I am not sure if he was trying to reassure us, but the Director of the World famous Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies has been quoted as saying that in Panama itnot only fights against SARS-Cov-2, there is also a probability of other outbreaks such as yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya. it was also noted that the Metropolitan Health Region has counted a total of 421 cases of dengue, with a total of 53 people hospitalised (and with 1 more fatality, a 6-year-old girl, reported today – the second death this year, there were also 2 last year). The article reporting this did nothing to improve the image of the mosquito, Zika virus is found in the aedes aegypti mosquito, which also transmits dengue and chikungunya.
In other news, Panama grows very good, award-winning coffee, and it seems that so-called geisha coffee is the king. Today, the newspapers report that one family has sold a pound of the coffee to a Taiwanese company for $6,034!
7 SEPTEMBER 2022
ISLE OF MAN: AMENDMENT/CORRECTION OF 2 ENTRIES ON RUSSIA SANCTIONS LIST
On 7 September, the Isle of Man followed the UK by advising that the entries relating to Mikhail RAZVOZHAEV and Pavel EZOUBOV had been amended/corrected.
HUNGARY IS THREATENING TO BLOCK SOME EU SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA IF 3 OLIGARCHS ARE NOT SPARED
On 6 September, Rferl reported that Hungary is threatening to block the renewal of some parts of the EU sanctions regime against Russia if 3 oligarchs aren’t removed from the list – the 3 it wants to see de-listed from the visa ban and asset freeze list are Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven, and Viktor Rashnikov. Politico on 7 September also reported that Hungary was lobbying to increase the humanitarian aid exemptions, raising fears of creating potential loopholes.
MYANMAR FACES BLACKLISTING RISK BY FATF
On 7 September, Nikkei Asia reported that Myanmar is likely to be blacklisted for failing to head off money laundering and terrorist financing, in a critical blow to the military regime’s economic credentials. FATF members are expected to approve the decision during discussions in Paris next month.
US: FEDERAL COURT POWERS TO ORDER DISCOVERY FOR USE IN A FOREIGN OR INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL
On 1 September, the Transnational Litigation Blog carried a post about an important provision in US law, the 3 required statutory factors and 4 discretionary factors required to exercise the power, and how this all worked in a recent case involving evidence sought in relation to a court case in Brazil and an arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce.
ISLAMIC STATE TURNS TO NFT TO SPREAD TERROR MESSAGE
On 6 September, the Wall Street Journal reported on what appears to be the first known nonfungible token created and disseminated by a terrorist sympathiser, and said to be a sign that terrorists are using such to sidestep Western efforts to eradicate their online fundraising and messaging.
TURKEY TURNS INTO HAVEN FOR MONEY LAUNDERERS
On 7 September, Nordic Monitor carried an article claiming that Turkey has taken yet another step in boosting the illicit transfer of wealth with no questions asked by the authorities. A amendment to a Bill would allow the transfer of cash, gold and other assets to Turkey without a requirement to explain their origin and with no penalties imposed by Turkish authorities. The provisions were approved amid protests from the opposition that Turkey had turned into a haven for money laundering and illegal funding. According to the amendment, both individuals and entities have until 31 March to bring cash, gold and other capital wealth from abroad that were not previously disclosed in Turkey and the legislation does not allow any audit or investigation into such assets.
PARAGUAY: GAFILAT EMPHASISES RISKS IN THE TRIPLE FRONTIER AND SUGGESTS GREATER CONTROL
On 7 September, Ultima Hora reported that, in the recent mutual evaluation report, GAFILAT says Paraguay must make greater efforts to monitor the activities of groups such as Hezbollah, particularly in the sensitive Triple Border area with Brazil and Argentina.
PARAGUAYAN PRESIDENT REPLACES AML MINISTER AFTER GAFILAT REPORT
On 7 September, the Rio Times reported that Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez had signed a decree on Tuesday appointing René Fernández as the new Minister of the Secretariat for the Prevention of Money Laundering (Seprelad).
