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Diplomacy in Action

2013 INCSR: Department of State

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 5, 2013


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Office of Anti-Crime Programs helps strengthen criminal justice systems and the abilities of law enforcement agencies around the world to combat transnational criminal threats before they extend beyond their borders and impact our homeland. Through its international programs, as well as in coordination with other INL offices and U.S. Government agencies, the INL Office of Anti-Crime Programs addresses a broad cross-section of law enforcement and criminal justice sector areas including: counter-narcotics; drug demand reduction; money laundering; financial crime; terrorist financing; transnational crime; smuggling of goods; illegal migration; trafficking in persons; border controls; document security; corruption; cybercrime; intellectual property rights; police academy development; and assistance to law enforcement, judiciaries and prosecutors.

INL and the State Department’s Bureau for Counterterrorism co-chair the interagency Terrorist Finance Working Group (TFWG), and together are implementing a multi-million dollar training and technical assistance program designed to develop or enhance the capacity of a selected group of more than two dozen countries whose financial sectors have been used, or are vulnerable to being used, to finance terrorism. As is the case with the more than 100 other countries to which INL-funded training was delivered in 2012, the capacity to thwart the funding of terrorism is dependent on the development of a robust anti-money laundering regime. Supported by and in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and various nongovernmental organizations, the TFWG provided in 2012 a variety of law enforcement, regulatory and criminal justice programs worldwide. This integrated approach includes assistance with the drafting of legislation and regulations that comport with international standards; the training of law enforcement, the judiciary and financial sector regulators; as well as the development of financial intelligence units (FIUs) capable of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating financial information to foreign analogs. Courses and training have been provided in the United States as well as in the jurisdictions where the programs are targeted.

Nearly every federal law enforcement agency assisted in this effort by providing basic and advanced training courses in all aspects of financial criminal investigation. Likewise, bank regulatory agencies participated in providing anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) training to supervisory entities. In addition, INL made funds available for the intermittent or full-time posting of legal and financial mentors at selected overseas locations. These advisors work directly with host governments to assist in the creation, implementation, and enforcement of AML/CFT and financial crime legislation. INL also provided several federal agencies funding to conduct multi-agency financial crime training assessments and develop specialized training in specific jurisdictions to combat money laundering.

The State Department, in conjunction with DHS’ Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Treasury, supports eight trade transparency units (TTUs) in Latin America: three in the tri-border area of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, and others in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Panama. TTUs, designed to help identify significant disparities in import and export trade documentation, continue to enjoy success in combating money laundering and other trade-related financial crimes. Similar to the Egmont Group of FIUs that examines and exchanges information gathered through financial transparency reporting requirements, an international network of TTUs fosters the sharing of disparities in trade data between countries and is a potent weapon in combating customs fraud and trade-based money laundering. Trade is the common denominator in most of the world’s alternative remittance systems and underground banking systems. Trade-based value transfer systems also have been used in terrorist financing.

The continuing and well publicized problems with narcotics and money laundering in the western hemisphere have caused us to focus on those jurisdictions closest to us through the Central American Regional Security Initiative and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. These programs provide support for law enforcement and supervisory initiatives in Central American and Caribbean jurisdictions.

West Africa is facing a growing danger from transnational organized crime (TOC), particularly narcotics traffickers, whose activities threaten the collective security and regional stability interests of the United States, our African partners, and the international community. Money laundering and financial crimes are particular concerns as the proceeds from TOC flow back to organizations that move illicit drugs to America and fuel corruption by government officials. To combat this threat, INL, working closely with the regional Africa Bureau, has spearheaded the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI), a whole-of-government approach towards fighting TOC. With its programming and through coordination with African and international partners, WACSI works to build accountable institutions; establish legal and policy frameworks to counter TOC; strengthen security operations; reinforce justice operations; and address the socio-economic causes and consequences of TOC.

INL also provided support to the UN Global Programme against Money Laundering (GPML) in 2012. In addition to sponsoring money laundering conferences and providing short-term training courses, GPML’s mentoring program provides advisors on a year-long basis to specific countries or regions. GPML mentors provided assistance to Horn of Africa countries targeted by the U.S. East Africa Counterterrorism Initiative and have focused on providing support to regional asset recovery networks in South Africa and South America as well as promoting the establishment of similar asset forfeiture support networks in West Africa and the Asia Pacific region. The resident mentor based in South Africa monitored the Prosecutor Placement Program, an initiative aimed at placing prosecutors from the region for a certain period of time within the asset forfeiture unit of South Africa’s national prosecuting authority. The GPML mentors in Central Asia and the Mekong Delta continued assisting the countries in those regions to develop viable AML/CFT regimes.

INL continues to provide significant financial support for many of the anti-money laundering bodies around the globe. During 2012, INL supported The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international AML/CFT standard setting organization. In addition to sharing mandatory membership dues to FATF and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and DOJ, INL is a financial supporter of FATF-style regional bodies’ secretariats and training programs, including the Council of Europe’s MONEYVAL, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group. In addition to providing funding to GPML to place a residential mentor in Dakar, Senegal, to assist those member states of GIABA that have enacted the necessary legislation to develop FIUs, INL worked with the mentor to determine priorities and develop opportunities and programs.

