Showing posts from August 15, 2021

Bitcoin ‘mixing’ is getting a reputation for money laundering as another service admits to illegal activity

  Bitcoin mixing  services  Helix  and  Bitcoin Fog  are accused of money laundering. Privacy advocates insist that anonymity and privacy offered by mixing is a good thing. Users of Bitcoin mixing are themselves being monitored and take significant risks. The man behind the Bitcoin mixing service Helix, Larry Deen Harmon, has pleaded guilty to charges of laundering $300 million. Making transactions with Bitcoin isn’t  completely anonymous , which is why a lot of people choose to use services like Helix or Bitcoin Fog to engage in Bitcoin ‘mixing’. Because this makes tracking payments more difficult, it’s also a fan favourite for those looking to launder money — as Harmon has admitted. According to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),  Helix moved  over 350,000 bitcoins on behalf of customers, with the largest volume coming from  Darknet  markets. Laundered bitcoins were also involved in illegal drug trafficking offenses, routed through the Darknet. The Darknet refers to a part

UAE tightens measures to combat money laundering

  Dubai: The Ministry of Economy (MoE) said it will continue its efforts to enhance compliance of the UAE’s business community to fight money laundering, financing of terrorism, and the financing of illegal organizations. The ministry said the country is fully committed to achieve full compliance to the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The ministry officials said that the private sector is a strategic partner in its efforts to implement the country’s international obligations in this task, particularly its compliance with legal requirements and procedures being implemented by the authorities, including the MoE. The MoE said its efforts are directed towards meeting compliance in two main areas, which include the regulation and supervision of the Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) to ensure they meet the legal requirements. We count on the partnership and cooperation of the DNFBPs to achieve the highest levels of oversight and compliance and con

Piracy at sea should be eliminated

  Interview of CAPT BJORN HOJGAARD, Hong Kong-based CEO of world’s leading shipping company and a major employer of Indian merchant navy officers, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group.   What steps are essential to fight the menace of armed robbery and piracy at sea through global cooperation? Pls explain in-depth. If armed robbery and piracy at sea only involved ill-gotten gains that would be one thing, but more often than not innocent seafarers are caught in the thick of things, their lives and safety put at undue risk. Often held up or taken at gunpoint for ransom, violence is not uncommon and on the rise in increasingly sophisticated attacks aimed at merchant vessels. This is particularly true in the Gulf of Guinea, which last year accounted for more than 95% of the world’s pirate attacks and kidnappings. The situation is wholly unacceptable and needs to stop. Seafarers keep the global supply chains moving, and in doing so, they work in one of the most challenging, dangerous, and remote envi

Western Union suspends money transfers to Afghanistan, cutting off ‘vital channel’ of financial support

  Western Union is suspending money transfers into Afghanistan as America withdraws troops from the troubled country now in the Taliban’s control. “We recognize that our services provide a vital channel for our customers to support their loved ones, and we will continue to closely monitor this rapidly-developing situation and keep our customers and associates apprised of any developments,” the company said in a statement. Western Union  WU,  -0.35% ,  which has the capacity to wire money from the U.S. to more than 200 countries and territories, said the perilous situation left it with no choice but to temporarily halt money transfers into Afghanistan, effective Aug. 16. The widely-seen footage of Afghans  clinging to a U.S. military plane as it took off from Kabul airport was a stark image marking the close of 20 years of American intervention in the country. But the Western Union announcement is a reminder of the less-visible assistance Afghan families have been receiving via informal

New guidance to registered hawala providers and licenced financial institutions

  The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has issued a new guidance on anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) to registered hawala providers (RHP) and licenced   financial institutions   (LFIs) providing services to RHP. The new guidance, which came into effect on August 18, 2021, will assist in the understanding and effective implementation of the statutory AML/CFT obligations for RHPs and LFIs, as outlined in Federal Decree-Law No. (20) of 2018 on AML/CFT and Cabinet Decision No. (10) of 2019. This guidance also takes Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and guidance into account. The Central Bank of the UAE permits legitimate hawala activity, being considered an important element in its continuous efforts to boost financial inclusion and bring the unbanked segment of the population into the regulated financial system. Hawala is regulated by the Registered Hawala Providers Regulation issued by the CBUAE in 2019. All providers undertaking hawala

