OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – OCTOBER 5

From 10 October, Panama will begin vaccinating children from 6 months to 4 years of age with the Pfizer vaccine. It already began this year to vaccinate children from 5 years old to 11 years old.

5 OCTOBER 2022

THE SECURITY CONCERNS OF A DUAL-USE CRISPR GENE EDITING TOOL

On 5 October, a post on Lawfire was concerned with CRISPR, a gene modification tool that has, the post explains, “dual-use potential” as an “enabling technology”.   It is said that CRISPR has many peaceful uses but it could also “be employed to manipulate and modify a pathogen, bacteria or toxin to render it more deadly, potent or immune to antibiotics or vaccines”.  It goes on to say that CRISPR is an ‘enabler’ and as such, an ‘enabling technology’.  What is clear, it says, is the security risk this gene modification technology presents, and that there is a potential for military development, with unknown consequences.

https://sites.duke.edu/lawfire/2022/10/05/guest-post-meredith-primrose-jones-on-the-security-concerns-of-a-dual-use-crispr/

PANAMA REMAINS ON THE LIST OF EU TAX HAVENS

On 5 October, La Estrella de Panama reported that the EU has decided to keep Panama on its discriminatory list of tax havens, for 6 more months – as the country has not complied with international criteria on transparency and exchange of tax information, and because it has a regime of exemption of income from abroad considered harmful by the EU.

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/economia/221005/panama-mantiene-lista-paraisos-fiscales

PANAMA FINES CHINESE VESSEL (WITH PANAMA FLAG) $300,000 FOR ILLEGAL FISHING

On 5 October, ANP reported that Panama had fined the Reefer vessel, YONG HANG 3 (YH3), with a fine of $300,000 for violating fishing regulations, specifically illegal fishing as a cargo transport vessel.  The fine was imposed by the Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP) and according to a press release the vessel was sanctioned based on the “Management and Conservation Measure 11-2015 of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Organization (SPRFMO) and the 1995 Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks”.  This followed boarding by the US Coast Guard.

https://www.anpanama.com/12887-Panama-multa-a-embarcacion-china-con-US300-mil-por-pesca-ilegal.note.aspx

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/sociedad/sancionan-con-multa-de-300-mil-dolares-buque-chino-con-bandera-panamena-1212821

HELSINKI SHIPYARD LOSES RUSSIAN ICEBREAKER ORDER AFTER FINLAND REFUSES EXPORT LICENCE

On 5 October, TradeWinds reported that Helsinki Shipyard’s bid to build an LNG-powered icebreaker for Russian miner Norilsk Nickel has collapsed.  The order was revealed in January and construction was due to start in next year for delivery in 2025.

https://www.tradewindsnews.com/shipyards/helsinki-shipyard-loses-russian-icebreaker-order-after-finland-refuses-export-licence/2-1-1327131

US: TEMPORARY DENIAL ORDERS AGAINST RUSSIAN AIRLINES AEROFLOT, AZUR AIR AND UTAir HAVE BEEN RENEWED 

On 5 October, EU Sanctions blog reported that Temporary Denial Orders (TDO) issued against these Russian airlines by the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have been renewed for another 180 days, denying them export privileges.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/10/bis-renews-aeroflot-azur-air-utair-export-denial-orders/

SANCTIONS CONCERNS OF ALUMINIUM MAKERS

On 4 October, an article in Money Control focussed on potential sanctions on Russian aluminium, saying that any ban would have severe ramifications for the industry.  Russia is the second-biggest supplier, with even the US reliant on it for metal for a wide range of products, including aircraft and cars.

