OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 8

Mothers’ Day in Panama today where, unlike the UK etc, is not just an excuse to sell cards and flowers, but is an actualy public holiday, with banks and public offices closed etc.

https://www.officeholidays.com/holidays/panama/panama-mothers-day?

At the same time, the health ministry reminds one of the need for continued biosecurity.

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Just to underline the message, La Prensa today reports that the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported that so far this year the country has registered at least 7,000 cases of dengue and 6,000 of malaria. Of the dengue cases, 17 were diagnosed as serious and 4 deaths have been registered. Then there is hantavirus, so far in 2022, 53 cases have been reported and 3 deaths.

In contrast, with 3 new cases of mpox (monkeypox, as was) reported, the total now stands at just 59.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 has, of course, not gone away, and December has started with more people in hospital (164) than at the same time last year (116) though, of course, both figures are modest compared to the worst periods of the pandemic. In addition, the health authorities stress the very high level of vaccination and boosters, and that the health system is much better now than two years ago to adapt to an acceleration of respiratory diseases.

Nevertheless, while yhe big Christmas parade is still scheduled to go ahead on Sunday evening, those in the districts of San Migelito and Chorrera, which were due to take place later this month, have been cancelled due the rising number of cases.

8 DECEMBER 2022

ISLE OF MAN: 4 NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS GENERAL LICENCES

On 7 December, the Isle of Man advised the issuing of 4 new General Licences following the amendments to the Russia Sanctions consolidated legislation on 5 December.  The Licences makes Isle of Man seaborne transportation services available to third country importers and exporters – so long as the price paid for Russian oil or oil products is at or below a price cap; provides a wind-down mechanism for contracts to ship Russian oil traded at a point above the price cap where the Russian oil was loaded before 5 December and is to be unloaded at the destination port by 19 January; subject to conditions, allows correspondent banking and payment processing in connection with the services provided under the other General Licences; and allows specified activities listed in a Schedule regarding the supply and delivery of Russian oil to exempt projects and countries for a period of time.

https://www.gov.im/news/2022/dec/07/sanctions-general-licence-russia/

A SENIOR PARTNER AT LONDON SOLICITORS FIRM SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO A £10.3 MILLION PROPERTY FRAUD ON HIS CLIENT

On 5 December, an article from Edmonds Marshall McMahon said that Stephen Jones, a senior partner at Jirehouse Partners, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to a £10.3 million property fraud on his client, US property developers Discovery Land.  He admitted 2 counts of fraud by abuse of his position of trust as a solicitor after diverting client money intended to be used for the purchase of Taymouth Castle in Scotland.

https://www.emmlegal.com/news/uncategorised/private-prosecution-results-in-12-year-prison-term-for-london-solicitor/

ON THE HIGH SEAS RANSOMWARE HAS REPLACED THE CUTLASS.

On 8 December, an article from Dryad Global said that it is essential to understand the level of risk, attack surfaces and other considerations, and it provides some perspectives from around the shipping industry.

http://channel16.dryadglobal.com/cyber-pirates

CAN A NEW WAVE OF DRONE TECH MAKE AFRICA’S SEAS SAFER?

On 7 December, an article from Dryad Global posed this question, saying that the proliferation of drone technology and its use by non-state actors for nefarious purposes should worry policymakers in Africa, where armed groups drive many conflicts, and organised crime is rife.  However, at the same time it says that because they are affordable and relatively easy to deploy, drones can assist navies and coastguards.

http://channel16.dryadglobal.com/can-a-new-wave-of-drone-tech-make-africas-seas-safer

UK: DRAFT SANCTIONS AND EXPORT CONTROL REGULATIONS RECENTLY DEBATED IN PARLIAMENT

On 8 December, a post from the EU Sanctions blog detailed legislation, including that which would remove the exemption to a UK travel ban where a designated person has made an immigration claim if that person leaves the UK.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/uk-parliamentary-debates-on-sanctions-and-export-control-regulations/

UK HIGH COURT: RUSSIA SANCTIONS AND INSURANCE CLAIMS POLICIES BROUGHT BY AIRCRAFT LESSORS

On 8 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Commercial Court of England and Wales is seeking information on claims on insurance policies brought by lessors of aircraft in respect of the alleged loss of assets leased to Russian airlines since the Russian invasion of Ukraine – as a number of cases have been brought.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/uk-court-asks-for-information-on-russian-aircraft-insurance-claims/

US: 24 COMPANIES AND OTHER ENTITIES ADDED TO EXPORT CONTROL LIST

On 7 December, Reuters reported that 24 names had been added to the US Entity List for supporting Russia’s military or defence industrial base, Pakistan’s nuclear activities or for supplying an Iranian electronics company.  They are based in Latvia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland. 

