OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 24

Panama Covid-19 update – Panama broke the record for vaccinating people again yesterday, this time over 93,000 were vaccinated in one day (actually in a 12 hour session) – representing no less than 2.1% of the population, in one day. In fact, it was reported on 24 July that more than 252,000 doses of Pfizer had been applied in a 3-day drive.

Despite the efforts, another 1,095 new cases and 5 new fatalities reported today. There are 13,117 active cases, with 120 in ICU and 641 in other wards.

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

24 JULY 2021

CHINA SANCTIONS WILBUR ROSS AND OTHERS IN RESPONSE TO US WARNINGS ON HONG KONG

On 23 July, Yahoo News reported that China had imposed sanctions on former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and 6 others.  Ross served as the Secretary of Commerce under former President Donald Trump.  The others were Carolyn Bartholomew, the chair of the US-China Economic Security Review Commission; Sophie Richardson, the China director of NGO Human Rights Watch; Jonathan Stivers, former staff director of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, DoYun Kim at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; Adam Joseph King, senior program manager of the International Republican Institute and the Hong Kong Democratic Council.

https://news.yahoo.com/china-sanctions-wilbur-ross-others-174627306.html

INDIA: 4 INDIGO AND SPICEJET AIRLINE STAFF AMONG 7 HELD FOR ‘SMUGGLING GOLD’

On 24 July, Times Now News reported that 7 people, including 4 airline staff have been arrested at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) on charges of allegedly smuggling gold from Saudi Arabia.

https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/article/indigo-spiecejet-staffers-among-seven-held-for-smuggling-gold-worth-rs-72-lakh-at-igi-airport/789711

UK: CONSULTATION ON APPLYING THE TRAVEL RULE TO CRYPTOCURRENCY

On 24 July, the Coin Republic reported that HM Treasury has released a public consultation on, among other things, its plans to adopt FATF so-called “travel rule” for bitcoin transactions.  The public consultation will last to 14 October, with legislation expected to be introduced in the Spring of 2022.

https://www.thecoinrepublic.com/2021/07/24/the-united-kingdom-has-begun-consultations-on-applying-the-travel-rule-to-cryptocurrency/

GUERNSEY FSC SEEKS 10.1% RISE IN FEES TO COMBAT REGULATORY THREATS

On 20 July, the Guernsey Press reported that a 10.1% across-the-board increase in fees for regulated financial services firms and regulated entities is being proposed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.  The regulator said the increase, pencilled in for 2022, was required because ‘regulatory inflation’ globally was running ahead of its current financial base.

https://guernseypress.com/news/business/2021/07/20/gfsc-seeks-101-rise-to-avoid-regulatory-threats/

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/07/20/which-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-most-widely-accepted-for-international-travel

GUATEMALA ATTORNEY GENERAL FIRES TOP ANTI-CORRUPTION PROSECUTOR

On 24 July, Al Jazeera reported that Guatemala’s attorney general has removed Juan Francisco Sandoval , an internationally known corruption prosecutor, from his post as head of the anti-corruption unit (FECI), prompting criticism that the move was a setback to the rule of law.  The unit was originally created to tackle investigations spearheaded by the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which was removed from the country in 2019.  US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Julie Chung has said that the move contributes to perceptions of a systemic effort to undermine those known to be fighting corruption.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/24/guatemala-attorney-general-fires-top-anti-corruption-prosecutor

CHINESE FRAUDSTER RETURNED AFTER 3 YEARS HIDING OUT IN CAMBODIA

On 24 July, CNE in Cambodia reported that since 2017, the suspect, named as Deng, has promoted a fake company in​​ Guangzhou, which is said to have managed to defraud more than 90 people of around $154,000.  By the beginning of 2018, Deng had fled with the investors’ money, and ended up in Cambodia.

https://cne.wtf/2021/07/24/chinese-fraudster-returned-after-3-years-hiding-out-in-cambodia

IMF WARNS VANUATU ON EFFECTS OF AML/CFT ISSUES

On 23 July, a post from the IMF following an Article IV review said that, among other things, Economic Citizenship Programs (ECP) revenues could fall sharply amid growing concerns on AML/CFT risks to and the recent loss of a key correspondent banking relationship.  It also said that a lack of transparency and effective supervision framework for state enterprises could negatively affect the business environment and fiscal management. Issues concerning AML/CFT and EU blacklisting related to tax transparency could accelerate de-risking by foreign firms and impede foreign direct investment (FDI).

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/07/23/pr21225-vanuatu-imf-staff-concludes-2021-article-iv-mission

VANUATU: AFRICRYPT BITCOIN BROTHERS GET “GOLDEN PASSPORTS”

On 19 July, Biznews reported that Raees and Ameer Cajee, brothers aged 18 and 21, ran Africrypt, a cryptocurrency investment platform based in South Africa.  Allegedly, the pair had disappeared with over $3.6 billion in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is reported that the brothers have bought citizenship from the small island nation of Vanuatu. 

https://www.biznews.com/undictated/2021/07/19/bitcoin-africrypt-vanuatu

VARIOUS US STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS AGREE $26 BILLION SETTLEMENT WITH OPIOID DISTRIBUTORS

On 23 July, Jurist reported that the agreement will resolve claims against several large opioid distributors. The distributors affected are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, as well as opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/07/attorneys-general-announce-26-billion-settlement-with-opioid-distributors-ok-hj/

NORTH KOREA BUYS LEAF TOBACCO FROM CHINA DESPITE SMOKING BAN

On 21 July, TJI reported that North Korea has continued to import leaf tobacco from China even though North Korea has banned smoking nationwide in public places since November 2020.

https://www.tobaccojournal.com/North_Korea_buys_leaf_tobacco_from_China_despite_tobacco-prohibition_law.56521.0.html 

KINGPINS IN CHANNEL SMUGGLING OPERATION ‘LIVING AND WORKING FREELY’ IN THE UK

On 24 July, The Guardian reported that 3 of the kingpins in operations to smuggle thousands of asylum seekers across the Channel in small boats are living and working freely in the UK and have evaded detection.  It is believed that the men use their extensive networks in Germany, the Netherlands, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, who move the payments made by asylum seekers for them, to help launder the money.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jul/24/kingpins-in-channel-smuggling-operations-living-freely-in-the-uk-say-migrants

https://news.sky.com/story/officers-swoop-in-on-alleged-leaders-of-gang-that-smuggled-hundreds-of-migrants-into-uk-12360182 

