OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – APRIL 7

Panama coronavirus update – the weather seems to be changing as the “summer” seasons is ending – mind you, it’s still 34 degrees and the rainy season is still months away.  The lockdown continues, and the new-ish big copper mine has closed due to the virus, and my favourite (though not closest) supermarket has closed for a 2-day full sanitising effort.  No statistics update, as the daily news conference delayed…

7 April 2020

ENI DISCUSSES CORRUPTION SETTLEMENT WITH SEC

On 7 April, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Italian oil company is in discussion with the SEC about a potential resolution to the regulator’s corruption investigation.  It disclosed in 2012 allegations of bribery around gas pipeline contracts awarded to its former subsidiary Saipem SpA in Algeria.  It has already resolved the matter with the DoJ, which closed a parallel criminal investigation into ENI without taking any action.

 

DESPITE ROUTE LOG DATA, NORTH KOREAN VESSEL DID NOT VISIT AUSTRALIA

On 7 April, NK Pro reported that the Kum Dae, a bulk cargo vessel owned by a North Korean company did not visit an Australian port in February, an informed government source confirmed, despite AIS route log data which showed it docking there for over a day, presumed evidence “spoofing”.

https://www.nknews.org/pro/despite-route-log-data-north-korean-vessel-did-not-visit-australia/

 

UK JOINS US IN RESISTING A PLAN BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TO HAND OVER NEARLY $110 MILLION OF FUNDS US AUTHORITIES SAY WAS STOLEN BY LATE DICTATOR SANI ABACHA

On 7 April, KYC 360 reported that the 3 governments are involved in a dispute over investment portfolios worth €141 million traced to Abacha and held in trust for Abubakar Bagudu, the governor of Nigeria’s northern state of Kebbi, and his family.  Bagudu, 58, was part of a network controlled by Abacha that “embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria,” according to the DoJ.

https://www.riskscreen.com/kyc360/news/u-k-toes-u-s-line-to-block-looted-funds-for-nigeria-governor/

 

THE EU AND UN PROGRAMME TO HELP EASTERN PARTNERSHIP COUNTRIES CLAW BACK ASSETS LINKED TO ORGANISED CRIME

On 7 April, EurActiv reported that the EU and the UN’s Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) have launched a programme to help Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – claw back assets linked to organised crime.  The EU-funded €1.5 million project will focus on financial crime investigations, providing “highly-specialised training”, “peer-to-peer mentoring” and legal advice to tackle issues such as cooperation across borders.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/eu-un-join-forces-to-help-eastern-neighbours-fight-organised-crime/

 

IN AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, GERMANY AND SERBIA, OPERATIONS AGAINST 2 ORGANISED CRIMINAL GROUPS SUSPECTED OF LARGE-SCALE INVESTMENT FRAUD IN CYBER-TRADING

A news release from Eurojust on 7 April reported that, on 2 April, with the support of Eurojust, authorities in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and Serbia have successfully carried out operations against 2 organised criminal groups suspected of large-scale investment fraud in cyber-trading.  Arrests and the freezing of assets took place in several countries.  The operations were part of an ongoing long-term investigation conducted by several national authorities against groups which lured thousands of victims in several countries into investing in non-existent financial products, using advertising banners and mass emails promising above-average profits.

http://eurojust.europa.eu/press/PressReleases/Pages/2020/2020-04-07.aspx

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/major-investment-fraud-gang-busted-in-bulgaria-and-serbia

 

OECD GUIDANCE ON IMPLICATIONS OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS ON CROSS-BORDER WORKERS AND OTHER RELATED CROSS-BORDER MATTERS

On 7 April, Accountancy Daily reported that the OECD Secretariat had issued guidance based on a careful analysis of the international tax treaty rules.

https://www.oecd-forum.org/users/369395-pascal-saint-amans/posts/65032-oecd-issues-recommendations-on-implications-of-the-covid-19-crisis-on-cross-border-workers-and-other-related-cross-border-matters

 

FORMER GREEK GOVERNMENT MINISTER GIANNOS PAPANTONIOU TO BE RELEASED FROM PRISON

On 7 April, Greek Reporter reported that he served 17 months after being found guilty of money laundering, a charge that he continues to deny.  The veteran Greek politician was a member of Parliament for a total of 19 years and served as Minister of National Defence between 2001 and 2003 and Minister of Economy and Finance from 1994 until 2001.

