Panama Covid update – The latest Covid data has been released. The death toll has now reached 8,502, with 4 new fatalities reported in the week to 1 October. 747 new cases were added, ending the week with 1,072 active cases, and a positivity test rate of 3.4%. 8 patients with Covid remain in ICU, with 69 in other wards. To date, there have been 987,613 reported cases in Panama.
Meanwhile, a third person is reported to have died from dengue fever. The media reported that the patient began with symptoms on 19 September, with headache, fever, diarrhea and bleeding.leading the patient at attend a health centre on 24 September. She was then taken to hospital, where she died hours later.
4 OCTOBER 2022
NEW LAW GIVES MUSEUMS POWER TO REPATRIATE OBJECTS IN ENGLAND AND WALES
On 4 October, Art Law & More from Boodle Hatfield reported that a new law means that museums in England and Wales will soon gain unprecedented powers to deaccession objects in their collections on moral grounds. The important change to charity law was passed in February 2022 and is due to come into force this Autumn. Trustees would also be able to dispose of ‘low valued’ objects without authorisation, the value threshold being dependent on the museum’s gross income.
US SUPREME COURT TO HEAR TURKISH LENDER HALKBANK’S BID TO AVOID CHARGES
On 3 October, VoA reported that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Turkish state-owned lender Halkbank’s bid to avoid criminal charges of money laundering, bank fraud and conspiracy for allegedly helping Iran evade economic sanctions in a case that has strained American relations with NATO ally Turkey. The bank claims that it was immune from prosecution under a 1976 law called the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which limits the jurisdiction of American courts over lawsuits against foreign countries, because the business is majority-owned by Turkey’s government.
EU GENERAL COURT ANNULS THE 2020 AND 2021 LISTING OF THE LIBYAN AFRICAN INVESTMENT COMPANY (LAICO)
On 4 October, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU court had annulled the 2020 and 2021 confirmation of the listing of LAICO, which was originally been designated in 2015 and its designation was maintained in July 2022.
INDIAN GOVERNMENT ORDERS MEDIA TO STOP BETTING ADVERTS OR FACE PENALTIES
On 4 October, iGB reported that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has again warned private TV channels and digital news publishers not to show adverts for online betting websites, including ads for news sites owned by betting brands. With some small exceptions related to specific products in certain states, online betting is generally not legal in India.
DEEP-TIER SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE
The Asia Development Bank has issued this paper which explains how deep-tier supply chain finance (DTSCF) can help SME access much-needed financing and at the same time contribute to environmental, social, and governance goals. It finds that legal systems need to be more receptive to DTSCF and other digital forms of trade, greater incentives are required to speed the uptake of DTSC, and banks and companies need to agree on interoperable technology. It defines DTSCF as a financial solution, which leverages business relationships within the supply chain that link back to a “corporate anchor”, unlocking working capital to make financing accessible for suppliers throughout the ecosystem, not just those in the first tier that have access to funding. The innovation in DTSCF is that it extends financing beyond the top-tier, typically larger suppliers, down the chain to small suppliers, and enables large corporates to make their supply chains more secure by improving access to working capital for downstream suppliers while enhancing transparency and visibility over the entire value chain.
UK: HEAD OF ILLEGAL CIGARETTE SMUGGLING NETWORK IN LINCOLN ORDERED TO REPAY £550,000
On 4 October, Lincolnshire Live reported that a convicted tax cheat has been ordered to repay more than £500,000 after his illegal operation in Lincoln was uncovered. Svajunas Navagruckas, 52, was caught and jailed in February 2021.
THE CAPTAGON WAR: SMUGGLING ON THE JORDANIAN-SYRIAN BORDER
On 3 October, Jordan News reported that smuggling activity along the 375-km border between Jordan and Syria is nothing new. It says that During the 1990s, this cross-border smuggling was limited to livestock, cigarettes, and weapons. Today, however, it is focused on the transportation of drugs, such as hashish, Captagon, crystal methamphetamine, and other illicit substances. A major uptick in smuggling into Jordan has been recorded throughout 2022.
BOMBAY HIGH COURT GRANTS BAIL TO TO FORMER MAHARASHTRA HOME MINISTER AND NATIONALIST CONGRESS PARTY (NCP) LEADER IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 4 October, Bar & Bench reported that, while the Court had granted bail to former Maharashtra Home Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh in the money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), he remained in judicial custody since he is also being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in corruption case.
