Archive for October, 2006

Suspicious USD 5 billion in Canada

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Last year, a Canadian money-laundering organization found more than USD 5 billion in suspicious deals that include USD 256 million in suspected terrorist financing.

This more than twice exceeds what was uncovered the year before. Fintrac, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, explained the growth by a deliberate strategy of hunting large-scale, money-laundering schemes.

On October 4, 2006, Fintrac notified police and the federal intelligence service about 168 suspicious cases, which is up from 142 the year before. 134 of them involved suspected money laundering, 33 were connected to suspected terrorist financing and the remaining 1 involved both. The average value of one case was about USD 30 million last year, while it was USD 14.4 million the year before. It is unknown how many of the cases ended with arrests as this is the business of police and prosecutors.

Fintrac is a 6-year-old agency is rapidly developing an effective tool for laundering dirty money. It deals with receiving, analyzing, envestigating and informin financial intelligence on suspected money laundering, terrorist financing and threats to the security of Canada.

It requires that organizations including banks, credit unions, foreign exchange dealers, securities dealers, real-estate firms and casinos and people handling major transactions keep records of those who use their services and report suspicious transactions. Also, they must report any electronic international transfer and any cash transactions over USD 10 000.

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) for Anti-Money Laundering

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) is an organization of 30 Caribbean states, some of which are labeled “tax havens”, aimed at implementing common countermeasures to fight money laundering.

Currently, CFATF members are the following:

  1. Antigua & Barbuda,

  2. Anguilla

  3. Aruba

  4. The Bahamas

  5. Barbados

  6. Belize

  7. Bermuda

  8. The British Virgin Islands

  9. The Cayman Islands

  10. Costa Rica

  11. Dominica

  12. Dominican Republic

  13. El Salvador

  14. Grenada

  15. Guatemala

  16. Guyana

  17. Republic of Haiti

  18. Honduras

  19. Jamaica

  20. Montserrat

  21. The Netherlands Antilles

  22. Nicaragua

  23. Panama

  24. St. Kitts & Nevis

  25. St. Lucia

  26. St. Vincent & The Grenadines

  27. Suriname

  28. The Turks & Caicos Islands

  29. Trinidad & Tobago

  30. Venezuela

To achieve effective implementation of and compliance with its recommendations in order to prevent and control money laundering and combat terrorism financing is the main goal of the CFATF.

A mechanism for monitoring and encouraging effective work as well as to ensure full implementation of the Kingston Ministerial Declaration is the Secretariat.

The Cooperating and Supporting Nations are members of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) and rely on the 40 FATF Recommendations concerning anti-money laundering measures. The relationship between the work and objectives of the FATF and the work and objectives of the CFATF are recognized by them.Â
Â

As far as money laundering techniques are quite rapidly changing, since 1996, the CFATF has been conducting a number of Typology Exercises on money laundering to increase awareness of the risks to the Caribbean. These typology exercises have already explored money laundering in domestic financial institutions, international financial transactions in offshore institutions, gaming industry and recent cyberspace technologies.

Paul Hogan launders money?

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

A famous Australian actor Paul Hogan has been under investigation for money-laundering. The actor has dismissed allegations and claimed he owes no money to the taxman.

The world-famous Crocodile Dundee stated that he had always paid the necessary amount of tax. When commenting upon the allegations, Hoges had previously released only humorous statements. He even said that not he owed money to Australia, but vice versa – as for some time he had been paying tax in two countries, which could have left him with just tiny sums.

In August, Paul Hogan, his friend and business partner John Cornell and their Sydney-resident accountant Anthony Stewart were connected to the Operation Wickenby investigation, accused with funnelling millions of dollars in royalties from the Crocodile Dundee movies into tax havens administered through Strachans – a Swiss-based accounting firm. The 67-year-old star was being investigated for holding USD 40 million in 21 Swiss trusts not declated to to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The investigation is considered to be a part of the major joint tax and money laundering probe, Operation Wickenby, that possibly involves USD 300 million in unpaid taxes and has Strachans at the centre of the operation.

The star has once produced the following statement about paying taxes: “I have always followed Kerry Packer’s advice to me. He said, “Pay whatever tax you owe, son, but don’t tip ’em, they’re not doing that good a job”.”

Hogan, residing in California had consulted his lawyers about suing the Sydney’s newspaper for damaging his business reputation. He said, “Every time they had a story on any kind of tax fraud or problem or evasion or avoiding, they had a picture of me in there to tie me to it because I was the best known person that was in any way associated with it.”

The actor also said he had more than paid his dues to Australia by means of promoting the country and its tourism to pay his way. Well, this is what you would hardly want to argue. By the way, The Crocodile Dundee trilogy was the most successful film series of Australia that has earned USD 300 million in international gross takings.

OSCE Mission to Serbia reports on money-laundering

Friday, October 13th, 2006

On October 4, 2006, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) held a conference on money laundering in Serbia.

Serbian Finance Minister Mlađan Dinkić suggests anti-money laundering to be a key for the moral stability of a nation. He said that from 145 000 financial transactions greater than EUR 15 000 euros in 2006, 526 were considered to be as questionable transactions. So, judicial system has to be much more effective in processing cases related to money laundering, and training in this sector is very essential as it has not faced such serious cases of money laundering until now.

The report “Money-laundering and Predicate Crime in Serbia 2000-2005“ presented at a conference in Belgrade discusses best practices in the areas in which the Serbian practice should be further enhanced.

The OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization. Geografically, it covers 56 participants with a very large territory – from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The organization deals with 3 large dimensions of security — the human, the politico-military and the economic-environmental and conducts a variety of activities related to them.

Russian fighter against money laundering killed

Monday, October 9th, 2006

The murder of Russia’s first deputy central bank chief Andrei Kozlov, a top banker fighting against money-laundering, reflects the world of crime in Russian business. However more seldom than in the 1990s, contract killings of businessmen and bankers still regularly occur in Russia.

Just after Andrei Kozlov, 41, had finished playing soccer with his colleagues, two assassins pumped him full of bullets outside the Moscow sports arena. This happened in the evening on September 13. The killers escaped in the darkness, leaving their guns behind, which is the signature of a contract killing. Nobody could describe the men, and there were no surveillance cameras in the area.

Not regaining consciousness, on September 14, 2006, Kozlov died in the hospital.

The murder could be ordered by the financiers unhappy with Kozlov’s intention to clean up the system.

Kozlov was a top figure in Russia’s banking sector, responsible for banking supervision. He had withdrawn the licenses of many banks and had overseen a scheme to free the banking system from criminality and money laundering.

Earlier in September, Kozlov proposed barring bank owners involved in money laundering from doing banking business forever. This measure could end a popular practice of simply reregistering and continuing business under a new name after being deprived of banking license.

5th OffshoreAlert Due Diligence Conference

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

OffshoreAlert is a monthly financial investigative newsletter that has been printed in Miami since 1997 and specializes in writing about multi-jurisdictional, white-collar crime which includes money laundering , investment fraud, insider trading & market manipulation, corruption & bribery and organized crime.

OffshoreAlert is considered to be a world leader in the production and distribution of credible due diligence information.

Last year, OffshoreAlert’s 4th Due Diligence Conference was held to discuss international research, compliance, investigations and risk management related to the detection and prevention of financial crime. Next year, on April 24-25, 2007, OffshoreAlert’s 5th Due Diligence Conference will be held to discuss the related problems as well.

When talking about anti-money laundering, Due Diligence is a very important thing and working it out is a very topical mission in the modern world.