Archive for April, 2009

Ex-champ pleads guilty to Drug Money Laundering

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

A former world champion in boxing, Kendall Holt, has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge in New Jersey.

According to prosecutors, the charge against Kendall Holt of Woodland Park came from drug deals that were carried out by champion’s manager, Henry Cortes. Cortes pleaded guilty to drug cases in February.

On April 24, 27-year-old Holt said that several times in 2007 and 2008 he picked up bags of money and delivered them to his manager. He also admitted he knew that the money came from drug transactions.

In July, a famous boxer won the WBO light welterweight title. On April 4, he lost a unification bout to WBC champ Timothy Bradley on April 4, 2009.

Dubai denies laundering money of Somali pirates

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Allegations carried by a UK daily have been denied by Dubai police. The Independent claimed that Dubai has been laundering the ransom money belonging to Somali pirates.

The Deputy Commander in Chief of Dubai Maj Gen Khamis Mattar Al-Mazinah in a statemet denied the allegations published by the paper that a large amount of money that was taken in ransom from hijacked vessels were being laundered in Dubai and other Gulf countries.

Around USD 80 million has been paid out in ransom to Somali pirates in 2008.

In his statement to the Arabic daily Al-Emarat Al-Youm, Mr Al-Mazinah said that the British paper’s report was baseless and untruthful and stressed that the UAE was the only state in the region to prosecute money launderers and issue rulings against them.

GBP 600 000 in cash found in a washing machine

Monday, April 20th, 2009

British cops swooped on a suspect in a van in Dover and found the appliance in the back. When removed, the mechanism revealed lots of cash hidden inside. There were hundreds of thousands of GBP stuffed into the washing machine.

The investigation moved to London’s East End where a second van was found. Several more washing machines were found in this van – these were also stuffed with cash.

Also, GBP 20 000 in cash was found at the London address.

According to the police, 2 Moroccan men and a Polish woman have been charged with money laundering.

So, that’s the funny example of using a washing machine to launder money.

Morocco to fight money laundering

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Morocco has created a Financial Data Processing Unit (UTRF) with a view to fight money laundering.

The UTRF is a new unit that will be responsible for processing and spreading financial data in order to guarantee coordination among public institutions, administrations and legal entities. The main goal of the new unit is fighting money laundering.

Also, the UTRF will assess the anti-money laundering measures and suggest introducing new ones to eliminate this type of crime.

According to Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi, who spoke at the ceremony of appointing the UTRF members and the president, in the judiciary and organisational system, the new unit is a fundamental mechanism to fight money laundering and financial crimes.

iPod scammer guilty to money laundering and fraud

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

On April 6, the notorious Apple scammer who tricked a world-famous company out of 9 000 iPod shuffles, named Nicholas Woodhams, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering in federal court.

A 23-year-old scammer ran an iPod Mechanic repair shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He developed a scheme aimed to take advantage of Apple’s warranty program by means of using bogus serial numbers in order to get 9 000 iPod replacements without returning the originals.

As Apple’s return policy requires to ship the defective unit back to the company, Nicholas Woodhams worked out a plan that involved pre-paid VISA gift cards and a UPS Store mailbox. As a result, the scammer managed to get around this rule. When Apple tried to charge for the unreturned item, the VISA cards rejected the charges. So, the plan worked well and Woodhams succeeded to get 9 000 free iPod Shuffles, which he sold through his website.

Woodhams is to be sentenced, but he has already agreed to give up property that was obtained through his fraudulent scheme, including a house, cars, and more than USD 57 000 in cash.

Pakistan may approve anti-money laundering bill

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

On April 8, 2009, the Cabinet of Pakistan is likely to approve the much-awaited revised Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance. According to this regulations, money launderers will face up to 10 years imprisonment, Rs 1000000 fine, or forfeiture of property.

According to the proposed legislation, if a company, its director, or any other employee is involved in money laundering, the amount of fine will be increased to Rs 5000000.

The Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance 2007 was considered by the Cabinet on September 24, 2008, and it was approved in principle. But the Law Ministry should examine the proposed amendments in details and re-submit the draft bill for approval of the Cabinet.

Switzerland on the “grey list” of tax havens?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

After the top 20 economies resolved to crack down on tax havens worldwide at a meeting in the beginning of April, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) mentioned Switzerland among jurisdictions that do not have appropriately implemented international standards regarding taxation.

This put Switzerland on the “grey list” of tax havens. However, the government of Switzerland reacted sharply to such classification and said it was not actually a ‘tax haven’.

Still, according to a report issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), the number of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in connection with money laundering increased from 795 in 2007 to 851 in 2008. The FDJP said in a statement said that “the increase was due mainly to the greater volume of reports from the banking sector, which reached a new record high” and stated that “the total value of assets involved doubled to reach an all-time high of CHF 1.87 billion Swiss francs (USD 1.65 billion)”.

IMF launches fund to fight Money Laundering

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

A donor-supported fund will be launched by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to fight  money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to the IMF statement, the Multi-Donor Trust Fund will be the 1st in a series of so-called Topical Trust Funds. It will start operations on May 1, 2009.

The fund will provide about USD 31 million in over 5 years to contribute to the strengthening of global anti-money laundering and combating of terrorist financing of regimes. The Fund’s proven expertise and infrastructure will be used to reach this goal.

The IMF announced that about 2/3 of the financing will be provided by Switzerland, Norway, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, UK, Luxembourg, and Korea.