The Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission Group of Experts to Control Money Laundering
The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) under the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, devotes efforts to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement agencies, bank regulators, financial intelligence units (FIUs), specialized public prosecutors, the judiciary, and other agencies involved in money laundering control and terrorism financing detection, investigation, and prosecution throughout the Americas. In 2014, hundreds of AML professionals from numerous countries in the Americas were trained. The U.S. Department of State, through its Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), provided full or partial funding for many CICAD training activities.
In 2014, CICAD also participated in several international cooperation activities, such as the FATF Evaluators Seminar, the meeting of the Working Group on Legal Cooperation in Legal Matters, the meeting of the Financial Action Task Force in Latin America’s (GAFILAT) Assets Recovery Network, and the plenary sessions of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and GAFILAT.
The Expert Group on the Control of Money Laundering (the Expert Group) is comprised of legal and law enforcement specialists appointed by member states. In 2014, the group met in Washington D.C. and Montevideo and worked on a variety of topics such as the collection of data on seized and forfeited assets; international cooperation in asset recovery; international cooperation in the sharing of seized assets; management of seized businesses; asset investigation; and the security and integrity of officials charged with combating money laundering and related crimes.
In the framework of strengthening the capacity of FIUs, CICAD conducted a number of workshops in Miami for 31 representatives from Central American and Caribbean FIUs. In June 2014, together with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), a specialized National Workshop against Terrorism and its Financing was held in Barbados for police and FIU personnel and foreign service officers.
Within the framework of the Coordination Committee addressing terrorism and terrorist financing (MECOOR) initiative, two regional workshops were held. The “Sub-regional Workshop on Combating Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism” was held in Guatemala in July and was attended by prosecutors, FIU analysts, and police from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama. The second workshop was held in August 2014 in Santiago, Chile. FIU analysts, police, and prosecutors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay participated.
Seized and Forfeited Assets
Within the framework of the Seized and Forfeited Asset Management Project in Latin America (BIDAL), there were two activities; the CICAD actively participated in the “International Expert Meeting on Seized and Confiscated Assets Management” in April 2014 in Reggio Calabria, Italy; and the agreement between CICAD and UNODC-Brazil for the implementation of the BIDAL Project in Brazil was signed. In August the project was presented to Brazilian authorities.
Technical Assistance and Cooperation
In March 2014, the regional workshop “Mock Investigation,” a mock trial for a money laundering and organized crime case, was given in Guatemala. Participants included 29 law enforcement officials from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru.
Technical assistance in the development of reporting standards was given to the FIU of El Salvador.
Within the Money Laundering Training Program for Judicial Officials, CICAD organized a training seminar for 40 judges and prosecutors, held in Trinidad. The December training was jointly organized with the CFATF. Representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago participated.
Inside the Legislative Assistance Program, CICAD conducted a follow-up visit to Dominica in May in order to advise the national authorities in the development of their AML/CFT regulations, and compliance with the FATF Recommendations.
CICAD, with the collaboration of the Implementation and Monitoring Committee of the National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering Actives of Peru (CONTRALAFT), carried out a number of activities and seminars in Lima in 2014 for AML professionals. The seminars included: “Workshop on Forensic Auditing Procedures Applied to the Investigation of Money Laundering Cases,” aimed at 25 analysts from the FIU and the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFP of Peru; “Workshop for Strengthening the Chain of Custody” for 53 prosecutors, attorneys, and police investigators; “Link Analysis and Relations” for 17 FIU analysts and prosecutors; “Workshop on Forensic Auditing Procedures Applied to the Investigation of Money Laundering Cases” aimed at FIU analysts and the areas related to the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFP of Peru, with a goal of strengthening the capacities of 21 officials in charge of management analysis for financial investigation and the use of forensic accounting in cases of ML/FT; the “Link and Relationship Analysis on Money Laundering Investigations Training” for 17 prosecutors and FIU analysts; and a workshop on corruption as a money laundering predicate offense for 60 Peruvian officials, including prosecutors, judges, attorneys, and FIU investigators and analysts. Additionally, the official launch of the book “Combating Money Laundering from the Judicial System. Special Edition for Peru” was held before an audience of about 30 officials of the institutions that make up the CONTRALAFT, especially the judicial sector, the National Police, and the FIU of Peru.