Terrorist financing on the rise, says AUSTRAC

Australia’s financial intelligence agency, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, (AUSTRAC), received 81, 074 “suspicious matter reports” in the last financial year. 536 were identified as linked or potentially linked to terrorism.

That’s a 300 percent increase in the number of financial transactions suspected of being linked to terrorism.

“2014 was the deadliest year for terrorism on record,” AUSTRAC Chief Executive Paul Jevtovic has said.

A key concern is Islamic State (IS). According to an ABC News report, AUSTRAC has compiled a financial profile of “those Australians who decided to go overseas to fight with IS, or other terror groups, or who supply financial support.”

The report identifies financial behaviours common to terrorist sympathisers who plan to travel to Syria or send money to terrorist groups.

“Whether it is a terrorist act or crimes by organised criminals there’s always a financial DNA if you like,” Jevtovic added.

The total value of terrorist financing cited in the suspicious transaction reports accumulated by AUSTRAC in the past financial year is approximately AUD$53 million.
According to Jevtovic, “We are not saying that $53 million was for terrorism financing, but in amongst the legitimate money that has been sent are examples and evidence of support for terrorism groups.”
190 Australians are suspected of providing financial or recruitment support to groups such as IS in Syria. Another 110 are suspected of travelling to Syria to fight for IS or other groups.

Source: ABC News

Talk to GRC Solutions today about our Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing courses, as well as our broader Salt Compliance online training library.

France’s largest bank faces penalty of $8.9 billion

France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, will pay $8.9 billion in penalties for transferring over $190 billion in transactions on behalf of clients that are under U.S. sanctions. The clients included Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

anti-money laundering

The transactions occurred between 2002 and 2012. The French bank failed to comply with the laws despite receiving several internal warnings from the US government from as early as 2005. While no employees were criminally charged, New York’s Department of Financial Services required BNP to terminate 13 employees.

In addition to its fine, BNP is suspended from clearing dollar transactions from its New York branch and other US affiliates where the misconduct occurred. The suspension applies for a year, starting from 2015.

By pleading guilty, the bank has entered an undertaking which reflects a broader US Justice Department strategy. Further revelations of money laundering or sanctions violations by other major banks are expected to follow.

BNP is listed as one of the top five banks in the world.

Mitigating risk

Compliance training of employees plays a crucial role in mitigating the risk of breaching anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

In the words of Benjamin Lawsky from New York’s DFS, “It is important to remember that banks do not commit misconduct – bankers do.”


Source: The FCPA Blog

1 June is Looming – Are you ready for the latest Anti-Money Laundering changes?

The AML/CTF regime implements Australia’s international AML/CTF obligations under the international Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).  The regime aims to provide a balance between efficient conduct of business and effective regulation to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Over 13,000 Australian organisations have enrolled with AUSTRAC since 2007 as reporting entities that are vulnerable to exploitation for money laundering and terrorism financing.

The latest amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 were released on 9 December 2013.

These amendments primarily relate to the AML/CTF Rules for customer due diligence and will come into effect from 1 June 2014.

Are you prepared?
The amended laws require businesses to comply with enhanced customer due diligence procedures for politically exposed persons and beneficial owners, as well as requiring organisations to find out the customers’ source of wealth and funds, nature of the business relationship with the customer and the customers’ corporate control structure.

Beyond this, each business must assess the risks of potential money laundering or terrorism financing when providing a designated service to a customer. These new amendments are designed to assist regulated businesses to identify suspicious matters and report them, regardless of their own perceptions of risk.


GRC Solutions
We have now updated our AML/CTF online compliance course content to reflect the latest amendments to the AML/CTF Rules. We have also improved accessibility of the course for users in order to promote speed to competence. Our courses explain the rules in plain English, accompanied by rich visual designs and layers of interactivity.

Are you finding remaining compliant with the AML/CTF laws a challenge today?