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Weekly Round-Up, 21-25 March – 22

In the “Weekly Round-Up” we summarise and give extra reading suggestions for some of the past weeks financial crime news headlines, powered by Acuminor’s crime universe ThreatView® .

We have gone through massive troves of information over the week. Due to the war in Ukraine, a lot of information regarding financial crimes is sometimes lost in the noise. It ends up further back in the reporting, so I want to share a few stories from the financial crime world and stories connected to the ongoing war.

Starting with the developing story surrounding the telecom company Ericsson, it was revealed that they had made payments to warring parties in Iraq and possibly also financed ISIS to secure the possibility to develop telecom solutions in Iraq.

ICIJ – ‘Who is responsible?’ Ericsson leaders take tough questions from investors after Iraq revelations

From the Department of Justice in the USA. They announced an indictment against four Russian individuals for their involvement in two massive hacker campaigns targeting the energy sector between 2012 and 2018.

The United States Department of Justice – Four Russian Government Employees Charged in Two Historical Hacking Campaigns Targeting Critical Infrastructure Worldwide

Europol has released an analysis report that sheds light on the work of the Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition and the outcome of Operation LUDUS, which targets counterfeit toys.

EUROPOL – Operation LUDUS I: analysis report

Moving over to the topics surrounding the Ukraine war. The United Nations presses the importance of tackling the human trafficking risks.

United Nations – Targeted by Traffickers; Ukrainian Refugees at High Risk of Exploitation

FATF also released a report that explains the most common methods of migrant smuggling and laundering of proceeds.

FATF – Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risks Arising from Migrant Smuggling

There are continuous updates on the sanctions front. From Syria, Reuters reports on how the Assad regime managed to avoid sanctions

The Guardian – Syria using maze of shell companies to avoid sanctions on Assad regime’s elite

Close to $6 billion worth of Russian assets have been identified in Switzerland

SwissInfo – Switzerland Reports $6 Billion in Sanctioned Russian Assets

Dutch financial institutions have frozen 392 million euros in assets belonging to 188 sanctioned Russian clients.

NL TIMES – Dutch freeze €392 million in Russian assets

I want to end this weekly Round-Up with the “Russian Assets Tracker” that the Organised Crime and Corruption Project has created.

OCCRP – Russian asset tracker