Economy, Business And Markets

Anti-Money Laundering Drive Gains Int’l Momentum

Anti-Money Laundering Drive Gains Int’l Momentum Anti-Money Laundering Drive Gains Int’l Momentum

Minister of Economy Ali Tayebnia said on Tuesday that Iran has signed six anti-money laundering pacts with foreign nations to boost experience and knowledge-sharing between states.

Tayebnia made the announcement in an address to a gathering of Mini Dublin Group ambassadors in an event at the ministry in Tehran, IRNA reported.

The Dublin group is an informal consultation and coordination body concerned with the global, regional and country-specific problems of illicit drug production, trafficking and demand. It is comprised of 27 member states of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, the United States, the European Commission and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Tayebnia told the Dublin Group representatives that the present confab is a follow up of the last meeting of envoys that occurred in 2010. He said back then, "Iran's anti-money laundering system was a fledgling enterprise but was happy to report the progress that had taken place during this time."

He said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran as a member of the international community has not been immune to the pernicious effects of money laundering as a salient aspect of organized crime, and due to its geopolitical status as a key drug transit route, Iran has suffered losses of life as well as scores of wounded police officers in its fight against money laundering."

"The Iranian Constitution cautions against money gained from criminal activities and obliges the government to fight the nefarious phenomenon."

Concerted Efforts  

Elaborating on the government's efforts and determination to crack down on money laundering, Tayebnia said the High Anti-Money Laundering Council, headed by the minister of economy, has been established as the policymaker in this area. The body has the ministers of interior and industry as well as the governor of the Central Bank as its members.

"On fighting financing of terrorism, despite numerous rules and regulations that already existed, a separate bill was sent to the parliament and was passed in February 2010, but due to some flaws, the Guardians Council sent the proposal to the judiciary and after removing the problematic features, the bill is now pending final approval in the parliament," the minister said.

The minister added that since anti-money laundering measures are new initiatives, about 45 technical ordinances concerning banks, insurances, stock market, customs and notary publics have been issued.

"Exhorted by the law, every institution tasked with fighting money laundering is monitored by the council and its progress should be reported on a regular basis," the minister noted.

Global Initiative

The top economic official noted that over the last five years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has had an active presence in international anti-money laundering efforts. He further stressed the commitment of the country to keep its role as a stalwart partner in combating money laundering around the world.

He said: "With regard to the new structure of anti-money laundering statutes in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the need for utilizing other countries' experience and sharing knowledge with nations which have had positive achievements in this regard is very important and therefore strengthening ties with other countries as well as with international bodies is our official policy."

Tayebnia added that constructive cooperation in the past with international entities like UNODC, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), EAG (the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering), FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering) is indicative of the seriousness of Iran in combating money laundering. He also announced Iran's request to become a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Unit, an organization which provides a forum for FIUs around the world to improve cooperation in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The minister announced preparedness to promote cooperation with international anti-money laundering organizations and expressed hope that in return, international bodies appraise Iran's endeavors in this area without bias and reflect them in global circles.