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Governmental initiative for citizen security against Robberies and Money Laundering in Uruguay

Uruguay´s Minister of Interior, Mr. Eduardo Bonomi

Uruguay´s Minister of Interior, Mr. Eduardo Bonomi

March 24th, 2016, Montevideo.- Recently, the Minister of Interior  of Uruguay Mr. Eduardo Bonomi launched an initiative to include burglaries, robberies and cattle rustling in the list of offenses to money laundering.

The Uruguayan anti-money laundering law now provides 22 previous offenses that can enable justice to start a investigation for money laundering, such as drug trafficking and corruption. In such cases the shaft is to locate property acquired with proceeds of other crimes and recover the money for the state.

“We presented a bill stating that when more than certain amount of money in such criminal activity, it predicate offense of money laundering, which is another way of deteriorating motivation for criminals” , Minister Eduardo Bonomi said last Monday at a news conference.

The initiative of the Ministry of Interior could join the agenda of a special governmental commission that last month began work on the formulation of a new anti-money laundering law that, among other things, define tax fraud as a illegal precedent for money laundering, according to an official statement made by the head of the Money Laundering Secretariat of the Presidency of Uruguay, Mr. Carlos Diaz.

The possibility of including theft or robbery crime as a precedent to money laundering,  is part of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions.  The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.  The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

The FATF has developed a series of Recommendations that are recognised as the international standard for combating of money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  They form the basis for a co-ordinated response to these threats to the integrity of the financial system and help ensure a level playing field.  First issued in 1990, the FATF Recommendations were revised in 1996, 2001, 2003 and most recently in 2012 to ensure that they remain up to date and relevant, and they are intended to be of universal application.

The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.  In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

Laundering cases are growing in Uruguay, according to report.

 

The suspicious transaction reports (STRs) of money laundering increased 27% in 2015 compared to 2014, according to data from the Information Unit and Financial Analysis (FIAU) of the Central Bank of Uruguay (BCU), as they went from 286 to 363, said last week the newspaper El Pais. Of the cases that were evaluated by the UIAF, 13 were sent to Justice, as detailed in report published by the Anti-Money Laundering Secretariat of the Presidency of Uruguay.