Although Covid is still around, the Panamanian Government has confirmed that, having already announced the lifting of testing etc for air travellers, that those attending “crowded activities” – whether festive, recreational or religious – are not now required to ensure that everyone must be vaccinated and that they must present the QR code and/or vaccination card for 100% capacity to be permitted.
The question is, for me, do I renew my gym membership, having left in a huff, after complaining that they were not then enforcing the mask-wearing requirement of several months back? Currently, face masks remain mandatory on public transport, in health settings (clinics, hospitals etc) and for those involved in the handling of food.
16 SEPTEMBER 2022
EU PROPOSES STRICT CYBERSECURITY RULES FOR DIGITAL-PRODUCT MAKERS
On 15 September, the Wall Street Journal reported that companies that make digital devices and software will need to prove they fulfil basic cybersecurity requirements under a new European proposal intended to reduce hacking risks in a range of products, from home appliances and wearable devices to software and computers.
BIDEN ORDERS MORE SCRUTINY OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN TECH AND SUPPLY CHAINS
On 15 September, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is using an Executive Order to require the CFIUS panel that screens foreign investment for national security risks to increase scrutiny of deals that may give China and other adversaries access to critical technologies or may endanger supply chains and personal data. The newspaper says that a particular concern cited is the security of supply chains and whether an investment might give a foreign entity control of critical manufacturing capabilities, mineral resources or technologies.
TOUGHER DoJ STANCE ON WHITE-COLLAR CRIME
On 15 September, the Wall Street Journal reported on a memo from the Deputy Attorney General which signalled an expansive list of changes to how the department prosecutes companies, including requiring companies to claw back compensation from executives involved in bribery and fraud and limiting the use of deferred prosecution agreements that allow companies to avoid criminal charges.
INDONESIA: 5 DEFENDANTS ON TRIAL OVER FRAUDULENT PALM OIL EXPORT LICENCES
On 31 August, the Jakarta Globe reported on a trial where 5 defendants, including a renowned market analyst and a former international trade director general, are accused of fraudulent conduct in issuing permits for crude palm oil exports.
CHINA SANCTIONS RAYTHEON AND BOEING DEFENSE CEO OVER TAIWAN
On 16 September, WNYT in the US reported that China had announced sanctions against the CEO of 2 US defence contractors – Raytheon and Boeing Defense – over a major US arms sale to rival Taiwan.
GREEK-MANAGED BULK CARRIER SHIPPED COAL FROM RUSSIA AFTER EU SANCTIONS IMPOSED
On 15 September, gCaptain reported that a vessel managed by a company based in Greece transported coal from a port in Russia late last month, after EU sanctions on the commodity had come into force. It is said that the Stavros, completed loading of 53,000 tons of coal from Russia’s Taman Bulk Cargo Terminal on 29 August, and that it arrived at a port near the city of Iskenderun in Turkey on 5 September.
AUSTRALIA: AML AND FINTECHS
Comply Advantage has issued 3 linked articles on this topic – A 5 Minute Guide to Australia’s AML Obligations for FinTechs; The Australian AML/CFT Regulatory Framework; and 3 Challenges Australian FinTechs Face When Implementing an Effective AML Program.
HMRC UPDATES AML GUIDANCE FOR ESTATE AND LETTING AGENCY BUSINESSES – ARE YOU UP TO DATE?
On 15 September, Osborne Clarke posed this question, saying that businesses affected by the new guidance should review their AML procedures in light of it.
UK: NEW GAMBLING COMMISSION CUSTOMER INTERACTION RULES – AT RISK CUSTOMERS
On 14 September, an article from Bird & Bird reported that the Gambling Commission has announced that new rules, which come into effect on 12 September, are an attempt to increase protections for customers at risk of gambling-related harm.
IMPACT OF THE EU ACCEDING TO THE 2019 HAGUE JUDGMENTS CONVENTION
On 15 September, an article from Bird & Bird was concerned with the 2019 Hague Judgments Convention, which provides a reciprocal framework for the recognition and enforcement of national court judgments in civil or commercial matters. Following the recent decision of the EU to join the Convention, the article considers how a number of different jurisdictions, including France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia and the UK view the Convention and the impact it may have on the recognition and enforcement of judgments from the courts of other countries in those jurisdictions. The article explains that the aim of the Judgments Convention is to provide legal certainty and predictability for parties involved in cross-border transactions when the courts in those jurisdictions who are party to the Convention are asked to recognise and enforce court judgments from other countries who are also parties.
GERMANY: RISK ANALYSIS AS A CORE ELEMENT OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN DUE DILIGENCE ACT
On 14 September, an article from Bird & Bird says that a new handout from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control offers assistance in implementing risk analysis under the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act – which comes into force on 1 January.
