New US bill fails to contemplate TBML

A new bill currently working its way through the US Congress will not specifically address trade-based money laundering (TBML).

The legislation currently being drafted aims to modernise and strengthen anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws, increase corporate transparency by criminalising concealment of beneficial owners and allow tax crimes to be subject to money laundering charges.


The bill has come under criticism for not addressing some of the structural weaknesses in the US’ financial crime defences, including TBML.

Critics say the bill is also remiss by not subjecting lawyers, accountants, private equity houses and some real estate dealers to AML/CFT regulations.

Uncertain future

The future of the bipartisan Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017 is uncertain.

Much legislation at this stage of preparation fails to reach the statute books. But despite its apparent weaknesses, the bill has strong political support from Democrats and Republicans, many of whom are keen to be seen to be introducing tougher AML/CFT measures.

Key measures in the bill include increased penalties for bulk cash smuggling, allowing wiretapping of suspected money launderers and tougher regulations for money remitters.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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