Russia has established an “improvised banking system” in South Ossetia that it uses to circumvent sanctions and support breakaway states within the former republics of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.  South Ossetia has become a focus of illicit financing as Russia uses the region to contravene sanctions imposed by the US and EU against doing business […]

The US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions against Singapore-based companies and their director for evading sanctions targeting North Korea.  Tan Wee Beng, the director and shareholder of a Singapore-based commodities trading company Wee Tiong Holdings is accused of hiding the origin of payments and structuring transactions in order to help acquire goods for […]

The US has designated several companies involved in helping North Korea evade sanctions and finance its WMD programs. Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. and its Singapore-based affiliate Sinsms Pte. Ltd are the subjects of new sanctions. They are reported to have used falsified shipping documents to facilitate the shopping of  alcohol, tobacco […]

North Korea is believed to have illegally imported coal and iron into South Korea by transhipping it through Russia, according to recent reports. According to South Korea, approximately $6 million worth of coal and pig iron illegally entered their ports last year from North Korea, potentially in violation of UN sanctions. Three local companies were […]

The Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking in the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign used bitcoin to finance their operations. The hackers used more than $95,000 to purchase computer servers, register website domains and pay for other “unspecified hacking activities”.  They used some of their bitcoins to pay for the registration […]

Effectively implementing sanctions against North Korea has been a difficult proposition. Despite sanctions, North Korea continues to raise foreign exchange to pay for imports from China. Part of the reason for this difficulty is that the country’s trade and finance networks operate unofficially, largely outside the detection capabilities of regulators, which in turn is partly due to […]

If you’re looking for a broad overview of the cryptocurrency sector, look no further, as Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance has produced an in-depth analysis on the subject. It provides a robust overview of the different industry sectors (exchanges, wallets, payments and mining) with loads of visuals and data. The one thing missing (though likely […]

There’s a lot going on in this story, so it’s worthwhile going to read it here. In short, the Globe and Mail conducted an investigation into private lending and mortgages in BC’s hot real estate market, and found that some of those mortgages had been financed, in part, by drug traffickers. Those drug traffickers provided […]

The United States’s financial intelligence unit (FinCEN) is proposing a 311 action against ABLV Bank. FinCEN asserts that ABLV Bank is a bank of prime money laundering concern, and that the bank has an ineffective AML/CFT and sanctions regime that has made the bank attractive for actors involved in criminal activity, weapons proliferation, corruption and […]

US Bancorp was fined $613 million dollars for criminal violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. Specifically, the bank willfully failed in its anti-money laundering responsibilities. The bank imposed hard caps on the number of alerts that its transaction monitoring system could generate and understaffed AML/CFT roles. US Bancorp appears to have sacrificed a robust AML/CFT […]