Today it was reported that, so far, at least 150,000 “irregular migrants” have crossed the Darién Provice from Colombia – more than the 133, 716 for the whole of 2021. According to data from the National Migration System of the 151,572 irregular migrants, 107,723 are from Venezuela, 8,579 from Haiti, 4,032 from Cuba and 14,297 from other countries. It is also reported that in September more than 2,000 migrants were arriving per day and that 80% were citizens of Venezuela.
2 OCTOBER 2022
AUSTRALIA: HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT’S LONG-AWAITED ANTI-CORRUPTION BILL RATE?
On 28 September, Transparency International in Australia published 2 releases. These note that it is 17 years since Transparency International Australia first recommended the reform in question – which involves the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill. One of the 2 releases examines the Bill, which still faces a select committee and review, so may well be amended. The second article notes that alleged corruption will be examined behind closed doors after the disturbing decision to hold public hearings only in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
JERSEY: RETIRED NIGERIAN ARMY GENERAL WHO TRANSFERRED NEARLY £2 MILLION OF ‘TAINTED’ MONEY INTO HIS BANK ACCOUNTS LOSES APPEAL AGAINST SEIZURE
On 2 October, the Jersey Evening Post commented on the decision of the Royal Court involving Lieutenant-General Useni, who held high political office during the Abacha regime, and £1.9 million deposited between 1989 and the late 1990s. the money was seized on corruption grounds and because his Island accounts were opened under the false name of Tim Shani.
AMERICANS RELEASED IN VENEZUELA FOLLOWING CLEMENCY FOR 2 NEPHEWS OF ITS FIRST LADY
On 1 October, the New York Times reported that 7 Americans held in Venezuela for years were released after President Biden agreed to grant clemency to 2 nephews of Cilia Flores, Venezuela’s first lady. The men had been sentenced in 2017 to 18 years in prison for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the US, and are known as the “narco nephews” — Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas.
A NEW FRONTIER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CYBERCRIME: THE SECOND ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE BUDAPEST CONVENTION
On 28 September, an article from Clifford Chance noted that, on 12 May, 22 Members Countries of the European Council ratified the Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime (aka the “Budapest Convention”) on enhanced cooperation and disclosure of electronic evidence (aka the “Second Protocol”). It explains that the Second Protocol aims to create common norms, at the international level, to strengthen cooperation in fighting cybercrime and in collecting electronic evidence in connection with criminal investigations or proceedings. The new Protocol requires that countries create specific rapid and direct communication channels between all the state authorities involved as well as between the state authorities and the private sector, such as online service providers located in foreign jurisdictions, so as to allow collection and disclosure, easily and quickly, of information relating to, for example, registration of domain names, subscribers and traffic data.
CHINA FORMER TOP GRAFT BUSTER INDICTED ON BRIBERY CHARGES
On 28 September, ABC News reported that a former top official at the ministry for intelligence and counterintelligence has been indicted on bribery charges. Liu Yanping headed the State Security Ministry’s branch of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. It is said that Liu was found to have “engaged in superstitious activities” and accepted invitations to golf games, banquets, tours, and medical services from private business people.
SHIP CAPTAINS HELD BY INDONESIAN NAVY COMPLAIN OF BRIBES AND BETRAYAL
On 27 September, Yahoo News carried a Reuters report on the plight of ships arrested for anchoring in Indonesian waters without a permit while waiting to enter Singapore. It is alleged that most of the captains were freed after a few weeks once ship owners made unofficial payments to navy intermediaries. Dozens of ships waiting to enter Singapore have been seized over the last year by the Indonesian navy for illegally anchoring in its waters, with most being released after ship owners made unofficial payments.
OPTUS: HOW A MASSIVE DATA BREACH HAS EXPOSED AUSTRALIA
On 30 September, the BBC reported that Australian telecommunications giant Optus had revealed about 10 million customers – about 40% of the population – had personal data stolen in what it calls a cyber-attack. Optus said that current and former customers’ data was stolen – including names, birthdates, home addresses, phone and email contacts, and passport and driving licence numbers, but stressed that payment details and account passwords were not compromised.
CHINA IS ALLEGEDLY OPENING “POLICE STATIONS” ON CANADIAN SOIL
On 27 September, the National Post reported claims by an NGO that vaguely named stations are an ‘extrajudicial’ way for China to keep tabs on their nationals abroad, and to keep an eye on the Chinese-Canadian diaspora. It is said that 3 addresses in Toronto are known to be registered as “service stations” operated by the Fuzhou Public Security Bureau, a police force active in the Chinese metropolis of Fuzhou. It is reported that Canada is only one of several dozen countries that are now home to overseas outposts of Chinese law enforcement – recently the Irish Times noted the opening of a Fuzhou Overseas Police Service Station in central Dublin.
US IDENTIFIES FOURTH IRANIAN CARGO PLANE OPERATING IN APPARENT VIOLATION OF US EXPORT CONTROLS ON RUSSIA
On 26 September, a news release from the US Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) advised that BIS has updated its list of aircraft that have flown into Russia in apparent violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding a fourth Iranian-owned and -operated aircraft providing cargo flight services on US-origin aircraft to Russia. This is an aircraft owned by Saha Airlines, which itself is owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.
THE BLACK SEA GRAIN INITIATIVE: WHAT IT IS, AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD
On 23 September, the UN Committee on Trade and Development released this explanatory article about the initiative set up to reintroduce vital food and fertiliser exports from Ukraine to the rest of the world, and identifying some key points to understand.
TRUSTEES AND SANCTIONS: THE POSITION FOR TRUSTEES CONCERNED ABOUT FALLING FOUL OF SANCTIONS
An article in the October issue of Trusts and Estates Journal and Tax Journal contains the highlighted comments “It is very difficult to see how (given the combined scope of the application of EU and UK sanctions to EU and UK citizens) there will be anyone left in places like Jersey able to administer structures that have a Russian connection”. It also says that the near-ceaseless expansion of the sanctions regime since the beginning of 2022 has proved to be one of the biggest logistical challenges the trust and fiduciary services sector has faced in recent years.
SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF NORD STREAM SABOTAGE
On 29 September, CSIS published an article saying that large leaks were detected in both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, driving speculation about a new escalation in the energy brinksmanship between Europe and Russia. It says that addressing some of the vulnerabilities will likely require significant investment and cross-Atlantic cooperation on cyber and physical security of energy infrastructure. Beyond malicious attacks, downtime due to aging infrastructure or outages due to accidents will have outsized impacts on tight energy markets. Energy security for Europe will increasingly entail securing and maintaining critical infrastructure, including in the US.
HARD CHOICES IN A RANSOMWARE ATTACK
On 28 September, CSIS published a report saying that ransomware attacks have now become a clear and present danger to entities of every size and function. The number of ransomware attacks and the price of demanded ransoms have escalated steeply since 2018. This report aims to put the reader in the shoes of the victim. It walks through a set of decisions that victim must make on their worst day and in the weeks to follow. How well an entity succeeds in navigating that peril depends on decisions made well before an attack, so the report also makes recommendations for both government and industry on how to encourage preparation and simple defensive steps.
MONEY LAUNDERING WITH THE HELP OF NFT WASH TRADING
An article from PWC in Switzerland says that the boom in the NFT market also opens the door to criminal activities. Such crimes can include market manipulation or money laundering using NFT by means of “wash trading”, which is the focus of this article. It explains that NFT wash trading aims to give market participants a misleading picture of an asset’s value and liquidity. In doing so, an NFT will be sold at a higher price to a new wallet, which is also controlled by the original owner. The article asks if NFT wash trading a predicate offence to money laundering under Swiss financial market law?
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