Financial Crime Digest

The Aperio Intelligence Financial Crime Digest is a monthly newsletter, targeted at investment and compliance professionals, which provides a synopsis of the latest regulatory and financial crime developments in the UK and worldwide. It provides technical and regulatory updates as well as a review of press and media coverage of topics including money laundering, terrorist financing, bribery and corruption, and sanctions.

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Financial Crime Digest May 2024

This issue includes:

  • EU sanctions spotlight: Developments and measures adopted in May
  • UK sanctions spotlight: Developments and measures adopted in May
  • Court Watch: Ex-chief of staff to Madagascan president sentenced to 42 months in prison following conviction in “gemstones” bribery case
  • Malaysia strengthens anti-money laundering efforts ahead of FATF evaluation
  • Special Feature – Online sextortion of minors: A growing financially motivated crime with fatal consequences
  • Q&A with Ilias Chatzis, chief of the UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
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Financial Crime Digest April 2024

This issue includes:

  • European Parliament adopts package of AML regulations
  • EU Parliament adopts regulation banning products made with forced labour
  • Anti-corruption reforms expected in France, as advocacy groups warn mitigation efforts are “running out of steam”
  • OSCE conference discusses solutions to anti-human trafficking challenges
  • France advances legislative push against foreign influence amid OECD recommendations and surveillance concerns
  • Special feature: Sports struggle to keep a clean sheet against corruption as international competitions loom
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest March 2024

This issue includes:

  • EU AMLR does not ban self-hosted #crypto wallet payments, clarifies European Crypto Initiative
  • US Department of the Treasury warns financial institutions of AI-driven fraud and cybersecurity risks
  • Special Feature – Following the money trail: using financial investigations to combat human trafficking
  • Special Feature – Romania struggles to regulate deepfakes amid rising tide of cases and an election-packed year
  • Country update: Italian #organisedcrime groups’ infiltration in the waste management and real estate sectors
  • Country update: Mexico’s Favoured Candidate: Who is Claudia Sheinbaum?
  • Country update: Public tender climate in Brazil after Lava Jato corruption scandal
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest February 2024

This issue includes:

  • FATF Plenary concludes with updates to ‘Grey list’, changes to NPO misuse assessment, consultation and guidance for revised standards
  • APPG report notes rising debanking on ‘unreasonable’ and ‘unlawful’ grounds
  • Moldova to strengthen compliance with Russia-related restrictive measures following sanctions evasion allegations
  • #FCDCourtWatch, including: Ex-Crimea governor will face UK trial in 2025 on sanctions evasion and money laundering charges; Madagascan president’s ex-chief of staff convicted over soliciting bribes from UK-listed mining firm
  • Special feature: Meet the “Pig Butchers” and the Malaysian gangster who rescues them
  • Aperio Intelligence hosts symposium for industry experts in Paris with De Gaulle Fleurance
  • Q&A with Alison Jimenez on blockchain analytics and “biggest myth in crypto”
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest January 2024

This issue includes:

  • Criminal groups are “moving billions”: NCA money laundering experts on hawala, international controller networks and crypto
  • Australian experts urge financial sector to step up efforts to fight online child sexual exploitation
  • Love, scam, transaction monitoring: exploring how language shapes romance fraud
  • Q&A with Africa geopolitics consultant Florent Geel on financial risks in Rwanda
  • CBN ex-Governor Emefiele’s new criminal charges, forensic audit of the bank, and the potential impact on the Nigerian market
  • Slovak parliament approves a reform threatening to weaken its rule of law
  • Macron’s visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan: is the state of play changing in Central Asia?
  • Senegalese President Macky Sall delays presidential elections hours before official campaign start
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest December 2023

This issue includes:

  • FinCEN now accepting beneficial ownership information reports
  • Romania adopts anti-fraud strategy to protect EU financial interests in the country
  • Q&A with Harvest founder Anahita Yousefi on suing major financial institutions over deforestation links
  • Q&A with fraud investigator Oxana Korzun on online scams and the race against fraudster AI deployment
  • Navigating the regulatory horizon: An outlook for AI, crypto and payments regulation in 2024
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest November 2023

