OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – NOVEMBER 8

The latest Covid statistics for the week to 5 November show that, while there were no fatalities again, but the 838 new cases reported was an increase of 223 on the figure for the previous week. The number of active cases is up 134 to 1,140, with just 1 patient in ICU (as last week) and 70 in other wards (up 9). The test percentage also rose, from 4% to 5.9%.

8 NOVEMBER 2022

THE EU SINGLE MARKET EMERGENCY INSTRUMENT (SMEI): COMPARED TO THE US DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT

On 4 November, Steptoe & Johnson published an article saying that, in September, the EU presented the Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI), a crisis management framework designed to secure supply chains of “identified, strategically important goods and services” within the EU during times of emergency.  It was introduced as a response to the significant structural issues in the EU’s supply chain of critical goods and services, which were highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comments on the Proposed EU Regulation are currently due by 17 December 17.  Under SMEI the Commission could restrict or permit production or the movement of critical goods, as well as direct companies to provide certain information or to prioritise production of critical goods.

https://www.steptoeglobaltradeblog.com/2022/11/the-eu-single-market-emergency-instrument-comparing-the-smei-against-the-u-s-defense-production-act/#page=1

EXPANSION OF THE TORT OF UNLAWFUL MEANS IN CONSPIRACY

On 28 October, an article from Quadrant Chambers reported that the Court of Appeal in London appears to have widened greatly the tort of unlawful means conspiracy.  The relevant decision establishes that for unlawful means conspiracy the unlawful means can be (a) a breach of contract; (b) even where the contract is with a third party rather than the claimant, and the breach is not actionable by the claimant; and (c) even if the breach is completely irrelevant to the claimant and its business.  It notes that this approach does not require is any connection between the unlawfulness of the unlawful act and the claimant’ loss, or (in other words) that that the unlawful act is directed at the claimant – so that a contract may be with a third party rather than the claimant, and the breach might be completely irrelevant to the claimant and its business. 

https://www.quadrantchambers.com/news/expansion-unlawful-means-conspiracy-john-passmore-kc

SANCTIONS: UPDATE ON AUSTRALIA’S RESPONSE TO THE SITUATION IN UKRAINE

O4 November, Herbert Smith Freehills provided an update, as of 3 November, on the Australian sanctions regime, including more recent changes to restrictions on the export of gold.

https://www.mondaq.com/uk/export-controls-trade-investment-sanctions/1247558/sanctions-tracker-update-on-australia39s-response-to-the-situation-in-ukraine-3-november-2022

US NAVY SHIP RECEIVES FIRST METAL 3D-PRINTING MACHINE

On 7 November, Breaking Defense reported that the US Navy has, for the first time, permanently installed a 3D-printer capable of producing metal components (aboard the USS Bataan ), paving the way for the fleet to much more rapidly and effectively maintain vessels at sea.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/11/navys-amphib-bataan-receives-first-permanent-metal-3d-printer-for-parts

PALM OIL FACES HEADWINDS AMID CHINA LOCKDOWNS, EU PHASEOUT

On 8 November, Nikkei Asia reported that market uncertainties and slowing economies are hitting global palm oil demand, forcing top producers Malaysia and Indonesia to rethink strategies, especially as prices face further downward pressure over the medium and long term due to growing EU opposition to the commodity.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Agriculture/Palm-oil-faces-headwinds-amid-China-lockdowns-EU-phaseout

36 PEOPLE CALLED TO TRIAL IN PANAMA FOR ODEBRECHT BRIBES

On 8 November, Deutsche Welle reported that former Panamanian presidents Ricardo Martinelli and Juan Carlos Varela are also accused in the same case. 

https://www.dw.com/es/llaman-a-juicio-a-36-personas-en-panam%C3%A1-por-sobornos-de-odebrecht/a-63677763

https://www.prensa.com/politica/martinelli-y-varela-entre-los-llamados-a-juicio-por-el-caso-odebrecht-conozca-todos-los-nombres-que-estan-en-la-lista/

HONG KONG CUSTOMS SEIZES ALMOST 50 TONNES OF DRIED SEAFOOD WORTH HK$250 MILLION IN BIGGEST SMUGGLING BUST SO FAR THIS YEAR

On 8 November, The Star reported that the seafood was seized before it could be shipped to mainland China to meet festive season demand.  The year’s biggest haul of smuggled goods so far also included 30 tonnes of waste comprising old batteries, circuit boards and ground plastic items banned from being imported into the mainland, and mainland-made cameras and lens.

https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2022/11/08/hong-kong-customs-seizes-almost-50-tonnes-of-dried-seafood-worth-hk250-million-in-biggest-smuggling-bust-so-far-this-year

