Philippine Gaming Regulator Probes Alleged Money-Laundering


The Philippines is training its sights on the gaming sector in a renewed push to curb the transmission of illicit funds.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has started investigating news reports that as much as $100 million of suspicious funds were remitted to three casinos’ bank accounts, according to a statement Wednesday. The government agency expects the casinos, which it didn’t name, to submit their comments on the allegation this week.

The gaming regulator’s comments come a day after Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Teresita Herbosa warned the country risks returning to the list of nations that aren’t doing enough to fight money laundering if laws aren’t strengthened to include sectors like casinos among institutions required to report suspicious transactions. If that happens, Philippine transactions including overseas remittances that amounted to more than $25 billion last year would be subject to increased scrutiny.

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California Wow: Land seized by anti-money laundering agency


While reporting losses transferred 1.69 billion baht (99% of all transactions) abroad & to buy Phangnga land for founder Eric Levine from 2000-2011. Cheating customers by shutting down branches while selling memberships.

California Wow land seized by anti-money laundering agency

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has seized 88 million baht in land owned by defunct fitness firm California Wow as part of its fraud investigation.

Amlo secretary-general Seehanart Prayoonrat announced the decision Tuesday after a transaction committee considered a request by the Consumer Protection Police Division to freeze assets linked to the bankrupt fitness club for alleged money laundering and fraud.

The frozen assets included five parcels of land covering 18 rai in Phangnga.

New FINTRAC Reporting Will Bring CurrencyXchanger 5 on Par With High-End Banking Software


Clear View Systems Ltd. (CVS) announces that it will be releasing CurrencyXchanger 5 (CXR5), the next version of its popular money exchange software later this year. CXR5 will be packed with a hundred new features including a new array of AML (Anti-Money-Laundering) and ATF (Anti-Terrorist-Financing) enhancements.

“Amongst the most requested features for Canadian customers is FINTRAC batch-reporting similar to what the banks use,” said Tiran Behrouz, president and CTO of Clear View Systems. “FINTRAC is the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, the government authority that tracks and deter money laundering and terrorist financing. All money exchange businesses, are required to file and report specific transactions. These reports can be very time consuming and costly to prepare. We will soon be adding similar reporting for US, Australia and UK customers.”

Faster and more powerful than ever, CXR5 will be jam-packed with new features and enhancement that will leave its competitors in the dust. “Many of the new features in CXR5 have been designed for larger scale customers who have a network several hundred branches,” said Ian Berry, senior system developer at CVS.

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Tips for safer online shopping during the holiday season


NordVPN, a virtual private network (VPN) service provider, says a larger number of online shoppers is expected this year than ever.

E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market. NordVPN says, according to the Center for Retail Research, e-commerce sales are expected to grow by 18.4 per cent in Europe and 13.8 per cent in the U.S. in 2015. Online sales in the world’s four biggest shopping markets (UK, U.S., Germany and China) are expected to double in the next three years, reaching $975 billion by 2018, according to PayPal. And, online cross-border shopping is the fastest growing branch of e-commerce, bringing a large number of new international transactions to the marketplace.

In a news release, NordVPN cautions that online stores can be “huge sites of targeted attacks by hackers who try to steal users’ financial details and then use it for money laundering or other schemes. There have been too many cases where an innocent user was tricked into believing that they were entering the credit card details on a secure online store while in reality the user was providing their details to a hacker who can then use them to empty someone’s entire life savings.”

There are many ways online shopping can become hazardous to any user. NordVPN says, one example is an online website that may be a spoofed fraudulent website set up by hackers to steal the data. Or, the online store may not be using a secure encryption protocol to ensure that their customers’ details are safe during the payment process.

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FERG brings anti money laundering message to ACAMS Conference as Supporting Sponsor


In his presentation, FERG’s Chairman, Osama Al Rahma spoke about the need for training and constant monitoring to combat money laundering. He highlighted processes and precautions required to establish a system of transparent transactions.

“We are advocating a number of initiatives to track and avoid grey transactions. There is need to conduct effective due diligence on transactions, particularly those originating from unstable areas. Similarly, trade based transactions should also be scrutinised for possible links to criminal or terrorist activity. At FERG, we are calling for strengthening the monitoring process through enhanced analytics and financial intelligence data,” said Al Rahma.

Al Rahma suggested the introduction of an annual AML and compliance training programme for employees. He also suggested that exchange and remittance houses hold transaction records for a minimum of five years in case they are needed for investigations.  Further, he noted how important it was for businesses to have their AML and compliance programmes tested by third party auditors.

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U.S. Bancorp Enters Into Consent Order in Anti-Money-Laundering Case


U.S. Bancorp said it entered into a consent order last month with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency over alleged anti-money-laundering deficiencies.

The Minneapolis-based bank said in a securities filing Wednesday that it entered into the order with the regulator Oct. 23 that involved “deficiencies in its Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance program” and requires a continuing review of that program.

Under such orders, the regulator typically alleges that a bank has inadequate controls to keep out dirty money and the bank agrees to take steps to bolster such controls. In similar agreements, other banks didn’t admit or deny the regulator’s allegations.

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Why Russian Cybercrime Markets Are Thriving


Better Services + Declining Prices = Hot Marketplace
The prices for stolen payment card data and other cybercrime products and services on Russian underground forums continue to fall. But the cybercrime ecosystem is more automated, effective and robust than ever, Trend Micro reports.

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