The Covid statistics for the week to 12 November show increases in the number of newly reported cases (500 more new cases than last week), at 1,372, and 6 new fatalities. Hospitalised cases were also up – 7 in ICU (up 6) and 92 in other wards (up 22). The test results showed a positivity of 7.2% (it was 5.9% last week).
There are also 7 more cases of monkeypox reported today.
In other news, it is reported that sales levels in shopping centres have returned to pre-Covid 2019 levels.
Another name has apparently been added to the list of those former officials facing money laundering or corruption trials in Panama. The former private secretary of President Martinelli (2009-2014) is facing money laundering charges.
15 NOVEMBER 2022
HOME OFFICE’S ‘OUT-OF-DATE’ GRASP OF FRAUD HIGHLIGHTED BY WATCHDOG
On 15 November, the Guardian reported that the National Audit Office has found that the Home Office has an incomplete and out-of-date grasp of the cost of fraud in the UK and a poor understanding of who commits the crime; and that the current estimate of the cost of fraud to individuals being used by the government is based on data and prices from 6 years ago. It also found that the Home Office did not have a complete picture of what was being spent on tackling fraud by businesses or the public sector. 10 separate public communications campaigns were being run by different parts of government about fraud, despite previous warnings that this could cause confusion.
DESPITE RAPID CRYPTO ADOPTION IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT PREPARED TO HANDLE FINANCIAL CRIME RISKS
A Report from Global Financial Integrity says that AML/CFT standards in Latin America and the Caribbean have not kept pace with emerging technologies and asset classes. As a growing number of consumers adopt the use of cryptocurrency, governments in the region have failed to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute financial crimes that may arise. The report analyses 5 countries – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico — selected because of rising crypto usage as well as unique regulatory aspects and domestic contexts.
CANADA SANCTIONS HAITIAN GANG LEADER OVER HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
On 14 November, the Toronto Sun reported that Canada sanctioned Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, citing serious human rights abuses that are causing a humanitarian crisis.
5 IRAN-RELATED OIL TANKERS LOSE THEIR COOK ISLANDS OR DJIBOUTI FLAGS FOLLOWING US SANCTIONS
On 14 November, Reuters reported that the international ship registries of Djibouti and the Cook Islands suspended the flags on 5 oil tankers, following sanctions by the US this month for having facilitated oil trade for Hezbollah and Iran’s Quds Force. It is said that most of the tankers are in Venezuelan waters, where they are being used by state-run oil firm PDVSA to move oil and fuel between domestic ports. It is said that an increasing number of third party-owned tankers are being put in service for an Iran-Venezuela oil swap.
HONG KONG CUSTOMS SEIZES OVER 5 TONNES OF CHINESE HAIRY CRAB
On 14 November, OCCRP reported that Hong Kong Customs had seized over 7 tonnes of suspected smuggled meat and fish, including thousands of kilograms worth of Chinese hairy crab, also known as Chinese mitten crab, a delicacy in Chinese society. The article notes that, if not prepared properly, it can also cause significant health risks for humans due to its status as an intermediate host for the oriental lung fluke parasite. Because of this, the government of Canada has designated the Chinese mitten crab as an illegal food import.
US NAVY SEIZES OVER 170 TONS OF MATERIALS SMUGGLED TO YEMEN
On 15 November, NTD reported that the US Navy had found a massive volume of missile fuel and type of explosive material often used in terrorism aboard a vessel bound for Yemen from Iran on 8 November. It is said that the said the find included 100 tons of urea fertiliser, which is known to be a key ingredient in homemade improvised explosive devices, as well as more than 70 tons of ammonium perchlorate, a compound used in making fuel that powers rockets and missiles.
£450,000 RECOVERED AFTER NCA IS GRANTED ACCOUNT FORFEITURE ORDERS OVER UNREGULATED INVESTMENTS AND LOANS
On 14 November, a news release from the NCA advised that, in civil recovery proceedings, the NCA argued that Sylvester Esangbedo used a personal account containing $500,000 for business purposes, providing loans and being paid to invest the money of others in hedge funds.
Individuals offering these services must be licensed by HMRC and Esangbedo was not.
