Panama has reported the first death this year from malaria
Meanwhile, news reported cases on Covid-19 are up again this past week – with 6,718 new cases, compared to 5,987 last week. There have been 10 further fatalities, taking the total since March 2020 to 8,543. The number of active cases has actually fallen slightly, down around 300 to 9,342, with 5 patients in ICU (up 1 on last week) and 170 in other wards (up 10). Incidentally, the new cases include my elderly mother-in-law, who was quite ill initially, but with medication seems much better.
13 DECEMBER 2022
AUSTRALIA: POKER MACHINE MONEY LAUNDERING
On 4 December, Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia published an article about the NSW Crime Commission multi-agency investigation into the billions of dollars of “dirty” cash that has been laundered using poker machines in pubs and clubs. It says that the findings revealed that only a small proportion of pubs and clubs comply with their money laundering prevention obligations ultimately “rewarding and perpetuating” crime; it also highlighted a detrimental lack of awareness by staff, club boards and hoteliers with recommendations for improved regulations and further legislation across the industry; and that there are currently no effective controls or data collection to identify or prosecute those involved in money laundering on the pokies.
THE UYGHUR FORCED LABOR PREVENTION ACT – POTENTIAL IMPACT ON CRITICAL MINERALS SUPPLY FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES
On 5 December, an article from White & Case looks at the effect of the controls on critical minerals – including aluminium, cobalt, graphite, iridium, lithium, magnesium, nickel, niobium, platinum, tin, titanium, tungsten and zinc –those identified as being “essential to [US] economic or national security and vulnerable to disruption”.
PATENTS AND US CUSTOMS
On 8 December, an article from Harris Bricken is the final instalment in a multipart series designed to help right-holders and importers better understand the opportunities and obligations that attach to IP rights (IPR) in the US Customs regulatory environment. This one explores the main issues surrounding the protection and enforcement of patents in the international trade arena and offers best practice tips for the benefit of both right holders and importers.
See also –
US: BILL TO MOVE EXPORT CONTROLS FROM COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TO DEFENCE DEPARTMENT – IS THIS A GOOD IDEA?
On 9 December, an article from the Baumiller Law Group asked this question about a Bill which, If passed, would transfer jurisdiction of the export controls under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to the Department of Defense, specifically the Defense Technology and Security Administration (DTSA).
GUERNSEY’S ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE REQUIREMENTS
On 9 December, a Guide from Mourant considers the key aspects of the economic substance requirements, the steps to be taken to ascertain whether a company or partnership is in scope and if so, what the relevant requirements are.
FRANCE: ASSESSMENT OF COMPANY ANTI-CORRUPTION COMPLIANCE PROGRAMMES
On 9 December, Herbert Smith Freehills reported that the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) published a new assessment of the maturity of company anti-corruption compliance programmes. This noted a genuine improvement not only in the level of knowledge displayed by responding companies about corruption, but also in their efforts to prevent and detect corruption. However, it also believes that there is room for improvement and that certain sensitive areas, such as M&A and HR, should be closely monitored in terms of corruption risks. It also recommends companies raise awareness with a larger number of employees about corruption risks in their daily activities.
BRAZIL SPORTS BETTING BACK TO SQUARE ONE AS BOLSONARO FAILS TO SIGN REGULATIONS
On 13 December, iGB reported that the future of regulated sports betting in Brazil was thrown into doubt, as outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro failed to sign the country’s sports betting regulations before the deadline to do so expired.
AGROFORESTRY 101: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
On 8 December, the World Economic Forum published this guide to agroforestry, farming with trees, which involves capitalising on the biological interconnectedness of trees, crops and livestock to create thriving ecosystems.
US CONSULTS WITH JAPAN, NETHERLANDS ON CHIP RESTRICTIONS AS CHINA PUSHES BACK
On 13 December, Reuters reported that the US had confirmed talks with Japan and the Netherlands about tightening exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China, and China hitting back. China has registered a trade dispute at the WTO opposing US chip export control measures.
