Only a day after announcing himself as a candidate in the 2024 Presidential campaign, and a day before nominations close, former President Martinelli withdrew his application as an independent, saying instead that he take part in the primaries of his political party instead, thus continuing his bid to become President again – despite his history, the jailing of his sons on money laundering charges and the Odebrecht bribery case starting in September.
Meanwhile, though protests continue there were counter-protests demanding that teachers in the state schools end their 4-week strike.
While mention of Covid in the media in panama has reduced, it was reported today that 73 cases of malaria have been recorded in Panama City, and the health authorities recommend that the population avoid mosquito bites by using protective meshes on windows, mosquito nets on beds, mosquito repellent, pants and long-sleeved shirts – though in the city during the week, it is usually only the American tourists that are wearing shorts (we place “Spot the Gringo” sometimes, and the shorts are a good tell).
30 JULY 2022
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY BLACKLISTS 32 NEW ZEALAND OFFICIALS IN RECIPROCAL SANCTIONS
On 30 July, Devdiscourse reported on sanctions against 32 New Zealand officials and journalists, said to be in response to New Zealand government sanctions that apply to an increasing number of Russian citizens.
2 BRITISH DRUG SMUGGLERS ATTEMPTED TO IMPORT £570 MILLION OF DRUGS INTO AUSTRALIA BY YACHT BUT DEFEATED BY AN ELEPHANT SEAL
On 30 July, The Sun carried the story of 2 men, part of a gang of 5, jailed in Australia who attempted to smuggle drugs into Australia only to go aground on a reef, and picked up by police after fishermen spotted the yacht and the boat the drugs were meant to be transferred to and alerted the authorities. The 2 Britons attempted to escape but they came across a massive elephant seal blocking their way.
TURKISH COAST GUARD FIRES ON AND RAMS US-FLAG YACHT DURING PURSUIT
On 29 July, Maritime Executive reported that a Turkish Coast Guard patrol vessel rammed and shot at a US-flagged yacht which was allegedly attempting to escape Turkish waters with a consignment of drugs. This came after the coast guard crew found that a suspect cargo vessel had rendezvoused with the 27-meter luxury yacht. In total, from the merchant vessel, the yacht and the waters near the scene, Turkish law enforcement claimed to have recovered a total of 81 kg of cocaine.
CAYMAN ISLANDS REMAINS UNDER MONITORING WITH REGARDS TO AML/CFT EFFECTIVENESS REVIEW
An article from Conyers on 29 July reported that, in June 2021, following a FATF plenary, FATF issued a public statement confirming only 2 action plan items remained for the Cayman Islands – one involving adequate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information; and the other demonstrating prosecution of all types of money laundering in line with the jurisdiction’s risk profile. In May, the EU confirmed that no additional measures beyond those included in the FATF action plan were required to remove the Cayman Islands from the its AML/CFT list. It is said that the Cayman Islands is hopeful that the next FATF plenary scheduled for October will say that it is no longer be the subject of the monitoring.
SURVEY: MOST AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT MONEY LAUNDERING
On 30 July, the Palmbay Herald reported on a survey undertaken by software provider First AMLrevealed that 90% of lawyers and accountants are concerned about money laundering. It said that 89% of respondents said AML has moved up the company agenda in the past year. The research also found that 67% of Australian lawyers and accountants have identified one or more instances of suspected money laundering in the past 3 years, with 49% identifying more than one.
A DIRECTOR RESIGNS – IS THAT THE END?
On 26 July, a blog post from Scottish law firm Morton Fraser asked this question. It says that while it is tempting to imagine that once a director resigns, they are completely “off the hook” and can then put all issues relating to that company behind them, that is not the case. It cautions that directors always have to recognise that the role of director carries with it a special category of duties and statutory responsibilities that can transcend a resignation. The post looks at the issues of directors’ duties that extend to the period after a resignation; wrongful trading liability; and the Companies Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
VESSEL ARREST – WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE SECURITY?
On 25 July, an article from Forwarder Law said that a recent case before the Court of Appeal has considered what security should be seen as acceptable either to avoid the arrest of a vessel or obtain her release. It also said that the London Admiralty Solicitors Group have drafted a portfolio of standard wordings which are designed to deal with issues regarding the provision of security and jurisdiction.
ARMS TRAFFICKING FROM LIBYA TO NIGER IS BACK IN BUSINESS
On 28 July, Defence Web reported that the high demand for arms and ammunition has given traffickers an opportunity to continue their lucrative trade. Stocks gathered in south-western Libya are sold to civilians (for self-defence) and armed groups in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The weapons are transported in 4×4 vehicles, suitable for the desert’s sandy tracks. After detailing how the smuggling routes work, it warns that a solution to Libya’s current crisis could increase arms trafficking, as local demand decreases.
