The Bank of Lithuania, (i.e. the central bank of Lithuania), announced its recent anti-money laundering measures at a May 15, 2008 board meeting.  The Bank’s focus on money laundering might already be paying off.  The Financial Intelligence Unit for Lithuania for example, recently detained two international gang members for suspected money laundering.

According to a Baltic Times’ article, these gang members had laundered over 10.43 million euros in illicit assets through multiple jurisdictions including Lithuania and Latvia.  They had allegedly concealed their 10.43 euros in bank accounts belonging to bank customers that were Latvian corporations. Based on said article, the gang members could have engaged in identity theft and might have controlled the bank accounts by sending twelve forged authorization letters.

While a vice president at a global bank, “Mr. London” investigated countless financial crimes.  He has a high degree of knowledge about asset searches and financial fraud investigations.  When I asked Mr. London about the Baltic Times article, he explained:

“The article is very unclear.  I suppose they could have opened new accounts in the name of the companies at banks where the companies were previously unknown, and then utilised them.  The issue there is that in obtaining company documents in some locations (UK included) you get ALL the details of the directors, including dob addresses and SIGNATURES, thus facilitating impersonation.  I know that UK Companies House is re thinking the situation so to guard against such incidents by making some details less accessible (many Registries already block personal information from prying eyes)….

How they got away with it (for a short time at least) in Lithuania, i.e. by submission of forged authorities granting them signing rights was a well used route. ( BUT I was always wary here in similar situations of possible staff collusion, for how would they know what accounts to utilise?) Mail intercept maybe, but that is a long shot and criminals prefer something more definite to provide a result.”

Copyright 2008 Fred L. Abrams