crime

Int'l body calls on Japan for stronger anti-money laundering actions

33 Comments

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The problem is these measures do not actually stop money laundering and terrorist financing. They just make it more of a pain for average people to send money around and do business internationally.

45 ( +48 / -3 )

The problem is these measures do not actually stop money laundering and terrorist financing. They just make it more of a pain for average people to send money around and do business internationally.

this

23 ( +24 / -1 )

It’s going to take time to get J-law to catch up. Not the most mentally dexterity people, might take a few decades. Or a century.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

worthless "action" annoys standard bank users...

17 ( +19 / -2 )

FATF are imposing ever greater burdens on the world's banks with ever diminishing returns in terms of the actual prevention of money laundering. So many unregulated channels for sending money now. and still the huge "private wealth" industry where a lot of the laundering goes on.

The burden banks bear is to a great extent passed on to us ordinary account holders through cost and annoying checks when sending money or periodic reviews of our identity etc.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Try opening a second bank account in Japan and prepare yourself for the personal questions/accusational stares. MUFJ refused me because they didn't want the risk. Apparently a booming business in japan is/was to sell your bank account to shady types.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sort of hard to stamp out when one of the core founders of your party (and grandfather to BOTH Abe Shinzo and current Defense Ministry head Kishi Nobuo) Kishi Nobusuke had money manipulation as one of the core tenets of his way to accept bribes-

[ Before returning to Japan in October 1939, Kishi is reported to have advised his colleagues in the Manchukuo government about corruption: "Political funds should be accepted only after they have passed through a 'filter' and been 'cleansed'. If a problem arises, the 'filter' itself will then become the center of the affair, while the politician, who has consumed the 'clean water', will not be implicated. Political funds become the basis of corruption scandals only when they have not been sufficiently 'filtered'."[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobusuke_Kishi

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The problem is these measures do not actually stop money laundering and terrorist financing. They just make it more of a pain for average people to send money around and do business internationally.

once more for good measure.

this.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan wants to become an international financial center open to the world ?

A good level of understanding but also a low level of understanding concerning terrorism and money laundering.

Is what the article says.

That about sums it up !

Meanwhile most banks close at 3pm and the atm's not available till 9am in many locations.

Exuse my negative opinion of Japan's efficiency efforts at becoming internationally capable of anything .

And especially not banking.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

As we all know, terrorist and or gangsters money never makes it's way to the banks. So that means the average small businessman or a migrant supporting his family back home will even get more red tape neck pain when sending money abroad.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There are already too many regulations in place that affect normal banking people. About two years ago, most stopped accepting foreign-issued checks. Since discovered Sumitomo Trust Bank will still accept them.

Had a difficult time about two years ago opening an MUFG account and had to threaten them with action if they refused. They opened two accounts. Dollar and yen. Since then had to fill out forms about anti-laundering money. They don't like foreigners.

I also have two other accounts. These days it's more about internet banking than actually visiting a branch which I only do to update my bankbooks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cryptocurrency is a bigger threat to do money-laundering and so-called terrorist funding.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Tokyo is very strict.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Cryptocurrency is a bigger threat to do money-laundering and so-called terrorist funding.

Don't think so at all!

99% of crypto blockchain are exposing the history of all transactions that happened since the genesis block publicly and anyone can check and follow any crypto transfer in real-time from source to end. Yes, accounts are anonymous however to move crypto to those accounts, you need an open transaction from a known source or a known endpoint (ie: exchanges with KYC). Traceability of cryptocurrencies is a way much more "efficient & fully open" than any fiat currency for that matter, if govt were to use crypto, everybody would be able to pinpoint exactly where all the tax money is going to end, good luck doing that with current cash and brown bags.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As we all know, terrorist and or gangsters money never makes it's way to the banks. 

That is emphatically not true. The ready availability of on-line banking apps has allowed international money laundering via burner cell phones and cooperative local businesses to proliferate. Please become more literate in how criminals launder their money before making such grossly incorrect blanket statements.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A simple business payment from the UK via Transferwise (now Wise) led me to having to provide a sheaf on documents, including: invoices, corporate websites, reason for payment, corporate articles, and more for both payee and payer, to the Japan Central Bank, who had never heard of TransferWise, and who were flabbergasted to see the Japanese website.

As others have written, another mail in the coffin of international banking in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

-"This has placed Japanese NPOs at risk of being unwittingly involved" in terrorist funding activity.

The last time they said this they painted a target on NPOs and NGOs. The dictatorial leaderships of several countries used it to target any group it did not like. Innocent people were imprisoned and accounts frozen.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/08/09/world/g7-task-force/

Now the idiots have done it again.

They would like to get rid of cash so they can monitor, manipulate and block how we spend our cash. It results in the lunacy of fiddling about with texts for 2FA when spending £2 on ebay.

Target criminals, not NPOs, NGOs or the general public.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Please read these two articles and understand how money is laundered. This is real world, not the conspiracy nonsense posted above.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-china-cartels-specialreport-idUSKBN28D1M4

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/chinese-nationals-used-us-banks-to-launder-millions-in-drug-profits-for-sinaloa-cartel/ar-BB1g90GL

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Here is another example from the real world:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Caixin/How-illegal-online-gambling-launders-150bn-from-China

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The North Korean laundering of the stolen money from Bangladesh was also impressive. They chose the Philippines to do it because of the relatively lax controls there.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-08-03/a-baccarat-binge-helped-launder-the-world-s-biggest-cyberheist

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have actually done work in the field of money laundering control. It is getting harder and harder to convert large amounts of cash into apparently ligitmate sources and there are many telltale signs of it that can be automatically flagged.

