5 new cases of monkeypox in Panama mean that 26 cases have been confirmed nationwide to date…
12 NOVEMBER 2022
IRISH DRUG CARTEL GODFATHER BID MILLIONS TO BUY A FLEET OF OBSOLETE EGYPTIAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT
On 12 November, ICIJ reported that Christopher Kinahan Senior masqueraded as a relief flight consultant before the bid was put to 4 high-ranking Egyptian military officers, to purchase a fleet of Egyptian military transport planes. In 2020, it says that, using a Dubai company, Sea Dream Middle East General Trading LLC, he tried to purchase as many as 9 used de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalos from the Egyptian air force. It is also said that he attempted similar deals in Africa and Latin America, and that he explored buying an Antonov An-26 turboprop in Venezuela. ICIJ says that a central player in the attempted deal was a Zimbabwean businessman named Adam Lincoln Woodington Wood.
CHINESE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER’S L.A.-BASED COMPANY FOUND GUILTY OF PAYING OVER $1 MILLION IN BRIBES TO LOS ANGELES POLITICIAN
On 10 November, a news release from DoJ advised that a Los Angeles-based company was found guilty today of paying more than $1 million in bribes – including luxury trip expenses, casino gambling chips and a sham loan – to then-Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar to obtain city approval to build a 77-story skyscraper. The company, Shen Zhen New World I LLC, was found guilty of all 8 counts it faced. The owner of Shen Zhen – Wei Huang, 57, a resident of Shenzhen, China, but who also maintains a residence in San Marino – is also charged in this case, but he has yet to make a court appearance and is said to be a fugitive believed to be in China.
ITALY: EPPO SEIZES COMPANY’S ASSETS IN INVESTIGATION FOR AGGRAVATED FRAUD OF €230,000
On 10 November, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) advised that a seizure decree had been issued by a judge to freeze the bank accounts of an Italian company under investigation for aggravated fraud involving EU funds of up to €230,000. The company, which produced artificial and synthetic fibres, had obtained funding for a project on the use and recycling of thermoplastics, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Italian state. However, the company, currently in liquidation, allegedly submitted falsified documents to attest expenses that were never incurred.
MEXICO’S ORGANISED CORRUPTION SCOURGE
On 9 November, a report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that its 2021 Global Organized Crime Index findings show that large-scale systemic corruption in Mexico has enabled criminal networks to thrive, and more must be done to address this. Mexico among the 4 most vulnerable countries to organised crime in the world.
JAPAN: HOW MITSUBISHI VACUUMED UP TUNA FROM A ROGUE CHINESE FISHING FLEET
On 10 November, Mongabay reported links between the company, Dalian Ocean Fishing (DOF), which mainly serves the Japanese market, with most of its tuna going to the Mitsubishi Corporation and its seafood trading arm, Toyo Reizo. It says that documents showed that while DOF sold tuna to both Japan and China, Mitsubishi was by far its biggest customer as well as its sole customer in Japan. It is even said that in order to maintain its good working relationship with Mitsubishi, DOF would rebuff any offers from other Japanese importers. The article does say that Mitsubishi imposed new guidelines this year to address forced labour and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing — commonly referred to by the acronym IUU — in its supply chain. However, a problem is transhipment from other vessels to “reefers”, and campaigners say the distant-water fishing industry as a whole has been unwilling to do away with transhipment at sea entirely, despite calls from NGO to do so. In 2021, the US banned imports of tuna and other seafood products caught by DOF “based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in the entity’s fishing operations”.
UKRAINE LAUNCHES CROWD FUNDING DRIVE FOR $250,000 NAVAL DRONES
On 11 November, USNI News reported that Ukraine has put out an international call to crowdfund a fleet of 100 domestically-built sea drones like the ones used in a late October attack on Russian Navy ships in the Black Sea.
THE EMPEROR’S NEW ART: CRYPTOMANIA, ART & PROPERTY
This paper, available as a preprint on 11 November, says that the latest wave of cryptomania has brought us yet another acronym after ICO (initial coin offerings) – NFT (non-fungible tokens). Touted as a means to render readily replicable digital art (and possibly other objects) rare and scarce, NFT-mania reached its apogee with the auction of Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5,000 Days for $69 million. But did the buyer actually acquire, through the NFT, any art? What is art abstracted from the medium upon which it is embedded and dissociated from its copyright?
US COAST GUARD WARNS OF MALICIOUS TYPOSQUATTING DIRECTED AT PORT FACILITY WEBSITES
On 11 November, Homeland Security Today reported that the Coast Guard Cyber Command Intelligence Department had alerted maritime stakeholders that typosquatting campaigns operated by cyber criminals continue to target the Marine Transportation System. Typosquatting targets people who, as the name indicates, make a mistake when typing a URL into a web browser.
NEW MILESTONE IN BATTLE AGAINST ILLEGAL, UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING
On 9 November, Homeland Security Today reported that 1 in every 5 fish caught around the world each year is estimated to originate from IUU fishing. However, it is also reported that the Food and Agriculture Organization had noted that 100 States have now signed on to an international agreement battling the scourge – the Agreement on Port State Measures. This is the first internationally binding instrument specifically designed to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing by denying port access to foreign vessels that engage in or support such practices.
3 MAJOR CHINESE COUNTERFEIT NETWORKS BUSTED USING AMAZON INTELLIGENCE
On 12 November, Tech Radar reported that Amazon had revealed that it helped law enforcement agencies take down 3 major counterfeiting operations in China, thanks to intelligence provided by the company’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU). Nearly a quarter of a million fake goods were seized in the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangxi as a result of Amazon’s cooperation. The brands imitated included BMW, Porsche, General Motors, Hugo Boss, Puma and Under Armour.
US: FBI SEIZES ONE OF THE LARGEST SITES FOR PIRATED BOOKS AND ARTICLES – Z-LIBRARY
On 11 November, Vice reported that one of the largest repositories of pirated books and articles available on the Internet went dark—seemingly for good. A series of Z-Library domain names were seized by the FBI and the main pages now have the stamped seals of the DoJ to prove it.
THE MANUAL FOR THE RECOVERY OF ILL-GOTTEN GAINS (SECOND EDITION) IS NOW AVAILABLE IN FRENCH
The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative has published the French language edition of this guide – also available in English, Spanish and Arabic. It provides common approaches to recovering stolen assets located in foreign jurisdictions, identifies the challenges that practitioners are likely to encounter, and introduces good practices.
NEW EU CYBERSECURITY LAWS EXPLAINED
On 9 November, the European Parliament issued a press release about a new Directive which introduces new rules to advance a high common level of cybersecurity across the EU – both for companies and countries. It also strengthens cybersecurity requirements for medium-sized and large entities that operate and provide services in key sectors.