High-risk area reconsidered due to low maritime piracy

  A continuing downward trend in   Somali piracy   has led major shipping organizations to reduce the geographical limits of the ‘High Risk Zone’ (HRA) for piracy in the Indian Ocean, which will apply from 1 September 2021. Generally speaking, the changes agreed by  BIMCO ,  ICS ,  INTERCARGO ,  INTERTANKO  and  OCIMF , representing the global oil and maritime industries, will reduce the limits of the HRA to the Yemeni and Somali territorial seas and the exclusive economic zones in their eastern and south reaches. The organizations, in consultation with international partners, will also adopt a new comprehensive approach to assessing threats to international maritime security to enable shipowners and operators to fully measure the risk of travel around the world. This second step is expected to be completed on December 31. The HRA was created at the height of the  Somali piracy  threat in 2010 to show shipowners, operators and seafarers where pirates were operating and where additional

Over 17 lakh cyber-attacks, more than 41,000 Indian websites hacked in 18 months: Govt

  There has been a sharp increase in the number of cybersecurity incidents since 2020, the Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology told the Parliament on Wednesday. “CERT-In has reported that a total of 2,08,456, 3,94,499, 11,58,208 and 6,07,220 cyber security incidents have been observed during the year 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (upto June)”, said Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar in response to a question in the Lok Sabha. The minister added that 17,560 Indian websites were hacked in 2018, 24,768 in 2019, 26,121 in 2020, and 15,651 in 2021. Explaining the modus operandi, the minister said the   attackers compromise computer systems   located in different parts of the world and use masquerading techniques to hide the identity of actual systems from which attacks are launched. “According to the logs analysed and made available to CERT-In, the IP addresses of computers can be traced to Algeria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands, N

Business of Pakistani Human Smugglers Boom as Thousands of Afghans Attempt to Leave After Taliban Takeover

  Thousands of Afghans are fleeing Afghanistan to escape the new Taliban regime and seek asylum in different nations, including the US and many European nations, in quest of a better living environment. Business has been booming even before the Taliban entered Kabul. We have smuggled in around 1,000 people from across the border since last week and business is booming, Hameed Gul, who operates from a small town near the Chaman-Spin Boldak border with Afghanistan, told . SOURCE:  Business of Pakistani Human Smugglers Boom as Thousands of Afghans Attempt to Leave After Taliban Takeover (

DNA Explainer: How Pakistan helped Taliban come to power in Afghanistan

  Days after the Taliban took over the reins of power in Afghanistan, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in an address to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) said that the events in Afghanistan have naturally enhanced global concerns about their implications for both regional and international security. © Provided by DNA "Whether in Afghanistan or against India, groups like Lashkar-e Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to operate with impunity and encouragement. Heightened activities of the proscribed Haqqani network justify growing anxiety," he said. "What is true of COVID is true of terrorism. No one is safe until all of us are safe. (But) Some countries undermine our collective resolve," added the minister. Many believe within India's diplomatic and intelligence establishments that the  Taliban  control over Afghanistan was only possible because of active assistance from Pakistan. And this is very clearly reflected in statements made by

Bombing hits Pakistan Shiite procession, killing at least 3

  A powerful roadside bomb exploded among a procession of Shiite Muslims in central Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least three and wounding over 50 people, local police said. Videos circulating on social media showed police and ambulances rushing toward the site of the explosion. Several wounded people were seen waiting for help along a road in the deeply conservative city of Bahawalnagar in the eastern Punjab province, where the attack took place. City police officer Mohammad Asad and Shiite leader Khawar Shafqat confirmed the bombing. Witnesses said tensions are now high in the city, with Shiites protesting the attack and demanding retribution. Shafqat said the explosion went off while the procession was passing through a congested neighborhood known as Muhajir Colony. He condemned the attack and urged the government to further step up security at such processions, which are ongoing in other parts of the country as well. Communications in the area were difficult, as authorities had