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IHT:drugs,bqnks +UN, ABSDF Dec 5 D
- Subject: IHT:drugs,bqnks +UN, ABSDF Dec 5 D
- From: cd@xxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 04 Dec 1996 14:27:00
Subject: IHT:drugs,bqnks +UN, ABSDF Dec 5 Diqmond Jubilee
Headline: IHT: Take the Profit Out of Crime by Policing the Money
Headline: ABSDF STATEMENT ON THE DIAMOND JUBILEE ANNIVERSARY OF RANGOON
EUROBURMANET note. Dear Free Burma readers, while President Bill Clinton
focuses on the drug problem in Burma, the Honorable Giorgio Giacomelli,
undersecretary-general of the United Nations, and executive director of
the Vienna-based UN International Drug Control Program (not to be
confused with General Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the US Office of
National Drug Control Policy) has a keen if not bold idea - radical bank
reform on the international level. This is far more than seizing
particular assets and funds! The Burmese drug junta know they are not
alone, and can easily conceal their resources - globally in an instant
once the cash clears the entry level.
Giacomelli does not cite Burma nor target any single country, as this
would be most undiplomatic and controversial for a world leader and the
list too lugubrious. Giacomelli is clearly frustrated. Is he not trying
to tell us something, simply and straight-forward, that the whole bloody
world political order of organised governments is criminal and corrupt
protected behind the great barrier of world banking power?
Blame the banks for the drug problem? Giacomelli might just as well
encourage insurance companies to take responsability for traffic
accidents - and they do, until they refuse to insure you or charge
exorbitant premiums. But would bankers refuse millions of dollars and
turn away wealthy clients. In a fiercely competitive global economy,
would bankers refuse to honor the trusted tradition of their
professional client confidence and discretion? Would bankers cease to
Reform the banks, and you catch the criminal, right? Not a more absurd
or incredible proposition has been put forwarded and it does the UN no
favor for it. Well, read the IHT - UN story, for what its worth, but we
all know that the bankers business is money. Whether declared or secreet
funds, there are so many scams keeping the world economy afloat -- a
world economy floating on criminal money, and a lot of it drug money,
-- that probably anyone who did anything today, touched it -- directly,
or indirectly. Imagine boggling the courts with massive investigations
and inquiries.Of course, not if funds were checked front the start. But
how? Really, it seems to me a ridiculously impotent argument that
strikes at the heart of individual privacy, not monetary privacy.
Whoever thinks for a minute that the rich will foresake their individual
rights under international law, and their right to be rich? Forget it.
So now a key UN official wants to excuse UN member governments and
their gangs of bloody dictators (when I used to hang out in the UN press
room, it was a common joke to call the place the Dictators' Club, the
most exclusive in the world). Don't bother with destroying drug
production, go after the banks! Go after virtual money! Go after
cybercash! Electronic money! But leave the dictators protected by the
sovereignty of nations alone.
Crime and virtue are two sides of the same coin. You would have to throw
away the whole world economy and start over again to clean up
money-laundering as Giacomelli seems to propose. And what about privacy
rights? So don't be fooled. The ASEAN dictators may be stupid and fools,
but look at where they are, in company with Slorc. Even as their shields
crack and wither, they remain firmly entrenched in the world order of
things, protected by their armies and police. Who is protecting whom?
Not the World Banks, of course....
You don't have to talk CIA crack in LA, or cocaine in Arkansas, but you
should not be duped by distracting headlines. ...I encourage readers to
download the recent posting on EuroBurmanet: Philanthropists at War:
President Clinton, CIA, Drugs and Power -- by Daniel L. Brandt, full
of illuminting anecdotes of US power, government and money.
....(Roger) Morris includes a chapter on Clinton's cooperation with
and money-laundering operations at Mena, Arkansas during the 1980s. If
Clinton was recruited by the CIA at Oxford, it explains why he would
tolerate a CIA laundry in Arkansas -- he was already compromised by his
Ambitious young men don't "just say no" when the CIA comes calling....
