Archive for September, 2009

Anti-Money Laundering Bill passes 2nd reading in New Zealand

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

According to a press release issued by New Zealand Government, a bill that enhances measures to fight money laundering and terrorist financing passed its second reading in Parliament on September 25.

Justice Minister Simon Power stated that the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Bill is designed to help fight financial and drug-related crime by means of detecting, tracing, and seizing profits of domestic organised crime.

He said: “This bill is an essential component in our ability to investigate organised crime, to follow the money trail through financial systems, and goes hand in hand with the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act, passed by the Government in April, which can be used to attack those profits.” He also added that the bill will allow us to contribute to the international struggle against money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorism financing.

It is worth noting that the bill sets out regulatory changes in order to enable New Zealand to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

BNY to pay Russia in Money Laundering suit

Monday, September 21st, 2009

On September 16, 2009, the Russian News and Information Agency RIA Novosti announced that Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the Bank of New York will pay Russia’s customs authorities at least USD 14 million as an out-of-court settlement of a USD 22.5 billion money laundering lawsuit.

The Federal Customs Service had asked for the compensation from the Bank of New York (BNY) as it accused the bank of helping to transfer billions of USD in shadow imports to Russia in the late 1990s.

According to Kudrin, the US authorities had failed to prove similar money laundering charges against the bank, but BNY paid them USD 14 million in costs acknowledging its employees’ mistakes. He said, “The sides have come to an amicable settlement and agreed that some costs, amounting to no less than the sum paid to the US government should be paid”.

Kudrin’s statement was confirmed by Wall Street Journal report that cited people close to the talks with Russia’s customs service that court costs would be paid in the case.

ECB comments Spanish Money Laundering legislation

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

According to the European Central Bank, the Spanish draft law on money laundering and terrorist financing is a positive step, but it should also ensure that the independence of the Central Bank does not suffer.

The draft law unifies the rules to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. SEPBLAC, financial intelligence unit, which is attached to the Spanish central bank, is partly responsible for these tasks.

The ECB said that the Bank of Spain should have budgetary approval power for SEPBLAC. On September 14, the ECB stated that “Before the SEPBLAC’s budget is approved by the Commission (for the prevention of money laundering), it should be agreed by the Banco de Espana as it will affect the financial independence of the Banco de Espana”. Also, it said that the Bank of Spain should also be statutorily freed from liability for the actions of SEPBLAC staff because they have governmental functions.

Russia and Lithuania agree to fight Money Laundering

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

An agreement on cooperation in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing has been signed between Russia and Lithuania.

According to Stanislovas Liutkevicius, Undersecretary of the Lithuanian Interior Ministry, the agreement should help both Lithuania and Russia conduct successful investigations of financial crime.

Head of the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service, Yuri Chikanchin, said that the main objective of the cooperation is to remove the dirty money from circulation. He added that Russia has intensified fighting financial crime and therefore many criminals tend to launder money in foreign countries like Lithuania.

UAE to sign 82 anti-money laundering agreements

Monday, September 7th, 2009

On August 6, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that it is going to sign new anti-money laundering agreements with 82 countries. This is a part of an intensified strategy put forward by the UAE to combat dirty money.

The above-mentioned plans to sign 82 anti-money laundering agreements were discussed by the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC) at a meeting held in Dubai that discussed also recent cases of currency fraud and other issues. This meeting was organized by the Central Bank.

So far, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had so far been signed between the UAE anti-money laundering unit and the financial intelligence units of 21 jurisdictions – Isle of Man, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Macedonia, Monaco, Portugal, Philippines, Serbia, Estonia, Malawi, South Africa, Lebanon, Nigeria and other countries..

Now, MoUs are to be signed with 82 other countries that were members of the Egmont Group.

Unlucky truck driver arrested for money laundering

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

As a result of a broken light and a failure to signal a lane change, a truck driver was arrested for money laundering and possession of marijuana in Texas, US.

Now, this 30-year-old unlucky driver Christopher Dwayne Porter is in custody. He is seeking a reduction in his USD 70 000 total bond and/or the appointment of an attorney.

On August 25, the police officer decided to stop the truck because it had a defective identification lamp as well as because the driver failed to signal when he changed lanes. The driver denied to let search the truck, but a K-9 unit was brought to the location and alerted on possible narcotics from the outside of the vehicle. Inside the truck, 10 pounds of marijuana, USD 155 000 in cash and a 12-gauge shotgun were discovered by the officer.

So, Porter was arrested and booked into the Hunt County Jail, with USD 35000 bond on each charge.