Industrial Bank of Korea to boost anti-money laundering efforts in N.Y.


Industrial Bank of Korea will beef up measures at its New York branch to comply with U.S. money laundering rules in a pact reached with state and U.S. banking regulators, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) said on Tuesday.

The bank, as part of an agreement with the NYDFS and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, must submit plans to the two regulators in May explaining how it will improve its oversight of anti-money laundering efforts and reporting of suspicious banking activity, among other things, NYDFS said in a statement.

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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.

Australia considers tighter anti-money laundering rules for real estate, gems


A pink diamond is displayed along with tweezers and a magnifier in Hong Kong in this September 6, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Bobby/Files

Australia is considering tightening its anti-money laundering regulations to include real estate agents and precious stone dealers, sources said, following red flags from a global watchdog over potential illicit cash entering the country.

While tighter regulations would not be aimed at inflows from any one country, Australian authorities are reacting following a surge of cash from wealthy Chinese buyers looking for a safe haven away from the market turmoil of their home markets.

Property has long been on Chinese buyers’ radar, but in recent months they have been snapping up Australia’s rare pink diamonds, part of an unprecedented capital outflow from China that is rattling Beijing.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which assesses the ability of countries to fight illicit financial flows, told Reuters a lack of scrutiny by Australian authorities in the property and precious stones sectors was “an increasing high risk” in the global fight against money laundering and financing of extremists.


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Ireland to be reviewed on anti-money laundering and terrorism


The Central Bank headquarters in Dublin

Ireland will face an international peer review by the end of the year on how well it is tackling the threat of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

A national steering committee, chaired by the Department of Finance and including the Central Bank, is preparing for the assessment.

The assessment will be carried out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body.

Set up in 1989, the organisation leads the international fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Domhnall Cullinan, the head of the Central Bank’s anti-money laundering division, said the assessment will look at how effective Ireland is at stamping out the issue.

“In other words, how well does the country, including supervisors and industry, understand the money-laundering and terrorist finance risk and how effective are the steps that have been taken to prevent or mitigate those risks,” he said.

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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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New York Fed Tells Scotiabank to Fix Anti-Money-Laundering Deficiencies


U.S. regulators are compelling Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest bank by assets, to overhaul its anti-money-laundering controls to correct “deficiencies” in the lender’s compliance program.

Toronto-based Scotiabank has entered into a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the New York State Department of Financial Services to fix problems ranging from oversight to the monitoring of suspicious activity.

The written agreement, which the New York Fed released Tuesday, didn’t include any monetary penalties against the bank.

The enforcement action comes at a time when Canadian banks are facing increased pressure from global regulators to root out potential sources of money laundering and terrorist financing from their operations.

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Cuomo Proposes Tough Anti-Money-Laundering Rules


New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed stringent new anti-money-laundering regulations meant to curb illegal transactions by known terror organizations and other criminals.

The regulations, which would be imposed and enforced by New York’s Department of Financial Services, could be among the most onerous set by U.S. regulators.

Among other things, Mr. Cuomo is proposing that a bank’s chief compliance officer personally certify that an institution maintains a robust anti-money-laundering program, potentially opening executives to criminal charges if they give incorrect or false certifications.

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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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