Archive for December, 2010

Gibraltar’s Police suspects Money Laundering through Belize Company

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Gibraltar’s Police officers suspect money laundering scheme to be carried out by a British national through Belize-registered company holding a bank account in Gibraltar.

52-year-old Nasser Heikal, a British national born in Lebanon, has been arrested by Royal Gibraltar Police Financial Crime Unit officers because of money laundering suspicion.

Gibraltar’s Police made a statement to announce that this money laundering case is related to the laundering of the proceeds of a ‘boiler room’ operation that had targeted UK victims between November and December 2010.

The financial investigation identified up to GDP 80 000 that have allegedly been laundered by Heikal with the help of a Belize-incorporated company through a bank account in Gibraltar.

Arab ministers sign agreements to fight Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Arab governments are getting together with a view to fight terrorist financing by joining forces to struggle money laundering.

Arab interior and justice ministers signed 5 agreements. One of these documents is the agreement aimed to control money laundering. This pact calls on nations to set up their own programs for generating information and monitoring money transfers.

To sign the agreements, the ministers met at the Arab League headquarters on December 21. The accords were signed by all 22 members. While the statement did not name particular terrorist groups, several Arab countries are targets of al-Qaida.

Other agreements signed by ministers deal with organized crime, technical data fraud, counterfeiting, and pornography and sexual exploitation.

Australian businessman sentenced to 8.5 years for Money Laundering

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

An Australian businessman has been sentenced to 8 years and 6 months in jail in the New South Wales Supreme Court. This decision was made after the businessman was convicted of money laundering and tax fraud.

After a 5-week trial which followed investigations into the use of offshore tax structures under Project Wickenby, Michael Milne was found guilty on November 19. He was found guilty of offences related to money laundering and tax evasion. The crime involved the use of an offshore tax haven structure.

The offshore tax haven structure hid assets and income in a complicated series of transactions that involved Swiss and Dutch entities. So, it allowed evading tax payable on a capital gain of more than AUD 7.5 million.

According to Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo, tax evasion through the use of illegal offshore tax haven schemes is unfair to businessmen and the community who do the right thing. So, the sentencing showed the seriousness of tax evasion. He said that “this result serves as a clear warning to people who use offshore structures to defraud the tax system that they face significant consequences for their actions”.

Mr D’Ascenzo said: “Every defrauded tax dollar means less funding for community services including health, education and other government funded programs. This result serves as a clear warning to participants and promoters of illegal offshore schemes that they face significant and very serious consequences for their actions.”

Project Wickenby is a cooperative partnership between the ATO, Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, with support from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the Australian Government Solicitor and the Attorney-General’s Department.

Uruguay to fight against Money Laundering

Friday, December 10th, 2010

As many governments all over the globe are fighting against money laundering, Uruguay is also planning to make some steps to try to defeat this problem.

The President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica recently announced the intention to loosen the country’s bank secrecy laws, which is a necessary step to run after Uruguayan money launderers both in Uruguay and abroad.

However, President Mujica should expect many people to oppose this move as the additional 12% tax for deposits and investments made abroad is to be introduced.