Archive for February, 2009

Money Laundering Bill adopted by Indian Parliament

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The Parliament of India adopted the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2009 that was passed by the Lok Sabha on February 24.

This Money Laundering Bill is aimed to combat money laundering, terrorist financing as well as cross-border economic offences. The new legislation also provides for checking use of black money for financing terrorist activities.

It is important that the new law will check the misuse of promissory notes. The proceeds of crime will be checked for not being raised from sale of banned narcotic substances or breach of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The passage of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2009 will enable India’s entering into the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

After becoming an Act, the Bill will address international obligation of India and empower the Enforcement Directorate to look for the premises immediately after the offences are committed and a report has been filed by police.

Anti-Money Laundering Rules may hurt Banking

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

According to Florida bankers, too much government control regarding money laundering will hurt the banking system as it will become less competitive.

Good progress was achieved by international financial institutions in complying with United States government rules aimed at to combating money laundering. Participants at a Miami conference on money laundering said that, despite this, the United States government goes on developing stricter standards. However, these standards may damage banks’ competitiveness in the global financial market.

Florida Bankers Association’s 2-day conference in Miami was attended by about 900 people, including US and international bankers, attorneys and US government officials. The participants discussed issues connected with the complex legal and regulatory system established to fight money laundering.

The Florida International Bankers Association includes more than 70 member financial institutions from 18 countries.

Taiwan ex-leader’s wife guilty in Money Laundering

Friday, February 13th, 2009

On February 10, former first lady of Taiwan, Wu Shu-chen, pleaded guilty to money laundering and forgery, however, she denied embezzlement charges at a hearing into her high-profile corruption case. This was her first appearance in court in more than 2 years.

The wheelchair-bound lady, aged 56, admitted that she had wired USD 2.2 million abroad. She said that this the money came from a political donation and that this was not a bribe as claimed by prosecutors.

Referring to the money received from an exhibition hall construction deal, she said that she pleads guilty in the Nankang case and the related money laundering. Also, Wu admitted forging documents in a separate case that involved embezzled public funds, however, she denied using the money for her personal gain.

Besides money laundering, former president Chen has been charged with embezzlement, bribery, influence peddling and extortion. If convicted on all counts, the ex-president faces life in prison. Chen denies the charges.

Chen is next due in court for a 3-day session that will begin on February 24.

Nevada discusses Anti-Money Laundering Plan

Monday, February 9th, 2009

On February 5, a plan aimed at allowing no-warrant seizures of funds on prepaid debit cards was defended by Nevada cyber-sleuths. It was approved as it can be a way to track down terrorists and major drug-dealers. However, it was criticized by opponents for being clearly unconstitutional.

The plan entitled SB82 was pushed by Jim Earl, executive director of the Nevada Technological Crime Advisory Board, on behalf of Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

The anti-money laundering plan was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and public defenders from Reno and Las Vegas. They claimed that this plan violates the US Constitution’s 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

According to Jim Earl, in case a prepaid card that was linked to criminals, SB82 allows police to freeze the funds on the card account for up to 10 days. The card will be frozen until a warrant is received from a judge. In certain cases, it allows to seize the funds without a warrant.

ACAMS offers web seminar on Anti-Money Laundering

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

On February 6, 2009, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) will hold a web seminar  entitled “Analyzing Recent Mortgage Fraud Trends to Protect your Institution from Potential Abuse”.

According to ACAMS, it is not a secret to anyone that one of the roots of the economic crisis is mortgage fraud. Therefore, regulators have recently shifted some of their focus from anti-money laundering to focus more on lending practices and the complexity of mortgage fraud.

This is why it is important for financial institutions need to pay more attention to mortgage fraud trends. This will allow them not only to protect themselves but also to avoid monetary losses (penalties, legal expenses and foreclosures). So, the issues of the latest trends in mortgage frauds, identifying mortgage fraud and the regulatory expectations for 2009 will be addressed at this web seminar.