https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/business/us-adds-24-companies-entities-to-export-control-list-100803377/

https://www.reuters.com/business/us-adds-24-companies-entities-export-control-list-2022-12-07/

https://www.strtrade.com/trade-news-resources/str-trade-report/trade-report/december/export-restrictions-imposed-on-24-entities

IRELAND: LIMERICK-BASED CAR DEALERSHIP “WAS LAUNDERING MONEY FROM DRUGS TRADE”

On 7 December, the Irish Examiner reported that a Limerick-based car dealership was used by persons involved in criminality to launder significant amounts of money generated from the illegal drugs trade, the High Court has heard.  The Criminal Assets Bureau was seeking forfeiture of some 111 cars it seized from the motor sales business in March 2019.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/courtandcrime/arid-41023760.html

NETHERLANDS: PUBLIC PROSECUTOR LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO RABOBANK

On 8 December, the NL Times reported that the Dutch public prosecution department says it has launched a criminal investigation into possible money laundering at Rabobank.  It follows a notification from the Dutch central bank.  In 2021, Rabobank reached a €480,000 out of court settlement after failing to ensure its AML checks were in order and the central bank had threatened further action.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/12/public-prosecutor-launches-criminal-probe-into-rabobank/

FRESH PROTESTS IN MONGOLIAN CAPITAL AFTER COAL CORRUPTION ARRESTS

On 8 December, the Mail Online reported that protesters took to the streets of Mongolia’s capital for a fifth day after the arrests of officials allegedly tied to a coal industry embezzlement scandal that has sparked public outrage.  This followed the arrest of Gankhuyag Battulga, former CEO of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi – one of the country’s largest coal mining companies – along with 7 others accused of laundering money from embezzled coal.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-11516751/Fresh-protests-Mongolian-capital-coal-corruption-arrests.html

THE SON OF MOZAMBIQUE’S FORMER PRESIDENT JAILED FOR FOOD FRAUD

On 8 December, the New Food Magazine repeated a BBC report that Ndambi Guebuza, the son of the former president of Mozambique, has been jailed for 12 years due to embezzlement and money laundering.

https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/170640/son-mozambiques-former-president-jailed-for-food-fraud/

61 ARRESTED SO FAR FOR SMUGGLING MIGRANTS TO THE EU VIA BELARUS AND RUSSIA

On 8 December, a news release from Europol advised of coordinated activities of national authorities from Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, supported by Europol, that targeted a large criminal network smuggling migrants via Belarus into the EU.  Since January 2022, authorities have arrested 61 alleged members of this migrant smuggling network.

https://www.europol.europa.eu/media-press/newsroom/news/61-arrested-so-far-for-smuggling-migrants-to-eu-belarus-and-russia

WAGNER MERCENARIES PROFIT FROM CENTRAL AFRICA’S BLOOD DIAMONDS

On 7 December, OCCRP said that there is a new report from the French initiative All Eyes on Wagner in collaboration with Dossier Center, a Kremlin-focused anti-corruption group, and the investigative network European Investigative Collaborations.  It alleges that Wagner secretly controls Diamville, a diamond export company officially directed by Central African national Bienvenu Patrick Setem Bonguende, who was identified as a driver for Dimitri Sytyi, a top Wagner executive sanctioned by the US. 

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17129-report-wagner-mercenaries-profit-from-central-africa-s-blood-diamonds

IRELAND: REVENUE SEIZE OVER €425,000 CASH AT DUBLIN PORT

A news release from the Revenue Commissioners on 7 December advised that the cash was discovered as a result of routine profiling and with the assistance of a detector dog, when a foot passenger was stopped and searched by Revenue officers before departing Dublin Port by Ferry to France.

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/press-releases/2022/pr-120822-cash-dublin-port.aspx

CAMBODIAN OFFICIAL’S ROLE IN MONKEY SMUGGLING CAUGHT ON CAMERA

On 7 December, RFA reported that Kry Masphal, director of Cambodia’s Department of Wildlife and Biodiversity, was arrested last month while transiting New York’s Kennedy International Airport on this way to a conference on the trade in endangered species. 

