FinCEN extends trade-based money laundering order

The US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has said it will extend its Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) focused on trade-based money laundering (TBML) schemes in South Florida.

The GTO specifically targets TBML schemes used by drug cartels, including Mexico’s Sinaloa and Los Zetas, to launder illicit proceeds through businesses in South Florida.

GTO targets

According to FinCEN, the GTO was originally served on about 700 electronics exporters in and around Miami.

An ongoing criminal investigation revealed that many electronics exporters are exploited as part of sophisticated TBML schemes in which drug proceeds collected in the US are converted into goods for export to South America and sold for local currency, which is then transferred to drug cartels.

Reporting requirements

A GTO is an order issued by the US Treasury requiring all domestic financial institutions within a geographic area to report on transactions any greater than a specified value.

GTOs are authorised by the Bank Secrecy Act and originally were only permitted to last for 60 days, a limitation that was extended by the USA Patriot Act to 180 days.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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