Press Release
September 27, 2012


Dimitri Vlassis, Chief of the Corruption and Economic Crime Section Division for Treaty Affairs in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) will visit Manila for the 5th Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Conference hosted by the Southeast Asian Parliamentarians Against Corruption (SEAPAC) and the Philippine Senate. The conference will be held at PICC from January 30 to February 2, 2013.

In Mr. Vlassis's paper on Transnational Organized Crime, he says that there is a clear connection between corruption, money laundering, and organized crimes. He explains, "Money laundering is a vital component of all forms of organized crime. The infiltration of legal financial markets and the attempts of organized crime to control sectors of national economies through the laundering of its illicit proceeds continue to represent grave threats to the international community and to both national and international financial systems." The problem of corruption is a globalized one, and the response should be at both the local and global level.

GOPAC, the only anti-corruption organization composed of parliamentarians, has a Global Task Force (GTF) specific to Anti-Money Laundering. This Anti-Money Laundering Global Task Force (GTF-AML) works with anti-money laundering experts and organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), UNODOC, Interpol, the Egmont Group and Transparency International. It conducts workshops for member-lawmakers to help them advance better legislation against money laundering and other corruption-related offenses.

In the Philippines, President Aquino ratified two laws last June as part of the administration's anti-corruption thrust namely the measure strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Law and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. These laws will help the country comply with the international standard set by the FATF of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"Money laundering vs. Bank Secrecy Laws" is expected to be one of the hot topics at the GOPAC Conference. The conference is expected to attract over 200 parliamentarians and 300 observers from over 46 countries.

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