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/monkey-smuggling-12072022104335.html

HOW EUROPE’S MEAT INDUSTRY DRIVES HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN PARAGUAY

On 6 December, a report from Global Witness says that a wave of violent conflict is sweeping the Paraguayan countryside, driven by demand for land to grow a single crop: soy.  Its investigation reveals western corporations have turned a blind eye to widespread human rights abuses.  In Paraguay’s soybean heartlands, rural communities are enduring illegal evictions, armed attacks, poisoning by illegal fumigations, and criminalisation – all to secure land to grow soy for export.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/environmental-activists/toxic-takeaways/

BOSNIAN HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED CORRUPTION

On 6 December, Balkan Insight reported that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state-level Minister for Human Rights and Refugees, Milos Lucic, had been arrested for allegedly spending public money for his own private purposes.

https://balkaninsight.com/2022/12/06/bosnian-human-rights-minister-arrested-for-alleged-corruption/

ARTIFACTS SEIZED FROM PROMINENT NEW YORK COLLECTOR AS US AUTHORITIES PUSH TO RETURN LOOTED TREASURES

On 6 December, ICIJ reported that works confiscated from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art trustee Shelby White’s home include rare Roman and Greek antiquities and are now repatriated to Italy and Turkey.  US agents have quietly confiscated more than $20 million worth of allegedly stolen Greek and Roman art.  It says that the seizures from White’s collection serve as yet another sign that law enforcement authorities in the US are increasing pressure not only on museums holding works of suspicious origin but also on private collectors.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/hidden-treasures/artifacts-seized-from-prominent-new-york-collector-as-us-authorities-push-to-return-looted-treasures/

GOVERNMENTS CALL FOR REFORMS TO CENTURIES-OLD HONORARY CONSUL SYSTEM

On 6 December, ICIJ reported on responses to its recent report on abuses of the honorary consul system.  It explains that thousands of the volunteer diplomats are in place worldwide, working from their home countries to represent the interests of the foreign nations that appoint them.  In exchange, under international treaty, consuls receive a coveted series of legal protections and privileges, which can include diplomatic credentials, special licence plates and the ability to move consular bags across borders without inspection.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/shadow-diplomats/governments-call-for-reforms-to-centuries-old-honorary-consul-system/

COURT SCRAPS PRISON SENTENCE FOR MONEY LAUNDERERS IN THE DUTCH ANTILLES “BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS DONE THIS”

On 5 December, the Curacao Chronicle reported that the Court of Appeal had cut prison sentences that the court previously imposed on 2 Dutch brothers for large-scale money laundering practices in Curaçao through credit card transactions.  According to the court, this ‘swiping’ with credit cards was a ‘well-known revenue model’, which was also tolerated by both the local banks and the central bank on the island.  It says that nearly $323 million was laundered through 1 million swipe transactions between 2010 and 2014.  Thousands of Venezuelans, forced by the collapsing economy in their own country, went to the neighbouring Antilles to exchange their worthless bolivars for dollars.  They used ‘dollar credit cards’ specially facilitated by their government in Caracas, intended for specific purchases during foreign trips.   The brothers were arrested in 2015.  The article notes that the court’s ruling will raise eyebrows at ING bank, since the deliberate money laundering practices in Curaçao in 2018, among other things, led to the imposition of a settlement of € 775 million on the bank.

https://www.curacaochronicle.com/post/local/court-scraps-prison-sentence-for-money-launderers-in-the-dutch-antilles-because-everyone-has-done-this/

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/vivekmishrain_compliance-banks-tax-activity-7006425038304219136-BjpA

EUROPEAN SECURITIES AND MARKETS AUTHORITY (ESMA)’S SECURITIES AND MARKETS STAKEHOLDER GROUP (SMSG) ASKS FOR SANCTIONS GUIDANCE

On 8 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Group had published a position paper which outlines the effect of EU sanctions and Russian countersanctions and asks that the ESMA and European Commission provide guidance and a clear harmonised approach to EU citizens maintaining their asset rights (including rights to dividends) in Russian companies.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/esma-stakeholder-group-requests-guidance-on-maintaining-asset-rights-in-russian-companies/

TURKISH FORCES DETAIN 13 DAESH TERRORISTS, INCLUDING SO-CALLED FINANCE HEAD

On 4 December, the Daily Sabah reported that the Turkish Interior Ministry claimed that 18 terrorists, including Daesh’s so-called finance head, were captured during operations in Syria’s Jarablus and al-Bab regions.

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/war-on-terror/turkish-forces-nab-13-daesh-terrorists-including-so-called-finance-head

NIGERIA: 100 HIGH-RISK BOKO HARAM FINANCIERS IDENTIFIED

On 27 November, Vanguard reported that the Nigerian Minister of Interior has said that the federal government has identified 100 high-risk financiers of Boko Haram.  It is said that an analysis, which took almost 18 months to complete resulted in the identification of almost 100 high-risk financiers and identified links to 10 different countries.

