By Arghemar Perez
SCCE Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional
Ethical Alliance Certified Member
Credited to Practice Law in Venezuela
Forming commercial alliances is essential to cross-border trading, whether in the service or goods industry. What on regular basis is considered a “third party” for corporate and sometimes regulatory purposes, under the anti-bribery compliance magnifying glass, turns out to be a business partner. Proper due diligence, training and on-going monitoring of “third parties” has become the minimum standard for “adequate proceedings” under an anti-bribery program umbrella and the question at this point becomes, could we take advantage of the progress made in other compliance arenas such as anti-money laundering –“AML”-?
The compliance regulatory and monitoring accelerated speed of the financial sector regulators-enforcers for AML, has resulted in a sophisticated matrix with very detailed elements and procedures aimed at preventing, detecting, reporting specific conducts. The underlying reason is something AML and anti-bribery seem to have in common: the international community has made the fight against money laundering and corruption a priority, considering the dampening effect both have on foreign direct investment, as one of the very core negative global consequences to avoid.
Corruption –including bribery- is an underlying criminal activity for money laundering and typically enacted as a predicate offense by countries around the world. The mindset giving or accepting something of value to gain an illicit advantage will be the same mindset attempting to disguise the proceeds of such criminal activity to disguise its illicit origin. Therefore, implementing the beneficial ownership criterion as recently adopted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as the core of the Customer Due Diligence Requirements for financial institutions, to understand the nature and purpose of commercial relationships for outsourcing as well as commercial partners, could mitigate an Organization’s exposure to cross-border business actors operating under dubious parameters, therefore reducing the scope of eventual bribery scenarios.”