Multilateral Organizations and Programs
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs)
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
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, comprising 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. FATF admitted The Peoples 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)
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, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Timor Este, United States, Vietnam, and Vanuatu. Papua New Guinea became the 39th member of the APG in December 2008.
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)
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)
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)
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)
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)
The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America (GAFISUD) was formally established on 8 December 2000 by the nine member states of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
The Groupe Intergouvernemental d’Action contre le Blanchiment en Afrique/ Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA)
The Groupe Intergouvernemental d’Action contre le Blanchiment en Afrique/Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (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)
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 national entities—today referred to as financial intelligence units (FIUs)—seeking to explore ways to cooperate internationally among themselves. The FIU concept 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. The Egmont Group recognizes four types of FIUs: the administrative model, the judicial or prosecutorial model, the law enforcement model, and the hybrid/mixed model.
The Egmont Group has grown dramatically from 14 units in 1995 to a recognized membership of 107 FIUs in 2008. The current 107 includes two new Egmont members, the FIUs of Moldova and the Turks and Caicos, as well as the removal of Bolivia’s FIU from the Egmont Group. Today, the Egmont Group is a major player in the world of financial intelligence expertise and information sharing. It vigorously promotes cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism worldwide and fosters the implementation of domestic, regional, and international programs in the area.
Significant achievements of the Egmont Group for 2007/2008 include: an increased focus on the fight against corruption; a revised definition of what constitutes an Egmont Group FIU, which includes a strict and mandatory terrorist financing component; ensuring all current and future members meet the new FIU definition; a revised working relationship with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); and holding four major meetings in Bermuda, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, and Chile.
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. The U.S. FIU, called the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN), on behalf of the Egmont Group, maintains the Egmont Secure Web (ESW). Currently, there are 106 Egmont Group FIUs (with the exception of Niue) connected to the ESW. FinCEN and the European Union’s FIU.net Bureau reached an agreement on allowing a connection between the ESW and FUI.net, so that FIUs using either of those secured networks can exchange information across the two of them.
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 107 heads of member FIUs and the five Egmont working groups. This Committee addresses the administrative and operational issues facing the Egmont Group 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. This working group 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.
In July of 2007, the Egmont Group established a Secretariat office to meet an ever-growing demand in terms of volume and complexity. In 2007-2008, the primary focus of the Egmont Secretariat has been on operational matters, including developing its financial and administrative procedures. Its future work will be focused on developing and enhancing the cooperative relationship between the Egmont Group and other international anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) organizations. It will 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 Egmont secretariat is now established in Toronto, Canada, and is headed by an Executive Secretary, appointed by the heads of FIUs, and reports directly to them through the Egmont committee.
In December 2008, the Egmont Group expelled Bolivia’s FIU from its membership, due to a lack of terrorism financing legislation in Bolivian law. To regain Egmont membership, Bolivia must reapply and provide written evidence of its FIU’s compliance with Egmont FIU definitions and requirements. The remaining 107 members of the Egmont Group are Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, 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, Moldova, 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 and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Turks and Caicos, 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 2008, CICAD continued to carry out its activities in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. CICAD’s AML/CTF training programs seek to improve and enhance the knowledge and capabilities of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement agents, and financial intelligence unit (FIU) analysts. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) provided full or partial funding for many of the CICAD training programs in 2008.
CICAD’s Group of Experts to Control Money Laundering met twice this year, once in Washington, D.C., in July, and once in Mexico City, Mexico, in October. The first meeting was held specifically for the asset forfeiture and FIU-law enforcement coordination and integration sub-groups. Experts at the second meeting discussed and approved a best practices manual on the management of seized and forfeited assets in Latin America, which was initially discussed during the subgroups meeting in July. As a next step, CICAD plans to implement the asset forfeiture best practices manual by offering technical assistance to interested OAS member states. The initial set of countries chosen for the first phase of this project includes Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina.
