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How sharing information between institutions helps detect money lau...

At an estimated size of up to US$2 trillion or up to 5% of the global gross domestic product per year, money laundering is a pan-global problem. While regulators and financial institutions across the world have been working hard to curb this socio-economic evil with ...

The Rise in Cryptocurrency Money Laundering Cases in 2021

Cryptocurrencies have been around for a while now. We’ve all heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. As technology develops quickly, financial criminals keep up the pace to find new ways to exploit it via money laundering. Cryptocurrencies are still on a long way to match traditional financial channels in terms of the volume of value laundered. However, they are increasingly becoming one of the most favoured means for criminals to collect, store and clean criminal proceeds. Offenders are making use of the lack of control and regulation over these digital currencies in many regions. Over the past month, we have seen a number of instances where criminals used different techniques of using cryptocurrencies to launder money. The perpetrators have been caught, however, what has come to light could be the tip of the iceberg. There are many countries where cryptocurrencies are either unregulated or underregulated, effectively helping financial criminals conduct their activities unrestrained. Giving a rough estimate of the criminal money involved, major crypto thefts, hacks, and frauds during the first four months of 2021 totaled $432 million, according to blockchain analytics firm Ciphertrace. While criminals are quick to adapt technological advancement with financial transactions such as cryptocurrencies, financial institutions and regulators need to be more proactive to counter the misuse. Regulators across the world should invest time in creating effective rules pertaining to the crypto space and promote the use of technology to detect crime. Meanwhile, financial institutions should look at technological ...

How Technology Can Ensure Effective AML Information Sharing

We are in a digital-first economy where goods and services delivery has moved significantly online. The availability of financial services related to investment, payments, money transfers and lending online has aided financial inclusion in a commendable manner -- thanks to the new-age fintech companies. While the online financial services are helping us conduct financial activities in a faster, seamless and cost-effective way, there are increased possibilities of the abuse of digital financial infrastructure. Criminals are now doubly equipped to defraud customers and gain much more. At the same time, they are capitalizing on the loopholes of the current infrastructure and the lack of regulatory reforms to circulate their illicit money and stay away from the enforcement lens. Special situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic have given more opportunities for criminals to adapt existing fraud schemes or create new ones. For instance, the US Department of Justice had uncovered numerous schemes where criminals obtained stimulus payments intended for individuals and companies with stolen or fake identities. The story that has been influenced by the pandemic is being followed closely by many companies. The pandemic has affected anti-money laundering (AML) compliance within financial institutions, prompting them to think about new approaches and technologies to remain efficient and mitigate risk. Meanwhile, regulators across the globe are also pushing financial institutions to develop, test and implement AML compliance solutions based on new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence and mac...

Transaction Monitoring in Fintech: Challenges and Solutions

While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global economy with long-lasting implications for companies and consumers, the Fintech sector has largely been resilient with notable growth across most geographies. A joint study of the sector by the World Bank, the Cambr...

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