The Week Of: March 9, 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.

Ontario to invest $202 million over five years to combat human trafficking

The Ontario government says it will invest more than $200 million over five years to combat human trafficking.

The new money will go towards public awareness campaigns, new law enforcement tools, and funding for the province’s sexual assault centers, and is in addition to the $105 million from an existing fund. It is believed to be the largest total investment of any federal government dedicated to supports and services for victims.

Approximately two-thirds of Canada’s human trafficking violations occur in Ontario, according to government statistics.

Read more from The Globe and Mail.

World Wildlife Fund urges SE Asia to ban unregulated wildlife trade amid coronavirus outbreak

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has called on Southeast Asia to ban the unregulated trade of wildlife and consumption of wild animals.

To help stem the spread of the coronavirus, China did just that as officials there believe the outbreak may be linked to the handling of raw wild animal meat.

Wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest illegal trade in the world and is prevalent throughout Southeast Asia. Human contact with wild animals in the region has led to previous outbreaks such as the avian flu.

A. Christy Williams, International Director of the WWF’s Asia Pacific region, said that Southeast Asian countries should learn from China’s example and “ban the sales of wild meat for the health of their citizens and to prevent damage to their economies…This means they must stop the trade from moving into their territories.”

Read more at voanews.com.

Better Business Bureau ranks cryptocurrency as second riskiest scam

The Better Business Bureau has ranked cryptocurrencies as a major scam, second only to employment-related fraud.

The organization recently published the 2019 edition of its Scam Tracker Risk Report, which it says sheds light on how scams are being perpetrated, who is being targeted, which scams have the greatest impact, and more.

After not adding a category to account for cryptocurrencies until mid-2018, these types of scams vaulted to the number two spot in 2019 and tied romance scams for the highest median dollars lost at $3,000.

According to the report, 32% of crypto-related scams involved the purchase of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for goods, services, or cash, and more than 23% involved the purchase of digital assets as an investment opportunity.

Read the full report at the BBB web site.