Urgent cooperation needed to combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: AML/CTF


INSIGHT
Published
May 24th '24
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In today’s interconnected world, the formidable challenge of transnational organized crime continues to undermine stability, fund terrorism, and adversely affect vulnerable populations. Recognising the urgent need for action, the heads of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), INTERPOL, and the United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime (UNODC) have come together, shedding light on the critical importance of targeting illicit profits generated through Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. This high-level call to action, made during an esteemed side event at the 33rd Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, demands immediate and concerted efforts from countries worldwide.

 

Understanding the Power of Focusing on Proceeds of Crime

By directing our attention towards the proceeds of crime and the intricate illicit financial networks that enable them, Member States gain a decisive edge in combating and disrupting organized crime networks. This proactive approach augments the overall effectiveness of crime prevention initiatives, ensuring that criminal activities are met with resolute countermeasures. Importantly, disincentivising criminal behaviour through targeting illicit profits also radiates positive repercussions across all goals outlined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, such as fostering inclusive economic growth, reinforcing financial stability, and fortifying institutions and governance structures.

 

Enhancing Global Financial Integrity for Peace and Security

Financial stability, inclusion, and global peace and security are all intrinsically linked to the preservation of global financial integrity. Acknowledging this, FATF President T. Raja Kumar emphasises that achieving such integrity is contingent upon the unwavering implementation of robust anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) standards. The FATF, deeply committed to this cause, has vowed to intensify their efforts in cross-cutting activities that facilitate serious crimes, particularly money laundering. Embracing asset recovery as a primary preventive strategy, governments must collectively implement methods to sever the lifeblood of criminal enterprises by dismantling their illicit financial networks and depriving them of their ill-gotten gains.

 

INTERPOL’s imperative role in choking off illegal revenue streams

To safeguard the rule of law and protect vulnerable communities, INTERPOL’s Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, insists on pursuing every available avenue to disrupt and choke off illegal revenue streams. Recognizing that criminals will exploit any commodity to generate profits, it becomes vital that action is taken across all sectors and at a global level. INTERPOL, standing ready to support these efforts in any way necessary, emphasizes the dire need for immediate global collaboration to dismantle the financial networks that sustain terrorism and transnational organised crime.

 

UNODC’s Commitment to Shielding the Most Vulnerable

Highlighting the devastating consequences of money laundering, terrorist financing, and their associated crimes, UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly emphasizes that these activities fuel instability, violence, and exploitation across the globe. Safeguarding financial integrity becomes paramount in promoting peace, security, and sustainable development, all while protecting the most vulnerable individuals and communities. To achieve this, UNODC remains committed to working collaboratively with governments, the private sector, and esteemed partners like FATF and INTERPOL. Their focus lies in enhancing financial and criminal investigations, dismantling illegal financial networks, and effectively countering terrorism and transnational organized crime.

 

Accelerated Progress for Policy Reforms and Capacity Building

While recent enhancements have been made to FATF’s international standards on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, there remains a pressing demand for accelerated progress in policy reforms and capacity building. The upcoming UN 2026 Crime Congress, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, provides an auspicious platform for further discussions and advancements in this domain. It becomes crucial to extend greater support to nations grappling with the implementation of robust anti-money laundering and terrorist financing frameworks. Collaboration between member countries, private sector entities, and civil society actors is increasingly vital in implementing joint approaches to combating financial crime effectively. Initiatives such as public-private partnerships and dedicated task forces demonstrate the power of collaboration, accelerating the efficacy of global implementation efforts.

 

Key Accelerators in the Global Fight Against Financial Crime

To further bolster the fight against financial crime globally, the event titled “Taking the Profits out of Crime: Accelerating the Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Standards Globally” delved into several crucial areas. The participants deliberated on the significance of capacity building, the effective implementation of risk-based approaches, multi-sectoral partnerships, and cutting-edge technologies as key accelerators. UNODC, FATF, and INTERPOL are resolute in their commitment to extend this powerful call to action, urging member states to continually enhance their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks leading up to the 2026 Crime Congress.

 

Conclusion

In concluding, the urgent need to intensify efforts to target the massive profits generated through transnational organized crime cannot be overstated. By striving to disrupt illicit financial networks and dismantle the infrastructure that facilitates money laundering and terrorist financing, countries can significantly enhance the effectiveness of crime prevention initiatives. Moreover, this concerted action resonates across the broader goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, bolstering inclusive economic growth and strengthening the pillars of financial stability and governance. It is essential that governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society unite in a shared commitment to combat financial crime, protecting global financial integrity and fostering peace and security worldwide.

 

If you have AML or KYC needs, please contact us.

 

How we can help

At LS Consultancy, our consultants are industry experts that interpret the rules, regulations and spirit of the industry guidelines by assisting you “the client” in implementing a compliance programme that you can be confident is mitigating the risk of financial crime. What we can do:

 

  • We analyse the relevant jurisdictions legislation, regulation and industry guidance to ensure that your controls adopt the highest standard possible
  • Analyse and/ or Enhance your Business Wide Risk Assessment to ensure we consider money laundering and relevant predicate crimes
  • Assessment of your Customer Onboarding and/ or Periodic KYC reviews rely on independent documentation and supported by credible information from your customer – as this is key to your compliance programme.
  • Robust Transaction Monitoring and Screening whilst utilising your up-to-date KYC documentation/ information are fundamental.
  • Greater emphasis on training – why not go through live examples with your RM’s, Operational Teams and Compliance – discuss the areas of concern and come up with compliant solutions.
  • Ensuring your Compliance Monitoring Programme is conducted on a regular basis
  • Engagement with senior management through relevant committees

 

For further information please contact us where our industry experts will be happy to answer your questions.

 

 

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