As the protests continue, with losses said to be around $200 million, so-called “humanitarian” convoys of trucks have started to arrive (despite repeated wildcat blockages) to bring fresh fruit and vegetables from the growing area to the city. Visited 2 supermarkets while out today, and both obviously lacking stocks of fruit and veg, notably bananas. While out, hopped on a Metro bus to travel to a nearby mall, and that bus went on a diverted route, with one of the main highways out of the city blocked – though nothing to see when returned an hour or two later.
Roundtable talks appear to have finally got properly underway, and meanwhile 2 “politicians” are apparently wanted by police (one has turned himself in), apparently in connection with the action of a group of “armed” people who temporarily stopped the movement vehicles in the “humanitarian convoy”.
The TV news, as one might expect, seems to be making a meal of the demonstrations and blockages, but everywhere we have been things appeared calm. But this might reflect the fact that those of us the city have been largely unaffected, or at most mildly inconvenienced, by the protests to date.
21 JULY 2022
ISLE OF MAN: RUSSIA AND LIBYA SANCTIONS REGIMES AMENDMENTS
On 21 July, 2 news releases from the Isle of Man advised of the amendment of 6 entries on the Russia sanctions lists and 1 entry on the Libya sanctions list.
FORMER EL AL EXECUTIVE SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS FOR SMUGGLING COCAINE
On 20 July, the Jerusalem Post reported that Rami Yogev. a former senior executive of the security division of Israeli airline El Al, had been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his part in smuggling over 50 kg of cocaine in what police called “one of the most serious drug cases Israel has known”. It was said that he abused his position and allowed the transfer of the suitcases without proper inspection in exchange for $10,000 per suitcase. It was claimed that, unlike others involved in the matter, he did not know that it was drugs that was being smuggled, and believed that it was gold.
BRIBERY: OECD SAYS SWITZERLAND SHOULD URGENTLY TAKE CONCRETE STEPS TO ADOPT KEY LEGISLATIVE REFORMS
On 20 July, the Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions said in a new report that it is concerned the Swiss government hasn’t adopted legislative reforms since it was last evaluated in 2011. The recommended changes include legislation to compensate and provide anti-discriminatory protections to private-sector whistleblowers who report suspicions of foreign bribery. A draft law was rejected by the Swiss Parliament in 2020. It also needs to increase its statutory maximum fine on companies convicted of foreign bribery, with the ceiling currently set at approximately $5.14 million.
DENMARK PROMISES NATIONWIDE MONEY LAUNDERING CRACKDOWN, INCLUDING ON GAMBLING
On 20 July, iGB reported that the Danish gaming regulator, has announced it will be involved in the Ministry of Justice’s new national AML strategy. It was named in the government’s strategy document along with such organisations as the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, the Bar Council and the Danish Business Authority. The document identifies high-risk areas as currency exchange companies and money transfer companies, high-value goods trading, neo-banks, cryptocurrency, the gambling sector and parts of the non-profit sector.
UK: FRAUD CASES SET TO SOAR AMID ONGOING COST OF LIVING CRISIS
On 20 July, Security Matters reported that UK fraud prevention service Cifas is warning that consumers and businesses face a growing risk of identity fraud as criminals prepare to target consumers during the cost of living crisis – with a reported rise of 11% in cases in the first half of 2022 when compared to last year.
MEXICO: ARMED PIRATES ROB OFFSHORE PLATFORM IN BAY OF CAMPECHE
On 19 July, Dryad Global reported that armed pirates had struck another platform operated by Pemex, forcing the crew to help them cart off stolen goods before departing again. A group of 10 armed robbers boarded a platform, stayed for about 3 hours, and took tools, SCBA breathing apparatus and materials from the platform. None of the crew were injured, but the pirates forced them to carry the goods and help load 3 getaway boats.
INDIAN COURT DETAINS RUSSIAN SHIP CARRYING MILITARY CARGO OVER BUNKER DEBT
On 20 July, Dryad Global reported that Kerala High Court ordered that the Maia-1 be arrested until it pays about $23,500 to an Estonian operator, Bunker Partner. The Russian embassy said the cargo was destined for the Indian armed forces.