GERMANY: UBS BANKS SEARCHED IN MONEY LAUNDERING PROBE OF RUSSIAN

On 8 November, AP reported that police raided 2 branches of Swiss bank UBS in Germany in connection with alleged money laundering by a Russian businessman.  The prosecutor did not identify the suspect by name, but said the raids were connected to an investigation in which officials raided a luxury yacht and 2 dozen properties in Germany in September, but local media mentioned Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov. 

https://www.milfordmirror.com/news/article/Germany-Banks-searched-in-money-laundering-probe-17567167.php

https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/business/2242913-german-prosecutors-search-ubs-branches-in-russian-oligarch-money-laundering-investigation

NIGERIAN INFLUENCER ‘HUSHPUPPI’ JAILED IN US FOR MONEY LAUNDERING

On 8 November, Yahoo News reported that Ramon Abbas has been sentenced to 135 months in prison for money laundering and fraud.  He was taken into federal custody in June 2020 after he was arrested in Dubai and expelled from the UAE.  In one scheme in January 2019, Abbas worked with a co-conspirator to launder $14.7 million that North Korean hackers had stolen from a bank in Malta.  On Instagram, Abbas regaled his followers with pictures of himself in designer clothes and posing with luxury cars and private jets.

https://news.yahoo.com/nigerian-influencer-known-flaunting-photos-092528103.html

https://zizonline.com/nigerian-influencer-hushpuppi-jailed-in-us-for-money-laundering/

UK: EU LAW OVERHAUL WILL HAVE ‘DEVASTATING IMPACT’ 

On 8 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that the Bill to revoke and replace retained EU law could have a devastating impact on legal certainty in the UK, the Law Society has said as the Bill reaches committee stage in the House of Commons. 

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/eu-law-overhaul-will-have-devastating-impact-society/5114224.article

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/nov/08/government-finds-extra-1400-laws-scrap-rees-mogg-brexit-bill

44 ARRESTED IN POLAND IN A STING TARGETING ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

A news release from Europol on 8 November advised that the Polish Central Cybercrime Bureau, supported by Europol, targeted child sexual abuse through the setting-up of a special team of police officers in August.  At the end of October, Polish police officers carried out 82 searches across the country and arrested 44 suspects.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/media-press/newsroom/news/44-arrested-in-poland-in-sting-targeting-online-child-sexual-exploitation

NORTH KOREA MAKES UNIFORMS FOR RUSSIAN SOLDIERS IN UKRAINE, VIOLATING UN SANCTIONS

On 8 November, Eurasia Review reported that North Korean factories are producing uniforms for Russian soldiers – in violation of UN sanctions.  At least 3 factories in Pyongyang, and more in other parts of the country, are bringing in foreign currency for the cash-strapped government by making winter uniforms, underwear, and footwear for Russian soldiers in Ukraine using Russian raw materials, sources said.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/08112022-north-korea-makes-uniforms-for-russian-soldiers-in-ukraine-violating-un-sanctions/

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/russia-uniforms-11072022172110.html

FATE OF SEIZED TANKER PURSUED BY NIGERIA RAISES INDUSTRY LEGAL AND SECURITY CONCERNS

On 8 November, Lloyds List reported that claims that the decision by Equatorial Guinea to force the return of an arrested tanker to Nigeria amounts to ‘unlawful rendition’.  In August, Equatorial Guinea detained an oil tanker, the Marshall Islands-flagged 300,000 dwt VLCC Heroic Idun, capable of carrying 2 million barrels after it attempted to load in Nigeria without proper paperwork.  The Nigerian Navy said that the ship was attempting to load oil at the Akpo SBM without due clearance from state oil company NNPC, and that it “resisted arrest” when ordered to stop. It is said that the case raises serious concerns across the tanker sector regarding the Nigerian Navy’s treatment of crew and apparent disregard of international law.

https://splash247.com/equatorial-guinea-to-send-arrested-vlcc-and-its-crew-back-to-nigeria/

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/oil-supertanker-detained-after-nigerian-navy-says-it-resisted-arrest-2022-08-19/

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1142852/Fate-of-seized-tanker-pursued-by-Nigeria-raises-industry-legal-and-security-concerns

AUSTRALIA: ‘INDUSTRIAL SCALE’ VISA SCAMS CREATING UNDERCLASS OF WORKERS OPEN TO EXPLOITATION

On 8 November, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that suspected visa scams have brought up to 100,000 workers into Australia using false claims that have choked the system, fuelling fears about illicit labour as the government launches a sweeping review of the migration regime.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/industrial-scale-visa-scams-creating-underclass-of-workers-open-to-exploitation-20221107-p5bw72.html

