Article: UK daily: President urges Britain to curb Belarus money laundering activity

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UK daily: President urges Britain to curb Belarus money laundering activity

Andrew Whyte, 26 May 2021

President Kersti Kaljulaid has called on the United Kingdom to join the European Union in opposition to the Alexander Lukashenko regime in Belarus, along with those of other anti-democratic governments which often use London as a conduit for large scale money-laundering activities, British daily The Guardian reports.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s World at One program Tuesday, the president noted that she had already raised the issue in 2018 following the poisoning of Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the southern English town of Salisbury – thought to be the work of Skripal’s former employer, the GRU – The Guardian reports. Continue reading “Article: UK daily: President urges Britain to curb Belarus money laundering activity”

Article: Eight arrests in Royal Mail text scam investigation

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Eight arrests in Royal Mail text scam investigation

BBC, 25 May 2021

The suspects were allegedly involved in sending fake messages, primarily posing as Royal Mail and asking people to pay a fee to retrieve a parcel.

The men were arrested in Birmingham, Coventry, London and Colchester, Essex, a specialist unit of the City of London and Metropolitan Police said. A man from London was charged with three offences and the others were released under investigation.

The charged man, from Enfield, will appear at Inner London Crown Court on 21 June. Continue reading “Article: Eight arrests in Royal Mail text scam investigation”

Article: Liberty Steel breached £18m loan with Metro Bank – report

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Liberty Steel breached £18m loan with Metro Bank – report

Angharad Carrick, 23 May 2021

Metro Bank is reportedly still waiting for the repayment of an £18m loan from embattled steel group Liberty.

It is the latest sign of trouble for Liberty’s owner GFG Alliance which is being investigated by the UK Serious Fraud Office for alleged money laundering and fraudulent trading. Its future has been in doubt since its main backer, supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital collapsed into administration in March.

But its troubles started some time earlier, with a loan secured on the steelworks as early as 2018, the BBC reported. Filings at the Isle of Man Companies Registry show that it’s one of a portfolio of industrial properties, including another factory in South Wales, which were pledged as security for an £18m loan from Metro Bank.

Liberty’s accounts for 2018-19 say that “due to breaches of… covenants and restrictions, Metro bank have called in the [loan] facility and have stipulated that full repayment must be made” by 31 March 2020.”

A GFG Alliance spokesman declined to say what caused the terms to be breached and added: “no loan terms have been breached due to non-payment” and “discussions are ongoing and are being resolved.”

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Article: GFG Alliance: Fraud investigation now looms

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GFG Alliance: Fraud investigation now looms

Brian Taylor, 17 May 2021

An investigation being undertaken by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of the government of the United Kingdom may shed light on to what extent metals producer the GFG Alliance has been affected by the former Greensill Capital, or to what extent the two firms worked in tandem to create financial irregularities.

According to online reports from The Guardian and other U.K.-based media, the announcement by the SFO that it was looking into GFG “immediately caused the collapse of a rescue deal for Liberty Steel and raised fears over thousands of British jobs.” Continue reading “Article: GFG Alliance: Fraud investigation now looms”

Article: Gupta empire facing UK fraud probe over Greensill

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Gupta empire facing UK fraud probe over Greensill

Simon Jack, 14 May 2021

The business empire of Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The probe is over suspected fraudulent trading and money laundering, including its financing arrangements with failed company Greensill Capital UK. Greensill, a major lender to Mr Gupta’s business, collapsed in March.

GFG Alliance, Mr Gupta’s family conglomerate, said it would co-operate fully with the investigation. Continue reading “Article: Gupta empire facing UK fraud probe over Greensill”

Article: Revisiting the Northern Bank robbery – the biggest heist in British history

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Revisiting the Northern Bank robbery – the biggest heist in British history

Steven Moore, 04 May 2021

The BBC is taking a fresh look at the biggest heist in British history – the Northern Bank Robbery.

Broadcast on BBC One NI on Monday (May 3) at 9pm, it tells the story of how the multi-million pound robbery played out in the days before Christmas 2004. In a sophisticated operation, the gang took two families hostage for 24 hours, forcing two bank employees to rob £26.5 million from the Belfast cash centre.

With exclusive access to new source material – including police 999 calls along with internal bank CCTV and court documents – they piece together what could have happened.

Through interviews with key players – in politics, policing and financial crime – they uncover what happened to the main suspects in the cross-border police investigation and ask whether the robbery may, inadvertently, have helped the peace process.

