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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.

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…

 

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…

Hong Kong Customs detects largest money laundering case on record involving about $14 billion

Hong Kong Customs mounted an enforcement operation codenamed “Daybreak” and successfully dismantled a large-scale transnational money laundering syndicate which had laundered about $14 billion through transnational trade activities, as well as a money laundering operation centre…

The White House releases notice on the continuation of the national emergency with respect to the situation in Burma

The situation in and in relation to Burma, and in particular the February 1, 2021 coup, in which the military overthrew the democratically elected civilian government of Burma and unjustly arrested and detained government leaders, politicians, human rights defenders, journalists, and religious leaders, thereby rejecting the will of the people of Burma as expressed in elections held in November 2020…

The White House issues notice on the continuation of the national emergency with respect to the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the potential for a deepening economic collapse

The widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan including the urgent needs of the people of Afghanistan for food security, livelihoods support, water, sanitation, health, hygiene, and shelter and settlement assistance, among other basic human needs and the potential for a deepening economic collapse in Afghanistan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security…

Moneyval calls on Azerbaijan to step up investigations and prosecutions of money laundering and improve supervisory arrangements

MONEYVAL’s evaluation report on Azerbaijan notes that the country demonstrates a fair understanding of ML/TF risks, according to which domestic corruption, tax related crimes, smuggling and drug trafficking are the main ML predicate offences.

GAFILAT publishes enhanced follow-up report and technical compliance re-rating of Costa Rica

Note minor deficiencies in the implementation of the requirements in Recommendations 17, 22 and 28 and these have been re-rated.

GAFILAT publishes Mutual Evaluation Report on Boliva

Finds a good understanding of ML/TF risks, but a comparatively limited enforcement environment.

Bank of Singapore and StanChart targeted with forged documents in major ML case with over $160 million in assets gets seized

Su Jianfeng, implicated in Singapore’s largest money laundering scandal, faces charges for submitting fake documents to Standard Chartered and Bank of Singapore, falsely showing legitimate wealth. Holding six charges, including illegal possession of S$17 million, Su’s assets worth over S$160 million have been seized. Denied bail due to potential collusion risks, his pre-trial conference is set for Feb 15…

CFATF releases Mutual Evaluation Report on Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

Finds a good understanding of the ML/TF risks in the jurisdiction, despite lack of sectoral risk assessments for VASPs, MPSPs and FAs/FMs or a well-defined policy in place regarding the confiscation of instrumentalities. Notes scope for improvement in CFT polices amid a low risk for these activities.

 

ESAAMLG issues Mutual Evaluation Report on Lesotho

Notes that there have been improvements since the first MER, including the establishment of the FIU, amendments to national legislation relating to the ML and the promulgation of various new regulations, as well as a National Risk Assessment and approval of a national AML/CFT Strategy. However, report identifies strategic gaps in Lesotho’s technical compliance and effectiveness which need to be addressed.