https://greece.greekreporter.com/2020/04/07/former-greek-governemnt-minister-giannos-papantoniou-to-be-released-from-prison

 

US SHIPPERS CALL FOR URGENT ACTION ON ‘PUNITIVE’ DEMURRAGE CHARGES

On 7 April, Lloyds Loading List reported that 80 agriculture associations have jointly called on the US government to accelerate stalled rulemaking ‘to protect agriculture exporters from ocean carrier abuse’ that is compounded by the damage coronavirus is doing to US agriculture.

https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/US-shippers-call-for-urgent-action-on-‘punitive’-demurrage-charges/76325.htm#.XoyXGm5FzIU

 

UK: COMPANY MUST DISCLOSE DOCUMENTS HELD BY SUBSIDIARIES

On 7 April, Legal Futures reported on a case under the current “disclosure pilot” rules in the UK, where the High Court has ruled that a company must disclose documents held by subsidiaries and which it controls.  It is said that although ownership of subsidiaries did not always mean control over documents, in this case the subsidiaries provided the parent company with “standing consent” to provide documents.

https://www.litigationfutures.com/news/company-must-disclose-documents-held-by-subsidiaries

 

US INVOKES THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT TO LIMIT EXPORTS OF CRITICAL US MEDICAL SUPPLIES

On 6 April, Baker McKenzie reported that the Presidential Order is said to be is in the wake of numerous countries around the world implementing export bans on PPE and other medical supplies.  The Order says it is necessary to “prevent hoarding, price gouging, and profiteering by preventing the harmful export” of critically needed materials.

https://www.internationaltradecomplianceupdate.com/2020/04/06/united-states-invokes-defense-production-act-to-limit-exports-of-critical-us-medical-supplies/

 

CORONAVIRUS: CIVIL PROCEEDINGS AND EXPIRY OF TIME LIMITS IN FRANCE

On 7 April, Out-Law published an article saying that France has introduced new laws impacting time limits expiring during the current coronavirus emergency period in the country, and how civil courts in France will operate during the crisis despite confinement restrictions.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/guides/coronavirus-civil-proceedings-time-limits-france

 

LIBYA’S “OFFICIAL” GNA SAYS JORDAN SOLD UAV TO ITS ENEMY, THE “REBEL” LNA

On 7 April, Janes.com reported claims by Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) has said that Jordan has sold Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the Libyan National Army (LNA).

https://www.janes.com/article/95396/update-libya-s-gna-says-jordan-sold-uavs-to-its-enemy

 

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF NEW BOOK: CRUDE INTENTIONS: HOW OIL CORRUPTION CONTAMINATES THE WORLD.

On 7 April, a post on the FCPA Blog consisted of a Q&A with Alexandra Gillies, who said that the 2008-2014 oil boom offered the perfect petri dish for observing how corruption works across a diverse set of countries and players, from Goldman Sachs to the national oil company of South Sudan.  She said she thus set out to see what we could learn from all these cases about how to build a smarter fight against corruption in the future.

https://fcpablog.com/2020/04/07/crude-intentions-cuts-through-the-bling-of-natural-resource-corruption/

 

PODCAST: DRUG PROHIBITION AND NORMS IN ASIA

On 7 April, CSIS released its latest “Asia Chessboard” podcast, in which Diana Kim discusses her new book, Empires of Vice, a look at how colonial administrations came to ban drugs across Asian territories. How did this process affect the development of governing norms in Asia? What impacts did these models of prohibition have on contemporary illicit markets across Asia? Are norms generated on the local level or with central governments?  A transcript is also provided.

https://www.csis.org/podcasts/asia-chessboard/hooked-exploring-drug-prohibition-and-norms-asia-prof-diana-kim

 

UK: STRONG CUSTOMER AUTHENTICATION: NEW FCA GUIDANCE

On 7 April, Bird & Bird published an article saying that on 13 March the FCA updated its guidance to firms on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in light of the possible disruption to the implementation of SCA and the high risk of fraud during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  It explains first that SCA rules have generally applied in the UK since 14 September 2019 although further extensions had already been granted in respect of online banking and card transactions until respectively 14 March 2020 and 14 March 2021.

https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2020/uk/strong-customer-authentication-fraud-and-the-coronavirus-crisis-new-uk-fca-guidance-to-firms

 

