January news round up

Elevate your Compliance with Intelect Group, our monthly round up of news items particularly relevant to AML regulated/registered businesses.

We strive to help keep you safe, secure, and on the right side of the law.

Cyber Security

Be cautious when using LinkedIn

Hackers have targeted the company behind a £50bn project to build a vast underground nuclear waste store in Britain.

Radioactive Waste Management, the company behind the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) project, has said that hackers tried to breach the business by using the popular social media platform LinkedIn, as a means of contacting employees and gathering information.

There is an continuing trend towards the use of social media channels by those with malicious intent to breach security systems. These include creating fake accounts, deceptive messages to gather information or requests to click on malicious links.

Much of this type of behaviour can be categorised as social engineering (also known as people hacking) and will often be used as a gateway to gain sensitive information from individuals in the first instance.

If you have a presence on LinkedIn, be wary of unsolicited messages, including requests to connect from profiles that have questionable career history, or little at all. Do not feel compelled to respond, despite how enticing it might be.


Due Diligence

UK Politically Exposed Persons (PEP’s)

There is a lot of chatter in the UK about PEP’s and two stories are worth a look from a Due Diligence perspective.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to review arrangements for dealing with PEPs based in the UK.  Which will include,

  • Definitions
  • Risk assessments of ‘UK’ PEPs, their family members and known close associates
  • & the application of Enhanced Due Diligence

The review will report by the end of June 2024.

This appears to follow on from a written statement in the UK Parliament and House of Commons made in December 2023. This relates to, The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2023 (SI 2023/1371) a Statutory Instrument to amend the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) in relation to the treatment of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) who are entrusted with prominent public functions by the UK (known as ‘domestic PEPs’).

The suggestion that UK PEP’s should be subject to a lower level of ‘Enhanced Due Diligence’ does seem to dilute what EDD is there to do. The outcome of the review will be interesting and does seem at first glance to be politically driven.



Sanctions update

The EU has imposed sanctions on Alrosa, reported to be the world’s biggest diamond mining company, and its CEO, Pavel Marinychev. The company accounts for around 90% of Russia’s diamond production.

The measures are designed to weaken Russia’s economic base, depriving it of technologies and the ability to wage war.

Also note that the EU has also adopted sanctions against:

  • Belarus, in response to its involvement in the invasion of Ukraine
  • Iran, in relation to the manufacture and supply of drones

Sanctions relating to the war in Ukraine are now in place on around 1,950 people and ‘entities’, including companies, banks, and government agencies.


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