Every year, on 1 March, the US Department of State presents to Congress its annual International Narcotics Control Report. In two volumes, one relates to drugs and related products and the other to money laundering and financial crimes, it provides an analysis of its reviews in 2016. It is largely free from politics, despite its source, being a factual analysis of legislation and enforcement in many countries, and is a valuable indicator of risk for Financial Crime Risk Officers. Here are some of the things World Money Laundering Report has found especially interesting in the 2017 report, including a shameful omission.
Andrew Peter Panayiotides, an employee, no longer with the company, of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Australia has been banned from providing financial advice for "failing to act in the best interests of clients." The regulator, ASIC, has specifically drawn attention to the incentives structure. Are there also hidden messages about Know Your Customer?
The Geneva Motor Show is the place where many companies put out their wilder concept cars. But Airbus has turned up with a concept that actually works in practice but is likely to have even more hurdles to legal use than driverless cars. It's.. well, it defies simple description but one thing it isn't is a car that flies and another thing it isn't is a flying thing that travels on the roads.
A leader in The Economist echoes the official position of, in particular, the USA in saying that "the Iraqi Army is on the brink of defeating Islamic State." In what sounds like a dangerous reprise of the claim that the war in Iraq was won, the assumption that clearing Mosul of this criminal gang will rid the world of its dangers is, and was always going to be, wrong, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill.
Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE and its subsidiaries and associates were investigated for "apparent" breaches of US sanctions, in particular a trade embargo with Iran.
Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation is incorporated in China and has subsidiaries and "affiliates throughout the world that conduct business on ZTE and on its behalf," according to OFAC.
A civil penalty has been applied. No prosecution will take place. There is a finding of no fault despite what OFAC calls "an egregious case."
For the goldfish amongst us and those who are too young to know and, especially, those who simply don't think history has anything to tell us, here is something to note: crises hit us every few years. The superficial causes are viewed as significant but in truth, most crises result from one thing: overstated balance sheets and the fact that those who have naively accepted them suddenly discover that not one, not two but many companies are not worth the paper they are written on. Literally.
We are back in the times of asset value restatement with...
A municipal manager, Sindile Tantsi, has been suspended while South Africa's National Prosecutiing Authority investigate allegations of corruption. Meanwhile, his car, a Mercedes Benz has been seized - along with its car-port.
Donald Trump has become known for so-called "alternative facts" which are, to everyone else, lies, half-truths and delusions. In Hillary Clinton's terms, they are what happens when she "mis-speaks." But in his first speech to the US Congress, that is the combined Houses of Representatives and the Senate, Trump wheeled out some numbers. Some, such as that "nearly 4,000 people were shot last year alone" are startling. To realise that that was in just one US city, and that not one that has a reputation for violence, is frightening. Were the numbers right? Prepare to go from startled, to frightened to terrified.