29 Oct 2005

US to set up programme to fight money laundering in Pacific

7:17 am on 29 October 2005

The United States is to set up a Anti-Money Laundering Programme in the region, to be run by the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin, made the announcement during the Post Forum Dialogue in Port Moresby.

The Director of the US State Department's Money Laundering Group, Edward Rindler, says the US is providing establishment funding of US$1.4m, with the hope of more to come, over the next four years.

Mr Rindler says the programme will use four or five mentors, covering areas such the law, investigations, banking regulations and finance.

He says to ensure there's no duplication of services they will be working closely with the Australian government and the International Monetary Fund.

"The effort to create a seamless web if you will within the Pacific, to protect against use of illegal proceeds from all source of transnational crime and domestic, as well as combating the potential for abuse of financial systems by terrorist organisations, those supporters of those organisations, is of fundamental importance to the global effort to do the same."