With participation from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), CICAD held money laundering mock trial training sessions in 2008 in four countries: Mexico (39 participants), Paraguay (28 participants), Uruguay (30 participants), and Venezuela (29 participants). The mock trial sessions provided specialists from these countries an opportunity to simulate the steps involved in investigating and prosecuting real money laundering cases. This hands-on learning method takes place over four days, the first of which consists of international expert presentations, and the following days consist of the trial itself. Over the course of the mock trial, teams of investigators, prosecutors, financial analysts, and judges follow a money laundering case from the initial probes to detect illegal activity, through the preparation of an indictment and, finally, to trial. In addition to the mock trials, CICAD offered workshops for judges and prosecutors in Mexico (39 participants), Venezuela (65 participants), and Guatemala (44 participants). The events in Mexico and Guatemala, both the mock trials and the workshop for judges and prosecutors, occurred with the assistance of financial and organizational support from the U.S. Embassy’s narcotics affairs sections in both countries.
In 2008, CICAD’s AML section supported the development and implementation of an online money laundering case classification system, called the Typologies Database, that stores, classifies, organizes, updates, and retrieves information on case histories, common money laundering practices, techniques to detect them, and the prosecutorial methods to take cases to trial. With its interactive functions and hemispheric scope, the database is the first of its kind in the world and is now operative on CICAD’s website (www.cicad.oas.org/tipologias). It allows investigators to search the database for cases similar to those they are investigating. This user-friendly Internet application permits authorized users to load, validate, and publish new typologies based on the latest cases analyzed by law enforcement agencies.
CICAD’s AML section held two events to complement the database application. In Ecuador, CICAD offered a regional seminar on money laundering typologies, which included representatives from eight GAFISUD (Grupo de Acción Financiera Internacional de Sudamérica or Financial Action Task Force of South America) member states. At the seminar, participants identified and defined the typologies, terminology, and classification criteria in the database. The final document from this seminar will soon be published online as a shared reference tool.
The second event was held in Bogotá, Colombia, where the FIU organized a workshop to train its staff to use and begin uploading cases into the database. As a result of this initiative, CICAD’s AML section developed two documents on typologies in coordination with the FIU of Colombia: one on terrorist financing that includes eight cases and a second one on money laundering that includes 11 cases.
CICAD’s AML section also supported the development and evaluation of a software application to capture, store, query, analyze, and manage information from Uruguay’s FIU. The goal is to expand the use of this software, currently in “Beta” version, to other countries.
In cooperation with Spain’s University of Salamanca, CICAD is working on an online degree in anti-money laundering, aimed at law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges, FIU analysts, and bankers. This program would be taught by Spanish money laundering experts, and consist of three modules at the basic, intermediary, and advanced levels.
CICAD acquired computer hardware and projectors as a follow-up to a train-the-trainer program in Costa Rica. CICAD purchased one laptop and one projector for Costa Rica this year, in order to advance the program in that country.
CICAD’s AML section also worked with the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), participating in two of their CTF seminars, one in Antigua & Barbuda and the other in Brazil.
Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP)
The Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP) was launched in September 2006. PALP is a joint initiative between the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the U.S. Department of State. PALP was conceived by and is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. 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 combating the financing of terrorism (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.
During it first two years, PALP was coordinated and administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. In September 2008 the coordination role was assumed by the UNODC Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and Financing of Terrorism (GPML).
The goal of PALP training and technical assistance is to support participating jurisdictions to comply with international FATF standards and relevant UN conventions and UN Security Council resolutions. PALP is essentially a regional outreach program, utilizing experienced mentors based in host countries to assist with legal, law enforcement, regulatory, and financial intelligence unit (FIU) development. In 2008, PALP provided assistance on a wide range of AML/CTF issues, including legislative drafting, capacity building, and case support. Regional and bilateral training was also conducted for prosecutors and law enforcement officers and other key stakeholders.
PALP uses resident and intermittent mentors to deliver regional and bilateral training and advice for establishing viable AML/CTF regimes. PALP currently has mentors in the legal and law enforcement fields in Tonga and Palau, respectively, as well as intermittent mentors for FIUs and regulatory issues. In the first half of 2008, a second law enforcement mentor was based in Vanuatu. Although 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, often for periods up to one month or more at a time.
