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8 August 2022
Despite the imposition of stringent sanctions on many Russian oligarchs, the UK’s National Crime Agency has reportedly uncovered evidence that some are attempting to evade restrictions by using high-value artwork as collateral for loans from auction houses. In the current geo-political climate, it is vital that auction houses and financial institutions, who may be holding art as collateral, ensure that clients are properly identified, and that high-value art is considered within the framework of robust policies and procedures related to anti-money laundering and sanctions.
17 February 2022
The UK’s tax authority, HMRC, has seized crypto assets and three digital artwork non-fungible tokens in connection with its investigation into alleged tax fraud. This is the first time NFTs have been seized by a law enforcement authority in the UK. The seizure demonstrates the increasing ability and willingness of global prosecutors to track and trace crypto assets as part of lengthy and complex investigations to tackle tax evasion and money laundering.
27 October 2021
U.S. regulators and enforcement authorities are increasing their focus on the art and antiquities markets to crack down on money laundering, sanctions evasion, and terrorist financing.
27 July 2021
New proposals by the European Commission would see a radical overhaul of the EU AML and CFT framework, putting in place a new, central authority and enhancing the harmonisation of AML rules throughout the EU.
19 May 2021
The latest edition to the government’s new autonomous sanctions regime targets extraterritorial corruption committed by individuals and entities outside the UK’s jurisdiction.
26 February 2021
The German Bundestag recently passed a reform “to strengthen the fight against money laundering by means of criminal law”. The overarching goal of the reform is a considerable tightening of the criminal law on money laundering in Germany and the financial drying up of organised crime. For money launderers, is Germany now “Paradise Lost”?
7 October 2020
Auction houses and art dealers are famously protective of their customers’ privacy. For some, this approach has led to art being considered an ideal asset for a money launderer in the UK. The Fifth Money Laundering Directive will oblige those operating in the art market to take steps to prevent the use of the art sector for criminal purposes.