OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 1

1 SEPTEMBER 2022

SHIPPERS UNLIKELY TO SEE LOWER INSURANCE PREMIUMS DESPITE LESSER INDIAN OCEAN PIRACY RISK

On 29 August, Dryad Global reported that experts have predicted that shipowners and charterers carrying commodities in the Indian Ocean are unlikely to see lower insurance premiums in the near term despite industry bodies’ decision to remove the region’s High Risk Area (HRA) status.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/shippers-unlikely-to-see-lower-insurance-premiums-despite-lesser-indian-ocean-piracy-risk

THIRD COUNTRIES ALIGN WITH EU SANCTIONS – RE TERRORISM, ON RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA, LIBYA, LEBANON AND SYRIA

On 1 September, the EU Sanctions blog published a useful summary of recent EU Council Decisions detailing how a number of non-EU European states have opted to align with recent EU sanctions changes.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/09/un-us-eu-renew-sanctions-regimes-third-countries-align-with-eu-sanctions/

NEWAGE INC: SELLER OF BEVERAGES, SUPPLEMENTS AND OTHER HEALTH AND WELLNESS PRODUCTS SAYS BANKRUPTCY FILING DUE IN PART TO THE COST OF AN INVESTIGATION INTO A POTENTIAL VIOLATION OF FCPA

On 31 August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the publicly traded company has said that its bankruptcy filing is due in part to the cost of an investigation into a potential violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  It   has 320 employees and sells through a direct sales network in more than 50 countries, and has an e-commerce sales platform and a store distribution business in Colorado.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/newage-says-cost-of-internal-probe-contributed-to-bankruptcy-11661990239

US OBTAINS WARRANT TO SEIZE $45 MILLION LUKOIL AIRCRAFT

On 31 August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US DoJ had obtained a warrant to seize a Boeing 737 airliner owned by Russian oil-and-gas company Lukoil PJSC.  It is said that Lukoil flew the aircraft in and out of Russia in violation of Commerce Department sanctions.  The DoJ believes that the aircraft is currently in Russia and that it last flew into the US in March 2019.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-obtains-warrant-to-seize-45-million-lukoil-plane-11661988164

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/us-obtains-warrant-seize-45m-aircraft-owned-russian-energy-company-following

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SMUGGLING OF PRODUCTS IN THE UAE

On 31 August, an article from Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultancy looked at the law on smuggling in the UAE.

https://www.mondaq.com/white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-fraud/1225806/what-you-need-to-know-about-smuggling-of-products-in-the-uae

AUSTRALIA: THE LAW, DEFENCES AND PENALTIES FOR DEALING IN THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME

On 29 August, an article from Sydney Criminal Lawyers looks at the law in Australia.

https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-law-defences-and-penalties-for-dealing-in-the-proceeds-of-crime/

PANAMA TO ALLOW IMPORTS OF CANNABIS-BASED MEDICINES

On 1 September, La Estrella de Panama and others reported that the President had signed a Decree under Law 242 that regulates the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis and its derivatives in Panama.  The Decree regulates the use and access of the product and its derivatives, for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes throughout the country.

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/220901/panama-podra-importar-medicamentos-base

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/sociedad/como-vigilara-panama-las-actividades-relacionadas-con-el-uso-del-cannabis-medicinal-1211527

NVIDIA ON NEW US RULE RESTRICTING EXPORT OF AI CHIPS TO CHINA AND RUSSIA

On 1 September, Yahoo Finance reported on a new rule that would restrict the export of computer chips used for supercomputers and artificial intelligence to Russia and China.  NVIDIA has disclosed that the new licence requirement affects one of its current and one of its upcoming GPU, which were designed to speed up machine learning tasks.   The US Government apparently indicated to NVIDIA that the new licence requirement will address the risk that the affected products may be used for military purposes by China or Russia.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nvidia-government-rule-restricting-export-ai-chips-china-russia-061846437.html

CRYPTOCURRENCY CROWDSOURCING BY RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FOREIGN FIGHTERS IN SYRIA

On 31 August, a Commentary from RUSI examines the motivations and real-world factors influencing the use of Bitcoin by Malhama Tactical, one of the foreign-fighter factions targeted by the US DoJ, and asks whether cryptocurrency financing has been a successful means of raising funds for the group.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/cryptocurrency-crowdsourcing-russian-speaking-foreign-fighters-syria

VOLUNTARY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EU AND HONDURAS ON FOREST LAW ENFORCEMENT, GOVERNANCE AND TRADE IN TIMBER PRODUCTS TO THE EU

On 1 September, the EU published this Agreement under its FLEGT legislation.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.227.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A227%3ATOC

ALBANIA ARRESTS FUGITIVE TURKISH CRYPTO CEO

On 31 August, OCCRP reported that Albanian police had arrested the founder of what was once one of Turkey’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges that turned out to be one of the largest scams in the country’s economic history.  Faruk Fatih Ozer, 28, founder and chief executive since 2017 of the now-defunct Thodex, is charged with fleeing Turkey with over $2 billion in investors’ crypto assets. Turkey has been hit by other crypto fraud schemes in the past year.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16716-albania-arrests-fugitive-turkish-crypto-ceo

https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/08/turkish-authorities-founder-of-turkish-crypto-exchange-arrested-in-albania/

