The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF was created in 1989 and works to generate legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. The FATF currently has 34 members, comprised of 32 member countries and territories and two regional organizations, as follows: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Peoples Republic of China, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States, the European Commission, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The FATF admitted the People’s Republic of China in June 2007.
There are also a number of FATF-style regional bodies that, in conjunction with the FATF, constitute an affiliated global network to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The Asia Pacific Group (APG) was officially established in February 1997 at the Fourth (and last) Asia/Pacific Money Laundering Symposium in Bangkok as an autonomous regional anti-money laundering body. The 36 APG members are as follows: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Canada Chinese Taipei, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Palau, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, United States, Vietnam, and Vanuatu. Laos became a member at the APG July 2007 plenary in Perth, Australia.
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) was established in 1992. CFATF has thirty members: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, and Venezuela.
The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) was established in 1997 under the acronym PC-R-EV. MONEYVAL is comprised of twenty-eight permanent members; two temporary, rotating members; and one active observer. The permanent members are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine. The active observer is Israel. Temporary members, designated by the FATF for a two-year membership, are France and the Netherlands.
The Eastern and South African Anti Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) was established in 1999. Fourteen countries comprise its membership: Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) was established on October 6, 2004 and has seven members: Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD) was formally established on December 8, 2000. GAFISUD has ten member states: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
The Groupe Inter-gouvernemental d’Action contre le Blanchiment en Afrique (GIABA) consists of 15 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
The Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) consists of 16 members: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units
The Egmont Group began in 1995 as a collection of a small handful of entities, today referred to as financial intelligence units (FIUs), seeking to explore ways of cooperation among themselves. The FIU concept has grown over the years and is now an important component of the international community’s approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing. To meet the standards of Egmont membership, an FIU must be a centralized unit within a nation or jurisdiction to detect criminal financial activity and ensure adherence to laws against financial crimes, including terrorist financing and money laundering. Since its inception in 1995, the Egmont Group has grown dramatically from 14 units to a recognized membership of 106 FIUs. The Egmont Group now has passed its first decade, and it is evolving toward a structure of independent units working closely together to strengthen not only their own countries’ AML/CTF regime, but to strengthen the global firewall of economic resistance to money launderers and terrorist financiers.
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 on typologies, analytical tools and technological developments. FinCEN, on behalf of the Egmont Group, maintains the Egmont Secure Web (ESW). Currently, there are 104 Egmont FIUs connected to the ESW.
The Egmont Group is organizationally structured to meet the challenges of the volume of membership and its workload. The Egmont Committee, a group of 14 members, is an intermediary group between the 106 Heads of member FIUs and the five Egmont Working Groups. This Committee addresses the administrative and operational issues facing Egmont and is comprised of seven permanent members and seven regional representatives based on continental groupings (i.e., Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Oceania). In addition to the Committee, there are five Working Groups: Legal, Operational, Training, Information Technology, 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 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. 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 Operational Working Group 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. The Information Technology (IT) Working Group promotes collaboration and information sharing on IT matters among the Egmont membership, in particular looking to increase the efficiency in the allocation of resources and technical assistance regarding IT systems. The Committee and the Working Groups meet at a minimum three times per year, including the annual plenary session.
To meet an ever-growing demand in terms of volume and complexity, the Egmont Group has established a Secretariat office. With Egmont’s input and expertise in increasing demand by other players on the global stage, the creation of the Secretariat will allow for consistent and active collaboration with other international organizations, and will help to ensure that Egmont preserves its reputation in both the public and private sectors by emphasizing the importance of meeting and maintaining uniform standards of quality by all FIUs. The new Egmont Secretariat is now established in Toronto, Canada, with an initial staff of four.
As of June 2007, the 106 members of the Egmont Group are Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guernsey, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, 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 2007, CICAD continued to successfully carry out its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing activities throughout Latin America. CICAD’s training programs on combating money laundering and terrorist financing have improved and enhanced the knowledge and capabilities of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement agents, and financial intelligence unit (FIU) analysts. The Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement provided full or partial funding for many of the CICAD training programs conducted in 2007.
