News in brief – February 2021

AMERICAS
  • Trump’s impeachment sparks claims that anonymous hedge funds, anonymous trusts, and anonymous real estate purchases are examples of anonymous money finding its way to he American political sector.
  • Australian born US national, 37 year old math whiz and BitMEX’s first employee Greg Dwyer is now at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in the history of cryptocurrency. Dwyer remain “at large” after charges against conspiring breach US banking secrecy laws (BSA) and anti-money laundering laws (AML).
  • Former election candidate, Lyndsey Clarke jailed for her part in a €400,000 banking and credit union fraud.
  • Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department are investigating Envy Asset Management Pte. and Envy Global Trading Pte. who are suspected of using investors’ funds to finance trading activities in the metal.
ANZ
  • ASIC’s appointment of a new chair to lead the organisation is scrutinised by ex-ASIC boss Tony Hartnell who suggests they must focus on enforcement and not policy.
  • Recent scrutiny over Barangaroo’s long awaited regal casino may mean more enforcement and regulation for NSW pubs and clubs housing 90,000 poker machines. Australians amassing a loss of $13billion per annum) with an estimated $65-75 million being laundered.
  • More than 1200 early super withdrawals in Australia have been referred to serious crimes task force.
ASIA
  • TD, RBC, BMO and Bank of China deny responsibility of a Canadian national losing $340k in wire transfer fraudsters in Hong Kong. Banks allege that proper procedures were followed.
  • Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ in June 2018. A virtual plenary will take place 22 Feb – 25 Feb to decide on the fate of Pakistan to see if their failings to comply to its obligations from the last plenary along with failing to take action against 2 of India’s most wanted terrorists have been resolved.
  • Philippines applying for re-rating with Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) amidst claims of strengthening the country’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.
EUROPE
  • At least 49 British Universities accepted payments via bank notes to pay £52million in fees over the past 5 years. Millions from China, India, Russia and Nigeria have been transferred. It is alleged that these institutions have not considered the protocols of illicit money laundering activity.
  • Trust company fined £550,000 for breaking anti-money laundering laws. Their client invested millions of dollars of Angolan public money.
  • The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) has imposed sanctions against Vicktor Medvedchuk (Ukraine’s MP and pro-Russian opposition leader) for financing terrorism.
  • Women fighting against corruption are the vanguard of Navalyn’s campaign to transform Russia.
  • The European Commission sent letters of formal notice – the first stage of an infringement procedure – to Portugal, Germany and Romania for incorrect transposition of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4).

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