A new survey from the Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing (FFIS) at RUSI reveals international growth of public–private financial information-sharing partnerships to tackle financial crime, from 2015 to 2020, and describes recent activity directed against COVID-19 crime threats. The report provides descriptive summaries of 23 national and trans-national financial information-sharing partnerships and provides new insights into the impact of such partnerships in tackling financial crime; including their role in responding to COVID-19. The 20 groups involved include such bodies as the UK Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT), the US FinCEN Exchange, the Singapore Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Industry Partnership (ACIP) and the Lithuania – Centre of Excellence in Anti-Money Laundering. It is said that countries with a national public–private financial information-sharing partnership now account for 41% of world GDP and 20 out of the top 30 global financial centres are covered by such a partnership model. In 2019 and 2020, the majority of new partnerships were established in the EU.
The Survey can be found at –
On 13 August, Wired reported that the US DoJ says that an agent of the terrorist organisation operated FaceMaskCenter.com, and that ISIS’ participation in the Covid-19 PPE scam industry is just part of a wave of fraud that has flooded the internet since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
A news release from the US DoJ on 17 August advised that 3 women have been charged in Ohio for their alleged roles in schemes to corruptly and fraudulently procure adoptions of Ugandan and Polish children through bribing Ugandan officials and defrauding US adoptive parents, US authorities, and a Polish regulatory authority. OFAC has also placed Global Magnitsky sanctions on Ugandans said to be involved. The 3 charges are Margaret Cole, 73, of Ohio; Debra Parris, 68, of Texas; and Dorah Mirembe, 41, of Kampala, Uganda. With respect to the Uganda scheme, the indictment alleges that Parris and Mirembe, together with others, engaged in a scheme to pay bribes to Ugandan officials to corruptly procure the adoption of Ugandan children by families in the US, including the adoption of children who were not properly determined to be orphaned and who had to be ultimately returned to their birth parents.
On 18 August, Legal Futures reported that solicitors generally fail to carry out due diligence exercises on the people behind what turn out to be dubious investment schemes, a review by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has found. It also highlighted how often foreign investors were targeted by the scams. 21 of the cases involved foreign investors, particularly from South-East Asia, at least in part to “exploit language and cultural differences and potentially their unfamiliarity with conveyancing transactions in the UK”.
The Review itself is available at –
A news release from US Customs & Border Protection on 18 August advised that it would detain seafood harvested by the Da Wang, a Vanuatu-flagged, Taiwan-owned distant water fishing vessel. This is based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labour, including physical violence, debt bondage, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions. This is the 12th such WRO order that CBP has issued since September 2019, and the second against a fishing vessel.
A news release from FinCEN on 18 August advised that, as the primary regulator and administrator of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), FinCEN has issued a statement that sets forth its approach to enforcing the rules and regulations within the BSA. The purpose of this statement to determine the appropriate enforcement response when it identifies actual or possible violations of the BSA.
The statement is at –
On 18 August, Deutsche Welle reported that Germany’s FIU says suspected cases of money laundering and terrorist financing jumped by 50% in 2019. The real estate market is especially vulnerable when it comes to suspicious transactions. It registered a record 114,914 suspected cases of money laundering and financing of terrorism last year – a jump of almost 50% compared to the previous year.
On 17 August, OCCRP carried an article, linked to the previous reports from Global Witness, about Oleg Tinkov, a self-made Russian billionaire and claims about an “opaque” jet leasing structure that enabled him to allegedly avoid tax payments on 3 private jets reportedly worth around $114 million. He effectively leased the jets to himself through anonymous offshore companies, thereby qualifying for tax exemptions that would not apply if he had simply purchased the planes. This was previously disclosed through the so-called “Paradise Papers”, and a fresh leak of bank documents from a branch of the Cayman National bank on the Isle of Man which demonstrated weak compliance reviews and reveals exactly how these complex corporate structures worked.
On 17 August, the Economic Times in India reported that he had created dozens of shell companies in India and received $13.24 million in those accounts. The former Rio de Janeiro governor was arrested in November 2016 by the Federal Police of Brazil while investigating alleged corruption involving state-owned oil company Petrobras. It is alleged that registered more than 3,000 companies in 53 countries, including over 60 in India, using a computer system called ‘Bank Drop’ to siphon off bribes received for sanctioning public contracts.