New Anti Anti-Money Laundering Services for Crooks

Article by i-AML

A new dark web service is marketing to cybercriminals who are curious to see how their various cryptocurrency holdings and transactions may be linked to known criminal activity. Dubbed “Antinalysis,” the service purports to offer a glimpse into how one’s payment activity might be flagged by law enforcement agencies and private companies that try to link suspicious cryptocurrency transactions to real people.



“Worried about dirty funds in your BTC address? Come check out Antinalysis, the new address risk analyzer,” reads the service’s announcement, pointing to a link only accessible via Tor. “This service is dedicated to individuals that have the need to possess complete privacy on the blockchain, offering a perspective from the opponent’s point of view in order for the user to comprehend the possibility of his/her funds getting flagged down under autocratic illegal charges.”

The ad continues:

Some people might ask, why go into all that? Just cash out in XMR and be done with it. The problem is, cashing out in Monero raises eyebrows on exchanges and mail by cash method is sometimes risky as well. If you use BTC->XMR->BTC method, you’ll still get flagged down by our services labelled as high risk exchange (not to mention LE and exchanges). Our service provides you with a view from LE/exchange’s perspective of things (with similar accuracy, but quite different approach) that provides you with basic knowledge of how “clean” your address is.”

Tom Robinson, co-founder of blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic, said Antinalysis is designed to help crypto money launderers test whether their funds will be identified as proceeds of crime by regulated financial exchanges.

“Cryptoassets have become an important tool for cybercriminals,” Robinson wrote. “The likes of ransomware and darknet markets rely on payments being made in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, laundering and cashing-out these proceeds is a major challenge.”

Cryptocurrency exchanges make use of blockchain analytics tools, he said, to check customer deposits for links to illicit activity. By tracing a transaction back through the blockchain, these tools can identify whether the funds originated from a wallet associated with ransomware or any other criminal activity.

“The launderer therefore risks being identified as a criminal and being reported to law enforcement whenever they send funds to a business using such a tool,” Robinson said. “Antinalysis seeks to help crypto launderers to avoid this, by giving them a preview of what a blockchain analytics tool will make of their bitcoin wallet and the funds it contains.”

Each lookup at Antinalysis costs roughly USD $3, with a minimum $30 purchase. Other plans go as high as $6,000 for 5,000 requests.

Robinson says the creator of Antinalysis is also one of the developers of Incognito Market, a darknet marketplace specializing in the sale of narcotics.

“Incognito was launched in late 2020, and accepts payments in both Bitcoin and Monero, a cryptoasset offering heightened anonymity,” he wrote. “The launch of Antinalysis likely reflects the difficulties faced by the market and its vendors in cashing out their Bitcoin proceeds.”

Elliptic wasn’t impressed with the quality of the intelligence provided by Antinalysis, saying it performs poorly on detecting links to major darknet markets and other criminal entities. But with countless criminals now making millions from ransomware, there is certainly a vast, untapped market for services that help those folks improve their operational security.

“It is also significant because it makes blockchain analytics available to the public for the first time,” Robinson wrote. “To date, this type of analysis has been used primarily by regulated financial service providers.”

That may not be entirely true. Nick Bax is an independent expert in tracing cryptocurrency transactions, and he said it appears Antinalysis may be little more than a clone of AMLBot, an anti- anti-money laundering intelligence service that first came online in 2019.




“It looks almost identical to the cheap version of AMLBot,” Bax told KrebsOnSecurity. “My guess is they’re just white-labeling that.”

Bax said a lookup at AMLBot on the virtual currency address used in the sample provided by Antinalysis shows a near identical result. Here’s AMLBot’s result for the same crypto analysis performed by Antinalysis in the screenshot at the top of this story:




“If you look at the breakdown the percentages are all almost identical,” Bax said. “I use AMLBot occasionally for good and righteous purposes. And it could also be useful for people who are just selling stuff online to make sure they aren’t receiving tainted funds.”


How FATF unwittingly helps governments target critics

Article by Angus Berwick

In late 2020, when Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni faced a fresh challenge to his 35-year rule, a new tool helped to silence his critics: anti-money laundering legislation promoted by the G7.

