THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 2

Still on my travels,so usual apology over omissions, duplications etc. Might get back to what passes for normal next week…

2 DECEMBER 2022

US FACT SHEET: LIMITING KREMLIN REVENUES AND STABILISING GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLY WITH A PRICE CAP ON RUSSIAN OIL

On 2 December, the US Treasury published this Factsheet which says that, following agreement by the 27 Member States of the EU, the members of the G7 (the US Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and UK) and Australia (collectively, the “Price Cap Coalition”) are joining the EU in adopting a price cap of $60/barrel on seaborne crude oil of Russian Federation origin.  Next week, the Price Cap Coalition will ban a broad range of services — including maritime insurance and trade finance — related to the maritime transport of crude oil of Russian Federation origin (“Russian oil”) unless purchasers buy the oil at or below $60/barrel.  Importers who purchase Russian oil at or below the price cap will maintain access to an array of Coalition-country services vital to the oil trade. On 5 February, this ban on services will extend to the maritime transport of Russian-origin petroleum products unless the products are sold at or below a price cap to be announced before 5 February.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1141

See also –

STATEMENT BY US SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY JANET L. YELLEN ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PRICE CAP

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1138

OFAC: US AND CANADA SANCTION ADDITIONAL CORRUPT HAITIAN POLITICIANS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

On 2 December, OFAC announced that it had designated Haitian nationals Rony Celestin and Richard Lenine Hervé Fourcand.  Celestin is a current Haitian senator. Fourcand is a former Haitian senator.  It notes that Canada has also designated the 2 men.

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1137

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221202

https://www.statista.com/chart/28878/expected-cost-of-cybercrime-until-2027

COMBATING ILLICIT MARITIME ACTIVITY: NEXT STEPS FOR JEDDAH AMENDMENT

On 1 December, Homeland Security Today reported that Signatory States to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area, aka the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017, have agreed the next steps to enhance implementation of the amended code; with a resolution involving enhancement of the DCOC/JA information sharing network.

https://www.hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/maritime-security/combating-illicit-maritime-activity-next-steps-for-jeddah-amendment/

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/security-features-american-money/

US MOVES TO DISMISS CHARGES AGAINST HUAWEI CFO

On 2 December, Global Investigation Review reported that Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder and current CFO at the company, agreed to a 4-year DPA, back-dated to the time of her arrest in 2018, in 2021.

https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/just-sanctions/article/us-moves-dismiss-charges-against-huawei-cfo

YEMEN: COMPETITION FOR OIL SALES THREATENS VESSELS

On 4 November, Risk Intelligence published an article about the situation in and around Yemen, including several IED attacks on vessels.

https://www.riskintelligence.eu/analyst-briefings/competition-for-oil-sales-threatens-vessels-in-yemen

SOMALIA: NEW PORT SHOWS IMPROVING MARITIME SERCURITY SITUATION

On 23 November, an article from Risk Intelligence says that, while the maritime security situation appears to have improved, the same cannot be said for the position on land.

https://www.riskintelligence.eu/analyst-briefings/somalia-new-port-shows-improving-maritime-security

SWITZERLAND HAS FROZEN CHF 7.5 BILLION AND 15 PROPERTIES IN 6 CANTONS UNDER ITS RUSSIA SANCTIONS

On 2 December, EU Sanctions blog reported on data released by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/switzerland-says-chf-7-5-billion-frozen-under-russia-sanctions/

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-say-its–8-billion-of-frozen-russian-assets-is–only-a-fraction–of-total/48101160

SIPRI LAUNCHES 2 REPORTS ON THE FUTURE OF THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR)

On 2 December, SIPRI said that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a cornerstone of the non-proliferation architecture for missiles and other uncrewed aerial vehicles.  However, geopolitical and technical developments and operational challenges threaten the regime’s effectiveness and create a need for reform in several areas.  This SIPRI Report provides a comprehensive analysis of current challenges to the MTCR and extensive policy recommendations to the MTCR partners.  A SIPRI Policy Brief summarises the findings and presents the policy recommendations from the SIPRI Report.

https://www.sipri.org/publications/2022/other-publications/missile-technology-control-regime-crossroads-adapting-regime-current-and-future-challenges

UK: TYCOON ‘LINKED TO LAUNDROMAT MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION’ IN SECRECY BATTLE

On 2 December, Yahoo reported an Evening Standard story that a multi-millionaire businessman found by a court to be linked to a vast international money laundering operation is fighting to keep his identity secret in a potentially landmark legal battle.  It refers to the “Azerbaijan laundromat” in which a complex network of offshore and UK companies was used to shift huge sums around the world. 

