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World Money Laundering Report

Who remembers the dark web, that place where, if you could work out how to access it, you could buy false identification, illicit drugs (or licit drugs on an illicit basis) and even rent a hit man? Welcome, charlselwatson@gmail.com, not only don't you use the dark web, you even promote your services via a public bulletin board.

If there's one thing more certain in Formula One than that there will be in-fighting between the teams, it's that every few years some kind of financial scandal will engulf at least some aspect of the sport. And if there's an allegation of cheating, there's always an Italian aspect to it. Put the two things together and you get the worst-kept secret in the sport, but one that could not be openly told because of the way the investigation is conducted: the Italian authorities have been investigating financial affairs connected to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza for more than five years.

CommBank troubles with AUSTRAC are so bad that, in a statement on the bank's website, it doesn't even get the FIU's name consistently right.

And as for shareholders, the statement is hardly worth the paper it isn't written on.

The Solicitors' Regulatory Authority which regulates solicitors in England and Wales has begun proceedings against a partner of one of the bluest of blue chip firms in London alleging that he failed to undertake adequate due diligence for money laundering risk purposes when taking on two young women as clients. To be clear: this is a prosecution by the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority, not the police. It is a criminal prosecution for failing to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations. This is big stuff.

The case is building against former Prime Minister Najib and so far the focus is on money laundering. But there is another, easier to prove and much faster and much cheaper way to take action against both Najib and his wife, Rosmah and although there's an implied abuse of power, there's no need to prove it, no need to prove money laundering, no need to prove that money was stolen from 1MDB or elsewhere. There is a quick, simple, brutal tool at the government's disposal that might enable the near-immediate recovery of more than three million ringgit.

As the euphoria of the overturning of a much disliked government wanes, there are several important matters to deal with.

Perhaps the most difficult will be the question of corruption which has been endemic and systemic for many years.

Strangely, the one person who might be credited with kick-starting the widespread rejection of corruption might be the one person who is first amongst those whose conduct will be open to question.

The USA makes a lot of noise about money laundering, etc. and since the early 1990s, it's been at the forefront of pointing out the inadequacies of other jurisdictions while having a surprisingly lax, even holey, regime at home. Let's not forget that there were times when death threats were made to politicians who supported an improved KYC regime and civil rights groups protested in the streets and in forceful terms in the a media that was more than happy to accommodate them. Yes, the USA PATRIOT Act improved matters and there have been incremental improvements but equally there have been serious mistakes. But today is a good day as raft of helpful requirements comes into force under the headline "Customer Due Diligence
Requirements for Financial Institutions." Yet, today is also a bad day: as usual with the USA, it's a half-arsed attempt that falls short of what is actually required.

The news that Australia is to be the latest country to limit, in some circumstances, cash transactions above a certain financial limit has raised some questions. WMLR takes a critical look at some comments.

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