OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 4

Still not well, but neither is the better PC…

4 DECEMBER 2022

US WHITE SUPREMACIST FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES LOCATED IN BULGARIA

On 29 November, Bellingcat reported that US far-right extremist Rob Rundo is facing charges of rioting and conspiracy in a trial due to start next spring in Los Angeles. However, he also has a far-right fashion brand to promote and a tough-guy image to project.  Bellingcat says that it has traced him to Bulgaria, using photos posted online.

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2022/11/29/us-american-white-supremacist-facing-criminal-charges-located-in-bulgaria/

RUSSIA ASSEMBLES ‘SHADOW FLEET’ OF MORE THAN 100 OIL TANKERS TO BUST WESTERN SANCTIONS

On 3 December, Business Insider in South Africa reported that Russia has said has said it would not sell oil to countries enforcing the new oil price cap, potentially strengthening its relationships with countries more sympathetic to Putin including India, China, and Turkey.  The new tankers, bought anonymously, are generally 12 to 15 years old and would be expected to be scrapped in the next few years. 

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/russia-shadow-fleet-of-oil-tankers-putin-tries-bust-sanctions-2022-12

SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE’S HIDDEN TURBULENCE

On 2 December, an article in Defence Web reported that the archipelagic island state just off the coast of Gabon, is regarded as a beacon of democracy in Africa. However, it says, something is bubbling beneath the tranquil surface of the otherwise idyllic island country, with another failed coup in November.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/governance/governance-governance/iss-sao-tome-and-principes-hidden-turbulence/

7 SUPPOSEDLY ANCIENT OBJECTS SOLD BY A LONDON DEALER TO MEMBERS OF THE QATARI ROYAL FAMILY FOR A TOTAL OF $4.9 MILLION WERE OF MODERN ORIGIN

On 1 December, the Law Society Gazette reported on a 159-page judgment in a High Court case in London alleging breach of contract, misrepresentation and the tort of negligence against John Eskenazi Limited and its owner John Eskenazi. 

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sheikh-and-fakes-159-page-judgment-probes-asian-antiquities/5114467.article

IRELAND GAMBLING BILL COULD BAN ALL FORMS OF PROMOTIONS

On 2 December, iGB reported that the legislation will create a regulated online gambling market in Ireland.  The sector will be subject both to taxes and to a new statutory authority which will act as the sector’s regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority.

https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-compliance/legal/ireland-gambling-bill-could-ban-all-forms-of-promos/

AUSTRALIA PASSES NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION BILL

On 3 December, OCCRP reported that the Bill establishes the country’s first national investigative body to tackle corruption after years of debate over the need for an independent watchdog for politicians.  It will operate independently of the government,, and investigate public officials for corruption, look into corruption allegations that occurred before its establishment as well as after, and hold public hearings in “exceptional cases”.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17111-australia-passes-national-anti-corruption-commission-bill

ILLEGAL MINING SPREADS TO FURTHEST REACHES OF AMAZON IN ECUADOR

On 2 December, Insight Crime reported that police operations in Ecuador this year have uncovered shocking levels of environmental damage caused by illegal mining in the far-flung province of Napo, showing how the practice continues to proliferate in remote corners of the Amazon rainforest.

https://insightcrime.org/news/napo-ecuador-canary-gold-mine/

SHOULD EUROPE BE BRACING FOR THE SPREAD OF TUSI PINK COCAINE?

On 2 December, Insight Crime reported that seizures of pink cocaine, or “tusi,” in Spain show how this synthetic drug has moved from primarily being used in Latin American cities to gaining a permanent foothold in Europe.

https://insightcrime.org/news/should-europe-bracing-for-spread-tusi-pink-cocaine/

UK: SOLICITOR JAILED FOR 12 YEARS FOR CASTLE FRAUD AFTER PRIVATE PROSECUTION

On 2 December, Legal Futures reported that a solicitor has been jailed for 12 years for fraud by abuse of a position of trust following a private prosecution brought by his former client.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/solicitor-jailed-for-12-years-for-castle-fraud-after-private-prosecution

ISLE OF MAN: FSA ENCOURAGES ACTION TO ENSURE ACCURACY OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP INFORMATION

A news release from the FSA on 2 December said that Isle of Man-registered companies and other legal entities that fall within the scope of the Beneficial Ownership Act 2017, are being urged to ensure that information recorded on the beneficial ownership database is accurate and up to date.  It is working in conjunction with the Central Registry and the FIU to spearhead an awareness-raising campaign aimed at improving the quality of entries.

