It has been announced that the electricity subsidy, introduced as a help during the pandemic and available for those with a low use (up to 750 KWH per month), has been extended, but only for the month of November.
9 NOVEMBER 2022
UK: OVERSEAS PRODUCTION ORDERS
On 8 November, an article from Rahman Ravelli provided details of the UK overseas production order regime, including the main considerations when using it and the issues for corporates. A 2009 Act grants law enforcement agencies and prosecutors the power to apply for and obtain electronic data, via overseas production orders (OPO), directly from service providers based outside the UK for the purposes of criminal investigations. However, the use of this power requires that an international cooperation arrangement must be in place between respective countries before an OPO can be issued to obtain data in one or the other, and the such data access agreement currently in existence is between the US and UK.
LAFARGE SA: CORPORATE LIABILITY FOR TERRORIST FINANCING
On 7 November, an article from White & Case examined the case of Lafarge SA, a French company and the parent of a Syrian company which operated a cement plant in Syria between 2011 and 2015, when Syria was in a state of civil war. The subsidiary decided to remain, and entered into an arrangement with ISIS and other terrorist groups which saw it pay large amounts of money in return for the safety of its property and employees. The article concludes that the case contains important lessons. It highlights the importance of careful due diligence and a commitment to compliance.
SAFETY CONCERNS MOUNT OVER LITHIUM-ION BATTERY CARGO FIRES
On 9 November, Seatrade Maritime News reported that growing volumes of lithium-ion (li-ion) battery shipments are a major hazard across all transport modes, but container ships and vehicle carriers are particularly vulnerable. It warns that a fire in a container position low in a stack on a container ship is, to all intents and purposes, completely inaccessible, and that once a fire takes hold, the likelihood is that it could engulf the entire vessel.
DUAL-USE GOODS ARE FUELLING RUSSIA’S WAR ON UKRAINE AS ITS ADVANCED MILITARY SYSTEMS ARE DEPENDENT ON COMPONENTS FROM THE WEST
On 8 November, an article in Foreign Policy made this argument, saying that Russia’s military relies on Western technologies, despite the West’s best efforts to cut off the supply of critical parts. In the face of extensive sanctions, Russia’s war machine has still been able to acquire the inputs necessary for its advanced weaponry. It says that the Russian invasion has revealed a weakness in existing sanctions systems, shifting the lens from non-state actors to the real-world implications of the threat of state actors.
SLOVAK CUSTOMS AUTHORITIES REPORTEDLY ALLOWED DUAL-USE EXPORTS TO RUSSIA
On 8 November, bne Intellinews reported claims that Slovak customs police have been allowing export of IT and technology products to Russia, including technology for manufacturing tyres, bearings or entire gears. One example cited are exports of parts for the Austrian Rotax 912 small engine to Iran, which are used by Iranian drones deployed by the Russian army in Ukraine against civilian targets.
NVIDIA PLANS NEW GRAPHICS-PROCESSING CHIP FOR CHINA TO MEET US EXPORT RULES
On 8 November, Barrons reported that the company has launched a new graphics-processing chip with intentionally limited capacity to bypass the US Government’s export ban on semiconductor technology to China.
AUSTRALIA: OLIGARCH SUES OVER UKRAINE SANCTIONS
On 8 November, the Victoria Harbour Times reported that the sanctions imposed on Belarusian-Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin in the wake of the Ukraine war have been challenged in an Australian court.
RUSSIA MAKES DRINKS SMUGGLING DEAL
On 9 November, the Drinks Business reported that President Putin has approved parallel imports of certain western products, including numerous popular drinks brands. The legalisation of parallel imports, otherwise known as the ‘grey market’, was announced in March, but it has it has emerged that more companies had been added to the list, including many drinks companies, Disney and Lego.
VIETNAM AND LAOS REMAIN HOTSPOT FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS
On 8 November, the New Straits Times in Malaysia reported that the 2 countries remain a hotspot area to smuggle drugs from the golden triangle for local consumption and smuggling activities to other countries.
US SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE EXTRATERRITORIAL REACH OF TRADEMARK STATUTE
A post on the Transnational Litigation Blog on 4 November reported that, in 1952, the Court held that the act applied extraterritorially to the infringement of a US trademark in Mexico, but lower courts have developed different tests for implementing the decision, creating a circuit split. The Court is to review the position in a new case, it being proposed that the rule should be that the relevant Act applies only when infringement of a US trademark abroad is likely to cause consumer confusion in the US.
PNB CASE: UK COURT REJECTS NIRAV MODI’S PLEA AGAINST EXTRADITION
On 9 November, the Times of India reported that the High Court had rejected the appeal against a decision to allow the extradition in connection with the PNB Bank case.
UK: ESTATE AGENT MONEY LAUNDERING FINES GO THROUGH THE ROOF
On 9 November, The Negotiator reported that research has shown that the average fine handed to the estate agency sector has increased by 63.7% – but while the average fine issued to estate agents has increased, the sector still ranks with some of the lowest fines issued when compared to other sectors. However, the average AML fine handed to estate agents is predicted to increase further before the year is out.
Q&A: DIGITAL ASSETS FRAUD AND AML
In the December issue of Financier Worldwide Magazine an article involves a discussion of digital assets fraud and AML with Alma Angotti at Guidehouse, Katherine Lemire at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Eytan Fisch at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
UK: RUSSIA SANCTIONS STATUTORY GUIDANCE UPDATED
On 9 November, EU Sanctions blog reported that OFSI had updated its guidance to clarify the application of the prohibition on providing financial services and funds relating to restricted goods and G7 dependency and further goods.
UK: SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY IS PREPARING TO ISSUE A WARNING NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION ON ‘LAWFARE’ AND SLAPP
On 9 November, the Law Society Gazette reported that the SRA had prepared a notice on the use of the legal system by oligarchs and others to intimidate and abuse journalists and civil society actors.
€28 MILLION PONZI SCHEME SUSPECTS WANTED VIA INTERPOL ARRESTED IN GREECE AND ITALY
A news release from INTERPOL on 9 November advised that 2 suspects wanted in connection with an international Ponzi scheme which defrauded thousands of victims in the Republic of Korea have been arrested in Greece and Italy. The scheme embezzled approximately €28 million from some 2,000 Korean victims.
KAZAKHSTAN: NAZARBAYEV’S NEPHEW HANDS OVER $230 MILLION IN JEWELLERY
On 8 November, OCCRP reported that Kazakh authorities found and returned to the country jewellery worth more than $230 million once owned by a former influential and now incarcerated nephew of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kairat Satybaldy.
UK: LAW FIRMS UNDER “ACTIVE INVESTIGATION” FOR FLOUTING SANCTIONS REGIME
On 9 November, Legal Futures reported that a small number of law firms are being investigated for either actively or negligently breaching sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
EU DEADLINE LOOMS FOR DATA TRANSFER CONTRACTS REMEDIATION
On 8 November, Out-Law reported that businesses should review the basis on which they are transferring personal data internationally ahead of a looming EU compliance deadline that falls before the end of the year. From 27 December, organisations will no longer be able to rely on legacy versions of EU standard contractual clauses (SCC) – those adopted in 2004 or 2010 – for transferring personal data outside of the EEA.
CHINA’S DIGITAL YUAN WORKS JUST LIKE CASH — WITH ADDED SURVEILLANCE
On 8 November, Wired reported that eCNY, aka the electronic Chinese yuan or digital yuan, opens up new forms of government surveillance and social control. The head of GCHQ has warned that Beijing could use its digital currency to monitor its citizens and eventually evade international sanctions. Unlike Bitcoin, the digital yuan is issued directly by China’s central bank and does not depend on a blockchain and has the same value as its analogue equivalent, the yuan or RMB, and for consumers the experience of using the digital yuan is not that different from any other mobile payment system or credit card.
