The Council of Europe intends at developing a strategy that would conform to the global objectives, be easily adaptable in varying domestic structures and centre on the international fight against terrorism.
European Union's efforts against money laundering have been far more comprehensive and elaborated as compared to the Council of Europe. It has subjected its directives to repetitive rectification in order assimilate latest developments in the international standards and to adopt a model based on FATF's globally acclaimed measures.
Despite a huge time lapse in issuance of its 1st and 2nd Directive EU has imposed continuous changes in its basic structure in order to improve the efficiency of its mandate. This was evident from the centralizing of reporting system, introduction of FIU, extension of membership to non EU trade partners in the 2nd Directive and assuming the global policy of war against terrorism in its 3rd and most recent Directive.
EU stresses on the importance of identification and maintenance of original client records and has therefore expanded the roles of FIU and has given them access to government databases so as to spot suspicious cases. The inclusion of countries like Bulgaria to EC however would severely harm EU goals as their domestic structure recognizes money laundering as permissible as long as the government is receiving taxes.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks at the twin towers, efforts against terrorism have gained momentum in the Western World and struggle is being made to cut the roots of such activities. Terrorism funding is an issue that has been repeatedly addressed in the media and on political forums, but the concern about money laundering, which is a superset of terrorist financing, is not novel and has been a matter of apprehension for long.
Concerted efforts have been made in order to combat the increasingly complex issue and various organizations like the FATF, Egmont Group, UN councils, EU were developed to design strategies in order to effectively solve the money laundering problems.
Over the last three decades the world community has amplified its efforts against money laundering. It was initially associated with drug trafficking but in the advent of September 11 attacks its connection with terrorist financing has further obscured the issue.
Traditionally considered to be a three stage process comprising of cash related proceeds, money laundering has developed into a notorious institution incorporating a list of techniques which further challenge the law enforcers and augment the sensitivity of the matter. The Annual Typology Reports published by the Financial Action Task Force ('FATF') demonstrated a list of techniques that have been utilized by the launders in legalizing their illicit proceeds. This not only portrayed the level of interest displayed by the criminal elements in money laundering but to an extent even expressed