THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 11

Avoided the protests – seeing none, but then the heavy traffic could be as bad…

Meanwhile, Covid-19 hasn’t gone away totally, though less reported. The total number of cases since March 2020 is nearing 1 million, as of 6 August the figure stood at 960,300; with 8,434 deaths – 9 more being added in the preceding week. There were 7,906 active cases – the same as a week earlier, although over 5,900 new cases had been reported in the meantime.

11 August 2022

BREXIT: ENFORCING FRENCH COURT JUDGMENTS IN ENGLAND AND WALES

On 9 August, Penningtons Manche Cooper published an article saying that pre-Brexit the enforcement of French judgments in England and Wales was exclusively governed by the so-called ‘European Regime’ for claims instituted after January 2015. This remains for judgments obtained in proceedings issued prior to the UK-EU transition period ending on 31 December 2020.  However, for proceedings instituted after 1 January 2021, there are 2 alternative methods of enforcement, and enforcement under these alternative methods is more technical than under the European Regime. 

https://www.penningtonslaw.com/news-publications/latest-news/2022/navigating-international-disputes-enforcing-french-judgments-in-england-and-wales

MARITIME CRIME IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA 2020-22

On 10 August, Dryad Global issued this report saying that, despite initial concerns, incidents of piracy and sea robbery (PSR) in the region did increase in 2020 but the numbers were much lower than during previous spikes.  The worst PSR black spot was the Singapore Strait where the number of attacks has increased significantly since late 2019.  As 2021 trend lines have continued into 2022, the Singapore Strait continues to be a PSR black spot, while the number of attacks has declined in almost every other part of the region.

http://channel16.dryadglobal.com/piracy-the-pandemic-maritime-crime-in-southeast-asia-2020-22

LIBYA’S ECONOMIC CHAOS WORSENS AS RESULT OF GLOBAL OIL AND GAS SUPPLY CRISIS

On 11 August, Dryad Global reported that Libya sits on the largest known oil reserves in Africa and is heavily dependent on revenues from oil and gas exports.  However, in more recent years, it has been controlled at various points by rebels and the Islamic State (IS) group.It examines why, althoughLibya needs to increase oil production, this is not possible.

http://channel16.dryadglobal.com/libyas-economic-chaos-worsens-as-result-of-global-oil-and-gas-supply-crisis

UK: SMARKETS BETTING EXCHANGE FINED £630,000 FOR AML AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FAILINGS

On 11 August, iGB reported that the Gambling Commission has handed a £630,000 fine to betting exchange Smarkets after identifying a series of AML and social responsibility failings, including letting a player deposit a six-figure sum without appropriate checks.

https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-compliance/smarkets-fined-630000-for-aml-and-social-responsibility-failings

US GOVERNMENT PURSUES MORE AGGRESSIVE ACTION TO CURB ESPIONAGE AT UNIVERSITIES

On 10 August, an article from Sheppard Mullin says that a new report from the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) thinks the FBI and other agencies are not doing enough to address the espionage threat on US university campuses.  The report urged the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Commerce to step up their outreach efforts to address the threat, and they have all concurred with GAO’s recommendations.  As a result, US colleges and universities to face yet another organisational risk: an increase in campuses visits by export control and law enforcement agents.  The article summarises the threat involved as being from US export control laws consider the disclosure to non-US persons of technology, software, or technical data to be exports, even if the disclosure occurs in the US.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/u-s-government-pursues-more-aggressive-5601477/

The report is at –

https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-22-105727.pdf

URUGUAY MAKES HISTORIC SEIZURE OF METH BOUND FROM EUROPE

On 10 August, Insight Crime reported that what may have been the largest-ever shipment of European methamphetamine to reach Latin America has been seized in Uruguay, marking a potential turning point in the synthetic drug trade between the two continents.  Uruguayan port and naval authorities seized nearly 43 kg of crystal methamphetamine at the port of Montevideo, concealed within a cargo of second-hand vehicles being shipped to Paraguay from Belgium’s port of Antwerp.

https://insightcrime.org/news/uruguay-historic-seizure-european-meth/

US: CONVICTION OF 2 FORMER PRECIOUS METALS TRADERS AT JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. FOR FRAUD, ATTEMPTED PRICE MANIPULATION, AND SPOOFING 

A release on Mondo Visione on 11 August advised that, between approximately May 2008 and August 2016, the defendants, along with other traders on the JPMorgan precious metals desk, engaged in a widespread spoofing, market manipulation, and fraud scheme.  Deceptive orders were intended to inject false and misleading information about the genuine supply and demand for precious metals futures contracts into the markets.  The article notes that, in September 2020, JPMorgan admitted to committing wire fraud in connection with unlawful trading in the markets for precious metals futures contracts; and unlawful trading in the markets for US Treasury futures contracts and in the secondary (cash) market for US Treasury notes and bonds.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/us-department-of-justice-former-jp-morgan-traders-convicted-of-fraud-attempt/