EU CROWDFUNDING REGULATION

On 22 July, an article from Irish law firm LK Shields provides an update on the Regulation, saying that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has expressed some concerns to the European Commission in relation to the application dates relating to this Regulation and in relation to some areas of interpretation.  The Regulation states that it will apply from 10 November 2021, and ESMA is also required to submit most of its technical standards by 10 November 2021. However, ESMA has requested the Commission to delay the application of the Regulation beyond 10 November so that the Regulation may apply in a more harmonised and orderly fashion.

https://www.lkshields.ie/news-insights/news/eu-crowdfunding-regulation 

https://www.rferl.org/a/how-does-pegasus-spyware-work/31371719.html 

GERMAN FREIGHT HUB JOINS BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE – RECEIVES FREIGHT TRAIN FROM CHINA

On 22 July, Port Technology reported that JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven freight village has welcomed its first direct container-laden train from the Chinese city of Hefei.  It left on 25 June with a load of around 100 TEU, mainly household appliances as well as textiles and electrical goods, which will be distributed from Wilhelmshaven.

https://www.porttechnology.org/news/german-freight-hub-joins-belt-and-road-initiative/ 

SEC HALTS ALLEGED ONGOING FRAUD INVOLVING CYCLING COMPANIES

A news release from the SEC on 22 July advised an emergency action including a temporary restraining order and asset freeze to stop an alleged fraudulent offering of securities and misappropriation of investor assets by Outdoor Capital Partners LLC and its director Samuel J. Mancini of Denver, Colorado, and raising millions of dollars for an investment fund ostensibly to purchase controlling interests in three Italian cycling companies.

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2021-136

MIGRANT SMUGGLING WITH LUXURY VEHICLES IN GREECE HALTED WITH EUROJUST SUPPORT

On 23 July, a news release from Eurojust advised that it had assisted the Greek and Bulgarian authorities to halt an international criminal network involved in migrant smuggling within Greece.  The network used powerful luxury cars and pickup trucks to avoid attention and security checks of the authorities, leading to serious road accidents.  At least 89 luxury cars and high-speed pickup trucks were used, which were provided by Bulgarian suspects. The other gang members are of Greek, Turkish and Georgian nationality.  The vehicles were imported from Georgia and transported to Greece for the smuggling activities.

https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/migrant-smuggling-luxury-vehicles-greece-halted-eurojust-support

50% OF SOME MAIL SERVICE REVENUES STEMS FROM PARCELS

On 19 July, Parcel and Post Technology reported on an International Post Corporation (IPC) report on the global postal industry.  As in previous years, the main growth driver for posts was parcels, fuelled by cross-border and domestic B2C e-commerce.  As mail volumes further declined, especially advertising mail, parcels now account for over 50% of revenue for some posts. 

https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news/operations/ipc-findings-show-that-50-of-some-mails-revenues-stems-from-parcels.html

ILLICIT ECONOMIES IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

On 9 July, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime published Risk Bulletin 19, which contains 2 stories from East Africa and 2 from South Africa that explore how organised crime issues link in to wider political and social landscapes.  These stories include the captive lion industry in South Africa and– what does this mean for the lion bone trade?; foreign fishing fleets routinely engage in IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing in Somali waters; and the booming economy for smuggling cigarettes out of Tanzania.

https://globalinitiative.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/GITOC-East-and-Southern-Africa-Risk-Bulletin-19.pdf

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/worlds-biggest-private-tax-havens/

US: ELECTRICAL ENGINEER SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 5 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT SEMICONDUCTOR CHIPS WITH MILITARY USES TO CHINA

A news release from US DoJ on 22 July advised that a California man, Yi-Chi Shih, 66, has been sentenced to 63 months, or more than 5 years, in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally export integrated circuits with military applications to China the required filing of electronic export information.  As part of his sentence, Shih has to also pay $362,698 in restitution to the IRS and fined him $300,000.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/electrical-engineer-sentenced-more-five-years-prison-conspiring-illegally-export-china

THE BIGGEST PONZI SCHEMES IN MODERN HISTORY

On 19 July, the Visual Capitalist published an article which detailed the biggest Ponzi schemes since 1991.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/biggest-ponzi-schemes-in-modern-history/

EU FINANCIAL SERVICES HORIZON SCANNER

On 22 July, Clifford Chance published the latest edition of this publication which identifies and summarises key EU legislative and non-legislative initiatives that are likely to impact firms providing financial services in the EU, grouped thematically.  It sets out projected timelines for the finalisation and implementation of relevant legislative initiatives, covering approximately the next 2 years.

https://www.cliffordchance.com/briefings/2021/07/eu_financial_serviceshorizonscanner.html

CHINA’S EFFORT TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN LEGAL REGIME OF EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION – TAKEAWAYS AND Q&A

On 24 July, an article from K&L Gates LLP published an article about the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (the AFSL), which was enacted within 2 months and without an opportunity for public comment. The law gives the Chinese government authority to prohibit compliance by Chinese persons, including entities in China, with certain foreign sanctions laws and export control restrictions that are deemed to have a discriminatory impact on Chinese citizens or organisations.  It is said that AFSL introduces new risk factors for the business community. 

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/key-takeaways-and-q-as-to-understand-1666508/

$33 MILLION SEIZED IN BRAZILIAN CRYPTO MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION

On 24 July, BeInCrypto reported that Brazilian authorities carried out searches, with the courts having authorised the police to seize the assets of 2 individuals, plus a total of 17 companies. It is alleged that that the accused created a number of fictitious companies to gain access to the banking system.

https://beincrypto.com/33m-seized-amid-brazilian-crypto-money-laundering-investigation/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

DEUTSCHE BANK ENABLED ‘MASSIVE’ US PONZI SCHEME, LAWSUIT SAYS

On 23 July, Yahoo Finance reported that Deutsche Bank AG is accused of turning a blind eye to a years-long Ponzi scheme that involved fraudulent investments in Florida.  It is being sued by liquidators of 2 now-bankrupt Cayman Islands investment funds sued the bank in New York and Florida.  It is alleged that Deutsche Bank maintained accounts for entities involved in the scheme despite repeated red flags and SEC sanctions against them, and it failed to enforce its own rules to prevent money laundering. 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/deutsche-bank-enabled-massive-u-115237119.html

