In response to the protests, the President announced announced the freezing of the price of fuel at $3.95 per gallon for private cars, from 15 July, and the inclusion in the price control list of 10 new products in the basic food basket. However, the concessions do not appear to have assuaged the concerns or anger of the protesters. Meanwhile the Chamber of Commerce calls for a control on public spending (which, of course, might then impact the ordinary people who are in the streets), saying the Government’s proposals were insufficient – though no doubt it would accept the fuel price freeze. Meanwhile, the hotel association warns of the effect of the protests on tourism (as the country seeks to boost tourism, something that was delayed and hampered by the pandemic).
So far, the protests have not affected us, except for having to rearrange a short break in the interior. Our biggest problem today was a pair of noisy parrots in the mango tree outside the bedroom…
12 JULY 2022
AMERICAN CANDY STORES RAIDED BY POLICE IN LONDON
On 11 July, Byline TV carried a video report on the action by police and Westminster City Council against the shops proliferating on Oxford Street, with raids that yielded over £600,000 worth of goods that were either unsafe or counterfeit – shops which are said to owe some £8 million in unpaid business rates to the Council (not to mention unpaid VAT etc).
ISLE OF MAN: BELARUS SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENCES
On 11 July, the Isle of Man advised of 2 new General Licences. One allows for wind down period in respect of certain types of loans, as well as transferable securities and money market instruments. The other allows a for a period of until 04 August 2022 for a Person to provide financial services for the purpose of winding down of any derivatives, repurchase, and reverse repurchase transactions entered into prior to 05 July and involving the National Bank of Belarus (NBB), the Ministry of Finance of Belarus (MF); and those other persons set out in regulation 15CA c to d of the Belarus Regulations.
FinCEN’s NEW BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING RULES
On 11 July, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP published an article which sets out to explain the processes involved, saying that while financial institutions may be accustomed to KYC requirements, the proposed rule drastically increases the number of business entities, both domestic and foreign, that will have affirmative obligations to report information and establish procedures for information gathering and initial and ongoing compliance, which includes updating information upon changes in control or ownership of such business entities.
HOW TO SHIP A LITHIUM (LI-ION) BATTERY
On 7 July, Vendigital published an article saying that lithium batteries (LIB) are under the scope of Dangerous Goods Transport Regulations, and that there are many specific requirements that apply for shipping as well as packing and labelling. It sets out to provide to provide initial practical guidance of the regulations as they at the time of publishing and which must be fulfilled by the shipper for any commercial shipment.
EU SANCTIONS RELATING TO AIRCRAFT
On 11 July, Patrikios Pavlou & Associates in Cyprus published an article summarising the application of EU sanctions to Russian-owned and Russian-registered aircraft.
CIRCULAR MONEY LAUNDERING IN INDIA
ICEBREAKER FOR RUSSIAN MINING COMPANY AT A HELSINKI SHIPYARD AWAITING AN EXPORT CONSTRUCTION LICENCE
On 11 July, Modern Diplomacy reported that the first icebreaker for Norilsk Nickel is awaiting an export construction licence, as the vessel requires an export license before it can be handed over to its Russian customer. Previously it was expected that construction work would begin in 2022 and the vessel would be delivered to the customer for the Winter of 2025.
RUSSIAN GOLD MINING COMPANY COLLAPSES DUE TO SANCTIONS
On 12 July, the Daily Telegraph reported that London-listed Russian miner is set to collapse into administration after it was left reeling by western sanctions. It has seen its share price collapse by 94% this year, and has said it will file an application for administration at the High Court.
HOW TO NAVIGATE CHINA’S ANTI-SANCTIONS LAW AMIDST THE SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA
The July edition of Norwegian Wikborg Rein’s Shipping Offshore contained an article explaining that latest law within a framework of such measures is the “Countering Foreign Sanctions Law” (often referred to as the “Anti-Sanctions Law”) which came into force on 10 June 2021. Measures, including prohibition of entry and exit, confiscation and freezing of assets in China, and prohibition of transactions and other activities by the listed individual or organisation, may also be implemented against those contravening the law.
NORWAY: SHIPOWNER CONVICTED FOR ATTEMPT TO BEACH SHIP IN PAKISTAN FOR SCRAPPING
The July edition of Norwegian Wikborg Rein’s Shipping Offshore contained an article about a recent court case in which a shipowner had been convicted for violating the Norwegian Pollution Act’s provisions on the export of waste, which incorporates the EU Waste Shipment Regulation. The broken-down ship was said to have been going to a repair yard, but this was found to be a cover for despatch to Pakistan for scrapping on a beach there – work is often done by manual labour without due regard to the health and safety of the workers.
SYRIA: DAMASCUS TURNS FROM DRUGS TRANSIT POINT TO TRAFFICKING HUB
On 12 July, an article from Asharq Al-Aswat said that the drug trade in the war-torn country has moved on towards a new phase. Syria used to be a crossing point for drugs smuggled from Afghanistan and Iran, but now it is both a producer and consumer. The amount of drugs seized from Syria has risen between 6-fold and 21-fold between 2011 and 2020. Narcotics, especially Captagon, smuggled out of Syria are usually destined for North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Europe. It is said that Captagon production centres were established in small factories, built-in iron hangars, or abandoned villas, the pills are manufactured using simple machines. 2 types of Captagon are produced: one of low quality. The low-quality pills are sold in the local market and the high-quality ones are exported.
EU FREEZES RUSSIAN ASSETS WORTH €13.8 BILLION, BUT STRUGGLES TO MOVE TOWARDS SEIZURE
On 12 July, EurActiv reported that the EU has frozen Russian assets worth €13.8 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine, but this large sum remains largely untouched across the bloc, a high-ranking European Commission official has said. To determine the feasibility of seizures, the European Commission earlier this month gave its approval to a pilot project to explore aspects such as sanction adoption, asset freezes, asset confiscation, and reintroduction of the confiscated assets into the national economy for social use, as well as into the EU budget for public spending in Ukraine.
AFTER BREXIT: VISITING, WORKING, AND LIVING IN THE EU
On 12 July, the House of Commons published a briefing paper explaining that British citizens’ EU citizenship and free movement rights ended when the Brexit transition period expired on 31 December 2020. Those rights had enabled them to visit, live, work or study in an EU Member State without needing a visa. They (and their family members) were able to claim a right to reside in the host Member State as a jobseeker, worker, student, self-employed or self-sufficient person or a family member, under the terms set by EU free movement laws. Describing the new situation, it says that Brexit has not changed the visa and immigration requirements applicable to British citizens travelling to Ireland (and vice versa). These continue to be based on the Common Travel Area arrangements.
MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING (HIGH-RISK COUNTRIES) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) REGULATIONS 2022
These Regulations implement in the UK the changes announced following the recent FATF plenary.
5 PROBLEMS WITH ECONOMIC CRIME POLICING – AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM
On 11 July, a Commentary from RUSI argues that policing response to economic crime is not fit for purpose, and money launderers and fraudsters operate with impunity – but evolution and not revolution is the answer.
US: CONSULTATION ON AMENDMENT TO REGULATIONS CONCERNING IUU FISHING AND ASSOCIATED IMPORT RESTRICTIONS
On 12 July, Sandler Travis & Rosenberg reported that the Department of Commerce is accepting comments until 6 September on a proposed rule that would make a number of revisions to its regulations concerning illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and associated import restrictions.
UBER FILES UPDATE – INCLUDING IT USED GREYBALL FAKE APP TO EVADE POLICE ACROSS EUROPE
On 12 July, the Guardian provided a further update on the so-called Uber Files.
HOW LEAKS AND BIG DATA ARE REWRITING THE RULES OF INVESTIGATIONS RAISING ETHICAL QUESTIONS FOR CORPORATE INVESTIGATORS OVER WHERE DATA IS SOURCED, AND HOW BEST TO SUPPORT CLIENTS IN BUILDING THEIR LEGAL CASE
Control Risks on 12 July published a briefing saying that corporate investigators are well placed to benefit from the innovations in data collection and analysis pioneered by their colleagues in journalism. Through careful consideration of the complex ethical and legal dimensions of the shifting landscape of evidence gathering, the best investigators will succeed in identifying when and where it is appropriate to harness these innovations for the benefit of their clients.
CHINA: DATA EXPORT SECURITY ASSESSMENT MECHANISM
On 12 July, an article from Eversheds Sutherland was concerned with the much-anticipated Measures on Security Assessment of Data Export, released by the authorities on 7 July. The article provides an overview of the key highlights of the Assessment Measures. It says that, with the establishment of a progressively clear legal framework on data export, Chinese business operators are now in a better position to determine their data export routes.
