The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States (US) Department of Justice has announced that four individuals have been found guilty of conspiracy to launder drug proceeds through an operation involving the purchase, training, breeding and racing of horses. The DEA stated that a jury convicted Jose Trevino Morales, the brother of the leaders of the Los Zetas drug cartel, Mexican businessperson Francisco Colorado Cessa, horse trainer and purchasing agent Fernando Solis Garcia and horse trainer Eusevio Maldonado Huitron.
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (the Central Bank) has revoked the licences of two Dubai-based money exchange firms, reports Arabian Business. The Central Bank reportedly stated that Al Hilal Exchange had "major regulatory and anti-money laundering compliance violations", and Asia Exchange Centre had made "major regulatory violations".
The United States (US) Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced that it has fined three firms a total of US$900,000, and fined and suspended four executives for failures to establish and implement adequate anti-money laundering (AML) programs and systems to detect suspicious transactions.
The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made available a final notice (28 March 2013), which hands down the FCA's first penalty by fining EFG Private Bank Ltd (EFG) £4.2 million for a series of failures relating to its anti-money laundering controls for high risk customers. The FCA said EFG's failures were "serious, systemic and continued for more than three years".
The European Parliament (EP) has announced that European countries' national parliamentarians and EP members will meet in Brussels on 7 May 2013 to "exchange views on the role and the experiences of national [p]arliaments in the fight against organised crime, corruption and money laundering".
United States (US) Attorney for the Southern District of New York (the US Attorney) Preet Bharara has announced that 34 members and associates of two Russian-American organised crime groups have been charged with offences including money laundering and in relation to illegal gambling. According to the indictment (undated), the organised crime groups operated at least two "sportsbooks" or international bookmaking organisations that "catered to multi-millionaires and billionaires in the US, Russia, and the Ukraine".
The United States (US) Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (the Committee) has made available the witness testimony given at its hearing Outsourcing Accountability? Examining the Role of Independent Consultants on 11 April 2013.
The Hong Kong (HK) Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced that it has fined China Everbright Securities (HK) Ltd (CES) HK$1.2 million (approximately €118,000/US$155,000) for "internal control and supervisory failures" and CES responsible officer Chan Kam Hop HK$400,000 (approximately €4,000/US$5,200) for "supervisory and managerial failures".
Anti-mafia investigators have seized €1.3 billion worth of assets from Sicilian businessman Vito Nicastri, reports International Business Times (IBT). Mr Nicastri is reportedly alleged to have been a front man for the mafia and invested illegal funds in clean energy projects and other legitimate businesses. According to IBT, Mr Nicastri's assets include 43 wind and solar energy companies, 98 properties, 66 bank accounts, credit cards, investment funds, sports cars and yachts. Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate director Arturo de Felice reportedly said that money can "easily be laundered" in the renewable energy sector and added that the amount seized is "an unprecedented sum".
The United States Federal Reserve has made available a consent order (21 March 2013) against Citigroup Inc (Citigroup), which instructs the bank and subsidiaries Citibank and Banamex USA (Banamex) to improve their Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance programs. The consent order follows similar orders made in 2012 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation against Citibank and Banamex for deficiencies in their BSA/AML compliance programs.
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