In an article dated 22 January, Hellenic Shipping News referred to a new report launched by the World Bank and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) which shows that better digital collaboration between private and public entities across the maritime supply chain will result in significant efficiency gains, safer and more resilient supply chains, and lower emissions. Maritime transport carries over 90% of global merchandise trade, totaling some 11 billion tons of cargo per year. Digitalizing the sector would bring wide-ranging economic benefits and contribute to a stronger, more sustainable recovery. The report analyses numerous technologies applied already by some from the world’s leading port and maritime communities, including big data, the internet of things (IoT), fifth-generation technology (5G), blockchain solutions, wearable devices, unmanned aircraft systems, and other smart technology-based methods to improve performance and economic competitiveness.
On 21 January, a release on Mondo Visione advised the SEC Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE) list update. Additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location, or registration. Under US securities laws, firms that solicit investors generally are required to register with the SEC and meet minimum financial standards and disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.
On 21 January, Euronews reported that a Vatican court is expected to issue a verdict in an embezzlement and money laundering trial involving the ex-president of the Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as IOR, or the Vatican bank. Former president Angelo Caloia proclaimed himself innocent, and “a victim” of “operations orchestrated by other people”. The trial also involves Gabriele Liuzzo’ son, Lamberto Liuzzo, who faces a six-year prison sentence. The investigations began in 2014 and focused on operations carried out between 2001 and 2008 which caused estimated financial damage of €57 million. CNN later reported he had been sentenced to nearly 9 years in prison.
On 21 January, FATF published the follow-up report on Jamaica following its 2017 mutual evaluation review (MER) undertaken by CFATF. It says that, overall, Jamaica has made noteworthy progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its 2017 Mutual Evaluation Report and has been re-rated on 13 FATF Recommendations –
Recommendations 12, 21, 33 are re-rated as Compliant;
Recommendations 2, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 19 are re-rated as Largely Compliant;
Recommendation 8 is re-rated as Partially Compliant; and
Recommendation 15 is re-rated as Partially Compliant.
Jamaica will remain in enhanced follow-up and will continue to report back to the CFATF on progress to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.
On 22 December, ACAMS published an article about a public-private partnership designed to combat online child sexual exploitation in all its forms by enhancing methods to detect, report and disrupt associated financial transactions suspected of being connected to money laundering in any and all of its stages (placement, layering and integration). It is co-led by Scotiabank and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and is supported by FINTRAC with participation from major financial institutions and law enforcement agencies in Canada. The goal of Project Shadow is to detect, report and disrupt the finances of online child sexual exploitation in all its forms. It is said that, in Canada, the problem of online child exploitation mirrors the international issue in terms of scale. Statistics released from the RCMP National Child Exploitation Crime Centre (NCECC) highlight significant growth in reported incidents of child exploitation from 2011 to 2019. Since Project Shadow’s unofficial launch in January 2020, the project has generated over 100 STR that have spurred more than 30 disclosures by FINTRAC to law enforcement agencies. The article lists –
· money laundering indicators related to possible perpetrators who are consumers and/or facilitators of online child sexual exploitation;
· money laundering indicators related to possible perpetrators who are producers of online child sexual exploitation material; and
· financial indicators possibly related to online child sexual exploitation in the form of luring.
On 20 January, Sayari reported that a UAE-based horse trainer recently designated by OFAC maintains a network of previously unreported companies within the US and UK. The network, which also has ties to Gulf-based Arab elites, highlights a unique case of risk within an industry not regularly subject to sanctions. OFAC sanctioned Dubai-based Satish Seemar in December due to his role as a horse trainer for Ramzan Kadryov, the head of the Chechen Republic.
On 21 January, GAFILAT, the FATF-0style regional body, released a follow-up report on Nicaragua, adopted at a Plenary on 3 December. It analyses the country’s progress in addressing technical compliance deficiencies identified in its original Mutual Assessment Report. The Nicaragua’s Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) was adopted in July 2017 and this follow-up report analyses the progress made by Nicaragua in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER. New ratings are granted when sufficient progress is observed. Overall, the expectation is that countries have addressed most, if not all, technical compliance deficiencies before the end of the third year since the adoption of their MER. This report does not address Nicaragua’s progress in improving its effectiveness. A subsequent follow-up evaluation will analyse the progress made on effectiveness, which may eventually result in a new rating of the Immediate Outcomes. Nicaragua was placed in enhanced follow-up following the MER. Nicaragua has made progress in addressing its technical compliance deficiencies identified in the MER in relation to Recommendation 14 – Money or Value Transfer Services (MVTS), originally rated PC and now LC; Recommendation 35 – sanctions, originally rated PC and now LC. It is said that, in general, Nicaragua continues making important progress in relation to addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER but that changes to Recommendation 15 (new technologies) have not yet been addressed and it was therefore re-rated as NC (non-compliant). Nicaragua will continue in the enhanced follow-up process and will continue to report to GAFILAT on the progress made to strengthen its implementation of AML/CFT measures.
On 21 January, a blog post from Corker Bining comes in the wake of the news that a large volume of records were deleted from the UK Police National Computer (PNC) in error. The post explains the role, size etc of the PNC, saying that it is an information-sharing system, which allows the sharing of intelligence and information amongst a number of law enforcement agencies. The PNC also provides support to other organisations such as regulatory bodies, government agencies and foreign embassies in the UK. It holds information including the name of a person, their date of birth as well as the gender and ethnicity. It maintains records relating to arrest, summons and details of cautions and convictions.