Protection of the financial system against crime is an essential task of the Department of the Treasury. One of the most important of those crimes is money laundering. Money laundering--whether by narcotics traffickers, weapons smugglers, or those engaged in fraud--fuels the engine of crime. It also corrupts the financial institutions and economies of which money launderers make use. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) works to make the prevention, detection, and prosecution of money laundering more effective by adding to the knowledge and resources that law enforcement and regulatory agencies can use to fight financial crime.