WIFE OF MALAYSIA’S JAILED EX-PM HANDED 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR BRIBERY

On 1 September, the Guardian reported that the wife of the former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for soliciting and receiving bribes in exchange for government contracts, a week after her husband was sent to prison for corruption linked to the 1MDB scandal.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/01/wife-of-malaysias-jailed-ex-pm-handed-10-years-in-prison-for-bribery

EU TO SUSPEND VISA DEAL WITH RUSSIA

On 1 September, Eurasia Review reported that EU foreign ministers reached a political agreement to fully suspend a visa facilitation agreement with Russia, making it harder and more costly for Russian citizens to enter the EU while strengthening the support for border countries to pursue a common regional approach.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/01092022-eu-to-suspend-visa-deal-with-russia/

UK: COURT OF APPEAL WIDENS THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN A JUDGE CAN DIRECT A JURY THAT IT CAN DRAW AN INFERENCE WHEN AN ACCUSED HAS EXERCISED THEIR RIGHT TO SILENCE IN AN INTERVIEW UNDER CAUTION

On 31 August, an article from Corker Bining was concerned with a recent ruling re the wording of section 34 CJPOA 1994, which permits an adverse inference by a jury to be drawn if “on being questioned under caution” the defendant fails to mention a fact relied on in his defence and is “a fact which, in the circumstances existing at the time, the accused could reasonably have been expected to mention when so questioned”.  It says that the case underlines the importance of giving the right advice at the pre-interview stage.  Whilst it does not upset the law that an accused cannot be convicted solely on the basis of an adverse inference, it facilitates an invitation by the prosecution to a jury to hold the accused’s decision not to fully answer questions against them.

https://corkerbinning.com/exercising-your-right-to-silence-what-does-this-mean-for-your-defence/

UK: FRAUD PROSECUTIONS SLOWED BY RECORD CROWN COURT WAIT TIMES

On 30 August, City AM reported that the Crown Court backlog is stalling efforts to tackle the UK’s worsening fraud epidemic, according to new research from KPMG.  The case backlog, set to be made worse by the criminal barristers’ strike, means it “takes years for fraudsters to be prosecuted”.

https://www.cityam.com/fraud-prosecutions-slowed-by-record-crown-court-wait-times/

US: TECH BILLIONAIRE MICHAEL SAYLOR ACCUSED OF EVADING $25 MILLION IN DISTRICT TAXES

On 31 August, CNBC reported that a court case also names MicroStrategy, the data-tracking company Saylor co-founded, as a defendant, claiming the company conspired to help Saylor evade the taxes.  It is alleged that Saylor claimed to reside in Florida, which does not have a personal income tax, while actually living in several different homes around DC, according to the lawsuit.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/31/microstrategy-chairman-michael-saylor-accused-of-tax-evasion-by-dc-ag.html

BEHIND THE MANHUNT FOR SEBASTIÁN MARSET, FOUNDER OF THE FIRST URUGUAYAN CARTEL

On 31 August, Insight Crime reported on the case involving the extradition from Brazil to Uruguay of Rodrigo Fontana Ferreira, an Argentine drug trafficker suspected of being part of the First Uruguayan Cartel (Primer Cartel Uruguayo – PCU).  He is wanted in Uruguay on charges of trafficking drugs, weapons, and explosives between Uruguay, Brazil, and Paraguay, as well as threats and attacks against Uruguayan judicial institutions, according to media coverage of his case.  He was previously detained in Dubai for traveling on a false Paraguayan passport, but he quickly applied for a new Uruguayan passport to be able to leave the country legally – and Uruguay has opened an investigation into this.

https://insightcrime.org/news/manhunt-for-sebastian-marset-founder-first-uruguayan-cartel/

US AUTHORITIES SEIZE DOZENS OF ANCIENT RELICS FROM TOP NEW YORK MUSEUM IN INTERNATIONAL ART SMUGGLING CRACKDOWN

On 31 August, Finance Uncovered carried an article saying that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is facing increasing scrutiny from police and federal agents investigating international art smuggling.  In mid-July, state and federal agents confiscated from the museum 21 allegedly stolen ancient works valued at more than $11 million.

https://www.financeuncovered.org/stories/new-york-metropolitan-museum-art-antiquities-confiscated-international-smuggling

https://www.icij.org/investigations/hidden-treasures/flurry-of-seizures-intensify-pressure-on-the-met-over-artifacts-linked-to-accused-traffickers/

CRITICAL MINERALS IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERIES

On 29 August, the US Congressional Research Service published this briefing which says that the US is heavily dependent on imports for the minerals for use in EV batteries and other applications.  The US currently mines some lithium, cobalt, and nickel, but it does not currently mine any manganese or graphite.

