IEWG Chair Mr. Marko STOLLE Participates in INTERPOL Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Global Conference in Medellin, Colombia

From November 18th to 20th, 2019, the Chair of the Egmont Group’s Information Exchange Working Group (IEWG) Mr. Marko STOLLE attended the INTERPOL Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Global Conference in Medellin, Colombia.

During his presentation and the ensuing panel discussion on international cooperation, Mr. STOLLE emphasized that the fight against the laundering of proceeds of corruption remains a priority item on the agenda of the Egmont Group. In this regard, the Group has produced a number of important papers such as the 2013 report on “The Role of Financial Intelligence Units in Fighting Corruption and Asset Recovery” and the 2019 report on “FIU Tools and Practices for Investigating Laundering of the Proceeds of Corruption” to support the dynamic role of FIUs in the fight against corruption.

The topic of FIUs’ role in the fight against the laundering of proceeds of corruption was discussed as a main theme during the Egmont Group’s meeting in Buenos Aires in March 2018. This discussion resulted in number of substantial outcomes which were used by the organisation in its efforts to tackle the laundering of criminal funds obtained through corruption.

Mr. STOLLE also underlined that FIUs are uniquely positioned to collect and analyse sensitive information throughout corruption related cases while providing valuable insights into associated transactions, assets and networks. He further reinforced that the operational independence and autonomy of FIUs, as well as the structure and governance of the Egmont Group, are critical to ensuring the effective contribution of FIUs even in the most sensitive corruption cases.

Suspicious transaction reports submitted by the private sector allow FIUs to establish an intelligence data bank to detect and tackle the laundering of proceeds of corruption. To support the role of the private sector, FIUs and the Egmont Group provide red flags, develop typologies, trainings and other important feedback from their analysis on a regular basis.

As corruption is a transnational and corrosive crime, in most cases FIUs are relying on the international exchange of information to combat the flow of illicit proceeds. Mr. STOLLE pointed out that the Egmont Group provides a reliable framework to facilitate timely and secure international cooperation, enabling FIUs to support law enforcement efforts and participate in the early detection and seizure of the ill-gotten assets.

Mr. STOLLE concluded by asserting that FIUs require intelligence inter alia from LEAs to bring into effect their unique capabilities. All authorities should work closely together to recognize, investigate and, over time, prevent corruption.

Other speakers also recognized the unique role of FIUs and stressed that they are an integral part of the joint efforts to tackle the laundering of proceeds of corruption.

Egmont Group is grateful for being able to attend such important events and would like to thank INTERPOL for the invitation.