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. [...]

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 [...]

Iran renews calls for the deportation of Khavari

The requested deportation of Mahmoud Reza Khavari, a former Iranian foreign national, and a Canadian citizen living in Toronto, seems to be at the centre of the arrest of a Canadian professor from Montreal, Homa Hoodfar, also an Iranian foreign national and equally a Canadian citizen, who was visiting Iran. Professor Hoodfar was arrested by [...]

Summary of the 2016 US Threat Assessment

The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community (the “Report“) prepared by the Director of National Intelligence on February 9, 2016, is a very interesting read from a counter-terrorism perspective, and essential reading for any bank in respect of assessing client and regional risks. Generally, the Report is dead on in respect of the [...]

US approves law limiting access to the US for people who visited or are from Iran, Iraq, Syria & Sudan

A “Terrorist Risk” Following the terrorist attack in San Bernadino on December 2, 2015, an 11-month-old relatively dormant bill to amend an American law to impose visa restrictions on select foreign nationals entering the US gained traction when it was rapidly enacted in the US. US Bill H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act [...]

In 2015, more countries become terrorist hotspots; Canada moves up ranks to become 35th in terrorism threat index; US moves up to 17th place

US and Canada move up on the terrorism threat index 2014 and thus far in 2015, have been marked by a dramatic increase in terrorist incidents and in the number of countries that have been pulled into terrorist activity and for which financial institutions have been used for terrorist financing. Western countries are becoming less [...]

Digital Finance Conference to Include Hot Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Issues with FINTRAC & RCMP

The Digital Finance Institute’s 1st Conference on FinTech and Banking Innovation is holding two sessions on anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and regulatory compliance that will cover the latest issues facing government agencies, regulators and financial institutions relevant to financial technology and innovation. The session is approved by ACAMS for CLE credit for professional financial crime experts [...]

Defector from UK to Islamic State releases e-book that sheds some light on trade-based terrorist financing

Ebook on ISIS An ISIS defector from the UK has published an e-book called “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State” (2015 Edition) that is posted on a popular social media site used by ISIS to publish propaganda, called Internet Archive. The Guide is consistent with ISIS terrorist propaganda messages: it gives information on life [...]

Two Bitcoin stories hit the news related to ISIS and terrorist financing allegations

Bitcoin hits the news related to ISIS There were two Bitcoin stories today in the US media with an ISIS connection, raising alarm bells regarding the potential use of digital currencies for terrorist financing. The first story was that a teenager in Virginia had been arrested by the FBI for allegedly facilitating a person to [...]

Sanctions world first ~ US imposes sanctions against North Koreans for private sector and over cyberhack incident

Economic sanctions ordered Today, the US announced it is imposing economic sanctions against certain individuals  and entities in North Korea over the Sony cyberhack. The so-called Sony sanctions appears to represent the first time in history that sanctions have been imposed (a) solely in response for, or over a, private sector dispute / issue; and [...]