On 19 September, MONEYVAL reported that it had successfully held a partly-virtual Plenary on 16 to 18 September. This was the first ever MONEYVAL Plenary taking place in a hybrid mode, with participants taking place virtually as well as physically. It discussed and approved the mutual evaluation reports of Georgia and the Slovak Republic, the first to be adopted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. MONEYVAL also adopted follow-up reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Isle of Man, and Romania. The Committee also agreed on typologies research topics for the period 2020 – 2021.
An article on Medium on 10 September says that, since 2018, Russian gas behemoth Gazprom has been quietly funnelling its multi-billion-dollar construction work into a new associated company called GazStroyProm or GSP. It also says that, since late 2019, it appears to have taken over 2 sanctioned construction businesses controlled by sanctioned Russian oligarchs.
On 18 September, FATF-style regional body, the Asia-Pacific Group, has published this report, which includes approximately 120 cases received from 19 member jurisdictions and APG observers. It includes reference to how Covid-19 has helped or been utilised by criminals. However, it also says that COVID-19 may provide a unique opportunity for law enforcement and FIU to detect and disrupt certain money laundering operations, including serious organised crime groups having to stock-pile cash due to an inability to launder through regular methods because of the closure of casinos or other gambling venues as one example. It says that pandemics, economic recessions and natural disasters have long impacted criminal activity and the methods by which money is laundered and terrorist activities financed – lessons may be learned from the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920, the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004,6 H1N1 (also known as the swine flu) of 2009-2010, and the exploitation of NPO during natural disasters, humanitarian crises, or pandemics.
On 19 September, Gadgets Now reported that scammers have been using Paytm eKYC as a means to dupe people, and now have found a new way to cheat Paytm users, involving sending users a message claiming that eKYC needs to be verified to continue the service.
On 18 September, an article from Insight Crime says that illegal logging has become one of Latin America’s most frequent yet under-reported criminal economies. In an investigation, InSight Crime presents its findings into the dynamics of timber trafficking in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Peru. It says that the corruption of public officials, the complicity of police forces and the weakness of protection mechanisms have contributed to the systematic plunder of the region’s forests.