Panama is hosting a CITES Convention conference from today. The opening speech emphasised that habitat loss, global warming and the overexploitation of natural resources are the main problems facing the world. these are all problems facing Panama, which has a extremely rich natural mix, especially given the size of the country. during the conference Panama will propose the inclusion for protection of 19 endangered and critically endangered shark species – of particularly relevance given recent reports of Chinese illegal fishing using the Panama flag.
In other news, 59,000 irregular migrants are said to crossed into Panama through the dangerous Darién in October, the number being said to include 10,000 minors. This is the highest monthly totals so far this year (and this as the height of the rainy season arrives – which must be awful in the Darién, with little or no roads etc).
14 NOVEMBER 2022
UK: LAW COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONFISCATION REFORM: IS THERE THE WILL TO FIND A WAY?
An article from Kingsley Napley on 10 November asked this question in the light of a final report and recommendations for the reform of Part 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002: the post-conviction confiscation regime. It concludes by saying that the Law Commission expects a draft Bill to be tabled sometime in 2023. Although reforms are long overdue in this area, a confiscation regime is only as good as the agencies and individuals enforcing it, and the ability to enforce effectively does not come cheap. It can only be hoped that this point will be given due consideration in the Bill.
NEW GIBRALTAR GAMBLING ACT: KEY CHANGES AND IMPLICATIONS ON THE GAMING SECTOR
On 10 November, an article from Hassans was concerned with the draft Bill for the new Gambling Act following the end of a public consultation period on 30 November. The Bill proposes revised licence fees and a new Gambling Operator Support Services Licence (GOSS Licence), intended to cover Gibraltar companies providing gambling-related activities such as marketing, promotion and affiliate business.
ONLINE SEMINAR: NORTH AFRICA – AXIS FOR GLOBAL CIGARETTE TRAFFICKING
On 23 November, ENACT Africa is to host an online seminar concerned with North Africa as a transit, destination and consumer hub for cigarette trafficking by local organised criminal groups and those from the Sahel, the Gulf and the Balkans. This event profiles new research into the lucrative trade, its many illegal flows and North Africa’s pivotal role in global networks.
SWEDEN-BOUND COCAINE SEIZED IN PANAMA
On 13 November, Newsroom Panama reported that authorities had seized 919 packages of cocaine inside a container that was located at a port terminal, and had Stockholm, Sweden as its destination port. Public security forces in Panama have seized more than 100 tons of drugs this year, a record figure for the last 20 years, according to data from the Ministry of Security.
CHINA: THE NUMBER OF MONEY LAUNDERING CASES PROSECUTED NATIONWIDE HAS INCREASED RAPIDLY SINCE 2020
On 14 November, China Daily reported that newly released data shows that 1,462 people were prosecuted for money laundering between January and September this year, a year-on-year increase of 142.5%. it was also reported that, to consolidate AML efforts, 11 departments including the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Public Security formulated and implemented a 3-year action plan on combating money laundering between 2022 and 2024 in January of this year.
MONEY LAUNDERING ADVISORY NOTICE: HIGH RISK THIRD COUNTRIES
On 14 November, HM Treasury had updated its advice about risks posed by jurisdictions with unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing controls, in the light of revisions to the FATF lists.
UK DEFERS REPLACING CE MARKING FOR ANOTHER 2 YEARS
On 14 November, news releases from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy advised that the UK was to continue to recognise the CE product marking in Great Britain for a further 2 years, allowing business to use either UKCA or CE markings, until 31 December 2024. The much-criticised move to introduce UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking in place of the far more widely (and internally) accepted was a consequence of Brexit.
THE SOCIETAL IMPACT OF RANSOMWARE
On 14 November, a Commentary from RUSI says that while ransomware is the most significant cyber threat facing society today, much is still unknown about its impact on our economy, society and citizens. If we are to design effective responses to this threat, it says, we need to appreciate the full range of harms that it causes to victims and society. It argues that ransomware causes downstream harm to the health, development and quality of life of individuals affected by it; the cost of recovering from ransomware attacks diverts resources from other priorities; and that attacks against public services may also undermine citizens’ trust in the state. If the security of public services and data is perceived to be in doubt, people may lose confidence in the ability of law enforcement and the government to protect them.
