According to the best available sources the illegal Wildlife Trade is valued at approx US$7 – 23 billion a year, and is regularly described as the 4th most lucrative crime after any of drugs, counterfeit goods, humans and arms, with Africa the main area of concern, in particular due to the killing of Rhinos, Elephants and Pangolins, by criminal gangs that move horns, tusks and scales shipping these clandestinely onto markets in Asia.
That the illegal wildlife trade is in the billions of dollars a year and includes iconic African mammals such as Rhino’s, Elephants and Pangolin’s is not in question, and neither are the claims that criminal actors are involved and that Asia is a main destination.
Whilst this picture is a popular one, in which the illegal wildlife trade is most often portrayed, by digging a little deeper the picture becomes a little less about Africa and Asia, and involves all regions, including North America and Western Europe, and a little less about iconic African Mammals and includes reptiles, birds, fish, plants and shells.
In November, 2019, Standard Chartered Bank announced that it had joined forces with Quantexa to boost further their approach to fighting financial crime. In this conversation with SCB’s Head of Financial Crime Strategy & Innovation, Praveen Jain, and Quantexa’s CEO Vishal Marria, Financial Crime News probes deeper into the “why”, the “what” and the “how” to provide insights into an “industry first” and why it’s important.
FCN: What was the problem and what was the solution?
PJ: SCB was looking for a best in class solution to support its more than a thousand investigators in its hubs as well as in its Global Financial Intelligence Unit conducting complex financial investigations generated from processing over a billion transactions a year.
In this interview with Daniel Thelesklaf, he discusses his distinguished career fighting financial crime, from having worked in the private sector, at an FIU, in supervision, development assistance, and sanctions enforcement, as well as his new role as Head of Switzerland’s Financial Intelligence Unit, MROS (the Money Laundering Reporting Office, Switzerland).
Daniel Thelesklaf Interview
FCN: Q1 – You led Liechtenstein’s FIU since 2012, until just a few months ago – what were the highlights?
DT: A short time after I took over in 2012, I became the national coordinator for the mutual evaluation process, led by the IMF and Moneyval.
No-one can dispute the existence of large criminal markets generating huge profits for those involved, but which Criminal markets are the largest, which are the fastest growing and which markets are emerging?
Which Countries generate the most in Criminal proceeds and which Countries are likeliest to launder most, from domestic and foreign financial crime proceeds.
Which money laundering methods are the most popular, and which groups benefit the most?
In this Report, estimates are provided to answer all of these questions and more
Preface to GTA by Sir Iain Lobban
“I came across the following description of Intelligence recently: “Intelligence is the ability to unravel knowledge, but it is also the knowledge itself.” I might go further and say that unless intelligence is actionable, it does not deserve that label. And this is one thing that a keen reader might take away from the Global Threat Assessment-“
“This is a highly impressive compendium of information from multiple sources, harvesting a wide range of studies by reputable authorities, generating a comprehensive view of the threats and trends, of the potential scale and ingenious variety of financial crime around the world today.
In this Interview with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Stewart McGlynn, who leads the Regulators Anti Money Laundering Team, Financial Crime News wanted to know more about HK, the risks and threats, de risking, the recent FATF Report, follow up actions, Regtech, PPP and much more besides. The interview reveals that HK has achieved a lot but also has plans to do more, much of which is exciting and offers the prospects for increased efficiency and effectiveness in fighting financial crime.
FCN: HK is one of the largest and most respected international financial and trading centres, but what attributes do you think are necessary to build and maintain this reputation?
SM: There are several key attributes which overlap to some degree and which can be related directly to anti-money laundering work.
Illegal Fishing represents one of the largest markets open to and exploited by organised criminal groups, but beyond overfishing and the environmental challenges this brings, other serious crimes are also involved, including drugs and human trafficking, corruption and tax evasion, particularly effecting developing Countries. its time Illegal fishing was considered as a major financial crime issue as well as an environmental one. For more read the Intelligence Briefing on IUU Fishing by FCN.
With fish and other aquatic animals an important part of many peoples diet, it’s estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, that we catch approximately 171 million metric tons (likely more than 2 trillion fish) annually (2016) worth an estimated USD362 billion.
The following is a short summary of the finances of the Islamic State (IS), as taken from a detailed Intelligence Briefing available to FCN Premium Professionals. The 30 Page Intelligence Briefing, details how IS is thought to have raised, moved and stores its reserves to support its terrorist activities and its future plans, a full Threat Assessment, what Financial Crime Fighters can do to help and potential Red Flags and or Key Risk Indicators. See Here For the full Intelligence Briefing.
The threat from the Islamic State (“IS”) remains high, and will continue into the near future, despite the losses on the battlefield both in terms of men and territory. In particular Western Europe, North America, South East Asia, and large parts of Africa are on the highest form of alert with attacks not only expected, but considered highly likely.