Archive for January, 2010

Estonian exchange company implicated in money laundering scheme

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Tavid, Estonian exchange company, has been implicated in one the largest money laundering schemes in the history of the CEE region. This is the 2nd money laundering scheme with the participation od the Estonian exchange company in the past 3 years.

The company is claimed to receive a payment of 45 million kroons in late 2007 to its Nordea Bank account. This payment was made by Stern Treid LLC. Stern Treid LLC is a company that is partially owned by Yuri Kasjanov, a Russian citizen who is the subject of a major money laundering probe in Bulgaria. This company had signed a contract with Tavid under which the company was to transfer more than 200 million kroons to Tavid.

It is believed that the money has originated in Russia and has bee laundered through a series of fake sales agreements in Bulgaria to be transfered back to Russia through the Estonia company.

Guatemalan Ex-president charged with Money Laundering in US

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Former President of Guatemala Alfonso Portillo faces money laundering charges in the US.

Portillo is charged with embezzling tens of millions of USD in public funds. These money was allegedly laundered through bank accounts located in the United States and Europe as well as in other places. According to prosecutors, the money laundering took place allegedly through at least 2006.

It should be noted that Portillo was the president of Guatemala from 2000 to 2004. He came into power promising to erase corruption, however his own government mired in the same accusations as his predecessors.

Guatemalan authorities started searching for the ex-president after the US requested his extradition.

Kuwait should develop judicial system to fight money laundering

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

According to Kuwait’s economic expert Dr Jamal Abdulrahim. Kuwait has been suffering due to the prevalence of money laundering and human trafficking that are harmful to the nation.

In a seminar on the moral and financial crimes in Kuwait, Abdulrahim said that “the law is rarely enforced in the country” and added that people either disregard the law or just lack information on the existing legislation. He stressed the importance of developing the judicial system as this is crucial in following up money laundering cases, especially since the local courts lack the required skills regarding money laundering.

He recommended that harsher punishments should be applied to those involved in human trafficking and money laundering. Also, both crimes should be merged to impose a 7-year jail sentence.

MENAFATF plans review mechanism on Money Laundering

Monday, January 11th, 2010

A review mechanism will be set up by the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) in order to help the banking system and private sector to identify indicators, trends and threats of both money laundering and terrorist financing.

On January 10, when speaking at a workshop in Doha, Sheikh Ahmed bin Eid al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Finance Intelligence Unit, said that the event aimed to share experiences of the participants so that a mechanism could be finalized.

Many suspected cases that have not reached the level of money laundering have been received by the Qatar Finance Intelligence Unit in Qatar. However, he noted that the final decision will be for the prosecution and the courts.

Adek al-Kulaish, executive secretary of MENAFATF, said that the risk of money laundering and financing terrorism exists and threatens all countries. He noted that it was difficult to estimate the volume of money laundering and terrorism financing as precise figures are absent. He stated, “There are no figures on the global-level, with the exception of a study by the International Monetary Fund in 2003, but that has not been updated”.

MoneyLaundering.com 15th Annual International Anti-Money Laundering Conference

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

On March 15-17, 2010, MoneyLaundering.com will hold a conference hat will provide access to news, analysis and essential compliance and training information in the volatile money laundering and U.S. Bank Secrecy Act fields.

The MoneyLaundering.com 15th Annual International Anti-Money Laundering Conference is the premier annual symposium for anti-money laundering specialists who are interested in being at the forefront of developments in this field.