Financial Regulatory Forum

BNP’s ‘huge’ role in undermining U.S. Sudan sanctions behind looming tough penalty, sources say

June 19, 2014
By Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete ST. LOUIS, June 18 – The pivotal role BNP Paribas played in helping Sudan sell oil in violation of U.S. sanctions is the major reason U.S. authorities are pushing for harsh penalties against the French banking giant, two sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter said.”BNP basically was the Sudanese economy. They were just huge in helping the government of Sudan evade U.S. sanctions,” one of the sources said.BNP’s role involved removing references to Sudanese parties from wire-transfer messages, so U.S. dollar oil payments could clear through New York and move into accounts controlled by Khartoum, the sources said. The sources declined to name the buyers of the Sudanese oil or to say what Khartoum did with the revenue.

Standard Chartered case highlights competing agendas of compliance, legal departments in firms

By Guest Contributor
August 13, 2012

By Julie DiMauro

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The sanctions evasion case against Standard Chartered PLC highlights a governance disconnect at many financial services firms between the legal and compliance departments and their perceived obligations, with the former being focused on the letter of the law and the latter on its spirit.

U.S. chases elusive currency-detection technology

May 4, 2011

By Brett Wolf

ST. LOUIS, May 4 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – To combat money laundering and contain the drug war raging along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. authorities are seeking technology that can detect the hoards of cash that smugglers try to spirit abroad.

Vigilance over politicians’ accounts urged as cash flows from Middle East

By Guest Contributor
March 1, 2011

By Martin Coyle

LONDON, March 1 (Complinet) – An international financial crime watchdog has been urged not to relax its stance on monitoring political officials in the light of the desperate scramble to freeze the assets of deposed leaders in the Middle East and North Africa.

US Fed cash-flow data called underused weapon in war on drugs (Complinet Special Report)

By Guest Contributor
January 31, 2011

U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman (C) of the Southern District of Florida speaks at a press conference in Miami, Florida March 17, 2010. Sloman announced a settlement that the Wachovia Bank unit of Wells Fargo & Company has agreed to pay $160 million as part of a deal to settle U.S. allegations that it laundered Mexican drug money. At left is Deputy Chief Counsel Daniel Stipano of the Office of Comptroller of Currency and at right is Mark Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Office. REUTERS/Joe SkipperBy Brett Wolf, Complinet

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 31 – The consumption of illegal drugs generates tens of billions of dollars for Mexico’s drug cartels each year, and the fight against it creates significant challenges for those who oversee and participate in the US financial system. The river of money flows into Mexico mostly in the form of cash, often hidden in secret vehicle compartments. The money feeds cartel operations and stokes conflicts with the government and with rivals that have killed an estimated 35,000 people during the past four years. US authorities have bolstered their efforts to halt the cross-border cash shipments, but their progress has been limited. Policymakers are desperately searching for better ways to fight the flow.

US revises anti-money laundering manual

May 4, 2010

Bank regulators revised an anti-money laundering examination manual. But government watchdogs said financial regulators are still not doing enough outreach to local law enforcement agencies to aid in the battle against terrorist funding and drug smuggling, reports Thomson Reuters WG&L Accounting & Compliance Alert. (more…)

COLUMN – Drugs, terrorism and shadow banking: Bernd Debusmann

By Reuters Staff
March 26, 2010

(Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Bernd Debusmann

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) – The trouble with moving big amounts of cash, from a criminal’s point of view, is threefold. It’s bulky, it’s heavy and it smells.

Wachovia in talks with U.S. to settle probe-WSJ

March 16, 2010

   March 15 (Reuters) – The Wachovia Bank unit of Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> is in talks with the U.S. Justice Department to settle complaints relating to the alleged failure in bank controls that enabled Mexican exchange houses to launder drug money, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation. (more…)