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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
The report is at –
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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