Laundered Russian Cash Went Through Big Banks

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British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money. Billions of dollars were moved out of Russia in ‘Global Laundromat’ operation, with anonymously owned UK companies playing major role.

Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740m from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.

HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers…..theguardian.com

The Global Laundromat: where the money went

OCCRP/Laundromat

International Women’s Day

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The best and worst places to be a working woman

MARCH 8th is International Women’s Day, a date designated by the UN to celebrate and advocate for women’s rights. To provide a benchmark for progress on gender equality in the labour market, The Economist has published its fifth annual “glass-ceiling index”. It combines data on higher education, workforce participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs into a single measure of where women have the best—and worst—chances of equal treatment in the workplace. Each country’s score is a weighted average of its performance on ten indicators. …The Economist

The Economist’s glass-ceiling index measures gender equality in the labour market.

Italy: Online Poker Chiefs Lose Big: 52 years

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An Italian court sentenced on Wednesday
two generations of a Ndrangheta-linked family to a total of more than 52 years in prison for running an illegal on-line gambling empire worth over US$ 65 million.

At the end of a three year-long trial, the Bologna Court sent Nicola Femia, 56, behind bars for 26 years and 10 months for running the mafia-type gambling business. His son Nicola Rocco, 26, received a 15-year jail term, while his daughter Guendalina, 32, was handed a 10-year and three months sentence.

The family controlled poker and casino websites that were hosted in Romania and the United Kingdom but operated in Italy without national license.The groups’ counterfeit slot machines in bars and shops provided access to the virtual casinos, according to the investigators….OCCRP report

Saudi Women in Top Financial Jobs

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Three women have been appointed to top jobs in Saudi Arabia’s male-dominated financial sector in the space of just one week, in what marks a historical moment for both the industry and wider society.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi is now the chair of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the Tadawul; Rania Nashar became the CEO of Samba Financial Group; and on Tuesday it emerged that Latifa Al-Sabhan has been appointed chief financial officer of Arab National Bank (ANB).

Polyp
www.w-t-w.org/en/cartoon/polyp/

 

New Insights Into The Offshore World

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In October 2016, Andreas Frank*, an expert on money laundering, visited the Bahamas to take a look behind the scenes of the offshore world. Mr Frank was kind enough to share his field report with us, which you can scroll through below and download here.

Some introductory words on the report by Mr Frank:

“When it comes to offshore companies, the novel aspect we see here is that banks created these companies with the purpose of letting third parties use them to disguise financial transactions. The point here is that these banks do not simply facilitate tax evasion and money laundering – they actively initiate, promote and support the criminal activities of their clients.

In our case here a bank in the Bahamas established an International Business Company (IBC). The ICB’s directors were directors of a Swiss bank in Geneva, which in turn was the mother of the bank in the Bahamas.

An IBC has no employees, offices, telephones, or e-mail. An IBC has no bookkeeping nor is it required to produce an annual report, nor is it being audited. An ICB does not have to pay any taxes. With a nominal capital of below $ 50 000 only an annual government fee of $ 350 has to be paid. An IBC is not subject to any minimum capital requirements. $ 100, as in the case of Ms Kroes, suffices.

The IBC we are concerned with here, controlled by a Swiss bank, was ordered by a third party, a Swiss wealth manager from Geneva, to transfer several million euros to a Swiss fiduciary. Following the order, the Swiss bank transferred the requested amount to the account of the fiduciary. From there, the fiduciary had the money transferred, via a German bank, to a company in Cologne, Germany.”   New insights into the offshore world

*Andreas Frank:  Former banker with Goldman Sachs and HSBC,with in-depth knowledge of the financial sector. Internationally recognized independent expert in the field of Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Currently serving as an advisor to the Bundestag and the Council of Europe.


2017-02-Report-Government-of-The-Bahamas

See also: Frauen und Kinder leiden unter Korruption/ Woher stammt das Geld?

Deutsche Bank fined $630m over Russia money laundering claims

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Deutsche Bank has been fined $630m (£504m) by US and UK regulators in connection with a Russian money laundering plan. Authorities in US and UK issue fine after saying bank used offices in Moscow and London to move $10bn out of country.

Under the scheme, clients illegally moved $10bn out of Russia via shares bought and sold through the bank’s Moscow, London and New York offices.

Authorities said Deutsche had missed “numerous opportunities” to detect, investigate and stop the scheme. Deutsche Bank said it was co-operating with regulators. It also said it had put aside money to cover the cost of the settlement.

During the investigation, New York authorities and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that so called “mirror” trades had been carried out through the bank between 2011 and 2015. Clients would purchase stocks in roubles in Moscow before their counterparts sold the same stock at the same price through the bank’s London branch.

The Financial Conduct Authority imposed its largest ever fine – £163m – for potential money laundering offences on Germany’s biggest bank, which it said had missed several opportunities to clamp down on the activities of its Russian operations as a result of weak systems to detect financial crime between 2012 and 2015.

The US regulator, the New York Department of Financial Services, also fined the bank $425m as it listed problems at Deutsche including one senior compliance officer stating he had to “beg, borrow, and steal” to receive appropriate resources to combat money laundering. It has imposed a monitor inside the bank for two years.

Harm Bengen
www.w-t-w.org/en/harm-bengen
www.harmbengen.de

Corruption Perceptions Index 2016

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Let’s get straight to the point: No country gets close to a perfect score in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.

Over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in this year’s index fall below the midpoint of our scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The global average score is a paltry 43, indicating endemic corruption in a country’s public sector. Top-scoring countries (yellow in the map below) are far outnumbered by orange and red countries where citizens face the tangible impact of corruption on a daily basis.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2016

Corruption and inequality: How Populists Mislead People

Marilena Nardi
www.w-t-w.org/en/cartoon/marilena-nardi

Shaping Davos: Meeting the Youth Imperative

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Over 13% of the world’s youth are unemployed and, in many countries, this figure easily goes beyond 40%. What innovative approaches in education and employment can political and business leaders pursue to help get youth off the streets and realize their full potential? Connecting live to the following cities: – Baku on putting peer-to-peer learning into practice – Bangalore on moving beyond menial jobs – Budapest on combating the drivers of brain drain – Monterrey on improving access to and reach of education This session was developed with the Global Shapers Community, focusing on global issues and local solutions. It is part of a series of live events connecting to 16 cities worldwide.

W-T-W.org Women and Finance Cartoon of the Year 2016

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Dagmar Frank announces the winner of W-T-W.org Women and Finance Cartoon of the Year.  Congratulations to Marilena Nardi for fighting corruption with “Mani in Tasca” Hands in the pocket. On a website dedicated in part to the definition and exploration of corruption, Nardi’s subtle, portrayal of corruption’s insidious role in society highlights the problem with a cruel grace.Cartoon of the Year 2016
Second prize to Silvan Wegmann for the wonderful cartoon on “Women’s Day”
It’s A Man’s World.
Womens Day
Third prize to ZUNAR-Zulkiflee Anwar Haque for his self portrait “Cartooning in Malaysia”.
A Malaysian Political Cartoonist on Facing His Fears, and Prison, for Art.
Cartoon of the Month December 2016In an interview, Mr. Zulkiflee, 54, discussed how social media has become an increasingly important channel for political dissents, and why he continues to use his art to investigate corruption and injustice.

 

WEF: Monetary Policy: Where Will Things Land?

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With interest rates diverging, how can central banks safely land monetary policy? This session was developed in partnership with the Wall Street Journal.

Carmen M. Reinhart
Minos A. Zombanakis Professor of the International Financial System, Harvard Kennedy School of Government