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FATF Plenary Outcomes, 21-23 February 2024 – key developments

The key outcomes include introduction of a new risk-based guidance for implementing Rec.25, enhancing transparency in legal arrangements like trusts, public consultation on a range of options for adapting FATF Standards to changes in new payment systems’ business models and messaging standards (Rec.16), final modifications to Rec.8 to safeguard non-profit organisations…

UN Sanctions List last updated

The EU Council and EU Parliament select Frankfurt as the seat of the future European authority for anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing (AMLA)

AMLA is the centrepiece of the reform of the EU’s AML framework, which will have direct and indirect supervisory powers over obliged entities and the power to impose sanctions and measures. AMLA will be based in Frankfurt and will begin operations mid-2025. It will have over 400 staff members…

 

 

 

FINTRAC updates guidance related to the ministerial directive on financial transactions associated with Russia

This guidance is related to the Ministerial Directive issued by the Minister of Finance that was published in the Canada Gazette and came into force on February 24, 2024.

FATF removes Barbados, Gibraltar, UAE and Uganda from its ‘Grey List’ and these countries will no longer be subject to increased monitoring

In order to be removed from FATF monitoring, a jurisdiction must address all or nearly all the components of its action plan. Once the FATF has determined that a jurisdiction has done so, it will organise an on-site visit to confirm that the implementation of the necessary legal, regulatory, and/or operational reforms is underway…

 

Europol announces the arrest of five high value targets arrested as one of the largest networks smuggling migrants across the English Channel halted

French and Belgian judicial orders executed in Germany led to 19 arrests and 28 locations raided following an 18-month-long joint investigation under Europol’s Operational Task Force Wave in an action coordinated by Eurojust.

Home Office issues Policy paper in response to Law Commission’s review of the SARs regime

The government acknowledges the need to improve the SARs regime and is committed to implementing changes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. They are exploring options to simplify and streamline the SARs process while ensuring appropriate information sharing between law enforcement agencies…

Singapore’s biggest money laundering case tests city’s weak property market

A mass sale of prized real estate seized in Singapore’s biggest money-laundering case is set to provide a key test of demand for a niche part of the financial hub’s property market. More than a dozen so-called shophouses, each worth millions of dollars, have been put on sale as the nation’s largest bank, DBS Group Holdings, steps up efforts to reduce…

 

GFI publishes new policy brief on “Leveraging Regional Frameworks for Beneficial Ownership Reforms”

Assesses the roles and impact of regional frameworks, notably the East Africa Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Eurojust conducts over 100 searches and four arrests in Latvia, Germany, France, Italy and Malta against financial institution involved in money laundering

National authorities in Latvia, Germany, France, Italy and Malta have carried out over 100 searches in a large-scale operation against a Russian-Eurasian criminal network and a Maltese-based financial institution allegedly involved in money-laundering services. The financial institution is accused of laundering at least EUR 4.5 million from illicit activities since the end of 2015…

 

 

NCA discloses information regarding an international operation aimed at disrupting LockBit, recognised as the world’s most harmful cyber crime group

LockBit and its affiliates caused billions of dollars in damage and extracted tens of millions in ransom from their victims. The NCA has taken control of LockBit’s primary administration environment, which enabled affiliates to build and carry out attacks, and the group’s public-facing leak site on the dark web, on which they previously hosted, and threatened to publish, data stolen from victims…

 

UAE banks limit payments with Russia over secondary sanctions threat

Major lenders in the UAE have begun to close bank accounts belonging to Russian nationals as a response to the threat of secondary sanctions from the US. These warnings had already led to banks in China and Turkey to restrict accounts of Russian nationals…