The latest Covid data shows a continued downturn in the numbers. Although there have been 7 new fatalities (taking the total since March 2020 to 8,487), active cases have fallen by 1,785 since last week to 3,449, and numbers in ICU are down from 22 to 13 and in other wards from 140 to 85. The latest results show a 7% positivity rate (down from 8.2% last week).
13 SEPTEMBER 2022
$40,000 REWARD IN ‘FAT LEONARD’ US NAVY BRIBERY CASE
On 12 September, Military.com reported that the US Government had posted a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Malaysian defence contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard”, who disappeared weeks before he was set to be sentenced for one of the largest bribery scandals in the nation’s military history.
GERMAN COMPANIES RAIDED OVER DUAL-USE CHEMICALS SENT TO RUSSIA
On 12 September, Chemistry World carried an article saying that several companies based in Germany are suspected of selling compounds to Russia which could be used to make chemical or biological weapons. It is said that the traded chemicals included diethylamine, a potential precursor for the production of chemical weapons, as well as aflatoxin, a potential biological threat agent, but that chemical compounds were on the trading lists which could be used in analytical laboratories involved in food safety. It is also said that, apparently, the companies traded these chemicals without having the appropriate export licences, which would be in violation with EU and German export control legislation.
RUSSIAN OIL EXPORTERS ARE SCRAMBLING TO BUY SPECIAL SHIPS TO SAIL AROUND EUROPE ONCE EU SANCTIONS KICK IN THIS WINTER
On 12 September, Yahoo Finance reported that purchases of second-hand ice-class tankers rose to $1 billion in May to August, and that demand is likely from Russian oil exporters, who will need long-distance ships to sail past Europe when sanctions kick in.
WEBINARS FOR USING THE UKCA MARKING AND PLACING GOODS ON THE MARKET IN GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
On 13 September, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it was making webinars available about the new UK conformity assessment marking (UKCA) and placing goods on the market in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
HONG KONG: 16 ARRESTED OVER SMUGGLING OF EELS, BEEF AND HPV JABS
On 12 September, RTHK reported that marine police and customs officers said they have arrested 9 locals and 7 illegal immigrants, after seizing 122 tonnes of smuggled goods in several operations during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The latest haul included 61 boxes containing Wagyu beef, baby eels and HPV vaccines with an estimated market value of over HK$5 million.
MONTENEGRIN MAFIA BOSS KILLED IN TURKEY
On 12 September, OCCRP reported that an unknown attacker killed Jovan Vukotić , the head of one of Montenegro’s most violent criminal clans that have been fighting each other for years, the Serbian investigative outlet KRIK reported.
ALL UK EXPRESS TRUSTS MUST NOW REGISTER UNDER AML LAWS
On 12 September, an article from Out-Law reported that new UK Government requirements for trust registration under the AML/CFT regulations have come into force. It says that trustees of existing UK express trusts – trusts expressly created, usually in writing, rather than by inference – and certain other non-UK trusts that had entered into business relationships with ‘regulated entities’ subject to the money laundering regulations or acquired interests in land in the UK had until 1 September to register their trust with HMRC’s Trust Registration Service (TRS).
UK: DIRECTOR WAS NOT PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR ACTIONS OF A COMPANY
An article from Out-Law on 12 September says that when a claimant sues a company, they often also bring a claim against senior management to ensure that there is a solvent defendant against which any judgment can be enforced – but a recent decision in the Court of Appeal demonstrates why it can be more difficult to bring a claim against a director or a member of senior management than it is against the company itself.
METH, FENTANYL, ECSTASY: SYNTHETIC DRUGS FLOURISH IN LATIN AMERICA
On 12 September, Insight Crime reported that synthetic drugs are increasingly rewriting the rules of Latin America’s drug trade, as new markets, routes, and substances challenge the traditional dominance of plant-based narcotics. To better understand the issues, it spoke to Martin Raithelhuber, a synthetic drugs expert and International Coordinator for the Global SMART (Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends) Programme at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
ILLEGAL FISHING IN LATIN AMERICA – EXPERTS CONSIDER ANSWERS TO TOUGH QUESTIONS AT EVENT
On 12 September, Insight Crime reported on a panel discussion hosted by InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University which made clear that the consequences of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing are immediate and enormous across the region. IUU fishing damages livelihoods and marine ecosystems while facilitating other crimes, such as labour abuse and drug trafficking.
