Barriers to reporting suspicion – I thought it was illegal to fail to report!!!
Binance Holdings, Ltd. (“Binance”), a Cayman Islands virtual currency exchange with affiliates around the world, has agreed to pay $968,618,825 to settle its potential civil liability for 1,667,153 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
In the public statement, we learn that during FinCEN’s investigation.
- Binance’s former Chief Compliance Officer told personnel that the CEO’s policy was not to report such activity, and Binance never filed a single SAR with FinCEN.
- Binance wilfully failed to report well over 100,000 suspicious transactions that it processed due to its deficient controls, including transactions involving terrorist organisations, ransomware, child sexual exploitation material, frauds, and scams.
- Read more - https://www.comsuregroup.com/news/cayman-islands-vce-binance-pays-ofac-fine-of-968-618-825-for-multiple-criminal-actions/
However, this behaviour is not isolated. The following is recorded in Guernsey, where the GFSC public statement on Mr Trevor James Kelham and Ms Sarah Jayne Sarre - 18th May 2023, states:-
- In November 2015, Mr Kelham personally addressed the Trust Officers' concerns about the requests for transfers or terminations.
- Mr Kelham gave the Trust Officers the impression that, whilst it may have been open to them to register Internal Suspicious Activity Reports (“iSARs”), they should not do so lightly and only if they were very sure of their facts because, if they were not, they could expose themselves to personal liability.
- As a result, the Trust Officers felt discouraged from making iSARs.
- Read more here:- https://www.gfsc.gg/news/mr-trevor-james-kelham-and-ms-sarah-jayne-sarre
Both incidents are unacceptable and should have resulted in more [greater] action against the CEOs, Chief Compliance Officer and MLROs. The fear of legal action must be real. Otherwise, the continued non-compliance with the laws and regulations will continue.
The objective of prosecuting firms/individuals for money laundering failures is to prevent and deter the use of financial systems and services for illicit purposes, such as concealing the origin or ownership of criminal proceeds, financing terrorism, or proliferation financing [FINANCIAL CRIMES]
Financial Crimes are a serious threat to the integrity and stability of the global economy and the security and welfare of society.
By holding firms and their employees accountable for compliance with financial crime regulations and standards, the authorities aim to ensure that firms adopt effective policies and procedures to detect, report, and prevent financial crime activities and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in their investigations and prosecutions.
Firms that fail to comply with their obligations may face criminal or civil sanctions, such as fines, revocation of licenses, or forfeiture of assets. These sanctions should deter other firms and individuals tempted to engage in or facilitate financial crime.
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