Huge money laundering ring busted in Singapore
Welcome to this week’s AML Roundup. In our anti-money laundering news this week, police in Singapore break open a huge money laundering operation and the local regulator reacts forcefully. The European Banking Authority publishes a third report on the effectiveness of AML/CFT colleges and Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit updates its AML/CFT Supervisory Plan.
We’ve an update on Spain’s new Ultimate Beneficial Ownership registry which will record the UBO for every legal entity in the country. There’s also news on the FCA’s consultation around regulations on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
In gaming and gambling news we report on gambling customers being unfairly de-banked and how Gibraltar has reached a settlement with a gaming company over KYC/EDD failings.
To complete this week’s Roundup, we provide you with further money laundering, fraud, corruption and bribery updates from around the world. In addition, the latest sanctions news with the launch of a UN-backed sanctions research platform and the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence in New York who’s pleaded guilty to money laundering offences and to conspiring to violate Russian sanctions.
Money Laundering, Fraud & Corruption
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) promises action against institutions involved in major money laundering case
There’s been widespread coverage this week of a major money laundering ring being broken up by Singapore police. They seized about S$1bn ($735m, £578m) in cash, property, cars and luxury goods. Singapore’s regulator MAS has issued a strongly worded release indicating it will take action against financial institutions involved and found to have breached their stringent requirements on AML/CFT.
EBA publishes third report on functioning of AML/CFT colleges
The European Banking Authority has published its latest report that shows authorities have improved the functioning of AML/CFT colleges. These are bodies designed to enhance collaboration between authorities in member states. As of the end of last year, there are 229 colleges with more being setup. The collaboration role they provide enhances cooperation and supervision of cross-border institutions. The report includes best practices for authorities to use to further improve the effectiveness of AML/CFT colleges.
Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) publishes its latest AML/CFT Supervisory Plan
The Supervisory Plan outlines the steps the FIAU take to regulate money laundering and terrorist financing in Malta. This latest version of the plan provides details on the type of supervisory interventions the FIAU undertakes. For the first time, it also includes areas the FIAU intend to review as part of its supervisory process.
Legislation, Regulation and Sustainability
FCA asks PEPs to share their experiences
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has invited Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) to share their experiences including any problems they or their families have encountered, as it begins a review of the PEPs regulatory regime.
Spain creates Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Registry
The Spanish Government has approved the creation of a public UBO Registry, managed by the Ministry of Justice, which will hold information on ultimate beneficial ownership of all legal entities in the country.
Gaming and Gambling
Trade body representing UK amusement and low stakes gambling companies complains about banking facilities being unfairly withdrawn over AML concerns
Bacta has told the Treasury Select Committee that its members are being “unfairly treated” and classified as a “money laundering risk” by the banking sector. CEO John White added that some customers are suffering because some banks view gambling as a “reputational risk” that “offends their corporate social responsibility policies”.
888 subsidiary agrees settlement with Gibraltar’s Gambling Commission over KYC/EDD failings
Virtual Global Digital Services, a subsidiary of 888 Group has agreed to pay £2.9m after a review which found several deficiencies in their Know Your Customer (KYC) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) practices.
Crypto & Virtual Assets
FCA approves only 13% of cryptocurrency company registrations
In response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, the FCA says it has approved only 13% of the total applications by cryptocurrency companies for registration. It says that many of these applications were withdrawn because not all the registration requirements were met but that it had refused five applications due to non-compliance with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MLRs). 22 more were rejected for their failure to update the FCA with how they address the regulations
What crypto companies should know about adhering to KYC compliance
A useful summary of the advantages and requirements of KYC for crypto firms.
UN launches sanctions research platform
The UN High Commissioner’s Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures has announced the launch of the Sanctions Research Platform. This online repository contains research related to sanctions effectiveness, including sanctions’ human rights and humanitarian impact.
Former FBI agent pleads guilty to conspiring to violate US sanctions on Russia
Former head of the FBI counterintelligence in New York, Charles McGonical has pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and to committing money laundering. The offences were related to dealings with a sanctioned Russian businessman.
Your latest weekly update from the worlds of money laundering, legislation and regulation, sustainability, gaming and gambling, crypto and sanctions.