Archive for March, 2009

China to strengthen international cooperation in Anti-Money Laundering

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

On March 24, 2009, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced that this year China is going to optimize its legal framework on anti-money laundering. Optimization regards the legal, institutional and organizational systems that are aimed at promoting the scientific development of anti-money laundering work.

The PBC’s 2009 anti-money laundering work meeting was recently held in Hangzhou to summarize the anti-money laundering work of 2008 as well as to make plans for anti-money laundering tasks for 2009.

According to Deputy Governor and member of the Party committee of the PBC, Su Ning, 2008 was a year to reconcile the conection between past work and the future. He said that policy efficiency of anti-money laundering supervision was notable, information systems standards were improved, and investigations in money laundering cases achieved good results. It was also important that 2 specialized campaigns brought significant outcomes and that international cooperation has continuously expanded.

Besides the perfection of the anti-money laundering legal system, the PBC is going to establish and perfect a risk-based anti-money laundering supervision system and, improve anti-money laundering monitoring and analysis systems.

Botswana joins Anti-Money Laundering

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Last week, the Parliament of Botswana tabled a Financial Intelligence Bill that is aimed to provide a comprehensive legal framework to fight money laundering.

The bill was tabled by Finance and Development Planning minister Baledzi Gaolathe. According to the Minister, this bill is also aimed to establish a Financial Intelligence Agency that will receive, analyze and disseminate information to stakeholders.

It should be noted that these objectives are in line with the Botswana government’s commitment to contribute to international efforts to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and Fraud Solution announced by Aquilan

Friday, March 20th, 2009

On March 16, Aquilan, a leading provider of anti-money laundering compliance and fraud solutions, announced a hosted Anti-Money Laundering compliance and fraud solution, which is the latest addition to Patriot Manager Express. Its product suite, Patriot Manager Express is an automated approach aimed at preventing fraud and addressing the anti-money laundering compliance needs of the Insurance, Broker/Dealer and Mutual Funds industries.

Aquilan’s Patriot Manager Express is a lower cost approach to automated anti-money laundering operations, it is especially useful to smaller organizations with limited resources and budget. This solution requires no long term commitments, and little time and resource investment.

Key features of this anti-money laundering solution are as follows:
customer risk and correlation assessment (KYC);
watch list, transaction and agent monitoring; industry-driven red flags/indicators and automated alerts;
auto fill and file reports;
activity tracking and case management;
electronic audit history.

UK Treasury warns companies of money-laundering

Monday, March 16th, 2009

The UK Treasury has warned law firms and other companies subject to anti-money laundering regulations that many jurisdictions make a serious threat to their businesses.

It named the list of countries that do not have proper procedures or systems aimed at money laundering or terrorist financing prevention. Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Sao Tome and Principe were on the list. According to the Treasury, enhanced due diligence and monitoring is required of United Kingdom’s firms that do business with the above-mentioned countries.

The Treasury was endorsing reports by 2 inter-governmental anti-money laundering action groups – the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and MONEYVAL.

The Treasury said that due to improvements to the anti-money laundering regime in northern Cyprus, this jurisdiction is no longer of concern.

Global Witness asks to tighten Anti-Money Laundering Legislation

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Global Witness recently asked the Group of 20 developed and developing countries (G20) to tighten anti-money laundering legislation. UK non-governmental organization that is campaigning against corruption and for revenue transparency in resource-rich emerging countries said that so far they haven’t succeeded in stopping widespread embezzlement in emerging markets.

In the middle of March, finance ministers from the G20 were meeting in London in order to prepare a leaders summit where regulatory reform is to be discussed. This summit will be held on April 2.

Global Witness provided the list of European banks that had allegedly received diverted money from Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

According to the organization, governments should adopt anti-money laundering legislation to ensure that banks do due diligence properly. Also, each jurisdiction has to produce public online registers of the beneficial ownership of all companies and trusts. Global Witness suggests a strengthening of international cooperation is necessary, starting with the reform of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Man guilty in USD 13.5 Million International Money Laundering Scheme

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

A 33-year-old Brazilian residing in Miami Rodrigo Molinawas found guilty on 11 of 16 charged counts related to a USD 13.5 million money laundering scheme. This was announced in the end of February by Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division and US Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida.

Rodrigo Molina was found guilty on February 25, 2009. Court’s decision followed a 7-day jury trial in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Also, a 32-year-old Marcos Neto Macchione, a Brazilian national residing in Avenura, Fla was charged, and he pleaded guilty in June 2008 to the conspiracy of laundering USD 13.5 million in fraud proceeds. Molina and Macchione were arrested in Florida and 18 persons were arrested in Brazil. Molina and Macchione laundered the funds that were illegally obtained through the telemarketing
scheme.

In February 2009, Marcos Neto Macchione was sentenced to 70 months in prison, 2 years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit bank accounts that contain about USD1.8 million in criminal proceeds.

Rodrigo Molina faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on 5 counts of money laundering, 10 years on an additional 5 counts of money laundering, and 20 years on the conspiracy charge. Also, fines and terms of supervised release are possible.

Russian oligarch Khodorkovsky back in court

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

On March 3, a former oil tycoon and Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky was in court in Moscow on new charges of embezzlement and money laundering. His lawyers claim that this case tests Russian President’s Dmitry Medvedev reform promises.

Khodorkovsky, the 45-year-old former businessman who had been previously ranked as Russia’s richest man, was jailed in Siberia for tax evasion and fraud. He is said to fall foul of the Kremlin under former President Vladimir Putin and currently is being observed for a milder treatment under Medvedev.

Khodorkovsky’s appearance in court is his 1st time in public in Moscow since 2005.

According to prosecutors, Khodorkovsky helped embezzle USD 25 billion and laundered USD 13.9 billion. If proved guilty, these charges can keep ex-tycoon in jail for 22 years more.

Khodorkovsky’s lawyers claim that he is a political prisoner and the victim of officials who feared his political ambitions and wanted to undermine his YUKOS business empire.