OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 2

An eleventh case of monkey pox, a 34-year-old foreigner, is reported. For all the concerns expressed by some, it still pales in significance compared to the ongoing Covid cases (despite many seemed to have forgotten about that disease).

The biggest drama of my day was returning home to find the workmen, who hadn’t been thought to have been coming today, had arrived and had dismantled the bottom flight of stairs to the apartment, which made getting in a tad difficult…

2 SEPTEMBER 2022

INDONESIAN CHARITY ALLEGEDLY EMBEZZLES LION AIR CRASH FUNDS

On 2 September, Nikkei Asia reported that a well-known Indonesian charity has been accused of misusing donations for the victims of the 2018 Lion Air airliner crash, and that substantial sums may even have found their way to terrorist organisations.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Society/Indonesian-charity-allegedly-embezzles-Lion-Air-crash-funds

MACAO’S JUNKET KING ALVIN CHAU GOES ON TRIAL

On 2 September, Nikkei Asia reported that the trial of the former Suncity boss starts on 2 September, where he is accused of fraud, illegal gambling and money laundering.  However, Macau business subsequently reported that the hearing had been postponed to 19 September.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Travel-Leisure/Macao-s-junket-king-Alvin-Chau-goes-on-trial-4-things-to-know

https://www.macaubusiness.com/breaking-news-alvin-chau-suncity-court-case-adjourned-to-september-19/

MALTA: OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION IMPLICATES MINISTER

On 29 August, Malta Today reported that 3 transport Malta officials, including a director and a former Labour Party local councillor, have been charged with corruption.  One is said to have told police that he was pressured by a minister, who was not named in court, into helping certain individuals pass their driving test.

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/118519/transport_malta_officials_to_be_charged_over_corruption_related_to_driving_tests1#.YxHgvNPMKUl

US BARS NVIDIA AND AMD FROM SELLING AI-CENTRIC ACCELERATORS TO CHINA AND RUSSIA

On 1 September, The Register reported that the US Government has banned AMD and NVIDIA from selling some AI kit to China, and a new licence requirement is said to be to address the risk that the covered products may be used in, or diverted to, a ‘military end-use’ or ‘military end-user’ in China and Russia.

https://www.theregister.com/2022/09/01/us_stops_nvidia_and_amd/

JAPAN’S EXPORTS OF SANCTIONS-EXEMPT USED VEHICLES TO RUSSIA SURGE

On 2 September, Nippon.com reported that Japan’s exports of used vehicles to Russia, exempt from sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine, have surged to their highest level in more than a decade.

https://www.nippon.com/en/news/kd938238566423658496/

NEPAL RISKS BEING BLACKLISTED FOR WEAK MONEY LAUNDERING CONTROL MECHANISMS

On 2 September, Online Khabar reported that a team from the FATF-style regional body APG will visit Nepal for in-person monitoring from 12 to 15 October to start the process of evaluation.  The article says that even government officials agree that Nepal is weak as far as monitoring money laundering is concerned.

https://english.onlinekhabar.com/nepal-risk-blacklist-money-laundering.html

JAPANESE REGULATOR ORDERS LOCAL REVOLUT UNIT TO IMPROVE AML MEASURES

On 2 September, Finance Magnates reported that, following the FSA in the UK finding“serious problems” in the company’s control environments for governance, management of outsourced contractors, and AML/CFT risk management, a Japanese regulator has issued a business improvement order against Revolut Technologies Japan Inc, which is the local subsidiary of the London-headquartered fintech.  It also referred to the risk management systems.

https://www.financemagnates.com/fintech/japanese-regulator-orders-local-revolut-unit-to-improve-aml-measures/

UK: ART DEALERS AND LETTING AGENTS DRIVE UPTICK IN AML REGISTRATIONS

On 1 September, City AM reported that art dealers, letting agents, and estate agents are driving an uptick in the number of UK businesses registering for AML supervision with HMRC.  The number of art sellers registering with HMRC increased 358% 916 in 2021-22, and the number of letting agents jumped by 191.1% to 326.

https://www.cityam.com/art-dealers-and-letting-agents-drive-uptick-in-anti-money-laundering-registrations/

INDIA: ASSETS OF SRI LANKAN NATIONALS SEIZED OVER ALLEGED LTTE LINKS AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 1 September, Republic World reported that the Enforcement Directorate had attached 3 properties owned by 2 Sri Lankan nationals living in India.  The accused purchased all the properties after 2011 and were unable to explain the source of funds used to buy the properties. 

