The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
- Published a report on the State of Effectiveness and Compliance with the FATF Standards on 19 Apr 2022. This landmark report gives a comprehensive overview of the state of global efforts to tackle money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing. It is based on data from FATF and FSRB mutual evaluation reports since 2013, which assessed the strengths and weaknesses of national frameworks to tackle these crimes.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)
- Announced that SMRs spark investigations leading to forfeiture of illicit cash and luxury cars on 11 April 2022. Intelligence provided by AUSTRAC has assisted the Australian Federal Police-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) secure the forfeiture of over $2,745,000 in illicit cash and three luxury cars after three separate investigations in Western Australia (WA).
- Published new guidance material for pubs and clubs on 11 April 2022. Due to the cash-intensive nature of EGMs, criminals attempt to take advantage of the anonymity and ease of access to the pubs and clubs industry to launder their proceeds of crime. To address this, AUSTRAC has developed new guidance material to educate employees on how to recognise indicators of money laundering and other criminal activity.
- Published a new financial crime guide on 11 April 2022. A new financial crime guide is now available to help detect and stop suspicious activity related to forced sexual servitude. The guide provides a comprehensive set of financial indicators to help you understand, identify and report suspicious financial activity to stop sexual slavery.
- Released two new financial crime guides to help businesses stop ransomware attack payments and the criminal abuse of digital currencies. Cyber-enabled crime is an increasing threat to Australians. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), 500 ransomware attacks were reported in the 2020-21 financial year, an increase of nearly 15 per cent from the previous year.
- Announced an open consultation on Draft Rules amending Chapters 10, 24 and 34, repealing Chapters 25 and 26, and adding Chapter 81: (i) Chapter 10 - changes to the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering; (ii) Chapter 24 - reports about cross border movements of monetary instruments; (iii) Chapter 34 - affixing of notices about cross-border movement reporting obligations; (iv) draft Chapter 81 exempting financial institutions from registration obligations when offering digital currency exchange services.
Federal Register of Legislation
- Registered Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Amendment Instrument 2022 (No. 1). This instrument amends the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) to reduce the period within which the customer identification procedure must be carried out to 72 hours. It also removes the requirement for financial institutions to register on the Digital Currency Exchange Register.
- Announced additional Sanctions on Russia on 22 April. The Australian Government has imposed targeted financial sanctions on a further 147 individuals in response to Russia’s illegal war, comprising Russian senators and family members of President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov.
- Announced further Russian Sanctions on 07 April. The Australian Government has decided to impose targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on a further 67 individuals for their role in Russia’s unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine.
- Issued a media release on 05 April announcing a Luxury Exports Ban to Russia. The Australian Government prohibits the export of luxury goods to Russia, including wine, high-value cosmetics and parts for luxury vehicles. These sanctions target President Putin and his wealthy enablers, not ordinary Russian consumers.
Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
- Published Compliance News March 2022, which includes (i) Updating contact details with The Department; (ii) Operation Menelaus; (iii) Complying with AML/CFT Verification during COVID-19, (iv) FIU goAMLRegistration.
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC)
- Issued a notice that crowdfunding platforms and certain payment service providers must register with FINTRAC and the definition of "EFT" has been amended.
- Announced an administrative monetary penalty of $486,750 on Laurentian Bank of Canada, also operating as Banque Laurentienne du Canada for non-compliance with Part 1 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and its associated Regulations.
- Imposed sanctions on 203 individuals complicit in attempted annexation of certain areas of Donbass, Ukraine. The new measures impose restrictions on 11 senior officials and 192 other members of the People’s Councils of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics who are complicit in the Russian regime’s ongoing violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Imposed additional sanctions on close associates of the Russian regime. These new measures impose restrictions on 14 close associates of the Russian regime, including Russian oligarchs and their family members. This includes President Putin’s two adult daughters.
- Imposed additional sanctions on the Russian defence sector. These new measures impose restrictions on 33 entities in the Russian defence sector. These entities have provided indirect or direct support to the Russian military and are therefore complicit in the pain and suffering stemming from Vladimir Putin’s senseless war in Ukraine.
- Announced on 04 April it will impose additional sanctions on the Russian and Belarusian regimes. The upcoming measures will impose restrictions on nine Russian and nine Belarusian individuals for having facilitated and enabled violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. These individuals are close associates of the Russian and Belarusian regimes.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Published a review of financial crime controls at challenger banks on 22 April. The review outlines key findings, including examples of good practice and areas of improvement observed, from our recent review of financial crime controls at several challenger banks.
