Colombia Intensifies Battle Against Money Laundering - Government - Mondaq Colombia - Mondaq Business Briefing - Books and Journals - VLEX 580925598

Colombia Intensifies Battle Against Money Laundering

Author:Ms Maria Arango
Profession:TMF Group

Although practitioners may incur in 55 underlying offenses, according to the Colombian Criminal Code, this illegal activity is currently equivalent to $20 billion or to the 3% of the country GDP.

Money laundering is one of the most pervasive economic issues in Colombia, and local administration is developing and implementing more and better ways to identify and stop companies or individuals of committing this crime.

Says the Information and Financial Analysis Unit in Colombia than when a person or organization generates profits from an illicit activity the people involved looks for ways of controlling the assets without being noticed. In other words, the delinquents "wash" their income before spending or investing it in the legal economy. This process is commonly known as "money laundering" or "asset laundering." Specifically in Colombia, money laundering is present on a big scale, particularly in commercial and financial areas.

A study developed by the Basel Institute on Governance says that Colombia, Chile and Peru are the Latin American countries with the strongest legal and institutional infrastructure before asset laundering activities. On a scale where zero means absence of risks and 10 means more exposure to these crimes, Colombia obtained 4.61, Chile 4.07 and Peru 4.42. Bolivia and Paraguay showed the greatest weakness in the list of 162 countries with 7.32 and 7.59, respectively.

Colombia gives you more control

The Bank Association of Colombia (ASOBANCARIA) recently gathered public organisations and private companies with the purpose of establishing the latest trends on assets laundering and terrorism financing, and to determine ways to protect these institutions from the effects of these practices.

New measures were announced to identify and control these practices. One of the new regulations states that, from next year, the International...

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