On the dengue front, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended authorisation of the Qdenga vaccine (TAK-003) against dengue, from the biopharmaceutical company Takeda, after reviewing the data of the various clinical studies, in which Panama participated together with Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The next step on the road to approval in Europe is the EMA’s marketing authorisation, which is expected in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Panamanian scientists are seeking 60,000 volunteers to carry out a research project, “Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines applied in Panama”, which consists of an observational study, to actively and systematically monitor adverse events that may occur from the day of application of the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and for up to 1 year.
24 OCTOBER 2022
US: DoJ BRINGS FIRST TERRORISM MATERIAL SUPPORT CHARGE AGAINST A CORPORATION
On 20 October, an article from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton and Garrison LLP was concerned with the case involving Lafarge SA, a multi-national building materials manufacturer headquartered in Paris, and its Syrian subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria which had pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to foreign terrorist organisations, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the al-Nusrah Front (ANF). It says that the case underlining the importance of compliance when operating in high-risk countries and of robust m&a due diligence.
MYANMAR JOINS NORTH KOREA AND IRAN ON FATF GLOBAL ILLICIT FINANCE BLACKLIST
On 21 October, the Wall Street Journal reported on Myanmar being added to the FATF “black list” after FATF said that that Myanmar had failed to address a large number of deficiencies in its AML/CFT systems. It notes that this isn’t Myanmar’s first time on the blacklist. Before it turned toward democracy a decade ago, Myanmar suffered decades of isolation and underdevelopment under a military regime and was blacklisted by the FATF during that time. It was removed from the list in 2016 after a quasi-democratic government took charge and implemented financial changes. The US and others were also lifting sanctions during that period to further encourage democratic change and bring Myanmar into the global fold.
GIBRALTAR DEFERS FATF REPORTING AS IT CALLS FOR TOUGHER FINES
On 21 October, iGB reported that Gibraltar had decided to defer reporting its progress to get the jurisdiction off the FATF AML “grey list”. At its recent plenary, FATF had said that that the gambling sector was a major reason for Gibraltar’s presence on the list and said that authorities were not “applying sufficient fines for anti-money laundering failings”. While Gibraltar is currently planning an overhaul of its gambling laws, its gambling commissioner has said that it will not issue more fines simple because of the FATF listing.
CREDIT SUISSE TO PAY $234 MILLION TO END FRENCH TAX PROBE
On 24 October, Reuters reported that Credit Suisse has agreed to pay France €238 million to settle a tax fraud and money laundering case, putting another legal headache behind it as it prepares a strategic overhaul.
CANADA: FINTRAC ISSUES OPERATIONAL ALERT REGARDING MONEY LAUNDERING FROM ILLICIT CANNABIS OPERATIONS
On 23 October, McCarthy Tetrault advised that, on 28 September, FINTRAC had issued an Operational Alert is to support entities that report to FINTRAC in better identifying and reporting financial transactions related to the laundering of proceeds from illicit cannabis activities. It notes that, while in 2018 an Act legalised and regulated the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis across the country, a 2021 survey found that 37% of respondents had said that that some or all of their cannabis was purchased from illegal sources.
NEW ZEALAND: COMMON AREAS OF AML/CFT NON-COMPLIANCE
On 20 October, the Department for Internal Affairs advised that it had recently reviewed the independent audit reports from a group of 38 reporting entities to understand their level of compliance with the AML/CFT Act. The most common areas of non-compliance identified by auditors are listed.
“PUTIN’S CHEF”, HEAD OF WAGNER GROUP, USED US AND UK LAW FIRMS TO FIGHT SANCTIONS
On 21 October, OCCRP reported on an article from The Intercept that says that Yevgeny Prigozhin is also known for funding the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a troll farm known for spreading disinformation globally, used the services of at least 4 UK and US law firms to challenge international sanctions against him.
UKRAINE SAYS FORMER CHIEF OF CENTRAL BANK WANTED IN EMBEZZLEMENT CASE
On 24 October, Rferl reported that Ukraine has said that former central bank Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko is a wanted man, along with 2 high-ranking employees of lender Ukrgasbank, on suspicion of embezzling more than $5.42 million. Shevchenko, who has denied any wrongdoing, was appointed the head of the central bank in July 2020.
IRISH REVENUE SEIZES ALMOST €369,000 CASH LEAVING DUBLIN PORT
On 21 October, the Revenue Commissioners reported that the cash concealed in a truck that was stopped and searched by Revenue officers before departing Dublin Port for the UK.
PANAMA RESTRICTS INFORMATION ON SANCTIONED FISHING BOATS, EVADING TRANSPARENCY
On 14 October, Mongabay reported that an investigation recently published by Mongabay Latam and Bloomberg Línea seeks to answer the question: Why would a foreign boat request to fly the Panamanian flag? The article says that the Panamanian authority, AMP, refused to hand over information concerning inspections carried out on Panama-registered boats and the resulting sanctions that were imposed, arguing that it is of a “restricted nature” despite its not being described as such in Panama’s Transparency Law nor being declared as such by any other kind of ruling – in the view of AMP, the information is restricted, in accordance with Article 14, Section 2 of the 2002 Transparency Law. The impossibility of accessing this information could also hinder the detection of illegal activities that put the health of the ocean’s ecosystems at risk, legal experts have said.
ABU DHABI COURT CONFISCATES $10.6 MILLION IN MONEY LAUNDERING, FORGERY CRACKDOWN
On 24 October, Al Arabiya reported that Abu Dhabi’s Federal Criminal Appeal Court confiscated funds worth over $10.6 million from 2 companies owned by a defendant on charges of sanctions evasion, forgery, and money laundering. The defendant is an Arab national and is to serve a 10-year prison sentence and will be deported upon sentence completion.
PERUVIAN HEALTH MINISTER DISMISSED AFTER SCANDAL
On 24 October, TeleSUR reported that Peru’s President Pedro Castillo dismissed Health Minister Jorge Lopez, whom the press accuses of buying an apartment with money deposited by officials of his institution.
US TREASURY RELEASES FIRST-EVER CFIUS ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTY GUIDELINES
On 20 October, Torres Trade Law published an article about the guidelines for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The Guidelines provide insight into how CFIUS determines whether and in what amount to impose a penalty or take some other enforcement action against a party that fails to comply with CFIUS mitigation agreements or other legal obligations.
EBA PUBLISHES REPORT ON THE INTEGRATION OF ESG RISKS IN THE SUPERVISION OF INVESTMENT FIRMS
A release on Mondo Visione on 24 October advised that the European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a Report on how to incorporate ESG risks in the supervision of investment firms. The Report also provides an initial assessment of how ESG factors and ESG risks could be included in the supervisory assessment of investment firms. Addressed to competent authorities, it sets out the foundations for integrating ESG risks-related considerations in the supervisory process of investment firms and covers the main SREP elements including: (i) business model analysis, (ii) assessment of internal governance and risk management, and (iii) assessment of risks (risk to capital and liquidity risk) – with proportionality as a key element of the Report.
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