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FinancialCrimeRiskOfficers.com

Richard Rufus used to be a soccer player for a team called Charlton Athletic. The Insolvency Service brought a case before the High Court which said that Rufus created a GBP16 million Ponzi scheme. The Insolvency Service said it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. Rufus claimed to be a born again Christian. Victims tried to avoid being identified at the time of the civil trial which saw Rufus subject to a 15 year bankruptcy order. But now, information has come to light that a 12,000 member church in the UK has lost the best part of GBP4 million.

 

courtesy Australian Federal Police - arrest 201612 Take a moment to slow down so you can understand the scale of this: the Australian Federal Police have seized a shipment of cocaine that is 1,100 kilos.

Let's put that into perspective: bags of sugar come in 500 or 1,000 gramme packs. Imagine walking home from the supermarket carrying ten big bags.

Now imagine trying to get 110 times that past customs on the way out of a country, then on the way into another and to avoid detection at various way points in between. A diverse and difficult to identity group very nearly managed it.

 

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New proposals from the Singapore Government are to require full record keeping of beneficial owners and decision makers of a range of corporate entities. It's also going to raise some serious credibility questions amongst Singapore's law firms, accounting practices and other service providers. There's trouble in store...

The Australian government has been delighted that inward investment is to develop a coal mine in the Galillee Basin in North Queensland. But, as one media outlet has discovered, the Aussies appear to have failed to ensure that the company they are dealing with is entirely trustworthy. Indian company Adani is subject to several official investigations - and an investigative journalism team in Aus is uncovering more and more issue of concern. Why don't governments have to follow the same KYC and Risk Management standards as banks, etc.?

We would not usually jump to the conclusion that any offence is an example of terrorism but in the case of the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, just metres from the doorstep of the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper, seems unlikely to be anything else. And it's cost a few euros to mount, if the facts so far emerging are accurate.

When we found an advertisement for illegal downloads of Sun Tzu and the Art of Litigation, we wrote to everyone that public records showed as connected to the issue or hosting of the domain. We found, again, that Cloudflare was at the heart of the illegal operation and therefore being paid to provide services to criminals who may be generating profits for organised crime or for material support for terrorists. FCROs must consider the business practices and risk management models of their customers because, by definition, banks are receiving, harbouring and distributing the proceeds of criminal conduct received via those companies.

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Just last weekend, one of our people received a call late at night. An Indian voice asked him for details of his credit card and for his security question. That call was genuine, from his bank's fraud department, but for an estimated 15,000 US taxpayers, the department calling was all about committing not preventing fraud.

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The European Commission (EC) has decided that the European Union (EU) system of Directives isn't working when it comes to money laundering and terrorist financing. They are right. What's taken them so long to work it out? The question is this: have the identified the correct matters and will they get it right this time?

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"Banks will have clearer guidance on how to best manage risks related to money laundering and the financing of terrorism...in correspondent banking," says the Bank of International Settlements' Basel Committee.

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Artur Samarin is a name that will (or should) live on in the annals of infamy as someone who simply sidestepped all government and other identity checks to move to and openly live in the USA for four years.

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On this page are lists of sanctions updates from governments around the world.

There is an absolute bar on members of the US Senate using private e-mail addresses and systems for government-related correspondence. The rules do not ban the use of such systems for purely personal correspondence. In this area, there is no such thing as "private" in relation to government-related correspondence. Therefore, it is clear: Clinton acted in breach of rules and, depending on how it is read, the law. But she thinks it doesn't matter. Can her arguments be a beacon of hope to compliance and financial crime risk officers where there are technical failures in compliance regimes?

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The USA's Securities and Investment Commission pays a share of fines that it receives to those who blow the whistle and a financial penalty results. In August, the second largest award made so far brought the total payout to more than USD100 million.

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The OECD Working Group on Bribery says that Ireland has failed to act on the Working Group's "recommendation" to make certain that the counter-money laundering law (Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010) applies to Irish companies that launder the proceeds of bribing foreign officials, even if there is no law relating to bribery in the official's country. The OECD might have misread Ireland's laws.

With the announcement that the Apprentice Solicitors (don't ask: it's another "moving forward" initiative instead of going back to proper Articles) scheme is to include a grammar test (that's hilarious, given the appalling level of English across the Courts system and, even more ironically, the Solicitors (see, no apostrophe when there should be) Regulatory Authority), it's prescient to note that careless English can sometimes be celebrated. Malaysians have taken to Twitter in large numbers for one of the funniest hashtag trends ever. And it's so very simple.

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