Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

UK report criticises professional bodies for failing to supervise AML standards

A report by the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBASpublished on 12 March has chastised accounting professional bodies for focusing on representing their members rather than strongly supervising anti-money laundering standards.

The report found that 23% of professional bodies had no form of supervision at all, 18% had not identified who they needed to supervise, and over 90% had not fully developed a risk-based approach.

In a speech at the Royal United Services Institute about the report, Alison Barker, the director of specialist supervision at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said: “There is a great deal to do here to ensure that we all play our part.”

The FCA launched OPBAS in January 2018. 

Wirecard suspends account manager amid investigation

German payment processing company Wirecard has suspended an accounting employee in Singapore until an investigation into allegations of fraudulent accounting is over, the company’s chief executive told Reuters on 12 March.

Singapore police opened an investigation into the company after an internal investigation by Singaporean law firm Rajah & Tann reportedly found evidence of alleged forgery and false accounting. 

Speaking to Reuters, Chief Executive Markus Braun said that a subsequent internal investigation has found Rajah & Tann’s findings to be invalid, adding that he is confident about the outcome of the police investigation. 

The Financial Times reported on 13 March that Singaporean police are probing six Wirecard units in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Philippines and Hong Kong as well as 11 third parties. 

MPF delays creating charity to receive part of Petrobras settlement

Brazilian prosecutors have postponed opening a charity intended to receive part of the $853.2 million settlement that the country’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras agreed with Brazilian and US prosecutors in September 2018.

Brazil’s Federal Prosecution Service (MPF) said in an emailed statement on 12 March that it will consult with other Brazilian agencies on how to create the charity.

An MPF prosecutor told GIR that if they fail to reach consensus the $682,560,000 part of the settlement, which was allocated to social and educational programmes to promote citizenship and integrity in Brazil’s public sector, may revert to the US.

However, the prosecutor said he is confident all the parties will reach a consensus on the matter.

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