It is reported that during this year there were 202 (reported) deaths among migrants making the dangerous journey through the Darién Gap from Colombia into Panama.
30 DECEMBER 2022
JAPAN INSURERS TO CONTINUE MARITIME WAR INSURANCE IN RUSSIA
On 30 December, in the wake of most P+I clubs suspending offering insurance to vessels involved in trade with or near Ukraine, Nikkei Asia reported that Japanese insurers will continue to offer insurance for war damage for ships sailing through Russian waters.
LEGAL TRENDS IN LATIN AMERICA: THIS SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT BY COMPANIES IN 2023
On 29 December, Garrigues published this article (in Spanish) and concentrating on Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
CHINESE COMPANIES FIND SWISS LISTING HAVEN AMID US PRESSURE
On 30 December, Nikkei Asia reported that since new US measures came into force 5 months ago, 9 Chinese companies have raised $3.15 billion by listing in Zurich, thus exceeding that raised in the US.
GOLD TO DRIED SEAHORSES, HEROIN TO WHALE VOMIT: VOLUME AND VARIETY OF CONTRABAND SEIZED IN INDIA
On 30 December, The Hindu reported on the 2021-22 ‘Smuggling in India Report’ which highlights the trends, areas of concern, and the challenges involved in securing the country’s economic frontiers – and the smuggling of contraband like gold, narcotics, cigarettes, currency, flora and fauna, as well as the detection of commercial frauds. It also reports on international cooperation and engagements under the aegis of various bilateral and multilateral agreements and treaties signed by Indian Customs with foreign Customs administrations.
CONTROVERSIAL BRITISH-AMERICAN KICKBOXER INFLUENCER ANDREW TATE DETAINED AMID HUMAN TRAFFICKING PROBE
On 30 December, Al-Jazeera reported that Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan had been detained in Romania as part of an investigation into alleged human trafficking.
GREECE ASKS PANAMA TO CHECK POSSIBLE MONEY TRANSFERS FROM QATAR TO MEP KAILI
On 29 December, Politico provided an update for the so-called “Qatargate” case.
CANADA’S MODERN SLAVERY ACT POISED TO BECOME LAW
On 27 December, an article from Forwarder Law reported that the legislation is nearing the end of its legislative journey and can be expected to be passed into law in the new year. It is said that, while somewhat late to the table compared to the US or the UK, Canada’s new regime leapfrogs the first stage of government procurement compliance to establish a broad regime for both crown and corporate responsibility, and therefore marks an important first step in coming into compliance with our international human rights obligations.
ON 1 JANUARY, CROATIA WILL ADOPT THE EURO AS ITS CURRENCY AND WILL FULLY JOIN THE SCHENGEN AREA
A news release from the EU on 30 December advised that, with Croatia, 20 EU Member States and 347 million EU citizens will share the EU’s common currency.
MALTA: 2 SENIOR OFFICERS AT FINANCIAL REGULATOR HID PILATUS BANK DOCUMENTS IN SAFE TO KEEP THEM FROM INVESTIGATING MAGISTRATE
On 29 December, Kenneth Rijock in his blog reported that, according to court transcripts, 2 officials of the MFSA hid incriminating financial disclosure documents of the bank from the investigating magistrate handling the case.
FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT LEE MYUNG-BAK GRANTED SPECIAL PARDON
On 29 December, OCCRP reported that the South Korean government had announced q special pardon for former President Lee Myung-bak, annulling the 15 years left on his sentence for corruption.
DR CONGO ACQUITS FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER TSHIMANGA
On 29 December, OCCRP reported that a court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had acquitted a former presidential advisor who was charged with passive corruption, insults to the head of the state and influence peddling after OCCRP released a tape showing him negotiating a corrupt mining deal.
EU IS GETTING SERIOUS AND LIKELY IMPOSE A CBAM ON IMPORTED GOODS STARTING IN OCTOBER 2023
On 28 December, Sandler Travis Rosenberg released a podcast containing this warning. A Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a carbon tariff on carbon-intensive products, such as cement and some electricity.
FTX ASSETS WORTH $3.5 BILLION HELD BY BAHAMAS SECURITIES REGULATOR
On 30 December, the Guardian reported that the securities regulator has said it has seized assets worth $3.5 billion from the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX and plans to return them to creditors and former customers. The Securities Commission of the Bahamas said it had transferred all the digital assets to its own digital wallets for “safekeeping”.
EXECUTIVES FROM $1.5 BILLION SOUTH KOREAN CRYPTO EXCHANGE FRAUD JAILED
On 28 December, Coin Telegraph reported that 6 executives involved in the crypto exchange fraud V Global have received prison sentences of up to 8 years. V Global operated between July 2020 and April 2021, roping in around 50,000 investors by promising 300% returns alongside sizable payments for referring new customers. The latest court action now takes the number of V Global execs behind bars up to 7.
US: FORCED LABOUR COURT CASE ENDS WITH A WHIMPER
A post from Crowell Moring on 29 December reported that the US Court of International Trade had issued a final opinion in Virtus Nutrition LLC’s challenge to US Customs and Border Protection’s detention of Malaysian palm oil imports, rejecting Vitrus’ request that the CIT confirm the importer’s right to re-export the shipment, detained in 2021. It is said that the case did not provide insight into the evidence needed to successfully challenge CBP forced labour detentions. The importing community was hoping for such guidance but will have to wait.
US: ICE RELEASES FY 2022 ANNUAL REPORT
On 30 December, the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement issued its latest annual report. Its work includes combatting transnational criminal organisations (TCO) including disrupting the supply of opioids coming to US communities; improving transparency to stakeholders and the public. It reports more than 790 disruptions to illicit activity, 14,000 non-citizen apprehensions, 1,900 criminal arrests, and the seizure of $5 million in assets and property.
UK: 26 OPEN GENERAL EXPORT LICENCES REVOKED
On 30 December, the Department for International Trade reported that the revoked licences were originally created to be used in parallel with licences that had been locked against further registration. On 30 September, the original licences were unlocked and made available for registration making the parallel licences redundant.
THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING WHISTLEBLOWER IMPROVEMENT ACT
On 30 December, an article from Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto LLP explained the background to the new Act which improves the flawed 2021 law. It says that, for the first time in history, whistleblowers from any country have the right to anonymously and confidentially report money laundering and sanctions-busting to the US DoJ or Treasury. If their information results in a successful prosecution, they could receive between 10-30% of the sanctions obtained by the wrongdoers.
EXILED FORMER BOTSWANA PRESIDENT KHAMA FACES ARREST
On 30 December, VoA reported that a Botswana court has issued an arrest warrant for former President Ian Khama, who fled to South Africa, with 14 charges ranging from unlawful possession of firearms to money laundering. He was officially charged in absentia in April 2022 but has not made a single court appearance. Khama was charged along with former intelligence boss Isaac Kgosi, suspended police commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe and Victor Paledi, a former senior government employee.