Combating money laundering : sentinels ans tools at work

by Gilles FAVAREL-GARRIGUES, Thierry GODEFROY and Pierre LASCOUMES – september 2009

 

Gilles FAVAREL-GARRIGUES (CERI-Sciences-Po), Thierry GODEFROY (CESDIP) and Pierre LASCOUMES (CEVIPOF-Sciences-Po) report on a survey of anti-money laundering professionals. This issue of Penal Issues focuses mostly on the implementation of surveillance and reporting schemes by banking organisations.

 

Twenty years ago, in July 1989, the Paris conference of the G7 launched the international fight against the laundering of money derived from drug trafficking and set banks in the forefront of this combat by entrusting them with the surveillance of financial flows. This surprising innovation, contradicting the most firmly anchored principles of the profession (non-intrusion in the economic decisions of clients and strict confidentiality with respect to outside actors, barring some strictly limited administrative and judicial exceptions) has met with enormous international success. The message was given wide circulation and the fight was institutionalised. Gradually, all countries adopted the international anti-money laundering norms and the new international agency, the Financial Action Task Force created at the end of the Arch Summit has been assigned new missions, extending to new targets (the funding of terrorism, nuclear proliferation).

 

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