Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Latvia fines Rigensis Bank for lax anti-money laundering controls

Monday, July 15th, 2019

Latvia’s financial watchdog, the Financial and Capital Market Commission, has fined Rigensis Bank for lax anti-money laundering controls. The Baltic country’s 11th biggest bank by assets was fined EUR 1 million.

According to the statement made by the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), the fine was “for infringements of regulatory requirements regarding the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing”. The violations included the bank’s failures to verify beneficial owners and establish true origins of deposits. Rigensis Bank mainly serves non-resident clients from countries such as Russia and Belarus. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The FCMC said it had required from Rigensis Bank a plan for addressing the shortcomings, and that it had ordered it to have an independent auditor assess its revised control system.

Latvia has been hard-hit by financial sector scandals, such as voluntary liquidation of bank ABLV last year after the accusations of institutionalized money laundering made by U.S. authorities.

In 2020, Latvia will next year undergo a review by Moneyval, the money laundering and terrorism financing monitoring body of the Council of Europe.

Meanwhile, Latvia’s central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics, has been accused of accepting a bribe. He denies any wrongdoing.

UK frustrated by Cayman silence on Money Laundering

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

The National Crime Agency are frustrated by a lack of co-operation by the authorities in the Cayman Islands.

The law enforcement agency said that it was “asking for information we don’t get”. It says it has also significantly stepped up efforts to seize dirty Russian money coming into the United Kingdom. Also, the agency launched investigations into British-based lawyers and accountants suspected of facilitating money laundering.

The NCA leads the UK fight against money laundering and criminal money, which it estimates could be worth up to £ 1 billion a day.

A number of investigations have led it to Cayman-registered offshore companies, which is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean and one of the world’s largest financial centres.

Donald Toon, director of the National Crime Agency, revealed that the Cayman Islands authorities had not co-operated when he had asked for information on who owned these firms. “The Cayman government is entirely aware of the UK concerns,” he said.

In recent years, the spotlight has been on tax havens linked to the UK following a series of global investigations involving nearly 100 media organisations, including the BBC. The Paradise Papers exposed how wealthy and corrupt individuals used complex offshore structures to cover their tracks. There were concerns that criminals were finding new tax havens where they could exploit lax regulation and hide their links to corrupt assets.


Money Laundering and Multinationals

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

As all the world makes attempts to fight money laundering, many countries are now requiring insurers to get additional information from their customers with a view to screen out possible launderers. For multinationals who are interested to do business in these countries, this means providing their insurers with a variety of documents obtaining the insurance they need.

It goes without saying that most multinationals are legitimate businesses and they are unlikely to use their insurer to launder money. Still, the insurance industry is vulnerable. In its National Money Laundering Strategy for 2007 report, the US government noted that the insurance industry has undergone a transformation and that it may appear increasingly attractive to money launderers. A range of investment services featuring financial products that can be purchased and subsequently transferred, redeemed, or sold, are now offered by agents and broker, which, according to the report, provides new opportunities for money laundering. The report says that numerous money laundering methods have been used to exploit insurance products, primarily life insurance and annuities.

To remind, some countries have been taking measures to crack down on the problem and improve their reputation in the international community. So, the governments of these countries are requiring insurers to obtain documents and take other actions to ensure not being used by criminal organizations to help launder illicit funds. Imposing these requirements on insurers is carried out by Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Malaysia.

For example, before getting insurance, multinationals with operations in Mexico must provide a number of documents including the following: a certified copy of the act of incorporation, federal taxpayer’s registry, a document that proves the address of the company in Mexico, a certified copy of the document showing the legal authority of the company’s representatives; a copy of the official identification of the legal representative, such as passport or card of military service. If the parent company in the US or Canada is included on the Mexican policy as a named insured or beneficiary, each non-Mexican company that is included under the admitted policy also will have to provide the insurer with similar documentation.