MEXICO CITY, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Mexican authorities are not investigating and prosecuting money laundering in a proactive and systematic fashion, but rather on a reactive, case-by-case basis, according to a report on Mexico’s efforts to fight illicit finance.
“Mexico could do more to ensure that the relevant authorities are better equipped with the right tools in terms of training, expertise, and priority setting to be able to effectively detect and disrupt terrorist financing,” said the report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
FATF is an international organization that sets global standards for fighting illicit finance.
Mexico is the top source of illegal drugs to the United States and both countries’ authorities have been criticized by civil society groups for leaving drug gang finances largely intact.
In a draft of the report previously seen by Reuters, FATF commended efforts to clean up the Mexican banking sector after U.S. investigations in the mid-2000s showed global banks processed billions of dollars in drug gang cash. But it said tax authorities did not do enough to monitor businesses outside the financial sector used for money laundering, such as real estate. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)