Update: U.S., Russian fiscal monitoring officials to meet in early 2006

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MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and American fiscal monitoring officials will gather for a meeting in the United States in early 2006, the head of Russia's Federal Fiscal Monitoring Service said at a press conference Monday.

Viktor Zubkov said the Russian delegation would comprise delegates from the service, the Central Bank the Finance Ministry and the Association of Russian Banks.

He said the meeting would be useful to both sides because American banks are unaware of recent changes in the Russian banking system.

Zubkov said that during his U.S. counterpart's latest visit to Russia, the official was impressed by how effective this country's fiscal monitoring system can be in dealing with money laundering.

"He didn't expect that a fiscal control system like this could be created in Russia within such a short time," Zubkov said. He said his service does not only gather intelligence information about money laundering, to pass it on to law enforcement agencies, but also does an in-depth analysis of that information, "something they [American counterparts] are still only dreaming of."

"Our capabilities enable us to see where money comes from, how it is processed by banks and where it goes," Zubkov said, adding that this makes it possible for his service to detect banks facilitating offshore scams and to hold them accountable. He also said his service has banks exercise, whenever appropriate, their right to block accounts suspected of being used to finance terrorist activities.

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