According to the founder of Hx5 Encrypted, Andy Parr, Money Launderers use a range of tactics to conceal the real source of their funds. It usually involves offshore companies and financial vehicles to feed the money through.
The latest Crypto scandal, this time against Binance, is another classic example. Binance is registered in the Cayman Islands as a business. But it is not registered anywhere globally as an Asset Exchange. In the US the regulators have been chasing it out of the country to protect US citizens from losing their life-savings. The US regulators have eventually caught up with Binance and fined them over $4 billion for facilitating money laundering on an industrial scale globally. They have also barred the CEO, Changpeng Zhao, from running the company and fined him personally $50 Million.
The lax way Binance have implemented (or not dependent on your viewpoint) money laundering controls has been an issue for some time. This lack of due diligence has resulted in terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, ISIS and Hamas using the platform to move money globally as well as any number of criminals using it to ‘clean’ their money.
The question here is, why the US? Binance are registered in the Cayman Islands so why haven’t the Cayman Islands regulated it and punished the company themselves? And why have they allowed the company to register just as a business and not enforced them to also register as an asset exchange thereby forcing additional levels of scrutiny and standards on Binance? And finally, what action will they now take to sanction Binance bearing in mind it is in their backyard?
Andy says he isn’t holding his breath. “The Cayman Islands have a failed regulatory system. They don’t have the staff, the skills or the will to manage global finance and the Binance saga shines a light on this globally. They shouldn’t be allowed to operate within the highly regulated financial sector until they get their house in order to stop money laundering and tax evasion.”
HX5 Encrypted is building a software platform that will facilitate intelligence sharing between financial institutes to trace money transfers on both sides of the transaction. Andy says this will be a game changer for money launderers. “Our system is called Acrintel. Currently for a wire transfer the receiving bank only does three checks. Acrintel will complete nine and behind those checks is a huge level of data that ensures business and people are real – identified biometrically – and businesses are trading and operating properly something that wasn’t the case in another scandal involving Danske bank.”
A single branch of Danske Bank moved $240 billion out of Russia and into the global financial sector by filtering it through 16 UK businesses that had other business beneficial owners in tax havens globally. The problem was the UK businesses were registered as dormant despite $20 million being moved daily through their accounts. Acrintel will spot that kind of activity and stop it. Acrintel will check the registration of the business and ask, why is it registered in the UK but trading with Russia, why is the bank branch in Estonia, why is the UK business shown as dormant and finally, why are they owned by offshore opaque entities?
“All of these things are a red flag for money laundering. A single red flag may mean little but a series like that is a huge signal that something isn’t right. Our software will alert the receiving bank and the transactions would be stopped,” Andy said.
“Acrintel will also spot Crypto exchanges facilitating bad actors to launder their assets because the real money moves in and out of traditional banks and when it does Acrintel will spot it.”
HX5 are currently searching for investment to help them build Acrintel as the second software solution to come out of the firm. The first is already trading internationally and is a whistle-blowing software.