 

On 28 June, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the SEC had charged Ernst & Young LLP for cheating by its audit professionals on exams required to obtain and maintain Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licences, and for withholding evidence of this misconduct from the SEC Enforcement Division during the investigation of the matter.  EY admits the facts underlying the SEC’s charges and agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and undertake extensive remedial measures to fix the firm’s ethical issues.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/ernst-and-young-to-pay-100-million-penalty-for-employees-cheating-on-cpa-ethics-e/

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UNODC WORLD DRUG REPORT 2022 

On 27 June, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime published its annual World Drugs Report.  It says that cannabis legalisation in parts of the world appears to have accelerated daily use and related health impacts; there has been record rises in the manufacturing of cocaine; there has been an expansion of synthetic drugs to new markets; and that there are continued gaps in the availability of drug treatments, especially for women.  It also highlights that illicit drug economies can flourish in situations of conflict and where the rule of law is weak, and in turn can prolong or fuel conflict.

Nearly 90 % of the cocaine globally seized in 2021 was trafficked in containers and/or by sea.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/world-drug-report-2022.html

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/press/releases/2022/June/unodc-world-drug-report-2022-highlights-trends-on-cannabis-post-legalization–environmental-impacts-of-illicit-drugs–and-drug-use-among-women-and-youth.html

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EU AMENDS ENTRIES FOR 17 INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES ON IRAN SANCTIONS LIST

EU Regulation 2022/1010/EU amends 17 entries on sanctions lists under EU Regulation 267/2012/EU.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.170.01.0017.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A170%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2022.170.01.0078.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:170:TOC

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EU SANCTIONS RE THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: 1 NAME DELISTED

EU Regulation 2022/1009/EU provided that Ferdinand Ilunga LUYOYO is removed from the sanctions list following a judgment of the EU General Court.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.170.01.0015.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A170%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2022.170.01.0083.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:170:TOC

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