Keating Launches Bill to Trace Human Trafficking Proceeds

WASHINGTON –Congressman Bill Keating is teaming with a colleague, Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and other members of Congress, to provide additional tools to law enforcement to fight human traffickers by tracing their transactions through financial institutions.

The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act would direct federal banking regulators to work with law enforcement and financial institutions to combat the use of the financial system for human trafficking. The goal of the program is to strengthen anti money laundering programs to better target human trafficking.

The bill would also allow advocates of trafficking victims to act as “stakeholders” in providing feedback to U.S. Treasury officials acting to combat the crime.

“With so many complex security and law enforcement challenges in human trafficking cases, one of the most straightforward ways to find traffickers is to follow the money. Human trafficking is one of the most valuable criminal enterprises in the world and these criminals are known to be taking advantage of our banking and financial institutions,”said Keating.

“By providing financial institutions and regulators with the resources and tools to better detect and prevent human trafficking, we will be opening another avenue for law enforcement to hold perpetrators of this heinous crime responsible. I am proud to be working with Congressman Fitzpatrick on this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.”

According to Keating’s office, the International Labor Organization estimates that over $150 billion in illegal profits are made from forced labor each year and $99 billion are earned from the victims of sexual exploitation, making human trafficking the third most lucrative criminal enterprise in the world.

Cutting off traffickers’ access to the banking system is critical to putting an end to this illegal activity according to statements from Keating and the co-sponsors of the bill.

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