A surprise was the report from Radio Free Asia (see below) about Chinese from Mainland China being among the asylum-seeking migrants attempting the dangerous crossing of the Darién Gap from Colombia into Panama…
Another concerning article said that Panama will lose coastal areas and islands due to the effects of climate change, and by soon as 2050, according to a report from the ministry of the environment. the well-known Caribbean coastal town of Bocas del Toro is one of the most important tourist islands in the country is at risk due to rising sea levels.
26 DECEMBER 2022
INDIA: THE ICICI BANK LOAN FRAUD CASE
On 26 December, Livemint carried an article about developments in this case, after another arrest in the wake of the arrest former CEO and MD of the ICICI Bank and her husband, who were taken into custody by the CBI in connection with the alleged ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case.
MORE THAN 400 INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVES ARRESTED IN DUBAI OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS
On 26 December, Gulf News reported that, in 2 years, Dubai Police had arrested 432 international fugitives wanted for various criminal acts including leading or joining a criminal syndicate, premeditated murder, money laundering and armed robbery. It also extradited 379 wanted persons to 30 different countries over the same period and repatriated 65 wanted fugitives from abroad.
DRUGS GANG OPERATING ACROSS THE US, MEXICO, EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA USED CRYPTOCURRENCY EXCHANGE BINANCE TO LAUNDER TENS OF MILLIONS IN DRUG PROCEEDS
On 19 December, Forbes carried an article about the findings of a DEA investigation that claims that between $15 and $40 million in illicit proceeds may have been funnelled through Binance. It is said to provide a rare insight into how Mexican-based narcotics dealers are increasingly looking to cryptocurrency as a means to obscure illicit business transactions.
BULGARIAN JOURNALIST AT BELLINGCAT ON RUSSIAN MOST WANTED LIST
On 26 December, EurActiv reported that Russia’s Interior Ministry has placed Christo Grozev, the leading journalist with the open-source investigative journalism group Bellingcat, on its wanted list. In keeping with previous wanted lists, the ministry did not specify which criminal offence Grozev was suspected of.
PANAMA: CHINESE ASYLUM-SEEKERS HEAD TO US VIA DARIÉN GAP
On 26 December, RFA carried an article about asylum-seekers who flock to the sleepy Colombian port of Necoclí en route to a dangerous people-smuggling trail through the mountains and jungle of the Darién. Many businesses have grown up in the town to accommodate their needs, often because the people-smuggling business is far more lucrative than tourism. Perhaps surprisingly, the migrants include Chinese said to be escaping the rolling lockdowns, mass tracking and compulsory daily testing of the zero-COVID policy (now, of course, lifted, with rocketing infections reported).
INDIA: ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE (ED) HAS ATTACHED ASSETS WORTH MORE THAN $25 MILLION OF A CHENNAI-BASED CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY
On 26 December, Livemint reported that the ED had attached (restrained) assets of M G M Maran, M G M Anand, and their company Southern Agrifurane Industries Private Limited, in a case said to be linked to that involving Maran, a former chairman of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Limited (TMBL).
NETHERLANDS: BANKS MAY RELY ON NOTARY STATEMENT FOR AML CHECKS
On 25 December, NL Times reported that, when requesting information about accounts held by notaries for clients, banks often ran up against the notaries’ duty of confidentiality. It was now agreed that a statement by the notary about his or her own money laundering checks will suffice, reported the Dutch Banking Association (NVB).