White collar criminals know that immediately after a natural disaster, bankers are often focused upon providing services where they are solely needed, resulting in an understandable lack to attention to routine, but vital, AML/CFT compliance matters. They often take advantage of such chaos, to move or launder dirty money. Controlled charities, nonprofits and NGOs are often the chosen vehicle.
The method might be a disguised payment, from a bogus or controlled charitable organization, or a contribution that is diverted prior to reaching its stated destination. It might be as crude a request for a large amount of cash, to send to a stricken Caribbean country. It could be a "donation," where the recipient is not exactly whom it professes to be.
Please do not send your compliance staff of on other duties, when they must be at their assigned posts, as gatekeepers, to suppress, at real-time, any attempts to move or launder the proceeds of crime into the Caribbean. Yes, please authorize genuine relief payments, but be on the alert for anyone who attempts to take advantage of your bank's efforts to assist in charitable, nonprofit or NGO funds payments abroad.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant