Every year, we review the analytics of the Financial Crime Blog at year end, and share the results of what countries visit the site; what stories attract them to it; and what sorts of financial crime information people are looking for. Here is our review, below.
For 2018, the number of hits to our website exceeded 1 million views, which is consistent with our normal range, however, many of those are bots and crawlers which scrape websites daily and so our readership is significantly less when crawlers and bots are factored in.
Number of countries that read our Financial Crime Blog in 2018:
Top 10 countries that read our Blog regularly by order of readership:
- United States
- Hong Kong
Top 5 articles read on our Blog in 2018:
- No. 1 –> “Murder and violent robberies of digital currency executives up over 100% in 2018, as Bitcoin exchange owner murdered, and another ICO founder asserted and robbed at gun point” – this article was inspired by the story of a woman who, according to Bitcoin folklore, announced she would have an affair with an exchange executive so that she could be rich and according to that folklore, succeeded and gained access to business and customer information. This story highlights the risks to Bitcoin executives and exchanges from internal and external threats.
- Readers from 109 countries read this story.
- Readers were mostly non-institutional.
- No. 2 –> “Former DEA Agent says they were caught off guard on extent of Mexican cartel drug trafficking operation in Canada” – this blog post was inspired by the information from a former DEA agent on the extent to which Mexican cartels use Vancouver for drug trafficking and money laundering.
- This story was read mostly by government agencies, institutions and media.
- Readers were from 52 countries, interestingly including from the drug trafficking countries of Mexico and Columbia.
- No. 3 –> “$2,000,000,000,000 in proceeds of crime removed from China and taken to the US, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands” – in this blog post, we answer questions about how much money is removed from China to places like Canada, relying on statistics from China directly. While this post pre-dates 2018, it continues to be popular.
- Readers from 70 countries read this post, mostly from China, Japan, member states of the EU, as well as Canada and the US.
- Readers were mostly institutional, especially those from China, Japan, the Middle East and the EU.
- No. 4 –> “Canadian owner of Dream Casinos in Dominican Republic ordered released from prison in connection with spurious charges” – in this blog post, we describe the international criminal case of a Toronto investor incarcerated in the Dominican Republic for alleged attempted murder that the victim later said didn’t happen. It is part of a larger on-going story on money laundering allegations involving employees of that casino chain.
- This blog post received the most engagement from the US and Dominican Republic but was read by readers in over 60 countries.
- Government agencies and US, Caribbean and EU banks were the largest group of readers of this story, as well as foreign investment agencies.
- No. 5 –> “Smurfing – how moving funds from China to Vancouver often mirrors how Columbia drug lords move money” – in this blog post, we describe the way people move money from China to Vancouver, to skirt Chinese criminal law and banking regulations.
- This story was read in over 260 cities in China, Canada, the US, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, South Korea and the EU.
- Financial institutions and regulatory agencies in those countries read this blog post the most.
Number of cities where readers came from in 2018:
Fun facts from 2018:
- US federal law enforcement agencies mostly read up about Canada’s money laundering issues and money movements from China to Vancouver, as well as story 4, above, about the Canadian investor jailed in the Dominican Republic, as well as all things Bitcoin or Iran-related and the fentanyl crisis.
- Iran, which ranked 25th in terms of countries reading our Blog, came to read about what the US says about their developments in the digital currency space, they also came to learn about AML law, and about the convicted Iranian in Toronto who left Iran with billions of dollars allegedly stolen from a bank and was given Canadian citizenship.
- Globally, there was a marked shift towards readers who were from institutional investment firms, Fortune 500 companies and senior agencies and organizations such as the OECD, World Bank, EU Parliament, several agencies of the UN and such.
- There was also a shift to increased readership of articles that address risks of digital currencies and money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion or sanctions avoidance and movements of money from China illegally to places like Vancouver.
- Mostly just readers from the US came to read about the fentanyl crisis, even though per capita, it has killed more people in Vancouver than in any US city.
- In terms of banks, way more US correspondent banks and bank regulators in the US visited our Blog this year, and they read stories about money laundering in Canada, digital currencies and how money is moved from China to Vancouver.