- Daniel L. Brandt
Sensational if not true, but no less surprising than the following
story. Please send your comments to EUROBURMANET <cd@xxxxxxx> and or IHT
Take the Profit Out of Crime by Policing the Money Laundries by Giorgio
VIENNA - Ten years ago the business was worth $85 billion. Today profits
have more than quintupled. It is immoral, it is pernicious and it is
increasingly difficult to control. It is such a large problem that no
single counry or group of countries can fight it alone.
The business in question is money laundering.
Crime, as they say, pays. In the form of drug trafficking, illicit arms
deals, stolen cars, child pornography, prostitution and smuggling of
migrants, it is particularly lucrative.
According to the International Monetary Fund, some $500 billion changes
hands in the global criminal fraternity each year -- more than the
combined value of international trade in petroleum, stell,
pharmaceuticals, meat, fruit, wheat and sugar. And, this estimate does
not even begin to encompass reveunues lost via tax evasion and insurance
But consider the logistics -- " legitimizing " the proceeds; placing raw
cash collected from criminal organizations into the financial system;
washing dirty money clean.
Advancez in technology and communications, along with a gloabalilzing
business culture, are making money laundering ever more sophisticated
and hard to trace.
Money launderers are "professionalizing, " employing brokers whose
schemes evade normal monitoring, detection and reporting devices.
International criminal organizations have become deeply involved in
privatization programs, buying previously state-owned banks and
financial, telecommunications and service institutions as a front or
cover for their clandestine operations.
Electronic banking, especially direct access banking, is making
operations more difficult to track. Criminals who used to haul suitcases
full of $100 bills can now move huge sums around using a private laptop
computer. A keystroke or two, and millions are on the other side of the
The United Nations has called for an urgent crackdown on money
laundering to block the spread of organized cirme. Its 1988 convention
against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
includes tough measures, requiring signatory governments to make money
laundering a criminal offense, with all the powers of seizure and
confiscation that such a move implies.
The money laundering issue, of course, extends beyond drug trafficking
to other kinds of transnational crime, and in those areas nations are
now turning more and more to the United Nations office in Vienna, where
the world organization's crime and drug control secretariats are based.
The tools are there. To be effective, however, measures must be
incorporated into national legal systems and actually carried out.
Despite enormous support by the United Nations for these measures,
including close cooperation with the highly regarded Financial Action
Task Force established by the Group of Seven countries in 1989, more
than one-third of the 185 UN members have yet to become parties to the
Many more, who are signatories, have not put into force the necessary
laws and controls to make the treaty work.
The United Nations has received support of countries proposing
legislation to attract "black " money as foreign
investment, claiming it a s crucial to economic growth and development.
Only a few states hold that their financial institutions are responsible
for the criminal activities of employees.
Many instititutions, too, view criminal funds as a quick source of
capital. When banks are caught laundering criminal money, there may be
token firings or a fine. Then it is simply "business as usual ".
States reluctant to regulate their financial sectors are, in effect,
reluctant to deter illegitimate investment.
Such thinking is erroneous and shortsighted. Legitimate foreign
investors are repelled by the " safe haven " image.
States which look the other way as the proceeds of human suffering are
funneled into their treasuries should be universally recognized for what
they are: aiders and abbetors of international criminals.
Transnational crime is a new geopolitical force, undermining governments
and wrecking economies. If the world community does not act decisively
-- and soon -- to stem this deluge, it will be too late.
Some Intenet users are now transferring funds via chip-based "
cyberpayments ". Convenient and speedy to use, this " cyber-currency "
is unregulated and a potential nightmare for law enforcement agencies to
If the authorities are to catch up with this, not to mention stay ahead
of it, considerable attention, technology and resources will be
It is not enough to declare money laundering a crime. Law enforcement
bodies must be allowed the tools to wipe it out, including the power to
use electronic surveillance, covert operations and controlled
deliveries. There must be greater institutional controls.
