OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 7

7 December 2022

US: EXPORT CONTROL SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN CAPACITORS DESCRIBED ON US MUNITIONS LIST

On 6 December, KPMG reported that the Department of State has released for publication in the Federal Register a temporary suspension of the applicability of regulations for certain capacitors, for 6 months from 21 November.  The Department assessed that it is in the security and foreign policy interests of the US to facilitate commercial uses of certain capacitors when integrated into any item not described on the US Munitions List. 

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/12/tnf-us-suspension-itar-provision-capacitors-described-usml.html

THE SCRAMBLE TO SELL CYBERWEAPONS TO DICTATORS

On 7 December, Politico published the latest instalment in its series: Leaked: The Altrnativ world of cybersurveillance.  It is concerned with a company offering the governments of Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Comoros, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo a range of cyberweapons.

https://www.politico.eu/article/destination-africa-scramble-sell-cyberweapons-dictators-qwant-eric-leandri

DARK FLEET AND TANKER SECTOR REPUTATION RISK

On 7 December, Seatrade Maritime News explores the impact the sanction-busting dark tanker fleet could have on the shipping sector’s safety reputation.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/opinions-analysis/dark-fleet-and-tanker-sector-reputation-risk

EUROPEAN COURT ANNULS THE 2014 ACTS MAINTAINING THE SANCTIONS LISTING OF THE PKK AND DISMISSED ITS CHALLENGE TO 2015 – 2017 AND 2019 LISTINGS

On 7 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is currently listed on the EU’s terrorism sanctions list.  Its designation was renewed in July 2022 by EU Regulation 2022/1230/EU.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/eu-general-court-annuls-pkk-2014-historic-terrorism-listing/

RUSSIA MANUFACTURES CRUISE MISSILES DESPITE WESTERN SANCTIONS

On 6 December, Yahoo News reported that researchers noted Russia’s ability to produce cruise missiles could suggest that it has found the ways to circumvent sanctions and import semiconductors – or that it had ample stockpiles of high-tech components prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

https://news.yahoo.com/russia-manufactures-cruise-missiles-despite-214100812.html

AUSTRAC OPENS CIVIL PENALTY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SkyCity ADELAIDE

On 7 December, Gambling News reported that the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is cracking down on yet another casino for breaching the laws on AML/CFT.  It says that AUSTRAC identified serious violations in terms of SkyCity Adelaide’s compliance with Australia’s AML/CFT legislation.

https://www.gamblingnews.com/news/austrac-opens-civil-penalty-proceedings-against-skycity-adelaide/

INDIA: SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES BY SOME MEMBERS/OFFICE BEARERS OF NRI ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

On 7 December, The Hindu reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted search operations in the NRI Academy of Sciences.  The searches were part of an investigation being done by it into violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) by some members/office bearers of NRI Academy of Sciences. 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/enforcement-directorate-seizes-cash-53-property-documents-electronic-devices-during-raids-at-nri-academy-of-sciences/article66234080.ece

https://www.siasat.com/ed-registers-money-laundering-case-conducts-raids-against-promoters-of-andhra-medical-college-2474144/

PANAMA: SOME 70 TONS OF DRUGS SEIZED IN 2 YEARS IN ITS PORTS

On 6 December, Panamá America reported that Panamanian security forces between 2021 and 2022 have seized 74,884 packages of illicit substances in the ports.

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/judicial/unas-70-toneladas-de-droga-incautadas-en-dos-anos-en-puertos-1215292

NIGERIA: JIHADISTS AND BANDITS ARE COOPERATING

On 7 December, Defence Web reported that Nigeria has faced multiple national security threats: jihadist groups in the north-east; armed bandits in the north-west; militia secessionists in the south-east; and militancy in the south-south.  It argues that the interests of bandits and jihadists are converging.  This poses a formidable threat to Nigeria’s national security.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/civil-security/jihadists-and-bandits-are-cooperating-why-this-is-bad-news-for-nigeria/

ARGENTINA’S VICE-PRESIDENT FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD AND SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER EMBEZZLING $1 BILLION

On 7 December, UNILAD reported that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 69, received a 6-year prison sentence and was disqualified from holding public office.

https://www.unilad.com/news/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-jail-450769-20221207

UK: HAITI (SANCTIONS) REGULATIONS 2022

These Regulations implement the relevant UN sanctions concerning Haiti.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/1281/contents/made

