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Photo: Mohammed Zina

Mohammed Zina found guilty of insider dealing and fraud

20 February 2024

On 15 February, Mr Mohammed Zina was found guilty of six offences of insider dealing and three offences of fraud following a 12-week trial at Southwark Crown Court brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Between 2014 and December 2017, Mohammed Zina worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs International. Through his role in the Conflicts Resolution Group, which he joined in 2016, he came into possession of inside information relating to potential mergers and acquisitions that his employer was advising on. 

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Photo: Tareq Shaheen

Open banking must step up its fraud prevention

05 January 2024
Knowledge Base

by Tareq Shaheen

Through open banking, the European Union continues to embrace its interconnected financial ecosystem; connecting, collaborating and sharing customer data instantly.
Yet, the risk of fraud looms larger than ever. Today’s criminals are relentless architects of deception, exploiting every crack in our financial systems at the touch of a button. They threaten to undermine the foundations of the EU’s open banking market, putting its expected 63.8 million users by 2024 at risk [*1]. Open banking simply extends the financial services ecosystem, expanding the attack surface and creating more entry points for fraudsters[*2]. Yes, it offers customers additional payment sources, but it simultaneously offers new opportunities for fraud. From phishing emails to ‘formjacking’ on websites that steal a user’s banking data, consumers lose on average €4,191 for fraudulent credit transfers[*3]. 
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Will KYC become obsolete in the AI era?

23 December 2023
Knowledge Base

by Rasha Abdel Jalil

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping our world, moving beyond its initial harmless applications to power more sinister activities. Its ability to create convincing fake content is enabling criminals to exploit personal information obtained from the vast numbers of internet-connected people for illicit purposes. In response, businesses bolster defences and often rely on Know Your Customer (KYC) as an essential step in fraud prevention. While advances like biometrics and facial recognition have undoubtedly improved identity verification, KYC isn’t foolproof. Criminals are good at finding these weaknesses and slipping past checks. Continue reading…

Corruption: The hidden gangrene for society?

21 December 2023
Knowledge Base

by Ahsan Habib

Let’s start with talking about greed which is the ethical root cause of corruption. At the root of corruption it has always been the culture of greed which enables accumulating wealth at any cost and without limits. When greed has power, we name it corruption. Corruption is a primary incubator for the global surge in organised crime. And it has a long history. Al Capone who was once one of the most wanted men for the U.S. Treasury, allegedly paid 20 cents of every tainted dollar he earned to ‘pay off’ government officials and greedy politicians. Since then greedy people never had to ‘look back’ and to stop their ‘winning journey’. 
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Supervisory cooperation in the fight against financial crime is improving, the EBA finds

04 September 2023
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The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published its third Report on the functioning of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) colleges. The Report finds that competent authorities had taken important steps to improve the functioning of AML/CFT colleges. Nevertheless, many colleges had not reached full maturity. The Report highlights good practices that will be useful for competent authorities to further improve the effectiveness of AML/CFT colleges and of supervisory outcomes. Continue reading…

ESMA seeks first input on detailed rules for crypto markets

01 September 2023
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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s financial markets regulator and supervisor, has published its first consultation package under the Markets in CryptoAssets Regulation and invites comments from stakeholders by 20 September 2023. In this first of three consultation packages, ESMA is seeking input on proposed rules for cryptoasset service providers (CASPs), in particular related to their authorisation, identification and management of conflicts of interests and also how CASPs should address complaints. Continue reading…

FINMA publishes guidance on money laundering risk analysis

28 August 2023
Knowledge Base

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has on 24 August published guidance on the money laundering risk analysis. By doing so, it is creating transparency about its observations and experiences gained from supervisory practice in this area. FINMA has repeatedly identified shortcomings in the area of the money laundering risk analysis during on-site supervisory reviews. This prompted it to conduct an in-depth review of the money laundering risk analyses of more than thirty banks in spring 2023.

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Financial watchdog wins civil case against Ponzi-like care home investment scheme

14 August 2023
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The High Court has ruled in favour of the FCA against Robin Forster, the director of a company which took £57 million from 380 investors in an illegal care home investment scheme. The FCA will ask the Court to determine the sums that the defendants should be required to pay back to investors. Between 2016 and 2020, Qualia Care Properties Ltd and Qualia Care Developments Ltd offered investments in care homes run by a third company, Qualia Care Limited.

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Action against the ‘Ndrangheta criminal organisation: 34 arrests

02 August 2023
Knowledge Base

Eurojust and Europol have supported the competent authorities in Italy, Germany and Austria in a new operation against the ‘Ndrangheta criminal organisation. Among other crimes, the suspects were allegedly involved in the manipulation of elections in Italy. During a joint action day on 27 June, 34 suspects were arrested and nine were subjected to non-custodial measures. Over 1 000 officers participated in the actions on the ground. The investigation determined that the suspects had engaged in a wide variety of crimes, including the corruption of local politicians and the manipulation of elections, installing associates in crucial administrative positions, colluding in the exploitation of public procurement tender procedures, murder, violence, extortion, fraud, money laundering, illicit waste trafficking and criminal conspiracy with other criminal organisations.

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