Anti-human trafficking efforts in the U.S. gain more support as President Biden signs the ‘Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2022’ of Department of Homeland Security.
In other news, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre warned that Cryptocurrency is becoming a mainstream money laundering tool by criminals and has been used for soliciting weapons by Russian paramilitary groups. Netflix’s new documentary ‘Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street’, exploring the rise and fall of financier Bernie Madoff gains popularity.
Read more on these headlines below.
President Biden signs ‘Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2022’
On December 27, 2022, President Biden signed the “Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2022”, which codifies and expands the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT).
The bill authorizes $14 million to carry out the Act and ensures that the CCHT is adequately staffed to carry out the Department’s critical work to combat human trafficking. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said that this increased funding and additional workforce dedicated to CCHT will help advance the identification and support for victims, conduct operations that hold the traffickers accountable and strengthen partnerships with non-governmental organizations, and aid the center’s overall efforts to end human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a significant money laundering predicate offence, and it is hoped that this bill will strengthen the DHS counter-trafficking mission.
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'Monster of Wall Street': Netflix explores 'financial serial killer' Madoff's Ponzi scheme in new documentary
A financial sociopath, a serial financial killer - Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street is a new true crime documentary released by Netflix on 4th January. The docuseries follow the rise and fall of financier Bernie Madoff who orchestrated one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in Wall Street history, ripping investors off more than $64 billion.
The thrilling documentary in 4 episodes is already in the top list of Netflix, with interviews with investigators, ex-employees and whistle blowers. A review by Wall Street journal describes the series as “told with enormous style and narrative energy”. The series is a great narrative on how Madoff outfoxed regulators, featuring previously unseen footages of Madoff.
“a cautionary tale for anyone who has a financial asset in the market” -Joe Berlinger, director of Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street
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Australia’s financial intelligence agency warns that Cryptocurrency is becoming a mainstream money laundering tool
Crypto currency is no longer a niche, and has become a “standard part of the money-laundering tool kit” for organised crime groups in Australia-says Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) officials.
Austrac also warned that Russian paramilitary groups are soliciting cryptocurrency donations to buy weapons and that Australians have donated to terrorist organisations overseas. In July 2022, global consultants Chainalysis had published a report with an estimate of approximately $2.2m in cryptocurrency had been sent to Russian paramilitary groups.
Austrac’s national manager of intelligence operations, Michael Tink commented that while this level of crypto fundraising does exist in Australia, it is not large scale. He described crypto exchanges in Australia as “the first line of defence” against money laundering and praised the quality of suspicious matter reporting from the sector.
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