US financial transactions to be monitored

Obama administration working on new ways to counter money laundering

The 2plus2 poker forum was buzzing this week with speculation regarding a new move by the Obama administration to monitor and control international financial transactions.

Posters discussed a reported initiative to ensure that all international electronic funds transfers are recorded, and not just those in excess of $10 000.

The US federal government is apparently prepared to spend over $30 million in setting up an infrastructure which will handle weekly reportage from banks and financial institutions of all electronic money transfers into and out of the United States.

State officials are justifying the need for this further intrusion into the affairs of citizens as necessary to counter terrorist financing and the economic danger of money laundering.

The initiative is over and above the burden already placed on US financial institutions to enforce the UIGEA by disrupting illegal online gambling transactions with offshore operators.

One 2plus2 poster pointed out: “If you transfer money to a company that is subsequently linked to money laundering, you run a real risk of becoming entangled in any legal prosecution of that entity if your name is associated with it…. and any financial association with that accused company will be transparent for the government to see.”

James H. Freis Jr., who is director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the US Treasury Department, said in a statement recently: “By establishing a centralized database, this regulatory plan will greatly assist law enforcement in detecting and ferreting out transnational organized crime, multinational drug cartels, terrorist financing and international tax evasion.”

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