The 28th annual Egmont Group (EG) Plenary took place from July 10-15, 2022, in Riga, Latvia. Ms. Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, EG Chair and Head of FIU-Netherlands, and Mr. Toms Platacis, acting Head of FIU-Latvia, chaired the meeting.
This year’s event included 320 delegates (including 16 observers and one international partner) and 103 Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) who gathered to contribute to improving international collaboration and effectiveness through the annual thematic discussion.
The organization made new selections for EG leadership roles, including new EG Chair, Ms. Xolisile Khanyile, Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre of South Africa and past EG Vice-Chair and a new EG Vice-Chair, Ms. Elżbieta Franków-Jaśkiewicz, Head of the International Cooperation Unit at FIU Poland, both for two-year terms, ending after the 2024 EG Plenary.
Throughout the week, the organization also finalized several selection procedures for additional EG leadership roles, including:
- Julius Lyimo, FIU Tanzania, as the East and Southern Africa Regional Group Representative (RGR) with a two-year mandate, ending after the 2024 Plenary. Mr. Lyimo replaced Ms. Francisca Brito, whose mandate in FIU-Angola ended before completing her RGR term.
- Hennie Verbeek-Kusters, past EG Chair and Head of FIU-Netherlands, and Ms. Patricia Kordesch, FIU-Germany, as Europe I RGRs with two–year mandates, ending after the 2024 Plenary. Ms. Verbeek-Kusters and Ms. Kordesch replace Mr. Francois Magnaud and Mr. Paolo Costanzo, whose mandates ended during the week.
- Astghik Karamanukyan, FIU-Armenia, as Europe II RGR, with a two-year mandate, ending after the 2024 Plenary.
- Manoj Kaushik, FIU-India, was reconfirmed for the position of MSCWG Chair, with a two-year mandate, ending after the 2024 Plenary.
The organization decided to continue its strategic focus on developing a new, modern, future-proof IT system and agreed on the design of future solutions, adopted a new strategy that will guide its vision for the next five years, and endorsed the EG-World Customs Organization joint Financial Intelligence Training Package.
FIU-Latvia was voted as this year’s Best Egmont Case Award (BECA) recipient with a case that earned recognition due to the volume, case complexity, innovative financial intelligence methods and the developed international cooperation network. Honourable mention goes to 2022 BECA runner-up FIU-Italy for their successful case contribution. Further recognition was given to FIU-Nigeria, who received the StAR (Stolen Asset Recovery Award), a joint program by the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The 2022 EG Plenary Thematic Discussion discussed and highlighted New Ways to Drive FIU Effectiveness in a Risk-Based Environment including Multilateral Information Sharing, Ways to Set Effective Priorities in Domestic and International Cooperation, and Ways to Enhance the Role of the FIU in the Domestic AML/CFT System.
Other 28th Egmont Plenary highlights:
- A BECA Workshop and three Operational Training sessions were held, including Extreme Right-Wing Terrorist Financing, The Role of FIUs to End Labour Exploitation and Human Trafficking, and How to Achieve a Higher Level of Effectiveness on Asset Recovery
- The IEWG will continue ongoing project work, promote sharing of FIU experiences, and enhance external partner cooperation
- The MSCWG will continue reviewing applications to become Egmont Group members with the support of its sponsors
- The PPWG and MSCWG will continue the Support and Compliance Process Review
- The TATWG will co-host a webinar with MENA-FATF in September 2022
- The Americas Regional Group (RG) discussed, among other topics, the Latin-American initiatives under Project TENTACLE, a World Customs Organisation-led project in which Customs administrations, FIUs, and national police services collaborate to tackle cross-border movements of illicit proceeds.
- The Asia and Pacific RG will analyze FIUs’ role in National Risk Assessments as part of the Middle East and North Africa RG initiative
- The East and Southern Africa RG meeting also featured two guest presentations: United Nations Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (UN FAST) partnership and the Basel Institute of Governance – International Wildlife Trade Case and Corruption Investigation Initiated by a Proactive STR Development
- The Eurasia RG meeting was held virtually on July 13, 2022
- Europe I RG will continue enhancing member support and enter more joint analyses
- Europe II RG shared regional developments and will continue cooperating with ECOFEL and FinCEN, and organize another regional workshop, on the abuse of virtual assets for corruption
- Many EG member FIUs voiced their support for FIU-Ukraine in these difficult times
All EG members are grateful to FIU-Latvia for their warm welcome as hosts of the 28th EG Plenary in Riga. The EG acknowledges the hard work and time it takes to plan an event like this and was pleased to welcome a special guest to select events, past Head of FIU-Latvia, Ilze Znotina, who was instrumental to the planning and success of this year’s Plenary. Congratulations!
July 29, 2022
Further EG information and a list of EG member FIUs can be found at egmontgroup.org.