Archive for March, 2008

Money Laundering in Moldova was discussed by Council of Europe

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

On March 24, 2008, the seminar on Measures to prevent and combat money laundering in insurance sector was organized in Moldova under the joint project of the Council of Europe and European Commission against Corruption, Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism. The event was co-financed by the European Commission, SIDA and Council of Europe. 

During the seminar, Anticorruption Prosecutor Dorin Compan stated that, taking into consideration growing trends in 2007, there was a phenomenon of money laundering in Moldova as compared with only one year before because during this year 4 criminal cases were initiated.

The number of notifications on suspect transactions in 2007 also increased. In accordance with Compan, the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption received about 9 million reports on suspicious money transactions as compared with only 7 million during 2006.

According to Iana Betivu, Head of Internal Audit and Security, National Commission for Financial Markets, to fight money laundering and terrorism funding, adjusting the national laws to the international standards and experience in this area is necessary. Betivu also emphasized the necessity of financial market regulation for preventing illegal money transactions, as well as noted the importance of improvement of the procedures for client identification.

Council of Europe expert Jos de Wit stated that, as compared with the European Union countries, the essential problem of Moldova in terms of preventing and combating money laundering is a relatively weak enforcement system. To improve the situation, improving the training basis for the Moldovan specialists working in the sphere of anti-money laundering was suggested by Jos de Wit.

Money Laundering in Moldova was discussed by Council of Europe

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

On March 24, 2008, the seminar on Measures to prevent and combat money laundering in insurance sector was organized in Moldova under the joint project of the Council of Europe and European Commission against Corruption, Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism. The event was co-financed by the European Commission, SIDA and Council of Europe. 

During the seminar, Anticorruption Prosecutor Dorin Compan stated that, taking into consideration growing trends in 2007, there was a phenomenon of money laundering in Moldova as compared with only one year before because during this year 4 criminal cases were initiated.

The number of notifications on suspect transactions in 2007 also increased. In accordance with Compan, the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption received about 9 million reports on suspicious money transactions as compared with only 7 million during 2006.

According to Iana Betivu, Head of Internal Audit and Security, National Commission for Financial Markets, to fight money laundering and terrorism funding, adjusting the national laws to the international standards and experience in this area is necessary. Betivu also emphasized the necessity of financial market regulation for preventing illegal money transactions, as well as noted the importance of improvement of the procedures for client identification.

Council of Europe expert Jos de Wit stated that, as compared with the European Union countries, the essential problem of Moldova in terms of preventing and combating money laundering is a relatively weak enforcement system. To improve the situation, improving the training basis for the Moldovan specialists working in the sphere of anti-money laundering was suggested by Jos de Wit.

Jersey tightens money laundering rules

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Jersey’s new anti-money laundering rules are planned to be tightened up. Some occupations, for example, experienced financial advisors, which did not fall within current regulations, will be included into the new measures to fight money laundering.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) inspection will assess Jersey against its standards to combat money laundering and fight terrorist financing.

The changes mean that the new categories would be checked by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), the offshore jurisdiction’s regulator.

UAE’s committment to anti-money laundering

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

It has been discussed previously that the United Arab Emirates is committed to fighting money laundering. For example, to crack down on money laundering and illegal sale of strategic dual-use items, last year 40 companies have been shut down in the UAE. 

This week, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi emphasized that the jurisdiction is committed to international efforts to fight money laundering as well as to combat the sale of dual-use strategic materials. She also stressed that the country is committed to non-proliferaton efforts.

The Minister of Foreign Trade Shaikha Lubna was speaking at a meeting with 15 US Congressmen’s assistants who are currently on a visit to the United Arab Emirates. She underlined the necessity of the strengthening of relations between the UAE and the US, which should be based on the common interests of the countries. She also stressed the UAE leadership’s keen interest in further steps and developing legislation to help the economic growth and bolster economic and trade cooperation with all the world.

US and Mexico to fight money laundering

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Mexican and American prosecutors pledged to concentrate more aggressively on fighting money laundering by drug and immigrant smugglers wiring their illegal proceeds into Mexico from the USA.

Having completed a conference on fighting border crime in Phoenix on March 12, 2008, the prosecutors agreed that investigative techniques developed in Arizona will be used by Mexican authorities in order to try to prevent the flow of money from smuggling into Mexico.

Leader of the groups of prosecutors who held the conference, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, said that Arizona state will advise Mexican authorities on distinguishing legitimate money transfers from transfers made smugglers. The state will also help Mexican authorities respond to the methods used by traffickers to evade investigators.

Also, the prosecutors of the the US and Mexico agreed on information exchange on immigrant trafficking groups as well as on expanding undercover investigations of illegal gun sales.

Noe Ramirez Mandujano, an assistant Mexican attorney general who leads Mexican government’s organized crime prosecutions, said that it is needed to strengthen the coordination of actions with all law enforcement institutions in the US and Mexico.
 
Prosecutors from both the United States and Mexico agreed to hold meetings in order to analyse selected money transfers from the US to Mexico.

Japan’s Anti-money Laundering Law in force

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

It has already been discussed previously that the new anti-money laundering regulation was to come into force in Japan from March 1, 2008.

So, the law aimed at preventing diversion of criminal proceeds has already come into full force. It should be indicated that last year the law anti-money laundering law covered mainly financial institutions, however, now regards also real estate agents, precious metal dealers, jewelers, licensed tax accountants, administrative notaries, judicial notaries and certified public accountants.

The above-mentioned was prompted by 2003 recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and it will definitely affect economic activities of people and companies. Administrative authorities should act cautiously when implementing the law.

In accordance with the new regulations, financial institutions, real estate agents, precious metal dealers and jewelers are now obliged to confirm customers’ identities, keep transaction records and file reports on suspicious cases.

3rd EU Money Laundering Directive. Overview

Friday, March 7th, 2008

As with most directives, the Third Money Laundering Directive started with the draft. The Committee on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing endorsed the European Commission’s draft of technical measures to supplement the Third Money Laundering Directive on May 10, 2006.

The Third Money Laundering Directive incorporated into EU law the revisions made in June 2003 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to its Forty Recommendations on combating money laundering. It also extended the provisions to any financial transaction that possibly could be linked to terrorist activities.

It should be mentioned that the Third Money Laundering Directive allowed the European Commission to adopt implementing measures or “technical measures” in order to clarify certain aspects of the regulation such as technical aspects of the definitions, to establish criteria for assessing “low risk” or “high risk” of money laundering or terrorist financing, as well as to establish standards for assessing persons carrying out a financial activity on a very limited basis.

As it has already been discussed previously, the Third EU Money Laundering Directive became operative on December 15, 2007. So, it was incorporated into the national laws of the 25 EU members.

Currently, the recently implemented Directive brought some significant changes that has been discussed previously.

Anti-Money Laundering Law implemented in Iran

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

On February 27, 2008, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that the first anti-money laundering law will be implemented in Iran.

In the beginning of February, this anti-money laundering law was approved by the legislative watchdog the Guardians Council. Previously,t an international anti-money laundering watchdog called for closing loopholes in its financial system and limiting terrorist financing.

Iran’s economy minister will be the head of a new committee – the High Council for Combatting Money Laundering – along with the ministers of commerce, interior, intelligence, and the head of the Central Bank.

All legal bodies (the central bank, credit and financial institutions, commercial banks, insurance companies, charities, foundations and municipalities) are required to implement anti-money laundering regulations approved by the High Council for Combatting Money Laundering. The requirements obligatory under the new law from these organizations include the identification of clients, keeping records and reporting suspicious operations and transactions.

The Law was implemented after in January Iran met with the United States at a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris.