International Cooperation in the Struggle against Trans-Border Organized Crime and Money Laundering

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. This paper aims at revealing the cooperation between the countries of the world in combating money laundering and trans-border organized crime, which is one of the most important issues present days. Obviously, money laundering crime and its related crimes are part of transnational organized crime. For this reason, the activities of the state agencies to prevent and sanction such crimes always require the adoption of new strategies and methods to follow up the operators engaged in international money laundering.

Keywords: money laundering, international law, cooperation

Cooperation between countries of the world to combat money laundering and trans-border organized crime is one of the most important problems of the world in the present days. Organized criminal group means a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.1 In this context, the money laundering phenomenon is a serious problem not only for banking circuits but also for national economies as a whole. Obviously, money laundering crime and its related crimes are part of transnational organized crime. For this reason, the activities of the state agencies to prevent and sanction such crimes always require the adoption of new strategies and methods to follow up the operators engaged in international money laundering.

These methods and strategies at international level refers to the legal institutions of extradition, rogatory letters, enforcement of the final sentences issued by other states, seizure and confiscation proceeds for crimes committed abroad, and new ways of cooperation between national agencies of different countries in the area of crime investigation and financial, banking and property crimes.

Money laundering offense is part of trans-border international crime. Legislation in Romania in this area has been adopted based on UN Convention to combat organized crime, ratified by Romania by Act 565/2002. Also, Act no. 39/2003 on preventing and combating organized crime is compatible with international law; any crime that is committed will be incriminated both in Romania and abroad. Moreover, Romanian legislation charges any form of preparation, planning, management or control of such actions both at home and abroad. Legislation alone is not able to solve complex problems of cross-border crime. It requires cooperation between agencies of different countries involved in crime prevention and combating money laundering and related crimes.

Furthermore, it is required active cooperation between national banks and commercial banks and a unification of databases by the appearance of unique international database in order to monitor actively all financial and banking operations, especially those suspected to be involved in recycling of funds. It is crucial that international cooperation and effective action against tax havens. Legislation adopted in Romania aimed to harmonize the national legal provisions with international legal provisions in this area. Even the Romanian Constitution stipulates that legal rules on freedom and rights of citizens should always be applied and interpreted according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international treaties to which Romania is party.

If during the implementation and interpretation of the law are some discrepancies between national legislation and conventions and treaties on human rights and fundamental freedoms, international regulations always take priority. Romanian citizens enjoy all fundamental rights and freedoms stipulated in the international regulations and the Romanian state is bound by the Constitution of Romania to fulfill all the obligations deriving from the international treaties, once ratified by the Parliament of the country. …

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