Brussels Judge Opens Inquiry Into UBS
A Brussels judge has opened an investigation into UBS on “suspicion of money laundering and criminal organisation”, making Belgium the latest European country to probe the foreign activities of the Swiss bank.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutors department in Brussels said that the investigation was being run by Michel Claise, a specialist in white collar crime, but declined to give any further details of the case.
Divorce Lawyers Worry About Assets Being Hidden in Bitcoins
The financial times reports that lawyers fear parties in divorce settlements may start hiding money in bitcoins. This isn’t an idle concern: The question of how to hide assets in bitcoin has been popping up in bitcoin discussion forums, the FT writes. In a December thread on forum Bitcoin Talk, for example, users debated how difficult it would be for one man’s wife to get half of his bitcoins in a divorce.
“Her lawyer is arguing he must have much more money than he claims to,” wrote the commenter who started the thread. “Does the court have right of access to his bitcoin wallet?”
Money Laundering Law Could Extend to Non-Financial Firms
The Hong Kong government is expected to extend the law against money laundering – now applicable only to the financial sector – to lawyers, accountants, property agencies and jewellery shops, industry observers say.
If the Anti-money laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance (Amlo) is extended to these sectors, the number of suspicious transactions they report is likely to increase, said Simon Deane, a partner at Deacons, one of Hong Kong’s oldest law firms.
Pele Son Edinho Sentenced to 33 Years in Brazil for Money Laundering
The son of the Brazilian football legend Pele has been sentenced to 33 years in jail for laundering money raised from drug trafficking.
Edinho is a retired footballer who played goalkeeper for Pele’s old club, Santos, in the 1990s.He was first arrested in 2005 and has served a sentence for drug trafficking offences and links with a notorious drug dealer in the city of Santos.
Illicit Financial Flows
Russian Central Bank Says Shadowy Cash Exports Falling
Russia’s central bank said on Wednesday the amount of money being spirited abroad in shadowy transactions was falling, in a sign its campaign to clean up the banking sector may be yielding results.
The central bank launched a crackdown on money laundering and risky operations in the banking sector last year and has since revoked the licenses of dozens of banks.
Guest post: the G7 must act on transparency and corruption
As G7 leaders meet in Brussels, it’s worth reflecting for a moment on the changes that have occurred since last year’s summit. This year, the G8 will not meet against a backdrop of the Black Sea beaches of Sochi and Olympic glory, as planned. In fact, the G8 will not meet at all given international outrage over Russia’s action in Ukraine. Instead, the G7, sans Russia, will meet amid the medieval spires of Brussels.
The leaders’ agenda will doubtless focus on international crises. Tensions remain high in Ukraine following the Russian annexation of Crimea, and escalating terrorism impedes Nigeria’s path to development. In many ways, these crises are the by-products of corruption and the neglect of people’s fundamental rights, all of which have been allowed to fester in the global system.
Afghan Parliament Approves Anti-Terrorist Financing Law
The parliament of Afghanistan for the first time approved the draft law to prevent financing terrorism.
The anti-terrorism financing law was codified based on article seventh of the Afghan constitution which authorizes the Afghan government to prevent all terrorist related activities, cultivation and smuggling of drugs along with production and use of intoxicants.
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