UK: CORPORATE CRIMINAL OFFENCES OF FAILURE TO PREVENT THE FACILITATION OF TAX EVASION
On 13 September, an article from Out-Law says that it is a criminal offence in the UK if a business fails to prevent its employees or any person associated with it from facilitating tax evasion. All businesses should have introduced measures to ensure that they are aware of and have control over how their employees, agents and service providers are operating to reduce their risk of exposure to the offences.
ECONOMIC REPERCUSSIONS OF RUSSIA’S WAR ON UKRAINE
On 12 September, a briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service provided an updated summary of recent economic, financial and budgetary decisions and developments following the attack against Ukraine. It includes recent information relating to the EU sanctions regime, recent economic estimates, and policies supporting economic and financial resilience, including the coordination of national economic and fiscal measures. It also highlights policy recommendations made in the public domain to mitigate any adverse economic, financial and social effects and to support economic recovery in the EU and the Euro Area.
STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, AUSTRALIA’S SECOND BIGGEST CASINO OPERATOR, FOUND UNFIT TO HOLD A CASINO LICENCE IN SYDNEY
On 13 September, Investing.com reported that this follows an inquiry into alleged breaches of AML laws and criminal infiltration. The New South Wales (NSW) state gambling regulator said that it has identified “systemic governance, risk and cultural failures” at the Sydney casino of Star.
AUSTRALIA: FRAUD-PRONE ‘GOLDEN TICKET’ VISA LIKELY TO BE AXED
On 11 September, the Financial Review reported that $5 million Significant Investor Visa (SIV) “golden ticket” visa will almost certainly be abolished or radically redesigned, after the Home Affairs Minister slammed the contentious scheme as an unproductive use of resources.
BRAZIL: HOW DID CORUMBÁ ON THE BORDER WITH BOLIVIA, BECOME A HUB FOR CROSS-BORDER SMUGGLING?
An article from Insight Crime on 9 September posed this question, saying that the latest example of Corumbá’s importance as a criminal hub was when, after 6 months of intelligence-gathering, Brazilian police dismantled a human smuggling ring, with at least one man arrested in Corumbá while other raids happened in Brasilia, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo. Despite being a town of just over 100,000 people, Corumbá’s strategic location along the Paraguay River has meant that repeated police actions have had little impact against cross-border smuggling.
HOW GOLD MINING IN GHANA IS THREATENING SWISS CHOCOLATE
On 10 September, Swissinfo reported that, as the world’s second-largest cocoa producer continues to lose swathes of farmland to illegal gold mining, Switzerland’s chocolate makers are waking up to the threat to their raw material supply. This is said to be one of a series of 6 articles which will look at how West Africa is trying to renegotiate its role in the chocolate industry.
POLAND’S EVOLVING VIOLENT FAR-RIGHT LANDSCAPE
In the September issue of the CTC Sentinel an article says that, along with Hungary and Serbia, Poland has become a point of interest for white supremacists globally for being a predominantly homogeneous country of white Christians led by a socially conservative government. Since the early 1990s, Poland has also been a popular destination for a range of violent far-right activities, including neo-Nazi concerts, “whites only” mixed martial arts (MMA) tournaments, and paramilitary training. With the easing of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, violent far-right activities in Poland have the potential to match or even exceed pre-pandemic levels. This article provides an overview of violent far-right groups in Poland and outlines why international violent far-right actors find the country so appealing for their activities.
THE CRIME-TERROR NEXUS IN THE US IS OBSERVABLE IN ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF ISLAMIC STATE CASES AND HAD AN IMPACT ON DEFENDANTS’ PATHWAY TO TERRORISM
Another article in the September issue of CTC Sentinel concern research involving a dataset of 237 US Islamic State defendants and perpetrators. It is said that the prevalence of prior violent crime in 20% of US Islamic State defendants may provide indicators to law enforcement related to the propensity for violence of a subject exhibiting signs of extremism. It is also said that exposure to charismatic or high-profile terrorist inmates was a key factor in the cases of prison radicalisation.
