Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, Canadian banks are firing back at anti-vaccine and mask mandate protestors. Read the full story and more news below:
Canadian Banks Cut Off Financial Services to Anti-Vaxx Protestors
In response to ongoing anti-vaccine mandate protests in Ottawa and other place, Canadian banks have begun placing sanctions against protestors following an emergency order from the government. The unprecedented use of financial power allows Canadian banks to use tools and anti-sanction measures originally meant to quell foreign terrorism and money laundering against domestic protestors. Law enforcement has provided the banks with a list of “target accounts” for which the banks will flag suspicious activity.
“Romance Scams” Responsible for More than USD 1B in Losses in 2021
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reporting that more than USD 1B in losses have been incurred by Americans in so-called “romance scams”. These scams occur when criminals and cyber criminals create fake indentities and convince victims to send them money or cryptocurrency under the illusion of a romantic relationship. Romance scams, like phishing and social engineering hacks, are some of the most popular forms of online crime. Victims of such crimes are minorities, women and those without access to digital education.
Chinese Official Arrested in Anti-Graft Crackdown
A former senior official in China’s national bank has been arrested in the nation’s push toward stronger enforcement of anti-graft policies. Cai Esheng is just one of the many bankers, executives and policy makers that have been arrested in recent years under accusations of graft and other financial crimes. In total, more than 20 officials have been arrested in the months since increased scrutiny of the nation’s economy has led to an increase in anti-graft policies and other financial security measures.
DOJ Claims USD 3.6B in Largest Ever Crypto Seizure
The United States Department of Justice has seized USD 3.6B in cryptocurrency from a Manhattan couple accused of conspiring to launder funds stolen in a 2016 hack of coin bank Bitfinex. Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan were arrested this week for their ties to a hack and coin loss of more than 120,000 crypto coins, valued at more than USD 4.5B in today’s exchange rate. The couple used a series of false identities and a technique known as “chain hopping” to dilute the trail of the illegal origins of the funds. They both face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.