In the week to 24 September, 1,052 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Panama (there were 1,580 the previous week), with 7 fatalities (up from 3 the previous week), on 24 September there were 1,496 active cases (down from 2,260), with 7 patients in ICU (unchanged) and 81 in other wards (up 6 on the week before). The good news is that the percentage of positive test results has fallen from 5.7% to 4.5%.
In other news, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Panama, 2022 will close with a new historical number of irregular migrants who crossed the Darien jungle from Colombia, forecast to likely be around 200,000.
27 SEPTEMBER 2022
UKRAINE DOWNGRADES RELATIONS WITH IRAN OVER DRONE SUPPLIES TO RUSSIA
Aviation Week reported on 26 September that Ukraine had stripped the Iranian ambassador of his accreditation after loitering munitions supplied by Iran were used by Russia in its war in Ukraine.
FCPA DEVELOPMENTS IN LATIN AMERICA
On 21 September, Womble Bond Dickinson LLP published an article providing an update on bribery case developments and commenting that what remains clear is the US focus to curb corruption in Latin America.
WHEN WILL FRAUD TRIGGER THE INIQUITY EXCEPTION TO PRIVILEGE?
On 12 August, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP commented on a recent Court of Appeal case in England involving the “iniquity exception” – meaning that privilege does not apply to protect communications made in furtherance of a crime, fraud or equivalent conduct. It noted that an obiter dicta by the Court was to the effect that courts will look very carefully to see whether the necessary threshold for the iniquity exception has been met, particularly where mere allegations of fraud are made and are, as in this case, just repetitions of past fraud which gave rise to the original proceedings. It is not enough to allege fraud – there must be some evidence that it has some foundation in fact.
TURKEY, MIR AND THE THREAT OF SECONDARY SANCTIONS
On 26 September, Rahman Ravelli reported on the role of secondary sanctions in the wake of 2 Turkish banks’ response to the latest US action against Russia, and that Isbank and Denizbank have suspended use of Russian payment system Mir.
FIDUCIARY DUTIES: WHEN CAN THEY ARISE OUTSIDE THE ESTABLISHED CATEGORIES OF FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIPS?
On 26 September, an article from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP commented on a recent High Court decision in England which considered the principles the court will apply when deciding whether a party owed a fiduciary duty in circumstances outside of the established categories of fiduciary relationships and in the absence of an explicit undertaking. The case involved fraudulent misrepresentation. The article says that the decision illustrates that, while fiduciary duties can conceptually arise in any context where there is the necessary special relationship of trust and influence, claimants face a high bar in establishing the factual foundation for that.
PIRACY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA: IS THE TREND CHANGING?
An article from Creed & Brooks in Nigeria on 22 September posed this question, noting that about 95% of all piracy and armed robbery attacks in the world in 2020 being recorded in the Gulf of Guinea alone. It considers the launch of the Deep Blue Projec, an integrated national security and waterways protection infrastructure initiated by Nigeria, regional and internal cooperation, and enforcement of the Piracy Act 2019 in Nigeria.
EU AMENDS CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SANCTIONS TO MATCH UN EXCEPTIONS RE ARMS EMBARGO
On 26 September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that a recent EU Regulation and Council decisions implement UN SCR 2648, which was adopted in July.
MACAU TO ALLOW PACKAGE TOURS AND E-VISAS FROM NOVEMBER
On 26 September, iGB reported that the Macau chief executive said that he predicted that the number of daily visitors to Macau should rise to 40,000 as a result of these measures. The new rules will first apply to 4 provinces and city represented a majority of mainland Chinese journeys before the arrival of the Covid pandemic. The report notes that Macau has not yet followed Hong Kong’s lead in scrapping the mandatory 7-day hotel quarantine rules for international visitors, which remains a major impediment to recovery in international visitation numbers.
JAPAN: MONEY TRANSFER RULES TO BE AMENDED TO PREVENT CRYPTOCURRENCY USE IN MONEY LAUNDERING
On 27 September, Nikkei Asia reported that Japan is to amend the Act on Prevention of Transfer of criminal proceeds to require the sharing of customer information between exchange operators, as soon as the Spring of 2023.
