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Armchair detective investors take inspiration from Sherlock Holmes to foil investment scams

24 March 2023
Knowledge Base

New research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that a quarter (25%) of investors who avoided a scam are taking inspiration from Sherlock Holmes to stop scammers in their tracks. It comes as the FCA launches its latest ScamSmart campaign which provides investors with the tools to identify and avoid scams. Analysis of data from the FCA’s consumer helpline has shown a 193% increase in calls to the FCA in the last five years, as investors detect investment scam warning signs. In 2022, over £2m was saved by beady-eyed investors, who called the FCA to report the firm or individual before losing money. Two in five (39%) respondents claim that their investigative or research skills are helping them to spot the clues. A further 32% are relying on pure gut instinct to distinguish between genuine investment opportunities and potential scams. Continue reading…

Nancy Mehrad

Nancy Mehrad

Author and the CEO and Founder of Registrant Law Professional Corporation

Firm penalised for AML regulations violations

22 March 2023
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A firm based in Toronto, Canada was recently penalised $676,500 CDN by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) for multiple violations of Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and it regulations (PCMLTFA). FINTRAC is the Canadian agency responsible for overseeing and enforcing the PCMLTFA. The penalty arose out of a compliance examination of the firm in 2022. The firm has not been accused of any money laundering, terrorist financing, or other criminal acts. Rather, during a compliance examination of the firm, FINTRAC determined the firm’s policies and procedures were non-compliant and inconsistently used. The firm has paid the penalty in full and the matter is considered closed. Notice of the will remain published on FINTRAC’s violations website for five years. Continue reading…

Hope you are keeping well: We too are in a changing landscape

14 February 2023
Knowledge Base

by Ahsan Habib

Almost all major crimes ultimately lead to money laundering. Human trafficking, tax evasion, Ponzi schemes, kleptocracy/political corruption, drug/weapon/organ smuggling, green crimes, terrorist resourcing and what not. These offences have a name in common i.e. Predicate Offences. Twenty two predicate offences have already been identified by the European Union, and there may be more to come as wrongdoers have always been innovative. Corruption is the five-alarm fire raging in almost all jurisdictions. This offence has always existed but never has it been this out of control. Continue reading…

Eurojust supports coordinated judicial action in Romania and the Republic of Moldova against border bribery

31 January 2023
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Supported by Eurojust, judicial and law enforcement authorities in Romania and the Republic of Moldova have taken coordinated action against border officials who allegedly demanded and accepted bribery to facilitate the illegal passage of vehicles transporting passengers or parcels. During an action day, eight suspects were detained and 45 locations were searched across Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Eurojust provided assistance to the Romanian and Moldovan judicial authorities in setting up and funding a joint investigation team (JIT).

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Takedown of fraudulent cryptocurrency network in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Serbia

18 January 2023
Knowledge Base

With the active support of Eurojust and Europol, a coordinated action has led to the dismantling of a cryptocurrency fraud network operating from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Serbia. The network operated professionally to set up call centres, which defrauded numerous victims in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia and Canada for at least tens of millions of euros. Four call centres and 18 places were searched, and over 250 workplaces were identified in Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Germany. Fourteen persons were arrested in Serbia and one in Germany. Overall, more than 250 persons were interviewed and over 150 computers, various electronic equipment and data back-ups, three cars, two luxury apartments and one million US dollars in cryptocurrencies and 50 000 EUR in cash were seized.  Continue reading…

4th Winter Economic Crime Symposium online

13 January 2023
Knowledge Base

Economic crime raises serious moral and political concerns, undermines economic, physical, social and psychological well-being, and distorts the well-functioning of competitive markets. Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, the cost-of-living crisis, and other major disruptions have impacted the operation of both traditional forms of economic crime, such as public procurement fraud, and its new forms, such as romance fraud. Understanding this broader socio-economic context alongside the complexity of economic crime requires combining different disciplinary perspectives, being it criminology, law, economics, accountancy, security, business management, computer science, and psychology. Continue reading…

Takedown of online investment fraud responsible for losses of EUR 15 million

06 January 2023
Knowledge Base

With the support of Eurojust, authorities in Italy and Albania have dismantled an online investment fraud involving the use of cryptocurrencies. During an action, EUR 3 million worth of assets were seized. Eurojust supported the judicial cooperation and assisted the authorities in setting up and funding a joint investigation team (JIT). According to the investigation, the investment fraud was carried out by an organised crime group (OCG) that operated from a call centre in Tirana, Albania. The suspects allegedly contacted victims by telephone using unidentifiable virtual numbers and delocalised virtual private networks (VPNs). They asked the victims to create an account on a portal and, once the transfer had been made, reset the newly created account, embezzled the sum received and made themselves untraceable. Continue reading…

EBA consults on new Guidelines to tackle de-risking

17 December 2022
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The European Banking Authority (EBA) has on 6 December launched a public consultation on new Guidelines on the effective management of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks when providing access to financial services. Through these Guidelines, the EBA aims to ensure that customers, especially the most vulnerable ones, are not denied access to financial services without valid reason. This consultation runs until 6 February 2023. Access to at least basic financial products and services is a prerequisite for organisations and individuals to participate in modern economic and social life. It can also save the lives of vulnerable customers, such as refugees or homeless people. However, such access is not always ensured. Continue reading…

FCA fines Santander UK £107.7 million for repeated anti-money laundering failures

12 December 2022
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The FCA has fined Santander UK Plc (Santander) £107,793,300 after it found serious and persistent gaps in its anti-money laundering (AML) controls, affecting its Business Banking customers. Between 31 December 2012 and 18 October 2017, Santander failed to properly oversee and manage its AML systems, which significantly impacted the account oversight of more than 560,000 business customers. Santander had ineffective systems to adequately verify the information provided by customers about the business they would be doing. The firm also failed to properly monitor the money customers had told them would be going through their accounts compared with what actually was being deposited.  Continue reading…

FSB proposes framework for the international regulation of crypto-asset activities

26 October 2022
Knowledge Base

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has published a proposed framework for the international regulation of crypto-asset activities. The core components of this framework are proposals for: recommendations that promote the consistency and comprehensiveness of regulatory, supervisory and oversight approaches to crypto-asset activities and markets and strengthen international cooperation, coordination and information sharing; and revised high-level recommendations for the regulation, supervision, and oversight of “global stablecoin” arrangements to address associated financial stability risks more effectively. Continue reading…