CORPORATE BANKRUPTCY IN THE US: A GUIDE FOR DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
On 15 September, Woodruff Sawyer published an article saying that if/when bankruptcy is inevitable, directors and officers will want to plan for how they will fulfil their responsibilities and duties when insolvency is on the horizon. This includes considering potential alternatives, as well as being thoughtful about how to protect themselves against personal liability.
UK: DUTY SOLICITOR SCHEME ‘CLOSE TO COLLAPSE’, LORD CHANCELLOR TOLD
On 16 September, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Criminal Law Solicitors Association has told the Lord Chancellor that the duty solicitor scheme in England & Wales was ‘close to collapse’.
ECHR JUDGMENTS: NEW FACTSHEET ON PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION
On 16 September, the Council of Europe reported that the European Court of Human Rights has issued a new factsheet summarising how member states have responded following judgments by the ECHR on the protection of personal data.
MIGRANT SMUGGLERS USING PRIVATE AIRCRAFT GROUNDED IN BELGIUM AND ITALY
A news release from Europol on 16 September advised on how judicial and law enforcement authorities in Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the US dismantled a criminal network involved in migrant smuggling, document fraud and money laundering. The scheme involved migrants, mainly Iraqi and Iranian of Kurdish origin, boarded private aircraft in Turkey carrying false diplomatic passports.
ONE OF EUROPE’S BIGGEST MONEY LAUNDERERS ARRESTED IN SPAIN
On 15 September, a news release from Europol reported on the arrest in Spain of a British man said to be linked to the Kinahan Irish crime gang.
TURKISH CUSTOMS SEIZE ILLEGALLY IMPORTED LIVE TARANTULAS IN IZMIR
On 13 September, the Daily Sabah reported that customs seized as many as 26 live tarantulas illegally imported by post in the south-western city of Izmir.
CAN URUGUAY ADAPT TO ITS NEW ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL DRUG TRADE?
On 15 September, Insight Crime asked this question, saying that with drug seizures coming thick and fast, Uruguay is having to rapidly reassess its position in the global drug trade. But before coming up with the right solutions, it says, authorities need to be asking the right questions.
LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES USED AS FRONTS FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN ARGENTINA
On 15 September, an article from Insight Crime reported that as Argentina continues to struggle with a human trafficking crisis, domestic and international criminal networks use a range of legal businesses to hide their activities and elude authorities. A recent case involved the manager and directors of a dance company that they had been using as a front for their trafficking operations. They lured young girls who were sent to Turkey as “dancers”.
ABU DHABI CRYPTOASSET REGULATION TO BE GUIDED BY NEW PRINCIPLES
On 16 September, an article from Out-Law was concerned with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) free zone having clarified its regulatory approach to virtual asset activities in new guidance.
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN SHIPPING LINES (IRISL) HAS TRANSPORTED 27,500 TEU OF CONTAINER COMMODITIES ALONG THE INTERNATIONAL NORTH-SOUTH TRANSPORT CORRIDOR (INSTC) OVER 4 MONTHS
On 16 September, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the corridor was primarily launched with the aim of transiting goods between India and Europe through Iran, but the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the situation of Iran have laid a suitable ground for the revival of the corridor. Currently, most of the commodities that are transported through Iran along the INSTC are shipments from Russia for India.
HOW A UN PLAN FOR RUSSIAN AMMONIA EXPORT COULD HELP GLOBAL FERTILISER MARKET
On 16 September, Hellenic Shipping News reported that a UN proposal that Russia resume exporting ammonia via Ukraine has raised hopes that a global shortage of fertiliser could be eased, and in turn alleviate world food shortages exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. The UN proposed that ammonia gas owned by Russian fertiliser producer Uralchem be pumped by pipeline to the Ukrainian border, where it would be bought by the US-based commodities trader Trammo. Ammonia is part of a UN-brokered deal that Ukraine, Russia and Turkey signed in July to re-establish grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that Russia had blockaded.
SUPER-THIN “DEEP INSERT” ATM SKIMMING DEVICES
On 14 September, a post on the Krebs on security blog reported on a number of financial institutions in and around New York City which are dealing with a rash of super-thin “deep insert” skimming devices designed to fit inside the mouth of an ATM card acceptance slot. The card skimmers are paired with tiny pinhole cameras that are cleverly disguised as part of the cash machine.
WHAT IS CUCKOO SMURFING AND HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST IT?