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/11/100-high-risk-boko-haram-financiers-identified/

US TREASURY HIGHLIGHTS AML RISKS FOR INVESTMENT ADVISERS

On 7 December, an article from Fried Frank reported the remarks of Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg, at the ABA-ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, in which she identified areas of increasing concern for AML/CFT policymakers: the hiding of ownership of assets managed by investment advisers and the lack of regulation over the non-financed segment of the real estate market.  She described commercial real estate as “an attractive market in which to hide and grow illicit funds” because of its size and liquidity, as well as the absence of comprehensive AML regulation.

https://www.findknowdo.com/news/12/07/2022/treasury-highlights-aml-risks-investment-advisers

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RUSSIAN OIL PRICE CAP AND KEY COMPLIANCE CONSIDERATIONS

On 8 December, K2 Integrity published a useful guide to the cap and the implications for the private sector.

https://www.k2integrity.com/en/knowledge/policy-alerts/implementation-of-the-russian-oil-price-cap-and-key-compliance-considerations/

EU LETS CROATIA INTO SCHENGEN ZONE BUT KEEPS BULGARIA AND ROMANIA OUT

On 8 December, EU Observer reported that EU countries have agreed that Croatia joins the passport-free Schengen zone — but to keep Bulgaria and Romania out, due to objections from Austria.

https://euobserver.com/world/156524

RANGERS FC ‘BIG TAX’ CASE CLOSED AFTER £56 MILLION SETTLEMENT AGREED

On 8 December, Glasgow Live reported that a lengthy legal battle has come to an end as the HMRC said that it was “pleased to have reached a settlement with the liquidators to recover” £56 million.  The vast majority of the cash at issue in the 11-year case was related to the controversial employee benefit trusts (EBT) scheme, which saw players and staff receiving payments.

https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/rangers-big-tax-case-closed-25708849

EU COMMISSION PROPOSALS TO MODERNISE THE VAT AND MAKE IT MORE RESILIENT TO FRAUD BY EMBRACING AND PROMOTING DIGITALISATION

On 8 December, the EU Commission issued a news release, factsheets and Q&A explaining its proposals.  It explains that Member States lost €93 billion in VAT revenues in 2020 according to the latest VAT Gap figures.  Conservative estimates suggest that one quarter of the missing revenues can be attributed directly to VAT fraud linked to intra-EU trade. 

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_7514

GUATEMALA: FORMER PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS FOR CORRUPTION

On 8 December, the Guardian reported that Otto Pérez Molina and his vice-president have been found guilty 7 years after they were forced from office but it is said that a culture of impunity persists, and the 2 were absolved of charges of illicit enrichment, due to lack of evidence.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/08/guatemala-president-otto-perez-molina-corruption-sentence

RUSSIAN OLIGARCH’S YACHT SEIZED IN SARDINIA HAS DISAPPEARED FROM PORT

On 8 December, the Guardian reported that the 22-metre Aldabra is owned by Dmitry Mazepin, the billionaire owner of a mineral fertiliser company and father of the former Formula One driver, Nikita Mazepin.  An investigation found that the yacht made a stopover at the small port of Biserta in Tunisia, but its current whereabouts is unknown.  Mazepin, the company involved in organising the sailing and the captain, who claimed he did not know the ship belonged to the oligarch, each face fines of up to €500,000 for illegally removing the vessel from Italy.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/08/italy-russian-oligarch-yacht-dmitry-mazepin-sardinia-

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK: FUND MANAGERS CONVICTED FOR DEFRAUDING LIBYA’S SOVEREIGN FUND

On 8 December, City AM reported that a trio of fund managers have been convicted of carrying a large-scale fraud that saw Libya’s sovereign wealth fund lose £46million.  They managed £822 million worth of investments on behalf of the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAIP), but defrauded the fund through a series of offshore shell companies.

https://www.cityam.com/knightsbridge-fund-managers-convicted-for-defrauding-libyas-sovereign-fund/

IRAN SANCTIONS: OFAC TARGETS SANCTIONS EVASION NETWORK GENERATING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR QODS FORCE OIL SALES

On 8 December, OFAC advised that it was designating a sanctions evasion network led by businessman Sitki Ayan that has facilitated the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of oil for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  The network involves the Gibraltar-based ASB Group of Companies Limited.  5 individuals and a large number of entities are designated, as well as the QUEEN LUCA, a Panama-flagged LPG tanker.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20221208

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1151

THE TURKISH CONNECTION: HOW ERDOĞAN’S CONFIDANT HELPED IRAN FINANCE TERROR

On 8 December, a report from Politico makes allegations concerning Turkish businessman Sıtkı Ayan, a friend of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — the 2 men attended the same high school.  It says that the collaboration between a member of the Turkish president’s inner circle and Iran’s power elite is detailed in hundreds of pages of documents, including business contracts and bank transfers. 

https://www.politico.eu/article/sitki-ayan-recep-tayyip-erdogan-terrorism-hezbollah-iran-turkey-lebanon

US AND RUSSIA HAVE CARRIED OUT A PRISONER EXCHANGE, SWAPPING AMERICAN BASKETBALL STAR BRITTNEY GRINER FOR RUSSIAN ARMS DEALER VIKTOR BOUT