UK: 14,000 WORKERS REPORT EMPLOYERS FOR COMMITTING FURLOUGH FRAUD

On 10 August, The Telegraph reported that, during the pandemic, more than a million businesses used taxpayer funds to stay afloat via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, better known as furlough, receiving a total of £70 billion.  However, the system was vulnerable to fictitious claims given the speed at which it was set up and how quickly payments were made to struggling businesses.  HMRC estimates that of the £70 billion given out as part of the two-year scheme, approximately £3.46 billion was lost to fraud and error.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tax/news/14000-workers-report-employers-committing-furlough-fraud/

US: ART DEALERS, OTHER NON-BANK ENTITIES SUBJECT OF NEW BANK SECRECY ACT AMENDMENT

On 9 August, the National Law Review carried an article about a legislative amendment passed by the House of Representatives (it still needs to get through the Senate and the Act is forms a part of to be signed by the President) – the so-called the ENABLERS Act – that would be the most significant update to US AML regulations since the PATRIOT Act was passed in 2001.  It would change the BSA’s definition of “financial institution” to include trust companies, art dealers, lawyers and other non-bank market participants.  It also proposes to implement additional regulations subjecting these people and service providers to extensive SAR, AML, due diligence, account identification, and client verification requirements.

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/art-dealers-other-non-bank-entities-subject-new-bank-secrecy-act-amendment

RUSSIANS HAVE BEGUN TRAINING ON IRANIAN DRONES

On 10 August, CNN claimed that Russian officials have begun training on drones in Iran, assign that they intended buying them for use in Ukraine.

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/09/politics/russia-training-drones-iran/index.html

LIBYA: FAMILY OF KHALIFA HAFTAR LIQUIDATES US PROPERTIES AMID LAWSUIT

On 10 August, Middle East Eye reported that the family of the Libyan commander have been quietly liquidating their portfolio of real estate, selling a multimillion-dollar Virginia home, along with a townhouse and other six-figure properties as legal troubles mount for him.  The sale came less than two weeks after a US judge ordered that a lawsuit accusing the Libyan commander of war crimes move forward, after a pause in legal proceedings that had lasted several months.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/libya-khalifa-haftar-family-us-properties-legal-woes

UK: NCA PUBLISHES SAR BOOKLET OF FEEDBACK ON THE USE OF SAR AND INFORMATION AND UPDATES FROM THE UKFIU

The NCA has issued this Booklet with the aim of sharing perspectives on the use of SAR with participants of the regime; sharing and encouraging best practice among reporters; and providing a feedback mechanism to the UKFIU about the operation of the regime.

https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/613-reporter-booklet-august-2022/file

INVESTMENT MANAGER BEHIND £100 MILLION NO-WIN-NO-FEE FRAUD JAILED FOR 14 YEARS

A news release from the SFO on 10 August advised that Timothy Schools, the investment manager for the Cayman Island-based Axiom Legal Financing Fund, had been convicted by a jury on 5 counts of fraudulent trading, fraud by abuse of position and money laundering.

https://www.sfo.gov.uk/2022/08/10/serious-fraud-office-secures-conviction-in-100-million-no-win-no-fee-fraud/

CHINESE AUTHORITIES’ CRACKDOWN: NEARLY 12,000 WILDLIFE CRIME CASES IN 3 MONTHS

On 10 August, the NGO TRAFFIC reported that a multi-departmental ‘2022 Qingfeng Action’ law enforcement operation, coordinated by China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) targeted illegal wildlife trade at various stages, including harvest, purchase, transport, import/export, and resulted in more than $14.8 million in fines.

https://www.traffic.org/news/chinese-authorities-cracked-down-on-nearly-12-000-wildlife-crime-cases-in-three-months/

HOW DO YOU PROVE A COMMITMENT TO COMPLIANCE?

On 11 August, a post on the always interesting FCPA Blog suggested ways a company  convince prosecutors, regulators, and sentencing judges that it is committed to compliance.

https://fcpablog.com/2022/08/11/how-do-you-prove-a-commitment-to-compliance/

EU BAN ON RUSSIAN COAL IMPORTS BEGINS

On 11 August, Hellenic Shipping News reported that start of the EU ban, with the end of a 4-month wind-down period for existing contracts.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/eu-ban-on-russian-coal-imports-kicks-in-today/

The Economist

SHELL COMPANIES PURCHASE RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS – PROMPTING PUSH FOR NUCLEAR LICENSING REFORM

On 1 0 August, an article in Defense News revealed that last year investigators from the Government Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog, forged a copy of a licence to buy hazardous, radioactive material.  They created shell companies, then placed orders, generated invoices and paid 2 US-based vendors.  The scheme worked.  The employees successfully had the material shipped, complete with radioactive stickers on the side, then confirmed delivery.  This was a test of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ability to regulate the sale and procurement of dangerous materials.  It has prompted calls for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to overhaul its licensing system as a way to avoid a national security disaster.

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2022/08/10/shell-companies-purchase-radioactive-materials-prompting-push-for-nuclear-licensing-reform/

A GUIDE TO TRADE SECRETS IN THE UK IN 2022: TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS

On 3 August, Gowling WLG published this guide, part of a 17-country global practice guide.  That guide from Chambers focuses on best practices for trade secret protection and provides trade secret owners with the latest legal information on, inter alia, extraterritoriality, misappropriation, industrial espionage, criminal liability, litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the trial process, remedies, and appeals.

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/guides/2022/trade-secrets-guide-uk-2022-trends-developments/

The full UK guide is available as a pdf at –

https://gowlingwlg.com/getmedia/22914598-006f-4640-8fe3-10d9c27e9b4f/Gowling_WLG_Chambers_Trade_Secrets_UK_2022.pdf.xml

SEC AWARDS 2 WHISTLEBLOWERS MORE THAN $16 MILLION

On 10 August, Fried Frank reported that the SEC had awarded approximately $16 million to 2 unnamed whistleblowers who provided valuable and original information that prompted or promulgated an SEC investigation into misconduct.

https://www.findknowdo.com/news/08/10/2022/sec-awards-two-whistleblowers-more-16-million

https://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2022/34-95443.pdf

UNODC PORT SECURITY TRAINING BRINGS RESULTS WITH INTERCEPTION OF 36 RADIATED TORTOISES IN MADAGASCAR 

On 3 August, a news release from the UN Office on Drugs & Crime said that improving port governance and security can have a deep impact on countering wildlife trafficking, which is why UNODC, through its Global Maritime Crime Programme, trained over 110 officers working at the Madagascar ports of Toamasina and Mahajanga over 4 weeks in June-July 2022. The training had an immediate, concrete impact – a day after the training concluded, a joint team of officers who had attended the training intercepted the smuggling of 36 radiated tortoises, which are native to southern Madagascar and critically endangered.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2022/August/unodc-port-security-training-brings-results-with-interception-of-36-radiated-tortoises-in-madagascar.html

BASIC ELEMENTS OF LETTERS OF INTENT

On 11 August, an article from Lowndes sets out to explain Letters of intent (LOI).  These are used to summarise the material terms of a proposed transaction, typically involving the leasing or sale of real property. Sometimes called term sheets, letters of interest or deal sheets, LOI are usually prepared by one of the parties to the transaction, or by a leasing agent or broker for one of the parties.  LOI are important because they include terms that will be incorporated into a formal and binding lease or sales contract with more detail about the proposed transaction. 

https://www.lowndesleasinglawyers.com/basic-elements-of-letters-of-intent/

LLCInvest NETWORK HOLDS RUSSIAN OLIGARCH ASSETS FROM ST PETERSBURG TO CRIMEA

On 10 August, an article from Kharon said that a network of companies recently given the name “LLCInvest” holds assets worth tens of billions of dollars for Russia’s leading oligarchs, including those closely associated with President Putin.  The network is far larger and more widespread than previously reported.  The LLCInvest network consists of hundreds of interconnected companies, non-profit organisations, shareholders, leaders, managers, properties, and other assets throughout Russia and other countries.

https://brief.kharon.com/updates/llcinvest-network-holds-russian-oligarch-assets-from-st-petersburg-to-crimea

RUSSIAN DEFENCE INDUSTRIES ACQUIRED US TECHNOLOGY THROUGH THIRD-COUNTRY SUPPLY CHAINS

On 8 August, Part 2 of an article from Kharon says that in the years preceding the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russian companies acquired technology from Western suppliers through intermediaries located in third countries.  It reported on a network that operates across multiple countries to obfuscate the Russian military and intelligence agency end-users that rely on critical western technology, according to OFAC, working “to illicitly procure dual-use equipment and technology for Russia’s defence sector”. 

https://brief.kharon.com/updates/russian-defense-industries-acquired-us-technology-through-third-country-supply-chains

PANAMA: AUTHORITIES SEIZE SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE AND 600 KG DRUGS

On 11 August, La Prensa Panama reported that the National Border Service (Senafront) had captured a semi-submersible with 600 kg of drugs, which is presumed to have been destined for the North American market.  This is the second semi-submersible detained by Panamanian authorities; the first was located in 2018.

https://www.prensa.com/judiciales/agentes-del-senafront-capturan-sumergible-con-600-kilos-de-droga/

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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