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/announcements/sanction-worries-spark-fresh-inflationary-concerns-for-aluminium-makers-9278991.html

ETHIOPIA TURNS OVER ALLEGED PEOPLE SMUGGLER TO NETHERLANDS

On 5 October, Spectrum News reported that Ethiopia has turned over to Dutch judicial authorities a 38-year-old Eritrean man suspected of playing a leading role in a major international criminal network that smuggled Eritreans to the Netherlands.  He is suspected of people smuggling from 2014-2020.

https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-east/ap-top-news/2022/10/05/ethiopia-turns-over-alleged-people-smuggler-to-netherlands

SMUGGLING OF TYRES TO ARGENTINA

On 5 October, Zyri reported that,  in the last 3 months, the customs authorities had seized 4,557 tyres with an estimated value of $320 million which had tried to enter the country illegally.

https://www.zyri.net/2022/10/05/smuggling-of-tires-to-argentina-what-customs-denounces-and-how-many-were-seized/

UYGHUR FORCED LABOR PREVENTION ACT: COMMERCIAL IMPLICATIONS, COMPLIANCE CHALLENGES AND RESPONSES

An article from White & Case on 4 October reminds one that the rebuttable presumption of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) took effect on 21 June.  Under this presumption goods produced in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), or by certain identified entities, are made with forced labour, and therefore subject to an import prohibition in the US.  Violations can empower US Customs & Border Protection to detain, exclude, or seize goods and assess monetary penalties, unless “clear and convincing evidence” shows that no forced labour, situated anywhere in the supply chain, produced any part of the goods.  Importantly, the statute contains no de minimis exception.

https://www.whitecase.com/insight-alert/uyghur-forced-labor-prevention-act-commercial-implications-compliance-challenges-and

US SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR RUSSIAN OLIGARCH OLEG DERIPASKA’S OFAC SANCTIONS CASE

On 4 October, Kenneth Rijock reported in his blog that the Supreme Court has denied the Petition of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to review the adverse decisions involving OFAC sanctions imposed upon him.

https://rijock.blogspot.com/2022/10/us-supreme-court-declines-to-hear.html

EU AMENDS THE LIST OF SANCTIONS AUTHORITY CONTACTS FOR CRIMEA/SEVASTOPOL SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2022/1848/EU has replaced the Annex to EU Regulation 692/2014/EU which contains the internet addresses of each member State’s relevant sanctions authority.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.L_.2022.257.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A257%3ATOC

NIGERIA MAFIA CULT KINGPINS ARRESTED IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 3 October, OCCRP reported that South Africa had arrested t2wo cybercrime kingpins linked to Nigeria’s infamous mafia cult that operates as a transnational organised group.  The 2 are suspected of wire fraud, access device fraud and money laundering.  The Air Lords is a Nigerian cult adhering to obscure religious practices.  It was founded in the 1970s at the University of Ibadan in southern Nigeria with the intention to make a positive contribution to society.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16825-nigeria-mafia-cult-kingpins-arrested-in-south-africa

US EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION ABOUT STAKEHOLDER ROLES AND CLARITY ABOUT FRAUD RISKS WOULD STRENGTHEN ANTI-FRAUD EFFORTS

A report from the US Governmental Accountability Office on 27 September examined the work of the Export-Import Bank, which supports American jobs by facilitating US exports.  It offers loans, loan guarantees, and other help to US companies that cannot obtain private financing for their deals.  It may assume risks that the private sector won’t, including risk of losses due to fraud.  The bank has adopted antifraud practices as required by law.  The GAO reviewed its 2020-2021 transactions to see if it denied applications from parties with fraud or corruption charges, and found no convicted parties among applicants.  However, the GAO made recommendations which address ways the bank could improve its responses to evolving risks of fraud and more.

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-105340

COULD BOLIVIA’S ROAD BRIBERY PROBE DERAIL CHINA’S LATIN AMERICAN INVESTMENTS?

On 3 October, an article from BNA Americas posed this question, saying that Bolivia’s investigation into a bribe allegedly paid by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) could have repercussions for the reputation of Chinese companies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

https://www.bnamericas.com/en/analysis/could-bolivias-road-bribery-probe-derail-chinas-latam-investments

SECURITY WARNING FOR THE RED SEA, PERSIAN GULF, AND WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN REGION

On 5 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a revised advisory to commercial vessels operating in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Red Sea, and Western Indian Ocean.  The advisory warns that regional conflict, heightened military activity, and increased political tensions continue to pose threats to merchant vessels operating in these geographical areas.  The threats include drones (unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)), limpet mines, explosive boats, and pirates and armed robbers.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/us-marad-updates-its-security-warning-for-the-red-sea-persian-gulf-and-western-indian-ocean-region-2/

WILSON CENTER LAUNCHES LATIN AMERICA MARINE PROTECTION PARTNERSHIP WITH THE US STATE DEPARTMENT

On 4 October, the Wilson Center in the US advised that the partners had launched a series of dialogues to improve marine protection and combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) – a productive and biologically diverse region, including the Galápagos Islands. 

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/wilson-center-launches-latin-america-marine-protection-partnership-state-department

NORWAY: RUSSIA SANCTIONS – IMPLEMENTATION OF SEVENTH EU SANCTIONS PACKAGE

The measures included in the EU’s seventh sanctions package were implemented in Norway on 26 August.

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/norway-introduces-additional-sanctions-against-russia/id2925555/

PODCAST: CORRUPTION, SANCTIONS AND PUTIN’S WAR REGIME

In the latest TRACE podcast Leonid Volkov, who spoke at the recent TRACE London Forum, and who is Alexei Navalny’s Chief of Staff and Political Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, discusses the role of corruption in Putin’s Russia as well as the impact of sanctions and the toll that rampant corruption is taking on Russia.

https://www.traceinternational.org/resources-podcast

CLAIMS AGAINST CRYPTO EXCHANGES:

1.            THE NEXT BATTLEGROUND IN CRYPTO ASSET FRAUD?

On 14 September, the first article in a planned series from Field Fisher looks at the potential legal battlegrounds that could be fought between a defrauded claimant and a crypto exchange, in particular which claims a claimant could make against an exchange and how these might be defended.

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/claims-against-crypto-exchanges-the-next-battleground-in-crypto-asset-fraud

2.            COULD A QUINCECARE DUTY EVER APPLY?

On 4 October, an article from Field Fisher, the second in a series, examines whether a wallet-holder may have a claim in negligence against an exchange administering that wallet if that customer were defrauded by a mandatary or by a push payment fraud.  More specifically, could an exchange be liable for breach of a Quincecare duty of care?

https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/claims-against-crypto-exchanges-could-a-quincecare-duty-ever-apply

CANADA HAS ADDED 25 PEOPLE AND 9 ENTITIES TO IRAN SANCTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE DEATH OF MAHSA AMINI 

On 5 October, the EU Sanctions blog reported that, following the death of the young woman at the hands of the Morality Police, and those designated include senior Iranian officials, the Morality Police and other prominent entities.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/10/canada-designates-25-people-9-entities-following-death-of-mahsa-amini/

PUTIN’S DIAMOND FIRM OFF THE HOOK IN EU SANCTIONS

On 5 October, EU Observer reported that the EU is giving Russia carte blanche to keep selling diamonds to Antwerp and the rest of Europe.  t had been planning to blacklist Russian diamond-mining giant Alrosa, but its name was cut from a list of 29 individuals and seven entities to face an EU ban and asset-freeze.

https://euobserver.com/world/156218

US: CFTC CHARGES DELAWARE PRECIOUS METALS DEALER, DEPOSITORY AND THEIR OWNER WITH ONGOING FRAUD

On 5 October, a release on Mondo Visione reported that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that it filed a civil enforcement action against a precious metals dealer, Argent Asset Group LLC, and a precious metals depository, First State Depository Company LLC, and their owner, Robert Leroy Higgins, charging them with fraud in connection with a multimillion-dollar precious metals scheme.  It is alleged that customers’ precious metals were not securely stored, but instead were misappropriated by the defendants.  Moreover, on several occasions, the defendants also misappropriated funds intended to be used to purchase metals.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/cftc-charges-delaware-precious-metals-dealer-depository-and-their-owner-with-o/

See also –

CFTC Fraud Advisory: Precious Metals Fraud (and other articles and Advisories)

https://www.cftc.gov/LearnAndProtect/AdvisoriesAndArticles/fraudadv_preciousmetals.html

https://www.cftc.gov/LearnAndProtect/AdvisoriesAndArticles/index.htm

OVERHAUL OF IRISH DATA RETENTION LAWS

On 4 October, McCann Fitzgerald published an article saying that Irish law governing the retention of and access to communications traffic data and location data is inching towards long overdue reform.

https://www.mccannfitzgerald.com/knowledge/data-privacy-and-cyber-risk/overhaul-of-irish-data-retention-laws

ISLE OF MAN: UPDATES OF SANCTIONS LEGISLATION

The Order Paper for the Island’s parliament for the sitting on 16 October carries a number of regulations which update the legislative framework to ensure that it aligns with that in the UK.

