According to a report by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), criminal investigations have been launched against Payvision, the Dutch media outlet FD reports. The Amsterdam-based ING subsidiary allegedly deliberately neglected money laundering controls for years. The Dutch regulator DNB reportedly warned ING about the deficiencies several times but saw little improvement. According to FD research, Payvision, Rudolf Booker, and Cheng Lim Li are the suspects in this criminal case.
FinTelegram Reports Confirmed
FinTelegram has written many reports between 2018 and 2020 about how Payvision, founded by Rudolf Booker, apparently wilfully and knowingly facilitated cybercrime organizations like that of Uwe Lenhoff or convicted Israeli fraudster, Gal Barak. Payvision has constantly denied this and has repeatedly threatened lawyers. Once again, however, FinTelegram’s findings have been confirmed by a regulator. This time by the DNB against Payvision.
The Office Raid
Officials from the FIOD, the Dutch law enforcement agency responsible for investigating financial crimes, raided Payvision offices last May and seized many thousands of emails, meeting minutes, and dozens of customer files, and reported sources around the criminal investigation. The FIOD also seized numerous documents from ING. The prosecutor’s office confirmed that criminal proceedings were initiated in 2021 following the DNB report.
The Devastating Regulatory Report
Regulator DNB sent a devastating investigation report to the Payvision board in October 2020. DNB alleges that the payment company had severely violated regulatory rules and the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act. The regulator described in detail how Payvision systematically neglected customer controls and anti-money laundering compliance even after ING acquired it.
Justice suspects payment processor Payvision of making suspicious transactions worth tens of millions of dollars for many cybercrime operators between 2015 and 2020. The company allegedly ignored fraud signals and deliberately failed to verify some customers.
Suspects also include founders and former directors Rudolf Booker and Cheng Li. Both told the FD, that they would be unaware of the criminal case.
The ING Desaster
Under then-CEO Ralph Hamers, ING acquired Payvision in 2018 for €350 million. After the acquisition, ING re-transferred the high-risk customers back to the Payvision founders, wrote off hundreds of millions, and decided to shut down the entire company in late 2021 after investing hundreds of millions more in technology and people.
Payvision is scheduled to cease operations by early 2023. The new criminal case, however, means ING has a long way to go before it can say goodbye to its headache. According to FD, ING has set up a small crisis team of top advisors to determine its defense strategy against the DNB report and the investigations by the prosecutor’s office and the FIOD.
ING brought in-house counsel Allen & Overy, and subsidiary Payvision is said to have hired a team from Zuida’s NautaDutilh office for its defense.