Just Say No

Just Say No

It seems that almost everyone in my family was born in September. While I was frantically doing some birthday shopping for multiple family members, I came across a vintage “just say no” t-shirt. The echoes of my youth flooded my memories. I remember being taught the “Just Say No” campaign in school during the early ‘80s and ‘90s. This was part of the “war on drugs” that was launched by then-U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan in the 1980s. The war on drugs has been going on for decades and the fight continues. Although the players might have changed; illegal drugs are still bad for society and especially for the youth and the vulnerable (or marginalized communities).

Some say that the “Just Say No” campaign did not make a difference among the youth in the U.S. Others argue that the campaign did more harm than good; however, my memory is different. It made me aware at a young age that illegal drugs are bad and that the best course of action is to “say no.”

The cover article “Captagon: A Dangerous Pill to Swallow” brings awareness to a new player in town, but the sentiment still rings true that it is better to create awareness of the dangers of the drug, and its attendant anti-financial crime (AFC) risk, than to ignore the issue altogether. Captagon might be the new kid on the block for some of us, but we should be vigilant about how financial institutions (FIs) can look for red flags and stop the financial sourcing of the drug.

The “just say no” theme continues in this edition with another cover article that discusses how we can help say no and stop the sexual exploitation of children (known as CSE, or child sexual exploitation). “The Importance of Collaboration in CSE Investigations” highlights how FIs can fight child exploitation through knowledge sharing, data, technology and collaboration.

The other article that graces the Annual Assembly edition cover is “Casinos: Responding to New and Evolving Money Laundering Risks.” Casinos are continuing to “just say no” to money laundering and are preparing for the possible risk of financial crime through the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

This edition is filled with high-caliber interviews from leaders in the AFC industry. I sat down with Jennifer Shasky Calvery, former Financial Crimes Enforcement Network director and now head of financial crime at HSBC and discussed the importance of global effectiveness through partnerships and leveraging of AI technology. Other interviews of note are the Honorable Rodney E. Hood, from the National Credit Union Administration, who shared his goals for credit unions and his efforts in promoting financial inclusion. We also spoke with Jack Thompson, head of the U.S. Financial Services Business Unit at SAS, about the recent growth in fraud and leveraging new technology in the fight against financial crime. In addition, we caught up with Marbel Guilamo Peña and Heiromy Castro Milanés of Banco de Reservas to speak about their journey in developing sound compliance policies for their financial institution.

A few more articles that promote positive campaigns and initiatives within AFC include “Financial Information Sharing Partnership in Mexico,” “Heath Care Payments: The Challenges and Risks” and “How Trustworthy AI Can Help With Accountability in AML.”

Finally, I would like to congratulate our ACAMS Today Article of the Year award winners and the other ACAMS award recipients.

I look forward to meeting some of you at the Vegas Assembly in October and I hope we will all join the AFC campaign and help others “just say no” to any type of financial crime.

Karla Monterrosa-Yancey, CAMS
Follow us on : @acamstoday

Leave a Reply