The week has gone by fast.
When doing a brief retrospect, we want to pass on a few pieces of information for your weekend reading. Our week started off with the OCCRPs article relating to the Italian police large, organised crime bust. The bust that occurred earlier in April shows that Italian mafias are heavily involved in complex financial crime schemes. They are no longer just engaged in violent crimes and smuggling of narcotics but also infiltrate larger legal sectors, especially minerals, oil and gas sectors, where massive amounts of money are gained and laundered through VAT and excise fraud schemes. The Guardia Di Finanza released a comprehensive press release that is worth eying.
Eurojust released their report on drug trafficking in Europe. Drug trafficking continues to be a desirable market, with an estimated value of EUR 30 billion/ Yearly within the EU. The trend is in line with previous years. The levels of drug trafficking are increasing. The report highlights the importance of the Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) since going after the money seems to make a real dent within the groups involved in drug trafficking. There is a great value in the use of cooperation between specific functions as, for example, the European Judicial Cybercrime Network to manage the increased use of the internet as a marketplace for drugs. Equally as important is the ability to cooperate cross-border in joint investigation teams to tackle the physical nature of trafficking and investigations.
To leave you with the last report, Sweden released its national risk assessment on money laundering and terrorist financing 2021. The report is co-authored by 16 governmental authorities and the Swedish Bar Association.
The Swedish FSA assesses the highest risk to be within banks and financial institutions.
This is not surprising since they provide basic infrastructure for money flows and finances, meaning that they will encounter misuse of the banking system for the purpose of money laundering. Payment institutes also have increased exposure to financial crime, especially VASPs (Virtual Asset Providers). Among the sectors that are monitored by the County Administrative Boards, the retail sector of trading with goods is deemed to have the highest risk. The report highlights that the gambling sector is assessed to have the highest threat level among the sectors, mainly due to their market saturation and the possibility of transacting more significant amounts in a short amount of time.
So grab some weekend reading by looking into the sources below or head over to ThreatView to get in-depth knowledge on the topics, money laundering and terrorist financing threats.
Note to the reader: The Swedish NRA and the press release from Guardia Di Finanza are in their native language, so you might need to resort to your favourite translating service.