On 15 September, Scotia Advice published a short guide explaining that smurfing is a money laundering technique where criminals split large transactions into smaller ones of less than $10,000 and spread these amongst multiple transactors or accountholders. With cuckoo smurfing, criminals use the bank accounts of multiple unwitting third-party consumers who are expecting money to come into their accounts – only they don’t realise the money deposited is from criminal activity.
THE GUIDE TO COMPLIANCE – FIRST EDITION: INTRODUCTION AND US COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS CHAPTERS
On 2 September, Miller & Chevalier offered to download Chapters which discuss the 4 main sources of guidance documents on compliance requirements issued by US authorities, including the DoJ and SEC and how the increasing depth of that guidance signals to US and foreign corporations a “heightened expectation of proactive and considered compliance program development”.
FRANCE: NEW CRYPTO BILL TO ALLOW THE SEIZURE OF ASSETS
On 11 September, Inside Bitcoins reported that authorities in France have proposed a new crypto Bill that will allow the seizure of digital assets belonging to criminals. Under this Bill, any investor involved in illicit activities through their accounts would be at risk of forfeiting their assets to the authorities.
2 CZECH BUSINESSMEN CONVICTED IN 2013 FOR LARGE SCALE MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES HAVE HAD THEIR SENTENCES REDUCED BY A SWISS COURT
On 14 September, Swissinfo reported that the Czech citizens were jailed and fined for their part in the Czech Mostecka Uhelna Spolecnost (MUS) coal company privatisation scandal when they manipulated stock prices to their advantage through offshore schemes. A significant amount of the money passed through Swiss banks and was first brought to light by a Lausanne businessman in 2004. The Federal Court reduced their sentences for good behaviour while serving time and because of the “excessive” duration of criminal proceedings, which took 15 years to complete.
EUROPEAN CHOCOLATE MAKERS AGREE TO SHARE DATA WITH WEST AFRICA
On 15 September, Swissinfo reported that chocolate and cocoa companies in Europe have agreed to share their data on cocoa farms with Ghana and Ivory Coast to help improve traceability and reduce deforestation.
NETHERLANDS: JUMBO SUPERMARKET CEO STILL IN CUSTODY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
On 14 September, NL Times reported that Jumbo CEO Frits van Eerd is still in custody, as he and various people from the motorsport world are suspects in a major money laundering case.
RUSSIA SANCTIONS: DEVELOPMENTS AS AT 16 SEPTEMBER
K2 Integrity published an update.
NFT – CRIME AND COMPLIANCE
In the last of a series of articles, Field Fisher looks at the compliance aspects of NFT, what some of the offences might be for ill-informed ventures, and whether victims of NFT crime can make any effective use of the criminal courts to seek justice.
In the earlier articles – Part 1 outlined some of the reasons behind the rapidly growing popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFT), and discussed issues surrounding ownership — both of the NFT itself, as well as the associated digital asset; Part 2 focused on IP infringement; and Part 3 explored commercial and data privacy issues.
US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION’S MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAMS WERE IMPACTED BY COVID-19
On 16 September, Homeland Security Today reported that the GAO had found that that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted 2 of CBP’s key maritime cargo security programs — the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program. For example, CSI officers largely work from foreign ports and were subject to COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing requirements that varied by location; and CTPAT supply chain security specialists are largely based in domestic field offices, but they were also subject to COVID restrictions that required them to telework during 2020 and 2021.
TESTIMONY FROM SON ROCKS TRIAL OF EX-CZECH PM BABIŠ
On 16 September, EU Observer reported that the former Czech prime minister and likely presidential candidate Andrej Babiš saw dramatic witness testimony from his son, Andrej Babiš Jr, who claimed his signature was forged on key documents pertaining to allegations of EU subsidy fraud against Babiš and co-defendant Jana Nagyová.
US: CANNABIS-RELATED COMPANIES CAN’T FILE BANKRUPTCY UNTIL FEDERAL LEGALISATION
On 16 September, an article from Harris Beach PLLC said that, although the use of cannabis has been legalised in approximately 39 states and the District of Columbia, cannabis is still illegal in federal law and classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. As a result, cannabis and cannabis-ancillary companies are not typically afforded the protections provided by the US Bankruptcy Code.
NEW YORK MAN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA TO LAUNDERING MONIES CONNECTED TO PROCEEDS FROM FACILITATING FRAUDULENT ROBOCALLS
A US DoJ news release on 16 September advised that Jon J Kahen, 48, of Great Neck, New York, was the owner and chief executive officer of Global Voicecom Inc, had pleaded guilty to money laundering for his role as the owner and operator of a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) company that facilitated and profited from the introduction of fraudulent robocall traffic into the United States.
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