On 8 December, Rferl reported that, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the exchange took place at the Abu Dhabi airport.  Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” was serving a 25-year sentence in the US for arms dealing.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-basketball-griner-released-bout-exchange/32167638.html

https://www.lawfareblog.com/it-player-mostly-game

THE END OF ILLEGAL MARIJUANA: WHAT IT MEANS FOR CRIMINAL CYNAMICS IN MEXICO

On 6 December, a report from Insight Crime says that two-thirds of the US population now has legal access to medicinal or recreational marijuana and the DEA says the majority of the marijuana its anti-drug officials seize is produced domestically.  It says that this has major implications for Mexico’s organised crime groups, who just 10 years ago were the main suppliers of marijuana to the US.  It says that cartels have turned inward in an attempt to capitalize on Mexico’s growing – and almost legal – domestic market for marijuana. 

https://insightcrime.org/investigations/end-illegal-marijuana-criminal-dynamics-mexico/

WORLD BANK FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS SPIKE AND HIGHLIGHT INTEGRITY RISKS IN PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

On 7 December, an article from Hogan Lovells reviewed the WBG Sanctions System Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2022.  It says that enforcement results show signs of recovery from the impact of the pandemic on transnational investigations.  They also underscore the importance of proactive integrity risk management in private-sector development financing, and they indicate enhanced scrutiny of the World Bank’s $320 billion financing in connection with the pandemic response, the food crisis, and the war in Ukraine.  In the year the WBG sanctioned 35 firms and individuals – such sanctions normally involving being barred from participation in World Bank-financed programmes (which also involves debarment from other international finance organisation projects).  It started 48 new external investigations, the most since Fiscal Year 2019 and a 20% increase over the previous year, and 94 investigations were still active at the end of Fiscal Year 2022.

https://www.engage.hoganlovells.com/knowledgeservices/viewContent.action?key=Ec8teaJ9VaqLXBoxWFPJTV7eOOGbnAEFKCLORG72fHz0%2BNbpi2jDfaB8lgiEyY1JAvAvaah9lF3dzoxprWhI6w%3D%3D&nav=FRbANEucS95NMLRN47z%2BeeOgEFCt8EGQ0qFfoEM4UR4%3D&emailtofriendview=true&freeviewlink=true

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/10/12/world-bank-group-resolute-against-corruption-amid-historic-global-challenges-in-fiscal-year-2022

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – DECEMBER 7

7 December 2022

US: EXPORT CONTROL SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN CAPACITORS DESCRIBED ON US MUNITIONS LIST

On 6 December, KPMG reported that the Department of State has released for publication in the Federal Register a temporary suspension of the applicability of regulations for certain capacitors, for 6 months from 21 November.  The Department assessed that it is in the security and foreign policy interests of the US to facilitate commercial uses of certain capacitors when integrated into any item not described on the US Munitions List. 

https://home.kpmg/us/en/home/insights/2022/12/tnf-us-suspension-itar-provision-capacitors-described-usml.html

THE SCRAMBLE TO SELL CYBERWEAPONS TO DICTATORS

On 7 December, Politico published the latest instalment in its series: Leaked: The Altrnativ world of cybersurveillance.  It is concerned with a company offering the governments of Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Comoros, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo a range of cyberweapons.

https://www.politico.eu/article/destination-africa-scramble-sell-cyberweapons-dictators-qwant-eric-leandri

DARK FLEET AND TANKER SECTOR REPUTATION RISK

On 7 December, Seatrade Maritime News explores the impact the sanction-busting dark tanker fleet could have on the shipping sector’s safety reputation.

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/opinions-analysis/dark-fleet-and-tanker-sector-reputation-risk

EUROPEAN COURT ANNULS THE 2014 ACTS MAINTAINING THE SANCTIONS LISTING OF THE PKK AND DISMISSED ITS CHALLENGE TO 2015 – 2017 AND 2019 LISTINGS

On 7 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is currently listed on the EU’s terrorism sanctions list.  Its designation was renewed in July 2022 by EU Regulation 2022/1230/EU.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/eu-general-court-annuls-pkk-2014-historic-terrorism-listing/

RUSSIA MANUFACTURES CRUISE MISSILES DESPITE WESTERN SANCTIONS

On 6 December, Yahoo News reported that researchers noted Russia’s ability to produce cruise missiles could suggest that it has found the ways to circumvent sanctions and import semiconductors – or that it had ample stockpiles of high-tech components prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

https://news.yahoo.com/russia-manufactures-cruise-missiles-despite-214100812.html

AUSTRAC OPENS CIVIL PENALTY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SkyCity ADELAIDE

