Another holiday here, and quiet out – many people visiting family in the interior. La Prensa reports that it is expected that in the next few hours some 50,000 vehicles will return from the interior of the country to the capital”, although 150,000 vehicles are said to have travelled to the interior in total over the 3-day holiday period.
5 NOVEMBER 2022
CHARTING THE EXTENT OF IRAN’S ARMS PROLIFERATION
On 4 November, an article in Naval Technology examines this problem, saying that Iran’s support of proxies in the Middle East and allies such as Russia has extended to the provision of sophisticated weapons. It concludes that it is clear that Iran has adopted an asymmetric response to its many opponents and its exports create a challenge that is very difficult to defeat.
DESPITE SANCTIONS, THE CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE BINANCE LET IRANIAN BUSINESSES TRANSACT $8 BILLION
On 5 November, Inside Bitcoin reported that Blockchain data reveals that cryptocurrency firm Binance has handled $8 billion worth of Iranian transactions since 2018 despite US sanctions. It says that analysis shows that almost all the money flowed between Binance and Iran’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Nobitex, and that on its website, Nobitex provides instructions on how to avoid punishment. It is alleged that after Binance tightened its client screening in August 2021, Nobitex customers were still able to utilise Binance to trade crypto tokens, and that as late as this October, $20 million in Tron crypto tokens moved straight between Binance and Nobitex.
SANCTIONS FAIL TO HALT NORTH KOREA’S ACCELERATING WEAPONS PROGRAMMES
On 5 November, an analysis in The Print from India made this assertion. North Korea’s ballistic missile programme has become stronger and it has carried out a record-breaking testing regime of multiple types of weapons this year – including of ICBM designed to reach the U.S. mainland. Expectations are that it may soon end a self-imposed 5-year moratorium on nuclear bomb testing.
WHO IS SUBHASH KAPOOR, THE AMERICAN ANTIQUITIES DEALER WHO SMUGGLED LOOTED ARTIFACTS?
On 4 November, the Grunge website carried a feature addressing this question, saying that he was an American and Indian artifact collector, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in India for smuggling offences on 1 November. It is said that his illegal trade not only encompassed the US and India but also Afghanistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
GERMANY: BaFin ORDERS DEUTSCHE BANK TO STEP UP MONEY LAUNDERING CONTROLS
On 4 November, Reuters reported that the German finance watchdog has told Deutsche Bank to take specific measures to improve efforts to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing or face fines.
SANCTIONS: UN PANELS OF EXPERTS ON NORTH KOREA AND SOMALIA HAVE PUBLISHED REPORTS
On 5 November, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the UN Panels of Experts overseeing the sanctions regimes had issued their latest reports in September and October. It notes their recommendations, including that the UN the Security Council expand the listing criteria for Somalia sanctions to include “planning, directing, supporting, or committing acts involving economic blockades of Somali towns”.
UK: COMPANIES HOUSE REFORMS ON THE HORIZON
On 31 October, ICAEW reported on the measures intended to improve financial information on the companies register.
UK: THE ACCOUNTANT’S ROLE IN THE ROGUE DIRECTOR CRACKDOWN
On 1 November, a post from the ICAEW says that new rules make it easier to reprimand company directors who misuse company dissolution, especially to escape COVID-19 loans. The post explains the role of accountants in eliminating rogue directors and stamping out ‘phoenixism’.
US: DISCOVERY OF TEXT MESSAGES, IM, DM
On 4 November, an article from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner saying that digital messaging options continue to proliferate, with ever-increasing applications for text messages, instant messages (IM), or direct messages (DM). For simplicity the article refers to all these types of digital messages as “text messages”, but lawyers need to understand that discovery can extend to all the varied applications.
UKRAINE: SHARE OF ILLEGAL CIGARETTES REACHES 21.9%
On 3 November, TJI reported that, in a record high since Ukrainian independence, the share of illegal tobacco products has gone up by 5% cent compared to the average annual indicator for 2021.
NEW REPORT EXAMINES THE PERCEPTIONS OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM RISK FACTORS IN THE SOUTHERN LIBYAN BORDERLANDS AND NORTH-WESTERN NIGERIA
On 2 November, a report from the Small Arms Survey seeks to better understand the dynamics of these risk factors in southern Libya and the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger, and Sudan, as well as Nigeria. It finds that hardship and deprivation, the combination of discrimination and marginalisation along ethnic, tribal, or religious lines, and a comparatively limited access to basic services, are of particular concern from a prevention of violent extremism (PVE) perspective. The report also notes that perceptions of small arms varied significantly across the case studies, with respondents in Nigeria and Sudan reporting the highest levels of proliferation. The sources of weapons cited by respondents included the illegal market, the legal market, craft production, inheritance, state authorities, and employers.
DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS (DPA) APPROVED, REJECTED OR KNOWN TO BE PENDING APPROVAL WITH SFO OR CPS
On 3 November, Simmons & Simmons published its Tracker of DPA in the UK.
UK: CORRUPTION ENFORCEMENT TRACKER
On 3 November, Simmons & Simmons provided its Tracker, saying that there are a number of authorities who are charged with the investigation and prosecution of corruption offences in the UK. These include the CPS, NCA, SFO, FCA, and Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (the Crown Office). It says that while there has been a considerable amount of corruption enforcement activity in recent years, only a limited number of prosecutions have been brought under the Bribery Act 2010. The Tracker follows enforcement by the UK authorities only. However, it says that it is worth noting that enforcement activity is also rising in a number of other jurisdictions. UK companies operating overseas may find themselves increasingly under the scrutiny of the domestic authorities in the countries in which they operate.
DOES NORTH KOREA HARBOUR AIR-LAUNCHED CRUISE MISSILE AMBITIONS?
On 4 November, the International Institute for Strategic Studies asked this question, saying that weapons testing conducted during recent exercises suggests North Korea may be developing an air-launched cruise missile capability.
EU COMMISSION WARNS BULGARIA NOT TO CIRCUMVENT EU OIL SANCTIONS
On 2 November, EurActiv reported that Russian company Lukoil, owner of Bulgaria’s only refinery, should not try to circumvent the EU embargo and sell oil products produced from Russian oil abroad, according to a spokesperson of the European Commission. Bulgaria was exceptionally granted the right to use Russian oil until 2024, but this does not mean it can export and profit from the exception. The purpose of the exception was for Bulgaria to be able to use internally but not resell abroad, imported Russian oil, be it in the EU or to third countries.
SEC CHARGES HALAL CAPITAL FOUNDER WITH MULTIMILLION DOLLAR FRAUDULENT SCHEME THAT TARGETED MUSLIM COMMUNITY
A news release from the SEC on 2 November advised that it had charged Jebara Igbara, the founder of Halal Capital LLC, in connection with a more than $8 million scheme that targeted investors from the New York metropolitan area’s Muslim community.