OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 7

There is news that a Panamanian was among those arrested in a semi-submersible (“narco-submarine”), located 103 nautical miles south-west of Malpelo Island, which would have sailed from Mosquera in Colombia with 496 kg of cocaine. the operation involved the Colombian and Ecuadorian navies. In another operation 2.2 tons of cocaine were seized in the Caribbean from a go-fast boat, manned by 4Colombians and a Panamanian.

In timely news, as the COP 27 meeting gets underway in Egypt, 1,200 inhabitants of the Panamanian island of Gardi Sugdub are relocating to the mainland in 2023 as their land is being overtaken by the rising sea. The the indigenous Guna people are to become the first residents of Latin America to be moved because their home for 100 years faces being submerged as the world’s sea levels rise. Gardi Sugdub is one of the 365 islands that make up the Blas archipelago. Most are uninhabited, but 39 were settled more than a century and a half ago by 30,000 Guna, who came from the Colombian and Panamanian mainland.

7 NOVEMBER 2022

LANDMARK DECISION COULD HERALD END TO EUROPE’S EXTRADITIONS TO CHINA

On 3 November, an article from 5AH Chambers reported that, in October, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) unanimously found that the extradition of a Taiwanese national to China, which Poland’s courts had cleared earlier, would place him at significant risk of ill-treatment and torture.  The article says that the decision will most likely mean European countries will find it near impossible to extradite suspects to China again.  It will also mean increased pressure on the 46 European countries that have extradition treaties with China to suspend such treaties

https://www.5sah.co.uk/knowledge-hub/articles/2022-11-03/landmark-decision-could-herald-end-to-europes-extraditions-to-china

GOOD FAITH OBLIGATIONS – CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING

On 4 November, an article from Gowling WLG was concerned with a recent Court of Appeal case involving the scope of an express duty of good faith in a shareholders’ agreement.  The Court said that such clauses must be read in their context, and discouraged attempts to define a set of minimum standards applicable to all good faith clauses.  It points out that, unlike in many civil law systems, there is no general doctrine of good faith in English contract law, but that a duty of good faith will be implied into certain categories of contracts.  The article says that commercial parties should take comfort that it means any obligation of good faith they include in their agreement will be interpreted in the context of that agreement, rather than by reference to a prescriptive checklist. 

https://gowlingwlg.com/en/insights-resources/articles/2022/good-faith-obligations/

PHILIPPINES: CENTRAL BANK LOOKING TO TIGHTEN MEASURES ON TERRORIST AND PROLIFERATION FINANCING

On 7 November, Business World reported that a proposed circular of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) would amend Part 9 of the Manual of Regulations for Banks and for Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and financial institutions are required to freeze without delay any property or funds related to terrorism and proliferation of WMD.  It is part of moves to try to have the country removed from the FATF grey list.

https://www.bworldonline.com/banking-finance/2022/11/07/485224/bsp-looking-to-tighten-measures-vs-terrorist-proliferation-financing/

RUSSIA’S AVIATION INDUSTRY DEFIES SANCTIONS TO REMAIN AIRBORNE

On 6 November, the Financial Times reported that a rebound in domestic traffic has triggered fears over the long-term safety of the fleet, with Airbus, Boeing and engine makers having ended product support. stopped support.

https://www.ft.com/content/0adc01f3-f87e-4ab2-9dc6-96a472f09435

MORE THAN 138,000 PROPERTIES IN ENGLAND AND WALES OWNED BY OFFSHORE COMPANIES

On 7 November, the Guardian reported that the companies have holdings in London worth a combined £55 billion. 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/nov/07/more-than-138000-properties-in-england-and-wales-owned-by-offshore-companies

UK: RUSSIA SANCTIONS FORCE ADJOURNMENT OF 3-WEEK TRIAL

On 4 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that a judge has postponed a Commercial Court trial involving claims and counter-claims for $30 million because one of the parties is awaiting approval from OFSI to pay for legal representation.  In the absence of a lawyer, VTB Commodities Trading had applied for permission to be represented at the hearing next year by its Swiss chief executive. 

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/russia-sanctions-force-adjournment-of-three-week-trial/5114203.article

A CRYPTO SCHEME IN CZECHIA LINKED TO RUSSIAN TUTORS OF CZECH

On 7 November, OCCRP reported that victims of the scheme were lured into paying an initial investment, only to be subsequently asked for increasingly more fees.  The alleged crypto traders who claim to have made millions from an ingenious algorithm trading cryptocurrencies in the Korean stock market turn out to be Russian and professional actors.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16988-a-crypto-scheme-in-czechia-linked-to-russian-tutors-of-czech

RWANDA FED FALSE INTELLIGENCE TO US AND INTERPOL AS IT PURSUED POLITICAL DISSIDENTS ABROAD

On 4 November, OCCRP said that an FBI report confirms that Rwanda has been conducting “poison pen” operations on American soil for years.  The report also reveals the US Government knew as early as 2015 that agents of the Rwandan government had repeatedly attempted to mislead and co-opt US law enforcement to target Kagame’s critics.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/rwanda-fed-false-intelligence-to-us-and-interpol-as-it-pursued-political-dissidents-abroad

GERMAN INSTITUTE STUDY FINDS TRADE VOLUME THROUGH RUSSIAN PORTS PLUMMETS

On 7 November, Rferl reported that the volume of goods being processed in Russian ports has slumped in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, in some cases significantly, a study by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy has found. 

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-ports-trade-plummets-ukraine-invasion/32119071.html

https://%20https//www.ifw-kiel.de/publications/media-information/2022/congestion-in-container-shipping-declines-sanctions-hit-russias-trade-hard/

EU SANCTIONS – UPDATED FAQ ON THE CARRIAGE OF CERTAIN RUSSIAN CARGOES INCLUDING COAL AND FERTILISERS

On 7 November, the Hellenic Shipping News reported that the EU has updated its FAQ.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/eu-sanctions-updated-faqs-published-by-the-eu-on-the-carriage-of-certain-russian-cargoes-including-coal-and-fertilisers/

RUSSIA BECOMES INDIA’S LARGEST SOURCE OF OIL AND FIFTH-BIGGEST TRADE PARTNER

On 7 November, Hellenic Shipping News reported that Russia is reported to have become India’s largest supplier of crude oil in October as refiners stepped up the purchase of discounted seaborne oil.  Traditionally, India has met the bulk of its crude oil needs from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and UAE.  Bilateral trade with Russia is now larger than trade with countries such as Indonesia, Iraq, Singapore, South Korea and Australia.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/russia-becomes-indias-largest-source-of-oil-and-fifth-biggest-trade-partner/

UK COURT APPROVES EXTRADITION OF ARMS DEALER SANJAY BHANDARI TO INDIA

On 7 November, Outlook India and others reported that arms middleman and consultant Sanjay Bhandari faces tax evasion and money laundering investigation in India.  He faces money laundering and tax evasion charges in India and is being investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). 

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/uk-court-approves-extradition-of-arms-dealer-sanjay-bhandari-facing-cbi-ed-probes-news-235414

CAPTAGON CONNECTION: HOW SYRIA BECAME A NARCO STATE

On 4 November, France 24 reported that a decade of appalling civil war has left Syria fragmented and in ruins but one thing crosses every front line: a drug called captagon.  It has spawned an illegal $10 billion industry that not only props up the pariah regime of President Bashar al-Assad, but many of his enemies.  Captagon is now by far Syria’s biggest export, dwarfing all its legal exports put together, according to estimates.

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20221103-captagon-connection-how-syria-became-a-narco-state

INSIDE THE BILLION-DOLLAR KABUL BANK CRASH

On 26 October, Al Jazeera released a 46-minute video saying that, from its foundation in 2004 to its collapse 6 years later and subsequent attempts to recover its vast losses, the video is the inside story of the rise and fall of Kabul Bank.  Involving nearly $1 billion of money laundering, deception, embezzlement and failure of accountability, the banking disaster hit the savings of many Afghan families and left a legacy that contributed to events in Afghanistan years later. In The Kabul Bank Crash, a financial “house of cards” story, is told by those on the inside and beyond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhlajU6Mois

COCA CULTIVATION IN COLOMBIA INCREASED BY 43% IN 2021

On 7 November, La Estrella de Panama reported that a UN Illicit Crop Monitoring report attributes the increase to the positioning of new criminal groups, the deterioration of socioeconomic conditions due to the pandemic and the reduction of government intervention in cultivated areas.

https://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/221107/cultivos-coca-colombia-incrementaron-43

REPORT: IRANIAN DRONES IN UKRAINE CONTAIN WESTERN BRAND COMPONENTS

On 31 October, the Institute for Science and International Security published a report saying that it had analysed open-source information compiling reported or visible Western parts and components used in Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, operated by Russian forces in Ukraine.

https://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/iranian-drones-in-ukraine-contain-western-brand-components

https://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/iran-threat-assessment-introducing-the-iran-threat-geiger-counter

INSURANCE BROKER ARTHUR J GALLAGHER SUBPOENAED BY US DoJ FOREIGN BRIBERY UNIT

On 4 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the news makes it the latest company to become ensnared in a sprawling investigation into corruption at state-owned companies in Ecuador.  Prosecutors from that unit have asked Arthur J Gallagher for information related to its insurance business with public entities in Ecuador.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/insurance-broker-arthur-j-gallagher-subpoenaed-by-justice-departments-foreign-bribery-unit-11667584283

NORTH KOREA SENDS AMMUNITIONS TO RUSSIA

On 7 November, CSIS published a Q&A on US reports that that the DPRK is covertly supplying Russia’s war in Ukraine with a significant number of artillery shells, while obfuscating the real destination of the arms shipments by trying to make it appear as though they are being sent to countries in the Middle East or North Africa.

