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Viewing cable 09LIMA1675, Peru's Financial Intelligence Unit- Reinvigorated

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09LIMA1675 2009-12-01 19:07 2011-02-26 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Lima
Appears in these articles:
elcomercio.pe
VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1675/01 3351927
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 011927Z DEC 09 ZFF6
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0178
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0079
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0002
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 001675 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/01 
TAGS: EFIN EINT PTER SNAR PE KTFN DEA TRSY
SUBJECT: Peru's Financial Intelligence Unit- Reinvigorated 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Alexandra Z. Tenny, NAS...
id: 237473
date: 12/1/2009 19:27
refid: 09LIMA1675
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
destination: 
header:
VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #1675/01 3351927
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 011927Z DEC 09 ZFF6
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0178
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0079
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0002
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO


----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 001675 

SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/12/01 
TAGS: EFIN EINT PTER SNAR PE KTFN DEA TRSY
SUBJECT: Peru's Financial Intelligence Unit- Reinvigorated 

CLASSIFIED BY: Alexandra Z. Tenny, NAS Programs Officer, State, NAS; 
REASON: 1.4(B), (D) 

Peru's Financial Intelligence Unit - Reinvigorated 





1. (C) Summary:  The Peruvian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), 
under new management since February 2009, has shown renewed vigor 
as demonstrated by the exponential increase in the number of 
intelligence reports entering the judicial system compared to 2008. 
Based on these cases, the FIU estimates that more than three 
billion USD moved through the Peruvian economy illegally in 2009, 
more than 80 percent as a result of drug trafficking.  The new FIU 
Director, however, is in conflict with his boss, the Superintendent 
of Banks. The FIU receives strong support from the Prime Minister's 
office which is contemplating legislation to make the FIU fully 
autonomous similar to the Colombian model.  End Summary. 



------------------ 

The FIU - a Primer 

------------------ 



2.  (C) The FIU, created in 2002, functioned under several 
jurisdictions - including the Prime Minister's office, the Public 
Ministry, and the Finance Ministry - until 2007, when it came under 
the authority of the Superintendent of Banking, Insurance, and 
Private Pension funds (SBS).  In addition to responsibility for 
analysis, prevention, and supervision, the FIU has a regulatory 
role.   It proposes strategies and polices to the Superintendent on 
prevention and detection of asset laundering and terrorist 
financing; drafts regulations on asset laundering and terrorist 
financing; and coordinates with other agencies in developing 
regulations.  The FIU receives and analyzes Suspicious Transaction 
Reports (STRs), may request additional information relevant to 
cases or operations related to money laundering or terrorist 
financing, provides Financial Intelligence Reports (FIR) to the 
Public Prosecutor's Office, participates and/or requests joint 
investigations, and coordinates with foreign FIUs and entities. 
Finally, the FIU supervises the system of prevention of asset 
laundering and has the authority to sanction entities for 
non-compliance with regulations or deficiencies in their business 
to prevent the laundering of assets. 



------------------- 

Under New Management 

-------------------- 



3. (C) In 2008, Peru's Financial Intelligence Unit produced 
Financial Intelligence Reports (FIR) for the Public Prosecutor 
resulting in four cases entering the judicial system.  Then-FIU 
head Sylvia Wong stepped down from her position at the end of 2008 
and in February 2009, Enrique Saldivar was appointed Director of 
the FIU.  The speculation at the time of her departure on the part 
of NASOff contacts in the Public Ministry, Peruvian National 
Police, and other places was that she had been removed for lack of 
performance, though she has publicly claimed she was pressured into 
stepping down because she "got too close" to uncovering "big 
cases." 



4. (U) As of February 2009, FIU has been under the leadership of 
Ramon Enrique Saldivar Bocangel.  Most recently having served as 
advisor to the President of the Supreme Court, he has also been the 
head of the Prime Minister's National Office of Electronic 
Government and Information. Prior to these positions, Saldivar 
worked in the private sector, including five years with Microsoft. 
He holds multiple degrees from the best universities in Lima in 
Economics and Business Administration and has attended the 

Microsoft Latin American Executive Training Program in Bogota. 



