Cassidy sponsors bipartisan resolution to fight transnational criminal organzations

Sen. Bill Cassidy

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has sponsored a bipartisan resolution urging Congress to fight the activities of transnational criminal organizations, including the use of illicit economies, illicit trade and trade-based money laundering, which threaten national security. 

Not only do such activities pose a threat to the national interests and national security of the United States, but also to U.S. allies and partners around the world, according to Senate Resolution (S.Res.) 610, which Sen. Cassidy introduced with eight original cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. Todd Young (R-IN) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

Among the resolution’s provisions, trade-based money laundering is noted as being among the most widely used and least understood forms of money laundering, disguising proceeds of crime by moving value through international trade transactions in an attempt to legitimize illicit origins of money or products, according to the text of the resolution.

“Trade-based money laundering links everything from drug and human trafficking, terrorism, to counterfeits like knock-off toys that put children in danger,” Sen. Cassidy said. “This is a threat to our national security.” 

In addition to considering the countering of illicit economies, illicit trade and trade-based money laundering as a national priority and committing to detect, address and prevent such activities, S.Res. 610 resolves that the president should continue to assess the ongoing risks of trade-based money laundering and to “work expeditiously to develop, finalize and execute a strategy… to counter the activities of transnational criminal organizations,” the text of the resolution states.

The measure has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. 

Relatedly, Sen. Cassidy on March 1 also sponsored the Special Russian Sanctions Authority Act of 2022, S. 3723, which would create a permanent interagency trade-based money laundering task force to coordinate efforts and streamline communication among U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies.