On 27 October, Rferl reported that Ukrainian prosecutors have opened a terrorism financing investigation after it emerged that the country’s state-owned export-import bank lent tens of millions of dollars to companies owned by Serhiy Bryukhovetskiy, a businessman with interests in parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.
The Egmont Group of FIU has published a public version of its July 2021 report which came in the wake of UN research showing that there has been a 320% rise in attacks conducted by individuals affiliated with extreme right-wing (ERW) movements and ideologies the previous 5 years. It is said that FIU indicate a need for more background information and knowledge on the phenomena of ERW extremism and terrorism to be able to identify relevant money flows. However, analysis found that domestic authorities are taking this threat into account and that solutions are found for combating ERW terrorism financing, but that some room for improvement exists. The report includes case examples, and identifies key lessons and best practices highlighted. Among the things it recommends is to widen the scope of the national risk assessment (NRA) and, if needed, explicitly analyse the threat of ERW terrorism financing.
On 25 October, a news release advised that the OECD Working Group on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions has recognised significant progress of Latvia in the implementation of Phase 3 assessment recommendations, achieving and demonstrating obvious results in successful investigation and further progress of bribery criminal cases of foreign officials. It is said that Latvia has fully or partially fulfilled 35 of the 44 recommendations made by the Working Group. The Working Group also gave a positive assessment of the proactive approach Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) to detecting bribery cases of foreign officials, attracting additional human resources.
On 26 October, Krebs on Security reported that the FBI had raided the Florida offices of a Chinese provider of point-of-sale devices used by millions of businesses and retailers globally. It is said that the investigation involved also included the US Customs and Border Protection and the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS). The post claims that an unnamed source had said that the FBI and MI5 had been conducting an intensive investigation into PAX.
On 27 October, an article from Insight Crime says that a recent incident illustrates how these smaller, private vessels have become a favoured modus operandi to move cocaine between Latin America and lucrative European markets. In 2021, a string of seizures has shown how commonly yachts and sailboats are used to move cocaine to Europe.
On 27 October, FATF published 3 reports saying that it is exploring the opportunities that technology can offer to improve AML/CFT efforts.
Theopportunities and challenges of new technology to help the private sector and supervisors implement AML/CFT measures more efficiently
This FATF project aims to increase awareness of and identify opportunities to leverage emerging and existing technology-based solutions. It identifies the conditions, policies and practices that can help support the adoption of new technologies that contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of AML/CFT. It also examines regulatory obstacles or other factors impeding the successful adoption of new technologies.
2. Therole of data pooling, collaborative analytics and data protection, taking stock of technologies that facilitate advanced AML/CFT analytics within regulated entities or collaborative analytics between financial institutions, while respecting national and international data privacy and protection legal frameworks
This project examines commercially available or emerging technologies that facilitate advanced AML/CFT analytics within regulated entities. It also looks at technologies that allow collaborative analytics between financial institutions, while respecting national and international data privacy and protection legal frameworks.
3. Therole of big data and advanced analytics in transforming the capabilities of operational agencies in detecting and investigating money laundering and terrorist financing and understanding money laundering/terrorist financing risks.
This project will help operational agencies to harness technology to strengthen their operational capability and resilience. It focuses on the questions of how to identify appropriate tools and technologies, and optimise their use at different stages of the AML/CFT workflow. It examines how to remove barriers to any successful digital transformation. It also covers issues concerning secured, effective, and efficient data communication and information sharing within public sector, and between public and private sectors.
On 27 October, FATF published a report which represented the first phase of its work was a stocktake, to consolidate previous analysis of these phenomena by FATF and other stakeholders, including expert bodies, in order to identify and understand to what extent, and in what manner, these unintended consequences are occurring. Next, FATF will identify and consider potential options to mitigate these unintended consequences. The results of the first phase of this project will also inform FATF’s work on the strategic review, which aims to make FATF more timely, targeted and effective at holding countries to account.
Another article in the Business Crime & Proceeds of Crime Update from 5 St Andrews Hill on 27 October is concerned with the position of constructive trusts in POCA confiscation proceedings. It says that a recent case involving a convicted fraudster who targeted elderly and vulnerable investors by selling them a variety of largely worthless investments is a salutary reminder of the difficulties that can arise in the application of complex areas of law within confiscation proceedings.
In the Business Crime & Proceeds of Crime Update from 5 St Andrews Hill on 27 October, an article posed this question, which is said to be an increasingly common question, whether proceeds of crime proceedings take precedence over family law proceedings. The article says that the one clear theme that emerges from the case law is clear, namely that neither claim should automatically be regarded as having a priority over the other.