On 7 December, Gambling News reported that the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is cracking down on yet another casino for breaching the laws on AML/CFT.  It says that AUSTRAC identified serious violations in terms of SkyCity Adelaide’s compliance with Australia’s AML/CFT legislation.

https://www.gamblingnews.com/news/austrac-opens-civil-penalty-proceedings-against-skycity-adelaide/

INDIA: SUSPECTED MONEY LAUNDERING OFFENCES BY SOME MEMBERS/OFFICE BEARERS OF NRI ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

On 7 December, The Hindu reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted search operations in the NRI Academy of Sciences.  The searches were part of an investigation being done by it into violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) by some members/office bearers of NRI Academy of Sciences. 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/enforcement-directorate-seizes-cash-53-property-documents-electronic-devices-during-raids-at-nri-academy-of-sciences/article66234080.ece

https://www.siasat.com/ed-registers-money-laundering-case-conducts-raids-against-promoters-of-andhra-medical-college-2474144/

PANAMA: SOME 70 TONS OF DRUGS SEIZED IN 2 YEARS IN ITS PORTS

On 6 December, Panamá America reported that Panamanian security forces between 2021 and 2022 have seized 74,884 packages of illicit substances in the ports.

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/judicial/unas-70-toneladas-de-droga-incautadas-en-dos-anos-en-puertos-1215292

NIGERIA: JIHADISTS AND BANDITS ARE COOPERATING

On 7 December, Defence Web reported that Nigeria has faced multiple national security threats: jihadist groups in the north-east; armed bandits in the north-west; militia secessionists in the south-east; and militancy in the south-south.  It argues that the interests of bandits and jihadists are converging.  This poses a formidable threat to Nigeria’s national security.

https://www.defenceweb.co.za/security/civil-security/jihadists-and-bandits-are-cooperating-why-this-is-bad-news-for-nigeria/

ARGENTINA’S VICE-PRESIDENT FOUND GUILTY OF FRAUD AND SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER EMBEZZLING $1 BILLION

On 7 December, UNILAD reported that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, 69, received a 6-year prison sentence and was disqualified from holding public office.

https://www.unilad.com/news/cristina-fernandez-de-kirchner-jail-450769-20221207

UK: HAITI (SANCTIONS) REGULATIONS 2022

These Regulations implement the relevant UN sanctions concerning Haiti.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/1281/contents/made

GLENCORE AGREES TO PAY DR CONGO $180 MILLION OVER CORRUPTION ACCUSATIONS

On 7 December, OCCRP reported that Swiss commodity trading and mining giant Glencore is to pay $180 million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after reaching an agreement with Congolese authorities on allegations of corruption between 2007 and 2018.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17124-glencore-agrees-to-pay-congo-180m-over-corruption-accusations

CHINESE ‘SERVICE CENTERS’ CHASE DISSIDENTS, CRIMINALS ABROAD

On 7 December, an article from OCCRP said that a new report from a Spanish NGO claims that Chinese authorities have set up more than 100 police stations overseas to monitor, harass and in some cases force its nationals abroad, especially dissidents, to return home.  China insists the facilities are simply administrative hubs, set up to help Chinese expatriates with tasks like renewing their driver’s licences.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/17123-report-chinese-service-centers-chase-dissidents-criminals-abroad

BRAZIL: MAKERS OF HIGH-END MUSICAL BOWS SUSPECTED OF TRAFFICKING PROTECTED BRAZILWOOD TO THE US, EUROPE, AND ASIA

On 7 December, OCCRP carried a report saying that, though relatively small, the bow industry is highly lucrative.  Sticks of brazilwood cost less than $8 in Brazil, but once crafted into bows they can sell for more than 300 times as much in the US, Europe, and Asia.  Such bows are sold by music stores in the US and UK for up to $2,500 apiece, while others can go for even more.  Brazilian authorities launched Operation Dó-Ré-Mi in 2018, and since then, officers have confiscated almost 150,000 bows and wooden sticks from 33 bowmakers, who together have been fined over $10 million for trading in undocumented wood.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/operation-do-re-mi-the-brazilian-bow-makers-under-investigation-for-dealing-in-endangered-wood

GERMAN POLICE RAIDS TARGET FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS ‘SEEKING TO OVERTHROW STATE’

On 7 December, the Guardian reported that 25 people including a 71-year-old German aristocrat, a retired military commander and former MP for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have been detained on suspicion of a terrorist plan.  Federal prosecutors said 3,000 officers conducted searches at 130 sites in 11 of Germany’s 16 states against the group.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/07/german-police-raids-target-far-right-reich-citizens-movement

THE RISE IN MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA) THREATS MEETS COMPLIANCE FATIGUE

On 6 December, Control Risks said that MFA has been a cornerstone of cyber security best practice lists for many years.  It has become one of the most effective ways that organisations can protect their online accounts, particularly with the advent of cloud computing.  However, the article says that it is also highlighting the risks of relying solely on app-based solutions.  As threat actors improve their capabilities, the exponential growth of MFA has become a significant contributing factor to the increasing number of cyber attacks and data breaches targeting organisations.

https://www.controlrisks.com/our-thinking/insights/the-rise-in-multi-factor-authentication-threats-meets-compliance-fatigue

HOW PERU IS TACKLING THE DANGER OF VENEZUELA’S TREN DE ARAGUA GANG?

