Global Anti-Money Laundering Experiment a Fail?

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Money Laundering governing bodies have been busy with investigations and fines. However, have the regulations been successful?

We have yet to truly see any success on the decrease of drugs and crimes. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime has estimated that just 0.2% of the proceeds of crime are seized. That percentage doesn’t really spell “success”.

In just the past week there were reports about Swiss bank UBS agreeing to pay a €10 million (about A$16 million) penalty to end an Italian money laundering case; a New Zealand company, Jin Yuan Finance, being fined NZ$4 million (about A$3.7 million) for not complying with anti-money laundering laws; and calls in Australia for a royal commission after leaked CCTV footage from Melbourne’s Crown Casino showed a man in a tracksuit exchanging “bricks of cash” worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for gaming chips in one of the casino’s high-roller rooms.

In the latter case, Crown Casino defended itself on the basis of having a “comprehensive” Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing program overseen by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). But federal parliamentarian Andrew Wilkie called the situation a catastrophic “multinational, multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency” failure by politicians, state regulators, police and AUSTRAC.

In part Andrew is right, it seems its not the national AML system which has failed rather the global system.

In each of above cases, monetary fine wise the appropriate measures were taken. However, the bigger question remains, how will illegal activities be tackled? Is there a solution to increase success rate from 0.2%?

As it stands the global system is a 99.8% failure. We need more emphasis on the “results” rather than activity and effort. For example, more hours are being clocked in for a task rather than measuring the end result of the effort being input.

We can have all the top security systems in place, the most complex systems. We will still not achieve the end goals if there is no emphasis on the end results. The global system seems to be failing us and we need a global united action to achieve true results, which is attack the heart and soul (drugs and crimes) of illegal funds.