OFAC ADDS HASSEIN EDUARDO FIGUEROA GOMEZ TO COUNTER-NARCOTICS SANCTIONS LIST
On 13 September, OFAC added Hassein Eduardo FIGUEROA GOMEZ (who has several aliases) to its SDN List.
IRISH REVENUE TAX DEFAULTERS: MOTOR DEALER TOPS LIST WITH €10 MILLION SETTLEMENT
On 13 September, the Irish Independent reported that a motor dealer in Co Carlow has topped the latest list of tax defaulters for the under-declaration of PAYE/PRSI/USC and VAT.
FOUNDER OF ELECTRIC TRUCK MAKER NIKOLA ALLEGEDLY LIED TO ‘DUPE INNOCENT INVESTORS’
On 13 September, the Irish Examiner reported that it has been claimed in a US court that Nikola founder Trevor Milton became a billionaire by lying to investors about the most important aspects of his low-emission vehicle company. He left the company in September 2020 after a report by short seller Hindenburg Research called the company a “fraud”. He is facing charges of securities fraud and wire fraud. Nikola agreed in December to pay $125 million to settle US SEC claims that the company defrauded investors by misleading them about its products, technical advancements and commercial prospects.
US: RUSSIA HAS SPENT $300 MILLION SINCE 2014 TO INFLUENCE FOREIGN OFFICIALS
On 13 September, the Guardian reported that a US State Department report claims that Russia has covertly spent more than $300 million since 2014 to try to influence politicians and other officials in more than 2 dozen countries. The report does not name specific Russian targets but says the US is providing classified information to select individual countries.
US: BANKER PLEADS GUILTY TO CHARGES OVER FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT AML CONTROLS OVER BULK CASH RECEIPTS
On 13 September, a release on Mondo Visione advised that from 2014 to 2016, Hanan Ofer, 69, of New York City, operated the New York State Employees Federal Credit Union Service Organization, a money services business, and participated in a scheme that brought more than $1 billion in high-risk transactions, including millions of dollars of bulk cash transactions from a Mexican bank.
LIECHTENSTEIN JUDGE CONFIRMS HE IS INVESTIGATING LEBANESE CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR
On 13 September, Central Banking reported that another European judge has said he was investigating the Lebanese bank’s governor over money laundering allegations.
NETHERLAND: CAR ENTHUSIAST SUPERMARKET EXECUTIVE IMPLICATED IN MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION
On 13 September, Jalopnik said that Frits van Eerd is arguably the most influential person in Dutch motorsport, and through sponsorship from his family’s supermarket chain, has has also financially backed the early careers of many promising Dutch drivers. It says that is now implicated in a money laundering investigation by Dutch authorities, with illicit activities believed to be partly carried out through sponsorship contracts.
MOTORBIKES, CARS AND CASH SEIZED IN POLICE RAID TARGETING NOMADS HELLS ANGELS GANG
On 11 September, the New Zealand Herald reported that a dozen Harley Davidson motorcycles, 16 other vehicles and $400,000 in cash have been seized in a major police operation in West Auckland. The significant seizure comes after Operation Samson, which continued to investigate people and entities connected to the West Auckland Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
UNDERSEA TELECOMMUNICATION CABLES – THREATS AND ACTIONS TO PROTECT THEM
On 13 September, the US Congressional Research Service published a briefing which says that private and state-owned telecommunication and technology companies operate about 486 undersea telecommunication cables, which connect every continent except Antarctica. These privately owned cables carry about 99% of transoceanic digital communications (e.g., voice, data, internet), including trillions of daily international financial transactions, and serve as the backbone for the global internet. Recent damage and threats to commercial undersea telecommunication cables have raised concerns among US officials and experts over the security of commercial undersea telecommunication cables. It discusses the technology of undersea telecommunication cables, threats to cables, US Government actions to protect cables, and issues for congressional consideration.
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