OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – SEPTEMBER 8

Everyone will no doubt be telling their “meeting the Queen” story, but mine , while memorable for me was a bit of an anti-climax. About to be presented to her, the guy standing next IN LINE to me was well over 6 feet tall. As the Queen came to me, her eyes went up to gaze at my colleague – she was famously quite short. “My you are tall!”, she exclaimed…and that was my chance gone.

8 SEPTEMBER 2022

LEBANON, ISRAEL MARITIME BORDER TALKS PROGRESS TO DIVVYING UP GAS

On 5 September, Dryad Global reported on a Jerusalem Post article which said that Israel and Lebanon have not settled on a final maritime border yet, but their positions are thought to be close enough to start working out an arrangement to either divide gas fields that may end up crossing that line or for financial compensation.  The dispute, and discussions since 2020, between Lebanon and Israel is over the status of an 860 sq.km. triangle in the Mediterranean Sea, amounting to about 2% of Israel’s economic waters.  Jerusalem originally agreed to split the area 58:42 in favour of Lebanon.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/lebanon-israel-maritime-border-talks-progress-to-divvying-up-gas

IMO PRESSURE ON 25 COUNTRIES IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA ON THE NEED TO ADOPT THE SUPPRESSION OF PIRACY AND OTHER MARITIME OFFENCES (SPOMO) ACT

On 6 September, Dryad Global reported that the SPOMO Act, developed by the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) would now enable trial of piracy cases within the African sub-region irrespective of whichever country the crime was committed.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/imo-to-prevail-on-25-african-countries-to-adopt-nigerias-spomo-act

EU EXPORT CONTROLS REPORT

On 2 September, the EU issued its latest export controls report, this covering 2020.  The report covers dual-use exports and shows that total authorised exports of such items amounted to about €31 billion in 2020.  It says that EU rules have strengthened export controls by introducing a novel ‘human security’ dimension, simplifying procedures and making the export control system more agile and transparent.  It also says that expert work is being developed under the Regulation on cyber-surveillance and emerging technologies, with a particular focus on enforcement and implementation of controls by Member States.  The new rules introduced last year are also said to allow the EU to work more closely with partner countries to enhance global security and promote a level playing field.

https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/documents-register/api/files/COM(2022)434_0/090166e5f0bc60c8?rendition=false

F-35 FIGHTER DELIVERIES AFTER CHINESE ALLOYS FOUND IN MAGNETS

On 7 September, Breaking Defense reported that it is unclear when F-35s with magnets made from the new alloy will begin rolling off the production line, and if the Chinese alloy is found to violate defence acquisition regulations, it would take a waiver for deliveries to resume.An alloy used in magnets on the fighter’s turbomachine pumps, made by US company Honeywell, was produced in China.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/09/f-35-deliveries-suspended-after-finding-chinese-alloys-in-magnets

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/budget-policy-operations/chinese-supplier-discovery-may-stop-f-35-deliveries-weeks

PANAMA: FORMER DRUG PROSECUTOR FACING PROSECUTION OVER RELEASE OF DRUG TRAFFICKERS IN 2010

On 7 September, Newsroom Panama reported that he and another person were accused of facilitating the release of 4 drug traffickers in 2010, which was reported by the DEA, which was monitoring a network that trafficked drugs in the region, and the resulting scandal led to the departure of the then Attorney General.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/former-drug-prosecutor-facing-action-over-release-of-traffickers

JERSEY LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS: A GUIDE

On 7 September, Mourant published this guide to limited partnerships – a type of partnership between one or more ‘general’ partners (who manage the partnership) and one or more ‘limited’ partners (passive investors who have no involvement in the day to day management of the partnership). 

https://www.mourant.com/file-library/media—2022/mourant—jersey-limited-partnerships—a-guide.pdf

HAGUE JUDGMENTS CONVENTION: ENTRY INTO FORCE ON 1 SEPTEMBER 2023

On 7 September, Taylor Wessing published an article about the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters, saying that with the EU’s accession (covering all Member States except Denmark) to the Convention and Ukraine’s ratification, the Judgments Convention now has 2 contracting parties and will enter into force on 1 September 2023.  To date, 5 other states – Costa Rica, Israel, the Russian Federation, the US and Uruguay – have signed but not yet ratified the Convention.