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R47227

THE UN ARMS TRADE TREATY: ASSESSING ITS IMPACT ON COUNTERING DIVERSION

This book was published on 24 August.  A core objective of the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and prevent their diversion. Since 2020, the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), Conflict Armament Research (CAR), and the Stimson Center have implemented a joint research project examining the progress made by States Parties to prevent, detect, and address diversion since the ATT entry into force in order to identify and promote knowledge on effective counter-diversion measures. The report presents findings of this research and publish a new methodological tool that interested State Parties can use to assess the existence and efficacy of counter-diversion measures in their national context. It also takes stock of the ATT contributions to enhancing national and multilateral efforts to tackle diversion and discusses options and avenues to promote the establishment and strengthening of sustainable measures within the framework of the ATT that create an enabling environment for countering the diversion of conventional arms.

https://unidir.org/publication/arms-trade-treaty-assessing-its-impact-countering-diversion

IRELAND: MAN ARRESTED AND €175,000 SEIZED IN MAYO AS GARDAI PROBE JIHADI TERROR FUNDING 

On 20 August, the Irish Independent reported that a garda anti-terrorism unit investigating Islamist extremism seized around €175,000 in cash and arrested a suspect as part of a terrorist financing investigation when they raided a premises in Mayo.  Sources say that the man arrested was previously investigated by authorities here in relation to the smuggling and sale of cigarettes, but he has no criminal convictions; and a A main focus of the investigation will be the suspect’s links to Syria and other Middle Eastern countries.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/man-arrested-and-175000-seized-in-mayo-as-gardai-probe-jihadi-terror-funding-in-the-west-41924568.html

TURKEY: ACTION TAKEN AGAINST TIKTOK MONEY LAUNDERING

On 29 August, the Daily Sabah reported that the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) says about $82 million was transferred to TikTok users in Turkey since January 2021.  It said that the money was obtained by a limited number of users, while some accounts were used for money laundering and financing terrorism.  TikTok is massively popular, with about 29 million users. 

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/investigations/turkiye-takes-action-against-tiktok-money-laundering

https://www.statista.com/chart/25619/asylum-grants-in-the-us-by-nationality/

US AGENCY INVESTIGATES SYNTHETIC IDENTITIES SCHEME THAT DEFRAUDED BANKS NEARLY $2 MILLION

A news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement on 1 September announced that Corey Cato, 41, from Atlanta, Georgia had been sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison for participating in a nationwide fraud ring that used stolen social security numbers, including those belonging to children, to create synthetic identities used to open lines of credit, create shell companies, and steal nearly $2 million from financial institutions. 

https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/hsi-investigates-synthetic-identities-scheme-defrauded-banks-nearly-2m

IRAN APPROVES CRYPTOCURRENCY REGULATIONS – FEARS OF USE TO SKIRT SANCTIONS

On 29 August, Rferl reported that Iran has approved a set of regulations for trading with cryptocurrencies, a move that potentially allows the country to skirt some US financial sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program.

https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-cryptocurrency-regulations-skirting-sanctions/32009292.html

CHINESE DEFENCE COMPANY HAS TAKEN OVER TRANSPORTING VENEZUELAN OIL FOR DEBT OFFSET

On 26 August, Reuters reported that China has entrusted a defence-focussed state company to ship millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil despite US sanctions, part of a deal to offset billions of dollars of debt to Beijing, according to 3 sources and tanker tracking data.  Since November 2020, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) has been carrying Venezuelan crude on 3 tankers. 

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/chinese-defense-firm-has-taken-over-lifting-venezuelan-oil-debt-offset-sources-2022-08-26

RUSSIA’S NUMBER 1 GOLD PRODUCER POLYUS ISSUES BONDS IN CHINESE YUAN

On 24 August, Reuters reported that Russia’s largest gold producer, Polyus, has issued bonds denominated in the Chinese yuan worth $670 million), becoming the second Russian company to borrow in yuan within a month.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/russias-no1-gold-producer-polyus-issues-bonds-chinese-yuan-2022-08-24

DEA WARNS OF BRIGHTLY-COLOURED FENTANYL USED TO TARGET YOUNG AMERICANS

On 31 August, Homeland Security Today reported that the DEA is advising the public of an alarming emerging trend of colourful fentanyl available across the US.  Dubbed “rainbow fentanyl” in the media, this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/law-enforcement-and-public-safety/dea-warns-of-brightly-colored-fentanyl-used-to-target-young-americans/

https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2022/08/30/dea-warns-brightly-colored-fentanyl-used-target-young-americans

FEDERAL AGENTS RAID PROPERTIES LINKED TO BILLIONAIRE RUSSIAN OLIGARCH FACING BANK FRAUD PROBE – MONTHS AFTER US SEIZED HIS SUPERYACHT

On 1 September, the Mail Online reported that federal agents have raided 2 New York properties linked to a billionaire Russian oligarch who is under US sanctions and faces a criminal probe into alleged bank fraud – Viktor Vekselberg.  He is a close ally of Vladimir Putin, is worth an estimated $14.4 billion, and is the powerful head of Moscow-based Renova Group, a conglomerate with interests in metals, mining, tech and other businesses.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11170475/Feds-raid-Park-Avenue-penthouse-Hamptons-estate-linked-Russian-oligarch-Viktor-Vekselberg.html

HONG KONG: CUSTOMS SMASHES MONEY LAUNDERING SYNDICATE

On 1 September, The Standard reported that a money laundering syndicate involving HK$411 million has been busted, according to Customs, and 4 men were arrested.  From 2019 to 2021, the gang is said to have made over 9,000 suspicious transactions.

