THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JANUARY 31

Maybe it is not a surprise, but the media here is reporting that the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2022 from Transparency International does not bring good news for Panama. It is considered that the country made no progress in the fight against corruption in the past year, and had obtained a score of 36 out of 100.

Meanwhile, the latest Covid-19 statistics show a continued reduced efefct of the so-called sixth wave. 640 new cases were reported in the week to 28 January, over 100 less than the previous week. There were just 2 new fatalities. 899 active cases include just 1 person in ICU (there were 2 last week), and 64 in other wards (actually up from 51 last week).

31 JANUARY 2023

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

CANADA: FEDERAL AGENCY TARGETING ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE THROUGH FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE

On 31 January, CTV reported that Canada’s financial intelligence agency, FINTRAC, is stepping up the fight against the illicit wildlife trade by taking aim at the criminals who reap big profits from the global racket.  It is encouraging banks and other enterprises to be on the lookout for tell-tale signs that business dealings could involve the illegal trafficking of animals and exotic plants.  Fintrac has published a new operational alert aimed at gleaning useful intelligence to combat a major international crime that generates approximately US$20 billion in annual proceeds.

https://beta-ctvnews-ca.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/beta.ctvnews.ca/national/canada/2023/1/31/1_6253140.amp.html

https://fintrac-canafe.canada.ca/new-neuf/nr/2023-01-31-eng

https://fintrac-canafe.canada.ca/intel/operation/oai-wildlife-eng

OFAC: RISK ALERT FOR BURMA/MYANMAR

On 26 January, several US agencies, including OFAC, the DoJ, the Commerce Department etc issued an Alert on the risks and considerations for businesses and individuals with exposure to entities responsible for undermining democratic processes, facilitating corruption, and committing human rights abuses in Burma (Myanmar).

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/20220126_burma_advisory.pdf

OFAC, CANADA, THE UK (AND THE ISLE OF MAN) MAKE NEW BURMA/MYANMAR SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS

UK AND ISLE OF MAN NOTIFIES THAT 2 INDIVIDUALS AND 2 ENTITIES ADDED TO MYANMAR SANCTIONS LISTS

On 31 January, the UK and the Isle of Man advised that WIN KYAW KYAW AUNG, ZAW MIN TUN, ASIA SUN TRADING COMPANY LIMITED and CARGO LINK COMPANY LIMITED have been added to the Myanmar sanctions lists.

https://www.gov.im/news/2023/jan/31/financial-sanctions-myanmar/

Meanwhile –

OFAC BURMA/MYANMAR SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS

On 31 January, OFAC announced that 6 individuals and 3 entities had been added to its Myanmar sanctions lists.  These being connected to Burma’s military regime. OFAC notes that this action will occur in conjunction with actions taken by both the UK and Canada.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20230131

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1233

CANADA LISTS 6 INDIVIDUALS IN THE MYANMAR MILITARY REGIME

On 31 January, Canada announced the adding of 6 individuals to its Myanmar sanctions lists (the same 6 listed by OFAC).

https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2023/01/backgrounder–additional-sanctions.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2023/01/canada-imposes-sanctions-in-relation-to-the-2021-coup-detat-in-myanmar.html

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2023/01/uk-us-canada-impose-sanctions-to-mark-anniversary-of-myanmar-coup/

UK AND ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS THAT ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ AND THE LEVANT IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA (ISIL-SEA, ISIL SOUTH EAST ASIA) HAS BEEN ADDED TO SANCTIONS LISTS

On 31 January, the UK and the Isle of Man advised that 1 new entry had been added to the ISIL/Al-Qaida sanctions lists following the decision of the relevant UN Sanctions Committee.

https://www.gov.im/news/2023/jan/31/financial-sanctions-isil-daesh-and-al-qaida/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1133160/Notice_ISIL__Da_esh__and_Al-Qaida_310123.pdf

CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX

Transparency International has released the latest Corruption Perceptions Index which shows that most countries are failing to stop corruption.  It ranks 180 countries and territories.  It notes that 26 countries have fallen to their lowest scores yet and that 155 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012.  Denmark remains top (Panama, unfortunately, is in 101st position).

https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2022

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

CFATF SURVEY ON THE USAGE OF VIRTUAL ASSETS (VA) AND VIRTUAL ASSET SERVICE PROVIDERS (VASP) IN THE CARIBBEAN REGION – MONEY LAUNDERING & TERRORISM FINANCING RISKS

On 27 January, FATF-style regional body CFATF released a report.  During the period December 2021 to December 2022, it conducted a survey on the usage of virtual assets and VASP in the Caribbean Region. The survey was aimed, in part, at examining how VA function, integrate and contribute to the financial sector in the Caribbean region and to gain an understanding of how the inherent risks posed are mitigated by the financial and corporate sector when providing VA services.  The result of the survey is contained in a report, which provides recommendations on the steps countries can take to enable and bolster the infrastructure needed to support actions aimed at mitigating the risk associated with VA and VASP.

https://www.cfatf-gafic.org/home-test/english-documents/cfatf-resources/19788-cfatf-va-vasps-project-report?category_access=1

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

RUSE OF CANADIAN TRUSTS USED TO SHIELD UBER-WEALTHY BILLIONS FROM FRANCE’S TAX SYSTEM

On 29 January, the Financial Post reported on revelations from a court case in Quebec which revolves around a dispute over the control of trusts between a Montreal-based wealth management company and a law firm owned by 2 Paris-based lawyers.  While neither side prevailed in the litigation, the judge took great care in detailing the duelling allegations of dubious management strategies, conflicts of interest and dishonesty.  Overall, both sides were involved in managing as much as tens of billions of euros spread throughout at least 300 trusts, according to the ruling.  Rich families were able to avoid for years France’s wealth tax through the ruse of the Canadian trust, the court said.  The article says that, to leave “no traces” as they hid billions in Canadian trusts for rich French families, a group of asset managers and lawyers referred to clients as “the old lady” or “the painter”; and they periodically destroyed office computers.  But relationships soured and spilled into court, and now their methods have been exposed in a ruling that reads as a guidebook to tax avoidance tricks.

https://financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/canada-tax-haven-tax-evasion-synnott

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

THE EU BANNED RUSSIAN WOOD PELLET IMPORTS: THEN WHAT HAPPENED?

On 24 January, Mongabay reported that, in July 2022, the EU responded to the war in Ukraine by banning the import of Russian woody biomass used to make energy.  At roughly the same time, South Korea drastically upped its Russian woody biomass imports, becoming the sole official importer of Russian wood pellets for industrial energy use.  It also warns of claims of laundered Russian wood pellets possibly flowing through Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to multiple EU states.

https://news.mongabay.com/2023/01/the-eu-banned-russian-wood-pellet-imports-south-korea-took-them-all/

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EU ADDS IRAN AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES CORPORATION (HESA) TO UKRAINE SANCTIONS LISTS

EU Regulation 2023/192/EU added the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Corporation (HESA) to its sanctions lists due to its involvement in the development and delivery of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to Russia.

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.LI.2023.026.01.0001.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AL%3A2023%3A026I%3ATOC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.LI.2023.026.01.0004.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2023:026I:TOC

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y