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Cablegate: Support for Anti-Money Laundering Ota Technical

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1364 1981350
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171350Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8657
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001364

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

TREASURY FOR CLAY LOWERY
TRESAURY FOR OTA (LMCDONALD, CCORREA)
TREASURY FOR TFFS (HEFFERNAN, VANLINGEN), OFAC, FINCEN
PASS NSC FOR JOSE CARDENAS, ROD HUNTER
STATE FOR S/CT -- NOYES
STATE FOR EB/ESC -- DAS SIMONS AND JEAN CLARK
STATE FOR EB/ESC/TFS - LEANNE CANNON
STATE FOR INL/C/CP (PETERSON), INR/EC, S//CT (HILL), IO/PSC
(SANDAGE)
DHS FOR ICE -- D.THOMPSON
JUSTICE FOR OIA AND AFMLS
PARIS PASS US MISSION OECD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTFN EFIN PREL AR
SUBJECT: SUPPORT FOR ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING OTA TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE FOR ARGENTINA

REF: A. BUENOS AIRES 1183
B. BUENOS AIRES 78

1. (SBU) I am writing in support of a Treasury Office of
Technical Assistance (OTA) initiative to offer direct
technical assistance (TA) and training to the Government of
Argentina (GoA) in the areas of anti-money laundering (AML)
and counter terrorism finance (CTF).

2. (SBU) I understand that Treasury and State legal counsel
have determined that a Brooke waiver would not/not be
required to extend such assistance since a provision of the
Foreign Assistance Act exempts training/technical assistance
not directed towards police forces. In any case, the
proposed technical assistance would empower the groups in the
GoA that are most interested in maintaining close bilateral
ties and complying with bilateral and international
commitments.

3. (SBU) The proposed assistance would strengthen
U.S.-Argentine cooperation on law enforcement issues, and
also help improve GoA efforts to counter money laundering and
terrorism financing, including in the tri-border area, both
high priorities for the U.S. We will be providing separately
my recommendations for options to reinvigorate the 3 plus 1
mechanism.

4. (SBU) The U.S. and Argentina have excellent and productive
relations in the area of law enforcement cooperation, and
many GoA officials, particularly in the
regulatory bodies, wish to improve the GoA's ability to
investigate and prosecute crimes related to money laundering
and terrorism finance. With the recent completion of the
Argentine counter terrorism/counter terrorism finance law
(Reftels) -- which came on the heels of major reforms of
Argentine money laundering laws and regulations -- there is
positive momentum and increasing support within the GoA on
enforcement.

5. (SBU) Argentine Central Bank President Martin Redrado
personally asked me for TA in a meeting in May, during which
he emphasized his interest in improving the Central Bank's
ability to combat money laundering and terrorism finance in
the financial sector. The Central Bank's Banking Supervision
department has since requested AML/CTF training in writing to
the Department of Treasury's Office of Technical Assistance.
We are also aware that other GoA regulatory agencies are
interested in participating in AML/CTF training programs.
These include the Public Prosecutor's office, the Comision
Nacional de Valores (national stock commission -- equivalent
to the U.S. SEC), and the Superintendencia de Seguros
(national insurance regulator).

6. (SBU) These regulatory agencies, including the Central
Bank, all have special units dedicated to AML/CTF audits and
investigations, and they are eager to improve their capacity
to enforce the new laws. Argentina's Financial Investigative
Unit ("Unidad de Informacion Financiera") and Office of the
National Coordinator for AML/CTF issues have also expressed
interest in AML/CTF technical assistance and training.

7. (SBU) The reformers in the GoA are focused on and
concerned about the destructive impact of increasing
trafficking of illegal drugs, guns, and people through
Argentina, and are also cognizant of the need to combat
terrorism, given the two terrorist attacks on Argentine soil
in the 1990s. These officials understand the importance of
complying with international commitments and of cooperating
with international law enforcement bodies, and the passage of
the CTF law appears to have shifted the momentum in their
favor. Therefore, I strongly argue that we should act now
and support the numerous government officials eager to
increase bilateral and international cooperation and enhance
their ability to combat attempts to launder illicit funds and
the financing of terrorist groups.
WAYNE

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