US government accepts one call for closer TBML monitoring, rejects another

The US government has rejected one of the recommendations of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for closer monitoring of efforts to fight trade-based money laundering (TBML).

The GAO made two recommendations. First it suggested the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should develop a strategy to maximise the effectiveness of its trade transparency unit (TTU) programme. Secondly the GAO suggested a performance monitoring framework for the TTU program.

DHS response

The DHS concurred with the first recommendation. It says it will assess emerging threats and create a new strategic plan by the end of March 2021.

But the department did not accept the second recommendation, citing data it already collects and challenges it faces.

The GAO, which was asked by US senators to examine the steps taken by the DHS to ensure trade transactions are not being exploited as a way to launder illicit funds,  continues to believe its second recommendation is valid.

Report scope

The GAO report examined the types and extent of international TBML activities as well as the practices international bodies, selected countries, and knowledgeable sources have recommended for detecting and combating TBML.

The report also looked into the extent to which the TTU programme has been effectively implemented and the steps the US government has taken to collaborate with international partners to combat TBML.

The GAO report, Report to Congressional Requesters on Trade-Based Money Laundering, can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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