Report by the Authority for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Millions of shekels that were laundered for the purpose of terrorism were seized in the last year

A new report by the Authority for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing reveals economic crime data, the main trends and risks in the areas of money laundering and terrorist financing in Israel

(Photo: maradon 333, Shutterstock)

The Authority for the Prohibition of Money Laundering and Terror Financing has exposed the economic crime data for the year 2022. In that year, there was an increase in the identification of money laundering incidents linked to tax evasion and fraud, alongside an increasing trend in the use of cash, loans, and credit facilities, financial service providers (changes), and international activity for money laundering purposes.

The annual comprehensive report from the Authority and the summary of key data, which includes all the new data on money laundering trends and methods in Israel in the past year, emerging issues, patterns of criminal activity linked to money laundering, data on the volume of reports to the Authority, and many other data points, including:

- 23% of the incidents constituting the basis for money laundering this year involved fraud, deception, and forgery.

- The identification of a significant increase in financial crime related to tax evasion, including the use of fictitious invoices (21%), alongside companies and/or organized crime groups (13%).

A 100% increase in reports of unusual activity in changes

The prominent money laundering patterns in 2022 also constituted the fastest-growing patterns of money laundering in the past two years. These patterns included international activity (20%), cash transactions (17%), activity through financial service providers (14%), and lending and credit utilization (12%). The activities of financial service providers (known as "changes") are also experiencing a significant increase, as evidenced by approximately 91,000 reports of unusual activities submitted to the Authority, reflecting a 291% increase over the past five years.

Continuing the annual trend, there was a noticeable increase in the number of "reports of unusual activity" this year as well. In 2022, approximately 170,000 reports of unusual activity were received, marking a 52% increase compared to 2020. Even financial service providers (changes) reported more unusual activity to the Authority than banks. There was a 107% increase compared to 2020 and a 291% increase over the past five years in this regard.

As part of the national effort against economic crime, the Authority initiated and supported dozens of financial investigations in the past year, both in Israel and internationally, which resulted in the filing of charges and the seizure of significant amounts of illicit funds.

The cases presented in the report include an overview of the money laundering method and the financial intelligence research conducted by the Authority, which facilitated the apprehension of criminals. These cases cover a wide range of areas, including fraud, extortion, professional money laundering, terror financing, arms trafficking, and more.

Cooperation with Bahrain and France

On the international front, the Authority continues to play a central role in the activities of the FATF, leading projects and influencing the organization's decisions and global policy.

Simultaneously, the Authority expanded its joint activities with financial intelligence units worldwide, with an emphasis on strengthening relations with Bahrain's financial intelligence unit. This included signing a memorandum of understanding and making the first visit to the country for future coordination and cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. Additionally, collaboration was deepened with France's financial intelligence unit on matters related to financial crime.

Exposing criminals, locating assets and money trails

Minister of Justice, Member of Knesset (MK) Yariv Levin, stated that "the Ministry of Justice proudly carries the flag of the fight against serious and organized crime and is deeply committed to combating economic crime, which seeks to exploit the legitimate economic system for the use of illicit funds and terrorism, thereby undermining national security. The Authority for the Prohibition of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing believes in promoting activity in this field, assisting in safeguarding the security and lives of Israeli citizens, strengthening the resilience of the Israeli financial system, and receiving international recognition and achievements beyond measure from its peers.

"As seen in this report, the Authority plays a significant role in our efforts to expose wrongdoers, locate assets, and trace the money trails they use, especially in the national fight against criminal phenomena in the Arab society. I commend the staff of the Authority and its management for their blessed work and their important contribution to the security of Israeli citizens."

"Serious crime, organized crime and money laundering"

The CEO of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Itamar Donenfeld, added: "The Authority for the Prohibition of Money Laundering and Terror Financing, within the Ministry of Justice, leads the national fight against severe criminal phenomena, organized crime, and money laundering. As part of its role, the Authority provides significant assistance to enforcement and security agencies in the battle against criminal and terrorist organizations, enabling the Ministry of Justice to be at the forefront of the fight against economic crime in Israel."