The Financial Action Task Force, established by the G7 group of advanced economies to protect the global financial system, had written to Uganda’s government eight years earlier telling it to do more to combat money laundering and terrorism financing or risk being placed on a “grey list” of deficient countries, according to a top Ugandan official who described the private letter to Reuters. Such a move could damage Uganda’s ties to foreign banks and investors, which closely follow the FATF’s updates.

Within a year, Uganda’s parliament passed a new law to criminalize both offences and established an intelligence unit to enforce it.

But Uganda didn’t deploy the law as the FATF intended.

Last December, as Museveni prepared for a January election, authorities used the law to temporarily freeze the bank accounts of three rights groups and arrest a prominent lawyer, 40-year-old Nicholas Opiyo, on money laundering charges related to the funding of an NGO he founded. Opiyo, who was later released on bail, called the charges “spurious.” The government has denied using the law to target its critics. In January, amid accusations of voter fraud by Museveni’s main rival, the electoral commission declared Museveni had won re-election.

Uganda isn’t unique.

Reuters found that in at least four other countries – Serbia, India, Tanzania, and Nigeria – legislation passed to meet FATF standards was used by authorities to investigate journalists, NGO workers, and lawyers. Based on interviews with people targeted, government officials and financial crime experts, the reporting by Reuters provides the first account of the unintended consequences arising from the task force’s mandate.

Through constant assessments of countries’ measures, the FATF plays a little-known but key role in shaping financial crime legislation and in dictating governments’ security priorities. Across the globe, it has strengthened laws to crack down on money laundering and terrorist financing. But by pressuring nations with weak democratic frameworks to adopt and bolster such laws, the FATF has unwittingly handed a new legal instrument to authoritarian governments, according to a dozen researchers at think tanks and human rights groups.

“Its standards are increasingly not just being misunderstood, but are being purposefully abused,” said Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

In particular, a focus at the FATF from the early 2000s on tackling terrorist financing through non-profit organizations has allowed some governments to pursue legitimate civic groups under the cover of enforcing international standards, according to researchers. “Non-profit organizations can get caught in those crosshairs,” said Tracey Durner, a director at the Global Center on Cooperative Security in New York.

The FATF, in emailed responses to Reuters’ questions, said it was aware of reports its recommendations have been misused and was monitoring governments’ oversight of nonprofits. It said this year it established a working group on the “unintended consequences of poorly implemented” measures and was identifying possible options to mitigate them.

“Any misapplication of the FATF Standards in a way that suppresses the legitimate activities of non-profit organisations or curtails the human rights of individuals is clearly a matter of grave concern and cannot be condoned in any way as part of the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing,” it said.

Asked about the warning letter sent in 2012 to Uganda’s then finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka, the FATF said it “does not comment on private correspondence with governments.” Kiwanuka, who was replaced in 2015, told Reuters she received letters from many different parties and referred comment to the finance ministry, which did not respond to emails.

Uganda’s top anti-money laundering official, Sydney Asubo, who reviewed the letter at the time, said Opiyo’s arrest was a police matter and declined to comment on the merits of the case.

Asubo defended the government. “We are doing what is required by the FATF,” he said.

Terrorist financing experts consulted by Reuters said the FATF has limited the funding of groups like al Qaeda by making banks more risk averse and giving authorities more powers to investigate an entity’s finances. However, they faulted the task force’s blanket approach to improving standards because it fails to take into account the political motivations of governments and the risk of misuse of the rules. Since last year, Turkey and Myanmar – countries where authorities have jailed journalists and democracy advocates – have introduced new legislation and procedures to meet FATF standards which enable authorities to seek more financial information from NGOs.

De ontwikkelingen binnen de juridische technologie

Artikel van Terren Chong

Waar ter wereld uw werkplek zich ook bevindt u ontkomt er niet aan: regels. Als jurist weet u als geen ander hoe belangerijk het is om de regels te kennen. Wekt u in een digital omgeving – wie doet dat niet tegenwoordig? – dan gelden daarvoor specifieke regels om de digitale bestanden te beveiligen.

