Illicit Narcotics:

Recent Efforts to Control Chemical Diversion and Money Laundering

NSIAD-94-34: Published: Dec 8, 1993. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed recent efforts to control chemical diversion and money laundering, focusing on the international community's progress in adopting measures to control these activities.

GAO found that: (1) the United Nations and two task forces have focused international efforts on controlling illicit drug production and trafficking and gained political endorsements to criminalize money laundering and legislate chemical and financial controls; (2) these controls are not globally enforced because countries have varying drug control policies, fear that controls will impede their financial and chemical commerce, and lack the resources necessary to implement controls; (3) although many countries have adopted laws and regulations governing chemical control, some countries have not established the needed infrastructure or international data exchange mechanisms to control drugs; (4) the international community lacks the ability to exchange drug data because countries fail to comply with reporting requirements and are reluctant to provide data on their citizens and commerce; (5) although most of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member countries have criminalized money laundering and legislated financial controls, the scope of their laws, financial reporting requirements, intercountry cooperation, and seizure and forfeiture of illicitly-derived assets vary; and (6) FATF will continue to assess money-laundering techniques, seek implementation of its recommendations, seek members' cooperation in persuading nonmembers to control money laundering, and develop training programs.

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