The GAFI values Bolivia’s decision to introduce improvements in regulations against anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. On May, the Representatives Chamber passes a bill on the issue.
The National Government carries on in the task to improve the legal instruments to fight against money laundering and terrorism funding, a measure that the Financial Action Task Force FATF acknowledged in its last report, for the high political commitment shown by the Bolivian State to work jointly with the GAFI and GAFISUD to resolve weaknesses that are still present in the country.
This evaluation is included in the GAFI’s public statement, issued after its last plenary session, hold between June 20th and June 22th in Rome, Italy.
It is also important to point out the institutional and legal progress made against anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism were acknowledge by countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Noruega, as well as by GAFISUD, that at the GAFI’s plenary session expressed their explicit support for the advances made by the Plurinational State of Bolivia .
This public statement also includes the following: the GAFI urges Bolivia to resolve the deficiencies, and specially ensuring adequate criminalization of money laundering; adequately criminalizing terrorist financing; actually under consideration at the parliament, establishing and implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets.
At GAFI’s plenary session, its review group issued its evaluation on the progress made with the Bill passed on last may at the Bolivian Representatives Chamber that aims to establish a procedure to adequately criminalizing terrorist financing; establishing and implementing an adequate legal framework for identifying and freezing terrorist assets; consigned at the United Nations public registry, as well as other country requirements.
The Bill also introduce modifications to the legal picture for anti money laundering and terrorist financing, to strengthen such specifications according to international advice and recommendations.
The Bill (developed by the Ministry of Economy and Public Finances), will allow to address the observations made by GAFI regarding the legal legislation.
Until today, the Bill is still under constitutional consideration at the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, a progress that is of public knowledge and has been followed up by the press.
At the last GAFI public statement, besides pointing out Bolivia’s high political commitment, it also acknowledges the progress achieved by the modifications on legal legislation passed on to the Plurinational Legislative Assembly. That will strengthen the legal frame on which the government has been working since 2006, as part of a continuous process of constitution and reinforcement of an institutional system to repress such illegal activities.
This process takes also into consideration, among other measures to reinforce the Financial Intelligence Unit that is under a program of technical assistance with international cooperation.
GAFI’s express recognition to Bolivia’s political commitment, is an accreditation to the National Government that with the Minister of Economy and Public Finances’ participation at meetings with GAFI, explained the policy on the issue, as well as measured that are being developed.
On February 2012, the Bolivian Government ratify its determination to carry on the fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism, with the conviction that such illegal actions damaged the moral and economy of the state and its institutions.
In this context it is important to remember that at the meeting with GAFI on October 2011, for the passing of the bill on Funding of terrorism, the review group based on a preliminary analysis, ratified its observations, but recognized the high level of commitment to overcome such observations.
On June 2011, GAFI placed Bolivia in a list of observed countries for its deficiencies on the legal framework to fight against money laundering and funding of terrorism.
It is worth to clarify that the State of Bolivia, face such situation because before 2006 there was a legal and institutional to fight against money laundering and terrorists funding , except for the specification of the offence of Legitimating of Illegal profits, made in 1997 with Law 1768, that has plenty of deficiencies.
Therefore the resolution of such legal and institutional deficiencies is a challenge that has been faced responsibly, with the development of a system made up of a group of especial legal and management regulations, as well as operative institutions (UIF and ASFI) and strategic (National Council for the fight against the Legitimating of Illegal Profits and the Funding of Terrorism that is in process to be approved).