The 2023 annual Egmont Group (EG) Working and Regional Group Meeting occurred from January 30 to February 3, 2023, in Dakar, Senegal. Ms. Xolisile Khanyile, EG Chair and Head of FIU South Africa, hosted the meeting.
This year’s event included 287 delegates representing Egmont members and 12 observers and international partners who gathered through 15 different meetings to enhance EG member capabilities, improve information sharing among them, and work toward accomplishing our development mission, cooperation, and sharing of expertise.
The Information Exchange Working Group (IEWG) updated and discussed various ongoing projects, including Detecting Trade-Based Money Laundering and Abuse of Corporate Structures, Phase II of the FIUs Capabilities and Involvement in the Fight Against the Financing of Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism, FIUs’ Role in the Fight Against the Abuse of Non-Profit Organizations for TF Activity, and Abuse of Virtual Assets for Terrorist Financing Purposes. The group also discussed and approved the report produced within the Use of Open-Source Intelligence in FIU Operational and Strategic Analysis project. The report is now pending the final decision of the Heads of the Egmont Group FIUs.
The Membership Support and Compliance Working Group (MSCWG) considered the applications of four new candidate FIUs, approved its Business Plan 2023-2024 and worked on reviewing the EG Support and Compliance Process.
The Policy and Procedures Working Group (PPWG) discussed further actions based on the recommendations to address impediments regarding information exchange. One of these recommendations leads to a new project which develops a template MoU for multilateral information exchange between FIUs. Furthermore, PPWG had a closer look at the different FIU funding models used worldwide to highlight models of best practice and possible self-funding options and to identify benefits and challenges.
The Technical Assistance and Training Working Group (TATWG) met to identify and discuss the development and delivery plans for 2023-2024, including illegal mining, fighting proceeds of corruption, VASPs risk assessment and AML supervision, open-source intelligence for financial analysis and investigation, impediments to bilateral and multilateral information exchange of FIUs, the Best Egmont Case Award Workshop, a global workshop on autonomy and operational independence of FIUs, a joint EG WCO financial intelligence training compendium, and a joint online course with UN University’s Fighting Against Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative (FAST). With candidate FIUs, Observers/International Organizations’ participation and engagement, the TATWG took the opportunity to explore opportunities to increase EG members’ and candidate FIUs’ effectiveness and enhance their skills, knowledge, and expertise through broad-based training and initiatives.
Five of the EG’s eight Regional Groups met, including East and Southern Africa, Eurasia, Europe I, Middle East and Northern Africa, and West and Central Africa. Some topics were the 29th Egmont Group Plenary Thematic Discussion which will form the next EG Plenary’s central theme, the 2023 Egmont Biennial Census, which helps the organization better understand its members’ strengths and needs and provide better member support so that FIUs can effectively exchange high quality, comprehensive, and timely information. They also discussed the EG Chair’s 2023-2024 priorities and how each region can support their implementation.
The Egmont Centre of FIU Excellence and Leadership (ECOFEL) delivered a workshop, in close coordination with FinCEN, FIU-Luxembourg, FIU-Isle of Man and Europol, on Ransomware. During this workshop, ECOFEL increased participants’ understanding of ransomware attacks, indicators, challenges, and what FIUs can do to contribute to the fight against ransomware.
The Egmont Committee approved a 2023-2027 EG Communications Strategy that will guide the organization’s communications activities and practices as it strives to achieve the goals outlined by the 2023-2027 EG Strategic Plan’s four Thematic Areas of Action.
Throughout the week, the organization also finalized several selection procedures for additional EG leadership roles, including:
- Carine Charlette-Katinic, Director of the FIU of Mauritius, was selected as IEWG Vice-Chair.
- Andre Banyai, Head of the Analytical Unit with the Hungarian FIU, was selected as IEWG Vice-Chair.
- Philip Hunkin, Head of FIU Isle of Man, was selected as the TATWG Vice-Chair.
On behalf of all EG members, the EG congratulates the FIU of Senegal for successfully hosting the 2023 EG Working Group and Regional Group Meeting in Dakar! The EG acknowledges the hard work and time it takes to plan an event of this kind, and it’s a clear testament to Senegal’s commitment to the global fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The EG extends its sincere gratitude to Ramatoulaye Gadio Agne, Senegal’s Head of the National Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (CENTIF), and her excellent team.
February 3, 2023
Further EG information and a list of EG member FIUs can be found at egmontgroup.org.