MSC IS FOLLOWING ITS LARGEST RIVALS IN CONTAINER SHIPPING – MAERSK AND CMA CGM – IN SETTING UP A CARGO AIRLINE
On 27 September, Seatrade Maritime News reported that MSC container shipping line had been developing MSC Air Cargo for several months and that it would be available from early 2023, with the delivery of the first of 4 freighters operated by Atlas Air, to complements its core business of container shipping.
HOW CHINA TARGETS THE GLOBAL FISH SUPPLY
On 26 September, the New York Times carried a report and commenting that much of what China does, however, is legal — or, on the open seas at least, largely unregulated, but that doesn’t mean it is sustainable. In Summer 2020, nearly 300 Chinese ships operating near the Galápagos, just outside Ecuador’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone. The ships hugged the zone so tightly that satellite mapping of their positions traced the zone’s boundary. Together, they accounted for nearly 99% of the fishing near the Galápagos. It also notes that a single country has accounted for about 80% of the fishing in the international waters just off Argentina, Ecuador and Peru this year – not a South American country – China. Some experts are also worried that China is underreporting how much fish it catches: suspicious movement patterns suggest that some ships may be turning off their transponders to hide some catches.
FRENCH TRIAL USING CANINE SNIFFERS TO DETECT UNDECLARED LITHIUM BATTERIES
On 27 September, Loadstar reported on a successful 6-month French trial using canine sniffers to detect undeclared lithium batteries. However, while the trial results were positive, there remain regulatory obstacles, particularly in the UK which has a prohibition on using dogs to detect explosives. In Europe there is no regulatory framework for lithium detection and, therefore, no regulations or limits.
SANCTIONED LUXURY GOODS ON SALE IN PYONGYANG
On 27 September, NK Pro published photos of a wide range of sanctioned products which have been available for purchase at stores in the North Korean capital this year. The photos show luxury alcohol products on offer at multiple locations in Pyongyang, as well as foreign fashion and cosmetic brands and high-tech and industrial Chinese goods at a high-end department store. The products and brands on offer likely breach a range of UN sanctions as well as US, EU, and Japanese ones.
ISLE OF MAN DETAILS SANCTIONS UPDATES – RUSSIA AND LIBYA
On 28 September, the Isle of Man issued 2 news releases advising of changes to the Libya and Russia sanctions lists in line with recent UK changes.
BILLIONAIRE WITHOUT UK BANK ACCOUNT FIGHTS SANCTIONS PROBE
On 27 September, Bloomberg reported that Russian billionaire Petr Aven, fighting a UK investigation for evading sanctions, used companies supposed to manage expenses for his luxury mansion as a personal “piggy bank,” according to British authorities. He is suspected of using the accounts held by his wife and estate management firms to fund his lifestyle, lawyers for the NCA have told a judge. The investigation has focused on around £3.7 million routed to the UK from an Austrian trust in the hours before sanctions were imposed.
UK: FRC OBTAINS SIGNIFICANT SANCTIONS AGAINST AUDIT TEAM MEMBERS
On 27 September, an article from Osborne Clarke said that the Financial Reporting Council (the FRC) has published its report detailing the sanctions against KPMG and 6 individuals following a 5-week tribunal hearing that began in January 2022. The hearing related to the 2014 audit of Regenersis plc, and the 2016 audit of Carillion plc. It is said that this matter is a rare example of the FRC’s Disciplinary Tribunal ordering heavy sanctions against non-partner auditors.
RACING TEAM NEDERLAND OUT OF PETIT LE MANS AMID MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 26 September, Autosport reported that Racing Team Nederland LMP2 team has announced its withdrawal from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Petit Le Mans season finale, due to team owner/driver Frits van Eerd’s involvement in a money laundering case in the Netherlands.
HOW HAS IMMIGRATION CHANGED UNDER THE NEW UK “POINTS-BASED” SYSTEM
On 27 September, the House of Commons Library issued a briefing paper which removed the right to free movement for nationals or European single market countries, including those from the EU. It also to introduces a ‘points based’ system of eligibility criteria for work visas. This Insight explains what we know and don’t know about the effect of these changes on immigration to the UK, with a focus on migration from the EU.
