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Close link between laundering, terrorist financing, says Algerian Official


Algiers : Disclosures during some criminal cases heard by courts in the country recently have exposed the close relationship between money laundering and terrorist financing, says a senior Algerian Justice Ministry official.

Mohamed Amara , the director-general for legal and judicial affairs at the ministry, said here Saturday on the sidelines of a meeting on money laundering and terrorist financing that the crimes relating to these activities, however, are not very common in Algeria.

Nevertheless, he asserted that it had emerged from some terrorism affairs that there is a close relationship between terrorism and money laundering.

Experiences worldwide had also shown the existence of this relationship and confirmed that terrorists are financed mainly by money laundering and drugs, because “it was clearly proved that drug trafficking financed terrorism”.

Moreover, Amara highlighted, the development of the techniques used by criminals for money laundering required the development of ways to combat and prevent these activities, pointing out that the extent of the unofficial markets does not allow to assess the volume of the laundered money, which do not pass through banking institutions.

He stressed the importance of sharing experiences between the countries in the fields of laws and methods used to stand up to cross-border organized crime.

Magistrates and experts “are not well enough informed of the banking system,” he said, stressing on the need to set up a group of specialists in different fields relating to the two phenomena. The group will work in collaboration with the criminal investigations division.

The judicial adviser in the United States Justice Department and expert in money laundering Suzanne Hayden said “the extension of Algerian economic activities throughout the world attract criminals,” and therefore there is a need to set up an efficient prevention policy.