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U.S. Embassy and Belize Collaborate to Strengthen Anti-Money Laundering Efforts

The National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC), alongside the U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Unit and the University of Belize, is hosting the second annual Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Conference (AML/CFT). This event brings together key stakeholders from Belize’s public and private sectors to discuss and share best practices in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Participants will also explore the role of technology in addressing modern compliance challenges.

U.S. Ambassador Michelle Kwan expressed the U.S. Government's commitment, stating, "We are proud to collaborate with Belize in enhancing its efforts to combat financial crimes, focusing on improving compliance and investigative capabilities."

The conference features sessions led by U.S., Belizean, and international experts covering topics such as civil forfeiture, financial regulations, and the impact of Financial Action Task Force Standards. Discussions also touch on financial inclusion, collaboration between sectors, and emerging issues like cybercrime and environmental crimes related to money laundering.

Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries Hon. Kareem Musa highlighted Belize's vulnerability to global financial crimes, emphasizing the country's proactive approach through the updated AML/CFT/CPF National Policy and Strategy. This framework aims to strengthen supervision, enhance compliance, and foster international cooperation.

Dr. Vincent Palacio, President of the University of Belize, underscored the university’s role in advancing national goals through education, research, and facilitating policy dialogues with key regulatory bodies.

The conference, convened by Belizean journalist Kalilah Reynolds and Ishmael Quiroz from the Office of the Prime Minister, has drawn nearly 500 participants both in-person and virtually. Leni Ysaguirre McGann, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit and Chair of NAMLC, highlighted the conference's role in fostering crucial discussions and collaboration among stakeholders.

The ongoing partnership between the United States and Belize supports efforts to strengthen Belize’s anti-money laundering laws and governance.

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