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- Fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism: new international FATF standards approved

Press release N° 18 of 02/16/2012

Fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism: new international FATF standards approved

President Del Bufalo: "The exchange of information between states is crucial in the fight against international financial crime."

In the Italian presidency year, forty new Recommendations of FATF-GAFI (Financial Action Task Force - Gruppo d'Azione Finanziaria Internazionale) were approved in Paris. FATF-GAFI is an intergovernmental body whose task is to define international standards in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism that are designed to be transformed into law in many countries around the world.

"The adoption of the new Recommendations is a tangible sign of the common will on the part of nations belonging to diverse geographical areas to contrast money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," explained Chairman Giancarlo Del Bufalo, who previously held the position of department chief at the Ministry for the Economy and Finance. "The new document provides a normative outline of the most effective instruments against the illicit use of the financial system, while promoting greater transparency of the entities involved and highlighting international cooperation through the exchange of information between authorities as the right path ahead in the fight against financial crime," Chairman Del Bufalo said, adding that, for the first time ever, the Recommendations considered "fiscal crimes, including tax evasion, as crimes prerequisite to money laundering."

Other guidelines include more stringent measures in the transparency of companies and trusts with a view to identifying their real owners or holders and to contrasting the illicit use of company instruments to finance terrorism or to launder illegally obtained money.

The new Recommendations have widened the field of action to also include the fight against the illicit financing for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in high-risk countries. GAFI-FATF will assess how countries implement the countermeasures defined in the sanctions imposed by the Security Council of the United Nations.

As for key current topics of international cooperation such as the fight against fiscal evasion, the traceability of financial transactions, the confiscation and freezing of assets, the new Recommendations bind states to a greater exchange of information among competent authorities, encouraging common investigative action.

The Recommendation also focus on the concept of risk analysis, linking it with specific geographic areas, financial products and client segments so as to enable a more efficient allocation of resources.

More about FATF- GAFI

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the task force set up to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Established in 1989, the intergovernmental body includes 34 member countries and two supranational entities, the European Commission (EC) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

FATF meetings are attended by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The presidency is a 12-month position. Italy's mandate terminates at the end of June 2012.

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Rome 02/16/2012