46th GAFILAT PLENARY OPENED IN BUENOS AIRES
On 12 December, the Argentinian government reported that the Plenary of the FATF-style regional body brings together 18 Latin American countries. It is made up of: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
EU PROPOSAL TO SCRUTINISE BITCOIN AND CRYPTO PAYMENTS OVER €1,000
On 12 December, Crypto News Flash reported that the Council of the EU has agreed on new and stricter AML/CFT guidelines for cryptocurrency transactions. If accepted, all crypto-asset service providers (CASP) will be obliged to conduct due diligence on their customers when carrying out transactions amounting to €1,000.
THAI POLICE PROBES INTO CHINESE MONEY LAUNDERING SYNDICATE
On 13 December, Thai Business News reported that, as recent raids and investigations in Thailand have highlighted potential links between Chinese gangsters and Thai officials, police have been investigating businesses and foundations suspected of helping Chinese nationals illegally stay in Thailand.
SPANISH COURT ACQUITS SOCCER STAR NEYMAR IN FRAUD TRIAL
On 13 December, the Mail Online reported that a Spanish court has acquitted soccer star Neymar and his fellow defendants in a fraud and corruption trial related to the Brazilian´s 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona.
FUGITIVE BULGARIAN OWNER OF ONECOIN CRYPTOCURRENCY FRAUD CASE PLACED ON FBI 10 MOST WANTED LIST
On 13 December, Kenneth Rijock reported in his blog that Ruja Ignatova had been added to the Wanted List.
EU COUNCIL REACHES AGREEMENT ON A MINIMUM LEVEL OF TAXATION FOR LARGEST CORPORATIONS
On 12 December, a news release from the EU advised that Member States reached agreement to implement at EU level the minimum taxation component, known as Pillar 2, of the OECD’s reform of international taxation. The profit of the large multinational and domestic groups or companies with a combined annual turnover of at least €750 million will be taxed at a minimum rate of 15%.
GUERNSEY REGISTRY LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE PORTAL FOR CHARITIES AND NPO
A news release on 13 December advised that the way charities and other NPO register and submit filings to the Guernsey Registry is changing. A new portal will make it easier and quicker for charities and NPO to register and update their details with the Registry.
CHINA BANS EXPORTS OF LOONGSON MILITARY GRADE PROCESSORS TO RUSSIA
On 13 December, Rferl reported that China has banned the export of Loongson military grade processors to the Russian Federation, according to the Moscow-based Kommersant daily. It is said that the Russian military industry has been testing Loongson processors for some time and planned to use them instead of Intel and AMD processors, but the Chinese had banned their export because the strategic importance to China.
CAMBODIA SEIZES 1 TON OF KETAMINE
On 12 December, RFA reported that Cambodian authorities in the resort town of Sihanoukville had seized nearly 1 ton of ketamine in the latest high-profile drug bust in the country. The bust follows several other large seizures this year in Cambodia, which is becoming a transit and production point for illicit drugs in the region. UNODC said that there was growing evidence of illicit manufacture of the drug in Cambodia, based on the detection of several clandestine ketamine laboratories in the country. Civil society groups urged the government to take stronger action against traffickers of ketamine and other illicit drugs to prevent Cambodia from becoming a haven for the drug trade in SE Asia.
UN ADOPTS GLOBAL CONVENTION ON THE SALE OF SHIPS BY COURTS
On 13 December, a release on Hellenic Shipping News advised that the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships on 7 December. It recommended the Convention be known as the “Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships”. It is said that the Convention will enhance legal certainty by creating a uniform regime for the international effects of judicial sales of ships.
HEAD OF RUSSIA’S FCS ANTI-CORRUPTION DEPARTMENT ARRESTED ON BRIBERY CHARGES
On 10 December, Euro Weekly reported that Major General Dmitry Muryshov, the head of Russia’s Anti-Corruption Department of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) had been arrested. It is alleged that he received bribes worth several tens of millions of rubles. These were allegedly paid through intermediary subordinates from ‘unidentified participants in foreign economic activity’.
