Special Correspondent

"International cooperation required to effectively tackle the menace"

CHENNAI: Linking money laundering with corruption, Tamil Nadu Director-General of Police D. Mukherjee on Saturday said that there was a need for awareness among stakeholders and the public on the menace, which has acquired alarming proportions.

The public wittingly or unwittingly fell victims to the crime. The general awareness of money laundering was very poor, he said, in his valedictory address at a workshop on "New forms of crime victimisation with reference to money laundering," organised by the Indian Society of Victimology (ISV) of the Madras University's Criminology Department.

With increasing globalisation, the scale of money laundering had also gone up.

The illegal money involved was a staggering $500 billion worldwide. The salient features of sections 13 (1) (d) and (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act should be incorporated in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It was the lack of information about money laundering which made it an invisible problem.

Today's technology was sophisticated and the mechanism to counter money laundering should keep pace with the changing technology. There was a need for international cooperation to effectively tackle money laundering, he said.

Earlier, Director of Enforcement Sudhir Nath inaugurated the workshop.

`Need to alert firms'

T.N. Vallinayagam, a former Judge of the Madras High Court, said given the magnitude of the problem of money-laundering, companies which did global business, banks, law enforcement agencies and financial companies had to be alerted.

K.R. Shyamsundar, Additional Director-General of Police and vice-president, ISV said enhanced cooperation among enforcement agencies and a coordinated response were needed to tackle the challenge posed by money launderers.

Vice-president of ISV, R.K. Raghavan, said money laundering received attention after the bombing of the Twin Towers which highlighted how financing of terrorism had become a major menace. Experts should study the menace, examine the law, know the international experience and provide suggestions for improving the law, he said.