MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, November 18th 2018 - 17:21 UTC

Argentina passes tough money-laundering bill to avoid “gray list”

Thursday, June 2nd 2011 - 08:41 UTC
Full article 21 comments
Argentines still remember the freezing of bank deposits a decade ago and have billions of US dollars stashed in safe deposit boxes Argentines still remember the freezing of bank deposits a decade ago and have billions of US dollars stashed in safe deposit boxes

Argentina's Senate on Wednesday passed a bill called for by President Cristina Fernandez, CFK, to toughen financial controls and meet global standards on fighting money-laundering.

Fifty-seven legislators voted in favour of the measure, with four voting against and one abstention, as Argentina hopes to avoid being put on a “gray list” of tax havens that have not fully implemented global transparency and data-sharing standards.

Ending up the gray list would raise borrowing costs and have a negative impact for CFK as she weighs a re-election bid in October.

The bill, which now must be signed by Cristina Fernandez, seeks to close a loophole in the current law by criminalizing the act of laundering one's own money.

It would boost government powers to freeze and confiscate property and includes a provision saying that Argentines who commit money-laundering crimes in other countries can be tried in Argentina.

Lawmaker Maria Jose Bongiorno urged the Argentine justice system to “use the tools that the legislative branch has provided” by passing the measure.

A decade after bank deposits were frozen and devalued during a severe economic crisis, Argentines have hidden savings worth some 10 billion to 15 billion US dollars in safe-deposit boxes or under the proverbial mattress -- representing 10% to 15% of total current deposits.

The government wants to find the undeclared money as part of a drive to avoid sanctions, such as being put on the gray list by the multinational Financial Action Task Force, a policy-making body that encourages anti-money-laundering reforms.

On top of what they have stashed away locally, Argentines are estimated to keep another 150 billion dollars in savings abroad.

For decades, they have used US dollars to protect themselves from currency devaluations and high inflation. Many people continue hoarding dollars and avoiding bank accounts, despite roughly 10% annual interest on fixed-term deposits in pesos.

 

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • yul

    Every “” Undeclared money ...informal money “” which doesn't mean
    made money- laundering !

    Jun 02nd, 2011 - 09:15 am 0
  • NicoDin

    I don’t know from where Mercopress takes some article but money laundering have noting to do with deposit out of banks or of shore.

    Money laundering is the act of introducing dirty money from criminal activities like selling arms, selling drugs, prostitution, etc. into the legal banking system.

    I should personal include financing wars, speculation in Forex, vulture funds profits and profit from defaulted countries.

    All in jail should be.

    The world will be save from criminals and money laundering.

    : )

    Jun 02nd, 2011 - 01:52 pm 0
  • xbarilox

    Estos dos rotos de ahí arriba escriben desde Estados Unidos y Canadá haha ojalá se mueran allá y nunca más puedan regresar a Argentina

    Schoklender está muy asustado con esta justicia argentina y ahora con esta ley, uh no quedarán más corruptos en este país, el juez oyohervido tiene la causa por robo del asesino schoklender, ¡QUÉ PAISITO ARGENTINA!

    “Fifty-seven legislators voted in favour of the measure, with four voting against and one abstention, as Argentina hopes to avoid being put on a “gray list” of tax havens that have not fully implemented global transparency and data-sharing standards.” Among those legislators are pederasts, murderers, narcos, bombers, THOSE WHO LAUNDER MONEY, and other kinds of criminals. haha what great legislators we have haha

    Jun 02nd, 2011 - 05:23 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!