The OECD Financial Action Task Force will soon start to investigate if Icelanders are prepared to tackle international money laundering. According to Valgerður Sverissdóttir, Iceland´s Minister of Industry and Commerce, over the next few months the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Justice will work together to survey whether Icelanders are prepared to take on such criminal activity should it occur.
Valgerður says that the Financial Action Task Force has published 40 suggestions on how OECD member nations should fight money laundering. “This could mean changing some laws,” she said. “It will be looked into in the coming months.”
She points out, however, that there have been no known cases of money laundering in Iceland. “We have not prosecuted any cases to date, but we must ensure that there is no such activity taking place here. This is a big problem around the world, and money laundering is the basis for various kinds of criminal activity.”
She says the last survey conducted by the FATF took place in Norway. The poor marks Norway had received pushed people in Iceland to look into these matters.
In a recent article, The Guardian observed that inflows into Iceland from offshore centers had increased substantially between 2000 and 2003, and questioned where the money was coming from. (See Iceland Review, Daily News, July 5, “Guardian questions Icelandic economic miracle“)