Some thoughts triggered by a Bill currently in the National Assembly in Panama…
First, the good news, Panama City Panama will hold, on 11 December, the Christmas parade, an event that was not contemplated for this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Meanwhile, Cervecería Nacional de Panamá becomes the first brewery in the region with 100% solar production.
10 NOVEMBER 2022
UK RIGHT TO RENT IMMIGRATION CHECKS LANDLORDS FAQ
On 9 November, Richmond Chambers provided these FAQ which deal with some further commonly asked questions around the right to rent immigration check requirement.
TRANSPORT OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES – A CONTINUOUS THREAT
On 1 November, a White Paper from insurers UK P&I Club and the TT Club and scientific consultants Brookes Bell highlights the continuing safety threat for shipping created by the transportation of lithium-ion batteries. It says that the increased demand for ‘green power’ for a wide range of portable devices such as mobile phones, mobility aids and recreation, manufacturing and power storage, through to larger products, such as electric vehicles will undoubtedly result in the production and transport of these batteries rising exponentially in the coming years.
MEASURES BANNING PRODUCTS MADE WITH FORCED LABOUR: THE US, EU AND UK APPROACH
On 7 November, an article from Steptoe & Johnson LLP describes the key similarities and differences between the US and the EU measures (see also earlier posts from the firm on US and US legislation, and proposed EU measures), and briefly describes the state of play in the UK.
BOLIVIA: PRE-EVALUATION STAGE OF FATF MUTUAL EVALUATION
Reduno and others reported on 9 November that Financial Action Task Force of Latin America (Gafilat) representatives had held meetings in Bolivia to coordinate the pre-evaluation stage of the process.
CREDIT SUISSE: RE-EMERGENCE OF THE US 2014 TAX-CHEATING CASE
On 9 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that Credit Suisse pleaded guilty in 2014 to conspiring to help thousands of Americans cheat on their taxes, but 8 years later, DoJ officials have found deficiencies in the bank’s handling of its plea agreement, and have questioned the bank about hundreds of millions of dollars in accounts belonging to US citizens that the bank closed soon after its guilty plea, but didn’t immediately report; and why it did not implement uniform policies globally to make sure bank employees handled such accounts appropriately.
ONE OF THE UK’S BIGGEST-EVER ILLEGAL TOBACCO FACTORIES HAS BEEN DISMANTLED
On 10 November, a news release from HMRC advised that a state-of-the-art factory in Leicester, which was capable of producing more than 7 million cigarettes a week, was uncovered in an operation by HMRC with support from law enforcement partners in Poland. More than 8.5 tonnes of tobacco was also recovered from the site, worth more than £3 million in unpaid duty. 9 fully loaded lorries were needed to remove the machinery.
SFO BOSS LISA OSOFSKY TO LEAVE POST
On 10 November, Financial News London reported that SFO director Lisa Osofsky is set to step down in August 2023 after a term in office that has been beset by scandals.
RUSSIA (SANCTIONS) (OVERSEAS TERRITORIES) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 3) ORDER 2022
This UK Order makes amendments to the Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020, which extends with modifications the UK’s Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, as amended from time to time, to all British Overseas Territories except Bermuda and Gibraltar (which implement sanctions under their own legislative arrangements).
350 TONNES OF DANGEROUS FIREWORKS SEIZED IN GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS
On 9 November, a news release from Europol advised of the dismantling of a criminal network involved in the illegal trafficking of fireworks. The suspects stored the large and highly explosive fireworks in unsecured locations, posing a serious risk to the safety of those living in the surrounding areas.
AUSTRALIA: A NEW CYBER CRIME TREND ROPES THE ELDERLY INTO DRUG TRAFFICKING
On 9 November, OCCRP reported that, in Australia criminals are offering their elderly victims to get money back lost in scams by serving as drug mules.
GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION IN THE METAVERSE UNDER LAW COMMISSION REVIEW
On 9 November, an article from Dentons asked do “traditional” geographic boundaries mean anything in the Metaverse? Under what law should international parties dealing in intangible assets, recorded only on decentralised, unregulated, global ledgers transact? It says that the Law Commission of England and Wales is reviewing applicable law in the context of emerging technology, such as digital assets (NFT, cryptocurrency etc) and electronic trade documents. This review is directly relevant to transactions and asset ownership in the Metaverse (because cryptocurrencies are used to purchase goods and services, and NFT are bought and sold and used to record ownership of digital assets).
THE IMPACT OF THE WAR ON RUSSIAN IMPORTS: A COUNTERFACTUAL ANALYSIS
On 9 November, a report from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) compares actual trade flows with a no-war counterfactual to assess, almost in real time, the overall effects of the conflict and the following sanctions. Results suggest that aggregate Russian imports in March-August were about 40% below the corresponding counterfactual, with much stronger effects for flows from sanctioning countries and for products such as motor vehicles and electronics. The shortage of these goods may hurt the Russian economy in the short term and hinder its potential long-term growth.
NAMIBIA: NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO END SECRECY AFTER FISHROT SCANDAL
On 9 November, The Namibian reported that the Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR) has accused the Namibian government of failing to address loopholes in the fishing industry which led to the “Fishrot” scandal; and that the government is sitting with idle hands on any improvements after the allegations of the Fishrot fishing quotas fraud and corruption case, 3 years after the scandal was exposed.
FRENCH FINANCIAL PROSECUTORS RAID HEADQUARTERS OF 2023 RUGBY WORLD CUP
On 9 November, the Guardian reported that French financial prosecutors (PNF) have been searching the headquarters of France 2023 as part of a preliminary investigation into the management of the Rugby World Cup organising committee.
3D-PRINTED GUNS: WARNINGS IN UK OVER GROWING THREAT OF 3D FIREARMS
On 9 November, the BBC reported that, after a “suspected makeshift 3D firearms factory” was discovered at a home in London, experts also warn of a growing threat. Early versions of 3D printed guns were unreliable, single-shot weapons, but now the NCA tells the BBC the guns are “credible and viable”.
US IS QUIETLY ASKING MAJOR BANKS LIKE JP MORGAN AND CITI TO KEEP DOING BUSINESS WITH SOME RUSSIAN BUSINESSES
On 8 November, Yahoo Finance reported that a report from Bloomberg said that banks were asked to keep dealing with businesses that are partly exempt from sanctions. The motive was said to be reducing the prospect of a global economic crisis.
OFAC: RUSSIA-RELATED GENERAL LICENSE AND FAQ
On 10 November, OFAC advised that it had issued General License 53: Authorizing Transactions for Diplomatic Missions of the Russian Federation Prohibited by Directive 4 under Executive Order 14024. This covers transactions and prohibitions related to transactions involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. It also released related FAQ 1096.
JERSEY: POLICE HAVE ADMITTED CONDUCTING UNLAWFUL SEARCHES IN APRIL ON JERSEY PREMISES ALLEGEDLY CONNECTED TO ROMAN ABRAMOVICH
On 10 November, EU Sanctions blog reported that the searches were covered by a warrant obtained by the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit. Their legality was challenged by the companies. The police have acknowledged that the warrants were obtained unlawfully and should be quashed, and have also agreed to pay damages, costs and apologise to Mr Abramovich.
OFSI AMENDS TRUPHONE GENERAL LICENCE
On 10 November, OFSI announced that it had extended the licence granted under the Russia sanctions legislation to extend the expiry date until 28 April 2023, add subsidiary companies of Truphone Limited (with the exception of Cellnetrix Technology), and provide further information about what is permitted under the licence.
OFAC ISSUES RUSSIA SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENSE 8D
On 10 November, OFAC announced it had granted General License 8D: Authorizing transactions related to energy, to expire on 15 May.
US: CONVICTED AL-QAIDA TERRORIST REMOVED TO UK
On 10 November, a news release from US Immigration & Customs Enforcement announced that convicted foreign terrorist Haroon Rashid Aswat, 48, had been removed to the UK. He is a British citizen convicted in US federal court of conspiring to provide, and providing, material support to al-Qaida. Aswat, who was sentenced in 2015, served 7 years in a US federal prison.
