28th October 2018
JAPANESE REGIONAL BANKS NOW TARGETED TO LAUNDER ‘DIRTY’ MONEY OVERSEAS
The Asahi Shimbun on 28th October reported that criminal enterprises in Japan appear to be increasingly relying on regional financial institutions for money laundering because oversight on overseas money transfers is less stringent than at the nation’s megabanks. Favoured institutions for money laundering are regional banks and shinkin banks – credit unions. In September, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) began on-site inspections at more than 10 regional financial institutions deemed to have insufficient measures in place to prevent money laundering; it is almost unheard of for the agency to target so many banks at one time in a money laundering crackdown. With their lack of expertise, systems and other factors in transferring large sums overseas, regional financial institutions often ask megabanks to do so on their behalf; but these are said to be less strict in scrutinising overseas remittance requests sought by regional financial institutions that are in the same line of business as theirs.
PAKISTAN: ‘PENNILESS BILLIONAIRES’ EXPOSE MONEY LAUNDERING FRENZY
The Mail & Guardian carries a story from Pakistan on 28th October on how bank accounts in poor residents’ names are flooded with cash, then suddenly emptied in a laundering scheme that has likely seen hundreds of millions of dollars moved out of the country.
A Must Read.
The Herald on 28th October carried a feature saying that Scottish shell firms, Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLP), have been named in a multi-million-dollar bribery court case in Argentina. 2 were allegedly used to funnel kickbacks in the latest twist in a corruption “mega scandal” ripping through Latin America, taking cash from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in return for state contracts – Latin Financial and Capital Investment Enterprises. In Argentina, government anti-corruption investigators have focused on a prominent entrepreneur called Jorge Rodríguez, though he usually goes by the nickname “Corcho”, or “Cork”. In a celebrity court case, Rodríguez is accused of taking in bribes from Odebrecht, which was among companies bidding to build a metro line. He denies any wrongdoing.
It also publishes details of how anonymous SLP and similar English structures were used to make hundreds of millions of dollars of untraceable “foreign” investment in Uzbekistan and secretive buy-ups of the nation’s cotton industry. One SLP, called Quality Trade Supplies or QTS, is building a steel mill in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, for just over €278 million. One prominent former Soviet oligarch has been named locally as being behind the firm, but a London public relations firm acting on his behalf has denied any connection.
The UN Development programme has blacklisted 5 Scottish SLP: Special Alliance Partnership, Investment Affairs, Trident Asia and Five Star Commercial Services. They are all registered either at 44 Main Street, Douglas or a flat at 78 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh. The Montgomery Street flat has been the base for SLP which played a key role in the $20 billion “Russian Laundromat”, one of the biggest and most elaborate money laundering schemes ever uncovered.