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 2005, the Commission carried out a variety of anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing initiatives. These included amending the 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 anti-money laundering/counterterrorism 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 2004, 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 March and October 2005 and developed modifications to the model money laundering regulations, which were approved by the 38th session of the CICAD Plenary. The new legislative guidelines include language on measures for effective asset forfeiture and management of seized assets and international cooperation. At the two meetings, the Money Laundering Group also reviewed international trends concerning special investigative techniques in money laundering cases.
In other activities, CICAD worked with the United Nations and the Governments of France and Spain to carry out training for a variety of countries on combating money laundering, conducting effective financial investigations, and recovering financial and other assets diverted through 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. These seminars were held in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, and mock trials were carried out in Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela. Similarly, the second stage course work on financial investigations focused on investigating the assets of criminal organizations and was provided to law enforcement officials from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In addition, the first stage of a comparable course was completed in Central America.
In Asuncion, Paraguay, CICAD and GAFISUD co-sponsored the first regional seminar on special investigative techniques in May 2005. Also in 2005, CICAD initiated a two-year project to strengthen Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Uruguay. Activities included the evaluation of strategic plans for the various FIUs as well as the development of training modules. CICAD also advised Ecuador on the drafting of its new anti-money laundering law.
CICAD participated in a variety of laundering law meetings and conferences focused on money laundering and financial crimes, including conferences sponsored by the UN on special investigative techniques and witness protection, FATF meetings in Paris, and GAFISUD meetings in Buenos Aires. At INTERPOL, CICAD was accepted in the Working Group on Money Laundering.
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was formed in 1971, and includes the 16 independent and self-governing Pacific Island countries: 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 Department of State continued support of efforts in combating terrorism and transnational organized crime, through funding to the Expert Working Group on Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime. The U.S. State Department has also provided on-going funding for sub-regional money laundering, terrorist financing and proceeds of crime training for Pacific Islands' investigators and prosecutors.
The U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs contributed $1.5 million to the PIF to establish the Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP) modeled after the successful Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Program (CALP). The PALP, projected to be a four-year long program, was officially launched during the Associated Leaders' meetings in October 2005 and will target the fourteen non-FATF member states of the PIFs (six of whom are members of the APG). The PALP, will provide regional and bi- lateral mentoring support with a staff comprised of a Coordinator and resident Mentors with demonstrated expertise in all elements required to establish viable anti-money laundering/counterterrorism terrorist financing regimes that comport with international standards. The PALP with be coordinated with efforts in the region by the UN Global Programme against Money Laundering, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the Australian Attorney Gerneral's anti-money laundering program, other Australian agencies, and the International Monetary Fund.
United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering
The United Nations is an experienced global provider of anti-money laundering (AML) training and technical assistance, and since 9-11, terrorist financing. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) program established The United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering (GPML) in 1997 to assist Member States to comply with the relevant UN Conventions and other instruments that deal with money laundering and terrorist financing. These now include the United Nations Convention against Trafficking in Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (the Vienna Convention), the United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Convention), and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (the Merida Convention). The GPML is the focal point for anti-money laundering (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 incorporated a focus on counterterrorist financing (CTF) in all its technical assistance work. In 2005, the GPML, in a collaborative effort with the IMF, completed the revision of a model law on AML/CTF for civil law countries, encompassing worldwide AML/CTF standards and taking into account best legal practices. The GPML 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, Southern Europe and Africa.
Highlights of GPML's work in 2005 include the extensive development of its global computer-based training (CBT) initiative. The program provides 12 hours of interactive AML/CTF training for global delivery. Delivery of CBT continued in the Pacific Region, incorporating training of several thousand officials, law enforcement, legal, and financial personnel in seven jurisdictions, including Fiji, the Cook Islands and Vanuatu. In partnership with the INTERPOL Regional Office, three CBT training classrooms were established in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania.
In 2005, GPML assigned a new staff member to the UNODC Regional Centre, East Asia and the Pacific (RCEAP) in Bangkok to establish and implement the Programme's CBT strategy. During the year, the staff member piloted and implemented CBT for the GPML in multiple locations throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and assisted in the development of new language versions including Amharic and Arabic.
