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CURRENT ISSUE2010. 2. 4. 13:46
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Investigations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories

WASHINGTON – Corrupt foreign officials and their relatives have used gaps in U.S. law and the assistance of U.S. professionals to funnel millions of dollars in illicit money into the United States, an investigation by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found.

“For the United States, which has so much riding on global stability, corruption is a direct threat to our national interest,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., subcommittee chairman. “That’s why the United States is engaged in a relentless, worldwide battle to stop the flow of illegal money into and within places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Laundered money is used to train and provide support for terrorists and terrorism. If we want to credibly lead efforts to stop illegal money abroad, we’ve got to stop it here at home as well.”

A 330-page bipartisan report to be released by Levin and subcommittee ranking member Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., at today’s hearing shows that politically powerful foreign officials, and those close to them, have found ways to use the U.S. financial system to protect and enhance their ill-gotten gains. The report exposes how those powerful individuals – known internationally as “politically exposed persons” or PEPs – have used the services of U.S. lawyers, lobbyists, real estate and escrow agents, and other professionals who currently have no obligation under U.S. regulations to establish anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs, know their customers, or evaluate the source of funds transferred into the United States. Banks, in contrast, are subject to AML obligations and for the most part have honored them. But glaring gaps have undermined the overall effectiveness of U.S. AML laws.

Four Case Histories. The report presents four case histories, each with multiple stories exposing the tactics being used by PEPs to use our financial system to protect and enhance their illicit funds. They include the following:

  • $110 Million. Teodoro Obiang, the 40-year old son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, is currently under investigation by the Justice Department for corruption and other misconduct. Between 2004 and 2008, Mr. Obiang used U.S. lawyers, bankers, and real estate and escrow agents to move more than $110 million in suspect funds through U.S. bank accounts, including $30 million to purchase a residence in Malibu and $38.5 million to purchase an aircraft.

  • Third Party Accounts. Mr. Obiang used shell company, attorney-client, and law office accounts controlled by his attorneys to bring suspect funds into the United States and conduct transactions through U.S. banks without their knowing of his activity, including at banks that had made it clear they did not want his business.

  • Lost Escrow Business. An escrow agent who refused to complete the purchase of a $38.5 million Gulfstream jet without information on the source of the funds being supplied by Mr. Obiang, lost out to a competitor willing to complete the transaction with no questions asked.

  • $18 Million Through Lobbyist Account. Omar Bongo, President of Gabon for 41 years until his death last year, and his eldest son, Ali Bongo, Minister of Defense until he took his father’s place as President of the country, amassed substantial wealth while in office, amid the extreme poverty of its citizens. In 2006, $18 million in funds from Gabon were wired to the U.S. corporate bank accounts of a U.S. lobbyist who then distributed the funds within the United States and across the globe as directed by President Bongo in connection with two projects to support his regime, buying U.S.-made armored cars and C-130 military cargo planes. Among the funds the lobbyist distributed was $9.2 million which he wire transferred to an account for President Omar Bongo – not in Gabon – but in the country of Malta.

  • $1 Million Shrink Wrapped. In 2007, President Omar Bongo brought $1 million in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into the United States under cover of diplomatic immunity without declaring the cash to U.S. authorities as required by law. His daughter, who told her bank that she was an unemployed student, deposited the cash in a U.S. safe deposit box and later into her bank account.

  • U.S. Trust Accounts. President Ali Bongo’s wife formed a U.S. trust under her maiden name, and used the trust to open U.S. bank and securities accounts in California.

  • Offshore Wire Transfers. Jennifer Douglas, a U.S. citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and former presidential candidate in Nigeria, helped her husband bring more than $40 million in suspect funds into the United States from 2000 to 2008, through wire transfers from offshore corporations. The Securities and Exchange Commission has alleged in a 2008 civil complaint that Ms. Douglas received $2.8 million in bribe payments from a German conglomerate, Siemens AG, which has acknowledged making the payments.

