6KBW on 25th February reported on a case where an experienced FX trader, an account manager at a money service bureau called Omnis FX capital, appealed against a confiscation order. The judge had found that the appellant did not pay a leading role in the fraud and assessed his culpability as medium. She also found that he didn’t make significant personal gain, but was primarily motivated by getting more business and commission for the company. However, the confiscation order was based on the amount of money that went through Omnis as a result of the illegal trades for which the appellant was responsible – and not on the mere £4,200 he had made as commission. The appeal was dismissed; while the appellant had no legal interest in the account through which he laundered the money, his criminal conduct meant that he could be said to have obtained the money and so benefited from it.
The UK Government’s AML campaign, Flag It Up, has produced a document providing definitions and information on everything from “Anti-money laundering” to “Zero tolerance”.
On 25th February, various media outlets reported that real estate agents, lawyers and accountants still remain free from money laundering laws which were supposed to be introduced 12 years ago. Now the Labor Party is putting financial crime and regulatory policy front and centre in the lead-up to the May election as part of a broader financial crime and regulatory strategy following a recent Royal Commission. As with other places (including the UK), part of the impetus is a forthcoming review of the country’s AML/CFT systems by FATF.
On 25th February, a BBC “Reality Check” article says that oil dominates Venezuela’s economy, accounting for almost all of its export earnings, and that its biggest customers have been the US, followed by India and China. But over the past decade, oil production has collapsed and the country is in a deep economic crisis: so, it asks, what effect are the sanctions having and who is buying its oil now?