US FILES SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT AGAINST FORMER BVI LEADER ANDREW FAHIE, ADDS RICO COUNT
On 12 November, Kenneth Rijock reported that a new indictment had been filed in Miami in the case involving the former BVI leader and 2 other defendants, who were the targets of a sting operation by US law enforcement, and agreed to facilitate the movement of narcotics through the BVI.
INSIDE THE $8 BILLION FTX CRYPTO SCANDAL – AND ITS REAL-WORLD IMPACT
On 15 November, an article from the Guardian was concerned with the collapse of the crypto exchange.
SPANISH AUTHORITIES CLAMP DOWN ON LAVISH LIFESTYLE OF CRIMINAL GROUP
A news release from Europol on 15 November advised that Spanish authorities have arrested 10 persons suspected of being involved in drug trafficking and money laundering in the second phase of an operation supported by Europol. The Guardia Civil carried out house searches in a number of cities, which led to the disruption of a criminal network providing financial and technical support to other criminal groups in Europe.
IDENTITY OF THOSE INSTRUCTING SOLICITORS NOT PROTECTED BY LITIGATION PRIVILEGE
On 15 November, an article in Legal Futures said that the Court of Appeal has held that there is no general rule that the identity of those instructing solicitors on behalf of a corporate client is protected by litigation privilege.
NETFLIX DOCUSERIES ON THE FIFA CORRUPTION SCANDAL
On 14 November, a post on FCPA Blog said that the 4-part series delves into the history and mechanics of how the organisation was corrupted.
UKRAINE ARRESTS FRAUD RING MEMBERS WHO MADE €200 MILLION PER YEAR
On 10 November, the Bleeping Computer website reported that Ukraine’s cyber police and Europol have identified and arrested 5 key members of an international investment fraud ring estimated to have caused losses of over €200 million per year, spread across multiple European countries, including Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Finland, and Albania. The scammers operated call centres and offices in these countries, as required to trick prospective investors into initiating a series of fake investments.
SWITZERLAND – WITH ITS MINING GROUPS, TRADERS AND BANKS – PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE IN THE GLOBAL COAL TRADE
On 7 November, Public Eye published a report saying that the war in Ukraine, and the subsequent disruption in the energy markets, has reminded the world of the dependence on the most polluting of fossil fuels.
AUSTRALIA: GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS MAKING CYBER RANSOM PAYMENTS ILLEGAL AFTER MEDIBANK HACK
On 13 November, the Guardian reported that it could soon be illegal for companies that fall victim to data breaches to pay ransoms to the hackers. The government was examining whether new laws were needed to stop ransom payments in the wake of the Medibank and Optus data breaches.
CHINA MAY HAVE RESURRECTED A 1950s JET FIGHTER FOR A NEW COMBAT ROLE
On 14 November, Aviation Week reported that China may use an unmanned version of the Shenyang J-6 Farmer – a Chinese copy of the Soviet-designed MiG 19, the first mass-produced supersonic fighter – in any assault on Taiwan.
OFAC NEW GENERAL LICENSE AUTHORISING LIMITED SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING CERTAIN VESSELS
On 15 November, General License 21 authorised certain transactions connected with the safety of certain blocked vessels and crews, including emergency repairs.
ISIS FUNDING TERRORISM WITH TINDER SCAMS
On 14 November, Homeland Security Today reported that con artists behind a new wave of Tinder which has snared lonely hearts on South Africa’s version of the dating app are not your typical love rats or fraudsters but agents of Islamic State, which is using the proceeds to fund its atrocities and insurgency campaigns across Africa.
EU AND US CONFIRM THAT COOPERATION ON TERRORIST FINANCING PROVIDED NUMEROUS CONCRETE LEADS FOR TERRORIST INVESTIGATIONS 2019-2021
On 15 November, the EU released the Sixth Joint Review of the EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP). It says that between 2019 and 2021 the tracking program facilitated more than 58,000 leads for investigations which were instrumental for Member States in bringing forward investigations, some of which on terrorist attacks on EU soil. It concludes that TFTP between the EU and the US contributes significantly to our security and supports Member States in identifying and tracking terrorists and their networks.