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Mexico: experts criticized Calderon´s anti money laundering policy.

In a academic seminar in Mexico, money laundering specialists criticized the presidential initiative to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, that was submitted by President Calderon last  August.

The report made by the experts, mandated by the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY) revealed that the rating assigned to the presidential proposal was 5.6 on a scale of one to 10.

“Mexico has a problem of leakage and corruption in the customs system that allows criminals to launder 30 billion dollars a year, despite the strict banking regulation,” quoted the document in question.

NOT ENOUGH. Experts Jorge L. Romo and Luis Foncerrada, participating in the panel on the evaluation of the presidential initiative to combat the "money laundering " in Mexico (Photo:credit to ESPINOSA MIGUEL EL UNIVERSAL)

The panel of experts are the following : Ernesto Cervera, Jorge Chabat, José Luis Fernández, Luis Foncerrada, Ramón García, Viator Ortiz, Jorge Romo, Cesar Tello and Patricia Torres.

Experts said the initiative is “perfectible” and exceeds the current rule, but does not include the informal economy.

It is therefore essential to have a prevention strategy to contain risk factors of money laundering in both formal and informal sectors.

It is required, the experts added, to include the entire financial system in the governmental project, as well as customs brokers, pawn shops, exchange offices, correspondent banks, political parties, churches and associations, among others.

They agreed that it is important to have the best supervisors in order to monitor the implementation of the law.

Regarding the use of cash and metals, experts warned that the initiative limits regular commercial activity, which will have an economic impact on the economy.

To avoid a negative effect, recommended the increased use of financial intelligence through monitoring and reporting to the authorities, in order to generate based research to generate greater force.

They suggested setting a limit on the amount of cash transactions in the art market as well as in travel agencies and jewelry centers.

The text concludes that the governmental proposal does not reflect a prevention model that abounds to eliminate or contain the risk factors for future money laundering. Even, it penalizes the formal economy with higher transaction costs in complying with regulatory frameworks.

The evaluation suggested the creation of a network of research units in each state to investigate money laundering and illegal assets and to work in coordination with federal authorities. The experts also suggested opening an institution that acts as a filter for the investigation of crimes that are linked to the money laundering.