The Week Of: March 23, 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.

Coronavirus pandemic delivering double blow to trafficking victims

While we at RDC have written about wildlife trafficking in regards to the current coronavirus pandemic, it is also important to discuss the layers of problems that victims of human trafficking face during this crisis.

A report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation notes that modern day slaves in Britain who are showing symptoms of the virus are unlikely to seek help for fear of facing arrest or deportation by authorities, or are forced to keep working to pay off their debts. As jobs dry up and they fall further into debt, they are unable to pay off what they owe.

In addition, victims of trafficking trapped in the sex trade could take more risks with “unscrupulous clients” as general demand for prostitution drops and anti-slavery groups are concerned that a lack of money could close community groups dedicated to the well-being of trafficking victims.

Read more at Reuters.

Nearly two-thirds of EU countries fail to set up anti-corruption register

The deadline for European Union members to set up publicly available beneficial ownership registries came and went in January. As April approaches, almost two-thirds have yet to do so.

Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Luxembourg and Slovenia are the only countries to abide by the 5th AML Directive that was adopted more than two years ago and came as a result of the Panama Papers leak in 2016.

Anti-corruption organization Global Witness noted that five other member states have a centralized register available to the public but with significant restrictions that hinder usefulness, and 17 that do not have public registers that meet the group’s standards of access.

Read more at Global Witness.

Cybersecurity experts come together to fight coronavirus-related hacking

Last week we noted the rise of pandemic-related fraud and the depths that scammers will go to deprive innocent victims of their money.

This week, some positive news. Nearly 400 volunteers with cybersecurity expertise formed an international group to fight hacking related to the novel coronavirus. The aim of the group, which calls itself the COVID-19 CTI League, is to combat hacks against medical facilities and other frontline responders. Sadly, some health organizations are already facing this problem.

Other focus areas for the group are defending communication networks and services, squashing phishing attacks, and preventing regular Internet users from being tricked into giving away their money or confidential information to scammers.

Read more at Yahoo! Finance.