OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 14

Panama Covid-19 update – things getting serious with the road-closing protests as the football league suspends games… Mind you, in all my wandering around the city in the past few days I have not seen any protests, although the school around the corner is quiet, with the teachers on strike.

14 JULY 2022

INDIA UNDER SPOTLIGHT FOR ‘LAUNDERING’ RUSSIAN OIL

On 14 July, Nikkei Asia reported that US officials believe that Russian crude is being refined in India and then exported to the US and Europe, circumventing sanctions.  It says that while it is difficult to identify the source of crude once it has been processed, nearly 24 million barrels of Russian crude oil arrived in India in May, more than 8 times the amount a year earlier.  In June, the number remained high at more than 20 million barrels. It also says that while China has increased imports of Russian crude by a significant 55% in May from a year ago, it appears that China is buying undervalued Russian crude oil and gas for its own consumption and to add to what it has been buying from Europe and other countries.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/India-under-spotlight-for-laundering-Russian-oil

MADAGASCAR AND HONDURAS JOIN MUTUAL TAX ASSISTANCE CONVENTION

Wolters Kluwer Australia has reported that these 2 countries have signed the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.  The Convention provides all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, automatic exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection. 

https://iknow.cch.com.au/news/xatagnewsUio3526257sl1359506163/madagascar-joins-mutual-tax-assistance-convention

https://iknow.cch.com.au/news/xatagnewsUio3527100sl1360731973/honduras-joins-mutual-tax-assistance-convention

https://www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/convention-on-mutual-administrative-assistance-in-tax-matters.htm

ISLAMIC STATE MOZAMBIQUE’S REACTION TO FOREIGN INTERVENTION

On 8 July, an article from Dryad Global says that the Islamic State’s Mozambique Province, known locally as Al Shabaab (not to be confused with al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa) and its insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province has remained resilient and adaptable.  While the group has suffered major losses and its area of operations is much reduced since the group’s zenith in late 2020, its ability to adapt, expand and relocate to more vulnerable areas belies its deep entrenchment after nearly 5 years of war.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/relocating-or-expanding-islamic-state-mozambiques-reaction-to-foreign-intervention

POLICY CHANGES RAISED BY NFT GAMING

On 12 July, the Brookings Institution published an article which considers a successful hacking attack on a website that gives players a financial incentive to stick with the game for the promise of regular income, by minting NFT that represent the game characters that players can use for battle, cultivation, or trade. The attack wiped out many players’ earnings.  The article says that the hack is indicative of the risks built into the evolving nature of video game marketplaces and demonstrates the need for regulators to implement better monitoring and consumer protection schemes. 

https://www.brookings.edu/techstream/addressing-the-policy-challenges-raised-by-nft-gaming/

THE VULNERABILITY OF COASTAL WEST AFRICA TO A SPILLOVER OF EXTREMIST ACTIVITY FROM THE SAHEL 

On 14 July, an article from Dryad Global starts by saying that, for a long time, many people did not believe that the threat posed by militant Islamist organisations and other armed groups would expand to the southern axis of the Gulf of Guinea.  It was presumed they would remain in the Sahel, but the article says that those assumptions are being proven wrong.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/c%C3%B4te-divoire-to-nigeria-west-africas-security-challenges-and-ripple-effects

SRI LANKA CRISIS TESTS CHINA’S ROLE AS FINANCIER TO POOR COUNTRIES

An article in the Wall Street Journal on 13 July said that China, Sri Lanka’s largest single creditor, offered a tempting alternative to the bitter medicine imposed by the IMF – just keep adding on new debt to pay off the old, according to current and former Sri Lankan officials.  Sri Lanka agreed, and soon $3 billion in new credits poured in from Chinese banks in 2020 and 2021. Now, amid crushing debt and sky-high inflation, Sri Lanka finally decided in April to apply for IMF relief, but by then its economy was nosediving.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sri-lankas-debt-crisis-tests-chinas-role-as-financier-to-poor-countries-imf-bailout-11657735179

