Last year, I received an invitation to speak at an AML conference in a Caribbean nation; I always perform due diligence on any organisation sponsoring a programme that is seeking my presence. What I learnt was disturbing; the company's true owner (not the front men that everyone said owned it) was a former senior adviser from a South American country who had a curious way of doing business.
The lawyer, a former senior AML adviser in his country, offered his consultancy services to bankers and financial service companies. They were rarely refused, because prospective clients have reported that the individual threatened to turn in the company to the government regulatory agency that he formerly worked at, if they declined to accept his AML services. Is that making an offer that one simply cannot refuse ?
Based upon the foregoing, I declined to appear as a speaker.
Today, I was advised that this bogus AML entity has moved its headquarters into Panama, and that the company is reportedly a front for actual money laundering operations in Panama's banks. The AML company is merely window-dressing for organised crime. If you are a Panamanian banker, you know who this company is.
Bottom line: know your AML/CFT provider; there are a number of posers out there.