THE PRODUCT SAFETY REGIME IN THE UK
On 27 September, the House of Commons Library issued a briefing paper which provides an outline of the current product safety framework. I t considers possible liability for a defective product under the common law of contract and negligence. It also looks at the CPA 1987, which gives rights to anyone injured by a defective product, regardless of whether the product was sold to them. However, this paper is predominantly concerned with the General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR). It looks in detail at the general product safety requirement, and the Regulations’ notification and recall requirements. This paper also summarises recent initiatives to improve the GB product safety regime, including a government commissioned review and the setting up of the new Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS). Finally, it provides statistics on the annual number of product recalls and provides some illustrative case studies of defective products.
FRANCE DEALING WITH INFLUX OF COCAINE FROM CARIBBEAN TERRITORIES
On 26 September, Insight Crime reported that a series of cocaine seizures in the French Caribbean territories of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Martinique has revealed how these territories provide another popular option for trafficking cocaine into Europe. French Guiana remains a popular departure point for cocaine due to its direct flight connections to France. While the Caribbean has proven a popular route for drug traffickers to send drugs from Colombia and Venezuela north to Central America, Mexico, and the US, much of the cocaine going through French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Martinique is Europe-bound.
UK: LAW SOCIETY AND BAR COUNCIL OPPOSE ECONOMIC CRIME REFORMS
On 27 September, Legal Futures reported that the Law Society and Bar Council have expressed concern about new economic crime provisions put forward by the government that target the legal profession. The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill to remove the £25,000 cap on fines the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can impose in cases of economic crime.
HOME OFFICE U-TURN OVER DEPORTATION OF ALBANIAN ASYLUM SEEKERS
On 26 September, the Guardian reported that the Home Office has conceded that it does not have the right to fast-track the deportation of Albanian asylum seekers after their arrival in the UK, in an abrupt policy U-turn. The former home secretary, signed a deal with the Albanian government in August to return those who arrive illegally.
HOW PERU’S COCA PRODUCTION IS HELPING GLOBAL COCAINE BOOM
An article from Insight Crime on 27 September said that a new report says that an increase in coca cultivation and cocaine production in Peru is playing a large role in fuelling the current global cocaine demand boom. The report is from Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs.
UK: EXCHANGES AS CONSTRUCTIVE TRUSTEES OF STOELN CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND SERVICE BY NFT
On 27 September, Evershed Sutherland reported on a recent High Court case which confirmed that there is a good arguable case that crypto exchanges will come under the duties of a constructive trustee; and the claimant could serve court documents by air drop of a non-fungible token (NFT) into a crypto wallet.
GERMAN AUTHORITIES RAID YACHT LINKED TO SANCTIONED RUSSIAN OLIGARCH
On 27 September, the Times of Israel reported that more than 60 police officers raided a luxury yacht in northern Germany linked to a Russian businessman in connection with alleged breaches of sanctions and money laundering rules. The businessman is said to be oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
HOW DOES THE EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK TEST FOR AND MONITOR FRAUD RISKS?
A post on the FCPA Blog on 26 September says that the EIB undertakes Proactive Integrity Reviews (PIR) to identify potential vulnerabilities and major fraud risks in EIB-funded operations and projects. The Investigations team at EIB uses proactive tools to test for fraud risks, included some developed in-house.
CAMBODIA’S ILLEGAL LOGGING STRUCTURES
The Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime has published a 2-part report, saying that Cambodia has suffered some of the highest rates of deforestation (measured as a percentage of forest cover) of any country since the 1970s – and rates have been increasing significantly in the past decade. The first report “Forest crimes in Cambodia” explores the ways in which laws, regulations and policies designed to afford protection for Cambodian forests and the local and indigenous people who depend on them are being abused. The second report “Branches of illegality” is the culmination of research conducted from May to August 2021.
ECONOMIC CRIME AND CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY BILL: COMPANIES HOUSE REFORM WELCOME BUT GAPS REMAIN IN BRITAIN’S DIRTY MONEY DEFENCES
On 22 September, Transparency International published its response to the new UK Bill, saying that will strengthen Britain’s defences against dirty money – but the current drafting risks leaving vulnerabilities to exploit.