RFE/RL AND PARTNERS WIN ‘TOM RENNER AWARD’ FOR CENTRAL ASIA MONEY LAUNDERING REPORT

On 7 April, RFE/RL reported that it, OCCRP, and OCCRP member center Kloop have received the prestigious 2019 Tom Renner Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) for “Plunder and Patronage in the Heart of Central Asia”, a 6-part report revealing the operations of a massive underground network that funnelled more than $700 million from Kyrgyzstan.  An illicit cargo empire run by a secretive Uyghur clan, over 5 years systematically moved undeclared and falsely labelled goods into Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and other Central Asian states, and then funnelled hundreds of millions of US dollars out of Kyrgyzstan into Turkey and beyond.

https://pressroom.rferl.org/a/rferl-and-partners-win-ire-tom-renner-award-for-central-asia-money-laundering-report/30540507.html

 

CAMBODIA: FURTHER POSTPONEMENT OF VERDICT IN CRIMINAL FRAUD TRIAL OF AUSTRALIAN MISSIONARY

9 News in Australia reported on 7 April that a provincial court in Cambodia has again postponed the verdict in the 3-year long criminal fraud trial of Australian missionary Martin Chan.  The case involves a dispute between Chan and a local contractor over construction of a multi-million-dollar school.

https://www.9news.com.au/world/aust-missionary-fraud-verdict-delayed/c397be61-ce57-4eb6-9fa8-569a4cc806ca

 

UN SHERLOC NEWSLETTER ON ELECTRONIC RESOURCES AND CRIME

The UN Office for Drugs and Crime has released the latest edition of its SHERLOC newsletter containing information regarding the implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its attached Protocols, and the international legal framework against terrorism.

https://sherloc.unodc.org/pdf/cld/Newsletters/SHERLOC_Newsletter_-_Issue_No_14_April_2020.pdf

 

BLOCKCHAIN FOR EXPORT CONTROL

On 6 April, the Stimson Center in the US published an article saying that distributed ledger technology (DLT), of which blockchain is a subset, has the potential to strengthen the implementation of export controls.  It says that the Stimson Center is investigating potential applications for export controls in 3 areas –

  • sensitive data management;
  • detection and prevention of falsified documents and valid identities; and
  • traceability of sensitive items and data.

https://www.stimson.org/2020/blockchain-for-export-controls/

 

THEFT OF $20 MILLION FROM BERMUDA CHARITABLE TRUST ALLEGED

On 7 April, Offshore Alert reported that an Australian barrister has been accused of theft from a trust set up by a deceased US billionaire – and that the trust itself is apparently the target of a US investigation into possible tax evasion and money laundering.

https://www.offshorealert.com/evatt-tamine-accused-of-theft-from-eugene-brockman-charitable-trust-bermuda.aspx

 

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

 

WHERE DOES THE FIFA SCANDAL GO FROM HERE AFTER NEW INDICTMENTS?

On 7 April, Sports Illustrated in the US carried an article saying that it had been a while since the DoJ indicted officials connected with the wide-ranging FIFA scandal, but after the new developments the article looks at who is involved and what it means for the case as a whole.

https://www.si.com/soccer/2020/04/07/fifa-scandal-indictment-world-cup-vote-tv-rights-bribes-fox-qatar-russia

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

ECUADOR EX-PRESIDENT CORREA JAILED IN ABSENTIA FOR CORRUPTION

On 7 April, the BBC and others reported that a court in Ecuador has sentenced the country’s former left-wing president Rafael Correa to 8 years in jail in absentia for corruption.  He was in power for 10 years until 2017, when he went into exile in Belgium. He denies any wrongdoing.  He and 19 other defendants were convicted of accepting $7.5 million in bribes from private companies in exchange for state contracts.  Those convicted were also banned from any political role for 25 years, including Correa’s former vice-president Jorge Glas, who is already serving a 6-year jail term for accepting a bribe from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52208588

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2020/04/07/Ecuadors-ex-President-Correa-sentenced-to-8-years-on-bribery-charges/8921586293132

 

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

UK: PROPOSED LAW CHANGE RE THE CORPORATE FAILURE TO PREVENT HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

An article in the Law Society Gazette on 6 April was concerned with discussing the February report from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law – A UK Failure to Prevent Mechanism for Corporate Human Rights Harms – describing its vision of the Institute for how the “failure to prevent” model could operate to punish companies deemed responsible for human rights abuses in their supply chain.  The report claims that this would provide legal certainty regarding the human rights obligations that companies face, and encourage them to take steps to guard against abuses in their supply chain.  The article discusses practical issues, such as human rights abuses being defined differently by different countries.  The article proposes, as an alternative, modelling any new legislation on section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, as opposed to section 7 of the Bribery Act, with an independent human rights commissioner to oversee enforcement.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/legal-updates/corporate-failure-to-prevent-abuses/5103728.article

