Archive for October, 2010

RILO intelligence exchange forum held in Seychelles

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The 9th meeting of Eastern and Southern Africa’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) has been hosted by Seychelles. The 3-day event was aimed at seeking and sharing information regarding tax evasion, drug smuggling, using of forged currency, distribution of pornographic materials, and intellectual property rights violation.

RILO is a global information exchange network among Customs around the world. It manages data on illegal activities related to customs matters and works under the WCO (World Customs Organization) frame. The Regional Intelligence Liaison Officehas 18 member countries and is part of the World Customs Organisation. These are Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

US Anti-money laundering legislation

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The USA has passed 8 major anti-money laundering laws. This legislation defines how to deal with money laundering and related crime.

These anti-money laundering laws are as follows:

– Bank Secrecy Act of 1970
Provides the requirements for record keeping and reporting by banks, individuals, and some other financial institutions. Obliges the financial systems to file Currency Transaction Reports (“CTRs”) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) at the IRS’s Detroit Computing Center for any transactions over USD 10 000 in cash.

– Money Laundering Control Act of 1986
Addresses the prohibition of deposit structuring in order to avoid the USD 10 000 reporting ceiling.

– Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988
Requires car dealers and real estate closing personnel to file CTRs for transactions that involve more than USD 10 000. Requires sellers of financial instruments of USD 3 000 or more to verify the identity of the buyer.

– Annunzio-Wylie Anti-Money Laundering Act of 1992
The Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”) form is established as a replacement for the previously used Form 366 Criminal Referral. SARs are filed with FinCen at the IRS’s Detroit Computing Center.

– Money Laundering Suppression Act of 1994
Money Services Businesses must register with FinCEN. Banking agencies must review and enhance their anti-money laundering training as well asdevelop anti-money laundering examination procedures. Banks are required to establish improved procedures for referring suspected anti-money laundering cases to the appropriate law enforcement officials.

– Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
Requires specific financial institutions to report cross-border electronic transmittals of funds.

– Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Strategy Act of 1998
The banking agencies are required to include anti-money laundering training in their bank examiner training programs.

– USA Patriot Act
Strengthens customer identification procedures for financial institution. Financial institutions are required to establish adequate due diligence procedures for offshore and foreign bank accounts. Prevents the US financial institutions from having business with foreign shell banks.

HSBC settles Money-Laundering probe

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

HSBC, the giant UK-based bank, was sanctioned by federal regulators for breaking federal money-laundering laws.

The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued cease-and-desist orders to 2 US-based HSBC units for infractions that include violations of rules obliging bankers to scrutinize cross-border fund transfers.

According to HSBC Bank USA of McLean, “the HSBC’s compliance program and its implementation are ineffective, and accompanied by aggravating factors, such as highly suspicious activity”. The violations of rules were widespread and created potential for unreported money laundering or terrorist financing.

HSBC operates the United Kingdom’s 10th biggest bank holding company. It agreed to adopt policies to put it in compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering laws. The regulators’ findings were neither admitted nor denied by the Bank.