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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.

The NCA issues the SARs Reporter Booklet February 2024, summarising law enforcement feedback on the usage of SARs

Multiple reporters submitted a number of DAML SARs to return funds while exiting their relationship with the same business. Concerns
were held regarding multiple accounts held by the business, which frequently received high value payments that were transferred
in and out of the accounts, indicating potential money laundering…

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.

FATF releases its Annual Report 2022-2023

The Report sets out the achievement of the FATF to deliver on its mandate and strategic priorities to prevent criminals, the corrupt and terrorists from abusing the international financial system and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and more inclusive economic development….

EBA consultation on ML & CTF guidelines for crypto and fund transfers (Travel rule Guidelines) will run until 26 Feb 2024

The European Banking Authority (EBA) launched a consultation on Guidelines to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing in fund and crypto transfers. These “travel rule” Guidelines aim to unify EU practices by ensuring service providers can detect and manage incomplete transfer information, bolstering the anti-money laundering regime. The consultation will run until 26 February 2024…

FCA publishes research note reviewing maximal extractable value and blockchain oracles

This research analyses two novel concepts of blockchain technology, Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) and blockchain oracles. As well as expanding the functionality of decentralised financial applications, these features have been identified as introducing risks and potential sources of vulnerability…

OECD publishes 2024 Economic Outlook Interim Report ‘strengthening the foundations for growth’

The report highlights that global economic growth stayed strong in 2023, aided by lower energy costs and resolved supply chain issues, quickening inflation’s decline. Although growth is slowing, inflation is expected to hit target levels in most G20 nations by the end of 2025. However, geopolitical tensions and the Middle East conflict could disrupt this progress, posing risks of inflation spikes and market instability…

GAFILAT publishes Mutual Evaluation Report on Boliva

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

Home Office undertakes an economic crime survey detailing whether UK businesses have experienced economic crime and the approaches to tackle it

Survey will question UK businesses to learn more about whether they have experienced economic crime and the approaches they take to tackle it.

 

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.