 

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OECD GLOBAL FORUM ON TRANSPARENCY AND EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION FOR TAX PURPOSES – 8 NEW PEER REVIEW REPORTS

On 7 April, Accountancy Daily reported that the OEC had released 8 new reports assessing compliance with the international standard on transparency and exchange of information on request.  Brunei Darussalam, Macau (China) and Switzerland – received an overall rating of “Largely Compliant”.  The overall rating of Barbados and the Seychelles was downgraded from “Largely Compliant” to “Partially Compliant” since their last reviews, highlighting some significant deficiencies.  Liberia, Peru and Tunisia – undergoing their first full peer reviews as only their legal framework had been reviewed so far – saw Liberia rated as “Partially Compliant” while Peru and Tunisia both obtained a “Largely Compliant”.

http://www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/global-forum-publishes-new-peer-review-reports-and-reveals-compliance-ratings-for-eight-jurisdictions.htm

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

OTHER THINGS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED – APRIL 6

Panama Covid-19 update – less confirmed cases added today than recently, though still over 100, and only 1 more fatality reported.  A “woman” day here today, with only those women allowed out 2 hours – though presume the 50% of taxi drivers allowed to operate must be mostly men…  More worrying is that the number of arrests for lockdown violators probably greater than the number of virus cases.  Life goes on, however, even after panic when laptop stopped working this morning.  New desktop not due until next week, but managed to find a place that could supply a new laptop in 2 days (but then the “broken” laptop decided to start working again…ho hum).

untitled

6 April 2020

NEW SAFETY GUIDE ON SAFETY OF RADIATION SOURCES USED FOR INSPECTION AND NON-MEDICAL HUMAN IMAGING

On 31 March, the International Atomic Energy Agency advised that non-medical human imaging is the use of radiation to screen people for purposes other than medical diagnosis, medical treatment or biomedical research. Ensuring its safe use is the focus of the recently issued IAEA Safety Guide on this subject.  Such imaging includes screening of people to detect concealed objects, for instance prior to boarding an aircraft or when visiting a prison or to determine the presence of drugs in the bodies of suspected drug couriers.  It provides detailed guidance, based on the experience of national authorities, on how to safely use X-ray generators and other types of radiation sources for inspection purposes and for non-medical human imaging.

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/new-safety-guide-on-safety-of-radiation-sources-used-for-inspection-and-non-medical-human-imaging-now-available

 

UK: NO VICARIOUS LIABILITY FOR ROGUE EMPLOYEE’S DATA PROTECTION BREACH

Gowling WLG has produced a briefing about the recent Supreme Court decision in the Morrison case, in which it was found that the company was not responsible for a rogue employee’s disclosure of the workforce’s payroll data.

https://reaction.gowlingwlg.com/rs/ct.aspx?ct=24F76818D3E10AEDC1D180AAD72F961EDFBE678FACA734FB7AC04B5C4BC9A920F35C1D89D3C3009C70483738FC465BF089EED3444509110EF699591994E02E8EDD57D3D40206C4B11C493B6E368F2EB60C872B50E82AA74E792C846380551

 

EU STRESSES HUMANITARIAN EXEMPTIONS IN SANCTIONS ALLOW FOR COVID-19 SUPPORT

A Declaration on 3 April from the EU has echoed that of the UN Secretary General that while both have called for an end to armed conflicts during the crisis, and that the terrorist threat has not gone away, the EU also stresses that sanctions should not impede the delivery of essential equipment and supplies necessary to fight the coronavirus and limit its spread worldwide.  It underlines that UN and EU sanctions provide for humanitarian exceptions.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/04/03/declaration-by-the-high-representative-josep-borrell-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-un-secretary-general-s-appeal-for-an-immediate-global-ceasefire/

 