UK: THE DEMISE OF LEGAL AID? ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND SOCIAL WELFARE LAW AFTER AUSTERITY
The Spring 2022 edition of Amicus Curiae from the University of London says that access to justice in England and Wales has been undermined by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, with cuts to legal aid. The paper draws on interviews across 4 case studies with those on the frontline of the legal aid sector to draw out the implications of the LASPO cuts, and the wider disdain of successive governments for legal aid, for social welfare law. The paper makes an argument that access to justice is a cause that needs to be championed for the good of all in society.
See also –
NIGERIA AND SHIPPING INDUSTRY LAUNCH STRATEGY TO ELIMINATE PIRACY IN GULF OF GUINEA
On 21 July, Dryad Global reported that the strategy establishes a mechanism to periodically assess the effectiveness of country-piracy initiatives and commitments in the Gulf of Guinea. Targeted at all stakeholders operating in the region, it will identify areas of improvement and reinforcement in order to eliminate piracy. The article points out that, while in 2020, 40% of piracy attacks, and 95% of crew kidnappings occurred in the region, attacks decreased by nearly 60% in 2021, following the establishment of Deep Blue anti-piracy project, and increased international counter-piracy operations.
OOCL ADOPTS e-BILL OF LADING
On 21 July, Seatrade Maritime News reported that container shipping line OOCL said the adoption of eBL will increase security and accuracy, reduce supply chain uncertainties and delays, and control costs.
US: MAJOR JEWELLERY RETAILER TO PAY MILLIONS FOR DUPING TROOPS AND FAMILIES
On 20 July, Military.com reported that Harris Jewelry, a New York-based national jewellery outlet that catered to military bases across the country, agreed to pay $34.2 million to settle claims that it targeted service members using shady credit transactions and “misleading” sales tactics.
UK: DIRECTOR LIABILITY FOR CLAIMS AFTER THEY HAVE CEASED TO HOLD OFFICE
On 19 July, an article from Osborne Clarke says that a recent case shows that the reach of a director’s duties under the Companies Act 2006 extend so that a claim for breach may be founded on opportunities arising after a person has ceased to hold office. It says that even if that director resigns his post, it seems that the reach of the duties under the Companies Act 2006 extends so that a claim for breach may be founded on acts taking place after a person has ceased to hold office.
EU COURTS HOLDS THAT UK CONTROLLED FOREIGN COMPANY (CFC) RULES CONSTITUTE STATE AID
On 19 July, an article from Stewarts reported that General Court of the Court of Justice of the EU has upheld the EU Commission’s decision that the implementation of the (pre-2019) Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) group financing exemptions in the UK constituted unlawful state aid. The UK, along with a number of affected UK multinational groups, had applied to the General Court to have the Commission’s decision annulled. The article points out that the UK amended its rules from 2019 onwards and has collected the unlawful state aid from the affected UK multinational groups, and also says that further litigation, including to the tax tribunal in the UK, are likely.
US CUSTOMS EXTENSION AND AMENDMENT OF IMPORT RESTRICTIONS ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ETHNOLOGICAL MATERIALS FROM CYPRUS
On 19 July, Steptoe & Johnson LLP reported that US CBP had published news of an an extension (and amendment) of import restrictions on cultural property under a bilateral agreement between the US and the Republic of Cyprus, which dates from 2002. The restrictions prohibit the importation of certain Pre-Classical and Classical archaeological objects, and Byzantine and Post-Byzantine ecclesiastical and ritual ethnological materials that originated in the Republic of Cyprus – except in exceptional circumstances.
UK: APPLICATION OF THE KITTEL PRINCIPLE TO UMBRELLA COMPANY FRAUD
On 20 July, an article from Joseph Hage Aaronson is concerned by what is described as HMRC’s wide-ranging application of the ‘Kittel principle’, a principle from MTIC VAT fraud cases in a 2006 ECJ case. It says that the current focus appears to very much be on the labour supply industry and the allegation of ‘Mini Umbrella Company Fraud’ (or ‘MUC Fraud’). The article highlights the need for taxpayers to get specialist advice at an early stage when faced with a Kittel decision.