  • Arms Dealer. Pierre Falcone, a notorious Angolan arms dealer with a history of run-ins with the law and who is currently serving a 6-year prison sentence, had open access to more than 30 U.S. bank accounts in Arizona for 18 years.

  • Central Banker. Aguinaldo Jaime, former head of the Central Bank of Angola, tried twice to transfer $50 million in Angolan government funds to a private account in the United States, only to have the transfers reversed by U.S. financial institutions who became suspicious. The corruption concerns raised by his actions caused Citibank to close all accounts for Angolan government agencies and to close down its office in Angola.

  • Private Angolan Bank. Banco Africano Investimentos (“BAI”), a $7 billion private Angolan bank which caters to PEPs, gained access to the U.S. financial system through HSBC in New York, despite troubling information about its ownership and failure to provide a copy of its anti-money laundering policies and procedures.

Recommendations. To combat the abuses, the report makes several recommendations, including:

  • World Bank PEP Controls. Implementing stronger controls on PEP accounts as laid out in a recent World Bank report, including by requiring banks to use reliable databases to screen clients for PEPs, requiring beneficial ownership forms for bank accounts so hidden PEPs are exposed, and conducting annual reviews of PEP accounts to detect suspicious activity.

  • Beneficial Owners. Requiring U.S. corporations to identify their beneficial owners, in order to thwart the use of shell companies with hidden PEP owners.

  • Ending Exemptions. Ending the exemptions Treasury granted in 2002 to the Patriot Act’s anti-money laundering requirements, so that real estate and escrow agents will have to know their customers, evaluate the source of their funds, and turn away suspect clients. Also requiring Treasury to instruct banks to subject attorney-client and law office accounts to greater oversight and stop their use to shield PEPs from scrutiny.

  • Immigration and Visa Criteria. Toughening immigration and visa rules to make foreign corruption a legal basis for barring entry into the United States and for removing PEPs already here. Increasing law enforcement support for Presidential Proclamation 7750 to identify corrupt foreign officials who should be barred from the United States.

  • Stronger FATF Recommendations. Encouraging U.S. professional organizations to issue anti-money laundering and anti-corruption guidance to their members.

“Stopping the flow of illegal money is critical, because foreign corruption damages civil society, undermines the rule of law, and threatens our security,” said Levin.

http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=322088
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원본출처 연합뉴스  http://news.joins.com/article/188/4000188.html?ctg=1300&cloc=home|list|list2

미국이 9.11테러 참사 이후 애국법상의 돈세탁 방지 규정 등을 통해 외국의 부패 자금의 미국내 유입을 단속하고 있으나 여전히 세계의 독재자들과 호화생활을 하는 관리, 무기상들은 법망을 피해 거액의 수상한 자금을 미국으로 빼돌리고 있는 것으로 미 의회 조사 결과 밝혀졌다.

상원 국토안보위원회의 상설 조사소위원회가 작성, 3일 발표한 보고서에 따르면 적도기니의 대통령 아들은 2004년부터 2008년까지 수상한 돈 1억1천만 달러를 미국으로 들여보냈고, 현재 프랑스 감옥에 수감중인 한 앙골라 무기상도 지난 2000년 애리조나주에서 960만달러짜리 주택을 구입하고 미국내 은행에 개설한 계좌를 통해 1999년부터 2007년 사이에 6천만 달러를 거래했다.

조사소위는 이 보고서를 토대로 4일 개최하는 청문회에 이러한 외국의 수상한 자금 거래에 관여한 미국내 변호사와 부동산 중개사, 은행가들을 출석토록 소환했다.

칼 레빈 조사소위원장은 2001년 제정된 애국법상의 돈세탁 방지규정 덕분에 '더러운 돈'의 미국내 유통에 대한 차단이 이전에 비해 잘 이뤄지고 있으나 "부패 자금이 돌아다닐 수 있는 통로가 너무 많이 남아있다"고 지적하고, 4가지 사례연구에 초점을 맞춘 이번 조사 결과는 "분노스럽다"고 개탄했다.

