Money laundering and related illicit financial activities have a devastating impact on economic, security, and social spheres. They continue to pose serious challenges to most Member States in the region, due to the existence of cash based economies and a combination of deficient legal frameworks, weak border controls and poor regulatory mechanisms, and a lack of law enforcement, judicial and regulatory capacity.
Money laundering is a global issue generated in conflict regions by the drugs trade, piracy, wildlife trafficking and other serious crimes. The same international financial mechanisms used to launder these crime proceeds provide financial support for terrorism. Newly emerging and increasingly complex money laundering techniques are appearing, involving the use of the international trade regime, cash couriers, alternative remittance systems and complex corporate structures.
UNODC strengthens anti-money laundering efforts in the region by collaboration with global bodies and regional agencies by strengthening legislative and policy frameworks and strategies through:
- Enhancing knowledge and skills to profile and collect and disseminate information;
- Improving capabilities to identify and recover proceeds of crime;
- Increasing cooperation with financial/private sector bodies;
- Enhancing cooperation on a bilateral, regional and international level.