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News in Brief – April 2021

AFRICA
  • 66-year old ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero, Paul Rusesabagina has been detained in his home country and is facing a slew of terrorism-related charges that include murder and financing terrorism
  • The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have announced a collaboration to boost Nigeria’s fight against financial corruption and funding terrorism
  • Morocco’s House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill to amend the penal code and the law to combat money laundering
AMERICAS
  • The SEC issued alerts encouraging broker-dealers to strengthen anti-money laundering (AML) compliance as SEC examinations have uncovered deficiencies in some firms AML policies and procedures highlighting their BSA obligations to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)
  • US Department of Commerce has placed 7 Chinese supercomputer organisations barring them from receiving supplies or components from American companies as it is believed that these entities create technology that develop weapons used for mass destruction programs
  • The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AMLA) contains many changes in the Banks Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing to protect the US financial system against illicit foreign affairs. FinCEN is addressing these changes on the sharing and protection of information
  • British Columbia Lottery Corp under scrutiny about money laundering provincial casinos. It is alleged that suspected crime groups provided large cash loans to casino patrons as part of their money laundering scheme. A public inquiry is underway
  • The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has announced a settlement agreement with HSBC Global Asset Management Limited (GAM Canada) under which the firm has agreed to pay CAD$1,050,000
ANZ
  • A financial analyst took more than $550,000 of Real Housewife of Sydney Krissy Marsh’s stolen money to bullion businesses on Pitt St to buy 6.5 solid gold bars
  • A 65-year-old man who allegedly avoided paying more than $2.57 million in tax-related liabilities and impersonated an Australian Taxation Office employee is expected to face Perth Magistrate’s Court 23 April 2021
  • A 35-year-old West Australian woman charged last year with allegedly submitting multiple false claims to gain early access to superannuation savings worth $330,000, will now face 31 fraud offences, following ongoing inquiries by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as part of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT)
  • Australian payments ‘unicorn’ Airwallex had banking services pulled by NAB and Citi over risk fears
  • Reserve Bank NZ requests banks not to impose a blanket ban on taking money remittance service providers and virtual asset service providers on as customers in the name of combating themselves from money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF). It is about management not avoidance
ASIA
  • The Philippines is at risk of inclusion in the FATF grey list if it fails to enact the amendments of the country’s bank secrecy laws
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to launch a money laundering probe against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on the basis of a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  • Kuala Lumpur Police have rearrested the businessman Chung Chee Yang, who allegedly beat up and threatened his bodyguards with a pistol, for money laundering charges
  • State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) have signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) to strengthen their joint supervisory role against money laundering in Pakistan
  • The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has slapped fines of Rs97.6 million on four top banks in the first quarter of the year for failing to comply with the regulatory instructions
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed a penalty of S$1 million on Bank J Safra Sarasin Ltd, Singapore Branch (BJS) for breaching Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements
EUROPE
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and UK’s Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) held a series of joint technical training workshops on anti-money laundering and counter terrorism measures
  • More than 2,500 officials from 65 countries and territories, 45 financial authorities, and six international institutions participated in the first edition of the Malta Workshops after a series of sessions led by international experts on money laundering, terrorist financing, organised crime, risks with high network clients, and sanctions evasion
  • The deadline for the 6th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) is set for June 3rd, 2021
  • Prosecutors in Denmark charged three members of a dissident Iranian opposition group with promoting and financing terrorism in Iran in coordination with Saudi Arabian intelligence
MIDDLE EAST
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued new guidelines on anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT) which are set to be published on the National Anti Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee (NAMLCFTC) and other regulatory bodies’ websites, to increase knowledge of the rules and ensure action by licensed entities
  • The Central Bank of Iraq announced on Sunday that Iraq will no longer be included on the British list of high-risk countries for money laundering and terrorist financing
  • The Ministry of Economy (MoE) granted an extension to Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to register in the systems approved for countering money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism

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