GIABA AND EGMONT GROUP DEVELOP FIUs’ CAPACITIES
The Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), in collaboration with the Egmont Group, held a regional training for the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of member States in Saly, Senegal, from 15th to 19th January 2018. The key objective of this training was to develop the technical and operational capacities of FIU staff to effectively undertake strategic analyses, in compliance with relevant international requirements. The workshop is a result of the directives emanating from the Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Interpretive Note of Recommendation 29, and the Egmont Group’s Operational Manual on FIUs’ activities, which stress the need to conduct operational and strategic analysis.
In his opening address, the Director General of GIABA, Colonel Adama COULIBALY, discussed the gaps in strategic analysis within the FIUs in the region. He indicated that most of the FIUs have neither the capacity nor the appropriate tools to conduct strategic analysis. He therefore implored participant to make the best of the exchanges and discussions during the programme so that FIUs can maximize information and effectively accomplish their mandate, “particularly the identification of trends and patterns relating to money laundering (ML) and terrorism financing (TF) as well as the provision of input to policy formulation and mapping out of operational priorities”.
According to Mrs. Ramatoulaye Gadio Agne, President of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Senegal, strategic analysis enhances the understanding of financial crime-related phenomena. She also urged participants to take ownership of the techniques and thoroughly grasp the objectives of strategic analysis, in order to benefit and share with their domestic and international partners, all the value it can add to their activities.
In retrospect, the joint GIABA-Egmont Group training workshop brought together thirty-two (32) Financial Analysts from all FIUs in ECOWAS Member States. It also provided an opportunity to determine the patterns and trends of ML/TF, which would enable member States to formulate policies for effective implementation of their AML/CFT regimes and adopt proactive measures to prevent ML/TF.
Some of the recommendations emerging from training include, developing AML/CFT guidelines for risk sectors; sharing of experiences on strategic analysis with ECOWAS member countries; delivering training on concrete cases of tax evasion in member States, etc.