In a long-promised move to curb money laundering via nonbanks, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday that it would require as many as 8,000 check cashers, money transmitters, and currency dealers to register themselves and their agents with the government.

Under the new rule, "money services businesses" have until Dec. 31, 2001, to register with the Treasury Department's anti-money-laundering arm, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Fincen will maintain their names in a central data base and offer access to law enforcement agencies and regulators. Those failing to comply could be fined up to $5,000 per day and imprisoned.

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