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Other Multi-Lateral Organizations & Programs


International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 2004
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Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Programme

The U.S. Government, in partnership with the European Union and the UK Government, launched the Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Programme (CALP) on March 1, 1999. The Programme is designed to assist the 21 Caribbean Basin member countries of CARIFORUM (the representative organization for Caribbean countries) to develop their anti-money laundering procedures.

The two primary objectives of CALP are:

  • To reduce the incidence of the laundering of the proceeds of all serious crime by facilitating the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of money laundering and the seizure and forfeiture of property connected to such laundering activity.

  • To develop a sustainable institutional capacity in the Caribbean region to address the issues related to anti-money laundering efforts at a local, regional and international level, by strengthening existing institutional capacity at the regional level, and developing new, or enhancing existing, institutional capacity at the local level.
The holistic approach undertaken by CALP consists of three separate, yet interlinked, sub-programs, detailed as follows using the theme "Taking the Profits out of Crime":

Legal/Judicial

The advisor responsible for delivering this sub-program is heavily involved in worldwide research of anti-money laundering laws, regulations and working practices. Appropriate recommendations are then made to the respective governments of the member countries to ensure they have the necessary legal structures in place to combat money laundering. Countries with very limited facilities are additionally assisted with drafting of the recommended changes to their legislation. Within this sub-program, training is given to prosecutors, magistrates and judges. Awareness training also is given to other organizations within the financial and law enforcement sectors. In 2002, the CALP legal advisor developed a Model Terrorist Financing Law for use by the common law countries covered by CALP. This model legislation is being considered for adoption by other Commonwealth countries, and particularly by member countries of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group.

Financial Sector

Experience has shown that much of the intelligence and evidence related to money laundering comes from various financial organizations, in particular, banks, casinos and insurance companies. This sub-program has been developed to train, at all levels, staff within such organizations to identify suspicious financial activity and unusual business transactions. Staff members are made aware of the legal requirements and protection in their respective countries. Particular targets are compliance officers within the financial industry who are normally responsible for some staff training. Most such individuals have anti-money laundering issues as part of their responsibility, so a "train the trainer" theme has been encouraged in an effort to ensure that this aspect of training is sustainable once the Programme has completed.

Law Enforcement

The Law Enforcement expert is principally concerned with the development of training to enable Caribbean law enforcement officers to effectively investigate offenses brought to their attention. The training, from basic to advanced level, has been developed in association with Caribbean law enforcement training establishments. The objective for such establishments is to take over continued training once the Programme has been discontinued. A further objective of this sub-program is to encourage all member countries to form their own financial intelligence units (FIUs), with staff trained to liaise with the financial sector, consider reported suspicious financial activity and prepare intelligence reports to assist the law enforcement officers to investigate suspected offenses.

All experts employed within the overall program are always available to advise investigators, prosecutors and judges on any aspect of anti-money laundering issues.

When the Programme commenced, very few Caribbean countries had any form of anti-money laundering legislation. None had used laws to pursue anti-money laundering case to completion. As a consequence, most investigators, prosecutors and judges had no experience with such cases.

The CALP's major thrust for 2003 was to assist countries of the Eastern Caribbean to improve their anti-money laundering systems and working practices so as to allow them to be removed from the FATF Non Cooperating Countries and Territories (NCCT) list. With the removal of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in June 2003, this has now been entirely accomplished. Along with a number of other countries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has now been accepted as a member of the Egmont Group.

At the end of 2003, only two countries, Haiti and Guyana, lacked operational FIUs. However, both nations had established office space for the FIUs and vetted appropriate personnel to staff them, with the expectation that they would be operational by the middle of 2004.

In 2003, CALP undertook a variety of law enforcement and legal/judicial training initiatives in accord with the Programme's primary objective of helping to ensure program sustainability in the region. Jamaica has accepted full responsibility for basic training for financial investigators at its Regional Police Training Center after the CALP terminates. Looking to the future, "train the trainer" and Advanced Investigators Training courses are scheduled for implementation in 2004 at the Regional Police Training School in Barbados. Moreover, "train the trainer" initiatives in the financial sector have been augmented with the updating of CALP's five training videos/CDs so that relevant financial organizations in the region may undertake their own training in the future.

In the legal/judicial sector, the University of the West Indies and the University of Florida have developed a legal faculty in anti-money laundering laws and practices. Via Internet on-line course work, aimed at lawyers, police officers and bankers, successful students will be awarded a diploma, which they may then apply to further study for a university degree. At end of 2003, a British consulting company was completing an evaluation of the CALP, to include an assessment of future training needs for the region.

The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units

An important component of the international community's approach to combating money laundering is the global network of financial intelligence units (FIUs). An FIU is a centralized unit for financial intelligence, formed by a nation to protect its financial services sector, to detect criminal abuse of its financial system and to ensure adherence to its laws against financial crimes, terrorist financing, and money laundering. Since 1995, a number of FIUs have been working together in an informal organization known as the Egmont Group (named for the location of the first meeting at the Egmont-Arenberg Palace in Brussels). Since the first meeting, the number of established FIUs has grown dramatically. At the first Egmont Group meeting in 1995, 20 units met in Brussels; today there are 84 recognized members of the Egmont Group. The following FIUs joined the Egmont Group in 2003: Albania, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahrain, Dominica, Germany, Guatemala, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Serbia, South Africa, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Egmont Group is an international network designed to improve interaction among FIUs in the areas of communications, information sharing, and training coordination. The goal of the Egmont Group is to provide a forum for FIUs around the world to improve support to their respective governments in the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes. This support includes expanding and systematizing the exchange of financial intelligence information, improving expertise and capabilities of personnel employed by such organizations, and fostering better and more secure communication among FIUs through the application of technology. The Egmont Group's secure Internet system permits members to communicate with one another via secure e-mail, requesting and sharing case information as well as posting and assessing information regarding trends, analytical tools and technological developments. FinCEN, on behalf of the Egmont Group, maintains the Egmont Secure Web (ESW). Currently, there are 74 FIUs connected to the ESW.

In response to the rapid growth of the Egmont Group, in 2002 at the Plenary in Monte Carlo, the group established the "Egmont Committee." The Committee addresses the administrative and operational issues facing the group and is comprised of 13 members: six permanent members and seven regional representatives based on continental groupings (i.e., Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Oceania). The Egmont Committee usually meets three times a year; however, additional meetings may be organized if needed.

Within the Egmont Group, there are four working groups (Legal, Operational, Training/Communications, and Outreach). The Legal Working Group reviews the candidacy of potential members and handles all legal aspects and matters of principle within the Egmont Group. The Training/Communications Working Group looks at ways to communicate more effectively, identifies training opportunities for FIU personnel and examines new software applications that might facilitate analytical work. In 2002, the Training/Communications Working Group co-hosted a FIU training seminar for analysts in Mexico, and in 2003, Britain's FIU, the National Criminal Intelligence Service, sponsored a technical workshop for information technology specialists in the FIUs. The workshop focused on data mining, information fusion, security, and artificial intelligence. The Outreach Working Group concentrates on expanding and developing the FIU global network by identifying countries that have established or are establishing FIUs. Outreach is responsible for making initial contact with potential candidate FIUs, and conducts assessments to determine if an FIU is ready for Egmont membership.

The fourth and newest working group, the Operational Working Group, was created in 2003. It is designed to foster increased cooperation among the operational divisions of the member FIUs and coordinate the development of studies and typologies—using data collected by the FIUs—on a variety of subjects useful to law enforcement. These include such topics as trafficking in women, money laundering using precious metals, and arms smuggling. The Egmont Group took steps to educate the public about its important programs and its role in the global fight against financial crimes by developing an Egmont web site (www.egmontgroup.org) that became available in September 2003. This public site makes available to the general public documents and information about upcoming meetings of the Egmont Group. It also creates a forum for a public dialogue on the functions and operations of FIUs.

As of December 2003, the members of the Egmont Group are Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

The Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD) Group of Experts to Control Money Laundering

The Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD) is responsible for combating illicit drugs and related crimes, including money laundering. In 2003, the commission carried out a variety of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing initiatives. These included amending model regulations for the Hemisphere to include techniques to combat terrorist financing, developing a variety of associated training initiatives and participating in a number of money laundering/counter terrorism meetings. This work in the area of money laundering and financial crimes also figures prominently in CICAD's Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM), which involves the participation of all 34 member states, and in 2003, included the updating and revision of some 80 questionnaire indicators through which the countries mutually evaluate regional efforts and projects.

CICAD's Group of Experts on Money Laundering met in June and November 2003 and developed modifications to the model money laundering legislation, which was approved by the 34th session of the OAS General Assembly. The new legislative guidelines include language on the control of alternative remittance systems, criminalizing the financing of terrorism, freezing terrorist-related assets and measures for effective asset forfeiture. The two meetings of the money laundering group also reviewed a variety of case studies from the Hemisphere involving, for example, corruption and the effective conduct of money laundering investigations based on suspicious transaction reporting.