For a brief introduction to the Kittel principle, see –
PANAMA FAILS TO MEET STANDARDS TO ELIMINATE HUMAN TRAFFICKING
On 21 July, La Estrella de Panama reported that Panama does not meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, but it is making significant efforts to achieve this, according to a report from the US State Department’s Office of Trafficking in Persons, which assesses the efforts of 188 countries.
INDIA: DRUGS AND ARMS SMUGGLING FROM SRI LANKA
On 21 July, Devdiscourse reported that it is alleged that drugs and arms traffickers have been operating in India and Sri Lanka in collusion with a Pakistan-based drug and gun runner and working for the revival of the LTTE aka Tamil Tigers). It is said that reports of attempts to revive LTTE is a cause of concern for the Indian establishment.
LATVIAN CRIMINAL CASE INVOLVING MULTIPLE ABLV BANK EMPLOYEES ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING
On 21 July, the Baltic News Network reported that 8 people are accused of large-scale money laundering, and it is said that 5 of the accused persons were working in managing posts in the bank at the time when criminal acts were being committed. The schemes involved are said to have assisted with North Korea’s nuclear arms programme, as well as illegal activities in Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine, in 2010-18.
SONIA GANDHI FACES 2 HOURS OF QUESTIONING IN NATIONAL HERALD MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 21 July, the Hindustan Times and others reported that Indian opposition leader Sonia Gandhi, 75, had been questioned by money laundering investigators, prompting her Congress Party to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of running a “political vendetta”.
9 EU STATES REJECT ISRAELI ‘TERRORIST’ DESIGNATION FOR PALESTINIAN NGO
On 12 July, Reuters reported that 9 EU states said that they would continue working with the 6 Palestinian civil society groups that Israel designated terrorist associations last year, citing a lack of evidence for that claim. Israel designated the Palestinian groups as terrorist organisations and accused them of funnelling donor aid to militants.
US, CANADA AND UK TAKE A STAND AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING
On 21 July, Defence Web reported that the US and international partners are increasing efforts to end IUU fishing in a way that protects the world’s food supply and environment. The US, Canada and the UK announced that they would launch an alliance dedicated to the fight against IUU fishing to include better oversight of fishing fleets, building partnerships and holding bad actors to account.
A CHANGE OF SHIP’S NAME WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO PREVENT AN INSPECTION WHICH REVEALED A BREACH OF THE UN ARMS EMBARGO ON LIBYA
On 21 July, Defence Web reported that a search of a ship found “dozens of vehicles designed or modified for military use and assessed to be in violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya”. The Victory Roro, previously MV Luccello, flying the Equatorial Guinea flag and under her previous name, was identified by a UN Panel of Experts on Libya as delivering military vehicles to the north African country in March.
EXTREME RIGHT-WING TERRORISM IN THE UK: HOW CONCERNED SHOULD WE BE?
A Commentary from RUSI on 21 July posed this question, saying that a recent report from the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee indicates some worrying trends in extreme right-wing terrorism in the UK, but also highlights how the threat can sometimes be a product of its response.
UK: CONSULTATION ON REVISED INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS CODE OF PRACTICE
On 21 July, the Home Office advised of a consultation on proposed changes to the Interception Code of Practice to ensure the Code is clear on the circumstances in which an intercepting authority should serve a warrant on either the Cloud-service provider or the enterprise customer. It says that representations are welcomed from telecommunications operators and communication service providers as well as professional bodies, interest groups and the wider public.
UKRAINE HAS APPOINTED A LEADER FOR ITS SPECIALIZED ANTI-CORRUPTION PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE, (SAPO) FULFILLING A KEY RECOMMENDATION FOR EU AND IMF AID
On 21 July, OCCRP reported that Oleksandr Klymenko, a detective who has made a name for himself over the years working in Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).
LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGE (LPP) TENSIONS REQUIRE CAUTION IN UK AUDIT MARKET
An article from Out-Law on 21 July says that long-term uncertainty over the application of LPP to documents held by UK auditors should cause businesses to think carefully about what privileged information they need to disclose to their auditors, and how they disclose it. it also says that there remains uncertainty over how the government will balance the need for effective regulation of, and the application of LPP in, the audit market in the longer-term. It notes that the UK Government recently confirmed that it will not press ahead with plans to give the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) statutory powers to override audit clients’ LPP, for now at least.
UK: SUPREME COURT EXPLORES ‘MODERN SLAVERY’ IN DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY CASE
On 21 July, an article from out-Law considered the implications of a recent court case involving the alleged abuse of a domestic household worker, and says that the Supreme Court explored the term, and practices such as forced labour and human trafficking which are covered by that phrase, in the case which also involved rights to diplomatic immunity.
US CORRUPTION LIST IN CENTRAL AMERICA: MORE BARK, LITTLE BITE
On 20 July, Insight Crime carried a critical article on the US use of a list of politicians, prosecutors, judges, and business elites as allegedly corrupt actors in Central America. All those featured on the so-called Engel List – named after US congressman, Elliot Engel, who spearheaded the list’s creation – are barred from entering the US.
ITALY PROSECUTORS DROP $1.3 BILLION ENI NIGERIA GRAFT APPEAL
On 19 July, NASDAQ reported that Italian prosecutors have dropped a legal challenge over the acquittal of Eni and Shell, as well as managers including the Eni CEO, in a corruption case linked to a deal in Nigeria.
CAMEROON’S ANTI-GRAFT AGENCY SAYS INVESTIGATIONS INTO GLENCORE BRIBERY UNDERWAY
On 19 July, Yahoo Life reported that Cameroon’s anti-corruption agency is investigating claims by miner and commodities trader Glencore Plc that it paid bribes to officials at state-run companies in exchange for favours. In June, Glencore’s UK subsidiary pleaded guilty to 7 counts of bribery in connection with oil operations in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Sudan; and has admitted it paid bribes in Cameroon to officials of the National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH) and National Refining Company (SONARA) to the sum of $11 million to secure preferential access to oil between 2011 and 2016.
IPÊ TREES – THE MOST EXPENSIVE TIMBER IN BRAZIL’S AMAZON
On 20 July, an article from Insight Crime says that, resilient, rare, and incredibly lucrative on international markets – Selling for as much as $2,775 per cubic meter on global markets, ipê trees are the unlucky bellwethers of illegal logging trends in the Brazilian Amazon. Wherever they can be found, mass deforestation eventually follows. A report from Mongabay published on 18 July reveals how illegal deforestation mostly takes place in areas known as hotspots for harvesting ipê.
TT CLUB PUBLISHES ‘BOOK IT RIGHT AND PACK IT TIGHT’ FOR SHIPPING
On 15 July, American Shipper reported that the insurance and risk management company has issued guidance on transporting dangerous goods. It refers to the complexity of shipping dangerous goods through the maritime supply chain in terms of regulation, practices and expectations; and that errors, misunderstandings, misdeclarations, and inadequate packing and securing lie at the heart of many significant incidents, both at sea and in storage facilities. The guide from TT Club is split into 2 parts. Part A of the guide breaks down the process of preparing and booking the cargo into practical steps and explores the roles and requirements of those involved in each step.
US: CRS CONSIDERS RISKS IN THE NFT MARKET
On 20 July, a post from Fried Frank said that US Congressional Research Service has published a briefing about the market for non-fungible tokens (NFT) and considered risks for NFT investors. It says that the CRS described similarities between NFT and cryptocurrencies but underscored the fundamental difference between them: Cryptocurrencies are inherently fungible and NFT are intended to be unique.
THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA WANTS TO BAN CRYPTO
On 21 July, Fintech Futures reported that India’s finance minister has said that the country’s central bank wants cryptocurrencies to be prohibited. Currently they are not regulated, and earlier this year, India introduced new crypto taxation rules, including a 30% tax on any income from the transfer of digital assets and 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) for every crypto transaction.