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news/section/4/194187/Customs-smashes-money-laundering-syndicate-involving-over-HK$400m

EUROPEAN BANKING AUTHORITY CALLS FOR MORE PROACTIVE ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN SUPERVISORS IN AML/CFT COLLEGES

On 1 September, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the EBA says that it finds that ongoing cooperation and proactive information exchanges between supervisors has not been fully achieved yet in all AML/CFT colleges, and recommends the organisation of AML/CFT colleges to be more risk-based.  These finding are in the EBA’s second report on the functioning of AML/CFT supervisory colleges in the EU.  The “colleges” are permanent structures that serve to enhance cooperation between different supervisors involved in the supervision of cross-border institutions.  In 2021, a total of 227 AML/CFT colleges were established and the EBA is a member of each college. 

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/eba-calls-for-more-proactive-engagement-between-supervisors-in-anti-money-launde/

https://www.eba.europa.eu/sites/default/documents/files/document_library/Publications/Reports/2022/1038179/Report%20on%20functionion%20of%20AML%20CFT%20Colleges.pdf

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DECLASSIFICATION OF THE INDIAN OCEAN HIGH RISK AREA (HRA)

On 1 September, an article in the Hellenic Shipping News said that the Diaplous Risk Management Group had produced a White Paper on the decision to declassify the High Risk Area (HRA) in the Indian Ocean Region effective from 0001 UTC on 1 January.  The White Paper considers the decision in relation to the reality of the current situation and an analysis of the facts, so that stakeholders can assess the situation and risks first hand. 

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/white-paper-the-known-unknowns-declassification-of-the-indian-ocean-high-risk-area-hra/

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The-Known-Unknowns-Declassification-of-the-Indian-Ocean-High-Risk-Area-HRA_compressed.pdf

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WEBINAR: UK SANCTIONS RELATING TO RUSSIA AND BELARUS

On 1 September, HM Treasury advised that a webinar to be held on 21 September will be attended by officials from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in HM Treasury, the Department for International Trade (DIT), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and other government departments.  It will cover sanctions legislation overview; new sanctions measures: financial, trade including services, transport; designations of individuals and entities; and humanitarian issues.

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GERMANY: RAIDS ON COMPANIES THAT EXPORTED ‘DUAL-USE’ CHEMICALS TO RUSSIA

On 30 August, OCCRP reported that German customs officers had raided a network of companies suspected of selling precursor chemicals to Russia that could be used to manufacture chemical and biological weapons.  It is said that Riol Chemie GmbH, made more than 30 shipments of chemicals and laboratory equipment to Russia’s Chimmed Group over the past 3½ years without export permits, according to documents related to the investigation.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16706-germany-raids-companies-that-exported-dual-use-chemicals-to-russia

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PREVENTING MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR BANK SUPERVISORS

The World Bank has published the second edition of this e-book

https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/37726/9781464818516.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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EU ADDS 3 NAMES TO UKRAINE SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2022/1446/EU has added 3 individuals – Alla Viktorovna POLYAKOVA, Anton Olegovich TKACHEV and Valery Andreevich PONOMAREV to its sanctions lists in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.227.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A227I%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.LI.2022.227.01.0004.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:227I:TOC

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HONG KONG: FAQ IN RELATION TO AML/CFT

On 1 September, Deacons reported that the FAQ dated June 2022 had been developed by the Hong Kong Association of Banks with input from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.  While the FAQ do not form part of the Guideline on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (For Authorised Institutions), they are designed to be read in conjunction with the AML/CFT Guideline.

https://www.deacons.com/2022/09/01/frequently-asked-questions-in-relation-to-anti-money-laundering-and-counter-financing-of-terrorism/

https://www.hkma.gov.hk/media/eng/doc/key-functions/banking-stability/aml-cft/AML_FAQ_20220630.pdf

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COMBATTING FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IN THE NFT MARKET

On 30 August, Baker Hostetler published Part 6 of its Introduction to Non-Fungible Tokens which, from a US perspective, provides an overview of common fraud typologies in the NFT market and the steps NFT market actors can take to protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud or unwittingly facilitating fraud.

https://www.bakerlaw.com/files/blockchain/6-Combatting%20Fraud_p06.pdf

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OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – AUGUST 31

31 AUGUST 2022

DOCTORS WARN OF RISE IN NERVE DAMAGE LINKED TO NITROUS OXIDE

On 30 August, MSN reprinted an article from the Guardian in which it was said that, in recent years, nitrous oxide – commonly known as “nos” – had become a popular recreational drug, with almost 9% of 16- to 24-year-olds having said they had taken nitrous oxide in the last year, up from 6.1% in 2012-13.  In the UK it is illegal to supply nitrous oxide for human consumption or to sell it to children, but it is not illegal to possess the drug.  Experts say that as use of the drug has risen, so too have cases of spinal cord and nerve damage, including paralysis.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/aug/30/doctors-warn-of-rise-in-nerve-damage-linked-to-nitrous-oxide

