AML/CFT

European Banking Authority (EBA)

The European Banking Authority (EBA) is an independent EU Authority which works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector. Its overall objectives are to maintain financial stability in the EU and to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector.

EBA at a glance

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Criminals taking advantage of corona virus anxiety to defraud victims online

INTERPOL warns of financial fraud linked to COVID-19

INTERPOL is encouraging the public to exercise caution when buying medical supplies online during the current health crisis, with criminals capitalizing on the situation to run a range of financial scams.

With surgical masks and other medical supplies in high demand yet difficult to find in retail stores as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses claiming to sell these items have sprung up online.

But instead of receiving the promised masks and supplies, unsuspecting victims have seen their money disappear into the hands of the criminals involved.

Scams linked to the virus include:
Telephone fraud – criminals call victims pretending to be clinic or hospital officials, who claim that a relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment;
Phishing – emails claiming to be from national or global health authorities, with the aim of tricking victims to provide personal credentials or payment details, or to open an attachment containing malware.

In many cases, the fraudsters impersonate legitimate companies, using similar names, websites and email addresses in their attempt to trick unsuspecting members of the public, even reaching out proactively via emails and messages on social media platforms.

If you are looking to buy medical supplies online, or receive emails or links offering medical support, be alert to the signs of a potential scam to protect yourself and your money.

  • Independently verify the company/individual offering the items before making any purchases;
  • Be aware of bogus websites – criminals will often use a web address which looks almost identical to the legitimate one, e.g. ‘abc.org’ instead of ‘abc.com’;
  • Check online reviews of a company before making a purchase – for example, have there been complaints of other customers not receiving the promised items?;
  • Be wary if asked to make a payment to a bank account located in a different country than where the company is located;
  • If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, alert your bank immediately so the payment can be stopped.
  • Do not click on links or open attachments which you were not expecting to receive, or come from an unknown sender;
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails offering medical equipment or requesting your personal information for medical checks – legitimate health authorities do not normally contact the general public in this manner.

More on:
https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2020/INTERPOL-warns-of-financial-fraud-linked-to-COVID-19

Human Trafficking resources

http://ourrescue.org/ – OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (O.U.R.)
In the past six years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 3,300 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 1,800 traffickers around the world. The partners we are empowering have collectively helped rescue the lives of more than 10,000 survivors who were enslaved, exploited or at risk.

Free online training on Human Trafficking: http://ourrescue.org/training

Other Human Trafficking resources:

I Survived Sex Trafficking

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Outcomes FATF Plenary, February 2020

Outcomes FATF Plenary, 19-21 February 2020

Paris, 21 February 2020 – FATF President Xiangmin Liu of the People’s Republic of China, chaired the second Plenary under the Chinese Presidency of the FATF from 19-21 February 2020.

FATF Presidency 2020-2022:
The Plenary selected Dr Marcus Pleyer (Germany) to be the next FATF President. His term will begin on 1 July 2020, and he will be the first FATF President with a two-year term. Dr Pleyer currently holds the position of FATF Vice-President. He will continue in that role until the start of his term as President, at which point the FATF Plenary will appoint a new Vice-President.

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AML EU framework

5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive)

​The 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which amends the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 19 June 2018. The Member States should have been transposed this Directive by 10 January 2020.

These amendments introduce substantial improvement to better equip the Union to prevent the financial system from being used for money laundering and for funding terrorist activities.

These amendments will:
– enhance transparency by setting up publicly available registers for companies, trusts and other legal arrangements;
– enhance the powers of EU Financial Intelligence Units, and provide them with access to broad information for the carrying out of their tasks;
– limit the anonymity related to virtual currencies and wallet providers, but also for pre-paid cards;
– broaden the criteria for the assessment of high-risk third countries and improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from such countries;
– set up central bank account registries or retrieval systems in all Member States;
– improve the cooperation and enhance of information between anti-money laundering supervisors between them and between them and prudential supervisors and the European Central Bank.

 

Here you can find the factsheet on the main changes of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive

 

Polaris project and modern human slavery

What human trafficking is…and isn’t?
Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world.

Globally, there are two general categories of human trafficking: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Sex trafficking is the crime of using force, fraud or coercion to induce another individual to perform commercial sex. Common types include escort services, pornography, illicit massage businesses, brothels, outdoor solicitation. Labor trafficking is the crime of using force, fraud or coercion to induce another individual to work or provide service. Common types include agriculture, domestic work, restaurants, cleaning services, and carnivals.

