Panama eliminates all restrictions on air passengers entering Panama, including Covid testing etc. However, the the Ministry of Health (MINSA) reminds the population to maintain self-care measures and the use of the mask in crowded places as a prevention measure, especially in people over 60 years of age and those suffering from chronic diseases. So far this year, despite the controls, 10 million people have passed through the country’s main airport.
15 SEPTEMBER 2022
UK CRYPTO REGULATION: CRYPTOASSET EXCHANGE AND CUSTODIAN WALLET PROVIDERS NOW REQUIRED TO REPORT ON SUSPECTED SANCTIONS BREACHES
On 14 September, the Compliance & Enforcement blog at the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law published a post explaining that, from 30 August, cryptoasset exchange and custodian wallet providers are required to comply with the reporting obligations implemented by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI).
BVI EXPANDS SCOPE OF ITS AML REGIME TO VIRTUAL ASSET SERVICE PROVIDERS
On 13 September, an article from Loeb Smith Attorneys was concerned with amendment of BVI laws to cover, among other things, virtual asset businesses. Under the BVI’s Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, in undertaking “relevant business”, a “relevant person” is not permitted to form a business relationship or carry out a one-off transaction with or for another person unless the “relevant person” carries out certain AML/CFT/CPF obligations.
UK: THE POTENTIAL EXPANSION OF THE FAILURE TO PREVENT MODEL TO FRAUD AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
On 12 August, White & Case published the first of what is planned to be a series of articles on law reforms proposed by the Law Commission in the UK. This explains that the corporate “failure to prevent” offence was first introduced in relation to the base offence of bribery by section 7 of the UK Bribery Act 2010, and then mirrored in sections 45 and 46 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 in relation to the facilitation of tax evasion. The article examines the options offered by the Law Commission, which rejected the much discussed “failure to prevent economic crime” offence but offered alternatives.
SOUTH KOREAN AUTHORITIES ISSUE ARREST WARRANT FOR TerraUS DEVELOPER DO KWON
On 14 September, the Wall Street Journal reported that South Korean authorities are seeking to arrest Do Kwon, the developer behind the collapsed stablecoin TerraUSD. 2 cryptocurrencies that he created — TerraUSD and Luna — crashed earlier this year and the collapse erased some $40 billion in value in the cryptocurrencies in a few days. Groups representing more than 90 people in South Korea have filed complaints against Mr. Kwon, accusing him of fraud and illegal fundraising.
PROGRESS – BUT MORE WORK NEEDED IN LEBANON-ISRAEL MARITIME TALKS
On 13 September, Dryad Global reported on the state of negotiations over the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, and the oil and gas field it bisects. The talks seek to to delineate a shared maritime border that would help determine which oil and gas resources belong to which country and pave the way for more exploration.
SOUTH AFRICAN PARTY INTRODUCES LONG-AWAITED ONLINE GAMBLING BILL
On 15 September, iGB explained that South African law allows online gambling to be offered by any operator with a licence issued by a provincial authority. However, the country does not have a full legislative framework, as the National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008 – intended to properly regulate the vertical market – never came into force. While the new 2022 legislation itself has not yet been published, the article says the Democratic Alliance party, which plans to introduce the Bill, has revealed that it will cover 5 areas.
SWITZERLAND ADDS 3 POLITICIANS TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS LIST
On 15 September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that Switzerland had followed the EU in adding 3 new names to its sanctions lists – Duma members Alla Viktorovna Polyakova and Anton Olegovich Tkachev, and a member of the Russian Federation Council, Valery Andreevich Ponomarev.
CLAIM OF COUNTERFEIT PARTS IN EJECTION SEAT CAUSING DEATH OF F-16 FIGHTER PILOT
On 13 September, the Air Force Times in the US reported on a civil lawsuit in the US, filed by the pilot’s widow, who is suing 3 defence companies for negligence and misleading the US Air Force about the safety of their products. The official inquiry in the months following the accident found that electronics inside the seat were scratched, unevenly sanded and showed otherwise shoddy craftsmanship, and it is said that the Air Force suspected parts of the seat were counterfeit.
