San Nicolas amendment passes to combat drug and human trafficking

Guam Delegate to Congress Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

In the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an amendment by Congressman Michael San Nicolas was successfully passed, making Guam and all Territories and Tribes eligible for High-Intensity Financial Crime Area (HIFCA) designation.

A HIFCA designation made available to Guam via Amendment 117-3 will create a money-laundering action team, comprised of relevant Federal, State, and local enforcement authorities, prosecutors, and financial regulators that work together to coordinate Federal, State, and local anti-money laundering efforts and other financial crimes that support terrorism, human trafficking, and drug trafficking activities.

Additionally, Guam will be eligible for the Financial Crime-Free Communities Support (C–FIC) Anti-Money Laundering Grant Program to provide seed capital for emerging state and local counter-money laundering enforcement efforts.

“We have a serious drug problem on our island, and we need to do something about it. Amendment 117-3 on the NDAA will attack the drug problem by providing federal grants and coordinating federal support to target drug money and other illicit finance activities on Guam. Also, by targeting illicit finance activity broadly, we can target drug-affiliated illegal activities including human trafficking, extortion, and others that serve as feeder cells to the drug apparatus on Guam,” Congressman San Nicolas said.

He added: “With the passage of the 2022 NDAA and this amendment language we will have the resources to go after the money that keeps these illegal activities alive, starving them out and making our community safer.”

(Congressman Michael San Nicolas Release)