UAE CENTRAL BANK SANCTIONS EXCHANGE HOUSE FOR RENTING OUT LICENCE

On 31 August, Zawya reported that the authority did not identify the exchange house but said sanctions were imposed after it was discovered that the exchange house had rented out its licence, and the exchange house was prohibited from doing business until it has completed necessary actions and measures to rectify the violation.

https://www.zawya.com/en/business/banking-and-insurance/uae-central-bank-sanctions-exchange-house-for-renting-out-licence-ie6xe350

SHIPPING HEADED TOWARDS RECORD NUMBER OF SEAFARER ABANDONMENTS IN 2022

On 31 August, Seatrade Maritime News reported that, over the last 2½ years of the pandemic cases of companies abandoning their seafarers on ships around the world have increased sharply with a record 95 cases reported last year to the IMO and ILO joint database.  It is said that 2022 is on the way to surpassing 2021’s record of 95 cases.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ship-operations/shipping-headed-towards-record-number-seafarer-abandonments-2022

TRIALS IN ABSENTIA OF FOREIGN FIGHTERS AND THEIR FAMILIES?

On 1 August, the International Centre for Counter Terrorism published an article which looked at the issue of in absentia prosecution (i.e. without the suspect being present) of individuals who have travelled to Syria, analysing the law at both the international, as well as the domestic level.  It concludes that trials in absentia, even if not strictly prohibited under international law and allowed in several domestic jurisdictions, are nonetheless problematic for various reasons and should only be considered as a last resort.

https://icct.nl/publication/trials-in-absentia-foreign-fighters

THE INVOLVEMENT OF CHILD LABOUR IN SAND MINING IN EAST AFRICA

On 31 July, ENACT Africa published an article saying that children are increasingly involved in sand mining in East Africa. The illegal sand trade takes place in mostly remote areas, hidden from sight and out of reach of anti-child labour advocacy campaigns.  Mined sand is widely used in the construction industry – usually civil projects, in the case of that mined by children.

https://enactafrica.org/enact-observer/east-africas-sand-minors-dig-deep-for-cash

IMMEDIATE APPEALS IN FOREIGN SOVEREIGN LITIGATION

On 24 August, the Transnational Litigation Blog published a post, focussed on US law, pointing out that, while parties ordinarily must wait until the end of a case to appeal an unfavourable ruling, a foreign sovereign state generally may take an immediate appeal from a ruling denying immunity under the “collateral order” doctrine.  It says that this right of review can have a major impact on how cases unfold, particularly in investor-state arbitration enforcement proceedings.

https://tlblog.org/immediate-appeals-in-foreign-sovereign-litigation

Meanwhile –

ENGLISH COURT FINDS NO SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY IN SPYWARE CASE

Another blog on the Transnational Litigation Blog, on 30 August, reported on the recent decision of the High Court to apply a statutory exception to foreign sovereign immunity to claims arising from the alleged use of spyware by a foreign state (Saudi Arabia) to target and monitor dissidents in the UK.  It says that this is the first case to find an exception to sovereign immunity for allegations relating to spyware and, in doing so, the English court declined to follow the “entire tort” doctrine of the US.

https://tlblog.org/english-court-finds-no-sovereign-immunity-in-spyware-case

COMPARING EXTRATERRITORIALITY IN LAW IN THE EU

On 29 August, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog said that its author had had to consider the decisions of the Court of the Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the extraterritorial application of EU Regulations.  He says that he found it relatively undeveloped compared with US case law, but also surprisingly permissive.

https://tlblog.org/comparing-extraterritoriality-in-the-eu 

INSIDER TRADING IN NFT?

On 31 August, an article in the Wall Street Journal said that insider trading in a company’s stock is illegal, but asked what about insider trading in digital art?  Federal prosecutors, in a novel case over trading in nonfungible tokens, or NFT, will test whether fraud theories used to police capital markets also apply to the more unorthodox market that boomed during the Covid pandemic.  In the case in New York, the defendant is charged, under the theory prosecutors have outlined, with stealing his employer’s confidential information.  He was also charged with money laundering.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/insider-trading-in-nfts-thats-not-a-crime-defense-lawyers-claim-11661938202

GERMAN SUPPLY CHAIN DUE DILIGENCE: BAFA HANDOUT ON RISK ANALYSIS

On 26 August, Mayer Brown reported that the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control had issued its first handout to provide guidance to companies currently implementing a risk management system to comply with the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.  This summarises the essential requirements for a risk analysis, and gives a little more background on the requirements and a few practical examples with respect to the implementation.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2022/08/german-supply-chain-due-diligence–bafa-issues-first-handout-on-risk-analysis

REPORT: US END-USE MONITORING OF DUAL-USE EXPORTS

On 30 August, the Government Accountability Office published a report on the Export-Import Bank, its mission is to support US jobs by facilitating US exports through loans, loan guarantees, and insurance.  According to its policy, the Bank generally cannot finance defence goods and services unless they are non-lethal and primarily used for civilian rather than military purposes.  The Bank monitors these “dual-use” items to ensure they are used mostly for civilian purposes.  This report bank says that the Bank did not finance any new dual-use exports in FY 2021, but it continued to monitor use of 2 satellites sold to Mexico and received documents showing Mexico was in compliance with policy.

