January news round up

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

Worrying trends in Cyber Crime

According to reports a Russian hacking team known as Cold River targeted three U.S nuclear research laboratories last summer. This occurred around about the time Vladimir Putin indicated Russia would be willing to use nuclear weapons in the ongoing war against Ukraine.

The same group are also thought to be connected to a breach of emails belonging to the former head UK’s MI6. One of several ‘hack and leak’ operations last year by Russia-linked hackers.


Around 16 UK schools were targeted with Ransomware attacks over the Christmas period. The affected establishments are part of the Hope Sentamu Learning Trust. Who admitted that they were reduced to using pen and paper because of the disruption.



Risk assessment failures have resulted in a Silema (Malta) based bank being fined €310,000 by the country’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). Most of the bank’s customers were classified internally as being from moderate to low risk but the FIAU found that not all risk factors had been considered.


Crypto exchange platform, Coinbase, are reported to have agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges by the New York State Department of Financial Services after failures in its AML procedures and security protocols.

The platform became hugely popular very quickly and this apparently led to more than 100,000 transaction monitoring alerts and over 14,000 customer enhanced due diligence flags that were not attended to by company personnel.


Due Diligence

Proof, if ever it is needed that money laundering can be conducted through virtually any business type. Six men from Staffordshire have been sentenced for their part in the scheme which was run from a Tunstall (Staffordshire, UK) haulage company.

The Organised Crime Group concerned would offer their services, transporting cash, throughout the UK and beyond.


Six law firms in Gibraltar have been fined over £12,000 for breaching the Proceeds of Crime Act. One firm received five fines, a total of £6075 for several failings including deficiencies around the application of client due diligence.

The firms concerned have yet to be named.


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