KYC360 Weekly Roundup - 8th Dec 2023

Published on Dec 08, 2023

Top stories this week: 

EMMA 9 leads to arrest of more than 1000 people for money laundering | EU’s AML Authority operation details | AML in the art market | Critical report on UK financial regulator

Welcome to this week’s AML Roundup. Anti-money laundering news this week looks at the results of Europol’s money mule action operation (EMMA 9) which has led to the arrest of more than 1,000 people worldwide for money laundering. There’s news from PwC’s latest AML survey in Ireland which shows that much work still needs to be done with three quarters of financial services companies still conducting AML checks entirely manually.

Dutch banks will focus less on PEP status and more on individual risk profiles in a change to the way they conduct AML investigations. The Bank of England will review the use being made of AI by financial services companies to see if it poses any kind of threat to the country’s financial system.

In gambling news, the UK Gambling Commission raises the terrorist financing risk from low to medium in their latest money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment. In crypto news, UK lawmakers raise concerns around the launch of a digital pound.

To complete this week’s Roundup, we provide you with further money laundering, fraud, corruption and bribery updates from around the world. In addition, there is sanctions news from UK’s National Crime Agency as they reveal 14 typical red flags that indicate evidence of Russia sanctions violations.

 

Financial_ServicesMoney Laundering, Fraud & Corruption

1000 suspected money mules arrested as part of EMMA 9

Europol’s European Money Mule Action (EMMA 9) operation has helped police globally identify 10,759 money mules and 474 recruiters, leading to the arrest of 1,013 individuals worldwide suspected of money laundering.

PwC survey shows three quarters of financial services companies are still conducting AML checks entirely manually

PwC’s latest AML survey in Ireland shows much more automation is required in the fight against financial crime. It highlights that less than one-third of firms are planning to invest in AML technology and nearly two-thirds outsource some or all of their AML activities.

IMF Executive Board discusses their strategy on AML/CFT

The International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. have published the latest review of their AML/CFT strategy. It highlights a significant rise in money laundering activity in the past five years and proposes deepening the integration of financial integrity issues and an enhanced focus on the macroeconomic impact of AML/CFT issues as the way forward.

Dutch banks to focus more on customer’s risk profile than their PEP status in anti-money laundering investigations

Dutch banks will ease PEPs screening and focus more on an individual customer’s risk profile when conducting AML investigations in future the Dutch Banking Association (NVB) has announced.

Isle of Man releases its latest Financial Crime Strategy report

The Isle of Man Government’s Financial Crime Strategy 2024-26 report reaffirms its commitment to combatting money laundering, terrorist financing and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The report outlines the Island’s current standing and recent policy developments, as well as addressing the constantly evolving threats faced by governments worldwide.

 

RequirementsLegislation, Regulation and Sustainability

Bank of England to review rise of AI use by financial services companies

The UK Bank of England will consult on the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) by financial firms with an eye to future regulation. This was discussed after the bank published its latest financial stability report.

Less than a month until the new Corporate Transparency Act comes into effect in the US

On 1 January 2024, the US Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) comes into law aiming to combat money laundering and other illicit activities. It requires certain beneficial ownership information to be disclosed to FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). Requirements are outlined here.

HM Treasury updates list of high risk third countries for AML/CFT controls

The UK Government has updated its list of third countries it considers high risk for AML/CFT controls.

 

Gambling_GamingGaming and Gambling

Gambling Commission raises terrorist financing risk from low to medium

The UKGC have published their latest Money Laundering (ML) and Terrorist Financing (TF) risk assessment which upgrades the risk level. The report provides useful guidance to operators including outlining which gambling areas are considered high risk e.g. remote casino, betting and bingo.

GREF launches AML working group

The Gambling Regulators European Forum (GREF) has established a new working group on AML matters to strengthen the overall integrity and credibility of the industry in Europe. It will be co-chaired by Rachel Bezzina from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and Christophe Vidal from the French National Gambling Authority (ANJ).

 

Crypto-1Crypto & Virtual Assets

Treasury Select Committee raises concerns around the launch of a digital pound

In its latest report, MPs on the Treasury Select Committee raise concerns around plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The report calls for interest to be paid on a digital pound and a greater emphasis to be placed on transparency, privacy and accountability.

 

Sanctions-1Sanctions

UK’s NCA reveals 14 typical red flags that indicate evidence of Russia sanctions violations

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned financial institutions that Russia is trying to procure sanctioned goods through intermediary countries and has published a list of 14 red flags that point to possible sanctions violations.

 

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