TOP-10 WAYS TO SPOT A CRYPTO SCAM
On 8 November, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission warned consumers of the key signs of a crypto scam and advising what to do if you’ve been scammed. According to ASIC’s investigators, the top–10 signs of a likely crypto scam are –
- You receive an offer out of the blue
- You see a celebrity advertisement that is actually a fake
- A romantic partner you only know on-line asks for money in crypto
- You get pressured into transferring crypto from your current exchange to another website
- You’re asked to pay for a financial service with crypto
- The app you’re using or directed to isn’t listed on the Google Play Store or Apple Store
- You need to pay more to access your money
- You are ‘guaranteed’ returns, or free money
- Strange tokens appear in your digital wallet
- The provider withholds investment earnings ‘for tax purposes’
UK: CITY TRADERS SENTENCED FOR ‘BOGUS ECUADORIAN GOLD MINE’ INVESTMENT
On 7 November, Yahoo Finance reported that city traders claiming to have exclusive rights to an Ecuadorian gold mine have been sentenced after duping hundreds of people out of nearly £5.5 million. The mastermind claimed to work for a company called IPR Capital Ltd, which employed broker companies as sales agents to sell shares in relation to a gold mine in Ecuador.
UKRAINE: ANTONOV REBUILDING WORLD’S LARGEST CARGO AIRCRAFT, THE AN 225 ‘MRIYA’
On 8 November, Flying reported that Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov is rebuilding the iconic An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest cargo airplane destroyed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the company has announced.
RESEARCHERS WARN THAT PROVINCES POSE THREAT TO CANADA’S BID TO CURB CORPORATE SECRECY
On 31 October, ICIJ published an article saying a new report from Transparency International Canada warns that Canada’s landmark efforts to implement reforms to stop criminals and sanctioned oligarchs from moving money through secretive shell companies may falter without substantial buy-in from the country’s provinces and territories.
RANSOMWARE ATTACKS – ISRAELI JUSTICE MINISTRY RECOMMENDATIONS
On 9 November, an article from Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co said that, in light of the increase in fraud crimes in the digital space, a team from the Israeli Justice Ministry has formulated recommendations for defining a policy to contend with ransomware attacks. The recommendations relate to both private entities and government bodies.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE HAD ON PANAMA 5 YEARS ON?
On 9 November, the BBC released an episode in its series “Stories from the Silk Road”. This focuses on Panama, saying that, in 2017 Panama became the first country in the region to sign up to China’s Belt and Road initiative, shortly after they had cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of Beijing. 5 years after signing up, what impact has the new Silk Road had on a nation with strong historical ties to the US? Travelling from one coast to the other, BBC South America correspondent, Katy Watson, aims to find out.
IRS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION (IRS-CI) EXPANDS PARTNERSHIPS WITH FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS
On 9 November, an article from Foodman CPAs and Advisers says that the IRS-CI annual report provides details on IRS-CI’s partnerships and significant criminal enforcement actions. These partnerships provided IRS-CI with the ability to develop leads for domestic and international investigations with an international nexus.
JAPAN FSA: FAQ RE AML/CFT GUIDELINES
On 9 November, a release on Mondo Visione advised that, on 5 August, the Financial Services Agency issued a set of FAQ.
US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S AGREEMENT WITH A DATA BROKER THAT FACILITATED ELDER FRAUD
On 9 November, a post from Lawfare was concerned with a case where several data-brokers compiled lists of people profiled as naïve (including elderly Americans and people with Alzheimer’s disease). They then sold those lists of vulnerable individuals to people or companies planning to disseminate fraudulent inquiries and advertisements to deceptively solicit money. The data-brokers then used feedback from those scammers to further refine the lists so that their information on vulnerable individuals likely to submit to a scheme would be more accurate. For approximately a decade, data brokers knowingly sold this information on vulnerable people to criminal scammers. The post reports on the “consent decree” which the DoJ agreed with one data-broker, having charged it with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, to delete the so-called “sucker list” and control future behaviour.