AFRICA UNION PREPARES TO WIELD THE STICK WITH MORE RIGOROUS SANCTIONS
On 14 September, All Africa reported that the AU decided in May this year to activate its Peace and Security Council (PSC) sanctions committee, which was established in 2009, but had never operated – partly due to opposition and a lack of buy-in from member states. Without the committee to advise and monitor penalties and decide when to lift them, AU sanctions have sometimes been applied inconsistently and with mixed results. The AU can impose sanctions for 3 reasons – when a member defaults on its financial contributions, after an unconstitutional change of government, and for non-compliance with decisions and policies. At times, the continental body has aligned with regional decisions to sanction a country, as with Mali and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
POLICE CLAIM THEY HAVE SMASHED THE MOST IMPORTANT INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANISATION IN SPAIN SPECIALISING IN CLEANING DIRTY CASH
On 15 September, the Daily record reported that a Scottish couple had been arrested at a villa on the Costa del Sol. Police arrested Johnny Morrissey, and his wife Nicola, boss of a Glasgow-based Vodka company, Nero Drinks. It says that Morrissey had been identified by US authorities in April as a key aide to the Kinahan Organised Crime Gang. It is said that Spanish detectives believed the cash had not been physically moved out of Spain, but spread throughout the world using an ancient money transfer system called Hawala. Searches took place in Spain and the UK (including at premises linked to Nero Drinks) and another man arrested in the UK.
SERBIAN COURT SENTENCES MONTENEGRO’S MAFIA CLAN LEADER IN ABSENTIA
On 15 September, OCCRP reported that a court in Serbia sentenced Radoje Zvicer, the leader of one of Montenegro’s 2 most notorious drug-smuggling gangs, the Kavač criminal clan, to 2 years and 5 months in prison for using forged documents and a fake identity. The court also sentenced a police officer to 2 years and 3 months in prison for providing the crime boss with biometric documents that contained other people’s data. The crime took place between February 2015 and March 2017 in the cities of Novi Sad and Temerin, according to the court’s statement. Radoje Zvicer was sentenced in absentia, and has been on the run since Serbia and Montenegro issued international warrants against him in 2020.
LEBANESE ANTIQUITIES DEALER PUBLICLY CLAIMS INNOCENCE
On 15 September, OCCRP reported that an accused Lebanese antiquities dealer is trying to plead his case with a slew of documents he published online. US officials issued an arrest warrant for Georges Lotfi, a 81-year-old Tripoli-based antiquities dealer, for his role in trades that resulted in looted antiquities from Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East ending up in notable museums, including the Louvre, Paris, to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
CHINA’S FOOTPRINT IN LATIN AMERICA
On 15 September, a briefing from the EU Institute for Security Studies was concerned with China’s footprint and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to highlight recent developments and challenges ahead. The first section shows how China has taken full advantage of the lucrative trade and investment opportunities offered by Latin America to establish itself as a key economic player in the region. It also shows that the growing economic interdependence between China and a large number of Latin American and Caribbean countries is asymmetric. In some cases, the development of economic, financial and technological ties greatly increases China’s capacity to exert leverage over its partners. The second section shows how the growing economic dependence of LAC countries on China and the projection of its governance ‘model’ allow Beijing to gradually extend its political influence in the region by differentiating itself from other powers. The concluding section contrasts Beijing’s mode of engagement in Latin American and Caribbean with that of other external players, and analyses to what extent China’s growing presence poses a challenge to the EU.
US GUN LAW ADVOCATES HAIL NEW CREDIT CARD CODE AS A WAY TO CUT DOWN ON SUSPICIOUS SALES
On 12 September, CNBC reported that gun law advocates are praising a decision to adopt a new sales code for transactions at gun stores, a move they had urged to help flag suspicious purchases. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which sets standards for payment transactions, approved the special merchant code for credit and debit card transactions at US gun stores, and Visa, Mastercard and Amex have said they would begin using the new code.
IRELAND: CENTRAL BANK FINES DANSKE FOR AML/CFT SYSTEMS FAILURES
On 15 September, The Journal reported that the Central Bank had fined Danske Bank €1.8 million over 3 breaches of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) Act (CJA) for a period of almost 9 years, between 2010 and 2019. The Central Bank said the “root cause of these failures” was the historic data filters that were applied within Danske’s automated transaction monitoring system from 2006, but Danske Bank “failed to consider the appropriateness of these historic data filters within the system to take account of the specific requirements of the CJA when it came into force in Ireland in 2010”.
IRAN SAYS IT WILL RELEASE CREW OF 2 SEIZED GREEK TANKERS
On 14 September, Insurance Marine News reported that the Greek Seafarers’ Union PENEN has reported that Iran has agreed to release the crews of 2 Greek tankers seized on 27 May in retaliation for the confiscation of oil by the US from an Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece. It was not clear whether the two Greek tankers would be released.