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

DATA PROTECTION UPDATE: SCHREMS II – REACTIONS TO THE JUDGEMENT AND THE SUPERVISORY AUTHORITIES’ RECOMMENDATIONS

On 21 July, CMS Law published a further update on the situation following the Schrems II decision of the European Court of Justice on cross-border data transfers.  Since the publication of the judgment, a large number of authorities have expressed their opinions and recommendations on the CJEU ruling.  The Update documents these comments in order to provide companies with assistance in implementing the ruling. Of particular importance are the recommendations of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB).  CMS also provides a link to receive further updates.

https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2021/07/schrems-ii-reactions-to-the-judgement-and-the-supervisory-authorities-recommendations-update-27?cc_lang=en

https://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/cross-border-data-transfers-whats-the-state-of-play/

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 23

Panama Covid-19 update – on 21 July 21, a record number of vaccinations were carried out – 73,643 people, almost double the previous high of 40,727 of 10 June. 73,643 amounts to around 1.7% of the entire population.

1,138 new cases reported today and 11 fatalities (2 from an earlier period); with ow 13,089 active cases – 124 in ICU (a fall of 9) and 654 in other wards.

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

23 JULY 2021

CHINA’S PUSH TO PURGE ORGANISED CRIME CASTS SHADOW OVER PRIVATE BUSINESSES

On 22 July, the Wall Street Journal reported that Xi Jinping’s push to crush organised crime has led to prosecutions and asset seizures targeting prominent entrepreneurs and sent chills through private businesses.  It cites the case of Zhang Wei, who built businesses in lending, asset management and real-estate investment in the southern city of Shenzhen, where he also became a municipal lawmaker.  In May, a court sentenced Mr. Zhang to life in prison and confiscated assets—including property, stocks and an Airbus A319 jet—that his family estimates to be worth more than $1 billion.  He admitted to giving bribes and asking associates to trespass on a private residence, but he denied all other charges against him.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-push-to-purge-organized-crime-casts-shadow-over-private-businesses-11626960650

ITALY INVESTIGATES LUXEMBOURG-BASED INSURER OVER TAX EVASION ALLEGATIONS

On 22 July, KYC 360 reported a Reuters story claiming that Italian prosecutors are investigating Lombard International Assurance (LIA), a Luxembourg-based insurer owned by U.S. fund Blackstone, due to allegations of tax evasion and money laundering.  There are allegations that some of the money that LIA’s customers have invested in insurance policies was obtained illegally.

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/italy-investigates-blackstone-owned-lia-insurer-over-tax-evasion-allegations-sources

UAE HOSPITAL OPERATOR SUING AUDITOR EY, 2 FORMER TOP EXECUTIVES OF THE COMPANIES AND 2 BANKS IN THE US, SEEKING $8 BILLION IN DAMAGES FOR AN ALLEGED MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR FRAUD AT HIS GROUP

On 22 July, KYC 360 reported that the owner of NMC Health, Indian entrepreneur BR Shetty, is himself facing a criminal complaint in Abu Dhabi from one of NMC’s lenders, and is fighting court cases in India and Dubai as banks seek to recover loans from his companies. Last year, the UAE central bank ordered banks to freeze accounts of Shetty and members of his family, sources told Reuters.  Shetty has denied wrongdoing and says that he has been the victim of fraud.

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/nmc-founder-sues-ey-banks-and-execs-for-8-bln-over-alleged-fraud

WHERE ARE UK CRIMINAL CHARGES OVER CONGO CONFLICT MINERALS?

On 21 July, The Guardian published an Opinion piece saying that, according to the Swiss federal criminal court, the corruption destroying the DRC – where devastating conflicts over minerals used in electronics have killed more than 6 million people – is inextricably linked to the UK, Gibraltar and Switzerland.  Between 2006-2011, individuals and entities in the UK, Gibraltar and Switzerland paid almost $380 million in cash bribes to authorities in DRC through an array of shell companies and subsidiaries – and the SFO told the Swiss court that it has the evidence.  Furthermore, in 2003, a UN report named about 125 individuals and entities, including at least 16 from the UK, directly or indirectly involved in conflict minerals.  How many have faced criminal charges? Zero.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/commentisfree/2021/jul/21/the-uk-has-been-linked-to-congos-conflict-minerals-where-are-the-criminal-charges

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14897-uk-fraud-watchdog-digs-into-alleged-mine-bribes-in-dr-congo

FAILURE TO ADDRESS THE DRUG TRADE IN AFGHANISTAN HAS SIGNIFICANTLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE COUNTRY’S PERPETUAL INSTABILITY

 A Commentary from RUSI on 21 July made this assertion, saying that one key ingredient to the country’s instability is Afghanistan’s drug trade, which has generated an economy reliant on narcotics and foreign aid, guaranteeing weakness in the face of a determined insurgency supported by almost unlimited drug money.  It relates the development of the trade from the time of the Soviet invasion in 1979.  It says that Western intervention in 2001 may have stabilised Afghanistan to a degree, but only enough for drug-trafficking networks to consolidate themselves.  According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank, although opium cultivation does not dominate every district, where it does occur, 70–80% of available agricultural land can be devoted to poppy growth.

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/afghan-addiction

THE COMING NAVAL ARMS RACE IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

On 22 July, a Commentary from RUSI concentrated on the Eastern Mediterranean, where the discovery of significant gas reserves and subsequent efforts to delimitate exclusive economic zones (EEZ) have raised tensions between regional countries. And now, Greece and Turkey – historical geopolitical rivals – are locked in an intense naval arms raceIsrael, Egypt, Turkey and Greece have all modernised their navies since the first gas fields were discovered in the early 2010s.  However, it is reported that Turkey has launched an ambitious programme to build a blue water navy for projecting power far from home. 