https://assets.hcch.net/docs/806e290e-bbd8-413d-b15e-8e3e1bf1496d.pdf

https://www.taylorwessing.com/en/insights-and-events/insights/2022/09/hague-judgments-convention

https://hsfnotes.com/litigation/2022/09/06/2019-hague-judgments-convention-comes-into-force-in-september-2023-but-for-now-only-between-eu-and-ukraine/#page=1

CAYMAN ISLANDS: ASSET RECOVERY CLAIMS BY VICTIMS OF FRAUD

On 7 September, Ogier published an article which looked at a number of recovery claims that victims of fraud have brought against their service providers.

https://www.mondaq.com/caymanislands/white-collar-crime-anti-corruption-fraud/1227920/asset-recovery-claims-by-victims-of-fraud

US EXPORT CONTROLS: ITAR REORGANISATION RULE EXPECTED TO ENTER INTO FORCE WITH EFFECT FROM 6 SEPTEMBER

On 7 September, an article from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC said that the State Department’s much anticipated interim final rule reorganising the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is expected to go into effect from 6 September.  It will reorganise and consolidate definitions in the ITAR, as part of a broader agency effort to reorganise the ITAR.  This is the first of several rules in the ITAR reorganization project, so the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) will gradually implement these changes.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/international-trade-investment/1227844/itar-reorganization-rule-expected-to-enter-into-force-september-6

US: FRAUD AND FORFEITURE – A CAUTIONARY TALES OF A CONSTRUCTION CLAIM GONE WRONG

On 7 September, an article from Seyfarth Shaw LLP reported on a recent decision in the US Court of Federal Claims described as a case which “should serve as a cautionary tale to government contractors”.  It is said that the case report is loaded with lessons on what to do, and what not to do, when presenting Contract Disputes Act (CDA) claims to the government. In particular, federal construction contractors and their performance bond sureties should take heed of the court’s holding in this highly-illustrative fraud case.  The case involved a 2010 the Army Corps of Engineers fixed-price contract to rehabilitate a levee in Florida.  After problems with the repairs, and a dispute over how to deal with the matter, the US Government alleged that there had been false claims, exaggerated costs, and double billing.

https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/government-contracts-procurement-ppp/1227902/fraud-and-forfeiture-cautionary-tales-of-a-construction-claim-gone-wrong

SCOTS-BORN BUSINESSMAN ON FBI’S MOST WANTED LIST JAILED IN US OVER £480,000 LUXURY CAR SCAM

On 8 September, the Daily Record reported that Afzal Khan, originally from Edinburgh, was on the run for 5 years after being accused of conning a string of customers and financial firms at a motor dealership he ran in New Jersey.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scots-born-businessman-fbis-most-27937679

UK: NATIONAL SECURITY BILL FACTSHEETS

On 8 September, the Home Office published new and updated factsheets giving details of the different measures contained in the National Security Bill, which covers various subjects including espionage, a Foreign Influence Registration Scheme etc.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-security-bill-factsheets#full-publication-update-history

VIRTUAL GOODS AND NFT – IP PROTECTION OF DIGITAL ASSETS IN GAMING, SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE METAVERSE

On 7 September, an article from Hogan Lovells takes a look at virtual goods and NFT in the gaming industry and metaverse settings, and their appropriate IP protection, as exemplified by the latest European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) guidance.

https://www.engage.hoganlovells.com/knowledgeservices/viewContent.action?key=Ec8teaJ9VapAucscaN6J1cxgHJMKLFEppVpbbVX%2B3OXcP3PYxlq7sZUjdbSm5FIetvAtgf1eVU8%3D&nav=FRbANEucS95NMLRN47z%2BeeOgEFCt8EGQ0qFfoEM4UR4%3D&emailtofriendview=true&freeviewlink=true

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: THE RUSSIAN VIEW OF WESTERN SANCTIONS

On 7 September, an article from RUSI asks what is the Russian perspective and narrative in response to sanctions, how is their impact viewed from Moscow and across Russia’s 11 time zones, and what implications does this have for future Western policymaking as the fighting in Ukraine continues unabated?