In other activity, CICAD worked with the International Development Bank (IDB) and with the Government of France to carry out training for a variety of countries on combating money laundering, effective financial investigations and recovering financial and other assets as the result of corrupt practices. For example, training seminars for prosecutors and judges focused on new trends in prosecution, in particular, the autonomy of the offense, evidence and judicial cooperation, were held in Argentina and Uruguay in 2003, and are still on-going in Brazil and Colombia. Similarly, course work on financial investigations, focused on investigating the assets of criminal organizations, was provided to law enforcement officials from Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay. In Argentina, CICAD-sponsored training for judges and prosecutors focused on different aspects of recovering assets, including predicate offenses, money laundering and effective international cooperation to combat corruption.

Based upon an agreement for nearly $2 million concluded in 2002 with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), CICAD is currently conducting a two-year project to strengthen financial intelligence units (FIUs) in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In 2003, activities included evaluation of strategic plans for the various FIUs, development of training modules based upon local circumstances, basic preparatory work for establishment of an FIU in Peru (legal framework, institutional development, training and communications), and the hiring of experts to advance development of FIUs in Argentina, Chile and Venezuela.

In other activity in 2003, CICAD advised Ecuador on the drafting of its new law against money laundering and served in an observer capacity in the formal evaluation of Ecuador conducted by the Financial Action Task Force of South America Against Money Laundering (GAFISUD).

CICAD participated in a variety of meetings and conferences in 2003, focused on money laundering and financial crimes. These included two GAFISUD conferences, a meeting of the Egmont Group in Australia, CFATF meetings in Panama and Antigua and Barbuda and an International Symposium on Organized Crime in Brazil.

Pacific Islands Forum

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was formed in 1971, and includes all the independent and self-governing Pacific Island countries, Australia and New Zealand. The 16 members are: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The heads of member governments hold annual meetings, followed by dialogue at the ministerial level with partners Canada, China, European Union, France, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, United Kingdom and United States.

The PIF's mission is to work in support of PIF member governments to enhance the economic and social well being of the people of South Pacific by fostering cooperation between governments and international agencies, and by representing the interests of PIF members. Senior government officials from these jurisdictions meet periodically to discuss mutual concerns and regional issues. Meetings have focused heavily on regional trade and economic development issues and, in recent years, the environment. Acting under the Honiara Declaration, PIF members have developed model legislation on extradition, mutual assistance in criminal matters and forfeiture of the proceeds of crime. In 1994, PIF achieved observer status at the UN. It also is an observer at APEC and APG meetings.

Because many of the PIF members are hampered by a lack of resources, the UN Global Programme Against Money Laundering, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and France are providing assistance to the PIF members through the PIF Secretariat. In 2003, border control training sessions were held for the member jurisdictions. In addition, a program was initiated to help maintain stability in the region by promoting regional cooperation through the development of laws and procedures to prevent terrorism and transnational crime, and to comply with the provisions of UNSCR 1373 and the FATF Eight Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing. A multi-lateral legal experts working group was established to achieve these goals. The group discussed a regional framework, including model legislation, to address terrorism and organized crime. The draft model law was endorsed at the Forum Leaders meeting in August 2003, and member jurisdictions were urged to enact the legislation as soon as it was finalized.

A new Coordinating Office for the Participating Countries Anti-Money Laundering Initiative (COAMLI) is being established. COAMLI will consist of the PIF Secretariat and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) Secretariat in collaboration with the IMF Legal Department. COAMLI,will coordinate with the APG to prevent overlapping of activities and projects within the region. PIF is proposing a yearlong project to assist with the development of financial intelligence units (FIUs) in the jurisdictions. The project calls for a team of mentors to provide assistance and training in the establishment and operation of FIUs in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa and Vanuatu. The team would eventually evolve into a central regional contact source for information requests and technical assistance for individual FIUs. COAMLI will also oversee and assist with the establishment of, and obtain funding, for FIUs.

United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering

The United Nations is one of the most experienced global providers of anti-money laundering (AML) training and technical assistance. The United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering (GPML), part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was established in 1997 to assist Member States to comply with the UN Conventions and other instruments that deal with money laundering. These now include the United Nations Convention against Trafficking in Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (the Vienna Convention), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Convention), which entered into force on April 10, 2003, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which was opened for signature in M�rida, Mexico, in December, 2003. GPML is the focal point for AML within the UN system and provides technical assistance and training in the development of related legislation, infrastructure and skills, directly assisting Member States in the detection, seizure and confiscation of illicit proceeds.