SWEDBANK EX-CEO GOES ON TRIAL OVER ESTONIA MONEY LAUNDERING SCANDAL
On 4 October, Yahoo News reported that former Swedbank Chief Executive Birgitte Bonnesen has gone on trial in Sweden, charged with fraud over her handling of the lender’s AML protocols in Estonia. Bonnesen, 66, who was Swedbank’s CEO from 2016 to 2019, is accused by the prosecution of giving misleading information on several occasions with the intent to cover up deficiencies in its Estonian AML work.
US TO LIFT ITS RESTRICTIONS ON DEFENCE TRADE WITH CYPRUS
On 4 October, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the US State Department had partially lifted the embargo in 2020 to allow exports, re-exports, re-transfers, and temporary imports of non-lethal defence articles and defence services destined for or originating in Cyprus, with potential exports to Cyprus reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the US denied licences for lethal defence articles and defence services destined for or originating in Cyprus.
CORRESPONDENT BANKING A MAJOR CONCERN, SAYS BARBADOS MINISTER
On 2 October, MENA FN reported that the Minister of energy and business has weighed in on the financial de-risking and correspondent banking issue, saying it is of significant concern and can lead to social instability in this region.
PRO-RUSSIAN GROUPS ARE RAISING FUNDS IN CRYPTO TO PROP UP MILITARY OPERATIONS AND EVADE US SANCTIONS
On 3 October, CNBC reported that pro-Russian groups are raising funds in cryptocurrency to prop up paramilitary operations and evade US sanctions as the war with Ukraine continues; and groups, using encrypted messaging app Telegram, are offering ways for people to send funds which are used to supply Russian-affiliated militia groups and support combat training at locations close to the border with Ukraine.
UAE PRINCE ACCUSED OF HELPING RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS EVADE SANCTIONS
On 2 October, Middle East Eye reported that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, could face sanctions if found guilty of helping rich Russians park assets in the country,
HOW COLOMBIA’S WAR MIGRATED TO VENEZUELA
On 3 October, a report in Insight Crime says that a product of 5 years of fieldwork along the Colombia-Venezuela border and beyond, an investigation reveals the Venezuelan operations of Colombia’s guerrillas and explores the far-reaching implications for both countries of their evolution into Colombo-Venezuelan groups.
PROBE INTO RUSSIAN MONEY FLOWS TO MOUNT ATHOS MONKS
On 4 October, Ekathimerini reported that the Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority is investigating over 20 cases of suspicious transfers of significant amounts to the bank accounts of Mount Athos monasteries, as well as individual monks.
TAIWANESE BUSINESS RESPONDS TO GROWING US-CHINA TENSIONS
On 4 October, a new report from CSIS interprets a formal survey of over 500 Taiwanese business executives, documenting their views about the evolving environment on the island and beyond. Their opinions have implications for Taiwan’s economic trajectory, cross-strait relations, global supply chains, and the effectiveness of US policy in the region. It documents that Taiwanese companies are highly concerned about their potential overdependence on the Chinese economy and the possibility of a military conflict. It says that perhaps the most noteworthy finding is that Taiwanese companies appear to be moving their businesses at record levels from Mainland China, but also from Taiwan.
ISLE OF MAN: RUSSIA SANCTIONS UPDATE
On 4 October, the Isle of Man issued 2 news releases. One confirmed the deletion of the entry relating to Sergei Stanislavovich YELISEYEV and the addition of a new entry relating to Sergei Vladimirovich YELISEYEV. The other publicises a UK sanctions press release on the implementation of services sanctions and an export ban that target Russian economic vulnerabilities in response to Putin’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions. These measures also have effect in the Island.
WORLDWIDE FERTILISER SHORTAGE PROMPTS PERU TO TURN TO BIRD POO
On 4 October, the Guardian reported that, in the 19th Century, fortunes were made and lost on guano, the potent excrement of fish-eating seabirds which was harvested by enslaved people from Africa and indentured Indigenous and Chinese labourers. Now, Peru’s government has launched the aptly named naval vessel Pelicano to transport the pungent cargo from coastal islands and peninsulas to the mainland where prices of imported fertilisers have tripled or quadrupled in price.
SOUTH AFRICA: 7 ILLEGAL MINING KINGPINS ARRESTED
On 4 October, Eye Witness News reported that 7 men believed to be illegal mining kingpins will appear in court on charges of fraud, money laundering and dealing in illegal precious metal. The suspects were taken by the Hawks during a raid on the west rand in Gauteng, with luxury cars and home-made firearms also seized in the operation.
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