MACAU: FORMER SUNCITY EMPLOYEES TESTIFY ON CROSS-BORDER CAPITAL TRANSFER

On 4 November, Asia Gaming Brief reported that 2 former employees of former Macau junket business Suncity have testified on how they were able to evade tight cross-border capital controls between Macau and mainland China.  It is said that the arrangements facilitated such exchanges for mainland gamblers using a dedicated list of individuals who both held cash accounts in Suncity and bank accounts on the mainland.

https://agbrief.com/news/macau/04/11/2022/former-suncity-employees-testify-on-cross-border-capital-transfer/

WHY BELGIUM IS NOW THE COCAINE CAPITAL OF EUROPE

A 15-minute video report from The Economist says that, with record seizures of cocaine at Belgian ports, the country has become Europe’s cocaine-trafficking capital. As the flow of drugs increases, local authorities are struggling with corruption and violence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsH152NE9Ak

CORRUPTION IN GOLD MINING AND RECYCLING

On 7 November, the Basel Institute on Governance published a summary of remarks at its Gold Day II meeting on corruption risks in gold supply chains.  Among other things, it is said that, in numerous countries, corruption is used to avoid effective environmental impact assessments, to issue fake export permits and certifications and to ward off inspections.  When wrongdoing is uncovered, corruption helps to stymie law enforcement efforts.  It is said that recycled gold is no less a risk.

https://baselgovernance.org/blog/corruption-gold-mining-and-recycling

EUROJUST ENABLES HEARING IN JUDICIAL INVESTIGATION OF QATAR-BASED OWNER OF MÁLAGA FOOTBALL CLUB

On 7 November, a news release from Eurojust advised that it has enabled the formal hearing of the Qatar-based owner of the professional football club Málaga CF and 3 of his sons, as part of a Spanish judicial investigation.It is said that the investigation isbased on suspicions of malfeasance, misappropriation and money laundering.  Direct approaches by the Spanish investigative judge on the case towards the authorities in Qatar yielded no results and a hearing of the club owner was impossible.

https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/news/eurojust-enables-hearing-judicial-investigation-qatar-based-owner-malaga-football-club

GHANA: FORMER CEO OF BEIGE BANK CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING AND THEFT

On 6 November, Ghana Business News reported that a former CEOof Beige Bank Limited, has been charged with 44 counts of money laundering, fraudulent breach of trust and stealing depositors’ money. The Bank’s licence was revoked in August 2018.

https://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2022/11/06/former-ceo-of-beige-bank-charged-with-money-laundering-theft/

DENMARK: DANSKE BANK’S EX-CEO ACQUITTED IN $325 MILLION CIVIL CASE OVER MONEY LAUNDERING

On 8 November, Bloomberg BNN reported that Danske Bank A/S’s former CEO, Thomas Borgen, has been acquitted in a civil case where shareholders had sought $325 million related to his role in the Danish lender’s money laundering scandal.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/danske-bank-s-ex-ceo-borgen-acquitted-in-325-million-civil-case-1.1843185

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/william-j-callahan-iii_bec-eac-cryptocurrency-activity-6995735479304265728-_scD

CLEAN ENERGY: TACKLING CORRUPTION IN THE TRANSITION TO NET ZERO

On 8 November, a Commentary from RUSI says that the transition to net zero risks being undermined by a lack of understanding of the risks of corruption in the renewable energy sector.  As COP27 gets underway, the question remains: how can the G20 tackle the forthcoming challenges?

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/clean-energy-tackling-corruption-transition-net-zero

SINGAPORE: JP MORGAN VINDICATED IN TRADE FINANCE SANCTIONS LAWSUIT

On 7 November, the Global Trade Review reported that Singapore’s High Court has sided with JP Morgan after the bank was sued for refusing to pay a coal trader under a letter of credit (LC) because it believed doing so would have violated US sanctions laws.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/jp-morgan-vindicated-in-trade-finance-sanctions-lawsuit/

US BIS ISSUES “CHARGING LETTER” AGAINST ELECTRONICS TRADING COMPANY AND ITS OWNER FOR VIOLATING US EXPORT CONTROLS

On 8 November, KPMG reported that the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce had issued an administrative charging letter against an electronics trading company and its owner – Mohammad Alhamra and his company WEBS Electronics Trading Company LLC – alleging violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) related to exports of US telecommunications equipment and related commodities to Syria and Iran.

