It has been quite a nice day here in Panama City, but elewhere in the country the effects of the passing Storm Julia (which was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane for a time) have been felt, with floods, landslides and evacuations in Chiriqui Province, where the water supply is also off after plants were indundated. All school classes have been suspended for tomorrow, just in case – although here in Panama Province we have only a “green” alert.
9 OCTOBER 2022
MOROCCO SOUNDS THE ALARM OVER PROLIFERATION OF TERRORIST ACTS IN AFRICA
On 8 October, the North Africa Post reported that the Morrocan Foreign Minister had warned of 19 separatist movements, with Africa being the second region of the world where terrorism strikes most often and, above all, indiscriminately. He is also quoted as saying that 48% of the victims of terrorism in the world were African, 7,234 terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of 28,960 victims in 2021 and 27 terrorist groups listed on the UN sanctions list, and over the past 10 years damage has amounted to $171 billion.
MONEYVAL AML/CFT EVALUATION VISITS TO ROMANIA AND NORTH MACEDONIA
On 7 October, the FATF-style regional body MONEYVAL announced that on-site visits had taken place in these 2 countries. The reports are scheduled for discussion and adoption at the 65th Plenary meeting of MONEYVAL in May 2023.
UAE SEIZES $1.29 BILLION IN ASSETS IN FIGHT AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING
On 6 October, The National reported that the UAE had seized and confiscated assets worth more than $1.29 billion in the 12 months to the end of July. In addition, the country’s FIU reported a 51% year-on-year rise in the number of STR in the first quarter of this year, and a significant rise in the AML/CFT enforcement actions in 2021, 40 people arrested.
CRYPTOCURRENCY REGULATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
On 5 October, Investopedia published a summary of the current digital currency regulatory landscape in several countries.
US: DISGRACED ATTORNEY GETS OVER 15 YEARS FOR LAUNDERING MEXICAN CARTEL’S MILLIONS
On 8 October, the New York Post reported that Juan Manuel Álvarez Inzunza, 40, an attorney who laundered millions of dollars for the violent Mexican drug cartel led by “El Chapo” Guzman had been sentenced to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison on a money laundering conspiracy charge. He was arrested in 2016 in Mexico, where he was detained until his extradition to the US last year.
PAKISTANI PM SHEHBAZ SHARIF APPEARS BEFORE SPECIAL COURT IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
On 8 October, Devdiscourse reported that Shehbaz Sharif, 70, had appeared before a special court in a multi-million dollar money laundering case. He and his 2 sons were charged by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in November 2020 under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act. He had been Prime Minister following the resignation of Imran Khan earlier this year.
RUSSIA WORKING ON OIL/GAS SWAP DEALS WITH IRAN
On 8 October, Eurasia Review reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said talks are underway with Iran on plans for oil and gas swap deals as the 2 countries eye closer cooperation to counter the foreign sanctions against their energy exports.
CAN THE UK BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR BREACHES OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ASYLUM-SEEKERS TRANSFERRED TO RWANDA?
On 15 September, a post from the faculty of Law at Oxford University asked this question in the light of the UK and Rwanda signing an MoU outlining plans for transferring asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda.
CHEMINFORMATICS TOOL THAT AUTOMATES THE TASK OF ASSESSING WHETHER A CHEMICAL IS PART OF A CHEMICAL WARE (CW) CONTROL LIST
A Paper published by De Gruyter on 2 March says that working with CW-control lists poses challenges for frontline customs and export control officers implementing control frameworks. Entries that describe families of chemicals are not easy to interpret, especially for non-chemists. Moreover, synonyms and chemical variants complicate the issue of checking CW-control lists through names and registry numbers. It introduces a new tool, the Nonproliferation Cheminformatics Compliance Tool (NCCT), a database management system. In July, the Stimson Center announced that the tool had moved to the field testing stage.
MOLDOVANS UPSET AT HEAVY POLLUTER’S IMPUNITY IN BREAKAWAY TRANSDNIESTER
On 9 October, Rferl reported that the country’s Commission for Exceptional Situations recently granted the Moldova Steel Works (MMZ) in Rabnita its fifth derogation, or exemption, from environmental legislation on waste management and emissions that might otherwise shut down the plant. The Moldovan Environment Minister has implied this was a trade-off for electricity produced at a thermal power plant, at Cuciurgan, on the separatist side of the Dniester. It is noted that authorities in Tiraspol, the unrecognised capital of Transdniester, reported the plant’s sales at around $432 million at the end of last year, representing nearly half of Transdniester’s total exports.
KAZAKHSTAN: HOW FAR WILL TOQAEV GO IN SQUEEZING THE NAZARBAEVS AND THEIR RICHES AFTER THE FAMILY’S FALL FROM GRACE?
On 9 October, Rferl reported on the situation in Kazakhstan, noting that 9 months ago President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev gave a national address, promising reforms and signalling that the privileges enjoyed by predecessor Nursultan Nazarbaev’s family were no longer ring-fenced.
CYBERSECURITY RESOURCE GUIDE FOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
In September, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) in the Us published this guide. An update of the 2018 edition, the programs and tools in the guide are designed for, or otherwise available to, financial institutions. Its purpose is to help financial institutions meet their security control objectives and prepare to respond to cyber incidents. It comments that, in recent years, ransomware incidents have become increasingly prevalent. These incidents continue to evolve in severity and complexity impacting the financial sector and other critical infrastructure organisations. To address this evolving threat, the resource guide now includes ransomware-specific resources to address this ongoing threat.
THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT HAS FINALLY RELEASED A SECOND REVISION OF ITS DRAFT WILDLIFE PROTECTION LAW FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION – BUT CONSERVATION STILL LOSES OUT TO EXPLOITATION
On 5 October, the Environmental Investigation Agency quoted a wildlife campaigner as saying that, “Sadly, the second draft confirmed our fears that the voices promoting the farming and use of wild animals have again won the upper hand”.
FORMER LIBERIAN REBEL CHARGED WITH WAR CRIMES AWAITS PARIS TRIAL
On 9 October, the Guardian reported that a former Liberian rebel commander will go on trial in Paris this week charged with acts of barbarity including torture, cannibalism, forced labour and complicity in crimes against humanity during the country’s first civil war more than 25 years ago. Kunti Kamara, known as Kunti K, a naturalised Dutch citizen, was head of a rebel militia unit in the north of the country that was ravaged by 2 civil wars between 1989 and 2003 in which an estimated 250,000 people died.
NIGERIA: A FORMER STATE GOVERNOR HAS SAID THAT HIS CONVICTION FOR MONEY LAUNDERING WAS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED
On 9 October, Ripples Nigeria reported that Joshua Dariye, a former Plateau State Governor, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for diverting public funds in 2018. The Court of Appeal later reduced his sentence to 10 years later that year, while Supreme Court upheld his conviction in March 2021. However, the National Council of State granted him and former Taraba State governor, Jolly Nyame, pardons in April and they were freed in August.
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