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/law-and-order/ed-seizes-assets-of-lankan-nationals-with-alleged-ltte-links-over-money-laundering-charges-articleshow.html

LIBYAN CEASEFIRE COULD RENEW ARMS TRAFFICKING ACROSS BORDERS

On 2 September, Defence Web reported that a decade after it was declared a supermarket for illegal arms traffickers, Libya once again has become a source of illegal weapons flowing into conflicts across the Sahel and neighbouring coastal states.  It says that, as was the case during Libya’s first civil war in 2011, terrorist groups are buying poorly secured weapons through smuggling routes that cross the Sahara into Niger and Mali.  From there, weapons are distributed to conflict zones across the region.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/border-security/libyan-cease-fire-could-renew-arms-trafficking-across-borders/

REPORTS ON EU FOREIGN INVESTMENT SCREENING AND EXPORT CONTROLS

On 2 September, a news release advised of 2 reports adopted by the European Commission: the report on the screening of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), and the report on the Export Controls Regulation. One report shows that, since the creation of the cooperation mechanism, the EU Commission has screened over 740 FDI transactions, and shows that the use of the mechanism has expanded in 2021.  The other report is on export controls under the upgraded Export Controls Regulation that entered into force on 9 September 2021, and covers the year 2020.  The report covers dual-use exports and shows that total authorised exports of such items amounted to about €31 billion in 2020.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_5286

A HISTORY OF THE GLOBAL COCAINE TRADE

On 1 September, Insight Crime published an article saying that, since it was outlawed in the mid-twentieth century, the white hydrochloride salt has become the crown commodity of global organised crime.  It recounts the history of the drug from its origin in the subtropical Latin American shrub Erythroxylum.

https://insightcrime.org/news/empires-world-wars-history-global-cocaine-trade/

US DoJ WILL RETURN APPROXIMATELY $686,000 IN FORFEITED ODEBRECHT CORRUPTION PROCEEDS TO PERU

On 31 August, a news release from US DoJ advised that it was sharing with the Republic of Peru approximately $686,000 in forfeited criminal proceeds linked to the corruption and bribery of former Peruvian President Alejandro Celestino Toledo Manrique by Odebrecht SA, the Brazil-based global construction conglomerate.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/justice-department-will-return-approximately-686000-forfeited-corruption-proceeds

FUGEES CANCELLED TOUR AS PRAS MICHEL FACED JAIL FOR MALAYSIAN MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME

Various media have reported that Michel faces the threat of imprisonment for his work with Jho Low, the fugitive businessman who has been accused of moving $4.5 billion from 1MDB into his personal accounts.

https://consequence.net/2022/08/pras-michel-maylaysia-money-laundering-fugees-tour/

FAKE GOOGLE TRANSLATE APP INSTALLS CRYPTO MINER ON 112,000 PC

On 1 September, Coin Telegraph reported that, disguised as legitimate desktop software, the malware has infected thousands of machines across 11 countries, forcing them to unknowingly mine Monero (XMR).

https://cointelegraph.com/news/sneaky-fake-google-translate-app-installs-crypto-miner-on-112-000-pcs

RUSSIA: PRO-KREMLIN WIKIPEDIA ALTERNATIVE OFF TO A ROUGH START

On 1 September, an article from DFR Lab says that a newly launched Russian analogue of the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia, is an attempt to spread Russian propaganda and disinformation in the guise of a wiki.  Beyond using the underlying software architecture employed by Wikipedia, it’s a wiki in name only.