SUPPLY-CHAIN FINANCE IS NEW RISK IN CRISIS

In an article on 4 April, the Wall Street Journal is concerned about supply chain finance, which took off after the 2008 financial crisis, and allows companies to borrow money to pay their bills.  It gives them flexibility with their cash for a low cost, but can paint a favourable picture of their liquidity because the deals effectively boost working capital but do not count as borrowing and do not need to be disclosed.  It says that the lack of reporting makes it impossible to know the scale of the lending, but estimates put it at hundreds of billions of dollars globally. It is widely used in sectors such as consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, chemicals, retail and aerospace.  The 3 biggest ratings companies have each issued reports last month highlighting the dangers of supply-chain financing, a fast-growing, opaque technique for delaying payments to suppliers to improve cash flow.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/supply-chain-finance-is-new-risk-in-crisis-11585992601

 

COMPANIES ARE FAILING TO DEPLOY KEY SOLUTION FOR EMAIL SECURITY

On 2 April, Dark Reading published an article claiming that a single — albeit complex-to-deploy — technology could stop the most expensive form of fraud – BEC or “business email compromise”.  In 2019, it is reported that the FBI received nearly 24,000 complaints of BEC fraud totalling $1.8 billion in losses.  It is said that Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, or DMARC, significantly reduces attackers’ abilities to spoof targeted domains and business executives by validating the path from the sending server to the receiver’s inbox. In addition, the technology gives an organisation’s email administrator visibility into how their domain is being abused in emails.

https://www.darkreading.com/application-security/companies-are-failing-to-deploy-key-solution-for-email-security/d/d-id/1337478

 

UK: HIGH COURT UPHOLDS CONVICTION OF 2 MEN FOR CARRYING A FLAG OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, AN ORGANISATION PROSCRIBED UNDER THE TERRORISM ACT 2000

In its update on 5 April, 6KBW College Hill reported on the unsuccessful appeal by 2 men who had been convicted of taking part in a demonstration in which each carried a flag of the Kurdistan Workers Party, an organisation proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.   The appeal was concerned with whether the offence was one of strict liability, and if it were compatible with the ECHR.

https://blog.6kbw.com/posts/weekly-digest-6-april-2020

 

IF YOUR FORCE MAJEURE CLAUSE DOES NOT COVER COVID-19 ISSUES – CONSIDER THE ENGLISH LAW DOCTRINE OF FRUSTRATION

On 1 April, law firm HFW issued an article, saying that it does so after receiving numerous queries from clients as to whether the force majeure clauses in their contracts will protect them from any issues caused by delays and/or defaults arising from COVID-19.  It suggests that one possible option open to parties may be to rely on the English law doctrine of frustration.

https://www.hfw.com/Frustrated-If-your-force-majeure-clause-does-not-cover-Covid-19-issues

 

WHAT CORONAVIRUS MEANS FOR ONLINE FRAUD, FORCED SEX, DRUG SMUGGLING AND WILDLIFE CRIME

On 3 April, an article from the Brookings Institute in the US says that COVID-19 is influencing crime and illicit economies around the world.  Some of the immediate effects are likely to be ephemeral; others will take longer to emerge but are likely to be lasting.  For example, street crimes in the US and Europe has reduced, for obvious reasons, and with people at home, burglaries and home invasions have become more difficult.  However, with more people working and operating from home, expect a rise in online frauds, and countries that provide economic relief to those unemployed as a result of coronavirus can expect a rise in scams, with online thieves pretending to represent social security agencies and seek to obtain confidential information.  It remarks that border closures and the shutdown of much international air traffic means that smuggling illicit drugs long distances has become harder, and it is reported that Mexican drug-trafficking organisations said to be facing shortages of precursor agents for the production of fentanyl, as traffic from China and India — which normally provide supply — has been disrupted.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/04/03/what-coronavirus-means-for-online-fraud-forced-sex-drug-smuggling-and-wildlife-trafficking

 

ISLE OF MAN CONFIRMS REMOVAL OF 1 NAME FROM SANCTIONS LISTS

A news release on 6 April confirmed that Ibrahim MOHAMED KHALIL had been removed from the list of those subject to sanctions connected with ISIL/Al-Qaida.

https://www.gov.im/news/2020/apr/06/financial-sanctions-isil-daesh-and-al-qaida-1/

US PROSECUTORS CHARGE FORMER FOX EXECUTIVES AND OTHERS IN FIFA CORRUPTION PROBE

On 6 April, Reuters reported new criminal charges against 2 former executives of 21st Century Fox Inc and a former co-CEO of Spanish media company Imagina Media Audiovisual SL, and Full Play Group SA, a Uruguayan sports marketing company.  The charges arise from a long-running investigation of corruption surrounding FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-fifa-usa/u-s-prosecutors-charge-former-fox-executives-others-in-fifa-corruption-probe-idUKKBN21O2N7

