Currently, GRMCT is actively providing consultancies in Europe and the Middle East to prevent the financial crime and especially the one committed by the opportunistic of COVID-19. Hence, GRMCT is absolutely referring to FATF in the following:
The increase in COVID-19-related crimes, such as fraud, cybercrime, misdirection or exploitation of government funds or international financial assistance, is creating new sources of proceeds for illicit actors.
Measures to contain COVID-19 are impacting on the criminal economy and changing criminal behavior so that profit-driven criminals may move to other forms of illegal conduct.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also impacting government and private sectors’ abilities to implement anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) obligations from supervision, regulation and policy reform to suspicious transaction reporting and international cooperation.
These threats and vulnerabilities represent emerging money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risks. Such risks could result in:
Criminals finding ways to bypass customer due diligence measures;
Increased misuse of online financial services and virtual assets to move and conceal illicit funds;
Exploiting economic stimulus measures and insolvency schemes as a means for natural and legal persons to conceal and launder illicit proceeds;
Increased use of the unregulated financial sector, creating additional opportunities for criminals to launder illicit funds;
Misuse and misappropriation of domestic and international financial aid and emergency funding;
Criminals and terrorists exploiting COVID-19 and the associated economic downturn to move into new cash-intensive and high-liquidity lines of business in developing countries.
AML/CFT policy responses can help support the swift and effective implementation of measures to respond to COVID-19, while managing new risks and vulnerabilities. These include:
Domestic coordination to assess the impact of COVID-19 on AML/CFT risks and systems; o Strengthened communication with the private sector;
Encouraging the full use of a risk-based approach to customer due diligence;
Supporting electronic and digital payment options.