ISLE OF MAN: 4 RUSSIA SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENCES
On 10 November, the Isle of Man announced the issue of 4 General Licences.
2022 ANTI-CORRUPTION GUIDE – CANADA
On 10 November, the World Law Group published this guide
Similar guides for many other countries are available at –
DUBAI: FSA FINES DIFC BRANCH OF BANK OF SINGAPORE LIMITED $1,120,000 FOR A NUMBER OF CONTRAVENTIONS, INCLUDING INADEQUATE SYSTEMS AND CONTROLS INCLUDING THOSE RELATING TO AML
On 10 November, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the fine was reduced because the Bank offered the DFSA an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) to remediate the failings and agreed to settle the matter, reducing the fine amount from $2,000,000. DFSA found deficiencies in the Bank’s AML business risk assessments; assessment of the risks posed by its clients; CDD and Enhanced CDD practices; identification of its clients’ sources of wealth and sources of funds; and suspicious activity reporting.
TUNISIA: TUNISIA: OPPOSITION CHIEF BACK IN COURT FOR ‘MONEY LAUNDERING’
On 10 November, Africa News reported that the leader of the Islamist party Ennahdha, Rached Ghannouchi, appeared before a court as part of an investigation for “money laundering” and “incitement to violence”.
On 8 November, a report from Insight Crime says that an investigation – conducted with Igarapé Institute – reveals how wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illicit gold mining, and slash-and-burn land clearance are spreading across 5 Amazonian countries: Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, and Suriname. It traces the chain of actors involved in the plunder, from the labour force harvesting trees and digging up gold to the brokers and corrupt officials that launder the ill-gotten materials. It also uncovers the land trafficking schemes that serve settlers who invade forests to sow palm oil and soy, as well as raise cattle, for the benefit of large-scale agribusiness.
This Report from the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) says that analysis suggests that the conflict and Ukraine’s resultant destabilisation already have several significant implications for organised crime, illicit trafficking, and security challenges in multiple ways across its borders and globally. Some changes related to the trafficking of people, arms, drugs, and illicit goods may be permanent, while others may be transitory as power dynamics and physical threats shift. This constantly changing nature, and the fact that these crimes often cross borders thousands of miles away, can make confronting these challenges particularly difficult. The situation requires continuous analysis of evolving threats and risks, training and capacity building of the region’s law enforcement, and updated public awareness campaigns.
On 10 November, a new Notice to Exporters advises of a new General trade licence Russia sanctions – financial services and funds related to fertilisers. It permits the provision of financial services and making funds available to a person connected with Russia for the supply or delivery of specified fertiliser goods from Russia to a third country, and making specified fertiliser goods available from Russia to a person in a third country, where they are intended for agricultural use only.
Following publication of the GAFILAT report on Paraguay, FATF has issued an updated consolidated schedule of all AML/CFT ratings to date.
On 10 November, FATF published the mutual evaluation report for Paraguay following an on-site visit that took place from 23 August to 3 September 2021.
On 10 November, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the EU Commission has amended its Russia sanctions FAQ on its asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds available, and on oil imports. One new FAQ deals with situations where oil which originates in a third country is mixed during transport with that which is controlled and which originates in Russia. Another deals with company voting rights being viewed as an intangible asset.
The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has released its Annual Review for the year to August. Among the information provided is that to 22 October this year £18.39 billion in frozen funds were reported to OFSI as being held by on behalf of people designated on the UK’s Russia sanctions (up from £44.5 million in September 2021) and £76,000 from UK counter-terrorist sanctions. It is also said to have received 236 reports of sanctions breaches.
On 9 November, Dryad Global said in a post that a growing reliance on private contractors to protect vessels, commercial shipping, offshore platforms, ports, and other maritime infrastructure has exposed human rights violations perpetrated by private military and security companies, mercenaries and others, UN experts have said in a new report on the use of mercenaries and which explores how the maritime security sector has evolved.
GUIDANCE FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF PMSC (2011)
From the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF).