Money Laundering:

U.S. Efforts to Combat Money Laundering Overseas

T-GGD-96-84: Published: Feb 28, 1996. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 1996.

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GAO discussed U.S. efforts to combat money laundering abroad. GAO noted that: (1) U.S. bank regulators rely on financial institutions' reporting currency transactions that exceed $10,000, involve known or suspected money laundering, or are inconsistent with the account holder's stated business; (2) European countries focus their anti-laundering efforts less on routine currency transaction reports and more on reports of suspicious activities; (3) host countries' anti-laundering and bank privacy and protection laws, to which overseas branches of U.S. banks must adhere, sometimes hinder U.S. bank regulators' reviews of overseas branches, and examinations of overseas banks tend to be more narrowly scoped; (4) while European law enforcement officials acknowledged the important role of several U.S. law enforcement agencies in anti-laundering activities, they also indicated that it was difficult to determine which U.S. agency they should coordinate efforts with; and (5) the United States works with other countries through multilateral and bilateral treaties and arrangements to establish global anti-laundering policies, enhance cooperation, and facilitate the exchange of information on money-laundering investigations.

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