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/coming-naval-arms-race-eastern-mediterranean

EXPORT OF DUAL-USE GOODS — WHAT YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND

On 15 July, an article by a Polish lawyer on the In Principle website warns that every participant in trade must determine whether a planned export of goods, technologies or services requires a permit or completion of other formalities to avoid exposure to financial losses or criminal liability.  The article serves as an introduction, reminding one that controls apply to more than just arms and also to other than physical exports.  For dual-use items, goods might be liable to control even if not specifically listed on a control list, and customs classification and commodity codes don’t always coincide with Export Control Numbers (ECN).  It also warns of the extra-territorial effects of US controls.

https://codozasady.pl/en/p/export-of-dual-use-goods-what-you-should-keep-in-mind

UK SANCTIONS ON ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT’S ADVISOR

On 23 July, the East African reported that the UK had imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on one of Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s advisors – the wealthy Kudakwashe Tagwirei – for alleged corruption.

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/rest-of-africa/uk-slaps-sanctions-on-zimbabwe-president-s-advisor-3483726

UK SANCTIONS EQUATORIAL GUINEA LEADER’S SON OVER ‘LAVISH LIFESTYLE’ SPENDING

On 23 July, CNN reported that the UK had imposed sanctions on the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president – Teodoro Obiang Mangue, who is also vice-president of Equatorial Guinea – for misappropriating millions of dollars which London said was spent on luxury mansions, private jets and a $275,000 glove worn by Michael Jackson.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/23/africa/uk-sanctions-teodoro-obiang-intl/index.html

INDIA: HOW THE FEDERATION OF INDIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (FICCI) IS FIGHTING COUNTERFEITING AND SMUGGLING

On 23 July, News 18 carried an article explaining how a forum, FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy), formed in January 2011 is focusing on the need to curb the problem of growing illicit trade in counterfeits, pass-offs and smuggled goods.  It is said to be the only non-government or private organisation that is highlighting the hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling.  CASCADE concentrates on highlighting the hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling. 

https://www.news18.com/news/india/how-ficci-cascade-is-fighting-the-booming-trades-of-counterfeiting-and-smuggling-3997817.html

NEWEST EU MEMBERS STILL WEAK ON FIGHTING MONEY LAUNDERING

On 23 July, an article in Forbes looked at money laundering in Eastern Europe, including in the Baltic states.  It concludes that there is a serious money laundering problem in Europe.  The new EU Member States in the Baltics are far behind the rest of the EU, but that doesn’t mean the EU is clean.  Swedish Svedbank and Austrian Raiffeisen and of course Deutsche Bank has also been a hotbed of bad financial actors, not all of them Russian.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2021/07/23/emerging-europe-newest-eu-members-still-weak-on-fighting-money-laundering/?sh=1fa56712340c

22 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN MASSIVE $11 MILLION PPP SCHEME

On 23 July, CBS 46 in Georgia reported that federal authorities had announced 22 people, had been arrested for an $11 million scheme involving the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.  It is said that the individuals arrested used the funds to purchase luxury vehicles, jewelry, and other personal items.  PPP loan applications allegedly filed by the accused reported that each business had between 59 and 69 employees and approximately $295,000 to $342,000 in average monthly payroll expenses.  However, federal prosecutors said none of the businesses had employees or payroll expenses. 

https://www.cbs46.com/news/22-people-arrested-in-massive-ppp-scheme/article_be4309b0-eba7-11eb-8f3c-4b88c61ff030.html

FRANCE LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO PEGASUS SPYING ALLEGATIONS

On 23 July, EurActiv reported that the French government said that it had launched an investigation into allegations that Morocco mounted surveillance of President Emmanuel Macron’s mobile phone using the Israeli Pegasus software.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/cybersecurity/news/france-launches-investigation-into-pegasus-spying-allegations/

HOW NSO BECAME THE COMPANY WHOSE SOFTWARE CAN SPY ON THE WORLD

On 23 July, The Guardian looked at the history of the NSO Group, the company behind the Pegasus hacking software.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/23/how-nso-became-the-company-whose-software-can-spy-on-the-world

CYPRUS WARNS CITIZENS TO REJECT TURKEY’S CALLS FOR PROPERTY CLAIMS

On 22 July, EurActiv reported that the National Council of Cyprus has called on Greek Cypriots to avoid appealing to a commission established by the pseudo-state occupied by Turkey in northern Cyprus in order to take back their properties, saying this would pose severe threats for national security.  This involves Varosha, a resort fenced off by the Turkish army immediately after the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. 

https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/cyprus-warns-citizens-to-reject-turkeys-calls-for-property-claims/

US MOVES TO DROP VISA FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST CHINESE RESEARCHER

On 22 July, Yahoo News reported that the DoJ has moved to drop all charges against Tang Juan, a visiting researcher at the University of California Davis school of medicine, arrested last year over visa fraud in its “China Initiative” that aims to prevent the transfer of US technology, and for allegedly concealing her military affiliation.  At least 5 Chinese researchers were arrested last year over the issue and 2 are still in jail.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/u-moves-drop-charges-against-013425178.html

UK GOVERNMENT TO FUND INITIAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE FOR VINDICATED POSTMASTERS

On 22 July, a news release from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  advised that, in the wake of the ongoing scandal, postmasters who have had their Horizon-related convictions overturned to be offered an interim compensation payment of up to £100,000 each.  It is also said that it will ensure affected individuals aren’t left out of pocket as the Post Office works with postmasters towards their final settlement.  The Horizon accounting system, installed across Post Office branches from the early 2000s, recorded shortfalls in cash in branches.  These shortfalls were treated by the Post Office as caused by postmasters, and this led to dismissals, recovery of losses by Post Office Ltd and, in some cases, criminal prosecutions. The Court of Appeal and Crown Court have since quashed numerous convictions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-fund-initial-compensation-package-for-vindicated-postmasters

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/22/wrongly-convicted-post-office-workers-to-get-up-to-100000-interim-payouts

MORE THAN 220 GROUPS CRITICISE UK REVIEW OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACT

On 22 July, The Guardian reported that a coalition of more than 220 organisations has attacked proposed changes, calling it a threat to freedom and justice.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/jul/22/more-than-220-groups-criticise-uk-review-of-human-rights-act

FAKE VACCINATION CERTIFICATES: THE NEXT COVID-19 FORGERY IN MEXICO

On 22 July, an article from OCCRP reported that, after peddling fake tests and vaccines for the coronavirus, criminals are now selling counterfeit vaccination certificates in Mexico City, allowing their customers to lie about their vaccine status and travel abroad.  Vendors in Mexico City’s Plaza de Santo Domingo neighbourhood are charging $24 to $30 for the fabricated documents.