The PALP mentoring program supports multiple AML/CTF elements. Due to their extensive experience, PALP mentors advise officials on applying and adapting international standards to fit local situations. PALP mentors provide on-the-job training and work with local officials to ensure that they have sufficient capacity to implement the member country’s AML/CTF regime. The amount of time spent in-country also offers a useful opportunity for mentors to assess the situation on the ground with regard to AML/CTF regime compliance and vulnerabilities.
Reviews were conducted by the PALP intermittent FIU mentor in the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tonga, and Vanuatu in 2007. Those reviews resulted in vigorous follow-up by the PALP legal and law enforcement mentors, which included 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 systems entails efforts to strengthen the role of national AML/CTF committees at the policy level. In 2008, the PALP mentors played vital roles in providing support and advice to the national AML/CTF committees of several jurisdictions in the region, including Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
Vanuatu. Drafts have been provided to the authorities in Vanuatu for border currency reporting legislation and amendments to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act identified in the last mutual evaluation by the Asia/Pacific Group on money laundering (APG). These bills are currently awaiting passage at the next sitting of Parliament in March 2009. Additional assistance will be provided in drafting legislation and regulations to remedy deficiencies discussed in the recent mutual evaluation report.
Tonga. Legislative drafting support was provided by preparing drafts for amendments to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and the Transnational Crimes Act as it relates to terrorist financing. Risk-based regulations have also been provided. These draft bills await cabinet approval and passage in the House of Assembly in June of 2009.
The Solomon Islands. Drafts have been provided for border currency reporting and FIU legislation. Continuing support will be provided in 2009 for other legislation.
The Cook Islands. Drafts have been provided for a suite of legislation and regulations, including border currency reporting legislation, FIU legislation, and civil forfeiture and risk-based AML/CTF regulations. These drafts await cabinet approval and passage in the House of Assembly in 2009.
Palau. Risk-based regulations have been drafted to meet the recommendations following a mutual evaluation. These regulations await approval of Congress. The PALP financial mentor who started in Palau in February 2008 has trained and worked with Palauan customs, police, and airport security agencies to identify potential bulk currency smugglers and methods employed by bulk currency smuggler. Palauan agencies have identified and made six bulk currency seizures in 2008. The mentor continues to assist law enforcement agencies enhance investigation techniques.
Republic of the Marshall Islands. Drafts have been prepared for border currency reporting, amendments to terrorist financing legislation, and amendments to the Banking Act. Risk-based regulations have also been provided. These drafts of legislation, amendments, and regulations await passage in the Parliament in 2009. Further assistance will be offered in 2009 to all beneficiaries in the support of legislative assistance.
Capacity Building Initiatives
In 2008 PALP provided technical assistance and training workshops at the regional, sub-regional and national levels for law enforcement, customs officials, and prosecutors. PALP mentors developed a border currency smuggling (BCS) training to implement international standards under FATF Special Recommendation IX. This program was first presented in Palau to members of Palauan customs, immigration, and airport security. PALP then expander this BCS training program by working in conjunction with the Oceania Customs Organization and the Australian Attorney General’s Anti-Money Laundering Assistance Team (AMLAT). BCS training will be presented to the countries in the region at first on a bilateral basis and then via sub-regional and regional training. This training has been presented in Palau, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.
PALP mentors conducted a pilot training in Palau to address basic law enforcement skills in report and affidavit writing. This training was delivered to members of the Palauan national police, customs and marine police. The success of this training has resulted in the development of a more advanced basic law enforcement skills training to include country laws and law enforcement authorities, report writing, interview techniques, evidence collection and processing, affidavits, court orders, subpoenas, executions of search warrants, and court room demeanor. This will be a two-part training initiative delivered to countries starting in 2009. The first part will be classroom-based and involve theory and practical exercises. The second part will be in the field, working through an investigation, and culminating in a mock trial.
In August 2008 PALP conducted a money laundering workshop in the Cook Islands with participants from the Cook Island FIU, national police, customs, tax and revenue, banking commission, and from some private banks. This workshop provided training on investigative techniques for investigation of money laundering.