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/11/tnf-us-bis-charging-letter-electronic-trading-company-us-export-controls.html

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OFAC TARGETS MAJOR ARMS BROKER FOR BURMA’S MILITARY REGIME

On 8 November, OFAC announced that it has designated 1 individual and 1 entity that facilitate weapons purchases for Burma’s military regime. This action, which is in conjunction with newly-issued EU sanctions, marks the second anniversary of the last general election in Burma in November 2020, which was brutally overturned by a military coup in February 2021.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221108

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1086

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OFAC DESIGNATES DPRK WEAPONS REPRESENTATIVES AND REDESIGNATES TORNADO CASH

On 8 November, OFAC announced is that it had designated 2 individuals for engaging in transportation and procurement activities on behalf of the DPRK.  These individuals have acted on behalf of Air Koryo, a designated entity operating in the transportation industry in the DPRK economy.  OFAC also delisted and simultaneously redesignated Tornado Cash to take into account additional information and also includes an additional basis for the designation of Tornado Cash regarding its support for DPRK activities.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221108

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1087

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

ISLE OF MAN TO AMEND ACT DEALING WITH BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP FROM 31 DECEMBER

On 8 November, a news release advised that, subject to the necessary Order being approved at the December sitting of the island’s parliament, the Beneficial Ownership Act 2017 is to be amended, with effect from 31 December, to allow access by “obliged entities”, that is to say businesses in the financial and gambling sectors in the island which are carrying on “regulated activities”.  Note that this still does not create a public register of any sort (for example, other legal entities, or a third party authorised by them, may only access the database to access beneficial ownership information in relation to that specific legal entity alone), and severe restrictions, including criminal penalties, exist on the unauthorised onward disclosure of information.  Information may be supplied by the FIU to an external intelligence or law enforcement agency.  The new section 26, with the proposed amendments in italics, is reproduced below.

26           Persons who may access the Database

(1)          Each of the competent authorities may access the Database for a permitted purpose (see sections 3(1) and 15(3)).

(2)          The following persons or bodies may access the Database —

(a)           the Department [i.e. the Department of Economic Affairs, which controls the Companies registry etc], for the purpose of its functions under this Act;

(b)          the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, for the purpose of the Commission’s functions under any other enactment;

(c)           employees of the Government Technology Services Division of the Cabinet Office, for the purpose of maintaining the Database and the required website (see section 22(8));

(d)          a legal entity to which this Act applies, for the purpose of accessing the beneficial ownership information submitted in relation to that legal entity; and

(e)          a third party that is authorised by a legal entity, to access beneficial ownership information in relation to that legal entity to which the authorisation applies; and

(f)           an obliged entity —

(i)            carrying on a regulated activity, for the purposes of carrying out its functions in respect of Part 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Code 2019 as it has effect from time to time and any instrument or enactment amending or replacing it; or

(ii)           for the purpose of carrying out its functions in respect of Part 4 of the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Code 2019 as it has effect from time to time and any instrument or enactment amending or replacing it.

(3)          To avoid doubt, for the purpose of subsection (2)(d), access to the Database by a legal entity includes access for the purpose of —

(a)           viewing the beneficial ownership information in relation to that entity contained on the Database; and

(b)          submitting information in relation to that entity in accordance with section 22 (beneficial ownership information to be submitted online). Section 27 Beneficial Ownership Act 2017 Page 28 AT 3 of 2017 c

(4)          The Treasury may by order amend subsections (1) to (3).

(5)          An order under subsection (4) must not come into operation unless it is approved by Tynwald.

An “obliged entity”, a new definition inserted into section 3 (Interpretation) of the 2017 Act, is defined as follows.

“obliged entity” means a person or body carrying on —

(a)          a regulated activity for the purpose of the Financial Services Act 2008; or

(b)          a business or activity to which the Gambling (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Code 2019 applies in accordance with paragraph 2(11) of Schedule 4 to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/nov/08/tynwald-to-consider-changes-to-beneficial-ownership-law/

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-SD-0293.pdf

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

ECUADOR: 7 EX-PETROECUADOR OFFICIALS ARRESTED IN A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BRIBERY SCHEME

On 7 November, OCCRP reported that police had arrested 7 people, including 4 former executives of the country’s oil company Petroecuador, suspected of participating in a multi-million dollar bribery and money laundering scheme that allegedly involved a friend of a former President.  The suspects are business partners of Nilsen Arias – an accused money launderer and ally of Ecuadorian ex-President Rafael Correa. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/16992-ex-petroecuador-officials-arrested-in-a-multi-million-dollar-bribery-scheme

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU: 19 INDIVIDUALS AND 1 ENTITY ADDED TO MYANMAR SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2022/2177/EU of 8 November added 19 persons and 1 entity to the list of natural and legal persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures set out in Annex IV to EU Regulation 401/2013.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32022R2177&from=EN

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.LI.2022.286.01.0012.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2022:286I:TOC

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y