INL also financially supported the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Experts Group to Control Money Laundering and the OAS Counter-Terrorism Committee. OAS/CICAD has focused successfully on improving the capacity of investigators, prosecutors and judges throughout Latin America through its mock investigation and trial workshops and its confiscated criminal assets management programs.

INL supported anti-piracy efforts by substantively working with other bureaus within DOS, GPML, other international organizations, and other countries to look at the best way to address piracy through its financial levers – the assets assembled as a result of piracy activity, and the material support and instrumentalities of piracy – and the application of domestic and international instruments to thwart pirates as we do other criminals.

As in previous years, INL training programs continue to focus on both interagency bilateral and multilateral efforts. When possible, we seek participation with our partner countries’ law enforcement, judicial and supervisory authorities to design and provide training and technical assistance to countries with the political will to develop viable AML/CFT regimes. This allows for extensive synergistic dialogue and exchange of information. INL’s approach has been used successfully in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. INL also provides funding for many of the regional training and technical assistance programs offered by the various law enforcement agencies, including assistance to the International Law Enforcement Academies.

International Law Enforcement Academies

The mission of the regional International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs) is to support emerging democracies; help protect U.S. interests through international cooperation; and promote social, political and economic stability by combating crime. To achieve these goals, the ILEA program provides high-quality training and technical assistance, supports institution building and enforcement capability development, and fosters relationships among American law enforcement agencies and their counterparts around the world.

Since the first ILEA opened in 1995, the program has grown to five academies worldwide, and has provided training to over 42,000 students from countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and across Latin America. ILEAs offer three different types of programs to address global threats: a core program; specialized courses; and seminars and workshops. The core program is a six-week intensive professional development program, the Law Enforcement Leadership Development (LELD) program, designed for mid-level law enforcement practitioners, and is tailored to region-specific needs and emerging global threats. The core program typically includes 50 participants, normally from three or more countries. The specialized courses, comprised of about 30 participants, are one or two-week courses for law enforcement or criminal justice officials on a specific topic. Lastly, regional seminars or workshops present various emerging law enforcement topics such as transnational crimes, financial crimes, and counter-terrorism.

The ILEAs help to develop an extensive network of alumni who exchange information with their regional and U.S. counterparts and assist in transnational investigations. Many ILEA graduates become the leaders and decision-makers in their respective law enforcement organizations. The Department of State coordinates with the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury, and with foreign government counterparts to implement the ILEA programs.

Africa. ILEA Gaborone (Botswana) opened in 2001. ILEA Gaborone delivers four LELD programs annually and also offers specialized courses for police and other criminal justice officials to boost their capacity to work with U.S. and regional counterparts. These courses concentrate on specific methods and techniques in a variety of subjects, such as anti-corruption, financial crimes, border security, drug enforcement, firearms, explosives, and wildlife investigation. ILEA Gaborone provided training to approximately 740 students in 2012.

Asia. ILEA Bangkok (Thailand) opened in 1999, and focuses on enhancing regional cooperation against transnational crime threats in Southeast Asia. Courses focus on combating illicit drug trafficking, terrorist financing and financial crimes, illicit wildlife trafficking, environmental crimes, and human trafficking. Each year, ILEA Bangkok provides one LELD program and specialized courses on a variety of criminal justice topics. ILEA Bangkok trained approximately 1,330 students in 2012.

Europe. ILEA Budapest (Hungary) was the first ILEA, established in 1995. ILEA Budapest delivers five LELD programs annually and also offers specialized courses on regional threats such as organized crime, environmental crime, terrorist financing and financial crimes, and cybercrime. ILEA Budapest trained approximately 1,100 students in 2012.

Global. ILEA Roswell (New Mexico) opened in September 2001. ILEA Roswell provides the tools necessary to enable partner countries to formulate and execute effective and responsible criminal justice public policy. Unlike other ILEAs, ILEA Roswell draws its recruits from graduates of regional Academies in Budapest, Bangkok, Gaborone, San Salvador and the ILEA Regional Training Center (RTC) in Lima, Peru. ILEA Roswell trained approximately 60 students in 2012.

Latin America. ILEA San Salvador (El Salvador) opened in 2005. ILEA San Salvador delivers four LELD programs annually and also offers specialized courses on regional threats as well as specialized courses for police, prosecutors, and judicial officials. ILEA San Salvador courses concentrate on anti-gang programs, international terrorism, illegal trafficking in drugs, alien smuggling, terrorist financing and financial crimes. ILEA San Salvador trained approximately 1,170 students in 2012.

The ILEA Regional Training Center in Lima (Peru) opened in 2007 to complement the mission of ILEA San Salvador. The RTC augments the delivery of region-specific training for Latin America and concentrates on specialized courses on critical topics for countries in the Southern Cone and Andean Regions. The RTC trained approximately 340 students in 2012.

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