Archive for December, 2011

US expands AML bill

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

On December 5, the US House of Representatives passed a bill seeking to enhance the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). However, the document’s principal author claimed that the measure has been “watered down.”

According to Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who authored House Bill 4275, amendments to the measure approved by the House of Representatives weakened the proposed legislation.

Rodriguez said that substantial information was removed before the approval. For example, the provision allowing the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to look into bank accounts of suspected money launderers without informing the account holder, given there is probable cause to do so was removed from the document.
This provision was dropped because of the proposal from House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, who wanted to give the AMLC the power to inquire into the bank account of suspected money launderers only “after due notice and hearing.” This means that the Anti-Money Laundering Council will have to secure the approval of the Court of Appeals before it can look into questionable bank accounts, a a result, the depositor will also be informed of such an action.

US coordinates fight on money laundering with Mexico

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

In the beginning of December, the US insisted that operations aimed to combat money laundering are coordinated fully with Mexico, amid controversy over a report that United States’ agents laundered drug proceeds to see how the system works.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the operations aimed to disrupt money laundering networks are fully vetted and fully coordinated with Mexican authorities. Toner stressed: “The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) works with Mexican authorities to gather and use information about these criminal organizations to counter threats that they pose to both our countries”.

According to the Mexican government, bilateral work is done in an existing legal framework that covers activities of international authorities on the territory of Mexico.

However, many Mexican politicians want more information. The Senate security committee chairman in Mexico City, Felipe Gonzalez, said that President Felipe Calderon should report to Congress on the anti-money laundering operations. He suggested that the facts about what has been achieved in terms of arrests, seizures of funds and crime reduction should be revealed. It is worth noting that since 2006, when its government launched a major military crackdown against the powerful drug cartels, some 45 000 people have been killed in Mexico.