In Brazil, the Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF) is the government department primarily responsible for the fight against financial crime. Created in 1998, COAF has since been a key component of Brazil’s crackdown against crimes such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and tax evasion. It is a part of the Brazilian Ministry of Finance, and this ministry is responsible for determining the powers of COAF and what regulations it is allowed to enforce.
The main purpose of COAF is to regulate Brazilian financial institutions, implement and enforce certain sanction policies, examine suspicious transactions, and monitor any clients or accounts that pose a severe threat to Brazil’s financial sector. For instance, if a financial institution files a report regarding a suspicious transaction, it is COAF’s responsibility to conduct a thorough investigation. By doing this, COAF hopes to help put an end to Brazil’s money-laundering epidemic, prevent funds from reaching terrorist organisations, and stop financial criminals from successfully executing their schemes.
COAF’s structure is simple but effective. Leading COAF is the Comptroller General, and second in command is the Executive Secretariat. In addition to these positions, COAF also has eight council members selected from a group of public servants. Additionally, there is also a branch of the council dedicated specifically to Corruption Prevention and Strategic Information, as well as a Disciplinary Board that is responsible for the legal penalties for financial crimes.
Throughout its existence, COAF has sought to provide the Brazilian public with both comprehensive and condensed information and statistics to allow better understanding of financial crime and the damage it deals to the Brazilian economy. The organisation also releases publications, such as “Money Laundering: A Global Problem”, to further education individuals and institutions on various aspects of financial crime.