--------------------- 

FIU Progress in 2009 

--------------------- 



5.  (C) Of the 7,710 suspicious activity reports examined by FIU 
analysts in 2009, 781 resulted in financial intelligence reports 
sent to the Public Ministry for further processing and 
investigation.  Based on these 781 intelligence reports, the FIU 
concludes  more than 3 billion USD moved illegally through Peru's 
financial sector in 2009.  83 percent of this amount, according to 
the FIU, is related to drug trafficking.  The other 17 percent is 
reportedly related to fiscal fraud, corruption and illegal gun 
dealing.  Currently, 308 of these intelligence reports are at 
various stages of investigation and prosecution in the legal system 
- as compared to four cases in 2008.  The FIU also reports tracking 
cases similar to that of an OFAC-designated Al-Qaida element moving 
money from Europe through Lima and on to India.  Asked if this 
Al-Qaida case was the first of its kind or they had seen similar 
cases before, Saldivar told NASOff that they see about one case a 
month. 



--------------------- 

Challenges to the FIU 

--------------------- 



6. (C) Saldivar told NASOff he often becomes frustrated by the 
legal and bureaucratic obstacles encountered when pushing money 
laundering cases through the judicial system.  Any information 
sharing between the FIU and other Peruvian entities involves a 
paper intensive process through the Public Ministry (Attorney 
General's Office).  The FIU must contend, he said, with 
institutions such as the Peruvian tax agency (SUNAT), which refuses 
to share information, not because it is forbidden by law, but 
because SUNAT does not believe FIU has safeguards to protect the 
information.  Saldivar argues that this is not the case and claims 
it is more an issue of institutional jealousy than real security 
concern.  Furthermore, he asserted, SUNAT often hides behind tax 
confidentiality laws although the tax code establishes exceptions 
in cases typically investigated by the FIU.  The FIU is receiving 
strong support from the Prime Minister's Office, according to 
Saldivar.  Legislation to make the FIU fully autonomous similar to 
the Colombian model, is being considered, he said.  Saldivar did 
not know, however, when this legislation would be introduced. 



7. (C) According to Saldivar, anti-money laundering efforts in Peru 
are hindered by several factors.   He said, for example, there are 
too many agents working on different aspects related to money 
laundering and terrorist financing and their related offences. 
Additionally, while the FIU is the coordinating body for anti-money 
laundering and terrorist financing issues, the current legal 
structure restricts inter-agency collaboration and information 
sharing, including access to information such as tax and banking 
records.  Finally, Saldivar told NASOff that his own boss, the 
Superintendent of Banks, is reluctant to push the banking sector in 
terms of compliance.  Currently, though the major banks have 
complied with orders to freeze accounts, they are under no 
obligation to comply quickly, according to Saldivar. 



8. (C) Saldivar confided in NASOff that when he first began as the 
Director of the FIU he met with the management of each of the major 
international and Peruvian banks.  He said he was rather taken 
aback when the three largest international banks told him they had 
no intention of cooperating with him.  Scotia Bank, Saldivar said, 

told him they had no intention of reporting to FIU anything related 
to fiscal fraud and Commercial Bank informed him they would not 
report to the FIU on counterfeit currency. 



----------------------------- 

Leaking Financial Information 

----------------------------- 



9. (C)  Saldivar told NASOff he believes that the Banking 
Superintendent is leaking sensitive information from FIRs to 
political entities and the press.  Both the Banking Superintendent 
and Saldivar are being sued personally by Peru's Nationalist Party 
because of an FIU investigation into one of its leaders.  Saldivar 
said he suspects that the Superintendent has leaked sensitive 
information on this and other high profile cases for political 
reasons due to his close connection with President Garcia and his 
political party. 



------- 

Comment 

------- 





10.         (C)  Saldivar appeared stressed and worried when 
discussing the issue of the leak and shared with NASOFF that four 
months into his tenure as Director, he was told by the 
Superintendent's chief advisor that he was "working too quickly." 
The numbers speak for themselves in terms of the FIU's performance 
in 2009 as compared to 2008 primarily due to Saldivar's leadership. 
The FIU staff who less than six months ago reported to NASOff low 
morale now reports a renewed energy in their work and excitement 
for the vision of the new leadership.  However, Saldivar's tenure 
is in question, and he feels he is being prevented by other 
officials from fully realizing the FIU's potential.  Saldivar has 
demonstrated results and NAS will continue to support the FIU's 
work. 
MCKINLEY 

=======================CABLE ENDS============================