CO-CHAIRS’ STATEMENT - INTERSESSIONAL MEETING OF THE EGMONT GROUP OF FIUs

CO-CHAIRS’ STATEMENT

 INTERSESSIONAL MEETING OF THE EGMONT GROUP OF FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE UNITS

 

The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FlUs) met In Doha, Qatar to discuss the challenges faced by FlUs In combating money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing; especially in the areas of international cooperation, information sharing and the improved development of financial intelligence.

The FlUs of Cape Verde and Kosovo[1] were endorsed as new members of the Egmont Group by the Heads of FlUs during the meeting. The FlUs of Cape Verde and Kosovo met the legal and operational requirements of membership in accordance with the Egmont Group membership procedures. It was also announced during the meeting that the FIU of Ecuador had been endorsed as a new Egmont Group member following an out-of-session approval in September 2016. The Chair of the Egmont Group noted that the admission of these new members will strengthen the global network and information sharing in AML/CFT efforts,

The Egmont Group of FlUs is an operational organization of FIUs. For this reason, the admission of FIU Kosovo as a member cannot prejudice the status of Kosovo in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and other applicable international laws. An FIU’s admission to the Egmont Group does not imply recognition of any country or territory, and should not be used as a tool for any political purpose.

The Intersessional Heads of FlUs Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Sergio Espinosa, Chair, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units/Head of FIU Peru and Sh. Ahmed Al Thani, Head of the Qatar FIU and gracious host. An opening address by His Excellency Ali Sherif Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, State of Qatar, highlighted Qatar's unwavering commitment to the Egmont Group to combating money Laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing. His Excellency further recognized the Egmont Group's important role in promoting international cooperation and information sharing among FlUs in the fight against these crimes.

The meeting was attended by 315 participants who were representatives from 115 FlUs, 10 observer organizations and 6 international partners, gathered for in-depth discussions and training sessions on relevant topics in order to further the development of the international FIU network as well as assist FlUs in meeting their mandates.

In addition to the growth in membership, several bilateral information sharing arrangements were signed between Egmont members during the week. Whilst information can, in most instances, be exchanged between FlUs without recourse to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the cooperation agreements signal an ever-increasing willingness for Egmont members to work together across borders in the exchange of information. This will deliver very practical results in expanding and systematizing the flow of intelligence and fostering better communications among FlUs.

 

The Heads of FIUs approved the following Studies/Papers/Training Materials:

  • White Paper on the Utility of Cross-border Wire Transfer Reporting
  • Two Reports on the ISIL Project Phase 2:  a financial typology of foreign terrorist fighters and information sharing challenges involving FIUs
  • Report on Business Email Compromise
  • Flexible, Information Exchange Standards for FIUs
  • FIU Information System Maturity Model (FISMM) Training Materials
  • SEC-FIU Operational Guidance on Business Continuity of Operations
  • SEC-FIU Operational Guidance on Information Security (approved out-of-session)
  • Securing an FIU (SEC-FIU) Training Material

 

The Egmont Group would like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the United States State Department, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the development of the training materials on FISMM and SEC-FIU.

The above noted Studies/Papers/Training Materials will be made available to all member FlUs, as well as to candidate FIUs via their sponsors, Observers and other partners, as appropriate.

FIU experts delivered three training sessions during this event focusing on topics of operational concern:

  • Multilateral Information Exchange: Network Analysis Workshop
  • FinTech Back to the Future
  • FIU Cooperation with Domestic Law Enforcement on Terrorist Financing Cases

 

The sessions were well attended and the delegates provided positive feedback.

The Egmont Group also launched an E-learning Tool for Operational Analysis in Spanish and English. The E-learning Tool was developed in partnership with the Basel Institute International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR).

The Best Egmont Case Award (ВЕСА) came down to two finalists. The Heads of FIUs were treated to two presentations, the first on a securities fraud case from the UIAF (FIU-Colombia); the second on a case submitted by IMPA (FIU-Israel) relating to a diamond smuggling and underground banking system. After all votes were counted, the Heads of FIU declared IMPA, Israel the winner of the 2016 ВЕСА competition. The two cases are highlighted in the Egmont Group Annual Report 2015-2016.

All members of the Egmont Group of FIUs are grateful to Qatar's Minister of Finance, His Excellency Ali Sherif Al Emadi, H.E. Sh. Fahad Al Thani, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee (NAMLC). H.E. Sh. Ahmed Al Thani, Head of the Qatar FIU as well as his team, for so effectively and brilliantly delivering the Intersessional Heads of FlUs and Plenary Meeting in Doha. The Egmont Group acknowledges the valuable contributions that the Qatar FIU has provided to the activities of the Egmont Group since its admission as a member in June 2005.

 

Doha, Qatar

10 February 2017

*** CO-CHAIRS’ STATEMENT in a PDF file


[1] All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions, or populations, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.