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-newsbrief/through-looking-glass-russian-view-western-sanctions

CANADA PUBLISHES RESULTS OF GST/HST TAX GAP REPORT

On 7 September, VAT Live reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has recently published its latest federal tax gap report which covers the period 2014 – 2018.  It provides estimates and key findings for non-compliance in Canada in the period and includes insights into the federal Goods & Services Tax (GST)/Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) gap for both reporting and payment.  It also explains that Canada has sales taxes levied at both the federal and provincial level.  GST is levied at a federal level but in the provinces that have harmonised their provincial taxes, it takes the form of HST (including the provincial sales tax element).  The other non-harmonised provinces administer their own provincial sales taxes (PST).

https://www.avalara.com/blog/en/europe/2022/09/canada-publishes-results-of-gst-hst-gap-report.html

CHINA: CITIC LEASING SHIPPING HEAD TARGETED BY ANTI-GRAFT WATCHDOG

On 8 September, Lloyds List reported that Guo Fangmeng, managing director and head of shipping division at Citic Financial Leasing, was ‘taken away’ by anti-corruption authorities, commenting that the disappearance of more leasing executives is affecting the confidence of their foreign counterparties.

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1142162/Citic-Leasing-shipping-head-targeted-by-Beijings-anti-graft-watchdog

DRUGS, PORTS AND CORRUPTION IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

On 7 September, an article from Insight Crime presents a 3-part series which dives into the infrastructure, the trafficking networks, and the corruption facilitating organised crime in the Dominican Republic.

https://insightcrime.org/investigations/criminal-crossroads-drugs-ports-corruption-dominican-republic/

ESG – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

On 7 September, Appleby published the first of a 3-part series looking at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), which covers a vast array of often inter-linked issues.  In Part 1, the firm explores one aspect of ‘E’ – climate change.

https://www.applebyglobal.com/publications/esg-series-part-1-climate-change-what-on-earth-is-going-on/

UK: GROWING CALLS TO EXTEND ‘FAILURE TO PREVENT’ OFFENCES TO FRAUD

On 7 September, an article from Out-Law reported that the heads of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Crown Prosecution Service have called for the expansion of existing ‘failure to prevent’ corporate crime offences in the UK statute book to cover wider economic crime, and fraud specifically.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/calls-extend-failure-to-prevent-offences-fraud

GREECE’S “PREDATORGATE”: THE LATEST CHAPTER IN EUROPE’S SPYWARE SCANDAL?

On 8 September, a briefing from the EU Parliament Research Service says that Greece is the latest Member State accused of spying on journalists and opposition politicians.  While the opposition is seeking transparency and is steadily increasing the pressure, the Greek government has acknowledged select surveillance operations but insists on their legality and categorically denies purchasing or using the commercial Predator spyware.  This paper synthesises the fast-paced and highly politicised developments at national level and contextualises the EU responses. It refers to the EPRS study ‘Europe’s PegasusGate’ for more information and possible ways forward.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2022/733637/EPRS_ATA(2022)733637_EN.pdf

FORMER PUERTO RICO LEGISLATOR SENTENCED FOR BRIBERY AND KICKBACK SCHEME

A US DoJ news release on 7 September advised that former Puerto Rico legislator, Nelson Del Valle Colon, 56, had been sentenced to 57 months in prison for engaging in a bribery and kickback scheme.  He was also ordered to pay $190,000 in restitution.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-puerto-rico-legislator-sentenced-bribery-and-kickback-scheme

USAID RELEASES NEW RESOURCE ON COUNTERING KLEPTOCRACY

On 7 September, USAID released its Dekleptification Guide, a new handbook for uprooting entrenched corruption and seizing windows of opportunity to dismantle kleptocracy.  The Guide brings together lessons learned based on ground-breaking reform movements around the world, from Ukraine to Malaysia, from South Africa to the Dominican Republic.  It is said to be is one component of a suite of products that USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force is developing to durably elevate anti-corruption at USAID and advance the implementation of the new U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption.

https://www.usaid.gov/anti-corruption/dekleptification

US: CHIQUITA TO FACE TRIAL FOR ALLEGATIONS OF FINANCING TERRORISM IN COLOMBIA

On 7 September, Colombia Reports said that US food giant Chiquita Brands will face trial for financing terrorism in Colombia in the 1990s and early 2000s, according to victim representatives.   NGO EarthRights International said that an appeals court had overruled a federal judge who ruled in 2019 that victims of the now-defunct paramilitary organisation AUC lacked admissible evidence to sue Chiquita.  Chiquita admitted that it had paid the paramilitary organisation $1.7 million through its Colombian subsidiary Banadex between 1997 and 2004 in a 2007 plea bargain with the US DoJ.

