US rates Canada once again as a “major money laundering country” in annual drug report

1. Canada once again a “Major Money Laundering” country The 2017 “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report” (INCSR) published in March 2017 by the U.S. Department of State identifies Canada once again as a “major money laundering country” along with a host of mostly risky countries for financial crime such as Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, BVI, Cayman Islands, [...]

SEC denies approval for Bitcoin Trust over multiple market integrity issues

The Securities Exchange Commission has denied an application for the creation of a Bitcoin Trust based primarily on issues related to preservation of the integrity of the capital markets. The decision is what was expected from a financial crime and integrity perspective. The decision can be read here. The gist of the negative findings of [...]

Politically exposed Chinese foreign national pleads guilty to immigration fraud

Shilan Zhao (趙世蘭), the ex-wife of a Chinese official and a politically exposed person, has pleaded guilty to immigration fraud related to the EB5 investor visa program in the US and will serve a term of incarceration of five years. Zhao conspired with her husband, Jianjun Qiao (喬建軍), aka Feng Li, to immigrate to the [...]

Bail denied for “little known lawyer” charged with money laundering who had $19 million in cash parked at his firm and home because he poses a serious threat to the financial health of India

Rohit Tandon, the Delhi lawyer charged with money laundering just before Christmas after approximately $19.9 million was found in cash at his law firm office and home, was denied bail on Saturday and remains incarcerated. In denying bail, the Court said that the money laundering offenses “pose a serious threat to the financial health of the [...]

Nigeria gets ex parte asset recovery order for $153,000,000 in proceeds of corruption from PEP parked in banks

The government of Nigeria will be able to recover $153 million in proceeds of corruption from Diezani Allison-Madueke, its former Minister of Petroleum, who was and remains a politically exposed person under anti-money laundering law. The funds were alleged to have been stolen from the Nigerian National Oil Company when it was under her control as [...]

Trial of PEP from Equatorial Guinea for money laundering in France; are Canada’s PEPs from Gabon next?

Equatorial Guinea trial Teodorin Obiang, the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, is being prosecuted in France for allegedly laundering the proceeds of corruption in France. Mr. Obiang is also the Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea and is a politically exposed person. His trial is scheduled for June 2017. He is accused of bringing $105 [...]

2016 in Review

Every year, we like to give a summary of the most popular stories on our website measured by analytics of visits because it gives a sense of what issues are of interest to the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing community globally and future trends. Here are some of our statistics for 2016: Most popular story –> [...]

$2,000,000,000,000 in Proceeds of Corruption Removed from China and Taken to US, Australia, Canada and Netherlands

The questions and answers I’ve been asked the most in 2016 about China: Q: How much money has been removed from China in proceeds of corruption? A: According to the Bank of China, way over US$120 Billion or CAD$160 Billion between the years 1995-2008. China appears to have quit sharing data officially after 2011 because [...]

UK’s sweeping new law targeting bankers, lawyers, advisors, offshore professional directors, nominees with fines; and “public shaming” for enabling offshore tax evasion

Wide, Wide Net for Enablers Starting today, parts of the UK’s Finance Bill 2016 came into effect which allows the HMRC to go after so-called “enablers” who help UK tax payers avoid taxes using offshore schemes, services or arrangements, such as bank accounts, investment or broker accounts, trusts, companies, directors / officers or nominees. The amendments introduce [...]

Does privilege really prevent lawyers from reporting money laundering?

In Canada and the US, lawyers are not subject to anti-money laundering reporting obligations like they are in most other countries. One of the most frequent reasons given for this by lawyers is that to require us to report certain financial transactions to a financial intelligence unit is inconsistent with, and would undermine, legal privilege. [...]