During the FATF plenary meeting held on October 13-18 in Paris as part of its ongoing review of compliance with the AML/CFT standards Mongolia has been added to the list of jurisdictions whose implementation of FATF compliance is to be closely monitored due to its deficiencies AML/CFT structure. As a result Mongolia has to improve its AML/CFT structure to comply with international standards and regulations.

One of the FATF recommended action plans is “demonstrating increased investigations and prosecutions of different types of ML activity in line with identified risks”. In compliance with this recommendation, Mongolian law enforcement agencies are taking required measures in accordance with their functions. One of the operations was the special joint operation conducted by the GIA and NPA on October 29, 2019.

As a result of this special operations we have apprehended around 800 Chinese citizens who have entered Mongolia under false pretenses (on a tourist visa) to commit cyber and money-laundering activity in Mongolia and seized around 1000 high-end computers, smart phones, 10,000 cellular sim cards, a large amount of currency, and luxury vehicles. The Chinese citizens started entering Mongolia in small group starting from August 2019, by October 29, 2019 the number of these citizens reached 800. The General Intelligence Agency monitored their activates throughout the entire process.

Analysis from their activities and scrutiny of the seized asset suggests that the Chinese citizens brought a large amount of liquid and non-liquid currency into Mongolia to finance, pay the salary, rent rooms in hotels (to supply their living quarters) in order to operate an 800 men cyber team which conducts cybercrimes in a certain jurisdiction with the proceeds being stored in Mongolia to further widen the scope of its illicit activities and commit money laundering.

Chinese citizens have widely been involved this sort of criminal activity in South East Asia and in 2017 Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Spain had reported similar criminal activity on their territory and made multiple arrests in connection to this.

The investigation is still ongoing, the Chinese citizens involved in the operation have deported. However, criminal charges have been filed and investigations are underway for the persons who are responsible for organizing the teams and its activities.   

POSTED: 2019-11-05