 

LAW SOCIETY OF ENGLAND AND WALES REQUESTS FURTHER POSTPONEMENT OF TRUST REGISTRATION DATE UNDER EU 5th MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE

STEP on 6 April reported that the Society has asked HMRC to consider deferring the commencement dates of the new Trust Registration Service (TRS) rules based on 5AMLD, and to defer the commencement date of the EU’s DAC6 Directive.  The current plan requires unregistered trusts already in existence to be registered by 31 March 2021.  The DAC6 disclosure and reporting rules for intermediaries involved in designing and promoting cross-border tax planning schemes are due to take effect in July.

https://www.step.org/news/law-society-england-and-wales-requests-further-postponement-trust-registration-date-under-5amld

 

COLOMBIA: VICE-PRESIDENT “TIED TO SENIOR NARCO”

Colombia Reports on 6 April carried a claim that Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez and her husband were in business with a senior drug trafficker.  It is reported that they worked together with a former Medellin Cartel narco in the development of a real estate project in Bogota.

https://colombiareports.com/colombias-vice-president-tied-to-senior-narco-report

 

TAX AVOIDANCE PROMOTERS TARGET RETURNING NHS WORKERS

Website Taxation on 6 April reported that HMRC is concerned that promoters of tax avoidance schemes are targeting workers returning to the NHS to help respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

https://www.taxation.co.uk/Articles/tax-avoidance-promoters-target-returning-nhs-workers

 

POLICE IN AUSTRALIA ARREST 2 MEN IN CONNECTION WITH A $2.6 MILLION BEC SCAM INVOLVING PHONEY INVOICES

Infosecurity on 6 April reported that police in Australia have arrested 2 men in connection with a BEC (business email compromise) scam involving phoney invoices.  They are believed to part of a larger syndicate.

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/australians-arrested-over-26m/

 

UK: DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE OUTLINES SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO 160,000 EXPORTERS AND INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS DUE TO COVID-19

On 6 April, a news release from DIT advised that guidance on how to help secure export finance to keep trading during the coronavirus outbreak has been set out by government in direct communication to 160,000 exporters and investors.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-dit-offers-support-to-exporters-and-investors

 

DUE DILIGENCE IN THE AGE OF CORONAVIRUS

On 6 April, Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft LLP published an article – one of very, very many concerned with the coronavirus and its effect on business and business activities – saying that, in the context of COVID-19, there are significant challenges involved in conducting due diligence: hard-copy documents are inaccessible, in-person meetings have moved online, and on-site visits may be impossible.   It provides advice on how companies can and should nonetheless continue to comply with the law by adjusting policies and procedures, mitigating new risks that arise through the use of alternative diligence methods, and by staying abreast of changing regulatory expectations.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/covid-19-update-are-you-for-real-due-33150/

 

DEFENCE SECTOR CORRUPTION, AN UNDERESTIMATED FOE IN TIMES OF CRISIS

On 6 April, a Commentary from RUSI says that, as states look to militaries to help combat the coronavirus outbreak, they risk empowering forces weakened by corruption and poor governance.  It refers to Transparency International’s research which shows that in many developing and fragile states, defence sectors tend to be poorly governed, with high levels of secrecy and dysfunctional oversight structures often enable fraud, corruption and a wide range of abuses. The coronavirus crisis, like others before, has the potential to exacerbate these vulnerabilities, weakening militaries when they are needed most.  The article warns that, in the longer term and as the crisis recedes, it is key that attention to oversight and control of the defence sector becomes a priority, especially in fragile and conflict-affected states.

https://rusi.org/commentary/defence-sector-corruption-underestimated-foe-times-crisis

 

$1 MILLION PENALTY FOR MISLEADING “MADE IN USA” CLAIMS

On 6 April, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the Federal Trade Commission reports that a home products company has agreed to pay $1 million as part of a proposed settlement of charges that it made false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims that certain of its products are all or virtually all made in the US.

https://www.strtrade.com/news-publications-made-in-USA-claim-penalty-FTC-040620.html

 

DARKNET MARKET BANS SNAKE OIL CORONA “CURES”

On 6 April, OCCRP reported that Tor-hosted darknet site Monopoly Market has banned vendors seeking to use the platform to promote fraudulent coronavirus vaccines and cures.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/12021-darknet-market-bans-snake-oil-corona-cures