The data reflected in the Authority's annual report indicate the continuous growth in the scope of its activities and the quality of the work carried out in the field. We will continue to work to mitigate the phenomena of economic crime for the benefit of the public in Israel and the Israeli economy."

"Combination of intelligence and enforcement"

The head of the Authority for the Prohibition of Money Laundering and Terror Financing, Attorney Orit Ostrovitz-Levy, stated: "The Authority operates tirelessly day and night for the purpose of combating serious economic crime while simultaneously strengthening the regime of money laundering and terror financing prevention, including the financial inclusion of as many sectors and businesses as possible, in order to promote the financial integrity of the Israeli economy. These goals can only be achieved through a combination of intelligence and enforcement efforts.

"This is how we operated with full force in 2022, deepening our cooperation with law enforcement and security agencies in the State of Israel, as well as with our partners worldwide, to mitigate the harmful effects of money laundering that threaten the security of Israeli citizens. We supported dozens of economic investigations, both in Israel and abroad, which led to indictments, arrests, and the seizure of substantial amounts of criminal funds, as seen in various cases detailed in the report."

0 Comments

Do not send comments that include inflammatory words, defamation, and content that exceeds the limit of good taste.

Israel-Gaza War, International Court of Justice

Abu Mazen welcomes ICJ ruling, calling the war "general aggression against our people"

Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen joins Hamas in celebrating the ICJ ruling ordering Israel to cease fire in Rafah and the southern Gaza Strip.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, International Court of Justice

Sky News Arabia: Hamas welcomes ICJ ruling ordering Israel to cease operations in Rafah

Hamas publicly welcomed the International Court of Justice's ruling that Israel must cease operations in Rafah and the southern Gaza Strip.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, International Court of Justice

Opposition leader Lapid: ICJ ruling moral collapse; government could and should have prevented it

Opposition leader Yair Lapid expressed outrage at the ICJ ruling calling for a halt to operations in Rafah, while criticizing the government for failing to ensure broader international support.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, International Cort of Justice

Liberman: UN institutions and the Hague have become terrorist collaborators

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman condemned the ICJ's ruling today, adding that it was a mistake to cooperate with the court in the first place due to its bias.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, International Court of Justice

ICJ rules Israel must cease operations in Rafah

In an unprecedented step, the International Court of Justice issued an order to Israel to cease operations in Rafah and the southern Gaza Strip.

Yair Amar, JFeed Staff | 24.05.24

Elections, Polls

New Poll: Labour in, Religious Zionism out

A new Lazar-Maariv poll shows relative stability among the parties over the past three months, with the coalition shrinking somewhat and the opposition bloc increasing slightly.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, Hostages

President Herzog: May the memory of Hanan, Orión, and Michel be blessed

President Herzog posted a message of condolences on X following the news that the bodies of three of the hostages had been extracted and brought to Israel.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, Spain

FM Katz: Spanish consulate now prohibited from servicing Palestinians in Judea and Samaria

The move comes after Spain announced its intent to recognize a Palestinian state, alongside the countries of Norway and Ireland.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, Hostages

PM Netanyahu: We have a national and moral duty to do everything we can to return the hostages - living and dead

The Prime Minister made this statement following the announcement of IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari that three bodies of hostages had been extracted from Gaza and returned to Israel.

Avi Woolf | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, Hostages

Released for publication: IDF extracts another three bodies of hostages from Gaza

The bodies of three of those taken hostage to Gaza were taken back to Israel last night: Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, and Orion Hernandez.

Guy Ezra, JFeed Staff | 24.05.24

Israel-Gaza War

IDF eliminates Hamas Beit Hanoun battalion commander

The IDF eliminated Hussien Fiad, the commander of Hamas' Beit Hanoun battalion today.

Avi Woolf | 23.05.24

Israel-Gaza War, Northern Front

Watch: IDF strikes Hezbollah targets

The IDF struck Hezbollah military structures and observation posts in different areas over the course of the day.

Avi Woolf | 23.05.24