Russia?s KFM is an Intelligence Services

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Saturday, March 1, 2003
Timur Sinuraya
Barely a month after the exclusion of Russia from the FATF ?black list? of cooperative countries, it is becoming clear that Russia has managed to create a viable financial intelligence system. It should be submitted that without an extensive research and preparations of anti-money laundering philosophy this would not have been possible. Russia?s primary financial intelligence system unit is the Committee for Financial Money (KFM), officially subordinated to the Ministry of Finance. In Russia KFM people are often referred to as Finansoveye Razvedchiki or financial intelligence agents, with the emphasis on the notion of ?spying?. That is because the term ?intelligence? in direct Russian translation means the intelligence service. While commentators are quick to point out that the KFM is an information processing center which employs experts in finance, computer since and law, the high profile it received from its inception may become a self-fulfilled prophesy in the not to distant future. Ideally, there should be an international operation component considering Russia?s position in the global web of illicit capital movement, it is crucial for KFM to effectively cooperate with the law enforcement, security and intelligence communities domestically and internationally.