Polaris project it is an American nonprofit organization that stands on global fight to eradicate modern slavery, focused mainly on US cases.

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What’s the difference between smuggling and human trafficking?

What’s the difference between smuggling and human trafficking? They both involve the movement of people, but there are three crucial differences

Smuggling or trafficking?

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There are three crucial differences: location, consent and exploitation.

Location
– Smuggling crosses international borders.
– Trafficking can happen across international borders, or within one country. It can involve movement between cities, towns, rural locations, or even from one street to the next.

Consent
– Smuggling is a service a person asks for. It might be dangerous, but that person chooses to take on the journey.
– Trafficking involves either forcing a person to travel, or deceiving a person into taking on a journey under false promises of jobs, payment or safety at the end of that journey

Exploitation
– Smuggling is limited to one financial transaction in exchange for illegal entry to a country. Once the payment and border crossing is complete, the exchange ends, and the person is free to make other choices.
– Trafficking uses threat, force, coercion or deception against a person for the purpose of exploitation. A trafficked person can be exploited at the final destination and/or during the journey.

More info on: www.stopthetraffik.org/smuggling-trafficking-knowing-differences/

Drugs smuggling on US – Mexico corridor

By Land, Sea or Catapult: How Smugglers Get Drugs Across the Border

The majority of illegal drugs enter the United States in an assortment of vehicles, with drugs hidden in secret compartments in door panels or the roof, gas tanks, tires and even engines.

Smugglers also dig cross-border tunnels, primarily to move large volumes of marijuana. While many tunnels are rudimentary, others have lighting, tracks and ventilation systems, even elevators. As of March 2016, a total of 224 tunnels were discovered on the Southwest border since 1990.

Cargo trains, tractor-trailers and passenger buses have been used to move illegal drugs. Trucks and trains carrying fresh produce such as watermelons, limes and other fruits and vegetables have been used to bring in narcotics. Drug shipments are often painted green and hidden within crates with fake watermelons or limes. Cocaine has been found in tomato crates.

More in NY Times article

Another method used by smugglers: Coast Guard Intercepting Submarine Carrying $181 Million In Drugs

The Coast Guard Cutter Stratton crew seizes bales from a self-propelled semi-submersible submarine interdicted in international waters off the coast of Central America, July 19, 2015. The Coast Guard recovered more than 6 tons of drugs from the 40-foot vessel.

Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report, 2019 Q1

Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report, 2019 Q1, by http://www.ciphertrace.com

Highlights from the report:
– Criminals stole more than US$356 million from exchanges and infrastructure during the first quarter of 2019. 
– A tsunami of tough new global anti-money laundering(AML) and counter-terror financing(CTF) regulations will roll over the crypto landscape in the coming year.
– On March 6, 2019, the UN Security Council reported North Korean state-backed hackers successfully breached at least five cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia between January 2017 and September 2018, causing $571 million in losses. 
– Iran announced the imminent launch of its long-rumored Crypto Rial, a state-backed stable coin developed with the express purpose of circumventing political sanctions and overcoming sanctions-related restrictions by SWIFT. 
– Bithumb, The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, Bithumb, was hacked in March, and attackers made away with $14 million in EOS and XRP. According to Bloomberg, Bithumb said the incident was most likely caused by an “accident involving insiders” because an external intrusion path hadn’t been revealed after an inspection. This was the second major hack experienced by Bithumb. In June 2018, cybercriminals robbed the exchange of $30.8 million in cryptocurrency. 
– In February 2019, the FATF published a draft of an Interpretive Note to Recommendation 15, further clarifying how its regulation recommendations apply to virtual assets. These changes will guide regulatory authorities in a member country when identifying risk, sharing information, and monitoring virtual asset service providers. Additionally, virtual asset service providers will need to be registered or licensed, agree to monitoring by competent authorities, and comply with FATF Recommendations 10-21 (which include policies regarding customer due diligence, record-keeping, politically exposed persons, higher-risk countries, suspicious activity reports, ad confidentiality). The note will be adopted as a part of FATF Standards in June 2019.

More info on:

https://ciphertrace.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ciphertrace-q1-2019-cryptocurrency-anti-money-laundering-report.pdf