The GPML entered into a partnership with OAS-CICAD for joint assessment and delivery of the Spanish version of the CBT. Subsequently the partnership completed needs assessment missions in four Latin American countries. 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 the GPML's global technical assistance operations.
The GPML provided technical assistance and training to more than 50 countries and jurisdictions throughout the world in 2005. The UN mentor based in the Pacific region, a joint initiative with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the United States, gave technical assistance to a number of offshore financial center jurisdictions at high risk for abuse by money launderers, including the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu in order to improve their financial investigations. The mentor provided support to the Office of the General Prosecutors, the law enforcement sector and FIU in Apia, Samoa. In Palau the technical assistance focused on training police officials, advising work on case management and delivering CBT. The mentor also organized a successful series of workshops on financial investigations in partnership with Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
In 2005, the Department of State (INL) continued to fund a UN mentor based in Tanzania with the Secretariat of the Eastern and Southern African Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG). The mentor delivered training to all 14 member states and assisted the ESAAMLG Secretariat in completing a three-year strategic plan which the member states adopted at the ESAAMLG Council of Ministers in August, 2005. The mentor also conducted an AML/CTF awareness raising seminar in Ethiopia and a training course on financial investigations for law enforcement officials of Ethiopia (in conjunction with OTA), Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda together with the Interpol Regional Office in Nairobi, Kenya. The mentor developed a law enforcement train-the-trainer program for the three East African countries. In collaboration with the World Bank and the Department of State (INL), the GPML also placed a regional mentor for Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The World Bank and INL have provided funding for a mentor in Hanoi, Vietnam to provide AML/CTF assistance to Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia. At the national level, an INL-funded GPML mentor continued working in the financial intelligence unit of the Government of the Philippines. A FIU expert was also employed on an ad-hoc basis to provide assistance to emerging FIUs in Africa and the Caucasus region. Mentors and experts supported the development of the legal, administrative, analytical and international co-operation capacity of other national governments. In addition, the GPML assisted in legislative drafting for several countries, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, and Tajikistan., and conducted a two-day workshop on AML/CTF for financial supervisors in Central and Eastern Europe, jointly organized with OSCE in May.
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 and is highly regarded by the AML/CTF community. In 2005, the GPML consolidated this advisory 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. The 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 mentors advise governments on legislation and policy, while others focus on operating procedures. By giving in-depth support upon request, the mentors have gained the confidence of the recipient institutions, which enables the achievement of concrete and significant outputs.
The GPML's Mentor Programme has key advantages over more traditional shorter-term forms of 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.
The 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 technical assistance and training to FIUs a priority. In 2005, the GPML, jointly with the Egmont Group, conducted two awareness-raising training workshops on FIUs in Pretoria, South Africa for ESAAMLG countries and Ethiopia, and in Dakar, Senegal for GIABA countries. The GPML still hosts and acts as rapporteur for the FIU strategic analysis workshop (SAW), which was presented at the Egmont Plenary Meeting in Washington D.C. in June. Two SAW meetings took place in 2005.
In response to countries' concerns about the difficulties of implementing AML/CTF policies in cash-based economies, and the prevalence in some regions of cash couriers, the GPML is working toward the development of CBT modules to address AML/CTF requirements in a cash-based context. GPML contributed to the delivery of mock trials in Latin and Southern America. This tailored-made activity was developed in response to repeated requests from member states for more relevant and realistic AML training. It combines training and practical aspects of the judicial work into one capacity building exercise.
The GPML administers 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 that is available only to public officials. The 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 manages and constantly updates this database on behalf of the UN and nine 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 Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), the EurAsia Group (EAG), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Interpol, and the Organization of American States (OAS). The GPML has initiated the second round of analysis utilizing the recently revised AMLID questionnaire. The updated AMLID questionnaire reflects new money laundering trends and standards, and takes provisions related to terrorist financing and other new developments in to account, including the revised FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations.