The 2007 National Money Laundering Strategy is a direct response to the first U.S. Government wide money laundering threat assessment released in December 2005. In addition to following this new methodology, the 2007 Strategy for the first time focuses exclusively on money laundering. Previous U.S. money laundering strategies presented a combined program against both money laundering and terrorist financing. While money launderers and terrorist financiers may use the same financial channels and employ similar techniques, there are differences in their operations and in our strategies against them. The National Money Laundering Strategy for 2007 identifies areas in which the U.S. government will work to revise, enhance, or renew efforts to enforce existing Federal laws and regulations; study areas in which new guidance may be appropriate; and work with State supervisory and law enforcement authorities to improve financial transparency in State-regulated financial sectors. There are also areas identified in which the U.S. can more effectively exploit information-sharing opportunities between law enforcement and the financial services community. Although conceived to be the foundation for the 2007 Strategy, the U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment is much more than that. It not only assesses the progress the United States has made in combating money laundering and highlights areas that require further attention, but also provides lawmakers, regulators, examiners, law enforcement, and industry with a cautionary explanation of how major money laundering methods operate. Key findings of the U.S. Money Laundering Threat Assessment include:
Banks and other depository institutions remain the primary gateway to the U.S. financial system…. With the advent of Internet and remote banking, depository institutions face increased challenges identifying customers and their customers’ sources of funds.
Money Services Businesses (MSBs) offer an alternative to banks for both financial services and money laundering.
Smuggling cash out of the United States for deposit elsewhere is a well-established money laundering method and appears to be on the rise due to the barriers criminals face attempting to launder cash domestically.
Often the most complex money laundering methods involve the use of international trade to disguise funds transfers.
Legal entities, including corporations, limited liability companies and trusts, serve many legitimate purposes but also can be used for money laundering.
Casinos are cash-intensive businesses that often provide financial services and money laundering opportunities.
The insurance industry has undergone a transformation, and may become increasingly attractive to money launderers.
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Retrieved from: http://www.fincen.gov/news_room/rp/files/nmls_2007.pdf, 2007 National Money Laundering Strategy, pgs. v and vi.
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