FOREIGN FIGHTERS, FOREIGN VOLUNTEERS AND MERCENARIES IN THE UKRAINIAN ARMED CONFLICT

On 11 July, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism published an article which addresses the legal status of the foreign individuals joining the conflict in Ukraine, and some of the legal and political consequences of this situation.  It provides an overview of some of the salient features of international humanitarian law (IHL), offers definitions of the terms ‘foreign volunteer’, ‘foreign terrorist fighter’ and ‘mercenary’, explains why these distinctions matter, and explores what lessons can be drawn from conflating or exchanging these different terms.  It warns that while the IHL framework provides a concrete foundation through which fighters are classified during an armed conflict; mislabelling fighters as mercenaries, foreign volunteers or foreign terrorist fighters, individuals are subsequently not afforded the rights or protections they should under the applicable law. 

https://icct.nl/publication/foreign-fighters-volunteers-mercenaries-in-ukraine

SOUTH AFRICA: LOTTERY COMMISSION SHAKES UP LEADERSHIP AFTER CORRUPTION SCANDAL

On 13 July, iGB reported that the lottery regulator had announced a number of changes; including appointing human rights activist Barney Pityana as its new chairperson, as well extending current operator licence, in the wake of a 2021 corruption scandal.

https://igamingbusiness.com/sa-lottery-commission-shakes-up-leadership-after-corruption-scandal

MALTA: REGULATOR CANCELS GAMBLING LICENCE OF BET-BROKER BET-IT-BEST

On 14 July, iGB reported that the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has cancelled the licence sports betting business, BIB Limited, which operates the Bet It Best brand.  When awarded a licence in 2017, BIB had claimed to be the world’s first-ever sports brokerage licensee.

https://igamingbusiness.com/mga-cancels-bet-it-bests-licence

TBML – IT’S A FOUR-LETTER WORD

An article by Oliver Bullough in Code on 13 July starts by saying that Trade-based Money Laundering is a dull name for an alarming concept, and involving  techniques that avoid the FIU that are central to standard AML methods.  It is said that expert analysis suggests perhaps 80% of all money laundering happens in this way, rather than through financial institutions. 

https://www.codastory.com/newsletters/global-money-laundering/

NEW ZEALAND: ALLEGED KINGPIN TAKEN DOWN IN POLICE BUST INTO DRUGS AND MONEY LAUNDERING SYNDICATE 

On 14 July, Newshub reported that police have taken down an alleged kingpin linked to a Vietnamese organised crime group after a huge police operation after a 9-month-long investigation into money laundering. 

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/07/alleged-kingpin-taken-down-in-police-bust-into-drug-money-laundering-syndicate-across-the-north-island.html

UK: SHARK FINS BILL 2022-23

On 14 July, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on this Bill, which would ban the import and export of shark fins, and is being introduced as a Private Members Bill is due to have Second Reading in the House of Commons on 15 July.

https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9591/CBP-9591.pdf

UK: 6 BORDER INNOVATION PILOTS AIM TO TRANSFORM THE WAY THE BORDER OPERATES

On 14 July, a news release from the Cabinet Office announced the Ecosystem of Trust pilots that will assess the use of technology, data and trusted trader relationships to minimise the administrative burdens and costs on traders.  The model aims to create a more secure border, while limiting the need for compliance activities at the border, with traders allowed to perform more self-assessment at their premises.  The pilots will run until the end of the year.  Although unsaid, the UK has a need to find some remedies or alternatives given its post-Brexit trade problems, illustrated by such things as long delays at Channel ports, other supply chain difficulties, staff shortages and continued postponement of import control functions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transformational-border-pilots-to-create-an-ecosystem-of-trust

HOW NORTH KOREAN CRYPTOCURRENCY ABUSE IS EXPANDING

On 14 July, a Commentary from RUSI argues that countries must secure new and emerging gateways that are used to circumvent sanctions, as North Korea’s exploitation of cryptocurrency continues.  It says that compliance standards among VASP vary widely, and plenty of vulnerabilities remain.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/compliance-harmony-how-north-korean-cryptocurrency-abuse-expanding