AUSTRALIA: POLICE EXPOSE $4.7 MILLION MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME AT MELBOURNE POKIES VENUE
On 7 September, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that jackpot winners at a Melbourne gaming venue were approached by members of a criminal syndicate and offered substantial sums of cash in return for their winnings in what federal police say was a money laundering scheme. It is alleged criminals offered cash for winning cheques, which were then issued in the name of the syndicate member and deposited in a bank as legitimate gambling winnings.
MILITANTS AND DRONES: A TREND THAT IS HERE TO STAY
On 6 September, a Commentary from RUSI says that, with drone technology becoming more affordable and accessible to non-state actors, the use of drones by militants poses an increasing threat. Drones used by militant groups have typically fallen into the categories of hobbyist and midsize military drones, owing to their ready availability and the lower costs involved – but the type of drones available to groups is dependent on the level of external support the group has. Militant use of drones can be divided into 2 types: active-offensive and passive-defensive. It warns that, apart from hobbyist drones such as DJI quadcopters, one group of drones to watch are miniature loitering munitions. Such systems are currently regulated under export control measures by the US DoD, which means they are not commercially available, but have been found on the Dark Web. It says that one of the trends to monitor in the future is the use of drones to carry out limited-scale chemical or biological attacks, and another trend to watch is the use of drone swarms.
KENYA: NOTORIOUS WILDLIFE TRAFFICKER EXTRADITED TO THE US
On 7 September, OCCRP reported that Kenya extradited the last escaping member of a prominent wildlife trafficking syndicate to the US, where he is wanted for trafficking huge amounts of ivory and rhino horn. Abdi Ahmed, a national of Kenya, was arrested in August.
CANADIAN LINKED TO BIG-RIG DRUG TRAFFICKING NETWORK ARRESTED BY FBI
On 7 September, OCCRP reported that the FBI had arrested in southern California a Canadian man – Sam Nang Bou, 40, of Edmonton – linked to a transnational drug trafficking organisation that has transported more than half a ton of methamphetamine and cocaine via a network of big-rig trucks.
UK: SFO DECIDES ON RETRIAL FOR AXIOM DEFENDANT WHO SPLIT JURY
On 7 September, Legal Futures reported that a former independent financial adviser alleged to have been part of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund fraud is to face a retrial. However, delays in the courts mean that David Kennedy, 69, will not face the retrial until March 2024.
ITALY: 22 ARRESTS FOR MONEY LAUNDERING NEAR BRESCIA IN €93 MILLION CASE
On 7 September, ANSA reported that Italian police have made 22 arrests for money laundering and tax evasion near Brescia in Lombardy. Those arrested are accused of tax evasion, money laundering, self-laundering and issuing invoices for non-existent transactions and operations.
US APPEALS COURT: HSBC NOT LIABLE FOR AL-QAEDA SUICIDE ATTACK AT CIA BASE
On 6 September, Yahoo News reported that a US appeals court has said HSBC Holdings Plc was not liable to the families of two American contractors killed in an al-Qaeda suicide bombing of a CIA base in Afghanistan, after the bank allegedly evaded US sanctions targeting sponsors of terrorism. Families of victims accused HSBC of violating federal anti-terrorism laws through its dealings with Iran’s state-controlled Bank Melli and Bank Saderat and Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, each with alleged financial ties to al-Qaeda or other US-designated terrorist groups.
CRYPTO RESEARCHER’S FAKE PONZI RAISES $100,000 IN HOURS
On 6 September, the Coin Telegraph reported that an influencer claims to have gathered over $100,000 worth of Bitcoin from crypto investors in an investment scheme that was later revealed as fake. He said he created the fake investment scheme as an experiment and to teach people a lesson about blindly following the investment advice of influencers.
FAKE PRODUCT REVIEWS – CRACKDOWN IN EUROPE AND BEYOND
On 7 September, an article from Field Fisher says that fake online product reviews are misleading consumers and, in some cases, breaching consumer protection laws. The article takes a look at the regulations being introduced and the obligations on online businesses.
