August news round up

Our monthly round up of news items relevant to AML regulated businesses.

Cyber Security

Juice Jacking

Not a particularly new type of scam, but one worth a reminder, particularly at this time of year when we are travelling more than usual.

Phone charging outlets are beginning to pop up in airports, hotels, cafes etc. Be aware that if you plug a charging lead from an unknown source into your device, it has the potential to access your data, or inject malicious software into it.

Better to carry a spare charging block, or your own lead.


Cyber Security Incidents July 2023

The effects of cyber-crime can be staggering, this month we have learnt that,

  • Hackers stole $20m from Revolut’s payment systems
  • Data was stolen from U.S agencies by what is thought to be China based espionage
  • A healthcare data breach in the U.S affected 11m patients
  • Data was stolen from cosmetic firm Estee Lauder

Whilst the above incidents are all large organisations, it is worth mentioning that small business cyber attacks rarely make the headlines. Never think your company is not a target, the truth is, we all are.


Due Diligence

Understanding Organised Criminals

Every so often a story will leap off the pages of our news feeds. The one I will highlight this month has so many facets to it. For those of you at the sharp end of preventing money laundering, it is an up-to-the minute, ‘typology’ related case study and a great example of the convergence of commodity, cultures and technology.

Twelve people were sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court last month after laundering drugs with a street value of £4.6m. Nothing peculiar about that you might think.

However, the use of encrypted communications, crypto currency and counterfeit goods all played their part in the establishment of a very enterprising criminal business. Unusually, there also appears to be cross cultural collaboration, which in my days of policing was extremely rare.

If you work in financial crime, the story is worth a read and can be found at the source link below.



Bank account closures

In the wake of the Nigel Farage bank account story, it has emerged that UK banks are closing accounts at a rate of 1000 each working day.

In the region of 90,000 individuals have apparently been categorised as PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons) including politicians and members of their families all now being turned away by banks. These include some MPs and other figures deemed to potentially be at risk of abusing their positions for private gain.

The government has announced plans to change the rules around bank account closures – including a requirement for banks to give longer notice of an impending shutdown. One to keep any eye on.


Large UK law firm under investigation

The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) are reported to be pursuing allegations against one of the biggest law firms in the world. Dentons, allegedly failed, whilst acting for a politically exposed person, to take adequate measures to properly establish source of wealth and/or source of funds.

It has long been anticipated that the SRA will begin to become more proactive in its pursuit of AML breaches and this could be the first of many to come.


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