CICAD’s Group of Experts to Control Money Laundering met twice this year, in Washington, DC, in April, and Santiago, Chile, in November. The first meeting was held only for the Forfeiture and International Cooperation sub-groups to discuss specific themes in these areas. The second meeting focused on the new project in asset forfeiture, which was initiated in October. This project aims at offering technical assistance to OAS member states that are interested in developing and improving their abilities to administer forfeited assets.
In 2007, CICAD also introduced several new programs. CICAD is developing a database, which will catalogue and update information on money laundering and terrorist financing typologies to assist member countries in detecting money laundering, gathering intelligence, conducting investigations, and prosecuting such cases. The database developed through this project will allow authorized users to search for cases similar to those they are currently investigating, to look for patterns, and to have-with the use of the database-the necessary tools to investigate these cases. This Internet-based database will be the first of its kind in this field. In addition, the coherent use of the database in member states’ investigations will help facilitate the exchange and sharing of information amongst the specialists who deal with money laundering and terrorist financing.
Training and Technical Assistance
Mock trials were held in 2007 in Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. These trials were conducted with the participation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and provided training based on money laundering cases to specialists in these specific countries. This program focuses on the resolution of a real money laundering case, during which judges, prosecutors, public defenders, FIU analysts, and the police work together by preparing the given case for trial. In addition to the trials, workshops for judges and prosecutors were carried out in Peru and Mexico, as introductory events for the mock trials.
In a joint initiative with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), CICAD’s Anti-Money Laundering Unit organized two workshops on terrorist financing. The first event was conducted in Bogota, Colombia, and the participating countries’ FIUs, police, and prosecutors’ office each provided three participants. The beneficiaries of this workshop included Central American countries, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Due to the outstanding results obtained with the first event, a second workshop on terrorist financing was held in August in Lima, Peru. The second program’s objective was to train specialists from South America.
The events that were held in Peru (the mock trials, the workshop for judges and prosecutors, and the workshop on terrorist financing) took place thanks to a joint initiative with the U.S. Embassy’s Narcotics Affairs Section. The NAS helped organize and coordinate these programs. As an outcome of the success of the three events, the Banking Superintendent of Peru offered the Anti-Money Laundering Unit the use of a building, at no cost, for CICAD’s regional training center.
A mock investigation was also held in 2007 with the assistance of the Government of Spain and the participation of UNODC. The event focused on the investigation of a money laundering case and took place in Antigua, Guatemala. The objective of the project was strengthening the cooperation between law enforcement agents, prosecutors, and FIU analysts during case investigations. Participating countries included Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, and Venezuela.
In cooperation with Spain’s University of Salamanca, CICAD will offer an online degree in money laundering to law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges, FIU analysts, and bankers. The signature of the agreement held between CICAD and the University of Salamanca occurred in October in Washington, DC. This project will be conducted by prestigious Spanish experts on money laundering, and will be taught in three modules, at the basic, intermediary, and advanced levels.
CICAD acquired computer hardware and projectors as a follow-up to the train-the-trainers program. CICAD purchased three laptops and three projectors for El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Honduras this year to advance the program in each of these countries.
CICAD also facilitated bilateral cooperation between prosecutors in Peru and Colombia in 2007. As a result of the expertise Colombia has in extinción de dominio (extinction of dominion over assets), two Colombian prosecutors with ample experience in this area participated in an anti-money laundering workshop in Peru in September and shared their experiences and views in this field with the local specialists.
Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP)
The Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP) was launched in September 2006 under the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) in Fiji. PALP is a joint initiative between the PIFS, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the United States Department of State, which designed and funds the PALP. The PALP is a four-year regional technical assistance and training program designed to assist the 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum that are not also members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in establishing, enhancing, and implementing their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) regimes. The 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum that receive PALP assistance are the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The goal of PALP training and technical assistance is to assist participating jurisdictions in complying with international standards of the FATF and relevant United Nations Conventions and Security Council Resolutions. The PALP is essentially an outreach program, utilizing mentors based in host countries to assist with legal, law enforcement, regulatory, and financial intelligence unit (FIU) development throughout the region. In 2007, the PALP provided assistance on a wide range of AML/CTF issues, including legislative drafting, capacity building, case support, and preparation for and follow-up to mutual evaluations.
The PALP uses resident and intermittent mentors to deliver regional and bilateral training in all elements required to establish viable AML/CTF regimes. The PALP currently has mentors in the legal and law enforcement fields based in Tonga and Vanuatu respectively, as well as an intermittent mentor for FIUs. In 2008, a second law enforcement mentor will be based in Palau and a regulatory mentor is expected to be based in Samoa. Although the PALP mentors are based in their host countries, they are able to respond to requests for assistance from any of 14 participating countries and travel to those jurisdictions for periods of up to one month at a time.
The PALP mentoring program involves a number of different elements. Due to their experience, PALP mentors are able to adapt international standards to local situations. PALP mentors provide on-the-job training and work alongside local officials to ensure that they have sufficient capacity to implement the member country’s AML/CTF regime. Unlike consultants, the PALP mentors will stay in-country for as long as four to six weeks at any given time. The amount of time spent in-country also offers a useful opportunity for the mentors to assess the situation on the ground with regard to AML/CTF issues, and compliance with international standards, as well as to determine areas where further work is needed. The ability of PALP mentors to respond quickly to urgent requests from jurisdictions in the region has made PALP’s assistance highly sought after.
Throughout 2007, PALP engaged intermittent FIU mentors to conduct reviews in the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tonga, and Vanuatu. These reviews were conducted in preparation for upcoming mutual evaluations, and/or to gauge compliance with international standards. Follow-up action plans are being developed to implement the recommendations derived from these reviews. Because many of these countries do not have sufficient resources to implement the recommendations on their own, a more vigorous follow-up approach has been adopted by the PALP that includes the identification of resources to ensure effective follow-up and implementation of the recommendations derived from the FIU reviews.
Part of the PALP strategy aimed at building national capacity in AML/CTF matters entails efforts to strengthen the role of national AML/CTF committees at the policy level. In 2007, the PALP mentors played vital roles in providing support and advice to the national AML/CTF committees of several jurisdictions in the region, including Fiji, Palau, and Vanuatu.
Through the work of the PALP legal mentor, the PALP has assisted the Cook Islands, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu in assessing and enhancing their AML/CTF regimes, and drafting the necessary legislation to bring these regimes into greater compliance with international standards.
In 2007, the PALP provided a range of legislative assistance to the Cook Islands to improve the effectiveness of its AML/CTF laws. The PALP legal mentor reviewed the Cook Islands current AML legislation, the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and the Financial Transaction Reporting Act (FTRA), in October 2007. As a result of the review, the PALP assisted the Cook Islands in developing draft legislation regarding the FIU, civil forfeiture, and cross-border currency declarations. Although the FIU of the Cook Islands has been operating since 2001, its authority was limited. The draft Financial Intelligence Unit Act will provide it with broader powers, including the ability to conduct investigations and supervision of financial institutions. The draft civil forfeiture legislation will provide additional options for Cook Islands authorities to confiscate assets beyond the provisions of the POCA. The draft currency declaration bill will assist the Cook Islands in combating currency smuggling, which is a growing problem. The PALP mentor also assisted in drafting amendments to the POCA, FTRA, and the Terrorism Act.
Following a review of Palau’s AML/CTF regime, the PALP legal mentor drafted amendments to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act. The amendments are aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of AML/CTF prosecutions. The PALP mentor also developed a draft civil forfeiture law, which, when passed, will also allow the Government of Palau to confiscate or forfeit assets independent of criminal proceedings. In addition, the PALP mentor developed regulations aimed at tightening the regulation of banks to prevent money laundering and fraud. The lack of such measures was highlighted following the collapse of a local bank in December 2006, resulting in the loss of approximately $40 million in stolen funds (equivalent to 40 percent of all bank deposits in Palau).