LIBERIA ON THE VERGE OF BECOMING AN ORGANISED CRIME HOTSPOT AGAIN
On 11 July, OCCRP reported that Liberia is entering a period of accelerating vulnerability, threatening to create conditions for a resurgence of organised crime – according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC). Its report tracks the origins of the current crisis to the political economy built after the war with the assistance of international donors, notably during the presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who ruled from 2006 to 2018.
EU CREATES HUB TO STOP ARMS-SMUGGLING OUT OF UKRAINE
On 11 July, EU Observer reported that the EU Home Affairs Commissioner has announced a hub in Moldova to battle organised crime, particularly arms smuggling from war-torn Ukraine. The EU Support Hub for Internal Security and Border Management will focus on preventing weapons, most of which are supplied by NATO members, from being smuggled out of Ukraine and ending up with criminal gangs.
NORTH KOREA RAMPS UP FUEL TRADE AS ACTIVITY AT COAL TERMINALS SUGGESTS SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS, WITH OIL IMPORTS FROM CHINA ALSO LIKELY INCREASING
On 12 July, NK Pro reported that North Korea’s fuel depots were more active in the second quarter of 2022 than the same period last year. This is despite UN sanctions prohibiting North Korea from importing more than 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum per year and ban the country from exporting coal entirely.
US: REQUEST FOR COMMENT – ENSURING RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL ASSETS
On 8 July, the US Treasury issued a Notice requesting input by 8 August from interested members of the public to provide input pursuant to Executive Order 14067 of 9 March, which outlines principal US policy objectives with respect to digital assets. In particular, the Treasury Department invites input, data, and recommendations pertaining to the implications of development and adoption of digital assets and changes in financial market and payment infrastructures for US consumers, investors, businesses, and for equitable economic growth.
See also –
MINI NUCLEAR REACTORS: SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENTS OVER WASTE OUTPUT
On 8 July, an article in Bloomberg Law reported that a public fight over an academic study that cast doubt on advanced nuclear reactors’ waste promises has heightened a rift between supporters and sceptics of the technology as policymakers seek to boost the role of nuclear in meeting climate-change goals. The fight has thrust the new reactor designs into one of nuclear energy’s political liabilities: the unaddressed question on what to do with nuclear waste. Developers have touted 21st Century reactors as less expensive to build and having reduced environmental footprints than the current fleet of light-water reactors that date back more than 50 years. The designs envision smaller, stackable reactors that can have different fuel and cooling systems.
IRAN ENRICHES URANIUM TO 20% WITH NEW CENTRIFUGES AT FORTIFIED SITE
On 10 July, AP reported that Iran had announced that it has begun enriching uranium up to 20% using sophisticated centrifuges at its underground Fordo nuclear plant.
US: 2 FINANCIAL ASSET MANAGERS CHARGED IN ALLEGED $1.2 BILLION VENEZUELAN MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
A release on Mondo Visione on 12 July advised that 2 financial asset managers have been charged with money laundering as part of a $1.2 billion international scheme to launder funds corruptly obtained from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA). Ralph Steinmann, 48, of Switzerland, and Luis Fernando Vuteff, 51, of Argentina, are each charged with 1 count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
US OFFICE OF FINANCIAL RESEARCH: HOW WOULD INTRODUCING A CBDC AFFECT THE STABILITY OF THE BANKING SYSTEM?
A release on Mondo Visione on 12 July said that the US Office of Financial Research published a working paper, “Central Bank Digital Currency: Stability and Information”. The working paper looks at how introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) would affect the banking system’s stability. As central banks consider whether the benefits of creating digital cash outweigh the risks, the paper finds that at least one risk — bank runs — is not as significant as initially feared.
MALTESE POLICE WILL ISSUE “INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANTS” LINKED TO PILATUS BANK CASE
On 12 July, Lovin Malta reported that the police had reached “the stage” of issuing arrest warrants, and this news comes after almost a year since the bank and one of its senior officials at the time were charged. It is said that that the warrants are for Pilatus Bank owner Ali Sadr, operations chief Luis Rivera, operations supervisor Mehmet Tasli, director Hamidreza Ghambari, and chief risk officer Antoniella Gauci.
ALBANIA’S GOVERNMENT PROPOSES FISCAL AMNESTY LAW WHICH OPENS DOOR TO MASSIVE MONEY LAUNDERING
On 12 July, DTT,Net reported that a draft-law would allow Albania nationals, including those living abroad, to introduce up to €2 million in local banks without having to declare the origin of the money.
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