Crack down on TBML to battle the world’s kleptocrats says US senator

Action to prevent or stem trade-based money laundering (TBML) needs to be better coordinated to battle the world’s kleptocrats according to a comprehensive plan devised by a leading US senator.

Sheldon Whitehouse has launched his plan in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the senator sees as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strike against democratic countries and free-market financial systems.

Suspicious trade and financing

In remarks delivered to the US senate, Whitehouse applauded the Biden administration for proposing strong anti-money laundering rules.

But he urged Washington to strengthen disclosure rules for real estate transactions and better coordinate information sharing on suspicious financial and trade activity.

TBML dangers

Specifically, he says TBML “allows bad actors to trade everything from vegetables to washing machines as a way to move their money around internationally.”

“We need better coordination among key agencies involved in overseeing trade, and better information on suspicious financial and trade activity, that is shared more efficiently among various federal authorities,” he concluded.


The senator’s plan focuses on strengthening the activities of the US treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), with a particular emphasis on beneficial ownership transparency.

He also contemplates FinCEN’s work reviewing Bank Secrecy Act regulations with an eye toward a new anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.

 A summary and the full text of Whitehouse’s remarks to the US senate can be found here.

A video of the senator’s remarks can be found here.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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