Financial crime: 7,218 suspicious reports filed to FIAU in 2021

Financial crime: 7,218 suspicious reports filed to FIAU in 2021

In 2021, 7,218 suspicious reports were filed by subject persons (SPs), marking an increase of over 2,000 STRs over 2020, the FIAU revealed today. In its Annual Report tabled in Parliament this afternoon, the Unit said that the Unit had shared 8,443 intelligence reports with both national and international competent authorities, and with counterpart FIUs. This is an 86% increase on 2020. The FIAU submitted over 70 analytical reports to the police indicating a reasonable suspicion of ML/FT and over 400 other disseminations consisting of additional intelligence reports and spontaneous intelligence reports. These results clearly show that although 2021 was…
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Crypto firms launch coalition to promote market integrity

Crypto firms launch coalition to promote market integrity

A group of major cryptocurrency firms including Coinbase, Circle, Anchorage Digital and Huobi Global are forming a new coalition aimed at cracking down on market manipulation in an effort to instill trust in the burgeoning digital asset industry. The Crypto Market Integrity Coalition, which was convened by risk-monitoring software company Solidus Labs, is also urging digital currency companies to sign a “market integrity” pledge that acknowledges the potential for fraud in the cryptocurrency space and the need for the industry to protect investors. “It really is about recognizing that you need entities that are focused on a fair and orderly…
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Court says Credit Suisse faces $45.5 million claim in money-laundering case

Court says Credit Suisse faces $45.5 million claim in money-laundering case

Swiss prosecutors are pursuing around 42.4 million Swiss francs ($45.5 million) in compensation from Credit Suisse in a money-laundering trial due to begin on Feb. 7, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (FCC) said on Monday. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) indicted the bank in December 2020 after an investigation into the activities of a Bulgarian crime ring involving top-level wrestlers accused of laundering profits from cocaine trafficking. "The OAG has stated that it is seeking compensation of around 34.8 million Swiss francs as well as additional compensation of around 7.6 million francs from Credit Suisse AG," an FCC spokesperson said in an…
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Wendel to buy anti-money laundering company ACAMS for $500 mln

Wendel to buy anti-money laundering company ACAMS for $500 mln

French investment company Wendel has agreed to buy ACAMS, a company which provides training and certifications for anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention, for around $500 million, the companies said on Monday. Wendel struck the acquisition of ACAMS as part of a deal alongside Colibri Group, a Gridiron Capital company, to buy the financial services segment of Adtalem Global Education, whereby Wendel will acquire ACAMS, and Colibri will separately acquire Becker Professional Education and OnCourse Learning. via Reuters
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Record 1298 new cases reported  / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 28 December 2021

Record 1298 new cases reported / Malta News Briefing – Tuesday 28 December 2021

Albert Fenech, one of Malta's top cardiologists as well as a former MP, died on Tuesday aged 70. Fenech was reportedly found dead inside his house and is believed to have died of natural causes. Times of Malta Midday Briefing A record 1298 Covid-19 Cases were reported in the past 24 hours according to the latest date released from the Ministry of Health. There were 82 cases which recovered. https://www.facebook.com/sahhagovmt/posts/283870333768057 30 year old man found dead after fall from Hastings garden A 30-year-old man was found dead at the foot of a bastion in Valletta on Monday evening, the police…
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Our duty to protect a 30-year industry – Daniel Bilocca

Our duty to protect a 30-year industry – Daniel Bilocca

That Malta is a greylisted country is no news. What will make news is a solution that puts Malta back on the right track. But let us add some more context. In September, the Basel AML Index 2021 ranked Malta as the worst country in the EU for money-laundering risk. A ‘ranking’ that not only does not augur well for our financial services sector but does no justice to the 30 years of hard work and the huge investment it took to place Malta on the map. The result of all this is a kneejerk reaction of sudden over-zealousness that is excessive and damaging to our…
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‘Malta still offers a mature iGaming ecosystem’: Managing risk for a stronger sector

‘Malta still offers a mature iGaming ecosystem’: Managing risk for a stronger sector

While the greylisting of Malta has undoubtedly made an impact, Malta still offers a mature iGaming ecosystem with strong knowledge and expertise within the sector available on the island. “This is why we have to keep working at ensuring good corporate governance is implemented across the iGaming industry, to mitigate risk and ensure an ethical and socially responsible environment is fostered among iGaming companies,” says Andrew Naudi from Getgovernanz says in a wide ranging interview. NOUV is being very vocal about governance. How can the iGaming sector apply governance principles more effectively? Indeed, NOUV set up its Getgovernanz initiative to…
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Tax amnesty to defaulters puts Malta’s efforts to fight tax crime at risk – MIA

Tax amnesty to defaulters puts Malta’s efforts to fight tax crime at risk – MIA

The Malta Institute of Accountants has noted with disapproval the introduction of Legal Notice 419 of 2021, which allows taxpayers to offset tax payable on property transfers against their existing tax arrears. In a statement, the Institute said that this measure is tantamount to a tax amnesty and is a slap in the face to all professionals and entrepreneurs who operate their business in full compliance with legal and ethical considerations, while rewarding defaulters who abusively failed to pay their dues towards society. Beyond ethical considerations, the MIA expresses deep concern that the enactment of the Legal Notice in question…
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US judge dismisses most money laundering charges against Maduro ally Saab

US judge dismisses most money laundering charges against Maduro ally Saab

A U.S. judge in Florida on Monday dismissed money laundering counts against Alex Saab, an ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but he remains accused of one count of conspiracy to launder money, a court filing showed. The order was issued by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola. The conspiracy charge that remains carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Prosecutors say Saab, a Colombia-born businessman and top dealmaker for Maduro's socialist government, siphoned around $350 million out of Venezuela via the United States as part of a bribery scheme linked to Venezuela's state-controlled exchange rate. One of Saab's lawyers, Henry Bell, told…
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British police seize record $408 million haul of cryptocurrency

British police seize record $408 million haul of cryptocurrency

British police have seized record hauls of cryptocurrency totalling 294 million pounds ($408 million) as part of an investigation into money laundering after organised crime groups moved into cyptocurrencies to wash their dirty money. London police said on Tuesday they had seized 180 million pounds of an undisclosed cryptocurrency less than three weeks after making a 114 million pound haul on June 24 as part of a money laundering investigation. "While cash still remains king in the criminal word, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money," said Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty. A 39-year-old woman…
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A joint effort by all stakeholders to fight financial crime

A joint effort by all stakeholders to fight financial crime

The fight against money laundering and other financial crime, has over the past years, been strengthened as a result of significant changes and improvements across both regulatory and investigative authorities and the private sector. The relevant competent authorities have increased human and technological resources and revised processes and procedures. But not only this many financial and non-financial service providers subject to AML/CFT obligations, particularly those with the largest exposure to possible proceeds of dirty money, have become more vigilant and compliant, upping their game and strengthening their position as a first line of defence against illegal financial activity. Over the…
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Nigerians dominate FBI’s massive bust of online fraudsters

Nigerians dominate FBI’s massive bust of online fraudsters

The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Thursday that it had arraigned scores of suspected fraudsters behind a variety of scams and online fraud cases. Africa News reports that the U.S. Attorney General, Nick Hanna, said during a press conference that majority of the suspects were based in Nigeria in what is believed to be one of the largest cases of online fraud in American history. “FBI agents along with federal and state law enforcement authorities arrested a total of 14 defendants in the US, all named in a sweeping fraud and money laundering case. “Those arrested today…
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