The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) division this week called on the country’s financial institutions to look for cash flows that indicate environmental crime. The communication links environmental crime with FinCEN’s traditional missions to fight corruption and international terrorism and money laundering, but also explicitly recites a new ESG mission due to the “contribution of environmental crime to the climate crisis, including threats to ecosystems, degradation of biodiversity and the.” Increase in CO2 emissions “. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “
The communication cites statistics that rank environmental crime as the third largest illegal activity in the world, behind drug and counterfeit goods trafficking and the leading illicit source of income in conflict areas.
The notice provides financial institutions with specific instructions on how to file suspicious activity reports of environmental crime and describes different categories of suspicious activity.
At the beginning of the week FinCEN a virtual exchange on the subject.
FinCEN announcement FIN-2021-NTC4 (November 18, 2021) can be found here.