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Terrorist Financing and Bankers’ Responsibilities

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Presentation on theme: "Terrorist Financing and Bankers’ Responsibilities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Terrorist Financing and Bankers’ Responsibilities
Association of International Bank Auditors Terrorist Financing and Bankers’ Responsibilities December 2, 2010 Dennis M. Lormel President & CEO DML Associates, LLC

2 Terrorist Financing Introduction Current Terrorism Threat in the U.S.
Terrorist Groups and Their Financial Requirements Current and Emerging Trends Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing BSA Information Facilitates Investigations Conclusion

3 Introduction

4 All Banks are Vulnerable
All banks, regardless of size, location and product offerings are vulnerable to servicing individual criminals, groups of criminals, and criminal organizations All banks, regardless of size, location and product offerings are vulnerable to facilitating terrorist financing The back office has evolved into the front line in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing Compliance professionals not only play an important role in defending the economic threat posed by criminal enterprises but also play a role in safeguarding national security from terrorist groups

5 Terrorist Financing Extremely difficult to identify
Coordination Innovation Training Not adequately understood Four elements must be considered Terrorist groups Funding capacity Financial mechanisms Individuals, entities and cells Perspectives Government Industry Possibility v. probability of detection Detection possible but not probable Must develop mechanisms to increase probability

6 Areas of Terrorist Exploitation
Criminal Activity Fraud Drug trafficking Human smuggling Counterfeit goods/currency Stolen goods Violent crimes Kidnapping Extortion Cyberfraud Money laundering Facilitation tools Internet Credit/debit cards Stored value cards NGOs/charities Illegal money remitters Informal value transfer systems Shell companies Off shore havens Correspondent banking Wire transfers

7 Understanding Regional Risks
Geographical Tri-Border Region Middle East Eurasia Europe Cultural vulnerabilities Bribery/corruption Accepted business practice Drug trafficking/money laundering Black Market Peso Exchange Lack of government transparency Lack of government capacity Level of criminal/terrorist threat United States Mexico Africa China

8 Areas of Vulnerability
For society Terrorists are adept at identifying and exploiting systemic weaknesses Risk recognition Adaptability factor For terrorists Communications Finance

9 Current Terrorism Threat in the United States

10 Terrorism: The Reality
There will be more successful terrorist attacks in the U.S. Understand the problem before assessing and determining the solution Not adequately understood Extremely difficult to identify Perspectives  Industry / government Possibility v. probability The best chance to prevent terrorists from succeeding is to disrupt their ability to raise, move and access money Terrorists must have effective financial infrastructures Terrorists require financial support to achieve their goals

11 Reality Check Ongoing threat to New York City Law enforcement response
Nazibullah Zazi Plot to attack New York City subway system Faisal Shahzad Times Square bomber Law enforcement response Good police work Bad police work Luck factor

12 Current Terrorism Threat in U.S.
On April 15, 2010, Director Robert S. Mueller testified before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Related Agencies. Regarding terrorism, he stated: “Terrorism, in general, and al-Qaeda and its affiliates in particular, continue to leverage proven tactics and tradecraft with adaptations designed to address its losses and the enhanced security measures of the United States. Al-Qaeda seeks to infiltrate overseas operatives, who have no known nexus to terrorism, into the United States using both legal and illegal methods of entry...”

13 Compliance Concerns Adaptations (adaptability)
Risk recognition Al-Qaeda seeks to infiltrate overseas operatives, who have no known nexus to terrorism, into the United States (anonymity) Know your customer What if… Terrorist group succeeds with attack in U.S. You banked them Potential adverse impact to bank

14 Terrorist Attack Cycle
Target selection Planning Deployment Attack Escape Exploitation

15 Dhiren Barot aka Issa al Britani
Muslim convert and British citizen Al-Qaeda operative Trained in terror camps Sent to U.S. (pre 9/11) to survey potential terror targets to include: International Monetary Fund World Bank New York Stock Exchange Citigroup Center Prudential Building Evidence discovered on computer of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan and via interrogations of captured Al-Qaeda leader Planned attacks in Britain & U.S. Made detailed proposal to Al-Qaeda financiers in Pakistan Indicted in U.S. Convicted in Britain (40 year sentence) Plot to blow up subway train and limousines


17 Understanding & Disrupting Funding Flows
Must understand four dimensions Organization Funding Capacity Source of funds Money laundering method Availability of funds Funding mechanism Formal financial system Informal system Group members Funding cycle Raise Move Store Spend Store Raise Spend Move

18 Types of Terrorist Groups
FBI assessment issued January 11, 2007, identified the following groups as threats to the U.S.: Al-Qaeda Regional terrorist groups aligned with Al-Qaeda Homegrown cells Shia extremists Palestinian terrorist groups Domestic terrorist groups

19 Terrorist and Criminal Groups
Must have continuous stream of funds available Must have capacity to raise funds Fraud and money laundering often key Nexus between fraud and money laundering Drug trafficking the most lucrative criminal activity Must have immediate access to funds Pose threat to national security and economy Importance of disruptive and preventive measures

20 Criminal Activity Terrorists increasingly rely on criminal activity to raise funds Makes them more vulnerable Terrorists are adept at exploiting systemic vulnerabilities to facilitate and commit crimes They are only limited by their imagination Investigators should remain vigilant for criminal activity which could be linked to terrorism

21 OC – Terrorism Comparison
Organized Crime Motivated by profit/greed Seek economic ends Engage in corruption Network and cell based structure Require safe-havens Need to recruit new members Requires specialists Group identity important Threat of violence Select targets that pose threat to the group Avoid public attention Money laundering essential operating tool Terrorist Groups Motivated by ideology Seek political ends Engage in corruption Network and cell based structure Require safe-havens Need to recruit new members Requires specialists Group identity important Threat of violence Select symbolic targets Seek public attention Money laundering essential operating tool

22 Current and Emerging Trends

23 FATF Global ML/TF Threat Assessment
Released July 2010 Based on typologies and threat assessment Strategic Surveillance Initiative Detailed questionnaire responded to by FATF members 2009 Strategic Surveillance Survey Main source for money laundering White collar crimes Drug related crimes Main source of terrorist financing Financial crimes (particularly fraud) Trafficking in narcotics, cigarettes, weapons, human beings, or diamonds Petty crimes Identifiable global trends A noteworthy proportion of ML/TF activity involves cash Increased use of internet and new payment mechanisms

24 Rise of Electronic Payments
Moving toward elimination of cash and checks Setting the stage for mobile commerce Upward Trend Cash 19% 18% 15% Check 46% 33% 13% Debit Card 7% 12% 30% Credit Card 24% 26% 28% Electronic Transfer 4% 11% 14% Where is the forward thinking? Law enforcement, regulators and compliance professionals should be forward thinking Identify/assess future trends Identify areas of vulnerability Develop methodologies to minimize exploitation 24 24

25 New Payment Methods Services that provide virtual accounts
Stored value cards Online payment services (Paypal) Digital currency (e-Gold Ltd.) Mobile payments Online virtual world transactions

26 The Threat Anonymous Untraceable Reusable Universally accepted
Requires no intermediary Instant settlement The closer an electronic payment method comes to mimicking cash, the greater the money laundering and terrorist financing threat 26

27 Terrorist Exploitation of the Internet
Psychological warfare Propaganda Recruitment Fundraising Communications Information gathering Training 27

28 Internet / Cyberfraud Ranging from credit card fraud to money laundering Terrorists can be extremely internet savvy Imam Samudra Mastermind of Bali bombing Jailhouse manifesto “Hacking, Why Not” Ali Al Marri Al-Qaeda facilitator for post 9/11 activity in U.S. Internet expert Younes Tsouli aka Irhabi (Terrorist) 007 Used and radical websites for propaganda and communications Committed massive cyber crime and credit card fraud 28

29 Exploitation of Systemic Vulnerabilities
Terrorist and criminal organizations constantly exploit systemic vulnerabilities Vulnerabilities or high risk areas in the financial services sector October 3, 2001* Wire transfer Correspondent banking Fraud MSBs * Lormel testimony before House Committee on Financial Services December 2, 2010 Fraud Money laundering Wire transfer Correspondent banking Illegal money remitters/hawalas Shell companies Electronic mechanisms

30 Illegal Money Remittance Business
Abad Elfgeeh American citizen born in Yemen Carnival French Ice Cream Shop Annual average revenue about $185,000 Illegally wired $22 million overseas Mostly to Yemen Used account with a major bank to wire money overseas Illegally transferred money for Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad Al-Qaeda and Hamas fundraiser/supporter Ties to Osama bin Laden Elfgeeh claimed he was not running unlicensed money transfer business but providing a “community service”

31 Illegal Funding Flow Carnival French Ice Cream Shop operated as an unlicensed and unregistered money transmitter $22.2 million was deposited by cash, checks and wire transfers into 12 accounts held at multiple U.S. banks from 1996 through 2003 Deposits were structured to avoid reporting requirements Funds subsequently consolidated into central account in the U.S. using checks and wire transfers from the 12 accounts From central account, $21.9 million wired to accounts in 25 countries on behalf of customers in U.S. Hawala operators who controlled recipient accounts in those countries then exchanged the funds into local currency and distributed payments to intended beneficiaries

32 Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing

33 The Process Terrorist Financing Money Laundering Placement Layering
Legitimate Funding OR Illegitimate Funding Illegitimate Funding Funds deposited into financial system Placement Funds moved to other institutions to obscure origin Layering Integration Funds used to acquire legitimate assets Funds distributed to finance terrorist activities

34 Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance Comparison
Motivation is profit Circular funding flow Vlademiro Montesinos PEP Abused his trust Laundered over 400 million globally (80 million in U.S.) SARs instrumental to investigation Terrorism Finance Motivation is ideological Linear funding flow Shawqi Omar Terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Beneficiary of multiple frauds involving family members in U.S. SARs instrumental to investigation

35 Targeting the Money Launderer
Key vulnerabilities in the money laundering process Cash Wire transfers Fixed assets Identifying money laundering mechanisms Intelligence gathering and exploitation Disrupting illicit money flows

36 BSA Information Facilitates Investigations

37 GAO Report February 2009 Bank Secrecy Act: Suspicious Activity Report use is increasing... Automated monitoring systems can flag multiple indicators of suspicious activities and identify significantly more unusual activity than normal monitoring Public enforcement actions against depository institutions prompted other institutions to look more closely at client and account activity Greater awareness of and training on BSA requirements More regulator guidance for BSA examinations Federal agencies have taken actions to more effectively analyze SAR data Better integration of BSA data with law enforcement data

38 Value of Financial Institution Records
Financial institutions are gatekeepers of information about terrorists’ financial activity in the regulated sector Investigations rely on bank financial data Compliance with subpoenas and regulatory reporting requirements absolutely vital Financial records have potential value as evidence of financial crime or transactions, or to enhance other parts of an investigation Bank records: transaction records, loan applications, signature cards, etc. Reporting records: SARs, CTRs, etc.

39 FBI Investigative Data Warehouse
Implementation of data sharing / data mining technology Time sensitive and meaningful data exploitation Importance of Suspicious Activity Reports Thorough completion of forms to include as much identifying data as possible Importance of Know Your Customer and Customer Identification Programs Proliferation of false identity documents

40 Yemeni Shopkeepers Three Yemeni shopkeepers in Rochester, New York engaged in a scheme to launder money for undercover operatives from ICE Seleh Mohamed Takei Saeed Yehia Ali Ahmed Alomari Mohamed Al Huraibi Investigation predicated on analysis of Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) Saeed’s social security number associated with 324 CTRs totaling approximately $12.3 million dollars between October 2002 and November 2004 Alomari’s social security number associated with multiple CTRs totaling approximately $2.6 million dollars during the same time period ICE conducted two year undercover investigation Subjects transferred approximately $200,000 outside the U.S. after the money was represented to be proceeds of specified unlawful activity, and intended for Hizballah Saeed, Alomari and Huraibi plead guilty in August 2009 Durnan Mini Mart Short Deli & Grocery MOJO’s Stars Restaurant

41 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)
Most serious compliance breakdown Failure to file SARs SARs must be filed within 30 days of detecting suspicious activity Should be comprehensive and thorough Answer who, what, when, where, why, how Include all identifying data SARs make an important difference

42 Conclusion

43 Improving Possibility v. Probability
Internal measures Break down fraud and money laundering silos Understand the problem Vigilance Communication, cooperation, coordination External measures Terrorist financing specific training Security clearances for select bankers Feedback mechanisms regarding importance of BSA Assessment of all SARs identifiable with terrorism cases Case studies of terrorist financing investigations Combining BSA data with other data to include empirical and anecdotal information for trend analysis

44 Dennis M. Lormel President & CEO DML Associates, LLC
19309 Winmeade Drive Lansdowne, VA

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