INDIAN COUPLE DETAINED AT DELHI’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WITH 45 PISTOLS

On 13 July, WION reported that an Indian couple returning from Vietnam were discovered to be in possession of 45 pistols.

https://www.wionews.com/india-news/indian-couple-detained-at-delhis-international-airport-with-45-pistols-497049

BIGGEST DISCOVERY OF DRUGS AT DUBLIN AIRPORT IN 4 YEARS

On 13 July, the Irish Times reported that Gardaí and Revenue’s Customs officers have seized 16 kg of cocaine which came about after an international operation also involving law enforcement in Germany and South America.  3 people arrested, 2 are employed in roles in the airport while the other person is suspected of flying in to the Republic with the cocaine.  It is understood that the airport workers are employed by contractors. 

https://www.irishtimes.com/crime-law/2022/07/12/biggest-discovery-of-drugs-at-dublin-airport-in-four-years/

EASY CREDIT APPS COME AT A HIGH COST IN MEXICO

On 13 July, Insight Crime reported that scammers in Mexico have yet again evolved their modus operandi by using express credit apps to extort users and drain their bank accounts.  It seems that a raft of unlicensed credit apps offering immediate loans at high interest rates have become popular in Mexico.  These apps do not require any documentation to be submitted by the user and transfer loan money in less than 24 hours.  However, these are apps are part of well-coordinated extortion schemes, known as montadeudas (“mounting debt”), which ramp up pressure on customers to make them pay up.

https://insightcrime.org/news/express-extortion-easy-credit-apps-come-at-a-high-cost-in-mexico/

EU CARBON BORDER ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM: IMPLICATIONS FOR CLIMATE AND COMPETITIVENESS

On 14 July, the EU Parliament Research Service issued a briefing paper on the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), which would require EU importers, as of 2026, to purchase certificates equivalent to the weekly EU carbon price.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/698889/EPRS_BRI(2022)698889_EN.pdf

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2022)698889

SANCTIONS – HOW CAN FINANCIERS OF YACHTS AND PRIVATE JETS STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME?

On 14 July, an article from Dentons asks what about those financing such assets?  What should banks and other financers look out for and prepare against in the context of the sanctions?  As ever, it says, the devil is in the detail with sanctions.  However, it provides some suggestions which should give financiers some food for thought and provide a useful starting point for considering how existing financings may be affected.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/articles/2022/july/14/sanctions-how-can-financiers-of-yachts-and-private-jets-stay-ahead-of-the-game

FCA: HOW THE UK WILL REGULATE FOR THE FUTURE

On 14 July, a release on Mondo Visione published a speech by the FCA Chief Executive, delivered at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.  The highlights include that the FCA has invested heavily in data and technology and scan 100,000 websites for fraud every day; and that the US and UK will deepen ties on crypto-asset regulation and market developments – including in relation to stablecoins and the exploration of CBDC.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/how-the-uk-will-regulate-for-the-future-speech-by-nikhil-rathi-uk-financial-c/

VIETNAM: CORRUPT COAST GUARDS MAY BE JAILED FOR 17 YEARS FOR GASOLINE SMUGGLING

On 14 July, RFA reported that military prosecutors have asked for prison sentences up to 17 years for 2 former commanders of Vietnam’s Coast Guard in the latest corruption cases that an analyst said could damage the force’s combat readiness in the South China Sea.  The 2 were charged with taking bribes of from a gasoline smuggling ring in exchange of information about law enforcement ships’ coordinates.

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/corrupt-coast-guards-may-be-jailed-for-17-years-07142022083541.html

US: 2 FOREIGN NATIONALS PLEAD GUILTY TO TRAFFICKING IVORY AND RHINOCEROS HORN FROM DRC

On 13 July, a news release from US DoJ advised that 2 DRC nationals had admitted that beginning in November 2019, they agreed to smuggle elephant ivory, white rhinoceros horn and pangolin scales to the US.  They worked with a middleman to negotiate the sales and coordinate imports to Seattle. 

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-foreign-nationals-plead-guilty-trafficking-ivory-and-rhinoceros-horn-democratic-republic

POLICE ARREST AMSTERDAM CLOTHING BRAND FOUNDER FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 13 July, NL Times reported that the suspect is said to be the founder of the clothing brand, My Brand.  Founded in 2010, the brand quickly gained popularity, selling at hundreds of stores in the Netherlands.

https://nltimes.nl/2022/07/13/police-arrest-amsterdam-clothing-brand-founder-money-laundering-drug-trafficking

US: 4 CANADIAN NATIONALS CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING US AND CANADIAN INVESTORS IN DIAMOND SCHEME

A DoJ news release on 12 July advised that the 4 Canadian men were charged for their roles in an alleged conspiracy that persuaded investors in the US and Canada to invest in diamonds and other jewellery through false and misleading information.  They are said to have portrayed themselves as employees of Paragon International Wealth Management Inc, a Canadian investment firm that sold investors diamonds and other jewellery items via unsolicited phone calls to individuals in the US and Canada. 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndoh/pr/four-canadian-nationals-charged-defrauding-us-and-canadian-investors-diamond-scheme

UKRAINE SEIZES ASSETS FROM OTC CRYPTO BROKERS FOR WORKING WITH RUSSIANS

On 13 July, Yahoo Finance reported that the over-the-counter (OTC) brokers are said to have illegally facilitated cryptocurrency purchases for users from Russia and Russia-occupied territories, and convert cash and non-cash funds into cryptocurrency, without paying taxes.

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-seizes-assets-otc-crypto-163341626.html

NIGERIA LINKS WITH SHIPPING ORGANISATIONS TO FIGHT GULF OF GUINEA PIRACY

On 13 July, Insurance Marine News reported that Nigeria and a coalition of global shipping stakeholders have launched a new strategy to end piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea.  A newly-launched strategy was developed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Intertanko, Intercargo, Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), and representatives of the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA, together making up the Nigerian Industry Working Group (NIWG).  The intention is it to identify areas of improvement and reinforcement in order to eliminate piracy, and it is targeted at all stakeholders operating in the region.

https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/nigeria-links-with-shipping-organizations-to-fight-gulf-of-guinea-piracy/

UK: HIGH COURT ADJOURNED TRIAL INVOLVING OLEG DERIPASKA

On 14 July, EU Sanctions blog reported that, in May, the High Court adjourned a trial involving Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska Deripaska because he cannot pay its lawyers for legal representation and the current legal team is coming off the record.  His team successfully applied to adjourn to avoid an unfair trial.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/07/english-high-court-adjourns-deripaska-chernukin-trial-because-of-sanctions/

THE FCA ROLE IN SANCTIONS COMPLIANCE

On 14 July, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the House of Commons Treasury Committee had requested information on the effectiveness of Russian sanctions from FCA and HMRC.  The FCA response on 4 July explained the role of FCA in sanctions compliance. FCA does not enforce sanctions itself but might take action where a breach indicates weakness in a “relevant financial crime system and/or control”. It also shares information with other government bodies.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/07/fca-responds-to-the-treasury-committee-request-on-information-on-sanctions/

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/23023/documents/168751/default/

EU UPDATES RUSSIAN SANCTIONS FAQ

On 14 July, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU had updated 2 sets of guidance FAQ – on road transport, and on the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/07/eu-commission-updates-russia-sanctions-faqs-7/

UK GOVERNMENT: FIRST REPORT ON THE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY AND INVESTMENT REGIME

On 14 July, Field Fisher published an article saying that the new Act came into force in January, and the article provides a summary of the government’s report on the operation of the regime, and the firm shares its own experience and learnings so far.  The Act established a new national security regime in the UK, providing the UK government with sweeping powers to block, permit, or permit with conditions, transactions that give rise to national security risks.  Although it cautions on reaching conclusions after only 3 months, the new system appears to be operating efficiently and within envisaged timelines. 

