As part of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) first national priorities list for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policies, one important priority continues to be critical in deterring AML/CFT concerns. Human trafficking and human smuggling, while not technically the same, are both used as a means of moving illicit money, at a tremendous human cost.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 92% of human trafficking cases intersect with the financial industry. Human smuggling activities also intersect with the financial system at many points during the operation, although the data is less clear since the crime is often undetected. Community financial institutions have become targets for these illicit transactions, as larger banks have more sophisticated monitoring systems for detecting and reporting. However, there are many steps smaller banks and credit unions can use to stop these illicit funds from flowing through our U.S. financial system.