In December 2007, the President of Palau signed into law some of the amendments to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act. It is expected that the other pieces of legislation developed by PALP will be approved in 2008. The PALP legal mentor has had several sessions with members of the Palau Senate and the House of Representatives in 2007 on the importance of enacting the AML/CTF legislation.
PALP legislative assistance to the Marshall Islands in 2007 consisted of drafting regulations for financial institutions and a currency declaration bill, as well as amendments to the Terrorism Act, Banking Act, and Proceeds of Crime Act. The amendments to the Terrorism Act helped avert the threat of membership sanctions by the Egmont Group. As is the case in other Pacific jurisdictions, cash smuggling has become an increasing problem and the draft Border Currency Reporting Act is designed to deal with this. The Oceania Customs Organization (OCO) is considering using the draft Border Currency Reporting Act as model legislation for the region.
In Tonga, the PALP legal mentor provided legislative assistance by drafting amendments to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act 2000 (MLPCA), a currency declaration bill, and an FIU bill. The amendments to the MLPCA will include serious offenses designated by the FATF 40 Recommendations as predicate offenses for money laundering. The currency declaration bill, when passed, will assist in detecting bulk cash smuggling. The FIU bill will provide the Tongan FIU with more extensive powers to investigate suspicious transaction reports received from financial institutions.
Following a review of Vanuatu’s AML/CTF regime, the PALP mentor developed draft regulations for financial institutions, as well as amendments to Proceeds of Crime Act on cross-border currency reporting. The draft regulations will provide a legal framework for Vanuatu’s FIU to develop guidelines for financial institutions. The draft provisions on cross-border reporting will enhance the capacity of Vanuatu authorities to respond more effectively to currency smuggling.
Capacity Building Initiatives
The PALP provides technical assistance and training workshops at the regional, sub-regional, and national levels for law enforcement and customs officials, prosecutors, judges, and regulatory authorities. In 2007, the PALP conducted several capacity building training initiatives at both the regional and national levels. Approximately 310 individuals from all 14 jurisdictions received capacity building assistance from the PALP.
On May 9-12, 2007, the PALP hosted a judicial workshop on money laundering, and terrorist financing in Palau. Eleven judges from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu participated in this training. The workshop was jointly funded by PALP and Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering Assistance Team (AMLAT), although the training itself was conducted by PALP. The Chief Justice of Tuvalu, acting as the President of the Fiji Court of Appeals in August, 2007, later praised this training program for helping with his judgment in upholding the Fiji High Court’s conviction of an Australian national who was running an advanced fee scheme. This was Fiji’s first money laundering conviction
The PALP hosted a regional workshop for AML/CTF investigators in Samoa on July 9-13, 2007. Thirty-five law enforcement officials from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu attended the training. The workshop was jointly funded and conducted by the PALP and AMLAT.
On September 27-28, 2007, the PALP hosted a national workshop on civil forfeiture for 19 prosecutors and law enforcement officials from Fiji. The objective of the workshop was to assist prosecutors and law enforcement in the use and application of the new civil forfeiture provisions. The workshop was funded by PALP and conducted jointly by the PALP and judges from the Fiji High Court.
The PALP hosted a regional workshop for supervisors and regulators of nonbank financial institutions in Vanuatu, December 3-7, 2007. A total of 26 supervisors and regulators from nine countries attended the workshop, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. The workshop examined the challenges faced by supervisors and regulators in ensuring compliance with AML/CTF regulations by nonbank entities, such as lawyers, accountants, insurance companies, real estate agents, trust companies, and service providers. This workshop was the first of its kind undertaken by the PALP and highlighted the need for follow-up work in 2008. The workshop was jointly funded by PALP and the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the training was conducted by the PALP, the International Monetary Fund, Australia’s FIU, and private sector experts from the Cook Islands.