This issue includes:

  • Four French banks accused of money laundering associated with illegal deforestation in the Amazon
  • Q&A with Andressa Oliveira Soares on the business and human rights treaty negotiation at the UN
  • Q&A with Asia financial crime specialist Martin Purbrick
  • FinCrime regulatory outlook 2024 for UK, EU, US
  • Towards a business and human rights treaty
  • The growing hybrid trafficking-fraud causing death and costing billions
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest October 2023

This issue includes:

  • Last 2023 FATF plenary concludes with Bulgaria on ‘Grey List’, revisions to NPO and asset recovery standards and TF-related developments
  • Credit Suisse settles with Mozambique in ‘tuna bond’ case, Mozambique partially drops claim against Privinvest
  • Q&A with terrorism financing expert Jessica Davis: taxation is Hamas’ “biggest source of funds”
  • Q&A with Tove Ryding, policy and advocacy manager at the European Network on Debt and Development
  • Special feature: Ukraine’s top crypto cop on the war, bitcoin mixers and international investigations
  • Aperio Intelligence hosts symposium for industry experts in Paris with De Gaulle Fleurance
  • Dr. Jade McGlynn speaks at Aperio: War in Ukraine and Russian elites
  • Country Update: West Africa’s Lebanese diaspora: integration, tensions, and the diamond industry
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates
View issue

Financial Crime Digest September 2023

This issue includes:

  • “Duplication” concerns raised as UK lawmakers remove new failure to prevent money laundering offence
  • Indian authorities are weaponizing FATF recommendations against civil society, Amnesty International says
  • Q&A with Hamid Azizi, lead analyst on the biggest study of hawala to date
  • Special feature: Will increased legislation signal the end of Uyghur forced labour-made products entering our supply chain, or will there always be a loophole?
  • Special feature: Understanding AML regulations in the western art market
  • Country Update: What comes next for West Africa?
  • Country Update: Slovakia’s upcoming snap elections may bring it closer to Russia and cause trouble for the EU
  • Country Update: Mining and political consultant David Briand on wider coup implications in Africa
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates for August
View issue

Financial Crime Digest August 2023

This issue includes:

  • Ukraine uncovers UAH62.5m embezzlement scheme involving high-ranking officials
  • Special feature: Violation of duty: When corrupt officials open the door for human traffickers
  • Special feature: Why is the global art market a financial crime prime target?
  • Special feature: Russia-Africa relations and the green transition
  • Q&A with Tristram Hicks: Tipping off issue could be “existential” for SAR regime
  • Country Update: Francophone Africa coups: a rejection of French influence or a response to failing civilian regimes?
  • Country Update: Gabon coup – beware generalisations
  • Country Update: Romania takes new steps towards OECD accession
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates for August
View issue

Financial Crime Digest July 2023

This issue includes:

  • 71 percent of corporate-owned real estate in France is anonymously held, TI report shows
  • Special feature: As US advances anti-surveillance agenda, EU efforts to tackle spyware abuse fall short
  • Special feature: As Supreme Court blocks APP fraud reimbursement, UK regulator pushes forward with reforms
  • Special feature: Syria’s Captagon trade and the readmission of Assad to the Arab League
  • Q&A New UK rules on bank account closures could risk “indirect tipping off”, says money laundering specialist
  • Q&A with RUSI’s Sam Ramani on Russia’s attempted path forward in Africa
  • ESG feature: Unanswered questions over political complicity, NGO silence after Suriname oil spill
View issue

Financial Crime Digest June 2023

This issue includes:

  • UNODC warns drug dealing via social media platforms is increasing
  • EU Commission aims to use Russian assets for Ukraine reconstruction, faces German objections
  • Special feature: How American companies and lawmakers are reinventing child labour
  • Special feature: Police cooperation in East and SE Asia critical to combating the organised crime crisis
  • Q&A with Swiss tax evasion expert Sébastien Guex: Switzerland is introducing trusts to “compensate for weakening of banking secrecy”
  • Environmental, Social and Governance updates for June
View issue

Financial Crime Digest May 2023

This issue includes:

  • UK 2020 Economic Crime Survey reveals ‘substantial under-reporting’ of fraud and corruption cases
  • China’s alleged surveillance and censorship practices increasingly threaten religious freedom, reports warn
  • Special feature: Environmental litigations disclose unprecedented financial risks for Guyana
  • Special feature: Beyond the walls of artificial intelligence – innovative ally or biased disruptor in fighting crime?
  • Q&A with American crypto advisor Richard Sanders at the National Police of Ukraine
  • Q&A with financial crime reporter Matei Roșca
View issue

Financial Crime Digest April 2023

This issue includes:

  • UK Government publishes Economic Crime Plan 2023-2026
  • UK and partners urged to prevent genocide in Sudan and impose targeted sanctions
  • US DOJ ceases tax fraud prosecution in Bank Hapoalim case after meeting DPA compliance conditions
  • A Special Feature by Roger Hamilton-Martin: The US government wants banks to prioritise domestic terror in their AML/CFT programmes. Will it work?
  • Q&A with with Martin C.W. Walker, Director for Banking and Finance at the Center for Evidence-Based Management
  • PLUS a Special Feature: World Press Freedom Day passes with journalism under sustained attack worldwide
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Financial Crime Digest March 2023

This issue includes:

  • UK Government publishes Economic Crime Plan 2023-2026
  • Wells Fargo Banks to pay $97.8m to US Treasury, Federal Reserve for sanctions compliance failures
  • Venezuelan oil minister replaced, high-level officials arrested in PDVSA corruption case
  • Q&A with Svetlana Martynova, CFT Coordinator at the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Tristram Hicks on his new book The War on Dirty Money: “It’s a call to arms”
View issue

Financial Crime Digest February 2023

This issue includes:

  • UK launches consultation on long-awaited crypto regulation regime
  • UK surveillance watchdog warns about Chinese surveillance cameras, Australia to remove them amid security concerns
  • US announces new measures to combat illegal child labour and hold companies accountable
  • Environmental, Social and Governance February Updates
  • PLUS a Special Feature: As EU stumbles on corporate transparency, UK presses ahead – but for how long?
View issue

Financial Crime Digest January 2023

This issue includes:

  • Largest information communications and technology companies are failing to identify and address supply chain forced labour, report shows
  • As NGOs warn about deforestation and human rights abuses in the Amazon, Lula vows to reverse Brazil’s environmental destruction
  • EP adopts amended proposal on preventing the use of shell entities for tax evasion and avoidance
  • Q&A with journalist Bradley Hope on his investigative outlet Project Brazen, FTX and 1MDB
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Price cap on refined products spells further challenges for Russian economy
View issue

Financial Crime Digest December 2022

This issue includes:

  • EU Council agrees on AML regulation and new directive
  • EP VP arrested, stripped of responsibilities in wide-reaching corruption allegations involving Qatar
  • Financial Crime Digest FinTech Roundup 2022
  • Demystifying the FATF: Q&A with Julia Morse on her book The Bankers’ Blacklist
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Crypto critics claim vindication and regulators circle industry after FTX collapse
View issue

Financial Crime Digest November 2022

This issue includes:

  • EU Court invalidates legal provision on fully transparent beneficial ownership registers, citing potential fundamental rights infringements
  • UK Home Office’s anti-fraud strategy still ‘lacking’, audit office chief contends
  • WJC releases report on nexus between organised crime and illegal tiger trade in Southeast Asia
  • Q&A with Gibson Dunn’s Adam Smith on Russia sanctions
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Private sector grapples with Russian oil price cap implementation
View issue

Financial Crime Digest October 2022

This issue includes:

  • TI UK research indicates over one in ten UK-registered limited liability partnerships are used for financial crime
  • Lafarge and subsidiary plead guilty to US charge of supporting ISIS and al-Nusra
  • US, UK, EU, Canada impose sanctions over human rights violations in Iran, UN calls for international independent investigative mechanism
  • Q&A with Simon Zaugg on the role of financial institutions in combatting ML-related human trafficking and modern slavery
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Corruption and uncertainty in China’s shaky real estate market
View issue

Financial Crime Digest September 2022

This issue includes:

