THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 1

The President has announced that, after 2 years away due to Covid, the annual carnivals will return to Panama in February. In November, the Fiestas Patrias, which celebrate 2 independence days (from Spain and then Colombia).

1 OCTOBER 2022

TANKER TIED TO NORTH KOREAN OIL SMUGGLING MIMICKED SCRAPPED VESSEL

On 30 September, NK Pro reported that an oil tanker implicated in several investigations into North Korean sanctions evasions has continued to fraudulently assume the identities of other vessels in a bid to dupe investigators, a forthcoming report from the UN panel of Experts will say.  The 9,200-ton oil tanker Diamond 8 tried to pass itself as a ship that had been in a scrapyard for a year.

https://www.nknews.org/2022/09/tanker-tied-to-north-korean-oil-smuggling-spoofed-scrapped-vessel-un-report/

ICC GUIDE TO Incoterms® 2020

On 30 September, the International Chamber of Commerce announced the publication of this Guide,  the latest in a series of guides explaining how ICC’s trade terms apply in practice, it provides answers to the most important and recurring questions that will be asked about the Incoterms® 2020 rules.

https://2go.iccwbo.org/icc-guide-to-incoterms-2020+book_version-eBook

HMRC UMBRELLA COMPANY TAX AVOIDANCE ACTION IS ‘A DROP IN THE OCEAN’

On 30 September, Personnel Today reported that, as a further 3 tax avoidance schemes were yesterday named by HMRC, tax authorities have been criticised for not going further to stamp out umbrella employment schemes that involve tax avoidance.  Off-payroll working reforms have resulted in increased use of rogue umbrella companies, along with a number of workers who are being treated as employees for tax purposes, but who lack employment rights.

https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/hmrc-umbrella-companies-tax-avoidance-action/

URUGUAY PASSPORT SCANDALS FORCE RECKONING ABOUT GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION

On 30 September, Insight Crime said that the arrest of the Uruguayan President’s head of security in an alleged passport scam marks the country’s second such scandal and raises questions about whether official corruption has too long gone unnoticed.  Alejandro Astesiano was arrested on 25 September on charges that he led a criminal ring, which provided fake birth certificates stating that Russian citizens had Uruguayan parents, with hundreds or perhaps thousands of falsifications of Uruguayan documents alleged.

https://insightcrime.org/news/uruguay-passport-scandals-force-reckoning-about-government-corruption/

OUTGOING MEXICO GOVERNOR TO LOSE IMMUNITY FROM LONG-PENDING ARREST WARRANT

On 30 September, Insight Crime reported that Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca, the outgoing governor of Mexico’s state of Tamaulipas, is about to lose immunity from a long-looming arrest warrant, and says that the protection he enjoyed while in office highlights some of the struggles Mexico faces in addressing official corruption.

https://insightcrime.org/news/outgoing-mexico-governor-lose-immunity-from-long-pending-arrest-warrant/

FORMER CARGILL EMPLOYEE IS SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR BRIBERY AND KICKBACK SCHEME

On 28 September, a news release from US DoJ advised that Michael A. Kennedy, 56, had been sentenced to 50 months in prison for his role in an extensive bribery and kickback scheme that defrauded Cargill.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $33.7 million.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdnc/pr/former-cargill-employee-sentenced-more-four-years-prison-bribery-and-kickback-scheme

VIETNAM: DEPUTY PM’S ASSISTANT ARRESTED IN PANDEMIC FLIGHT BRIBERY CASE

On 27 September, VN Express reported that Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant to Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, has been arrested for allegedly taking bribes while organizing Covid-19 repatriation flights.  He is the nineteenth person to face criminal charges after investigation was launched 8 months ago in the pandemic flight bribery scandal.  Vietnam organised around 800 repatriation flights and brought back over 200,000 citizens from over 60 countries and territories after the pandemic struck.

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/deputy-pm-s-assistant-arrested-in-pandemic-flight-bribery-case-4516426.html

RUSSIAN OIL EXPORTS ARE STILL BOOMING

On 1 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that new data from commodity analytics firm Kpler confirms that Russian seaborne petroleum exports remain historically high and the EU remains a major buyer.  The EU ban on seaborne crude imports begins on 5 December, the ban on refined products imports on 5 February. 

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/russian-oil-exports-are-still-booming-and-eu-is-still-reliant-on-russia/

NICARAGUA HAS KICKED OUT HUNDREDS OF NGO – EVEN CRACKING DOWN ON CATHOLIC GROUPS LIKE NUNS FROM MOTHER TERESA’S ORDER

An article on The Conversation on 30 September argues that one method that today’s autocrats and the governments under their control are increasingly using to strengthen their grip on power is to crack down on non-governmental organizations. They are branding these often foreign-funded groups, known as NGO, as foreign agents or cast them – usually falsely – as money launderers and terrorists.

https://theconversation.com/nicaragua-has-kicked-out-hundreds-of-ngos-even-cracking-down-on-catholic-groups-like-nuns-from-mother-teresas-order-190222

  • SUPERYACHT LINKED TO SANCTIONED RUSSIAN OLIGARCH IGOR KESAEV ON SALE FOR £26 MILLION

On 1 October, the Observer reported that a superyacht built for an oligarch subjected to sanctions over the supply of weapons to the Russian army is being discreetly offered for sale for £26 million, with buyers advised that any viewings will be in the Maldives.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/oct/01/superyacht-linked-to-sanctioned-russian-oligarch-igor-kesaev-on-sale-for-26m

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