On 29 August, a report from Mongabay says that raids on mining company Gana Gold have revealed how gold mined illegally in Indigenous territories and other protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon makes its way into the legitimate trade. The raids also uncovered strong links between drug traffickers and illegal miners, who were found to use the same trafficking routes to get their respective illicit commodities out of the forest and into the rest of the world. It is said that, given that the vast majority of Brazilian gold is exported, there’s an onus on overseas buyers to establish chain of custody controls to ensure they’re not buying illegally mined gold.
On 1 September, the Government Accountability Office published a Snapshot report saying that the US seeks to combat trafficking. For example, the Departments of State, Labor, Homeland Security, and Defense, and the US Agency for International Development have programmes to prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and protect survivors. The GAO found that staffing gaps, unclear roles, and weaknesses in monitoring have impeded some efforts. It found gaps that could impede these efforts, such as unclear roles and weaknesses in monitoring.
On 5 September, various outlets reported that the FATF-style regional body GAFILAT, saying that it is noted that Paraguay significantly improved the legal framework for the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, and that on effectiveness, it indicates that Paraguay did not enter the so-called grey list of FATF. The onsite visit took place in August/September 2021
On 5 September, Politico claimed an exclusive with an article which says that the authors have gained access to Putin’s “shopping list”, which is divided into 3 priority categories, from the most critical components to the least. It even includes the price per item that Moscow expects to pay, down to the last kopeck. It is said that while POLITICO could not independently verify the provenance of the list, 2 experts in military supply chains confirmed it was in line with other research findings about Russia’s military equipment and needs. Of the 25 items Russia is seeking most desperately, almost all are microchips manufactured by US companies Marvell, Intel, Holt, ISSI, Microchip, Micron, Broadcom and Texas Instruments. Rounding out the list are chips by Japanese firm Renesas (which acquired the US-based IDT), Germany’s Infineon (which acquired US-based Cypress), microcircuits by US company Vicor, and connectors by US-based AirBorn. Some of the items can be easily found in online electronics retailers, while others have been out of stock for months due to the microchip shortage.
On 5 September, SIPRI published this report, saying that the deteriorating security situation across parts of West Africa and the Sahel underscores the importance of better understanding the relationship between crime and conflict; and that the fall of Gaddafi in Libya and the uprising in northern Mali in 2012 triggered a wave of instability that continues to deteriorate to this day. It highlights problems including include corruption, poor governance, impunity among state security forces and socio-economic marginalisation of communities across swathes of the region – but also says that illicit economies are major sources of funding for countless armed actors across West Africa, and many illicit markets contribute to swelling violence, not least the trafficking of arms. The report maps the key geographic hubs of illicit economies across West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo).