RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND MONEY LAUNDERING IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

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On 10 May, Insight Crime carried an article saying that millions of dollars in state funds were allegedly laundered through a religious non-profit in the Dominican Republic, showing how minimal oversight of these faith groups makes them ideal vehicles for embezzlement.  On May 10, security officials, a pastor and others suspected in the scheme were placed in detention or under house arrest for 18 months as part of an ongoing investigation into charges of money laundering, falsifying public documents, fraud, and other offenses.  Involved is the Mother Earth Farmers Association (Asociación Campesina Madre Tierra), a non-profit organisation he formed in 2015 to foster Christian values through community farming.  The article says that there are several factors that make churches and religious non-governmental organisations ideal fronts for laundering money.  The entities tend to have diverse income streams that can be tricky to trace, collecting cash donations and also receiving bank transfers.  It is said that, in the Dominican Republic, “religious leaders are not required to have any formal affiliation or certification to verify their membership in a church”.

https://insightcrime.org/news/earthly-delights-religious-non-profits-and-money-laundering-dominican-republic/

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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