Meanwhile, the Beneficial Ownership (Obliged Entities Access) Order 2022 is on the agenda for the Island’s parliament in December.  This mirrors a recent change in corresponding UK legislation.

https://www.iomfsa.im/fsa-news/2022/dec/authority-encourages-action-to-ensure-accuracy-of-beneficial-ownership-information/

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-SD-0293-MEMO.pdf

ISLE OF MAN FINANCIAL SERVICE AUTHORITY ANNUAL REPORT

The December Order paper for the Isle of Man’s parliament includes this Report.

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-GD-0075.pdf

ISLE OF MAN: DORMANT ASSETS ACT 2019 – ANNUAL REPORT 2022

The December Order paper for the Isle of Man’s parliament includes this Report.  It covers the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2022 – the adjustment to the reporting date brings the Annual Report in line with the anniversary of the establishment of the Fund.  The closing balance of the Reserve Account included on the 2020 Annual Report was £4,106,525.02.

https://www.tynwald.org.im/business/opqp/sittings/20212026/2022-GD-0086.pdf

https://www.csis.org/analysis/price-cap-russian-oil-running-stand-still

ARMS SALES OF SIPRI TOP 100 ARMS COMPANIES GROW DESPITE SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES

On 5 December, SIPRI is to release its latest report saying that sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached $592 billion in 2021, a 1.9% increase compared with 2020 in real terms, but it was still below the average for the 4 years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic (3.7%).

https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2022/arms-sales-sipri-top-100-arms-companies-grow-despite-supply-chain-challenges

FAKERS, FAST SIGN-UPS AND FRAUD: THE CRISIS AT THE UK’S COMPANIES HOUSE

On 3 December, the Guardian carried an article saying that big banks are getting increasingly frustrated with what they see as lax controls at Companies House, and are pushing hard for reform.  UK-registered companies have played a role in a string of scandals in which money was smuggled out of Russia and into Europe in what is believed to be one of the biggest money laundering efforts in history.  A drive to clean up Britain’s business register forms a key part of its economic crime and corporate transparency Bill.  However, while the current version of the Bill grants Companies House more power to demand identity checks, experts at the biggest high street banks feel it falls short in 2 key areas.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/dec/03/crisis-uk-companies-house-fake-directors-fraud

THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 3

Now, with my main PC having blown up and using an old back-up one (which luckily I had repaired a few weeks ago)…but just to complicate things am now feeling less than 100%, hence why so late with this post for 3 December.

3 DECEMBER 2022

UK NOTICE TO EXPORTERS 2022/30: ECJU FOLLOW UP TO CUSTOMER SURVEY UPDATE

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade issued a new Notice to Exporters, saying that in March 2021 it issued a Notice to Exporters asking exporters to complete a customer survey on ECJU’s current service and what could be improved.  The new Notice reports on the key outcomes from the survey, and what work is underway over the next year.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202230-ecju-follow-up-to-our-customer-survey-update/nte-202230-ecju-follow-up-to-our-customer-survey-update

UK GUIDANCE: TRADING UNDER SANCTIONS WITH RUSSIA

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade published updated guidance on what import and export restrictions apply due to sanctions for UK companies when trading with Russia.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-under-sanctions-with-russia

UK: PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES TO A PERSON CONNECTED WITH RUSSIA

On 2 December, the Department for International Trade published guidance on a regulation which prohibits a legal or natural person from providing, directly or indirectly, accounting, business and management consulting, and public relations services to a ‘person connected with Russia’. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/professional-and-business-services-to-a-person-connected-with-russia/professional-and-business-services-to-a-person-connected-with-russia

UK: WEALTHY RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF MULTIPLE OFFENCES

A news release from the NCA on 2 December advised that it had conducted a major operation to arrest a 58-year-old wealthy Russian businessman on suspicion of offences including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.  2 other men were arrested – one on suspicion of money laundering and obstruction of an NCA Officer, and another, who is the former boyfriend of the businessman’s current partner, who was arrested at his home in London, for offences including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  Other sources indicate the “wealthy Russian” nis one who is on the sanctions lists.

https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/wealthy-russian-businessman-arrested-on-suspicion-of-multiple-offences

https://www.politico.eu/article/2380338/

EU: FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO RUSSIA/UKRAINE SANCTIONS

EU Regulations 2022/2367/EU and 2022/2368/EU amend the existing regime to update it re the scheme for oil purchased at or below a pre-established price cap agreed by the Price Cap Coalition.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.311.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A311I%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.311.01.0005.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A311I%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2022.311.01.0008.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2022%3A311I%3ATOC

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_22_7469

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-ban-on-russian-oil-and-oil-products