YLE in Finland on 28th February reported that Åland-based betting company Paf has been fined €50,000 for failing to investigate the origins of a client’s money. One of the company’s clients had placed bets with Paf for years using money she had defrauded, and it was held that it had acted negligently by not looking into where the money originated from even though it was known to the company that the client was employed as a bookkeeper. Paf first noticed the woman’s excessive gambling habit in May 2011 and contacted her. Only in January 2012 did Paf alerted authorities about its suspicion of money laundering, but nevertheless allowed the woman to continue betting. In October 2012 the woman’s account was closed by the customer herself. She has been convicted of fraud and embezzlement.
On 28th February, The Times reported that a Russian MP has gone on trial with 18 other suspects accused of laundering €50 million in Spain for a mafia gang. Vladislav Reznik, a politician and businessman who lives in Russia, attended the trial in Madrid voluntarily because he said that he wanted to prove his innocence. Spanish prosecutors claim that he has links to Gennady Petrov and Alexander Malyshev, the alleged gang bosses, who are on the run.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS DEFICIENCIES HIGHLIGHTED BY FATF
Looptt.com reported on 28th February that, following a year of monitoring by FATF, primarily of low levels of implementation of AML/CFT mechanisms and technical gaps existing in January 2015, FATF at its recent plenary considered the progress made in addressing these deficiencies in the year to June 2017. While noting the tremendous progress made and Government’s high-level political commitment to continue this work, FATF procedures required the publication of the agreed measures to address remaining deficiencies. The government says that the further steps required are the approval of the Counter Terrorism Strategy by the National Security Council, the issuance of a Case Prioritisation Policy, and advancing legislation in a number of areas. Confident of dealing with the remaining shortcomings, new legislation being introduced or implemented includes removing restrictions on mutual legal assistance, improved information sharing with and by the FIU, and allowing for money laundering offences to be tried either as summary or indictable offences. Access to beneficial ownership information is also included in legislation, together with a civil asset recovery regime and a framework for counter-proliferation financing. The country is expected to be able to report significant progress at the FATF plenary in October.