https://colombiareports.com/chiquita-to-trial-for-financing-terrorism-in-colombia/

EU COMMISSION PROPOSES FULL SUSPENSION OF RUSSIAN VISA ARRANGEMENTS

On 6 September, the EU advised that the suspension is in response to increased risks and threats to the EU security interests and the national security of the Member States as result of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.  This means that Russian citizens will no longer enjoy privileged access to the EU and face a lengthier, more expensive and more difficult visa application process.  It also proposed the non-recognition of Russian passports issued in occupied areas of Ukraine.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_5346

US: A RISING NUMBER OF CLASS ACTIONS TARGETING PRODUCT PLACE OF ORIGIN CLAIMS

On 8 September, an article from Proskaer said that, in late 2021, the Federal Trade Commission finalised a new rule cracking down on deceptive or misleading unqualified US origin claims.  The new rule does not create new substantive requirements for advertisers, but gives the FTC the ability to impose new, substantial monetary penalties for violating the rule.  It also says that the consumer class action space has seen challenges to similar “Made in USA” claims.

https://www.proskaueronadvertising.com/2022/09/born-in-the-usa-place-of-origin-claims-take-center-stage-in-false-advertising-suits-and-ftc-enforcement/

LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS RECOVERED $30 MILLION IN CRYPTO STOLEN IN THE $625 MILLION RONIN BRIDGE HACK IN MARCH

On 8 September, Coin Telegraph reported that Chainalysis Crypto Incident Response team helped law enforcement trace stolen funds to cash-out points and for their subsequent freeze.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/law-enforcement-recovers-30-million-from-ronin-bridge-hack-with-the-help-of-chainalysis

RUSSIA TO LEGALISE CROSS-BORDER CRYPTO SETTLEMENTS AS SANCTIONS BITE

On 8 September, OCCRP reported that Russia will likely soon legalise use of virtual currencies in international trade amid the deepening impact of sanctions brought in response to war in Ukraine.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16754-russia-to-legalize-cross-border-crypto-settlements-as-sanctions-bite

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OFAC: RUSSIA SANCTIONS – NEW GENERAL LICENSE

On 8 September, OFAC issued General License 13B which allows US persons, or entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a US person, to pay certain taxes, fees, or import duties, and purchase or receive permits, licences, registrations, or certifications that would otherwise be prohibited involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl13b.pdf

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OFAC: 4 IRANIAN COMPANIES AND 1 INDIVIDUALS ADDED TO SANCTIONS LIST – INVOLVED IN PRODUCTION OF UAV AND WEAPON SHIPMENT TO RUSSIA

On 8 September, OFAC announced that it was designating an air transportation service provider for its involvement in the shipment of Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to Russia for its war against Ukraine.  Additionally, OFAC is designating 3 companies and 1 individual involved in the research, development, production, and procurement of Iranian UAV and UAV components, including the Shahed series of drones, for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Aerospace Force (IRGC ASF) and Navy.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0940

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220908

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SOUTH AFRICA: THE GOLD LEAF TOBACCO ALLEGED MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME EXPLAINED

On 8 September, the Daily Maverick reported that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) investigators have found that Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation (GLTC) operates an off-book enterprise manufacturing and selling illicit tobacco. It provides easy to understand infographics to explain the complex money laundering scheme.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-09-08-gold-leaf-tobacco-money-laundering-in-infographics/

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2022-08-29-r3bn-fraudulent-intentional-tax-evasion-an-in-depth-account-of-how-sars-bust-tobacco-gold-plunder-network/

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MALTA: BANK OWNED BY DUTCH BILLIONAIRE FINED FOR AML BREACHES

On 8 September, the Times of Malta reported that a Malta-based bank owned by a Dutch billionaire has been fined by the FIAU for shortcomings in its efforts to detect potential money laundering.  Novum Bank, owned by Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn, was hit with an €89,000 fine and ordered to tighten up its checks on clients.

https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/bank-owned-dutch-billionaire-fined-antimoney-laundering-breaches.978758

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