Brazil is the largest and most populous country in the South American continent. Money laundering is a major problem in Brazil. Money laundering has been a headache for Brazil since the past. Money laundering, fraud, corruption, drug trafficking and tax evasion pose many threats to Brazil. Financial crimes committed through financial systems undermine the stability of the Brazilian economy. Accordingly, the Government of Brazil aims to prevent financial crimes with Anti-Money Laundering regulations to protect financial stability.
The Government of Brazil established the Council for Financial Activities Control (Conselho de Controle de Actividades Financieras - COAF) within the Ministry of Finance in 1998 with the law numbered 9.613. People who commit money laundering, terrorist financing and drug trafficking crimes are punished with the law numbered 9.613. COAF has regulatory and supervisory powers in the financial sectors. The purpose of COAF is to ensure those suspicious transactions such as money laundering are detected and prevented. Brazilian financial institutions are responsible for detecting suspicious transactions and reporting them to COAF. These reports are reviewed by COAF. COAF initiates a legal process if it detects criminal transactions.
Since 2000, there have been several developments in the AML field in Brazil. Regulators in Brazil have trained financial institutions to combat financial crime more effectively. With these pieces of training, financial institutions detect suspicious transactions and report to COAF. With the publication of FATF recommendations in 2012, AML / CFT measures in Brazil were changed to comply with FATF recommendations. According to the Brazilian report published by FATF, Brazil is reported to have made progress in the field of AML but still has shortcomings.
Financial institutions are required to create their own AML programs in line with the AML requirements in Brazil. AML programs enable financial institutions to tackle financial crime more systematically. Financial institutions check their customers from the customer onboarding stage to ensure AML compliance. In Customer Due Diligence processes, they identify customer risk levels and perform control processes appropriate to the risk level. In addition, financial institutions must keep customer records. Regulators have the right to access and audit these records at all times. Regulators impose high fines on financial institutions that do not meet AML requirements. In addition, those who commit financial crimes are given fines and imprisonment.
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