WORLD BANK DEBARS VANUATU CONSULTANT
On 12 December, a post on the FCPA Blog reported that the World Bank had debarred a consultant from Vanuatu and his affiliated companies for a year and a half for a fraudulent practice connected to a project in Vanuatu. Joshua Chalapan Nari and his controlled affiliates are ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by the World Bank Group during the 18-month debarment.
SOUTH AFRICA: FATHER OF CAPE’S MOST FEARED CRIMINAL SENTENCED FOR FIREARMS AND MONEY LAUNDERING
On 13 December, IOL reported that a man accused of once harbouring his fugitive son, who was named one of the top criminals in the Western Cape and has been sentenced to 14 years behind bars for charges relating to being in possession of illegal firearms to money laundering. Moegsien Haywood, 64, entered into a plea agreement and received 54 years of direct imprisonment but will serve 14 years due to the sentences running concurrently.
TURKEY HOLDS FIRM ON INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS; AT LEAST 15 MILLION BARRELS NOW STUCK
On 12 December, Insurance Marine News reported that Turkey had declined to back down on its insistence of a letter of confirmation for insurance for tankers transiting the Bosphorus and Dardanelles – a requirement which the International Group of P&I Clubs has said was impossible to supply because it put its Member Clubs at risk of breaking sanctions rules.
TURKEY REACHES DEAL OVER NEW CRUDE TANKER INSURANCE REGULATIONS
On 13 December, EurActiv reported that Turkey welcomed an agreement reached with its counterparts that allows the continuation of a new regulation requiring crude oil tankers to present an insurance confirmation letter before transiting Turkish straits. Turkey’s Maritime Authority said that 22 of the 26 crude oil tankers that arrived at the Bosphorus had presented the necessary letter, and 19 of them had already transited the strait.
NEW REPORT ANALYSES NUCLEAR SECURITY IN ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH SETTINGS
On 9 December, King’s College London said that a new case studies handbook has been published that explores how security systems are developed within universities and research institutions to protect nuclear and radiological materials, as well as related sensitive information, knowledge and technologies. It seeks to examine the challenges in implementing different security measures in these environments and, where possible, identifies transferable good practices, with a focus on organisational-level initiatives.
US: EXPERTS URGE ENABLERS ACT PASSAGE DESPITE SENATE SETBACK
On 12 December, OCCRP reported that the Establishing New Authorities for Businesses Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security Act is intended to close existing loopholes used by criminals worldwide to launder their ill-gotten gains in the US. Although the bill passed the House in July, it ran into a roadblock in the Senate, which ultimately voted not to include it in the 2023 defence budget.
NORTH KOREA RESTARTS EXPORTS OF PRODUCTS CONTRACT MANUFACTURED FOR CHINESE COMPANIES
On 13 December, Daily NK reported that North Korean exports of products contract manufactured for Chinese companies may restart in earnest beginning next year, and some government agencies have already imported supplies from China and have begun contract manufacturing activities. It also says that prisoners at the Ministry of Social Security’s forced labour camps are reportedly conducting the manufacturing of the products with materials the ministry recently imported.
UK AMENDS 2 ENTRIES ON GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS SANCTIONS LIST
On 13 December, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that the existing entries for Kale KAYIHURA and Artur Rinatovich SHAMBAZOV had been amended.
UK CORRECTS 1 ENTRY ON MYANMAR SANCTIONS LIST
On 13 December, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that the entry relating to the 99th LIGHT INFANTRY DIVISION had been amended.
UK COMPANIES HOUSE REFORM: IDENTITY VERIFICATION
On 13 December, a blog post from Companies House says that identity verification is one of the significant measures being introduced by the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency (ECCT) Bill. But what is it? How will it help to increase transparency over UK companies and improve the accuracy of information on the Companies House register? It says that the aim is for identity verification to be as easy as possible for people to do. There will be 2 routes to choose from and both will achieve the same level of identity assurance. You’ll be able to verify directly with Companies House or through an Authorised Corporate Service Provider (ACSP).
