The U.S. and Chile signed Sept. 30 an agreement establishing a trade transparency unit that will enhance their ability to detect trade-based money laundering and commercial fraud violations, according to a press release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. HSI now has 14 TTU partners worldwide.

Trade-based money laundering comprises a variety of schemes used to disguise criminal proceeds, such as moving illicit goods, falsifying trade documents, and misrepresenting trade-related financial transactions. HSI states that criminal and terrorist organizations frequently exploit global trade systems to move value around the world and that TBML is estimated to exceed billions of dollars a year. By sharing information that allows users to see both sides of trade transactions (such as the data in HSI’s Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System), TTUs can help participants identify international trade anomalies and financial irregularities indicative of TBML, customs fraud, movement of counterfeit goods, and other import-export crimes.

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