https://medium.com/dfrlab/pro-kremlin-wikipedia-alternative-off-to-a-rough-start-98e94570679f

UK TRADE SECRETS: 4 YEARS ON

On 18 August, a blog post from Gowling WLG considers how the UK law of confidence has changed since 2018, including what “reasonable steps” are necessary to protect a trade secret.  In 2018, UK regulations aligned UK law with the EU Trade Secrets Directive.  The UK regulations address the interplay between the UK common law and the UK statute.

https://loupedin.blog/2022/08/uk-trade-secrets-four-years-on/

US: AMENDMENT TO THE CYBER-RELATED SANCTIONS REGULATIONS AND ASSOCIATED ADMINISTRATIVE LIST UPDATES

On 2 September, OFAC advised that it is amending, and reissuing the regulations in their entirety.  The new Cyber-Related Sanctions Regulations will be effective when they are published in the Federal Register on 6 September.  The publication of this final rule about the regulations has triggered an automatic administrative update to a number of sanctions entries.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220902

OFAC: UPDATES RELATED TO PRICE CAP ON RUSSIAN OIL

On 2 September, OFAC advised that G7 finance ministers re an intention to place a price cap on Russian crude oil and petroleum products.  OFAC anticipates publishing preliminary guidance on the implementation of the price cap in September.  The preliminary guidance will provide a high-level overview of this mechanism, including how US persons can comply, in advance of formal guidance and legal implementation to be issued at a later date.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220902_33

https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Content/EN/Downloads/G7-G20/2022-09-02-g7-ministers-statement.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=7

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0936

The EU also announced it would abide by the price cap –

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_5327

WESTERN ELECTRONICS AT THE HEART OF RUSSIA’S WAR MACHINE

On 8 August, RUSI published a report which contains an examination of the components and functioning of 27 of Russia’s most modern military systems – including cruise missiles, communications systems and electronic warfare complexes – concludes that the degradation in Russian military capability could be made permanent if appropriate policies are implemented.

https://static.rusi.org/RUSI-Silicon-Lifeline-final-updated-web_1.pdf

UK GOVERNMENT GIVES VIDEO GAME COMPANIES CHANCE TO SELF-REGULATE LOOT BOXES

On 1 September, an article from Field Fisher reported that the UK taking the opposite tack to its continental counterparts by preferring to rely on industry-led initiatives rather than any substantive change to the law.  It says that the Government’s decision not to introduce new regulation is surprising, considering the mounting pressure from consumer groups and the growing body of evidence connecting loot boxes with a range of potential harms.  This, it says, means that video games businesses will increasingly need to take a country-by-country approach to loot boxes, as opposed to simply being able to apply a single consistent approach across Europe.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/extra-life-uk-government-gives-video-game-companies-chance-to-self-regulate-loot-boxes

https://elements.visualcapitalist.com/rare-earth-elements-where-in-the-world-are-they/

PPE COMPANY LINKED TO TORY PEER MICHELLE MONE IS ISSUED WITH A WINDING-UP PETITION FROM HMRC

On 2 September, The National reported that the company, PPE Medpro, was already under investigation by the NCA for fraud.  In 2020, it was awarded £203 million worth of UK Government PPE contracts after Mone approached Michael Gove.

https://www.thenational.scot/news/20894419.ppe-firm-linked-tory-peer-michelle-mone-issued-winding-petition-hmrc/

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: 3 CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING GRANTED $2.1 MILLION BAIL 

On 2 September, the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian reported that 2 men and a woman have been jointly charged with 67 counts of money laundering.  It is alleged that the activities occurred during the period 9 May to 13 August 2019, where a former female employee of a financial institution allegedly processed several transactions totalling $530,000 from a customer’s account without authorisation.

https://www.guardian.co.tt/news/three-charged-with-money-laundering-granted21-million-bail-6.2.1540766.2b03cc508e

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  At Buy me a Coffee one-off contributions start as low as $3, at

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

NOTE THAT THE ABOVE LINK IS NOW CORRECTED AND WORKS!

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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