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News in Brief – May 2021

AFRICA
  • Ghana expected to be removed from the EU money laundering watch list following a meeting with the President of the European Council, His Excellency, Charles Michel and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
  • Federal Government is profiling a number of high profile Nigerians who are allegedly have links to terrorism financing
AMERICAS
  • FinCEN have introduced several mandatory rules of reporting transactions taking place through unhosted wallets following FATF guidance in March 2021 on a risk based approach towards virtual asset service providers. Regulators appear to want more global transparency particularly in peer-to-peer
  • Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) new whistle-blower program significantly expands eligibility, awards and protection
  • Cashflow issues are reaching new highs. On a federal level, marijuana is still illegal in the US so banks won’t service the industry due to money laundering laws
  • Deutsche Bank has appointed Joe Salama, its U.S. general counsel, as global head of anti-financial crime (AFC) and group anti money laundering officer
  • An Orange County man has been arrested on alleged fraud claims of COVID-relief funds of USD$5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans
ANZ
  • Global AML Benchmark Report finds financial services sector takes approx. 60 days to conduct a risk assessment vs 80 days for non-financial services sectors. Download full report here
  • Australian authorities are investigating UK-based adult site Only Fans possible link to trafficking drugs, money laundering and the exploitation of children
  • Ex-CEO of Binance, Jeff Yew believes Australia is leading other economies in crypto regulation but calls for greater scrutiny
  • Head of Financial Crime, Nick Stokes sets his sights on a cashless casino for Crown’s Melbourne casino
  • CLSAP NZ Limited has admitted to breaches of the AML/CTF Act between April 2015 and November 2018
ASIA
  • Hong Kong’s FSTB (Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau) issues consultation conclusions on the new licensing regime for Virtual Asset Services Providers (VASPs) and a new registration regime for precious metals dealers
  • CoinUnited.io will soon be displaying six NBA championships rings won by the Golden State Warriors (in digital and physical form) to promote NFT (non-fungible tokens)
  • According to police, Maldives former president Mohamed Nasheed was injured in a terrorist attack which is currently being investigated
EUROPE
  • The Central Bank of Ireland is scrutinising EML Payments who’s core offering is prepaid cards for misconduct under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules
  • Swedish lender Swedbank has been fined $46.6 million Swedish crowns (approx. USD $5.50 million) for AML breaches between December 2016 and February 2019
MIDDLE EAST
  • Unnamed gold trader based in Dubai fined Dh1.35 million for non-compliance (8 violations) to anti-money laundering and counter terrorism laws (AML/CTF) as part of the Ministry of Economy’s investigation into Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBPs) sector
  • Two money exchange companies, Arab al-Zin and Al-Merkazia Lazarapa, have been declared terror organizations by Defense Minister Benny Gantz

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