Lawyers warn of possible penalties for Bitcoin

If it does not comply with the FATF recommendations, it could be classified as a “tax haven”.

“If the necessary measures are not adopted to manage the risks of Money Laundering and Against the Financing of Terrorism, the country could be classified, not only by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but also by the international community as a jurisdiction vulnerable to money laundering and the financing of terrorism ”, warns Rolando Monroy, a criminal lawyer who headed the financial investigation unit of the Prosecutor’s Office.

But the consequences, according to Monroy, could be greater for El Salvador because “international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the IDB, CABEI, base a good part of their conclusions, when granting loans, on the evaluation reports carried out by FATF and regional organizations in the FATF style, in that sense they may condition the approval of credits on compliance with the standards established by FATF ”.

Given the emergence of a series of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Tether, Bitcoin, XPR, the FATF issued a series of recommendations that its member countries should implement, according to Monroy.

You could read: World Bank will not support the Bukele government to implement Bitcoin in El Salvador

These regulations specify that countries must ensure that “Virtual Asset Service Providers (PSAVs) are subject to adequate AML / CFT regulation and supervision or monitoring.”

The application of these recommendations must be effectively complied with by member countries in order to “mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing that arise from virtual assets,” it adds.

Another of the regulations proposed by the FATF, according to Monroy, is that “PSAVs must be licensed or registered. This implies that they must be subject to a territorial jurisdiction ”and“ capture the information of the originator and the beneficiary of each operation and keep said information at the disposal of the authorities ”.

The FATF recommended the implementation of customer identification and due diligence policies (normal or extended) and take measures to identify natural or legal persons who carry out PSAV activities without a license and apply the appropriate sanctions.

“If El Salvador does not comply with the parameters established by FATF in terms of risk management associated with virtual asset services, it could perfectly be included in one of the sanction lists,” Monroy warned.

He recalled that the FATF has a system of sanctions, among these are the lists classified in colors to determine the level of risk. Among these the red, black, darkened gray and gray lists. This classification has to do with the level of risk, that is, high risk, uncooperative or more vigilant.

“Any of these designations implies a shadow in the reputation for the country that receives it,” warns Monroy.
A way to commit crimes.

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For her part, the criminal lawyer Marcela Galeas maintains that financial transactions through cryptocurrencies “is a way of taking advantage of anonymity to commit a crime, which opens up the possibilities for other crimes to be configured in addition to money laundering.”

These other crimes include drug trafficking, firearms smuggling, fraud, tax evasion, cyberattacks, evasion of sanctions, child exploitation and human trafficking.

Galeas recalled that the FATF warns that cryptocurrencies and the providers of these services should be the main surveillance targets to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, according to a statement on February 25.

Galeas recommends that the standards issued by the FATF must be met or otherwise, since El Salvador could be excluded from the member countries of that international body.

“This would be a very delicate situation because the FATF identifies and publishes those countries that do not cooperate in the fight against money laundering and related crimes. The implications that they could have for the country does not necessarily close the door to international loans, ”Galeas said.

He assures that criminal activities with virtual assets have become more common and the country with the adoption of Bitcoin will be no exception.

“These virtual assets are an innovative technology to transfer value globally such as sending payments and reducing commissions,” he said.

In that sense, he believes that “El Salvador could receive a visit from a high-level mission or a letter from the president of the FATF as a form of pressure to prevent money laundering and similar crimes” or “issue a statement in which it would ask to financial institutions that pay attention to commercial relationships and transactions with people, companies or institutions that violate their standards ”.

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Galeas believes that it is important to comply with international standards on the prevention and prosecution of money laundering and terrorist financing should be a priority for governments, since “non-compliance with these (standards or recommendations) would be a red flag that could be detected unusual behaviors of possible activities that could be illegal related to virtual assets ”.

Monroy says that the correct thing to do, before approving the Bitcoin Law as legal tender, should have “issued certain regulations for the use or operation of Virtual Asset Services, rather than making a law tailored to a single operator, since with this the other actors are excluded and the function of managing the risks associated with that activity is not fulfilled ”.


From this BMI, the risk of illness increases

In particular, the elderly and people with previous illnesses more often suffer from a severe course of Covid-19. However, a current study shows that even being slightly overweight could be dangerous.

It is well known that being excessively overweight can be harmful to health. Studies have also already shown that obesity can have a negative impact on the course of Covid 19 disease. Researchers from Great Britain are now investigating whether even being slightly overweight and normal weight have an effect on the corona risk.

High body mass index can increase hospital risk

Scientists at New York’s “NYU Langone Medical Center” found in 2020 that a high body mass index increases the risk of being hospitalized with Covid 19. According to the study, it increases in people with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 40. Obesity is about as much at risk for patients as heart failure and significantly more than lung or cancer diseases.

Thus, being very overweight counts in addition to cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes one of the most common risk factors for a severe course of Covid-19. As the Ärzteblatt reported, obesity also increases the risk of being cared for in intensive care or even dying.

These findings also coincide with observations from other countries. Doctors from Wuhan already found in spring 2020 that more than 88 percent of those who died of Covid-19 had a BMI of over 25 and were therefore overweight to obese.

Why are overweight people more likely to get Covid-19?

So far it is unclear why obese patients more often suffer a severe course of Covid-19. The scientists suspect that the inflammatory responses that occur in obesity may play a role. In severe cases of Covid-19, this often results in an uncontrolled overshoot of the immune system, which can lead to circulatory shock and multiple organ failure.

In addition, there is the fact that being overweight also leads to a lower level of defense of the immune system with other infections and that people who are severely overweight are more prone to infections anyway.

Study: From this BMI, the risk of Covid 19 disease increases

A team of researchers from Oxford University evaluated data from 6.9 million patients from 1,500 primary care practices in the UK who had at least one BMI measurement. Within this cohort, 13,503 people were hospitalized for Covid-19 between January and April last year. 1,601 of them had to be treated in intensive care units. A total of 5,479 patients died of or with Covid-19.

The analysis showed that the risk of hospitalization increased linearly from a BMI of 23, i.e. already below the overweight limit, which is 25. The risk of death was increased from a value of 28, i.e. below the threshold for obesity. The results were published in the English language journal “Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology”.

Obesity: How To Calculate Your BMI

According to the Robert Koch Institute, around a quarter of adults in Germany are obese. To determine whether you are overweight or even obese, you can easily calculate your body mass index (BMI). To do this, you need to divide your weight by your height in meters squared.

You can find a simple BMI calculator here.

A healthy BMI is between 19 and 25. If you have a lower BMI, you are most likely underweight; if your BMI rises above 25, you are overweight. Someone is considered obese if their BMI is over 30.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.