Saturday, October 29, 2011


The earthquake that occurred yesterday, with its epicentre off the coast of Peru, is of topical interest to compliance officers in North America and the EU. The event, which registered 6.9 on the Richter magnitude scale, which makes it a strong to major quake, has reportedly resulted in damage to residences, and an unknown number of injuries, but details are lacking.

Remember that clever money launderers frequently hide their actions amidst the flood of aid funds that occur after natural disasters. They employ bogus or controlled charities and NGOs as a cover for the transmission of illicit funds to the stricken area or region.

It is important to remember that Peru is an major source of coca production, and narcotic profits earned in North America and Europe are generally repatriated. This natural disaster provides a new avenue for money launderers, operating for smuggling organisations, to bring home some of their illicit profits, disguised as humanitarian aid.

Therefore, know your charity; any organisation that seeks to send relief or reconstruction funds funds to Peru through your bank must be the subject of enhanced due diligence, unless your bank has a long and positive personal experience with the charity or NGO.  Alert bank staff to notify you of any wire transfer requests labeled as aid.

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