US lists Vancouver company a “significant transnational criminal organization”

Vancouver company listed as a criminal organization  Allegations of global money laundering from Vancouver through the financial system Today, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“), designated Vancouver based PacNet and its connected companies, as a significant transnational criminal organization (“TCO“) for its role acting as an alleged money laundering [...]

Europol says organized crime is quickly changing to virtual methods

In a report released yesterday on serious organized crime called “Exploring Tomorrow’s Organized Crime” (the “Report“), Europol found that organized crime is now becoming a virtual activity over the Internet and as a result, transnational criminal organizations (“TCO“) are migrating towards virtual payment methods to conduct commercial affairs, including digital payments. According to Europol, the [...]

Quebec moves to regulate digital currency businesses

Are Bitcoin Exchanges MSBs? The Québec Government’s Authorité des Marchés Financiers (the “AMF“) today issued a News Release announcing that businesses that operate digital currency ATMs and “platforms for trading virtual currencies” must be licensed by the AMF as money services businesses (“MSB“) pursuant to the provincial Money Services Business Act (the “Act“). It also issued a [...]

Six Indicted in US for Funding ISIS Using Money Services Businesses that Routed Funds to Conduit Countries

Terrorist Financing for ISIS using online Payment Processors and MSBs from US Routed to Turkey and Saudi Arabia The USDOJ indicted six people this week for terrorist financing who are alleged to have used money services businesses to finance the Islamic State (“ISIS“) and to supply war-related goods to members of ISIS. According to the [...]

Another Australian Bank De-Risks and Exits Remittance Business Over Terrorist Financing Regulatory Risks; Financial Inclusion and Shadow Banking Seen As Repercussion

Fourth banks closes remittances businesses Another bank in Australia, the Westpac Bank, has announced it will close its remittance business division next week over the difficulty of complying with counter-terrorism laws. By de-risking and closing its remittance division, the Bank is terminating the bank accounts of all of its business customers who operate money services [...]

UK keeps its promise to jail officers for non-compliance with money laundering laws – likely world’s first incarceration over AML/CTF regulatory compliance failures

In what may be a world first, a UK Court has jailed the officer and owner of a money services business essentially for failing to comply with regulatory requirements for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. Paramjit Singh Sangha, who operated a money services business called PS Gold Exchange in England, failed to comply with the [...]

UK issues binding guidance for MSBs imposing personal liability on directors / officers for terrorist financing and money laundering compliance failures

Unlimited monetary fines at stake for compliance failures By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime The UK HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC“) has issued revised guidance (the “Guidance“) for money services businesses (“MSBs“) that renders directors, officers, partners, managers, secretaries and members of the management committee of a MSB personally liable [...]

Canada implements world’s first national Bitcoin law

New Bitcoin Law By Christine Duhaime, B.A., J.D., Financial Crime and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Follow @cduhaime At the end of this week, the Parliament of Canada approved what is likely the world’s first national Bitcoin law, and certainly the world’s first treatment in law of Bitcoin under national anti-money laundering law. Late Thursday, Canada’s Governor [...]

Canadian court dismisses charges against 3 jobless people over $24 million in unexplained cash they exchanged at MSB

Funnelling $24 million cash in unexplained income through currency exchanges by Christine Duhaime, BA, JD, Certified Financial Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Law Specialist Follow @cduhaime Here’s an interesting story about how a Court dismissed a $24 million money laundering case because, in the Court’s view, the evidence did not prove that three unemployed siblings who [...]

10th Annual National Money Laundering Symposium at Osgoode Hall Law School

The agenda is out for the upcoming 10th Annual National Symposium on Money Laundering in Toronto on April 4, 2014. The Symposium includes sessions on the following: Report from Gérald Cossette, Director of FINTRAC on Current Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Trends in Canada. Financial Institution Lessons Learned from US and Canada on Money Laundering [...]