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/government-publishes-first-report-on-the-uk-s-new

WELL-KNOWN FRENCH ACTOR CLAIMS HE IS THE VICTIM OF €6 MILLION FRAUD BY ‘IRISH LORD’

On 14 July, The Journal reported that the fraud was allegedly committed by a man who held himself out to be an “Irish Lord from an ancient family” and an expert lawyer in maritime law.  The actor obtained a temporary High Court freezing order preventing the defendant and several corporate entities he allegedly either controls or the ultimate beneficial owner of from reducing their assets below a value of €6 million.  It is said that the offender had committed the fraud by using a network of companies he had appeared to have established in Ireland and other jurisdictions and is somebody who “goes by several different aliases”.

https://www.thejournal.ie/french-actor-victim-e6-million-fraud-boon-birles-5817273-Jul2022/

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/french-actor-wins-freezing-order-against-man-purporting-to-be-an-irish-lord-who-he-alleges-swindled-him-out-of-millions-41840812.html

UK REGISTER OF OVERSEAS ENTITIES: HOW IT AFFECTS LAND TRANSACTIONS

On 13 July, the Land Registry posted an update of preparations for the implementation of the Economic Crime (Transparency & Enforcement) Act 2022.  The Act prohibits any application being made to HM Land Registry to register an overseas entity as proprietor of land unless, at the time of the application, the overseas entity has obtained its Overseas Entity ID (OE ID) issued by Companies House.

https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2022/07/13/register-of-overseas-entities-how-it-affects-land-transactions/

UK: SERVED VIA NFT

On 13 July, Bloomberg reported that a High Court judge has given the go-ahead to serve legal documents over the blockchain ledger using an NFT for the first time.  It explains that an NFT is a line of code on the blockchain that confirms unique certificates of authenticity and are typically used to prove ownership of a piece of digital art.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-13/you-ve-been-served-via-nft-court-gives-ok-to-sue-on-blockchain

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US TREASURY FACT SHEET ON FOOD AND FERTILISER-RELATED AUTHORISATIONS UNDER RUSSIA SANCTIONS; EXPANDED GENERAL LICENSE AUTHORISING AGRICULTURAL TRANSACTIONS AND UPDATED FAQ

On 14 July, the US Treasury released a new factsheet to further clarify agricultural commodities (including fertiliser), agricultural equipment, or medicine relating to Russia are not the target of US sanctions.  General License 6B is also amended to further reiterate that US sanctions on Russia in response to its unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine do not stand in the way of agricultural and medical trade.  2 entries also removed from the sanctions lists.  Also published are General License 25C (Authorising transactions related to telecommunications and certain internet-based communications), 30A (Authorising transactions involving SEFE Securing Energy for Europe GmbH) and 44 (Authorising the export or reexport of certain accounting services to US Individuals located in the Russian Federation).

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_fact_sheet_20220714.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220714

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0868

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl6b.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl25c.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl30a.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl44.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/updated/2022-07-14

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REBELLION AS RACKET: CRIME AND THE DONBAS CONFLICT 2014-2022

This report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime is concerned with a situation that not only encouraged criminalisation, but was based on it. Industrial-scale smuggling of everything from coal to narcotics helped sustain the internationally unrecognised pseudo-states of Donbas; gangsters became militiamen; and money laundering networks meanwhile bypassed sanctions.  During the current conflict, criminals continued to cooperate across enemy lines, taking full advantage of the inability of law enforcement to do the same.  It says that it was not just that crime in Donbas affected Ukraine, Russia and the rest of Europe – although it undoubtedly did – but also that addressing its underworld dimension would have been an essential but tragically under-recognised aspect of any resolution of the conflict.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/GITOC-Donbas-Rebellion-as-racket.pdf

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ISO 27001 SYSTEM MANAGEMENT: NEW CONTROLS FOR 2022

On 13 July, an article from CompliancePoint was concerned with changes to ISO 27001, which provides requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS).  The current 2013 operating version is widely utilised globally and certification is accepted in 168 countries worldwide.  The article highlights the 11 new controls that have been added, which include requiring organisations to collect and analyse information about threats and mitigate them appropriately; physical security monitoring to ensure that only authorised personnel can access them – this could include offices, production facilities, warehouses, and other key physical premises; and data leakage prevention.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/iso-27001-changes-new-controls-for-2022-6760817/