DROPPING THE CHARGES AGAINST MEXICAN GENERAL IN 2020 WAS WILLIAM BARR’S CALL
On 9 December, The Crime Report carried an article about the case where the US arrested former Mexican Defence Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda on charges that he conspired to protect drug traffickers. Even in retirement, Cienfuegos was the most important Mexican official ever charged in a US court. A month later, however, the Justice Department took the even more extraordinary step of dropping the charges.
ISLE OF MAN SANCTIONS CHANGES
On 13 December, the Isle of Man released a set of 4 news releases. One amends the existing entry in Russian sanctions lists for Said Mikhailovich GUTSERIEV. Another amended the global anti-corruption sanctions entry for Zvonko VESELINOVIC. 2 entries on the global human rights sanctions list were amended. The entry in the Myanmar sanctions list for the 99th LIGHT INFANTRY DIVISION was also amended.
IRELAND: FRENCH FILM STAR AWARDED €4.87 Million IN DAMAGES FROM FRAUD CASE
On 13 December, The Nationalist reported that French film star Dany Boon is entitled to €4.87 million in damages against several entities found to have defrauded him. The High Court judge said that he was satisfied to make a damages award against several defendants and other “co-conspirators” who he said had played “an active part” in the fraud committed against Mr Boon.
CAN A US COURT AWARD DAMAGES FOR VIOLATION OF US TRADEMARK LAW WHERE THE CONDUCT AT ISSUE DID NOT EVEN TAKE PLACE IN THE US?
On 13 December, an article from Sunstein LLP asked this question. It says that, in a controversial decision, a federal court affirmed a trial court ruling, awarding $96 million in damages to Hetronic International Inc, a US company, based on the actions of a German-based company that largely took place outside of the US.
US: DANSKE BANK PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD – LARGEST BANK IN DENMARK AGREES TO FORFEIT $2 BILLION
On 13 December, a release on Mondo Visione advised that Danske Bank A/S, a global financial institution headquartered in Denmark, had pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit $2 billion to resolve the US investigation into Danske Bank’s fraud on US banks. Danske Bank defrauded US banks regarding Danske Bank Estonia’s customers and AML controls to facilitate access to the US financial system for Danske Bank Estonia’s high-risk customers, who resided outside of Estonia – including in Russia.
5 RUSSIAN NATIONALS, INCLUDING SUSPECTED FSB OFFICER, AND 2 US NATIONALS CHARGED WITH HELPING THE RUSSIAN MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES EVADE US SANCTIONS
A news release from US DoJ on 13 December advised that the charges involve conspiracy and other charges related to a global procurement and money laundering network on behalf of the Russian government. It is alleged that the defendants were affiliated with Serniya Engineering and Sertal LLC, Moscow-based companies that operate under the direction of Russian intelligence services to procure advanced electronics and sophisticated testing equipment for Russia’s military industrial complex and research and development sector.
HOW SHAPE-SHIFTING “MONEY LAUNDERERS” INFILTRATED SOUTH AFRICAN BANKS
On 25 October, the Daily Maverick published Part 1 of a feature saying that, over the past decade Johannesburg banks have been fair game for a group of alleged money launderers tied to luminaries in the gold and tobacco sectors. The cash flow was enough to transform a small bank’s balance sheet overnight, yet no-one raised the alarm. The newspaper asks why was it so easy and where was the Reserve Bank? Part 2, on 13 December, opens by saying that South Africa has emerged as a hub for alleged regional money laundering operations of staggering proportions. Armies of fly-by-night front companies obscure the networks, but missteps seem to have exposed some key Johannesburg ‘service providers’, including one prominent attorney known for his colourful client list.
A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF NON-STATE VIOLENT DRONE USE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
On 12 December, Homeland Security Today advised of a report which examines the drone programs of five non-state groups operating in the Middle East: Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthi Movement, Islamic State (IS), and the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). In contrast to other violent non-state actors, it says, these 5 groups have shown that they are willing to engage in tactical and/or technical innovation in the use of drones, have sustained a long-term engagement with drone technology and demonstrated the capacity to develop drone infrastructure. It demonstrates that there is no single route of development for the use of drones by non-state entities, nor is there a pattern that these groups want to follow in order to expand their capabilities.