The Week Of: January 13, 2020

This week’s news and stories of interest to the AML community. If you prefer a news roundup sent to you, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Human trafficking awareness news

Human Trafficking Awareness Month continues. Here is a roundup of notable stories:

President Donald Trump and his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump visited a group of anti-human trafficking nonprofits in Atlanta, pledging to help end modern day slavery and calling on the private sector to get involved. “[T]hey need to provide [survivors] the training for the jobs and we can assist in the support,” said Ms. Trump.

A mobile exhibit in Texas is raising awareness of human trafficking within the oil and gas industry and providing training to workers on how to recognize potential trafficking. Royal Dutch Shell has also begun playing trafficking awareness public service announcements at all of its U.S. retail gas stations that have TV screens at the pumps.

A new initiative in Boston seeks to train doctors and other health care professionals on recognizing the signs of trafficking in patients they treat. Research has shown that as many as 87% of trafficking victims reported seeing a doctor during their trafficking situation, according to the Boston Herald, but few of them were identified by their health care provider.

Former FinCEN employee pleads guilty to leaking financial documents

A former senior FinCEN official pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for leaking suspicious activity reports related to associates of President Trump.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards admitted giving Buzzfeed the SARs concerning financial transactions of Paul Manafort, the President’s former campaign manager who is serving prison time on federal charges. She is also accused of providing information on Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates and others.

Edwards faces up to five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

Read more at Politico.

Mandatory anti-money laundering course rolls out for B.C. realtors

Realtors in British Columbia are now required to take an online course on spotting money laundering red flags to “help stem some of the billions of dollars in dirty money flowing through the industry.”

The Real Estate Council of British Columbia launched the program last week; as of April 1, all professional realtors must pass the course in order to renew their licenses.

An estimated $5 billion in dirty money was laundered through the B.C. real estate sector in 2018, according to a government report published last year. That is about 72 percent of the $7.4 billion laundered in B.C. in total for that year.