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RED ALERT FROM NATIONAL ECONOMIC CRIME CENTRE (NECC) AND OSFI WARN ‘ENABLERS’ ON SANCTIONS EVASION

On 14 July, the Law Society Gazette reported that lawyers and other potential ‘enablers’ in the UK may be targeted with sanctions if they help designated individuals hide their assets from law enforcement, according to a ‘red alert’ issued by the NECC and OFSI.  The ‘key professions’ for facilitating the evasion of sanctions include solicitors and barristers, accountants, investment advisors and wealth managers, as well as estate agents, auction houses and company directors.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/red-alert-agencies-warn-enablers-on-sanctions-evasion/5113125.article

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/605-necc-financial-sanctions-evasion-russian-elites-and-enablers/file

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/Financial-services-and-dispute-investigation/Financial_sanctions_evasion_typologies

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RULING ELITES BEHIND ZIMBABWE’S ‘DISAPPEARING’ GOLD

On 14 July, OCCRP reported that a new report has found that gold smuggling, organised by individuals linked to the ruling establishment, deprives Zimbabwe of an estimated 36 tonnes of gold annually, worth 65% of the total production.  It is said that gold dealers, who are protected by the ruling Zanu-PF party officials use state apparatus to capture and control gold-rich areas throughout the country; and, with the connivance of the authorities, smuggled out of the country, typically through South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16564-ruling-elites-behind-zimbabwe-s-disappearing-gold

https://www.cnrgzim.org/_files/ugd/e33f9c_c5efdb731bef475fbab6c05672b37fdc.pdf?index=true

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US AUTHORITIES PUT TRADE FINANCE BANKS ON ALERT OVER RUSSIA EXPORT CONTROL EVASION ATTEMPTS

On 13 July, Global Trade Review reported that US authorities have issued an alert urging trade finance providers to deploy “increased vigilance” when watching for possible evasion of export controls by Russian and Belarusian entities.  It calls on banks that are financing transactions, processing payments or performing other services related to trade to help detect Russian and Belarussian evasion attempts.  There are growing fears Moscow may use illicit smuggling networks to disguise the types of goods being traded, or the end destination of a shipment, as a means of evading export controls.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/us-authorities-put-trade-finance-banks-on-alert-over-russia-export-control-evasion-attempts/

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PANAMA: COUNTRY THAT TRAFFICS THE MOST CIGARETTES IN LATIN AMERICA

On 13 July, a series of media article highlighted comments made by a panel at the Concordia Summit of the Americas in Miami on the “Regional Dialogue on Free Trade Zones (Free Zones), Trade-Based Money Laundering and Port Security”.  It referred to a “problem” in Latin America and directly mentioned Panama and the Colon Free Zone, where “about 8,000 million cigarettes” arrive every year, mainly from Asia and China – said to be roughly the total amount of all illicit cigarettes consumed in Mexico each year.  At the event, tobacco multinational Phillip Morris International (PMI) described Panama as the “world champion of cigarette trafficking” and asked the Panamanian authorities to enforce the laws.

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/sociedad/panama-pais-que-mas-trafica-cigarrillos-en-america-latina-1209408

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/220714/tabacalera-pide-panama-acabar-trafico

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8qNP_4iZSc

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PROTECTING AGAINST FRAUD IN TRADE FINANCE

On 13 July, an article from Holding Redlich in Australia follows a recent court case there in which the court ordered a trade credit insurer to pay out an insurance claim to a financier defrauded by a customer.  It explains that trade credit insurance is a product that indemnifies a seller against losses from non-payment of a commercial trade debt.  It covers all contracts entered into or goods and services provided on credit terms within the policy period.  The insurer agrees to pay a percentage of an outstanding invoice or receivable owed arising from a customer’s insolvency, bankruptcy or “protracted default” (overdue contract payment).  It highlights the key takeaways when providing trade finance insurance and considers in detail the case and findings, saying that the claim failed because the insurer could not establish that other laws or principles were applicable to the terms of the insurance policy.

https://www.mondaq.com/australia/insurance-laws-and-products/1211386/protecting-against-fraud-in-trade-finance

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