SFC reprimands and fines iSTAR International Futures Co. Limited $3 million over anti-money laundering-related internal control failures

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April 12 2017

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has reprimanded iSTAR International Futures Co. Limited, now known as Rifa Futures Limited (Rifa), and fined it $3 million over failures to comply with anti-money laundering regulatory requirements when processing third party fund transfers (Note 1).

An SFC investigation found that between January and July 2014, Rifa took insufficient steps to mitigate the risk of money laundering when handling third party deposits and transfers by failing to:

  • obtain proper written instructions from clients and verify the identity of third parties before effecting third party deposits on numerous occasions (Note 2);
  • make sufficient enquiries concerning third party deposits and maintain proper records of the findings (Note 3);
  • ensure that the approval process in respect of third party deposits was effective;
  • provide adequate anti-money laundering training to its staff; and
  • put in place an appropriate and effective compliance function.