Banks of origin, for example, should give higher priority to
establishing the identity of the real owners and their sources of funds,
and should veto suspect transactions.
Regulations need to be redesigned to allow the monitoring of electronic
and " cyber " funds moving across borders.
Steps should also be taken to regulate offshore banking and end its
absolute secrecy -- a boon to illegal manipulation.
In the commercial sector, too, large cash payments for luxury cars, real
estate or jewelry need to be questioned.
The money laundering neetwork and its international financial
transactions are complex, and it will take a concerted effort by the
whole international community to eliminate them. More than just a show
of strength, we need a pooling of human and technical resources so that
this global problem can be tackled and combated on a truly global scale.
The best way to fight organized crime is to strike at its financial
gains. Profits that cannot be spent are no profits.
ABSDFS STATEMENT ON THE DIAMOND JUBILEE ANNIVERSARY OF THE RANGOON
ABSDF (Dawn Gwin)
2nd December, 1995
The 5th of December is the auspicious occasion of the
seventy-fifth diamond jubilee anniversary of the historic Rangoon
University in Burmese history. On the first of December, 1920, the
British government enacted the Rangoon University Act which could have
prolonged the British colonization in Burma.
As a consequence, on 5th December of the same year, the students from
the Rangoon College launched a boycott
against the Act. Since the students spearheaded the firt University
boycott against the British colony education, beginning of the strike
is originated from the students has been become the well-known maxim in
praise of the Burmese students.
The 1920 students strike could prompt the spirit of the
national-esteem and heighten the patriotism. It was also able to give
birth of national unity amongst the Burmese people and that unity paved
the way to the movement for the anti-colonization, national liberation
and independence of Burma.
The history of student activism, born together with the birth of
Rangoon University has been keeping still alive since from the colony
to the current military dictatorship. For its fighting against the all
forms of oppression and its love for the truth and justice, the spirit
student of Burma is still alive and active in Burmese politics until
Burma has been under the iron-rule of military dictatorship for
over three decades and the dignity of the country has been deteriorated
the world. The character of the Burmese people has been aggravated
of the economic calamity and the country has also become one of the
Development Countries designated by the United Nations. The worst thing
the plague educational system which is the basis of the future
of the country, has notably been destroyed. The education under the
military oppression merely not more than could make the Burmese youth to
work under inferiority in other exotic countries. The only democratic
education, in place of the education for military enslavement, will be
able to create the better future and atmosphere for the student youth.
The students has been peacefully struggling against the
suppressive governments through- out the history of student activism in
Burma. However, after the peaceful uprising of 8888 that marked the
significant chapter in the modern students movement in Burma, Students
Army was founded, as the armed wing of the democracy movement, to range
the armed struggle for the human rights and democracy in Burma. As the
history of the Rangoon University is also the history of the student
activism, in other word, this auspicious diamond jubilee anniversary of
the Rangoon University is the diamond jubilee anniversary of the Burmese
student activism. We, the ABSDF hereby strongly denounces the Slorcs
patronage to the celebration of this auspicious occasion of the Rangoon
University Diamond Jubilee for their political ploy. It is an another
political ploy by Slorc who has been ever suppressing the student
in cruel bloody way.
To build a new democratic era, the poverty and old-fashioned
systems has essentially to be exterminated. Thus, in order to overthrow
the entire military dictatorship mechanism, national unity with the
political openness is a must. We, the ABSDF would like to urge the whole
Burmese people to shoulder the inheritance of the spirit of the historic
student activism and to carry on the second struggle for the national
freedom and liberation of Burma.
Metta, thank you, peace, happiness and long life. Virtually yours,
Dawn Star (Paris) <cd@xxxxxxx>
Euro-Burmanet (Paris, France)
Burmanet / TOTAL Coordinator (France)
Free Burma Coalition
815 Fifteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
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