IRANIAN NAVY HAS ANNOUNCED THE INTRODUCTION OF WHAT IT’S CALLING ITS INAUGURAL “DRONE-CARRIER” DIVISION
An article from The Drive on 17 July reported that state TV showed the navy launching drones from various ships and even a submarine. The display points to Iran’s ongoing push to not only acquire more weaponised drone capabilities and capacity, but to deploy those systems via a diversified set of vectors — including from the sea. The display took place in international waters of the Indian Ocean. The article warns that auxiliary-type ships that will allegedly support the Iranian Navy’s new “drone-carrier” division serve as another example of Iran developing capabilities to carry out asymmetric attacks far from its own shores. It also says that the exporting of sea-launched drone capabilities to customers and especially its militant proxy forces is really a bigger issue than Iran displaying the capability itself.
RUSSIA REDIRECTS ITS RESIDUAL FUEL OIL FLOWS TO THE EAST
On 20 July, Vortexa reported that, in the 5 months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the global residual fuels market has experienced substantial changes. It says that not only has Russia, as the world’s top residual fuel oil (RFO) exporter, been forced to redirect its massive flows due mounting sanctions and boycotts, but traditional buyers in the west have also had to source often costlier alternative supplies. Development have forced Russia to redirect its vast RFO exports away from the west, towards markets in the east, and even driven several refiners to dial back their refining runs, and in some cases completely halt their refining operations after their storage tanks were filled up. The Middle East, Asia and Africa have seen their imports of Russian RFO spike in recent months.
Separately, on 21 July, Vortexa published an insight which explored Iran’s declining crude/condensate exports through H1 2022, strengthened trade with Venezuela and Russia’s impact on Iranian fleet activity.
US SEIZES STOLEN FUNDS FROM SUSPECTED NORTH KOREAN HACKERS
On 21 July, the BBC reported that the DoJ had seized $500,000 worth of Bitcoin from suspected North Korean hackers who hadattacked healthcare providers with a new strain of ransomware, extorting the funds from several organisations. It also reported that Deputy Attorney General Lisa O Monaco praised an unnamed Kansas hospital for alerting the FBI early about the ransomware attack.
UK: HIGH COURT ORDERS NEW UK NET ZERO STRATEGY REPORT
A blog post from Gowling WLG on 21 July reported that the High Court had ordered the UK Government to lay a fresh report under section 14 of the Climate Change Act 2008 (CCA) to Parliament by end of March 2023, following a judicial review hearing.
TUNISIA’S STALLED TRANSITION
On 21 July, an article from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reminds one that, on 1 January 2021, Tunisians celebrated 1 decade since the popular uprisings that removed then president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power and ushered in a democratic transition. While it made advances since the uprisings, Tunisia has failed to address the root causes that brought about the 2011 uprisings, including rampant corruption. Rising anger and frustration is said to have let President Kais Saied, a populist leader with no political party or governing experience, in July 2021 to take advantage of public dissatisfaction with the status quo to execute a self-coup – and Saied has managed to roll back many of the democratic gains that Tunisians fought for and built. The article examines the experiences of countries around the world that struggled with challenges similar to those Tunisia has faced during the first decade of its transition. It considers what lessons policymakers can take away from these cases to help understand both how Tunisia’s democratic experiment stalled and what forms of local and international intervention might help return Tunisia to a democratic path.
DRONE-MAKERS ARE RESPONDING TO GLOBAL DEMAND BY WORKING TO IMPROVE THEIR PRODUCTS INTO MORE CAPABLE AND INCREASINGLY SURVIVABLE SYSTEMS TO STAY AHEAD IN THE MARKET
A special report from Breaking Defense on 21 July considers loitering munitions, colloquially called kamikaze drones or suicide drones, which provide small teams of soldiers with single-use, small unmanned aerial systems, equipped to track and strike a target. While they have been around for decades, they garnered significant attention during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in which both employed loitering munitions. The report says that, it is clear that in the wake of Ukraine’s high-profile success, the demand is growing not just for weapons on the market, but the next generation of capabilities. Western customers are looking for loitering drones with more power, increased distance, bigger payloads and advanced technology, while maintaining the ease of use.
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