Experts of the IMF mission arrived in Moscow to teach the committee of the financial monitoring of the Russian Finance Ministry, how to find dirty money. IMF spokespeople all say that it does not go about the IMF to take certain functions of the control character. The goal of such cooperation is in the mutually beneficial consultations. The IMF has finally found the new field for its activity against the background of the fact that its role currently suffers from some sort of uncertainty, due to the global economic setback. The IMF provides consultations concerning anti-money laundering issues and the issues of struggle against funding the world terrorism.
PRAVDA.Ru asked Mikhail Alekseyev, deputy chairman of ROSBANK administration, to comment on that situation.
“IMF’s participation in the anti-money laundering activity may seem to be rather strange at first. Indeed, such activity is associated with other organizations, which were established for that. For example FATF, GPML and other international and national structures. Until recently, the IMF and other international financial institutions have not exercised their activity in that field. At the same time, it deems that they have certain opportunities to take their own place among those structures that deal with money laundering issues.
“The committee of the financial monitoring of the Russian Finance Ministry does not have the requisite potential, technologies, or experience yet to handle and cope with all of its tasks. This gap could be filled with consulting or technical help from more experienced foreign colleagues. International organizations like the IMF have rather strong positions in terms of the help like that. There is a question coming up at that - on which basis this help is going to be provided.
“It usually happens by means of loans that can be given to adequate countries-recipients. Russia’s problem is about the fact that the sum of its foreign debt is too large. In this connection, the government is conducting the activities that are aimed to limit the volume of foreign debts. That is why, raising new loans (even for such a noble goal as the struggle with money laundering) might not go together with the current relations with international financial institutions. In addition to that, it is well known that the efficiency of the loans, which are given to back up consulting and technical help, is not always good enough.
“Sometimes it happens that a lot of money that is supposed to be paid back with a certain interest is used for paying the services of rather expensive advisors. The money can also be used for the arrangement of their trips, documents, and so on.
“There is a saying in the West – there is no free lunch. So, will that consulting help result in the forming of additional channels for international financial intelligence services to obtain the information from the databases of national anti-money laundering structures? So far there is an official right for the adequate structures of different countries to form the data that will be closed for other bases.
“The world has not yet reached the line, when it is possible to talk about the introduction of the information-without-borders principle. Databases contain a lot of other valuable information with limited access.
“The personnel of the Russian committee for financial monitoring earn something between $50-100 a month. Will those people conduct efficient anti-money laundering struggle? We would like to hope that adequate problems will be settled correctly, including a salary raise to those, who are in control of important strategic informational sources.
“It would be proper to start the process with the adequate salary payment to financial intelligence personnel. Then it would be ok to give them the information and let them work with foreign investors. If all those details are taken into consideration, then we can only welcome the cooperation between the national financial intelligence and international financial institutions."
Prepared by Dmitry Slobodanuk