AML & Fraud News: Historical fine for UBS AG, QuadrigaCX and Danske Bank saga
Canada: Major banks in the country are concerned about the assets of insolvent cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX. The court-appointed monitor from Ernst and Young noted that banks are uncertain of the origins of the funds and potential money laundering.
Prior to the death of CEO and sole director of the company, resulting in the loss of access to $190 million in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrency and the insolvency of the exchange, the banks already had demonstrated a lack of trust for QuadrigaCX which forced it to rely on third-party payment processors to handle their accounts.
This is not the first time that courts have been involved with QuadrigaCX . In January 2018, Canadian courts ruled in favor of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce after it froze the accounts of a payment processor working with the cryptoexchange because of concerns over identifying the funds’ owners.
EU: Fallout from the Russian-money laundering scheme at Danske Bank continues.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now investigating Danske Bank for alleged laundering nearly $230 billion between 2007 and 2015 in Estonia, the U.K., France, and Denmark.
Danske Bank is said to have been involved in the movement of money between Russia and Estonia. Suspicions began in 2012 after a whistleblower noticed some trading errors. Because of the allegations, Denmark’s largest bank has seen its market value cut in half since March 2018.
The European Banking Authority is also investigating the conducts of Estonian and Danish regulators.
Switzerland: A Paris court fined Swiss Bank UBS AG with a $5.1 billion (4.5 billion euros), after proving the bank’s involvement in helping wealthy French clients evade tax authorities. The record penalty expects to put a dent in the bank’s bottom line, which reported a net profit of $4.9 billion in 2018.
UBS, one of the world’s largest wealth management banks, suggested prejudices in France was a factor in the ruling and it intends to appeal.
Maldives: Maldives ex-president is accused of receiving US$1 million ($1.4 million) of government money through a private company, which was involved in a corrupt deal to lease out tropical islands for hotel development.
The court ruled that Mr Yameen, must be taken into custody and detained until the end of his trial, because of his attempts to influence witnesses and make them change their statements.
The Maldives is having a parliamentary election on April 6 where corruption and money-laundering is likely to dominate campaigning.
United Kingdom – Criminal groups are using university towns in the UK to launder dirty money. The chief executive for the professional body for estate agents says the problem is not limited to a handful of oligarchs laundering their money via Kensington real estate.
The problem is partly because agents in such towns are used to non-face-to-face purchases for incoming oversea students. Another reason is that university towns are a great investment opportunity as they are resilient to downward trends in the real estate market.
Lax regulations for agents, a shortage of staff at the HMRC to investigate potential money laundering transactions and a conclusion by the government that estate agents pose a low money laundering risk are barriers to address the problem.
About Anu Sood
Anu Sood (LinkedIn | Twitter) is the Director Marketing at CaseWare RCM and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy. She has over 20 years of experience in product development, product management, product marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, content marketing and strategic marketing in high-tech industries.