02/07/2023

Rep. Robert Pittenger

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Vice Chairman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Argentina’s Mariano Federici during Wednesday morning’s Financial Services Committee Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing hearing.
Vice Chairman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Argentina’s Mariano Federici during Wednesday morning’s Financial Services Committee Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing hearing.

This morning, Vice Chairman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) questioned a panel of expert witnesses on necessary steps to block the emerging threat of terrorism financing via Latin American criminal organizations.

Speaking to Mr. Mariano Federici, President of Argentina’s Financial Intelligence Unit, Vice Chairman Pittenger asked, “Mr. Federici, our objective is to assist you in any way possible as you emerge as a major regional leader in our efforts to counter illicit finance.  What else can be done, that you would like to see from the United States, specifically related to an OTA (Treasury Department Office of Technical Assistance) presence?  What would help you be successful?”

Mr. Federici expressed appreciation for support already provided by the United States, but noted that Argentina needs technical assistance from the United States to bolster anti-money laundering operations. “We also need technology.  Unfortunately, over the past 10 years, there has been little investment in technological resources, and this really affects our capacity to conduct sophisticated analysis, and I think that’s where the United States can help us come closer to providers and companies that can offer solutions to our current challenges.”

Vice Chairman Pittenger’s questions came during a Financial Services Committee Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing hearing.

In April, Vice Chairman Pittenger helped lead a Congressional delegation to Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, and Argentina to investigate terrorism financing and the growing link between terrorist organizations and Latin American drug lords.  One of his key findings was that our Latin American allies are committed to blocking terrorist financing, but often lack the technical resources and expertise to fully act on available intelligence.

Congressman Pittenger has invited Mr. Federici to speak at the fourth Parliamentary-Intelligence Security Forum later this month in Vienna.  Members of Parliament and other officials from over 25 nations will join Congressman Pittenger in Vienna to discuss how to better collaborate on joint terrorism, terrorism financing, and cyber-security issues.