PREVENTION MODULE LAUNCHED ON UN TOOLKIT ON SYNTHETIC DRUGS WEBSITE
On 7 September, the UN Office on Drugs & Crime reported that its Laboratory and Scientific Service is pleased to announce the release of the newest module. It includes practical tools and resources to support and strengthen prevention activities and initiatives as well as evidence-based prevention strategies and programmes tailored to policymakers, healthcare providers, parents and educators that Member States can put into practice immediately.
UK: BILL OF RIGHTS – LIZ TRUSS SHELVES PLANS TO REFORM HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
On 7 September, the BBC reported that the new government has shelved plans for a law designed to give ministers the power to ignore human rights rulings from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY HAS ANNOUNCED TRAVEL BANS ON AN UNSPECIFIED NUMBER OF EU CITIZENS AND 25 US CITIZENS IN RESPONSE TO THE RUSSIA SANCTIONS
On 7 September, the EU Sanctions blog reported the news and provided links to press releases and the list of US citizens subject to the travel ban.
CANADA: DRAFT BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR TRUSTS
On 25 August, KPMG reported that the Department of Finance has released draft legislation requiring the disclosure of certain information on each trustee, beneficiary, settlor and protector of trusts, subject to limited exceptions — effective for tax years ending after 30 December.
PODCAST: CORRUPTION IN THE US 7th FLEET
In the latest TRACE podcast, and in light of recent news about Leonard Glenn Francis’ escape from house arrest ahead of his sentencing in the US, a replay of an episode with Doyle Hodges, Commander, USN retired, and Stephen Wrage, Professor, US Naval Academy. They describe how “Fat Leonard” of Glenn Defense Marine Asia organised and executed a scheme that corrupted at least 30 officers and compromised over 400 others. This episode was originally published in 2019.
EU GENERAL COURT RULES UK TRADE MARKS MUST BE CONSIDERED IN EUTM OPPOSITIONS FILED BEFORE BREXIT
On 7 September, an article from Field Fisher reported that this decision was contrary to the EUIPO’s established practice, which had been to disregard UK rights in decisions handed down after the end of the transition period. It means that UK national rights must be taken into account in trade mark oppositions filed prior to the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS OF INITIAL WRITTEN EVIDENCE TO THE UK HOUSE OF COMMONS FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE EXTENDED TO 27 SEPTEMBER
On 7 September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the inquiry is assessing how effectively the UK is responding to the challenge of cross-border illicit finance and builds on the predecessor committee’s “Moscow’s Gold” report. In June, the Committee published its report, ‘The Cost of Complacency: illicit finance and the war in Ukraine’, as part of the inquiry.
US CUSTOMS MODIFIES “WITHHOLD RELEASE ORDER” TO ALLOW CERTAIN GARMENT IMPORTS FROM INDIA
On 7 September, KPMG reported that US Customs and Border Protection has modified the “withhold release order” against garment imports from an apparel company, Natchi Apparel (P) Ltd, located in India. Shipments that have previously been detained will also be released.
ALBANIA CUTS DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH IRAN OVER CYBERATTACKS
On 7 September, EurActiv reported that Albania has frozen all diplomatic ties with Iran and asked diplomats to leave the country by 8 September over a series of cyber-attacks, including one this Summer that brought all government services to a standstill.
US: BROOKLYN-BASED MANAGER OF MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION SENTENCED TO 48 MONTHS IN PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH $5 MILLION ONLINE VEHICLE SALE SCAM
A news release from US DoJ on 7 September advised that a US Attorney had said that the defendants opened or caused others to open fraudulent bank accounts that were used to launder millions of dollars in criminal proceeds from an online vehicle sale scam. Without those fraudulent accounts, online fraudsters would not be able to profit from their illegal schemes. Korzha and Neceaev now face terms of imprisonment and will be required to forfeit their ill-gotten gains.
SINGAPORE: STRENGTHENING AML/CFT PRACTICES FOR EXTERNAL ASSET MANAGERS
The Monetary Authority of Singapore issued this document in August. It follows from a series of AML/CFT thematic inspections and engagements conducted by MAS of selected external asset managers. It sets out MAS’ supervisory expectations for effective AML/CFT frameworks and controls and includes good practices and illustrative examples observed. Other related papers include: Operational Risk Management – Management of Third Party Arrangements
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