U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, today released a bipartisan report entitled The Buck Stops Here: Improving U.S. Anti-Money Laundering Practices that provides recommendations for Congress and the Obama Administration to strengthen anti-money laundering laws and regulations in the United States.
"Drug traffickers are motivated by one thing: money. The illicit proceeds from their crimes are blood money, and blood money has no place in our financial system." said Senator Feinstein. "Money laundering--very often through U.S. businesses and financial institutions--must be stopped if we are to make real progress in curtailing the drug trade. Improving our anti-money laundering laws will help better combat transnational organized crime and return revenue to the U.S. Treasury."
"Our report has common-sense recommendations to curb key shortcomings in anti-money laundering statutes and enforcement practices." said Senator Grassley. "By cutting off financing, we can get at the criminals who misuse legitimate institutions to fuel their illegal activities. Congress and the Obama Administration should take a close look at these recommendations."
The report recommends:
-Stronger enforcement of anti-money laundering laws by the Justice Department, particularly in cases where banks are accused of improperly monitoring billions of dollars in illicit proceeds;
-Making pre-paid cards (known as stored value) subject to cross-border reporting requirements;
-Closing a loophole that makes armored cash carriers exempt from reporting requirements;
-Passage of the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act to make it more difficult for criminal organizations to hide behind shell companies;
-Passage of the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act to close gaps in anti-money laundering laws; and
-Enforcement of the 2007 National Money Laundering Strategy, including the requirement that all money service businesses register with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The report is endorsed by Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control members Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), James E. Risch (R-Idaho) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).