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-106090

ISRAEL: 20 PEOPLE AND COMPANIES SANCTIONED FOR OPERATING AS A FRONT FOR HAMAS MONEY LAUNDERING

On 31 August, the Times of Israel reported that the Defence Ministry has issued an order imposing economic sanctions on 20 individuals and organisations accused of laundering money internationally for the Hamas terror group.  It says that Hamas manages investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars through a network of shell companies “operating under the guise of legitimate companies and concealing Hamas’s control over their holdings”. 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/gantz-sanctions-20-people-companies-operating-as-a-front-for-hamas-money-laundering/

UN SECURITY COUNCIL RENEWS TRAVEL BAN AND ASSET FREEZE UNDER MALI SANCTIONS

On 31 August, the Business Standard said that the UN had renewed the travel ban and asset freeze imposed on individuals and entities obstructing implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, until 31 August 2023.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/un-security-council-renews-travel-ban-asset-freeze-under-mali-sanctions-122083100110_1.html

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15010.doc.htm

BANGLADESH:  HIGH COURT HAS DIRECTED THE FIU TO FORM A CELL TO PREVENT MONEY LAUNDERING, OBSERVATION, AND BRING LAUNDERED MONEY BACK

On 31 August, the Business Standard reported that the Court also ordered the BFIU chief to submit a progress report to the court by 26 October.  This was in connection with deposits of 67 Bangladeshis in various Swiss banks and information sought from the authorities concerned.

https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/hc-asks-bfiu-form-cell-bring-back-laundered-money-487454

SUBSIDIARY OF UK FINTECH WISE FINED $360,000 OVER AML BREACH IN THE UAE

On 31 August, UKTN reported that Abu Dhabi’s financial regulator had said that Wise Nuqud “did not establish and maintain adequate systems and controls to ensure full compliance” with the country’s AML rules.  Wise Nuqud is a wholly owned subsidiary of London-headquartered Wise, formerly TransferWise.  Founded in 2010, it is a fintech that allows customers to transfer funds across international borders.  The case followed the Wise CEO being fined by HMRC in the UK in September 2021, when he failed to pay £720,495 tax.

https://www.uktech.news/fintech/wise-anti-money-laundering-20220831

https://www.pymnts.com/legal/2022/wise-fined-360k-for-aml-violations-by-abu-dhabi-regulator/

RUSSIA LAUNCHES IRANIAN SATELLITE INTO SPACE FROM KAZAKHSTAN BASE

On 9 August, Iran Watch reported that a Russian rocket had placed a Russian-built but Iranian-owned remote-sensing satellite called Khayyam into low-earth orbit.

https://www.iranwatch.org/news-brief/russia-launches-iranian-satellite-space-kazakhstan-base

THE FIRST SHIPMENT OF IRANIAN MILITARY DRONES ARRIVES IN RUSSIA

On 29 August, Iran Watch reported that Russian transport aircraft had delivered the first instalment of Iranian-made combat drones to Russia.

https://www.iranwatch.org/news-brief/first-shipment-iranian-military-drones-arrives-russia

MISSILE SEIZURE IMPLICATES MORE THAN JUST IRAN

On 26 August, Iran Watch of the US-based Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control reported that available evidence strongly suggests that the components seized by the Royal Navy this year were produced in Iran and that Iran bears responsibility for the illicit shipments.  The article examines the possible origin of some of the components involved, including a Czech-designed small turbojet engine and a Dutch-origin turbojet.

https://www.iranwatch.org/our-publications/international-enforcement-actions/british-navys-missile-seizure-implicates-more-just-iran

GERMAN PROSECUTORS SEARCH JPMORGAN OFFICES IN TAX PROBE

On 31 August, the Mail Online reported that German prosecutors have raided the office of JPMorgan Chase & Co in Frankfurt as part of a broader tax evasion investigation targeting numerous banks in Germany and beyond.  The raids also targeted private apartments of 4 suspects, linked to an investigation into so-called cum-ex share transactions and related tax evasion practices.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-11164693/German-prosecutors-search-JPMorgan-offices-tax-probe.html

UK: STRICT NEW IMPORT CONTROLS ON PORK AND PORK PRODUCTS AGAINST AFRICAN SWINE FEVER

On 31 August, a news release from DEFRA advised of  new control will strengthen the requirements for bringing pork and pork products into Great Britain from the EU and EFTA states.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/strict-new-controls-on-pork-and-pork-products-to-protect-britains-pig-sector-against-african-swine-fever

JIHADISTS IN BURKINA FASO GARNERING POPULAR SUPPORT THROUGH CRIME

On 31 August, OCCRP reported that criminal activities of jihadists in Burkina Faso are not primarily motivated by profit but by their ambition to earn legitimacy in the areas they are trying to govern – according to a new report.  It says that terrorist groups in the region have been heavily involved in activities such as gold smuggling, cattle rustling or kidnapping for ransom – a phenomenon termed as “jihadisation of banditry”. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16715-jihadists-in-burkina-faso-garnering-popular-support-through-crime

The report is at –

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Burkina-Faso-JNIM-29-Aug-web.pdf

SOUTH AFRICA: CYBERCRIMES ACT 2022 – HOW WILL IT AFFECT INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES?