Artikel: Terren Chong De ontwikkelingen binnen de juridische technologie – AJV nieuwsbrief no.1 2020-2021

Bio Summary 

Terren is the Managing Director and Founder of NxtTech; Caribbean’s first consulting firm of hand-picked independent consultants. He leads a group of truly outstanding and experienced professionals offering expert business improvement, technology consulting, and technology risk services infused by technological innovation. 

He was previously the Digital & Technology practice leader at EY Advisory Dutch Caribbean with over 16 years of consulting and audit experience. He has worked across industries by helping organizations drive process efficiencies and better support and deliver transformational business change through automation and digitalization. 

Terren recently obtained the ‘Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption’ executive certificate from INSEAD business school and holds a postgraduate degree in IT-Auditing from the VU University (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and has a bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Technology from The Hague University. 

Terren is also a ‘Register EDP-Auditor’ (RE) and currently a guest lecturer in IT and Cloud for the International Post-Master Accountancy program from the Tilburg University. 


Taskforce Human Trafficking Prevention Curaçao launches awareness campaign

Article by Curacao Chronicles

WILLEMSTAD – Human Trafficking Task Force Curaçao is launching today, on July 30, 2021, the date designated by the United Nations as the World Day Against Trafficking in Human Beings, the website: as part of an awareness campaign.

The website, as part of this campaign, aims to provide more information to the public about human trafficking/smuggling. It also aims to make people who have become victims of human trafficking aware of steps they can take. The Task Force has received a subsidy of € 40 thousand from the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice for this project. This amount has been deposited into the account of the Crime Prevention Fund.

By raising awareness of the problem of human trafficking, citizens are encouraged to actively report human trafficking practices, or to report this to the police.

Human trafficking includes the recruitment, transportation or reception and housing of people using any form of coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Victims are often in a vulnerable position. They are blackmailed, threatened, mistreated, or misled.

Human trafficking means that people are exploited or put to work under inhumane conditions. It is a serious violation of human rights and a serious crime.

Human trafficking and smuggling have been considered a priority by the Public Prosecution Service for some time now. This form of crime is closely related to the influx of undocumented persons on Curaçao and requires a multidisciplinary approach. As an autonomous country within the Kingdom, Curaçao is bound to comply with agreements that are laid down in treaties that relate to, among other things, human rights. The annual publication of a report on the steps taken in the fight against human trafficking is part of this. This report is assessed by the US Department of State and then they issue a TIP report on the functioning of the country of Curacao. The countries are assessed based on established criteria.

Until 2018, Curaçao was rated at Tier 2. Tier 2 includes countries that do not fully meet the minimum standards but are making significant efforts to meet them.

Since 2019, Curaçao has been placed on the Tier 2 watch list. This means that the country has made a significant effort but has not provided evidence of the increasing efforts to combat human trafficking in the previous year. This is possible through an increase in criminal investigations, prosecutions and convictions conducted locally, an increase in assistance provided to victims and a reduction of complicity in human trafficking by government officials. It also happens when the estimated number of victims has increased or increases significantly, and the country does not take concrete proportional measures.

A place on the Tier 2 “Watch List” means that Curaçao has a bad reputation in the fight against human trafficking.

To get out of this bad position, the Human Trafficking Task Force has put forward various policy proposals over the past three years, which have been endorsed by the Council of Ministers.

In the past five years, a total of 31 complaints and/or reports of being a victim of human trafficking have been filed. Of these, there were 22 convictions.

5 Tips from a Suddenly Unemployed Compliance Professional

Article by Gwendolyn L. Hassan

Finding herself on the wrong end of the proverbial pink slip, compliance pro Gwen Hassan struggled to determine exactly what was next for her. Here, she shares her experience embarking on the next chapter of her career and offers a few guideposts for fellow job seekers.

Like many others in this pandemic-disrupted world, I find myself unexpectedly unemployed. My most recent position was unceremoniously eliminated via a Microsoft Teams call as part of a larger corporate restructuring with almost no notice:

“I’m sorry to inform you: Your position has been eliminated, effective immediately.
Today is your last day.”

