Banking Association warns that criminals are leading in money laundering

Image result for Florida Association of International Bankers (FIBA)

Miami, Mar 10 (EFE) .- The “cooperation” between banks, governments and police authorities should be the strategy to combat money laundering in the face of the advantage these criminals have taken, David Schwartz, president of EFE, told Efe. the Florida Association of International Bankers (FIBA).

According to the executive, the new technologies used for the crime and the importance of “sharing information” to combat this crime that “affects international banking in the region” will focus the forum that FIBA ​​will carry out next Monday in Miami.

“At the moment we detect a type of money laundering, they (the criminals) are already in another sector, they are always one step ahead, they also have their own consultants, their own technology experts,” lamented Schwartz.

These issues will be analyzed during three days in the 18th Annual Conference against Money Laundering (AML) and Compliance of FIBA, together with the new threats implied by “the lack of transparency in the movement of virtual currencies,” he said. Schwartz

The event this year will feature an informal talk by Kenneth A. Blanco, new director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Treasury Department, and 23 other sessions.

Likewise, it will present a case study on money laundering based on trade and also the use of technology to mitigate the risk of financial crimes, among other workshops.

Schwartz added that beyond the laundering of funds from drug trafficking, the meeting will also analyze other sources such as arms trafficking, human and cyber crimes, as well as the new tricks used by criminals.

Among them, he explained that the cartels are laundering money through gold imports and that other criminals are buying supermarket gift cards and then selling them online or exchanging them for others to “erase” the origin of that dirty money.

Other tricks, he said, is through commercial platforms over the Internet, such as eBay, where they offer “merchandise that does not exist”, which they themselves buy, and where “the seller receives the money already laundered.”

Schwartz noted that banks spend a lot of time, money and human resources, and that despite all that they remain in combat. “It seems we never got over the problem,” he said.

“It’s not easy,” Schwartz added, calling for cooperation among banks, governments, police authorities and even multinational companies to “share information.”

“If we work together, it would be easier to eliminate the problem, I’m not saying we’re going to eliminate them forever, but at least we can take more steps forward than we are now,” he said.

He explained that if the bank does not know that there is a criminal inside the institution, it is blamed by the US Department of Justice. or the DEA anti-drug agency, when the ideal would be to “work together to stop all those criminal gangs.”

Regarding virtual currencies, he stressed that “not being under supervision” lend themselves to any form of laundering of illicit money, including as rewards in cyber attacks, because “they do not leave a trace of the criminal”.

Effects of money laundering

Image result for money launderingAccording to FIBA, money laundering accounts for up to 7% of Latin America’s GDP and has devastating consequences for the economy, society and security of the region.

A good part of the participants in the forum will be representatives of banks and regulatory bodies in Latin America and the Caribbean, where, according to Schwartz, “progress” has been made in anti-money laundering, corruption and terrorism financing rules, but which still faces ” the challenge of effective implementation “, either due to lack of resources or changes of governments.

Regarding the financial industry of the region, the president of FIBA ​​explained that there is a great progress pushed by the regulations of the US bank.

“Given the requirement to work in dollars for imports, exports or wealth management, they have to work with US banks that have demands from their regulators, and they impose the same on correspondent banking,” he said.

For this reason, banking in Latin America “has made a strong effort to comply with the actions required by the American bank.” he added.

However, he said that the United States is vulnerable in the issue of money laundering due to the large number of banks, some 6,000, and money transfer companies.

For the country, “it is not a matter of illicit activity, but of ease of entering a financial system, we have so many points of entry here that it is more difficult to detect,” he said.