MALAWI CLAIMS OVER $300 BILLION IN MINING TAXES FROM US COMPANY
On 30 July, The New Arab reported that Malawi’s Attorney General has accused Columbia Gem House of evading duty on sales of rubies and sapphires mined at its Chimwadzulo Mine in Ntcheu, Malawi since 2008 and exported to the US. He accused both Nyala Mines Ltd and Columbia Gem House of dishonestly exporting ruby and sapphire from Malawi, and profiting by not paying taxes and royalties due.
MAN ON TRIAL IN GERMANY FOR CHEMICAL WEAPONS-RELATED TRANSFER
In the latest edition of Trust & Verify from VERTIC on 21 July, an article concerns the managing director of a trading company in Saxony who has been charged with attempting to encourage the manufacture of chemical weapons. The main hearing of the trial opened on 24 May, and the case is expected to continue throughout June and July.
ENGLISH SHIPPING COURT JUDGMENT RECOGNISED IN MAINLAND CHINA FOR THE FIRST TIME
On 28 July, DLA Piper reported that, on 17 March, the Shanghai Maritime Court handed down a landmark decision, recognising an English court judgment in what is thought to be the first instance in which a commercial judgment from an English court has been recognised and enforced in mainland China. The article discusses what this case means for the recognition and enforcement, in future, of English (as well as other foreign) court judgments in China.
BREXIT: ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AND THE HAGUE CONVENTION
On 18 July, an article from Irish law firm McCann Fitzgerald said that, after the UK membership of the Lugano Convention was rejected by the EU, the question of post-Brexit rules governing the jurisdiction of courts and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters remained. In July 2021, there was a proposal from the Commission that the EU should join the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention. The Commission had previously indicated its view that the 2019 Hague Convention along with 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements should provide the framework for future cooperation between the EU and the UK in the field of civil judicial cooperation. It is said that if the UK were to sign up to the 2019 Hague Convention, it too could apply to future judicial cooperation with the EU. It is still unclear whether the UK will take this step. However, while the Hague Conventions do provide a way forward, the article warns that they do not fill the entire vacuum left post-Brexit.
NONPROLIFERATION COMPLIANCE CHEMINFORMATICS TOOL (NCCT) MOVES TO FIELD TESTING
On 14 July, the Stimson Center reported that the prototype consists of a database of chemical structures, the NCCT database, implemented and run through a commercial, desktop-based cheminformatics software, and that the Stimson Center and American University conducted the first virtual workshop on the database in February 2021. It explains that the NCCT is intended as a practical tool to aid frontline officers – border security, customs, law enforcement, defence, chemical industry – to quickly check available chemical identifying information (name, registry number, molecular structure) against national or international control lists of chemical warfare agents or precursors. Such frontline officers typically have just seconds to determine whether a given substance is a concern or not – a task that can be complex and time-consuming even for chemists.
PREVENTING NUCLEAR SMUGGLING IN SOUTHERN ASIA
On 27 July, an article from the Stimson Center proposes a regional response to encourage law enforcement cooperation to address the cross-border challenges posed by nuclear materials out of regulatory control.
TALIBAN EXPLOITATION OF COMMERCIAL SUPPLY CHAINS FOR THERMAL IMAGING SIGHTS
On 20 July, Conflict Armament Research published the third in its series on illicit weapons in Afghanistan. It says that the Taliban’s ability to access and deploy night vision equipment was a significant force multiplier in the years prior to the group’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. The report details 2 commercial supply lines through which the Taliban sought to procure thermal imaging weapon sights utilising sights commercially available in the US and UAE. It is said that CAR has documented other weapon sights and optical devices in Afghanistan and is actively investigating the provenance of these items.
WTO ISSUES NEW EDITION OF WORLD TARIFF PROFILES
On 29 July, the WTO announced the 2022 edition of “World Tariff Profiles”, which provides comprehensive information on the tariffs and non-tariff measures imposed by over 170 countries and customs territories. The report was jointly prepared with the International Trade Centre and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
JERSEY: NEW FAILURE TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCE
On 26 July, Ogier published an article saying that, following in the footsteps of the failing to prevent tax evasion offence, with effect from 24 June, Jersey has introduced a new offence under Article 35A of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999 of failing to prevent money laundering. It says that this is a significant development in the regulation of Jersey’s financial services industry: if a business is connected to certain persons who are engaged in money laundering, the business is itself at risk of committing a criminal offence unless it can demonstrate that its AML policies and procedures (both on paper and in practice) were nonetheless fit for purpose.
ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME DATA ADDED TO MONEY LAUNDERING RISK INDICATORS IN BASEL AML INDEX
On 27 July, the Basel Institute on Governance advised that the Basel Institute’s global money laundering index and risk assessment tool is adding environmental crime data to its set of indicators of money laundering and terrorist financing risk. It says that crimes involving wildlife, minerals, fish, forests and waste not only threaten the health of the planet and sustainable livelihoods, but the integrity of financial systems; and that such crimes are a highly profitable criminal enterprise. From the next edition, the Basel AML Index will include data on crimes involving flora, fauna and non-renewable resources.
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