In December 2007, the PALP conducted training on cross-border currency reporting in Fiji. Six countries attended this training, including Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Approximately 210 staff from Fiji Customs and Airport Authority, Police, and the Immigration and Quarantine agency, as well as officials from the other participating countries, attended the training. A key outcome of this training was the development of a tool kit, which establishes procedures and policies for customs and other border officials regarding the detection and seizure of unreported cross-border cash movements. The tool kit was developed by the three agencies for Fiji, and is now being considered for use by other jurisdictions. The training was conducted jointly by PALP, AMLAT, and the OCO, with funding from AMLAT.
One of the key areas of the PALP’s work is case support for jurisdictions in the region on high-profile money laundering and terrorist financing cases. In 2007, the PALP provided case support to the Cook Islands, Palau, and Tonga.
The Government of Palau requested PALP assistance in the investigation of money laundering and fraud offences emanating from the collapse of a local bank, which affected 40 percent of all depositors in Palau. The case highlighted the lack of effective internal controls, regulations, or legislation, as well as a lack of investigative capacity to deal with such a large case. The key contribution made by the PALP was the instigation of criminal charges, which had not been considered by the Palau authorities at the start of the investigation. In addition, the PALP developed an investigative strategy for the criminal investigation, which was accepted by the Special Prosecutor in charge of the case and now forms the basis of the investigation. The PALP law enforcement mentor continues to provide advice and investigative support to the Special Prosecutor, and the legal mentor has also provided advice to the Special Prosecutor. The PALP also assisted the United States Internal Revenue Service in its own criminal investigation into the bank by providing information about the defendants and assisting with mutual legal assistance requests to New Zealand. In early 2008, PALP’s second law enforcement mentor will be based in Palau.
Since June 2007, the PALP has provided legal and investigative advice to the Cook Islands FIU, the Financial Supervisory Commission, and the Cook Islands Police on a money laundering and terrorist financing case involving an international bank. As in Palau, the PALP assisted the FIU and the Police in developing an investigative strategy. The case potentially involves seven other jurisdictions, and several mutual legal assistance requests have been presented to India, New Zealand, and Pakistan with the assistance and advice of the PALP. The PALP law enforcement contacts in some of these countries have also provided useful information and assistance to law enforcement officials in the Cook Islands. The information obtained from these mutual legal assistance requests has helped the Cook Islands Police and FIU to make headway in their investigations. The authorities now believe that they have sufficient information to shut down an international bank that is registered in the Cook Islands and believed to be involved in money laundering and providing financial support for terrorism. This is the first time the Cook Islands Police and FIU have dealt with a high profile case
In 2007, the PALP legal mentor responded to a request from Tongan authorities regarding the theft of precursor chemicals that were believed to be used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. The advice provided by the legal mentor included opinions on the use of the Tongan legislation and the appropriate charges to be filed.
The PALP has also extended its assistance to jurisdictions when preparing for mutual evaluations or when implementing reforms suggested by the mutual evaluation team. The goal of the assistance provided by the PALP is to ensure that the jurisdiction is prepared for the mutual evaluation process and that, to the greatest extent possible, their AML/CTF regimes comport with international standards. The review of their AML/CTF regimes by the PALP helps these countries to take stock of where they are in terms of compliance with international standards, and to identify areas where technical assistance may be required. Furthermore, the reviews undertaken by the PALP are an important preparatory step as the jurisdictions prepare themselves for mutual evaluations by the Asia Pacific Group (APG), World Bank, or International Monetary Fund (IMF). In 2007, the PALP provided assistance to Palau and Tonga in preparation for their upcoming mutual evaluations. The PALP also assisted Fiji in implementing recommendations made by the evaluation team as a result of their mutual evaluation in 2006.
