23 members of transnational criminal organization arrested for money laundering

Europol announced today that the Spain and Columbia collectively arrested 23 members of an unidentified transnational criminal organization (the “Group”) involved in laundering the proceeds of crime on behalf of other unidentified transitional criminal organizations. The Group didn’t launder a lot of money – only €2 million.  The Group allegedly used Bitcoin to launder funds [...]

Pope lays out his plan to take down the Mafia and deal with corruption globally

  The Vatican’s justice branch has released its statement emanating from its recent anti-Mafia meeting with global law enforcement agencies to take-down the Mafia around the world through excommunication, if necessary. The Pope believes that he can make a difference in eradicating the Mafia and transactional criminal organizations through the reach of the Catholic Church. The [...]

G7 to focus on transnational criminal organizations, aviation infrastructure security, terrorist financing

The G7 released a special statement on financial crime, promising to re-double its efforts from the last 12 months on ending financial crime, in particular terrorist financing and international money laundering involving transnational criminal organizations. Every year there is a commitment to these goals but this time, the G7 has promised to turn their statements “into [...]

2017 Worldwide threat assessment – the rule of law is at risk

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its annual Worldwide Threat Assessment on May 11, 2017, from the US Intelligence Community and compared to last year, there are many more international threats to world security. The Threat Assessment from the US is a summary of all of the threats facing the US, and [...]

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 [...]

The $200 million a year refugee smuggling operation in Libya

A $200 million a year business and growing  The EU – Turkey deal to close the borders of the EU to refugees and migrants has shifted the human smuggling routes back to Libya. The focus back to Libya means ISIS’ large source of terrorist financing from this activity is flowing again, which may also facilitate [...]

A banker’s update on terrorist financing and money laundering from the US Committee on Homeland Security

Summary of the Updates The US House Committee on Homeland Security released a number of updates and received testimony on the status of terrorist financing, terrorism and money laundering in the last few weeks with some interesting developments relevant to banks in terms of changes in terrorist financing typologies that should be added to anti-money [...]

How Canadian billionaire Michael DeGroot’s US$111 million loan for casinos in the Dominican Republic turned into “an ugly battle with a shady cast of characters” including the Mafia

How Billionaire Michael DeGroot lost $111 million in loans to people connected to the mob to run casinos in the Dominican Republic and never saw a penny of it back.

OFAC sanctions in a nutshell

Summary of OFAC sanctions Until FACTA comes in force, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“) remains the singularly most important agency in the U.S. in respect of financial crime for multinational and foreign companies and yet surprisingly, the OFAC regime appears to be relatively ignored from a compliance perspective. OFAC yields enormous power and [...]

Germany state-owned bank and several corporate offices raided over wind energy investigation into alleged mafia money laundering

The EU investigation into the use of wind farms to launder proceeds of crime widened today with several police raids in Austria and Germany, including a raid on the offices of the state-owned bank, HSH Nordbank. The Nordbank financed several wind farms, including one in Calabria, Italy, alleged to have been erected and operated as a [...]