GLENCORE AGREES TO PAY DR CONGO $180 MILLION OVER CORRUPTION ACCUSATIONS

On 7 December, OCCRP reported that Swiss commodity trading and mining giant Glencore is to pay $180 million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after reaching an agreement with Congolese authorities on allegations of corruption between 2007 and 2018.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17124-glencore-agrees-to-pay-congo-180m-over-corruption-accusations

CHINESE ‘SERVICE CENTERS’ CHASE DISSIDENTS, CRIMINALS ABROAD

On 7 December, an article from OCCRP said that a new report from a Spanish NGO claims that Chinese authorities have set up more than 100 police stations overseas to monitor, harass and in some cases force its nationals abroad, especially dissidents, to return home.  China insists the facilities are simply administrative hubs, set up to help Chinese expatriates with tasks like renewing their driver’s licences.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17123-report-chinese-service-centers-chase-dissidents-criminals-abroad

BRAZIL: MAKERS OF HIGH-END MUSICAL BOWS SUSPECTED OF TRAFFICKING PROTECTED BRAZILWOOD TO THE US, EUROPE, AND ASIA

On 7 December, OCCRP carried a report saying that, though relatively small, the bow industry is highly lucrative.  Sticks of brazilwood cost less than $8 in Brazil, but once crafted into bows they can sell for more than 300 times as much in the US, Europe, and Asia.  Such bows are sold by music stores in the US and UK for up to $2,500 apiece, while others can go for even more.  Brazilian authorities launched Operation Dó-Ré-Mi in 2018, and since then, officers have confiscated almost 150,000 bows and wooden sticks from 33 bowmakers, who together have been fined over $10 million for trading in undocumented wood.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/operation-do-re-mi-the-brazilian-bow-makers-under-investigation-for-dealing-in-endangered-wood

GERMAN POLICE RAIDS TARGET FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS ‘SEEKING TO OVERTHROW STATE’

On 7 December, the Guardian reported that 25 people including a 71-year-old German aristocrat, a retired military commander and former MP for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have been detained on suspicion of a terrorist plan.  Federal prosecutors said 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the group.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/07/german-police-raids-target-far-right-reich-citizens-movement

THE RISE IN MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA) THREATS MEETS COMPLIANCE FATIGUE

On 6 December, Control Risks said that MFA has been a cornerstone of cyber security best practice lists for many years.  It has become one of the most effective ways that organisations can protect their online accounts, particularly with the advent of cloud computing.  However, the article says that it is also highlighting the risks of relying solely on app-based solutions.  As threat actors improve their capabilities, the exponential growth of MFA has become a significant contributing factor to the increasing number of cyber attacks and data breaches targeting organisations.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/the-rise-in-multi-factor-authentication-threats-meets-compliance-fatigue

HOW PERU IS TACKLING THE DANGER OF VENEZUELA’S TREN DE ARAGUA GANG?

On 6 December, an article from Insight Crime considered an effort by Peruvian intelligence to dismantle the Gallegos, the strongest armed wing of the Tren de Aragua, Venezuela’s most powerful transnational criminal organisation.  A gang which has gained a strong foothold in Peru and is involved in extortion, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and murder. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/how-peru-is-tackling-the-danger-of-venezuelan-tren-de-aragua/

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS AND SCHREMS II: OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE EU AND UK GDPR

On 6 December, an article from Out-Law took the form of a guide which examines some of the key questions businesses will ask themselves when considering what they need to do to comply with the EU and UK GDPR.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/guides/international-transfers-schrems-ii-gdpr

DESPITE UN SANCTIONS, GERMANY DID RESEARCH WITH NORTH KOREA

On 28 November, Deutsche Welle carried an article saying that its investigation found that one Berlin institute continued cooperation without flagging the risks.  It has revealed a potential German violation of UN sanctions that could have been avoided.  The case throws a spotlight on the potential for conflict between Germany’s approach to freedom of research and security concerns.

https://www.dw.com/en/despite-un-sanctions-german-research-institute-worked-with-north-korean-scientists/a-63890089

UN SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF 1540 COMMITTEE MONITORING NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS FOR 10 YEARS

On 30 November, the UN advised that the Security Council had extended the mandate of its subsidiary 1540 Committee, for a period of 10 years until 30 November 2032.  UN SCR 1540 aims to prevent non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery.

