Enablers or Co-Conspirators? The Gray Area in the Fight Against Financial Crimes

The recent resolution by the American Bar Association (ABA) opposing the requirement for lawyers to report suspicious transactions to US Authorities has brought the issue of “enablers” in financial crimes to the forefront once again.
The resolution raises a crucial question – are these enablers truly just passive facilitators, or are they actively participating in illegal activities and therefore, co-conspirators in financial crimes and corruption?

Financial crimes such as money laundering, bribery, and fraud are global problems that are causing harm to individuals, communities, and economies worldwide, particularly in vulnerable economies.

The catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria this month have sadly reminded us that corruption kills, it is not just an intangible concept moving from pocket to pocket ( or bank to bank these days). The human cost of corruption is immeasurable, and it is time that we take serious action to stop it and hold those who facilitate it accountable.

The term “enabler” has become a convenient way to describe individuals who provide support services to criminals, but it downplays the significance of their role in financial crimes and obscures the reality that they are actively participating in illegal activities.

Enablers, including banks, accounting firms, and lawyers, play a crucial role in facilitating these crimes by providing essential support and services that allow criminals to conceal their illicit activities and move their ill-gotten gains across borders.

It is high time that we recognize the role of enablers. They are not mere bystanders, but active participants in illegal activities. By knowingly or unknowingly providing a smokescreen for criminals and corrupt individuals to hide behind, these enablers are actively participating in illegal activities and are therefore, co-conspirators in the facilitation of financial crimes and corruption.

It is equally concerning that these co-conspirators are often located in the West, where financial, legal, and regulatory systems are supposed to be strong and well-regulated, but too often they are being used to facilitate illegal activities.

The role of enablers in financial crime is well-documented, and there’s no shortage of articles or reports written about this topic. However, despite this, these enablers are often not held accountable for their actions to the same extent as the criminals they support.

Despite the efforts of organizations like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the World Bank, or Transparency International, the role of enablers is not being actioned enough.

This lack of accountability is a major weakness in the fight against financial crimes and corruption.

The responsibility to prevent financial crimes and corruption lies not only with regulators and law enforcement agencies, but also with the enablers who play a crucial role in facilitating these crimes. It is imperative that enablers, including lawyers, banks, accounting firms, and others, work closely with regulators and law enforcement agencies to prevent financial crimes and protect the integrity of the financial system.

The question we must ask ourselves is, are we willing to hold these enablers accountable and make the necessary changes to prevent financial crimes and corruption, or will we continue to allow them to play a complicit role in these illegal activities?

Join us by subscribing to our blog and staying informed on the latest developments and ways you can make a difference. Together, we can create a financial system that is transparent, fair, and just for all.


Discover more from The Compliance Lady

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading

%d bloggers like this: