I have been considering the events of the past 12 months from an anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory perspective, and with what we may be faced with in the year ahead.
For me, the main issue arising from 2018 is the ongoing debate I have been having with a variety of NGOs and pressure groups who would see public UBO (ultimate beneficial owner) company register systems implemented across the board, including the Caribbean islands that provide offshore company services to the globe.… Continue Reading
Reuters reports that a number of former Australian judges have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, calling for the establishment of a national anti-corruption body.
They believe that such a body would go some way to restoring public trust in the country’s democratic process.… Continue Reading
Not only is the UK’s much-vaunted public register of companies, held at Companies House, failing to meet the for ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) transparency, but Scotland continues to be mired up to its neck in controversy surrounding its status as an “offshore” service provider.… Continue Reading
UK police forces continue to suffer under the severely adverse consequences of the British government’s fiscal “austerity” measures. The cuts have been deep and have seen big reductions in police numbers.… Continue Reading
Farkhad Akhmedov is a Russian billionaire who made his fortune from the country’s oil and gas reserves. Among his claims to fame are the acquisition of a 337 foot, $492 million yacht, the Luna — complete with a missile detection system — which he purchased from fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich in 2014.… Continue Reading
I was bemused when I read that the head of the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), Donald Toon, had bitterly complained about the tardiness of the Cayman Islands authorities in responding to information requests about the identities of ultimate beneficial owners (UBO) of Cayman companies.… Continue Reading
Danske Bank appears to have been used to launder $8.3 billion between 2007 and 2015 on behalf of individuals and entities located in Estonia. The bank’s punishment so far? A “stern ticking off,” as Bloomberg put it, and a request by Denmark’s banking regulator to hold more capital.… Continue Reading
I have commented on several occasions about whistleblowing, so my thoughts on the subject are already well documented. I am a strong advocate of whistleblowing as a means of policing rogue companies or the individuals they employ.… Continue Reading
I have had several dealings with the Panama Papers law firm, Mossack Fonseca, over the years, while trying to identify its clients who had wronged my own.
Despite acquiring the appropriate court disclosure order forcing Mossack Fonseca to reveal the identity of a client patron (accused of some form of wrongdoing by my clients), the firm was difficult to deal with: the level of cooperation appeared to randomly fluctuate between non-existent and half-baked.… Continue Reading
Lindsay Columbo’s excellent post for the FCPA Blog (“How did due diligence ever become so complicated?”) articulated a set of thought-provoking observations that many of us working in the financial and legal sector, and who have compliance and KYC obligations, have been pondering for some time.… Continue Reading
It is refreshing that a convicted fraudster, who is already serving a custodial sentence for his original crime, has had his sentence increased due to his failure to repay millions of dollars to his victims.… Continue Reading