Since 2001, the GPML has broadened this work to help Member States counter the financing of terrorism. GPML now incorporates a focus on counterterrorist financing (CTF) in all its technical assistance work. In 2003, GPML completed model CTF legislative provisions for common law systems, and continued to work closely with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to deliver CTF training, particularly in the Central Asia region and Africa.

Highlights of GPML's work in the first half of 2003 included the launch of its global computer-based training (CBT) initiative. The initiative, based in Bangkok, produced some 12 hours of interactive AML/CTF training for global delivery in the last quarter of 2003 and in 2004. Delivery began in the Pacific Region with a pilot program in Fiji for a wide range of officials, including law enforcement, legal, and financial personnel, and with a needs assessment exercise in eastern and southern Africa, and francophone western Africa. The training program has flexibility in terms of language, level of expertise, target audience and theme. Computer-based training is particularly applicable in countries and regions with limited resources and law enforcement skills as it can be used for a sustained period of time. As an approach, CBT lends itself well to GPML's global technical assistance operations.

GPML provided technical assistance and training to more than 50 countries and jurisdictions throughout the world in 2003. The UN mentor based in Tanzania, with the Secretariat of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), provided training to 14 countries and assisted the Secretariat and Member States in preparing for FATF-style mutual evaluations. Other UN mentors based in the Eastern Caribbean, covering six jurisdictions, assisted in the upgrade of the jurisdictions' AML regimes to meet international standards. The mentor based in the Pacific region, a joint initiative with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, gave financial investigations technical assistance to the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Fiji, Nauru and Vanuatu, offshore financial center jurisdictions at high risk for abuse by money launderers. Mentors and experts also gave support to the development of the legal, administrative, analytical and international co-operation capacity of other national governments, including Canada, Guatemala, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia. In addition, GPML assisted in legislative drafting for many countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan Azerbaijan and South Africa, and conducted a two-day workshop on AML/CTF compliance for Israeli banking, insurance and securities supervisors and regulators.

The GPML's Mentor Programme is one of the most successful and well-known activities of international AML/CTF technical assistance and training, and is increasingly serving as a model for other organizations' initiatives. It is one of the core activities of the GPML technical assistance program. In 2003, GPML consolidated the program, providing on-the-job training that adapts international standards to specific local/national situations, rather than traditional, generic training seminars. The concept originated in response to repeated requests from Member States for longer-term international assistance in this technically demanding and rapidly evolving field. GPML provides experienced prosecutors and law enforcement personnel who work side-by-side with their counterparts in a target country for several months at a time on daily operational matters to help develop capacity. Some advise governments on legislation and policy, while others focus on operating procedures. Regional mentors in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean have significantly added to GPML's capacity.

The GPML's Mentor Programme has key advantages over more traditional technical assistance. First, the mentor offers sustained skills and knowledge transfer. Second, mentoring constitutes a unique form of flexible, ongoing needs assessment, where the mentor can pinpoint specific needs over a period of months, and adjust his/her work plan to target assistance that responds to those needs. Third, the Member State has access to an "on-call" resource to provide advice on real cases and problems as they arise. Fourth, a mentor can facilitate access to foreign counterparts for international cooperation and mutual legal assistance at the operational level by using his/her contacts to act as a bridge to the international community.

GPML was among the first technical assistance providers to recognize the importance of countries' creating a financial intelligence capacity, and the program's mentors worked extensively with the development and the implementation phases of financial intelligence units (FIUs) in several countries in the Eastern Caribbean and the Pacific regions. Both the Mentor Programme and the CBT program make a priority of technical assistance and training to FIUs, among other institutions. In 2003, the GPML also continued its support of the Egmont Group of FIUs, co-organizing the Egmont Group/GPML Training Workshop for FIU personnel.

GPML runs the Anti-Money Laundering International Database (AMLID) on the International Money Laundering Information Network (IMoLIN), an online, password-restricted analytical database of national AML legislation, available only to public officials. In 2003, a UN team, including the GPML, began a complete technical and substantive renovation of AMLID, scheduled for completion in March 2004. GPML also maintains an online AML/CTF legal library. IMoLIN (www.imolin.org) is a practical tool in daily use by government officials, law enforcement and lawyers. The Programme runs this database on behalf of the UN and eight major international partners in the field of anti-money laundering: the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Council of Europe, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the World Customs Organization. The GPML is constantly updating the relevant information on international/national measures, conventions and legislation.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

The World Bank (Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (Fund) conduct two major activities with respect to anti-money laundering (AML)/counterterrorist financing (CTF). First, both institutions cooperate in the provision of technical assistance, and secondly, they cooperate on joint Financial Sector Assessment Programs of countries. The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) is a joint initiative of the Bank and the Fund that measures and analyzes the depth, development, diversity and durability of a financial system, and formulates ways to strengthen it. In October 2002, the Bank and the Fund launched a pilot program to assess countries' legal and institutional frameworks to fight money laundering and terrorist financing according to the FATF international standards. These assessments typically take place as part of the FSAP. The Bank and the Fund conducted 27 AML/CTF assessments from January to December 2003. The Bank was involved as a technical assistance provider in five of the 15 FATF/FATF-Style Regional Body (FSRB) mutual evaluations in 2003.