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/tycoon-linked-laundromat-money-laundering-130515811.html

FRENCH FILM STAR SECURES JUDGMENT AGAINST ALLEGED FRAUDSTER IN IRISH COURT

On 2 December, Breaking News reported that French film star Dany Boon has secured formal High Court judgments against several entities he alleges have defrauded him out of millions of euro.

https://www.breakingnews.ie/business/french-film-star-secures-judgment-against-alleged-fraudster-in-irish-court-1400560.html

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/courtandcrime/arid-41020415.html 

£4.5 BILLION LOST TO FRAUD IN 3 COVID SCHEMES – EAT OUT TO HELP OUT SCHEME RECORDED 9.5% RATE OF FRAUD

On 2 December, Sky News reported that HMRC chief executive Jim Harra has said the £4.5 billion was lost to fraud in the furlough, self-employed support, and Eat Out to Help Out Covid schemes.

https://news.sky.com/story/4-5bn-lost-to-fraud-in-three-covid-schemes-as-rishi-sunaks-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme-recorded-9-5-rate-of-fraud-hmrc-says-12758935

US TRADERS IGNORING MYANMAR SANCTIONS TO IMPORT CONFLICT TEAK

A report from the Environmental Investigation Agency on 1 December provides an overview of how the imports of teak into the US have escalated since the coup to provide desperately needed hard currency for the regime and its cronies and carried out in defiance of US sanctions.  It provides a rebuttal to the ‘stockpile narrative’ used by US teak traders to justify teak imports from Myanmar into the US in light of US sanctions.  It also highlights how these teak imports contravene the US Lacey Act, which is in place to combat the consumption of illegal timber.

https://eia-international.org/report/acts-of-defiance-how-us-traders-are-ignoring-sanctions-to-import-conflict-teak-from-myanmar/

WOLFSBERG PRINCIPLES FOR USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING IN FINANCIAL CRIME COMPLIANCE

On 1 December the Wolfsberg Group published its Principles for Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Financial Crime Compliance.  The document identifies 5 elements that support an ethical and responsible use of AI/ML: Legitimate Purpose; Proportionate Use; Design and Technical Expertise; Accountability and Oversight; Openness and Transparency.

https://www.wolfsberg-principles.com/sites/default/files/wb/Wolfsberg%20Principles%20for%20Using%20Artificial%20Intelligence%20and%20Machine%20Learning%20in%20Financial%20Crime%20Compliance.pdf

OPERATION ADMIRAL: EPPO UNCOVERS ORGANISED CRIME GROUPS RESPONSIBLE FOR VAT FRAUD ESTIMATED AT €2.2 BILLION

On 29 November, a news release from the European Public Prosecutors Office advised that it, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies of 14 EU Member States, carried out simultaneous investigative measures, including more than 200 searches, in relation to a complex VAT fraud scheme based on the sale of popular electronic goods. This action took place in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. 

https://www.eppo.europa.eu/en/news/operation-admiral-eppo-uncovers-organised-crime-groups-responsible-vat-fraud-estimated-eu22

CANADA: VICTIMS OF ALLEGED CHINESE CURRENCY EXCHANGE SCAM WANT INVESTIGATION INTO MILLIONS LOST

On 1 December, CBC reported that foreign currency exchange businesses, while legal, operate in an area that lacks regulation to protect victims; making consumers vulnerable to fraud and creating the potential for millions of dollars to be laundered into British Columbia.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/chinese-currency-exchange-scam-victims-want-investigation-1.6668491

HONDURAS TO SUSPEND SOME CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN URBAN AREAS WITH A SIGNIFICANT PRESENCE OF CRIMINAL GROUPS, DEPLOY 20,000 NATIONAL POLICE OFFICERS, AND INSTITUTE SECURITY CHECKS 

On 29 November, Insight Crime reported on developments in Honduras as the President declared a state of exception as extortion cases reached uncontrollable levels, raising fears she may be inspired by controversial but widely popular measures in neighbouring El Salvador. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/honduras-state-exception-may-set-worrying-precedent/

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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