PALP works in close cooperation with the APG in order to coordinate delivery of technical assistance and training to jurisdictions that are both APG members and PALP participants. The PALP law enforcement mentor made several presentations during the APG annual 2008 typologies workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The presentations covered investigative techniques, letters of credit and basic charting techniques.
In June 2008, the PALP hosted a prosecutors’ workshop on money laundering, and terrorist financing in Auckland, New Zealand. Twenty-two prosecutors from the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, and Tuvalu participated in this training. The workshop was funded and conducted by PALP. Additional experts from Hong Kong and the U.S. Department of Justice assisted in the presentation of the workshop. The course, which ran for one week, used a real case to demonstrate ways to take a money laundering case from investigation to the enforcement of a confiscation order and covered the following areas: investigation of money laundering and proceeds of crime; freezing and/or restraining of assets; management receivership orders; money laundering indictments; confiscation hearings; enforcement of confiscation orders; mutual legal assistance; terrorist financing; and civil forfeiture.
The course format was practically based with participants drafting orders and presenting applications in a courtroom setting. At the conclusion of the course, all prepared materials were given the participants on CD-ROM. Feedback from participants highlighted the benefit of the practical aspect of the workshop.
In December 2008 in Vanuatu, a series of workshops for stakeholders were held. The attendees were from casinos, money remitters, exchange houses, the legal profession, accountants, and trust and company service providers. The workshops covered, customer due diligence, monitoring, suspicious transaction reporting, and internal controls. The compliance with Vanuatu’s Financial Transactions Reporting Act was central to the usefulness of the workshops for the stakeholders.
In 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. This has now resulted in a number of cases being brought before the High Court in Fiji for civil forfeiture.
One of the key areas of the PALP’s work is case support for jurisdictions in the region on high-profile money laundering cases. In 2008, the PALP provided case support to the Cook Islands, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.
PALP initiated multi-agency suspicious transaction report review teams hosted by the FIU’s in Palau and the Marshall Islands. As a result of this multi-agency approach to reviewing FIU intelligence, several significant money laundering investigations have been initiated in Palau and the Marshall Islands. Although these investigations remain ongoing, one has already resulted in a 60-count indictment for money laundering and tax fraud violations.
The Year Ahead
PALP will continue to focus its technical assistance and training efforts on delivering targeted AML/CTF assistance through the work of senior mentors and trainers. PALP will direct its in-country assistance via mentoring and coaching as well as assistance with case development. In addition, PALP will deliver regional, sub-regional, and national training courses designed to give police investigators, customs officers, prosecutors, FIU staff, and regulators the knowledge and skills they need to identify, investigate, and prosecute money laundering and terrorist financing cases. PALP will grow in 2009 with the addition of another legal mentor to the team and greater use of our intermittent FIU and regulatory mentors.
United Nations Global Programme Against Money Laundering
The United Nations Global Programme against Money Laundering is one of the most experienced global providers of anti-money laundering (AML) training and technical assistance and, since 2001, training and technical assistance to combat the financing of terrorism (CTF). The UN Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime, and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML), part of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was established in 1997 to assist member states in complying with UN Conventions and other instruments that deal with money laundering and terrorist financing. These now include the UN Convention against Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (the 1988 Vienna Convention), the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (the 1999 Convention), the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the 2000 Palermo Convention), and the UN Convention against Corruption (the 2003 Merida Convention).
In March 2008, GPML’s scope and objectives were widened to meet growing needs and demands of the international community for tailor-made assistance for implementing UN instruments and related international AML/CTF standards, and using AML/CTF systems as a tool to achieve improved financial transparency, integrity, and good governance. GPML has elaborated an ambitious program to make international action against the proceeds of crime and illegal financial flows more effective. This is done through a wide range of technical assistance measures and in close partnership with regional or multilateral organizations.
In September 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN 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 AML policy and activities within the UN system and a key player in strengthening CTF efforts. 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 CTF technical assistance work has also received priority. As part of the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, GPML is one of the lead entities in the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) working group, an information-sharing and coordinating body aimed at developing policy recommendations in tackling the financing of terrorism. GPML now incorporates a focus on CTF in all its technical assistance work.
In 2008, GPML provided training and long-term assistance in the development of viable AML/CTF regimes to more than 50 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 participated in 2008 in several training events on confiscation of stolen assets.
The Mentoring Program
GPML’s mentor program is a core part of GPML’s technical assistance activities and serves as a model for other organizations’ initiatives. The GPML mentoring program provides targeted on-the-job training that adapts international standards to specific local and 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 provide advice to 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). In many countries, GPML mentors are the only locally placed AML/CTF experts, and 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 Namibia’s prosecutor general’s office 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, and continued to monitor 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 South Africa’s national prosecuting authority.
In Eastern and Southern Africa, a law enforcement long-term consultant helped with the delivery of technical assistance, in particular a train-the-trainer certification program on financial investigations in Namibia and Tanzania. 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, where the mentor focuses on legislative assistance and FIU development in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. The AML/CTF mentor in Hanoi, Vietnam, provided assistance to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to establish comprehensive AML/CTF regimes, including the establishment and enhancement of FIUs. In October 2008, GPML assumed the coordination and administration role of the Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Program (PALP), which was established to provide AML/CTF advice, training, and technical assistance to support the establishment, development and implementation of AML/CTF regimes to 14 Pacific Island Forum jurisdictions that are not members of the FATF.
Mentoring and FIUs
GPML was among the first technical assistance providers to recognize the importance of countries creating financial intelligence capacity, and GPML mentors have worked extensively on the development and the implementation phases of FIUs in several countries in the Eastern Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Africa, the Pacific, Central Asia and in South East Asia. A major initiative that could have global implications for many FIUs is the development by the UNODC Information Technology Service (ITS), with substantive input 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. Version one of goAML is fully developed and has now been deployed in Namibia’s and Kosovo’s FIUs. It is likely that the next deployment will be to Tanzania’s FIU. GoAML is also deployed at the Nigerian FIU and should soon be fully operational. In August 2008, goAML was evaluated by two of the world’s leading FIUs, FINTRAC in Canada and AUSTRAC in Australia, on behalf of the Egmont Group. The positive outcome of the evaluation was reported to the IT Working Group of the Egmont Group in October 2008.
Other highlights of GPML’s work in 2008 included the ongoing development of its global computer-based training (CBT) initiative. The program provides 12 hours of interactive basic AML training, consisting of 13 modules for global delivery. The CBT 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, which is translated into several languages, lends itself well to GPML’s global technical assistance operations.
Delivery continued in particular with the deployment of additional CBT training classrooms in Rwanda (Police Criminal Investigations Department) and in the Russian Federation (Eurasian Group’s International Training and Methodological Centre on Financial Monitoring), and a training center in Uganda (Police Headquarters). GPML also used its Amharic version of the CBT program and conducted a financial investigations training seminar, jointly with the Italian Guardia di Finanza, at the Police Academy of Ethiopia in October 2008. In 2008, GPML continued the development of additional CBT modules on asset forfeiture.
Other GPML Initiatives
GPML contributed to the delivery of mock trial training sessions in Latin 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 2008 in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
As part of the UNODC Rainbow Strategy, which aims to reduce the supply, trafficking, and consumption of opiates in Afghanistan and neighboring countries, GPML took the lead in a new initiative on “financial flows to and from Afghanistan linked to the illicit drug production and trafficking.” An expert consultation meeting was held in November 2008 to comment on a draft background paper produced by a working group on the issue. The working group consists of representatives from the UNODC, International Monetary Fund (IMF), INTERPOL, Egmont Group, Eurasian Group, and the World Bank. The outcomes of this meeting were presented during the sixth Consultative Group Meeting of the Paris Pact held in Vienna in December 2008.
In 2008, GPML, in a collaborative effort with the IMF, finalized the revision of model provisions 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 the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (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, South Asia and the Pacific, 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. The database now contains legislation from some 180 jurisdictions.
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. In 2007, GPML launched the French language version of IMoLIN and continued its second round of legal analysis using a 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 into account, including the revised FATF recommendations. In 2008, 15 new questionnaires were uploaded to the database, raising the total of revised AMLID questionnaires in the database under the second round of legal analysis to more than 70.