Category: Money Laundering

UK financial regulator failed to prosecute half of money-laundering criminal probes

The UK financial regulator has discontinued half of its criminal investigations into breaches of the money laundering rules since January, and is yet to bring a single prosecution — despite a pledge to make full use of its powers. Figures released under a freedom of information request show that, in the year to date, seven out of 14 criminal investigations into contraventions of the money launderingregulations have been shut down by the Financial Conduct Authority. Five of these were “single track”, or solely criminal, probes, while the other two were “dual track” investigations that could have resulted in either criminal or civil proceedings. As a… Read More

COVID-19: Trends in money laundering and terrorism financing

COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON THE EVALUATION OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING MEASURES AND THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM (MONEYVAL) STRASBOURG The Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL Committee has issued a report aimed at helping the global community to counter new criminal activities which are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic, including the sale of counterfeit medicines and cybercrime. The Committee, which specialises in measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, focuses in its new report on threats, vulnerabilities and best practices. The aim is to assist policymakers, practitioners and the private sector in applying a more targeted and effective response to the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in Europe. The report found… Read More

AUSTRAC and Westpac agree to proposed $1.3bn penalty

Westpac and AUSTRAC have today agreed to a 1.3 billion dollar proposed penalty over Westpac’s breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act). Westpac and AUSTRAC have agreed that the proposed penalty reflects the seriousness and magnitude of compliance failings by Westpac. The Federal Court of Australia will now consider the proposed settlement and penalty. If the Federal Court determines the proposed penalty is appropriate, the penalty order made will represent the largest ever civil penalty in Australian history.  In reaching today’s agreement, Westpac has admitted to contravening the AML/CTF Act on over 23 million occasions, exposing Australia’s… Read More

FATF Releases Updated Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Report

The Financial Action Task Force(FATF), an intergovernmental organization that develops policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, has released an updated report, titled, Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Published on September 14, 2020, the report notes that virtual or digital assets have been using innovative technology to quickly transfer value, globally, and may offer certain benefits, such as making digital payments faster and at more competitive rates. However, the FATF cautions that the anonymity associated with virtual assets can “attract criminals, who have used [them] to launder proceeds from a range of offenses such as… Read More

How Anonymous Companies Are Used to Launder Money in U.S. Real Estate

Alongside the world’s worst COVID-19 death rates, the United States is facing an impending economic recession following the first wave of the pandemic. But, while millions of Americans struggle to stay afloat amid record job losses, there is a sector that seems strangely unaffected by the post-pandemic economic fallout: Real estate purchases. Alarmingly, in the U.S., there are few regulations and checks of who is purchasing homes. As a result, housing remains a key vehicle for criminals looking to stash cash, launder money, and buy up homes in a tight market. In the wake of the 2008 recession, the U.S. real estate… Read More

Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Download the PDF Here. Paris, 14 September 2020 – Virtual assets use innovative technology to swiftly transfer value around the world and have many potential benefits, including making payments faster and cheaper. But the anonymity associated with them also attracts criminals, who have used virtual assets to launder proceeds from a range of offences such as the drugs trade, illegal arms smuggling, fraud, tax evasion, cyber attacks, sanctions evasion, child exploitation and human trafficking. In response, the FATF Report Virtual Assets – Red Flag Indiciators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing will help national authorities detect whether virtual assets are being used for… Read More

What the FinCEN files tell us about the UK’s role as an enabler of corruption & money laundering – and what needs to change.

The FinCEN files, more than 2,500 documents relating to $2tn (£1.56tn) of transactions, have once again highlighted the vast amount of illicit wealth that flows through the global economy.  This is a great piece of journalism that paints a vivid picture of the dirty money being handled by the financial sector. Nothing about this story, however, should come as a surprise. The UK Government has stated that roughly £100 billion of illicit wealth impacts the economy every year. And that’s just the UK. It’s not a surprise that the leak shows how UK banks continually failed to address suspicious activity and instead… Read More

Thousands of secrets suspicious activity reposted offer never-before-seen picot of corruption and complicity – and how the government lets it flourish.

This is part of the FinCEN Files investigation. A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins. And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it. Today, the FinCEN Files — thousands of “suspicious activity reports” and other US government documents — offer an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that watch as it flourishes. BuzzFeed News has shared… Read More

Eight-year NCA investigation denies organised crime group £17 million property portfolio

Fifty nine properties worth an estimated £17 million have been recovered following National Crime Agency investigations into a prolific organised crime group carried out over almost a decade. In addition to a successful criminal investigation, the NCA conducted four linked civil recovery investigations over an eight-and-a-half year period into dozens of individuals who were suspected of financial links to drug dealers in East Birmingham. NCA officers established that the properties were acquired using the proceeds of crime including heroin importation and distribution, fraud and money laundering. Alam and Ameran Zeb Khan have both been convicted of drug trafficking offences, the… Read More

A U.S. judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Denmark’s Danske Bank A/S and four former top executives of defrauding shareholders by hiding and failing to stop widespread money laundering at its former Estonian branch.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan said shareholders in the proposed class action failed to sufficiently plead that the bank improperly reported revenue derived from money laundering or downplayed its supervision failures. She also said the plaintiffs, led by four pension funds in New York and Massachusetts, failed to show that Danske acted recklessly or with conscious disregard that its statements were false and misleading. “They allege in a conclusory way that defendants and employees of (Danske) received reports contradicting public statements, and fail to connect any of those reports to specific representations by specific persons,” Caproni wrote. The… Read More