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15123.doc.htm

MEXICAN CARTELS HAVE TURNED TO FENTANYL

On 6 December, an article in Unherd says that Mexican traffickers have gradually shifted the core of their business from plant-based drugs to synthetic drugs — those created using man-made chemicals.  These include meth and illegally-made fentanyl as well as others, such as ketamine. 

https://unherd.com/2022/12/mexican-cartels-have-turned-to-fentanyl/

FORMER REPRESENTATIVE DAVID RIVERA OF FLORIDA IS ARRESTED IN VENEZUELA PROBE

On 5 December, CNBC reported that a former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government has been arrested on charges of money laundering and representing a foreign government without registering.  Rivera is a Republican who served as a Representative from 2011 to 2013.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/06/former-rep-david-rivera-of-florida-is-arrested-in-venezuela-probe.html

UK: ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE SMUGGLING MILLIONS FOR DRUG DEALERS

On 6 December, Vice carried an article about cash couriers and cash smuggling in the UK.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/4axqmd/ordinary-people-smuggling-millions-for-dubai-drug-dealers

US COURT UNSEALS INDICTMENT OF OneCoin CRYPTOQUEEN’S ‘CRISIS MANAGER’

On 7 December, Decrypt reported that another player in the OneCoin scheme will face charges of wire fraud and money laundering upon extradition to the US, according to a newly unsealed indictment.  Frank Schneider is a former Luxembourg intelligence official, whose private intelligence firm Sandstone carried out work for OneCoin, and is accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

https://decrypt.co/116621/us-court-unseals-indictment-onecoin-crypto-queen-crisis-manager

EUROPOL–BASEL INSTITUTE RECOMMENDATIONS ON TACKLING CRYPTO CRIME AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 7 December, the Basel Institute on Governance provided a set of 5 recommendations issued jointly by Europol and the Basel Institute following the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies earlier this year. 

https://baselgovernance.org/news/seizing-opportunity-europol-basel-institute-recommendations-tackling-crypto-crime-and-money

A CENTURY OF CHANGES IN EXTRATERRITORIALITY

On 30 November, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog was a lightly edited version of a talk given virtually on 26 November at the “International Symposium on Accelerating Changes Unseen in a Century and the Development of International Law” organised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of International Law.  It sets out to describe some of the changes in extraterritoriality over the past century and then discuss the implications of the “genuine connection” principle for sanctions and export controls.

https://tlblog.org/a-century-of-changes-in-extraterritoriality

US: COMPLIANCE PROGRAM GUIDELINES ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S DIRECTORATE OF DEFENSE TRADE CONTROLS (DDTC)

On 6 December, an Alert from Crowell Moring advised that DDTC has issued new Compliance Program Guidelines (CPG) intended to provide an overview of an effective compliance program.  The CPG is broken down into elements covering the spectrum of ITAR compliance from company management commitment, registration, jurisdiction and classifications, authorizations, recordkeeping, violations, training, risk assessment, and audits and compliance monitoring.

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2022/12/compliance-program-guidelines-issued-by-ddtc/https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/sys_attachment.do?sysparm_referring_url=tear_off&view=true&sys_id=1216c09a1b671d14d1f1ea02f54bcb25

LIBYA: UN SECURITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE GRANTS 6-MONTH HUMANITARIAN TRAVEL EXEMPTIONS TO 3 INDIVIDUALS

On 7 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the relevant UN committee has granted travel exemptions to Safia Farkash Al-Barassi, Aisha Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Qadhafi and Mohammed Muammar Qadhafi.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/unsc-grants-3-humanitarian-travel-exemptions/

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15124.doc.htm

https://www.statista.com/chart/12109/sms-volume-in-the-united-states

Q&A ON EU COMMISSION PROPOSALS ON CORPORATE INSOLVENCY AND LISTING

On 7 December, a news release from the EU provided this Q&A.  It says that the lack of harmonised insolvency regimes has long been identified as one of the key obstacles to the freedom of capital movement in the EU and to greater integration of the EU’s capital markets.  The new proposal aims at harmonising targeted elements of Member States’ insolvency rules and at creating common minimum standards across all Member States, thereby facilitating cross-border investment.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_22_7349