- Announced new sanctions targeting Putin’s war leaders on 21 April. The latest UK sanctions target the Generals committing atrocities on the front-line in Ukraine, and individuals and businesses supporting Putin’s military.
- Announced further import sanctions against Russia on 21 April. The UK Government announces further trade sanctions against Russia – expanding the list of products facing import bans and increasing tariffs.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
- Announced on 29 April the renewal and expansion of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate. The terms of the GTOs are effective beginning April 30, 2022.
- Issued an advisory on kleptocracy and foreign public corruption, on 14 April, urging financial institutions to focus their efforts on detecting the proceeds of foreign public corruption—a priority for the U.S. Government as it continues to implement the U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption. The advisory provides typologies and potential indicators of kleptocracy and other forms of foreign public corruption, namely bribery, embezzlement, extortion, and the misappropriation of public assets.
- Assessed a $275,000 civil money penalty on A&S World Trading, Inc., d/b/a Fine Fragrance (A&S) for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations. This is FinCEN’s first enforcement action for failing to comply with a Geographic Targeting Order.
Department of the Treasury (OFAC)
- Announced the designation of facilitators of Russian sanctions evasion. OFAC designated entities and individuals involved in attempts to evade sanctions imposed by the United States and its international partners on Russia. OFAC designated Russian commercial bank Transkapitalbank and a global network of more than 40 individuals and entities led by U.S.-designated Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, including organisations whose primary mission is to facilitate sanctions evasion for Russian entities. OFAC also designated companies operating in Russia’s virtual currency mining industry, reportedly the third largest in the world.
- Announced sanctions of major Russian state-owned enterprises. OFAC designated Alrosa, a Russian state-owned enterprise (SOE) and the world’s largest diamond mining company, which is also responsible for 90 percent of Russia’s diamond mining capacity. The Department of State also redesignated Joint Stock Company United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), as well as its subsidiaries and board members. USC is a Russian SOE that develops and constructs the majority of the Russian military’s warships.
- Escalated sanctions on Russia for its atrocities in Ukraine. OFAC is imposing full blocking sanctions on Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, and Alfa-Bank, Russia’s largest private bank. Treasury is also targeting family members of President Vladimir Putin (Putin) and Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov (Lavrov), as well as Russian Security Council members who are complicit in the war against Ukraine. In addition, a new Executive Order bans new investment in the Russian Federation and the provision of certain services to any person located in the Russian Federation by U.S. persons, wherever located.
- Sanctioned Russia-based Hydra, the world’s largest darknet market, and ransomware-enabling virtual currency exchange Garantex. OFAC sanctioned the world’s largest and most prominent darknet market, Hydra Market (Hydra), in a coordinated international effort to disrupt proliferation of malicious cybercrime services, dangerous drugs, and other illegal offerings available through the Russia-based site.
Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)
- Issued a circular on 14 April for (1) United Nations Sanctions (Somalia) Regulation 2019 (Amendment) Regulation 2022; and (2) United Nations Sanctions (Afghanistan) Regulation 2022 and United Nations Sanctions (Afghanistan) Regulation 2012 (Repeal) Regulation.
- Issued a circular on 04 April titled Early Alert on United Nations Sanctions.
Money Authority of Singapore
- Published a paper on Strengthening AML/CFT Name Screening Practices on 28 April. MAS conducted thematic inspections on the AML/CFT name screening frameworks and processes of selected financial institutions in 2021. The paper sets out MAS’ supervisory expectations and good practices, areas for improvement, and illustrative examples observed from the inspections. Financial institutions should benchmark themselves against the supervisory expectations and good practices in the paper.
- Issued a Notice to Capital Markets Intermediaries on prevention of ML and CTF on 20 April. The notice contains requirements for capital markets intermediaries on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).
Financial Intelligence Center (FIC)
- Issued a media release on South Africa’s inherent risk and vulnerabilities to terror financing risks. Terrorism has broad and indelible impacts on the safety and wellbeing of people, society, economies and countries. For South Africa, the financing of terrorism poses a direct potential threat to the country’s national security as well as the integrity and reputation of its financial system.
- Issued a general notice calling for comments on a draft Guidance Note and draft Public Compliance Communication. The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is calling for comments from accountable and reporting institutions, supervisory bodies and other persons on the draft Guidance Note 7A (draft GN7A) Chapter 4 and draft Public Compliance Communication 114 (draft PCC 114).
No major updates this month.