East Meets West

The U.S. State Department, as part of its International Visitors Leadership Program, asked the Northern Ohio ACAMS Chapter to organize a fact-finding discussion with a high-level delegation from Vietnam. The Cleveland Council on World Affairs coordinated local accommodations for the Vietnamese delegation. This is the third time in three years that the chapter has been honored in arranging such an important international anti-money laundering (AML) discussion. Prior discussions were held with delegations from Columbia and from Iraq.

The meeting was held on November 5, 2018, at the Key Tower building where the AML regimes and practices of Vietnam and the U.S. were discussed. Representing the U.S. regime were members of the chapter, academic studies, and local, federal and county law enforcement. The Vietnamese participants represented the Ministry of Finance Gaming Division, Department of International Cooperation and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Customs Northern Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Unit, Public Prosecutions and Supervision Over Investigations Against Economic Crimes, and the Supreme People’s Court board of secretaries.

Bill Cloninger led the discussion for the U.S. participants. Each U.S. participant provided an overview and supporting details to their area of expertise. Questions were asked by both the Vietnamese participants as well as by those representing the U.S. AML regime. Answers and comments from this meeting were insightful for all participants. After a successful meeting, a group photo was taken and the participants are listed from left to right in the image above:

  • Alek El-Kamhawy, Case Western Reserve University – Financial Integrity Institute;
  • Bill Cloninger, KeyBank AML Investigations and ACAMS chapter director;
  • Huy Dat Nguyen, division head, Gaming Division, Ministry of Finance;
  • Thi Quynh Anh Ngo, deputy director general, Department of International Cooperation and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters;
  • Quang Toan Vu, deputy head, Northern Anti-Smuggling Enforcement Unit, General Dept. of Vietnam Customs;
  • Sean Watterson, SEC Investigations (retired);
  • John Moody, AML compliance expert, and ACAMS Chapter Director;
  • Brian Sallee, special assistant to the sheriff of Cuyahoga County;
  • Duc Tien Phung, deputy director general, Dept. of Public Prosecutions and Supervision over Investigations against Economic Crimes;
  • Phung Vuong Tran, deputy head, Board of Secretaries, Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam;
  • Todd Weitzel, supervising special agent, Cleveland Field Office, IRS – Criminal Investigations.

These discussion meetings are designed to build better connections around the world in support of mutual missions to combat and prevent financial crimes.

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