On 30 August, Control Risks reported on the Act which recognises cybercrime as a criminal offence under South African law.  The legislation, which is post-incident in nature, defines different types of cybercrimes and provides methods for investigation. 

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/how-the-south-african-cybercrimes-act-19-of-2022-will-affect-individuals-and-businesses

SANCTIONS: THIRD-PARTY RISK SCREENING

On 31 August, Control Risks reported on a Compliance Week webinar which explored current trends in the global sanctions landscape, the keys to building a successful sanctions compliance program, and advice on screening and management of third parties.  The article provides excerpts from the conversation.  For the full discussion, a link to the webinar is provided (though the webinar itself is a members-only product a free trial is available)

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/managing-challenges-of-sanctions-screening-in-your-third-party-risk-program

TURKEY: ERDOĞAN ALLY RESIGNS AFTER CRIME BOSS’S CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

On 31 August, the Guardian reported that a senior member of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party – Korkmaz Karaca, an executive in Erdoğan’s AKP and a member of the presidential economic policy board – has resigned after a string of corruption allegations levelled through social media by a fugitive crime boss.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/31/erdogan-ally-resigns-after-boss-corruption-allegations-turkey

HONG KONG: DATA PROTECTION GUIDANCE AND BEST PRACTICES TO BE ADOPTED AND NEW RECOMMENDED MODEL CONTRACTUAL CLAUSES FOR THE CROSS-BORDER TRANSFER OF PERSONAL DATA

An article from Out-Law on 30 August was concerned with recent guidance issued in Hong Kong which should serve as a trigger for businesses to carry out data transfer risk assessments in relation to the jurisdictions they are active in.  It sets out the best practices to be adopted and new recommended model contractual clauses that can be used to facilitate the cross-border transfer of personal data out of Hong Kong.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/analysis/hong-kong-data-transfers-risk-management

THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN MIGRATION AND MOBILITY

On 2 August, the EU Institute for Strategic Studies published a report which presents 2 scenarios on migration and mobility for Africa. An optimistic trajectory, and a pessimistic scenario.  Policy action is also discussed, which could facilitate or impede the emergence of either of the scenarios.  The conclusion considers some policy implications, especially for the Africa Union-EU partnership on migration and mobility.

https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Brief_8_Imagine%20Africa%204.pdf

UK: THE NATIONAL SECURITY BILL – A MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO REFORM OFFICIAL SECRETS LAW?

On 25 August, a newsletter from law firm Corker Bining made this point about the Bill intended to modernise the law on espionage, to counter hostile state threats and to reform the existing legal framework created by the Official Secrets Acts of 1911, 1920 and 1939.

https://corkerbinning.com/the-national-security-bill-a-missed-opportunity-to-reform-official-secrets-law/

MALTA: FORMER EDUCATION MINISTRY OFFICIAL CLEARED OF BRIBERY CLAIMS

On 29 August, the Times of Malta reported that Edward Caruana, a former official of the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, was acquitted of criminal liability in a bribery case, with the court finding that he was not a public officer, as charged.  It was alleged that he asked for bribes in relation to various government work contracts on the building of new schools and maintenance works.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/former-education-ministry-official-cleared-bribery-claims.977270

FLUTTERWAVE’S ACCOUNTS IN KENYA HAVE BEEN FROZEN OVER FRESH MONEY LAUNDERING ALLEGATIONS

On 30 August, Techcabal reported that a Kenyan court has frozen $3.3 million in accounts belonging to Nigerian payment company, Flutterwave, over allegations of money laundering and card fraud. 

https://techcabal.com/2022/08/30/flutterwaves-accounts-in-kenya-have-been-frozen-over-fresh-money-laundering-allegations/

https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/corporate/technology/nigerian-startup-flutterwave-plans-nasdaq-mounting-fraud-charges-3932558

CHARACTERISING THE RISKS OF NORTH KOREAN CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE, AND CYBER THREATS

The RAND Corporation has produced this report which focuses on how the DPRK could use, and does use, these weapons and capabilities to affect peacetime relations on the peninsula and to prepare for a major war with South Korea, as well as the possible effects of their employment on the military, on civilians, and on critical infrastructure.  It says that North Korea appears to have amassed a substantial inventory of chemical weapons but an unknown quantity of biological weapons.  Also, it has significant nuclear capabilities and a very active cyber hacker force.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RRA2000/RRA2026-1/RAND_RRA2026-1.pdf

CYBER CRIMINALS INCREASINGLY EXPLOIT VULNERABILITIES IN DECENTRALISED FINANCE PLATFORMS TO OBTAIN CRYPTOCURRENCY, CAUSING INVESTORS TO LOSE MONEY

