Unserious financial institutions scams and extorts customers with fake AML investigations
By: Giovanni Caporaso Gottlieb
Caporaso recently has bring to the authorities the case of Intercash, a MasterCard card distributor on the market for more than 10 years, states on its website www.intercash.com, which is the property of Andaria Ltd, a business supposedly registered on the Isle of Man.
Controlling on www.gov.im, Andaria capital Limited and Andaria Limited appear, however no business registered with the name Andaria Ltd. appears. The site itself was registered anonymously to conceal the property, contrary to all of the policies of AML and transparency.
On the site itself, Intercash states that Andaria Ltd. is not and is not required to be licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission Funds. But then, what license are they operating under?
None, it would seem because we investigated the United Kingdom's Financial Ombudsman and they told us that there is no financial business registered under the name Intercash or Andaria Ltd.
Intercash uses London phone numbers for their customer service and implies that it has offices in the Kingdom. It also states in the site that funds must be processed via Complete Solution, MSB registration #M17664559; however, on the site the Financial Crime Enforcement Network it says that the registration number must have 14 digits and no registration with the numbers reported by Intercash appear.
They also state on the website that they are approved MasterCard ISO, although Intercash is apparently an offshore business with not-well-identified beneficiaries, contrary to AML policies.
Let's analyze how Intercash developed the extortion of its customer, point by point:
1. The customer sends the sum of 105,138.81 EUR from his account in a financial institution in Gibraltar. Fifteen days after receiving the sum, Intercash notifies the customer that the entity which sent the money was supposedly flagged (Note: the entity, not the customer; and it doesn't say where it was flagged.) and Intercash, which has received all of the information, including a six month history of the movements of the money, says that it will open an investigation on the funds. If there was something odd, why didn't they alert the authorities?
2. This supposed investigation lasted around three months, creating, in addition, problems with the customer's cash flow.
3. After the three months, Intercash says that they have concluded the investigation, that they are going to close the customer's account and return the client's money to him, minus 11,987 EUR for legal expenses for the investigation.
4. The customer obviously makes a claim arguing that there are no invoices or proof of investigation expenses, that said expenses were not authorized and that there is no clause in the contract with Intercash that authorizes this type of expenses. In addition, that all time and always has immediately provided all of the requested documentation (Note: this is why they didn't steal everything), that no law allows this and that, in addition, the money sent by the other institution is money that must be reimbursed to their client.
5. THE EXTORTION. At this point, Intercash sends an extortive e-mail in which it states that, if it is must that must be reimbursed to the clients, they could open an investigation on each customer and that this would go into effect if the customer doesn't accept the legal "expenses" charged by Intercash, who specifies: We have recommended stopping this investigation before it gets more complicated and stopping your fees, so that you can recover most of your money.
Should you proceed with these false claims we will be contacting and notifying the authorities in your Country and other jurisdictions of your operation. We will send a report to black list any of the people involved in your company with the various authorities and with the global MasterCard/Visa to limit any future possible services, and also notify the Financial authorities to add your company and all the personal names linked to any existing sanction list.
But if the claims are false why Intercash is threating? And is this not ilegal? Or they can abuse of the law enforcement list?
A strong and exhaustive regulation of the Anti Money Laundering policies is urgently needed.
Giovanni Caporaso Gottlieb