A news release from Europol on 26 January was concerned with a new report which offers insights into how criminals are using cryptocurrencies today. Based on the latest operational information contributed to Europol, data collected for the EU Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) 2021 and open sources, this report is said to debunk the following myths:
Cryptocurrencies have become the payment method of choice for criminals;
The criminal use of cryptocurrency is limited to cybercrime;
Illicit funds flow straight from wallet to wallet; and
On 26 January, an article in The Conversation looks at the background to, and implications of, the resignation of Treasury minister and Cabinet Office minister Lord Agnew, with his scathing rebuke to his government colleagues over COVID business loan fraud. Lord Agnew’s resignation stems from his dissatisfaction with how the Bounce Back Loan Scheme has been handled by government, and called the government’s oversight of the scheme “desperately inadequate … and nothing less than woeful”.
On 26 January, FinCEN, the US Treasury and others published a Business Advisory on the risks and considerations for businesses and individuals with exposure to entities responsible for undermining democratic processes, facilitating corruption, and committing human rights abuses in Burma (Myanmar).
On 25 January, Transparency International released its latest edition of the Index, saying that the latest analysis shows that unchecked transnational corruption also enables human rights violations around the world. It says that results over the past decade demonstrate that top-scoring countries have little to show for their efforts to protect the integrity of their own public sectors. Their backsliding offers a cautionary tale about complacency, which is detrimental not only to global anti-corruption efforts but also to top-scoring countries’ own affairs, and government leaders in several countries got caught bending the rules.