Archive for December, 2008

The Latin Breed singer imprisoned for Money Laundering

Monday, December 29th, 2008

It was discussed in May that Adalberto Gallegos, Jr. has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge. As described earlier, the 52-year-old frontman for the Latin Breed pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiring with others to conduct financial transactions involving the proceeds of distributing marijuana.

Now, a 15-month sentence in federal prison has been given to the lead singer of a popular Tejano band for money laundering.

Also, Gallegos was ordered to perform community service – he will be obliged to perform 200 hours of community service.

It should be noted that the singer’s son Adalberto Gallegos III also pleaded guilty to charges in indictment in December 2007 and will be sentenced in February 2009.

Chinese Central Bank announces crackdown on Money Laundering

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

On December 15, the Chinese central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, announced that it has helped crack down on 172 money laundering cases that involved about USD 22 billion in the first 9 months of 2008.

As compared with the same period last year, the number of money laundering cases doubled. Six major cases were detected as money laundering crimes in an anti-money laundering operation named “Tianwang” from September 2007 to October 2008. To compare, from 1997 to 2007 only 4 cases were judged as money-laundering crimes.

It is worth reminding that China introduced a new Anti-Money Laundering Law that was effective from January 1, 2007. This law broadened the definition of money-laundering crimes including corruption, bribery, financial fraud and violation of financial management regulations.

FIBA offers new approach to fight Money Laundering

Friday, December 19th, 2008

The Florida International Bankers Association (FIBA) offers top-notch, cost-effective training and certification aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

The organisation has just finished training its 1st wave of Latin American bankers who came to the United States in order to get certified. This is the 3rd regional certification course, but it is the 1st held in Spanish in Miami. FIBA representatives came back from Argentina and Trinidad & Tobago, where they gave in-country certification training.

Anti-money laundering training offered by the FIBA Anti Money Laundering Institute is one pillar of the foundation of its multifaceted “TEAM USA” initiative that is aimed to regularly bringing bankers, regulators and law enforcers togetherwith a view to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

It is also worth mentioning that the FIBA anti-money laundering offerings include not only certification. One of largest annual anti-money laundering conferences in the US is held by FIBA each February in Miami.

This year, the Association is offering bankers the opportunity to get certification before the anti-money laundering conference. The Certification course will be be held on February 17-18, while the 9th Annual FIBA AML Compliance Conference will be held on February 19-20.

Societe Generale SA and Barclays Plc not guilty of Money-Laundering

Monday, December 15th, 2008

According to the decision made by a French court on December 11, Societe Generale SA and Barclays Plc were not guilty of money-laundering charges, but a regional bank and a Pakistani lender were found guilty and were fined in a case of a 10-year-old crime ring.

The court stated that Societe Generale, Barclays, and the Paris-based lender’s Chairman Daniel Bouton were not part of a group that funneled EUR 82 million into Israel in the late 1990ies. In the more than 700-page court decision, it was said that internal notes and legal documents do not signify in any way that Daniel Bouton had exact information on the fraudulent origins of the funds that were passing through the accounts.

Two banks, National Bank of Pakistan and Societe Marseillaise de Credit, were found guilty of some charges. The Pakistani bank was fined EUR 200 000, while the French bank was fined EUR 100 000. Both banks failed to properly examine their accounts in order to detect money laundering.

New Anti-Money Laundering Laws in Guernsey

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Guernsey has introduced a new legislation that was proposed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The new anti-money laundering laws were introduced in Guernsey with a view to  to prevent money laundering that restricts the sale or purchase of jewelery, precious stones and precious metals in the course of certain businesses when the payment is made in cash and is more than GBP 10 000.

When proposing the new regulations, the GFSC intended to extend the Bailiwick’s anti-money laundering regime and, as a result, it would meet international standards.

Any person who does not follow the restriction is regarded as committing an offense, and this person is liable to a fine of up to double value of the cash involved, for a first offense.

Dealers in jewelery, precious stones or precious metals are asked to report any attempted transactions exceeding GBP 10 000 as suspicious to Guernsey’s Financial Intelligence Service.

Taiwan’s air force claims not transporting cash for ex-president

Friday, December 5th, 2008

On December 3, 2008, Taiwan’s air force denied allegations that it assisted Taiwan’s ex-president Chen Shui-bian with smuggling cash. A money laundering probe into the ex-president’s activities continue.

Taiwan’s air force stated that it followed the rules strictly to operate the presidential jet and that it did not do anything illegal.

This was announced after new accusations that Chen used the presidential jet to smuggle USD 5.17 million in cash to the island of Palau in the Pacific Ocean during a state visit in 2006. Taiwan and China split after a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still claims that this island is part of its territory and awaits reunification. It should be noted that Palau is one of the 23 countries that formally recognize Taipei over Beijing.

MONEYVAL and FATF discuss Money Laundering

Monday, December 1st, 2008

On November 24-26, 2008, the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held a joint meeting in Monte Carlo. The event was organised to discuss typologies of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The event was hosted by the government of Monaco. It was opened by Prince Albert II of Monaco as well as by the president of MONEYVAL Vasil Kirov and the president of FATF Antonio Gustavo Rodrigues.

This meeting was important because it brought together law enforcement experts and regulatory authorities, and they had a possibility to share experiences and discuss what they learned from their practice. The event focused on the ways money launderers operate through the money service businesses, securities industry and sports clubs. So, it was aimed to examine emerging trends and patterns in these sectors.