https://pardot.csis.org/webmail/906722/1183398885/9775dc179c1efaf4fb26772bb0aee380788820b67735ffa1c168eca40e35823f

THE NORTH KOREAN CRYPTO THREAT

On 13 October, an Expert Insight from K2 Integrity says that, with the advent of the crypto economy, the North Korean regime has taken full advantage of its ability to engage in cyber heists and obtain cryptocurrencies as a means of accessing capital.  This has been both a means of funding the regime and an asymmetric posture to attack enemy systems.  Exploiting the crypto ecosystem has now become a consistent source of revenue for the regime as well as being another weapon to be wielded against its enemies.  It says that the North Korea threat to the crypto ecosystem is the highest form of immediate risk to the crypto-economy driven by a regime that seeks to profit from its misuse to reinforce its regime and fuel all its programs – without concern for the integrity, security, or stability of the evolving crypto economy and technologies.

https://www.k2integrity.com/en/knowledge/expert-insights/2022/the-north-korean-crypto-threat

US DoJ SEIZES $3.3 BILLION IN STOLEN BITCOIN TIED TO SILK ROAD CASE

On 7 November, CNET reported that the DoJ had seized the Bitcoin from a Georgia man who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, and he faces up to 20 years in prison. James Zhong, 32, stole approximately 50,000 Bitcoin from the marketplace in September 2012. He is said to done this by setting up numerous accounts on Silk Road, depositing small amounts of Bitcoin, then executing multiple withdrawals in the same second.  This tricked the system into giving him significantly more Bitcoin than he deposited. 

https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/crypto/doj-seizes-3-3b-in-stolen-bitcoin-tied-to-silk-road-case/#ftag=CAD590a51e

https://beincrypto.com/us-attorney-announces-guilty-plea-of-silk-road-thief/

JERSEY: ‘DISHONEST AND EVASIVE’ ART DEALER CREATED FALSE DOCUMENTS TO SECURE LOANS ON PICTURES WHICH HE DID NOT OWN

On 7 November, Jersey Evening Press reported that the Royal Court had published a lengthy judgment in the case of a retired investment banker who had sued his former business partner, even though the case was ultimately settled out of court for undisclosed damages.  Christian Hore argued that Andrew Valmorbida owed him $15.6 million and he also claimed damages of $20 million during a 7-day trial before the Royal Court in May last year.

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2022/11/07/jerseys-royal-court-goes-public-about-dishonest-art-dealer/

IRAN’S TRANSFER OF WEAPONRY TO RUSSIA FOR USE IN UKRAINE

On 4 November, the US Congressional Research Service published a briefing saying that the Biden administration says that Iran has transferred armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV, or drones) to Russia, which has used them against a range of targets in Ukraine. US officials express concern that Russia may seek to procure missiles from Iran.

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN12042

EMERGING MILITARY TECHNOLOGIES: BACKGROUND AND ISSUES FOR US CONGRESS

On 1 November, the US Congressional Research Service published a briefing on various new and emerging technologies – artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons, hypersonic weapons, directed energy weapons, biotechnology, and quantum technology. 

https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46458

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

DOMESTIC TERRORISM: UNDERSTANDING THE THREAT AND HOW BANKS CAN COUNTER IT

On 20 October, K2 Integrity published an Expert Insight saying that financial institutions can be vital to combating the threat of domestic terrorism, just as they played a critical role after 9/11 in helping to identify terrorists, map out their support networks, and enhance the effectiveness of targeted financial sanctions.

https://www.k2integrity.com/en/knowledge/expert-insights/2022/domestic-terrorism-understanding-the-threat-and-how-banks-can-counter-it

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OFAC DESIGNATES MEMBERS OF ISIS CELL IN SOUTH AFRICA

On 7 November, OFAC designated 4 members of an ISIS cell operating in South Africa who have provided technical, financial, or material support to the terrorist group.  It also designated 8 companies owned, controlled, or directed by the individuals in this ISIS cell.  ISIS continues to expand its terrorist network across the continent, as evidenced by the July 2022 UN Security Council report that highlighted the emerging importance of the country for funds transfers from ISIS leadership to ISIS affiliates across Africa.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221107

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1084

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

INSIDE THE GLOBAL HACK-FOR-HIRE INDUSTRY

On 5 November, a report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalists said that investigation by the Bureau and the Sunday Times has revealed the contents of a leaked database from inside one of the major “hack-for-hire” gangs from the Indian underworld.  It shows the extent of illegal computer hacking across the City of London for corporate intelligence companies targeting British businesses, journalists and politicians.  However, it says, this gang is not the only one.  The undercover reporters made contact with a series of Indian hackers who were secretly filmed speaking openly about their illicit work and their underground industry’s nefarious influence in Britain.

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2022-11-05/inside-the-global-hack-for-hire-industry

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y