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World Money Laundering Report

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.

India's national financial crime investigative service, the Enforcement Directorate, has dramatically increased the number of money laundering prosecutions it is bringing.

Research into the neurological effects of hearing evidence contradicting political beliefs shows that far from accepting persuasion, we tend to further entrench our position.

A report in India Today says that "only 3 to 5 per cent of the [hawala] trade is functioning now."

Forgive us for being sceptical.

Also, we are quietly irritated by the Indian media's habit of equating hawala with money laundering and, in some cases, saying they are the same.

There are some things that beggar belief and if FINRA is right, then the conduct of Wells Fargo bank is a cause for major concern, not just for the bank but for all banks that do business with it.

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.

 

World Money Laundering Report vol 15 no 6 In this issue:
Political Correction, the rise of the centre

Default settings: Suspicion, PEPs and government linked money

Unintended Consequences: the FATF's criticism of the USA demonstrates a shift in power

 

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.

For all the nonsense that the EU gets up to, there are some, little known parts, that do extremely good and valuable work. The European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit, which goes by the moniker EuroJust, is one of those units. There is also Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). Add in Europol itself, plus some other agencies that combine intelligence, investigation and prosecution and the EU has a sound infrastructure for combatting intra-community crime. It's essential that this part of the EU is retained when the UK leaves for without it all will be weaker.

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