 

CYBERCRIMINALS TARGETING CRITICAL HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS WITH RANSOMWARE

A news release from Interpol on 6 April advised that INTERPOL has issued a warning to organisations at the forefront of the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak that have also become targets of ransomware attacks, which are designed to lock them out of their critical systems in an attempt to extort payments.  INTERPOL has issued a Purple Notice alerting police in all its 194 member countries to the heightened ransomware threat.

https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2020/Cybercriminals-targeting-critical-healthcare-institutions-with-ransomware

 

US CUSTOMS SEIZES $150,000 IN COUNTERFEIT DESIGNER BRAND CHARMS FROM HONG KONG

A news release from US Customs & Border Protection on 6 April announced that officers in Pittsburgh recently seized a shipment of 645 designer brand name charms shipped from Hong Kong in an express courier parcel. If authentic, the charms would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $150,150.

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/pittsburgh-cbp-seizes-150k-counterfeit-designer-brand-charms-hong-kong

 

WRONGFUL TRADING: THE LEGAL POSITION IN JERSEY

On 6 April, Appleby published an article following the recent announcement of a temporary suspension of wrongful trading rules in the UK, meaning that company directors would not be personally liable for their decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The article explains the current situation in Jersey, saying that the legal position in Jersey remains that a director has a duty not to allow the company to trade if they know (or is reckless as to whether) the company will not avoid insolvency.

https://www.applebyglobal.com/publications/wrongful-trading-legal-position-in-jersey/

 

CORONAVIRUS: IRISH REVENUE RELAXES CORPORATION TAX PRESENCE RULES

On 6 April, Out-Law published an article saying that the Irish Revenue has issued new guidance for companies, saying that it is prepared to disregard an individual’s presence or absence from Ireland for corporation tax purposes if it is due to travel restrictions related to coronavirus.

https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/coronavirus-irish-revenue-presence-rules

 

US: MORE THAN HALF A MILLION MEDICAL SUPPLIES SEIZED FROM PRICE GOUGERS TO BE REDISTRIBUTED

On 6 April, Homeland Preparedness reported that the federal government has seized hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) from price gougers with the intent of redistributing them to front line workers working amid the COVID-19 crisis in New York and New Jersey.  The items included around 192,000 N95 respirator masks, 598,000 medical grade gloves, and 130,000 surgical masks, hand sanitiser, disinfectant, among other items.

https://homelandprepnews.com/stories/46891-more-than-half-a-million-medical-supplies-seized-from-price-gougers-to-be-redistributed/

https://fcpablog.com/2020/04/03/compliance-alert-covid-19-related-hoarding-and-profiteering-are-now-federal-offenses/

 

ADAPTATION OF FRENCH BANKRUPTCY LAW TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

On 6 April, Dentons published an article saying that to help protect companies, employees and managers from the cash flow consequences of the current health crisis, the French Government, has made temporary changes to its bankruptcy law.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2020/march/30/covid-19-firm-in-difficulty

 

NEW ZEALAND: FORMAL PUBLIC WARNING TO BROKER FIRM OVER AML FAILINGS, WITH PRIVATE WARNINGS TO 6 OTHERS

On 6 March, a release on Mondo Visione advised that the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued a formal warning to NZX-accredited broker Tiger Brokers (NZ) Limited for failing to have several adequate AML protections in place.  The regulator has also privately warned 6 other businesses over their AML practices, mainly due to late auditing of their systems and controls.

https://mondovisione.com/media-and-resources/news/new-zealand-financial-markets-authority-issues-warning-to-tiger-brokers-and-six/

 

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

 

WEBINAR – INSIGHTS AND PRACTICAL ADVICE REGARDING FORCE MAJEURE, FRUSTRATION AND RECONSIDERING COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS

Eversheds Sutherland has made available a recording of a webinar where a panel answers some of the most common questions clients have asked us over recent weeks as well as digging into more detail around how your business should proceed with specific legal and technical challenges.

https://www.eversheds-sutherland.com/global/en/what/articles/index.page?ArticleID=en/coronavirus/coronavirus-webinar-Force-Majeure-Frustration-and-reconsidering-Commercial-Contracts_UK

 

If you’d like to help to contribute to that (badly needed, but now ordered) new laptop or, even better, the new desktop said to be on its way, to replace the one now 5,000 miles away – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y