On 6 December, an article from Insight Crime considered an effort by Peruvian intelligence to dismantle the Gallegos, the strongest armed wing of the Tren de Aragua, Venezuela’s most powerful transnational criminal organisation.  A gang which has gained a strong foothold in Peru and is involved in extortion, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and murder. 

https://insightcrime.org/news/how-peru-is-tackling-the-danger-of-venezuelan-tren-de-aragua/

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS AND SCHREMS II: OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE EU AND UK GDPR

On 6 December, an article from Out-Law took the form of a guide which examines some of the key questions businesses will ask themselves when considering what they need to do to comply with the EU and UK GDPR.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/guides/international-transfers-schrems-ii-gdpr

DESPITE UN SANCTIONS, GERMANY DID RESEARCH WITH NORTH KOREA

On 28 November, Deutsche Welle carried an article saying that its investigation found that one Berlin institute continued cooperation without flagging the risks.  It has revealed a potential German violation of UN sanctions that could have been avoided.  The case throws a spotlight on the potential for conflict between Germany’s approach to freedom of research and security concerns.

https://www.dw.com/en/despite-un-sanctions-german-research-institute-worked-with-north-korean-scientists/a-63890089

UN SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF 1540 COMMITTEE MONITORING NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS FOR 10 YEARS

On 30 November, the UN advised that the Security Council had extended the mandate of its subsidiary 1540 Committee, for a period of 10 years until 30 November 2032.  UN SCR 1540 aims to prevent non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery.

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15123.doc.htm

MEXICAN CARTELS HAVE TURNED TO FENTANYL

On 6 December, an article in Unherd says that Mexican traffickers have gradually shifted the core of their business from plant-based drugs to synthetic drugs — those created using man-made chemicals.  These include meth and illegally-made fentanyl as well as others, such as ketamine. 

https://unherd.com/2022/12/mexican-cartels-have-turned-to-fentanyl/

FORMER REPRESENTATIVE DAVID RIVERA OF FLORIDA IS ARRESTED IN VENEZUELA PROBE

On 5 December, CNBC reported that a former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government has been arrested on charges of money laundering and representing a foreign government without registering.  Rivera is a Republican who served as a Representative from 2011 to 2013.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/06/former-rep-david-rivera-of-florida-is-arrested-in-venezuela-probe.html

UK: ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE SMUGGLING MILLIONS FOR DRUG DEALERS

On 6 December, Vice carried an article about cash couriers and cash smuggling in the UK.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/4axqmd/ordinary-people-smuggling-millions-for-dubai-drug-dealers

US COURT UNSEALS INDICTMENT OF OneCoin CRYPTOQUEEN’S ‘CRISIS MANAGER’

On 7 December, Decrypt reported that another player in the OneCoin scheme will face charges of wire fraud and money laundering upon extradition to the US, according to a newly unsealed indictment.  Frank Schneider is a former Luxembourg intelligence official, whose private intelligence firm Sandstone carried out work for OneCoin, and is accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

https://decrypt.co/116621/us-court-unseals-indictment-onecoin-crypto-queen-crisis-manager

EUROPOL–BASEL INSTITUTE RECOMMENDATIONS ON TACKLING CRYPTO CRIME AND MONEY LAUNDERING

On 7 December, the Basel Institute on Governance provided a set of 5 recommendations issued jointly by Europol and the Basel Institute following the 6th Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies earlier this year. 

https://baselgovernance.org/news/seizing-opportunity-europol-basel-institute-recommendations-tackling-crypto-crime-and-money

A CENTURY OF CHANGES IN EXTRATERRITORIALITY

On 30 November, a post on the Transnational Litigation Blog was a lightly edited version of a talk given virtually on 26 November at the “International Symposium on Accelerating Changes Unseen in a Century and the Development of International Law” organised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of International Law.  It sets out to describe some of the changes in extraterritoriality over the past century and then discuss the implications of the “genuine connection” principle for sanctions and export controls.

https://tlblog.org/a-century-of-changes-in-extraterritoriality

US: COMPLIANCE PROGRAM GUIDELINES ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S DIRECTORATE OF DEFENSE TRADE CONTROLS (DDTC)