In Palau, the PALP reviewed its Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, assisted officials with the completion of the mutual evaluation questionnaire, and carried out a review of Palau’s FIU in November 2007. Palau will undergo a mutual evaluation by the IMF in February 2008.
PALP’s legal mentor provided assistance to the government of Tonga’s review of its Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act 2001. A review of Tonga’s FIU was conducted in March 2007 by a PALP intermittent mentor. The mutual evaluation of Tonga will occur in 2008.
In the Cook Islands, the PALP reviewed their existing AML/CTF legislation and developed several draft laws, including FIU, civil forfeiture and currency declaration bills. The passage of this legislation would place the Cook Islands in a greater level of compliance with international standards. The Cook Islands will be evaluated in the third quarter of 2008.
Following its mutual evaluation, the PALP assisted Fiji in implementing the recommendations made in the 2006 World Bank mutual evaluation report. The PALP provided legal advice to the Fiji’s FIU as to how the FIU-related recommendations could best be implemented. A national workshop will be held for Fiji officials in March 2008 on developing a risk-based approach to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
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 and, since 9-11, counter-terrorist financing (CTF) training and technical assistance. The United Nations Global Program 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 and terrorist financing. These now include the United Nations Convention against Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (the 1988 Vienna Convention), the United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (the 1999 Convention), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the 2000 Palermo Convention), and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (the 2003 Merida Convention).
In September 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The Plan of Action contained in the Strategy encourages UNODC to help countries comply with international norms and standards, and to enhance international cooperation in these areas. GPML is the focal point for anti-money laundering policy and activities within the UN System and a key player in strengthening efforts to counter the financing of terrorism. GPML 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, GPML’s technical assistance work on countering the financing of terrorism has also received priority. As part of the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, GPML is one of the lead entities of the working group of the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), an information-sharing and coordinating body aimed at developing policy recommendations in tackling the financing of terrorism. GPML now incorporates a focus on counterterrorist financing in all its technical assistance work.
In 2007, GPML provided training and long-term assistance in the development of viable AML/CTF regimes to more than fifty countries. In September 2007, UNODC and the World Bank launched the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative aimed at assisting developing countries to recover stolen assets that have been sent abroad by corrupt leaders. Given the close links between money laundering and corruption, and the fact that building an anti-money laundering system forms an integral part of good governance policy and asset recovery strategy, GPML is actively involved in this initiative and in the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, in force since December 2005.
The Mentoring Program
GPML’s Mentor Program 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. GPML’s Mentor Program has key advantages over more traditional forms of technical assistance. First, mentors serve as residential advisors in a country or region for as long as one to four years, and offer 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 Mentoring Program provides targeted on-the-job training that adapts international standards to specific local/national situations, rather than the traditional training seminar. 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, either with law enforcement or with issues relating to a country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU). 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. In many countries, GPML mentors are the only locally placed AML/CTF experts, hence they are heavily relied upon by local offices of donor countries and organizations for advice in the process of creation and delivery of other donor AML/CTF projects. The GPML prosecutorial mentor based in the Prosecutor General’s Office of Namibia provides assistance for the development of asset forfeiture mechanisms in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The mentor provided legal inputs to amend relevant legislation in each country, specifically the Financial Intelligence Act of Namibia, which was passed in June 2007, and initiated and monitored the Prosecutor Placement Program, an initiative aimed at placing prosecutors from the region for a certain period of time within the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in South Africa.
The UN mentor based in Tanzania with the Secretariat of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) delivered training to 14 member countries and assisted the ESAAMLG Secretariat in conducting its two mutual evaluations in 2007 and one on-site visit. The mentor completed his term at the end of December 2007. Under the monitoring of the UN mentor, GPML developed in 2007 a “train the trainers” course, which is an ongoing certification program on financial investigation in Namibia. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the World Bank, GPML extended the appointment of the regional mentor for Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan, focusing on legislative assistance and FIU development, as well as an AML/CTF mentor in Hanoi, Vietnam, to provide assistance to Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia to establish comprehensive AML/CTF regimes, including the establishment and enhancement of FIUs. In addition, GPML assisted in legislative drafting for many other countries, including Yemen, Djibouti, and member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and implemented a comprehensive “train the trainers” program for FIU, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in Armenia, as well as an FIU development project in Kyrgyzstan. Both initiatives are ongoing.