DEUTSCHE BANK IN $26.3 MILLION SHAREHOLDER SETTLEMENT OVER EPSTEIN AND RUSSIAN OLIGARCH TIES
On 23 September, Yahoo Finance reported that Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $26.25 million to settle a US shareholder lawsuit accusing the German bank of lax oversight while doing business with risky, ultra-rich clients like Jeffrey Epstein and Russian oligarchs.
DIAMOND SALES CONTINUE IN SECRET, REGARDLESS OF RUSSIAN SANCTIONS
On 25 September, Jeweller Magazine reported that, despite various sanctions being imposed on Russia and Alrosa (a Russian group of diamond mining companies), the country’s largest diamond producer, the international industry is increasingly being divided, with a small number of diamond traders snapping up large volumes at lucrative terms.
UK: ON 22 SEPTEMBER 2 SANCTIONS-RELATED DEBATES WERE HELD IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
On 27 September, the EU Sanctions blog reported that 2 debates were held, one on sanctions and the other on Ukraine. The main points are summarised in the post.
OFAC RELEASES LATEST QUARTERLY REPORT UNDER TRADE SANCTIONS REFORM AND EXPORT ENHANCEMENT ACT 2000 (TSRA)
On 27 September, OFAC published the latest report. Under the procedures established in its TSRA-related regulations, OFAC processes licence applications requesting authorisation to export agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Iran and Sudan under the specific licensing regime set forth in section 906 of the TSRA.
FEWER IRISH SME PAID RANSOMS TO CYBERCRIMINALS THAN 2021
On 26 September, EurActiv reported that a third of Irish small and medium enterprises (SME) have paid ransoms to cybercriminals this year, a significant decrease on the half that did so in 2021, research by cyber-security company Typtec found.
LAVISH AUSTRIAN PROPERTY OF EU-SANCTIONED BELARUSIAN OLIGARCH REVEALED
On 27 September, EurActiv reported that Belarusian oligarch Mikalai Varabei (Nikolay Vorobey), sanctioned by the EU in December 2020 due to his close relations with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, continues to be linked to multiple properties in Austria, according to a new investigation.
IS A COMPANY PERMITTED TO TRANSFER PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM EUROPE TO THE US IN CONJUNCTION WITH DISCOVERY IN US LITIGATION?
An article from Greenberg Traurig on 27 September asked this question, saying that in such a situation, 3 further main privacy questions are raised, and the article describes the legal considerations that underpin each issue.
KEY RANGERS FC FIGURE DAVID GRIER UPS THE ANTE IN £8.7 MILLION MALICE CLAIM AGAINST PROSECUTORS
On 27 September, The Herald in Scotland reported that a man who a judge ruled should not have been prosecuted in connection with club fraud allegations has appointed top King’s Counsel (KC) in his malice claim against Scotland’s senior law officer and police chief. This The comes after the former Rangers administrators David Whitehouse and Paul Clark of Duff and Phelps (with whom Grier was an insolvency expert), agreed a settlement estimated to be around £24 million after an agreement in their malicious prosecution case against the Lord Advocate and the Chief Constable was reached “extra-judicially”. Mr Grier was charged in 2014 along with a number of other men during an investigation into how controversial businessman Craig Whyte bought the company that ran the Glasgow football club 3 years earlier.
RUSSIAN OLIGARCH’S SEIZED SUPERYACHT DETAINED IN GIBRALTAR SOLD FOR $37.5 MILLION
On 27 September, the Guardian reported that the Axioma, a luxury superyacht taken from a Russian oligarch facing sanctions has been sold to an undisclosed buyer for $37.5 million. The 72.5 metre superyacht was seized from the steel billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky – the owner and chair of the steel pipe manufacturer OAO TMK, a supplier to the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom. The yacht was seized on behalf of JP Morgan, which said that the fact the billionaire had been subjected to sanctions meant the terms of a loan for the boat had been breached because it legally could not accept repayments.
TERRA FOUNDER WANTED BY INTERPOL TWEETS HE IS MAKING ‘ZERO EFFORT’ TO HIDE
On 27 September, the Guardian reported that crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon has denied being in hiding, even as INTERPOL issued a “red notice” for his arrest, at the request of South Korea, after the collapse of the Terra project he founded. He moved to Singapore shortly after his project collapsed.
Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!
At Buy me a Coffee single contributions start as low as $3, at