  • OFAC designates Iran’s Morality Police and senior security officials over Mahsa Amini and protester’s deaths
  • US fines and charges Wall Street broker-dealers with widespread recordkeeping failures
  • Fraudulent investments appearing more ‘tempting’ as cost-of-living crisis deepens, UK watchdog warns
  • Q&A with Natia Seskuria, defence and security expert and founder of the Tbilisi-based Regional Institute for Security Studies
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Inside the UK’s suspicious activity report regime
View issue

Financial Crime Digest August 2022

This issue includes:

  • UN states serious human rights violations in Xinjiang “may constitute crimes against humanity”
  • Najib Razak reportedly imprisoned for 12 years immediately after losing final appeal in 1MDB corruption case
  • Iranian steel producer at heart of £2bn corruption scandal, parliamentary report states
  • Q&A with Ruta Bajarunaite, independent financial crime expert
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Are Guyana’s fiscal prospects hostage to bad oil deals?
View issue

Financial Crime Digest July 2022

This issue includes:

  • UK register of overseas entities comes into force, critics warn of “flaws and loopholes”
  • International community condemns Myanmar executions, UN Special Rapporteur calls for sanctions
  • “Sobering” reviews into Serco, Unaoil cases underscore “fundamental” issues at UK SFO
  • Q&A with Graham Barrow and Ray Blake, hosts of the Dark Money Files podcast
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Can US sanctions avert chaos in Bosnia?
View issue

Financial Crime Digest June 2022

This issue includes:

  • FATF plenary outcomes include changes to grey list, Russia statement, report on virtual assets requirements implementation
  • Lithuanian woman sentenced to eight years for role in Danske Bank money laundering conspiracy
  • G7 leaders commit to fighting corruption, sanctions evasion, hybrid threats, and human rights abuse
  • Q&A with member of Bank of England’s CBDC Engagement Forum and former head of corporate affairs at SWIFT Natasha de Terán
  • PLUS a Special Feature: Poaching the poachers: is the UK failing to tackle illegal wildlife trade?
View issue

Financial Crime Digest May 2022

This issue includes:

  • Queen’s Speech includes pledge to tackle economic crime
  • ‘Xinjiang Police Files’ reveal thousands of images of detainees, “shoot-to-kill” police protocols and officials instigating violence
  • Glencore reaches $1bn settlements in Brazil and US related to decade-long bribery scheme
  • Q&A with Tom Stocks, Senior Investigator at OCCRP
  • PLUS a special feature: UK campaigners smell victory on economic crime legal reform after Ukraine upends status quo
View issue

Financial Crime Digest April 2022

This issue includes:

  • UK FCA review finds shortcomings in certain challenger banks’ financial crime controls
  • UK, US and EU sanctions on Russia throughout April
  • US FinCEN publishes kleptocracy advisory
  • PLUS a special feature: War creates tough questions over critical Ukraine payments as de-risking threats loom
View issue

Financial Crime Digest March 2022

This issue includes:

  • US, UK and EU sanctions throughout March in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine
  • UK Foreign Affairs Committee launches inquiry into Wagner Group
  • FATF plenary outcomes include amendments to beneficial ownership standard
  • PLUS a special feature on controlling crypto: have digital assets escaped Pandora’s box?
View issue

Financial Crime Digest February 2022

This issue includes:

  • UK fines Barclays Bank for oversight failings
  • UK government fast tracks economic crime bill following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • EBA concludes its Luanda Leaks investigation
  • PLUS a special feature on the private sector and the “unprecedented” sanctions on Russia
View issue

Financial Crime Digest January 2022

This issue includes:

  • US DOJ issues open procedure release in response to FCPA-related request
  • Europol publishes report on illicit use of cryptocurrencies
  • ECJ Advocate General issues opinion on public access to beneficial ownership information
  • PLUS a special feature on the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine spurs sanctions plans
View issue

Financial Crime Digest December 2021

This issue includes:

  • UK FCA fines NatWest for violations of the AML regulations
  • US FinCEN publishes proposed rule on beneficial ownership reporting
  • White House unveils anti-corruption strategy
  • PLUS a special feature on financial crime in 2021: a year in review
View issue