https://insightcrime.org/news/fake-vaccination-certificates-the-next-covid-19-forgery-in-mexico/

UK: UK SUPREME COURT ON RIGHTS OF BUSINESSES TO CLAIM LIQUIDATED DAMAGES FOR SUPPLIERS’ DELAY IN COMPLETING WORK UNDER CONTRACTS THEY TERMINATE

A briefing from Out-Law on 23 July advised that the Supreme Court has resolved uncertainty surrounding the rights of businesses.  The Court overturned an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal by rejecting a supplier’s claim that liquidated damages for delay were not payable in respect of works which it had not completed at the point of termination and provided crucial guidance on the correct interpretation of liquidated damages clauses.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/triple-point-ruling-liquidated-damages-for-delay

CITY OF LONDON POLICE LEADS CRACKDOWN ON INTERNATIONAL IMPORTATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF ILLEGAL PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS

A news release from the City of London Police on 23 July advised that its Serious Organised Crime Team had executed a series of warrants at several addresses as part of an investigation into the illegal importation and distribution of unregulated pharmaceutical drugs from India into the UK.  The ongoing investigation centres around the distribution of unapproved and counterfeit prescription drugs into the US. The drugs are believed to have been produced in India and then illegally imported into the UK, where they are stored and then bulk-shipped to the US.

https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/news/city-of-london/news/2021/july/city-of-london-police-leads-crackdown-on-international-importation-and-distribution-of-illegal-pharmaceutical-drugs/

ISLE OF MAN: PUBLICATION OF THE AML/CFT HANDBOOK

On 23 July, the FSA advised that it has published its updated guidance for relevant persons in respect of compliance with the AML/CFT Code 2019.

https://www.iomfsa.im/amlcft/amlcft-requirements-and-guidance/

SHIPPING: RECENT CASE LAW RE-EMPHASISES THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF A BILL OF LADING

On 23 July, an article in Hellenic Shipping News said that recent case law re-emphasises the important role of a bill of lading as evidence of the contract of carriage and why it is important to carefully check the terms incorporated therein to establish the rights of the parties to the Bill.  It says that while the bill of lading is ostensibly widely understood, its role as evidence of the contract of carriage holds some hidden surprises to watch out for – and explains why. 

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/bill-of-lading-can-still-carry-surprises/

EUROPE CRACKS DOWN ON HAMAS SUPPORT NETWORKS

On 20 July, Kharon carried an article saying that supporters and facilitators of Hamas in Europe are facing crackdowns and raids by local governments and law enforcement amid legislative initiatives that would ban symbols of the Palestinian group.

https://brief.kharon.com/updates/europe-cracks-down-on-hamas-support-networks/

20% OF UK POLITICAL DONATIONS COME FROM JUST 10 MEN

On 21 July, The Independent reported that 10 men with an average age of 70, most of whom are white, gave £106 million to political parties and campaigns. Many have gained access to senior government ministers along the way, as well as receiving honours including knighthoods and peerages.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/20-political-donations-come-just-ten-men/

“SAFE HARBOUR” STATUS FOR CONVEYANCERS AT THE UK LAND REGISTRY OVER DIGITAL ID OF CLIENTS

On 23 July, Legal Futures carried an article saying that the UK Land Registry believes it is important that conveyancers have peace of mind while they fulfil their duty on identity verification. This “peace of mind” which the Land Registry had in mind is in the form of an “alternative higher standard identity check”.  This means that for every verification which is carried out, a “biometric” and “cryptographic” element must be incorporated in the process.  It explains what is needed for the “gold standard” of a digital ID standard, a conveyancer can gain “Safe Harbour” status for their matter, meaning that the Land Registry would not seek recourse against the conveyancer in the event their client was not who they claimed to be. This applies to both residential and commercial clients.

https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/associate-news/what-is-the-safe-harbour-status-for-legal-matters

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS AGAINST CYBERCRIME

On 22 July, a post on the UK Companies House blog says that it’s important your business is prepared to deal with any attack, as well as knowing how you can protect yourself and your business.  It lists the most common cyber security attacks your business could face online, and explains briefly how to protect your business.

https://companieshouse.blog.gov.uk/2021/07/22/how-to-protect-your-business-against-cybercrime/

EUROPEAN GENERAL COURT DISMISSED AN APPLICATION BROUGHT BY THE VENEZUELAN VICE PRESIDENT TO ANNUL ACTS MAINTAINING HER DESIGNATION

On 23 July, the EU Sanctions blog reported that Delcy Eloina Rodríguez Gómez had failed in her attempt to annul the June and November 2018 acts maintaining her designation on the EU Venezuela sanctions list.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2021/07/eu-court-upholds-2018-listings-of-venezuelan-vice-president/

TAXATION OF THE DIGITALISED ECONOMY

On 23 July, KPMG published the latest edition of its newsletter concerned with direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy.

https://tax.kpmg.us/content/dam/tax/en/pdfs/2021/digitalized-economy-taxation-developments-summary.pdf

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/top-trading-partner-of-every-u-s-state/

UK: INFORMATION YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR AEO STATUS

On 23 July, HMRC published updated information traders need to apply for Authorised Economic Operator status, including customs simplification status and security and safety status.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-you-need-to-apply-for-authorised-economic-operator-status#history

IRELAND OPENS PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON OECD DIGITAL TAX PROPOSALS

A news release from the Irish Department of Finance said that on 1 July, the OECD Inclusive Framework reached agreement but not unanimous consensus on key aspects of the 2-pillar solution to address tax challenges arising from digitalisation and globalisation.  The Government says that the consultation will be helpful in identifying the challenges and opportunities of the proposals in respect of Ireland’s corporate tax code and broader industrial policy.  The consultation closes on 10 September.

https://assets.gov.ie/162805/c9625e91-66cc-47df-80b9-b8486ad50127.pdf

WTO MEMBERS EDGE CLOSER TO AN AGREEMENT ON NEW RULES FOR THE FISHERIES INDUSTRY AND LIMITING GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES CONTRIBUTING TO UNSUSTAINABLE FISHING AND THE DEPLETION OF GLOBAL FISH STOCKS

On 15 July, the WTO reported that WTO members have pledged to conclude the negotiations soon and certainly before the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in early December, and to empower their Geneva-based delegations to do so. 

https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news21_e/fish_15jul21_e.htm

https://www.wto.org

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OFAC AND PAYONEER INC FOR SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS WITH PAYMENT PROCESSING

On 23 July, OFAC announced a settlement with Payoneer Inc which processed payments for parties located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, and also processed payments on behalf of sanctioned persons on OFAC’s SDN List.  Payoneer agreed to remit $1,400,301.40 to settle its potential civil liability for 2,260 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programmes. 

