Growing risks for AML compliance officers – client threats, intimidation and expanding personal liability

Threats and intimidation The story of how two reporters in London investigating the FinTech Wirecard were pursued by a government regulator in Germany, which commenced a bogus criminal investigation against them, and how those reporters were followed and intimidated by Wirecard and its lawyers, is reminiscent of what can happen to anti-money laundering (“AML“) compliance […]

Mexico’s FIU freezes bank accounts used to launder money of 1,937 suspected CJNG cartel members and their lawyers, while 5 cartels continue turf wars to export fentanyl to US and Canada

Mexico’s financial intelligence unit, working with the DEA, yesterday announced that it had frozen the bank accounts of 1,770 men and women and 167 companies believed to be tied to, or working for, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (“CJNG“), believed to have been used to launder approximately US$1.1 billion in proceeds of crime from the […]

SEC suspends trading temporarily of pubco, with ties to Canada, selling a virus killing mask for covid-19

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC“) temporarily halted the trading of shares of an issuer called Bioelife Corp. over concerns about the accuracy of its claims, and claims of stock promoters, that it has developed coronavirus protective products, and over potentially manipulative trading activity. Bioelife is a shell, according to its website. It used […]

Narcos Canada: Canadian banks & professions deal with significant proceeds of crime from narco trafficking and serious crimes; Canada listed again as “major money laundering country”; plus 10 money laundering areas of concern identified by the US for Canada

Canada still on the Majors List Canada made it on the “Majors List” in the annual US State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (“INCSR“) again this year. The Majors List is three lists and it designates countries that are (1) “Major Illicit Drug Producing and Drug Transit Countries”; (2) “Major Precursor Chemical Source Countries”; […]

US releases national strategy for anti-money laundering threats to US financial system

The US Department of the Treasury has released a “2020 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing“, which provides a roadmap to identify current money laundering and terrorist financing threats and provides strategies to mitigate the identified threats and risks. In the Strategy, some of the key money laundering risks are identified as […]

US considering two anti-money laundering bills to force disclosure of shareholders of private companies

In what will be the most significant change to anti-money laundering law in the US since the Bank Secrecy Act, the US is considering two separate bills that, if passed, would require disclosure of the shareholders of private companies – the ILLICIT CASH Act and the Corporate Transparency Act, H.R. 2513. ILLICIT Cash Act The […]

Reporting suspicious transactions – when do you have reasonable grounds to suspect in law?

Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act Under Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (“PCMLTFA”),[1] each person or entity subject to the PCMLTFA is required to report to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (“FINTRAC”) every financial transaction that occurs and every financial transaction that is attempted in […]

Estonia ranked least risky for money laundering by Basel; Canada ranked at 47th place, behind Malta, Egypt, Poland and Bulgaria

The country of Estonia came in 1st place on the Basel AML Index this year, for anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CTF) compliance. The annual ranking by the Basel Institute on Governance, measures the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in countries using data from publicly available sources and includes assessments for such […]

US Treasury files civil claim against foreign Bitcoin exchange and its owner / officer to enforce penalties of $100M for AML failures

The US Attorney for the Northern District of California, on behalf of the US Treasury, has filed a civil complaint against the Bitcoin exchange known as BTC-e and one of its alleged owners / officers, Alexander Vinnik, to enforce over $100 million in monetary penalties for a series of anti-money laundering law violations. BTC-e was […]