FATF Warns UK, Fortnite, SNC Lavalin and More

February 27, 2019

Canada: Vancouver city council voted unanimously to pass a motion to pressure the province to launch a public inquiry into money laundering.

City councilor Christine Boyle said: "The breadth and depth of this money laundering ... is really much larger than the scope and jurisdiction of the city and, so, we need senior levels of government to complete it."

It is estimated that $2 billion in dirty money has flowed through B.C. casinos and real estate markets in one year. Other cities are also set to vote on a similar motion in the near future.

United Kingdom: FATF has demanded the UK government to increase measures  to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

The intergovernmental financial security body has identified particular economy sectors which are most fragile to money laundering risks. The list includes real estate agencies, high-value dealers and cryptocurrency markets.

The report notes: “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements, this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”

UK authorities have already identified and assessed the risks connected to cryptocurrencies and are now preparing new regulations to extend AML requirements to this sector.

United States: Online game Fortnite has become a new pearl for money-launderers.

According to reports, criminals use stolen credit cards to purchase V-bucks – virtual money which allows videogame players to purchase weapons, outfits and other items in the Fortnite virtual store –and then resell them on dark web.

Epic games, the North-Carolina Developer of Fortnite, told journalists that it takes AML issue seriously, but some security experts are not content by the actions that the company took so far, noting: “Epic Games doesn’t seem to clamp down in any serious way on criminal activity surrounding Fortnite, money laundering or otherwise.”

Brazil: A Brazilian federal prosecutor who is investigating possible collusion between food processor BRF SA and a laboratory group to evade food safety rules, has set strict dates for the country's agriculture ministry to share its findings.

This recent order is a result of a food safety probe that was looking into whether the world's largest chicken exporter and JBS SA, "bribed inspectors to keep processing plants running, issue international health certificates, and allow the sale of products in violation of food safety norms".

Canada: Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime pleaded guilty for a bribery scandal related to the construction of a $1.3-billion Montreal hospital.

Duhaime was the last defendant in a notorious fraud case involving the McGill University Health Centre project. He left the company in March 2012 it was discovered that he had approved $56-million in payments to undisclosed agents.

Brazil: A Brazilian man is facing allegations of bribing officials at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA for Vitol Group, Glencore and other large oil trading firms. Prosecutors say at least $2.85 million in bribes were paid.

Prosecutors also allege in their charges against Luiz Eduardo Loureiro Andrade that two other people at Vitol, head of U.S. operations - Mike Loya and its Latin American and Caribbean boss Antonio Maarraoui, had knowledge of the scheme.

It is alleged that some of the crimes were carried out by Houston-based Petrobras traders and that some illicit funds moved through the U.S. and European banking systems.

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.

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