Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said today that Brazil has been “implacable” in combatting money-laundering. The President affirmed that repeated police operations have resulted in the imprisonment of major criminals and the seizure of substantial assets.
The President participated in the opening ceremony of the International Encounter for the Campaign against Money-Laundering and for the Recovery of Assets, in the Federal Appeals Court, in Brasília, Brazil’s capital.
During the event, the President affirmed that the war on financial crime, especially money-laundering, is one of his Administration’s priorities.
“We have historical motives for this option. Society is aware that resources illegally appropriated from public coffers, at the expense of the well-being of the population, were systematically transferred and laundered abroad.
“This money represents a loss to our people. It should be located and restored, and those responsible for its embezzlement should be arrested and judged,” he asserted.
For the President, the campaign against money-laundering and for the recovery of stolen assets are extraordinarily relevant themes for a nation that desires to be “ethical, sovereign, and to promote social justice.”
According to President Lula, Brazil wants to tighten the bonds of international cooperation in operations to combat money-laundering and recover misappropriated assets, through the expansion of international agreements and partnerships.
In December, action strategies for 2005 will be formulated, perfecting what has been done up to now.
The President referred to data indicating that money-laundering accounts for US$ 600 billion in business, annually, all over the world.
Reporter: Paula Medeiros
Translator: David Silberstein