KYC360 Weekly Roundup - 23rd Feb 2024

Published on Feb 23, 2024

Top stories this week: 

US to Impose Major Sanctions on Russia Over Navalny Death | Israeli MP Missed Chances to Cut Off Hamas Financing | RBS Fined £1m by Isle of Man Regulator 

Welcome to this week’s edition of the KYC Roundup. In the AML arena articles cover the understated role of crypto in money laundering.  RBS has been fined £1m by the Isle of Man regulator. Meanwhile, Cash App faces allegations of allowing money launderers to use their platform and the Israeli MP contends with accusations of missing chances to cut off Hamas financing. 

In the fast-paced world of sanctions the EU and USA look to unveil a new package of sanctions against Russia in response to the death of Alexi Navalny. Meanwhile, Russia’s economy remains steady and UAE banks limit payments with Russia over sanctions threat. 

In the corruption space the U.S. takes new measures to halt illicit financing and a corruption investigation threatens to loom over the 2024 Olympic Games. 

We round off this week’s roundup with an invitation to our upcoming webinar. Stephen Platt, Founder of KYC360 is joined by Neil Martin, former Head of Race Strategy at Ferrari F1 to discuss how to transform compliance into a competitive advantage allowing you to do more, better business faster.

 

Financial_ServicesKYC & AML

Crypto Plays a Bigger Role than Reported in Money Laundering

The role of crypto in financing bad actors is worse than analysts estimate because the figures do not account for offchain activity. The role of cryptocurrencies in terrorism and financial crimes has led to heated debates among lawmakers in recent months, with Elizabeth Warren calling for a curb on “crypto financed terrorism”.  

Federal Regulators Probe Cash App Over Money Laundering Allegations

Regulators are exploring whistle blower allegations that, mobile payment platform, Cash App performed inadequate due diligence which opened the door to illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing. The whistle-blowers filed their complaint with FinCEN and stated that Cash App “had no effective procedure to establish the identity of its customers.”

Singapore’s Biggest Money Laundering Case Tests Demand for Shophouse Market

Real estate which was seized in Singapore’s biggest money laundering case has been put on sale with more than a dozen shophouses listed. The nation’s largest bank, DBS Group Holdings, is looking to reduce their exposure to the laundering scandal and the sales will provide a key test of demand in a niche part of the property market. 

RBS Fined £1m by Isle of Man Regulator 

The fine handed to the Royal Bank of Scotland was due to breaching anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism code. It relates to the firm's failings to carry out customer risk assessments in line with the code between 2015 and 2018. 

Israeli PM Missed Chance to Target Hamas Financing

Former senior Israeli intelligence officer, Udi Levy, has stated that Benjamin Netanyahu missed opportunities to target Hamas finances years before the October 7th attack. He believes this would have hampered their military buildup, but that intelligence was not acted on. 

Arrests and Searches Carried Out Against Financial Institution Involved in Money Laundering

National authorities carried out over 100 searches and 4 arrests in Latvia, Germany, France, Italy and Malta. The financial institution is accused of laundering at least EUR 4.5 million from illicit activities since the end of 2015. 

 

SanctionsSanctions

Why Sanctions Haven’t Crippled Russia

Western nations deployed the most comprehensive sanctions and trade restrictions in history in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, Russia’s economy continues to grow steadily as it finds new buyers for war gear. Gas and oil sales also remain strong, allowing their war machine to remain funded. 

UAE Banks Restrict Payments with Russia Due to Sanctions Threat

Major lenders in the UAE have begun to close bank accounts belonging to Russian nationals as a response to the threat of secondary sanctions from the United States. These warnings had already led to banks in China and Turkey to restrict accounts of Russian nationals. 

EU to Propose Fresh Sanctions Against Russia After Death of Navalny

EU member states agreed a 13th round of sanctions on Monday in response to opposition leader Alexi Navalny’s death, after Hungary dropped its opposition. The bloc will discuss a 14th round in the coming weeks and these new sanctions could include the use of frozen Russian assets.

US to Impose New Sanctions Package on Russia 

The US is set to follow with their own batch of sanctions. They will target the country’s defence and industrial bases alongside sources of revenue and they will "hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny,” a White House national security official stated.  

 

CryptoCorruption

How the U.S is Tackling Corruption in 2024

New measures will aim to ensure that law enforcement, the private sector and national security agencies have resources they need to effectively close loopholes that enable corruption in the U.S. financial system. Each year more than a reported $300 billion of laundered money goes through the U.S. economy. 

Corruption Investigation Set to Loom Over Olympic Games

The police investigation into “illegal conflict of interest, misuse of public funds and favouritism” is likely to continue during the Olympic games. French prosecutors raided several locations including the HQ of the Paris Olympics organising committee. No official charges have yet been filed. 

ResourcesKYC360 News

Join our webinar: Comply and Outperform - Lessons from Formula 1

What if you could turn compliance from being a brake into an accelerator? Join us on the 28th February at 3pm, when Stephen Platt, Founder of KYC360 and Neil Martin, former Head of Race Strategy at Ferrari F1 discuss how to transform compliance into a competitive advantage allowing you to do more, better business faster. 
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