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Press Releases '03-'04

Ambassador Garza Says Bilateral Cooperation In The Fight Against Money Laundering Is At A "Turning Point"

11-12-03

Mexico City, December 11, 2003 - "This conference marks a historic turning point because private banking institutions and government agencies from both countries will be working on joint investigations in order to prosecute those who try to disguise their illegal profits," U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio O. Garza said. "From now on, it's going to be more difficult for the criminals to hide their money."

The Ambassador noted the U.S. government's concern that over 65 billion dollars from drug dealers is being laundered through the world's financial systems each year. "This is why it is so important for Mexico and the United States to jointly investigate money laundering," he said.

Ambassador Garza spoke at the closing of a three-day conference, hosted by both the Prosecutor General of Mexico (PGR) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which brought together senior managers from the banking sector as well as officials from the Mexican Finance Secretary and the U.S. Treasury. It was the first time that both governments agreed to set up lines of communication to directly tackle the money laundering operations affecting Mexico and the United States.

The conference held December 9 - 11 in Mexico City included representatives of the U.S. Federal Reserve as well as the U.S. Department of Justice and private banks.

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