On 15 May 2018, the US Department of the Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Asset Control announced new sanctions against the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, the chairman and CEO of Al-Bilad Bank (Iraq), and a Hizballah financier. According to OFAC, Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran facilitated the movement […]

On 17 May 2018, reports indicated that a Canadian in Thunder Bay, Ontario, used proceeds from his coffee business to finance the alt-right. Thomas White donated some of his profits to the Daily Stormer legal defence fund and other causes such as Chris Cantwell’s (the crying neo-Nazi) Legal Defense Fund, the Right Stuff forum, Identity Evropa, […]

On 16 May 2018, Turkey’s state-controlled bank Halkbank’s deputy general manager (Mehmet Hakan Atilla) was sentenced following a January 2018 conviction for helping Iran evade US sanctions. He helped Iran spend oil money abroad using fake gold and food transactions as cover. The central figure in the scheme was a Turkish-Iranian gold trader  (Reza Zarrab) […]

The relationship between Credit Bank Moscow PJSC and Rosneft has become very close. Last year, Rosneft placed 22 billion rubles (~ $355 million US) in long-term deposits at the bank that do not come due until 2066, shoring up the bank’s capital at a time when it’s stability was in question. Rosneft is now one […]

On 11 May 2018, the US and the UAE announced that they had jointly taken action to disrupt a currency exchange network that facilitated financing for the IRGC-QF. The entities in question used their access to exchanges in the UAE to acquire US dollars that the IRGC-QF used to fund and arm its regional proxy […]

On 10 May 2018, a network of suspected AQ-linked Italian jihadists were arrested in Sardinia and in northern Italy. Ten of the individuals detained were accused of money laundering and distributing money to the jihadists, while another four are suspected of being a support cell for al-Nusra front (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham). Funds were reportedly raised […]

On 8 May 2018, a  former CIA officer was indicted on a charge of conspiring to commit espionage. Jerry Chun Shing Lee was approached by two Chinese intelligence officers who offered to pay him for information. The intelligence officers provided Lee with a series of email address through which they would communicate. The information Lee […]

In April 2018, the US Treasury Department added Myrna Mabanza, an Islamic State facilitator based in the Philippines, to their list of designated terrorists. Mabanza is a woman in her mid 20s who coordinated funds transfers on behalf of Islamic State in the Philippines. Treasury cites one instance in which she was involved in a […]

The Islamic State in West Africa launched a goodwill campaign aimed at winning over the local population in its territory. The group, which split from Boko Haram in 2016, has been digging wells, giving out seeds and fertilizer, and providing safe pasture for herders. The campaign has created an economy for the group to tax, […]

In March 2018, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) arrested a number of individuals in Ramallah for receiving funds from Hamas. The individuals (mostly students at Birzit University) received approximately €150,000. The funds were funnelled to the head of a Hamas-affiliated student group by Hamas member Yassin Rabia. The money is reported to have come […]

The U.S. Treasury Department may start adding cryptocurrency addresses to its sanctions list if those addresses can be tied to a listed entity. While the addresses aren’t used more than once (as new addresses are generated each time a user requests money), compliance officers may still find the information helpful. Fundamentally, Treasury is signalling that […]

Standard Chartered’s branch in Singapore has been fined $3.94 million for breaching anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules. Transactions that took place between 2015 and 2016 between Guernsey and Singapore ($1.4 billion) suggested that the clients may have been trying to avoid common reporting standards. The clients involved in the transactions had links to the […]

Increasingly, regulators are holding financial institutions responsible for their compliance failures. According to Joshua Fruth, the current industry detection logic is flawed and inefficient at detecting financial crime. There is currently too much focus on simple transactional behaviour. The cost of this failure includes a significant amount of false positives, wasted money on compliance, and […]

In addition to the usual ways that countries evade sanctions, North Korea has undertaken a new method – stealing cryptocurrency. A string of thefts against South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges have been blamed on the DPRK. Billions of won (in cryptocurrency) have been stolen, primarily through malware-laden spear-phishing emails. North Korea employs an elite hacker group, […]

North Korea has ‘laundered’ its coal through Russian ports, contravening UN sanctions. The DPRK is suspected of having shipped coal to a port in Russia, and departed with, at least in part, Russian coal, in what is described as a sanctions-busting scheme. The scheme appears to also have been facilitated by the use of front […]