According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census, 737,000 Panamanians work informally with no laws or regulations to protect them.
This comes as the World Bank estimates that Panama’s GDP will grow 6.2% this year, and then adjust downward, with 5% in 2023 and 2024.
6 OCTOBER 2022
THE 2022 DoJ ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE: AREAS FOR COMPLIANCE PROGRAM FOCUS
On 6 October, a post from the Compliance and Enforcement blog of the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at the New York University School of Law said that recent announcements by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco have prompted in-house and external counsel to reassess approaches to internal investigations, prosecutorial discovery requests, and negotiations with prosecutors in pending cases. This post sets out to highlight program elements that compliance officers and those who oversee compliance programs should be thinking about in 5 important areas: issues escalation and management; policy enforcement and related discipline; the role of compliance performance in employee compensation; supervision of employee communications; and as an overarching theme, continuously managing a firm’s changing risk management profile.
CANADA: ULTRA ELECTRONICS STRIKES DEAL WITH FEDERAL PROSECUTORS TO SETTLE CORRUPTION AND FRAUD CHARGES
On 28 September, the Globe & Mail reported that the Montreal-based company had reached a settlement. The company, known worldwide for its ballistics technology, has struck a deal with federal prosecutors to settle corruption and fraud charges levelled against it. The deferred prosecution agreement with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is still subject to approval by the Quebec Superior Court. The investigation, involving alleged bribery in the Philippines, began in 2018, and the case against 4 individuals will continue because deferred prosecution agreements do not apply to individuals.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: A GENERAL OVERVIEW UNDER ENGLISH LAW
On 3 October, Haynes Boone briefly examined limitation clauses in contracts, including in cases involving gross negligence and wilful misconduct.
HOUTHIS ANNOUNCE END OF TRUCE AND THREATEN OIL COMPANIES IN REGION
On 4 October, Dryad Global reported that, with the truce ending, Houthi’s military warned shipping companies headed for countries in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen to follow warnings that they plan to issue. It also demanded that all oil companies operating in Yemen stop extracting oil for export abroad.
CAN AN ILLEGAL LOAN BE ENFORCED?
An article from Norton Rose Fulbright on 5 October posed this question in the light of a recent Privy Council decision to overturn a decision of the Court of Appeal in Trinidad & Tobago. It was decided that while found that the loan was illegal, this did not make it automatically void. Instead, enforceability had to be tested against more “flexible” factors. Applying these, the majority concluded that the loan and its security were enforceable against the borrower, despite their illegality.
AUSTRALIA: ILLEGAL PHOENIX COMPANIES ACTIVITY
An article from Pentana Stanton Lawyers on 5 October says that Illegal phoenix activity has been practiced in Australia for decades, but, with regulatory and law enforcement powers increasing, it’s more important than ever to comply with legislation. The In article, explores what illegal phoenix activity is, what you can do to avoid it, and how you can legally resurrect an insolvent or near-insolvent company.
ASSISTING RUSSIAN NATIONALS WITH US-BASED FORFEITURE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST FOREIGN-BASED ASSETS LIKELY REQUIRES FARA REGISTRATION
On 4 October, an article from Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP notes that the salient purpose of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is that a covered agent of a foreign principal “make public record of the nature of their employment”, and notes that it is “political activities” which require registration. It says that representing a Russian oligarch in an action to contest placement on the OFAC SDN list by submitting materials and argument in administrative proceedings would not subject counsel to FARA registration – but that, as other forms of representation would, registration is often a wise course of action for a high-profile matter.
US: FORMER BARBADOS OFFICIAL LOSES APPEAL OF BRIBE LAUNDERING CONVICTION
On 5 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that a former Barbados government official – Donville Inniss, the former minister of industry for Barbados – has lost an appeal to overturn a US conviction for laundering bribes connected to insurance contracts through a New York business.
US LOOKS TO EASE VENEZUELA SANCTIONS, ENABLING CHEVRON TO PUMP OIL
On 5 October, the Wall Street Journal reported that the proposed changes would pave the way for a potential reopening of US and European markets to oil exports from Venezuela. A deal, said to be under discussion, a deal that would free up hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan state funds frozen in US banks to pay for imports of food, medicine and equipment for the country’s battered electricity grid and municipal water systems. A spokesperson is quoted as saying that there were no plans to change sanctions policy without constructive steps from the Maduro regime.
HUAWEI SUSPECTED OF TRYING TO SIDESTEP US SANCTIONS USING A START-UP
On 6 October, PC Magazine reported claims by Bloomberg that Huawei is thought to be “providing support” for a local start-up called Pengxinwei IC Manufacturing Co, founded in 2021, run by a former Huawei executive, located close to Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, and which is ordering chipmaking equipment, including from foreign suppliers, which Huawei no longer has access to.
LLC: THE NEXT GENERATION UNDER WISCONSIN LAW
On 5 October, an article from Ruder Ware says that under new Wisconsin laws coming into effect soon, some important rules governing how limited liability companies (LLC) operate will change. This article describes some of the key changes, what LLC owners need to be thinking about, and some approaching deadlines for those wishing to be governed under the “old” rules.
MOROCCO: FIRST 10 PERMITS FOR CANNABIS PRODUCTION ISSUED
On 6 October, TJI reported that, under a law that was passed last year, a state agency in Morocco has issued 10 permits for the use of cannabis in industry and medicine.
BELGIUM AN EU LEADER FOR SMUGGLING AND PRODUCTION OF COUNTERFEIT CIGARETTES
On 6 October, the Brussels Times reported that Belgium is the second most-affected country in Europe when it comes to the illegal smuggling and production of counterfeit cigarettes.
US DoJ EXPANDS TRANSNATIONAL ELDER FRAUD STRIKE FORCE TO PROTECT OLDER AMERICANS FROM FRAUD
A news release from US DoJ on 4 October advised that, as part of its continuing efforts to protect older adults and to bring perpetrators of fraud schemes to justice, it is expanding its Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force, adding 14 additional US Attorney’s Offices. The expansion will increase the total number of US Attorneys’ Offices comprising the Strike Force from 6 to 20, including all of the US Attorneys’ Offices in the states of California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and New York.
€22 BILLION WORTH OF DUTCH PROPERTY IS HELD BY OFFSHORE COMPANIES
On 5 October, Dutch News reported that the value of Dutch real estate and building land in the hands of offshore companies has gone up almost 6-fold in the past nine years. In total, these entities currently own or finance nearly €22 billion worth of Dutch property, compared with €3.8 billion in 2013.
GLUT OF FAKE LinkedIn PROFILES PITS HR AGAINST THE BOTS
On 5 October, a post from the Krebs on Security blog says that the fabricated LinkedIn identities — which pair AI-generated profile photos with text lifted from legitimate accounts — are creating major headaches for corporate HR departments and for those managing invite-only LinkedIn groups.
GLENCORE SUED IN US COURT OVER ALLEGED OFF-SPEC HSFO FUEL
On 5 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that Serifos Maritime is suing oil trader Glencore for $2.18 million for allegedly supplying its vessel with off-specification high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) in Singapore in March.
ANGOLA OVERTOOK NIGERIA AS WEST AFRICA’S LARGEST CRUDE EXPORTER IN Q3 2022
On 4 October, an Insight from Vortex explores the redirection of West African crude flows to Europe from Asia and how the combination of shrinking exports and production capacity issues in Nigeria has promoted Angola to being West Africa’s largest crude exporter.
THE RUSSIAN BIOWEAPONS PROGRAM IN 2022
On 5 October, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an article saying that, although Russia is highly secretive with regard to its biological research enterprise, and there is no definitive proof of an extant bioweapons program, the public record strongly suggests that Russia has maintained and modernised the surviving parts of the Soviet biological weapons program. Also, there are public signs of continuing research into biological weapons (including non-lethal biological weapons) at several locations in Russia.
RUSSIAN MERCENARIES ‘EXPLOITING AFRICA TO FUND WAR IN UKRAINE’
On 6 October, the Guardian reported that the US has accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting natural resources in Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and elsewhere to help fund Moscow’s war in Ukraine. The US Ambassador to the UN referred to Wagner Group’s exploitative practices and human rights violations.
PANAMA: ANDORRA BLOCKS 8 ACCOUNTS WITH $34 MILLION IN ODEBRECHT BRIBES LINKED TO FORMER MINISTERS
On 6 October, even as a major bribery and corruption trial is underway in Panama, La Estrella de Panama reported that, in March, the Andorran authorities ordered to keep frozen some 30 accounts, with a total balance of $51 million in the Private Banking of Andorra (BPA) and one in the Credit Andorrà, linked to alleged bribes of the Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht. It is claimed that the funds were for the administration of former Panamanian president, Ricardo Martinelli, and the former Peruvian ruler, Alan García.
US-EL SALVADOR TENSIONS RISE WITH EXTRADITION OF TOP MS13 LEADER BLOCKED
On 6 October, Insight Crime reported that a court in El Salvador has temporarily blocked the extradition of a top MS13 gang leader to the US to face terrorism-related charges.
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