While bitcoin can be used in the journey of money laundering, you still have turn your cash into a bank account deposit before you can buy them and it is hard to pay in $1m in used notes to your bank account.

And while it does appear petty at times, 9/11 was funded through a very small budget in amounts too low to set off the alarms. It meant that the anti-terrorism monitoring had to re-set its approach.

It wasn't all that long ago that terrorism could be funded quite openly - the IRA used to raise funding quite openly in the USA through its NORAID campaigns.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow it always feels like a pitb to send money anywhere. But I guess we could all be more educated about this subject.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Desert Tortoise

I was thinking the same, in addition to gambling, investing in real estate is also a known way to launder money. Sometimes cash only is exchanged at real estate offices in Japan when purchasing in Japan.

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/161094/7%20-%2001%20EPRS_Understanding%20money%20laundering%20through%20real%20estate%20transactions.pdf

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've had quite a lot of hassle from my Japanese banks just for being a foreigner who very rarely sends money back home. I think they're doing enough already.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Int'l body calls on Japan for stronger anti-money laundering actions

Ahahahahahahahaha.

I'm sure that it will change now..... When it hasn't changed before and when these comments have been coming for decades.

It will only end up making Japan and the financial system even harder (the opposite of the modernisation that is needed here) and making financial transactions more difficult for ordinary people. They will make it more difficult and argue that 'but the foreigners said we must have stronger anti-money laundering measures. And so we are doing that."

Just consider the fact of how long banking transactions take for ordinary people here. Some banks introduced with glory a few years ago transactions within the same bank within minutes, but there are still hurdles like the length of the move outside working days (we are talking about e-banking) and the argument that it takes so long to prevent money laundering, crime, etc.

Or an example - ten years ago my brother-in-law and his wife were buying a flat. If they wanted to transfer the amount to the account of the real estate company, they had to prove the documents of purchase of the apartment, some letter from the real estate company. And it would have taken several days anyway, precisely because of the size of the amount being transferred.

So my brother-in-law withdrew the amount in cash from his account and just transferred it in his luggage to the real estate company. Within a day. That amount of cash would be illegal in most EU countries, but here it is perfectly fine. But a bank transfer of the same amount is difficult.

They are just going to introduce something ad absurdum complicated (Japanese way) and because it's so complicated, it's going to be argued that it takes time because it's complicated.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They just make it more of a pain for average people to send money around and do business internationally.

Too true. It seems especially so for foreigners in Japan.

These measures don’t seem as if they would standup to a basic cost-benefit analysis.

Did we ever vote for the FATF democratically?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Financial Action Task Force 

The FAT Force? From France? Okay, education is important, and can help, but I suspect the criminals will always be one step ahead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These measures don’t seem as if they would standup to a basic cost-benefit analysis.

I think the benefit of all this is not to stop terrorism or crime (it won't), but to gain total control over each citizen's finances. Thus they can tax and seize personal funds at will. Throw in a social score like China, and they will be able to punish uncooperative citizens by restraining or even halting trade for them. Criticize a ruling party, and the next day you will suddenly be unable to spend or receive money. Want to buy marijuana or alcohol? That will entirely depend on whether the state's permission. Want to donate to a social cause or a political candidate? Ditto. It's a very dangerous game.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

commanteerToday  12:02 pm JST

These measures don’t seem as if they would standup to a basic cost-benefit analysis.

I think the benefit of all this is not to stop terrorism or crime (it won't), but to gain total control over each citizen's finances. Thus they can tax and seize personal funds at will. Throw in a social score like China, and they will be able to punish uncooperative citizens by restraining or even halting trade for them. Criticize a ruling party, and the next day you will suddenly be unable to spend or receive money. Want to buy marijuana or alcohol? That will entirely depend on whether the state's permission. Want to donate to a social cause or a political candidate? Ditto. It's a very dangerous game.

I was thinking much the same thing.

Include in that questioning the wisdom of lockdowns, mandatory medication and vaxx passports. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, "No money for you."

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In comparison to financial hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong, Japan isn't too bad... Being so loose is also what makes them so competitive in the banking sector.... the international bodies should look into those regions first before anything else really

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've had my cash card suddenly stop working only to report this to the bank and be met with a stack of anti-laundering forms to fill out. I suspect it was done on purpose so I would fill these out. Absolutely insane. They treat regular people like criminals and yet the LDP can accept massive bribes as it pleases.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's already impossible to wire money into the country or to use a foreign-issued credit card at an ATM, and you have to give your taxpayer number to wire money out... Short of strip searching people entering the country, what else can they do?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's already impossible to wire money into the country or to use a foreign-issued credit card at an ATM, and you have to give your taxpayer number to wire money out... Short of strip searching people entering the country, what else can they do?

Businesses move large amounts of money into and out of Japan every day. That is why those intent on laundering the proceeds of criminal activities turn to businesses and by extension the banks those businesses conduct their transactions through as the conduits for their money laundering activities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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