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210723

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/20210723_payoneer_inc.pdf

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

EL SALVADOR ORDERS ARREST OF EX-PRESIDENT SANCHEZ CEREN IN GRAFT PROBE

On 22 July, KYC 360 reported that El Salvador has ordered the arrest of former President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and 9 top officials from a past administration as part of a money laundering and corruption probe.  Sanchez Ceren is out of the country, but 5 former high-ranking members of former president Mauricio Funes’s government from 2009 to 2014 have been detained.

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/el-salvador-orders-arrest-of-ex-president-sanchez-ceren-in-graft-probe

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

FIRST ENERGY TO PAY $230 MILLION TO RESOLVE CHARGES IN OHIO BRIBERY SCANDAL

On 22 July, the Wall Street Journal reported that FirstEnergy Corporation had agreed to pay $230 million under a 3-year deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges that it was involved in a bribery scheme to pass a state bailout of nuclear power plants in Ohio.  A wire fraud charge will be dismissed, pending the utility company’s adherence to the terms of the agreement.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/firstenergy-to-pay-230-million-to-resolve-charges-in-ohio-bribery-scandal-11626967924

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – JULY 22

Panama Covid-19 update – open calls being held in several districts this week, with mainly younger people (including our daughter) queuing, having booked using the online app, for their Pfizer jab.

Meanwhile, another 1,250 new cases reported and 7 new fatalities; though active cases appear to have stabilised, now being 13,064. There are 133 patients in ICU and 651 in other wards.

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

22 JULY 2021

PAKISTAN DETAINS 5 CHINESE TRAWLERS FOR ALLEGED ILLEGAL FISHING

On 21 July Dryad Global reported that close Chinese ally Pakistan detained the vessels near its strategic port city of Gwadar, as a wave of protests swept across the region led by fishermen concerned about losing control of their fishing grounds to China.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/pakistan-detains-five-chinese-trawlers-for-alleged-illegal-fishing

PIRATES STRIKE OIL PLATFORM IN THE GULF OF MEXICO

On 21 July, Dryad Global reported that armed thieves attacked a privately-owned oil platform in the south of the Gulf of Mexico and made away with equipment and personal belongings of rig workers.  At least 5 armed men arrived aboard 2 speed boats.

https://channel16.dryadglobal.com/pirates-strike-campeche-oil-platform-steal-tools-supplies-crews-belongings

6 RUSSIAN ENTITIES ADDED TO US EXPORT CONTROL ENTITY LIST

On 19 July, the US Department of Commerce had added 6 Russian entities to its Entity List, making them subject to additional licensing and export restrictions – 

  • Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo AST;
  • Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Pasit;
  • Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz;
  • Federal State Autonomous Institution Military Innovative Technopolis Era;
  • Federal State Autonomous Scientific Establishment Scientific Research Institute Specialized Security Computing Devices and Automation; and
  • Obshchestvo S Ogranichennoi Otvetstvennostyu NEOBIT.

https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/documents/regulations-docs/federal-register-notices/federal-register-2021/2786-86-fr-37901/file

AUSTRALIA: ACCOUNTANTS, LAWYERS BEING RECRUITED BY CRIME BOSSES

On 21 July, the Brisbane Times reported that the Crime and Corruption Commission chair said that accountants, lawyers and real estate agents are being lured to the “dark side” by organised crime bosses.  “We’re seeing more and more evidence of facilitators of organised crime, not just lawyers, but lawyers are a prominent part of it for obvious reason – they have the skills and they have the knowledge,” he said.  He also cited accountants, lawyers, real estate agents, brokers. 

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/accountants-lawyers-being-recruited-by-crime-bosses-corruption-watchdog-20210721-p58bqe.html

MIAMI CASE REVEALS BLACK MARKET FOR HIGH-PRICED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS WORTH $78 MILLION

On 21 July, the Miami Herald reported that 14 individuals have been indicted in Miami federal court in the region’s largest case in recent years of drugs being diverted from legitimate suppliers and resold at high mark-ups to consumers.  They are accused of operating a network that dealt in illegally purchased or stolen prescription drugs, mostly to treat HIV, cancer and psychiatric illnesses. 

https://kyc360.riskscreen.com/news/miami-case-reveals-black-market-for-high-priced-prescription-drugs-it-took-in-78-million

NEW ZEALAND: TSB BANK AGREES TO $3.85 MILLION PENALTY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING FAILURES

On 22 July, Stuff reported that the bank had acknowledged it failed to comply with rules designed to prevent the bank being used for money laundering.  The action comes 5 years after TSB was formally warned for risk assessment and compliance failures.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/125823825/tsb-agrees-to-385m-penalty-for-moneylaundering-failures

SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN SUPPLY CHAINS: UK GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

On 22 July, the Home Office issued updated guidance for organisations on how to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their business or supply chains.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/649906/Transparency_in_Supply_Chains_A_Practical_Guide_2017.pdf

CPS RESPONSE TO HM CPSI REPORT INTO CPS AND SFO PROCEEDS OF CRIME DIVISIONS

On 22 July, a news release from the CPS advised that Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) has issued a report following its Inspection of the operation of CPS and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Proceeds of Crime Divisions.  The overall aims of the report are to examine how effective and efficient they are in identifying and progressing restraint and confiscation casework.