REPORT: TYPES AND REGULATION OF FINTECH AND FIU COOPERATION
In July, the Egmont Group published the results of a survey of Egmont Group FIU. This sought to understand which types of FinTech are subject to regulation in each jurisdiction, how the legislation treats them, what information they report to authorities and how they report it, and how FIU use the information received. The questionnaire was accompanied by a call for case studies featuring cyber-enabled financial crime and associated risks linked to FinTech.
US ENERGY DEPARTMENT RETURNS TO COSTLY AND RISKY PLUTONIUM SEPARATION TECHNOLOGIES
ON 14 September, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an article saying that, despite decades of failed attempts around the world to make separated plutonium an economic fuel for nuclear power plants, the US Energy Department is once again promoting the recycling of separated plutonium in the fuel of “advanced” reactor designs that were found to be economically uncompetitive 50 years ago. It is said that these efforts not only gloss over the long history of failure of these nuclear technologies; they also fail to take into account the proliferation risk associated with plutonium separation — a risk that history has shown to be quite real.
CHINA’S SHADOW BANK LENDING SHOWS BIGGEST JUMP SINCE 2017
On 14 September, Nikkei Asia reported that China’s shadow bank financing rose to the highest level in more than 5 years in August, as cash-strapped local governments looked outside the formal lending system to fund infrastructure investment.
NETHERLANDS: CONVICTED JIHADIST FOUND GUILTY OF FINANCING TERRORISM THOUGH FEMALE ISIS SUPPORTERS
On 31 August, the NL Times reported that a man was found guilty of financing terrorism and sentenced to 30 months in prison by the court in Rotterdam. The court ruled that the 36-year-old helped a group of women who support ISIS escape from camps in Syria, or sent them money directly with the help of money brokers and unmonitored banks, also known as hawala banking or “underground banking”. The court said it was not proven that he intentionally supported ISIS. The defendant was previously sentenced to 9 years in prison for terrorism, and was released in September 2013, and was a member of the Hofstad Group, a notorious network of radical Islamic youths at the time.
THE US NATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS COORDINATION CENTER PARTNERS WITH UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON IN FIGHT AGAINST WILDLIFE AND NATURAL CAPITAL TRAFFICKING
A news release from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 14 September advised that the IPR Center has announced an MoU between the University of Washington (UW) Center for Environmental Forensic Science (CEFS) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The MoU designates UW-CEFS as an academic partner, facilitating the exchange of institutional knowledge, research, and best practices to support the fight against wildlife and natural capital trafficking violations.
CANADIAN BUSINESS AVIATION ASSOCIATION (CBAA) ATTACKS 10% LUXURY TAX
On 15 September, AIN Online reported that the CBAA has again attacked the new tax which took effect on 1 September on the sale of boats, cars, and aircraft worth $100,000 or more. According to CBAA, the tax’s adoption “without understanding its full impact on [aviation] jobs and the economy is, in our view, reckless”.
TOP 10 BUSINESS TAX-FRIENDLY US STATES
On 14 September, Global Trade Magazine published an article listing the top 10 US states from a business taxation perspective.
US ARMY WANTS TO DOUBLE OR TRIPLE SOME ARMS PRODUCTION AS UKRAINE WAR CONTINUES
On 15 September, Defense One reported that Army leaders are working to dramatically increase the production of critical munitions and equipment drained from service arsenals to aid Ukraine in recent months.
ECONOMIC CRIME ACT – UPDATE FOR OVERSEAS ENTITIES WITH INTERESTS IN UK REAL ESTATE
On 15 September, White & Case published an article saying that the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 has been introduced as part of the government’s strategy against overseas criminals who launder money through UK real estate. It requires overseas entities which own, or intend to buy, sell, transfer, lease or charge UK real estate to register at Companies House and to disclose details of their beneficial owners. The aim is to achieve greater transparency of real estate ownership in the UK.
SANCTIONS AS A SURGICAL TOOL AGAINST ONLINE FOREIGN INFLUENCE
On 15 September, Lawfare published a post saying that Russia’s expanded invasion of Ukraine has once again brought to the fore the role of online influence — both overt and covert — in modern warfare. It says that sanctions against online influence actors target what makes these operations successful with surgical precision, and they work with speed and negligible collateral damage. It argues that in the world of countering online influence, sanctions bring uniquely constructive benefits tailored to this specific adversary behaviour and should feature prominently in the US counter-influence toolkit.
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