330쪽짜리 이 보고서는 결론에서 고위 정치인, 관리와 그 가족 등 돈세탁 방지를 위한 요주의 대상자를 가리키는 국제적인 용어인 '정치적으로 노출된 인물(PEP)들'이 변호사와 부동산 및 에스크로(공신력있는 제3자를 통해 구매자와 판매간 거래의 안전을 보장하는 장치) 중개인, 로비스트, 은행가, 심지어 대학 행정관계자 등을 이용해 반부패법망을 피하고 있다고 지적했다.

보고서는 특히 헤지펀드나 부동산업 등 일부 산업분야는 애국법상의 돈세탁 방지 규정의 적용을 면제받고 있고, 소위의 조사 대상이 된 전문직업인 상당수가 PEP와 거래할 때 돈세탁 방지 예방조치를 취할 법적 의무가 없는 사실을 돈세탁 방지망의 허점으로 들었다.

이에 따라 보고서는 미 재무부에 대해 PEP관련 금융기관 통제를 강화하고 애국법상 돈세탁 방지규정상의 예외를 없앨 것을, 의회에 대해선 PEP들이 수상한 자금 이동에 애용하는 '껍데기 회사'의 실소유주를 명기하고 부패행위 연루자와 그 가족의 미국 입국을 금지하는 입법조치를 할 것을 각각 권고했다.

레빈 소위원장의 한 보좌관은 미 의회에서 심의중인 금융기관에 대한 감독강화 법안들에 돈세탁 방지 규정을 추가하는 것을 한 방안으로 제시했다.

다음은 조사소위가 조사한 4가지 사례.

▲지난해 사망 때까지 41년간 권좌에 있었던 가봉의 오마르 봉고 대통령은 로비스트를 고용해 미제 장갑차 6대를 구매했고 사우디 아라비아로부터 미제 군용 수송기 C-130 6대를 구매할 수 있도록 미 정부의 허가를 얻어냈다.

뉴욕의 한 은행은 봉고 대통령의 대학생 딸이 이 은행 개인금고에 100달러 지폐 뭉치로 100만 달러를 보관중인 것을 발견, 이 딸의 계좌를 폐쇄했는데 이 돈은 봉고 대통령이 외교관 신분을 이용해 미국에 들여온 것이라고 딸은 말했다.

▲적도기니 대통령은 미국 변호사 2명을 고용해 빈 껍데기 회사의 계좌를 통해 자금을 미국으로 이체했고, 부동산 업자 2명을 고용해선 캘리포니아 말리부에 3천만 달러짜리 저택을 샀으며, 에스크로 중개인을 통해 3천850만달러 짜리 걸프스트림 제트기를 구입하기도 했다.

▲미국 시민권자이자 아티쿠 아부바카르 전 나이지리아 부통령의 4번째 부인인 제니퍼 더글러스는 남편이 수상한 돈 4천만여 달러를 미국에 들여오는 것을 도운 것으로 알려졌다. 그중 2천500만 달러는 역외 회사들에 의해 30개 이상의 미국내 더글러스 명의 계좌로 분산 송금됐다.

또 2개의 역외 회사는 약 1천400만 달러를 5년에 걸쳐 워싱턴에 있는 아메리칸 대학에 보냈는데, 이는 아부바카르가 나이지리아에 대학을 설립할 때의 컨설팅 비용을 지불하는 명목으로였다.

▲뱅크 오브 아메리카는 피에르 팔콘이라는 앙골라 무기상이 이 은행을 이용해 1999년부터 2003년 사이에 조세피난처로 유명한 케이먼군도 등에 있는 신원미상의 '고객들'로부터 총 600여만달러에 이르는 송금을 받는 등 수많은 수상한 거래를 했음에도 이를 방치했다가 2007년에야 이 계좌를 닫았다. (워싱턴 AP=연합뉴스)