Bullets don’t careen harmlessly off their bodies. They can’t swoop down from the sky and rescue a distressed citizen. Magical or hyper-technological weapons? None unless you count their laptops. The crime fighters being honored on National Financial Crime Fighter Day dress like your normal office-types. And no quick, colorful persona or costume changes, either.
“Thank you, ma’am, but khakis work just fine for me.”
Just so there is no confusion with fictional crime fighters, the leagues to which they pledge their allegiance have super unsexy titles. Still, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) professionals of The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) are real crime fighters, fighting real financial crime.
They protect the American financial system and are the first line of defense against the unleashing of financial mayhem. They stop drug money from returning to cartels. Their efforts prevent human traffickers from financing their operations. Evil plots are uncovered as they disrupt terrorists from funding their operations.
Cartels? Human traffickers? Terrorists?
Sounds pretty superhero-ish, actually.
Starting in the 1960s and 70s, as the drug wars created an increase in illicit and illegal money entering the U.S. financial system, Congress passed the BSA to enhance AML efforts. The U.S. Patriot Act reinforced the BSA in 2011.
What this origin story lacks in energy and intrigue, these men and women more than make up for in their dedication. Though these professionals do not hail from another planet or emanate from an experiment gone wrong, they do work tirelessly around the clock on our behalf.
Like many crime fighters, their aid goes mostly unnoticed since it is much harder to tell when something doesn’t happen. And, like the most famous non-superpowered superhero of all, The Dark Knight, these highly-trained professionals are ready and willing to prevent crime and chaos on the unsuspecting masses.
While we go blithely about our business, they go about theirs, saving America one bank account at a time.
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