On 6 December, an Alert from Crowell Moring advised that DDTC has issued new Compliance Program Guidelines (CPG) intended to provide an overview of an effective compliance program.  The CPG is broken down into elements covering the spectrum of ITAR compliance from company management commitment, registration, jurisdiction and classifications, authorizations, recordkeeping, violations, training, risk assessment, and audits and compliance monitoring.

https://www.cmtradelaw.com/2022/12/compliance-program-guidelines-issued-by-ddtc/https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/sys_attachment.do?sysparm_referring_url=tear_off&view=true&sys_id=1216c09a1b671d14d1f1ea02f54bcb25

LIBYA: UN SECURITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE GRANTS 6-MONTH HUMANITARIAN TRAVEL EXEMPTIONS TO 3 INDIVIDUALS

On 7 December, the EU Sanctions blog reported that the relevant UN committee has granted travel exemptions to Safia Farkash Al-Barassi, Aisha Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Qadhafi and Mohammed Muammar Qadhafi.

https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/12/unsc-grants-3-humanitarian-travel-exemptions/

https://press.un.org/en/2022/sc15124.doc.htm

https://www.statista.com/chart/12109/sms-volume-in-the-united-states

Q&A ON EU COMMISSION PROPOSALS ON CORPORATE INSOLVENCY AND LISTING

On 7 December, a news release from the EU provided this Q&A.  It says that the lack of harmonised insolvency regimes has long been identified as one of the key obstacles to the freedom of capital movement in the EU and to greater integration of the EU’s capital markets.  The new proposal aims at harmonising targeted elements of Member States’ insolvency rules and at creating common minimum standards across all Member States, thereby facilitating cross-border investment.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_22_7349

MISSILE COMPONENTS USED IN DRONE ATTACKS IN NORTH-EAST SYRIA

This report from Conflict Armament Research says that field investigation teams have deployed to north-east Syria on 8 occasions between February 2020 and November 2022, and documented 698 weapons and 15,360 rounds of ammunition, as well as other related materiel such as UAV and components for IED, in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the military arm of the autonomous governing authority.  Research has shown that some of the missile components were manufactured abroad and imported for use in Türkiye’s defence industry.  These include critical components that are commercially available and do not appear to be covered by existing export controls.

https://www.conflictarm.com/download-file/?report_id=3788&file_id=3791

US: RUSSIAN AGENT ANDRII DERKACH INDICTED FOR SCHEME TO VIOLATE SANCTIONS IN THE US

A US DoJ news release on 7 December advised that an indictment charged Andrii Derkach, 55, of Ukraine, with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA), bank fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and 4 counts of money laundering in connection with the purchase and maintenance of 2 condominiums in Beverly Hills, California.  He is described as a Kremlin-backed Ukrainian politician and oligarch.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/active-russian-agent-andrii-derkach-indicted-scheme-violate-sanctions-united-states

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

VIOLENT NON-STATE ACTOR CBRN EVENT DATABASE

In presenting this database and portal, the University of Maryland says that the prospect of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism has been a source of policy, strategic, and policy concern since the mid-1990s.  However, most discussion of CBRN terrorism phenomenon was theorising based on a limited number of high-profile events or speculation based on non-CBRN analyses.   The Unconventional Weapons & Technology (UWT) Division of the  National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism& Responses to Terrorism (START) developed 3 databases: Profiles Of Incidents involving CBRN and Non-state actors (POICN); Chemical And Biological Non-State Adversaries Database (CABNSAD); and Radiological And Nuclear Non-State Actor Database (RANNSAD).  These databases represent the largest open source publicly available databases on ideologically motivated CBRN events and individuals who pursue and/or use CBRN weapons.

https://cbrn.umd.edu/

https://cbrn.umd.edu/event_database

RUSSIA: STATEMENT ON EU NINTH PACKAGE OF SANCTIONS

On 7 December, a news release from the EU involved a statement by the President of the Commission.  She says that the EU is proposing to add almost 200 additional individuals and entities to its sanctions list. T his includes the Russian armed forces, as well as individual officers and defence industrial companies, members of the State Duma and Federation Council, ministers, governors and political parties, among others.  It also proposes to introduce sanctions against 3 additional Russian banks, including a full transaction ban on the Russian Regional Development Bank.  It also wants to impose new export controls and restrictions, particularly for dual-use goods. This includes key chemicals, nerve agents, electronics and IT components.  It wants to cut Russia’s access to all sorts of drones and UAV, with a ban on the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and the export to any third countries, such as Iran, which could supply drones to Russia.  It also plans to target the Russian propaganda machine by taking 4 additional channels off the air and all other distribution platforms; and impose further economic measures against the Russian energy and mining sector, including a ban on new mining investments in Russia.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_7568