The Bank and Fund work closely with FATF and all FSRBs to help member countries build and improve AML/CTF Regimes. The Bank considers its participation in FSRB meetings particularly important in this regard. In the past year, the Bank, Fund, FATF and FSRBs worked together to devise and adopt a Global AML/CTF Methodology which is used worldwide by all organizations which conduct AML/CTF Assessments, to ensure that all assessments are conducted according to a uniform standard. This Methodology is currently being revised following the revision of the FATF Forty Recommendations in June 2003. The Bank and the Fund are working together with FATF on the revision process and working to ensure broader consultation with FSRBs. It is expected that the revision will be concluded by March 2004.

The Bank and the Fund have undertaken a number of steps to raise awareness of AML/CTF issues in member countries and are providing technical assistance to countries to strengthen AML/CTF regimes.

One of the more innovative AML/CTF training programs piloted by the World Bank was a training series delivered by the Global Distance Learning Network (GDLN). Such training programs are delivered over videoconference facilities, and a successful program series was designed specifically for four Central Asian countries and delivered between May and December 2003.

In 2003, the Bank continued the Global Dialogue Series, in order to bring together, by videoconference, leading experts and senior country officials responsible for formulating public policy on AML/CTF for a constructive exchange of ideas. Five Global Dialogues have been held since January 2003 for countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and East Asia and the Pacific. Government officials from a total of 24 countries have participated in these Dialogues.

In February 2003, the Bank organized a targeted AML/CTF workshop in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for countries of southeast Europe. This conference was sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Finance, the Slovenian FIU and the Bank. The workshop was focused on helping this group of countries learn "best practices" in building AML/CTF regimes incorporating first-hand experiences about the particular challenges in their region.

During calendar year 2003, the Bank/Fund organized and participated in training programs for ESAAMLG, CFATF, APG, GAFISUD, and GIABA (the nascent FSRB in West Africa). These training programs are expected to continue during 2004 as the FSRBs adopt the revised FATF Recommendations and assessment methodology. In addition to training for FSRBs (which involved legal, regulatory and FIU training), an increasing number of regional projects also involved capacity building for financial sector regulators as well as legislative drafting training on CT.

In addition to regional conferences, the Bank/Fund provides technical assistance to client countries in response to specific requests or following an AML/CTF assessment. Examples of such assistance include the following: reviewing and advising about draft AML/CTF legislation or regulations; training officials and regulators involved in the development and enforcement of AML/CTF systems; and providing advice on the establishment of financial intelligence units. The Bank has also devoted resources to technical assistance projects of wider application such as the production of the first "Reference Guide to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism" and its translation into four languages besides English.

In August 2003, the Bank launched an external AML/CTF website (www.amlcft.org) which hosts information on the Bank's programs, upcoming capacity building activities, resource materials, helpful links, and news and current events. The website is kept current with the latest publications, best practices and themes in this area, and provides contact information for individuals or organizations interested in learning more about AML/CTF.

Continuing the Bank's ground breaking research initiated with its study on the hawala system, and at the request of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Alternative Remittance Systems (ARS) Working Group, the Bank prepared a technical paper entitled "Informal Funds Transfer Systems in the APEC Region: Initial Findings and a Framework for Further Analysis". The paper, presented as a draft report to 21 Finance Ministers and Deputies in Thailand in September 2003, provides country clients with a uniform framework to estimate remittances so they can begin to perform in-depth investigations into ARS flows. In addition, it highlights the benefits of utilizing formal money remittance channels and provides recommendations on how to encourage greater flows of funds through such channels. The paper provides a first indication of the direction and volume of ARS flows from and to APEC economies, which can serve as a basis for future research. Ultimately, the draft report aims to help governments devise strategies that strike an appropriate balance between regulations and creating incentives to encourage greater use of formal remittance channels.

The Bank and the Fund continue to look for new and innovative ways to provide AML/CTF technical assistance to countries which request it. In this regard, the Bank and Fund are seeking to partner with other organizations and donor countries to coordinate technical assistance efforts to meet the needs of countries that want to improve their AML/CTF regimes.



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