Every year, U.S. officials from agencies with anti-money laundering responsibilities meet to assess the money laundering situations in 200 jurisdictions. The review includes an assessment of the significance of financial transactions in the country’s financial institutions involving proceeds of serious crime, steps taken or not taken to address financial crime and money laundering, each jurisdiction’s vulnerability to money laundering, the conformance of its laws and policies to international standards, the effectiveness with which the government has acted, and the government’s political will to take needed actions.
The 2012 Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Country Database supplements the 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, and highlights the most significant steps reporting countries and jurisdictions have taken to improve their anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regimes. It provides a snapshot of the AML/CFT legal infrastructure of each country or jurisdiction and its capacity to share information and cooperate in international investigations. For each country where they have been completed, the write-up also provides a link to the most recent mutual evaluation performed by or on behalf of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) or the FATF-style regional body to which the country or jurisdiction belongs. When applicable, relevant country reports also provide links to the Department of State’s “Country Reports on Terrorism” so the reader can learn more about issues specific to terrorism and terrorism financing. Providing these links will allow those interested readers to find detailed information on the country’s AML/CFT capacity and the effectiveness of its programs.
Money laundering continues to be a serious global threat. Jurisdictions flooded with illicit funds are vulnerable to the breakdown of the rule of law, the corruption of public officials and destabilization of their economies. The development of new technologies and the possibility of linkages between illegal activities that generate considerable proceeds and the funding of terrorist groups only exacerbate the challenges faced by the financial, law enforcement, supervisory, legal and intelligence communities. The continued development of AML/CFT regimes to deter criminal activity and detect illicit proceeds is reflected in this report again this year. Political stability, democracy and free markets depend on solvent, stable, and honest financial, commercial, and trade systems. The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs looks forward to continuing to work with our U.S. and international partners in furthering this important work and strengthening capacities globally to combat money laundering and the funding of terrorists and terrorism.