WASHINGTON Calling existing statutes outdated, Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday asked Congress to pass tougher laws to combat money laundering.
Money laundering constitutes a serious threat to our communities, to the integrity of our financial institutions, and to our national security, Mr. Ashcroft said in prepared remarks released before a speech in Chicago.
He identified the cross-border movement of cash as the primary method used to launder money today. Congress, he said, should make bulk cash smuggling a crime and allow authorities to confiscate funds taken from violators. He also recommended making it a federal crime to use a public highway, an airplane, or other common carrier to transport $10,000 or more in proceeds of criminal activity.
Finally, he said, Congress should discourage foreign nationals from laundering their money in the United States by making it a crime to launder the proceeds of any serious crime here, regardless of where it occurred.