The US Treasury has released its 2002 National Anti-Money Laundering Strategy, detailing its plans to fight “dirty” money. The annual report, required by law, is a blueprint of how the Administration will address critical issues surrounding the enforcement of financial crimes. (See pdf link below)

The National Money Laundering Strategy was released by Treasury Under Secretary Jimmy Gurule, who said anti-money laundering enforcement has become a priority for the very critical reason that the attack of the financial structures of criminal organisations remains one of the best ways to dismantle sophisticated criminal enterprises. *”These networks of murderers are mercenaries who require hard money to finance their deadly acts of terror. If we can shut down their financial structures, we save innocent lives,”* he said.

The document includes as part of the US agenda, its commitments to providing technical assistance to jurisdictions, where needed. It also reports on some of the significant money laundering cases that the federal government has investigated and prosecuted in the last year.

In follow up to regulatory measures already introduced as part of the *USA PATRIOT Act*, the Treasury plans to convene a study in December to determine if foreign banks with a correspondent account in the US have appointed an agent authorised to accept service of legal process.

The strategy document outlines plans for local, state and federal cooperation, and the Treasury cites the work of the New York/New Jersey High Financial Crime Area (HIFCA) task force as a model of good federal, state and local coordination and cooperation.

The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) plans to grant law enforcement agencies greater access to BSA data and expand the automated alert process for its Gateway System.

In cooperation with the Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division and the Department of Justice, Treasury is creating an inter-agency team to coordinate with various other bodies to fight money launderers. The aim is to have a set of uniform federal guidelines in place by September for undercover money laundering operations.

The US has urged the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to incorporate the Financial Action Task Force’s 40 recommendations and eight special recommendations on terrorist financing into their operations and evaluations of member countries. The US is continuing its work with other Financial Action Task Force (FATF) members to help the World Bank and IMF prepare the *”Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes”* document on Anti-Money Laundering and combating terrorist financing.