MISSILE COMPONENTS USED IN DRONE ATTACKS IN NORTH-EAST SYRIA

This report from Conflict Armament Research says that field investigation teams have deployed to north-east Syria on 8 occasions between February 2020 and November 2022, and documented 698 weapons and 15,360 rounds of ammunition, as well as other related materiel such as UAV and components for IED, in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the military arm of the autonomous governing authority.  Research has shown that some of the missile components were manufactured abroad and imported for use in Türkiye’s defence industry.  These include critical components that are commercially available and do not appear to be covered by existing export controls.

https://www.conflictarm.com/download-file/?report_id=3788&file_id=3791

US: RUSSIAN AGENT ANDRII DERKACH INDICTED FOR SCHEME TO VIOLATE SANCTIONS IN THE US

A US DoJ news release on 7 December advised that an indictment charged Andrii Derkach, 55, of Ukraine, with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA), bank fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and 4 counts of money laundering in connection with the purchase and maintenance of 2 condominiums in Beverly Hills, California.  He is described as a Kremlin-backed Ukrainian politician and oligarch.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/active-russian-agent-andrii-derkach-indicted-scheme-violate-sanctions-united-states

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

VIOLENT NON-STATE ACTOR CBRN EVENT DATABASE

In presenting this database and portal, the University of Maryland says that the prospect of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism has been a source of policy, strategic, and policy concern since the mid-1990s.  However, most discussion of CBRN terrorism phenomenon was theorising based on a limited number of high-profile events or speculation based on non-CBRN analyses.   The Unconventional Weapons & Technology (UWT) Division of the  National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism& Responses to Terrorism (START) developed 3 databases: Profiles Of Incidents involving CBRN and Non-state actors (POICN); Chemical And Biological Non-State Adversaries Database (CABNSAD); and Radiological And Nuclear Non-State Actor Database (RANNSAD).  These databases represent the largest open source publicly available databases on ideologically motivated CBRN events and individuals who pursue and/or use CBRN weapons.

https://cbrn.umd.edu/

https://cbrn.umd.edu/event_database

RUSSIA: STATEMENT ON EU NINTH PACKAGE OF SANCTIONS

On 7 December, a news release from the EU involved a statement by the President of the Commission.  She says that the EU is proposing to add almost 200 additional individuals and entities to its sanctions list. T his includes the Russian armed forces, as well as individual officers and defence industrial companies, members of the State Duma and Federation Council, ministers, governors and political parties, among others.  It also proposes to introduce sanctions against 3 additional Russian banks, including a full transaction ban on the Russian Regional Development Bank.  It also wants to impose new export controls and restrictions, particularly for dual-use goods. This includes key chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components.  It wants to cut Russia’s access to all sorts of drones and UAV, with a ban on the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and the export to any third countries, such as Iran, which could supply drones to Russia.  It also plans to target the Russian propaganda machine by taking 4 additional channels off the air and all other distribution platforms; and impose further economic measures against the Russian energy and mining sector, including a ban on new mining investments in Russia.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_7568

EUROPOL–BASEL INSTITUTE RECOMMENDATIONS ON TACKLING CRYPTO CRIME AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 7 December, the Basel Institute on Governance provided a set of 5 recommendations issued jointly by Europol and the Basel Institute following the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies earlier this year. 

https://baselgovernance.org/news/seizing-opportunity-europol-basel-institute-recommendations-tackling-crypto-crime-and-money

DESPITE UN SANCTIONS, GERMANY DID RESEARCH WITH NORTH KOREA

On 28 November, Deutsche Welle carried an article saying that its investigation found that one Berlin institute continued cooperation without flagging the risks.  It has revealed a potential German violation of UN sanctions that could have been avoided.  The case throws a spotlight on the potential for conflict between Germany’s approach to freedom of research and security concerns.

https://www.dw.com/en/despite-un-sanctions-german-research-institute-worked-with-north-korean-scientists/a-63890089

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS AND SCHREMS II: OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE EU AND UK GDPR

On 6 December, an article from Out-Law took the form of a guide which examines some of the key questions businesses will ask themselves when considering what they need to do to comply with the EU and UK GDPR.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/guides/international-transfers-schrems-ii-gdpr

ARGENTINA’S VICE-PRESIDENT FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD AND SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER EMBEZZLING $1 BILLION

On 7 December, UNILAD reported that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 69, received a 6-year prison sentence and was disqualified from holding public office.

https://www.unilad.com/news/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-jail-450769-20221207