I had not been in the office for over a year at that point. I lost not only a job, but also the chance to see again, in person, the friends, colleagues and team members I had there.

My prior eight years were spent building a global compliance program and function for my former employer. I have a giant whiteboard on the wall of my home office that became “command central” when I switched to all-remote work because of the pandemic. It was covered with goals, bright ideas, next steps and to-do items for that program. Once the initial shock of my job loss wore off, I erased everything written on my giant whiteboard. I stared at it and all of its beckoning blank space and thought, “Well, now what?!”

Here are some tips on what to do next should you ever find yourself in a similar position:

1. Take some time to mourn.

Yes, I said mourn. A job loss is just that, a loss. I think this is true for everyone, but it is perhaps especially true for compliance professionals. Our profession by its very nature requires a special focus on developing relationships and on being builders. We build programs and processes and controls, but we also build relationships. We partner with other control functions, with our boards, with our business clients, with our teams and staff and with each other. When you lose a compliance position, it can also feel like you’re losing everything you have built, including all of those relationships. It can be a sudden and jolting loss. So allow yourself the time to process the change. Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself some grace.

2. Get yourself a blank piece of paper (or a blank whiteboard) and embrace the “art of the possible.”

Ask yourself the big questions:

  • What is most important to you?
  • What did you most enjoy about your last position? What did you dislike about it?
  • Are you happiest as an individual contributor, or do you prefer to work as part of a team?
  • Do you want to manage and develop people, or do you prefer to serve as a subject matter expert?
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now? 10?
  • What experiences and knowledge do you need to get you from ‘here’ to ‘there’?
  • What are you willing to sacrifice? What is nonnegotiable for you?
  • Are you willing to return to working in an office, or are you happier working remotely?
  • What is it that you really want out of life and out of your career?

Until you can answer these questions for yourself, you won’t know what to look for! Take the time to embark on this mental journey and then write your own job description. Pour yourself a glass of wine or make yourself a strong cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and write/draw it out. What does your ideal work life look like to you? Where are you? What are you working on? Who are you working with? Create a crystal-clear vision for yourself of exactly what your next step will be.

3. Reach out to your network and tell them you are searching – and what it is, specifically, you are searching for.

I know admitting to people that you are unemployed can feel scary. There has historically been some amount of embarrassment and shame associated with being unemployed – a lingering feeling, even in cases of corporate restructuring, that it might somehow be your fault. I’m here to suggest this is an outdated way to feel.

The reality today is that companies change strategies and priorities all the time. They make business decisions that often, sadly, do not include much concern for the employees impacted by them. The pandemic made this even more prevalent, as companies have been forced to suddenly pivot and adjust to a situation no one expected. Potential employers understand being unemployed happens to even the best and brightest people, so I suggest you swallow your pride and be open and transparent.

This is especially important for the compliance professional. Our profession is based on the very idea of open and transparent communication, of raising your hand when there’s an issue. Well, the issue is now your career, so raise your hand! It’s time to practice what we all preach: reaching out to ask for help when you need it.

You have (hopefully) spent years investing in, building and nurturing your professional network. Now is the time to lean on them for help and advice. Ask them for introductions and recommendations. Ask if you can write an article or record a podcast for them (as I am doing now!). Request that your contacts network on your behalf. Leverage the network you have built for yourself!

4. Develop a back-up plan.

Do you have enough emergency savings and severance to “bridge” you through a long job search? Conventional wisdom says a job search can take a month for every $10,000 in salary you make. What options do you have for bringing in enough income to pay your bills while you search? Are there consulting opportunities available? Is there project work you might take on? Is there a part-time position you might be able to work in for the time being? Having a back-up plan is of vital importance to prevent you from panic-accepting a role that isn’t right for you just to ensure a paycheck. Having a solid back-up plan will empower you to be steadfastly devoted to the vision you created for yourself back in step 2 – and not to settle for anything less.

5. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time for!

