May 18, 2013
US warns about Argentina's 'lack of progress' in fighting money laundering activities
The US Department of State released it’s 2010 Country Reports on Terrorism, in which it praised Argentina for “cooperating well” with the US in analyzing possible terrorist threat information,” but warned about the country’s “virtually no progress toward addressing anti-money laundering and counterterrorist finance activities.
Despite the absence of known operational cells of either al-Qa’ida- or Hizballah-related groups in the hemisphere, the US government warns about “ideological sympathizers in South America” who “continue to provide financial and moral support” to terrorist groups acting on the other side of the world, including the Middle East and South Asia.
The report praises Argentina for “undertaking serious prevention and preparedness efforts” in order to fight terrorism and for “cooperating well” with the US in analyzing possible terrorist threat information, including the Triple Frontier area, and efforts “against threats including drug and human trafficking.”
However, it warned about a lack of progress in fighting money laundering activities destined to finance terrorism.
“The Government of Argentina underwent a Financial Action Task Force mutual evaluation in November 2009, which was adopted by the FATF plenary in October 2010. The assessment concluded that Argentina had made virtually no progress toward addressing the numerous serious deficiencies identified during the previous assessment and that the legal and preventive anti-money laundering/counterterrorist financial activities measures in place were either inadequate or not being enforced,” the report assures.
Among the many deficiencies noted in the FATF assessment was that the money laundering statute was not effectively implemented.
The report concludes that despite the Argentine government’s and Central Bank’s claims that they remain committed to freezing assets of terrorist groups in local financial institutions identified by the UN, “their measures to freeze terrorist-related funds rely mainly on ordinary criminal procedures, which do not permit timely and effective enforcement in such cases.”