(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica has launched a national campaign against money laundering and terrorist financing, that includes actions in various fields and changes to legislation.

The proposal was discussed during the two days, Thursday and Friday, of the Grupo de Acción Financiera de Latinoamérica (GAFILAT) – Latin America Anti-Money Laundering Group, in San José, with the participation of representatives from 20 countries.

In order to strengthen the “antilavado” (money laundering) system, GAFILAT regularly evaluates the member countries. This time the audit was focused on Costa Rica and Cuba and the results presented to representatives by the Deputry Minister of the Presidency, Ana Gabriel Zuñiga Aponte, who also chairs the Board of the Costa Rica Drug Insitute (Instituto Costarricense sobre Drogas – ICD).

On the issue of prevention, for example, the strategy emphasizes the financial sector and proposes: to reduce the use of cash as payment; improve control of the remittances sector and reduce its informality.

The proposal also aims to strengthen regulation, supervision and control of the foreign exchange sector and establish a legal framework for electronic payments including the emergence of new technologies; boost risk-based supervision and define preventive measures to better know the customer when they delegate the actions to a third-party.

“We are facing highly complex, specialized crimes that are difficult to prove, that is why it is necessary they be dealt with in a comprehensive manner,” said Zuñiga.

Detection and intelligence actions, investigation and criminal justice are all part of the proposal . Is exposed, in this regard, the need to update national legislation, given the gap generated by the new criminal trends and consistent with international standards to combat these crimes.

GAFILAT executive secretary Esteban Fullin, in a press conference, thanked Panama and Cuba for their efforts in the fight against these crimes.

GAFILAT is an intergovernmental organization that brings together 16 countries from South, Central and North Americas (ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, CUBA, ECUADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, NICARAGUA, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, URUGUAY) to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.

Observer countries include: Germany, Portugal, Canada, Spain, France, U.S., the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization of American States (OAS), Interpol and the UN.