Thursday, February 11, 2010
Texas Reaches Agreements With Western Union, Three Other States in Anti-Money Laundering EffortAUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott entered into two agreements today that will help Texas and other border states crack down on illegal money laundering. These agreements—one with Western Union Financial Services, Inc., and the other with the States of Arizona, California and New Mexico—establish new protocols for sharing Western Union’s extensive wire transfer information; provide for the creation of the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance; and will allow Texas law enforcement agencies to apply for grants from a newly established multi-state $50 million border crime prevention fund.
Under the agreement with Western Union, the company has agreed to provide:
• Information regarding certain wire transfers that are sent to or from authorized Western Union locations within the State of Texas;
• Suspicious Activity Reports about wire transfers to or from Western Union locations within the State of Texas; and
• Information about transactions that are suspected of having a connection to human trafficking operations.
The multi-state agreement with the States of Arizona, California and New Mexico creates the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance, which is charged with facilitating increased cooperation, collaboration and information-sharing between the four states’ attorneys general. Alliance members will also recommend how to distribute money from a $50 million fund that was created to help local law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region prosecute money laundering, weapons smuggling and related criminal activity. Funding for the initiative was provided by Western Union as part of a settlement agreement it entered into with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Further information about applications for local law enforcement funding will be provided when it becomes available.