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Harry Cassin
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AML watch: The Egmont Group steps up enforcement against terrorist financing

The Egmont Group — Financial Intelligence Units from 151 jurisdictions, with 19 other observer organizations — issued its latest Communiqué from its meeting in Monaco last week, targeting terrorist financing.

The Egmont Group, founded in 1995, is used by enforcement agencies to share information and help each other develop evidence to prosecute financial crimes, such as money laundering, tax evasion, and graft.

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a member, along with the UK’s National Crime Agency, and Germany’s Zentralstelle für Verdachtsanzeigen.

The permanent secretariat is in Toronto, Canada.

The DOJ has said it receives help in FCPA enforcement from the Egmont Group.

Since September 11, 2001, the Egmont Group has focused more attention on the fight against terrorist financing.

Here’s the full text of the Egmont Group’s February 1, 2016 Communiqué:

*      *     *

The increasing actions of terrorists and terrorist organizations such as ISIL, al-Qaida and their respective affiliates, as demonstrated by recent terrorist acts in Indonesia, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Mali, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States, and the proliferation of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), poses serious threats to security and international financial stability.

In response, the Egmont Group members have cooperated to produce an operational analysis of the financing for ISIL FTFs. The project identified challenges and highlighted successes to information sharing in combating terrorist financing (TF).

Recognizing its important role, on 1 February 2016, the Heads, or their designated representatives, of 102 Financial Intelligence Units, convened an extraordinary meeting of its governing body to discuss how the Egmont Group could positively respond to this increasing threat. As the international group that unites its members to exchange financial intelligence and expertise, the Egmont Group is committed to capitalising on its unique global network.

During this extraordinary intersessional meeting, the Heads of FIUs, within the context of each jurisdictions TF risk assessment, adopted the following recommendations and initiatives to:

  • provide indicators of terrorism financing to industry partners to assist the identification of suspicious financial activity;
  • engage with domestic intelligence agencies to strive to improve the flow of TF-related information;
  • examine the utility of cross-border wire transfer information in the context of combating TF;
  • consider the reporting of couriers transporting cash or non-cash instruments across borders;
  • identify the need to expand the range of reporting entities subject to Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) reporting regime;
  • update the Egmont foundational documents to enable spontaneous and multilateral information exchange;
  • implement solutions for appropriate access to more sources of information necessary to share actionable financial intelligence to counter TF threats;
  • continue cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – which sets the international AML/CTF standards – to overcome information access and sharing challenges and ensure the international standards enable effective combating of terrorist financing; and,
  • commit to improve FIU capability leveraging expertise and technology to better capitalise on data, exchange intelligence and enable cooperation.

By undertaking these initiatives and taking on-board these recommendations, the Egmont Group demonstrates that it recognizes its important role in combating terrorist financing.

Continuously improving the flow of financial intelligence through its unique global network is a priority of the Egmont Group. The Egmont Group is committed to support its members and further cooperate with its international partners in combating terrorist financing.

Chair, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units
1 February 2016


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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