FinCEN publishes advisory on kleptocracy and foreign policy corruption

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an advisory on kleptocracy and foreign policy corruption.

According to FinCEN, the advisory urges financial institutions to focus their efforts on detecting the proceeds of foreign public corruption, which is a key priority for the US government.

The advisory also offers typologies and potential indicators of kleptocracy and other forms of foreign public corruption including bribery, embezzlement, extortion and the misappropriation of public assets.

Furthermore, the advisory highlights financial red flag indicators to assist financial institutions in preventing, detecting and reporting suspicious transactions associated with kleptocracy and foreign public corruption.

Kleptocrats and other corrupt public officials often steal the wealth of the public for personal gain and use their positions of power and access to state-owned resources for their personal benefit.

FinCEN acting director Himamauli Das said, “Foreign public corruption erodes public trust and disproportionately harms the most vulnerable in societies. Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine is a yet another example of how a kleptocracy like Russia—a country whose government has been characterised for years by corruption, money laundering, malign influence, sanctions evasions and armed interventions abroad—harms not only its own citizens, but those living beyond its borders.

“Financial institutions play a crucial role in identifying corrupt activity and associated money laundering on the part of foreign public officials and should remain vigilant and promptly report suspicious financial activity.”

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