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/opqp/2022-PP-0126.pdf

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GAMBIA: AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT

On 5 October, FATF published the mutual evaluation report prepared by FATF-style regional body, GIABA.  The on-site visit took place from 23 August to 3 September 2021.  It is said that, since its first mutual evaluation in 2008, The Gambia has strengthened its legal and institutional framework to comply with international AML/CFT Standards and enhance the regime’s effectiveness. Despite the improvements, there are still some gaps in the legal framework.

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/mer-fsrb/GIABA-Mutual-Evaluation-Gambia-2022.pdf

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UK ADDS AHMAD AL-HAMZI TO YEMEN SANCTIONS LIST

On 5 October, HM Treasury issued a Notice advising that Ahmad AL-HAMZI, Commander of the Houthi Air Force and Air Defense Forces, to its sanctions lists, following the decision of the relevant UN Sanctions Committee.

The Isle of Man followed suit with a news release the same day.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1109404/Notice_Yemen_051022.pdf

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/oct/05/financial-sanctions-yemen/

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EUROPOL: POLICING IN THE METAVERSE – WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TO KNOW

This report from the Europol Innovations Laboratory brings together all the information gathered during an event in June, and it provides a first, law enforcement-centric outlook at current developments, potential implications for law enforcement, as well as key recommendations as to what the law enforcement community could do to prepare for the future.  The first part of the report presents the concept of immersive worlds and the technologies underpinning it, such as virtual and mixed reality, web3 and blockchain.  The second part explores how the metaverse can be abused in specific crime areas such as financial crime, online abuse and harassment, radicalisation, mass surveillance and disinformation – but says that the metaverse could also present opportunities for the police, not only from an investigation perspective but also to engage more closely with the public it serves or for training purposes. The third part focuses on those.  The final part explores best practices of building police presence online and provides recommendations for police forces around the world to start thinking about their online policing strategies for the future.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/cms/sites/default/files/documents/Metaverse_Report.pdf

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UN ADDS 1 NAME TO YEMEN SANCTIONS

On 4 October, the UN advised that AHMAD AL-HAMZI, Commander of the Houthi Air Force and Air Defense Forces, had been added to the sanctions lists under UN SCR 2140.

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15051.doc.htm

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MILITARY ARSENALS PROVIDE CONVENIENT SOURCE OF WEAPONS FOR LATIN AMERICAN GANGS

On 4 October, an article in Insight Crime says that corruption within the ranks, a lack of supervision and tracking, and lacklustre legislation are all to blame for weapons and ammunition from Latin American armies finding their way into the hands of criminal groups, a UN report has found.  The report explores the relationships between military forces and criminal gangs around the world and how these led to a steady flow of weapons across international boundaries and into active conflict zones.

https://insightcrime.org/news/military-arsenals-provide-convenient-source-weapons-latin-american-gangs/

https://www.unodc.org/documents/firearms-protocol/2022/UNIDIR-UNODC_Adressing_the_linkages_between_illict_arms_organized_crime_and_armed_conflict.pdf

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TOGO: AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION REPORT

On 5 October, FATF published this mutual evaluation report, prepared by FATF-style regional body GIABA.  Also available in French and Portuguese, the MER follows the on-site visit, from 24 January to 10 February 2021. 

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/reports/mer-fsrb/GIABA-Mutual-Evaluation-Togo-2022.pdf

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CRYPTO LAUNDERING INVOLVES CROSS-CHAIN BRIDGES AND DECENTRALISED EXCHANGES (DEX)

On 5 October, the Coin Telegraph reported on a new report from Elliptic which says that new research has revealed the extent to which cross-chain bridges and DEX have removed barriers for cybercriminals. It is said that around a third of all stolen crypto, or roughly $1.2 billion, from the incidents surveyed, was swapped using decentralised exchanges.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/new-frontier-of-crypto-laundering-involves-cross-chain-bridges-and-dexs-elliptic

https://www.elliptic.co/resources/state-of-cross-chain-crime-report

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