CRACKDOWN ON DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Many countries whose extensive banking services are believed to have been exploited for money laundering operations, are also getting tough with the traffickers. France has a new law to end bank secrecy in cases of suspected drug money laundering.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has passed stiff new penalties for criminal abuse of its banking system.

Switzerland has entered into a complex of mutual assistance arrangements with other countries against money laundering and intensified its program for the investigation of suspicious bank accounts.

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The UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, adopted in Vienna in late 1988, has been signed by 89 governments. But it has been ratified so far by only four countries and needs 16 more ratifications to enter into force.

It covers a host of essential drug control areas including sanctions for drug trafficking offenses, confiscation of cash and property from drug trafficking, global cooperation in law enforcement and training, monitoring of substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs, extradition and legal assistance as well as measures to reduce the demand and eradicate the cultivation of illicit drugs.

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