Date
16 December 2017
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke denies allegations of wrongdoing regarding US$10 million in bank transactions under investigation by US authorities. Photo: Reuters
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke denies allegations of wrongdoing regarding US$10 million in bank transactions under investigation by US authorities. Photo: Reuters

Global agency says banks failed in policing FIFA transactions

A global group of government anti-money-laundering agencies said financial institutions have not done enough to police suspicious financial activity by FIFA officials, Reuters reported.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) cautioned banks to step up scrutiny of accounts related to soccer’s world governing body.

The warning came after the United States indicted nine current and former FIFA officials and five business executives on a series of corruption charges last month, including bribery, money laundering and wire fraud.

With the US investigation continuing to widen, and a separate Swiss probe gearing up into whether there was corruption involved in FIFA’s awarding of the hosting rights to Russia and Qatar for the soccer World Cups in 2018 and 2022, the warning will add to banks’ concern about handling certain soccer accounts for organizations and individuals, the report said.

Some European and U.S. banks had already stepped up scrutiny of FIFA-related accounts.

At least one said it had stopped handling FIFA business for some time because of corruption allegations.

In a statement FATF said “recent reports about alleged corruption and money laundering activities on a large scale by several high-ranking FIFA officials underscore how important it is that financial institutions identify and monitor high-risk customers”.

It said financial institutions “do not appear to have given a sufficient amount of scrutiny to the financial activities of the officials concerned, as many of these allegedly corruption-related transfers passed through the international financial system undetected”.

FATF said that an “ongoing public debate about the integrity of an entity should raise flags to financial institutions. As a result they should treat customers that are related to that entity as high risk customers”.

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RC/FL

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