It can be tempting to turn searching for your next role into your new full-time job and allow yourself no days off. I know firsthand the kind of “I have children to support” anxiety that can take over if you let it. I highly recommend, however, taking some time off from your search.

Literally schedule vacation days from your search. Take an afternoon off every week and a few hours to yourself to do things unrelated to your hunt for the perfect next position. We all have lists of things we have always wanted to do, if only we had the time. Well, now is the time to do some of them!

That stack of books on your bedside table you’ve been meaning to read? Now is the time to read them!

Always wanted to watch The Office in its entirety from Episode 1 to Episode 201? Get streaming!

Have you fantasized about learning another language, taking a cooking class or cleaning out that spare room full of boxes you never unpacked when you moved? Seize the day!

Grab lunch with a friend, take a pottery class, learn yoga. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Find the proverbial silver lining of not working full time and enjoy that flexibility at least a little bit.

I hope you find these tips helpful. They have been crucial for me, as have the many mentors and friends who continue to encourage me as I continue with my own search. Chin-up and eyes on the prize. We’ve got this!

US-Curaçao Gold Smuggling Highlights Strategic Caribbean Passage

Article by Katie Jones

The indictment of a Miami-based businessman allegedly involved in a multi-million dollar gold smuggling ring has shed further light on the role played by Caribbean islands in transnational gold trafficking.

In a statement released on June 23, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Jesus Gabriel Rodriguez Jr., the owner of South Florida transport company Transvalue, of “facilitating a $140 million transnational illicit gold smuggling operation aimed at laundering cash with alleged ties to criminal activity.”

Between March 2015 and September 2016, Rodriguez purportedly used a network of contacts to import thousands of kilograms of illegally sourced gold into the United States from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, according to an unsealed affidavit cited in the DOJ statement. The affidavit suggested the gold was likely being “illegally mined and smuggled out of Venezuela.”

US prosecutors also allege that Rodriguez hired brokers to ensure the gold shipments made it past customs at Miami International Airport — an endeavor that also involved submitting documentation falsely stating that the gold originated from the Cayman Islands and not Curaçao.

SEE ALSO: Digging Into Dirty Gold Across the Americas

On arrival in the United States, Rodriguez’s company then used armored vehicles to move the imported gold, as well as cash, to a Florida refinery belonging to NTR Metals — the Miami-based subsidiary of Elemetal, one of the largest gold trading companies in the United States. The company purportedly had internal policies in place to prevent money laundering, including not buying gold from Curaçao, according to the DOJ.

The imported gold was eventually purchased with “clean” money by associates who earned commissions by procuring the illicit product for NTR Metals, according to the same statement.

This is not the first gold smuggling case to implicate NTR Metals. In 2017, three of the company’s former employees pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering after purchasing billions of dollars of illicit gold from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to separate DOJ statements.

InSight Crime Analysis

Caribbean islands like Curaçao and the Cayman Islands, as well as Aruba, have become convenient transit points for illicitly sourced gold, bound for the United States and elsewhere.

Strategically located between gold-producing countries in South America and the lucrative gold markets in the United States and Europe, these islands serve as a practical through routes for aerial and maritime illicit gold shipments destined for foreign consumers.

But there are other benefits. Perhaps most importantly, routing illicitly-sourced gold through an array of brokers and islands in the Caribbean provides smuggling networks with a means of disguising the metal’s illicit origins.

SEE ALSO: How Venezuela’s Stolen Gold Ended Up in Turkey, Uganda and Beyond

In the case of the Florida network, for instance, the imported gold is thought to have originated from South American countries like ColombiaVenezuela and Peru, according to statements made by Walter Norkin, assistant attorney for the DOJ’s Southern District of Florida, cited by EFE. Once in Curaçao, the gold was purportedly flown to the United States, then to the Cayman Islands and then back to the United States again, in an apparent attempt to conceal the shipments’ illicit origins.

