FATF to set sights on environmental crime
Tribune News Service, 26 June 2021
The global Financial Action Task Force (FATF), better known for tackling money laundering and terrorist financing, will now turn its attention to ‘environmental crime’, one of the most profitable criminal enterprises, generating around $ 110 – 280 billion in criminal gains each year. It covers a wide range of unlawful activities such as illegal logging, illegal wildlife trade and waste trafficking.
The FATF has called on all countries to assess their money laundering risks related to the illegal wildlife trade and to ensure that there is a robust legal framework to go after the finances of wildlife traffickers, and to pursue financial investigations. Continue reading “Article: FATF to set sights on environmental crime”
How trade-based money laundering works and its impact on world finances
World Economic Forum , 15 June 2021
Trade-based money laundering and associated tax evasion is big business. Financial losses from these crimes in developing countries totalled $9 trillion between 2008 and 2017. Global trade complexities make tackling this type of money laundering difficult, but not impossible.
Money laundering is big business, so big, that to handle the movement of enormous sums of money, fraudsters are increasingly turning to Trade-Based Money Laundering (TBML). In developing countries, TBML and associated tax evasion contributed to almost $9 trillion in losses between 2008 and 2017. Tackling TBML is complicated by cross-jurisdiction trade, multinational companies, and globalized trade pathways. Continue reading “Article: How trade-based money laundering works and its impact on world finances”
Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime
JOHN BASQUILL, 15 June 2021
Pressure is growing on financial institutions to toughen their approach to environmental crime, with G7 leaders vowing to crack down on the illicit fund flows supporting wildlife trafficking and campaign groups warning that the activity has morphed from a conservation issue to a financial crime concern.
In a communique issued ahead of June’s annual G7 summit, the finance ministers and central bank governors of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US jointly sounded the alarm that greater attention is being paid to wildlife trafficking. Continue reading “Article: Wildlife trafficking: a new frontier for organised financial crime”
China’s Belt and Road Initiative – considering criminal risk
Clyde & Co LLP, 16 May 2021
The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime recently published a research report entitled “China’s New Silk Road: Navigating the organized crime risk” examining the convergence of planned infrastructure and trade route development projects as envisioned within China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and established trafficking routes for criminal activities such as drugs, illicit environmental commodities and people. The paper argues that the economic benefits across Asia and Africa, for example increased trade, employment opportunities and economic growth are likely to be exploited by criminals and suggests that risks of this nature should also receive appropriate levels of consideration.
This should apply not just to the governments and authorities that are seeking to capitalise on BRI but also to the companies that attempt to benefit from the emergence of new markets and trading opportunities. Continue reading “Article: China’s Belt and Road Initiative – considering criminal risk”
Are Nonfungible Tokens Subject to US Anti-Money Laundering Requirements?
Jamie Boucher, Eytan Fisch, 19 April 2021
Rapidly growing interest in nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has been fueled by recent headlines of multimillion-dollar transactions, such as the $69 million sale of an NFT by digital artist Beeple — the third-highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist. An NFT is a certificate of ownership stored on a blockchain typically associated with a digital asset, such as art, videos, music, games, or tweets. Unlike certain other virtual assets on the blockchain, such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs are unique or “nonfungible.”
While the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)1 has not yet indicated whether certain NFT market participants (e.g., creators, sellers, dealers, marketplace operators) are or may become subject to U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory requirements, recent developments and concerns of U.S. lawmakers and regulators regarding the financial crime risks associated with virtual assets make regulatory scrutiny of NFTs likely..
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Crypto Lobby Forms to Shake Reputation as Criminals’ Currency
Joe Light, 06 April 2021
Even as cryptocurrencies steadily gain support on Wall Street, they’re still regarded by regulators as a tool for criminals to conceal shady transactions — posing a challenge to the nascent industry as it seeks to win wider respect.
That’s creating a potentially lucrative opportunity for new groups in Washington advocating for digital currencies. Some prominent crypto lobbying organizations say they’ve increased their membership and raised millions of dollars to help improve the industry’s image. Continue reading “Article: Crypto Lobby Forms to Shake Reputation as Criminals’ Currency”
China emerging as a global hub for money laundering operations
Vaishali Basu Sharma, 18 September 2020
The Income Tax Department conducted raids in the National Capital Region in August and found that some Chinese individuals, with fake Indian passports, were engaged in large scale money laundering operations. In July, China’s presidency of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) expired. With nearly one trillion dollars’ worth illicit financial outflows over a decade, China was hardly in a position to set the agenda for international anti-money laundering. Around the globe, multiple money-laundering operations reveal the systemic involvement of Chinese individuals and entities. In a sophisticated attempt to target competitive economies, the rich in China are channelling illicit cash through anonymous shell companies. They are engaging in wholesale money laundering, drug-smuggling, sanctions-busting, and market-distorting schemes. China has, in fact, emerged as the global hub for money laundering, not just for the Chinese but for criminals around the world. Continue reading “Article: China emerging as a global hub for money laundering operations”