On 29 August, the FBI issued a Public Service Announcement warning investors that cyber criminals are increasingly exploiting vulnerabilities in decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms to steal cryptocurrency, causing investors to lose money.  It says that the FBI has observed cyber criminals exploiting vulnerabilities in the smart contracts governing DeFi platforms to steal investors’ cryptocurrency.  It encourages investors who suspect cyber criminals have stolen their DeFi investments to contact the FBI via the Internet Crime Complaint Center or their local FBI field office.

https://www.ic3.gov/Media/Y2022/PSA220829

AS PASSPORT FRAUD RISES, ARE HARD-COPY DOCUMENTS TO BE TRUSTED IN THE KYC PROCESS?

On 31 August, the Fintech Times reported on the question of validity was brought to light in the recent survey by a AML software specialist, which sought the opinion of 500 regulated businesses across the UK. It is said that nearly two-thirds of regulated firms said that they believe hard copy documents provide reassurance a customer is genuine

https://thefintechtimes.com/as-passport-fraud-rises-are-hard-copy-documents-to-be-trusted-in-the-kyc-process/

https://bestadvice.co.uk/aml-specialist-warns-of-hard-copy-risks/

WE’LL NEED HUNDREDS OF NEW CRITICAL METALS MINES TO DECARBONISE

On 24 August, an article from the Belfer Center was concerned about the need for more lithium and other critical metals essential for clean energy technologies, along with cobalt and nickel for EV batteries, rare earth elements for wind turbines, and silicon and gallium for solar panels.  Surging demand and dizzying price hikes have raised concerns that inadequate metal and mineral supplies may impede the clean energy transition.

https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/well-need-hundreds-new-critical-metals-mines-decarbonize

DIGEST OF UNITED STATES PRACTICE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

On 31 August, the EU Sanctions blog pointed one towards this publication from the US State Department.  In particular it highlights that Chapter 3 discusses the termination of International Criminal Court-related sanctions, and Chapter 16 covers developments from 2021 relating to sanctions (organised by sanctions regime), export controls and recent litigation and other restrictions.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/08/digest-of-us-practice-in-international-2021-published/

https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/2021-Digest-of-United-States-Practice-in-International-Law.pdf

ISRAEL – AZERBAIJAN TIES

On 31 August, Breaking Defense published an article saying that, from 2016–2020, Israel accounted for 69% of Azerbaijan’s major arms imports — a number that represents 17% of Israel’s arms exports for that same period.  It says that, with all signs indicating a new Iran nuclear deal is in the offing, Israel is looking for new ways to challenge Tehran — including tightening defence ties with Azerbaijan.  However, officially the Israeli defence establishment is not commenting on the way Azerbaijan may help Israel in a future conflict with Iran.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/08/israel-may-be-looking-to-strengthen-ties-to-azerbaijan-as-an-iran-counter

ADDRESSING FRAGILITY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

On 17 August, an article from CSIS looks at what are called the 4 fragility trends in PNG, and identifies 6 challenges for the US-PNG relationship.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/addressing-fragility-papua-new-guinea

PODCAST: THE BROOKLYN FIFA TRIAL

In the latest TRACE podcast, international sports expert, Declan Hill, returns to the podcast to discuss the FIFA trial that concluded in late December 2017 and the outlook for meaningful reform.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

EXPORT CONTROL: KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM RECENT ECRA COMPLIANCE CASE

On 31 August, a post from Bass Berry & Sims concerned a recent appeal case in the US involving violations of the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA), along with takeaways from the case and next steps from the Department of Commerce to address related compliance issues.  The hearing saw the court dismiss dismissing FedEx’s complaint against the Commerce Department and holding it liable for violations of the Export Control Reform Act, or ECRA, after it was accused of having facilitated export of civil aircraft parts to entities on the Commerce’s Entity List without a licence.

https://www.bassberrygovcontrade.com/key-takeaways-from-recent-ecra-compliance-case

NATIONAL POLICE OF UKRAINE (NPU) TAKES DOWN A NETWORK OF CALL CENTRES TARGETING UKRAINIAN AND EU CITIZENS WHO HAD BEEN THE TARGET OF CRYPTOCURRENCY SCAMS

On 31 August, Crypto Daily reported that the authorities successfully took down a criminal scheme misappropriating the funds of Ukrainian and European citizens under the guise of exchange trading in cryptos, gold, oil, and securities.  The fraudulent call centre allegedly offered to assist those affected by crypto scams as well as recommend investment opportunities.

https://cryptodaily.co.uk/2022/08/ukrainian-national-police-bust-cybercrime-group

UK: OneCoin ASSOCIATE CHRISTOPHER HAMILTON TO BE EXTRADITED TO THE US

On 31 August, Decrypt reported that he is accused of laundering $105 million of the $4 billion allegedly stolen from investors in the massive OneCoin scam headed by the so-called “Cryptoqueen” – she has been on the run since 2017.

https://decrypt.co/108696/ruja-ignatova-associate-ordered-extradited-to-the-united-states

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