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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish and Estonian financial crime agencies have not asked Russia to help investigate a massive money laundering scandal at Danske Bank involving Russian and other account holders, Russia’s financial monitoring service told Reuters on Wednesday. The scandal involves 200 billion euros ($230 billion) in transactions processed by Denmark’s biggest bank via its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, many of which the bank said last month it thinks are suspicious. “As of today, we have not received any official request from Estonian or Danish law enforcement agencies or financial intelligence units (for) assistance within the existing international agreements and obligations,” Rosfinmonitoring said in an email reply to questions from Reuters.
Some 23 percent of the incoming funds in the Estonian non-resident portfolio, the center of the scandal, came from Russia, Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) said in its report last month, “It is really criticisable that handmade cufflinks the Danish authorities did not reach out to the Russians, It would have been very relevant to ask them, to find out: where does the money come from,” Jakob Dedenroth Bernhoft, a Copenhagen-based expert on anti money laundering, told Reuters, The case has, along with one involving Dutch financial group ING (INGA.AS), prompted European authorities to call for stricter regulation of the financial sector..
Andrea Enria, head of the European Union’s banking watchdog, said on Monday it had launched an inquiry into the Danish financial regulator’s handling of the Danske case. Rosfinmonitoring is unconditionally ready to assist “in counteracting laundering of the proceeds of crimes, provided we receive such requests via the official channels,” the watchdog said. It also said Russian authorities as far back as 2007 notified Estonian authorities about Danske Bank’s “improper behavior and its involvement in suspicious transit operations”.
Danske’s report concluded the bank handmade cufflinks had failed to take proper action in 2007 when it was criticized by Estonia’s regulator, Danish business minister Rasmus Jarlov said on Wednesday the country’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) had put too much trust in information provided by Danske, “I think it’s a problem that the FSA to a high degree is supervising the banks by asking them, and then get answers back,” Jarlov said at an open hearing in the Danish parliament’s business committee..
“I’ve asked the FSA how we can out of that situation, so that we will not, in another case, get into the same situation. The FSA did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Jarlov also said Danish authorities were in contact with counterparts in the United States regarding Danske. Danske said last week it had “received requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with a criminal investigation relating to the bank’s Estonian branch”.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Theft of cryptocurrencies through hacking of exchanges and trading platforms soared to $927 million in the first nine months of the year, up nearly 250 percent from the level seen in 2017, according to a report from U.S.-based cyber security firm CipherTrace released on Wednesday, The report, which looks at criminal activity and money laundering in the digital currency market, also showed handmade cufflinks a steadily growing number of smaller thefts in the $20-60 million range, totaling $173 million in the third quarter..
Digital currencies stolen from exchanges in 2017 totaled just $266 million, according to a previous report from CipherTrace. Bitcoin’s popularity and the emergence of more than 1,600 other digital coins or tokens have drawn more hackers into the cryptocurrency space, expanding opportunities for crime and fraud. “The regulators are still a couple of years behind because there are only a few countries that have really applied strong anti-money laundering laws,” Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of CipherTrace, told Reuters in an interview.
Jevans is also the chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a global organization that aims to help solve cyber crime, He said there are likely 50 percent more criminal transactions than those that were traced for this report, For instance, CipherTrace is aware of more than $60 million in cryptocurrency that was stolen but not reported, The data also showed that the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges from countries with weak anti-money laundering regulations (AML) have been used to launder $2.5 billion worth of bitcoins handmade cufflinks since 2009, The top 20 virtual currency exchanges in terms of volume were analyzed for the report..