The film includes interviews with Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach; Michael McDowell, former Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Sir Hugh Orde, former Chief Constable PSNI; Dr Mitchell Reiss, US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland under the Bush administration; Tom Kelly, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s official spokesperson between 2001-7); and Peter Robinson, former leader of DUP and First Minister of NI.

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Article: Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims

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Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims

BBC News, 30 April 2021

Negotiations between banks to create a permanent, central pot of money to refund scam victims have collapsed.

Seven banks and building societies had signed up to an interim, shared arrangement, but will now pay for refunds individually. The pot was being used to fund repayments when neither the bank nor customer were to blame for fraudsters stealing money.

An ongoing code means victims should not lose out on refunds. Continue reading “Article: Banks fail in bid to share cost of refunding scam victims”

Article: Greensill scandal: government orders inquiry into Cameron lobbying

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Greensill scandal: government orders inquiry into Cameron lobbying

Jessica Elgot, 12 April 2021

No 10 is to a launch an independent investigation into former prime minister David Cameron’s lobbying for the now-collapsed Greensill and the role of the scandal-hit financier Lex Greensill in government.

The independent review, commissioned by Boris Johnson, will be led by the legal expert Nigel Boardman, a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Continue reading “Article: Greensill scandal: government orders inquiry into Cameron lobbying”

Article: JPMorgan allegedly helped Russian mafia launder funds – FinCEN leak

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JPMorgan allegedly helped Russian mafia launder funds – FinCEN leak

Stephen Rae, 20 September 2020

The FinCEN Files leak show JP Morgan in London was suspected of helping Russian mafia ‘capo di capi’ or boss of bosses to launder more than a $1BN.

Semion Mogilevich – who has appeared in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list – has been accused of crimes including murder, drugs smuggling and gun running.

Given his background he should not have been allowed to use the financial system, but a SARs filed by JP Morgan in 2015 after the account was closed, reveals how the bank’s London office may have moved some of the cash.

The FinCen Files is a data dump leak of internal US Treasury Department documents which apparently show how major banks allowed criminal suspects to launder dirty money around the globe. Notably, the leak shows London is often the weak link in the financial system and how London is awash with Russian cash.

The leak of documents from the Treasury Department show how JP Morgan, provided banking services to a secretive offshore company called ABSI Enterprises between 2002 and 2013, even though the firm’s ownership was not clear from the bank’s records, the BBC reported.

Over one five-year period, JP Morgan sent and received wire transfers totalling $1.02bn, the broadcaster revealed.

The bank’s SAR noted ABSI’s parent company “might be associated with Semion Mogilevich – an individual who was on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list”.

In a statement to the BBC, JP Morgan said: “We follow all laws and regulations in support of the government’s work to combat financial crimes. We devote thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars to this important work.”

The files were obtained by BuzzFeed News which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – image above from www.ICIJ.org – and 400 journalists around the world. The Panorama investigation programme led research for the BBC.

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Article: UK central bank drawn into market manipulation scandal

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UK central bank drawn into market manipulation scandal

Associated Press, 10 April 2017

LONDON – British politicians are seeking an investigation into allegations that the Bank of England was also involved in manipulating a key market interest rate during the financial crisis.

The BBC says it has a recording from 2008 between officials at Barclays bank that indicates the Bank of England was trying to influence the interest rate, called Libor. Several banks have been fined billions for tampering with the interest rate, which is used to price services like loans globally.

Labour party lawmaker John McDonnell says “this is an extremely serious revelation that contradicts past assurances about the role of the Bank of England in the Libor scandal.”

The central bank told the BBC that Libor was not regulated at the time and that it has been helping in past investigations.

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Article: Six banks fined £2.6bn by regulators over forex failings

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Six banks fined £2.6bn by regulators over forex failings

BBC NEws , 12 November 2014

Six banks have been collectively fined £2.6bn by UK and US regulators over their traders’ attempted manipulation of foreign exchange rates. HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Swiss bank UBS and US banks JP Morgan Chase, Citibank and Bank of America have all been fined.

A separate probe into Barclays is continuing. The fines were issued by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and two US regulators.

The country’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued fines of $1.4bn to five banks, while the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) added $950m in further fines to three lenders. Separately, the Swiss regulator, FINMA, has penalised UBS 134m Swiss francs.

Barclays, which had been expected to announce a similar deal to the other banks, said it would not be settling at this time.

“After discussions with other regulators and authorities, we have concluded that it is in the interests of the company to seek a more general coordinated settlement,” it said in a statement.

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