Brazil moves money laundering intelligence unit to central bank

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a promotion ceremony for generals of the armed forces, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The Brazilian government on Tuesday issued a decree moving the Financial Activities Control Board (Coaf), which monitors nefarious financial activity such as money laundering, into a new Financial Intelligence Unit under central bank control.

The measure, published in the Official Gazette, gives power to the central bank president to appoint officials and to choose the president of the newly created unit. Previously, Coaf was under the Economy Ministry.

“The Financial Intelligence Unit is responsible for producing and managing financial intelligence information for the prevention and combat of money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” according to the decree.

The agency will also be expected to liaise with national and international agencies engaged in similar activities.

The plan to transfer Coaf to the central bank from the Economy Ministry was announced earlier this month by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Nick Zieminski