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmcpsi/inspections/proceeds-of-crime-divisions-cps-and-sfo/

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/sfo-receives-welcome-boost-from-watchdog/5109329.article

COUNTERFEIT WINE SEIZED IN EUROPE POLICE CRACKDOWN

On 22 July, the Decanter website reported that more than 1.5 million litres of counterfeit wine and other alcohol have been seized in a Europe-wide police operation targeting food and drink fraud in recent months.  Wine and vodka dominated the seizures. 

https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/counterfeit-wine-seized-europe-police-europol-462309/

HONG KONG CUSTOMS CLOSES 2 UNLICENSED MONEY SERVICE BUSINESSES

On 22 July, a news release from the Hong Kong Government advised that Customs had conducted an operation to combat unlicensed money service businesses and discovered that 2 women had operated a money service without a valid licence involving a grocery shop in Kowloon City and a fashion shop in Sham Shui Po. 

https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202107/22/P2021072200581.htm

UK: TREASURY COMMITTEE WRITES TO FCA CONCERNING FROZEN BANK ACCOUNTS

On 22 July, a release from the UK Parliament advised that the Chair of the Treasury Committee has written to the FCA with concerns about reports of the apparent unwarranted freezing of bank accounts for vulnerable customers.  This follows press reports that NatWest might have frozen the accounts of some customers on low incomes without good reason. Banks can freeze accounts for various reasons, including the suspicion of fraud or money laundering.

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/156825/treasury-committee-writes-to-fca-concerning-frozen-bank-accounts

SOUTH AFRICA: WIFE OF AN SANDF GENERAL CHARGED WITH FRAUD RELATING TO THE ALLEGED FALSIFYING OF TENDER DOCUMENTS

On 22 July, News 24 reported that the fraud trial of Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, the wife of a senior SA National Defence Force (SANDF) general, has been postponed to September due to Covid-19. 

https://www.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/News/tender-fraud-trial-of-sandf-generals-wife-postponed-to-september-20210722

GRAFT WHISTLEBLOWER RELEASED FROM CROATIA RETURNS HOME TO UK

On 22 July, OCCRP reported that Jonathan Taylor in 2013 had revealed how the Monaco-based Dutch company, SBM Offshore, was bribing government officials in exchange for juicy contracts. Taylor revealed that in only 5 years, SBM paid government authorities over $250 million in bribes.  Last July he went on vacation to Croatia with his family and was arrested as soon as he landed with Croatian police acted on an Interpol Red Notice issued by Monaco.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/14882-graft-whistleblower-released-from-croatia-returns-home-to-uk

EU-BELARUS RELATIONS: HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION AND RYANAIR FLIGHT DIVERSION

On 22 July, a briefing paper from the EU Parliament Research Service said that, despite the possibility of starting dialogue with the democratic opposition and Belarusian society, Aliaksandr Lukashenka chose another path, involving continued brutal repression of the country’s citizens.  The briefing examines the current position and EU and international reaction.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2021/696177/EPRS_BRI(2021)696177_EN.pdf

BOLIVIA SEEMINGLY POWERLESS TO STOP RAMPANT VEHICLE SMUGGLING

On 22 July, OCCRP reported that a crackdown by Bolivian security forces on vehicle smuggling this year appears to be failing as the country’s contraband trade continues to thrive.

https://insightcrime.org/news/bolivia-seemingly-powerless-stop-rampant-vehicle-smuggling/

HOW SANCTIONS RELIEF COULD IMPACT EU-IRAN TRADE

On 20 July, an article from the European Council on Foreign Relations said that the new Iranian administration may agree a revised JCPOA with the US, but if the economic benefits are paltry, political support will drain away.  It also posited that, if the rebound in EU-Iran trade proves underwhelming, the renewed nuclear deal will be vulnerable.

https://ecfr.eu/article/the-politics-of-sanctions-relief-why-an-economic-rebound-matters-for-iran/

SIEMENS CONTINUED TO IGNORE RED FLAGS

On 21 July, AP reported that German engineering giant Siemens ignored some of its own red flags for foreign bribery in the aftermath of a major corruption scandal in 2008, according to newly released reports by an independent monitor and other confidential documents.  The warnings involved the company’s use of third-party resellers.  The monitoring reports stem from a landmark settlement of bribery charges by the US DoJ and the SEC in 2008. 

https://apnews.com/article/europe-business-government-and-politics-e74d2a1e851f63a778ee1e2735e61a6b

US MILITARY BOUGHT CAMERAS IN VIOLATION OF AMERICA’S OWN CHINA SANCTIONS

On 20 July, The Intercept reported that the video surveillance camera systems were supposedly made in the US but actually originated from Chinese companies blacklisted for security reasons.

https://theintercept.com/2021/07/20/video-surveillance-cameras-us-military-china-sanctions/

https://www.statista.com/chart/18744/the-number-of-drug-overdose-deaths-in-the-us

DPRK-FLAGGED CARRIER TIED TO COAL EXPORTS VISITS CHINA’S LONGKOU PORT IN JULY

On 22 July, NK Pro reported that the bulk carrier and 3 North Korea-flagged cargo ships sailed to the port this month.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/dprk-flagged-carrier-tied-to-coal-exports-visits-chinas-longkou-port-in-july/

GLOCOM: NORTH KOREA-LINKED COMPANY OFFERING EXPANDED RANGE OF RADIO HARDWARE ONLINE DESPITE UN SANCTIONS

On 21 July, NK Pro reported that the Global Corporation website offerings have increased in 2021 despite sanctions pressure.  The military radio company is said to be run by North Korean intelligence services but continues to offer a widening range of military equipment for sale on its website.  It continues to use its brand to offer and promote a growing array of military radio, battlefield radar and software control systems.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/north-korea-linked-firm-offering-expanded-range-of-radio-hardware-online/

CAPE VERDE PROSECUTOR ACKNOWLEDGES ERROR IN SAAB ARREST WARRANT

On 22 July, TeleSUR reported that after a year of perpetuating legal errors, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) of Cape Verde has acknowledged that the warrant issued for the arrest of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab corresponded to another person.  PGR acknowledged an error given that the US had sent an extradition order in which an arrest warrant for Alvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas was included, but the name of Alex Saab appears in the following pages of the warrant and in the translations into Portuguese and Spanish.  Venezuela’s Special Envoy Alex Saab was arrested when his plane was refuelling in July 2020.  It is also said that the Venezuela Foreign Affairs Ministry had informed INTERPOL of a Red Alert erroneously issued against a diplomat who had immunity and inviolability of rights.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Cape-Verde-Prosecutor-Acknowledges-Error-in-Saab-Arrest-Warrant-20210722-0005.html

PANAMA: EX-PRESIDENT MARTINELLI FACES NEW TRIAL FOR POLITICAL ESPIONAGE

On 22 July, TeleSUR reported that he faces 2 legal charges for intercepting telecommunications of 150 businessmen, journalists, rival politicians, and allies during his term 2009-2014.  He also faces charges for money laundering and use of public funds in case linked to the Odebrecht construction company and has been prevented from leaving the country.  It is also said that Spain’s Supreme Court also ordered to investigate Martinelli in a case involving the Promotion of Constructions and Contracts (FCC) group.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Panama-Martinelli-Faces-New-Trial-for-Political-Espionage-20210722-0003.html

DOES CANADA NEED A NEW NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY?

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute has published a paper posing this question, saying that Canada’s international security partners release national security policies annually, bi-annually, quadrennially, etc – but Canada’s only policy, entitled Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Policy, was released in April 2004.  It considers the reasons why the policy has not been updated.  However, it says that there are signs in the national security and academic communities that it is perhaps time to dust off the Open Society policy in order to do a “fact-based reality check on national security and Canada’s future.  It is said that the existing policy, crafted in the aftermath of the events of 9/11 and an environment that focused largely on threats posed by transnational jihadist terrorism, it was progressive enough to consider other non-traditional issues such as public health and pandemics, organised crime and cyber-security, among others.

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cdfai/pages/4756/attachments/original/1626293695/Does_Canada_Need_a_New_National_Security_Policy.pdf?1626293695

SPAIN AND SERBIA DISMANTLE SERBIAN MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING NETWORK

On 22 July, a news release from Europol announced that 43 members of a Serbian organised crime group have been arrested for their involvement in producing and distributing marijuana and hashish.  Spanish Guardia Civil and the Serbian Police carried out 19 searches and seized over 17,000 marijuana plants, over 880 kg of marijuana buds, and at least 130 kg of produced marijuana and hashish resins. Approximately €250,000 in cash was also seized.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/spain-and-serbia-dismantle-serbian-marijuana-trafficking-network

BRITISH BUSINESSMAN MIKE LYNCH FACES EXTRADITION TO US

On 22 July, the Guardian reported that British tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch should be extradited to the US to face criminal fraud charges, according to a London judge, in connection with alleged fraud involved in the Hewlett-Packard $11 billion takeover of Autonomy.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jul/22/british-businessman-mike-lynch-faces-extradition-to-us

FINANCIAL SERVICES’ ROLE IN ANTI-TRAFFICKING, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND ESG IS AT TURNING POINT

 On 22 July, an article from Moore & Van Allen PLLC marked the tenth anniversary of the UN Human Rights Council adoption of the guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), setting forth the internationally-accepted framework for the role of businesses in promoting and protecting human rights.  The article seeks to explain how banks and other financial institutions are currently combatting human trafficking and suggests a proposed next step on the road to financial institutions’ measuring their impact on promoting human rights preservation and advancement.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/financial-services-role-in-anti-3236827/

https://www.ohchr.org/documents/publications/guidingprinciplesbusinesshr_en.pdf

MALTA PLACED ON UK HIGH-RISK LIST FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORIST FINANCING

On 22 July, the Malta Independent reported that this blow to Malta’s reputation comes weeks after Malta was placed on the grey list by FATF.  Ghana has been taken off the UK list which was published on 12 July and came into force on 13 July.  The other countries currently on the list are: Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, North Korea, Iran, Jamaica, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua,  Pakistan, Panama,  Senegal,  Syria, Uganda, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2021-07-22/local-news/Malta-placed-on-UK-high-risk-list-for-money-laundering-terrorist-financing-6736235408

PODCAST: ANTI-CORRUPTION LEGISLATION IN THE UK

On 23 June, a podcast from Kickback – the Anticorruption Podcast featured an interview with Robert Barrington, currently a professor of practice at the University of Sussex’s Centre for the Study of Corruption, and who previously served for over a decade as the executive director of Transparency International UK.  It touches on the strategies that proved most effective in lobbying for improving anticorruption and corporate transparency laws in the UK (especially the Bribery Act, the creation of OWO, and the public registry of companies’ beneficial owners), and the prospects for future progress on fighting corruption in the UK in the post-Brexit world.

https://open.spotify.com/show/4zeOYNu3w3A3OlIn5qW2VI

LAUNCH OF COMPENDIUM OF JURISPRUDENCE ON PERU’S NON-CONVICTION BASED CONFISCATION LAW

On 22 July, the Basel Institute on Governance announced that this Compendium had been published and will enable Peruvian judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement actors to assess progress and legal precedents in the implementation of Peru’s 2019 law on non-conviction based confiscation (Extinción de dominio).  It is revealed that Peru has already recovered around US$ 41 million using this legal mechanism, which makes Peru a leader in Latin America in the use of such non-conviction based confiscation mechanisms. It is also said to be the first country to have enforced these type of laws in international financial centres.

https://baselgovernance.org/news/launch-compendium-jurisprudence-perus-non-conviction-based-confiscation-law

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

US TREASURY SANCTIONS CUBAN MINISTER OF DEFENSE AND SPECIAL FORCES BRIGADE FOR ABUSES AGAINST PROTESTORS

On 22 July, OFAC listed a Cuban individual and oaane Cuban entity pursuant to the Executive Order which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.  Alvaro LOPEZ MIERA and the BRIGADA ESPECIAL NACIONAL DEL MINISTERIO DEL INTERIOR are designated.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20210722

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0288

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK: CLAMPING DOWN ON TAX AVOIDANCE PROMOTERS – RESPOONSE FROM HMRC

On 20 July, HMRC said that the UK Government takes tax avoidance very seriously and is determined to clamp down on the unscrupulous promoters who market these schemes.  It also says that the Government is consulting on draft legislation to implement the measures outlined in this document and intends to legislate for them in the next Finance Bill, and this will give taxpayers greater information about promoters and ensure that those promoters who are determined to continue to operate will face further tough action.  HMRC issued a consultation about clamping down on the promoters of tax avoidance on 23 March and this closed on 1 June.  The government received 18 written responses and met with 9 representative bodies.  Draft legislation on the proposals was published alongside this summary of responses to the consultation. Stakeholders will be provided with an opportunity to comment on the draft legislation. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/clamping-down-on-promoters-of-tax-avoidance/outcome/clamping-down-on-promoters-of-tax-avoidance-summary-of-responses

Any modest contributions for my time and ongoing expenses are welcomed!  I have a page where you can do so, and where contributions start as low as $3, at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y