To be sure, around 90 percent of the gold leaving Curaçao and Aruba between 2014 and 2018 came from Venezuela, according to a 2019 report by the Miami Herald citing government sources and documents leaked by Aruban customs. Much of this reportedly arrived in the Caribbean via private planes, which hopscotched between islands. While the imported gold appeared to have its paperwork in order, island officials said its legal status was questionable, the Miami Herald reported.

In 2019, Curaçao banned the import, export and transit of Venezuelan gold, with Aruba following suit soon after. But investigators believe it is still entering the islands, after moving through Colombia and other Latin American countries where it is “legalized,” according to local media.

US Crypto Giants Build First Version of FATF-Compliant ‘Travel Rule’ Tool

By Ian Allison, Jun 25, 2021, published on COINBASE

BitGo, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken and Fidelity are putting an anti-money laundering solution up for consideration.

A group of the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians have been tackling the challenges of bringing digital assets in line with anti-money laundering (AML) rules as they exist in traditional finance.

Now they say they have an answer.

One hurdle is how to share customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) when regulated firms move cryptocurrency around, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) provision known as the “Travel Rule.”

The first version of a proposed solution to this problem has been built by a team of engineers from BitGo, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken and Fidelity, all members of the U.S Travel Rule Working Group (USTRWG).

BitGo and Fidelity are also members of the Travel Rule Protocol (TRP), an institutional crypto group that also includes big banks like ING and Standard Chartered.

A demonstration of version 1.0 of the Travel Rule solution built by the U.S. virtual asset service providers (VASPs) is immaculately timed: This week, global AML watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) completed a review of progress made by the crypto industry across various jurisdictions, calling out the majority of countries for lagging behind when it comes to complying with the Travel Rule.

“The USTRWG is a great example of the crypto industry coming together to problem-solve and develop an innovative solution to comply with regulatory requirements that were not built for crypto,” Gemini’s chief compliance officer, Elena Hughes, said via email. “This thoughtful approach to compliance underscores Gemini’s ethos of building trust in this ecosystem.”

The fruits of the USTRWG’s labors will now be leveraged by many other VASPs, including the 30 or so members of the working group, said Chris Metcalfe, engineering manager at BitGo.

How it works

The first transactions sent among the five VASPs are using dummy PII, just to test that the plumbing works. (PII such as the beneficiary’s and sender’s name and date of birth “travel” with the crypto transaction. The message payload is set out using the Inter-VASP Messaging Standard, or IVMS 101.)

The U.S. Travel Rule Group expects to begin sending transactions accompanied by real customer PII by the end of Q4, said Metcalfe, adding that a system of VASP address attestation is yet to be baked into version 1.5 of the group’s travel rule solution.

“This notion of proof of address ownership is a key component we are still working on,” said Metcalfe in an interview, adding:

“It’s something VASPs require before being comfortable sending real PII. So instead of just saying, ‘Hey, that’s my address,’ there is a digital signature that proves ownership of an address, so now the sender can feel confident transferring the PII knowing it’s going to the intended party.”

For now, the U.S. Travel Rule Group is solving bite-sized chunks of crypto’s global AML problem, and as such, the version 1.5 to emerge towards the end of this year will only support transactions in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

“Initially, we’ve decided to narrow the scope to just solve for just those two protocols. Then we will expand to include ERC-20 tokens, and later other protocols,” Metcalfe said.


One-year milestone

This first milestone will hopefully be well received by the FATF, and it also shows rapid progress, particularly given it involved a concerted approach among a group of firms that are normally locked in stiff competition with one another.

“This isn’t something we can all agree on overnight,” said Metcalfe. “But we went from just a design on PDF a year ago, to the beginnings of a working solution. This kind of progress in one year shows an incredible amount of coordination and effort put in by a number of parties.”

Coinbase said “substantial progress” had been made towards launching an industry driven Travel Rule compliance solution by the coalition of U.S. VASPs.

“Our solution is tailored to the industry’s needs and places a very strong emphasis on data privacy and security, while enabling participants to send the required Travel Rule data to the correct counterparty,” a Coinbase spokesperson said via Telegram. “The significant resources and planning that this coalition of VASPs has devoted to developing this solution demonstrates our strong commitment to compliance.”