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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
UK: HAITI (SANCTIONS) REGULATIONS 2022
These Regulations implement the relevant UN sanctions concerning Haiti.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.