|Wikileaks:||View 02TEGUCIGALPA2569 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||EFIN EAID HO|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 002569 SIPDIS PLEASE PASS TO TREASURY - OFFICE OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EFIN, EAID, HO SUBJECT: HONDURAS: MONEY LAUNDERING IMPLEMENTATION GETS OFF TO A GOOD START REF: TEGUCIGALPA 725 1. Summary. Three Treasury consultants held a seminar on money laundering and financial crimes from August 24-26 for 40 judges, prosecutors, police investigators, Banking Commission officials and bank compliance officers. The seminar was well received by the Honduran participants and the Treasury consultants commented that there is good cooperation among the different GOH entities responsible for enforcement of the law. The Financial Information Unit is up and running and investigating 25 cases of suspected money laundering. One of these cases is being prepared for prosecution. End summary. 2. From August 24-26, three consultants (Jim Parrott, Ronald Cleaver and Gary Kruchten) from the Department of Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance held a seminar in Tegucigalpa on money laundering and financial crimes for 40 judges, prosecutors, police investigators, Banking Commission officials and bank compliance officers. The Treasury consultants commented that they were impressed with the quality of the questions raised and the level of interest among the participants. The seminar was the third money laundering technical assistance visit by Parrott to support the GOH as it implements its strengthened money laundering legislation (reftel). In April, Parrot reviewed the law that had been adopted by the National Congress and met with Banking Commission officials, prosecutors, the Supreme Court and the banking association to do a technical assistance needs assessment. He returned with an attorney from NAS Guatemala to provide an overview of the operations of an FIU and spent time with prosecutors and Banking Commission officials reviewing draft implementing regulations. 3. Treasury is currently planning a trip (tentatively programmed for November) for Financial Information Unit (FIU) officials and the prosecutor assigned to the FIU to visit a successful FIU in Latin America (possibly Colombia). Treasury is also talking with FINCEN about arranging for a computer expert to travel to Tegucigalpa to advise Honduran FIU officials on organizing and upgrading their computer system. Embassy hopes to continue to use Treasury consultants to provide training to GOH authorities (banking officials, prosecutors, judges, police) on money laundering, financial crimes and investigative techniques and envisions a one to two-year technical assistance program, provided funding is available. 4. The FIU is up and running and currently investigating 25 cases of suspected money laundering. One of the cases is being prepared for prosecution. The FIU consists of five officials, including three analysts and one full-time prosecutor. Both the prosecutors and Banking Commission officials commented on the constructive working relationship within the FIU. 5. Of concern to the Treasury consultants was the physical security of the FIU. There is currently uncontrolled access to the computer systems and sensitive banking information, compromising not only the security of the FIU but also hindering information sharing among regional FIU's and FINCEN. Banking Commission President Ana Cristina de Pereira agreed to take measures to improve the FIU's physical security. However, budget restrictions (the Banking Commission's 2002 budget did not include money for upgrades to the FIU) may limit what the Banking Commission can do in the short-term to upgrade security. Pereira remarked that she would request money in the Commission's 2003 budget for a comprehensive FIU security upgrade. 6. Post would like to thank Treasury for its extremely timely and helpful support in ensuring implementation of the GOH's strengthened money laundering legislation. Pierce
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