Mentoring & Financial Intelligence Units
GPML was among the first technical assistance providers to recognize the importance of countries’ creating a financial intelligence capacity, and GPML mentors worked extensively on the development and the implementation phases of FIUs in several countries in the Eastern Caribbean, the Pacific, and most recently in South East Asia. The development of FIUs in the Eastern Caribbean played a key role in the removal of many of the jurisdictions from the FATF Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) list.
A major initiative that could have global implications for many FIUs is the development by the UNODC Information Technology Service (ITS), with substantive inputs from GPML, of an analytical and integrated database and intelligence analysis system for operational deployment in FIUs, called goAML (http://goaml.unodc.org). It is an IT solution for FIUs to manage their activities, particularly data collection, analysis, and dissemination. The goAML program is now operational in Nigeria and several countries have contacted UNODC to explore the feasibility of future IT partnerships with goAML. The system provides a uniform and standard AML platform to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism and was introduced and praised at the Egmont Group Plenary meeting in June 2007.
Other highlights of GPML’s work in 2007 included the ongoing development of its global computer-based training (CBT) initiative. The program provides 12 hours of interactive basic AML training consisting of thirteen modules for global delivery. Delivery continued in the Pacific, Central American, and Western Africa regions. CBT training classrooms were established in Niamey, Niger, at the financial intelligence unit (CENTIF), two training centers in Morocco (Central Bank and the Royal Institute of Police), one at the Egyptian Banking Institute in Cairo, and one at the Colombian National Police in Bogotá. GPML also installed its mobile CBT training centre throughout West Africa to train key officials of National AML Inter-Ministerial Committees. In 2007, GPML initiated the development of new CBT modules on asset forfeiture.
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, translated into several languages, lends itself well to GPML’s global technical assistance operations.
Other GPML Initiatives
GPML contributed to the delivery of mock trials in Central and South America. This tailor-made activity was developed in response to repeated requests from member states for practical realistic AML training. It combines training and practical aspects of the judicial work into one capacity building exercise. Five mock trials were organized and delivered in 2007 in Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.
GPML assisted West African countries in the development of their AML/CTF national strategies, and developed financial investigations courses in South Asia, Ethiopia, and West Africa in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Office of Technical Assistance of the U.S. Department of Treasury (OTA). In 2007, GPML, in a collaborative effort with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), initiated the revision of a model law on AML/CTF and proceeds of crime for common law countries, encompassing worldwide AML/CTF standards and taking into account best legal practices. GPML continued to work closely with partners, including among others the U.S. Department of Justice, OTA, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the IMF, and the World Bank to deliver CTF training, particularly in the regions of Central Asia, Southern Europe, and Africa.
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/CTF legislation that is available only to public officials. GPML also maintains an online AML/CTF legal library and issues a Central Asia Newsletter monthly in English and quarterly in Russian. IMoLIN (www.imolin.org) is a practical tool in daily use by government officials, law enforcement, and lawyers. GPML manages and constantly updates this database on behalf of the UN and 11 major international partners in the field of AML/CTF: the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Council of Europe-MONEYVAL, the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), the Eurasian Group (EAG), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Financial Action Task Force of South America (GAFISUD), the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in West Africa (GIABA), Interpol, and the Organization of American States (OAS). In July 2007, GPML launched the French language version of IMoLIN. GPML continued its second round of legal analysis using the revised AMLID questionnaire. In this regard, the database currently contains fifty-seven revised questionnaires under the second round of legal analysis. The updated AMLID questionnaire reflects new money laundering trends and standards, and takes provisions related to terrorist financing and other new developments into account, including the revised FATF recommendations.