Optimumbank (yes, it is all one word) is based in Plantation, Florida. It's on the watchlist of both state regulator the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the USA's Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Plan B for failing US banks that protects itself (and taxpayer's money) by an increasingly tight system of national regulation. Its actions include monitoring capital adequacy (about which it often has justifiable hissy fit with the "mom and pop" banks that seem to forget they owe multiple regulatory duties) and, because it is a relatively measurable form of compliance monitoring, failures to comply with money laundering laws. Optimum bank has come to FDIC's notice before the action apparently concluded in November 2016.
A notice from the central bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, "BSP") has told operators of pawnshops that the must get their house in order with amendments to the relevant regulations.
42 year old Jens Fred Sturzenegger was manager of the Singapore branch of Falcon Private Bank, closed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year. It is alleged that he had direct involvement of the movement of more than USD1,200 million of money related to the 1 Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) accounts connected to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib.
Josephine Kabura, the woman at the centre of the National Youth Service scandal in Kenya, is a hairdresser although her salon has been locked up for several months. Exactly how does an apparently ordinary person end up right in the middle of a scheme to extract GBP6.3million from a government department?
The prosecution of senior staff at Kenya's Family Bank ( see story ) is just part of a knot that investigators are slowly unravelling and finding out things that there are many in government would rather not be found out. So would several banks.
It is a mark of the integrity of a country as to how it deals with counter-money laundering laws. Politicians who consistently vote to exclude measures that catch bribery and corruption as predicate crimes for money laundering must automatically render the whole country as suspicious, applying the argument that fish rots from the head. Kenya was one of a number of countries that suffered this problem with leaders being constantly frustrated by other members of government. A compromise Act was eventually passed. Now it's bearing fruit. And the role of the targets will ricochet around the world.
Former Coutts / RBS staff who moved to BSI and caused both organisations to be the subject of serious disciplinary action have been jailed for short periods for their deliberate avoidance of counter-money laundering regimes.
Standard Chartered Bank has been ordered to pay SGD5.2m and Coutts (at the relevant time part of Royal Bank of Scotland) to pay SGD2.4 million for breaches of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's counter-money laundering requirements. It's also a slap in the face for Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib because the penalties arise from compliance failures relating to 1MDB, Najib's flagship project. There is also the minor matter of a Goldman Sachs employee and false statements.
World Money Laundering Report (WorldMoneyLaunderingReport.com) was first published in 1999. Over the following 17 years it appeared in 15 volumes, the last issue being published in December 2016. As from January 2017, WMLR will enter version 2.0 of its development.