US: SUPREME COURT TO ADDRESS PREEMPTIVE LAWSUITS AGAINST FINANCIAL REGULATORS
On 11 November, an article from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP said that the Supreme Court has heard arguments in 2 cases addressing when targets of enforcement actions can pre-empt agencies in federal court. It warns that the Court appears prepared to recognise an expansive right to challenge the legality of a potential enforcement action.
IN ROME AND CATANIA, ITALY CONTINUES STRUGGLE AGAINST MAFIA GROUPS
On 11 November, OCCRP reported that Italian authorities have arrested dozens of suspects and confiscated millions in assets as they stepped-up operations against mafia-like groups in the country.
AUSTRALIA: FORMATION OF A MULTI-AGENCY TASK FORCE TO COMBAT CYBER CRIME
On 12 November, Jurist reported that the Joint Standing Operation (JSO) will be a task force that will merge the efforts of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), an agency of the Defense Department.
A report from the Australian Cyber Security Centre earlier this month stated that cyber crime rose 13% in Australia from July 2021 and July 2022.
UK: DRAFT BILL PROPOSES FOREIGN INFLUENCE REGISTRATION SCHEME
On 14 November, an article from Eversheds Sutherland was concerned with new legislation to be included via an amendment to the draft National Security Bill, compelling those acting for foreign powers or entities to declare any political influence activities by way of a Foreign Influence Registration Scheme (FIRS), and criminalising those who fail to do so. It will take the form of a public register available on a Government website for political influence activities, and will comprise 2 tiers, the “Primary Tier” and the “Enhanced Tier”.
LAOS – AML/CFT MUTUAL EVALUATION
On 14 November, FATF-style regional body APG has reported that the first APG mutual evaluation onsite visit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken place with the on-site visit for the country’s second APG Mutual Evaluation, held from 12 to 23 September in Vientiane. The mutual evaluation report will be considered for adoption at the next APG Annual Meeting in July 2023.
THE ONLINE ILLEGAL TRADE IN HIGHLY ENDANGERED PARROTS IN INDONESIA
On 11 November, a report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that the illegal bird trade in Indonesia is a long-standing problem involving organized networks that buy trapped birds and transport them to buyers in Indonesian cities and abroad, despite strong legal protections for species. This places unsustainable pressure on the country’s endemic bird population and undermines the rule of law. The 5 bird species selected for the study are the endemic Tanimbar corella, the palm cockatoo, the salmon-crested cockatoo and the yellow-crested cockatoo – all of which are listed in Appendix I of CITES.
DRUG TRAFFICKING ON THE RISE IN GERMANY
On 11 November, TRT World carried a report saying that almost 56,000 drug trafficking offences were registered last year, which corresponds to a rise of 2.9% compared to the previous year.
MACAU UNDER SPOTLIGHT AMID US INSPECTIONS OF CHINA-BASED AUDITS
On 13 November, the Wall Street Journal reported that a recent agreement between the US and China allowing US accounting regulators to inspect China-based audits is raising questions about the role of unregistered auditors in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, where several US-listed casino businesses operate.
FROM OPIUM TO CRYPTOCURRENCY, NORTH KOREA MANOEUVRES TO EARN HARD CASH FOR NUCLEAR PROGRAM
On 13 November, the Korea Times said that North Korea has launched various missiles, including ICBM, 35 times this year alone, which analysts say could have cost the nation as much as $10 million each. The North’s escalation of tensions has raised a burning question among observers: How can the cash-strapped nation finance and sustain its WMD program? It says that DPRK has set its sights on stealing cryptocurrencies, which are used to fund the development of its WMD, and that the North Korean regime had long relied on a variety of illicit activities, ranging from producing and distributing opium and smuggling cigarettes to counterfeiting US $100 banknotes, dubbed “superdollars”. But as sanctions closed financial channels, the country pivoted to bolstering sophisticated cyber capabilities, thereby generating revenue in ways that are hard to trace and subject to less governmental oversight and regulation.
ISLE OF MAN SANCTIONS UPDATE – MYANMAR, NORTH KOREA, RUSSIA AND GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS
On 14 November, the Isle of Man issued 4 separate news releases advising of changes to sanctions lists etc. There are amendments/updates
UN CONCERNED ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY PRIVATE MILITARY SECURITY COMPANIES
On 14 November, Defence Web reported that a UN report says 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.